Surviving and Flourishing in Today’s World

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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Above all, keep it real, be happy and go on road trips like these gals

Drowning in Clothes

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.

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Rana Plaza took less than 90 seconds to collapse, killing 1,134 people

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.