You!

What do you believe?  In the very core of your being what feels right?  Does the world you live in back up those beliefs?  Or does it contradict those beliefs?

 

Sometimes you can look around you and realise not a lot makes sense.  Money doesn’t make sense.  Stuff doesn’t make sense.  Working as a pawn in someone else’s dream doesn’t make sense.

 

Sometimes it does make sense, sometimes you are in harmony with how you feel and the world’s very rotation is comfortably making sense to you.

 

Where does it make sense?  Where does it not make sense?  Can you feel where inside of you that happens?  Do you understand that you are being shown what is right and wrong right from inside of you?  Or do you ignore it as nonsense?

 

We have only one way of knowing what is right and wrong and sometimes that is buried deep down underneath our thoughts, our insecurities, our stresses and our busy lives.  But it is there.  Every answer you ever need from the most knowledgable source we have access to is inside of us.  Let it confuse you, let it help you, let it freak you the hell out but LISTEN TO IT.  Trust yourself.  Making mistakes is all part of it.  One day it just won’t matter but it will matter if you avoided yourself in case it mattered.

 

Listen and Live.

 

We are amazing Pride!

It’s coming to the end of another year and many of us will think about our New Year’s Resolutions soon.  We will decide what it is we want and how we are going to get it, then come January 1st it’s all go, go, go.

 

This year I have a different approach for you all.  Think about what it is you want to change, think about the promises you want to make for yourself.  Write them down, imagine them and pretend they are real. Feels great right?

 

Now I want you to choose just one of your resolutions and I want you to write down or think of 5 actions that will help you achieve these.  For example, you want to lose 6kg by May.  5 actions could be:

  • Go to the gym/exercise 3 days a week.
  • Cut out chocolate 6 days a week.
  • Eat more vegetables.
  • Buy a dress a size smaller.
  • Take a picture of yourself as you are now for your before and after photo.

 

Now, notice that all of these are actions.  They all require your doing.  Now instead of picking the easiest one and doing it and then ignoring the rest I want you to pick a day, this week, and commit yourself to taking action on this chosen day toward your goals, using at least 3 of your ‘harder’ actions.  For example, on Thursday you could commit to the following:

  • No chocolate after 3pm.
  • Each meal must include a vegetable of some sort.
  • You will walk up the escalator on the way to work.

 

That is it.  That is all you have to commit to.  Just one day.  If you find it easy perhaps add in the action of taking that picture of yourself, or browse dresses online and see what you would like to buy.  Then don’t force yourself to do anything else until the following week….unless, you want to.  Know that the other days you put in extra work are optional, if you do an extra day the first week but not the second then that is OK!  But, on that one day you have promised to yourself, you must stay committed to your goals.

 

There are less than 4 weeks left of this year which means that by the time we meet January 1st, you will have already been working on your Resolutions for 3 weeks.  You will already be prepared.  You will be on your way!  This will help you to feel organised and motivated because you won’t be starting everything from scratch and it will feel good to continue your efforts.

 

Another quick example just to explore different goals is the idea that perhaps you want a new career, perhaps you want to earn more money or bag an interview with a dream company or even start your own business.  5 actions could be as follows:

  • Write down what you would like to be doing and where clearly and in detail.
  • Research 10 companies that you would like to work for and find a contact name of a senior person relevant to the role for each.
  • Write a list of qualities and skills you have and where you see yourself in 10 years
  • Write a letter explaining who you are, what you want to do in your career and why you are good at it.
  • Go to work imagining you have your dream role, dress the part, talk the part and put in the same effort you would if you had it already.

 

There, 5 actions.  They may seem big or small to you, but either way, they are 5 actions that will get you moving forward.  Pick one day and again choose 3 of those.  For example, on Wednesday you will:

  • Write down what you would like to be doing and where, as listed above.
  • Choose an outfit for work tomorrow that makes you feel worthy of this new role.  You want to feel empowered and successful so choose an outfit that will help with this.
  • Research one company, find out who to contact (choose someone senior that has influence in the business) and put it in to a document on your computer so you an add to it the week after with more companies.

 

This is me stripping it down to the bare minimum.  Any extra work you want to do is great but the idea is that we don’t want any of it to seem daunting.  Get your body into the beginning of a habit, a habit that will move you towards your goals in a realistic and sustainable manner.

 

Let’s start our New Year’s Resolutions in preparation for the New Year, so that we can potentially spend January 1st recovering from the celebrations and with a restful mindset knowing that you are on your way!

 

Onwards we go Pride!

 

 

 

Reflection

There are often times when I wonder what I would tell a younger version of myself. I think about all the things that would help me have the upper hand, all the beauty tips that would make me prettier, all the food I shouldn’t be eating, all the courage I should fake towards bullies, all the times that I shouldn’t have shut my mouth and more importantly, all the times I should.  

As I think about this question more and more, one word sticks out, more and more.
This one word of advice gives you a powerful key in the world, it gives you the upper hand, educates you, makes you prettier, healthier, stronger, hands you top secret information and enters you into a secret underground world of truth into the minds of others.
What is this magical word?
LISTEN!
Yes, listen. It really is that simple. Think about it, yes especially the ‘mouth almighty’s’ out there, what good does non-stop talking do? What do you learn about others? What help do you give others? What other view can you gain if all that is being heard are YOUR opinions, YOUR beliefs, YOUR point of views or YOUR secret recipes? 
None.  
What friend can seek solace in opening up to you about their troubles and worries if you won’t let them finish a sentence!
What knowledge can you gain against your enemies if you constantly lay out a blueprint to your mind instead?
What can you learn if all you do is repeat what you have learned so far?
What respect can you gain if others feel that their say isn’t important around you?
Listen. Listen and learn.  
Stop interrupting. Stop picking up your phone when someone is talking to you. Stop listening only to wait for your turn to speak. Stop going on and on and on!
Now before I go any further, I would like to admit that I am quite the chatterbox, I always want to give my opinion or help someone with advice from knowledge I have gained. However, I have learnt to listen. I have learnt to activate a switch in my head and send a signal that says ‘shhhhh, just listen, forget what you are bursting to say and REALLY LISTEN.  
If you want people to actually listen to you then you have to give people respect and value what they have to say too.  
I learn a lot about people by listening. I learn who they are in between their words. I learn their strength in between their sorrows, I learn their weaknesses in between their excuses, I learn their compassion in between their fussing. I get to see some extraordinary qualities that I would miss if I did not shut my trap for once and pay attention (N.B. Paying attention is the most important part). I would also miss some ignorant qualities, some qualities that make me realise that that person is not who I held them to be. Most importantly I get to know someone, I get to walk in their shoes and learn their stories. Good or bad I’m grateful that they want to share them with me and I’m grateful that I paid attention and listened to them.
Thanks for listening pride!

Because you are.

How many times have you been driving and you stop to let someone go and they don’t go?  You just sit there waiting for them to appreciate your kindness and they seem oblivious.  So you tut and sigh and perhaps curse and say something along the lines of ‘well I’m not waiting here all day’ or ‘you’ve lost your chance now’ as you drive on irritated with them.

Or perhaps you bump into someone and immediately say sorry, the other person then looks at you and tuts or gives you a dirty look, perhaps even a stern ‘look where you are going next time’, and you instantly get annoyed, maybe even shout after them ‘well if you weren’t standing in the middle of the aisle’ or maybe even something worse?

How many times have you tried to be kind to someone but they are rude back and then you enter in to an argument with that person, you know full well it is their fault because you tried to be the better person?

Perhaps you have tried to be nice and then an argument has escalated and perhaps that person has gone as far as to push you.  To hit you even.  So, you of course hit back.  They started it, you were trying to resolve the issue?

What has happened in all of these circumstances is you have placed expectations on other people to act how you want them to act.  To do as you think they should do.  You have based who you are on their actions and when they haven’t acted as you expected them to you have become defensive and angry.

Now before I go any further I must point out that we are all human and therefore we will all have good days and bad days and sometimes do right and sometimes do wrong, but, if we can understand our behaviour then we can at least learn from it.  If you are a respectful person – or pride yourself to be – then you should be respectful always, not just when someone is respecting you.  You don’t have to tolerate disrespect and you certainly don’t have to match disrespect.  If you are a kind person, be kind always, don’t excuse cruel behaviour by blaming someone else.  Just because someone is cruel to you it doesn’t justify you matching that behaviour.

Be who you want to be, be the person that you think it is right to be.  If you want to be kind then you must be kind when challenged, when pushed, when provoked.  You always have the choice to close your mouth, hold your hands by your side or walk away.

Preaching that you are a type of person and then letting that be determined by someone else’s attitude is not being true to the person you say you are.  The person you want to be.

The other day I could feel myself getting irritated with a man on the train, I was tired and had a headache and I was in the middle of reading a really good book and this man was talking so loudly on the phone.  He was trying to get through to someone presumably talking to a receptionist first.  I looked over at the man and could feel myself wanted to shoot him an irritated look but I stopped myself, I stopped for a moment and thought ‘Rachel, it is your own fault you are wound up with this man, we have been underground for some time and he might need to make this call, stop being so rude’.  This was the telling off I gave myself.  I tried to go back to my book but couldn’t concentrate so decided to wait patiently until the man was off the phone.  A few seconds later I heard him say ‘yes sorry I haven’t been at work my mother passed away this weekend and I’ve taken a few days off but I will be back tomorrow and can sort it then’.  He then had to repeat it several times as the person on the other end of the phone clearly couldn’t hear him, which was perhaps why he was talking loudly in the first place.  Well didn’t I just feel like a prize idiot.  This man is grieving and trying to sort out his work in the meantime and here I am annoyed because I can’t concentrate.  In that moment I was so thankful that I observed my thoughts and took responsibility for my actions.

You never know what someone is going through or why they are acting out.  The angry woman shouting from her car, the man that bumps into you without saying sorry, the miserable cashier, you just don’t know why they are acting that way and by you being nice, or patient or just polite, you may be helping them more than you know.  More than even they know.

So be nice because you are nice.  Be kind because you are kind.  Be respectful because you are respectful.  Just because YOU are those things, be them.

Kindly respecting all of my lovely Pride.

Because it’s the best way to be!

(Photo from anonymous source – Facebook)

The closer you get to all of these the more free and in control you will feel.  Doors will open, lights will shine and you will embrace everything with open arms.  Even if it’s scary, go for it, be you!
Lovin you for you Pride!

Just trying to fit in!

When I was younger all I wanted was to be normal. I wanted to fit in. I didn’t want to be singled out. I wanted to be liked and blend in with everyone.  
I didn’t want the bullies to take a shine to me, I didn’t want them to scream in my ears in the playground, circle around my friends so that I would stand alone, make up embarrassing rumours about me, threaten me, start on me or throw the things that hurt me in my face. I didn’t want to be humiliated. I just wanted to be normal. I just wanted to fit in.
When I lost my mum at 13, I didn’t want to be the girl whose mum had just died, I didn’t want everyone to look at me, pity me, know that I was the girl with no mum. I didn’t want to be the talk of the school. I just wanted to be normal. I just wanted to fit in.
As I got older and faced monsters in the shape of grown-ups, I didn’t want to be the damaged woman, I didn’t want to be the one with a troubled childhood, I didn’t want to be the one that came with baggage, I didn’t want to be the one scarred by the actions of people doing wrong, I didn’t want to be pitied and have eyes rolled behind my back. I just wanted to be normal. I just wanted to fit in
But I wasn’t normal.
I felt far from normal and I was FAR from normal. I realised that by hiding how different I was that I was actually crushing my own soul, by trying to be like everyone else I was becoming nobody, by fitting in I was losing any meaning of life.  
I am not normal and nor would I want to be, I am the only one of me. Why would I want to be invisible? Why would I want to live my life to be accepted by other people that are no better than me? Why would I base what is ‘right’ on other people’s opinions? Why would I want to hand my worth to someone else when it is the most valuable diamond of this earth?
I wouldn’t. I don’t want to be anyone but me. I don’t want to be anything other than who I am. I don’t want to concern myself with the opinion of ‘they’. I want to be every part of me. I want to feel every drop of my blood feed my body. I want to think every thought that runs through my mind. I want to speak every truth that flows from my heart and I want to be a platform for my soul to give meaning to this world.
I want to live. I want to tell others to live too. I want to help everyone see how completely not normal they really are. I want everyone to know that a light shines in them with colours that no one has ever seen before.
Realising that no part of me is normal is when I truly began to fit in. I fit in to me. To my own skin. To my own world. And it’s fantastic.
Be you.
Fit in with you!
We are all part of one seriously abnormal Pride fellow Lions and Lionesses! 

Ruthlessly forgiving.

Forgiveness is about you, not the other person. If someone has disrespected you, hurt you, wronged you or treated you in a way that you don’t deserve it is important to be able to forgive them and not hold on to any anger, however, that doesn’t mean they deserve a place in your life. That doesn’t mean you have to allow them your time or company. That is for you to assess yourself. It is not about holding a grudge or being stubborn, it is about you having standards and boundaries. It is about establishing who deserves your time and who doesn’t. You can love someone without being near them or giving them any time at all. If they do not appreciate you for the magnificent being that you are then why are you wasting your time? Why are you using your energy on them instead of someone who will appreciate you. 
You don’t have to go cutting a load of people out of your life but it’s helpful to observe those that are around you and how they treat you, without anger, without resentment, without expectation. Just know what you will and will not tolerate and make no exception! Forgive those who wrong you because they cannot possibly see what is in front of them. But they will, eventually, whether you know it or not…..but that’s none of our business!
Only accepting the best for ourselves Pride!

Do!

You are always being shown the way.  When something feels right deep down then it is right for you.  Sometimes you will be led to challenges and other times to rewards but you will never be led astray by listening to your gut instinct.

This life isn’t supposed to be a straight path on a red carpet covered in rose petals.  It is supposed to take you up and down, high and low, far and wide.  Go with the flow, be guided through the forest, up the mountains, overseas.  Why now?  This life is for living right?

We are all headed to the same inevitable ending, what a shame it would be to get there perfectly preserved never having taken a risk.  Why is that an important choice?  Why is it so necessary to play it safe?  If you have answers to these questions that excite you and feel right then sure, go for that route in life, but deep down, if you strive for adventure, for fun, for excitement or for LIFE.  Follow your heart, listen to your gut and let your head advise you.  Go live an amazing life!

Build it your way

There is no ‘right way’ or ‘wrong way’ of doing anything.  There is only the  way it feels right or wrong to you.  There is no higher power saying you must get all A*’s on your school exams or you will be a failure.  There is no higher power saying you must eat with your fork in your left hand or you have no manners and there is no higher power saying you must work for someone else all your life, get married and have children before you are able to relax for 20 years.

There is also no higher power saying that any of the above are wrong.  See where I am going?  Everything we see in society has been created by other humans and we then try to fit in to that way to feel established.  But that isn’t a way of establishing yourself, that is a way of establishing someone else’s influence or idea of ‘right’.

Now I am going to give you some advice but please, feel free to dismiss it, because again, it might not be right for you:

DO WHATEVER YOU FEEL TO DO

Follow your heart, follow your dreams.  Don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done.  Anything can be done.  There is no rule book.  There is no set way of doing things.  The only real thing we do know is that:

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

Apply yourself freely to what you love and you shall reap reward.

Be kind to others and you will create a kinder world.

Love conquers all.

There is no such thing as failure, only a chance to learn.

All of these things need to be remembered.  You do not have to be earning a certain amount by a certain age to be deemed successful.

You do not have to have a 9-5 job to be taken seriously.

You do not have to meet someone and settle down to be considered loveable

You do not have to love women, or men, or both or for that matter, neither.  You should love who you  love (I must question the woman who fell in love with a tree though, but hey, each to their own).

You can create any life you want and by never forgetting that you are a living example to others and you will help them live a free life true to themselves.  Fear is the only thing stopping us so let’s be brave and be everything we want to be.  We are all headed out of this life the same way, don’t spend it following the herd!

Here’s to living Pride!

Live live live!

Follow your heart.  If it feels right then it is the right path for you to take, don’t worry about the money, don’t worry about what others think and don’t wait for something better, live now.  Don’t miss out on something good because it’s not the way you imagined it, keep your expectations relaxed and your standards high and the world will treat you right!