Food for the soul…


Never be down about your down day

Sometimes you wake up and there is just no pep in your step; not even a crow bar could turn that frown upside down (although you wouldn’t mind putting the crow bar to better, more… ‘tension-releasing’ use) and you just want to press snooze all day.

It is ok.

Feeling like you are on cloud 1, never mind cloud 9, every day with this indelible glow of productivity and positivity can be a struggle. But that isn’t a struggle that you need to feel guilty about.

There’s a lot of things we feel guilty about but few things for which we are guilty. By harboring feelings of guilt you are creating a dimension of negativity that is counter-productive and you just end up making yourself feel worse with no positive outcome.

Sometimes you just need a down day. Everybody does.

So I will snuggle down this evening in my slightly fusty dressing gown and binge on ‘House of Cards’ and chocolate. Because that is how I am choosing to end my day.

Tomorrow is a new one.

Find your spark

What inspires you? Have you ever been asked that question?

For those of us who have never (consciously) felt inspired by anything, that is a very difficult question to answer.

But perhaps you need to ask yourself a different question or, rather, a different set of questions. You don’t need to think of everything on such a grandiose, philosophical and singular scale. Try asking yourself the two following questions:-

1) What do I spend any given day doing?

2) What do I spend any given day thinking about?

I answered these two questions and came up with: working, food shopping, watching TV, eating, texting and cleaning. I think about money, I worry about money and my thoughts are consumed with self-doubt and questioning my future – on a daily basis!

Your answers may have been similar; they may have been completely different. Either way, take a moment to reflect on the answers you have given.

We sink into the monotony of daily pattern and basic function as if it is our only option. Here is where negative thoughts fester and breed. You need to snap yourself awake and begin to take an active role within your life.

How can you do that?

You need to inspire yourself. Be your own muse. Be your own mood board filled with ideas, activities and skills to choose from.

I have often read the piece of advice ‘Try something new.’ You can’t argue with that. But I often find myself staring out over the grey and gloomy skyline of Manchester wondering, ‘What is out there for me, within my budget?’ There’s only a limited number of free art galleries and museums in Manchester and I’ve seen them all!

What if you don’t have the money to pursue new interests and activities?

Again, scale it back (you don’t have to learn to scuba-dive or join the local equestrian club). What about the vast amount of information you have access to right now, at your finger tips?!?

Type ‘guitar lessons for beginners’ into Youtube (or anything for beginners for that matter) and there is no end to the streams of tutorials – some of them are even delivered by experts and professionals!. Now I appreciate that learning the guitar is only truly free if you already have the guitar (luckily my partner does). But the harmonica and ukelele are relatively cheap instruments. Get creative, scale back and trust that you will still gain just as much.

Go and develop some skills for yourself!

I recently read a blog by Ramit Sethi, author of ‘I will teach you to be rich.’

Josh Kaufman guests with a bitesize version of his book –  ‘The first 20 hours. How to learn anything…fast.’

I won’t try and paraphrase or explain. You just need to read it. It inspired me and I hope it sparks something within you too.

I now have a list of about 10 skills that I plan to learn over the next 18 months. I can already play 4 chords on the guitar and a few basic songs – and I’m only 3 days in!

Persistence and commitment are key. Now my daily life involves focused guitar practice, regular blogging, NO TV (although I do allow myself the odd ‘House of Cards’ episode on Netflix) and whole lot of value for my time. And this is just the beginning!

You owe it to yourself! Go and be fulfilled!

Where to begin?

I wanted to create a blog that shared and promoted positive thoughts and ideas that will hopefully help you to take positive action within your life. Even if it’s to never read this blog again… that’s sort of action, right?…

Sometimes it seems like we have been sucking on that life lemon for a bit too long (apologies, this lemony goodness will be splashed all over this blog!). I know I’ve felt trapped inside this bitterness for a while now. You feel worthless, useless and well, frankly, boring. It’s only a matter of time before it starts to affect your ability to socialise, to both love and be loved and to recognise the simplicity of life. Most importantly, however, with one iron-clad fist, it crushes your ambition.

You feel like you will never amount to anything and that you are irrelevant in your own life.

This simply isn’t true.

Nobody will ever see a blue sky with cotton wool clouds through your eyes. They will never hear the chirps of the first morning birds through your ears. They will never taste a warm piece of home-made apple pie with your mouth. They will never gently stroke a newborn-baby’s hand with yours.

This is what makes you special. These present moment experiences are what we take for granted because we feel pressure to constantly think ahead. But you’re manning this ship and you choose what’s on board.

Once you realise that you are in control of your own destiny (cliché but oh so true) then you are on the path of ambition. Allow yourself to be inspired by the zestiness and juiciness of all the life that is happening around you and within you right now!

Inspiration and ambition are key to fulfilling your true potential and understanding your true self-worth. They go together like a horse and carriage.

The journey starts here, for both you and I.