The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. – William Morris

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what will make me happy and what direction I want to take my life to be happy. It’s not an easy task. I’ve read so many positivity blogs, inspirational quotes, watched empowering videos, and taken direction quizzes but so far I cannot finger the right outcome for me.

 I think this is due to not having enough experiences. I don’t think that anyone knows what they want to be when they grow up, or what job, person, environment they would be suited too without trying a vast majority of options to see which relates the best to them and which makes them truly happy.

 I have worked in many jobs, met many different people from all walks of life, tried a fair amount of challenges and practices but can honestly hand on heart say I have not found the one that suits me most, yet.

Due to this ‘revelation’; I have dedcided to take a chance, to look for signs and clues towards my future in everyday life and to try new things as often as I can. Take genuine interest in my colleague, friends and families interests and hobbies.

Travel to places I would never dreamed, talk to people I would naturally avoid and take a few risks. Take a few detours on the normality of life. Only then would I gain enough experience and knowledge to know what I like but also dislike. How can I say I don’t like something before trying it.

 I am going to put this to the test as openly and honestly as I can and document the findings and I explore you to do the share and share your findings. Maybe this way we could learn more than the surface of the life and gain a deeper understanding of what we are here to do, if anything.

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading – Lao Tzu

I am so surprised with what a big old clear out can do for your positivity and mentality.

Today my partner of two years is leaving my home and moving on to pastures new, we had split around 3 and a half weeks ago but due to certain circumstances he had nowhere to go so I allowed him the pull out in the front living room of my home.

He has been saving and searching since we split and he has now found himself a little flat to call home, wonderful. Last week I had gathered his belongings from the back living room and storage so that he could easily remove when the time came and last night, knowing the move was today, I decided to clear out the bedroom for him to.

All our things (as you can imagine) where jumbled together in various drawers and hiding places so I step by step worked through the items, separating the documents, items and clothing into his and hers piles. I then bagged everything accordingly and removed from the room to again allow him easy access when the van arrived.

Once all of his possessions had been removed I realised how empty my bedroom was. My bed looked huge (it is a super-king size – which was a terrible idea in hindsight – but still), the room was bare, my eight drawers were not even half full and had been overflowing previous and some of my favourite items had vanished, such as his large golden framed mirror 😦

But anyway, I quickly forced myself to get over the misery as now I had a blank canvas. All rubbish had been removed it was tidy and spacious. I organised and reorganised the space so that it best suited ME. I changed the bedding and added a few throw cushions that I had always been fond of. I arranged MY beauty and make-up supplies in an organised and display like fashion. The space that I had left quickly began to fill me with inspiration, I wanted to redecorate, buy art, buy a new golden framed mirror and get a throw for the bed to make it a little more cosy.

Whatever it was I realised this was a fresh start, it brought me back down to the bare bones of the room and was the best time to rebuild it how I wanted it. Make it MINE. This prospect has inspired me so much I am currently searching for new curtains, when I really should be working!

But it just goes to show, even a sad, upsetting or disruptive time can be perceived from another angle, it can be a time of rejuvenation, not just for the room but for your mind. I hope that my experiences can inspire you to turn the tables on how you are feeling and look at even the worst negative as a positive and find within it a change for the better and a new and improved you.

Routine is part of coping – Lorene Scafaria

A good routine can make all the difference to the stresses of everyday life, I have learnt this recently and speak from experience of the magnitude of different having a routine has made to my health, wellbeing and emotional state.

A little back story; I am very much a night person, I come alive at night, most of the time I hate just sitting around and wishing my time away so I ensure I go out and socialise or be productive in my own home and create something, anything really from food to business plans. I did not eat at regular times, my general habits where to skip breakfast and lunch but have a feast of a dinner in the mid-evening with snacks to follow. My work life was suffering due to my complete inability to get up early and arrive at work before lunch, luckily I was on flexible hours but I’m sure 1pm till 8pm was not what they were expecting as most of the work I did was with others, some of whom would leave by 2pm through till 6pm. Not good.

Then I changed jobs, had my heart broke and various other events which lead me to speak with my friend.

I’ll talk about my friend a lot in my posts as he has been my true inspiration for my lifestyle and motivational change.

When I look at him he is the picture of health, skinny; but not overly so, has great relationships with his family and friends, he actively chooses to not enter a relationship, he is a gentleman in every sense of the word, and he is a dreamer with realistic planning. His work life is superb; he constantly gets promotions and bonuses and is never upset about the ridiculous hours he works.

I asked him, “Why are you so perfect?”

He explained that his life revolved on a rota. He has a diary in his mind that he can check throughout the day and that ensures that his life is on time, target and heading in the right direction which he has mentally input the day/week previous.

He eats at the same time every day without fail this he tells me maintains his metabolism to ensure his weight is regulated correctly and allows him to snack and have sweets without becoming overweight.

He sleeps at the same time every night, does not drink caffeine past 8pm and makes sure that he drags himself out of bed (whether he really wants to or not) as this creates a good pattern and ensures that he will be tired at the correct time. Of course he will have the occasional exception for parties and events etc. but because the pattern is so hammered in he will arise at the same time the following morning.

He prioritises his work and follows the same schedule every day, this allows him to become efficient in his role as the constant repetition allows him to become quicker and more knowledgeable at the task, in time this has allowed him to finish sooner and have time at work for socialising and taking on new tasks to show his abilities.

He spends money in the same fashion each month also, withdrawing an allowance and only spending a set limit each day. This allows him to keep track of his outgoings, not to overspend or impulse buy and with the limits that he sets he is able to make savings every month which he can look forward to spending on luxuries when the time is right, creating an incentive for work also.

He is focused on his look buying the beauty products he requires, having a set hygiene regime with a casual outlook on day to day life so that far events and parties he can be extra enthused about his look and fashion to create the image of style he wishes to create when it is needed rather than every day, which helps again keep spend to a minimum but still has the opportunities to look and feel great even more so because it is out of the norm.

He is also extremely clever in his emotions, he will not get angry without sleeping on the issue and reflecting to whether it is a situation which requires so much energy, he will not allow himself to be fooled by fake friends or be swayed by romantic proposals, he takes great pride in his ability to see through others’ eyes and understand their emotion so that he can best determine his own. He helps his elderly grandparents daily rather than party with a fleeting romance as he can appreciate that time is precious and prioritise sensibly where his time should be spent.

So, praise over.

I looked at his life and his actions, feelings and although not perfect he is, to me, as close as I’d like to be at least. I have adapted to his way of thinking and have put into practice the routine, maybe not as strict, but even by making the little changes of eating and sleeping at set times, having a beauty regime or prioritising my activities and relationships, I feel 100% better in my day to day life.

I just thought I would share my love of my best friend and his routine as by following his example I think we could all make positive differences to ourselves and to others around us.

Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass – Owen Feltham

I have recently found the power of meditation to be the most helpful, relaxing and inspiring technique. Using videos online I discovered various instructions and guides to be able to fully indulge myself in the practice.

I think it would be of great benefit to everyone as even if the idea of transcendence or out of body experiences does not interest you or is too incomprehensible, the method of taking a step back, taking a time out and reflecting and balancing your muscles and breathing would be of great advantage to all.

I don’t think of myself as a particularly spiritual person, I have flirting moments where I find myself drawn to certain ways of thinking or self-improvement techniques, however overall I am a fairly standard human in that I have a realistic outlook and an organic existence, with this in mind I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey of meditation thus far and believe that other people would have the same reaction should they be open to the idea.

The main reason why this is a beautiful activity is that you don’t need anything to complete it, there are no expenses, you do not have to be physically fit or have to travel any distance, all you need to be able to do is to find a quiet space and breathe, which I would assume that the majority of us where capable of.

Once in the “zone” as I like to refer to it wonderful things can happen to your body and mind. Concentrating on breathing alone allows the mind to release any of the tension or frustration that you are feeling, focusing on areas of the body and relieving them of the tension through muscle crunches and relaxing allows the body to feel heavy and if sinking into the floor which is a brilliant way of improving aches, pains and helping with sleep and insomnia qualities.

The “mind” side of the exercise is to imagine being amongst the stars or in a rain forest or simply let the mind wander, and allow the images you develop naturally to interpret your inner most feelings. All you then need to do is relax and acknowledge and witness that event, allow for any worry to leave your mind and ensure that you are comfortable with your perception, if not simply wish it away. I find this is a great technique to letting go of some of my pent up emotions or embarrassments.

I personally find this all very fascinating in that your body is not just a vessel, not just an aging creature that we are trapped within, but that our minds, body, heart and blood are connected and by taking 10-30 minutes each day to sit back, and indulge in our own being, it allows us to find a higher sense of purpose and understanding of our abilities, positives and achievements.

This of course is only my opinion and I know others who feel differently but I question them when they are against trying, “what’s the worst that can happen?” you have 10 minutes alone to breathe and reflect, if you gain nothing other than a rest why not give it a go?

“If you’re really a mean person you’re going to come back as a fly and eat poop” – Kurt Cobain

I have been in a dark place this week mainly due to uncertainties and reflection on my past where I chose the wrong direction. I hid myself away to not affect others around me or make a permanent bad decision because of a temporary bad situation. That’s mainly how I escaped, by remembering it was all temporary and that if changes were to be made and improvements where to be gained it would manifest inside myself and be released into the world when ready. Courage and strength was needed to create that positivity once again but I have managed to take the first steps and writing this today is my next.

I read a book whilst I was hiding, it was called “the book of answers” by Robert Serafino. It helped me to think outside of the box and about my mortal coil. The book speaks of higher understanding of humans and their purpose along with the world and how the actions of the few can benefit the many. It is a very interesting read but definitely only those with an open mind as some of the text speaks of angels and reincarnation, which unfortunately a lot of people today would not comprehend with a close minded approach.

Now I am not saying I am a true believer in all that is spiritual, however I find yoga to be incredibly relaxing and help me with many ailments, I find meditation and reflection helps me to get a better perspective and give me time to understand my future and goals and I believe strongly in Karma.

Even if Karma is not the magical entity you see in movies where you are rewarded for your good deeds through lottery winnings. I enjoy Karma because it allows me to give a name to how I feel towards the world. The word itself is described as “the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.” However the way that I choose to interpret the word is being a ‘good’ human. Giving and helping others in time of need, being selfless when making decisions, creating a positive energy from within yourself that will aid and guide others through hardship. Being kind and loving to all animals, treating everyone equally and not feeling hate towards them even when they have hurt you.

I love this outlook on life. It means that I can feel content with every situation good or bad and love everyone for the beauty they have inside no matter how small.

If I could give advice to anyone about positivity I would recommend researching these practices, I am not telling you to follow Buddhism or to turn vegetarian or anything of that extreme (and I am also not suggesting that by not trying this you will become a fly as the title suggests, I just enjoyed the quote) , but just maybe once a day do one good selfless deed, give a homeless person some money, call a family member just to check in and say you love them, help someone at work in your own time with something they are struggling with. Anything, just one kind, honest deed, and I am positive that you will feel so fulfilled and happy enough to smile in that moment with being proud and emotionally rewarded with your action and will want to do it all again tomorrow.

One must not let oneself be overwhelmed by sadness. – Jackie Kennedy

I was talking to my friend yesterday and he told me about SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. I had never heard of this disorder before yesterday and the only reason we got to talking about it was because as we were watching some documentary based in the USA whilst outside our UK window we noticed there was a vast contrast.

So intrigued I have looked further into this, done my research, and I was shocked by the level of woe-is-me that some of the world has allowed to overtake us. Maybe it is just me, and please I mean no disrespect to anyone through writing this, but I believe we are stronger than this, we used to be Vikings, Mongols, Romans, Apaches, Samurai, Spartans and Knights! And now we need a happy pill because it rains. Anyway… read on if you wish J

First was is SAD? For those of you who don’t know (like myself) below is the nhs.uk’s description of the disorder taken from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Seasonal-affective-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx.[Edited]

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“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern.

The episodes of depression tend to occur at the same time each year, usually during the winter.

As with other types of depression, the two main symptoms of SAD are a low mood and a lack of interest in life. You may also be less active than normal and sleep more.

 

Winter depression

SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are more apparent and tend to be more severe at this time of the year.

The symptoms often begin in the autumn as the days start getting shorter. They’re most severe during December, January and February.

In most cases the symptoms of SAD begin to improve in the spring before eventually disappearing.

What causes SAD?

The exact cause of SAD isn’t fully understood, but it’s thought to be linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter days of the year.

Sunlight can affect some of the brain’s chemicals and hormones. However, it’s not clear what this effect is. One theory is that light stimulates a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which controls mood, appetite and sleep. These things can affect how you feel.

In people with SAD, a lack of sunlight and a problem with certain brain chemicals stops the hypothalamus working properly. The lack of light is thought to affect the:

  • production of the hormone melatonin
  • production of the hormone serotonin
  • body’s circadian rhythm (its internal clock, which regulates several biological processes during a 24-hour period)

Diagnosing SAD

You should visit your GP if you have the symptoms of SAD. They may carry out an assessment to check your mental health.

Your GP may ask you about your mood, lifestyle, eating habits and sleeping patterns, plus any seasonal changes in your thoughts and behaviour.

Treating SAD

As with any type of depression, SAD can be difficult to live with. It can make you feel tired, stressed and unhappy. However, it can usually be treated successfully.

Light therapy is often used to treat SAD. It involves sitting in front of or beneath a light box that produces a very bright light. Light boxes come in a variety of designs, including desk lamps and wall-mounted fixtures.

You should speak to your GP and read the manufacturer’s instructions before using a light box to treat SAD.

Depending on the nature and severity of your symptoms, talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or medication such as antidepressants may also be recommended.

Your GP will recommend the most suitable treatment programme for you, which may involve using a combination of treatments.”

 

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So, with research and reading complete (the above article only being part) I honestly can’t decide what I make of this disorder, I can appreciate the lack of sunlight and therefore the chemical explanations but I just can’t accept that as people we are not able to overcome the fact that it is cold and rainy sometimes. I want us to be stronger than this, be able to use our inner weather to control our mood, not be affected by clouds.

 

Depression is a very real illness and one that many people suffer I know and understand that just fine, however from my experiences I found that the drugs didn’t work, the CBT was a load of old phooey and the only reason recovery was so easy and happened so radically for the people affected (including myself) was that we woke up one morning thinking we are not happy with this life, we are going to take responsibility for ourselves and our feelings, we are going to change the way that we feel.

 

I think without that fight and want to make the positive changes being inside you, and to be honest most depression sufferers will never get that feeling because of the disease, but I strongly believe that is the only cure. Yourself and your will to overcome it.

 

With that being said I also can understand the blame everyone status we hold as a culture and the hypochondriac frame of mind that some of the sufferers hold, but I think providing these folk with the information that the weather is to blame, is a step too far. We are warriors, we are brave, we should not be this weak to let ourselves destroy ourselves and definitely not allow the weather to play a part in this.

 

 

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer – Albert Camus

I have recently been put into a position where my life will change, I am loosing my job. It’s because of outside interference, cost cutting, reorganising and the like and basically that the position I currently have will no longer exsist.

So at first naturally I blamed myself for the unfortunate situation, that I had not tried or worked hard enough or that I had not been the best I could be. This was a low time but did not last too long.

As what followed was erractly blaming everyone else for my misfortune, finding ways to justify the surrealisms that they had pushed this evil on to me by not fully appreciating my abilites and dedication. I did not enjoy this stage as everyone had always been so supportive and my accusations where purely imaginary.

Then I gave up blaming and realised something wonderful.

Once the natural human emotions had subsided I recognised that I had not been wronged at all, I had been given a great opportunity to change my life. I was free from the contractual obligations of my work, work which I liked yes, I did enjoy my job, but I didn’t love it. And now I had the chance to find something I would.

People always asked me when I was young what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer changed everytime I was asked. Id flick from hobby to hobby enjoying every one of them but not finding anything that stuck more than a few weeks.

I thought life was easy when I was young, you decided to be a doctor and that’s what you did, and I suppose for some it is that easy, but for me deciding what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, was and is the most difficult decision.

One thing I have decided however is I am going to seize this opportunity, explore the options, change my hobbies and interests every minute if I have to to find that perfect fit. Enhance my skills, learns new abilities, discover hidden talents and I am sure that when I find the right one I can power forward towards that goal.

This is one of the reasons I started this blog, to share my experiences, offer help and guidance to others but also to find myself. Discover the true me. What I love, what I hate and why.

I hope you all enjoy this journey with me, and that you can take a little help from my writing, and ramblings, so that you may also be able to find yourselves to.