These Are a Few of My Favourite Things

I get preoccupied so easily. I get preoccupied with my to-do lists, with the idea that my life is somehow lacking, because I feel like a failure in certain areas of my life and because I’m a consumer and that’s what consumers do: we desire something and after we’ve acquired said commodity, we move on right to the next one. It never stops. Well, today I’m taking the time to do a quick brainstorm and write a list of things that make me happy and not the things I think will make me happy after I’ve done whatever needed to be done for me to reach a goal (material or not). No editing of thoughts or writing down things I think I “should” say. If you feel like doing the same, please feel free to join me.

Here goes: My hubby. Puppies. Music. Chocolate cake. Quentin Tarantino movies. Fresh bread. Yoga. The forest. Movies with uncomplicated plots and happy endings. Lip balm.

Most are self explanatory (of course I love my hubby and I don’t really know anyone who completely dislikes music), but I’ll explain some.

  • Who doesn’t like puppies?ย Puppies, critters and all sorts of creatures are one of the biggest loves of my life. I have one little furry friend to share my life with and it’s priceless. She’s crazy, yes, but hey, so am I. Look at this pretty face and beautiful eyes! I’d like to get a cat, some hamsters, maybe some bunnies … I’ll settle for my little girl for now, though.
20151023_100901

How could you not love this little cutie pie??

  • I love Tarantino movies, because they keep you at the edge of your seat and you can’t really see into the future with his plots. I recently saw Hateful Eight: You. Need. To. See. This. Just don’t eat while you watch the second half. ๐Ÿ˜‰ In juxtaposition to that, I really like no-brainer movies. I can absolutely enjoy movies where everyone just gets along and are happy or only have short-lived challenges to overcome. Life is complicated enough in reality, so I like to drift off into something completely unrealistic and have a nice cake to go along (oh, what I wouldn’t do for some really yummy chocolate cake …).
  • My house is swimming with the aroma of bread that I made this morning. I’m already making plans for the meal coming my way. The smell of freshly baked bread just comforts me and makes me feel all warm and cosy.
  • Yoga makes me happy. It makes me take a look inside, makes me think about myself in a respectful manner and gives me dimension. It rids me of my toxic thoughts and helps me be kinder and more forgiving. I guess it’s hard to describe and hard to understand if you haven’t tried it yet. Initially, I started doing yoga for the work-out, I stayed because it helps me be a better human being. It’s amazing how it changes your body, but it also gives you a healthier mind set. Plus, I have found a deep and unyielding relationship with yoga pants. I love me some yoga pants. It’s becoming a problem. ๐Ÿ˜€
  • Chocolate cake sounds like such a clichรฉ, but sometimes it’s all I ever dream about. Whenever in doubt, have some really nice chocolate cake. One of my wet dreams lately has been to sit on my couch, watch a really silly rom-com and have a whole, entire cake to myself. Just me, some forks and that beauty. My mouth is watering …
  • I am so blessed to live where I do. It’s a small village and I’m surrounded by forests and fresh air. Stepping outside after a night of rain just does something to my soul. It makes me so happy I could cry.
  • Do you ever have really dry and chapped lips and all you wish for is to get your hands on a really good lip balm to ease your lip discomfort? And when you do, does it feel like you’re not only smearing it on your lips, but on your crackled old soul? ย ๐Ÿ™‚

So, that was my list of happiness-inducing things and a little behind why it is so. The point of this list is to remind myself that life isn’t about owning things. I’ll go read this whenever I’ll feel like my life isn’t full of happiness, because I’ve failed to materialize my current consumer needs. Smells and feelings and sensations make me happy, not gadgets and things. Happiness is just one chocolate cake away for me. And I bake a mean cake ๐Ÿ™‚

If you played along, what did you write? What are the things that make you happy on an everyday basis?

 

 

Dream Big and Dream Plenty

I always tell everyone they can be whatever they want to be. If you’re young or old, I believe it’s always possible to dream big and make it happen.

Well, then … Why am I not a singer/dancer/teacher/innovator/motivational speaker/yoga instructor yet? ๐Ÿ˜€ย It’s such hypocrisy, isn’t it? Sure, YOU can be whatever you want, I, on the other hand, will just crawl in my turtle shell and not do anything about my dreams. It’s not like I don’t have any. I guess I seem to have too many and I’m confused with what it is I really want. When I was teeny tiny, I wanted to be a dancer/singer (didn’t we all?) and I guess I let myself be told I’m not talented enough. Then, I wanted to be an English language teacher. I actually worked pretty hard to achieve that and then realised I do not want to torture kids in a formal setting of a classroom and live my life being miserable and uninspired. Then, there was a big time-gap in between wanting to be a teacher and my dreams now. I was just confused. I didn’t know what I wanted of my life and was at a complete stand-still for about four years or so. That was also a time of my personal lowest, so I guess it’s easy to see how I didn’t even know how to dream.

After getting out of my weird groove, things started shifting for me. I got new career opportunities that include teaching in a way I found inspirational, started meeting new wonderful people and have since started working on my talents and seeing that there could even be career opportunities in them. Still, there wasn’t just one thing I wanted to do and it remains so to this day. I never think of one thing I want to do. Yes, I want to teach. Yes, I want to make custom furniture. Yes, I want to become a yoga instructor. And yes, I want to help people find personal inspiration. Plus, I’d like to make cakes. But guess what? I’d be pretty good at all of them! Now what? what do I choose?

A few days ago, I got my answer. I came across this TED talk and let’s just say it broadened my horizons a wee little bit:

I like TED talks, because they give me plenty of new dimensions I would usually never consider. And this one just made me happy. I finally found what’s “wrong” with me. Absolutely nothing is wrong! Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m a MULTIPOTENTIALITE!

I’ve always been a person Emilie describes: I’d find a passion, dive into it, find out I’m pretty good at it and then find another one. It’s all good, except the fact that people expect you to “grow up” and settle in and have just one job and that’s that. I was really burdened by this notion of having to do only one thing for the rest of my life, because it’s what everyone around expects of me. She let me know I can release myself from feeling guilty every time I find yet another “hobby” and career. Hearing this talk freed me in a way and a lot of things in my life simply started making sense.

I have plenty of dreams and, sure, they’ve shifted through the years because I’ve been doing some hard-core growing up. I guess I can see how I’m not easy to understand in this very focused world. I felt like there was something wrong with me for quite some time. I think it all comes down to the individual: some of us have dreams that pile one atop of the other and some just have a few. No matter what, don’t be afraid to dream plenty: in your multitudes or singularities. In the end, it’s your inner life and you’re the one in charge of what goes on in it. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Brand Spankin’ New You

โ€œI am my own biggest critic. Before anyone else has criticized me, I have already criticized myself. But for the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and I don’t want to spend my life with someone who is always critical. So I am going to stop being my own critic. It’s high time that I accept all the great things about me.โ€
C. JoyBell C.

It’s 2016 and gyms around the world will be busy for a few more weeks before everyone forgets about their resolutions and fresh starts :). Let me just get this one thing off my chest: if you fail or falter in your resolutions (seeing that you’ve made some), let me give you a little encouragement: you can begin all over at any time. You don’t need a whole new number on your calender to feel new hope of change. Just start over.

20151030_184607A lot of people choose a healthier lifestyle for their new year’s challenge. Some really want to be healthy and others just want to be skinny for the sake of looking hot in a smaller dress size. Well, I’m here to give you a few pointers to help you achieve both, but also here to give you a little something to think about.

2015 was the year I chose myself. It wasn’t a new year’s resolution or anything like that, or at least not a conscious one. I chose to be a little kinder to my body and to really start working on my fitness. I had 82 kilos and with my munchkin height of 157 centimetres, it was taking a toll on my body. I was constantly tired and irritated, plus I was taking birth control and the hormones got to me and my mood, so I was a real mess. Simply put: I was seriously unhappy with who I was and also how I looked. I’m not one of those people who’d look at a Victoria’s Secret model and gasp over how good she looks. No, I like some muscle and meat on the bone. What I’m trying to say is that I like a healthy middle when it comes to looking the way I want to look and feel. One day, and I don’t really know why, I just stopped taking the hormones and went online to find yoga classes. I don’t really know what happened and I don’t have a good explanation when it comes to my reasoning at that point. I guess I just had enough of self pity and loathing. So in 2015 I lost a total of about 30 kilos. I didn’t go on any special diets and I didn’t starve myself, instead I ate smarter and did yoga. I did forget one important matter, though: I didn’t love me before I started changing my body and although it took me about 8 months to get the weight down, I couldn’t wait for it to be over already and for me to finally be able to look in the mirror and really like what I see. I was waiting for the big reveal. I got disappointment. Even with the weight down, I struggled and struggle to this very day. Looking back, I now know I should have made changes because I love myself unconditionally at every size and not because I can’t wait to love this other, shiny new person. There are no guarantees in life and instead of falling in love with the new me, it came to pass that she wasn’t good enough. We seem to want to hate something about ourselves at any point in time, it’s like we’re hard-wired to do so. I’m really grateful that I chose not to only work on my outside, but focus also on my heart and mind as things were happening for me. I don’t know where I’d be otherwise. I knew It wasn’t right of me to see what I saw and have since then gradually learned to look and find positives. Today, as I sit here and write this, I’m happy with the way I look. If I could go back to the me in 2014 and offer advice, I’d tell myself that I’m in this for better or worse, that I’m beautiful the way I am and am already worth the effort of loving myself. Plus, my curves are sexy as hell! ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€œThe most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.โ€ย 

C.G. Jung

What I’d like for you to gain from this is to simply love yourself now and be the best version of yourself. Part of loving yourself is eating right and exercising, so weight loss will then come naturally.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what I did to get those kilos off and (for now) keep them steady. Keep in mind that I’m not an expert on any level, but you may find some research guidelines and take it from here:

  • I start my day with a warm glass of water with some lemon juice. If nothing else, it gives you a kick-start in the morning and hydrates the body.20151122_174035
  • I do my yoga in the morning, before breakfast.
  • I don’t eat meat, but if you’re a meat eater, I’d say eat lean meats and try to stay away from anything processed and fried.
  • Drink water and unsweetened tea, stay away from juices, sodas and even flavored waters (white sugar is not your friend if you want to loose weight). Drinking plenty of water does wonders for the skin, too.
  • I eat as much veggies and fruits as my heart desires.
  • Carbs are not the enemy. They give energy and strength. Making spaghetti out of zucchini does not count as carbs!
  • An empty sack does not stand alone. Eat. Smaller portions about five times a day.

It’s hard to show up for yourself and work out. We live busy lives. The thing with exercise is, that it gives us more energy, but we have to build that energy up and that’s hard. The first few weeks are challenging, but after about the second week, you’re hooked. It makes you feel so much better and instead of looking for excuses why not to work out, you’ll bail on other things in order to do what your body needs. Just make sure you find something you like and do your best to stick with it. Just remember, if you fall, don’t quit. Start again. You’re worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

May this fresh new year bring you challenges and may you overcome them. Let it bring you tears of joy and some of pain, so you’ll laugh even harder when you grow from them. I wish you all those things that will help you live your life with light and love.