Dear Music,

Music is my superhero.

 

In a world which is often so full of hate and uncertainty, there is always one thing that speaks love and that is Music.

 

Music gives me a purpose;

When I wake up, I listen to Music.

When I drive to work, I listen to Music.

When I am sat at my desk, I listen to Music.

At the gym, I listen to Music.

When I am cooking, I listen to Music.

When I lay down to go to sleep, I listen to Music.

 

Music is the biggest part of my day, the most constant thing in my week and the most comforting thing in my year.

 

On the days when I feel most alone, Music is always there with me. When I feel like there are more bad days than good, I get to a live event and I am proved so wrong. Music lives. Music speaks. Music saves.

 

Music has gotten me through the toughest, most painful and worst days of my life. My favourite artists have sung to me on my loneliest nights.

Maddie & Tae have kept me company on my longest journeys.

Kate Voegele has distracted me on my saddest and most difficult days.

Maren had conversations with me when nobody else could.

Carrie held my hand when nobody else would.

These people became my friends.

 

So many people, like me, have a place to call home because of Music. Even those people who feel like they don’t belong anywhere have found their way because of the artists who gave a little bit (or sometimes a lot) of themselves for the benefit of us, the listeners.

 

But, what is the most special thing about Music? It unites. I have met the most amazing, strong, courageous, beautiful and hilarious friends through our mutual loves of certain artists. Friendships which continue to grow with each album release, tour announcement and festival attendance.

 

So thank you Music, thank you for being my superhero.

 

 

 

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Watch me…

When I was a teenager the only thing in the world that I wanted to do was write. I absolutely loved to escape from life reading a book and then rewriting the ending the way I thought it should have happened.

In school, I loved English. Was totally focused in class, while everyone else moaned that English was on the timetable, I was absolutely thrilled to get into that classroom and get lost in literature.

My English teacher was a writer, and not only did she love to write but she taught the skills really, really well and I was remember being so amazed and in awe of her when she told me that her goal was to be a published writer. From that moment I absolutely idolised that teacher (the most uncool thing you can do as a teenager, right?)  because that’s what I wanted to do too. If she could do it, then I could too.

Over the next few years, that same teacher arranged for me to write for various newspapers and children’s publications and showed me what was out there. I even got to experience two consecutive summer internships in a local newspaper, writing small news features. For a 16 year old, this was a huge deal. I had made it. I was a writer.

But with GCSEs and maturity(barely), the questions began to come. What is it you would like to do? What will you study in University? What? what? what?

Writing stories won’t pay the bills. That’s not a job. That’s something you do when you have lots of money and don’t have to go to work. You can do that in your spare time. Keep that as your hobby. All of a sudden, becoming a writer didn’t seem at all possible. It was a dream and those are the things you have when you’re asleep. Not when you are awake and making decisions.

Over the next few years, I trained in various roles in the childcare sector. Had one or two really lovely jobs but I just wanted to write. The passion hadn’t gone away but the time to do it had. Working 8-6 in a Nursery, travelling home and taking on lots of courses and additional skills trainings in the evenings while trying to balance the type of social life a 19 year old girl is supposed to have.

At 20 years and 9 months I finally enrolled in University in London! I had spoken to an advisor and we had come to the conclusion, that in order for me to get the most writing experience in University without doing Journalism, I should be doing a PR degree.

As a PR student, I had many amazing experiences. Co-founded a society, held events in the University where outside speakers came in to join us. After 3 years, i’d written hundreds of press releases, given presentations, written lots of discursive pieces, written for radio broadcast and even landed an intern position on a online magazine in East London. I still wasn’t writing what I wanted to write. There were no jobs out there that fitted into my vision of being a writer and if there were, they certainly weren’t any that would pay me to live in London.

So, in that moment, I did what 90% of the population do. I put my dreams on a shelf. I made the decision to enrol for a PGCE course which would ultimately lead to a 40 year career as a teacher and not that of a writer.

I am writing this, to make it evident that we are dream stealers. We are so conditioned to the fact that there is only one way to live that we teach the children in our lives not to dream. Not because we don’t see the best in them or that we don’t want them to be a pro athlete, or a dancer, a singer or a writer but because training and practising and editing doesn’t pay the bills. Treating patients, sorting finances, defending in court, teaching children, those things pay the bills. Right? So what, we go to school, go to work, get old and then we die? Is this really what we are up against?

Right now, I am making waves to change this for me. I am working on my plan B. I am still in a full time employment in the property industry but one day, I will have the ability to sit down and get that book out of my head and onto paper. And you know what? I am absolutely loving my experiences along the way as I build my life on my terms.

So I am here to ask you to watch me… hold me accountable to this which I am about to share with you. Ask me about it, challenge me. Push me forward. Please, be a part of it with me.

Over the next few years of my life, I AM going to write with the aim of publication, whether that be print or online and I am going to be DAMN proud of me for doing it.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you cannot do something, just go out there and do it and make them feel stupid for ever doubting you. You CAN shine and you WILL shine if you believe you can.

When your little boy or girl tells you he/she wants to be an astronaut or an actress, don’t put their innocent dreams on the shelf beside mine and yours because they deserve better.

Go out there and start working on your dream. Let’s make the shelf a little lower to the ground.

I Am Here To Tell You That You CAN Have It All.

I had been thinking about this topic for a couple of days now and last night a friend of mine posted a vlog discussing the exact same thing so she has given me the push I need to post this.

So recently I have been reading a book by Jack Canfield called “The Success Principles – How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be.”

There is no other way to describe this book than life changing. I know how absolutely cheesy that sounds but it doesn’t matter what area of your life you use the book in reference to – it will change the way you think, speak and act. Without a doubt.

Personally, I am reading the book with an entrepreneurial head on as it has the potential to catapult me into huge success but this book can guide you in any area of your life –  relationships, dreams, aspirations, career, finance, parenting. Literally anything you wish to see more of in your life, let this book be your guide.

In the particular chapter that I am making reference to today(Principle 3). Jack asks us to “Decide what you want”

What are your desires? What does success and stability look like to you? What does happiness look like to you? Jack tells us that the reason that most people don’t get the things they want, is that they haven’t actually decided what that is.

When we are babies, we know how to get what we want. When we don’t get it, we cry until our parent provides it for us. The same behaviour carries through to when you are a toddler. This made me think of my own nephew and my friends’ toddlers. I have often heard the phrase “he (/she) has no fear” from their parents. Do you notice how a toddler will take risks? They will climb on furniture to reach something, they will reach out to pet a dog not knowing whether their hand will be bitten or not, they will spit out or refuse the food they didn’t want to eat. This is because they know exactly what it is they want and they will do anything necessary to get there.

As children get older, society poisons us with fear. We grow up being told “No” or “don’t do that” or “You can’t have everything you want” or “keep your hands to yourself” or “stop crying”. This is called “early childhood programming”.

Our role models in life do what they do because they feel like they are protecting us. They feel they are shaping us into good human beings. They are telling us not to do things in order to keep us safe from the pain of the big bad world. Or so they think. What they are actually doing is instilling fear into us and limiting our hopes, dreams and thoughts.

As we progress through life we learn to do the things we need to do in order to get approval. We go to University because that’s what our older siblings did, we get the 9-5 job because that’s what Dad said we should do. We do things that we don’t really want to do in order to please others.

I know that through my experiences as a teacher and as an aunt and God mother to my nephew, it is my responsibility to set boundaries for children whether it be in the classroom or taking care of my family but I never want to be the type of teacher or aunt who places my limiting beliefs on the children in my care. Each and every child has a unique and precious mind and they can be and they can have exactly what they want. They just need to decide what that is and to be told that it is okay to have a dream. I am not saying that these dreams and aspirations are just going to fall into their laps one Monday morning. They will have to work hard to achieve their dreams, they will have to take risks and make sacrifices but it is totally possible.

Believe me, it is not too late to decide what you want. I have gone through 2 degrees and started a career as a teacher which, yes is very fulfilling and totally something that I will continue to pursue throughout my life but it is only in the past couple of years that I have realised that I want more from my time on this planet. I have decided that what I really want to do is to help all kinds of people. I have so many things that I want to work towards in the next few years that I won’t get to do in the traditional classroom setting because there are too many targets to achieve and standards to adhere to. My plans include entrepreneurial programs for primary school aged children, allowing them the opportunity to see that they don’t have to conform to the 40 year career that we are pre conditioned to believe is the only way. I WILL get there because I have decided that I will and I am taking risks in order to get me there.

I am going to go after what I want.

Please let go of your limiting beliefs and revert back to that toddler who went towards whatever seemed most exciting to them. Who lived on impulse, who took risks. Believe in the power of you!

I would highly encourage you to get your hands on a copy of Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles – How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be” and study each of his success principles at your own pace. Teach them to your children, share them with your partner and do your best to live out the teachings.

Always travel in the direction of your dreams.

Your Daughters Are Watching…

Now you might first of all think I don’t deserve an opinion on this particular topic and maybe you are right. I am not a mother, this is very true. However, I am a daughter and I have been a teacher, where every day I was teaching children just like your daughters, so please, humour me and hear me out.

You know those negative, hurtful remarks you make to yourself throughout the day? When you tell yourself you are fat or you need to tone up or you are ugly or you need more make up on or you aren’t good enough? You know the thoughts and comments I mean, right?

So how would it feel if you were to go up to someone and say those things to them? You wouldn’t dream of it, right? So let me ask you this; If it isn’t an acceptable thing to say to somebody else, why on earth would you say it to yourself?

The negative thoughts that go through our minds on a daily basis are most likely to be the harshest, darkest thought we have all day. We don’t deserve to be spoken to in this way by anyone, not even ourselves.

How would you feel if someone came up to your daughter and said something horrible to them about their image or personality? It’s a horrible thought, right?

Yesterday, a friend of mine shared a video on Facebook entitled “When your daughters hear you criticising yourself” and there lay the inspiration for this blog. It got me thinking of the children I taught, of the language that they used, which I often refer to as ‘learned language’ meaning that it is not something children just say. It is things they have heard from someone else.

Something that stands out to me is a situation I was in a little while ago, when teaching in Ireland. A 10 year old girl in one of my classes said something  to the group during a class discussion around healthy living, about her diet beginning the next Monday. I literally couldn’t believe what I was hearing from such a small child. She continued to tell us she needed to diet to make sure she looked good in her bikini at the swimming pool on for their weekly lesson with school. I mean… Come on, she was 10. That poor little girl has learned to be self conscious before she’s even cracked long division. In this situation I managed to turn this into a classroom discussion about what a healthy balanced lifestyle included and we agreed that we do not need to go on diets.

Mothers, what are you saying to yourself in the mirror? Are you loving your bodies? Are you telling yourselves you look good? Because, believe me, your daughters are watching you and they are learning from you. They are mimicking your words and your actions and your beliefs.

Make a list of the things you love about your daughter. She’s beautiful, she’s funny, she looks out for people. The list will go on, you know it. Now, where did your daughter learn to be these amazing things? She learned them from YOU.

Why can’t we be the women who stand in front of the mirror and recognises all of these fabulous things that we can see in other people so clearly but struggle to tells ourselves? Self love is the most important love of all and once we begin to understand the value of the love that we give to ourselves, we will go far. If you struggle with telling yourself how amazing you are, work on it. Tell yourself every day that you are smart, courageous and beautiful. That you are confident and capable. Keep on repeating it until you believe it.

So, empower your children, allow them to believe that they can be and will be everything that they want to be.

 

All I know for sure about today…

Well, first things first, that picture isn’t entirely correct. I feel I know lots of things. I spent lots of years in study to learn the things I know today. I have learned social behaviours, I have learned how to be a good person and a good friend. I learned how to be a good teacher, I also learned that I didn’t love to teach as much as I loved the idea of it. I have even learned how to work within the property development industry and understand (some) of the lingo. See, I do know lots of things. 

Today, I am not talking about the past. I am not talking about what I know up until today. Today, I am talking about the future.

Sure, I know what I would LIKE my future to look like. I know the things I have envisioned and the requests I have put out to the Universe. I have set my intentions and I am all good with what I FEEL my future will hold. But in reality, I know nothing.

It makes me really sad to see people post about that ‘Sunday night feeling’ or that ‘I hate Monday’ sentiment. I never again want to be in the position where I am dreading the next day, or the next week because I am way too grateful for my life right now. 

For anyone who knows me very well, they will know that Mondays are my absolute favourite! A day full of possibilities. I would be a complete liar and a hypocrite if I said this has always been the case because it hasn’t. For much too long I jumped on the bandwagon of feeling tortured by Monday and I was a walking negativity magnet. Monday is your weekly chance to start over again, to do it your way.

This was until I spent some time and energy on personal development, on mindfulness and I what I gained was a whole heap of gratitude and a ton of perspective! 

I have also spoken to someone, very recently, about this very topic and it was him that I was thinking of this morning when I wrote this into my journal. My friend shared with me that he wished he could have one more Monday with his family member, who he lost a little while ago.  That one cuts like a knife, right?

For me, this spoke volumes. While I was complaining about Monday, there were people saying goodbye to loved ones, people breathing their last breath and people feeling like they just didn’t want to do this little thing we call life anymore. That, my friends is perspective.

So please, when you feel the words ‘i hate Monday’ coming out of your mouth or a negative thought enters your head, think of the people who would love another Monday like today.

The only thing we know for sure about today, is that we have no idea how this week is going to play out. However, I know with absolute certainty that we can control our thoughts, feelings and reactions towards our hurdles. 

So please, try your utmost to enjoy what’s left of today and see every new day as a new possibility, even if there is no lie in involved in the morning!! And if you don’t like what you do, change it! Life is way too short to be working a job that doesn’t serve you. There are other options, believe me, I was lucky enough to find one.

On a final note, has today really been so bad?

 

 

Trust In The Universe And You Will Live A Fulfilled Life

Anyone who knows me well will have heard me talk about the “Law Of Attraction” and the power of a positive mind. 

So what is the Law Of Attraction (LOA)?

The Law Of Attraction is the ability to attract into our lives the things we are focusing on. Everyone is impressionable when it come to the LOA, although not everyone is receptive. 

I often use the term “what you think about, you bring about”

If you continually focus on the negative things in your life, you will begin to see more negative things show up but if you concentrate on the positive, on the goals you want to achieve and you really concentrate on these things, with the help of the universe, you will find a way to achieve them. 

Follow these simple steps to open your mind to the power of the universe. 

  1. Try to spend a short time each day meditating, even if you can only manage 5 minutes of quiet, undisturbed time. Meditation relaxes your mind and allows your brain to function well. 
  2. Decide what you want and be clear. Think of it as placing an order to the universe. When you make your decision, believe whole heartedly that you can have it. Avoid the negative thoughts that say you cannot.If you give out a foggy request to the Universe, the universe will respond with a similarly foggy answer.
  3. Write your intentions down, I like to start mine with “I am so happy now that I have…” or “I am grateful that I…” We call these affirmations, I know that the more I write these down and read my own writing, confirming what I want and reading it allowed, the quicker the universe responds and gives me the things that I have attracted.
  4. Always trust in the Universe. It might sound like the most difficult step of all but once you begin to believe and just resign yourself to the power of the Universe, it will become easy and you will see magic.Don’t look for the things you asked for. Expect them and believe you already have them. Don’t stress about the high or the when because that’s the universe’s job! Trust, trust, trust.

To some people, this will all sound entirely unbelievable and for those, I encourage you to exercise due diligence. Read up on the success stories from people who have chosen to trust the Universe. 

For many, it will sound too good to be true. I urge you to read the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, or listen to the audio book. 

I introduced a friend of mine to the LOA about a year ago. She looked at me as though I had grown horns from my head. I asked her to humour me and practise the steps above, fully commit and see what happened. I will never forget the day she rang me up bursting with energy, shouting down the phone “It works, it’s not a made up thing, this thing actually works!” Since then, she has been teaching me lots about manifesting.

I can’t wait to hear your success stories!

Treat Yourself Right, Darling.

“Let today be the day you love yourself enough to no longer just dream of a better life; let it be the day you act upon it” Steve Maraboli.

How many times have you put yourself down today? Said things to yourself either internally or out loud that you would never dream of saying to someone else?

“This dress looks terrible”

“I’m so fat”

“My make up is horrible”

“I don’t like my hair this colour”

You really need to stop being your own worst enemy and practice some self love. Once you learn to fully love and appreciate yourself, you gain the capacity to love others much more fully.

How will you ever know your worth, if you don’t love yourself first? How will you recognise when others treat you badly if you already do the same to yourself?

So look  in the mirror every morning and tell yourself that you love being you!! Surround yourself with the people who love you and learn from them.

Stop hating yourself for everything that you are not and begin to love yourself for everything that you are.