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!

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A year of dating and what a gift it can be

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As you know Valentine’s Day (or singles-awareness day) recently just passed. In celebration of this I thought it would be nice if I shared with you the single best thing I have ever created. Okay, that’s excluding last years’ Secret Santa treasure hunt present I made for my boss and this one English assignment I did in Year 12.

Feeling inspired by an awesome idea created by the thinking closet (I take no credit whatsoever for this idea) I decided to come up with my own 12 Months of Pre-Planned dates. The general gist is I would pre-plan and book a unique date once a month and Matt and I would do it. In turn this would take the stress out of thinking of something to do and give us an adventure to always look forward to.

It was a really simple book made from 12 paper cutouts with each month and what we were going to do printed on it. These cutouts were then connected by a stolen ring binder. It took me longer to think of the escapades than it did to cut it all out and put it together. The hardest (but most fun) part of creating the book was balancing the expensive dates with the cheap ones and making all the seasons match up with what I had chosen to do. NO ONE wants to go on a picnic in February in England … NO ONE!

Despite being super excited to show Matt what I had done I decided to wait until we were our at dinner to give him the book. Once we had had a few drinks and were just past the entrée – bread and butter trump all giving of gifts – I handed over my crafty project like a proud child showing the shitty picture they drew at daycare to their parents.

As Matt flicked through the book he slowly realised what it was and his face said it all. He actually loved it. More than that, he said it was the best gift I had ever given him – even better than the expensive watch and nexus tablet I had bought him for previous birthdays. Can you believe it?

That night we had a ball going through the pages together and he got to listen to all the reasons I chose each date. It was the cherry on the top of a lovely evening and a gift that really keeps on giving. So here’s the part where I show you a few of our pre-planned dates and why I included them:

MARCH: FORTNIGHT
Build a fort. Rent a movie. Order a pizza.

Matt and I once did this on a whim in rebellion of being adults. There’s nothing quiet like getting comfy in your own personal fort that you can sleep in without getting into trouble. But then again nothing makes you feel more grown up that having to pack away your own fort.

APRIL: SUSHISAMBA
Get your glad rags on because this table is booked for (specific date – not telling because it’s impossible to get a table and I don’t want you to steal it!!)

Matt and I have been planning to eat here for a few years now and I keep getting invited to go with friends and work so he’s never actually been. This will be our chance finally to go together.

JULY: ROADTRIP
We don’t have to go far we just have to get out. How about a road trip to Oxford?
*** Ice cream is non-negotiable.

When we first got together we used to do a lot of road trips to the seaside so this is our chance to relive all those fun times as well as go somewhere we’ve never been.

OCTOBER: FOOD CRAWL
A pub crawl but better. Half the fun is planning this one together. THE RULES: All three courses must be in three different places and you cannot choose somewhere you’ve already been!

Because why not? I girls gotta eat.

JANUARY: YOUR TURN
This month Matt has to pick what we are doing. Pick a time and a place and it’s on. We don’t have to spend money, we just have to spend time.

I should get at least one month off right?

So there you have it. With just a little bit of time we now have a date a month to look forward to this year. I hope this inspires you to get your cheap skate on and make your special one something awesome like this too. Just a thought: this would probs be even better with your best friend.

Final note – Matt and I are not the beautiful couple featured at the top of this post. Below is a picture of us on our first date in the book in Copenhagen. We’re pretty drunk.

This is us - so pretty huh?

I don’t know about you but …

I'm feeling 22

So yesterday I spent my last day ever as a 21 year old. I can now look back and go ‘oh, I wish I was 21 again’ like all my middle aged co-workers who are slightly nostalgic with a hint of jealous when the subject of my age comes up.

So what did being 21 have to offer me? I can tell you that 21 has really been a year of learning rather than doing. In the three years previous I finished high school, moved to the UK, met Matt, got engaged and did a lot of travelling in between. But this year, having slowed down I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate the small comforts that come with being still, content.

In the beginning I found this challenging as my wanderlust and natural aversion to sitting still started to niggle at me while I worked day to day in my life. But slowly I began to accept that for this time, in this season, I am here. In this job, with this man, in our house and in my packaging.

After I had come to accept these things, real change started to happen as I became more receptive and accepting to the moving forces around me. I reacted differently to change. Apologised more often. Exercised patience and forgiveness beyond the capacity I believed I had. Sought answers to difficult issues. Accepted situations I didn’t think I could and even learned to like people I didn’t think I would.

And now as I write this I kind of realise that you don’t have to going anywhere to get somewhere. I can see now that this year I have gotten to a higher place of self-assuredness + worldliness because I chose to grow. At 21, every day I chose to walk my own path and own it like a mother bitch.

So although I had a really kick ass year doing kick ass things I admit that the best thing that happened to me during the year of 21 was personal growth. And I hope I can look back at 22 through the same coloured glasses … jokes, I’m getting married next week so no doubt that’s going to be next years’ highlight.

Hollatcha gurl.

P.s. can’t stop singing this G-damn song!

WE WENT TO BONNIE DOON!! (persistance pays people)

So the man and I went on a city break over the Easter long weekend to a little town called Lowestoft and I’ve been super slack at reporting back about it. Never fear though because this post is video heavy so grab your earphones, gather round the campfire and have a watch. Note – take a look at this previous post for a little bit of background.

Also unless you’ve seen The Castle you just won’t get it and you’re a loser.

Bonnie Doon – Part 1
I’ll set the scene for you. It’s 5am, it’s chilly, we’ve just gotten in the car and Matt is fiddling with the sat nav to get us on our way. Let the games begin …

Bonnie Doon – Part 2
Now the road trip is successfully underway it’s time to settle into some of the classics. Please excuse my sweary man, he is easily provoked when he’s tired. Bless.

Bonnie Doon – Part 3 (pub edition)
Some may argue that the chanting can stop now we’ve reached our destination … but I disagree. Three pints deep and it’s time to turn on my charm.

Didn’t work ….

Bonnie Donne – Interlude
It’s fair to say even I am annoyed by my own voice after watching those videos so here’s a quick interlude. We’re pretty hammered and thought it would be a good idea to get snacks and steal shot glasses.

Bonnie Doon – Part 4
Pretty boy is nursing a headache after a yesterday’s antics and isn’t too pleased about going horse riding on the beach. Time to cheer him up.

Bonnie Doon – Part 5
And this is the moment you have all been waiting for ladies and gents. I never though it would happen but after four days of road tripping and sight seeing we finally made it to Bonnie Doon.

And that’s about as exciting as our trip to Lowestoft was. Oh and we saw loads of baby lambs and bahhhhh’d at them for half an hour but that’s another post for an other day.

Fuck a fake friend, where your real friends at?

Seriously though – fuck fake friends.

Fuck those who only want you to play pawn in their egotistical game of friendship chess. Fuck the ones who talk smack behind your back. Fuck the ones who never apologise. Fuck the ones who you always have to be in contact with for them to know that your relationship is valid. Fuck the ones who don’t understand what it is to connect on a real level. Fuck those people you can’t speak to without getting caught up in their drama. Fuck the people who never stand up for you. Fuck the ones who embarrass you. Fuck the ones who never grew up. Fuck the people who tell you ‘you’ve changed.’ Fuck the Queen Bees. Fuck the hierarchy. Fuck the ones who belittle your accomplishments. Fuck the ones who can’t keep secrets. Fuck those who medal in your life with the intention to hurt. Fuck the ones who can’t forgive. Fuck the ones who can’t forget. Fuck those who make you feel as if you have to stoop to their mental capacity to be a part of the group. Fuck those who think you have to talk about someone else to be interesting. Fuck the people who make you feel bad for being weird. Fuck the negative ones. Fuck the people you dread going to see. Fuck those who make you feel fat. Fuck those who make you feel like you’re too good for them. Fuck people who aren’t happy for you. Fuck those who bring the worst out in you. Fuck the people who make you feel like you need them. Fuck the small minded people. Fuck bitches. Fuck gossip. Fuck egos. Fuck jealousy. Fuck the flaky. Fuck the freeloaders. Fuck the people who tarnish your name. Fuck the people who take your shine. Fuck the ones who don’t bring out anything but the best in you. Fuck the friends who are disguised as your enemies. Fuck the ones who only call when they need something. Fuck the people who think you need them.
Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck a fake friend.

Drizzy

ROADTRIP: We’re going to Bonnie Doon

I must flee … to my (almost) Mother in law’s purple Micra so Matt and I can adventure to a pokey little town called Lowestoft for the Easter long weekend.

Anyone who lives in London knows to stay in London during any kind of publicly announced ‘work free time’ isn’t the done thing. So we are packing up and shipping out (okay it’s a 3 hour, 4 hour tops road trip) and heading to the seaside. We do love our road trips because there is always too many sweets … which undoubtedly results in far too much of this behaviour.


Last night, Matt asked if I was going to go for a swim in the ocean when we got there. I think this was as much an answer he needed.

Sun sun sun!

Also since we aren’t jet-setting to somewhere romantic like France and it’s not Matt’s birthday I have no interest in hair removal.

No shave November went on longer than intended

Did I mention when you search ‘things to do in Lowestoft’ very little comes up? Also when you put the town into Trip Advisor there isn’t even a list of top attractions. Seriously, take a look here. God we are going to have such a good time.

Scones and cider are first on the agenda, me thinks.