Wednesday, 27 December 2017


Tampered Trust

Today, I would like to discuss the oh so important topic of - Trust.
So, heres a question for you to look at yourself honestly and think about carefully -
Would you consider yourself a trusting person?
I've never really been the kind to have issues when it comes to trusting others. I've had many reasons not to, but have always remained pretty open to people. I've always looked at it as if someone was to break my trust then I hurt, forgive and move on, in whatever way I see fit, whether thats with or without them as a close part of my life. But lately, for various reasons I seem to have reached a point where I'm becoming much more cautions with placing my trust in people. I don't know if this is something that just gradually happens as you get older and the years of misplacing your trust in people takes a toll or what, but I'm interested by the logic behind this technique we use as a means to protect ourselves. 

Overall, would you say you are more of a 'trust until its broken' or 'trust is earned over time' kind of person? I refuse to allow myself to be an untrusting person even if it does 'help' in the process of trying to avoid getting hurt. I guess being cautious is a different matter and one in which makes more sense but the truth of the matter is - unfortunately, anyone can break your trust, even people who you least expect, so is there really much point in trying to avoid it happening? If its going to happen, then its going to happen and I suppose we can't really do much about it except cross that bridge when we come to it. It seems quite a shame to me, to spend life avoiding getting close to people or allowing ourselves to be a little vulnerable sometimes just incase we might get hurt? Just think of all the amazing and beautiful moments we could miss out on by trying to keep your distance and remain sheltered out of the fear of pain.

So, what do you do when you have reached the bridge only to find its been broken by someone whom you trusted, someone whom you least expected to be one to break it. Would you try to fix it ? or would you find a different route?  I suppose that answer depends on how bad the damage is and the amount of will power we have in the situation, it obviously also depends on weather the person who broke it is willing to put in the effort to help fix it too. Which leads me to my next questions - can trust be earned back or will it remain slightly damaged forever? Does time really aid issues of broken trust? Will you spend the rest of your time second guessing another's motives? Are the answers different depending on each individual and what it was that happened to create the break in trust or do some people just cope better? Can leopards change their spots?

I definitely believe that leopards can change their spots, sometimes people make mistakes/ bad choices, sometimes we fall into destructive patterns which we regret and want to try our best to put right and prove ourselves to our loved ones. I have seen times where people have recognised their faults, wanted to change and showed true regret, honesty and sincerity - they were forgiven and this worked out well and trust has been gained back. But more often than not, unfortunately, a lot of people don't realise their wrong doings until its too late or keep on making the same bad choices over and over again and the consequences of their actions result in more damage than what could be fixed. Which leads to them always being kept at arms length, a loss of trust, company and respect. This is often a pretty sad point to reach but I guess, sometimes it's a very necessary one to learn from for the future. To learn to be more considerate and thoughtful of our own actions and the effects that they may have on others, in and around our lives. We are blessed with consciousness and the ability to think therefore, we should use this gift we have to our advantage. It's not that hard to just stop for a moment and think before making a possibly destructive decision or one that we are going to later regret. To be aware of why we are making it or wanting to. I mean, I know that you can only think about things so much because we don't always know if something is good or bad for us, but as I see it, some are a given. Morally, there are some things that are wrong (Lying, cheating, stealing...ect.) - That are going to effect peoples trust towards you in a negative way, whether others choose to forgive/trust you again, is completely up to them but, its up to you to take responsibility for our own actions and to treat people with respect. Even more so if you've been lucky enough to receive a second chance. Don't take advantage of people, especially not the ones you love. Value them and the trust that they have placed within you. Love them wholeheartedly and be true to them.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


Between Two Extremes

  “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” ~ Charles Bukowski 

One of my biggest challenges in life is finding the balance between two extremes. When I say this I mean discovering a healthy mix of the Little devil and angel that sit on my shoulders, just waiting for any chance they get to bombard me with each of their one sided opinions. On one hand, lies my selfish, impulsive, reckless side - my devilish thoughts that entice me into my wildest fantasies. On the other hand, there's the empathetic, caring, loving, angelic side of me who cares dearly about my own & others health and happiness. My 'angel' is the one whom I often spend the majority of my time listening to - sometimes too much - to the point where I drive myself insane trying to make sure I'm doing the 'right' or 'good' thing. I really don't like to cause any drama, unnecessary upset or chaos for myself or for others around me and by listening to my angel, I do my best to avoid this.

I can be extremely self critical, anxious and analytical. Sometimes, overthinking decisions to the point where my head literally starts to hurt. I get frustrated with the amount of time I spend trying to work out if something is good or bad and then start blaming myself when Ive chosen the wrong one. I'll start to feel guilty for any 'mistakes' I've made, when often it's just me expecting too highly of myself and in turn, unnecessarily stressing out. On the flip side, some days I wake up and -to put it bluntly- I don't give a sh*t. Some days, I feel pushed to my limit and I don't care about trying to please people or structuring my life in order to cater for anyone but myself. I don't care if I offend anyone or if my actions are going to affect me later on - within reason. Some days, I just want to let my hair down and not think for once, to let my mind be washed clean and allow the void to suck me into a little bubble of my own. It feels really damn good to just shout - F*CK IT ALL! - and stop worrying about everyone and everything. To just do what you want to do rather than spending your time stressing about what others want or expect of you.

I've learnt that you can't always please others or even yourself and by expecting that of yourself all the time puts an awful lot of pressure on your own shoulders and ends up driving you to want to switch the the complete opposite - Not giving a f*ck. Which then kind of defeats the point of what your were trying to achieve in the first place. Sometimes I manage to feel like I'm standing on the middle ground, like things are going steady and I've more or less got a rhythm going but every so often Im pushed over the edge again and I veer off to one side. So I ask myself, what does that mean? Does it mean that I'm not naturally a 'balanced person' ? - Surely there aren't people who just pop straight out of their mothers wombs knowing all the answers. Surely there aren't people who have it all figured out and are completely balanced and 'sane' all of the time, throughout their whole lives ?! Who knows, maybe there are people who get everything right all of the time - maybe these people are the extremely annoyingly Judgemental kind who make you feel bad for any choice you make that isn't deemed acceptable to them, but what if the most judgmental person in your life, is your own self? Maybe I am the only one who makes bad choices, as my mind likes to make me feel...but of course, I know deep down that I'm not and We all know this is just a trick our minds play on us. I find it strange how we are made/make ourselves feel like we are going crazy if we don't have our sh*t together all of the time. This is where its important to listen to both your little angel and your devil. They provide us with views from either side of the spectrum which gives us the opportunity to decide the kind of person you are or would like to be.

         (Images by Sam Davis)
We often put way too much pressure on ourselves, to keep people happy, to make the right decisions, to avoid upsetting a rhythm in our lives but we have to remember that there is only so much we can do to avoid these things and ultimately you may be trying so hard to keep things steady and to please people that you may end up making yourself unhappy in the process. I always say, living in extremes is a bit like jumping onto a rollercoaster and letting it take you on a crazy ride without needing to put any effort into knowing how to control it. Finding a balance is slightly more difficult as it requires time and effort to learn how to drive yourself through the highs, lows and loop-the-loops without completely loosing your marbles. I always think its important to learn from what is difficult, to embrace the things in which do not come second nature to us. I search for balance and sometimes I manage to find it for a while before I eventually loose it again but Im cool with that, I like to feel crazy sometimes. Like I said, it feels great to shout - F*ck It - and do your own thing if you feel the need, its like a huge release. It's just that we usually come back to the realisation that we do care about others in our lives and their thoughts and feelings. Its about finding the balance - wouldn't it be amazing if more often than not you could find a middle ground where you didn't feel like you were pushed to the point of saying - F*ck it all - and not caring anymore?

Facing fears

“ To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around it” ~ Richie Norton

I have spent the majority of my existence feeling emotionally overwhelmed and trapped by society and actually just any kind of negativity in general. I always found if I stayed in the same place for too long my mind would become riddled with anxiety and oozing with this need to get out. I'd crave nothing more than to just float away, off into the horizon on an adventure - never to look back. My main focus and channel of energy would always be spent on ways of escaping the mundane, whether that be by physically retreating and hiding, detaching myself, jumping on a plane and flying away or even just sat daydreaming of where else I could be or how my life could be improved. To allow myself be care free. Impulsive. Reckless. To feed the inner madness by going out into the world, throwing caution to the wind and just go wild, because 'Bad decisions make for great stories' ... right ?!. 

A lot of people have always advised me to work hard now and enjoy the benefits later - which I understood - But, my way of thinking has always been the opposite. I have always been too impatient and I had developed a fear of running out of time to do all the things I want to do before I get old and miss the opportunity. I suppose you could say I have lived my life in a rather Hedonistic way - Id take the present as if it's the only thing we truly own and go wild with my impulses. I'd follow whatever it is that gave me pleasure and filled my live with happiness, passion and excitement. This mind set definitely leads to an extremely interesting, artistic lifestyle which I do think we should embrace -  but as I get older my pattern of thought has evolved a little and I now have started to develop a little bit more of a balance. I have come to the realisation that, as much as I enjoy  ‘Pleasure seeking', I've actually been using it as a distraction from dealing with personal fears. As soon as something becomes difficult or too emotionally overwhelming I start to get the urge to run (as I'm sure a lot of you often do too), so I end up booking a flight and leaving so that I can feel peaceful again for a short while or I become reckless and start involving myself in things that end up effecting my life in a negative way, rather than facing up to whatever the struggle is, sometimes id rather just hide from it. 

(Images by Lewis Beards)

I now see how much time I have spent distracted by the thrill of chasing the things that excite me, that I made no real time to just be still and truly see myself or any of what I may have been running from. Being 'on the go' all the time makes it hard to have any time to truly see things for what they are and makes it more difficult to think. Sometimes, a bit of down time is necessary for yourself to unwind and let your thoughts/emotions settle to allow clarity. Its ok to be scared by your own emotions, behavioural patterns or personal habits. We can’t honestly be happy and up beat all the time and I am now completely at peace with this fact because it doesn’t feel natural any other way. Sure, it feels amazing to have happy times but also there’s something so beautiful about melancholia. It reminds me that I'm human and I feel proud to be able to feel sadness, hurt or fear and process it in a healthy way and overcome it with strength rather than trying to escape it. The truth is, you can try to escape your sadness, insecurities and fears but it won't last very long. You can keep running and trying to hide from issues that lie within you but they will follow you until you face them. So be brave, go through them rather than around them and feel extremely proud of yourself for not just taking the easy route out.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


The art of listening

 "Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."   ~ Rainer Maria Rilke 

So, today I want to discuss the art of listening. To ourselves and to others. It may seem like such a basic thing but honestly, its not as easy as you may think. I strongly believe in the importance of learning to listen and communicate with patience and empathy. To not just half-heartedly hear another's words but for that moment - rid yourself of all distractions and completely focus on what is being said to you. Immerse yourself in the information they are choosing to share with you, their reasonings, their voice, their emotions. Even if it goes against all in which you may believe or wish to be true.

Lets take, arguments as a perfect example of when people are most defensive and not truly listening to each other - One shares their opinion and the other starts to view them as 'the bad guy' because their opinions are opposing. Rather than listening with an open mind and trying to understand where the other person is coming from, we feel attacked and vulnerable, therefore our defence mechanisms come out in full force, all hell breaks loose and we end up going to war. Obviously, we would like to avoid this (I mean, I'm no Buddha, but in these cases - can't a girl aspire to be ?!) but when we become passionate about something and emotions are involved, this can be extremely difficult to handle. Especially, when things get heated - Ohhhhh man - is it a special art to be able to recognise when to just shut up and listen ! Although, it is such a useful skill to possess. To allow someone to try to connect with you, to share their point of view, to enable you to help each other grow both as individuals and also closer together. To put yourself in each others shoes and see through their eyes, for just a moment. Even if in the end you still don't agree, its important to be able to listen and self analyse. It is definitely a hard task to listen to someone tell you about your flawed behaviours, especially if its a loved one. You kind of feel hurt at the fact that the more they get to know you the less they view you as 'perfect'. The truth is you aren't 'perfect' and they aren't either - none of us are. But maybe...just maybe... what this person is trying to tell you, could be a truth that you need to hear and by listening, it could possibly aid you in working towards a better version of yourself.

Life can be fast paced and stressful. We aren't all monks that dedicate all our time to enlightenment and we don't always have the time to give our undivided attention to as many aspects of life and self development as we may wish, therefore we may not always be completely aware of some of our behavioural patterns or we may just simply ignore them because we're not yet at a point in our lives where we're prepared to make certain sacrifices or put in the effort required for us to grow and welcome the next chapter with our new self. Ultimately, it comes down to priorities. When you wholeheartedly love and care for someone, whomever it may be, their wellbeing becomes a priority. Their happiness and self growth is very important to you. When I say this, I don't just mean other people in our lives, I mean ourselves too. Listen to yourself and what is going on inside, deep down you know yourself better than anyone ever will. This is not easy - growing this kind of relationship with yourself and others is a long winding path, its not a straight road. Learning to listen to both our own and others needs can be exhausting and challenging and it is much more difficult than it sounds to put into practise in our daily lives yet, it is one of the most rewarding and necessary things you can do, to create a life for yourself that you are deeply satisfied with. It is a dedication to the truth. Communication is a precious tool that we are so blessed to have, which we unfortunately take for granted way too often but by doing this we are left feeling unfulfilled. Don't make this mistake - Listen to your self and your own needs and follow them, be open to listen to others and you will learn to love and appreciate yourself, others and your life a little more everyday.

Thursday, 16 November 2017


Van Life

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to travel. Any chance I get, I'm usually booking the next cheap flight out of here. I love the immense feeling of freedom I get when spontaneously deciding to go on an adventure. Roaming around in the wild with no responsibilities, meeting new people, learning about new cultures, completely immersing myself in all that life has to offer and seeing as much of this beautiful earth as I possibly can. This summer I packed my little bag and headed off on what turned out to be a 3 month trip. It was a pretty intense one for me to say the least. I travelled my way through a bit of an emotional rollercoaster of ups, downs, crazy and euphoric moments, and of course, I learnt plenty of from it !  

"If we were meant to stay in one place we would have roots instead on feet" ~ Rachel Wolchin

There is honestly nothing quite like the freedom of a road trip. To be able to play your music out loud, drive to wherever takes your fancy and stop whenever you discover a place you like the look of. To be able to stay and sleep there, in your little home on wheels is the most amazing part of it all ! To wake up by the ocean, skate, surf, cook and when your ready, pack up and head off to the next location - It's the best! Although it's not for everyone, there are some parts which make it a little more difficult for some, (showering, no electricity, living in a small vicinity as another person/persons, keeping it tidy, keeping food fresh, parking fines, ect...). I think the main off put for most people would usually be the hygiene side of things. Unless we checked into a camping site, we would go a fair amount of time without having a proper shower or washing our hair, although we spent a lot of time in the sea so hopefully we didn't smell too bad - Its all part of the fun !

So I lived in the van for about 6 weeks, we travelled around Spain and France and I loved every single moment of van life, so much so that now I would happily live and travel in one for the foreseeable future. I then flew down towards the south of Spain, to go visit some family and friends (for those of you who don't know, I grew up partly in England and partly Spain). I ended up unexpectedly catching up with some old friends whom I hadn't seen since I was a kid, which led onto the next adventure. - Another road trip !

This time was not in a van with a bed, it was squished in the two front  seats of a car - completely spontaneous -
just how I like it! It was an amazing experience although slightly uncomfortable, but the thrill of the adventure made it all worth while! We made it our mission do to as much as humanly possible throughout the day and stay up late until our eyes literally couldn't stay open any longer, to completely tire ourselves out, so that by the time we got into the front seats of the car to sleep we were so exhausted that we didn't notice how unbelievably uncomfortable it was - surprisingly it worked pretty well!

    Photography by Lewis Beards.
As much as I enjoy spending time alone, a highlight of every trip would have to be the people I've meet along the way. The people with whom I've shared laughs, tears and stories, a few cold beers, some guitar playing and sing alongs, late night swims underneath the stars and conversations about the philosophies of life. For me, this is what life is about - these are the moments where I stop and smile, to just appreciate being so present and alive. Ive had the pleasure of meeting some extraordinary people, with whom I've shared some truly beautiful moments with - that I will carry with me in my memories for as long as I live. A big lesson I've learnt this year is that I truly believe people come into your life as Teachers in disguise. All people you meet and have the chance to get to know,  have something to teach you. This is what my summer consisted of, a long string of lessons from the people I spent my time with, some were happy, some were sad, not one of them were the same but they were all so real and meaningful. So, Thank you - to all the impactful people I've my met in my life and on my travels, you've helped me grow much wiser. 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


Letting Go

So, lately I've been coming to terms with a few things and making some new life decisions. I guess you could call it a sort of 'death and rebirth' phase if you wish. Im learning to perform this balancing act of trying to be patient with my emotions and allow myself to truly feel through them, but at the same time, not to wallow in them too much and still get on with life and keep myself active, if you get what I mean ? And when I say that, I don't mean going to the gym - Thats a rare, almost non existent occasion... Kidding ! ... (not really).

Anyway, my latest 'activity' was a night out in London to catch up with some dear friends of mine, whom I hadn't seen for way too long due to travelling and just general life getting in the way. We met, drank one too many tequila shots, danced the night away, basically just had one of those care free nights full of silliness and laughter. Which was very much needed - although maybe that last tequila shot wasn't ! 

  But, on the walk home I started to lose things. My purse being one of them - turns out it was in my pocket the whole time... yes I'm a drunken fool - (I still do this when I'm sober). Then, whilst dancing my way through a park, my ring that had a small sentimental quote engraved onto the inside of it,  flew straight off my finger into a pile of yellow and orange leaves on the ground. This moment immediately reminded me of a quote that I had read before,  "Autumn shows us how beautiful it can be to let things go".

Forget the ring. I didn't bother to stay and search for it. This applied to my life on a much bigger scale. The point I'm trying to make is, sometimes in life, we wish for things to be something they simply are not. Sometimes, we want things to work out a certain way and we can't face the fact that it simply won't. Sometimes we spend so much time and effort trying to salvage or make sense of something lost or broken. We keep trying to hold on and put the pieces back together when too much damage has already been done and the best thing may just be, to let go.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.
–Lao Tzu

Let go gracefully and with love. Who knows, the things you once lost may come back to you in some form, and if not then they have left room for something better that is on its way to you. Life is a funny old adventure, filled with ups and downs. We must learn to embrace change, to allow our lives to flow. Find the beauty in the dark moments just as much as the happy ones, there are lessons to be learnt in both and you can't appreciate one without the other. It may be a struggle sometimes, but it sure as hell is worth it.

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