22 October 2015

There's Something About Sparkly Sophie

We're all guilty of scampering through life lugging the weight of the world around with us in an extra large jiffy bag. What we don't realise is that darn bag is a meddling little minx that holds an unrealistic perception of perfection that easily becomes deflating. It may look pretty if you're fashion savvy n'all but it's also a soul destroying friend to our self-esteem and a best friend to feeding out perceptions of failure. So what's needed is a sparkly new upgrade and I know just the woman who can provide us with the captivating motivation to create and mould a positive life change!

Despite the angst and ill health that has been thrown her way, this bubbly little lady is a figure of inspiration who has channeled her unfair dealings into fighting and supporting a bigger and brighter future for both herself and others. Not only is she a natural sweetheart but the perspective she creates of the world is one of spectacular admiration and her vision for the future and helping others is one of pure hope.

I can't think of a more perfect time to introduce you to one of the greatest gifts and friendships life has graced me with and it's about time more of the world got inspired by the beautiful life story of sparkly Sophie...

"Let adventure whisper in your ear"

(1). So tell us a bit about yourself? What your story so far?
Hi, I'm Sophie, a 22 year old free-spirited, happy, creative, bubbly gal and classic perfectionist who has a passion for all things arty and holistic with an undeniable addiction to quotes as you will soon discover! I've suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 3.5 years after my first year at university (studying Interior Architecture & Design) and it's fair to say my life has done a 180 degree turn since then! I had to drop out and move home, and have since been on the painfully slow and frustrating journey of recovery since. I have also battled on and off with a restrictive eating disorder for the past 6 years which has no doubt contributed to my struggled with CFS. Unfortunately I relapsed at the beginning of this year and finally after over 5 years of trying to keep this battle hidden, I plucked up the courage to admit my struggle and get my bum into therapy at long last. Life has thrown some rather large curve-balls my way over the past 3 years but they have also redirected my life into the direction I believe I am destined to pursue. The saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is one I believe in from my experience and whilst life has had it's many downs, I have grown more resilient, self-aware, compassionate and grateful for the simple things as a result. I do some gentle part-time support work, and volunteer once a week at a care home but predominantly my life revolves around getting better and stronger so I can eventually return to a more 'normal' life.

(2). How do you maintain such an optimistic & positive outlook throughout your past & previous struggles?
I have lost count in the number of times people have mentioned and admired my positive and optimistic attitude amidst my struggles. I have often been referred to as "a ray of sunshine" on many occasions which means so much and makes my soul do a little dance of joy every time! As for how I maintain this outlook? Well I'm certainly not like it all the time that's for sure but when you are dealt a duff card in life, you quickly realise that you have no choice but to just deal with it and when you have no other choice it comes a lot more naturally than you might think!
There is a quote I love which sums this up perfectly: "You can live with a chronic illness and be happy, or you can live with a chronic illness and be angry. Either way you will still be living with a chronic illness." - Substitute the chronic illness for whatever your hardship may be, if it is something that is out of your control, the only thing you can control is your attitude and it makes a bloody enormous difference!
So I would say it is a mixture of my personality and my experience. I spent a long time being sad and angry about my situation and it only made me feel worse so I chose to make the best of what I can and focus on the positives and what I do have/can do rather than what I don't/can't do.
A few quotes to finish because they are all so true and powerful and ones that have helped me a lot:

"There is always, always something to be thankful for"
"Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day"
"You may have been given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it"
"A negative mind will never give you a positive life"

(3). What or who keeps you motivated & empowered through the tough times?
My future dreams for life and career goals keep me motivated. The hope and determination I have to make those dreams a reality and making little baby steps towards them when I can.

(4). What would you say has been your biggest life lesson so far?
Never take anything for granted and appreciate the small things.

(5). What quote/ life mantra do you like to live by?
Okay sorry I can't choose one so I am going to give you 3 of my faves:

"Life is too short to be anything but HAPPY. Kiss slowly, love deeply, forgive quickly, take chances. give everything and leave with no regrets. Forget the past with the exception of what you have learned from it; and remember that everything happens for a reason."

"Too often we underestimate the power of touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."

(6). Where do you think your sense of determination comes from?
Knowing that there is more to life than what I am currently limited to and wanting to use my experiences to help others in similar positions.

(7). What was your “game-changing” moment or have you always been so focused?
The quote (surprise surprise!) : "Recovery takes a lot of time, effort and planning, but staying sick takes your whole life."
Realising that I had to stop fighting myself and start fighting FOR myself else I'd wake up in 5, 10, 15 years time and have only walked in circles rather than forward.

(8). What do you feel is the #1 factor that holds individuals back from living to their best potential?
Fear (of failure predominantly)...

"In order to succeed, your desire for success needs to be bigger than your fear of failure."

(9). What would you say are your fail-proof strategies in kicking a bad day where the sun don’t shine?
I have a "happy box" that I made myself for these days! I often find  that when I'm consumed by that black cloud of darkness and hopelessness, even thinking of let alone choosing something to do, near on impossible. So I made myself a little tin full of things that make me happy and nourish my soul, mind and body.
Examples: pet therapy (cuddling or stroking an animal is one of the best antidepressants I know!), listening to my 'Happy' YouTube playlist, cute animal videos, colouring in, walking barefoot in grass, eating ice-cream, playing guitar, inspirational TED talks, colouring in etc.

(10). What’s next for sunshine Sophie  What are your beautiful, inspired plans for the future?
Ultimately I want to be a holistic therapist and more recently would love to specialise in the treatment of eating disorders. Short-term goals, I want to learn as much as I can about such therapies like Reiki, Enegry Medicine, Reflexology, Holistic Massage etc, and to help others recover from ED's using my Instagram account which has been of huge benefit to me (and others so I'm told!) throughout my own recovery. Most recently I have begun exciting plans to team up with the gorgeous Sarah (who kindly invited me to do this guest blog post!) and help raise awareness for mental health.

(11). Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
I am inspired by so many people - I'm a massive fan of TED talks which I thoroughly recommend you go check out because they are probably my biggest inspirations -- favourite talks are by Brene Brown, J K Rowling (both of whom I am massive fans separately as well), Steve Jobs, Janine Shepherd and Sam Berns.

(12). When would you say you’re at your happiest?
This might sound cliché, but I'm happiest when I'm truly myself. When I'm being creative and authentic. I particularly love being outdoors in the sunshine and grounding myself to the Earth. Creativity, art and music are my favourite hobbies as they allow me to get lost in the moment and my soul overrides my mind.

(13). Social media is a bit like marmite - you either love it or you hate it. What are your personal views on its ever-growing presence & the effects it has on the influence of young individuals today?
I think social media is like marmite because of its 'marmite effects'. Social media sites can be your best friend or your worst enemy - it depends how you use them and what you expose yourself to. It can be very negative and unhealthy due to the unrealistic portrayal of people's seemingly 'perfect' lives which stems comparison and jealousy, often making others feel inferior. Of course there is also the problem of "trolling" due to anonymity on the Internet today, and whilst not always completely avoidable, I do believe that the primary responsibility is down to individual users. Accounts can be made private to protect users from this very problem and over-sharing details of your life to strangers is asking for trouble. Nevertheless I think social media sites can be very helpful and beneficial for some people, particularly those with illnesses due the 'community' of fellow sufferers that offer support and understanding. This is broadly the case for many illnesses but my main experience lies within the eating disorder recovery community on Instagram which has been immensely helpful for me and countless others.

(14). What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
"Keep your aspirations high and your expectations low"

(15). What advice would you give to someone going through a tough time & facing struggles they feel unable to control?
Don't take it out on your body. It doesn't solve problems but just temporarily numbs them whilst also creating new problems. Nothing lasts forever, bad times will pass and brighter days will come - hold on to hope, and reach out for help, surround yourself with a strong support network that can be your strength when you've run out. You don't have to do this alone.
I love the Serenity Prayer: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

(16). What does true happiness look like to you?
I don't think true happiness 'looks' like anything in particular but is a feeling on the inside. I've been inconsolably sad when things in my life have 'looked' great and I've had moments of genuine happiness during really difficult periods of my life. Alas, if I had to depict it, it would be health, family, friends and following my heart and passions in life/career.
Ultimately, I try to live by the quote "Happiness is a journey, not a destination"

(17). What positive things to do like to tell yourself when you’re having a bad day?
I actually made a "Happy Box" for bad days because I often find choosing or even thinking of something to do near on impossible. I colour coded mine into "high/medium/low energy" things, partly due to my chronic fatigue, but also being mentally down tends to make you only want to curl up into a ball in bed and hide away from the world. The idea of doing anything energetic is the last thing on your mind. Examples I have include: cuddling my cat, watching a favourite movie, playing my 'happy' YouTube playlist, watching TED talks, colouring in, going for a gentle walk, writing post, browsing through my 'funnies' Pinterest board.

(18). What makes you feel good?
Helping other people. Walking barefoot on grass. Laughing. Being productive. Eating healthy nourishing foods but also eating ice-cream and chocolate - make sure you nourish your body, mind and soul (that's the chocolate and ice-cream ;) !!)

(19). As individual with experience of personal struggles, do you feel there is enough awareness of help and support for individuals dealing with mental health issues such as depression & eating disorders?

Awareness - no. Terms such as 'depression' and 'OCD' are thrown around like adjectives, completely belittling the serious disorders that they are and the devastating impacts they have on peoples lives. Particularly with eating disorders there remains a huge lack of understanding and stereotyping (specifically "you have to be thin to have an eating disorder - absolutely 1000% NOT true) within and outside the medical profession which often fuels the eating disorders further. I think there is still far too large a Western influence on the treatment of many mental illnesses - the "band aid" approach where drugs are prescribed like sweets, most commonly for depression and anxiety yet the drugs are merely masking the problems rather than solving them. I believe drugs are sometimes often necessary but should not be solely relied upon without holistic intervention to address the root of the problem. My experience of therapy within adult ED services has been excellent, delving into the underlying issues that stemmed my eating disorder. I am particularly aware that within CAMHS and intensive treatments such as inpatient/residential programs that almost sole emphasis is placed upon weight restoration which whilst of course is entirely necessary, without appropriate psychological treatment tends to just lead to relapse when the patient is discharged. This is due to the underlying problems still very much entrenched. I know that mental health services in the UK are under extreme pressure and demand but I think there needs to be far more preventative methods and access to treatment and services whilst the conditions are more treatable and would consequently reduce the need for inpatient admissions as people would be receiving help before they were forced into it.

(20). If there was one piece of advice you could give to someone experiencing the trauma of an eating disorder and body image issues, what would it be?
You are not your body. You are a soul who has a body, not a body who has a soul. Your body does not define you, it homes you - the person who lives within. It may sound cliché, but it really is what's on the inside that counts. Despite how you may feel it is your personality that will be remembered and will draw people to you; not your physical appearance. The only person judging your body is yourself and if you can learn to stop criticising and just accept yourself, peace and freedom will be yours to obtain.

"We think we're made of numbers: percentages on tests, pounds on a scale, likes on a photo, prices tags on clothes, but we're not. We're made of love, happiness and the way we laugh. We're made of good memories and late nights. We have more substance than numbers."

You are not a number. Please stop reducing yourself to something you are not.

Quick-fire Questions:

#1. Current book you're reading...
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

#2. Your ultimate choice of drink...

Okay I am so indecisive so I'm going to give you a hot, cold and alchy fave! Peppermint tea for hot, Iced mocha for cold and either a strawberry Pimms or Malibu for a tipple!

#3. You're being jetted off to a secret deserted island with only 5 possessions...what would you take with you?

Guitar, phone, journal, pen, kimono/dress, Harry Potter books

#4. Favourite celebrity crush?

Emma Watson, Hayden Panettiere, Shailene Woodley and Taylor Swift....sorry, I told you I was indecisive! 

#5. Dream holiday destination?


#6. What is your signature scent?

When I'm a sophisticated working woman it will be Si by Giorgio Armani but for now it is Live by Jennifer Lopez.

#7. Sweets or chocolate?
Chocolate all the way

#8. You're starring in Come dine with me...who would you invite? (Dead, alive, famous etc.)

JK Rowling, Dalai Lama, Michael McIntyre and Taylor Swift

#9. If you could be any animal, what would you be?

A dolphin so I could explore our mysterious underwater world.

#10. What do you reckon is the most overrated virtue?


#11. ....and what do you think is the most underrated?


#12. Are you a Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter baby?

A Summer baby!

[Photo Source Inspiration: Pinterest]

19 October 2015

Spook Night: Throwback Halloween Films

Halloween is creeping round the corner so to make your Eve of spooks, thrills and chills that little bit sweeter amongst the plethora of candy king boxes and sweetie wrappers, I've put on my big girl pants and scampered down to the dark attic, rummaged through the coffins and summoned together a posse of classic Halloween flicks!

Halt the spine-tingling fun and tricks as midnight strikes this Halloween and indulge in a bit of a spooky treat by nestling up on the sofa with your tub of E-numbers. All the holiday fun and giggles without the terrifying scare factor...don't worry your face more than makes up for that!

Happy Halloween sour face!


Hocus Pocus

Corpse Bride

Into The Woods

Girl vs. Monster


Twitches Too

The Nightmare Before Christmas



Alvin & The Chipmunks Halloween Special

Don't Look Under The Bed

Monster House


The Adams Family

Hotel Transylvania

The Haunted Mansion

Halloweentown High


[Photo Source Inspiration: Pinterest, youtube.co.uk]

16 October 2015

So You Feel Like Sh***, eh?

When your head is doing its upmost to throw down one of the most drama queen-esque shouting paddy's ever recorded and you're just about ready to chuck in the towel and go to town on all those thoughts, behaviours and manipulative urges you've kept in line for so long just hold up and give yourself a second to breath. Go on then I'm not God's descent here to endow you with such enlightened knowledge, you know how to do it so stop being a stubborn panting mess. B-r-e-a-t-h-e.

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." 
- John R. Wooden

When you're feeling like a hot piling steam of your dog's digested dinner, it's all too easy to stick to fingers up at the hard road of perseverance and scamper back delightfully to the safety waters of the tried, tested, easy, destructive, isolating existence of disallusion...still sounding peachy?

Didn't think so. Trudging on and keeping your head from falling into that steamin' pile can feel like the biggest challenge and let's face it no amount of bloody positive affirmations are going make a darn bit of difference. Quite frankly you probably don't want them to anyway. No one can magic the situation better or make it go away but yourself (sorry for the harsh wake up call chick) but you can decide to try and make your reaction to the crap feelings easier by indulging in a touch of self-love. Foreign concept right? 

I've taken one for the team as the lovely little lass that I am (halt the applause till later ta) and rustled together an emergency pep-talk tank of self soothing'!

So before you package yourself up and climb into the contemporary cheese cabinet of your local Tesco's, take a sharp breath of 'suck it up girlfriend'. Remember that whilst you may currently be feeling like a lump of congealed lard, it doesn't mean you are a delicatessen that goes quite spectacularly with Jacob's crackers and a pack of juicy grapes. 

You are y-o-u not your feelings and girl, you're flippin' fabulous. Brie-ly cheesy I know but that's how I roll and quite frankly I camembert to watch you wallow in your stinkin' head. 

Putting the sarcasm and jokes aside for the moment (shock horror), learning to manage how you cope with negative feelings takes time, patience and a lot of practise. You head hasn't conjured up all that claptrap overnight so it's gonna take a bit of time picking through it, chucking it in the garbage bag and throwing it all out. Keep persevering and pushing through as it can certainly be done and the hard work pays off to something truly worthwhile!

Manage, Reduce, Prevent & Live.

Without further adieu let's get crack-a-lackin where the self-love is postiviely slackin'...

  • Indulge your inner nerd and get down n'dirty with a crossword, word search, sudoku, pictionary etc.
  • Get jiggy with a jigsaw. SO underrated but compulsively addictive once you get started! Go big and invest in one that you're drawn to whether that be a scene from a dream holiday destination or a picture of your favourite childhood cartoon series - it'll make the distraction process 100% more appealing.
  • We all know you have some so stop being a git and admit it...it's time to get funky with your colouring pens dahlin'! Mindfulness colouring has literately boomed from nowhere and to put it bluntly it really does bloody work whether you're too stubborn to admit it or not. Don't be sassy and deny yourself some childish fun - it may feel begrudgingly mainstream but it's a way of escaping the adult responsibilities of life for a while and just indulging in a sense of non-judgemental amusement.
  • Whack out your journal and let loose crazy tiger. We get too caught up taking a lie down on our sun loungers up in our heads and by staying there we often get burnt. Take yourself away from your head and the blinding heat of the monkey chatter and let it all out in its jumbled, perfectly imperfect and incomprehensible mess in a book you can keep and ferry about. It's often overlooked just how effective writing thoughts down can be as it stops you from ruminating in your own head space, giving you the opportunity to feel, express, accept and then manage and forget. Word vomit can be a pleasantly therapeutic pastime. Surprise surprise!
  • Get your fingers sticky and creative with a scrapbook or inspirational goals collage of photos, papers, postcards and glitter!
  • Pick up a book and get yourself lost in the trials and tribulations of another life story.
  • Grab your debit card, park your booty in front of the laptop and get new season fashion happy! You'll come out cheering whilst your bank balance wails out in remorse... #noregretswhenyou'relookingfly.
  • Run yourself a stonkin' great bath full of flyaway bubbles and gorgeous aromas, light up some smelly candles, grab a magazine or book and plunge yourself into serenity for some serious 'me' time.
  • Get in touch with your inner zen by taking yourself outdoors. Wrap up all toasty and really take note of the beauty within nature around you. It's a beautiful time of year right now so switch yourself off and be at one with the squirrels.
  • Rid yourself of the serious crap you can't control in your head by cacooning yourself in your fluffiest comfort jammies and nestling down to an old-school movie night marathon. Nothing can switch off that nattering ninny in your head better than some comedy classic gold or a disney childhood throwback!

"Your Body Is Your Vehicle Through Life; It Can Do Wonderful Things For You."

  • Rustle through your iTunes and spotify and put together a feel-good playlist of classic tunes that you can shimmy and shake to. Dancing releases feel-good endorphins and we can't deny you of those happy little points can we? Go on, press play and you'll start playing with life!
  • Embrace your inner calm and bust out some grounding yoga moves. Movement is a great way to help ease built up tension and stress so grab a matt and get stretching. Start off small and build your way up - it's not a competition so don't get cocky and try doing the splits straight from a standing position. By all means try it out but your ass will have a thing or two to grumble about afterwards...
  • Surrounded yourself with love. Instead of shutting yourself off get yourself mingling with your nearest and dearest. Having too much time on your hands allows you to dwell upon negativity and gives your head a free pass in playing havoc. This will only end up making you feel like a hairy ball of crap. Destructive behaviours thrive on isolation so reaching out to your loved ones will help halt any unhelpful thoughts and prevent you from dwindling down the path of misery. It doesn't have to be an all singing, all dancing event - even just being in their silent presence can be enough to steer you away from the darker moments. 
  • Cry. It's that simple. Being strong and resilient doesn't mean you have to be a hard nut who never sheds a tear. Crying is not a sign of weakness and does't make you any less of a person. What it does do is it simply makes you real. Crying is a sign of change; a sign that things are moving in your life and your thinking. Allowing yourself to express the intensity of emotion releases many thoughts and fleeting emotions that you've build up and locked down in your head and this is 100% a positive thing. Crying is normal, it's natural and it's bloody fantastic in enabling you to pick back up and keep moving forward. Here's a tissue.

[Photo Source Inspiration: Pinterest]

10 October 2015

Live With Purpose Young Grass Hopper

It's all too easy to feel frazzled and downright pissed when you're dealt the cards of an unexciting, uninspired and unsatisfying life existence. Where's the bloody papers to sue the life gurus making your life so freakin' unfabulous? Oh wait that would result in you suing yourself. Balls.

The blame game won't quite work out in your favour this time as quite simply y-o-u are the only one holding yourself back and not scoffing that buttery biscuit base in fear of something better skipping along. You're the only one making yourself the miserable sod you've become by holding yourself back from what it is that you really want. You can't expect to view the world in glorious sunshine if you're denying yourself the self-love you deserve and ignoring the inner voice of your desires that ask "What is it that will truly make me happy?" If you learn to live with purpose and tuning into what it is that you want from life then you'll find things a hell of a lot easier and lighter. A bit like that big-ass awaited pee after one hefty car journey...the satisfaction is beyond words! The painful journey and withholding gives way to some delightful gratification (...and one relieved bladder!) 

So how do you unveil your life purpose? You simply live however the hell you want as long as it brings you joy, fulfilment and deep cackles of naughtiness...#simplez.

I won't sugar coat it, it's not quite as miraculously simple as I've made out. My bad! Like all things worthwhile in life, it's part of a process that requires you to put the work in on a daily basis. It may be tedious and you'll probably experience moments where you'll want to chuck it all in but keep at it, day by day and soon those small steps will transpire into something remarkably rewarding and permanent. Like a caterpillar to a butterfly, you'll transform into the woman you've always dreamt of and were meant to be all along. 

The important thing to remember is that as the transformation is part of a process, don't live in the mindset that life can only be truly enjoyed once you reach the destination. Be okay in who and where you are today as you're a far sight further from where you were and a heck of a lot closer to who you desire to be. 

Accept yourself in this very moment and celebrate the milestones of how far you've come as everything you do and experience today is part of a bigger life journey. 

"Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best." - Tim Duncan

Prioritise yourself and your deep desires in the present moment and dance through the journey of becoming something more in the future. Here's how to tap into figuring out what the hell you want in life...

#1. Be your own best friend. Even if you feel alone and clueless, know how truly loved you are and when life throws some flaming shitballs your way, you alone are enough to forage through the dark times and dodge them.

#2. Find peace in who and what you are today instead of constantly awaiting for the moment you transform into something or someone else. You are you and that in itself is the magic power - don't invite the daily self abuse to park itself up in your search of being someone who you think you ought to be.

#3. Forgive and forget. Something that can end up hurting you and making your belly roar in pain like a bad case of constipation is holding onto grudges to those who do you wrong. So they dealt you some really uncalled for crap but be mindful that what caused them to act out and hurt you was most likely through their own struggles of trying to navigate the world. We all do right and we all do wrong; we're all perfectly imperfect and forgiving freely releases you from the unnecessary baggage you can't control or change.

#4. Appreciate and believe that your self-worth transpires from within and how you view and treat yourself. Your place and importance in this world does not depend upon the approval of others so stop searching for self-love and happiness in the acceptance of others. You and you along can cultivate your own worth. 

#5. Wake up and appreciate everyone and everything that is already around you. Be mindful of the skills and individuals who have always beeb and remain to be by your side despite the roller coaster ups and downs. Learn to recognise that you already have everything you truly need.

#6. Applaud yourself for how far you've come in your life journey so far. We often forget to take a moment to recognise the power of our resilience, determination and strength and it is this recognition that gives us heart to continue fighting on. Don't lose sight and don't give up little fighter.

#7. Relish in the excitement and butterflies of the unknown. Embrace the spontaneity that comes with life as part of a 2-for-1 package deal and ride the wave of possibility in everything you do. It may make your feet itch like a bad case of athlete's foot but acting upon instinct every once in a while rather than anally planning to the T shakes things up and makes life more rewarding. Trust me.

#8. Buy yourself a stonkin' pint love. Or a pair of socks. Or a handbag. Or a bubble machine...whatever floats your rockin' boat! Cut yourself some slack and pat yourself on your bloody fabulous back as you're doing a swell job and just sometimes a gal needs to treat herself for her prize work. Indulge your fancies and then continue to smash the hell out of life!

[Photo Source Inspiration: Pinterest]

07 October 2015

Small Words Of Strength, Love, Freedom

See that autumnal crispy leaf nestled on the dewy grass over there?
Turn it over and watch your world miraculously change. 

So maybe you're reading this thinking "Oh Puhh-lease don't give me that mambo-jambo new age claptrap" with a defiantly sarcastic roll of the eyes. 

Sound familiar? Definitely.
De-ja vu from yesterday? Most likely.
Will this brush-off mindset help you? Negative. 

With that being laid on the table I want you to just take a minute to sit down, stop and just bring your head into this very moment, right here and now. It may be that a touch of positivity is a foreign concept to you or something that your mindless meddling brain unhelpfully tells you that you're a lost, unworthy case beyond the ability of help and grace. Am I touching on a hot spot here? Or is it more that keeping faith in the future during some real asshole times makes you hulk out big time where your head becomes a kitchen cabinet of unhelpful crap and catastrophes? 

Have I hit the jackpot? You, my little darling have a brain largely resembling one big, bad sabotaging piece of poppycock. 

Your thoughts lead to feelings which then undeniably transpire into certain behaviours, helpful or unhelpful. If your douche-bag of a brain is throwing out distorted thoughts of reality, you'll end up feeling like a rotten bag of crap and maladaptive behaviours will toddle along to mess up your day. It's important in these moments to remind yourself that if you allow yourself to absorb the negative ringing in your head then you'll nod along to whatever baloney is being thrown out and you'll become the horrific cahoots ruminating in your boss upstairs. 

What you tell yourself is paramount to how you view the world and if there's only a load of stupid freaking self-bashing going on then you can hardly expect to find yourself skipping along like Olaf smelling the sickly sweet roses, eh? Remember girl, be mindful of how you speak to yourself as at the end of the day, you're the one who'll be listening. 

So if your head is screaming at you that you're unworthy and undeserving of happiness, where do you go from there? First, tell that scamp where to do one. Then you actively choose to water the soil of your wild and deserted mind. 

Well go on then...stop pacing about in self-induced misery & go fetch your watering can. Jeez.  

I'm going to describe a wacky metaphor of your mind so bear with me until the end and then you'll be jealous you hadn't thought of the similarity sooner. Sucka. Your head is like the seed of a flower in the thirsty cold grounds of winter. You've dug yourself a hole to chuck in this flower seed whilst simultaneously digging yourself a hole of crappy, unhelpful thoughts to have your wicked ways with. You keep staring at the hole, sticking your fingers in to rock the soil and encourage something - anything- to bud but without the magic growing juice, nothing good can ever start to grow. Your world and your head is like this tiny seed and without applying the magic to your life, nothing can ever change or blossom. Like a seed, your mindset needs constant attention and nourishment. It's an annoying needy bitch but the persistence to tend to its' wanton ways certainly pays off in the end. 

You may have to make yourself water both seed and mind every single day through gritted teeth with no immediate results but suddenly out of nowhere, signs of your hard work will begin to surface and sprout. This is where you keep.bloody.going. Just because change is beginning to finally show herself like the tardy scamp she is, does not give you an open invitation to sit back and take it easy. Keep your head in the game, focused and forward and as you continue to nurture and water yourself each and every day, a numb shell will erupt into a beautiful and radiant flower. 

You my friend, can be your own game-changing gardner.

Filling yourself with different thoughts to the ordinary every single day will at first feel fruitless and like a chore. But if you keep at it and think beyond the immediate present frustrations of having to rustle up your watering can, you can turn your life and mindset around. 

Put in the work and fate will do the rest. 

Though they're often fa-fooed and somewhat underrated, I've never lost faith in the simple yet effective power of using affirmations and positive life mantras to help boost myself when my mind monkey is running rampant and causing chaos. If you think and tell yourself that life is like a pair of itchy ball bags then it's hardly going to be spritely smooth is it? The secret key is to catch yourself in the open net when you find yourself saying how inferior and retched you are and get that shit under control before it starts to control you. Be a badass and defy your mind...#scandalous. 

So without further adieu I've rustled together some of the top champion mantras to help pull you out of your moaning myrtle bubble and prick it with a sharp burst of winning zeal and confidence....

"Self-love is is the instrument of our preservation" - Voltaire

"Your speed doesn't matter. Forward is forward."

"The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is still the hinge." - Eckhart

"The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want." - Margaret Young

"I am not a has-been. I am a will be." - Lauren Bacall

"When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it over there." - Cecil Selig

"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall

"When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny." - Paulo Coelho

"Our lives are not as limited as we think they are; the world is a wonderfully weird place; consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted. But love does work; all things are possible; and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously." - Tom Robbins

"Strive for progress, not perfection."

"Fairytales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

"You are always living the life you create. If it does not feel right, create something better."

"Inner beauty never needs makeup."

"It takes more bravery to find out who you are beyond your pain than to merely survive it."

"Letting go is not the same as loss of control; it is intentional surrender."
"Prehaps strength doesn't reside in never having been broken, but in the courage required to grow strong in the broken places."

"You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every morning. This is a power you can cultivate."

"Old ways won't open new doors."

"Stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it."

"Owning your story and loving yourself through that process is the bravest thing that you'll ever do."

"She was unstoppable. Not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them."

"Strength. A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but its persistence."

"If you have a bad thought about yourself, tell it to go to hell because that is exactly where it came from." - Brigham Young

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same."

"Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask yourself if you want to be prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future." - Deepak Chopra

"Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork."

"You survived the abuse. You're going to survive the recovery."

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering 'I will try again tomorrow'."

Take your imperfections and love them anyway. Feel the feels - good and bad and keep on trekking up your mountain and dusting down your watering can. Sometimes the watering holes will be clogged and you'll struggle to see the progress but that's 100% okay. Those are the times where you pull out whatever rebel Captain America fighting shit you have locked down and keep trudging on. The days get easier little by little and change can always, and will undoubtedly happen. Brownie promise pledge! 

Open your eyes, open your heart and most importantly open your mind to the possibility of trying something different, something scary and something worthwhile because before you realise, you'll be sunning your bodacious assets as that exquisite flower towards the sun in smug glory!

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