Finding happiness, leave no nook or cranny unturned.

We all want happiness right? We all want to feel that feeling of pure joy spreading through every fibre of our being.

How do we go about doing it? Some will travel, some will party, some will spend time with family or friends, and some will search every nook and cranny for a little taste of the good stuff.

It might be an interview for a job that you really want, so you turn up and do your very best to impress them.

You may be looking for Prince Charming so you scan every corner of every space you move through, making sure you don’t miss the chance to lock eyes with him. You make sure you appear fun and pretty at all times so he will see how worthy you are.

You may want a large circle of friends that adore you so you go out of your way for them and always agree with what they want to do or what they say, because you are ‘easy going like that’.

But has doing any of those things led to true happiness? I doubt it. What it normally leads to is denial. Denial about how little you value yourself, denial about how little you love yourself and denial about how unworthy you really believe you are. Denial then leads to excuses and before you know it you are in a vicious cycle keeping you securely locked into a false sense of happiness whilst you skate across a cracked frozen lake.

If you are going for a job interview, make sure you interview them too, you are going to be putting your time and effort into this company, you need to make sure it is the right place for you to spend so much time. Let them see who you really are, that should be enough alone for them to hire you. Being what you think someone else wants you to be implies you can read minds, you can’t so give it up!

Love isn’t a game of hide and seek, don’t waste your time searching for it. Instead enjoy time with yourself, enjoy being you, every part of you. If you find that hard then try new ways – speak to a counsellor, walk in the park, hug yourself and tell yourself in the mirror how amazing you are. Stop waiting for a man to save you, Prince Charming will find you when you become a Princess and Princesses don’t need anyone else to tell them that they are royal!

If your friends only adore you when you are people pleasing or acting as their servant then they aren’t your friends. True friends want the best for you and give as much as they receive – maybe in different ways but it is a balance nevertheless.  

All this work you put in to convince others you are worth something could be spent on discovering your own worth. Expecting someone else to save you is as beneficial as waiting for a ferry at a bus stop. Put time, money and effort into your self-growth and you will see the things you want so bad are actually manifesting around you naturally.  
Happiness comes from within you!  Find it inside of you and stop looking for someone to save you because you are the only person who can, how exciting!
Standing strong on our feet pride!

Keep to your word

How many times have you said one of the following:

  • I am going to eat healthy
  • I am going to exercise today
  • I am going to stop smoking
  • I am going to clear out this room in the house
  • I am going to chase my dreams tomorrow

How many times have you found a reason not to stick to the thing you have promised yourself?

How many times is it for one of the following reasons:

  • I’m too busy
  • I’m too tired
  • I can just do it tomorrow
  • I had to help one of my friends
  • I need to wait until I’m in the right frame of mind
  • It won’t make a difference
  • I don’t really want to change

You are the only person that can control your world and each time you make an excuse as to why you aren’t going to do something that YOU want to do you are holding yourself back. There is a simple way to fix this and the formula is below:

Decide to do something – Do It – If it feels hard – Still do it – If you feel tired – Just do it anyway – I you feel like giving up – Don’t.

You have to stand strong. Imagine you are telling off a child who is about to draw on the wall the conversation might go something like this:

you: Don’t you even think about drawing on that wall.

Child: (Goes to draw on wall).

You: I’m warning you, don’t draw on that wall.

Child: (Looks at wall thinking about what to do).

You: If you draw on that wall you won’t be allowed any treats.

Child: (Still goes to draw on wall)

You: (Take crayons off of child and send them to the naughty step).

Imagine the child is the part of your mind trying to give in to the easy option, the one saying ‘it can all start tomorrow, don’t worry about today’. You have to activate your ‘parent’ voice. Don’t let that child draw on the wall – Don’t let yourself de-commit to your self promises. You won’t gain ANYTHING from doing so. But you will gain SO much from standing strong and doing the things that you say you are going to do. It will start to become a habit that you are motivated and you will find it easier and easier to stick to your goals.

Be that person. Just be it. No saying ‘yeh but’, no lame excuses, no dramatic reasons why you can’t. Just. Do. It.

Separating the winners, Pride, oh won’t you climb with me!

SCAREDY CAT OR WARRIOR LIONESS?

Are you ever scared? Shy? Embarassed? Nervous? Weak?

Do you ever make mistakes?

Do you break down in front of people?

Do you admit these feelings in front of anyone?

If not, why not?

Somehow, someway, society views admitting these feelings as a sign of weakness. A sign of being dramatic or seeking attention. But we all have these feelings. We all share the same feelings and emotions, our circumstances might all be different and some people will feel some more than others and they will mean different things to different people, but we all have the same feelings and emotions. So why on earth are we made to feel like we should hide some of them?

The only reason we hide these feelings is because of fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of being ridiculed. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of facing them, I could go on and on but you get the idea.

In this life we have two types of feelings – good ones and bad ones. These are then broken into many categories but the bottom line is we either feel good or we feel bad. We need to be able to feel both to appreciate our lives. If you never felt bad you would never understand how great it is to feel good. If you never felt good we would have no purpose.

So again, why do we feel ashamed to feel bad? We need to own it. We need to be true to ourselves. I don’t mean to imply we should tell every passer-by our deepest and most personal fears and worries, but we shouldn’t hold back from talking to someone, or opening up to someone when we feel the need to. We shouldn’t feel silly for how we feel. You are not silly, you are human. Being human means you have a soul operating a fantastically complicated machine and you need to work out how this machine works so that it doesn’t spiral out of control. We cannot do this by ignoring parts of it.

Sometimes we need to vent as a one off and sometimes we need to discuss a problem over and over and over again. There is no set way of opening up and you have to do what you have to do to work through it. Sometimes the best way is to simply talk about it out loud. The chances are that other people have felt something similar and will be able to empathise and even help.

I know I have touched on this subject before but it seems that it is a subject that needs to not only be touched upon, but really and truly fondled!

Taking you so, so seriously as a member of the pride, fellow Lionesses…and of course Lions!

It’s already there

 
You have everything you need right now to go where you want to go.  You may not realise it but it’s true.  Start being thankful for the simple and obvious things, break them down, keep saying thank you and before you know it you will be finding blessings in the tough times too.
Perspective Pride!

So there!

  

Don’t people please.  Maybe leave out being evil and mean but you get the point right!  Have standards and limits and boundaries and value them pride!

You got the power!

We have got to take responsibility for ourselves and teach our children to do the same.  
Imagine if in every argument we had, instead of throwing accusations and blame towards someone else, we actually took responsibility for our own feelings and actions.
You have control of your life you just have to actually take it. If someone is making you upset or not treating you right then why on earth are you still bothering? Why are you attacking them for not changing or behaving the way you want them to. Take responsibility for yourself and recognise that you do not want to be there and you want to find someone who treats you in line with how you want to be treated.
When someone is making your life ‘hell’ change your behaviour in the situation.  
Yes it might be scary and feel hard but its the only way you will really get what you want and teach others how to do the same.  
We have got to stop blaming the world for how our life is and realise that we are shaping our own life all the time.  
Set your standards, don’t lower them for anyone and be ready to make the decisions your life will require from you.
Your life, your way pride!

Uncontrollably in control

Society today can be tough right? We are told how to look, think and act and then we are told to ‘just be ourselves’. Wow, sure, ok.

Then we have people. People love helping other people. Advising them. Telling them what to do and how to behave. I’ve already covered the topic of people advising you based on who THEY are rather than who YOU are. Most people want to fit in to society – and then believe they are different from anyone else. Which ironically they are when they stop trying to be like everybody else.

And finally we have fear. Fear is painted as a person shaking and looking terrified. But fear, like the devil, wears many disguises. It is the cause of people wanting to fit in and look perfect and not be singled out. It is the cause of those advising you to keep quiet and put your head down and not upset anybody. It is the quiet voice in your head that says ‘you can’t do it’, ‘you look stupid’, ‘don’t cause a problem’.

Some of us are aware of the ‘truth about fear’ and some of us are not. Some will come out and say ‘I am far too shy for that’ ‘I can’t stand everyone looking at me’ ‘I am just not brave enough’. Some lather themselves with excuses and stories to avoid people questioning them or so that they can avoid speaking their truth or just to feel better in themselves.

I haven’t always been one to face fear. In fact I used to be the Queen of excuses. I was living in a ‘woe is me’ world drowning in my victim river. I haven’t always been able to be truthful and express my feelings without trying to belittle others or feeling the need to put them down and have the last word.

Why did I do this? Because I didn’t like who I was. Because I didn’t feel good enough to be listened to. Because I didn’t have the courage to say how I felt. Because I would feel stupid or silly for feeling the way I did. Because I valued myself based on other people’s opinions. And a whole list of other reasons, none of which benefited my life.

However that was a long time ago and mixed with a whole load of other problems that I had to face on my journey of becoming a Lioness. I have learnt the reasons behind all of those and in turn, studied others. Watching people convince themselves of their place in today’s society. Watching people excuse the things they are unhappy with and play victim to win sympathy off of others and it is quite fascinating.

I believe very strongly in being true to yourself. True to your creative side. True to your feelings. True to your likes and your dislikes. True to your own worth. And I believe something else:

Bollocks to anyone who doesn’t like the authentic version of you.

The most interesting part of my journey is most definitely the other people around me. Since I am no longer influenced by other people’s opinions of me or the need to ‘fit in’ anywhere, people see me as a potential problem, I know right? Little old me! Well the reason is that I will not people please or hide from how I feel. I will not try to ‘fit in’ for the sake of other’s opinions. I will not act according to anything other than the way I believe. For example:

I am happy to speak to a man sleeping on the street and bring him a hot drink or something to eat – people often fear those that they do not understand and often worry about their own or my safety when I talk to someone homeless.

I am happy to offer help to a stranger and do not fear rejection – If someone looks like they could use a hand I will lend it, if they say no (for whatever reason) that is fine too. At least I offered, this is often embarrassing to other people, they feel silly for trying and fear what others around them are then thinking.

I am not affected by someone disliking me – Other people’s opinion of me is none of my business. If they wish to tell me what they dislike or cast judgement that is fine by me. I know who I am. I know my intentions in this world and I also know that their opinion is not a reflection of who I am in this world but rather, who they are. It is a compliment to be thought of enough to be disliked.

I am not able to be controlled, muzzled or put off of speaking my mind – I won’t be told who I can or cannot speak to or confront. If I feel the need to confront somebody when they have upset me I will. I don’t believe in putting someone down or trying to scare anybody at all but I do believe my feelings are important and I should be able to express them without being made to feel like I am causing a problem. I will always consider how it may make someone feel and use my words carefully. I will always try to express hurt or anger after I have calmed down and I will aways take responsibility for my own feelings. If someone is afraid of confrontation that is THEIR problem. I will not stay silent just to keep the peace – silence isn’t truth. There are no rules on how to deal with a negative situation but it is my personal belief that you have to be true to yourself and speak the truth to others. I won’t look you in the eye and smile whilst secretly seething inside. It is not me. I will not be told what I can and cannot say or to whom. I will also have the intention of making peace with someone and clearing the air.

I won’t change who I am for anybody. If someone doesn’t like me or accept me then my suggestion is to not be around me. To leave me be. If you feel embarrassed or awkward or uncomfortable with any of the ways in which I live my life then I won’t be offended if you step away. I do not wish for you to do anything you don’t believe in either.

Why should we be anybody but ourselves or made to feel like we have to change who we are in certain situations? We are human. We are each imperfectly perfect. We do great things and we make mistakes. We have good days and bad days. We have beautiful days and not so beautiful days. Why are we so ashamed of being ourselves? Of excusing those around us? We are not responsible for anybody but ourselves so why would anyone try to justify anybody elses truth? Why should you tell someone how they can or can’t act because YOU are scared of what the other person might think.

Be you

Be every part of you

Do right. Be right.

Do wrong. Be wrong.

Learn

Grow

Be brave

Be shy

Be beautiful inside.

Be anything you want to be. Be everything you want to be. Don’t be sorry for being you. Be sorry when you feel sorry but don’t be sorry for being you. Don’t let anyone make you feel you should be. Let the world know you will always be you and you won’t be controlled by anybody. Let them fear that, it’s not your problem and none of your business.

In the words of Lesley Gore – ‘You don’t own me, don’t try to change me in any way’!

100% Lioness 0% Mouse

Here’s to YOU Pride.

The ‘Single Disease’

Although everything I write about today is true, it is also written with a pinch of salt and a little exaggeration for entertainment value. Today I am a voice for all of us out there that are single and…..wait for it……happy!!!!! I know right? Single and happy? Is that even possible? Well yes it is and guess what, we are sick of being treated like it’s a disease being single.

I have been on both sides of the spectrum. I was in a very long-term relationship for most of my teenage and early adult years and I have also been single for a good while.  I have also dipped my toe in and out of the ‘dating sea’. It is safe to say they are two different worlds.

Being single is seen as somewhat of a curse by all those that are safely coupled up around you (of course with the exception of a few people, but I am talking in general before anyone objects….and then goes back to snuggle with their other half). You are continuously asked about your dating success and when you haven’t found love with a recent ‘potential’ or you are not dating you are thrown looks of pity and given words of encouragement. I would like to point out that in about 98% of these cases we haven’t sought advice on how to console our ‘miserable and lonely’ existences, nor have we implied that we are unhappy being single.

We are also treated like children or animals, by which I mean decisions are made for us that wouldn’t be done if we had a significant other, for example:

  • Where we will sit at events and how we feel about that.
  • Where we will be accommodated and who we will share with – and how we will feel about that
  • What will be done with us when we are amongst a group of other couples – and how we will feel about that
  • What we will be available for and how we can help out – and how we will feel about that
  • What is important in our lives and what is not – and how we feel about those

If we are not on the road to marriage or children – god forbid we have other priorities – then we are seen as lonely and pathetic – we are pitied and decisions need to be made for us (because obviously we can’t make good ones otherwise we would have met someone). Perhaps our careers are taken seriously but that is about it. Now imagine the same considerations listed above were given to a couple – you know, decisions made for them. Oh no I don’t think so, both their individual needs have to be considered in any given situation and it is perfectly acceptable for them both to be as difficult, fussy or demanding as they like. If a single person does this then they are committing a crime or even worse, being irrational. What is it about being in a couple that makes you superior to those that aren’t?

Well, I have some things to say about this:

  • I don’t want to be sat next to your weird nervous friend and expect to be the person that entertains them – If you attempt to do this, I will instead talk non stop about myself and my meaningless existence unless I am paid a wage to do otherwise. Entertainment is to be valued and you pay for what you get – no wage – no entertainment.
  • I am not happy to be placed in a vehicle or room with any Tom, Dick or Harry. Instead, I will place myself at my home, where I will enjoy the company far better and am able to sleep naked and sing to myself.
  • If I am the only person in the group to not have a significant other, leave an extra space at the table or event anyway, we can pretend that one day it will be filled and I will not be unhappy and alone forever – It’s good to dream. Failing that I will bring my cat and we will both beg for extra food.
  • I am busy, always – just assume this. I will not be happy to be a dogs-body. In fact anything you want from me you should request well in advance. My social life is packed full of fun events that are far more tempting than your partners, mothers, friend’s dog’s birthday party. Ask one of your couple friends for help then you get two sets of hands, my nails are far too pretty to work.
  • My life is free and exciting and I am on a road of self discovery. Enlightenment is a stone’s throw away. Everything in my life is valuable and the way I choose it. It is all important. I care much more about my next adventure than your new garden table.
  • I am not gossip for you. Just because you are settling into evenings in front of the television and cleaning nappy’s it does not mean you should look to my dating life – or lack thereof – to get your gossip fix. Yes we notice that you look disappointed when we have none for you. May I recommend Jeremy Kyle instead perhaps.

Being single is not a curse. Settling with someone so you are not alone IS!

I have so much fun in my own company. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want without the responsibility of compromise. Yes falling in love will be great, building a family will be magical and taken into consideration a handful of people before I make any single little decision in my life will surely make me feel more complete than I can ever imagine – when the time is right. Not a moment before because quite frankly, I am totally and utterly in love with myself. I get to explore places, take in the world, learn amazing things and live each day in wonder. I am not lonely being alone. I do not want to rush my life and being me is so much fun. Whilst you are cooking dinner and making children and seeking other couples to double date with I am living my life too, just in my way. I am sleeping in a quiet bedroom that is disturbed only by the sound of my cat purring – this does not make me a lonely cat lady – I am cleaning up after only me – and I am pretty tidy. I am not surrounded by noise and people demanding from me. I still understand priorities because I have my own that are important to me. Just because I don’t want children tomorrow it doesn’t mean I have no meaning in my life. Just because I go for long walks alone or with a friend it does not mean there is no magic in my life.

I am not unhappy and I am not desperately searching for someone to validate my life.

Where is the celebration for this? Where are all the presents for me being me? Where are all the nice clothes and traditions for being independent and happy? Quite frankly your relationships cost far too much, you get married (find someone to have sex with forever)  and have children (by having sex with that person)  and we have to celebrate this and shower you with gifts, it costs us time, money and energy. Where is the celebration for the time we have given you? Where is the celebration for being celibate for so long? Surely that is an achievement? Where is the equality?

All jokes aside, I am very happy for those around me that have found someone truly amazing. It fills me with happiness to see them happy and loved and respected. To see them build families and loving homes is so special. I very much enjoy being around them. But, I wouldn’t trade places with them for the world. I feel that same happiness toward my life. So please, those of you that do any of the above, consider the possibility that your single friends probably don’t want to be you, they probably turn up to a lot of events because they love and support you but may not always want to do the couple thing, family thing or snotty children thing. They are there because they love and support you. Do the same to them and treat them like a respectable adult who has opinions and preferences too.

Here’s to each of you Pride, each one of you individually, coupled up or not. We are all fabulous.

Take responsibility!

So often us women tear down men for the way we are treated:

“He doesn’t make enough effort with me”.

“He doesn’t message me enough”.

“He never calls me on the phone”.

“Why hasn’t he asked me out yet”.

“Why does he always put his friends first”.

“Why doesn’t he dress smart when we go out”.

“If he just changed a little bit he would be perfect”.

And so on…..

But the thing is girls, you are the ones accepting this behaviour and by doing so deeming it acceptable. You hold these high standards but yet you are not making anyone actually meet them. Instead you accept this shoddy behaviour and expect the man to raise the ‘standard’ bar himself. Well, he is not going to do that.

If you don’t like how you are being treated then DON’T PUT UP WITH IT. Address the issue with him perhaps once and if it continues – walk away. You will soon see if he is willing to meet your standards and treat you the way you deserve to be treated. If he isn’t willing to do that then why on earth would you even want him around? Stop digging your claws into deadweight guys and start living your life the way you want it to be and do it for you. You deserve it. It’s not about being demanding or high maintenance, it’s about only accepting the best in life which I am sure is what you are offering a partner in return.

You don’t need the wrong man you need the right one and the only way you will ever meet him is if you cut away all the men who are far from good enough for you. have some self-respect and treat yourself by the same standards you want someone else to treat you. You can survive a little bit of heartbreak, disappointment and insecurity whilst you forget about the latest deadbeat. To live a life being treated like you are not a Queen just so you don’t run the risk of living alone for a small while IS NOT living. It is clinging.

Demand more for yourself through your actions. You don’t need to give someone a list of rules or tell them off for what they aren’t doing. Just know that you will not stay for something that isn’t worth it and prove it – by leaving situations that are bad for you.

Stronger than ever before Pride!

STONE COLD

Often I am told that I am quite ruthless with people. That I will cut someone out of my life all too quickly, in particular, men. The reason they say this is because if I suspect something isn’t right I listen to my instinct, I may sit on the thoughts I have for a little while and observe the situation, but I always listen to me. If I am hearing those all too familiar excuses – however they may be dressed, I walk away. If I am made to feel confused about how someone feels about me, I walk away. If someone’s pride is more important than me, I walk away.

The reason for this is quite simple – I have heard it or seen it all before.

Excuses can be dressed up in so many different outfits by so many different people. The guy himself, your friends, even you will excuse someone’s behaviour, however, it is important to remember that these ARE excuses for behaviour that is less than worthy of the person that you are. Excuses are made to justify actions or behaviours that make us feel unhappy. If someone is treating you right you don’t justify it, you accept it exactly the way it is and accept that the person is kind or caring or considerate – whatever it may be. So why is it that when someone is not making the effort or putting you down or acting suspiciously do we then feel the need to pretend that there is a valid reason?

The answer – Fear!

We fear being rejected, lonely, not important enough. We fear so many things that we tolerate all kinds of terrible behaviour that we shouldn’t tolerate.

So why do I walk away? Do I have a heart of stone? Am I a cold person? Am I fearless?

Well in truth none of the above but I have done one thing. I made a promise to myself and I hate breaking promises. I promised myself that I would not let anyone undervalue my worth. If someone doesn’t treat me the way I deserved to be treated and the way that I would treat them, I walk away – simple as that. In some cases I may act in haste and I may have to apologise for acting abruptly but I have never, ever regretted standing up for myself. For only accepting the best. For not letting someone walk over me. For not being treated and respected as the amazing woman I am. Each time I am true to myself and how I feel and I don’t apologise for who I am I feel proud of myself. I feel faith in myself. I trust me to always have my back and that feeling is priceless. The right person will admire and respect you for you, not try to make you feel like you are ‘needy’ or ‘demanding’ or any other controlling and manipulative terms you might have thrown at you. You should be completely in love with yourself and overjoyed at every part of who you are.

I’m not saying that every time someone irritates you or does something wrong then you cut them out of your life for good with not so much as a blink of your eye, I am however saying that you should be able to recognise when someone is not treating you to a standard you deserve. If you treat that person so much better than they treat you then you have to make some decisions. Perhaps have a conversation about it, perhaps write a letter and explain, whatever you do, don’t justify their behaviour. If it doesn’t make you feel good then something is not right.

This is why it is so important to fall in love with ourselves. To love our imperfectly perfect selves entirely. To know that no one determines our worth. We don’t need to apologise for leaving a situation that doesn’t feel right, we don’t need to justify our feelings, we need to trust them. After all, we will still have ourselves and that is the best person you could ever ask to be stuck with!

Only accept the best Pride!