The Importance of Being Earnest (in life and blogging, 2017)

Sorry, Oscar Wilde fans, this post has absolutely nothing to do with the play of the same name… I just borrowed the title because it fits so beautifully with my new intentions for 2017.

For the past few years I have written Happy New Year posts, setting out my aims for the year ahead, and I would have done so again. This is usually a time where I like to reflect on the year gone by and approach the new year feeling refreshed and positive. And I very much feel like I am approaching 2017 from a positive place, perhaps the most mentally healthy I have been for several years, and following last year’s struggles with depression, this is a huge achievement for me. I’m so pleased and happy to be here, feeling this way, when at times it didn’t seem possible that I would feel like this ever again.

So, on being earnest. I am interpreting earnestness using the following definition:  earnest-definition

And I am stating my earnestness today because one of my “new” goals for 2017 is to write more. I also said that in 2016, and 2015 and possibly 2014 and 2013… and, did I?

No.

But this year I absolutely mean it. I really do. Seriously. Earnestly. Because my “new year” didn’t start 2 days ago. In a way it started when I returned from Australia in August 2016, with a fresh perspective and outlook. The post-Australia, second-half-of -2016-me was energised and determined not to look back. I have since made some changes to my routine that were holding me back from worklife-balance, from having time for the things I enjoy and I have made some space. Space to breathe, space to relax, space to be myself.

So even though previous new year’s resolutions to write more have not stuck, I am hoping that 2017 will be different, that I will use the space I have created to write, express and put myself out there in a way that I feared to do so in previous years.

Happy New Year readers, let’s have a good one!

 

 

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This Blog is about ALL of me!

I’m writing again for the first time in weeks and it feels weird, a little scary, but I am enjoying the tap of my fingers on the keyboard because I have really missed it.

I have not felt able to write; there are things I could have shared but chose not to because I was too afraid.

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But maybe… maybe today will be the day where I feel I can. Because it will explain why sometimes I blog again and again… and other times there is a great empty chasm of weeks or months where I don’t, won’t or can’t write (I don’t actually know which verb to use here).

The thing is that back in October I made a huge change in my life which in the short term has been really difficult, but hopefully in the long term will have a lasting positive effect, allowing me to move forward and experience more joy out of life 🙂

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Back in October I began to accept that I suffer with depression and I started taking medication to help me with that.

(That just felt SO SCARY to write!)

The reason why I am finally sharing it on here is that this blog is so important to me; it’s as if writing is a part of me. By not allowing myself to write about the bad times as well as the good, it’s as if I’m pretending they don’t exist, as if I’m denying them. In doing so I am also not giving myself an outlet that may actually be helpful to myself (and potentially others too).

The blog is called Life Is Beautiful. And I believe that. But it doesn’t always seem beautiful. Sometimes it seems so hard, so exhausting, so painful.

Other times it is so joyful, so exciting, so uplifting.

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There are good times and bad times in our lives. And I need to stop avoiding writing about the harder times. They happen. But we get through them.

I’m trying not to be afraid of them.

I’m feeling better, stronger, and after this blog post I feel as if I can write about ALL of me, and not just the parts I think are nice for others to read, but write about the parts I am afraid to share. Because if you are afraid of something… perhaps what you really need to do is… take a deep breath… and do it!

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Forget about Enlightenment

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Hello readers… I feel slightly ashamed as I type this, that I haven’t written a blog post since August and the months have slowly passed by and my poor blog has been sitting here waiting for me to put words on the page.

I hadn’t forgotten about writing; in fact it was on my mind that I should write something (because writing and creating is actually an important outlet for me) but I felt as if I had no inspiration and to be honest, I still don’t feel inspired. There’s the thoughts that say You have nothing to write about and No one will be interested anyway and You don’t have time and simply, What’s the point? 

But listening to those thoughts and sitting around waiting for inspiration to come wasn’t getting me anywhere… so think of this post as me popping in to say hello and by starting to write, hopefully more inspiration to write will follow.

The kind of negative thoughts I was having about writing are not just limited to this area of my life; they seem to be a daily struggle, especially things like, You don’t have timeWhat’s the point? and a very common one, I can’t be bothered. It’s as if the thoughts are talking me out of doing the things I enjoy… and more often than not I do listen to them. But there are times when I know I have to ignore them, which isn’t always easy to do.

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This happened to me just yesterday, before I was about to go to my weekly yoga class. I absolutely love this class and I really do look forward to it. It is challenging but there is something about it that I just love and when it’s over, it’s as if I can actually feel the new suppleness of my body from the stretches. Often in the class, during the final resting pose, the teacher will offer inspirational thoughts, anecdotes or poems. At that point in the class, there is a feeling of openness, where you can almost feel each person in the room listening to her words and taking on their meaning in whatever way they personally need to.

So yesterday, at home before I left for yoga, despite looking forward to it beforehand, I had a very strong feeling not to go and to stay at home instead. I can’t be bothered and Just stay at home and You won’t enjoy it anyway made an appearance. I decided that they were talking rubbish and made myself go to the class. Of course I enjoyed it… and there was one more thing I took away from the class. This week, the final message was a poem called, “Forget about enlightenment” by John Welwood. Below are the words and I’ve also included a video if you want to hear the poem being read. Personally, the line about opening your heart to who you are right now struck a chord with me. But perhaps you will find it meaningful in another way that is personal to you. I hope you enjoy it.

Forget about enlightenment.
Sit down wherever you are
And listen to the wind singing in your veins.
Feel the love, the longing, the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are, right now,
Not who you would like to be,
Not the saint you are striving to become,
But the being right here before you, inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.
You are already more and less
Than whatever you can know.
Breathe out,
Touch in,
Let go.

A piece of me

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”
― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland

I have spent the last eight to nine months training to be a primary school teacher, and I am reaching the end of the course, and the final test: taking a class for the whole school day, assuming the role of a newly qualified teacher for three weeks. 

During the course, everything I believed or thought about teaching has been questioned, moulded and shaped, and my “teaching personality” has been evaluated and cultivated and continues to do so with every assessment, reflection and “constructive criticism” offered by tutors, class teachers and head teachers, and myself (sometimes my biggest critic).

It is impossible to do a course like this without going through a process of change, and this can be difficult and confusing. Sometimes I have felt that teaching is at odds with my personality and I have had to learn to take on a “teaching persona” which is different to my persona outside of the classroom. There is so much questioning, reflection, evaluation, and conflicting advice from university and school placements, that you can get lost in it. 

I also feel that the heavy workload has made me neglect things that are important to me, and this blog is one of those things. This blog is a space for me to imagine, create and write, and I have missed it. But I have really struggled to find the time and space in my day to write here.

It’s half-term and I have decided this is a week where I can “find” pieces of me that I have let be forgotten. Starting with this blog-post. So watch this space 🙂

Happy half-term/bank holiday weekend everybody xxx

WordPress review of my blog in 2012

WordPress just sent me this report of my blog in 2012 and I really enjoyed reading it! It shows me how far this blog has come since it was just an idea in my head, to the very first post, and now to have over 1000 views is very exciting 🙂 Thanks for all your views and comments since the first post! And my new year’s resolution: to write regularly and fill the blogosphere with positive thinking! 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.