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

Is that health?

Looking after your health is essential to optimal living. We have all been granted with the body that we have, it is important that we look after it! Too often than not, we only start really appreciating our body for all that it can do, when things don’t work so well any more.

As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure” and this week I did all the things of embracing my body and taking those “preventative” measures to ensure that my body is in tip top condition. It’s like getting your car serviced. Once your car is serviced, it seems to drive differently, more smoothly, and I’m sure if cars had feelings they would be smiling from the inside out. It is the same with our bodies. I went and had my eyes tested (I can’t stand anything to do with eyes, it freaks me out…eye drops, puffs of air – no thank-you! But in the name of preventing diseases in the future I persist!). Visiting the dentist is one of my favourite things to do – nothing like being told you are looking after your teeth well, and them getting in there with all of their tools to give them that deep clean!

Ladies, it’s important to look after all of your womanly bits, just as it is for men to look after your bits too. While these procedures are uncomfortable and can be slightly embarrassing, they are there so that we can have peace of mind that we are in a full bill of health!

Furthermore, there’re the specialist treatments that we generally will feel the need to visit to fine tune our bodies – the osteopath, the chiropractor, podiatrist – whatever you need it is available to you! The best thing about visiting these professionals is that while they take out all of the kinks in the bod, they also provide you with exercises that you can do at home to help improve your condition – the key is sticking to it 😉

A wise friend said to me the other day “Eat your food as your medicines. Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food” (Amatellah). Again, another preventative measure – if you eat healthy and nutritious foods, your body is certain to thank you for it. All of the fruit and vegetables that are good for us are full of nutrients to nourish every part of our body, and to aid in the healing process. It’s such a shame that our supermarkets are full of food that is bad for us, and ultimately killing us slowly. I’m not going to pretend that I only eat fruit and veg. I don’t. I binge on chocolate, chips, ice-cream. However I am aware of my actions, and do try to mindfully limit my consumption. It is also extremely frustrating how our catalogs are full of “specials.” Most of the time these specials are junk food.

While the preventative measures I have outlined above are purely physical, there is constant information and research coming through about taking a ‘holistic’ approach to wellbeing. This includes not only your physical being, but also your mental, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. That is a whole other topic!

Whilst I reflect on what I have written above, some may say that some of these preventative measures are taken out of fear. Fear of getting sick, fear of going blind, and the fear of dying. While some of this might be true, I know that I would prefer to have peace of mind that I have professionals about to assist and guide me in the right direction, as well as for me to know that so far – I am on the right track.

Sunshine, Lollipops, Rainbows and an Apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Mel 🙂

The Act of Dating

I am feeling very Carrie from Sex in the City right now. While I am not writing up a column for a magazine from my apartment in New York City. I am going to write about this funny thing called ‘dating.’

The term ‘dating’ is foreign to me. Something I haven’t really engaged with in the past. I’ve been the ‘relationship’ type of person. So here I have found myself in my early 30’s embarking on a strange and unfamiliar journey. It seems what dating consists of has changed dramatically over time. Terms that are used, gender roles have been challenged and now it’s just a ‘free for all’ ‘do what you want’ kind of thing.

Cast your mind back to your parents day and age, or your grandparents. They would attend a local dinner dance where some fine gentleman would ask you to dance, you would be whisked around that dance floor – waltzing, tango-ing, cha-chaing (along with all of the other folk dances) and generally that would be the beginning of a beautiful love story.

Now-a days there is so much to contend with – where do you meet people? – through mutual friends,  at a local club where you have a common interest, or these days…the internet. I dipped into the internet dating thing, and I must say it’s not my cup of tea. For me it felt unnatural and forced, like I was scrolling through a catalog of eligible bachelors. Whilst I know many a couple who have met and fell in love online, and my hat goes off to them, it’s just not for me. I would much rather be swept off my feet on the dance floor at the local RSL (see previous paragraph).

I’ve had a wealth of advice coming from friends and family members, and there has been 2 main common things come out of their own personal experiences:

  1. “I wasn’t looking and was genuinely happy being single”
  2. “Have fun now and do whatever you want”

Exploring the whole dating thing enables you to learn more about yourself and what you want from a partner in the future and what you don’t want without the pressures of having to answer to anyone. You can explore possibilities that you didn’t know were there before.

At the end of the day, and this is completely my opinion and what I have found, is that you have to go with what suits you. What feels comfortable and what feels ‘right.’ Whether it is being set up on a blind date, internet dating, speed dating ect. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and each relationship is unique and individual. Do what feels comfortable without compromising your own values and morals.

Until next time,

Sunshine, Lollipops, Rainbows and Prancing and Romancing,

Melissa 🙂

It’s all about balance

In a world where we are inundated with the “right” way to live our life, it can be difficult and overwhelming to know if we are getting it “right.”

Eat well, exercise, socialise, have time on your own, give to charity, save your money, read, write, expand your knowledge, tune out, meditate, slow down, why do tomorrow what you can do today? Live a minimalist lifestyle. Whoa! How do we fit all of this into our lives? The key is balance, and not being so hard on yourself. As the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

We are bombarded on the internet, social media and in bookstores (my favourite kind of store) with self-help books giving us advice on how to live a more mindful lifestyle. I will admit I am a sucker for a good self-help book. In the last year I have read 6 self help books, and am part way through my 7th. What I have found is taking what I find useful from each book and applying it to everyday life. By no means do I take it as gospel. I take what makes sense to me and what makes me feel good – and balanced.

I am a huge advocate for writing. While I have not kept up to date with this blog, I also write in a journal. I find that it helps me process all of the things that are happening within my life. There is no method or structure to my writing, I just write whatever comes to mind and apply it to paper. It is fascinating the revelations that you have while writing.

Something that I have learnt that I find really works for me is tuning into my own body. I listen to it, and honour what it needs. I nourish it with healthy food and exercise. If I need time on my own I take the time to stay at home, go for a walk, have a bath, read, write in my journal, meditate or play with my dog. I do things that make me feel good. I am also well aware if I am getting stuck in a rut and need to “get out more.” I will contact family and friends and make sure I have great interactions with like-minded people that are positive, motivated and inspiring (I hope I motivate and inspire my family and friends too – it is a 2 way street after all).

My point is to find the things that you love and do that! Listen to your body – it’s wants and needs, and give it just that. Once you get into a routine of tuning in, it will all start to occur naturally and be a beautiful, pleasant experience, that makes you feel balanced.