21 Questions about relationships, who would I swap lives with, being the president of a country, greatest fears and more.
I cannot remember the last time I decorated my home for Christmas. My family, at least the younger lot, aren’t fussed with Christmas much to my dismay. How and why don’t you love it?!?
Keeping up the Christmas cheer when others around you are not enthusiastic about it, has been challenging and ultimately demotivating. As a result my festive spirit waned over the years. Bah hambug!
This year is different. Maybe it’s because I’m away from home and in a new home, but I decided that given everything that has happened, creating a little joy in our place was necessary.
Saturday was the first day of the non-essential shops reopening, and having spent the last few weeks only going to the supermarket and straight back home, I was itching to get out and do other normal things, albeit with a mask on.
We spent the day deciding on Christmas decor; should we get a white tree? a green one? a snow Christmas tree? tinsel? a Christmas plant? decorative Christmas window stickers? Yes. Yes to everything.
That evening we put the tree together. It looked small and scrawny.
We spent the first few seconds after erecting the tree laughing at how uncharismatic and un-christmas it looked. Um did we make a mistake going for this tree?
A can of fake snow, tinsel, glittery green and gold baubles and LED lights later, we had a semblance of healthy-ish and joyful looking tree. Results! (Still a work in progress)
The warm and inviting ambience the lights create as it subtly illuminates the room, gives me instant joy and is a reminder that good and wonderful things exist. I’m glad I didn’t succumb to being the Grinch this year, as 2020 really doesn’t need any help with that!
My point is mark the occasion, no matter how little or who likes it or doesn’t, curate a little joy for yourself.
My next post is titled ‘Navigating Your 30’s’ and I thought before I drop that, I’d repost an oldie but goodie from 2017. I wrote this in the days leading up to my 30th birthday, and much has changed, with me that is.
For now, a quick refresh on things to know in your 20’s and at any age for that matter.
“Continuing on from my last post on Sunday, here are the next 10 things I have learnt in my 20’s:
I hope you find some of the 10 tips useful, what are your tips?
You see the nice clothes in your wardrobe that you are saving for a ‘moment’ in your life? Wear it, because being alive is THE moment.
The business you’re waiting for the right time to start because money, resources, and support isn’t there yet, sis, sir, those things will come, but you have to make the first move.
The relationship you’re afraid of committing to because of the hurt you’ve experienced in the past (emphasis on ‘in the past’), well, it is time to move on. I mean hello?! Life is short! Live a
The house you want that you’ve considered a fantasy, man make the call, find out what you need to do, arrange a virtual tour, hire a financial adviser, speak to the bank, yes now, even in these uncertain times, because eventually the tide will change and you will be ready.
The life you have dreamt of creating in a new country but now seems impossible, do not abandon the dream! Get online, research, apply for the visa, YouTube is your friend and go for it!
The body that you want, first of all, love yours and then make adjustments. You cannot truly have what you do not first feel, no matter any physical alterations you may make.
During this wild ride of 2020, I have seen people buy homes, move across the world to start a life with their fiancé, get married, secure new jobs, make the most amount of money they have ever made, sell out of products multiple times over, you name it, its happening. And it could be happening for you.
There will always be ‘something’ and or a thousand reasons why you shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, the good thing is, you only need one reason why you should.
Take that leap, or at least hop.
P.s I have exciting news to announce soon. You’ll be hearing my voice, wherever you are in the world eek! From pen pals to ASMR. Can’t wait!
I have been willing myself to complete a post for weeks now to no avail. Five different topics with a beginning, a middle and no end. Huff.
As I finished writing that last sentence, a thought came to me to just post one as is, and that’s what I’m going to do.
Too often we let perfectionism block and stop us from showing up, believing that we have to present a completely finished & polished product, and truthfully we don’t. What’s much more revolutionary than that is being your authentic self and simply showing up the best way you know how, rough edges and all.
So here is one I started a month ago and haven’t edited or completed. And maybe I will, maybe I won’t.
” Remove and Replace
Whatever expectations you’ve had for your life for the last few years or decades, perhaps it’s time you let up and release them.
We can get so caught up in what we think it should be and forcefully try and make things happen, that we actually miss out on the opportunities right in front of us.
That doesn’t mean never getting the things you want, it’s more about adjusting your lens to capture what already exists and making it better.
I was having a conversation with a friend about life and its fragility and because of that, again I thought are can we really afford to get stuck on the things that haven’t worked? to hold grudges? to wallow in self-pity? to allow negativity? Sure, its easier said than done. And yes it’s something to be practice and there is no time like the present.
So many of us give up on the first try, because we’re so stuck on how we envisioned it happening that we haven’t stopped to consider other options.”
It’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 🙂
I 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
Since 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.
Works 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?