Reframing Mondays

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Scratch. Cling. Scream. Desperate. Sad.

These are all words I just typed into a search engine, looking for an appropriate image for this blog post that would accurately portray my feelings right now (p.s. that’d be the one above).

It’s Sunday evening. And I am clawing at the remnants of the day – no actually I am clinging onto it for dear life. My fingers are bloodied and torn. I am screaming these awful, gutteral, painful howls as panic rips through my insides. I am pleading hysterically “please, please, please don’t leave me!”.

I don’t want today to end, because I don’t want Monday to come.

It’s not like I have an awful Monday planned: I’m not going to a funeral, or into hospital. It’s just another day in a temp job. But for someone who’s been trying to transition OUT of that lifestyle and into a life and a career I love, for many years, it’s the same. old. shit.  and it can frequently feel maddeningly frustrating.

I know some will tell me to be grateful, to get real, to suck it up. All I can say is, I’m an INFJ (or an INFP depending on the day): I need engagement and fulfilment in my work. I am trying my hardest to make that a reality,but in the meantime the days spent doing monotonous and menial tasks feel like my life is going down the toilet.

I’ve realised that, actually, what makes an impending Monday worse is that on Sunday night I start to get REALLY mean with myself about how I’ve spent my weekend.

“You haven’t worked hard enough this weekend to change things. You took a break to have that nap / take that bath / watch that show. You sit here immobilised by your fears and your obstacles and your laziness and then you get upset that things aren’t changing. Your efforts are crap. Your energy levels are pitiful. You think you’re brave and ambitious and determined, you’re delusional love!!”.

So tonight I thought I’d try and reframe my thoughts. It worked and I’d like to share it with you.

*I have done the best that I could*
*I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now*
*A new day, and a new week, is a new opportunity*
*Monday HAS to come so I can take one step closer to my dreams*
*Monday will be GREAT because I will be one step closer to my dreams*

Just give this a try and see how you feel afterwards. I can’t say I feel amazingly joyous, but I feel less rooted-in-misery-and-fear than I did 10 minutes ago. I was lying on my bed face down half-heartedly clutching a crystal, feeling paralysed in sadness and hopelessness. And now I feel…accepting of what is. And even, dare I say it, almost ok with it? I mean, if it’s going to bring me a step closer to my dreams, then that’s ok isn’t it?

After all, there’s no point wishing Monday isn’t going to come. But we’ve survived this many of them, we can survive another one.

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What am I doing? Mid-January edition!

 

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Let’s dive straight in 😀

I AM… getting my Leonie Dawson on.

I got the Leonie Dawson 2016 Life Workbook and Weekly Planner for Christmas, and I am committing a bit of time every weekend to filling the Workbook out and making plans in the Planner.

I haven’t been strict enough with myself to make specific goals that actually push me forwards. I am feeling the call to do so, but I’m hiding in my cocoon. I need to be brave, strong, and more determined about my dreams!

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Here I am in the bath!

I AM… keeping a daily diary.

I’ve tried to do this before and it never lasts, but so far I only have 4 unfilled pages!

I am trying it out so I can get my feelings down on paper as all too often I hold them in. And also so that I can record any spiritual happenings or guidance, dreams and signs that happen.

I AM… seeing a lot of unicorns!

Speaking of signs… So, elementals. I’ve not been that interested in the past; they’re a bit too ‘woo woo’ for me.

But the past 1.5-2 weeks I’ve seen unicorns everywhere! Yes I know if you follow anything spiritual on social media you’re bound to see unicorns, but it all actually started with a unicorn appearing in my meditation one day and since then I’ve seen them literally all over the place.

Apparently, unicorns assist with self-belief and faith, hope, the imagination and healing. All of which I would say are themes for me ☺️

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I AM… reading ‘Soul Shifts’ by Barbara de Angelis.

And it is wonderful. Barbara creates the image that your Higher Self is a temple and I LOVE that. It resonates.

You are a Seer rather than a Seeker of your own wisdom. You merely need to understand that everything you’re searching for – which in my case is my life purpose and satisfying that horrible feeling that I’m here to DO something but I don’t remember what – is within you already. You just need to open yourself to it.

Since reading this I’ve had some vivid dreams and felt shifts to my thoughts and my energy, so I know it is penetrating at a deep soul level and I can’t wait to see what happens as I continue into the book.

I AM… rewatching Ab Fab.

Lately I seem to enjoy rewatching old classics over discovering new shows. So I found Ab Fab on Netflix Australia and have had a good binge.

Watching it now I’m older I can better appreciate the fantastic writing by Jennifer Saunders and the acting of all the cast but particularly Joanna Lumley as Patsy; I’ve since seen her out of character in numerous documentaries and she’s so poised and classy in real life, this just makes her performance more fascinating and her comedic skills more impressive!

I also sit here gobsmacked at how incredibly abusive Eddy is towards her daughter Saffy, I take it for what it is of course (i.e. not real!) but my HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) side feels too deeply for the Saffy character. Ah the trials of being so sensitive!

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That’s all for now! I’ll be back next week, it’s in the weekly planner 😄🙏

Frenemies on Social Media

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This has been on my mind for a while but more as a little gripe than anything worth talking about. It should be something I can brush off without further thought because it’s so tiny and so stupid really, and 99% of the time I do simply brush it off. But now feels right to discuss that silly little 1% that bothers me.

Frenemies, or Fake Friends, on Social Media.

I’ve had to step back from a few Frenemy friendships over the years but I remain ‘friends’ with them on social media because,  although it didn’t feel healthy for me to be in their company on a regular basis anymore, I still cared for them and I wanted to keep in touch (conveniently I moved away, which gave me the perfect excuse to distance myself literally without hurting anybody).

Even though time and distance has separated us and mutually our interactions have reduced down to the odd ‘like’, ‘comment’ and annual ‘Happy Birthday!’ post, every so often their indirect actions still manage to sting a little, and remind me why I had to step back.

You see, I’ve been promoting my Etsy store a lot in the run-up to Christmas and as I’ve done so I’ve noticed who is supporting me and who is silent. And these particular Frenemies have ignored every post I’ve written about it.

Without going into the finer details of how the Facebook News Feed works, which I know all about, just trust me when I say this: I know them well enough to know that they are ignoring me anytime I have anything positive and personal to share, and I know why they do this. It was evident back when we were friends, and it is still evident now, that they were and are threatened that I at least give my dreams a go.

They were never interested or supportive. Whenever I accomplished anything good it was either met with disdain or skimmed over completely, never to be acknowledged again. I learnt to keep quiet: it just made for a more pleasant evening with them if I remained small.

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So when I write something, and within minutes I see them online, ‘like’ing or ‘comment’ing on mutual friends’ – or worse other artists’ or entrepreneur’s – status updates, I cannot help but feel that a decision has been made on their part – be it conscious or subconscious – not to support ME for some reason.

I can tell from their online behaviour towards me over the years that they have a very specific set of criteria that merit a positive, or in fact ANY, acknowledgement of me and I’m sure there will be many of you out there who will have similar Frenemies doing this too. I will only get a acknowledgement if I say something inane, bland, neutral. “I’ve had 3 glasses of wine tonight” for example. Nothing that denotes going anywhere nice, doing anything fun, or achieving anything good.

I admit I am a very sensitive person! 😉 Duh I write about depression and anxiety! But whether I am in fact being paranoid, or whether I have got it spot on, it brings back memories of times when any good news I had – even something as small as going on a 2nd date – became too uncomfortable to be aired.

It reflects the dynamic of our original friendship only too well. I would support anything good that happened to them and support them through anything bad, and they could not hear anything good that happened to me and only had an interest in the neutral or the bad times (as long as they weren’t too bad to warrant any special attention).

I dunno. Can anyone else relate to this?? xx

Am I a Real Woman?

“You won’t be a real woman if you don’t have children”.

“I already am a real woman”.

“No you’re not…you’re only 3/4 a woman. You have a womb and it’s there for you to reproduce”.

Yes, this conversation really happened.

The gent was around 55-65 years old and because he meant no harm, and because I doubt he is well versed on today’s more acceptable way to speak to women who are childfree by choice, I forgive him for his views.

But I am offended by them.

He quizzed me on my decision to be childfree by choice.

Then he wanted to know what would happen if my partner wanted children – and berated me for saying we would part ways, clearly unimpressed that I could “give up love because I wouldn’t have a child”.

He recommended that my parents needed to have a word with me about this decision.

He joked that my boyfriend should slip me something so that my contraceptive pill (note: I don’t actually take one) doesn’t work and I get pregnant.

He told me that I should not be able to get married if I’m not going to have children.

And then he told me I am not a real woman.

I don’t like confrontation so I politely and timidly let him say his piece. But I might’ve replied by saying the following:

I know I run the risk of being lonely when I’m elderly. That is a truly scary thought.

I know my house will seem emptier and Christmases will be quieter.

I know my family name will stop with me, and that makes me sad.

I am aware of the (slim) possibility that I could regret my decision when I’m older – that would feel devastating.

But none of those thoughts or feelings justify, in my mind, my having a child that I have no desire to birth or raise.

Would I love my child if I had one? Of course. Would I devote my life to them? Without question.

But that doesn’t mean that I should have a child.

I’ve never had the desire, the maternal instinct, the urge. Not ever.

I have friends who have felt the same but have gone on to have children anyway, either accidentally or planned, and they are so glad they did. So I believe in ‘never say never’. But don’t tell me that I should change my mind.

Why would I bring a child into this world to make others happy, or to fit convention, or to be seen as a ‘real woman’? How would that be fair on a child? How would that be fair on me?

You can disagree if you like. If you are a parent then you know the infinite rewards and the depths of true unconditional love, in a way I do not, and you are more qualified to know what I’m missing than I am.

But please don’t say I am not a real woman. That is so hurtful.

Don’t You Want to be Big and Shiny?

Do you ever feel like you are not shining as brightly as you should or could be?

Do you ever feel like you are keeping yourself small in order to fit in with the place you live in or the people or colleagues in your life?

I do and it’s an uncomfortable feeling. Most of the time I choose to ignore it.

  • Because it’s horrible to think you may be doing yourself a disservice, or failing yourself.
  • It’s disconcerting to feel that the choices you’ve made in life are wrong.
  • And it’s terrifying to think about the changes that may be required to make the feeling go away.

And for special bonus points – it’s also terrifying to imagine change taking place and then THAT’s not right either, and you’ve just ballsed your life up for nothing.

Did I mention it feels yucky, and shitty, and frightening??

What I struggle with is this:

  • Is it a feeling that can be trusted? Is it real?
  • Is feeling this way a guarantee that IF you were to make the changes and aim for something more authentic, that you will succeed and be happy at it?

I’m guessing there isn’t a guarantee and without one making big changes is not a particularly inviting prospect.

If you’re anything like me you will google for success stories (and if I find any I will share them over on Twitter!). But while it’s mildly encouraging, reading about someone else’s successful transition to authenticity is really just a diversion tactic. It’s no guarantee that you will have the same experience and, if I am honest, is reading anybody else’s story ever going to motivate me to actually DO anything?

No!

We need to find the answer, the strength and the confidence within ourselves.

We need to decide that feeling dulled, feeling repressed, feeling small, toned down, boxed in, is unacceptable for us.

It IS terrifying and uncomfortable to think about, but imagine yourself 10, 20, 30 years down the line if you don’t address this feeling properly now. Will you feel fulfilled or regretful?

Would it not be worth at least TRYING things out that MIGHT allow you to fully shine?

I would love to hear from anybody who has had, or does have, this feeling. What did / are you going through and what helped / what do you think would help you?

My Laughing Place: how Disney World makes me smile again

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I am feeling much better today thanks to some lovely comments on yesterday’s blog post and reading my new book “Women Who Run With The Wolves” (I’m in love!).

What has also helped is thinking about my happiest memories. Whenever I am having a really crap time I start to think about our family vacay’s to Orlando and how much of a laugh we always have.

I wrote about this in “My Soul Inspiration: Disney World” last year. Being there connects me back to my inner child and remind me I’m not an idiot for having dreams and an imagination. It renews my hope.

Me with Minnie at Magic Kingdom, the first day of our holiday in 2014

My procedure for getting all Disney-ish goes like this:
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I stick on a Disney World parks music playlist such as this and straight away my mood lifts! In fact while you read the rest of this post, why not play this track in the background? It’s one of my favourites!

A few years ago, during another very long very rough patch, I downloaded a ton of these songs and would listen to them on my way to work whilst visualising my family and I there again, and I would pray that my angels and the Law of Attraction would make it happen. (It worked – we went back in 2014!).

Magic Kingdom on our last day, 2014

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I also LOVE watching videos taken round the parks. Either on rides from the rider’s POV (point of view), walks around the parks or people’s vlog diaries. Pretty much anything! This video below is of a meet and greet with Gaston from ‘Beauty & The Beast’, I didn’t meet him on my trip I would try to next time. He’s a funny character to meet, good banter!

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The other thing I do is peruse the various Disney tourist blogs and forums for rumours and reports on new attractions, restaurant recommendations, vacay planning tips and other people’s photo trip reports. I get really excited like I am going back myself!

My favourite is The Dibb, so much so I have it on my Bookmarks Bar 🙂 If you are actually going to Orlando anytime soon go to The Dibb it is a holiday organiser’s paradise!

I also love the Disney Food Blog. Any new opening, any menu additions or new park treats will be on here.

Admittedly both of these sites would be more exciting if I actually had a trip to plan *sob* but I use them to dream and visualise and yes I even plan anyway lol.

Gaston’s statue!

I feel so much better immersing myself in Disney park memories and magic. I think another trip needs to happen!

What about you, where’s your happy place? xx

My Holiday Reading List!

I am leaving today for a week’s holiday in Fuerteventura, Spain!

I was going to take my laptop so I can journal and blog (+ watch Netflix oh god I’m obsessed!)… but then I decided it’s a good opportunity to have a bit of a digital detox.

My Kindle however is allowed to come 🙂 Now am I the only one who..?

1. Scans my Amazon Wish List every single day to check for price drops… soon as that bad boy drops to £2 or less, buy it!

2. Buys more Kindle books than I can ever hope to read!

3. Starts / reads several books at one time.

I suspect this describes all readers and book lovers out there. And of course, if you’re anything like me, you will also LOVE a good book recommendation or reading list!

And so, je present:

My Holiday Reading List!

Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life: A Guide for Anxious Humans – by Neil Hughes

I heard about this book the day I started following Emilie Wapnick of Puttylike on Twitter (she interviewed Neil here).

A book written by a funny person about their battle with anxiety is a must-read for me. Plus, anybody who describes their life as “anxious bumbling through existence” is frankly extremely likely to be on my wavelength!

Check out these awesome reviews from the book’s jacket:

“Neil has a pleasing use of commas” – Anonymous.

“It’s not bad I suppose” – Neil’s mum.

“Pure drive. Avoid at all costs” – Neil’s inner critic.

Check out his website.

Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found – by Cheryl Strayed.

I wanted to see the movie but never got the chance, so this will be a great chance to read this autobiography of a woman who, in the midst of a life that seemed to be falling apart, walked 1100 miles across the US.

I love stories of women who have fought their way through difficult times. Like many depression / anxiety sufferers it gives me hope and motivation but more importantly it reminds me I’m not alone, and gives me a sense of solidarity and friendship with these women who are sharing their story. p.s I hope to be one of them one day!

Another similar book which is also on my Kindle is Walking Home: A Pilgrimage from Humbled to Healed by Sonia Choquette.

The Invention of Wings – by Sue Monk Kidd

I have always been drawn to books set during the times of slavery. Maybe it’s a past life memory coming through.

So when I found this through randomly clicking about on Amazon and saw all the positive reviews (including Oprah, yo) I decided it’s highly likely I’m going to like it.

This story is said to be based on the true story of two girls, one a slave and one her ‘mistress’, who come together as sisters and abolitionists.

Have you got any book recommendations to share? 🙂 Comment below!