Only you can fix your broken window.

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I’ve come to realise in the last few years that most people in life are far too busy worrying about their own problems, to try in any tangible way to help ‘fix’ yours. Yes we all offer words of support, throwing out lines of advice here and there, but in reality we are all too consumed with our own shit to spare any energy in helping others. The fire to change something in your life has got to come from within, otherwise you’ll never get there. Unless you are severely impaired by some form of mental or health related illness, you’ve just got to help yourself. People will be there to give you a kick up the ass and try to motivate you, but ultimately it comes down to lighting your own fire – and that usually takes a trip to rock bottom first.

We’ve all been in a situation where we feel helpless, alone, down and unmotivated. It might be after a break up, or looking for a new job, or home. It might be after a death or traumatic incident, or something little like a fight with a friend. Sometimes in life, you just feel glum – shit happens, and you can’t be bothered getting off the couch. Your family and friends will try and lift your spirits, suggesting outings and exercise. The endorphins will make you feel wonderful! Going outside is the last thing you feel like doing… until, one day, something inside you changes. Nobody is pestering you to cheer up, or asking you out for coffee, and suddenly you think – maybe I can do this. And that’s all it takes – that little spark of confidence, that little burst of positive thinking.

I know first hand what it’s like to go through this. I had loved ones telling me for months to quit my stressful job, and move away from a city I’d grown to despise. It honestly went in one ear and out the other, because I was SCARED. I felt completely trapped, stuck in a dark existence where every day depleted me of energy just trying to make it through. I was filled with ‘what if’ scenarios, bogged down by too many options and not enough courage, but ultimately just scared… 6 months later I look back to that period and wonder how I let it get so bad. Life is far too short to waste trapped in a mediocre job, missing your family and pretending to be okay. All it took was a firm decision, a step of courage and a moment of honesty. I-CANT-DO-THIS-ANYMORE. Let the chips fall where they may, but I was out of there – and haven’t looked back. Finally, I had done SOMETHING for myself. Something, anything was better than NOTHING.

And so I felt like a complete idiot this week when chatting to one of my close friends about how down he has been feeling. Here I was, offering out advice and suggesting things that had helped me – when I should have just listened. Nobody wants to hear what they should be doing – they’re not stupid. They know fully well what they should be doing to get out of their rut, but it takes time to come to that moment of clarity of your own free will – and that’s what makes all the difference 🙂

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Photo credits – aureta & thebest_windowsdoors

Decision making… I’d rather not.

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When you’re given options in life – to choose A versus B, this versus that, the decision making process can seem so daunting that more often than not, you tend to become stagnant. Lost between your current reality and a perceived change of course, you’re afraid of taking any step in either direction, scared to lose what you already have but at the same time scared to never experience something new.

I’m one of those people that either makes split decisions without thinking about anything at all, or I simply dwell on things too long that the opportunity passes as I’m hiding in my cave. I’m not even weighing up the pros and cons in my head, mapping out the direction of each decision – no, I’ve simply ‘checked out’. Something in me has decided that making this decision is too hard, I’m not going to be happy either way, so I’d simply rather not. That’s the thing these days – we have too many options that we’re constantly left wondering if option C might have been better than option D, and so on. It’s incredibly tiring.

Just recently I’ve been presented with an option that I know deep down I’m not ready for, though all sensible people would choose to go through with it. I’m not the type of person that follows my head though, always trusting the intuition of my gut instincts instead. When every fibre in me is screaming no, I shouldn’t have to make excuses or explain myself. I shouldn’t have to feel guilty about saying no, or worry about the consequences – we all need to choose what’s right for us at this particular time in our lives. How else can we grow and learn, without the values of retrospect and hindsight? Maybe in 6 months or a year, I’ll think back to the options I had at this time and pat myself on the back for following my heart, and not what society would have me conform to.

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.

Robert H. Schuller

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Photo credits – templeofleaves & pr0ject_uno

It’s all in your mind.

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I’m starting to truly believe that ‘happiness’ is 95% a mindset and that I can decide to have a good day from the minute I wake up. You know those mornings when the alarm goes off, you stumble around the bathroom trying to wake up, and you think ‘today is going to be crap’? Well yes, since you’ve decided that it will be – it absolutely will be. You put yourself into that mind frame from the get go, so every experience you have that day is probably going to annoy you and contribute to your bad day vibe. It’s totally a decision though, and as I venture down the road of mindfulness activities, meditation and self-love I’ve begun to realise my mental processes need a complete overhaul.

Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not. Valerie Bertinelli. 

Of course there are going to be negative things that happen to you in life – deaths, break ups, job set backs and health issues. How we react to these happenings however, is a choice we can make on a daily basis. I’m not saying we need to deny ourselves of the natural process of being upset, grieving and finding meaning in an event – these things are absolutely important. What I’m saying is we can choose to have a positive outlook and at least approach the situation with love. We can say to ourselves ‘I will get through this’, instead of being miserable and dwelling in that dark place. Don’t get too comfortable in the place you’re at – challenge yourself to see the positives in every day, and make a mental check list of all the things you have to be grateful for.

I know I’ve still got a while to go before I’m choosing happiness every day. Sometimes it’s just easier to exist in a bad mood – especially if you’re tired, bored or worried about something. But accepting this as the norm is not healthy on a recurring basis, and certainly doesn’t allow for harmony in your mind/body/spirit. With that being said, I’m going to get a good nights sleep and tomorrow will be a good day 🙂

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Photo credits – ihavethisthingwithpink & shotzdelight