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Monday, 17 February 2014

A Step In The Right Direction

Recently, I went through a bit of a "mid-life" crisis. The crisis was that I didn't know what I wanted to do as a career or even what I was going to do with my life. No warning, just*BAM* complete freak-out. I suddenly thought to myself, "Is this path, that I was going to take, really what I want to do with my life? Do I want to go down this route?" And I knew deep down that the answer was "no."

Now a few of you may be holding confused expressions on your face and going "Why are you calling that a crisis? You still have so much time left to decide all of this!" And yeah, that's true. But the thing that freaked me out so much was that I was always one of the people who had a plan and something to work towards. I always had a rough outline of what job I wanted to have, where I wanted to live and how my life would pan out, that it terrified me to be so...un-prepared? Confused? I don't even know.

So now I'm stuck in the position of what the hell am I going to do with my life? Let me tell you one thing, it's difficult when you have a problem and you try to give yourself advice. Somehow it doesn't really have much of an effect. But nonetheless, I made myself calm down, meditated for a few minutes and I did this:

I wrote down the things that I loved.

Not so much materialistic things like ice-cream, new notebooks or How I Met Your Mother, but things like what I enjoyed doing and seeing in the world. It was things like;
Seeing people smile
Making people laugh
Spreading joy
Making people feel better/Being the sunshine to others
Writing
Looking and studying beautiful things I come across
Learning about new things
Being Creative
Talking to people
Inspiration/Inspiring Others + Helping others
etc, etc....
 
Side note: While I was writing the list, I really wanted to put a smiley face next to everything! Haha
 
When you know what you love, it helps you focus on it and how happy it makes you. Because when you love something, you'll automatically fight for it and want to keep it in your life, whether you realise or not.

Doing this, first of all really helped me with appreciating all that I had and treasured. But it also helped me get back on track and find a guide to what I wanted to do. It's not quite a yellow brick road, but more of an arrow that says "THIS WAY". All I know is, it's a step in the right direction.

 
In life, I believe that all of our actions, no matter how small, will lead to something bigger at the end of it. Like a staircase. Each step might not make a whole lot of difference, but at the end after you've taken 20 steps, it makes a huge difference on where you are/how high up you are.


One of my favourite teachers said to me the other day (this is roughly what he said - I can't remember it exactly);
 
"When you improve by 1% each time, eventually it all adds up to something greater."
 
To put it into a little bit of perspective, think of it in terms of physical appearance for now.
  • Pulling your hair into a ponytail - 1%
  • Plucking that stray eyebrow hair - 1%
  • Moisturizing cracked lips- 1%
  • Tucking in your shirt - 1%
  • Pulling up your tights - 1%
  • Smiling - 1% (to be honest, it's more like 20% but I'm trying to make a point)
  • Fixing your smudged eyeliner - 1%
Those 7 things individually, only improved yourself by 1% each time. But together, added up to something greater and now you're 7% better than you were before. You're 7% better presented, 7% more attractive and 7% more confident. (After all, confidence can be greatly affected by how you present yourself.) Now when you apply what my teacher told me to life, it makes sense too. We can all take steps to improve ourselves or move forward by 1%. It may not seem like much at all - in fact it hardly seems like anything. But after a while that 1% will lead to 5%, then 20%, then 50%, then 75% and then, hopefully, 100%.

 
It might take a while for it all to add up, but you need to have a little bit of patience. Remember that there's a reason people say, "All good things come to those who wait."  Even if it takes you a while to even get that 1%, don't worry - life has a funny way of working itself out.
 
But let me help you with your first 1% of your life. Create this list to help guide you of where you want to be and where you think you belong. It may not solve your whole life, but it's a step in the right direction.
 
♥ Jess ♥
 

Sunday, 9 February 2014

How To: Love Yourself

Whenever I think of February, I think of love. Possibly because the only major "holiday" is Valentine's Day but February just reminds me of hearts and flowers and chocolates and pink and red and candy and ,most importantly, LOVE!

 
First of all, I'd just like to point out that when I say "love yourself" I don't mean in that way you cheeky minxes, although you can if you want to.

I think in life, it's so important to learn how to love yourself before you can love others. It's not selfish nor is it shallow in any way, shape or form. To be able to truly love someone and be in a relationship with them (whether it's romantic or not) you need to be able to love who you are so that you can love them as openly and as honestly as possible. That way, you'll be able to build a stronger relationship with this person and will benefit you in the long run.   

So how do we learn to love ourselves?

One of the most important things to do first is to let go of your past and to forgive yourself for your mistakes.   I personally have done some things that I haven't exactly been proud of (like maybe talking about someone behind their back, arguing with friends/family or nit-picking all the little things about someone etc.) and they haven't exactly been the highlights of my life.

But these things are in the past and I can't do anything about it - until time travel has been invented. So I need to now accept the fact that I've made these mistakes and I'm going to forgive myself for them. I'm only human and making mistakes is just a part of life (also I was quite young and immature back then). The most important thing is that you learn from them and you grow as a person. I also think that it's important to be honest with yourself when admitting your mistakes - it's only you who's going to know them so no one's going to judge you.

 
Following on from that, don't be afraid that people will judge you.  I know this one is difficult especially with our changing society and whatnot, but one of the things that holds us back in life from being truly happy and caring for ourselves is the pressure to be like the rest of them. Don't think "Oh I have to make myself unique" because there's only one you and that in itself makes you unique already! It's a struggle not to conform to the rest of the world and what they do and what they don't, but sometimes what "they're" doing, won't make you happy. Remember that it's not always possible for everyone to like you. So you need to learn to accept that you like and enjoy doing different things from everyone else. Also what's important to accept is who you are which leads me onto my next point.

 
Beauty is a slightly difficult topic to talk about because it's a little controversial but to love yourself, accept and appreciate your own beauty.  I don't just mean if you have nice eyes and a cute nose, but the beauty that is inside you. That applies to two things:

1) Your working body and the functioning limbs you have been blessed with and
2) Your positive thoughts and feelings.

To accept this, think about yourself and try to think beyond your outside appearance. Think about all those times you encouraged everyone to give it a go or those times you just gave hugs to people because they were having a bad day or all the moments you were able to help people get back up again and try. Think about all the positivity you try to spread to people. That is your inner beauty and treasure that in the hopes that it will never fade.


 Every now and again, no matter how independent you are, you just need a friend and someone who will make this world seem not so lonely. And to love yourself, be that person to someone else and go  spread some friendliness. By spreading this, you'll make them feel better and in turn you'll feel better for making them happier and hopefully they'll pass on this feeling to someone else. In an interview with Pastor Matthew Barnett (link here) he said a quote which really made me think about how our actions can affect others. And he said:

"Look for the kid who feels forsaken or unloved and be a friend to them."

 
When you were younger, you probably heard the phrase "Treat others the way you want to be treated" a thousand and one times but this is completely true. When you treat others in a way that makes them feel special and cared for, they will return the favour to you. I know this with some of my friends who have given me the most heartfelt gifts and letters and in return, to reciprocate this love, I will do the same for them. Not because I feel obligated to return the gesture, but I want them to feel as elated and as loved as they made me feel.

Remember: friendship costs nothing. It's worth more than words can express but there's no price on friendship.

The other thing to remember when learning to love yourself, is to do things that you love. I'll be touching on this in more detail in another post later this month, but spend time with things you like. Whether that's watching TV or going for walks or talking with your best friend or listening to music, whatever it is, do it and you'll feel a lot happier and a lot more content with yourself.

 
 
An obvious one to remember, but I'll just slip in here, is to take care of your body. This doesn't have to be working out for 5 hours every other day or anything crazy, but simple things like getting more sleep, getting some fresh air each day, eating right, drinking water, stretching in the mornings - it's important to take care of the body you've been given.

The final method of loving yourself that I will share today, is to not compare yourself to other people. Everyone is different and everyone does things differently. People show love, dedication, hard work, success, friendship in various ways and you shouldn't compare yourself own ways to theirs. The only person you should compare yourself to, is the person you were yesterday. (I feel like that's a Tumblr quote waiting to happen.)




You know yourself better than anyone and only you will know how to improve and be the best version of you.
 

♥ Jess ♥


Monday, 3 February 2014

Birthdays

 

Hiya everyone! A bit of a shorter post today as duty calls (ie. my homework) but just wanted to write a quick post about birthdays :)

So as you might be able to guess, today, February 3rd, is my birthday! Yes thank you, hold the applause. Now normally when it comes to this day, for many people the main focus of the day is getting tons and tons of presents and getting to boss people around using the excuse "It's MY birthday." And of course, I did do this but when I woke up this morning, the first thing I thought of was how lucky I am and how blessed I am to have such wonderful people around me and to have so many people that care about me. I also thought about how lucky I am to have experienced the things I have done. It's weird to think how much I've done in all the years that I've been alive. (Not showing off in anyway, I promise.) That being said, I just really wanted to share my love with you all as I've been in a very affectionate mood all day.

Firstly, I don't know if I can say this enough but to the few readers who do read my blog, THANK YOU. It means a hella lot to me and I really love all the kind words people have left me. (And "hi" to some new readers!)

Also a personal thank you to all those who have been so kind to give me such wonderful gifts and how much I appreciate the sentiment. (I actually cried tears of happiness today - oops.) So if it's your birthday soon:

1) Happy Birthday you wonderful human being.
2) Think about how blessed you are to have the things you have and the people who love you (It will put you in an amazing mood for the rest of the day.)
3) I really do hope you have the best day you could possibly have. You deserve happiness on the day that is completely and undeniably your own. ♥
 
♥ Jess ♥