Tag Archives: Beauty

Happiness Project

3 Nov

“I am not happy”, the thought that we all dread came to me earlier this week. I realised that I am no longer happy in the city to which I moved ten months ago, I am no longer happy with my lifestyle and I am no longer taking pleasure in my every day life.

I feel a loss of energy, a loss of interest and a loss of motivation. I don’t remember the last time that I sung in the shower. It’s been months since I blasted out my favourite music and danced alone in the living room. And don’t ask me what I look forward to when I wake up in the morning, because I simply don’t have an answer.

It’s tragic, it’s heart breaking, but most of all, it’s very confusing.

Figuring out why we are not happy is a very difficult thing. Figuring out what to do to make ourselves happy is even harder.

Even if we find out why we are not happy, there could be things about certain situations that we simply cannot change. We cannot always move away if we’re unhappy with the place in which we live, we cannot always leave our job if we know that it is making us stressed, we cannot always heal ourselves if we are unwell, we cannot change the people around us if they are bringing negativity into our lives.

So what can we do if we realise that we are unhappy?

For the moment, I am not going to leave my current city, I am not going to change my job and I am not (and cannot) transport my best friends to my city. All I can do is to change a few things in my every day life, which could give me energy, inspiration and joy.

My happiness project for the next month is as follows:

1) Go for a walk every day.

Promenade

2) Wake up at the same time every day (apart from Sundays, of course).

3) Go to bed before midnight, or preferably at 11pm.

4) Find a music teacher and practice the guitar every day.

girl guitarist

5) Read a fairytale.

6) Buy myself something pretty to wear.

7) Go to see a classical music concert.

8 ) Do some sport every day. Dancing, yoga, aerobics, jogging, stretching, walking with heavy shopping bags…

9) Do something that I am scared of (call to ask for a job opportunity, enter a competition, apply for a course, book a trip away, start writing a novel)

10) Go to one new social event a week – alone.

11) Write one story or poem a week.

12) Set an evening every week for personal pampering.  Beauty treatments, meditation, learning how to do a new hair style, taking a bath, listening to music with eyes closed…

13) Try a new recipe every week.

14) Buy a juice making machine, and drink fresh fruit juice at least three times a week.

15)  Go to a new place in the city every week.

16) Edit any of the above points if they start making me unhappy.

17) Create a blog-report on each week of the happiness-project.

 

My happiness project starts today – I have five minutes to get myself ready for bed in time for my curfew!

***

What activities would you put on your own happiness-project list?

My Manicure Taught me a Lesson

1 Nov

When we’ve spent a lot of energy, time and money to make something happen, we are often reluctant to let it go, even when we realise that we are not happy in this new situation.

This evening, I decided to set aside some time to give myself a manicure. I lit a scented candle in the bedroom, put on my favourite relaxation music and set up everything I needed to pamper my nails. I was happy to be giving myself an Filing Nailsopportunity to look after myself, and was looking forward to having beautiful nails at the end of the evening. I filed, buffered and polished my nails, and was feeling very relaxed and serene. However, when it came to applying the French-manicure polish given to me by a friend, even my aromatherapy candle couldn’t stop frustration boiling in my chest. I spent fourty minutes applying the nail polish, to realise at the end that there was a fault with the brushes – they were out of shape and were creating lumpy and striped paint. I was disappointed and angry; I expected pretty nails, but ended up having to remove all of the nail polish!

After the failure of the French-manicure set, I decided to paint my nails peach, with a polish I’d bought in the summer. While waiting for the polish to dry, I lay on the bed looking at my nails. “How ugly”, I thought, suddenly. To my surprise, I found the nail polish to be plain, bland and boring. It made my hands look short and stumpy, instead of being a subtle charming accessory.

“I’ve spent the whole evening trying to make my nails look pretty”, I thought. “It would defeat the point to take the polish off”. I turned my hands to look at them from different angles; I brought them closer to my eyes, then took them further away. I was trying to convince myself that they were fine, that they would do, that after all the time and effort that I spent, I couldn’t allow myself to be unhappy with them.

I stared at my nails, but felt embarrassed rather than pleased.

“Why keep it if it doesn’t serve me?”, I thought and jumped up to remove the nail polish. I felt a sort of relief at not having to put up with something that didn’t fulfil me. “It’s better to have nothing than to be unhappy with what I have”, I thought.

I didn’t end up with what I had originally wanted or expected at the beginning of the evening, but the lesson that I learnt was worth more than two perfectly manicured hands. I realised that there are things in other parts of my life that I am reluctant to let go of or to change. I spent energy, time and money to bring these things into my life and feel as if I should be happy and satisfied now that I have them. But isn’t life like nature? We all have our seasons; without autumn and winter there would be no spring and summer. Without abandonment and emptiness, there would be no rebirth and abundance.

This week, I will make a conscious effort to recognise the things to which I am holding on, yet which no longer serve me, fulfil me or bring me joy.

Photo Friday – Along the Road Home

16 Sep

Along the Road Home



An Eternal Inspiration

7 Jul

I first heard this song (or shall I say ‘speech’?) at the age of sixteen. I have only listened to it once or twice since then, but it makes me cry every time. It’s almost like having a wise adult giving your innocent scared self a hug, sending you off into the world and saying “You’ll be great, I know it”. This song leaves me feeling hopeful and peaceful; it is the sort of thing I wish I could hear every day, from everyone around me. This song opens my eyes to the beauty of life and to how much possibility lays before us.

Embracing the Unknown

30 Jun

Three weeks have gone past since my last post. A whirlwind of events, thoughts and feelings provoked a natural pause in any ‘creative’ activities. In the past three weeks summer arrived unexpectedly, friends came and went, I grew a year older, I gave my month’s notice of resignation, I was reunited with people who I haven’t seen for two years, I cut my hair shorter than it has ever been, I saw breathtaking sunsets, I cried from happiness on several occasions, I came across confusing and irrational conflicts, I prayed, I listened, I got unexpected answers from unexpected places.

I am once more at a time of the great unknown. Yet for the first time, I welcome the unknown like a friend. In the past few months, the unknown tested me, challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone. The unknown revealed parts of my character, both positive and negative, that I had never known; it revealed desires to which I had never admitted; and it made me stronger by showing me my weaknesses.

It is not in my perfectly planned and organised life that I learnt about myself, but it is in moments of uncertainty, of turbulence and of absolute incomprehension that I managed to grasp, even a little, at my true essence.

Our first meeting with the unknown is like our first meeting with silence. It seems like there is nothing but emptiness Footprints on Beacharound and no matter how loud we scream our questions, we get no answers, except for an echo, in return. Yet is is not from silence that we should expect a reply, it is being in silence that allows us to hear our own answers. In the same way, it is not the unknown that will guide us, but our inner guide that will emerge once we’re in it.

In today’s society, we’re used to receiving answers and advice from a variety of external sources, whether it’s a GPS, an agony aunt, Google or a phone call to a friend. We rely on other people to tell us how we feel, what decision to make and which route to take. Yet what would we do if we got lost in a foreign place with no street names, no map, no phone and no passers by to ask for directions? What if we had to find our way without any external help?

In the past few weeks I came across a problem to which I had no answers…about which I didn’t even have a clue. I needed help, advice, guidance, yet I couldn’t think of who or what could offer me help in such a situation. I felt that rationalisation, discussion and writing out pros and cons would not be good enough. This was not a matter that the mind could solve. This was a matter of the soul.

And so I prayed. I sat in silence and I searched for an answer deep within. And something unexpected, something that no one else would have advised, yet something that was so perfect for the situation came to me. My intuition gave me an answer that I couldn’t have received from anywhere else.

So today, I will rejoice in the unknown, because it is the unknown that makes me listen to myself, that helps me understand myself and that gives me freedom.

A quote has been running through my mind all these weeks, which truly captures the beauty of embracing the unknown:

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planed, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” ~ Joseph Campbell