#FindingMySpark

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Today I am starting a new project, and I would LOVE for you to join me!

I have been feeling constantly exhausted and apathetic over the last few months. I’ve been eating a lazier diet, drinking more red wine, gaining weight, feeling physically ill literally every day and living in a constant state of anxiety, lethargy and insomnia. Clearly something isn’t right. But the worst part is, I don’t know how to fix it.

I already take anti-depressants to aid depression and anxiety, and am in recovery from my dermatillomania. So having days where I don’t feel great, or inspired, or I don’t feel anything at all, is to be expected.

In addition, I have a life purpose problem. I desire – and, if I may venture to sound a bit confident in myself just for a minute – I feel intuitively that I am here to contribute to the world in some meaningful way.

Trouble is, I don’t know how. People say “do what lights you up” but I haven’t found that spark. And trust me, I’ve been really looking for it, for a really long time, in many different places.

And then this idea came to me today:

Every day I will post on Twitter (and if it’s a picture I’ll post it on Insta too) a thing that has made me feel a bit of a spark during that day.

My ‘why’ for this is threefold:

First – over time, providing I am consistent with posting at least once a day – which in itself will feel like a massive effort – I will build up a picture of the recurrent themes, topics, role models, etc which have given me a little bit of that “what lights you up” feeling. I am hoping that this information will in itself trigger a bigger lightbulb moment in terms of my own personal purpose and what makes me feel passionate.

Second – it will be like a happiness/inspiration diary that I can look back on and give me nice feelz 😊

Three – I believe that honesty and transparency about mental health and these bigger life questions helps to unite people globally.

I am going to be honest if I don’t feel anything at all, or I feel crap, or I don’t feel a spark. Why force it? I want to cover the whole gamut of emotion within inspiration and purpose.

So how does this involve you? 

Because I would love you to get involved too!

Share with me, and with others, what made you feel something today.

Lets help everyone who knows they have a greater purpose than the life they are living right now, but can’t figure it out.

Lets help the people who are feeling lost or apathetic or purposeless.

Lets help those whom don’t feel anything at all today.

Because my philosophy is anything’s worth a try, right?

Use the hashtag #findingmyspark – and either hashtag me with #freedombirdie and/or tag me on @freedombirdie on Twitter and @freedom_birdie on Insta so I can follow your journeys. And let’s start sharing!

I can’t wait to get started! xxx

 

Mental Wellbeing vs Paying Bills

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One of the main themes of Freedom, Birdie! has always been the relationship between mental health and work: which, for so many of us, means surviving in a job we don’t enjoy, for whatever reason.

Everything I write (well, except the vegan burger recipes 😋) relates somehow to my own goal to escape the career path I am in;  and to instead work independently doing something which allows me to live the fullest authentic expression of who I am, and be happy and healthy. As an INFP if I have to take a job just for the money, a job in which I have no interest, emotional engagement or spiritual reward, if I have to assume a ‘character’ and repress elements of myself to ‘get the job done’ and be ‘the face that fits’, it is to my mental and physical detriment.

Yet that is the situation I have been in for many years as a professional ‘temp’. You can be sure I’ve spent those years exploring for a better-suited career path, starting up a number of entrepreneurial ventures, and working through my emotional and spiritual blocks – but out of necessity I’ve had to keep taking the ‘soul-destroying’ jobs and in doing so I’ve continued to push my mental wellbeing and the greater my emotional and physical health has suffered as a result.

So I’m currently in another temp job, which started in January and finishes in April.

Three weeks in I was given the workload of 3 people and it was this which alerted me to the toll these many years have taken on my body and spirit. I just can’t tolerate it the way I used to – I used to be able to get through 3 months in a job before I started to feel depressed, trapped and panicky. Now it’s only a matter of a few weeks.

I feel weaker now. In body and mind. It’s not just the usual repercussions: the insomnia, panic attacks, chest aches, sadness that leads to depression, feeling frustrated, drained and defeated. This time I feel tearful all the time, in and out of work. And I’m extremely anxious about work, in and out of work. I ache all over, more than ever. And my hands are noticeably shaking.

People who don’t know how this feels, they don’t get it. My doctor doesn’t get it. My government doesn’t get it. It’s constant and it’s exhausting. I can FEEL there will be great and more serious repercussions on my health, sooner or later. But you are expected to carry on until you crash and burn; only then, once there is visible ‘proof’ that you aren’t well, can you be helped and really taken seriously.

In the meantime you feel alone, scared, trapped, and under the assumption that you must just be so WEAK to feel like this.

As you can see I don’t have a definitive answer but I share everything I share simply to show all those who are experiencing the same that you are not alone. Connection can make a massive difference. And so can speaking out.

Please, do not accept this as ‘the way things are’. You deserve better.

A Highly Sensitive Person’s Guide

p.s. there’s something pretty at the bottom of this post 🙂

I woke up this morning at 6am and knew today would be different.

You see, the last couple days I’ve been in the worst sort of funk. The kind I’ve spoken about before, you know what I mean…

Those days when you feel inexplicably down. 

You feel like a failure. 

You can’t bear to look at anything you have cared about or worked on, because it just looks and feels utterly pointless and rubbish.

You can’t bring yourself to smile.

You can’t bring yourself to do anything, except berate yourself for not doing anything.

I get hit by these days every month, like clockwork.

I’ve woken up at 6am and my mind has slowly, like its wading through mud, coughed and spluttered and headed in the direction of everything thats negative and should be worried about. There I have dwelled, unrelentingly and unforgivingly. I have lay in my bed desperate not to face the day.

Although the best thing you can do is ride it out with compassion and patience, it feels like a massive effort just to exist and you fear whether it will ever come to an end.

But today, at 6.30am, I woke up and knew the funk was over.

I knew this, because I observed that my mind had not ventured towards negativity.

Instead, I was running through my to-do list with enthusiasm. I was planning, thinking, creating, daydreaming. All without censorship or doubt. I felt ready and pumped and wanted to get going.

Things felt good again. I’d made it through another funk.

I grabbed my notebook and made a list detailing how I felt waking up today compared to yesterday.

And then I thought, why just write about it when you can create an infographic!

So here it is. The first one I’ve ever attempted. Feel free to share, Pin, Insta or Tweet.

It’s not just for a HSP, or Highly Sensitive Person: anyone who deals with a mental health issue will, I think, relate and find it helpful.

Have a glorious weekend everyone and whether you are doing buggar all or doing something exciting, trust that it is whatever your body and soul needs.