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. 

Mothers.

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To the strongest women, I dedicate this post to you.

You are all inspirational. The sacrifices you make, the hardships you encounter and how you continue to love endlessly and unconditionally through it all, I am yet to understand. 

From the moment you decide to have a child, you give yourself up as a person and you become two people, a difficult but empowering transition that many women of this world choose to make.

Sometimes, I think of my own mother, all the times she has had to remain strong for her children, the emotional strength she must have to continually love and smile to prove to her children that everything is alright.

I do not disregard the role of fathers, who make an equal contribution to their children, to those fathers who fill the gap of absent mothers. To those mothers, who are not mothers by blood but through love and compassion. To those sisters and brothers who are more like mothers to siblings when parents are missing. To anyone who has had to love, care and support a child, you are champions.

Happy Mother’s Day! Without you, we would not be!

5 things I am grateful for:

  1. My mother
  2. Homemade coffee – was good if not better than cafe coffee.
  3. Old family photos
  4. Sisters – during difficult times, who else would I turn to.
  5. Boyfriend – for always being supportive and kind.

 

Yes!

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I recently challenged myself, not in a big way but a small one that matters to me. I said yes to something I wouldn’t have ever considered a few years back. I suppose that is what growing up is all about.

A friend who is part of a committee, recently asked if I would be interested in speaking about my volunteering experiences at a university event. Surprisingly, I didn’t think twice about it and said yes!

With that one small word, I bound myself to a commitment, one that I cannot passover or change my mind about last minute. What surprised me more than my response is that I was asked in the first place. It sparked joy (remember those moments of joy I was talking about in an earlier post, this is it!).

Leading up to this speech, I was worried, hesitant, a little nervous mostly because I was underprepared and wondered whether I would make a fool of myself in front of strangers.

The day before my speech, I sent it to my friend so she could have a look over it, for feedback and advice. I was worried she would hate it and wouldn’t know how to tell me not to speak at all. That wasn’t the case, I was being extremely harsh on my self, she said it was ‘awesome!’.

On the day I hadn’t practiced much but I didn’t feel nervous at all. I was confident. I don’t quite know why I felt so sure of myself at that point in time but I was, I trusted myself. 

The speech went smoothly, I wasn’t speaking too fast, I made eye contact, I saw a few smiles amongst the crowd, I felt good.

I used to hate public speaking, everything about it frightened me. I am proud of myself for saying yes, for speaking voluntarily, for taking on the challenge, for trying something different and most importantly trusting myself.

I urge all of you to try something different. you will be giving yourself the gift of growing, learning and believing in yourself. 

5 things I am grateful for today:

  1. Avocados – delicious!
  2. Youtube videos – Some youtubers make great content and are so inspirational!
  3. Days off – lately I have been exhausted, today is a day off to myself.
  4. Clean homes – my home is not clean, it is everywhere, I hate untidy spaces but I am so tired of always cleaning and am trying to give myself a break. So grateful when homes are clean.
  5. Books – I work with books while at work and I truly feel at peace being surrounded by them!

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.

What inspires us.

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24th of December 2016 Royal National Park Sydney, Australia

There are times in my life where I feel down, uninspired and not alive. I have experienced this feeling so many times. I know a few days before it arrives like when you feel a seasonal cold coming along and you start to intake everything with vitamin C in hopes of driving the cold away.

In times like this I go hunting for inspiration, so that I can feel enthusiastic and whole again. Inspiration can come in any form for me but not everything works, I have to trial and error. When its the right form of inspiration, I am instantly cured of my ‘blues‘ and I move on completely forgetting how I felt a minute ago.

I find inspiration in:

  1. Books: Memoirs, self-help/ buddhism, historical or fantasy.
  2. Documentaries or movies based on true stories.
  3. Classical music.
  4. Podcasts.
  5. Talking to someone who inspires me.
  6. Going for a long walk, breathing and appreciating nature.

All these things make me feel great on a daily basis, I think we should all incorporate something that inspires us into our life so that we feel alive every single day. I find that if I do at least one of these things daily, I don’t feel the ‘blues‘ as often. I am relaxed and mostly stress free. Find the things in your life that make you feel alive, treasure & practice them.

5 things I am grateful for today:

  1. Sleeping in – Everyone loves a good sleep in.
  2. My legs – they allow me to go for long walks, enjoy nature and get some vitamin D.
  3. Free time – The end of last year was a busy and stressful time for me, I am truly appreciating the holidays and using them well while they last.
  4. Nature – I love lying on fresh green grass and staring up at the blue sky.
  5. Movies – I watched Hacksaw Ridge and Hidden Figures, both brilliant movies that show us how people changed the lives of others as well as history for the better, truly inspirational.

Till tomorrow.