Today is a day to celebrate love with that special someone in our lives. It is a day my husband and I don’t celebrate massively; a card, a kiss, a yummy eggs Benedict (my favourite) cooked by Mr J. It is a day that over the commercialised bears and expensive set menus, the message of why we SHOULD at the very least acknowledge it, can get lost. It is a day Mr J and I appreciate how lucky we are to have found each other while reflecting on what could have been if we had previously settled for other partners, ones that didn’t quite fit.
Sure you shouldn’t NEED a day to celebrate your love, but in the madness of every day life it’s nice to have a moment to recognise that finding a life partner is not a given. Those of us who have ‘it’ are blessed, and remembering why it is we chose this person over every other is important, whether on Valentine’s Day or any other.
Most of us have had our share of unsuccessful relationships. Mine were always intense, always serious and ultimately when they ended it was messy, painful and life changing. But I don’t believe that people are bad or toxic. I just believe in bad fits, and in weaknesses that don’t match strengths. I’ve been cheated on, treated like I wasn’t a priority and had my heart-broken. Am I bitter? Absolutely not!
None of the ‘men’ I was with before were right for me, just as I wasn’t right for them.
Last week I wrote about how my life changing news threw me into disarray. This got me thinking about big life changes in general and how many of us, not just those suffering with anxiety, find it difficult to cope with being thrown into the abyss of the unknown. But should we avoid change because of fear of failure? Is it really better the devil you know or is there a way we could learn to deal with life changes in a more constructive manner than our minds often revert to?
When The Beatles released their 6th British single ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ in 1964, the lyrics encompassed the very essence of the 60s. Followed by ‘All You Need Is Love’ in 1967, the idea of being able to achieve happiness solely through love was, and still is, one adopted by millions all over the World. It is an ideal that I would love to be able to believe in…were I to live in the magical land of pixies and elves.
I’m not sure that The Beatles ever had to ‘care too much for money’, but currently finding myself with a bit of time to think about life, love and the Universe, I have started asking myself some rather profound questions. ‘What do I really want and what of that do I want solely because it is part of my upbringing in Western civilisation?’ ‘Are the things we deem important such as security, money, power etc, only as important as we allow them to be?’
We often get upset or offended by things other people say to us. Sometimes it’s justified, but sometimes we overreact, which says more about our own insecurities than about the offender’s intentions. In fact if we’re completely honest with ourselves, more often than not do we attach all kinds of hidden meanings and ulterior motives to the thing that has offended us, and rather than take responsibility and ownership of the arising negative emotion, we feel victimised and lash out externally. We project whatever insecurity has been stirred within us, on to the sometimes innocent offender .
I was once someone like that. I felt like bad things and bad people were happening to me. I blamed others for making me feel in a negative way because of things they said or did to me. And it felt like this was happening ALL THE TIME. But it was out of my control right?
Well I got sick of wallowing in self-pity, no matter how justified my feelings were, and so I started to look at the common denominator; and it was me. I decided I no longer wanted to be a victim. I wanted more say over my life and how I was feeling over the things I had no control over. Blaming others for how I felt may have been easier, but it wasn’t making me happy, and I realised I needed to start taking more responsibility for myself. I knew I couldn’t control what people said or did to me, so what could I do?
As promised, I will be sharing my healthy living guide with you for the next 4 weeks. This is not just going to be about what I am eating, but also about busting some myths about food that are currently going around, as well as sharing all round general health tips. Having a healthy body and mind is not just about food and exercise, there are many other things you can do!
Now as you know, I am not one for hitting the gym or restricting myself to eating only raw vegan food! However there is something everyone can do to generally improving their health just by making small manageable changes. Remember, it’s all about elephant sandwiches 😉 (basically, you would never be able to eat a whole elephant! So break it down into bitesize pieces!).
I challenge you to make one positive change a day. Here are some examples of what you can start to introduce into your life over the next 4 weeks.
Imagine how different your life could be in 4 weeks if you introduce just 1 new habit every day? Continue reading
Happiness is different and unique to each and every one of us. For me, my happiness relies largely upon how free I feel.
My opinion on how free we truly are, is somewhat unpopular largely because it makes people feel uncomfortable. My view that we are nothing but slaves to our 9-5 work schedules, paid barely enough to actually live our lives to it’s fullest potential, is not one those in head offices around the large conglomerate companies around the world would want their ‘worker ants’ to agree with.
Those ‘queen bees’ profiting from all the hard-working people trapped in this commercial beehive called our society, are able to live outside the facade of freedom.
I am not saying those people haven’t had to work hard at some point in their lives. But having experienced both sides of this coin, I know which kind of work I would rather do. Conference calls from a private jet, mind mapping over brunch on a yacht, certainly beats being scolded like a school child over having your phone out during a time that is not deemed as your break.
As a sufferer of anxiety, one of the biggest things that plagues my mind is whether or not I am in the right place at the right time, making the right decisions. As I have previously written, my fears stem from things I can, rather than cannot control. In my mind, those things I have no control over, I can’t change anyway.
It’s the things that I have the power to change that really worry me; because it makes me responsible for how my life turns out.
This was very clearly demonstrated to me during my travels and by my fear of heights. When on a plane, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest that I am thousands of feet up in the air. I can look down at ant like cars and Lego houses quite easily without a second thought. However, whilst rock climbing in Vietnam, I literally became paralysed with the fear over having the power to throw myself off the side of the mountain at any given moment. If I was going to die, it was because of something I did, it would be my fault, and that kind of responsibility was just too much to bear.
This fear, albeit less intense than when rock climbing, follows me around every corner of my life, where anything less than perfection can make me feel like a failure.
Have you ever asked yourself ‘What is the meaning of life? Why am I here?’ I don’t think I’ve met many people who haven’t at one point asked themselves this question in one form or another. Infuriatingly, the answer isn’t quite as simple (or confusing) as in The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy in which a super computer calculates the answer as being the number 42. It’s a question that has plagued me many times over, unsurprisingly in the more difficult periods of my life. It is also a question arising in many conversations with my friends over the last week or so, which inspired this post.