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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