Matthew McConaughey

As much as I love How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days, I’m going to guess his goal was to be an actor, and then down the track to break away from cheesy rom coms and be an EPIC actor?

“Someone once asked who my hero was, and I said it was me in 10 years. So I turned 25. 10 years later that same person comes up to me, ‘So are you a hero?’ and I was like, ‘Not even close!’ She said ‘Why?’ ‘Because my hero is me at 35.’ So you see, every day, every week, every month, every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never gonna be my hero. I’m not gonna attain that. I know I’m not. And that’s fine with me. Because it keeps me with someone to keep on chasing.”

Matthew McConaughey

What a total babe. I know my last post said about doing less, but, I don’t think it means not having goals, just getting a balance and giving yourself a break maybe?

showbiz-kate-hudson-matthew-mcconaughey[1].jpg

Matthew-McConaughey-in-Dallas-Buyers-Club[1].jpg

matthew-mcconaughey-star-wars-17apr15-01[1].jpg

Less

I’m an over doer. I write lists of what I want to achieve each day and beat myself up if I don’t achieve them. I over think and obsess about things. In an age where there is so much information about how best to optimise your life I am learning that I need to do the opposite and slow down.

Have a simple morning routine; journal, meditate and listen to a news podcast but don’t beat myself up if I snooze through some of these activities.

Aim to go to the gym if I don’t have plans on but no worries if I don’t make it or I’m feeling really tired. 3/4 times per week is okay.

Try and go for a walk at lunch time but all good if it’s raining and I don’t make it.

Eat healthily during the week but if I have had a bad day or if I am watching Game of Thrones with my flat mates some chocolate and popcorn is okay.

Work for 8 hours a day but don’t feel bad for procrastinating and taking breaks. This is one I struggle with as I have a sense of guilt if I am not working but really, as long as I get what is expected of me done and I am happy with what I am achieving, it is okay to have a few breaks and read some online articles (or chat to a friend on FB messenger).

Mantra: Slow down. You’re fine, you’re doing great. No need to rush.

Letting go of bitterness

As a person I don’t tend to hold on to ill feelings and I assume the best in other people although I am critical of myself.

It is funny for me now though, as I have realised that my aspects of my childhood weren’t as rosy as I remember and I’m feeling anger and bitterness for the first time. I felt I was so lucky and I couldn’t complain as I grew up with two parents and we always did nice things. But, I can see now that the relationship I had with my Mum wasn’t always perfect. We were more like friends, she over confided in me and inadvertently turned me against my brother and father who caused her problems. I was always on team Mum and I think our closeness, which lacked a parent – child separation led me to act how she might want me to act over the years. Now I am being more authentic to myself and she doesn’t like that and has turned on me. I can suddenly see that my memory of growing up isn’t quite what I had always assumed.

As well as the sadness of our deteriorating relationship, I feel sad for the lack of relationship I have had with my brother and father over the years and I feel sad for myself as a child who was taken in and influenced so greatly by my mum.

I want to try and let go of this sadness, bitterness and anger which I have found and focus on the now and the future. Reach out and build my relationships with my brother and father and re define my relationship with my mother. I don’t want to shut her out as she tried her best, it definitely wasn’t all bad and is a fragile human like all of us at the end of the day.

I will strive to accept the past both positive and negative, not dwell on these feelings but not shut them either.

‘Home’

I landed back in Australia on Saturday night after a 5 week trip home to the UK. The departure terminal changed at Heathrow and I had to rush with all my bags on the tube as the trains were cancelled. There was then a 3 hour delay in Kuala Lumpur airport and I landed late. I think I slept for about 2 hours on the second flight. I travelled back to my flat share where my flat mates who I met a few months ago were out. I unpacked my suitcase and got into bed.

I was very much alone and felt alone after a tense trip home where my Mum can barely look me in the eye as she is so hurt that I have chosen to live in Australia despite seeing how happy I am. [Literally probably for a year or two but from her reaction you would think I had signed a 20 year ‘sentence’]. I no longer felt at home at my parent’s home and that is a sad thought as we have always been close.

I moved here because my gut was telling me too, I enjoy travelling and meeting new people and I have a job here I enjoy. I don’t have many friends (I can count them on one hand) but the friends I do have are awesome and supportive. I like my flat and flatmates, I like where I work and get my coffee. I walk 15 minutes to work over a bridge and sometimes there are hot air balloons in the morning. I play tennis and will sign up to some more lessons and I would like to join a meditation group and do some more hiking at weekends.

It’s a much simpler set up to what I had in London and I have no family here. But, deep down I am at peace with what I am doing and happier than I have ever been. You can’t live for other people or what you should do, I have learnt that you can be happy anywhere as long as you are happy in your Self. I am my own home away from home and think that is pretty cool.

Stoicism short video

Love this video. Out of everything I have read in the past two years I have found the philosophy of stoicism the most practically useful in helping me deal with life struggles and change how I perceive them.

[I wrote this post about how I have used stoicism this year.]

Emotionally sensitive

I’ve realised that I am always very aware of people around me and very sensitive to their emotions. It’s nice as I find I am very able to relate to people without really trying too, but it is also quite exhausting when you are around lots of people and I find that emotions can rub off on me and I can get self conscious easily.

Last night I had a lovely, relaxed dinner and stayed the night with my best friend and her parents who I have known for my whole life and live on a farm down the road. They are so relaxed in each others company and in themselves. There is no rush to get dinner ready, no plan for the evening and no awkwardness when there are natural pauses in the conversation.

Being in my home, where my parents constantly bicker, if you are late for dinner you get yelled at and my mum is always worrying about something in the future, there isn’t usually a great sense of ease. I can see how it directly creates a sense of anxiety in myself and I start to shallow breathe. Usually I try and soothe any tensions with chit chat and small talk.

Just being aware of my hyper sensitivity to emotions like this, which perhaps stem from growing up in said home environment with lots of dominant characters, helps me not get so caught in it and almost step back and witness any feelings of anxiety. I am then in a better position to try to relax in myself and my body regardless of what is going on around me.

Overall, I think if I build on being more present with my emotional sensitivity, it can be a positive personality attribute which will help me be more receptive and approachable in life. The key will be having that awareness of my emotions so I can use them positively rather than let them control me.

Being okay with being selfish

My parents, both intentionally and unintentionally, make me feel guilty for moving to Australia. They don’t understand or support the decision. My Mum says she feels like I am punishing her by choosing to move away and no longer asks me about my life. Sadly, I can now see that it is this ego centric attitude which probably led me to want to be away to some extent as I am aware of the influence she has on me back home and I find it easier to be myself away. Also though, it is my life and it doesn’t have to be the end of the world me being in Australia. I am happy and have a great job there, they should be proud and happy for me and not try and influence my life by how it affects theres. It is hard and painful when you know you are causing pain to those around you by being yourself and doing what suits you, but I do believe it is more important to be true and authentic for yourself as only by being kind and valuing yourself can you begin to help those around you and lead a happy, true and full life. If someone relies on you for their happiness, that is their issue they need to overcome and learn to be happy in themselves. At the moment I have daily guilt over my decision, but I am sticking with it as deep down this feels right for me and I know I haven’t done anything wrong. (repeat 10 times)

 

Shedding skin

I caught up with my ex this week as I am back in London.

After the break up our nearly 7 year relationship a year and a half ago, I read Women who Run with the Wolves  by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. It is a deeply spiritual book which has stuck with me.

When I realised I didn’t want to be in that relationship, which I had been in throughout my twenties, I felt a great sadness and a lot of confusion and self loathing. Clarissa’s book helped me forgive myself and embrace the changes and uncertainty in my life.

I’ve always loved travelling and meeting different types of people, but I pushed myself towards what I thought I should do and what my parents wanted for me, whether they said it directly or not. I settled in London, became very career driven and spent my money on clothes, dinner and nights out, and eventually bought a flat in Camberwell with my boyfriend. Suddenly it was all looking great on paper and we were edging towards marriage but inner doubts were starting to poke and then hammer away at me. I knew I wasn’t happy and eventually, after a very dark period, built up enough courage to break up.

Initially I hated myself and felt that I had wasted both our time but I don’t feel like that now.

I cherish our connection and we supported one another throughout our twenties and shared some amazing experiences together. That relationship led me to have the strength I do today and move abroad and travel on my own. Something I have always wanted to do and perhaps wasn’t ready to in my early twenties.

He was and is an amazing person and deserves someone who isn’t doubting the relationship or him.

I don’t think all relationships are meant to last forever. We grow and change. If you grow and change together that is fantastic but if you don’t, you can still value what you shared and know that that relationship has led you to being who you are now and the new direction you are going in.

I think I will always love him in some way and never be completely sure of my decision, but I have learnt to be at peace with that uncertainty and increasingly feel that nothing is certain and everything is always changing in life and we need to be open and embrace those changes.

In Clarissa’s book it talks about shedding skin and I feel like that is what I have done and will continue to strive to do in my life. I am letting go of layers of societal shoulds and listening to me and what inherently feels authentic, right now.  I think our gut/our self/instincts/// knows what we want to do. Despite frequent self doubting, I am learning to trust in me more and feeling happier and more confident for it.

Clarissa writes “within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Though the gifts of wildish nature come to us at birth, society’s attempt to ‘civilize’ us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become overdomesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped.

 

img_2607

A shot I took whilst travelling alone in Australia. This is Byron Bay as the sun is rising. Locals meet up before work to walk to the top end of the beach, they swim back together to the centre with the current, shower and start their day. Pretty ideal…

Anxious eating

I would definitely say I live to eat. I love food, and cooking. So much so that I have worked as a chef in the past and my first cook book, Lunch Box Salads, was published last week. Here’s me (on the right) and my friend Anna I wrote it with celebrating over a gigantic Vagabond pizza in Box Park. It was my first vegan pizza experience (Anna is vegan). Verdict: yummy and felt healthier with all the vegetables but I did miss melted cheese 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 19.18.11

Whilst I have always seen it as a positive thing to live to eat, as I do think food is a great pleasure in life, I have noticed that I also eat when I am anxious and tend to over think about food if I am anxious as a distraction (and reach for a chocolate bar usually, sometimes a full size one). On this trip home the uncertainty of knowing my Mum is very upset with me for moving to Australia definitely pulled me down a spiral of anxious over eating which I am trying to combat now by:

  • Eating in a structured way: at least 3 proper sized meals and 2 snacks per day and not being too restrictive or over thinking it.
  • Trying to eat slowly and pause between mouthfuls.
  • Sitting with any anxious thoughts that come up and knowing they will pass e.g. the sadness I have over not feeling at home in my family home right now. Giving myself a break if I slip up as this is a hard situation.
  • Drinking less. Although it immediately relaxes me I know the next day I feel worse and need to remember that. I always want to just fit in socially and don’t always listen to my inner voice.
  • Always having fruit/nuts on hand to snack on and water.

I know for me part of it comes from a sense of self consciousness as I eat from anxiety and then I beat myself up and think I will put on weight. I don’t think I am naturally a self conscious, vain person so I want to let go of this small mentality too:

  • Eat well so my body is healthy and vibrant and able to contribute more.
  • Feel grateful for my body as it is today. I’m strong and fit.
  • Let go of self consciousness – everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives they are not looking at you. Smile at yourself for thinking they are.
  • If your not thinking about food you have more head space to focus on more important things in your life.
  • Smile at myself in the mirror and be kind to how I look right now.
  • Know I am enough, today, as I am, right now

 

Just had a yummy bowl of bircher muesli with lots of fruit. Looking forward to lunch already ha but nottttt going to obsess about it.

Procrastinating. and doing less

I definitely do it. Sometimes when I have done one task I mentally feel I can sit and do nothing for a while as a reward, or, sometimes when I have lots of tasks to do I feel a bit anxious and don’t know where to start so do nothing. The biggest area I find I end up procrastinating in is with exercise, putting it off and not fully committing to it. Find exercise I enjoy (group HIIT work outs, yoga and tennis) which are literally on my route home from work (so no excuse) has been the key to my success in building exercise into my daily routine in Australia.

Since I have been back in the UK on holiday I have found it hard to build it into a routine, instead finding it easier to make time for going for a long walk instead. I was making myself feel a bit bad about this but I am going to give myself a break. Walking is great and I’m on holiday 😀

Now I will go and buy a nice coffee (I have become slightly obsessed with good coffee since moving to Melbourne) and walk through Regents Park for an hour listening to a podcast (either Sky News or an episode on The Good Life Project).

Then I am going to sit and read a bit more of The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss or check out an art gallery. I find the book interesting with all the personal stories and I like the ideas, but, I don’t find it 100% relatable as I am trying to simplify my life right now and focus on a few things that are important to me, rather than optimise every moment.

I was going to meet a friend for lunch today and another for dinner, but I have cancelled the lunch so I can have a bit more time for myself. I have realised that I need time alone to reflect and take in information and life in a passive way as when I am around people a lot I get a bit tired and overwhelmed. Coming home has been lovely (and hard with family drama) but also exhausting. I think I am quite an emotional person and having big catch ups and meaningful conversations with friends and family I haven’t seen for 7 months is great but does zap my energy as an introvert. I think am learning to put myself first and work out what works for me. Then I will be at my best when I am around people and able to offer and contribute more. Well that’s the plan. Pending… 🙂