Seasons

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The weather in London has been amazing! But if you’re from here, you know all too well how fleeting it is, and how eager we all are to enjoy it whilst it’s here.

Seasons. We might not like them but we need them, whether we recognise it or not. Everything has its time. A time to work and a time to relax.

What are you working towards? And is it working for you? Because if not, maybe it’s time for you take a step back and assess what season you’re in.

When we resist what is happening for us, we cause further pain and strife to ourselves.

There is however another option, to stop resisting, relax and get into the flow of your season. I know, it’s difficult to relax when you have these dreams that you need to make happen, which are obviously not going to come on their own, right? Well, not entirely. Sure you have to do something, but notice how things come to you much faster when you’re relaxed, and the urgency isn’t there? You might have even forgotten about the thing itself and suddenly it appears. This is what will happen once you choose to accept versus resist.

I know it’s annoying when things aren’t working how you want it to, but what’s even more frustrating, is trying to force something to happen that is unripe.

If there is something you have been trying too hard at, choose today to relax. Take a deep breath, pull back and then get in tune with the vibration of your life. Pay attention to the things that are happening/working and flow with that, and you’ll soon find that the others things will begin to work itself out.

Xo

Magic? No, Work.

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‘The magic you’re looking for is in the work you are avoiding’. I wish I could refute this statement with all of my might but I can’t.

As a professional work avoider, I know how much (temporary) enjoyment I get from skiving off. That is until the chickens come home to roost.

I also know that doing the work is the actual key to unlocking rewards. And there’s no other way around it.

Usually that piece of work that I avoid becomes easy once I start doing it, then I’m bemused because ‘what was the big deal?, why was I avoiding this?’.

I’d had been procrastinating on writing a business plan for my next venture. When I did get around to it, I realised I had already completed a large portion of it on a previous occasion (I must have been delirious whilst doing it). Oh. So I can do it then.

With the new week upon us, what work have you been running away from? Run towards it. Grab it by the horns and make it your bitc submit to you. You already have what it takes, use it. Even if you don’t know how, start with what you know and things will begin to unfold.

I’m learning that with what you want, you can’t be afraid to work and sometimes work hard, as it is the very thing that will call forth your desires.

Xo

Nothing Lasts Forever

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Nothing lasts forever and that’s not a bad thing.

I’m in this weird I-don’t-really-know-wtf is happening phase of life. You know the one, the one where things refuse to go the way you want it to and you can’t make sense of it.

Thankfully this won’t be a forever thing. Like the good book says ‘this too shall pass’ and I am clinging to those words fiercely. And you should too.

Knowing that ‘life comes at you fast’ is why I do my best to relish the great things I experience and to find the good things during hard times.

To savour the great times here are a few things I do:

1. Be present. Pay attention to your surroundings. Notice the colours, what you see, smell, who you’re with, where you are. Use all of your senses to interact and connect with the moment.

2. Be thankful. I make seemingly small moments bigger by being grateful for the things I am able to do. I take just a few seconds to be thankful for what I’m experiencing. Things like withdrawing money, buying food, paying a bill, getting my nails done, looking at my family, using my phone. You get my drift. And in doing these things, I notice what I feel about being able to do these things and remember it.

3. Give. Whatever you are able to do no matter how small or big for another person or cause, do it. It does not have to be the obvious things like money, it could be time, encouragement, fixing something, anything you’re led to. I firmly believe that irrespective of your state there’s always something you can do.

To elevate your spirit during difficult times:

Do your best to keep doing the above.

1. With being present, look at the things you typically take for granted and are easily overlooked. Things you always have and do not struggle for and cherish it that much more.

2. Do more of the things you enjoying doing. It could be a hobby or improving a skill you have or even learning a new one. I started cooking more which I hardly did. I’ve made some meals I haven’t made in almost 5 years and I feel much better for it. The idea is to not place so much focus & mental energy on what isn’t working out as doing that only exacerbates the situation in your mind. It’s especially important in cases where it is out of your hands.

3. Meditate everyday. Make time to be quiet and still and…talk to yourself out loud (not loudly). If you believe in higher power, talk to them instead. You can start with 5 minutes a day and use your phone to set an alarm for this session. I currently don’t use music but when I do it’s either rain sounds or spa music, however silence is my preference. With the busyness of life, having ‘you’ time to reflect and create is essential to being able to function well. Might sound unusual but it actually can be therapeutic to be your own counsellor. I always feel refreshed afterwards.

Hope this helps.

Xo

Through Thick and Thin

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*Deeply exhales*

I was rebelling. I didn’t want to write on here anymore, it didn’t make sense to and the purpose of it all had significantly dwindled. Who’s reading anyway? (Says my ego).

But, it’s 5am in the morning and I’m meditating with rain music and something pushed me to read my old posts and as usual my own words minister to me. I connect with them because, well they are mine, and in that moment I remember why I wrote, to connect, with people publicly and privately. Isn’t that a worthy enough reason?

I guess what I’m saying is hi. That’s it. Just hi.

P.s I’m still in my feelings and I’d hate to have to be inauthentic.

A Blessing or a Curse?

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facetune_08-02-2019-18-32-36-1It’s been a little quiet over here and I’m starting to think that I’m talking to myself and I don’t know how to feel about that. Having said that, I am choosing to believe that I am talking to millions of you. Yes you heard, millions of you.

Last week was rough for many people myself included. All sorts of weird and painful things were happening, but if you’re reading this it’s not too late to turn things around.

It’s a new week and whatever happened last week is now in the past and no longer happening, so what would you like to do next? You can choose to hold onto it OR let go and keep sowing great things now for your future.

One way to turn things around instantly, which you can do right away, is to shift your perception on your reality.

Can it feel fake at first? Yup, but with persistence it will feel normal and this will alter your reality.

For example, many people see paying bills as a chore and a pain instead of gift that affords them the lifestyle they live. Rather than bemoan it, say thank you every time you pay an expense, because you’re effectively being grateful for the things you get to experience everyday that once upon a time was but a dream. You remember what it felt like to not have the money to pay that bill and you had to ask someone for it, well now you don’t have to. That’s a blessing.

Shifting your focus onto what is good about a situation will always bear better fruit than exacerbating an already negative situation.

Pick one thing you want to feel different about and change the story you’ve made about it. Your mind is something you can control and that’s a super power. Use it wisely, be intentional for your good and that of others.

Speaking of which: you will have a great week, receive wonderful news and enjoy being alive with your loved ones 🙂

Xo

I Could, I Should, I Might?

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cc5a9b14-ac0b-48cd-87a3-7f751557ba9eI have been doing it so wrong for the past year and I knew better.

Isn’t that the worst? When you know better yet you’re not doing better and for whatever reason you can’t figure it out.

I have had a bunch of things that I wanted to achieve and acquire over the past couple of years which technically isn’t a problem. The distinction here is that I had no clarity on any of it. I would umm and ahh over everything, and I do mean everything.

I couldn’t decide if I was coming or going. Do I want to live in London or Manchester? Do I want to travel to a different country and work there or stay here? Do I want to buy a house or rent one? Do I want live in an apartment or a semi detached house? Do I want this type of job or to not work in this field at all? Do I want to be in a relationship or not? And this conversation continued in almost every area of my life. It stayed that way up until recently when I had a durh or as Oprah would say an ‘aha’ moment.

No wonder I had been stressed out and felt utterly unaccomplished, I had no idea what I truly wanted. I flip flopped out of fear of making a decision that would cost me. I didn’t want to unduly suffer again for a terrible choice I made, but guess what that meant? I didn’t do anything.

I had no clear sense of direction and therefore could not confidently take action towards anything, and that ultimately resulted in little to no result.

The lesson here is if you’re in a period of confusion and not knowing what way to go, just pick one. We spend a lot of time trying to avoid past mistakes but sometimes that leads to inaction and frustration, not to mention wasted energy.

The point of living is to live and that cannot happen if you’re second guessing everything. The only thing happening by doing that is building fear muscles and we certainly don’t want that.

Get clear on what you want and stick to it. It’s almost impossible to move forward without having an idea of what it is you want, how do you expect the universe to help you out when you keep giving her mixed signals?

Take a chance today and make a choice. Even if it doesn’t work out how you imagined, you still would have learned something you didn’t know before and that believe it or not is progression.

Xo

I Chose This Life

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Winter FabA few years ago I was knocking on doors, trying to find the person who owned the car that had scratched mine. One person opened their door and instead of paying attention to what he was saying, I was peering into his home as I couldn’t help but notice how different it was.

It didn’t look like mine, even though we lived a street away. It was not designed in the way these homes were originally made. It had been gutted out and designed specifically to the owners wants.

It surprised me and I thought to myself ‘So we don’t all live the same?’. Now I know that might sound obvious, but think about it. If you lived in well known expensive town, you might think that the inhabitants are generally well to do.

It was significant to me because we often think that because an experience is shared by a group of people that everyone must be having the same experiences, and it is not so.

You wake up and hate going to work, someone else loves it.

You dislike the treatment you receive in this relationship by this wo/man, someone else is deeply in love and enjoying their partner.

You barely make enough to get by, someone else is making more in a month than you make in a year.

Your friendship group is lack lustre, someone else has a great group of friends and loves their life.

The difference in the above is about creating, creating by choice. We all live through and by the choices we make every single day.

You can live how you want to if only you will consistently make choices that align with the thing that you want.

Do not underestimate the power of your choices as they determine what you experience daily. Just take a look around you and examine what is taking place, what choices did you make? Don’t like it? Choose differently.

Xo

Can You Focus On…Me?

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img_8202It’s the 17th January (already?!) and dare I ask, how is it going?

For some of the people I know it’s been, a bit, bluregh. And a bit bluregh is never a good way to feel. Maybe it’s the January blues or in London the gloomy weather? Whatever it is, as with most things, it’ll soon pass.

On my side it’s been quite slow, which I welcome because I know it’s not going to be like this for much longer.

As tradition dictates, with a new year comes new or refreshed goals. I have some that this time around I’m choosing to keep to myself however, I do have one that above all of them is absolutely necessary in order to meet my goals and that is to focus.

I used to hear as a child that ‘Irene is great and has potential but she lacks focus’, and now as an adult I understand more what they meant by that. I struggle to give a thing my undivided attention, so I’m gifting myself myself and working on improving my focus, little by little.

What are you working on?

My advice for any goals or desires you have is to take each day as it comes. Let things happen organically. I spent a considerable amount of time in the past forcing things to happen and the outcome always left me wanting.

To summarise, work with what works.

Xo

P.s Things will start look up, I promise 🙂

Happy New Year!

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img_7833I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year and also this:

May this new year be better than the last in every way 

May this new year be filled with a thousand reasons to celebrate 

May this new year make all your previous efforts worth it

May this new year cause you to create new goals for yourself as the old ones have now manifested 

May this new year grant you good heath and wealth 

May this new year be full of wonderful memories that you have created with your loved ones

May love abound you wherever you go

May your relationships flourish and add more meaning to your life

May your purpose be revealed and impact not only your life but the lives of others

May this new year be all that you want it to be and more.

That is my profession for you all this year.

Thank you for your continuous support and readership. Here’s to a fantastic new year ahead 🥂! 

Much love Irene Xo

Lone Ranger

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facetune_26-12-2018-22-06-16-1My siblings and I were talking about favourites with our parents and we joked that I was the black sheep as I didn’t have a parent that I favoured.

That statement didn’t surprise me at all. I seldom did things the way others did and this made me stand out like a sore thumb. 

For the most part being this way is fine, but sometimes you want to be a part of the crowd and blend in because, well, it’s easier. There’s less conversation and strife…however there’s a price, what and who will you become by doing that? I’ve tried it a few times in the past to get on board and do things the way others did. It rarely worked and I often felt stupid afterwards. 

I consider how different my life is to many of my peers and the amount of times I have wished and attempted to be in their position just so I don’t get left behind. I laugh now as it was never my business to do or live as they do, and in any case I failed terribly at it. Through these experiences I concluded I actually know what’s best for me and should trust myself more.

So for the lone rangers who tread off the beaten track, please continue. There is a reason why you go through those things, there’s a reason why you face those particular challenges, there’s a reason why you’re the topic of conversation, there’s a reason why you do things the way you do and that reason is tied to your purpose. 

It might not be clear to you what it is, you might even want to give up and be like others, don’t. You have come too far to let up now. 

With the New Year around the corner, recommit to yourself, appreciate what you’ve accomplished and who have become. Trust yourself more, even if a decision ends up different to how you envisioned, believe that it will work out for your good.

Block out the noise from others on what they think you should be doing, think for yourself, believe in your path, especially if there is no one around you doing it, you never know who needs who you are and what you have. 

Xo 

First Impressions

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img_7832Since being away I have been plagued with the tales that I have heard about this country as a child. Sometimes I’m uneasy because of it. I have lived here and loved it but that part, that part never went away.

I can’t seem to shake of those stories that I heard and watched on TV. It hasn’t mattered much that I have never seen proof to support those claims, yet it still invades my mind as if I have lived it. It has affected my experience here and this is simply down to how they introduced the culture to me at age 5 on my first visit.

However, I am challenging those perspectives, as I realise how stupid those beliefs are.

Imagine that?! The things I was shown and told has shaped my thoughts for 26 years! If that’s not a reason to be mindful of first impressions I don’t know what is.

And yes whilst it’s possible to change someone view, but it’s seldom easy to do so. 

The New Year is 5 days away and I’m sure some of us have a few changes we’d like to make. As you make them, please consider how you speak of a thing or person as it has the potential to have a lasting impression that may never shift. Be thoughtful about the words you speak and consider the impact it could have.

Your words are powerful, use them wisely and make the first impression count.

Xo

If Only You Loved Yourself

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img_6515Works like a charm. Every time I openly confess my feelings about something, freedom follows. Give it a go, release your feelings and it need not be public but it must be seen by you. When you release the feelings, it no longer owns you and keeps you captive. 

Back to today’s post.

It’s so easy for someone to say ‘love yourself, value yourself, have self worth’, and the rest of it, when the reality of doing that is obscure to most of us. What school can we go to to learn this exactly? Many of us do not have a clue what that means or how to even begin to do that. 

I’ll break it down from my perspective, you may have yours and I’d love to hear it too!

Before you can begin to love or value yourself, you first have to know yourself.

Think about it, how can you love or see value in what you don’t know or understand? It’s near impossible. Do we love complete strangers at first glance? Typically no and that’s what some of us are, strangers to ourselves.

We don’t know what we like or don’t like, what makes us excited, what makes us happy, what makes us angry, what we will or will not do, our limits, our beliefs and so on. How then will it be possible to love yourself if you don’t know who you are?

Therefore rule no 1: Know Thyself.

To do this, spend time monitoring your thoughts, what and how you do things and the interactions and impact you have with/on people. Do things you haven’t done before, and revisit things you used to enjoy doing.

The aim is to put yourself in a position to get reacquainted with yourself, and in some ways discover more of who you are. 

For example, I know if something scares the crap out of me, thinking about it is not going to make it better. In fact I have to do the complete opposite and not think about it and just do it. That’s what happened when I jumped out of a plane, when I travelled to a different country for the first time alone, when I started this blog, when I attended university, when I left various jobs, you get my drift. Things get done when I get up & do it. I know this about me because I’ve watched how I respond to things. And guess what? the things I think about in excess seldom get done as I am the king of rationalising the hell out of something. In knowing this I am better equipped to maintain the most important relationship I have, which is with myself.

It’s only when you know more of who you are both in the good and not so good that you can begin to appreciate the essence of who you are and have an understanding of how you can then love yourself.  

A few ways I love myself are: 

1. Removing limitations with the things I desire

2. Being kind to myself and reaffirming the goodness in me whenever I feel low and ugly (yes I have ugly days).

3. Exercising discipline in areas that I desire to be improved upon (I checked my credit score yesterday and its in the 900’s, I could scream and yes I worked for it!).

4. Being still.

5. Having nice quality things and surrounding myself around good people.

6. Maintaining the standards that I have set for myself.

7. Saying no.

8. Saying yes.

Loving yourself isn’t only about physical self care, it’s also about accepting who you are and doing the work to improve the things that could be better.

What are your thoughts?

Xo

 

Trials

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img_5527Whew it’s been a minute.

It’s not that I haven’t thought about you, I have. I think about you often and want to write. I pick up my phone, open notes and nothing. Stringing a sentence together has felt like pulling teeth and if I am honest I simply haven’t felt like it.

I know you’re supposed to push past those feelings, as that’s how you develop discipline, but in the midst of that, I have been figuring out what life is, especially after the passing of Franklin. And for a period everything seemed pointless and at times it still does.

I’m working that out though, making it make sense to me because I need it to. I do however acknowledge that the reality is I may not receive the total peace I need from this, unless I just let it go…and I’m not ready yet.

Anyway, I celebrated my birthday on Monday and it was different. I was different. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the word calm or should I say unbothered springs to mind and I’m not sure if I like it yet (lol). I was eerily still inside.

Maybe it’s because I’m currently in a different country?

Maybe it’s everything that’s happened over the past few months?

Maybe it’s the quiet confidence they say you’ll get once you’re in your 30s?

Even with all of that I am grateful to have witnessed another year of life.

I’m saying all of this as I believe it’s important to be truthful about your experiences, not only to yourself but to others, as only then will you be able to move through them with more ease. And you never know who will find solace in your truth.

So consider this post a breaking of the seal as till the end of the year I’m going to be here, she says.

Thank you all for your continuous support and you’ll read me tomorrow xo

Drop the Weight.

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facetune_29-11-2018-17-28-34-3You know what that weight is…it’s the thing you use as an excuse for your lack thereof or mediocrity.

You hold onto it as it makes you feel justified; family, friends, job, money, resources, pretty much anything can sound like a valid reason to not have or do something.

But what you don’t realise, is that until it’s out of the way, it will continue to oppress and hold you back. You will not be able to truly see the gift that is in front of you because there are too many things that you are giving much power to.

Let it go, clean it up or clear it out.

But before even doing that, you have to make a decision.

I had been holding my mother responsible for the reason why I haven’t been able to do a particular thing well for the past few months. She was being herself and I allowed it to impact what and how I did things. I decided to make a commitment to doing better.

Making that decision alone shifted how I thought about things and ultimately how I did it. I wasn’t going to literally wait around anymore, I was going to make improvements for myself. And as usual, the universe conspires in helping you meet your goal.

If you have been holding in or onto something or blaming someone for the shortcomings that are occurring in your life, make a decision to work through them to make the things you want happen. Drop the excuses, develop discipline and hold fast to your determination to see things through.

“I am going to make a very beautiful life for myself no matter what it takes”.

Xo

On Your Team

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img_5963In case no one has told you this recently, I’m on your team!

I have many interests that I’d love to explore and maybe share, however I have chosen to use my blog for its current purpose, because I have on many occasions needed a ‘me’. And by that I mean someone who can be honest about things, encouraging and sometimes provide a different perspective.

My hopes are that my presence here bridges the gap for at least one person, that they don’t feel so alone and isolated from the world, and that somehow they can connect the dots for themselves from what they read, because with the hustle and bustle of life it’s so easy to feel unworthy, lack purpose or feel unsuccessful.

The inspiration behind this post is a friend of mine who recently started his business in men’s fashion. He was posting regularly and then he stopped.
I checked with him about what was up and he gave me an excuse as we all do. I in that moment, chose to give him a little bit of a push by holding him accountable and giving a deadline for when he needs to post by. I gather from his response that he appreciated it.

Don’t we all need that sometimes? For someone to give a shit about what we’re doing, to notice that something has changed, to care about a project close to our hearts.
It makes such a difference to have someone pay a little attention and encourage you to stay on course.

You might not have that in your lives right now but you can. To have it, you need to be it. It’s one thing to have the desire and expectation from others but to experience it you must know what it is like to give it.

Look around you today and choose a person/s and check-up on them. If you no one springs to mind, what about that person that appears to have together? The chances are they don’t. Take an honest interest in their affairs be it business or personal and be of value. Be an example, most especially if there are none.

Oh and in case you’ve forgotten already, I’m on your team!

Xo

Fumbling in the Dark

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Remember when you were a kid and you for the first time, entered a room you’d never been in. It was pitch black and although there was no real reason to be scared, you still were.
You don’t know where the light switch is, and you can hear your heart beating out of your chest. You don’t know what’s in the room, you don’t know if you’re ready for what ‘might’ be lurking in this dark place. You don’t want to be scared but your imagination is running wild.
You frantically place your hands on the wall, trying to find the switch but you can’t find it. You keep feeling your way around, moving carefully, in case you hit something that could hurt you. After a few more seconds you find the light switch and the brightness that comes next surprises you even though you expected it.

Your eyes slowly adjust and you take in what’s there. Some things you recognise as you’ve seen something similar before and some things you don’t.
As you’re now in the room you might as well get involved and get discovering. You’re still cautious because what you find could change things.

You make a plan of what you’re going to do based on your previous experience. You start looking at the things you know, with the goal of getting to what you don’t recognise uncertain of what you’ll learn. Will there be money? A toy? Something you’re not supposed to see or know? A letter? Hidden information about a family member?…

That’s life. Full of twists and turns, ups and downs, good times and not so good times, failures and successes, dark moments and brighter days and to thrive, you have to live through it.

You are not going to be able to have everything figured out all the time and this truthfully, is one of the most difficult challenges I have. I have to know everything. I need to know what and when the outcome will be and that’s thing, you cannot truly experience the best life has to offer by controlling everything. You have to free up the reigns a little bit (takes note), embrace what comes, and be present.

Xo

Rejected…again?

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facetune_14-11-2018-09-44-44I don’t know whether there are people who are unaffected by rejection and if they exist someone point them my way, I need some tips.

I think most would agree that being rejected once, sucks, but multiple times? Its the worst. And yet it’s inevitable, we cannot escape it no matter who we are or where we are from, we have to deal.

So how do we deal? When things aren’t going how we would like, there’s a tendency to lump all bad experiences together and make it one big ball of pain. This undoubtedly makes it more difficult to move past the experience(s).

“I applied for this role and didn’t get it”

“I missed out on getting onto this course because I was shy of 2 points”

“She left me for someone else”

“My colleague was given the promotion over me, although I am more qualified”

Imagine putting all of those together and wondering why you feel so crap afterwards. Don’t do it.

I have taken a number of L’s this year, do I stop? Do I give up? Do I no longer make the effort? No no and no! (And yes I’m definitely guilty of the above, I’m champion woe is me).

Some rejections I was unfazed by, others made me question myself over and over again. It happens to the best of us.

For example, I applied for 6 positions at my current organisation, did you hear me? I said SIX. After the first 2 rejections, I felt like shit. Most of the roles I applied for, I was more than capable of doing based on my skills and experience, but it wasn’t happening and I did not understand why. The feedback I received was positive but I just missed it. To make matters worse:

  • Most of the people I work with have been pushing for me to get something permanent and so I constantly have colleagues coming up to me, giving me information on jobs, agencies and the like…all the time.
  • It’s embarrassing. And whilst I appreciate/d the support it made me feel useless. Like why can’t I get together?! Frustrating to say the least!
  • This was a 6 month contract. I have been here 18 months which I’m thankful for, however MANY people have left and been able to find better roles. I MUST be the problem.

After the 3rd interview and it was a no (the other 3 I never heard back from), I thought right, what’s really happening here? After some reflection I realised apart from improving my interview techniques, my future is not attached to this company at all. I’d be settling here. I enjoy working with the people, however the roles have been something ‘to do’ and that’s definitely not what I want for my life and the universe has heard me.

From these experiences I have learnt that it is best to treat each situation separate from the other. One negative experience, failure or rejection need not be compounded to conclude that you are indeed a “bum”. Instead, focus on the lessons to be learnt.

Rejection does not have to be failure, it can be redirection and a chance to do it differently. You also don’t know what you’re being saved from.

It can be tough and you’ll want wallow in self-pity, but choose to dust yourself off, be a good student, and give it another go.

Xo

I Wish It Wasn’t So

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img_5304The last few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. My friend passed away suddenly and it is the most painful experience of my adulthood.

I am not ready to start losing friends yet, we’re in our early 30’s, you die of old age not abruptly.

Franklin was the sweetest, gentlest and caring person and I miss him incredibly. I wish he were still here.

Writing a post has been especially difficult, because as I write I am filled with the memory of his encouraging words and particular appreciation for my writing. He read my posts without being asked and always gave me positive feedback, and that meant everything to me.
Being a writer is an isolating process and whilst I love it, you do write to be read, but that does not always happen, least of all from your family and friends. To have him continuously care and show support not only in this, but in my life as a whole was so appreciated and special to me.

I did have a little bit of change in perspective yesterday, and that was to be grateful to have known him at all, and I was. I valued him when he was here and will forever cherish the moments we had.

There are so many things that I feel and haven’t been able to articulate yet and probably won’t for some time. This is about as much as I can manage writing about him for now.

Through this, I have made a commitment to make sure that his life continues to be meaningful in mine.

Xo

P.s I don’t know if I’ll be posting regularly for now, please bear with.

Ask the Right Questions

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img_4754A few friends of mine would make fun of me saying I asked too many questions.  ‘Questionnaire’ is what they’d call me.

I don’t always need to have the full information but enough for me make an informed decision; after all my brain works, why should I leave all the decision making to someone else especially when it impacts me?

I made a decision to do things completely different and set a goal for completion at end of 2019.  To achieve it will require a different version of who I have been to date.

So I started asking myself questions, questions about what I would need to do, the knowledge I need to have, the places I need to be in, the people I need to talk to, the time frame it needs to be done in, the money I’d need to invest, what I’d need to invest in, the mind set I need to have, the practices I need to change, the ones I have to adopt, what I have to cut, and so on. And then I answered them.

I pushed myself to think past the confines that I am used to and this process has put me in a completely different headspace, and for the things I did (do) not know, I research, I study, I apply it.

Too often we think others know so much more than we do and completely undervalue the wealth of knowledge, skill and experience we do have or have access to. Don’t.

Ask questions, don’t be a zombie that follows the status quo. Challenge yourself and it might surprise you in realising what you know or even what you don’t know and now know that you need to.

If you want to live a life that is completely debt free, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to live on a beach in a tropical country, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to have £100,000 in 1 year, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to buy your first property, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want peace, ask the questions, do the work.

You get my drift.

It’s not about knowing everything, it’s starting with what you know that gets you closer to where you want to be; whether it’s dealing with heartbreak, making a large purchase, starting a business or having a healthy relationship with your partner.

Xo

Am I Qualified?

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facetune_29-10-2018-17-17-37-1.jpgEver had a new goal that you were super excited about?

You’re filled with the possibilities of what achieving this goal will do for you and you cannot wait to get started.

You plan and establish the actions you need to take and then unexpectedly your insecurities surface.

What if I’m not qualified?

Who said I am qualified?

What if someone thinks I’m not up for the job?

Doubts here and before you know it, it starts to feel like a pipe dream. Within moments, you have convinced yourself that you’re definitely not up for the job and resign that goal to the ‘do not attempt’ pile.

Why are we the very first to sap the life out of something? Our own worst enemy.

Do you know what qualifies those that do vs those that do not? Their belief. That’s it. Those that achieve the most, do not allow their past, failures or circumstances to dictate what they can and cannot do. In spite of it, they move full steam ahead.

You will always be better off for doing something even when it does not work out as envisioned. The trade-off is the wealth of experience, applied knowledge and skills gained, that not doing anything could never provide you with. It is also a stepping stone.

I bumped into someone I knew online through a mutual friend. I had not met them in person until this morning. We started talking about various things and he asked me whether an online series I was a part of was well thought out or improvised. What do you think I said? We winged that bad boy!

None of us really knew what we were doing, we just showed up and figured it out as we went along. In that same year of doing the series, I wrote, directed and produced my first short play. I won 2 awards for the play and a little bulb went off in my head ‘I’m a writer’, and always had been, but it wasn’t until that point, did I acknowledge myself. That was almost six years ago.

Do you think how I write now is how I have always written? Absolutely not! In the beginning, it was trash. I cringe every time I see something from the past, but I had to start somewhere, as terrible as it was.

So trust me when I say, you can do this. Little by little, step by step, piece by piece.

Xo

Gratitude

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img_1716Wait till it’s taken away from you, maybe you’ll remember to be grateful for what you have in future.

It’s so easily done isn’t it? Things are good, every area of your life is booming as you’ve always wanted, ‘you’ve got it like that’…until you don’t, and all hell breaks loose.

Part of the pain we experience when times are rough, is guilt. We experience guilt for not being appreciative of what we had, we reminisce and regret the haughtiness we had in thinking that this will be forever. Still, in those hard times, we should be grateful because there is always something to be thankful for.

I often experience an uncomfortable ease when a terrible thing happens and suddenly there’s an urgent call to love your loved ones as it’s short lived. It does not cultivate the solid essence of being grateful because it stems from fear. And yes I’m definitely a culprit.

Being grateful is to do so irrespective of what you do or don’t have. The benefits are clear.
From the simplest, most mundane and normal things to the major changes and transitions, have gratitude, for the love of it, not for the fear of it, even when it’s tough.

Xo

Chasing Waterfalls

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TLC said it best.

It can be a difficult pill to swallow when you’re in pursuit of something that doesn’t want you back. No matter how much you do it simply does not want to materialise or work out how you’ve envisioned.

In that there’s a lesson; don’t force it, let it go.

It means there’s another area in your life that requires your attention, what is it? If you don’t know, look a bit closer, it’s there, screaming pick me.

Once you discover it, direct your attention to that thing. Nurture it, learn from it, grow from it. Before you know it, like a boys summer growth sprout, what you were in hot pursuit of is here.

Sometimes it’s like that. There are certain things we have to experience first and learn from before we are equipped enough to handle our other desires. In fact it’s crucial that we do, so we have less of a chance to totally screw it up!

It’s sucks, I know, but something greater is possible if you allow it to be.

xo

Thoughts Become Things

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facetune_22-10-2018-19-30-58My contract is ending soon. The nature of the job means expecting it to terminate at any moment. I know this and had been mentally preparing myself for what could happen next. Out of nowhere I started to think about finances, could I manage if I didn’t get another contract for a little while? Will all my hard work of having everything in order go in the toilet? I could feel the fear beginning to surge through me from my stomach into my head and back down.

I caught it. I reaffirmed that I will be good no matter what and dismissed any other thoughts that contradicted it.

Being able to do that is years of self-awareness and practice. Not all thoughts that travel in and through our minds are our own or ones we want to cultivate and it’s crucial to be able to consciously filter them out.

You might think it’s just one thought, a mere sentence, but it’s bigger than that, it’s a seed. A seed that has the power to create something greater and permanent. Think about it, a tree didn’t always look like a tree.

If we allow ourselves to be consumed with thoughts and things that we do not like nor want, it limits the space we have to receive more of what we do want.

This week, become conscious of what you’re thinking because your mind is fertile ground for what happens next.

xo

Don’t Forget to Exhale 

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img_3353Hey. Psst. Don’t run off to start your weekend just yet, read me, it’ll only take a couple of minutes.

I love a Friday night just like anyone else except I prefer to stay in to unwind and decompress.

If you’re a Londoner like me or live in a city where the pace is fast, it’s very easy to be always on the go, even when there’s no reason to be. Over time you can become so overwhelmed and bogged down with it all, that you just want to run away.

For some of us, a break means leaving the country, but that isn’t always necessary, you don’t have to run away. You can stay and get the peace of mind that you want right where you live.

You might have lots of ‘busy’ plans this weekend, you know the ones I’m talking about, doing something for doing something sake. Stop. Slow it down and exhale.

When I want a time out from everything (so I don’t lose my entire marbles), there are a few things that I do and I’ll share one, okay maybe two with you.

1. Be in silence

With technology being a huge part of our lives, we’re constantly plugged in from the moment we wake up to the time we lay our heads to rest.

Tonight when you get in after work or over the weekend, lay on your bed, do nothing, listen to nothing, let it be quiet so that all you can hear is white noise or the clock ticking. Don’t have your lights or anything that uses electrical energy on. Allow yourself to recharge whilst you’re awake.

In this stillness you’ll find the chatter in your head will amplify. Notice what you think about and if it’s not harmonious with your wants, gently steer it in the direction you want it go.

You can do this as regularly as you want, for as long as you want. Just be still.

2. Explore your area or an area of your choice, alone.

I do this all the time. I love exploring the places I go to, I find so many gems and have wonderful and enlightening experiences by doing so. Doing things like encourages self-sufficiency and reaffirms that I am enough and don’t require any extra’s.

img_4111Lastly (okay that’s three), eat good. You can buy or make it just as long as you enjoy it. Let it be a moment. There’s something truly humbling about being able to eat what you want. I’m sure most of us can recall being too broke to afford anything but the basics so when you eat, do not forget to be grateful.

This is one of my favourite meals from Leon’s.

Have a fabulous weekend, till next week ciao! xo

As If By Magic

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On Monday I asked you to get imaginative, write it down, make it plain and then dispose of it somewhere. Did you do it? Tut, the insolence! I should turn you all into salt, well if I could and maybe if I was God or Medusa but I’m not, so, erm, anyway…There are many different beliefs about manifesting and the law of attraction, and whilst they work, it really isn’t a one size fits all, at least not in my case.

I have tried the “intentional focus on something” and all that happens is me becoming increasingly stressed with little to no results. From memory, everything I deeply wanted and or became “obsessed” with I did not get, whereas the things I’d give very little thought to, voila!

This had always perplexed me until I wrote down my manifestation system earlier on this year. I had to see in writing what I had known worked for me and not focus on what had worked for others. Turns out I have used this system since I were a small child, and can recall many occasions where things materialised in a swift fashion. Maybe you’re like me where the other methods simply don’t work, and if so, here’s a few things I have learned.

1. You have to be relaxed about your want. Any kind of worry, stress, excessive attention will not work.

2. Do not be attached to the outcome. It is very easy to miss what is for you by clinging onto an ideal.

3. You can absolutely act on your desire, but again you must employ point 1 & 2 (see example below).

4. You mustn’t obsess about it.

5. Be open. Not everything we think we want do we actually want.

6. Continue on with your daily life.

In November 2014 a friend and I walked into the Audi dealership to look at the cars. I wanted a new car but didn’t have the means to purchase it, I simply went to look. I test drove the Audi A3, liked it and that was that.

I mentioned to another friend on the 20th December 2014 that I wanted to get a BMW 1 Series. Again, no means, just putting it out there.

On the 27th December 2014 (window shopping again, I’m great at that), I left a dealership with a BMW 1 series without having spent any of my own money, ha! I had gone there with a credit card, my fair credit score, my mother, boyfriend, courage and hope.

My mother put a substantial amount of money down and the rest would be on me for the next 2 years. Huh?! How? I said I. Did. Not. Have. The. Means?!

I wasn’t expecting her to be involved, I had just turned 27, I’m grown, I can do bad all by myself, I wasn’t asking for a thing! She and my boyfriend at the time were only accompanying me as people do with things like this, and yet here I was leaving with a car that I hadn’t paid for.

Looking back, what I did was;

i) knew I wanted a new car ii) didn’t know how I’d get it, iii) put myself in a position to see me driving the car iv) didn’t stress myself about it, v) the vehicle in which I would receive it showed up vi) drove off into the sunset…okay it was night time and during the winter, same difference (lol).

I have plenty other examples where I have practiced as above and it happens, and a number of instances where I was super focused and very little happened.

I want to be clear here, manifesting isn’t solely about material things, its everything; mindset, people, healing, and so on. Also, it does not discriminate, it can work for both positive and negative things, so be mindful.

img_2991Give it a go. I might do a series on this because there’s levels to it. Maybe the next one will be on how I jumped out of a plane.

Yup, this is me on the 17th December 2016 (my birthday), I screamed like a lil’ bitch for the first few seconds ha! but that’s a story for another time.

Xo

Make Believe

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Welcome to class folks. Today’s assignment is to make believe again. 

As kids we were encouraged to write stories, be creative and imagine, fast forward to being adults its “be serious, stop fooling around, you’re not a kid anymore”. Huh? How? Why?

Make believe is in my opinion a very necessary part of creating life itself. Everything we see was once a part of someone’s imagination.

I think about planes flying, watching images on TV or listening to sound on the radio and it blows my mind. These were things once unseen and unheard of, which have now become a part of our everyday life. I want us to get back to that, that space of make believe first before anything else.

And we can do this from where we are and at any time. You can imagine whatever you like, whether it exists or not, and then write it down and make it plain, even if it is only to be witnessed by you. Look past your current circumstances and freely create. Once you have, let it go. Yup, you heard me, let it go, forget about it, put it somewhere you won’t necessarily come across it every day.

Yes I know it sounds a little batty but humour me, and on Wednesday I’ll go into further details and give you my personal manifestation system (I sound like a wizard, I’m not, but it works).

Speak to you then xo

 

Why I’m No Longer Sharing

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img_0985From this day forward I am no sharing with friends.

Whenever I find out something new, useful or potentially life changing, I am quick to share it with the people close to me. I want them to do good too, I want them to know what’s possible, I want them to believe in themselves more. I share so they can know what’s happening in the hopes that they’ll concede but alas they do not.

Of course, I don’t know everything, however, I do know a thing or two about certain subject matters and with that I always want to give.

But after a few failed attempts at ‘helping’, I have decided to stop. I am no longer sharing and instead have opted to just show them.

As the saying goes the proof is the pudding and sometimes there is nothing more effective than others being able to see the results for themselves.

So if you, like me, have found yourself in the position where your words are falling by the wayside, stop talking, just do it and do it well.

Xo

Pursue Your Goals

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I went running on Tuesday

I nearly died

Bye.

Just kidding. About the bye that is, not about the dying because I honestly feel like every week I’m close to saying ‘God is that you?’ after a training session.

It’s brutal.

 

 

Here’s another confession:

I’m shit at running

No, sorry, slow at running

But not for long

I started running 5 weeks ago. I had this genius idea that said “yes do it”. Not a genius idea.

In my teens I would be in 100m races and do quite well, always maintaining between 1st and 3rd except for that one time. Let’s not talk about that one time as that one time was the last time I took running seriously. Okay let’s talk about it; I came in 5th, wtf?! Which I’m sure was actually last and that was it for me “I’m out!” literally and figuratively.

Can you tell I’m a sore loser? (and also very competitive.)

Anyway, winter season training has started, which means we train every Tuesday and Thursday. The group is a mixture of both men and women who are pretty seasoned runners/athletes and I hate them all. Okay I don’t hate them hate them, they just leave me behind *cries in self-pity*. Some of them are quite supportive including the coach, which helps, a lot.

facetune_11-10-2018-10-29-46My goal is to eventually keep up with the fastest out of the group, then beat them *laughs an evil laugh*. I have no idea how I will, but I’ll let you know how I’m faring over the next few months.

What goals are you in pursuit of?

Xo

P.s Tuesday’s training consisted of 3 x 500m, 4 x 200m, 6 x 100m, brutal I tell ya!

Bounce Back

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If you have ever loved someone or something, there’s a high chance that you’ll experience a deep pain at some point. And when it happens, boy does it suck.
Pain is one of the things you cannot avoid and yet is one of life’s best teachers.

How do you bounce back from a painful experience?

We have been conditioned to do the things that are the exact opposite of what we need. Things like oversharing and reliving the experience over and over again as if it’s still happening.

Think about it, if someone pinched you on Monday and you i) spoke about it with various people ii) spoke about it every day for the next two weeks, what do you suppose the situation would feel like for you by the end of those two weeks? I can bet good money you’ll be worse off than when it initially happened.

This is because you would have used much of your energy to not only expand a situation by repeatedly talking/thinking about it, but simultaneously you would have made it even harder for you to move past it.

Nowadays when things happen to me, I am particular about who I go to for counsel and I do my best to not talk/think about it much as I have seen the results of me doing the opposite. I still on occasion get it wrong.

I’ll give you an example. I had previously discussed my career woes with a multitude of people from various backgrounds, hoping to get sound advice and clarity. They all, wanting to be helpful, gave me advice from their perspective and guess what? It didn’t help. It only made me feel even more clueless and helpless than before. I got to the point where I’d get irritated by people constantly asking me what’s going on, that I started to shut the same people out (cheeky I know), but I had to, for my own sanity.

I had to take responsibility for what I had created by the actions I had taken. Too many cooks…

So rather than do the above, here are a few learned tips:

  • Remember that whatever happened is not happening. It’s in the past. Deal with the feelings at hand separate from anything. Write it out of you if need be (this is the best way for me). Don’t try to rush past it, let it take its natural course, but do encourage/help yourself to move forward.
  • Be picky with who you tell your gripes to. Don’t go to someone who will be your hype woman or man. Speak to someone who will give you sound counsel.
  • Limit the amount of people you talk to about it as well as the amount of times you talk about it
  • Trust yourself to know what to do.
  • And I say this with love, get over yourself. As someone who has a really hard time getting over mistakes and pains, having this be a driving force for moving forward is a great help.

I have in various instances used the above method to aid in quicker recovery for disappointment and pain, it works. It might sound simple, but give it a go, what do you have to lose?

Xo

Don’t Miss This Moment

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Don’t you just love Sunday’s? I love them because I get to really relax, and the pace always seems slower so I enjoy things even more. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy, speaking of which, how are you enjoying your Sunday?

A lot of us spend way too much time looking forward to what’s next, forgetting that this present moment, we had once wished for it.

We’re wanting more, bigger, better, and whilst it’s good to have aspirations, we run the risk of not appreciating the now.

I remember being a university student and how I couldn’t wait to graduate, as I was not enjoying the experience. Flash forward a few years, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reflected on those moments, and wished I had done it a little differently or that I could go back and do it again.

This has taught me that I don’t want to ignore my present in favour an already lived past or a imagined future. I want to relish my now irrespective of what may be happening, because there are always things to be grateful for, always.

So as you hopefully enjoy this beautiful day and you plan your week ahead, always remember #MyNow has treasures in and it matters just as much as the next moment.

Xo

‘Bad Energy Stay Far Away’

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🗣 It’s Friday, Whoomp there it is!

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When you think about it, it’s a terrible way to think about Friday, because what does that say about your life in general?

Anyway we’re working on creating the life we want whilst appreciating the one we have aren’t we?

The other day I spoke about disengaging and in the few days of doing so, it has immensely improved my energy levels and morale.

You see now that I’m not easily exposed and available to things and people, my interactions are much more purposeful and intentional. There isn’t that unnecessary noise that comes my way just because it can and removing this has been vital. The perspective I want to have has been fortified by simply clearing the crap.

I think that’s something I’ve learnt from my parents, that’s it not always about reinventing the wheel, but working with what you have. You don’t have to wait for ‘something’, the something is here, it’s now, it’s in your face.                 

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Side note: I’m writing this on my way into a work and this is my current position. In my attempt to take a picture to show you, my flash was on. LOL how embarrassing! Dummy.

Effectively, immediately, take control over the things that are no longer serving you well and cut them out, even if it’s temporary, so that you can make room for the things that will.

You’ll most likely feel anxious about it and second guess your decision, do it anyway. You’ll thank yourself and me (hopefully lol).

Xo

P.s The things I cut out are WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.

A Little Me Time

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Recently I have felt like my interactions with those close to me have become a bit stale, and it seemed to have happened ever so rapidly.

We’re just not gelling like we used to, and with life evolving so quickly, our paths are diverging in a way that’s challenging and causing me to really reassess my relationships.

And so I made a decision to limit my engagement and take some time out to figure out what’s going on and in the meantime redirect my focus on other things.

It’s important to evaluate what’s going in your life from time to time, especially if it doesn’t feel right- The whole elevation requires separation bit.

Now I’m not sure if my game plan is to elevate, although as I think about it, I suppose it is. To mentally elevate.

Maybe you’re in similar place to me, having to figure things out and that’s okay. For your own self development, it is sometimes necessary.

There are a few things I’m doing more of in this period:

  • Gratitude
  • Positive affirmations
  • Reading a minimum of a chapter a day (currently, Crushing it by Gary V)
  • Investing in my goals
  • Meditating
  • Journaling

I don’t know how long I’ll be disengaged for, it could be a week, two weeks or a month, I’ll know once I feel different.

I’ll still be here though, on the blog that is.

Xo

90 Days

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Pinch Punch its the First of the Month!

Can you believe it’s October already? How??

It must be a getting older thing, because I don’t remember time flying by like this when I was a child, but then again what did I know?

With that being said, what’s the plan for the rest of the year? Or have you given up on it? Please don’t, there is still time for you to change things around.

I get it, for some of you it has been a tough year and you just want a do over, and you can have that, but only if you want to.

It’s about choice. You get to choose how you respond to the things happening in your life, and your choices are a catalyst for what you experience next.

Having this in mind, what could you do differently to get a different result? Make it drastic, let it be so unusual for you, that it makes you feel uncomfortable and scares you a little bit.

One of the quickest ways to get better at anything is by doing more, faster. Don’t drag it out, even if it makes your stomach churn as mine is doing right now (I have a big decision to make), you’ll be better for it.

You have 90 days left till the end of year, you’ve got this!

Xo

This Is the Life We Spoke Of

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This is the life we spoke of. Don’t believe me?

How many times have you said I’m broke?

How many times have you said I hate my job?

How many times have you said My life is shit?

How many times have you said No one loves me?

How many times have you said I’ll never make it?

How many times have you said I don’t like my body?

How many times have you said I’m not good enough?

How many times have you said I don’t believe in myself?

How many times have you said I can’t do_________?

Still think you’re not living the life you spoke of?

Think of your words as your Sat Nav; the course of your life can only go where you tell it to.

Xo

 

Born With It

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A blog post could take me a day or two, maybe more before I actually post it. I’ll fuss over the details like ‘does it make sense? Am I chatting shit? Will a reader relate? For flip sake I missed a word, this doesn’t flow…’ and the conversation continues. It’s annoying. Honestly.

But that’s the price of producing work you can be proud of.

Being great at anything isn’t an overnight job. It can take years. When I look back at my work from 10 years ago, I wonder how I ever made it through university. It was terrible. I almost never proof read anything. What the hell for? ‘You said 3000 words, take it and leave me alone’. And I’m not exaggerating, it was a total mess.

It took me looking at my work to really see the quality that I was producing and make changes. Doing so made me realise I missed words a lot, and that I could read a sentence 5 times and still not notice it’s not there. Oh, and that’s another thing, I HAVE to reread my writing out loud several times, even when I don’t feel like it, because what you see matters to me. It’s the difference between a good read and a read that barely makes sense. It can be tiresome, but do you want to be just okay? Or great at what you do?

It’s so easy to look at someone doing brilliantly and think they’ve got it like that. They don’t. What they do have is a commitment to their life and work continuously to do better, to beat themselves over and over and over again.

So don’t be blind sighted by the appearance of things as all great things are always worked for.

xo

Life On Your Terms

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I just feel like you NEED to see my face lol. Vain much? Maybe…

Good morning!

I really hope you’re doing well.

I wanted to drop a quick note and ask a question: are you living life on your own terms? To elaborate a little more, is the life you’re living yours by design or other peoples design? And really think about that answer.

Over the past few months, I have been steadily unlearning a lot of ideals and thoughts that have been ingrained in me through the various paradigms I operate in, to sift out one that is actually authentically me, and doing so has made me happier and freer. I am now consciously making my own mind up about things and the (self)inflicted pressure has significantly reduced.

I realised that when I strip away everything, I already have everything that is truly important to me like a roof over my head, my family is alive and very well, a means to earn money to sustain my life, a life that I am falling more in love with, and the list goes on…all because I decided to detach myself from what is supposed to be.

You can experience this new level of freedom which will empower you to actually do more of what you love by simply asking yourself, is this really me? And if you discover that it isn’t, work through that to find what is.

Everyone’s mission in life is different and to think we should all be doing and have the same things by a set time is utterly absurd.

I’ll give you an example and I use this one because there is a huge obsession with it in this society, love.

For as long as I can remember women have been conditioned to be reliant on a man for love and value, which is damaging on so many levels.

I am constantly asked by people I know and don’t know about having a partner, which for a long period made me feel a certain way. Almost as if my life could not be fulfilling if I didn’t have one and that this was the pinnacle for a woman. They often inferred and sometimes said ‘that there must be something wrong with me’. At a point I believed them and took a long hard look at myself and altered my behaviour so I could fit. Ha. It didn’t work.

The plan for me was never to fit in, but because of the words I kept hearing (which builds faith, faith comes by hearing), I believed them over myself and what I felt. Big mistake and it cost me.

Through detaching myself from this conditioning, I have been able to replace it with one that gives to myself over and over and over again. By me for me.

Now I’m not saying burn everything and move to a remote area and don’t want or need anyone, not at all, we need connections, they help us thrive, my suggestion is simply that when you make decisions about your life, make sure it is by you for you.

Xo

You Sow, You Reap.

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Just like yourself I need reminders all the time about the things I should be thinking about and working on and I received one this morning.

Whatever you’re living in now, is your harvest. Marinate on that for a moment.

Whilst it’s great to be living in the now as you should, we do need to consider how we are setting up for our future.

I needed this reminder today because too often we become complacent and abandon the responsibility we have in creating the circumstances we live in. No one is going to do the work for you, you have to get up and show up.

Spend some time today thinking about the state of your affairs. Realise the decisions, choices, thought processes and actions that you made to lead you to this point.

If you acknowledge that there is something you would like to create or change for your imminent or distant future, think about what that looks, take action and be consistent.

Remember you are manifesting as we speak (read- you know what I mean)…

And just so you know that I am doing the work too, I’ll share a recent experience with you.

I was reading the ES magazine last week Thursday and it had a story on Dina Asher-Smith. She is a British sprinter and her story motivated me to return to something I once loved, running. Reading the article conjured up old feelings and I decided that I would get back to it after 15 years and I would not give reasons (excuses) for not doing it.

Fortunately for me, I have a friend Cynthia who is a track athlete, sprinter and inspiration. I met her through a mutual friend of mine a little over 2 years ago. She turned up to my shambles of a 28th birthday soiree (that’s a story for another time), not long after giving birth to her second child.

The transformation from when I first met her to now is like day and night and solely down to her sheer will, discipline and commitment to her fitness and health even with a very active household to support. Not all hero’s wear capes, some of them live and work right next to you.

Anyway, I contacted Cynthia on Friday, was on the track on Tuesday and is currently suffering from the pain of having ran 5 x 200m with 1 minute recovery time between each (I took longer breaks lol). She, Emma and Eliza did 10 x 200m with a 1 minute recovery time, I personally could not…yet but I’m positive with more training and their encouragement I’ll be able to do it.

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This was just after our session on Tuesday. I’m smiling but I nearly died.

The point is when you make a decision, get the ball rolling and take action. Trust me, I didn’t want to turn up on Tuesday as I was tired AF, but I did and although I am in pain now my future body and health will thank me for it.

Xo

The Value of One

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I recently came across a lady called Karin Bohn who is awesome!

She is an interior designer, business owner and entrepreneur based in Vancouver, Canada. I discovered her about 2 weeks ago and haven’t stopped watching her videos. She gives real day to day insight into her wins, challenges and losses of all the different roles she plays, which I find incredibly invaluable.

Through watching her videos it reignited a fire in me that had been dormant and I am grateful for that.

The thought that keeps running through my mind is what if she gave up? What if she said no one is watching or enjoying my content? What if she had decided to close up shop one day and shut it all down? The business, designing, YouTube? I shudder.

This was a good reminder for myself that one person finding value in what you do can be such a difference maker in their lives and how important it is to keep being you, in all the spaces you occupy.  Yes, you may not always see it or feel like what you are doing is purposeful but it is.  Karin doesn’t even know I exist and yet here I am writing about her, case in point. 

Do not take for granted the difference you can make to your life and the lives of others simply by existing.

Xo

Keep That Same Energy

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It’s 8:20 am and I’m scheduled to be on time for work- woop! I’m hosting interviewees and the first person is set to arrive at 9:00 am so I can’t do my usual ‘stroll into work at late o’clock’.

Seeing as I should make it in slightly before 9’o clock, a thought crossed my mind as I walked briskly down the escalators that “I could take my time, there is no need to rush”.

I know better. It would just be my luck that as soon as I decide to relax, something happens. There’d be hordes of people trying to get on the train or it would suddenly be delayed by 10 minutes.

For a split second I did consider it but decided against it and continued to make haste, just in case. I was right to as there were delays…

A little random detail about my morning but it led me to think of this life hack. When you are making strides and you have built some momentum, that is not the time to take your foot off the accelerator, you do the opposite, floor it.

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It’s easy to become complacent once we experience a little bit of success. It gets to our heads and we think “ahh yes I can relax”, when really that window of opportunity is the time to push, go harder and do more. The aim is to firmly make your stamp in whatever it is you’re doing, not to do it just a little bit and the only way to do that is to generate enough traction that it lasts.

Remember when Beyonce took that year long career break? She could do that because she’s worked hard enough that her work speaks for itself whether she is present or not. Now I don’t advise you do what she does as I am sure its not entirely healthy, what I am saying is; if something is working, pursue it and pursue it well, strike whilst the iron is hot.

Life is full of peaks and troughs and you want to make the best of what you have, whilst you still have it.

Xo

P.s I made it on time 🙂

“I Woke Up Like This”

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709d80aa-886d-48f8-945a-e13d48d6479fLast week I was a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding. It was beautiful, a true blessing.

In the midst of celebrations I had reflective moments as I usually do in these situations. I thought about how wonderful all the different relationships (friends, relatives, couples) were, however, I was quickly reminded that things were not always so and getting here was in short, a real conscious effort…But here we all were celebrating, reaping the work of our hands in more ways than one.

Isn’t it how we look at all good things? That they just are, that there wasn’t a process, growing pains, or a lot of challenging work involved to make it what it is.

We often forget or choose to ignore the behind the scenes and just glorify the highlights. Those highlights are nothing without the graft. It could not would not exist without an individual/s choosing to show up and participate in ALL the parts required to achieve a goal.

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If you want something you cannot pick and choose the bits you want to deal with and avoid the ones you don’t. You’re either all in or out, straddling the fence isn’t permitted.

Usain Bolt pre-retirement would train all year round for possibly a 10 second race a few times a year. Let that sink in. A 10 second race.

Beautiful, wonderful things are sometimes cultivated.

So the next time you see something great, think about what it might have taken to get there and let that reinforce what you do. Don’t ever get twisted thinking that anyone has it easy, everyone pays a price, the question is whether you want to?

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Xo

Greatness Over Time

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Last week Thursday I was looking back on the things I have done to date and I have to be honest, I was pretty impressed with myself, like really impressed. I love what I have been able to do so far and I didn’t think I would ever say that at this point.

As a perfectionist, it could always be better, yet here I was, looking at my work and saying to myself ‘I’m dope af’.

Side note:The lack of acknowledgement or praise for your gift and contribution does not exclude the existence of it.  

Now that may be my inflated ego talking, but as I sat there and mulled over why I hadn’t seen myself in this way before, it came to me. Time, work and effort was why.

Becoming great at anything requires time, not only that but work, repeated effort and consistency. You cannot become great at anything if you do not put the hours in. There is absolutely no conning your way into it and most people start at the bottom and by bottom I mean you’re usually shit…at first. 

Think Serena and Beyonce. When you look at their success, its awe-inspiring, but truthfully what you are looking at is decades of hard work, failure, repeated action, consistency and a whole lot more.

They started as kids whose talents had to be cultivated. An overnight success they are not, not by a long shot, and if we ever sat down to converse with them about their journey, I am not sure many of us could stomach it.

Want to be great at anything? Give yourself time, be religious with doing the work, learn from it, take risks, fail, celebrate- do whatever it takes and you will surely become it, in time.

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And this could be for anything. A great relationship, apply the above, a great career apply the above, a great body, apply the above, creating the life you want to lead, apply the above, great health, apply the above… you get my drift. The work must be done and there’s no shirking the responsibility that is required to be great.

So, if you want it, it yours, but its not free.

Xo

Plastic Surgery: Should I do it?

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img_6198It’s Sunday and I’m lazing around looking on social media and I see someone who I hadn’t seen in a while, something was different.
Her breasts were huge and quite tender looking, snap! She’s had work done. I noticed her friends too, all their bodies looked exactly the same.  It was clear they shared similar values in that respect.

I was a little bit saddened by it because part of what made each of them physically unique had been lost under the knife, probably in a foreign country somewhere. That isn’t shade, just the reality.

This individual used to stick up for her what others would call saggy breasts and show them like a badge of honour, seemingly not giving AF which I quite admired, so it was a shock to see that she had done it. It’s safe to say that under the heavy scrutiny she bulked.

The pressure to be and look amazing today is ever increasing, I mean who doesn’t want to be admired? I do, in fact worship me (I kid…sort of).

I get it, it’s hard to be the only one not doing something especially under the constant gaze of negative, miserable gremlins or on the flip side the constant feed of ‘perfect’ bodies. Your resolve has to be impenetrable because by simply being around it, you tap into that consciousness.

That consciousness is something that’s palpable, you feel it but can’t quite hold it. Even your favourite love to hate rapper Kanye West had lipo’ as he ‘didn’t want you to call me fat like you did Rob’. The Kanye West. I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t crossed my mind, especially whilst working out- its a bitch.

Plastic surgery used to be a secret and something only the rich and famous could afford. You didn’t come across people with augmentations often. On the rare occasions that I did, in hushed tones I’d gesticulate at my friend towards the muse in question, looking on in awe at how we are able to cut ourselves up and make something we weren’t born with bigger. My young naïveté couldn’t quite fathom it. And anyway weren’t we supposed to love what God gave us?

I have fought with this particular subject matter as whilst I firmly believe that people should do whatever makes them happy, I haven’t entirely reconciled that with the risks that plastic surgery holds physically, emotionally and mentally, but I suppose high risk, high reward?

Another part of my concern is in the pseudo-confidence it provides a lot of women and men and what will happen when once again what’s on trend changes, not to mention that the enhancements still don’t exclude you from having insecurities like everyone else. In some cases, a few people go on to develop greater insecurities because they never want to lose that feeling of being desirable to themselves and to others. Then there’s the lack of sound judgment and the carelessness at which some people make these decisions that end up having permanent unwanted effects including death. Undoing some of the negative effects can be a hard journey and K Michelle’s story is a testament to that.

It certainly has it benefits which I have personally witnessed amongst the people I know, I don’t dispute that at all. They seem…happier

A friend and I joke that we’ll be the only ones holding on for dear life not succumbing to the demand to carve ourselves out to perfection although now that I think about it, my friend does talk about shaving down her jaw, reducing her forehead and getting under eye fillers so maybe it’ll just be me, maybe.

Perhaps there’ll be a revolution with the likes of Kylie and K Michelle undoing their plastic surgery decisions and that it will encourage people to give it a bit more thought before going under.

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t acknowledge that we all have some type of enhancement whether it’s our nails, hair, teeth, gym, filters and so on. We too subscribe to wanting bigger and better, and whilst the gravity of it can be less severe, the principle is the same.

With that said, this is much more of an inside job than it is an outside one. It’s what’s taking place upstairs that impacts everything around you and what you experience. That is the real power and once we begin to master this, the lives we lead will be further enriched. And no, it’s not easy to work on you,  it’s constant effort and often times a struggle too but worth it in the long run.

If you choose to have surgery, make sure that you’re not making these changes so others can feel better about you so you can feel better about yourself, as to put it plainly, that’s backwards. Do due diligence with taking that step as your life truly depends on it.

Most importantly don’t forget the you underneath all of that. You spend the most time with that person, love them, accept them because in acceptance there is freedom.

Xo

Call It Quits?

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img_0874You set a goal and start to execute your plans to see it materialise. You’re excited and more determined than ever, nothing will stop you, you can do it.

Months and years have passed and you can’t see the finish line, your energy starts to wane. You wonder if there is any point because nothing seems to be changing. You want to stop but you haven’t…yet.

Will it ever happen? Should I give up? Did I make a mistake going down this path? Can I fix it? Should I fix it? What did I do wrong?
It’s not going happen, I should give up, I never should have embarked on this journey, there’s nothing more I can do, I should have done this instead…

The constant noise, the incessant chatter of shoulda woulda couldas engulfs you. You can’t think straight.

Too overwhelmed to do much, yet too far gone to give it all up.

I know the feeling, it’s tempting to call it quits especially on days where it doesn’t make sense.
Truth is, when you made the decision to pursue your desires, there were no guarantees that it would happen, you only believed in it enough to do something about it, kudos to you.

In times like these, you must reconnect to your why. Stop the static by getting out of your normal environment and purge yourself of your thoughts.

Sounds simple, almost too simple yet it works.

I was having a nightmare of a time yesterday with a decision I had made months ago and I was so close to going back on my word. I had re-enacted what I felt like doing in that moment a trillion times but deep down I knew I’d regret it.

I wanted to stay on course but was struggling to. I called on my friends to keep me motivated; they helped, however it didn’t immediately ease my feelings. My thoughts were doing over time.

I decided to go to a small park around where I work. I opened notes on my phone, wrote two lines about how I was feeling and that was it. My sound mind was restored.

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Seeing the words was a visual reminder of why I was doing it and that the possibility of something better was worth the effort and indeed valuable to me.

Try it out. If you feel uncertain about your direction, get into nature. Spend time there, meditate, write or even talk to someone. It’s the best free therapy there is. And when you’re done, pat yourself on the back for everything you have accomplished so far, appreciate the moment you’re in now, stay connected to your why and never give up.

If it doesn’t happen on the first try, keep doing it, clarity will come.

“Anything worth having, is worth waiting (working) for”…apparently (lol)

xo

Being 30

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At 22 I made a video with my then boyfriend (not that kind of video, ya nasty) about what I wanted to accomplish by 30. Unfortunately I do not have the video to refer back to as he deleted it when we broke up- salty.

Anyway, I remember having such grand plans of what I wanted my life to look like and the accomplishments I should have by the time I turned 30.

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My life is nothing like I had envisioned. It’s great just different.

For years leading up to it, I was incredibly conscious of that target to the point of sometimes crippling anxiety. I’d think about turning 30, and palpitations would follow with a sense of foreboding ‘I am not going to do everything am I?, I’m failure if  I don’t make my goals, all my peers are getting along nicely, there must be something wrong with me…’ and the constant head chatter would regurgitate itself every so often.

Then there were the advice from those in their 30’s, talking about how amazing it will be and how much you’d enjoy it. Their opinions were met with my dubious side eye, raised left eyebrow and pursed lips “sure”.

But here I am 6 months into being 30 not having achieved all of my previous goals and thinking what was the big deal? Life hasn’t come to a halt because things didn’t go according to my plan and it also did not require me to stop working towards them just because I’m 30, in fact quite the opposite.

I have opted to continuously recommit myself to, well, me, in every aspect and there’s no age limit on that-it’s entirely up to you.

Don’t limit yourself. If things don’t work out as planned, oh well, it’s not the end of the world. Keep going, take a step back if you need to, but simply don’t quit.

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Xo

Not About This Life!

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I do contract work, so that means every few months I change jobs and for the most part I like it. I don’t get stuck anywhere especially if I am not that keen on it (I may or may not have commitment issues, but that’s for another post).

Of course there are pitfalls such as lack of job security/stability, having to look for a new role every few months (which is like pulling teeth) and the restrictions in career progression, however I’m at a point where for my own personal goals I need to secure a permanent role. Thing is there isn’t a role that makes me want to jump out of bed and therein lies part of the problem. Whilst there are positions that pique my interest and would provide some sense of purpose, but its still just so blah.

Earlier today whilst discussing career opportunities with a friend, in jest I said that I resign from the search and I am just going to sell hair. We laughed till tears came out of my eyes.

Needless to say, I am not about to sell hair or am I? I’m creative being and I need the license to, well, create and not be restricted.

The goal would be to sufficiently excessively sustain myself from doing the things that I love (one of them being writing) and that’s a work in progress.

This stage of my life is aptly called ‘Winging it’, but that’s part of adulting isn’t it? figuring shit out.

When I do get some semblance of what/where the hell I am doing or going next, I’ll be sure to let you know.

If you don’t have a clue what to do, keep moving, be proactive in trying out new things, don’t restrict yourself and certainly do not give up, persevere.

XO

P.s Just proof that we all have moments where we don’t know what we’re doing, you’re not alone 🙂

 

Where’s Your Head At?

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A few months back there was a big boxing match that I wanted to watch and for the life of me I can’t recall who was fighting now because it was so so dry.

Usually when big boxing matches are coming up, my friends and I look for a venue to watch it at, however we can never quite get it together and it’s always by some stroke of luck that we find somewhere at the very last minute.

Anyway this fight was coming up and I was completely over the palaver of trying find somewhere. Nope, not doing it. I am not looking for a place, a vibe, a nothing, but, I still had the issue of wanting to watch the fight, so what do I do? Then it hit me, ‘Irene, pay for it and watch it at home DURH!’. That’s what anyone with common sense would do, right? Except I was so used to having the mind frame of watching it with others, in their space and on their dollar that it never ever occurred to me that I could just pay for it myself and watch it in the comfort of my own home, without the hassle. Genius idea.

It might sound minute to you, but it shocked the hell out of me because I hadn’t realised that even in something as small as this I had become conditioned to think about some things in a way that was limiting my experiences. Needless to say I paid for it, watched it in bed and after the boring fight was over, fell right asleep, perfect.

It took me making a different choice to encourage me to have a different experience.

What old ways do you have that is limiting your experiences? What could you take responsibility for? What different choice could you make that might lead to a different experience?

The people who get uncommon results do uncommon things. Break your mould and do something you wouldn’t normally and yes sometimes doing that will be difficult and challenges will arise, push through anyway and do it.

I did a presentation last week in front of a whole directorate and I was shitting myself. They couldn’t tell though but I was so sure I was making an arse of myself. It was my first time doing something of that kind and trust me when I say all sorts of challenges cropped up in the lead up to it but I expected that because that’s what happens when you want soemthing. I seriously considered dropping out at the last minute and said to myself, ‘Irene why did you say you’d do it?’. But guess what? It was well received and my colleague and I had lots of positive, reaffirming feedback.

It was also a huge learning curve and built my character and skills, yet if I had quit, I’d never have that.

Its a new week, do something different and see how it goes. Whether you win or lose, you learn from it- you still win.

Personal Enemy No 1…You.

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Self-sabotage. What a bitch.

We’ve all done/do it and probably have experienced how difficult it is to unearth the habits that cause you to trip up and repeat stifling behaviours. Truthfully, it’s a scary thing to change your ways, as doing so requires you to push past who you currently are to be someone you have very little experience being.

It’s much much easier to remain as you are…yet you still feel so uncomfortable. Your desires niggle at you, willing you to get out of your comfort zone and do the work necessary to make your dreams materialise, but you’re scared shitless and feel like an imposter, ‘Who am I to have such audacious desires?’.

You might even make attempts to do the work, but you’re suddenly distracted, matter of fact you’re always “distracted”. You’ve become adept at finding excuses to not really show up, ‘It won’t work because so and so’. You want to leave it, you even convince yourself that you’re content to, but again, your dreams are persistent and won’t let you rest, it simply won’t allow you to just move on.

I get it. Changing is hard and real long lasting change takes time, effort and most importantly patience.

I do believe there’s a time and place for radical action but this is not one of them. Here requires a delicate approach. Below are 3 tips to help you help yourself.

1. Recognise the habits and thought patterns that keep you stagnant. One of mine is ‘There’s no point, I won’t get it.’ And guess what? It’s self-fulfilling, because automatically I won’t do the things required to get it. Side note: I had an interview today and got outside the building, only to come up with reasons why I didn’t want to go in. Thankfully, I had enough sense to call a friend who gave me something to think about. I went. I just needed a little push.

2. Pick one thing to alter and take a step towards it. I recently did a 24 hour ‘be positive’ challenge and I realised that as “positive” as I considered myself to be, I had A LOT of negative chatter going on subconsciously (lots more work to do).

3. Do the thing your gut has been begging you to do. It’s your biggest cheerleader. Refrain from constantly looking outside of yourself for affirmation. I truly believe that deep down every individual knows what’s best for them, they simply don’t trust themselves enough.

Take a chance on yourself, what is the worst that could happen? Growth- and that’s whether you succeed or don’t.

Xo