Ever felt kind of socially blocked when it comes to dating?
From personal experience, I know what it’s like to fancy someone, but feel like there’s a code to adhere to.
Recently, I’ve come to believe that perhaps the fear of coming on too strong or being ‘too available’ is embedded with sexism.
Why should women wait around in passivity? That approach only makes us feel that we’re missing out in life. You may look back and wonder, what if?
Why should what men think of us come before responding to our own desires? At least if you make a move, you have put your intentions out there. If they like you back then you’ve planted the seed for that flower to blossom. Men ain’t the only gardeners.
Why is it that men can actively pursue women, even in an aggressive manner, yet, if women want to be taken seriously, we have to put on a show of indifference.
Is this innate, or is it a story that needs to be rewritten?
I think that each individual will have their own way of expressing themselves. For some that may be extroversion. Others may like to enjoy the chase and be more introverted. Whichever approach you take, you should feel comfortable expressing yourself in whatever way feels natural. You shouldn’t have to pretend to be something you’re not, or pretend to not want something that you do. Where’s the joy in that?
I do believe there is an art of seduction but its not a one sided scenario. As much as it may be unattractive if a women lays it on thick, the same goes for men. Yet, this is ambiguous. Complimenting somebody in a flirtatious way is a sign of confidence and kindness and may even be a signal that the person is mature – they don’t care about playing games. That’s attractive.
The important thing to take from this read is that you do what feels right for you and question your intentions. Waiting the same amount of time to text him back as he took to text you? Maybe you’re investing a little too much energy into this ‘cool exterior’. Just be you.
Lastly, notions of gender codes won’t change until we change. We’re not waiting for permission or waiting for somebody else to make an example so that we can follow. It starts with you. Take what’s yours. Men will follow suit.
Too many times I’ve pushed myself when there was no need to push.
All for what?
We’re taught that hard work is important and you have to work for what you want.
But let’s not forget to listen to our hearts.
I feel more productive when I give myself a break. Today I made an imporant phone call a day late. I didn’t mind because that was the right time for me. Turns out the person I had to speak to wasn’t even ready to speak to me yet.
You see how your body knows before your head does?
Let’s think less and trust more.
Take your time and live your live how you choose… That’s your creative expression.
They say happiness is a choice. Sometimes it’s easy to be happy; when everything’s going your way and things are physically making you smile.
Have you ever had a day where it’s tough to feel happy? Silly question. Please don’t compare yourself to other people that feel happy all the time. 1. They’re probably not. 2. Don’t believe everything you see on social media. 3. Those who feel a wider range of emotions are more receptive and emotionally intelligent.
Don’t let this stream of superficiality bog you down. Embrace your emotions and glide with them. True happiness comes from a choice you make within yourself. I guess on those days when you’re not feeling on the bright side of life, if you can manage contentment, you’re doing an okay job.
Did you ever think about how flowers become flowers? They must be buried in the ground, in complete darkness in order to sprout. Next time you pass a beautiful flower, think about all that she’s been through to be so beautiful and smell so good.
Don’t drown in your bad days. They’re just temporary, as is everything. Trouble is that the society we live in capitalises on our insecurities. Everything we work towards is to gain success in a physical/materialistic form. That could be working towards a holiday, a car, a new dress, a night out. Everything is material, to make money and keep the game going.
It’s no wonder that there’s a mental health epidemic. People don’t know how to deal with complex feelings like anxiety and depression because we’re made to feel like it’s not normal to have such feelings. People turn to shopping or drugs etc to run from these feelings; but you’ll never escape yourself.
I’m all for having nice things in lif, but they don’t make me who I am or add value to my person. They just express something about me. It’s important that we focus internally for strength and fulfilment.
I’ve seen that bleakness in people who put money and material things above everything else. To me, they’re the biggest losers, because real life is in the connection that we make with people and in those moments of giving. Sure, money can help us have a good time, there’s no doubt about it, but if you haven’t got the foundation of your internal Self, then you haven’t got anything.
Sociopathic individuals who are only out for themselves have probably been spoilt all their lives. In this sense they just don’t know the difference. The silver spoon has made them complacent. They’ve never had to graft and therefore they’ve never met situations in life that open them up to people or experiences that could have added a layer to their character. These people are blocked.
This is why I’m telling you that it’s good to have a range of feelings. Even though they take you high and low, up and down, it’s all worth it. You are alive and kicking. Embracing these feelings and powering on, sticking at your graft, they are building your resilience.
I felt like I had literally lost my will while I was in work recently. I felt demotivated, exhausted and even when my manager tried to mend the situation and give me opportunities, I still felt unable to step up. I was blocked. Then like an angel from above, a regular (customer) asked me how I was… we talked about the situation and he had a huge impact on my attitude. In so many words he said that nothing is permanent in life but everything is right now. The situation you’re in is the situation you’re in right now, so take whatever you can from it. His words exactly were, ‘these experiences will physically change you’. It clicked for me then. The only way out of pain is through it. The only way you’re going to get past where you are is by breaking through whatever is holding you back and that requires resilience and determination.
(This regular of mine is now called ‘Good Vibes Steves’, amongst me and my friends; and I am hereby honouring his wisdom. If you’re reading Steve, thank you very much. 😊)
Resilience is exactly what you need to stay happy…or just, not sad.
Because it’s OK not to feel happy!!
Just let it pass. Focus on other things. You may be feeling unhappy because you’ve spent too much head space thinking about an issue in your life. The more you think about a problem, the more energy you give to it and the more prominent it is in your life.
Help someone. The best way to feel good is help somebody else. And to really mean it, from your heart.
Spend time with loved ones and just pay attention to them.
Happiness is a choice within you; your most prized possession. Everyone has hard times and I’m not disregarding them or pushing a constantly positive attitude – that wouldn’t be healthy. But if you can have a presence of this awareness within yourself that emotions come in different shapes and sizes and come and go… You will feel stronger, more resilient and thereby more equipped to take what you want from life.
Day to day life can be a bit of a jungle for most of us. With a constant buzz of stimuli, it can be hard to remain grounded or aligned with our true selves. So many factors push and pull us, it’s no wonder there is a mental health epidemic. I’ve had a ponder, and here are some points that helped me to get myself together.
Stop questioning yourself
You know yourself and you know what feels right. It may sound queer if you haven’t come across the concept before, but your mind isn’t actually YOU, it’s more like an annoying sibling that gets kicks from winding you up. Point is, if you think about something for long enough you will achieve nothing. So, less thinking and more doing. Trusting your intuition is a skill that is strenghtened the more you practice it. Your mind can lead you astray, if you let it.
No more comparisons
I make the silly error of giving myself shit for not achieving things that others in my field and of my age have. I’m hard on myself, not giving myself credit that I have done very well to get to where I am given my ‘disadvantaged’ position. I highlight this ‘disadvantaged’ because everything is relative. I may have been disadvantaged compared to those in my field, but to others, I am extremely advantaged. Remember we all come from different walks of life and that’s what makes it interesting. Reward yourself for your success, if not, nobody else will.
So, yeah, hello, there’s a little story called YOUR story, which is different from anybody else’s story. The sooner we learn to embrace our individuality, the sooner we will flourish. Your difference and unique being is the best you can offer the world. It’s the only thing you’ve got that nobody else has. DON’T BE LIKE THEM. BE LIKE YOU.
Understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day
Sure, you’ve got ambition and dreams but don’t be disheartened if things don’t fall into place tomorrow. Anything worth having is worth fighting for (did I just quote Cheryl Cole?). The more time you spend dwelling on how nothing is happening, the more time it’s gonna take for it to HAPPEN. So, get your head in the game. I find making notes in my diary (schedule) each week helps me to maintain focus. I know what I want to achieve week to week. Having a record like this is also good for encouragement – perhaps in times of despair you can look back and have a reality check; hey, you’re not doing so bad after all!
Don’t give in to negative thinking
Life is what you make it. Don’t be a victim and start believing the negative talk and labels. Only you can create the life you want. Get up and do something about it. There will be dark days and there will be bright days, but it’s your perseverance that will need to be the consistent factor.
I, myself, am an extremely conscientious and sensitive character. I just can’t help but be highly affected by other people, even just bumping into people on the street I can feel overwhelmed. This is something that I struggle with on a personal level. I could conduct a psychoanalysis as to why I feel like this and draw conclusions on unhealthy factors of my upbringing that have contributed to this self-consciousness. But why would I dwell on the things that are out of my control? I don’t want to be tied up in that dark world. I want to be the being I truly am and let my light shine through. I do not let these overwhelming feelings stop me going from going for what I want. My message to you is don’t be stuck in a victim mentality or think that the world owes you something, because believe me, you’ll be waiting a long time for handouts. I’m now going to quote a very wise person I have had the blessing to meet, ‘the Universe is generous, if you are’. The more you put out, the more you get. Sometimes it might feel like it’s taking a long ass mother-f******* time, but good things come to those who persevere.
Don’t Believe the Hype
Be a OG and f**k what people think. If you follow the herd you need to retrace your steps asap and find where YOUR path leads to. The world will always try to dictate to you how to live your life, but do you know what will ground you? YOUR outlook, your experience of life and your story. Be grounded in knowing that you own your sh**. Make your life a noble one and make it count. Stop using your social media accounts as a form of seeking gratification through approval of others. You weren’t born to prove anything to anybody. Invest in yourself and care about what you think of yourself. You don’t have to follow trends to be relevant in this world. If anything, mindlessly following the crowd because of sensationalism and the fear of not fitting in, only dilutes your presence in this world. You owe it to yourself to be free.
Your wardobe is insightful; it tells alot about you without saying anything.
Most people that I know well enough to have seen their wardrobes, have too many clothes. As in they have clothes and shoes that they don’t wear – ever. When was the last time you wore those khaki combat trousers?
Trouble is, people buy clothes to sketch out an identity for themselves. For some, this identity changes with fashion – how meek.
This is why I’m here to tell you that less is more. I’m here to tell you this because I know the weight of material baggage. There was a time where I thought it didn’t really matter and that to clear out my closet was just my way of procrastinating in life. It wasn’t until recently when I decided to travel, that I had to yet again, sort through, but this time I was ruthless.
Believe it or not, but all the little material objects you that you collect hold memories, symbols and tell a certain narrative to you. By holding onto these mere objects you’re holding onto the past. Why do you want to preserve the past so much?
During this sort through where I for once rationally organised this material shit, I realised I had kept clothes from when I was 17 – that’s 7 years and I could count on one hand the amount of times I’d worn them.
The question is why do we hold onto these things and keep buying more? Material isn’t going to make you who you want to be – only you can do that. The more time and money we spend on clothes, the less we invest in ourselves. You could invest in yourself by taking a step back and pondering on what it is that you enjoy doing. Everyone has an interest in some form or another. Find yours and start doing more of it. Buying is merely a way of trying to fill that part of us that craves more from life. In actual fact, buying more doesn’t enrich our sense of self, it drowns it.
Stop being a slave to the fashion industry and to the Capitalistic system in general, which only wants to exploit you. Sure, I’m all for possessing nice garments and having a style of your own, but you do this better with fewer items, anyway.
Since havng my sort through, I now only have clothes that I know I wear. Once you have cleansed your closet, you allow space for your atttitude towards buying to evolve. Now you have a minimal and meaningful wardrobe, you’ll think twice before you buy that on-sale-garbage-that-you-dont-really-want.
You’ll only buy things that you really love and you’ll feel wholesome in them!
The Bigger Picture
Believe it or not, but the problem spreads further than our wardrobes.
Everything we do has a consequence. Yes, consequences. Those things that the 21st century first worlders love to sweep under the carpet.
If you buy a top from Primark for £1.50 and it’s made in Bagladesh, have a ponder on how much it costs to make that top. Why is it so cheap? Who made the damned thing? And what kind of conditions were they in?
Producing large amounts of clothes cheaply requires poor working conditions and environemental hazards. The collapse of Rana Plaza, Bangladesh in 2013 is an example of how people are literally dying for clothes.
Less than 90 seconds. What kind of state was the joint in for it to collapse in that time? It’s shocking that people agreed to work in those conditions in the first place. How desperate must they have been? You have a group of people so willing to work that they will enter a demolishing building – and that’s how the fashion industry choses to treat them. And do you know what is driving that evil cycle? Consumers who keep buying. I would rather pay more for a top if it meant that the person making it was safe.
There are plenty of people in the world who will give this the ‘I don’t care’ because they think it doesn’t affect their life. These people are very very very small. They don’t have the intelligence or emtoional availability to simply see past themselves. They are probably really lonely.
Back to the point, which is that it’s really important just to be mindful of what you are buying. You don’t have to change your habits in a day; just by having the awareness that somebody has actually made the clothes you wear (they don’t magically appear on the shop floor) is a step in the right direction.
Our identity makes up the every day aspects of our lives. I guess you could say it’s important to have an identity to get by in the world; but be careful not to neglect your Being.
Maybe you look to your name, job, clothes or friends to define your identity. What happens if you lose your job or your friends? Chances are you’re going to take it pretty tough because the job is not just a source of income – it’s what you have based your sense of self on. Who are you without the outer world?
If you want to experience a loving and wholesome life, it is unbelievably important to know the difference between your identity and your Being. Without a connection with your Self you will forever be thrown about in the world like a yoyo.
By nurturing your inner self you are building the foundation blocks of your life experience. You can bounce back from the experience life throws at you because you have this little home within that gives you the strength to climb.
So what is this Being you’re talking about?
Do you go through every day with a constant inner chatter? Sometimes it’s as if you can’t escape your mind. The first step to liberation is understanding that you’re not your mind. Your Being sits behind your thoughts. The Being is the island of peace that you return to after your mind has driven you to the edge of insanity.
How do I engage with my Being?
Take time to do nothing! Stop busying yourself in avoidance of buried emotions. Stop running.
Meditation can seem daunting but it’s manageable in small doses. You can meditate on the bus or while waiting in a que. All it takes is being mindful of thoughts that are coming up and letting them pass. Don’t let thoughts dictate your life. The more you practice this method, the more you will dis-identify with your ego. You will learn there is a beautiful freedom with this process.
When you slow down this inner chatter, your intuition strengthens. You may find that you try new things and really enjoy yourself. It’s your soul speaking to you.
You can keep your identity, but don’t die not having lived.
As far as I can see, people cling to identity so they can belong to something. In what I call the ‘main-stream-world’ our lives are based on identification with the outer world. When we are children, we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. Our subconscious then tells us that we are what we look like, what we do, what we create, our name, what you look like. The list goes on. What a pitiful outlook.
Not to say that identity is a bad thing, it’s just dangerous when we believe it’s all we are. The world manipulates a dependency on identification. For instance, cosmetic companies depend on peoples’ identification with the physical body. If you’re completely identified with your physical body you may spend a lot of money, time and energy on preserving the beauty of it. Without nurturing the inner self, you are most likely going to be very tied up with your physicality because you think that’s who you are.
When your think about it, it’s ridiculous how people take so much pride in their appearance, as though they have any power over it; as though their energy and intelligence created it. No, it was given. It was by chance.
It’s a long road but it’s worth it
I remember being anxiously over active in my mid-teens. I felt like I always had to be doing something. This was no doubt brought on by pressure of exams and University on the horizon. Again I was being told I had to decide what I wanted to be. Life is a journey that needs your full attention in every moment if you’re going to get the most out of it. I felt that anxiety partly because I was looking for external things to define me. If you look within and centre yourself, you don’t have to do all the thinking! Your instinct will guide you through your journey.
There’s so much success to be gained from spirituality!
Success, first and foremost, is feeling at ease within yourself. Success is waking up each morning and being happy you are alive. Success is to know that you would be happy to die today because you live every day fully. You are not simply existing to tick boxes and maintain numbers in your bank account each month. Albeit, money is important for survival, but don’t sacrifice your life for an illusion of security. Nothing is guaranteed.
A working holiday is a great way to extend your travelling time whilst learning new skills, trying things you’ve never done before and meeting cool people.
You can use websites such a Help X or Work Away to connect with hosts all over the world who need help with their projects. The work varies from babysitting to farming. You can find something that suites you.
What’s to gain?
With free accommodation, you can afford to stay longer in a chosen destination. A maximum of 5 hours a day will be spent working. The rest of the day is yours, plus 2 days off a week.
You can do things you’ve never done before (new skills)
Digging and cementing holes!
It’s good to meet new folk
You will grow a lot more from the experience than you would sitting at the pool
Develop patience with yourself and others
The chance to explore a new culture
Meet great people and learn how to deal with not so great people
Develop your adaptability
What you should know
The agreement should be that you receive 3 meals a day and accommodation for approximately 25 hours work a week. Some hosts don’t offer 3 meals but at least 1 should be provided. It depends on the nature of the work.
Remember, you’re a volunteer, not an employee. If you have a good work ethic, you want your efforts to be appreciated. So make sure you check out the host thoroughly before choosing them. Bad hosts deserve bad volunteers. Vice versa.
How to prepare
Read the reviews. Check when the last review was posted. Don’t be in a rush to get there and enjoy the free accommodation. If you end up with a terrible host, you’ll soon realise you wasted your money travelling to them.
Be real about it. Only apply for a work away that you think you will enjoy and take something from. If you feel in your gut that it might not be for you, don’t do it.
Have a video interview with the host. If they agree to this it’s a good sign that they’re organised and have time for you. Come to an agreement on both sides as to what is expected from each other.
I ended up in the South-East of Spain in mid-August with a host that slept all day and didn’t have enough direction to give me work. I ended up watering the flowers twice a day, which was her one and only job that she decided to give to me. Her lack of enthusiasm and the intense heat quickly demotivated me and I ended up leaving after a few days. At the time I felt it was a waste of money getting to her but I guess all experience is good experience. Point is, you can avoid those situations by following these tips.
Before arrival, ask questions about what work they have lined up: how many hours, what kind of food they provide (maybe you’re a vegetarian and they are not) and accommodation. The point of these questions is not necessarily to find out exactly what the experience will be like, but the interaction will allow you to gage whether they are the right fit for you.
How to make the most of your free time
I have free styled whilst travelling. The spontaneity has been exciting at times and took me to places I had no idea existed. On the other hand, it can be stressful and expensive. If you know you would like to do a working holiday, it’s worth having your destinations planned out and your work lined up.
Once you’ve confirmed with your hosts you can research the areas you are going to be in. That way, when it comes to your days off you already have an idea of where you want to explore.
It’s always better to have extra cash incase you really aren’t enjoying the experience and want to leave early. This can be an added bonus to your travel – a relaxed holiday in between work away posts (maybe you want to arrange something like this regardless of whether you leave a post early or not).