🤡A Year of Living Mindfully: Week 20. Embracing your inner weirdo🤡

What things do you avoid because you have become attached to a particular label or idea that you have about yourself?

I always label myself as shy and awkward. I get nervous infront of large crowds and I stutter when I am under pressure. 

These labels and ideas can become part of who you are- how others see you and how you view yourself. This can prevent you from growing, from shedding out-of-date dislikes, habits, and behavior.

Exercise:

What is on your list of things to avoid? Choose something from the list and try experiencing it as if it for the first time. 

Giving presentations to large crowds and any other form of public speaking. 

Explore it with as many of your senses as possible. Pay attention to any resistance that arises in the form of thoughts, memories, emotions, and bodily sensations. Tease out your experience. What do you notice? This not about forcing yourself to like it- you stil may not- but rather to see it with fresh eyes. 

Thoughts:

 Everyone is staring at me and judging me. Why am I so awkward and cringey. 

Memories:

 I stuttered handing over in that meeting. I forgot the words of a prayer on my confirmation. I always go roaring red in the face and can’t make eye contact. 

Emotions: 

Embarrassment, anxiety, nervous, apprehensive, overwhelmed. 

Bodily sensations: 

Tightness in chest, short of breath, nauseous in belly. 

This weeks exercise was about viewing the label or view you have of yourself in a different light. I decided to go the extra mile and face the label head on. On Wednesday I had to speak infront of an audience and tell them about myself and my single life. I done a lot of yoga and meditation in the weeks leading up to this event to keep me grounded. I done a million and one deep belly breaths beforehand and decided not to say out loud that I was nervous, even though I was. I didn’t want to feed into my emotions but I did acknowledge them to myself. Sometimes I find if you tell a friend you feel nervous, they feed into the emotion with you. “Don’t worry, no need to nervous, it’s ok, it is a scary experience……” They just help you overthink the whole “I feel nervous”, instead of just acknowledging the emotion and letting it pass. I try not to zone in on my emotions because I don’t want to magnify it and bring it to a head. It works for me anyway. 

This event was something I had never done before and naturally I felt apprehensive about the whole thing. I tried to stay away from coffee as this can heighten my anxiety levels. I organised and planned everything in advance i.e. Hair and make up. I made sure I was ready a few hours early so I wasn’t running around making myself sick with anxiety. I ensured I done everything at a slow pace and done my belly breaths all throughout the day. I know from past experiences that I tend to speak faster when I feel anxious. Therefore, I decided to focus on speaking slower and taking breaths throughout my sentences. 

Right before I walked on stage, I felt very overwhelmed by all the bright lights and I could feel anxiety raising just a little. I got to the top of the steps, walked towards the stool, sat down, had a giany belly breath and instantly I felt at ease. I didn’t make eye contact with anyone in the audience and just pretended I was a lot more confidence than I was. IT WORKED. Of course there were times when I got a bit awkward. A few years ago I would have given myself a hard time of this and spoke very negatively towards myself during and after the awkwardness. The whole event went great and I didn’t stutter once. I was as calm as I have ever been. 

I did also put some more ground work in. I find researching new ways of viewing myself and getting tips for building self esteem very useful. I found a video on YouTube and watched it while I was waiting around before the event:

https://youtu.be/0Tk82hEHNnY

It spoke about the Deutsch scholar and philosopher Erasmus and his view on humans. He believed that everyone, no matter how important or learned they might be, is a fool. He even viewed himself as a knit-wit. He described himself as shy, awkward, makes bad decisions, lets things fall at fancy dinners, says the wrong thing at the wrong time. It helped normalise these traits. 

“Being weird and awkward doesn’t make us unfit for society, it makes us just like the greatest scholar of the Northern European renaissance.”

The video also spoke about Pieter Bruegel, who painted the picture ‘The Deutsch Proverbs’. The painting shows many different parts of the human being. He wanted to send out the message that “We are all deranged”. 

“The key to greater confidence is not to reassure ourselves of our own dignity. It is to grow with peace of the inevitable nature of our ridiculousness. We are idiots now. We were idiots in the past and we will be idiots again in the future.”

I remember I spoke to my friends about the event a few days before and I explained I was worried that they would make me out to be weird and stupid. One of my friends responded “Julia, it will be you who will make yourself out to be a weirdo because you are a weirdo. I don’t think you need help with showing the audience that you are one”. This strangely made me feel at ease. It really didn’t matter if I was made out to be a bit foolish or weird. Naturally as a human being, I am weird and foolish. This experience will not make me more or a less a fool. Being weird and foolish is the norm. Each and every one of us is a complete fool. This gave me greater confidence that day. 

Message: Self acceptance is key. Accept your weirdness and accept the fact that no one is prim and proper and everyone makes mistakes and acts absolutely ridiculous sometimes. 

Reflection: This weeks exercise has helped me immensely. The event was obviously a bonus but my god I have learned so much about myself. The label I had of myself as “shy” and “awkward” has completely lifted and I now see myself as a weird, confident, complete freak and I absolutely love it! 

J x


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💪🏼The Strength of Forgiveness💪🏼

Image result for forgiveness quotes

“You will begin to heal when you let go of past hurts, forgive those who have wronged you and learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes”.

“You have to learn to select your thoughts the way you select your clothes every day. That’s a power you can cultivate. You wanna come here and control your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should control. If you can’t master your thoughts, you’re in trouble … stop trying. Surrender”. – Richard from Texas

What is forgiveness?

The first step to forgiveness is admitting that we have blamed someone or ourselves for something.  We are filled with anger, resentment, blame, hatred. Forgiveness is about letting go of these feelings we have been carrying around. Releasing yourself of these heavy thoughts of revenge or bitterness. We do not even have to come in to contact with the person we are trying to forgive. We do not have to tell them we forgive them or tell anyone at that matter. It is for your sanity and happiness that you need to forgive. The more we talk about how people have done us wrong and hurt us, the more negative thoughts and emotions we bring about in ourselves. Of course let off some steam and vent to your best friend about it when it is fresh and new and reflect. That is also a part of healing. But then forgive. Let the space be filled with love. Let it go.

Forgive and Forget?

Forgiveness doesn’t come easily for everyone, but the kind of forgiveness that really matters is the forgiveness that resides in your own heart. Self-compassion is what will enable you to learn and grow and become the best version of yourself. I will dedicate another post for self-compassion SOON. Forgiving someone does not mean you approve of the wrong they have done. It can mean different things to different people. For me, it means I forgive those who were not in a good head space at the time or had portrayed their inner demons through their behaviour. Sometimes I might view it as the person not being on the same emotional maturity as I am but that sometimes can come across as a bit arrogant. It is not that you feel sorry for the person either. It is about building awareness that peoples behaviours are usually a reflection of their inner selves. The same way if any of us have a bad day they might snap at the next person who asks them a question. If you are feeling sh**t about yourself you might criticise others just to make yourself feel better. Kind of like those bullies in school. More than likely they had a lot of stuff going on for them, either in their head or at home. Forgiveness is not about sympathising with people but about empathising with them.

sympathy: feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.

empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

I also understand that some people commit horrible crimes and do outrageous things to people that cannot be empathised with. Some people might blame themselves for things others have done to them and might feel the horrible abuse or mistrust was deserving. In this case the person to forgive is yourself.

FORGIVE YOURSELF FIRST

Forgive yourself for believing you could have stopped what had happened. Forgive yourself for  believing you are not worthy. Forgive yourself for believing you were deserving of what happened. Forgive yourself for being in this negative mindset. Forgiveness is a journey. It is something that needs to be practised daily. You don’t just wake up one day and have forgiven and healed yourself and everyone around you.

I watched a movie recently called ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’ There was a scene where Julia Roberts (Liz Gilbert) was speaking about how upset she was that she had left her husband and she felt he would never forgive her. This was something that was bothering her throughout the majority of the movie until she met this nice man (Richard from Texas) at a retreat in India who thought her she did not have to come in contact with her husband or hear him say he forgave her. She simply had to forgive herself.

 Liz Gilbert: I’m waiting for him to forgive me, to release me.
Richard from Texas: Waiting for him to forgive you is a damn waste of time. Forgive yourself.

“We all want things to stay the same, David … settle for living in misery, because we’re afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked around in this place, at the chaos it’s endured, the way it’s been adapted, burned, pillaged … then found a way to build itself back up again, and I was reassured. Ruin is a gift, ruin is the road to transformation”. – Liz Gilbert

Self Reflection

I have learned to forgive friends who chose boyfriends over our friendship. I have learned to forgive my Dad for making decisions I felt were wrong when it came to family and marriage. Work colleagues who had outbursts of rage towards me. But most importantly I have learned to forgive myself for making ill decisions in the past, for not taking responsibility for my own happiness sooner, for thinking I needed a boyfriend before I could find happiness and contentment. By letting go of all these negative feelings and thoughts I had towards these people and myself, I have become the happiest I have ever been. That, alongside mindfulness and other self healing practices. Happiness is not a destination, it is a journey. You too will have your own journey.

As Kylie Jenner said ‘2016 is about realising stuff’. And I certainly have realised A LOT this past year!

 

J x

The act of Self Love: ❤️ Part 1

 I first came across the act of self love around Christmas time last year. Myself and my best friend felt we were in a bit of a negative cycle. We were bitching about everyone, being depressing f**ks, and just being very negative towards ourselves. We decided enough was enough. 

 I began to research how to love yourself, how to be more positive, and just how to be happy in general. Self love popped up several times so I decided to look into it further. I had heard Khloé Kardashian speak about it before so of course I was extra interested. If Khloe does it then I need to do it? Along the way I came across Charlie Chalpins poem and Gala Darlings book on Radical Self Love. There was endless blog posts on how to love yourself and step by step guides. After reading everything there was to read, I came up with my own idea of self love. In a recent post I described simple steps to loving yourself and introduced you to Charlie Chaplains poem. I decided to write about my understanding of self love and how I have incorporated it into my daily life. I will seperate the post into parts as I don’t want to bombard you’s with a lot of information all at once. I could write for days about self love so trust me this way will ensure you won’t get bored half way through. 😂

I believe the goal of self love is to become your own best friend. Treat yourself like you treat your best friend. If your best friend was having a bad day you might organise something fun to do that they like or you might just go around to their place and have a cup of tea and a chat. If you feel yourself having a bit of an off day, listen to yourself, bring yourself on a nice walk, put on your favourite movie to cheer yourself up. All the relationship advice you’ve give your best friends over the years, give the same advice to yourself. Stop going back to that same guy who’s treating you like sh**t and have more respect for yourself. Practice what you preach and all that jazz. 🙌🏽

 Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with some relaxation like booking a spa treatment or having a bubble bath. Go to yoga or do some meditation. Do something that relaxes you and takes your mind off the  hussle and bustle of life! Go for a long walk or go hiking. Try to do something nice for yourself at least once a month. Give yourself something to look forward to. Practicing mindfulness is also an act of kindness to yourself. You’re allowing yourself to get the most out of life. I’m currently doing a 52 weeks of living mindfully challenge so have a look over my previous posts if you’re interested in learning more. 

 Stop judging yourself and stop judging others. The more we criticise ourselves and others, the more negative energy we create within ourselves. Our thoughts and emotions are connected. If we think negative thoughts how are we supposed to feel happy? Friends who sit around screenshotting ugly photos of people on Facebook and are constantly judging others, are people you should try limit contact with. It’s like indirect bullying really. Negative friends like this will create negative energy and this energy will be passed onto you once you’re in contact with them. As I always say, self awareness is key. If you feel you’re speaking about someone or even yourself in a negative way, try stopping in your tracks and thinking: Is this comment really necessary? What good will come of speaking bad about this person? Like don’t get me wrong, if someone has been mean to you and you’re feeling angry and upset at what they’ve said or done to you, then by all means vent. But if all someone has done is post an innocent picture of themselves, is it really necessary to comment? Probably not. Tabloids and magazines are constantly judging celebrities so it’s no wonder we all do it. Social media has turned us all into hypercritical lunatics.

  Why did no one like that picture I posted? Oh ew I’m not liking that picture she looks ugly. Omg I can’t post that look at my eye. My face looks fat in that delete it! 

I suppose self criticism stems from having low self esteem which I have discussed in detail in a previous post. I have also given tips of how to improve your self esteem. I don’t want to repeat everything again in this post so do have a read back over it if you are interested. Improving your self esteem is defiantly all part of love yourself. How can you love yourself if you think negatively about yourself? Makes sense really. 

I’m going to leave it at three main points for this post as I don’t  want to bore you to death. Keep a look out for part 2 ❤️
J X 



💕Steps: Learning to love yourself💕

 The following steps will be explained individually in future posts. I understand a lot of these steps aren’t for everyone and may come across a bit ‘away with the fairies’ but just be open minded and read them anyway…

  1. Stop being so judgemental and talking about any creature that walks by. Negative attitudes bring negative vibes.
  2. Do what you want. If you don’t want go to town with your friend then don’t.
  3.  Be content in your own company. Stop depending on others to do activities.
  4.  Treat yourself. Stop waiting for your knight in shining armour to buy you flowers and bring you for dinner. Buy yourself the flowers and bring yourself for dinner!
  5. Nourish and look after yourself. Keep active. Put good food in your body it will make you feel good.
  6. Get to know yourself. Spend time alone doing things you like.
  7. Meditate. This doesn’t mean you have to sit in silence for hours. I’ll write up some easy steps to meditation in a later post.
  8. Be mindful. Acknowledge your surroundings. Focus on the now. I’m doing a 52 week mindfulness challenge at the moment which I’ll also discuss in a future post.
  9. Take up a new hobby or interest. Iv wanted to join yoga for a long time now so I have finally booked in for a yoga course in August. Excitement!
  10. Show affection. Tell others how you feel.
  11. Use affirmations to make yourself happy. Sometimes mind over matter really does work.
  12. Remove negative relationships from your life. This doesn’t mean removing a friend who is a bit of a ‘fart’ but maybe minimising the time you send with them as their negative and unmotivated vibes ill defiantly touch off on you.
  13. Stop being so dependent on others. If you want some flowers go buy them! If you’re bored sitting in and no one wants to do anything, bring yourself out!
  14. Do not depend on others for love and affection. Yes of course it is amazing to be loved by others but loving yourself should always come first. By loving yourself first it will help you avoid all those toxic relationships and will build a steady foundation.
  15. Self assessment and self awareness is key! Be aware of your own prejudices. Know what you like and don’t like. Know your reactions, facial expressions (my weakness).
  16. STAY AWAY from those back biting conversations with friends and work colleagues. This creates negative environments which is a feeding ground for negative toxic people. BEWARE!
  17. Have goals! Make a list of things you want to achieve and give yourself time frames.
  18. Organisation is key! Keep a diary. Organise your room, personal life and work life. Tidy room = tidy mind.
  19. Don’t neglect yourself. I am not one for wearing make up everyday and I barely wash my hair but I always make time to moisturise and the odd face mask.
  20. Get out of your comfort zone. Earlier this summer I decided to do something that has been on my bucket list for a while now. NUDIST BEACH. Me, a rock, the sea, on a tiny island off Croatia NAKED!!. It was AMAZING!
  21. Be active. Join a gym, go for a walk, sign up for a marathon. Exercise releases ‘happy’ energy.

J x

💫Words of wisdom from Matthew Silver💫

 My first blog post will be dedicated to this remarkable individual who has succeeded in spreading self love and creativity throughout the streets of New York City. Mathew is a passionate performer who uses a ‘non-serious’ approach when playing with taboos, rules and social norms. He parades around the streets of New York City in his under wear, creating smiles, laughter and loosening peoples judgements and superiority. He believes each individual is important, along with their their dreams, relationships, friendships. Matthews theory on the meaning of life is ‘To live in the magic of now’. You can’t get away from your heart so do what it loves.

‘We should encourage each other instead of judging each other’.
Love now, create, inspire. It repeats itself.

J x

 

See the links below for snippets of Matthews performances…. Continue reading