Refugees welcome

A man hold a placard reading "Help Europe" as Syrian and Afgan refugees attend a protest rally to demand to travel to Germany on September 2, 2015 outside the Keleti (East) railway station in Budapest. Hungarian authorities face mounting anger from thousands of migrants who are unable to board trains to western European countries after the main Budapest station was closed.  AFP PHOTO / FERENC ISZA        (Photo credit should read FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images)

The threat of terrorism MAY increase if Europe were to accept Syria’s refugees. But we must accept that if we allow these people to drown off our shores then the threat will become a certainty. Exclusion encourages religious extremism and is exactly what makes the Western world a target during peace times.

It is Europe’s responsibility to absorb the Syrian refugee population that are in search of safer boarders. There is no them and us now, it is just us with the opportunity to show true human compassion to a desperate nation.

Please remember these people are refugees, not immigrants. They have not chosen your country. They have chosen life over death and for our governments to be the reason that life is no longer an option is heartbreaking.

I can testify that many people, myself included, would willingly face the threat of terror, if that meant that 16,000 displaced refugees we’re welcomed within our boarders ‪#‎refugeeswelcome‬

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How to be brave

1. Stand tall. Really tall. The kind of tall that pushes your shoulders back and makes all the little bones in your back pop from having been hunched over for so long. Put your hands on your hips and just hold it. For like 2 minutes. There’s a science behind how a power stance held for a small amount of time can make you literally feel more powerful. It’s time to fake it until you make it. YOU ARE NOT A FRAUD!

 2. Go through all your previous successes. Met a deadline at work? You get a gold star. Climbed the stairs instead of taking the escalator? Gold star. Woke up this morning and got out of bed? Go you, gold star. Didn’t get out of bed? Doesn’t matter, you woke up which means you are brave enough to live (okay, maybe you had no choice to wake up but you did it anyway) GOLD STAR!!! Sometimes you need to celebrate your achievements no matter the size to remind yourself that you are capable of anything.

 3. Remember the last time you said ‘I can’t’ and did it anyway. This is my go-to method to get through anything. You’ve finished exams, work days and difficult situations you thought would be the end of you and came out unscathed at the end. People have marched barefoot across Europe during wartime, dealt with the grief of a lost one and completed a rubix cube in 5.5 seconds. YOU CAN DO THIS!

 4. Talk to yourself. Yes, actually talk to yourself. This goes back to the ‘fake it until your make it’ mentality. Pick anyone of these phrases – or all of them – and start speaking out loud.

– “I am here, and I am doing this.”

– “I can’t, but I will.”

– “I deserve this.”

– “I am capable.”

– “Happiness is not reserved for the slim/wealthy/deserving.”

 5. Never restrain your emotions – don’t be afraid to feel. We are chemically designed to feel. Think about it. Humans and animals alike all have been built to process information through a series of chemicals given off by our bodies. So it’s important to process your feelings as they come and confront them head on. This will give you room to breathe and deal with the task at hand. Trying to avoid or repress an uncomfortable emotion could lead to more destructive behaviour. Take an emotional eater for example. They receive news that there’s a possibility of being made redundant at work. Rather than confront feeling distressed and worried they make haste for the nearest vending machine to create a distraction, avoid the shock and possibly consume a snack that will chemically light up the reward and pleasure centres in their brain. This creates a temporary high from what has just happened and negates from having to feel bad.

To make light of this example, this hypothetical person almost has to be brave about being brave!

 6. Think of the bigger picture. I am not suggesting you dull the importance of your circumstance by reminding yourself of big issues like famine or war. I am however suggesting you get a bit of perspective. You need to roll all the above mentioned points into one for this final tip to work and really cut to why you want to be brave. Are you scared? Are you nervous? Why are you feeling these things? Will they destroy you? The answer at the end will almost certainly be no so try to dwell on that rather than the issue. It can sometimes help to ask yourself, ‘Will this matter to me in a week?’

7. Imagine the end goal or your desired outcome. As airy fairy as this sounds it helps to visualise what you want to achieve. You can almost always find strength to be brave if you know exactly what it is you need to do.

So there you have it. These are my 7 top tips on how to be brave and I’m sticking to them. They have helped me through countless situations including confrontation, overcoming fear, dealing with lack of motivation and everything else that requires a little bit of gumption. I hope whatever has led you to this page will be made a little easier and you are able to use these tips too.

Side note: Always remember when you need to be brave that everyone’s problems are their own and are as big and important to their owner. What seems easy or complicated to you will not affect everyone else in the same way. For example; Public speaking may be a breeze for some but for others it is the single most terrifying thing you could do. Don’t compare yourself to how others would deal with anything because it’s not a fair measure. You are unique and just like you and I, being brave comes in all shapes and sizes.

Take Courage!

My body is not a lifestyle.

We’ve heard it all before. Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle. This kind of phrase is normally posted parallel to some buff, oiled up fitty doing a plank or a vague blonde showing her too good to be true ass.

It’s the bulk standard “motivational” picture that you may or may not have agreed with at least once. I know I have. I literally just got off my Facebook page to write this post about it. You see, I’m having a fat day. No, a fat week. I’ve not eaten anything particularly bad, I’ve been to the gym twice and I’ve got sore legs (walking as if I’ve shit myself sore) but the voice in my head has been particularly shouty with what he thinks of me.

Apparently I’m doing something wrong because he doesn’t think my body reflects the healthy “lifestyle” I lead. He thinks I should be slimmer, tighter, more like so and so’s girlfriend. I should be eating less of this, more of that blah blah blah blah.

And then I see this picture … Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle … And I die a little inside. Because if the internet says it then it must be true? Because if it’s on some piece of shit DEmotivational image I saw on my Facebook feed then it must validate everything I, and everyone else feels about me right? Because if I have a jiggly belly and off-centred boobs then I must be a lazy slob. And waking up at 5am four days a week to workout isn’t enough and I’ve got to try harder to make sure my body reflects the lifestyle of a dedicated athlete.

No, not today head voice. You aren’t winning this one. I’m taking a stand because I don’t think my body is a true reflection of my lifestyle. Yes I agree, that a body can reflect a certain aspect of your lifestyle particularly if you are an athlete or swim suit model. But what other areas are missing if all you can deduce from looking at me is that I am either a dedicated perfectionist or a fat lard?

Can you see just by looking at me that my personal mission each day is to make my man smile? Or that I prefer swimming to cycling? Can you tell that I am struggling with body dysmorphic disorder? Can you deduce, just by looking at me that I cherish spending quality time with people, being present?

If you can, then it is true at least for me that the body is a direct reflection of my lifestyle. But if not, could it be that my body only tells one of the many stories it has to tell? And the rest can only be learnt by talking to me, living with me, working with me, loving me and by being apart of my life?