Self-Compassion: ‘Treat Yourself’ Better

Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

Love After Love by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

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The Ongoing Process of Defining Ones Identity

dandelion, flower, sunset

 

“Identity is something that you are constantly earning. It is a process that you must be active in.” – Joss Whedon

 

Two weeks ago I moved… hence the lack of posts. This was neither a quick nor easy decision but one I had been mulling over for a long time. Moving is always stressful but for me this move was also intertwined with an identity crisis of sorts… Let me add some context to the story for you. My life and my sense of self-identity changed quite rapidly a few years back. This change came about due to illness. This illness invaded every single part of my life, and I have been trying to put the puzzle pieces back together ever since. It has taught me (and continues to teach me) many things. Some of which I will share on ‘A Journey of Steps’. But it doesn’t define me nor will it define this blog – it’s just part of my story right now.

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The Monthly Review – March

 

“Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.” – Steve Jobs

 

The March Review

Do you have a personal lens in which you view the world through? One that can be filled with opinions, biases, beliefs and numerous schools of thought. One that can confine us and define us, as being either this way or that way. Thinking in a black or white manner, where the shades of gray are often ignored. Static in our beliefs. I know I do.  But what if we allowed ourselves “the uncomfortable luxury” of changing our minds? This is the Number 1 lesson by writer Maria Popova, after 10 years of curating the ever so insightful blog BrainPicking’s. A blog that only entered my radar this past year….

 

“It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.” – Maria Popova’s, BrainPickings

 

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When Change is Difficult: Do Some Mind Gardening

 

“We are survivors of immeasurable events,

Flung upon some reach of land,

Small, wet miracles without instructions,

Only the imperative of change.” – Rebecca Elson, Evolution

 

Spring…. a time associated with renewal, growth, change and all that jazz. But for me honestly the last few weeks have been tinged with a hefty dose of procrastination…. A feeling of grief that tends to rear its ugly head around this time of year…. Falling down the comparison rabbit hole, and just about every other emotion in-between. Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t been all bad! Beautiful sunsets, belly aching laughs and mouth-watering cupcakes are testaments to just some of the lighter and brighter moments.

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The Monthly Review – February

Photo of White and Red Petal Flower Under Blue Sky

 

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”. . . “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine . . .” – Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

 

The February Review

Welcome to the February Monthly Review! Here you will find a snippet of things I have seen, heard or read that offered me some food for thought. I hope you find something of interest within.

So let’s do this thing. 😀

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The Guest House: Life as Poetry in Motion

Book: The Essential Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne

 

Its been almost 3 years since I have first heard the words of Rumi’s “The Guest House”. Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic, whose work transcends culture, religion, time, and other perceived boundaries. His work strives to connect humanity and create unity. His wisdom just as vital today as 800 years ago.

Life as Poetry in Motion….

His poem “The Guest House” is a true example of life being poetry in motion. A timely reminder to embrace the good, the bad and the whole spectrum of life experiences and emotions in between. Because there is a spectrum that is for sure. It’s a poem that deeply resonated with me 3 years ago and one I come back to time and time again. It offers me the comfort and courage to face and embrace that spectrum.

This is life…. this is being human…. this is aliveness… play with what life has to offer…. find your sense of humor… embrace it all….

Cause everyone needs a good classic and I hope these words give you some solace, as they do for me.

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The Monthly Review – January (Part 2)

 

Last week brought you Part 1 of The Monthly Review for January. A series of monthly reviews I am hoping to do throughout the year. For me, I hope it will act as something tangible to reflect on at the end of the year – things I have seen, heard, read… that made me ponder. I’m hoping for you the reader, these reviews might add some food for thought and start a dialogue on your very own monthly reviews.

The January Review

So here we go – Part 2. 😀

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The Monthly Review – January (Part 1)

 

Welcome to the first in a series of monthly reviews. Side note: I know, I know it’s already near the end of February! But does anyone else feel like time has kicked up a notch? How can 2 months of the New Year be nearly over already? Anyways after that mini meltdown and realisation, back to the monthly review….. So what’s it all about? You may recall in a previous post, “Reinvent Your Resolutions By Drawing Your Future”, one of the cornerstones of aligning with what matters for the year ahead is taking the time to reflect and review regularly. And what perfect way to do just that, by compiling a monthly review.

The monthly review will consist of a list of things that I have seen or heard or have set the monkey mind in motion. Things that sparked my interest and flexed my curiosity muscle. This is not a definitive list, but these are things that stand out more vividly in my mind and I feel are worth sharing. Of course none of these may be of interest to you…. But you never know, they might also catch your interest. I decided to divide my first monthly review into 2 parts, so if you bear with me till the end I hope you find something that resonates.

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Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen

 

Some speeches last a lifetime. Some words leave an indent on the mind. In saying that, as I reflect on my own graduation ceremonies, I realise I can’t remember a word of those speeches! Perhaps for others, those words may have struck a cord and got filed away into the memory hall of fame. But in all honesty, I think my mind was pre-occupied with the idea of trying not to face plant on stage. Word of advice: wear sensible shoes and not skyscapers!

Although, I can’t vividly or even vaguely remember those speeches, an article I recently read quoted Baz Luhrmann’s song “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen” – just like that the memory chest was opened. Memories of the numerous times I listened to the lyrics and shared it with others, whilst soaking up the words of wisdom. Based on a hypothetical commencement speech written by Mary Schmich, it dispenses advice for a life devoid of regret. The column aptly named: “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”. Hindsight is an incredible thing.

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Minimalism: Voluntary Simplicity

 

“Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.” –  Jon Kabat-Zinn.

 

Minimalism has become a buzz word lately; from books to blogs (notwithstanding this blog), to everything in between. When I first heard about minimalism, Jon Krakauer’sInto the Wild’ initially crossed my mind; where Christopher McCandless, the protagonist, rejected materialism in his quest for ultimate freedom. But what is ultimate freedom when it comes to possessions? Are we all just slaves to the things we own? Do we put more emphasize on material goods than experiences? Does freedom come with only owning X amount of items; parting with all of our worldly possessions; living a monastic lifestyle? Is it all just a First World Phenomena? Whilst trying to get my head around some of these questions (it’s an ongoing process), I decided to delve more into minimalism and what it means for me.

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Reinvent Your Resolutions By Drawing Your Future

So here’s my very own attempt at ‘Draw Your Future’….. 🙂

 

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination”Henry David Thoreau

 

With New Year’s comes that intangible feeling of a fresh start. A new 365 days… A blank canvas… A new chapter… Giving us the opportunity to plot out a loose storyline to be filled with characters old and new. And of course not forgetting the inevitable plot twists here and there. It gives us the chance to reflect and review, and re-align with what truly matters for the year ahead. Side note: I know it’s already halfways through January (crazy right!) but that’s the beauty of it, everyday can be seen as a fresh start. So if you haven’t had the chance or you feel like your New Year’s Resolutions have already gone by the wayside, I highly recommend Anuschka Rees’s “Your Year in Review: 50 Questions to help you reflect, appreciate and get excited for 2017”. A review which sets the tone for exploring the general life direction you would like 2017 to follow.

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Humble Beginnings: It’s a New Dawn….It’s a New Day

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And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”Meister Eckhart

 

First things first – Welcome to my little corner of the web and its humble beginnings. And Hello 2017.  In the words of Nina Simone – “It’s a New Dawn. It’s a New Day”……  

 

So to kick it off, I thought I would fill you in on a little snippet of the ideas and plans that are currently formulating in my head (they seem to be playing Whac-A-Mole in there!). Being a curious human being by nature, I love to learn and experiment. This is just another way of saying, I don’t have all the answers, but I am willing to explore and discover new things about myself.

Although, we all have different life circumstances and trajectories, it’s the idea of a shared human experience; common emotions, desire for health and happiness, that often unites us. Through research, studying, reading, listening, reaching out to others and life experience (often where the most profound lessons are learnt), I hope to share some of my ongoing explorations. It is this crossroads between art and science, a blending of both of these genres, that speaks to me (it’s like trying to balance a seesaw which sometimes isn’t the easiest of tasks, but fun all the same).

From here, I would like to introduce a broad outline of that foggy vision. From it, take what you will. 🙂

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