Breathe.

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breathe in, love.

breathe out, hate. 

breathe in, gratitude.

breathe out, resentment.

breathe in, joy.

breathe out, hostility. 

breathe in.

breathe out.

Clarity. Carefree. Content. 

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5 things I am grateful for today:

Life

Love

Simplicity

Chance to relax

Books that are practical

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six-month review.

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So it has been six months since January 2017 and I feel a review is necessary to keep track of how things have been going in general, things I have learned and what will be happening moving forward. 

Firstly, I came into this year, hoping it would be better and that was a big mistake. Not because it wasn’t better, but because I had too many expectations, ones that weren’t realistic. I realise that things do not get better or worse, just different. The obstacles I was faced with last year were bad and this year I was faced with some bad ones too but they were just different.

1.The expectation of having a ‘happier’ future just because you change a thing or two is unrealistic because the future is what it is regardless of your expectations. We just need to focus on being happy moment to moment.

The next biggest challenge for the first half of this year has been around relationships. Twenty-seventeen started out rocky with my friends and family, things mended, but are not exactly the same. I sat around questioning everything and everyone around me because all of a sudden nothing seemed the same.

2. Relationships take moments to break and years to build. Communicating is the best way to get things across, especially uncomfortable things. Do not give people the chance to assume how you feel or what you are thinking, TELL THEM. Clear up the air, don’t sit in resentment or hate. Move forward with or without that person in your life. Expect change for better or worse because everything is impermanent. 

Next, is a discovery.

3. You can do anything. I really put my mind to staying balanced and healthy for the first few months of the year and every part of my life improved with a simple change of going for a 30-minute run/walk in the morning. We doubt our abilities/capabilities so much and never give ourselves a chance to even try and learn that you can do anything you put your mind to. 

So amongst those 3 things, I have learnt a lot more but those are the 3 takeaways. Moving forward, I handed my last assignment in yesterday. Only one semester left!

I will be heading to placement next week for 3 months and I really hope it is going to be good and enlightening. And I know that I am the only thing in between having a good or bad experience.

After that, I have a final 8 weeks of university before I am done forever! It is scary but I can’t wait to finally do something I’ve wanted to do (even though I might not get there at first, baby steps). I am excited to not think about money all the time (seriously exhausting being a student). I am also excited to just be on a different journey.

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5 things I am grateful for today:

My ability to write assignments quickly in small bursts!

Reflection – the power of reflection is extraordinary.

I am grateful to have a week off before starting placement!

I am grateful for the gloomy skies because they give beautiful sunrises/sunsets.

Nature.

Respect.

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Moving to Melbourne after living in Canberra for a fair few years was exciting and hard on many different aspects. One major concern when I moved 1.5 years ago was friends. I had had the same friends for a while now, they were familiar and I was comfortable.

What I failed to realise when I was younger but understand now is the quality of the people you surround yourself with. 

Some of this, I realised during the last years of my undergraduate degree where I voluntarily drifted from the people who were toxic in my life. They added nothing but pain, they didn’t make me a better person and they definitely did not make me happy. 

It’s funny because when you are a child you struggle to differentiate good friends from bad friends. You just long to be friends with everyone, be loved and liked, most importantly, have someone to play with at lunch.

We are taught that having friends is important, but we are not taught how to be good friends or to tell the difference from good and bad friends. Or that it is okay to walk away without seeming weak. We are not taught how to respect ourselves and because of this so many children get hurt by their ‘friends’ everyday.

Because of this I only learnt to walk away from people who shouldn’t have had a place in my life, a few years ago.

Today, I find myself saying no to gatherings with people who I don’t feel my best self around without hesitation. Today I know that if I don’t find the quality in relationships, it probably isn’t worth my time. Today I know that if I am in doubt, the answer is probably no. Today I know how to respect myself but I wish I learnt that long time ago. 

This does not mean I do not give people a chance, I do, it just means I trust my intuition. It means I cherish every moment with people who make me happy, enlighten me and spark joy. And the ones who make me feel uncomfortable or put negative thoughts in my head, are kept a little further away.

I am sure that some people feel the same about me too, but that is okay.

The key is to show appreciation, love and respect to those who treat you with the same regard. The people who don’t like you? Well that’s okay, because no one can like everyone.

Quality over Quantity. 

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5 things I am grateful for today:

Lazy days in – I was supposed to do my assignment, I sort of did but it was mostly a lazy day in.

Youtube – Man, do you hold a wealth of free knowledge!

Coffee – I wasn’t drinking coffee for a while but the cold weather has sparked a new love for it!

Creativity – Just loving my creative thoughts lately.

Nature – while sitting in my bedroom, I observed the changing weather all day long, it was beautiful.

Till again ♥

Without you, there is no us.

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January 2016 – Sri Lanka

In times of stress and worry, I fail to look after myself. Sometimes the pressures of life make it seem as though you come last, everything else matters but you. I am here to tell you and myself that this is not true, even though you may feel otherwise.

Whatever your worries and/or stresses may be, there are some things we all have to do to take care of ourselves. Not only will these things alleviate your stress but also prompt you to formulate more logical, objective and structured answers to your problems.

  1. Eat – nourish your body to nourish your mind. Eating is vital. Your brain is already on overdrive in times of stress, not eating will cause a malfunction. So do not forget to eat. Balanced meals would be ideal, but eating in general is a good place to start. (unless you are a stress eater, which in this case probably doesn’t apply to you)
  2. Sleep – my simple rule when making big decisions or when trying to get through something, is sleep. No better way is there to shut yourself off for a few minutes or hours, to rest and settle and approach the problem with a better mindset.
  3. Go outside – extremely overlooked when stressed is nature and the calmness it can bring. I find going for a walk (doesn’t have to be long) and focusing on the sky, trees (especially leaves) and the weather extremely relaxing. It also puts things into perspective, that this world is full of great simple things, you just have to notice them.
  4. Take a shower or bath – this is almost ritualistic to me. After a really bad day or situation, I take a shower almost to signify getting rid of negative emotions and thoughts and moving on refreshed.
  5. Read a book – sometimes I know that my problems are small and easy to deal with but I am still upset and overwhelmed, I have a go to book called ‘Opening the Door of Your Heart: And Other Buddhist Tales of Happiness’ by Ajahn Brahm who is an English buddhist monk that writes short thoughtful, quirky and light stories that gives you a change of heart. That is just my go to, whatever works for you is good.
  6. Journal/write things down – Externalising your feelings and thoughts is so helpful when you are overwhelmed and confused. You can reflect on what you have written and even make your own prompts/questions to answer, to better understand how you are feeling. I journal a few times a week and this space is also an outlet for me, writing what I am going through is a release.

 

And those are my 6 strategies that may or may not work for you, but they work for me. There are many others and not every problem in life can be solved with these. I acknowledge some problems are extremely complex and terrible, but for day to day get downs, these work well.

Take care of yourself and love yourself, you are important. 

Being Alive.

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This morning I woke up feeling unusual. If I was going to describe it, I would say that I didn’t feel alive. I don’t mean in a breathing way, but internally, I didn’t feel much.

I wasn’t motivated to start my day, I was tired, I wasn’t particularly excited about anything short or long term. It just felt like another typical day that I believe most of us live because we have to and that is what we do.

I didn’t want to go to attend my classes, or get out of bed, I didn’t want to think of what to eat or the assignments I have waiting for me to complete, I honestly didn’t want to think. Having a little peace in this world, peace from your own thoughts, is hard to come by and that was all I wanted. Constantly feeling the push and pull from everything that I HAVE TO DO is exhausting. Is there a time when humans don’t HAVE TO DO anything? 

Becoming aware and assessing these feelings is tough. Self-awareness is hard in itself but being able to critically reflect on your own emotions as they are happening is a skill that we all continually learn through life.

First, I thought maybe I am lazy or depressed and need to figure my shit out. Then I realised that this is normal, not wanting to do is normal, people just do things anyway because they have to. There aren’t many times in life where you don’t have to do anything, so I told myself to relax, nothing is wrong with me, wanting peace is normal and I didn’t do anything but catch up with an old friend over some tea.

Today, was a day where packing your things and going on a new adventure anywhere, near or far, would have been ideal. It would have made me feel alive, broken routine and changed perspective.

I hope I can do that soon, I want to feel alive because what is the point of life, if you aren’t quiet living?

All of us should incorporate things that make us feel ALIVE into our lives, whatever it may be, because amongst the hustle and bustle we forget that we should do things we want to do, not just do things we have to do!

5 things I am grateful for:

  1. Tea and good friends.
  2. Thoughtful conversations.
  3. My onesie – because it’s cold out and it’s warm.
  4. Support – to anyone who has supported me through life!
  5. Life.

Till again!

Blooms.

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I recently read this quote:

“There is literally nothing in nature that blooms all year long, so do not expect yourself to do so” – liryae

& I feel as though truer words have not been spoken.

We all need to take a step back and remember that we are all still natural beings, organisms, just like animals and plants who are gentle to themselves, we too must be gentle as we progress through life.

As the seasons change, plants and animals go through different life processes, humans pack on clothes during the winter months and shed them slowly as the snow melts away, we go about hoping to bloom everyday, feeling guilty if we don’t, resting our heads at night thinking ‘tomorrow I will try harder’.

Being passionate, hard-working, dedicated and committed to making the best life is a quality to admire but we must realise that life cannot always be great and we shouldn’t expect it to be, because that isn’t natural.

We should accept the days we feel down or are under performing because no thing can always be or feel on top. 

So let us not be so hard on ourselves, although humans have altered their way of living greatly, we are all still a combination of cells, full of mutations and errors alongside our perfections.

We are a part of nature, we don’t have to bloom everyday and that is perfectly okay. 

5 things I am grateful for today:

  1. A home – like many things we take for granted, today I am grateful that I have a place that I can come back to every night and call home.
  2. Tea – its warm and delicious!
  3. My heater – as the colder months approach, I find myself glued to the heater.
  4. Perseverance – I have been trying to accomplish a fitness goal, and approaching the last leg where I am almost there but not there yet, it has been a challenge, I’ve been failing but I am still going to keep going, I am grateful that I have the willpower to try again.
  5. Myself and my body – lately I haven’t been feeling all that great about either of these things, I think reminding myself to be grateful for me will help in appreciating and cultivating self-love.

Homelessness.

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Yesterday was a horrendous day, meteorologically. Heavy rain, hail and strong winds which ended up flooding some streets and train stations. Not a day where you want to leave the house at all.

I took a trip down to the local grocery shops when the weather calmed down to get some more soy milk. On the cold, damp pavement under minimal shelter, outside the store was a homeless woman.

The moment I saw her I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her situation. I walked into the store thinking I would buy something extra (bread or a pastry) to give to her on the way out. Her sign indicated that she was sleeping rough, the whole thing melted my heart.

I know there is a lot of homelessness, it’s sad and horrible and I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it is through the cold winter months.

I usually give change if I have some, not thinking about where that money will go. A few years ago I would have said that I wouldn’t want them using it on drugs and alcohol and I still don’t but what use will it be in thinking the worst of them. Yes, most of those individuals have ended up on the street from gambling, drug and alcohol problems and broken down families. Perhaps giving them money might mean that we continue to feed the system, a cycle of homelessness but at the same time maybe that person will go buy some food, or find a place to stay, how do we know? who are we to judge? we can’t assume their past.

No one chooses to be homeless. Yes, a series of decisions and actions may have brought them into this situation but we all make mistakes. I know the majority will say ‘well I would have stopped gambling or taking drugs ages ago if I knew I would end up homeless, it’s obvious, they brought this upon themselves’. But again it is extremely easy to say something like that when you are not in the situation and you are privileged enough to come from a loving family, with stability and grow up in a good environment, with great friends and education. In saying that there are plenty of us that don’t have all those things and don’t end up on the street, but everyone is unique and different. Somewhere in between, homeless individuals lost their way, they didn’t receive the support, the love/attention or didn’t have someone to just listen.

We all have a story. We should all remind ourselves that homeless individuals are people, they have lives, they have feelings and they are finding someway to survive. If surviving to them means short term gratification such as smoking, who are we to judge. A moment of happiness when everything else has fallen apart.

These are my opinions on this topic. I know everyone has extremely different views, I know that there are bad people out there who have done bad things and are therefore homeless. I know you can’t fix someone but the best I can do is try to make a small change in that persons life, be it for a couple of seconds or minutes.

But to all those individuals sleeping rough in these winter months, I applaud you for your bravery and courage to keep on surviving. To wake up everyday and continue while bystanders can be rude and ignorant. You are all so resilient and I hope that one day you will get the support you need to pick yourselves back up again.