#13 What Is Your Message To The World?

The other day I was walking back to the office and passed a graveyard. Usually I walk straight past it but on this occasion, a lovely sunny day, I decided to go in.

Walking around, looking at some of the graves, I felt strangely peaceful. Reading some of the inscriptions got me thinking about the lives of these people and what they had achieved.

I then thought about what I have achieved and what I hope to do in the future. This walk was giving me such a sense of perspective and all the miniscule everyday dramas became irrelevant. I started thinking do I want to travel? Do I want to marry? Do I want children? They faded into creating a purpose, a mission statement if you like. And I decided that the well-known phrase ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ is a purpose I feel drawn to.

Be The Change

Don’t follow the herd, carve your own path and do what suits you. Lead by change and inspire others to do the same. Live by your purpose and use that as the answer to your questions about whether you want to do something. Does it fit my purpose? Or do I have a real passion for it? If the answer is no, then don’t do it.

I have always felt called to do something different. At first, I felt it was a personal insult, like I could never be the ‘popular’ one with the Brad Pitt boyfriend and lifestyle, but then I realised part of who I am and where I feel happiest is when I am learning from someone, helping them grow and having open discussions about everything – honesty and integrity.

My boyfriend may not be Brad Pitt but he fascinates me in many ways. How different we are to each other and yet how well we match up. Sure we have our ups and downs but I am learning so much more about how what people say on the outside can boil down to something completely different on the inside.

That’s what makes my purpose real. It’s almost like thinking, what does society dictate here, then doing the opposite.

And situations like walking around a deserted graveyard in the midday sunshine, with just butterflies and crickets for company, makes you realise that when it all comes down to it, your final broadcast ends up being what is written on your gravestone.

What would you want your message to the world to be?

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#12 How 30 Days of Wildness Soothes the Soul

I took up the Wildlife Trust’s #30DaysWild challenge throughout the month of June, looking at nature more closely, connecting with it and sharing a photo every day for 30 days.

Butterfly on plant

Whilst out on a lunchtime stroll, had to stop to admire this beautiful Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on a Common Knapweed plant #30DaysWild

It’s true what they say about after 30 days something becomes a habit. I now find myself stopping to watch bees flitting from flower to flower, leaning in closer to see the patterns of butterfly wings or pulling over from the road to take a picture of a good view.

Being an introvert, small things make me far happier than bigger things. Seeing a funny pattern in the cloud gives me far more satisfaction than a 3 course meal, for example.

I find a lot of solace through this connection to nature, which helps me deal with troubling things in my life, such as anxieties, worries and negative thinking. It gives me space to think and breathe and gain perspective that I haven’t  found with anything else.

So don’t listen to cries of retail therapy, massages and holidays as ways to soothe your soul because you can’t escape your problems forever. Instead, feel the pull of woodlands, rivers and flowers and walk amongst them. It’s free!

Look right under your feet and behold the ground and the grass that surrounds us! It’s too easy to walk past a beautiful flower or forget to look up at an entanglement of tree branches and easy isn’t what helps us grow.

Stop and stare, who cares what others think! Look up, look around you, switch off your phone and tune in to nature. I can speak first hand of the benefits it brings and know others who have felt this too.

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#11 You Are Exactly Where You Need To Be [A Poem]

You are exactly where you need to be,
Don’t worry or plan too far.
Ignore commands of ‘should’ or ‘could’,
Focus your mind on where you are.

Too many people are rushing around,
Not working out where they fit.
Take that time, listen to your heart,
This is your life, don’t forget it.

With talk of jobs and marriage and children,
It’s hard to know what’s for you.
Step away from those traditions,
And put together your own view.

Nothing is as simple as right or wrong,
All your choices are your own.
Don’t compare to other people,
What they think should remain unknown.

You are exactly where you need to be,
Your path unfolds everyday.
In time you’ll look back full of pride,
Because you did it your own way!

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#10 Why Nature Is So Good For Us

Our greatest connection is that with nature. Yet we ignore it, trample on it, bypass it.

Stop.

Stand there, feel it, smell it, touch it.

Acknowledge the magnificence of nature. The shape of the trees, the beauty of the flowers, the way raindrops hang on spiders’ webs or the smell of wild mint.

We are part of nature too. If you respect it and cherish it, you will find that you also grow.

Nature is full of perfect imperfections and in it we should see a reflection of ourselves. A rose which looks pink and beautiful from afar, has blemishes or oddly shaped petals once up close. Just as people are not photo-shopped images you see in magazines. But embrace it! Show it all off just like the roses do.

We can learn a lot from nature. When we brush away a spider’s web in our home, it moves on and goes to build another one. Just as when we face a set back, we pick ourselves up and try again.

To make our gardens grow and flourish, we invest hard work. Hours of weeding, mowing, pruning and watering and then we reap the benefits. Why, then, do we not always apply this principle to our lives outside of the garden. You have to work hard to get results, we expect too much all at once.

And finally, every tree starts out as a small shoot in the ground. Remember that we all have our foundations somewhere and we can always grow and learn. Don’t rush your growth, admire it, look down from the treetops and see how far you’ve come and then look up and know the sky’s the limit!

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#9 It’s Ok To Not Stick At Something Forever

Hobbies. We all have different ones and they probably change many times throughout our lives, depending where we are.

I have recently been struggling with the fact that my passion for music and orchestral playing seems to have died a death and I haven’t been playing in an orchestra for months. I feel guilty and feel like I ‘should’ get back into it.

Then the other day I had a revelation. Yes the orchestra may be taking a backseat for now but I am currently heavily involved in my Rotaract group, enjoying gym classes twice a week, gardening regularly and reading a lot more. Things I used to do like group walks on a Sunday, orchestra practice and yoga classes have been replaced by these new hobbies and actually I have no reason to feel guilty.

Apparently there are a group of people, like me, called multipotentialites, who love to dabble in all sorts of things but might not stick to just one thing. Reading about this made me realise that I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to keep doing everything. In actual fact, I go through phases and it’s not to say I can’t come back to any of my previous hobbies, it’s just that I am enjoying new and different things.

It’s important to recognise that we are all different and, particularly for us multipotentialites, we probably won’t always stick at one thing forever and THAT’S OK.

For me, I like to think it brings excitement and adaptability into my life because I am always on a quest to liven things up and make it different, whether that’s a new date idea with the boyfriend, a change of jobs or a new hobby.

I thought this quote sums it up pretty well:

There’s nothing wrong with having multiple interests. There’s nothing wrong with finding new hobbies, new ideas, new dreams. There’s nothing wrong with letting go what you don’t need anymore. Do whatever makes you – and others – happy. But do it with all your heart.

— Giulia Bergonzoni 

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#8 Don’t Compare, Look Inwards Instead

In our lives, we all have people who we admire, envy or maybe are jealous of. Maybe they have a nice car that we want, or they have travelled somewhere we want to go, or they seem to have a perfect family.

The thing is, we can be so busy looking across the fence that we forget to look at our own patch. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we need to start working on reaching our own goals.

Sometimes we think we want something just because someone else has it. When actually, when you give it some thought, it’s not that exact thing we want. So they are travelling to Thailand but is that really what you want too? Maybe not, maybe you just want a holiday. So they have a 3 bed house with a garden? But you forget you are saving towards that. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Like everyone, I have suffered with jealous feelings when friends seem to have something I want. However, I have steadily learnt to stop comparing and instead started to focus inwards and remember that I am also a player in the game of life.

For instance the other day, a friend of mine said she was off to Norway for a week. I instantly felt a pang of jealousy but then reminded myself that I have two holidays coming up this year. Instantly I felt more on a level about it, happy for her that she was having a holiday and also excited for my trips later in the year.

This small mindset shift helped me enormously.

So instead of thinking something like, ‘Oh pity me, I don’t have a car or holiday’, change your game and think more along the lines of ‘I am saving for a nice holiday and a house, and I have lots of great things in my life.’

Sometimes all you need is a bit of perspective.

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#7 Walking 2km A Day To Keep The Negative Thoughts At Bay

Nature, and being outside, is one of the best therapies I know. If I find myself ruminating over something or inflating problems into catastrophes, I know it’s time for a walk.

Something about walking outside, breathing in fresh air and being surrounded by trees and greenery is refreshing. It gives you perspective, it allows you to be mindful and to let thoughts tumble through your head and just fly away.

I know for many people, exercise in some form is very helpful to relieve stress and get them out of their head. I find this too and I set myself a challenge to walk 2km everyday to see if it would improve my mood over the course of a week.

Luckily for me the weather was kind and I was able to get out everyday, recording my distance using my phone tracker. Some days I managed to go for nearly 3km and I did feel the difference. Usually, I got out at lunchtime and I’d come back to the office feeling refreshed and happier and, at weekends, I went further out to get into the nearby woodland or park.

It was an ideal distance as it took around 30 minutes to do, so perfect to fit in during a lunch break or after work, and long enough to unplug and let go of unhelpful thoughts. It also helped me to train my mind to focus on the helpful thoughts and to release any negative ones.

I try to get out for a walk everyday, even in the rain, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, because I know it helps me. Everyone has different strategies for managing emotions, stress and anxieties but I believe walking is one of those things that everyone can enjoy and benefit from. And the joy of it is that you don’t need any fancy equipment to do it – just a pair of shoes!

Oh and maybe a camera…

bluebells

 

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