Thursday, 7 April 2016

"A Friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself." 

Jim Morrison.

In 2005 my house mates Hils and Alison bought me singing lessons as a birthday present with a friend of Alison's from church, as a result they unknowingly introduced to someone who I have know doubt I will be friends with for the rest of my life. 

The first time I saw Rachel she was rushing towards me across the foyer of Royal College of Music with a backpack far too big for such skinny girl, she was wearing a massive scraf,  which apparently is "completely normal" for singers and she spoke very quickly in a high pitched voice, but with an air of nervousness. Her massive light blue backpack could have fitted a six year old child, but instead it was filled with library books filled with pages of music thumbed by generations of highly stressed singers trying to prove to her singing teacher they are not a complete failure and will be the one in a thousand that actually make it big. 

As I watched her rush over to the reception desk, I noted a fairtrade badge and a free palestine scarf tied to the outside of a bag that she had had to sow to reinforce it against the physical and psychological weight of the books. Her hair was long and mousey light brown and wrapped into a style all of her own on the top of her head, years later on my 30th birthday to our mutual friend Alison's horror I would grab a handful of her hair and chop it off to shoulder length and then pay for her to get it styled much to her mothers annoyance due to her sisters up and coming spring wedding. Her mother, as she calls her, felt her modern hairstyle ruined the wedding pictures. We still laugh about it.

She rushed over to the reception desk and had a discussion with the man from the college maintenance team about a pre booked rehearsal room, little did I know at the time the power the maintenance staff held over the music students, but I have since learned they are more powerful than God in their ability to cause an unimaginable amount of stress on an unsuspecting partically pre pubescent music students by stating that there are no available rehearsal rooms.

Eventually she lead me off to our allocated room, stating "This way!" in her teacher like voice. As I walked into the room my heart sank, it was less a room more a run down concert hall with judgemental empty seats and a piano in the middle. She started rabbiting on about warming up, I remember thinking that I was there to sing not to exercise, but I was so nervous I just smiled and went along we it. Then she asked me to do something that has become a running joke for the rest of our friendship. 

"Emma, now you have to moo!" her eyes smiling,
"Moo" I asked. "Like a cow?" 
"Yes, a cow. It warms up your vocal cords"

Feeling incredibly nervous, a little embarrassed and overwhelmed by the size of the room, we mooed like a pair of heifers waiting to be milked in the middle of the Royal College of Music. It was the first time I "sang" in front of anyone, it was the beginning of a lifetime friendship and the start of some hilarious memories.

So what I am grateful for today?

Amazing memories.
Special friends.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy." ~ 
Guillaume Apollinaire.

I have a poor relationship with Facebook... We have an on/off relationship because I find it generally makes me feel bad about myself, so why would you have that in your life? When your block list is longer than your friend list there is either a problem with you or everyone you consider your "friend" so I have decided to blog instead, not so I can brag about where I have been on holiday or how many miles I have run, but just so I can document my life and my inner struggle to become a better version of myself. 

No one need ever read it, it is simply for me.

A few years ago, my oldest friend gave me a book by Oprah Winfrey called "what I know for sure" inside he left a note marked Christmas 2014, it said

"To my dearest and oldest friend, I read a few pages of this book everyday for 6 months, it really inspired me. I hope it enriches your life too. Now we both have a copy!" 

Honestly, it is the most up lifting book I have ever read, even though it took me two whole years to read! (Now I have gone back to the beginning) mostly she talks about her quest to find some kind of inner peace and fulfilment, something that I can relate to strongly.

There is also a section on gratitude, generally I am a half empty person, I tend to see only the negative things in life, I attend counselling in a search to understand myself and develop better coping strategies. I speak to myself in my head negatively everyday..... My quest is to find a way to love myself and the little things in life, therefore I plan to write my gratitude journal on my blog. 

So what am i grateful for today?

  • A cuddle from my boyfriend (Dave) this morning. Why? I wished for him and someone granted it.
  • The sunshine, its rare here, it didn't last all day but it made everything seem better.
  • Cooking. I made gammon, it took 5 hours plus 35 minutes roasting. Why did it make me happy? Because its makes Dave happy.
  • Not switching on the TV. Why? Sometimes I think I am losing brain cells.
  • The smell of my freshly washed hair. Why? Some people don't enjoy that luxury.
  • Time to myself. Why? My thoughts sometimes overwhelm me, I need time to stop thinking.
  • Watching the sunset from my bed. Why? I was lucky enough to have to time to appreciate it. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Is blogging healthy?

Today I embark on my first "Life Coaching" session (Number 261 in the "Be Arsed" book) It is just a phone session but I am sort of nervous... What do I talk about? What if I cry? Will she do all the talking? Do I want her to do all the talking? Is it the right thing for me? Will it help me be happier? My friend recommended it to me, she said that through the process she discovered that humanitarian work was what she wanted to do with her life and now is working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Amazing right?

Yesterday I was talking to my house mate about how a friend of hers was admitted to a psychiatric unit and how she blogged about her experiences because she finds it difficult to express her deepest thoughts to her friends face to face. It got me thinking, I haven't posted anything for over twelve months and I used to use my blog in a similar vent. Is that healthy? I read some of my posts back, most about how I hate my job, how I want to change my life, how I am trying to love even like myself a bit more... Half empty stuff really.....So I'm hoping that this life coaching could move me forward a little and help me make some big (happier) decisions. After all in the past couple of weeks I have wanted to live for a year in Italy, go to a Buddhist retreat in Nepal, trek to Everest Base camp for chairty, move to London and apply for yet another job in my home town...

Twelve months on, having completely failed, I might even challenge myself AGAIN to finish what I started to complete the challenges in my "Be Arsed" book!

So is Blogging healthy?

Is it better to talk to out or write it down? I figure I might do both...Better out than in right??

Thursday, 23 August 2012

It begins....

It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go ~ Bob Proctor.

And so it begins....

The first day of my new positive outlook. A positive outlook taken in baby steps.
And the first thing I did the morning?... Deleted my profile.
After all don't you have to love yourself first?

I tried to explain it to my friend today over lunch, but she didn't really understand it. Never mind, this is a personal journey anyway :)

So the rules...

Well the book is in 11 Chapters, so I am taking one thing from each chapter to keep it interesting and I plan to post about how I am finding each task. There are some things I can't do like the chapter on Parenting because I have no children...but I thought I would still post them for those who do and maybe you could let me know how it goes? 

Some of the suggestions are small ones like "Eat less salt" and others are bigger that will take longer to complete, so I plan to post about each suggestion until I feel I have completed it and then move onto the next....Who knows how long this may take?! Hopefully I will enjoy each task enough to keep it in my life as part of the new improved me :)

So what did I do today I hear you cry? Well number one of course....

I am a self confessed lazy bum. So instead of just joining the gym and sitting on the exercise bike pretending to work up a sweat. I have gone one step further....I have joined British Military Fitness! I need a big army guy shouting at me! Also maybe I will make some new friends alone the way?? Now all I have to do is arrange a day to go....*Baby steps* :)

What am I letting myself in for?? :)

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Be The Change...

I woke up this morning with this thought in my mind "be the change you want to see" it was funny really, I was not sure where I had heard it but as a lover of a good quote I googled it.....

"Be the change you want to see in the world" ~ Gandhi.

It amused me. After all the thinking I have been doing lately about being a better version on myself.... I was pleased the quote was by Gandhi so I read on until I found this one...

"You may never know what results from your actions, but if you do nothing there will be no results."

There has been a book lying round my house for a couple of years now. Inside the cover it says "What is the point, you may ask, in messing things up by trying to do something different? The point is you are "trying" we are not promising you will lose 10lb in a week, become irressistible to the opposite sex, or suddenly be fabulously rich overnight. Instead we offer ideas that will make your life a bit more fun, make you a bit more successful and a bit happier.....All you have to do is be stimulated enough to try them out."

So in my personal journey to be "better" starting tomorrow I have decided I am going to do everything that is suggested in the book, and see where it takes me....For the record there are 365 things in the book! Is that one for every day? Hmm....I think I need to decide on the rules I suppose :)

Fancy coming alone with me?.....

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Being Better....

Some people in life inspire you to be better than you were the day before you met them. I met that person this weekend and she doesn't even know it. This person is constantly striving to make small improvements to herself, to be a better version of herself and a better Christian.

I am not a Christian. Yet I want to be better.

The thing is how do you motivate yourself to be that change?

I have travelled the world, I have been successful in my chosen career and I am generous with others. Yet I am unfulfilled.

How does an ordinary girl find fulfilment in herself and become as her friend is, an inspiration to others?

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Well it seems I haven't posted anything for quite a while, this was not an intentional thing I have just been busy....... I have bought a house and moved in, I have settled in nicely. I was worried I would be lonely living alone but I actually quite like it...well expect for when my boiler exploded, my burglar alarm went off at 4am and when I had an infestation of moths that were eating through my carpet....but it all better now!

The real reason I was prompted to blog today was actually something a close friend of mine is doing.
She is currently living below the poverty line on only £1 per day to raise awareness of extreme poverty. I admire that so much and it completely hit me from left field. I don't know why but lately I have become much more concerned with world affairs, local politics, recycling and charity work. Suddenly I want to be one of thos people who cares and I am only more motivated by the stories of those who have truly made a difference......has anyone seen movies like Milk, Gandhi and Invinctus? Go an rent them....Now.

Is it my age? Or is there something missing in my life? I was never interested in things like this a few years ago... Recently though I find the more interesting and intriguing people are the ones who care about something ...Anything....One of my friends is passionate about fair trade and lives her life to high moral values and this only makes her more endearing to me. The thing is although I admire these equalities in others I have never done anything for charity. Saying that I feel I want to make a difference myself.....The only thing is I don't know what.....Does anyone have any idea where to start?..
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