Ponder 

Sometimes I wonder, why sometimes we create scenarios in our heads or visions of what we want to be, who we want to be and what we should be when in reality we don’t do much about our current situation. 

We spend so much time living inside our brains that we are unable to differentiate our reality to fiction.

It is so hard to change our behaviour. When we unconsciously create a habit, it’s hard to break out of it. Whether it’s comparing ourselves to another or sitting for hours on end when you know you should be getting active, it’s still such a waste of time. You could be doing so much more 24 hours a day than doing things that keep you on your vegetative state. 

What is the solution you may ask? Sometimes the answer is so straight forward. There is no magical equation or answer to this: JUST DO IT. 

We know this to be true. That action brings about a result. We know this. As human beings we absorb, process and overload our minds thousands and thousands of information that we are almost debilitated from it. We seem to be unable to turn that information and create an action that we know will be beneficial. We know certain things are bad for us to consume, yet we do it anyway. We find ourselves in health compromising situations however we do little to rectify the situation. 

We think we have time but our time is so very limited. We lose time every single day, so why do we switch our brains on to autopilot and do things because we are “expected by society”. 

I think part of success, is practicing what you preach. It’s bringing your ideas into fruition despite what others may think of you. It’s taking risks, it’s standing alone in the midst of a thousand voices telling you you’re not good enough, it’s harnessing courage, it’s being vulnerable, its transparency, it’s being honest with yourself, it’s enlightenment and it’s action. 

So I invite you to ponder and re-evaluate what your actions have been this past few months of 2017. Have you achieved some of your goals? Have you grown the past few months? If so what’s changed you? What could you do today that could make you better tomorrow? What could bring you a step closer to your goals? It doesn’t have to be a big task. Small increments can make a big difference overtime. 

So I want us to go through this together. To be a work in progress everyday.

Strength in Vulnerability

What does it mean to be Vulnerable?

The Oxford Dictionary has three meanings to the word Vulnerable – the first definition being:

Exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

I honestly never really knew what this concept meant. I used to think there was weakness in feeling vulnerable. I used to feel like I was opening myself up to inevitable pain and suffering. But I realized that it is part of the human condition to feel. During my dark moments – dark times of rumination, sadness and depression, I contemplated as to why there were millions of songs about sadness, lost love, unrequited love, loss, pain, heartbreak, betrayal… you know where I am getting at here right?  As humans, we make mistakes. We ourselves have hurt, and others have hurt us. As we go through life, we go through a myriad of experiences that change us – whether we’re conscious of it or not. But some things affect us.
I found that… suppressing the innate humanity within us to feel only hurts us even more. It only harbors pain, confusion and trepidation to go on and live life to the fullest. I’ve learnt these past few years that disappointment, heartbreak and all those horrible human emotions are part of our existence. It will happen. But during those times of darkness in our lives how do we get through them? Do we suppress these emotions? Do we let ourselves feel – allowing them to come and go? Do we throw these emotions on to others? Or do we keep them to ourselves until our thoughts eat us up? If there’s one thing I believe: It is the power of Vulnerability. I once came across a TED talk by Brene Brown. She words it so brilliantly that all the pieces of the puzzle made sense in my mind on what the word or the concept actually meant.
I will leave you with a the link for the video and a quote that resonated with me – go ahead and see for yourself.   THE POWER OF VULNERABILITY
To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen … to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee…to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, “Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?” just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, “I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.” And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, “I’m enough” … then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”
Everyone is going through something in their lives whether its something big or small. If you’re going through a rough time or feeling down, I want you to remember that it is okay to feel the way you feel. It’s okay to feel down, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to lay down for as long as you need. But once you’ve let yourself go through those emotions, take the courage to stand up, ask for help, keep your head up high and move forward.
It is only when you continue to stay in that non- progressive state, that you feed that emotion rather than let it pass. 
Just wanted to spill my thoughts tonight. It’s the Easter Weekend and I have been busy eating chocolate and organizing my uni work. Typical student life right?
Happy Easter readers. Keep at it.

21 things

It has been while since I last wrote. A lot has happened. I cannot even begin to describe how much I feel I have transformed into a completely new person. But I can begin by writing about the 21 things I have learnt so far from my 21 years of existence.

  1. Self-care and self-development is more important than anything else. I implore you to put this as a high priority, above everything else. Everything will fall into place once you’re actively working on yourself.
  2. Family has always been there for me through thick and thin despite all the mistakes I have made. Continue to foster your relationship with them. They are blood.
  3. Nourish your friendships. The people you affiliate yourself with are important and help shape you. Ensure that you never let anyone treat you with disrespect and unkindness. And if you do, learn from your mistake and move on. Be yourself and the right kind of friendships will gravitate towards you.
  4. Awareness of one’s self is imperative to making the right, conscious decisions. When you lose touch with who you are, and what you stand for – you will fall for anything. It is important to be self-aware and to self reflect.
  5. Not everything is going to make sense now, but it will eventually. A lot of things had happened in my life that resulted in me questioning everything and wanting to find an answer to every little question. But most of the time, you are NOT going to find all the answers. They will be revealed in due time and when it does happen, you will understand why things unraveled the way they did and made you the person you are now.
  6. You’re always learning – never expect that you’re going to get everything straight away. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to understand something fully. Just remember that it’s all part of the process
  7. Humility will propel and transform you. Don’t see yourself as higher or lower than anyone. Know your worth.
  8. Be adventurous – say yes to opportunities but don’t over burden yourself
  9. Do good in the world as best as you can. You cannot do everything but you can make a difference in an area you’re passionate about.
  10. Success is not a linear process nor is life. I have learnt that sometimes good things fall apart, so that better things fall into place. I have experienced this first hand. In the moment it seems like everything falling apart but in time you shall see how it works out for the better.
  11. Faith without works is dead. Without exercising faith in yourself, living with integrity, speaking words and putting those words into action. Practicing what you preaching essentially. If you act against the values you hold, those values cease to exist.
  12. Self-expression is the key to happiness. I held myself back for so long due to the fear of the unknown, the fear of what people would think about me. I was only keeping myself hostage to their expectations of me. Find a medium to which you can express yourself… in writing, music, art or poetry. Whatever it is, lose you self in it.  Don’t be afraid to express your authentic self.
  13. Volunteering and networking opened up so many doors and opportunities – go and explore different ways to get involved. Dive deep. You learn so much from delving into serving others and taking the time to help others in need.
  14. Learn to accept difficult circumstances – there are certain things you do not have control over. What you do have control of however, is how you react and how you deal with the situation. Accept what is, and work on moving forward not backward. It took me a while to learn this
  15. Travel. Leave for a while. Go out and experience different types of environments, work with different kinds of people. Widen those dimensions within yourself, full of experience. You will not regret it. I intend on going solo-travelling one day.
  16. Treat yourself but do not over indulge – self-explanatory. All good things in moderation. Stay away from things that do not make yourself better or things that will only make you feel worse in the long run. E.g. just eat one piece of cake… or two.
  17. Ask yourself when was the last time you did something for the first time? Do something new, something you’ve never done before.
  18. Do not let people treat you less than you deserve. Have a standard of networks around you. I learnt the hard way…
  19. Be honest with yourself. Sometimes we lie to ourselves for temporary happiness and the burden of facing the truth. Come to terms with your weaknesses and your strengths. It will make you stronger
  20. Cultivate a growth mindset. You are more than your limitations…
  21. Stay away from things that you know will only hurt you in the end. Save yourself from that burden and just learn to walk away. You have a choice in the things you do that will only make you better or further burden you.

To my could’ve been…

For 365 days, I’ve relentlessly battled to remove every ounce of romanticized feelings of you. I knew that some point along the way, it just clicked to me. I deserve so much better.

I felt excruciating pain, uncertainty and guilt all mixed in one. Happiness that would last a few hours, did not compensate for the shadows of sadness that downed on me for the time that remained. I tried to think of all the possibilities of how we could make it work – I would’ve given up everything just to feel you near me every day, and feel the warmth of your body on mine.

But you were selfish.

You told me things that made my heart sing. You opened up deeper parts of me so you could wrap your hands around my heart just to hold it hostage. You made me feel so special and wanted. It was as if it was just me and you against the world. The way you would whisper sweet nothings into my ear and I would dream of you to the point I feared of losing you. You spoke to me whenever it was convenient to you, but when my heart yearned for you, you were no where to be found. You would fill my heart with love, and my your touch was sparking energy through my veins. I was falling in love…

But you…

You made me believe we could last. That you and I were forever. And it was my mistake for falling for empty promises just to fulfill the fantasies created in your head.

I wish you genuinely cared, and did not seek my attention just to fill the emptiness in your cold heart. I wish you could see how much I wanted you… not just physically but mentally and emotionally. I wish you saw the way I looked at you and admired you when you weren’t looking, and the way I would smile when I saw your eyes light up. I wish you knew how many hours of the day I wondered how you were and if you were taking good care of yourself. I wish you knew how many times I cried my heart out during times I needed you most. I wish you were interested in what I was passionate about and saw that whenever I pushed you to do work, that it was because I wanted the best for you.

I wish you said how you really felt. I wish you confided in me the way I confided in you. I wish you opened up to me, the way I did with you. I wish you meant the words you actually said. I wish you fought for me. I wish you didn’t take me to places we wouldn’t get seen. I wish you didn’t hide me from your family. I wish you valued me the way I valued you. I wish you asked more questions to get to know me better. I wish you respected me more. I wish you understood how heartbroken I was when you we hung up the phone. I wish you would show me the darker parts of your soul, the way I shown you mine. I wish you loved me.

Despite the hurt you caused me – I still love you. But my love… you never loved me. No matter how many times you said to me you wanted me… I knew it was not in the way I wanted you. And it killed me.

I’m perceptive. I knew if you were hiding. I could sense it.

I hope you find what it is that will fill the emptiness in your soul. I hope you find a girl who would love you the way I would love you and that you would love her equally as much. I hope you love her unconditionally. I hope your parents love her. I hope she gives you all the happiness in the world that will bring you true joy. I hope she makes you laugh. I hope she listens to your concerns. I hope she loves you endlessly.

In the end… we deserve better. We are better off apart than we are together. And no matter how many times at night I think of your touch, I will remind myself of how much pain you brought to me…

From the girl who would have given you the world.

 

Eyes through rose coloured glass

I am going to read much more widely in the hopes of improving my literary skills. I have read quite exceptional works of art lately and it has motivated me to improve my writing – so stay tuned!

I do know though that I have been endeavouring to work solely on being the person I want to be. The process isn’t as straightforward as I thought it would be. It has been a bumpy, sticky, messy ride. But you come to know that life is just that. I bundle of surprises, wrong turns, misses and wins.

So I am going to go straight ahead and say it… We choose how we see life or how we want it to be – as a beautiful mess, or as miserable chaos. It is just as straightforward as that. I have tried to seek answers elsewhere – complicated, evidence based answers through writing and people, and there’s no other equation. It is a cognitive choice.

I for one have chosen to spend most of my time choosing to look at life from a dim and miserable perspective. I thought this was way better. At times I still think it lowers your expectations and thus, in turn does not keep your hopes up. But what was the use… I was spending majority of my time unhappy, when this should be the peak of my very own existence. I am young, free and healthy and yet I was choosing to see life from a gloomy perspective, robbing myself from the precious happiness I could have had from “choosing” to smile and laugh that day.

It not easy. I can attest to the hardship I have felt.

So here are a few things I was grateful for these few months:

  • Poetry – how it fills the soul with love
  • Unconditional love – how it awakes gratitude in your heart
  • Kind people – puts a smile on your face when you least expect
  • Lessons – when you want something good, but turns out there’s something better
  • Music – for soothing the soul
  • Beautiful landscapes – aesthetically stunning and grandeur
  • Sunshine – the way it kisses your skin when the light touches you
  • Home – shelters you from the scorching heat and icy winds.
  • Sunsets and how the air cools down just before the sun disappears

And most importantly, I thank God for being there for me through thick and thin. He’s always been there for me, sending me little hints and messages yet I had decided to ignore the signals resulting in my own misery. I continue to move up each day! And with one step back, it will be three steps forward! I hope you can do this with me too.

Sincerely,

Nicole

Steps to Minimalism // 112615

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After much contemplation, I have realized how much “clutter” I have lying around in my bedroom. I have tonnes of papers, make up, clothing lying around and to be honest, it’s not a place I feel peace anymore. Every Time I entered I would feel overwhelmed and stressed. How my bedroom was reflected my thoughts: cluttered and full of baggage. I decided to make a change. After reading the blog of the minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus – I have been inspired to take the necessary steps to remove superfluous baggage out of my physical life and emotional mind. And I am excited. If this is something you are interested in, I encourage you to check out their blog. http://www.theminimalists.com/21days/

For such a long time, I’ve always thought that “stuff” were integral for happiness. I needed money to buy THIS. Everyone has THIS so I need money. It’s an endless search for new and expensive things that you might not even use! This being said, there’s nothing wrong with new things or even expensive things to treat yourself, but if it becomes the number one priority in life, happiness is no longer present. Things that are sentimental to you, or things that you will use often will make you happier. And many people have attested to this. So here I go…

Day 1: Decisions

Your only exercise today is simple: make your Must List. What are your musts? What must change? What has brought pain into your life? What will bring great pleasure? Take as much time as you need and write down all your musts.

  • I must… remove unnecessary clutter in my bedroom.
  • I must… be kinder and more open to others; especially family.
  • I must… improve my health by exercising, pilates, yoga and meditation
  • I must… spend LESS time on social media.
  • I must… read a book a week
  • I must… rekindle old friendships and make the effort
  • I must… retrain my brain to think more positively and develop a growth mindset
  • I must… learn to cook more food
  • I must… practice playing the piano and the guitar
  • I must… go on more adventures in my own town/country
  • I must… let go of things that hurt me
  • I must… grab opportunities each day
  • I must… share my dreams and passions
  • I must… not fear judgement

I MUST CHANGE.

Sincerely,

Nicole

 

Writing that speaks to my soul // 112515

depressionI am quite active on media. And not just the social aspect of media. I love discovering new things. Especially blogs or writings from other inspiring people. I found a few online magazines and blogs that I absolutely love and I find completely and utterly inspiring. More people should read them because they are filled with IDEAS, MOVEMENTS, INSPIRATIONS. Things that matter. I’ll link them all below.

But one thing that spoke to me, was this one article from SOUL ANATOMY. Titled “How Depression Actually Helped Me Develop A Deep Appreciation For Life”. I read it and thought – my goodness, someone crawled into the inner cabinets of my brain and put pieces together to create this wonderfully worded piece of writing. It may not speak to all, but it definitely does to me. Depression is something I have slowly overcome. Now all that is left of me is my Anxiety. Although this is so, I still thank my experiences (bad ones) as it has really given me a different vantage point of life. So here is an except from the article, but I encourage you to read it.

Depression does this funny thing where it forces you to choose the option that only feeds it even more. Lay in bed, starve yourself, skip hanging out with friends, fail classes, ignore phone calls. It was like I already didn’t exist, so dying didn’t seem like that much of an extreme decision at the time.

After a couple of years of therapy, self-help book indulging, pages of writing and few attempts with anti-depressants, I was starting to find myself having days that I actually enjoyed. I think this was even more difficult than just being depressed all the time, because I’d believe my illness was gone only to find myself the next day curled up in bed, unwilling to move.

It was strange because there would be these times I didn’t want to exist and within 24 hours I would be completely ecstatic and wanting to get the most I could out of life. I was struggling still. I was so afraid to be sad, because I knew what my sadness could do to me. It made me think irrationally, causing me to have days contemplating whether life was worth it or not, even though deep down I knew it was.

Once I began having more good days than bad, I don’t think life had ever seemed so beautiful to me. Laughing became uncontrollable and I started enjoying even the outmost minuscule of things. I went from dreading the sun peaking out from my blinds, detesting any plans I made previously in attempt to get myself out of bed to feeling the breeze when making a left turn in a hot car as the windows were down and thanking God for it.

Read more at How Depression Actually Helped Me Develop A Deep Appreciation For Life .

Here are other sites I encourage you to browse.

  1. http://soulanatomy.org/
  2. http://www.theminimalists.com/
  3. http://moreloveletters.squarespace.com/
  4. https://www.ted.com/