FOMO

I’ve officially reached that part in my healing journey where the intense FOMO is kicking in.

(Loosely translated as “fear of missing out, if there’s anyone reading wondering WTF I’m on about)

I’m thinking about a glass of Australian Shiraz in a manner more befitting an elixir of life, and I can feel my bottom lip sliding out like a petulant toddler at the insta and FB pics of people out and about doing cool stuff in the real world…… whilst I listfully gaze outside wondering how much more fun everyone is having than I.

In typical me fashion I’m grabbing hold of these thoughts and reshaping them into fuel for healing… and at the same time marvelling that I’m FOMO instead of just being exhausted and watching from afar with no desire/ energy to join in. Amazing what a difference a few weeks make.

It feels like catching glimpses of the person I’m becoming… someone not battling every day with invisible chronic illness, plastering a smile on her face and telling everyone “I’m okay”….

With the clarity of hindsight I’ve actually been FOMO the whole time these past 6+ years but simply too exhausted to focus on what I’m missing, expending all my energy reserves on just getting by.

The world seems flush with possibility as my energy fuel tank slowly refills…. where can I go now I’ve got the fuel to travel??

 

Healing and joy, odd combo huh?

One of the most healing things you can do for yourself is to be still. Put your feet up, or leave them bare and put them on the grass.. and just. be. still. 

Feel the sun in your face. Notice the breeze. Listen. Acknowledge your thoughts but don’t follow them. Breathe. 

Healing and the modern world seem so at odds.. healing takes time, stillness, patience and connection – all the things that contemporary life abjures.

We all want to feel amazing but there’s this enforced ideal that we should be able to attain this without effort, quickly and conveniently. 

We’re disconnected, disenfranchised, dissatisfied and discombobulated by our modern lives. 

No wonder people feel lost.

When I was 11 I had this life theory… (surprisingly astute for someone who had barely reached double digits… but I was always a little deliciously weird) I decided that when we are born onto this earth, each of us has a piece missing. My eleven year old brain saw that everyone tried to fill this missing part of us with different things… 

Some people wrote music, some people surfed, some drank a lot, others turned to god. 

The truely unhappy people, as I saw it, tried to fill themselves up with just one thing, thinking that this ONE THING would make them whole again. 

But whether you fill yourself up with Jesus, with booze or with buying things it won’t work – because this ONE BIG THING can’t fill all the little spaces in ourselves. 

The secret to life, I believed, was to find all the little things that make your heart sing, to keep searching for the joy – even in the dark places…. because that is what makes us whole.

11-year-old-me was onto something I believe. 

So as I heal… slowing down and reconnecting with stillness, breath and all the messages I’ve been too busy to hear.. I’m rediscovering all the little parts of life that bring me joy. 

And there’s so much to discover. 

The Art & Science of True Happiness

Sometimes I wonder if true happiness is the real ‘holy grail’.

It seems like the whole of our existence is spent defining, refining, chasing, striving, comparing, ruminating and generally being fixated on happiness.

Whole industries have been created to tell us what it means to be happy:

  • Buy this car!
  • Get a bigger house!
  • Go on this holiday!
  • Lose that weight!
  • Buy those shoes!

We have advertising companies crafting these wonderful ideal people, living a seemingly perfect life, bombarding us with the idea that everyone else is having a better time than us, and we’re sucked into this cycle of buy, consume, strive, compare and buy again… and when we buy that coveted ‘key to happiness’ we wonder why we are not suddenly, deliciously, deliriously happy.

And and it’s not just about consumerism. We are trapped in this cycle of constantly comparing our unique selves to the rest of the world.

It could be the desire to climb the corporate ladder… ‘better’ job, fancier title, more responsibility, more money to spend on more things so that people can definitely tell you are successful and happy.

It could be based around your looks… constantly dieting, primping, preening, spending hours to get ready with the perfect hair, makeup, dress, shoes…. taking a million selfies to post to social media and prove to the world that you are an effortlessly beautiful human specimen who really knows how to have a good time (…’I woke up like this’)

 

Since when when did happiness come from things?

What will it take before we realise that the only true yardstick for lasting, genuine joy is within ourselves?

True Happiness – the genuine, lasting, deep joy that fills you up – comes from within.

  • It starts with mindfulness, stillness.
  • Taking time out to breathe.
  • Learning to be still in your own body.
  • Learning to enjoy the way your body moves, it’s strength, its gracefulness.
  • It comes from enjoying lifes pleasures with intent.
  • It comes from being present in your own mind and realising you have the power to direct your thoughts.
  • It comes from knowing that thoughts become things – and yes patterns take time to change but it’s worth it.
  • It comes from knowing that what you focus on becomes bigger, that you grow your intent and you shape your world.

 

When you slow down and smell the roses you realise all the other things that you’ve been missing..

The interesting thing about the pursuit of happiness is that it actually doesn’t cost anything. We’ve been duped into thinking that happiness is a commodity – to be bought and sold to the privileged few lucky enough to be able to afford it.

Yes, nice things are nice. But what you are looking for is that feeling of connection and contentedness with your world, and it doesn’t come in a bottle, on a plate or in an expensive shopping bag.

It comes from being able to appreciate how utterly amazing this world is.

  • It’s a good nights sleep, and waking up with the birds and the sun feeling rested and ready to take on the day.
  • It’s smiling at a stranger and having them smile in return.
  • It’s spending time walking – using your feet on the earth and paying attention to your surroundings.
  • It’s talking to random people you meet and asking if you can pet their dog.
  • Its seeing gangs of overexcited kids chasing each other around a park, screaming and laughing.
  • Its a good book, a favourite song, a board game with friends.
  • Its making a healthy nourishing meal and taking the time to enjoy your mad culinary skills.

But most of all, it’s realising that you don’t have to play into the hamster wheel of corporate life, or conscious consumerism – and that you are infinitely powerful in creating your own joy.

And the best thing about it, is that you can start right now.

 

should

Courage to live an authentic life..

People don’t usually wake up one day and suddenly decide they’re not happy with their lives… it’s a gradual thing.. it creeps up on you when you’re not paying attention. It gets down into the crevices of your heart, tucks itself into the secret parts of you that you no longer bother to pay attention to because you’re just so gosh darn busy with the perpetual motion of day to day life.

It often manifests itself in strange and unrelated ways:
– The ‘blah’ you feel when you wake up in the morning..
– How annoying slow people are in the supermarket or on the road..
– The way your ‘fuse’ gets shorter and shorter, or people just become harder and harder to be patient with..

And then you realise: it’s not them – it’s you.

There’s a brief feeling of falling when you realise you’re not excited about life anymore… it’s sort of like you’ve been falling the whole time but you’ve only just realised that the hard earth is fast approaching – and you scramble to open your parachute and then wonder if you even have one.

Because the process of change is a lot like realising you might not have a parachute.. and change can HURT. It’s scary stuff. You might lose friends, lovers, you might just lose yourself.

And the moment you realise you need to change? The ah-ha moment.. the epiphany.. the lightbulb going on above your head?

Its often a glimpse of joy that is so bright, that lifts you up and takes you by surprise and makes you feel alive – that brief moment where you realise that this is how you want to feel. 

There’s a lot of inner work that needs to be done at this point. If you want to capture that feeling again – you need to work out what floats your boat and pushes your buttons.. and you can’t base this around what other people are doing that looks cool, interesting or seems like what you should be doing to be happy. It’s got to come from you.

One of the best parts about your change journey is rediscovering your passions… focussing on the experiences and actions that make you feel alive again. Awake. Fully present and accounted for in your own life. Its a wonderful, truly magical time of discovery and energy.

I often encourage people to write these things down… keep a gratitude journal.. articulate what you are learning and experiencing and feeling – and do this just for you. (The process of writing is another step to manifestation after all)

At this point you are already changing… because you’ve decided that you can’t just go back to sleep now.. you know what you have been missing out on.

But the process of real change is tough. If you want to live a fully present, authentic life then you simply cannot keep doing the same things you’ve always done, you can’t even necessarily keep the same people in your life (particularly if they themselves don’t embrace change, or have any desire to be their best and happiest selves) and this is the hard part: letting go of the people and things you know, to allow space in your life for the unknown. To take the risk because you know that the brief moments of falling can actually feel like you are flying it’s all a matter of perspective. 

And sometimes you can actually hit the ground, knock the wind right out of you – lie there on your back, struggling to breathe and wonder how the heck you are going to be able to move again… or you can bounce. You can jump up, run over to the plane and head back up into the sky for your next adventure…..

Enjoying your own company..

2014 has been a year of change.. a year of contrasting highs and lows. I’m so proud of what I have accomplished, but I know that it’s meant a lot of change both in me as a person, and in my life.

The past couple of weeks I’ve spent a lot of time alone… remembering how it feels to be in my own company. Doing things like lots of walking, taking pictures, getting pedicures, full body massages, re-organising my closets, meditating, enjoying the feel of grass under my feet.. and eating by myself, being fully present in the moment, enjoying and savouring each bite.

I’m happy to report that I still enjoy my own company…

As human beings we crave contact with other people, we seek out others for companionship, to validate us, make us feel special, to avoid dealing with our own insecurities and to hide behind the noise of day to day interactions. When we’re not with others, we’re on social media platforms – we instagram, tweet, Facebook post and stalk, anything to avoid being alone. Alone physically, emotionally and alone with our thoughts.

What is so scary about our inner selves that we constantly avoid our own company?

Why do we buffer our experiences to avoid being alone?

Personally I’ve learned so much about myself in these past weeks. I’ve re-learned the beauty of silence, and spent time embracing my inner voice.. I’ve faced my fears (and still am) and worked out the things that are truly important to me. I feel like I still need to spend some time alone with myself.. and its almost like this sacred time will allow me to move to the next phase of my life. Whatever it may be…

I’m not afraid of what I’ve found when I look within.. and thats an incredibly empowering feeling. When you know yourself and you know your true passions, hopes, dreams and fears.. there is a mastery of self and the ability to live your life in the present moment. It’s not all roses and champagne.. theres a lot of gunk and detritus to work through.. but the end result is the ability to enjoy your own company, and that is a gift you deserve to give yourself.

There is a slight catch – you have to do the work .

 

Beauty: a delicious and wild tangent….

I saw this picture today and as ever, it set my mind off on wild delicious tangents… (Every mind should experience the joy of a wild delicious tangent!)

A few years ago we were all about asking that question “so if you had to lose one or the other, would you choose to lose your sight, or your hearing?” (Heck of a conversation changer, if you want to skip small talk and get on a wild delicious tangent, that’s an interesting place to start)

Of course no one ‘wants’ to lose any of their senses, and those that live that truth lead challenging lives indeed – the purpose of the question is to get people to think outside their day to day known experiences and to challenge their assumptions so they can perceive things that are important to them.

On one side: retain your hearing, lose your sight. These people were naturally very kinaesthetic (although not necessarily aware of this) they spoke not only of their love of music, birdsong, hearing the ocean, babies laughing etc… But that they could still feel the sun on their face – and imagine a clear blue sky. They could dip their fingers in cold clear river water, and feel the flow of the current – hearing the movement and seeing in their mind the water dancing over the rocks.

On the other side, retain your sight, lose your hearing. These were the artists, the writers, the painters. The people who felt an image did paint a thousand words, and that they would hear music when they looked at something beautiful.

But what is beauty?

This image is the kind of thing I love to share… In a world where we seem to be driven by a certain aesthetic, where a woman’s ‘worth’ still seems to hinge so deeply on her visual appeal, we need to ask ourself these kinds of questions.

We need to challenge the visual propaganda, ask ourselves often and loud what really matters to us, and let our minds wander off on delicious and wild tangents, so we can find what’s within the soul of us all.

 

Nonconformity and the Creative Life

Great youtube video exploring non conformity and the creative life… talking about the tensions between resisting the ‘tug of conformity’ and asking the question: “how do we avoiding succumbing to the zombified state of blindly following others in a herd?”

Some gems in there along with some beautify imagery – check the vid here.

 

Article: “how I downsized my life to 100 possessions”

This piece was so interesting… at first I was excited at this chaps journey “wow what a great idea!” Then when he spoke about getting down to the elimination process I actually found it quite confronting… how could I ever hope to do something like this? With my endless dresses, and collection of candles, baking and cooking utensils etc….?

Could you do it?

Article here