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 It was not designed in the way these homes were originally made.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