So I knew that my lack of meditation practice this year would not bode well for me come wintertime. Although, now we’re the other side of you-know-what, I’m actually starting to feel better already.
When chatting about plans and ideas work-wise for the year ahead, my sister said she thought I lacked motivation. I assured her that the reason why I’ve been talking about various business ideas for (more than?) two years without actually getting any off the ground is confidence, not motivation.
I feel overwhelmingly motivated to create, inspire and educate. I yearn to fill my days with projects of my own creation and spend my time and focus working hard for something I believe in. My lack of confidence in my ideas and the belief that I’m capable of producing anything of quality has held me back.
Which is really fucking sad.
Example: I started a ’30 things to do before I’m 30′ list, got not even a third of the way through before convincing myself that I probably wouldn’t do any of it.
I’m intending to head back to the list at somepoint, hopefully whilst there’s still time!
It’s not even failure I’m anxious about (everyone fails), it’s the fact that I’m anxious that I’m anxious. I think I’ve just doubted myself for so long, I’ve forgotten (did I ever really know?!) what it’s like to not question myself and my ideas so intensively.
If this was anyone else saying this to me, I’d tell them to have some faith in themselves. Why is taking your own advice so difficult?
Mindfulness has been useful in the moments when I really needed to remind myself to stay calm, to react more neutrally, not to drop my basket. I hope meditation will help me have faith.
The changing of the seasons can be very difficult, and basically very annoying for people who love the outdoors but dislike the dark and the cold. It makes you want to stay in bed more, sleep more, eat more.
However, sitting in your garden to meditate fully kitted out for the crisp and sometimes breathtakingly cold sea air is certainly refreshing!
Cooking and baking and yoga are things I’m hoping will help me get through the next few months of dark, cold evenings. So far we’ve enjoyed hummus, falafel, lemon cake and lentil curry. (Not all at once!) Currently looking for more vegan recipes and bakes to add to my list!
As part of World Mental Health Day (10th October) the project I volunteer for, along with the NHS kickstarted a campaign to break down mental health stigma, and encourage young people (and those who come into contact with young people) to be more aware of mental health issues and to feel more comfortable talking about them. It was commissioned by the CCG in response to poor statistics regarding mental health awareness and the feeling of being stigmatized that young people were experiencing.
The tagline #iamwhole champions the fact that no matter what your mental health status, or how much support you may need, you are still a whole individual.
As someone who has always found it near impossible, who still finds it pretty difficult to open up about how their feeling and accept support, this campaign is one I would have benefited from at a school age. Learnt behaviours like ignoring the problem; not being honest with yourself about how you’re feeling take their toll and are challenging habits to break. I had a mentor a few years ago who’s favourite saying (that I shall re-appropriate) was ‘Be kind to yourself.’
It’s good to remember on days when the nights drawing in are getting to you; that it will pass, it’s okay to not feel your best and to BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
What things do you do to keep you going through winter?
It certainly seems like I have come a long way since my last post. Almost a year. My exam for the end of my first module at the OU is in 10 days. Revision is going well.
What I have learnt academically is nothing compared to what I have learnt personally. I have learnt that no amount of therapy, medication, self-help books or yoga/meditation is conducive to a healthy body and mind, if that body and mind do not want to make positive changes. I didn’t want to make these changes for a long time.
Not long after my last post, I started volunteering for a project called Right Here. The project supports young people to develop resilience to all that life throws at them, creates awareness campaigns about mental health issues and conducts research into free and paid support networks. The people I’ve volunteered with during my time with the project have been wonderful and engaged and I feel we have made a small but vital impact within our community. It was also immensely helpful to have an external project on which to focus on whilst so much else around me was uncertain.
I’m also now vegan. It took me a while to get ‘there’ but I am sure with all my heart that I will never look back. Veganism and the concept of healthy, sustainable, cruelty-free living are working their way more and more into my consciousness, an incredibly welcome lifestyle and attitude adjustment. Tomorrow I will be attending my first ever Vegan festival and I could not be more excited!
Working hard, studying hard and volunteering hard have kept me deliciously busy. It’s good to be busy. Everyone in their 20’s should be busy! Meditation and yoga have assisted me to keep a healthy routine of self care, one I hope I stick with. Progress photos of some of the more challenging (for me!) yoga poses helps me to challenge and push myself physically. I have serious backbend envy at the moment, and so saving for a Dharma Yoga Wheel…
Turns out, this adult thing just takes a bit of getting used to.