Live as a Lioness

Hey Pride,

 

Sorry I have been gone a while, I’ve been making films and documentaries and all sorts.  So I have attached a link to my vlog on here.  Check it out, then check some more out and let me know what you think!

 

Miss you all Pride!

 

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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.

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!

Be Quiet!

Listen.

Listen, listen, listen.

How often do you take the time to listen to someone else? Do you enjoy talking? Do you enjoy people listening to you? Do you do the same for others?

I mean ask yourself, are you paying attention when someone is talking? Or are you thinking about what to cook for dinner? What homework the kids need to finish? What to wear on the weekend?

People know when you aren’t listening. I mean sure it can be a little obvious if you pick your phone up in the middle of someone talking to check what your friend has tagged you in on facebook, but, even if you are just thinking about something else, people know. They may not always say it, but they know.

For goodness sake listen. Put your phone down for five minutes, take your focus out of your own head and actually listen to the human being who is talking to you. If you don’t want to listen to them then don’t give them your time and let them find someone who will be considerate enough to listen.

If someone I am with is clearly not listening to me when I talk or they pick up their phone, I stop talking. Simple as that. I stop mid-sentence and you wouldn’t believe that so many of those times the other person doesn’t even realise I am no longer talking and when they come back round or put their phone back down they begin talking about themselves, as if I wasn’t in the middle of talking to them in the first place (perhaps I should stop talking about paint drying). These are the people who I no longer waste my efforts talking to about anything important to me because they do not deserve to hear it.

Sometimes your friend, partner or family member will just need you to listen to them, they may not need advice or your opinion but just your ear. So lend it to them. It is important. I am sure you like it when people listen to you.

So challenge for this week: Let’s all shut our mouths a little bit and open our ears and see if we make a difference in someone’s life. It might be just what someone we care about needs.

Listening carefully Pride!

HATE YOURSELF BEAUTIFUL

So there seems to be this worldwide phenomenon, a way of working towards the ideal you. You can reach utter perfection just by following this simple tip. All you have to do is hate yourself perfect. How on earth can I reach the perfect me I hear you ask? Well I will tell you:

  • Feel too fat? Just hate every inch of you that you think is fat!
  • Feel too thin? Just hate all the skinniest parts of you, look at each rib in disgust!
  • Feel too tall? Look at all of those that are shorter than you and put them higher up than you in worth!
  • Feel too pale? Look at yourself in the mirror and point out how disgusting you are
  • Feel you aren’t smart? Easy, envy all those that you think are clever and tell yourself you are stupid!

Does the above work well for an advert? No? There is something wrong with this tactic? Are you telling me you wouldn’t go and see a ‘hate yourself perfect’ life coach????? Well there goes that money-making scheme!

The thing is though, nearly everybody uses this technique in some part of their lives to motivate them to change. Here is the thing though:

YOU CANNOT HATE YOURSELF TO IMPROVE!

This means:

  • You cannot hate yourself healthy
  • You cannot hate yourself happy
  • You cannot hate yourself beautiful
  • You cannot hate yourself to success

For a start each of these goals listed above mean something different to everyone. What you think is beautiful is the complete opposite of beauty to someone else. What you think it means to be healthy is the complete opposite to someone else. What you think it means to be happy is the complete opposite to someone else. What you define as success is the complete opposite to someone else.

Do you see the pattern here?

Truly happy, successful, healthy and beautiful people have certain traits in common:

  • They appreciate themselves
  • They are attracted to themselves
  • They recognise their strengths
  • They acknowledge changes they want to make and enjoy working to change.
  • They don’t compare themselves to others
  • They don’t try to fit in

Hating yourself does one thing – It makes you feel bad. So stop!

Easier said than done right? I mean hating any part of yourself has required work and dedication. It has taken a lot of time and effort. So how can we change this?

We have to start recognising this behaviour as it happens and then we can start to change it. So here is a simple exercise to start doing this. Standing in front of the mirror I want you to look at yourself and say:

I am amazing. I am perfect. I am smart and I am beautiful. I love me.

Now I know that this can be particularly hard to do especially if you don’t believe any of this so if you find it a struggle I want you to imagine you did believe it, imagine how you would feel if you believed all of these. Imagine how you would stand, how you would smile, how you would brush your hair. How you would adjust your clothes. How you would walk past the mirror. Just imagine and then pretend you are that person JUST while you say those statements.

One more exercise I want you to try is one where you can call upon your ILV (Inner Lioness Voice). This one takes a bit more effort in recognising your own thoughts. Every time you hear yourself wishing you were different or putting yourself down I want you to stop and say to yourself

Excuse me, don’t say those things about me, I am wonderful and amazing and shame on you for thinking anything else. Get out of here!

Not only that but I want you to feel annoyed with that other voice, as if it is a person. How dare it try to put you down. That is not a kind thing to do and you won’t stand for it.

Now you are either excited to try this or worried about the amount of voices in my head but just give it a try. Print this out or write down the exercises and just try them. If they don’t work at all then you have lost nothing but you should demand the very best for yourself because you are worth it (sorry Loreal for stealing your tagline).

Admiring your greatness Pride!

The Degree of Life.

How often does someone know what is best for you?

– You should leave him

– You shouldn’t quit your job

– You will never make it to Hollywood

How often do they tell you how things should be done?

– You should find a nice man who is older and knows what he wants

– You should find a job that pays well and offers good incentives

– Life is not a movie, dreaming is fun but it wont’ get you anywhere

Society itself tells us how things must be done:

– You must go to school

– If you do not have an education you will never be anything

– Life is hard

– You should get a job, get married and have children

– You need to pay your bills in time or you will have bad credit

Even science:

– The world is flat

– The world is round

– Stay away from foods high in fat

– Fat is good for you sugar is the problem

– Pluto is a planet

– Pluto is only a dwarf planet

My point? Not one person I know has received their Degree of Life. Not one person has completed one life, left it, come back for another and remembered the full process of what happened when they died and how they got back here (see how I cover those who remember past lives here too – I know, I’m good right!)

This means not one person can know with absolute certainty what is right and what is wrong. What we are really here for. What we are meant to be doing. What is the right path for us to walk.

There is only one way of knowing if what you are doing is right and that is to listen to your gut instinct. Feel it in yourself. You know deep down whether something is right for you or wrong for you and you must learn to trust yourself. Sometimes you might be destined to make a mistake so that you learn a valuable lesson and if that is the case, the people around you should support you not tell you ‘I told you so’. They don’t know what is right for you so they cannot tell you. Them feeling victorious that they were right over you about YOUR life shows that they have a lot missing from their own life.

This world is big, it’s huge and fascinating and full of any possibility you can ever imagine. Society encourages us to be part of a flock of sheep, that way we are easier to herd. Be whoever it is you feel you are, be the person that is true to you. If things don’t work out, guess what, you can start from scratch again. A friend of mine wrote a great post the other day and at the end of it he said:

‘I’d rather be at the bottom of my ladder than at the top of someone else’s’

I loved this. This life is YOUR ladder. YOUR mountain, so climb it and don’t apologise to anyone for being true to yourself. There is no right way of living, only a way of living that is true to you. Nearly every great mind was once thought of as crazy, but they carried on doing their thing and ignored the people who hated on them, judged them and laughed at them, and what happened? We remember them and praise them and quote them to this day.

We are all heading off of this planet the same way so let’s try to do everything we can do, for ourselves and for others, before we leave.

Be everything you ever dreamed of Pride!

DATING DO’S AND DON’TS – PART 3

FIRST MESSAGE:

So before i give you some more frogs for the blog (by the way Mr Disaster makes a return next week) I have to cover another topic for our dating do’s and don’ts. The one and only, very important, first message. Now traditionally I believe that the man should send the first message, just because it goes back to the natural way of animals approaching each other – but that is just my opinion, it doesn’t make it right or wrong. So today’s post is aimed at you guys sending that first message.

Lets cover some of the Do’s first of all today:

  • Do use a lady’s name – this is a basic technique in building rapport with anyone, it makes the message more personal.

 

  • Do ask a question – it gives us something to reply to. Simple.

 

  • Do comment on something you have seen or read on our profile – this shows us that you are actually interested in learning about us – women love to be listened to and cared about – just as men do, so this is definitely a thumbs up.

Actually making sure you have covered all of these points in your first message gives you the best chance of an interested reply and a way to start conversation.

For example, ‘Hey Rachel, how are you? That picture of you sitting on the floor with that old man is so cool, where was that?’

Unless you are unfortunately not my type at all then why wouldn’t I reply to that? So simple yet so effective. Oh and if you want to know more about that picture…well…I’ve just taught you how to find out!

Now for the Don’ts:

  • Don’t use a pet name i.e. babe, baby, darling, sweetheart and my most hated of all time ‘luv’.

 

  • Don’t simply write ‘Hey’! Stop being so lazy and add ‘how are you?’ at the end of it at least!

 

  • Don’t comment on the fact that you are the one to message first – If you are going to be bitter then don’t message at all, otherwise, get over it, that is the way it should be!

 

  • Don’t copy and paste a message – we can tell!

 

  • Don’t say ‘I don’t usually do this’ or ‘I’m new to this’ – stop being embarrassed about being online. We are there too, just get on with the message and accept your online dating presence!

I understand that maybe you are having to write a lot of first messages that don’t go anywhere but you don’t have to write an essay, just put a tiny bit of effort into each one, it will pay off eventually.

My friend had a message sent to her at lunch time once saying ‘hey babe you in bed?’ – Excuse me? At lunch time? In the week? Why on earth would you ask that and what business is it of yours. It is safe to say he never got a reply.

Now understandably on tinder there is a lot less information than on other sites so your first message may seem a little more limited but just use your brain. You can still string a polite first sentence together as I did above. I have had several great messages on Tinder that refer to one of my pictures and it is always a great conversation starter. On some of the more complexed dating sites such as Match.com and Plenty Of Fish there is a whole load of information you can choose from. Just pick something that interests you and incorporate it into that first message you send.

Ladies, back to you, if a man sends you a shoddy first message, don’t reply, or at the very least make sure his second message has a bit of substance. If he is not willing to make more of an effort than ‘hey’ or ‘hi babe’ what is the point. People are always their best at the beginning so don’t settle for pure shod (yes it is a word because I used it in a sentence). If you are willing to make an effort for a guy, make sure he is making an effort for you.

I had some more great ‘about me’ sections sent to me this week. It was great to give you all some advice. If you want advice on yours you can email me at mountainess1@gmail.com and don’t worry it will stay completely between us!

Good luck Pride and let me know what ghastly things you are coming across on your online dating journey’s!

1234……1,2…….3,4!

So after some time to heal and relax and go on a couple of lame dates that aren’t even worth the story I decided it was time to get myself back out there, into the big scary world of dating. I chose the same online dating site I went to last time, the oh so glorious POF. Only this time I chose some normal and natural pictures:  A nice one of just me, one of me out having fun, one of me balancing on a car tyre (I had started an exercise class using all car and lorry tyres, besides it was me looking my worst and people need to see me and love me that way) and one of me and a friend. I chose pictures that were plain and simple. I wrote my profile out, I didn’t tell my life story but I summed up who I was shortly and sweetly.

Being a female on these sites means that your are pretty much guaranteed to have messages pouring in. Again a lot of them will be hopeless: ‘Hi’, ‘Hey babe’ ‘I heard there is a party in your pants this weekend and I have a VIP ticket’, you know the usual rubbish you wouldn’t reply too. I had decided that I was going to be a bit fussy and wait to find someone polite, respectful and nice. I have a rule on these sites to never message first. Maybe I am a bit old-fashioned but I think it’s nice for a man to approach a woman, kind of the natural order of things. So I would look through the messages and if someone had bothered to show me they had read my profile or say something nice or funny I would check out their profile.

One guy had sent me a message about my tyre balancing picture. I looked at his profile, it was clear he was in the army and his pictures were all nice and respectable, there were photos of him in his uniform, out with friends, being active – all acceptable images. So we had a bit of conversation about my class and he told me he was a PTI – which basically means he was a personal trainer for the army.

There wasn’t too much excitement through our messages and often I wouldn’t reply simply because there was nothing to reply to but he was polite and did make an effort. Eventually he asked me out for a drink and I accepted, why not, he was nice enough.

He lived quite far away and he suggested we meet somewhere a lot closer to me than to him which I thought was sweet, he found a bar, sent me the website link for it and we arranged a time.

I always get pre date nerves, it’s a feeling I quite enjoy now, those butterflies in your stomach as you fret about the first meet. I found the bar and found parking. I was a little bit early so I waited nervously in my car. I rang him on the way into the bar and he said he was walking in, I looked around and couldn’t see him. I told him I was at the bar and he said he was also at the bar……well why can’t I see him then???? He wasn’t being very helpful on the phone so I asked the barman what road we were on and told him to do the same, there were three of the same bar in close proximity to one another and we had turned up to two different ones. He tried to make a joke that he had sent me the link as if to blame me…..Really? Don’t you think I used that link to get this address??? I followed your instructions! Of course it is my fault!!!! I told him to wait where he was as I knew the area better (my sat nav did anyway) and I would be there soon.

I finally turned up at the right place and he was waiting at the bar for me. He was a good-looking guy and dressed nicely. Ok this could be good. He got us both a drink and we went and sat down. He wasn’t very talkative and seemed a little bit shy so I went straight into rambling mode and fired questions at him. He was a sweet guy, he had some fun stories and his job was quite interesting. He kept going back to my tyre class and giving me suggestions for different exercises I could use in it. ‘Ok, great thanks’ it was really nice of him to help…..he had lots of different ideas ‘Yes I already have that exercise….and that one….and that one…..oh sod it just pretend you have never heard of these exercises before, he clearly doesn’t think you have a clue what you are doing’………..he really wanted to help me with my class……’oh man I have written out this class and been teaching it just fine, I didn’t come here for research’. I think it was down to his nerves that he spoke so much about fitness with me, it was a safety net for him and something we could both relate to but it was boring me to the ground. He was talking to me like I had no idea what I was doing, telling me what I could do rather than actually finding out anything about what I was already doing – if he had then he wouldn’t be suggesting all the ideas I was already using. I wasn’t here doing market research so I was starting to drift off in to my own thoughts.

 

I couldn’t spend the evening listening to this so I decided to steer the conversation in a new direction (one really effective tool to do this is to ask a man a lot of questions about himself and then seem impressed any chance you get. This is fun for you too as you get to put your acting skills to the test and have some fun) It was easy to seem impressed with this guy’s stories because he had been in the army for a very long time, so all I had to do was ask him about things he had been through and then seem worried or scared by the story followed by a ‘your so brave’ facial expression or response.

Still, after some time even that was boring me, I looked at my watch and figured I could get out of there within 30 minutes without looking rude, he started to tell me about where he was stationed now and that he often gets to meet the royal family and how everyone acts around them (oh no Rach, just keep acting like an impressed female), I was bored and couldn’t be bothered to entertain this boring guy anymore so it was time to be me again “I could never do what you do, I could never act extra polite to someone just because they are ‘royal’, to me everyone is the same, like I am about to curtsey just because someone wears a crown…..” and I went on and on about how no life is more important than another and how no other human can really tell another what to do. He was looking at me with one of two looks:

Look A – Wow this girl is rebellious and fun, I kinda like how crazy she is it’s really impressive, she is bringing my soul to life right now. Thank you God for sending me on this date, please let me be worthy of more time spent basking in her greatness.

OR

Look B – Is this girl for real, my life is spent taking orders and I am disciplined and organised, this girl is a liability and sounds like she could do with a good dose of discipline herself, wow if she was under my order she wouldn’t last 5 minutes, she can’t be serious, get me the hell out of here.

I am going to assume it was Look A, but, considering we didn’t speak again after that evening I am willing to accept that I could possibly be mistaken. I wasn’t upset though, that guy was so boring. Being able to control a conversation so easily doesn’t interest me. Being able to manipulate a situation isn’t fun when it is with a potential partner. We were just completely different people and that was that.

Often it is easy to take it personally when you don’t hear from someone again, we can question why and wonder what is wrong with us. It is so important to remember that what will be will be and what isn’t meant to be, won’t. It is as simple as that. The universe has its own little way of making sure that we have exactly what we need and it takes away what we don’t. Accepting this will save you from a heap of self-doubt and mouse-type thoughts. If someone is meant to be in your life they will, don’t try to force it.

So I definitely need a nap now after remembering that soul sucking evening and then we have to cover our next topic on our dating do’s and don’ts because there are a lot of topics that desperately need covering.

Until next time pride!