10 March 2014, 11:11
When people ask me how to get cracking with radical self love, invariably one of the first things I recommend is the practice of gratitude. Sometimes the reaction I get is surprise, but more often than not I hear, “Yeah, okay, sure, but what can I really do?”
The answer remains the same: count your blessings. Gratitude is immensely powerful. Being thankful for what I have has literally changed my life. I know it sounds too simple to work, but that’s the beauty of it. You can discover the wonder in your own world in an instant: all you have to do is take a moment to do it.
The effects of gratitude are incredible, so it makes sense that I’m always on the hunt for more ways to incorporate it into my life.
Enter stage left: The Five Minute Journal. The creators claim “A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day”, which I don’t doubt, assuming you use the thing, of course!
“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” (Meister Eckhart)
Hovering at around 270 pages and bound with grey cloth, The Five Minute Journal is an unassuming-looking thing. Just like gratitude itself, the concept behind the Journal is simple: keep it beside your bed, and write in it when you wake up and before you go to sleep.
Every day has a template. In the morning, you write 3 things you’re grateful for, 3 things that would make today great, and a daily affirmation (“I am…”). In the evening, you take a few moments to jot down 3 amazing things that happened, and a quick note of how you could have made today better.
In addition, every seven days, you’ll be issued a weekly challenge (for example: smile at three strangers, visualise your perfect day, no electronic devices after 9pm). The journal is full of quotes, and the front of the book is all about how gratitude works, the point of keeping a journal, and what you can hope to achieve by making it a daily practice.
My Five Minute Journal showed up this morning, and I immediately placed it next to my bed. I’m going to start tomorrow morning, and I can’t wait! Would you ever consider a daily gratitude practice? I think this book could be the perfect way to kickstart your thankfulness.
5 February 2014, 10:11
Photo by Laura Burlton.
Oh, Mercury retrograde.
You are here, AGAIN. You have arrived on our collective doorsteps in all your messy glory. You are our dreaded but regular house-guest. You stagger in the door, kick over our furniture, leave crumbs all over the couch and hog the bathroom. Then, as quickly as you appeared, you disappear again, leaving us slightly stunned but much better equipped to continue with our own lives!
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here we go. The planets are swinging around at all times, and their movements affect us all in different ways. All planets go retrograde, but Mercury’s journey seems to impact people much more than any other. (Even people who “don’t believe in astrology” often “believe” in the crazy aftershocks of Mercury retrograde!)
Why is that? It’s because Mercury rules communication, clear thinking, truth and travel, so when the planet goes retrograde — which means that it looks like it’s going backwards in the sky — all those things go backwards. They start to get ugly and tangle up. Mercury isn’t really going backwards, it’s just hanging out by the sun, but from Earth, that makes it look like it’s in reverse. It typically runs for a couple of weeks, a few times a year.
Check out these dates below and put them in your calendar!
In 2014, Mercury is retrograde from…
February 6th to 28th
June 7th to July 2nd
October 4th to 25th
Note: We sometimes start to feel the effects of Mercury retrograde a few days early. It’s nice to give yourself a bit of leeway on either side of the prescribed dates!
What happens when Mercury goes retrograde?
All sorts of things! It’s like everyone you know has suddenly gone mad! You might find yourself getting into bizarre arguments about nothing at all, being unable to finish sentences or barely even able to form a coherent thought. Your computer and other electronic equipment is more likely to go on the fritz. You could experience travel delays, too. Double-check your flights and take a book with you to keep you occupied while you wait for the train! We don’t tend to get all the information we need at this time, so it can be hard to make big decisions and it’s not always the best time to sign a contract, either.
Expect to hear super-loud complaining from your friends who are Gemini or Virgo, since both are ruled by Mercury! Mercury also rules a lot of industries like publishing, writing, editing, advertising, sales, public relations and anything to do with transport, like airlines, the post office and cabs! This means it can be particularly rough for Gemini train conductors and Virgo magazine editors, so be kind to any you know!
I often find that Mercury retrograde makes me want to go into hermit mode. I feel like half my brain is missing so I’m really not that interested in interacting with anyone, plus every conversation seems to go in an unusual, confusing direction. I feel much more irritable and frustrated and things just don’t seem to go how I want them to.
So that’s the bad news. Mercury retrograde can be a total kick in the teeth for those of us who normally pride ourselves on having our karmic shit together! The GOOD news is that Mercury retrograde provides us with lots of beautiful opportunities if we can just tilt our head and squint.
Mercury retrograde wants us to move back spiritually. It is providing us with a chance to re-examine various areas of our life which may need a little more work, so that we can move forward to a bright new dawn. Now, more than ever, the time is right to look at things with clear eyes. Delicious, fresh perspectives are revealed. We often have major breakthroughs — intellectual, emotional or spiritual — during this time.
It’s also a terrific period in which to tie up loose ends. So many of us have unfinished projects… Maybe that door just needs another lick of paint, or you’ll decide to put away your ex-boyfriend’s love letters once and for all. Having said that, this is also a time where it’s very common for old lovers, friends and acquaintances to get in touch! If you hear from someone from your past, get together with them and see what eventuates!
One of the best ways to cope with it — as with anything, really — is to just “go with the flow”. When you fight Mercury retrograde, that’s when life gets really ugly. Just take some time, go slowly, be careful, don’t freak yourself out by expecting to be uber-productive-perfect right now. Be good to yourself and the people around you, now more than ever!
surviving Mercury retrograde!
(Print it off and stick it in your diary or on your wall!)
Be sure not to take things too personally. People will often say offensive things they didn’t mean around this time, because their thinking is clouded and their communication skills are on pause! If your best friend suddenly became the most insensitive person in the world, give her the benefit of the doubt.
Back up your data!
Don’t purchase any big ticket items, because they will often have flaws or issues that you weren’t aware of! Of course, life doesn’t stop just because of wacky planetary movement, so if you absolutely have to get that car, computer or iPhone, TRIPLE-check all the paperwork, and make sure you have a warranty!
Take things with a grain of salt. Everyone is a bit confused, and people are much more inclined to change their mind once Mercury goes direct. Mercury can be a bit of a trickster — could it be that the next few weeks are a big karmic joke?!
Read the small print on any contracts. Ask lots of questions. Again, you can’t put your life on hold just because of some silly planet, but adapt your lifestyle a bit so that things run more smoothly. Communication can be a mess right now, but do your best to get as much information as you can.
Finish things you started a while ago. Home improvement projects? Wardrobe re-organisations? Short stories? Love affairs?! This is an excellent time to tie up loose ends and file things away forever.
Get together with old friends, reminisce and laugh!
Double-check any information you’re given, especially as relates to travel arrangements! During one particularly formidable Mercury retrograde, I actually caught a cab to the wrong airport! Check times, delays, baggage allowances, reservations… everything!
Allow Mercury to nudge you in unusual directions. If you seem to find yourself “back to the future”, don’t just try to wriggle out of it — look at what the universe is trying to show you. What can you learn from this situation? This is a fantastic time to re-examine, accept and move on.
Use the things you’ve discovered in the past to create a dazzling new vision so that you’re ready to blast ahead when Mercury goes direct!
If you want more tips, read 10 Magical Ways To Make The Most Of Mercury Retrograde!
Fingers crossed for the next few weeks, and best of luck to you!
Love and sanity,
1 January 2014, 09:11
Gearing up to make 2014 a real celebration? I hear you, babe!
Over the last few years, I’ve written stacks of articles on goal-setting, becoming self-actualised, planning and scheduling your time, how to have a retreat at home and even what to do when you feel burned out… And it felt like a good time to compile them in one place.
These articles will really, really help you turn 2014 into a year beyond your wildest dreams!
Get It Done, Girl! Lessons Learned From Daddy Darling.
Here’s a tremendous system to help you get things done, for good this time! Jump into it: I promise it will transform the way you live and work.
Don’t Just Survive, THRIVE! How To Become The Best Possible Version Of Yourself!
Abraham Maslow wrote all about how we can become self-actualised, aka live to our highest possible potential every day. This article rolls all of his ideas up, as well as sharing a few of my own interpretations of what he meant.
How To Feng Shui-erise Your Wallet For More Prosperity… & Maybe Even A Unicorn Or Two!
Maybe it sounds silly, but clutter can be a killer. In the same way that we de-clutter our closets, living rooms and offices, we can do the same thing to our wallets (and really feel an impact!).
100 Things To Do Instead Of Procrastinating On The Internet!
It’s all too tempting to dither around on Pinterest, I know… But here are 100 things you can do instead. Oh, and before you say “Procrastination is procrastination, whatever form it takes”, I have to beg to differ! It’s often when we take a break from the screen that we have our best ideas… And you never know where they might take you!
How To Have A Fabulous, Luxurious Retreat — & Produce Your Best Work Ever — Without Leaving Your House!
Desperate to get out of the house and spend a week doing yoga on the beach in Mexico? Me too, girl. But if it’s an unlikely dream, don’t sweat it: you can have a retreat at home, too!
In Praise Of Calling It Quits: What To Do When You’re Burned Out, & How To Get Your Spark Back.
The burn out blues are real. Some people will tell you to grit your teeth and push on through, but you’ve gotta know when to hold ‘em… And when to fold ‘em. It’s okay. Take a break, and come back feeling refreshed!
A Girl On A Mission: How To Write A Personal Mission Statement!
Mission statements are most commonly utilised in a corporate setting, but we can use them to wonderful effect in our personal lives, too. If you’ve always wondered about writing your own, I have tips!
10 Fantastic Ways To Get Ready for 2012!
Oh, ignore that title… These ten ideas are great for getting you ready for a new year, no matter how far in the future it may be!
How To Live A Beautiful Life.
An oldie but a goodie. A little less Pinspiration, a little more living out loud!
Better Sleep And A Bigger Smile: These 10 Apps Will Change Your Life!
Truth: your phone can change your life. Here are ten apps that will have you sleeping like a baby and walking around with a huge grin on your face!
Make 2013 The Best Year Ever: Resolutions For Bad Girls & Geniuses!
Sick of the same old resolutions? Here are a selection of kickass resolutions for bad girls, geniuses, and maniacs of all kinds!
5 Ways To Increase Your Inner Peace — & Decrease Your Outer Frown — Today!
Ommmmmmm! A few suggestions to help you get your chill on.
How To Make This The Best Week Ever!
This piece quickly became one of my top 10 most popular articles ever. The suggestions are easy but meaningful, and could make all the difference in your life!
On Starting Your Own Business, And Being A Productivity Unicorn
An interview with Jen Dziura about getting epic amounts of stuff done… And what does it really take to start your own business, anyway?
Got A Sour Spirit? Here’s How To Kick Your Own Ass… With Love.
Did you have a big bowl of Grumbo™ for breakfast? You can snap yourself out of it with these simple tricks.
The Secrets Of Body Language: How To Up Your Personal Power, Decode Anyone, And Get Whatever You Want!
Once you know how to read body language, you’ll realise that there is a galaxy of unspoken communication swirling around you at all times!
Get It, Girl: 10 Ways To Make The Most Of Any Workshop Or Event!
Planning on attending a workshop or conference this year? This one’s for you. I initially wrote it for our blogcadettes, but quickly realised it applies to anyone who’s actively learning!
How To Survive Your Saturn Return!
In your late twenties, and feeling like everything is hitting the fan? Don’t worry, it’s not just you: it’s your Saturn Return! Here are some suggestions to help you sail through the storm with grace and style.
Hey, Tired Girl… Here’s How To Get The Happiest, Dreamiest Sleep Ever!
Tossing and turning with a head full of nightmares is no way to spend your night. This is for those of you aching for a trip to the Land of Nod.
Happiness Is Simple: Why Too Many Choices Make Us Miserable & 5 Ways To Improve Your Life!
Did you know that your life can be happier when you have fewer choices? Yep, simplicity is truly the road to joy. Here are some ideas to help you pare down your life.
The Ultimate Guide To Making Your Period Suck Less!
One of my most popular articles for a reason. Make that week more pleasant and we all win!
When The Magic Fades & The Doldrums Set In: How To Avoid Becoming One Of THOSE Couples!
If your relationship sucks, it will sour the rest of your life, too. Don’t just stay inside and order food every night, go out and enjoy yourselves! This post has plenty of ideas to keep you busy.
How To Get Calm In A World Full Of Crazy!
An excellent question to ask yourself is: If you continue on this path, how will your life look this time next year? It’s time to act!
10 Really Easy Ways You Can Love Yourself More Today!
Of course, lovin’ on yourself should be high on your priority list, whatever year it is!
Radical Self Love Letters and DARE/DREAM/DO
My email courses are an incredible way to start the year with a fabulous, sparkly bang. Join thousands of other women and receive a little magic in your inbox!
Join me for my live chat: Making Magic In 2014!
On Saturday the 4th of January at 2pm EST (11am Los Angeles, 7pm London, and 8am Wellington on Sunday the 5th), I’m going to be broadcasting live from Darling HQ, talking about how to make the most of the year to come. (It will be recorded and posted on Youtube afterwards.) Click to RSVP and submit any questions you might have! Oh… I forgot to mention, it’s FREE!
Let’s do it!
Picture by Chad Wys.
23 December 2013, 10:20
What do you do when you realise that you are the thing that drives you most crazy? That was the case for the girl whose email is below.
Here’s an excerpt….
Gala… I am having the worst time. I just found out that I am the person I hate. I realized how shallow and gross I am and how I see others. I realized how strongly I rely on the physical appearance of things. I realized that I judge people for things that don’t matter. I HATE people who do that. I’ve had people bully me my whole life about stuff like this. I’ve been on the receiving end forever. And today I realized I am just the same. I am them. I hate me. What on earth do I do? How do I change the way I think? How do I change?
Good question, babe. As is often the case these days, the first place I headed was Facebook. Our little community is full of geniuses!
I asked my babes what their advice would be, and here are some of my favourite suggestions.
Tahlee Rouillon I’ve found whenever I’m the most critical of others is when I’m the most critical of myself. Learning to be kind to myself (especially how I perceive my body) was vital to becoming non-judgemental of others.
Amelia Hill Observe myself, acknowledge it, then see the God Force/Spirit in the other person and start over.
Rhiiannon Dwyer I always remind myself that maybe they feel really beautiful & how awful it is when I feel amazing in something new or daring and someone tears me down. It’s usually enough for me to then want to defend their right to feel amazing to anyone else, including my inner bitch.
Crystal Puckett Look for something good about everyone you meet and/or talk to. And always keep in mind that everyone is human, we’re all struggling with life, and so we’re all the same.
Tanya Hibbard First, I would say “forgive yourself” and realize its pretty normal human behavior and you can train yourself to have new thoughts but its time and work. Every time you have those judgy thoughts, just acknowledge them and choose new positive thoughts. Dont beat yourself up for the judgy thoughts of the future, that will just enforce them. Be gentle with yourself and just work to create a new positive pattern. Its a choice to exercise your positive outlook muscle
Jenni Sands when I find myself doing that, I make myself look for something to appreciate about them – maybe their hair is done really well, or they’re being bold and wearing bright colours or something. I focus on that, and let myself love the person a little bit instead.
Anne-Sophie Scholtens I literally say to myself “stop hating”, because a) it’s not nice towards them and b) it’s not nice towards myself either (surrounding yourself with negativity that is). And then I try to think of a positive aspect of this person. If I can’t, I stop thinking about them altogether.
Rachel MacDonald To start by asking ‘What am I judging in MYSELF?’ or ‘What fear about my appearance/ how people view me am I hiding away? Could I be projecting that onto someone else here?’ Then, taking the steps to move out of fear and attack, and back to love and compassion. Shifting the thought – affirmations, journalling, exploring the opposite thought (‘I love how she looks! I admire her courage to dress like that! Bravo to her for being so bold!’ etc) and looking at the judgment as a friendly messenger and an opportunity to heal, rather than something that makes you ‘bad’ or ‘wrong.’ xo
Rachel Gilchrist Heard What has helped me the most is the realization that everyone has a life just as complex, interesting, and involved as mine. That the people who are bit players in my story are the primary characters in their own. That understanding helps me treat everyone with the dignity, love, and respect I want.
Mikaila K. Roberts Reminding myself that I’m trying to be part of the solution, not perpetuating bullshit.
The Big Girls Little Colouring Book In our womens groups we discuss how to develop self awareness and change thought patterns whilst we colour Mandalas.
I mention this because many people use their heads and thoughts to bring about changes not realising that by getting HANDS engaged and creativity, we access a different part of the brain that is beyond the deep trenches of habitual thinking and responses.
e.g When wanting to release negative patterns of judgement or self criticism we make a personal affirmation poster that carries the intent and also serves as a visual up front reminder, creating externals imagery that only “thinking” about how to change does not.
“I now Release the Patterns That no Longer Serve Me”
Aimee Major Steinberger It helps me to try to think of how I would feel if I was that person.
Robin Anderson Definitely agree with Tahlee – learning to be kind to oneself is key (not an easy thing to do in our culture!). I also find it helpful to remember that I am not my judging thoughts. They’re just thoughts and they’re going to come up again and again. This is also where kindness comes in – instead of judging myself for judging others and having judgmental thoughts, I can choose to be kind to myself and break the cycle.
Lisa Marr Oh man, I do the same. But I still think I’m a good person. We all judge, to varying degrees. As long as you keep those nasty thoughts inside your brain, it’s all good.
Sophie Capern Accepting everyone does it. It’s the way our brain filters and boxes in a way to understand and take in our surroundings at overwhelming speeds. Accept it, accept it’s not accurate, use yourself and experiences of fear of being judged as evidence of lack of accuracy (eg. You having a pimple didnt make you ‘dirty’, neither are they) and then find other aspects of them that are more important/appreciate parts of them that are great and give them a chance to prove that inaccuracy as you hope they would with you. Yeap.
Denise Wine “One sees rightly only with their heart..anything essential is invisible to the eyes “ – The Little Prince
Jeremy Lovelace The diagnosis is 99.9% of the solution.
Sabrina Crockett I often catch myself walking down the street thinking such things and I literally stop in the middle of the street and say in my head or aloud “stop it, don’t be ugly. be a gift to the world, not a burden.” shake my head and keep walking. We can’t always be perfect and we can’t always help our inclinations, but we can practice being the people we want to be. It takes work and effort, but we don’t have to give in to our natural tendencies to judge others. And always remember when your bad thoughts are getting the best of you, you’re only human.
Kathryn Derposaur My best advice is to spend some time people watching, and mentally hand out compliments to people. If at first you judge a woman on her ugly hat, stop yourself and find something you really like about the rest of her appearance. If there’s nothing, make up something about her. Maybe she never, ever forgets birthdays, maybe she’s a pro at crochet, maybe she is a great person to vent your problems to, maybe her casseroles are the bomb. The point is, even if you don’t like her hat, she’s got plenty of other amazing things to her that you may or may not be able to see. Plus, walking around secretly complimenting people feels great. (Being vocal with your compliments feels good too!)
Sarai J. Santamaria Whenever that old habit pops up again I try to smile and send my love to the person or say a sweet ‘hello.’ Usually, I find beauty in everything around me, because I am everything around me and everything around me is me. When I am kind to.others and I feel good thoughts towards others, I also do the same to myself. My spiritual mentor once said “Surround yourself with beauty and beauty will surround you.”
Ann-Louise Simone When you judge others you are actually judging yourself. Because you cannot tolerate certain things and other people you should stop and think what it is that you’re not tolerant of in yourself. So instead of looking outside look inside. When you begin to love your self and accept your own imperfections you’ve taken great strides. This revelation is a sign of real growth, an awareness that propels her to a higher level of consciousness.
Ruwani Weerasinghe When I realise that I’m judging someone based on their appearance, I tell myself to ignore it and never bring it up until I form my own opinion based on their personality and character overall.
Tiarnie Vidler Work on self… Hurt people hurt people…. Judging someone else says more about the person who is judging than the person being judged.. Just being aware and having the willingness to change is a fantastic start…. Blessings xxxx
Kim McCleskey I spent a couple of years going to clubs and making fun of how people danced. One night, I realized that I was not having any fun myself – that my judgement of others was making me self-conscious and unhappy. I started looking at people differently – the people out there dancing were having fun, and it was beautiful. I decided to make myself get out there, ignore the people like me who were making fun of everyone, and enjoy myself. It was scary, because I had been so negative about others, but now I just see happy people dancing and f those who sit on the sidelines passing judgement instead of being happy.
Kim Dodwell always look for something beautiful – like eyes, lashes, smile, then you don’t see the things you might want to judge – I grew up with a g’ma that commented on EVERYONEEE ALLL THE TIIIMMMEE. It was easy to continue that and hard to change…
Karoline Godoy Beauty is more than skin deep. There are many beautiful souls out there who don’t look like what society perceives is ‘beautiful’. I basically just bring the focus back to who they are as a person, I believe its true that when someone says something negative about someone else’s appearance it says more about how that person feels about themselves than anything else.
Grace Mimmo Fitzpatrick When I am confronted by people who challenge my ability to be non-judgemental, I look beyond their packaging and through their years. I see them as a young child adapting to their world – and how their environment and life experiences have shaped them. When I get a glimpse of the workings behind the characters people project themselves to be, I am able to feel compassion – and with that, judgement dissolves.
Kayla Marie Stoffel For every negative comment, come up with at least two positive. It’s so easy to point out the bad as aposed to taking the time to notice the good things. It is human to think negatively of others- it’s almost a protection mechanism to one’s own ego- but it is also human to want to do better. Outweigh the negative with positive and you win.
Nadine Armiger It’s hard to imagine that someone’s appearance is actually going to hurt anyone, so if you find yourself thinking ‘that person looks a bit xyz’ just say ‘who cares?’ breathe it out and let it go.
Nici Finnan I try to personalise them, so I think if that was my friend or family member I’d be mad if someone was being mean. She’s someone’s family or friend so treat others as you’d want you and yours to be treated. I have to remind myself but I do try.
Mele Tamarua i say “thank you for sharing” acknowkedge and pass the thought
Stori Nagel Realize most people who are beautiful have just as many problems if not more than the homely….beautiful people get used for their body, homely people put out because they think no one will love them otherwise. Just understand no one’s life is a cake walk, and if it is….it won’t be for long
Nenuphar Flower Whenever I catch myself being judgemental I stop, breathe and then erase any existing perceptions or ideas of what things mean then look at what I was judging again with a completely blank slate open to accept and perceive fresh what’s in front of me. I think Chopra & Merlin’s idea of perceiving even the exact same thing differently every new time u see it is so important to be implemented in our day to day
Hannah Hogan It happens to me too, like a reflex! When I catch myself doing it, I remind myself that it is not my business or right to judge, send that person a bit of mental love, and replace the negative judgement with a compliment. I also try to shift a potentially judgemental conversation to something more positive – being caught up in that feels pretty lousy too!
Jude Murray Just notice. Be conscious and aware of what’s coming up and be curious about it. Be gentle, don’t judge yourself too. Offer that gentleness to the other person
I absolutely loved these beautiful reminders. Being judgmental is — unfortunately — part of being human, but realising when you’re doing it is a major step towards changing those automatic thoughts. When we start countering those negative thoughts with positive ones, or thanking our inner critic for sharing and then moving on, we can become less judgmental, not only of others, but of ourselves.
Photos by Francesco Ormando.
25 September 2013, 10:25
I had a very human week last week. I don’t know whether it was PMS, jet-lag, crazy astrological influences or the post-holiday blues. Maybe it was a combination of all four. But maybe it had more to do with the fact that, after racing around Europe for two weeks, it all hit me like a ton of bricks when I finally had a moment to rest.
I didn’t post anything on the blog. I didn’t answer any emails. Mostly, I lay in bed. I wore sweatpants more often than usual. My husband took me out for vegan ice-cream sundaes and held my hand a lot. (He’s a good man.)
A week later, I snapped out of it.
But it reminded me that we’re all human. We all have those days, weeks, months even. And we have to be gentle with ourselves. You can get impatient about it all you like, but it won’t do you any good. You just have to ride it out.
I did a few different things which I felt contributed to busting me out of my bad mood, and I’ve written them down here. I did so partially for my own reference, but for yours too. I think the major thing I’ve learned from this last week is that there’s not necessarily one way to explode a bad mood. There is no magic bullet. (Though having said this, I totally forgot about EFT, and I’m sure it would have done a lot of good!)
Here’s the combination that did it for me…
I browsed Pinterest.
Usually I think of this as a relatively pointless activity, but when you’re really feeling down in the dumps and you stumble upon some art which wakes you up and inspires you, it can make a world of difference. You simply cannot underestimate the power of art.
I watched things that made me laugh.
I spent plenty of time on the couch watching old episodes of New Girl and, unbelievably, Zoolander for the first time ever! (How had I never seen it before?! I do not know!) If you need suggestions, check out 33 Movies To Watch When You’re Sad, Glum Or Bummed Out. Anything that makes you laugh out loud has to be good for you!
I worked out as much as possible.
It shocks me to the core to say this, but I’m a confirmed gym bunny. In school, I would always blame my asthma and claim I couldn’t participate in any kind of physical activity, but these days I like nothing better than really using my body and testing the extent of my abilities. And I don’t just love the way it makes my body look, I also adore the way it makes me feel. It gets my endorphins firing, and I walk out of the gym feeling like a new woman. Bonus points if you work out with someone you like. My personal trainer and Pilates instructor always make me laugh.
I went for walks and took photos.
This is one of my favourite activities: just walking around in the city, slowing down and noticing the great things around you. The weird outfits, the wacky hairstyles, the cool, funny, subversive and bizarre street art, the way the light hits the buildings… It gets me out of my own head, and encourages me to see with new eyes.
I focussed my intention and lit candles.
Pick a candle colour that relates to what you want — pink for happiness, yellow for joy, green for prosperity, blue for calm, etc. — close your eyes, focus on what you would like to transpire, and then light that sucker.
I went out and saw my friends.
...Even though I really didn’t want to. #hermitlife! After two and a half weeks of non-stop socialising, truthfully the last thing I wanted to do was see more people. But I know that when I force myself out of the house, see my friends, laugh and have some kind of adventure, I always feel so much better. So that’s what I did… And it was great.
I talked on the phone.
And crucially, I talked to people about their problems rather than my own. (Especially since I actually have none. I was just in a slump, which is even boring to discuss!) Concentrating on someone else and talking through their issues made it easy for me to forget about my own stuff for a while.
I surrounded myself with good fragrances.
Never forget how marvellous a beautiful fragrance can make you feel, and even if you still feel awful, you’ll get a momentary boost any time you lift your wrist to your nose. I lathered up with Pacifica Persian Rose Body Wash, spritzed my office and hair with Level Naturals Jasmine Rose spray, and dabbed Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille on my wrists. (I love to layer scents, clearly, and this is a winning combination.)
I got a massage.
This was the thing that really pulled me out of my slump. Getting a good tenderising, aka being massaged into another dimension by someone skilled and competent (in my case, Emma at East Village Spa) can work wonders. (If a spa day isn’t in the cards for you, see if a massage school needs any volunteers, or talk your lover/BFF/sister into giving you a good rub-down.) I use any massage as an opportunity for meditation: when anything comes into my mind, I make a practice of just dropping it, and I visualise it falling from my head and down through the floor. By the time you hop off the table, your mindset is totally transformed.
I listened to good music in the sunshine.
After my massage, I put on my headphones and walked home in the sunshine, listening to Fat Freddy’s Drop... And I felt the final clouds around my mind and spirit lift.
I’m so thankful to be back to my old self, and to be feeling sassy and optimistic again. PHEW. What a relief.
I’m curious: what do you do when a bad mood grabs you by the shoulders and refuses to let go? Add to the conversation on Facebook!
Illustration by Michelle.
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