Categories
Poetry. Thoughts

So…live.

There are two sides to every tale.

For every positive there is a negative.

For every good there is a bad.

For every perfection there is an imperfection.

For every compliment there is an insult.

For every opportunity there is a challenge.

For every opinion there is an argument.

For every dream there is a sacrifice.

For every life there is a death.

So live.

Categories
Thoughts Words.

Where’s my voice gone?

                                                

Writing can be scary. That is probably a bit hypocritical of me to say since I try to promote it so much for personal relaxation and freedom of expression. But honestly…

I’ve been having a major block lately. A major turn-off to my daily journaling and a strong heaving wave of dread sweeps over me if I even begin to ponder all of the different things I should or could write about. It is endless yet empty. And so the noose of procrastination bears heavy, looming in the background.

I have put an awful lot of pressure on myself to write pieces that tug at emotions or resonate with the reader. But I really haven’t written just for the sake of it without analysing, without judging, without expectations in a very long time.

I have been doing more and more, yet feeling less and less connected to my words. I feel strange and detached, as if I am not writing my words at all. They feel forced and hinged and stuck.

I am wondering if anyone else feels like this. The more I write. The bigger the audience. The greater the feedback.

The more the enormity of pressure mounts and crushes my voice. My words are blurred in between opinions, and shared, and spread and exposed. And I feel I no longer own them. They are no longer mine. And I cannot take them back.

Fear is paralysing. And words don’t flow when we are stagnant. They need light. They need bravery. They need acceptance. Someday my words will be forgotten. And I will disappear. And I will no longer have a voice.

So while I am here I will speak.

PS: I was reading a piece by lexicographer, Susie Dent, last night and she explained that journal derives from the Latin for ‘shine’… which I think is a sign if I’ve ever seen one.

Quote by Fiona Brennan “What people think or do not think of you is quite frankly none of your business.”

Categories
Thoughts Words.

Show up.

My advice? Get the help you deserve.

I have spent a lot of time in a purgatory somewhere between anxiety, low mood and sleepwalking through my life.

This year finally pushed me to breaking point. It finally made me realise that I couldn’t let my fears control me anymore. That I had to face some uncomfortable truths and do the only work I was not willing to do. To learn to stop hating myself.

I had pushed my body, my mind and my soul to the point of burn out. What’s the next thing? How do I be better? How do I achieve more? How do I get the perfect body?

These were my values even up to a few months ago. And it seeped into my relationships too. I became obsessed with what I ate, how much I exercised and body checks. I tried to hate my body into changing and expected to be happy as a result. I neglected the people who were there for me and kept running to the next thing.

The healing process is rough. I’m not going to lie. I still slip up… A LOT.

A turning point for me in my healing has been accepting help. I mean really taking on advice and realising that I am not super human. Everyone faces suffering, and everything is relative.

So doing life alone- no matter how introverted you are, no matter how independent or strong you are is just not an option. This is not a one woman show. Your vulnerabilities make you lovable. Make you human.

Another major lesson that took me the longest time to accept was that this isn’t just a quick fix. This isn’t another thing to perfect. Or something on my to do list. Or something that I can use to gain peoples respect and acceptance. This simply is not a means to an end.

Healing requires showing up every day and living by your values.

This does not mean you have to overexert yourself or overfill your days.

 I find that writing out my top 3 values on a white board or piece of paper helps me to visualise and organise my days better.

  1. Self-care- This includes my body mind and soul. So including hobbies, exercise and relaxation are really important for me to incorporate into my weeks in order to avoid burnout.
  • Family + Friends- This one can be tricky to balance!! I found saying no really hard and was such a people pleaser- I still fall into this trap at times which is why having my values listed out helps me to come back to them with compassion and with no judgement.

 With this I aim to put in energy to the people who put energy into me. People who are with me through thick and thin are the people I try to give most of my energy back to. This helps me when I am feeling down and tempted to isolate myself and push people away. I remember all the energy people have put into being there for me. All of the people who continue to show up for me.

There are friends that I text regularly and occasionally but still value them so much. I have learned that accepting that friendships vary and do not have to be ranked, compared or all the same allows for more peaceful relationships and I do not expect too much of them.

  • Sharing/ Working/ Connecting- This includes writing, making a living, connecting and taking part in society with everybody else.

These values can be changed or updated whenever it feels right and only serve to help you have more organisation and peace of mind in your days. They are not rules and you do not have to honour them if it doesn’t feel right.

 I do not stick to them every day but I try my best. Leave space for mistakes and errors. Nobody is perfect. And that is what makes life interesting and beautiful.

I just find that I have a lot less anxiety when I balance my needs and responsibilities in a healthy manageable way.

They also help with planning. If I have a long list of things to do on a particular day I can categorize my activities and I usually chose just 3 things- 1 from each category to do every day. This helps me to still respect my values while not burning out.

This also satisfies my need for achievement because even on my bad days I can look at my little wins.

For instance if what I can manage one day is to chat to my mom. This serves as self-care, family time and connection. Thus making this day as valid as any other day even if I achieve or do a lot more.

Two more things that help me are gratitude and ‘little wins’.

A treasured friend of mine got me a whiteboard and I adore it. I aim to write on it daily with just three things I am thankful for and three little wins. Even if I am too tired to do it or not in the mood, I just say them in my head and it helps to bring me a slight change in perspective.

Even the days you are really struggling and hopeless, I think this can give you space even for a moment- to see the hope beyond your sadness, depression or mental rumination. Even if some days all you can be thankful for is shelter, food, water or your breath.

Once you start you will find other things in your day that you didn’t even remember happening.

This could be the kindness of a stranger, a nice meal, a nice customer, a good conversation, laughter, a TV programme, an Instagram post, or even just having this time to be grateful. It sprouts optimism and helps you to identify the little things that bring so much value and meaning to your life.

Gratitude has especially helped me with unhealthy, restrictive eating patterns. To day by day moment by moment chose to be grateful for my body rather than hating it. Rather than wishing it to be like anybody else’s or to reach societies impossible standards. This is an ongoing journey and I still feel negative emotions, I just don’t try to get rid of them as much anymore.

I know that this time of year is so so difficult and you are more than likely being bombarded with plans for exercise, self-development, and weight-loss.

But I find that if you struggle with perfectionism, procrastination, over-exerting yourself to reach impossible standards, self-care can become another achievement to excel at.

Love yourself and let yourself heal in whatever way suits you. This is just something that is helping me so I wanted to share it. Please don’t put pressure on yourself. This is not scientifically proven and is not written by a healthcare professional.

 Just a girl who has read a lot of books.

Categories
Poetry. Thoughts

Grief.

Blindsided,

Catapulted to my chest, breath stolen,

In a second, swiftly,

Unsuspecting.

Mundane ticking of the clock,

It keeps going, ruminating.

But I am somewhere else,

In another room, in another life

With a presence that I long for so dearly,

In a scene so vivid I can smell it,

I can feel her hand, hear her voice.

The empty ocean swells in my abdomen.

Aching for a scene I will never experience again.

A ripple of empty darkness.

Categories
Poetry. Thoughts Words.

Social Media.

Anti-social media.

Dishevelled fingers meander across screens unable to fight,

Lifeless eyes stare at sheets of glass penetrating light.

Slim bodies pleading for nourishment provoke jealous disdain,

Smiling faces gash at internal scars with the happiness they feign.

Glorious views tease as they pretend to be savoured,

Restlessness and disillusionment seen as attributes to be favoured.

Hedonistic beings clambering for control,

Self-worth is quantified and branded as a goal.

Success posing as constant satisfaction,

Freedom, sought through unlimited distraction.

Social media.

I revisited this piece after a social media detox, since I reinstalled my apps and only followed accounts that inspire me, teach me, help me or challenge me. If you relate to the first piece maybe consider changing who you follow and how their content makes you feel. My intention is to give you hope that social media can be a really helpful, loving place if you are feeling overwhelmed by it at the moment, as I was.

Various bodies, loved and accepted,

Love and authenticity shared and protected.

Thought provoking, inspiring words set free,

All here to empower and enlighten you and me.

Gratitude pouring from humble souls,

Helpful ideas and realistic goals.

Vulnerability, passion, uniqueness unites,

People empowering people and owning their rights.

Categories
Thoughts Words.

Be Yourself.

Every single one of us has a box we are trapped in. Confining discomfort we tolerate, numb and avoid straying from. We all wonder what lifting the lid might look like. What expression of ourselves could be set free?

Yet in reality what we see is ugly. It is messy. It is not a neat path. It’s thorny, it’s full of unpleasant truths. It forces us to give up our comfortable habits, and to relinquish our pain. It compels us to challenge our fears, so that they no longer control our actions. It pushes us to ignore our critics, and dive full frontal, all cannons blazing into uncertainty.

Into opportunities, dreams and possibilities. We are hushed, tossed away, rejected, and jeered at. But it doesn’t matter. Because we can laugh and fly and realise that life is a carnival of weird, bizarre chaos. It can’t be orderly, it can’t be perfectly balanced in all aspects. We will mess up, we will get hurt and we will upset people who chose to stay confined.

But at least we will be living. At least we will let the gifts we have so kindly been blessed with be free. Because to die having lived a half-life would be the greatest tragedy of all.

To have hustled, to have busied ourselves, to have scurried through life in the pursuit of pleasing others. Chasing our own unreachable expectations. To have forgotten what it feels like to be alive. What it feels like to be vibrant. To have fun. To laugh. Blocking everyone else from experiencing our quirky, beautiful, remarkable souls. Our passions. Our voices.

Stray from your cage. Dare greatly. Dance to the funkiest music like no one is watching. Wear clothes that light you up. Love openly, speak honestly and keep the ones who really love you closest to you.

.

Image by Rupi Kaur*** Taken from her book ‘Home Body’.

Categories
Poetry. Thoughts

Life.

                      

Why do you say you own me when I cannot be confined?

Why do you describe me when I cannot be defined?

Why do you demand from me a journey that is not yours to live?

Why do you command from me things I cannot give?

Why do you disown me and condemn how I unfold?

Why do you cling to what is not yours to hold?

Categories
Flash Fiction. Thoughts Words.

Own your story.

Her back aches. The books got too heavy. She couldn’t read them. The language was ambiguous and chapters continued in disdainful jargon. She felt like pages were missing in places and piled in others.

She tried learning to decipher the words. But she lost the battle. She tried getting it translated. But no one else could interpret it. She had to go back. And start at page one. And watch the pages turn into chapters. And let the weight leave her. As pages flew from her grip and floated away. Emboldened. And she was free. Everything her mind told her not to do she did. Everything the pain told her she needed she let go of. And piece by piece the puzzle joined together. From corner piece to middle she formed great mosaics of colour.

She had to go back to go forward. Around to go straight. Look down to see up. She had to love the blemished paper before she could turn it over. She had to experience the paper cuts. And only when she knew the story did she realises which characters were most important. In ways she could never have imagined.

And so she understood. She had to publish her book or she would never know what it could have been. Who it could have reached. For she saw light in the most painful chapters. In the most hurtful words she found space. In the most shameful moments lay lessons. In the failures she discovered victories. And in the moments she thought she had crumbled she found strength.

Categories
Poetry. Thoughts Words.

The beauty of your pages.

Peeling through chapters and tearing out pages.

Only to tape them back together and scope out answers.

Tugging at words, sewing them together, editing.

Filing the edges, polishing the cover.

Alone? The exception? Individual?

We are all of the same paper.

Bound together in chapters of varying lengths.

Different fonts, languages, styles.

Paragraphs we would rather not read.

And ones we act out every moment of every day.

To convince our readers that the book is worthwhile.

Stained, blemished, disregarded.

Laying dishevelled in a second hand shop.

Now only read by the ones who could recite a chapter with closed eyes.

Seeing past the grammatical errors,

Beyond the aesthetics, through the hyperbole.

And so a book never dies.

Its’ stories may fade into the background of busied minds and disappear.

But the feeling that book gave to its readers can never be destroyed.

For it lives on.

In the tingling of a chest.

In the dreams of a child’s imagination.

In the changes people are inspired to make.

In the pages of other books.

Where light spreads and flows and never ceases to be.

Categories
Thoughts

The Bully in her mind.

He taunts her and taints her voice. She hates him. But she loves how he fills the gaps that lay bare when he is not there. She loves that he numbs her. That his spluttering retorts confirm her worries. That in some way she is validated by his outbursts. Each quickening of his pulse, each word he spits at her choking himself, chaining himself to his own pain. Is it not better to be seen for something than not be seen at all? He tells her she’s worthless and she must work harder and she must do nothing at all. Do nothing at all. There’s no point. Nothing matters. But doesn’t saying nothing matters imply that believing in hopelessness matters? Is trying to be detached not just clinging to feeling unattached? Weird. She can’t let in happiness because he’s there and he’s being rather loud. And he’s telling her she can’t be happy for she doesn’t deserve it. And she can’t be positive for there is no point. And she mustn’t eat and she must follow his every command and only do as he says or bad things will happen. Very bad things. Her nightmares will come alive and pounce at her. And she will have caused them for simply not having followed his orders. For not having done what he said. For not being chained to him.

And some days the sky shines out of her and he shuts up and other people are let in. With their smiling compliments and their reassurance. But he always comes back. Like an unwanted visitor who overstays their welcome. Like that creepy customer who doesn’t understand social queues. And because she is feeling weakened by his strength she curls up and she follows him again. She regrets every feeling positive. Feeling ashamed for every feeling hopeful. For believing for a split second that she could be enough. She tries shouting at him, retorting, crying, and running away. But he’s so loud now. He knows how to play this game better than she does. He knows he’s louder. He knows her deepest, darkest secrets. Her flaws. He knows how he can push his spiteful words like poisonous daggers into her wounds. And so he does. But this time she lets him. And when he tells her what to do she just hears the words and stops concentrating. She just lets him sit and scream at her. And lets the pain come. She lets it sweep her off her feet and make her question everything she has ever thought to be true. But she has started silencing him. Bit by bit his screams sound less terrifying. More like a lost child wining somewhere in the distance. And sometimes his words are so cruel, that the daggers in her sides make her want to give up, to retract. Or fight. But she doesn’t. Because she knows that he is getting louder before he gives up. For if you let someone roar they eventually must stop. If you stop believing in words they lose their meaning.

No, she has not lost herself. She has seen herself. Fully. More. There is more in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Space. Fields. Sky. Sea. Breath. Behind his words. Behind her words. Always there.