#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

 

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‘Lucky Bitch’: Me, Money + Mental Health

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Once upon a time, I thought I was pretty clued up on the Law of Attraction.

The theory of it, anyway. I knew what I had to do. I had listened to some free ‘manifesting’ meditations on YouTube, and read a couple of books. The process was this: I had to be specific about my desires, visualise them, feel them as though it’s already in my life, release it and then receive it!

I had a few little successes but on the whole I was finding myself forever worrying about money and scouring the pavement everywhere I went looking for loose change.

If I’m being painfully honest, I couldn’t be bothered to put any further effort into it. I just wanted to make a wish and have thousands of pounds deposited into my bank, thanks very much.

So anyway – something switched very recently. Call it intuition, call it divine guidance, call it frustration from scouring the pavement lol. I abandoned my ’99p or under’ rule for Kindle books and spent a whole £8.03 on ‘Get Rich, Lucky Bitch’ by Denise Duffield-Thomas.

I am not far into the book yet but one of the most important exercises you must do, according to Denise, is to face all of your beliefs, feelings and memories about money square in the eye. So that you can then “declutter” those that are not serving you.

This morning whilst in meditation I visualised my spirit team all around me (for moral support lol) and a large basket in front of me, and I started offloading all my thoughts about money into the basket. (By the way this is a great technique if you want to offload/release anything anytime you are worried, fearful etc). 

It was not long before I realised something that I would say probably has raaaather a lot to do with my lack of manifesting success. And which is also embarrassingly obvious!

You know my previous blog posts, where I have discussed how many years I’ve spent feeling trapped in jobs I couldn’t stand, which affected my mental and physical wellbeing and felt like a waste of my life? Where I expound my belief that we should dream big, and disregard the societal norm to suffer a job because “that’s the way it is”, and work towards an authentic and fulfilling job and life?

Well that is indeed admirable. Unfortunately, underlying it is a belief which is completely contradictory:

The only way I have managed to earn money is doing things that make me unwell, unhappy, depressed, anxious and even suicidal.

And therefore:

Earning money makes me unhappy, depressed, anxious and even suicidal.

So yeah. No wonder I struggle to manifest riches! Deep down I believe that acquiring money could kill me!

I was pretty overwhelmed by this realisation. It’s fantastic to have realised it though. Realising it is the first step towards overcoming it.

I suspect there may be many, many others in my shoes – those with mental health issues like mine especially – who deep down have the same fear.

Do you recognise this belief in yourself? If you have already found this to be one of your belief, what has your journey been like since you made that discovery?

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.

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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from Sunny DE Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 😄🙏

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?

Stop Giving your Power Away Every Morning

I posted on my Twitter yesterday a link to a fabulous article detailing the morning rituals of 12 mega successful entrepreneurs. Included amongst their morning habits were meditation, visualisation and making a gratitude list.

What I loved about this is that every ritual was rooted in positivity and every entrepreneur understood the importance of their own self-nourishment.

They check in with themselves emotionally, physically and spiritually, and they fuel themselves for the day ahead, not only with breakfast but by setting goals and visualising their dreams coming true.

I, like most of the population, wake up and immediately check my phone which lies beside my bed. I check my text messages and then Sky News, followed by my emails, followed by Facebook and finally Bloglovin. Rather than checking in with myself I am checking in with everyone else and ignoring myself completely.

But even worse than that …

Because I am someone who frequently gets discouraged by comparing myself with others and seeing myself unfavourably, a lot of my creativity and motivation gets shut down almost immediately upon waking when I go straight onto my social media.

I’ll see a great blog post or video or other accomplishment, or someone on Facebook bragging about something, or whatever. My mind, which is only just waking up, begins to tick over and recount my activity over the last 24 hours or week and what I’m doing today (likely something I’d rather not be doing, like going to a sucky temp job) and find evidence in my character and my actions to support why I am not writing or filming or doing things as brilliant as THAT person is.

By the time I’ve got out of bed I already feel defeated and feel like one of life’s runner-up’s. One of the ones who don’t have what it takes to work hard to love my life, and does have to slog away in jobs they don’t like for 50 years.

Every morning I give my power away!

Today I resisted, I didn’t read anybody else’s social media output or check my emails until mid-morning. And it really did feel GOOD.

I couldn’t compare myself to anyone because I didn’t know what anyone else in the world was up to. So I only had my thoughts, my ideas and my dreams to focus on! Perfect!

So I strongly encourage you to rethink your morning routine and stay away from your social media even just for 15-20 minutes after waking. Just think how much more positively you could start your day if you took just a little time to think about YOU.

What is your morning ritual like? Is there anything you would recommend, or like to change?