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Welcome to mindful.mel

Hello everyone and welcome to mindful.mel.

What is mindful.mel about?

I created an Instagram account that I named mindful.mel. It was just an idea, that I was going to use it to write down my thoughts and feelings around different things that mattered to me. It contains quotes and my ramblings on life, happiness, love, and my ways of being more mindful in this constantly busy world. So I decided to take it one step further and turn it into a blog.

I look forward to seeing where this new journey is going to take me!

I hope you enjoy reading!

 

The Art of Online Dating

The Art of Online Dating, or is there? Is there an art to being successful in the realm of the internet dating sphere? Or just in dating in general?
I guess it all depends what it is that you are looking for online and what you determine as being successful. Is it how many hook ups you can have? Is it how many dates that you go on? Is it finding the man or woman of your dreams? Only you can decide what measures success for you.
However, I am here to clarify one thing and one thing only: The only way you can be successful in the dating world is by being yourself. Revolutionary, I know! (So far it’s worked out just great for me hahaha).
I’ve been on a couple of ‘dates’ (I believe that is what they are, although I prefer the term ‘Meet and Greet’s (on the first date that is), and the thing that I noticed is how different things can be in person vs behind the keyboard. You can be charming, witty, say all of the right things and appear to really ‘hit it off.’ The % rate of your compatibility is through the roof – all the signs of a match made in heaven! Then you meet, and it’s different. Maybe it’s different because based on all of the things that are outlined above you began to develop expectations. You started to think that maybe, just maybe the person you are going to meet could be the person that you are going to spend the rest of your life with. Of course you stop yourself in your tracks so that you don’t get too far ahead of yourself, but in the back of your mind there is that irritating, annoying mosquito like voice buzzing “what if?” What if this is the beginning of the rest of your life?! *Mind in overdrive*
I think I have mentioned in a previous blog that I believe everyone enters your life for a “reason, a season or a lifetime.” Everyone enters your life to teach you a lesson of some kind. It may be quick; such as talking to a stranger at a bus stop, it maybe for a little while – think of the people that you study or work with, and it might be for your whole life. People will slowly or quickly exit your life when you have learnt all that you can from each other. Sometimes the lessons will be evident, other times the lesson may not surface until later on. In the world of online dating you may chat to someone and the conversation just fizzles out, or you go on a date and realise someone isn’t for you and you discover why that is, which helps direct you onto the path of what it is that you are looking for.
I didn’t consider how being rejected would feel. I, of course went in with an open mind that I wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, nor would everyone be mine. Despite whether you like someone or not, being told that they are “just not into you” hits you hard and it hurts. Why? Because we are humans and we have emotions. That despite whether we were feeling it or not we do just long for a connection with someone, to be loved. Then there are other times where the feeling is mutual. You might get on like a house on fire, but there is no spark. Nothing to ignite a flame. When the feeling is mutual it is so much easier to accept! There is a sense of relief. Then you realise you are back at square one and starting all over again.
However, this is the world my friend and as my girl Kelly Clarkson once said “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and my other girl Ariana said “thank-you next.” It’s important to consider the lessons learnt, to not take it personally, that you are a goddess and one day someone will think of you and treat you in that exact way.
Stay tuned for more of the Online Dating Chronicles!

Looking for Ikigai

I’ve been reading the book ‘Ikigai’ written by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. I highly recommend it. Ikigai is a Japanese concept in which they believe leads to a long and happy life. They discuss that ikigai involves having a life purpose. We all have one, it is just figuring out what it is. Ikigai is also about flow whereby you are completely absorbed in what you are doing that you have no concept of time, such as catching up with a good friend and talking for what feels like an hour, but turns out to be half the day. During that time together you haven’t worried about what you have to do later on, you are just enthralled in one another’s company. When I read about the concept of flow, whereby you are so immersed into what you are doing that time seemed to fly. You are 110% focused on the task at hand that no other thoughts enter. There is no dwelling on the past, or anxiety about the future. You are completely immersed within the present. I was taken back to a time where I was exactly like this. It was at the beginning of my career in child care. It was my happy place. From the moment I arrived at the centre any cares or worries that I had were left at the front gate, I would enter the premises and all that mattered for the 9 hours that I was there were those children. The time flew without me knowing where it had gone. I built beautiful strong relationships with the children and with their families. I felt like I had the best job in the world.

Fast forward 13 years and how much has that changed. Somewhere, for some reason I lost the passion, I lost my ikigai. Is it because I grew older and I had more responsibilities? Is it because of the increased use of technology and the ongoing need to be connected and multitask? Is it because we are on constant time restraints to fit in all of the things in the same 24 hours? Is it because my personal life turned upside down that I ended up suffering compassionate fatigue, where I just didn’t have the energy to care anymore? That last statement is very difficult to admit, and not one in which a lot of people will understand. Compassionate fatigue occurs in many careers where the primary role is to care, and I think when your own needs are not being met, and they are completely depleted it is very difficult to care for others when you are struggling to just care for yourself. Maybe it was a combination of all of the above as to why I lost my ikigai.

Now, your ikigai doesn’t have to be your job. It could be anything that you enjoy doing that allows you to be completely present. It could be a hobby – dancing, reading a good book, gardening, going out on a hike or a long walk, painting, volunteering at a nursing home, going surfing. Whatever it might be, do the things that make you forget about your past, and make you stop worrying about your future. Simply just be.

Do you have an ikigai?

Mindful Mel

The Online Dating Chronicles

Online dating has got me feeling very Ali Otjen, Bacherlotte style. Strutting down sun kissed streets, hair braided, an array of eligible Bachelors waiting to sweep me off my feet…ok, ok, it’s not quite as glamorous and staged as the reality dating shows, and who am I kidding? I can’t braid my hair! Online dating is purely just that until you meet in a face to face setting and you gage if there is chemistry and a connection. I wanted to take you on a stroll through the humorous things I have encounted during my brief journey with online dating.
Now, all of the examples I have listed below are all REAL. I promise I have not made any of them up or embellished the truth. I have literally laughed out loud when receiving these messages, cringed at others, and almost wanted to vomit at one in particular. Seriously…do these lines work on women? I don’t know…maybe they do, but it certainly takes a lot to charm the socks off me!
Enjoy my friends!
*All names have been changed*
Albert: “Hi Melissa how are you? You are absolutely, astoundingly gorgeous. Hey are u my appendix because I don’t understand how you work but this feeling in my stomach makes me want to take you out.” (Seriously? Does that work?)
Benji: “Hi Melissa What’s your last favourite question guys ask you on here?” (I don’t know…probably this one)
Charles: “Yo your a honey. Can I get a chance with you?” (Yo, no you cannot)
Dave: “Houston…do you read me?” (No, I do not)
Edward: “Do you like night markets and escape rooms?” (I haven’t done an escape room before, but the fact that this is your first question and I don’t know you, I am declining)
Fred: “Hi, the love of my life” (yeah…nah)
Gordon: “Could I interest you in an Irish man? Funny, smart, killer accent, can be good but prefers to be naughty 😉 Comes with loads of extras and a warranty provided with 100% Satisfaction 😉 (hahahaha)
Harry: “I am a photographer, looking forward to re-build my portfolio for portrait and model photography with natural light. You actually look beautiful and perfect as a model and I love to click your pictures.” (Thank you, but no thank you)
Ivan: “Hey what pair of shoes would you like? I would like to pamper you in some small way” (I’m not your shoes type of gal lol)
Jackson: “Cute smile and happy eyes. You surely seem cool, happy, confident yet serene and down to earth. Adore your simplicity/gracefulness and still you look elegant – just brilliant! I’d like to get to know you and can sense we’d have a lot to chat with given both Sagittarius ” (Ooooo na na eh, don’t act like you know me, like you know me)
Kel: “Hey hey…how are you doing? How was your weekend? OMG: you must be the most beautiful girl on here…but I am so confused, can I please ask you something??? ” (The old, can I ask you something trick and the next thing you know you are buying a life time worth of beauty supplies)
Leon: “So why are you single? Lol” (insert eye roll)
Marshall: “Seriously, have you ever peed on a guy?” (I think I just vomited in my mouth)
Nigel: “I can be your Prince William. I don’t have a castle but I do have a good heart. And I still have hair left on my head.” (Bahahahaha)
Ladies and Gentleman, it is not easy out there – let me tell you! And clearly not the Bachelorette glitz and glamour that you see. I don’t have a production crew weeding out the odd bods, but I’m not too bad at picking and choosing myself either 🙂  

Challenge Accepted!

As I mentioned a few blog posts ago, I’m not a big believer in New Years Resolutions. I much prefer to set myself mini goals that I know I will be able to work towards and achieve that sense of accomplishment. I decided this year I would set myself some mini monthly challenges (it seems achievable now, but come back to me when I am back studying and working…but I have faith in me, so I shall push on! 😉

These mini monthly challenges will involve the following:
*Fitness Feb: This ties in well with the gym’s 6 week challenge – I make the commitment to workout 4 times a week at the gym, go for a run 2 times a week and of course walk Ted Balls (for those reading along at home Ted Balls is one of the nicknames for my dog Teddy).
*Minimalisation March: Minimisation all the way – minimise the amount of spending I do and take the opportunity to get rid of anything that “no longer serves me” or doesn’t “spark joy” as Marie Kondo would say, such as donating old clothes, books etc.
*Appreciation April: Each day write down 5 things that I appreciate, and that I am grateful for.
*Meditation May: To meditate everyday in the month of May. That’s 31 days of mindful meditation.
*June: TBA
*July: TBA
*August: TBA
*Spend less September: To only spend money on the necessities – food and hygiene products, bills. No random crapola. No clothes, no mani’s or pedi’s, just the bare necessities…the simple bare necessities…Forget about your worries and your strife…(Bare Necessities, The Jungle Book).
*October: TBA
*Net-Free November: Detox from social media! *Conditions apply* The only social media I will be able to use is for my business. All other forms will be logged out of for the month of November – good for the body and soul! Plus I will probably get more shite done…
*December: TBA
Now clearly I have a theme going on here…using alliterations to create the challenges! If you have any ideas or suggestions for challenges in the other months that state TBA please let me know…Will I accept your challenge?

Back When…

I’ve found myself having the feeling of nostalgia lately. When I find myself in these moods I question myself why? Usually there is an underlying cause for the reminiscing, for the longing of what was, or what has past. Sometimes it is a conscious thing, but other times it is embedded in the subconscious and it’s not until you do some digging around that you realise the why. For me, I believe that it is because it is coming up to a year since I left my old home, or maybe it is because of the first grey hair that I found (although if I am honest with you, I am actually proud of this grey hair and I’ve been showing it off to all the people lol)…Back to the house, while I haven’t been having thoughts about my old house in particular, I’ve thought about different stages in my life, a wishing and longing to be younger, to be back in the “good old days” where responsibilities were left up to the ‘grown ups.’ Here we are…now we are the ‘grown ups’ left to work out all of the things, and quiet often than not just floating along like a jelly fish with no clue of where we will end up, making it up as we blob along.

I’ve found myself wishing that I didn’t take those moments for granted. Wishing that I was completely present and immersed in all of the moments. This is where I have found my struggle lately, in the attempt to be totally present and focused on the moment; however my mind has been running 100 miles an hour of worries, and all of the things that I still “have to do.” This is a battle between being present and worrying about the future.

Another struggle is comparison…in this day and age where social media is the in thing it is so easy to get caught up in comparing your own life to those that you see on social media. I am guilty as charged. Some of us women compare our bodies to other women wishing that we “looked like that” or the lifestyle of others “oooo they look like they have so much fun all the time” then the thing that gets me – the family photos. You know the ones – the engagement photos, the wedding photos, the we are expecting a baby photos, the baby has arrived photos (now, I must be clear here. I am not talking about my own family and friends, not at all; I am talking making the comparison to strangers, to celebrities). These are the ones that remind me I am a 32 year old single woman who is so far removed from that reality. It appears to be a life for everyone else, but not for me (despite my longing for that life). This is where the comparison is a killer. Nowhere, and I mean nowhere does it say you have to be married or have a baby by a certain time. We are our own worst enemy in that we put times and schedules on when we think we should have achieved certain things. There is no right or wrong. I’ve tried to put my faith into the Universe and know that when the timing is right, I will meet my person and we will be ‘that’ family. Furthermore, these photographs that we see on social media are purely just snap shots. It doesn’t show the fighting, the bickering, how tired and stressed an individual or family is. It is purely just a snap shot in time.

“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” We date, we meet people, and we think that maybe this person is “the one,” but it doesn’t end up that way. We can feel heartbroken and defeated, feel that love was not destined for us, or that we are just absolute hopeless at choosing prospective partners, but when you look at it from the perspective that not ending up with that person, or in other areas of our life – not getting that job, or not getting that house is actually making way for the person, job, house etc that is meant for us.

Whilst it is nice to revisit to the past, to reminisce on what was, it is important not to get stuck there. Remember how you got to where you today and make a plan to keep moving forward. One step at a time. One day you will look back on this day and remember it for what it was.

I’m going to leave it here with the chorus of a song by Tim McGraw “Back When”

Back when a hoe was a hoe
Coke was a coke
And crack’s what you were doing
When you were cracking jokes
Back when a screw was a screw
The wind was all that blew
And when you said I’m down with that
Well it meant you had the flu
I miss back when
I miss back when
I miss back when

Abundance

Abundance – the word abundance is not new, but may be considered a bit ‘woo-woo’ these days. Often when people think about the term abundance they think about prosperity in the material form, how wealthy they are, how much they own, what their house is worth, or the expensive car that they drive. Something I have learnt is that abundance is so much more than that. The Universe provides us with many forms of abundance, for instance, we may find ourselves abundant in time. These days we can often feel time poor. We are stressed that we can’t fit everything that we need to do into our 24/7 day. However, the universe hears us, and will offer us time in other ways – getting all the green lights on the way to work, a business meeting that has been postponed, a friend cancels a catch up – whatever it may be, you are now abundant in time, you have more time than you had intended.

Abundance comes in the form of love, not just the romantic kind, but love from our family and our friends. I’ve been reading the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. While this book was initially published for married couples as a way of understanding your partners love language, it has been extended to singles, because each of us has our own love language and we feel more loved by those who speak our individual love language. The way in while someone expresses their love either by words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch or gifts makes us feel appreciated and loved by that individual (providing they are speaking our primary love language).

Abundance also comes in the wealth of knowledge that we have – the books we read, the information that we search on the web, even the people that we meet in our everyday lives. Everyone has different experiences and from this have different knowledge to share.

Look around you today and think, what am I abundant in? You might be pleasantly surprised!

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows,

Mindful Mel xo

2019 – Letting Go of Fear

Here we are, almost a week into 2019. Now, I’m not really one for New Years Resolutions. They tend to be spur of the moment ideals that we struggle to stick to. I am more one for goal setting, and this is something that I do personally throughout the year.

I’m not sure about everyone else, but I really struggled between the Christmas and New Year period because it didn’t seem to go fast enough. I wanted everything to be happening NOW! and I just wanted to achieve all of the things straight away. My head is clogged with all that I want to do and achieve, while also arguing with myself to calm the heck down! Be present, enjoy the moment, it is future Mel’s problem *exhale*

So I have been thinking about what I would like to achieve in 2019. A wise friend of mine who knew of my stresses sent me the following quote “Psychology says: Go with the choice that scares you most, because that’s the one that’s going to help you grow.” (unknown).

Fear is something that holds us back and something that is so individual. What seems like a totally rational fear to someone seems completely irrational to someone else. We are often fearful of the unknown, and of change. These things are scary because we don’t and can’t control everything that happens in our lives. Having said that, if we don’t take action we are stuck. At a stand still. Nothing happens and nothing changes as much as we wish it would. It all starts with us. With ourselves putting plans and changes into action no matter how big or how small.

My goal for 2019 is to face my fears and to step out of my comfort zone. I have done a lot of this over the last 2 years and have seen my life change dramatically, in the most positive way. However, I am also aware that fear is holding me back in particular areas of my life. For instance, I quit my job to pursue a completely different career where I am a business owner – whoa! when did that happen? and because of this massive change I have had to make sacrifices, particularly in my way of living. In relation to this fear, it is to make sure that I work hard. That I know at the end of each day I have done all that I can in order to ensure that my business is up and running and is growing, and that it is steadily going to be successful.

My other fear is dating. What even is that? I have compared myself to the likes of Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother. A 30 – something – year – old, living in one of the most liveable cities in the world in search of true love. While I am surrounded with family and friends who are happily married, have children, or are in long term relationships, I’ve found myself over here not having a clue where to even begin! I have assessed my situation – while I do enjoy my own time and being at home, I am also quiet social – I go out to public places, I love going to cafes and restaurants, I love going on nature walks and to the beach, I go to a gym that has the biggest community feel you will ever come across and I go to meditation classes. What is my point? I put myself in situations where I met new people, where I am around people. However, I have still struggled to meet anyone on the romance front, or anyone that I would consider doing life with. Last year I attempted internet dating. I thought, well this is the way of the world, I will give it ago. Any time someone suggested that we meet up…I deleted my account (counterproductive, self sabotage right there). Why? Why did I do this?

1. Out of fear – fear of the unknown, fear of the person I would be meeting, media

2. It felt forced and unnatural – like scrolling through a catalogue, but instead of food or clothes…it was men.

3. Because this in not how I imagined my life to be – I imagined that I would just meet my own Ted Mosby by accident, through a friend, at a party, in a café….just not online.

So I’ve decided to face my fear. I have re-activated my account. I don’t have the expectation that I will meet “The One” online, but it will give me the opportunity to date again, to go out and get to know someone. Maybe I will make new friends out of it. Maybe it will help clarify exactly what it is that I want, and what I don’t want.

“If you’re not scared, then you’re not taking a chance. If you’re not taking a chance, then what the hell are you doing anyway?” Ted Mosby.

So here is to 2019 – the year of growth, the year of facing fears!

May it be full of excitement, positive lessons and fun!

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows

Mindful Mel xo