My Winter Must-Reads

Winter is not only great for aesthetics – who doesn’t love a good palette of bare brown trees – it also hosts perfect reading weather. The sun goes down earlier with each passing day, and you slowly find yourself reaching for your favourite scarves and woollen hats. I don’t know about you, but when it’s cold out and I’m wrapped up warm, my favourite thing to do is grab a cup of coffee and a good book.

So, here it is – something different for my blog, however right up my alley – my book recommendations for this Winter.

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” ― Bill Watterson


The Diabolic  S.J. Kincaid 

Initially this was a book I found quite hard to get into. HOWEVER once I began to understand the world and the narrative perspective, I was hooked! This is an extremely diverse world, and main character Nemesis keeps you questioning moral throughout. It’s a story of how far you’ll go for love, and what characteristics deem a human being.

“Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.”

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You Are A Badass Jen Sincero

This is hands-down, one of my all time favourite books!

The cold weather can sometimes bring on uninspiring moods and unwanted laziness. When the season makes me feel like this, I like to read something super kicky-up-the-assy. And this is that for me. Need I say more? I can also highly recommend the audio book of this – read by Jen herself –  I listen to it walking to and from work; not only does it distract me from the cold, it’s exhilirating with a leaf pile worth of humour.

“By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.”

[Here’s a picture of my tapestry, because I’ve even leant it out. *cough* read it *cough*]

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How To Stop Time Matt Haig

A book recommendations of mine would definitely be incomplete without something written by Matt Haig. I walked into a bookshop, saw it on the new release shelf,  and bought it – without reading the synopsis. Matt Haig is just one of this authors who never disappoints – and with How To Stop Time, he went above and beyond. Being mostly based in London, I loved that I could relate to the places the main character, Tom, mentions. However, this book takes you on a journey with relationships Tom makes and breaks, and distances, such as America and Australia.

“Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret.

He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries…”

I’m going cut off the synopsis there, please just pick up the book and read it. Not only will it occupy a full, rainy day spent indoors, it will keep you enticed from the first to the last page.

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Nemesis Brendan Reichs

Last but 100%, certainly, absolutely, to-the-nines, not least is Nemesis by Brendan Reichs. Some may argue this is a YA fiction novel, but for me it was an exceptional plot that I couldn’t predict. I’ll give you a snippet of the synopsis (which is extremely long because the book is jam-packed) so you get an idea.

“It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.”

HOW ARE YOU NOT HOOKED ALREADY? It ended on such a cliff hanger, but I erratically searched the internet for a glimmer of hope for a sequel, and it’s coming my friends.

It’s coming.

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“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.” – Stephen King

Be sure to comment your favourite wintertime read down below!

Happy reading & happy Winter and festive season to all!

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A Moment To Reflect

Today I arrived back from a long weekend spent in Amsterdam, Holland. If you’d have told me this ten years ago, that at twenty-one I would be jet-setting around Europe on my days off, I would have possibly spat-laughed in your face.

I started writing this blog in the airport waiting for my return flight home yesterday. However, after the cheery announcement that my flight got cancelled, I slammed my laptop lid. This never happens to ME; I’m always hours too early for flights so as to not miss them, I weigh my luggage, I prepare my toiletries in a clear zip-lock bag, I’m patient in queues, and then this?

Me being me, I started searching my memory for reasons why my karma was deciding to kick me in the ass.

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I ran through the airport alongside my fellow stranded passengers, tears only held back by the red haze of frustration. I queued to get the whole “sorry for the inconvenience” relay from the compassionate help-desk clerk – which I didn’t blame because let’s be real we don’t wanna be that person that blames the messenger, do we? – and got the news I’d be flying out the next day. I wanted to cry. I got on the phone and spoke to the supportive best-friend, the parents, and it was decided that I just wasn’t looking at it positively. I almost always look at situations with an optimistic outlook – so, why not this?

I arrived at the airline organised hotel, pissed off I’d wasted half a day with the intention of going home, and then dropped down face first onto my queen bed with crisp white sheets. I had intended on screaming into the pillow, instead I surprised myself because I started laughing. After all I was being ridiculous; I didn’t have work the next day, the airline had provided full amenities – hotel, meals, an airport voucher, shuttles & a seat on the first flight out the next day – and I was here wasting my energy and mood on something that couldn’t be changed.

I had a hot shower, propped myself up on the 4 luxurious pillows, switched on the flat screen and started watching America’s Next Top Model with Dutch subtitles.  An extra night in Amsterdam couldn’t be all bad, what was I going to do with my evening at home anyway? PLUS, I had just spent a weekend in a stunningly beautiful city, because it’s only an hour away from my home in London – I need not be so petty over a postponed flight home.

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I always try to live by the motto that…

everything happens for a reason

…but yesterday I realised that I am still perfecting the recipe for the all-the-time positive person I aspire to be. I think my flight got cancelled for a reason. My life runs fairly smoothly, and I needed to be reminded by the Universe that life isn’t all picking fresh cherries; sometimes you get stuck with the last pack on the shelf at Tesco after craving them all day. I’m home, with the refreshed reminder that there is always something positive to come from what may appear as a misfortune – if you’re willing to figure it out.

Psst, make cherry jam.

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Friends in the city & saying goodbye

There’s something so unique about living in a city like this one. London is huge, it’s a place where people from all over the world interconnect and flourish. I’ve been in London for almost 3 years and whilst being here, I’ve made many friends and have had to say goodbye to almost all of them.

I wanted to write a blog about this. Making friends in a city and saying goodbye. I do often ask myself why I get so upset – saying goodbye to friends, tears streaming down my face, internally asking myself why are you like this?!. Asking why my body involuntarily gets so worked up about saying goodbye to people, when I knew I would have to say goodbye to them eventually. It’s a city of adventurous and aspiring people after all.

I sat and I really thought about.

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When you move out of home, or across the world like me, the friends you make become your family. Your friends become the support network that is there when you’re crying out of stress, or crying because you can’t stop laughing. They’re there when you’ve got exciting news you want to share, they’re there dancing alongside you at gigs, they’re there when you just want someone to join you for a coffee. So naturally, losing these people, this support network, is never going to be easy.

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” – C.S. Lewis

A city life promotes a different type of friendship, well certainly different to the friendships I ever had in New Zealand. The friends I make tend to live a short distance away, and this is what I love most. The making of spontaneous plans, popping around to see a friend, meeting for lunch or coffee, even just having a drink at the pub after work together. London is all about the sociable life. So when this lifestyle changes, such as a friend leaving, it’s hard to feel okay about it – because one small difference can affect your daily life so much. We don’t tend to deal with unwanted change too well, and we do become sad. We all do. I’ve had my closest friends fly home, and I have had my closest of English friends move out of London – it’s the same, and in my head it’s the drama of the century.  I enjoy having my closest friends …well, close.

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I moved to London on my own.

I was an 18 year old from New Zealand, who arrived and knew absolutely nobody. To be quite honest with you, the first few nights in London, I was terrified. Terrified that nobody would like me, and terrified that I would make no friends. And then I moved into my first flat. I arrived as the outsider, and by the end of the first week, I was out celebrating my 19th birthday surrounded by people. Now, all of those people I met in my first months, I would be lucky to see anyone of them once a year. It was a gradual thing – I moved flat, made new friends, my old friends moved, I moved flat again, made new friends, so on, so on. It became an expectation to say goodbye, or at least ‘see you later’.

The knowledge of my own need for progression, allowed me to accept saying goodbye to others. Half the time, as I’m standing there with tears streaming down my cheeks as I say goodbye, I am happy; I am excited for my friends to move on to greater adventures. I’ve been that person my whole life, and I know that feeling of having to move on. We all live our lives with the aspiration of progress, and we all have to be selfish sometimes.


I was at the top of St. Paul’s with a friend one day. We were looking down at the thousands of people below us, and then, he said:

“Isn’t it amazing how amongst all those people, with different lives and different stories, we meet people with similar interests and form friendships.”

Yes, it is amazing. Making friends in a city of 8 million people may seem like a given, but it’s not as easy as that. Everything happens for a reason, and people come into our lives as we need them. Even though saying goodbye is hard, the most important thing to remember is that life will always endure a bit of mileage.

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A Month Of Being A Socialite

At the start of September I decided to set a challenge for myself: Sociable September. You may be thinking psssh easy,  but I’m here to tell you I’m quick to choose solitude. I’m usually a home body, swapping the flirtatious nights out for a book, or a chance to write.

What did my Sociable September endure?

I set a goal that I was to say yes to any, or as many, outings I got invited to. I started the month off strong by going to the pub after finishing work at 10pm, and ended September doing my sociability proud by getting home at 6am aka on a Saturday morning aka 5 hours before my 12 hour shift started. Shivers. Going. Down. My. Spine. However, to be honest, I walked into work Saturday morning chuckling my head off with my colleagues at how ridiculous we’d been the night before; my hangover aching with laughter. Sociable September also included other non-drinking events – meeting up with friends, going to art galleries, spending time writing in central London. The goal was to get out of the house and make the most of living in this amazing city I’m proud to call home, and I think I did a pretty good job.

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First and foremost I found liberation in saying YES more. I’m definitely not a timid soul, but I am known to pass up things for more solo adventures. I wouldn’t say my Sociable September forced me out of my comfort zone, but it did make me appreciate my friends – and being spontaneously crazy – a whole damn lot.

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Bill Watterson

Did socialising give me more energy?

The main reason I usually say no to going out with people is to preserve my energy because a typical work week for me can long and tiresome. So, heading into Sociable September I had intially predicted that I would end September exhausted and ready for a week long snooze. Funnily enough, it didn’t because I surrounded myself with energetic people. I got swept off my feet into a whirlwind of wine and laughs, resulting in ending September with a lot of good-mood energy and a desire to join in more often.

What are my thoughts going into October?

I’m definitely excited about another month and a different goal. Going forward I will definitely aim to continue to say yes to things, and enjoy what my London life has to offer. I do, however, feel that during this last month my writing and reading have been put on the back burner. I want my October to include more time to get back to what truly makes me happy; my blog and my book writing.

“If I could read while I was driving, showering, socializing or sleeping, I would do it.” –  Elizabeth Gilbert

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The Verdict

  1. My friends make me happy, but so do I. Any one of us will deflate if we overdo it, it’s about balance.
  2. I’m sitting here in the members room at the Tate Modern, thoroughly enjoying my book (and my solitude).

I thoroughly suggest these smaller, challenge type goals. What will be your October goal?

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Stick To The Status Quo? | The Self Series

Welcome to Episode 5 in The Self Series. This is the series where I give some thought to common said quotes in today’s society. This time it’s all about the status quo.

What is the status quo?

Status quo is a Latin word literally meaning ‘the state in which’. In today’s society, the label status quo is typically used to generalise what is deemed ‘normal’ in society.

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I have a discussion for us today based around my personal take on the saying “Stick to the status quo” – and before you ask, yes, I was a huge High School Musical fan as a kid.

So, what is my take? I see the status quo as more of a comfort zone; sticking to the status quo being the attitude of playing it safe rather than only societal norms. If we talk about the status quo in this way, this would be our own choice – right? We individually decide whether or not to stay comfortable.  If you ask me, life is all about taking risks and encouraging ourselves to get out there and make the most of things. Life is also about encouraging everybody around us to do the same.

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Quite often when it comes to something new, our bodies inject our minds with a little thing called fear. We can’t blame our bodies for this feeling, because ultimately it’s a survival instinct, but sometimes we mistake worry for fear; we escalate the anxiousness of failure to a level of fear that makes things seem impossible. Well, I’m here to tell you to feel the fear and do it anyway. This seems to be an overall theme in my blogs, but hear me out once again. If I asked you to join me on a skydiving quest tomorrow, what would you say? I know your body would probably start to feel a little more tense, and some part of your insides would do a little dive to the pit of your stomach, but after putting that aside what would YOU say??

I’d hope you’d say yes. After all, experiences such as this aren’t an everyday thing. I’m sure your first instinct would be to say no. Our bodies weren’t designed to fall from the sky, 15,000km above the earths tectonic plates, at speeds unknown to the raw human body – but hey? What’s the worst that could happen? I mean, ideally it’s probably not best to ponder this thought right before you jump – but seriously, you’d never do anything if you didn’t live with risk.

“Feel the fear and do it anyway.” – Susan Jeffers

I have in fact jumped from a plane. When I was about 16, one of my brothers and I joked about skydiving on a family holiday. Emphasis on the word joke. The next morning, as we were in our holiday cabin comfortable in our bunk beds, my parents came in with an aura of adrenaline and asked us, “How about it? Want to skydive today?”. I can tell you now, I still remember that feeling of absolute terror and how quickly my stomach clenched. It had only been a thought, something to laugh about, yet now it was so close to becoming reality. Eventually after our parents encouragement, me and my older brother committed to jump from a plane.

It was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. It was also one of the most terrifying and fear-filled adventures I’ve taken part in.

When I find myself filled with fear; from accepting a new job role, to travelling abroad solo, I tell myself what’s the worst that can happen? I tell myself to feel the fear, and do it anyway because you only live once. More often than not, after we take these risks, we feel a sense of relief and accomplishment.

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We’ve discussed taking risks, and now I want to bring us directly back to the status quo and the idea of self-expression. I was doing some research for this article, and I came across this quote from none other than Dr Seuss:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

As a child, I loved the books of Dr Seuss because they were so different to anything else I read. I loved the unique illustrations, the crazy storylines and the characters being so different to anything I knew in real life.

This quote from Dr Seuss is the definition of a perfect life. We can’t conform to the ideals of society; we can’t live our lives in response to someone else’s standards. If someone dislikes us for who we uniquely are, do they really matter? Should we really let their idea of a ‘right’ life distinguish how we live ours? NO! And if someone lives a true, self-actualized and self-empowered life, they’re not going to mind how we live ours. Be unique, and only live for yourself.

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When someone says things such as stick to the status quo to me, I can’t help but think it over. Remember: that feeling – after conquering a fear or something with an uncertain outcome – is what we should all live for. Be who you are, be true to your thoughts and your feelings.

Don’t believe the status quo to be anything other than encouragement to be different and adventurous.

A Clean Space, A Clean Mind | The Self Series

 

Welcome back to another episode in The Self Series. This month I moved house, finding myself reminded of how much stuff I actually own. My old bedroom had a lot of nooks and crannies, and whilst emptying those out I discovered an utmost desire to de-clutter and rid my belongings of everything unnecessary. Today’s blog is going to be all about doing exactly that, and is bought to you by a quote of Eleanor Brownn:

“Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self.”

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No. 1 | Items we have, but don’t need

We all have things we don’t need; crap we’ve bought, gimmicks we’ve fallen for, or simply outgrown items. I am not here to tell you what you don’t need, because this varies person to person.

Here are a few areas I’ve been able to revamp and tidy:

  1. My desk storage and surrounding areas were infested with old university text books, papers, payslips and bills. I recycled everything I hadn’t looked at in a few months, and to prevent the pile up from happening again – switched over to paperless, meaning I now get majority of important documents via email. AND now I have an amazingly clear work space.
  2. The top of my wardrobe had the biggest collection of old birthday cards and old concert tickets. I think I’m like most people when I say I find it hard to throw these types of things away – but do not fear! I have a tip for you…
    • Take photos of them and/or scan them into your computer. They’re only gonna get bent and fade over time, so keep them in tip-top form in a computer folder. 
  3. I also found a lot of trinkets, unused frames, and travel bags amongst other unused home goods. Things like this – which someone else could use – I donated to local charity shops.

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No. 2 | Double is trouble

Humans, majority of us are overly materialistic. I remember that back in high school, I became quite obsessed with make-up and so began the notorious – more than one drawer fill – make-up hoard of 2012. Considering one can only wear so much at any time, it’s easy to say I had too much make-up. Fast forward to August 2017 and my make-up collection consists of 10 items: 1 foundation, 1 eyebrow kit, 1 eyeliner, 1 primer, 1 mascara, 1 eyeshadow palette, 1 powder, and 3 lipsticks. It has taken 5 years, but I perfected the Paige make-up necessities. I have no double-ups, and I only buy items that work for my skin tone and that I genuinely will make use of.

This minimal approach to my beauty routine continues with my moisturiser and shower items.  I encourage you to find one of every required item; e.g. find a moisturiser which you and your skin loves, and stick to only owning one type and then replace when empty. It will keep your space tidy and, especially when it comes to your skin, the less products the better.

No. 3 | The concept of a minimal wardrobe

The dreaded closet clear out. We amp ourselves up for it but when it comes around to the big event, we find it more difficult to discard those items of clothes than originally thought. So I’m not going to tell you to go to your closet and pick only 10 things to keep, I’m going to ask you one question.

Do you think that having more choice leads to less stress and/or promotes happiness?

Think about it for a minute.

Now imagine having 10 of your favourite items of clothing; 10 items spaciously hanging before you. All 10 items you love equally, and fit you perfectly. Knowing that no matter what you pick, you’re gonna feel comfortable. Now imagine having a closet stuffed with clothes; your wardrobe doors don’t shut, the shelving stuffed with sweaters and shirts you can’t manage to fold because no matter how much you try, there’s just no space. Trying to find an outfit within that? Ugh, no, thank you very much.

We should love what we wear. Not only is owning an excessive amount of clothes an unnecessary waste of space and money, it’s cluttering for our brains. So try and limit your belongings, keep pieces you love, and wear them as much as possible. Mix and match, and you’ll soon realise what a select wardrobe with staple items can do for you. Washing machines exist for a reason, and if you’re worried that someone is going to judge you for wearing the same item of clothing in one week? Well, who really cares?

No. 4 | Relationship cleanse

Detoxifying your life doesn’t just refer to things you can hold, de-cluttering our minds also plays a huge part in feeling calmingly free. Relationships which aren’t based on complete honesty can be soul-defying. This might sound dramatic, but sometimes we don’t even realise that a relationship is bad for our overall happiness; we can get so caught up in wanting to be accepted by a peer that it becomes normal to be someone we’re not. If a relationship you have, romantically or friendly, takes energy away from you, take a minute to seriously analyse what you’re gaining from it. And question whether it is worth wasting energy on.

I went through this process quite young. I rid my life of bullies labeled as friends, and my accepting of “loving” insults. I found myself feeling more self-empowered when I began filtering those I accepted into my life. Since doing this, I have found friends who genuinely know everything there is to know. To think that some people have ‘friends’ or even families who don’t know their deepest worries does sadden me. You’re missing out on so much when you don’t share.

No. 5 | The exceptions

I would be a hypocrite and a liar if I said you will never be happy without minimalism. I for one find great happiness and relaxation out of books. And lots of them.

“Simply put, I love books, physical books. I own so many – many of which I have not read (yet). I just need to have them. On shelves. In piles. In random conference tote bags. Paper magazines and newspapers too. Some call it clutter. I call it cozy.” ― Donna Talarico

Thank you Donna for not making me feel like a crazy book hoarder. I needn’t say much more on this topic, except don’t get rid of things which comfort you just for the idea of de-cluttering. De-clutter in areas of your life which only bring stress. As a rule of thumb, if you’re avoiding an area of your life/house, it probably requires some work. Don’t be afraid to dedicate a room in your house to your books, a wall for a floor-to-ceiling art display.

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I hope you can all take something away from this blog. I am going to continue  organising, minimising and de-cluttering my life. A clean space really does help with a clean mind. Refine your life, think more clearly and support your better self.

Aid your aspirations.

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There’s A Time And A Place | The Self Series

Hello, and welcome back to The Self Series. This is going to be where I inject advice from my journey to self-assurance into my blog; a space where I respond to requests, or events in my life, with a moment of reflection.

Today, I’m gonna discuss the saying “there’s a time and a place”. According to some, this is something you say when someone is behaving in a way which is not deemed suitable for the circumstance. In my opinion this seems to be a rather negative take on what could be an extremely positive mantra. I’m gonna give you my three positive takes on this quote:

No. 1

“Certain projects find you at the right time.” – Pierce Brosnan

Ever heard of a thing called fate? Yeah, well I believe in it… to a certain extent. I believe everything works out in the end. I always have, it’s something my parents taught me; read my earliest blogs, I can’t shut up about it apparently.

So, take number one? Being in the right place at the right time. Understand that if something you’ve been striving for hasn’t happened yet, it will happen when the success stars align. The worst thing creative striving souls do is give up when the going gets tough. If you really want something, keep at it and it will happen when its supposed to. Sounds like I’m talking crap, but I speak from experience, and I speak from the hope of success I have for myself.

No. 2

“Eliminate anyone who stifles your creativity by being hostile, mean, or rude – either to your face or behind your back.” – Rachel Wolchin

This is where I tell you to retaliate. I’m not exactly going back on my previous blog in The Self Series (if you haven’t read it already, I highly suggest you do, click here) but I am saying this: there is a time and a place to take no shit. Rachel has it right – eliminate anyone who does wrong by you and/or your passions. In that blog, we discussed responding with a mature and reserved manner, but now is when I tell you its okay to raise your voice. However do not bring another person down, use your voice to open people’s closed eyes and minds.

No. 3

“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” – Willie Nelson.

Cue giggles in front of computer screens, or gasps of horror. Either way, Willie Nelson has the right idea. When I see the words there is a time and a place, I find myself reminded of patience. Sometimes we feel self-entitled – whether it be to a promotion or to be at the front of the queue in the supermarket – and self-entitlement is a very bad quality. Yes, we may work hard and be entitled of a victory, but don’t abuse your ego. Let others shine, and you too will get your moment. If you’re patient, whilst not losing confidence in your own passion and hard work, you will get your cheese.

All it takes is a few minutes of your day to wind-down the mind. I hope The Self Series will be your space to reflect as much as mine, and that you have gained something to consider from this blog. I ask you all to comment your take down below, and I will see you next time!

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Kill ’em With Kindness | The Self Series

It’s recently come to my attention that I’m quite sassy.

I’m not always writing, cause I’d never get my bills paid – so, like a lot of creative souls, I do work in customer service. When you work in hospitality you do encounter rude people, and as the feminist and stubborn woman that I am,  I dislike being disrespected immensely. I’ve never been overly mouthy or rude, but I do get a sass on my shoulders and have slammed a few pints down in my time. As any fed up person would.

Lately I’ve been taking to a new way of dealing with these sort of people. Instead of ruining my day or mixing the situation with sass, I’ve been attempting at over the top kindness and coming out the bigger person. So here they are, a few tips and quotes on how to:

“Kill ’em with kindness”

Call ’em out

Sometimes people don’t realise they’re being rude. We’ve all done it; had a bad day, and taken our anger out on someone with our tone of voice, or impatient frustration. You get the nudge from your friend standing next to you at the coffee shop counter, and realise you’ve just sassed the poor girl who is only doing her job.

I have on certain occasions, told customers to just change their tone with me. They will either a) Quickly realise and apologise or, b) Continue to be rude, at which point I highly suggest you walk away. Wherever you work, it’s not in your contract to be personally disrespected. So leave it be. I encourage complete positivity in my personal life, so why is it only now that I’m realising I should be accepting only positivity and respect at work too?

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Pass it off and don’t fight back

There are certain times that people are so stuck in their ways, that they won’t even hear what you have to say. When this happens, when they ignore you, respond with kind enthusiasm. Keep your head high, say what you have to say, and as they make snide remarks, pass them off. Do your job, calmly and professionally, and then ride your high horse into the sunset. The worst thing you can do is let someone’s rudeness or bad day, turn yours into one too. Don’t stand in the presence of negativity, and definitely don’t let it stick around.

“Treat everyone with politeness – even those who are rude to you. For remember that you show courtesy to others not because they are gentlemen, but because you are one.” – Charles Dickens.

Killing a situation with kindness, is a form of strength. Think of how weak it is to throw insults; how much easier it is for some people to be mean, than to explain or talk like a civilised adult.  So by being polite, you remain the mature, self-controlled person you are, and remain with purpose and strength.

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart

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ASPIRE TO INSPIRE OTHERS TO BE KIND

“I Never Asked You.” (A Blog On Opinion)

Have you ever received an unwanted comment?

 “Your hair looks weird today”, “I don’t think that top fits you right”, “Why are you so grumpy today?”… did I ask for your opinion? No, I don’t recall asking you, thank you very much.

So, here it is, a blog on the idea of an opinion.

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So what is in an opinion?

By definition an opinion is a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. Thank you, Google. Let’s summarise; an opinion is a singular view not based on fact. So, if these statements are not based on fact, do they really matter? Are they worth saying? And, should we leave our ears open for these comments? There is a quote from Ginni Rometty which perfectly sums up my opinion (great choice of word, huh?) on the topic of opinion.

“I ask everyone’s opinion when they don’t speak up. And then when they have an opinion, I’ll ask others to talk about it.”  

People who reserve judgment usually have more thought-out, and perfected perceptions. If someone is constantly pitching in their opinion, are they seeking attention, or are they arrogant in their ways. I want to make a point there is a different between arrogant opinion, and confident opinion. Remember that your opinion will more often than not, be rejected by the person you are passing it to, unless you speak at the perfect time.

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So what would arrogant opinion be? Say someone is having a chat about religion – you have every right to pitch in, but will it add to the conversation if you are disagreeing? If you say Buddhism is a hoax, and the conversing person is a sole-believer, should you really tell them they’re wrong? Not really. Certain opinions – especially those disregarding a person’s way of life – should not be shared. Keep it to yourself.

Confident opinion is very near the same but with an element of respect. With confident opinion, we wisely choose our timing and our topics to place judgement upon. When we are confident in our views, we don’t need them to be heard. We find satisfaction in not agreeing without saying so out loud.

“Your opinion is your opinion, your perception is your perception–do not confuse them with “facts” or “truth”. Wars have been fought and millions have been killed because of the inability of men to understand the idea that EVERYBODY has a different viewpoint.” – John Moore

As much as I write about this topic, nothing is going to stop people from commenting on other’s lives whether asked or not. So, if you receive unwanted comments from someone – whether it be about your attire, something you’ve said, or something completely irrelevant – let it go, and tell yourself: Everyone is entitled to an opinion. 

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I’m sure a few of you reading this are probably thinking something along the lines of “What if someone has to hear it?” – that your wise words will help them in some way? I see where you’re coming from. I still stand by the ideology that people live individual lives, and along with this, comes figuring things out for yourself. Look back at that quote from our lady, Ginni. If someone wants your opinion, they will ask. Same for you, if you want a external view on an internal situation, you’ll ask.

Please feel free to comment down below. I would like to ask you for your opinions on opinion, and also ask why you think what you do.

So, You Want To Be In Charge Of Your Life?

If you’re anything like me, you’ll overthink everything that has anything to do with a ‘successful life’. We are all guilty of getting so caught up in making the best impression on others, that once we stop, we feel like we’re losing control of where we’re headed or who we’ve become. We all want to be in charge of our own lives – deep down we all want to live a life that we deem victorious.

“Stop fighting yourself and start fighting for yourself” The Revolutionary Impact 

I wanted to kick off this article with one of my favourite quotes from The Revolutionary Impact. How powerful is this statement? We do fight ourselves, it’s true. We constantly chant excuses instead of repeating affirmations. Say there’s a job promotion and you’re doubting yourself, you will without a second-thought tell yourself there’s so much you don’t know – well, imagine if you just turned it around and said, I can do it. Nothing more, nothing less. Well guess what, you can. Remove “I don’t know” and “I can’t” from your vocabulary, start saying, “If I don’t know now, I will figure it out” and “I can”. Defend yourself. Fight for yourself.

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Inject your days with wholehearted passion.

When we feel like we’re being dragged through the days – doing things we don’t like, working a job we aren’t passionate about – we become tired. We feel exhausted and the feeling of control can quickly dissipate. If you’re serious about taking control. Whether you want to be a writer, entrepreneur, actor, or your own boss, start now. When we’re young, we can so easily slip into saying, “Oh, I’m young, I have time.” Well, you’re correct, you do have time, but sorry kids the world doesn’t stop progressing just cause you’re having fun. I want us to enjoy ourselves, but also remember that if we want something we gotta live for it. Start each day right, dedicate some time each day to perfecting your craft, infest your surroundings with your craft – motivational boards, books, quotes, posters – and convince yourself it WILL happen. Bring on that New York Times Bestseller!

Click here for my tips & tricks on starting the day right.

“Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.” Kyle Chandler

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Figure out what matters to you and what doesn’t.

This applies to all aspects of your existence. Only let things into your life that bring you joy. If you want complete control of your everyday, without putting it off for weeks, seriously de-clutter your life; from the abundance of t-shirts you don’t wear, to the “friends” who bring your down. If something is contributing negativity rather than support, or taking up the space for something better, get rid of it. You don’t have to justify it to anyone, all you’ve to know is that you’re doing yourself a favour. When we put our life through this self-respect filter, we will settle for nothing less than we deserve. Chris Brogan, sums this concept up perfectly.

“Don’t settle. Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.”   Chris Brogan

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Live for the future, not the past.  

You might be thinking, “Paige you’re contradicting every blog you’ve posted – living in the future? What happened to living in the moment?”. Well kids, I want you to live for the future in the now; I want you to set goals and work towards them today. Instead of clouding your passion with regret, better yourself today so you can be your best yet tomorrow – forever improving and forever reaching out with intrigue.  Tell yourself where you’ll be in a years time.  Never settle, only progress.

“Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.”   Robin Sharma

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Don’t get greedy, you can’t have everything.

You can be in control of your own life, but remember so can everyone else. Don’t waste your valuable time and energy on things that do not benefit you, or things that you can’t quite gain control of. Let’s have a look at this quote:

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” Steve Maraboli

“…to take control of what you do have power over…” is what makes my soul soar – Marboli, you speak the truth! We have the power to be head-strong, forward-thinking, passionate, and kind; don’t try and crave control where it’s not your right. Sometimes we have to surrender to the universe and let the path pave itself for a bit. When we step back and let this happen, the stressed/’trying too hard’ haze over our eyes clear, and we see direction more clearly.

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Ultimately we live for happiness, so in the words of George Eliot, ‘it is never too late to be who you might have been.’

So, be who you want to be and take charge of your life… now.