My Experience with Meditation

Welcome to Week 2 of the ‘March is for Me’ series. A series bringing you 5 blog posts across each Wednesday of the month. The aim is to spend an entire month focusing on ourselves with self-love, self-care and positivity. Today’s post is brought to you by Kimberly Redway from  Cultivate Your Quirk as she shares her experience with meditation. Click here for Part 1 with ‘Ways to Help Your Physical Health During the Day’.

Photo by Hans Vivek on Unsplash

“I had begun visiting a yoga studio for weekly sessions and then…. lockdown happened. The desire to tap into whatever inner calm I possessed, had grown stronger after having started my new full-time job last year. While I loved the job, I was becoming more stressed and with stress came…comfort eating. It was once lockdown started again that I decided to attempt meditation.”

There are said to be many benefits for the practice of meditation, but what I was interested in was stress relief, better self-awareness and also learning how to be more mindful. I wanted to re-ignite my ability to eat more mindfully, to concentrate on the food and to focus on what I want to take in.

 I found that meditation is about checking in with my body as I use an app called Headspace. I have learnt to think of it, not just as a vessel for the mind but to think of the connection between the two. As you know, one cannot survive without the other. I needed time to recharge and re-set. The meditation provided a space for that. My setting is my bedroom which is a small space, but you don’t need a series of tools to gain access to this exercise. 

More than just experiencing more calm and better self-awareness, I feel I have learnt more about my own identity.  I find myself considering who I am in the present rather than who I used to be or who I might become. I am learning to separate self-deprecating thoughts every day.

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

I am not always the thoughts, I think. I have always been a daydreamer and it takes practice to remain in the moment. I am considering that identity. Mediation has an impact beyond when I am sitting with my eyes closed. What I do in my bedroom with my back against the wall and eyes closed is like ripples through my everyday life. Change is coming from these single moments

My eating experience has improved but there is a way to go. I understand that for long term results- time must be taken. It is enough to gain knowledge of myself and to also praise my ability to be still. It is not about berating yourself for being inexperienced, but celebrating your access to the mind you hold dear. 

So, I sit in my room, listening to the soothing tone of the voice from the speaker of my phone. I become aware of my surroundings before closing my eyes and allowing it to sweep over me.


Thank you to Kimberly for sharing her meditation journey for this series. It is always a breath of fresh air to hear personal accounts so I am grateful to share this with you. Stay tuned next Wednesday for the 3rd installment of ‘March is For Me’.

Until next time,

Emily x

My Goals for 2021

2020 was a year to say the very least. January to March was truly the calm before the very unexpected storm. If anyone had told Emily at the end of 2019 what was to come in just a few months time, I’m sure I’d have laughed in your face.

Fast forward to January 2021 and I can say more safely than ever, that you truly never know what is around the corner. Take each day as it comes and live your life to its fullest. Although the current days may be boring and uneventful, we can be grateful for our health and the roofs over our heads.

In March 2020 I travelled to Krakow in Poland for a weekend, yes you read that right, in March 2020 I managed to fly abroad. The same March that saw lockdowns globally as the pandemic truly started to cause havoc. In the airport coming home, everyone was staring at the one man that was masked up with disposable gloves on thinking ‘is he for real? it’s not that serious!’. A couple of weeks later, I was working from home unable to leave the house apart from to go for a walk. Life can do a 360 quicker than I could ever have imagined.

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

So what was the good, the bad and the ugly from 2020?

At the end of January I started my new job after moving home before Christmas, I managed to tour Auschwitz in Poland which was a historical sight I’d been meaning to visit for years. Covid entered our lives quite soon into the year and this meant normality as we knew it would stop for a very long time.

Our trip to South Korea had to be cancelled, our friends’ wedding couldn’t go ahead, we couldn’t enjoy summer as we normally would. Birthdays and other celebrations weren’t much different to every other day and life became very mundane and repetitive.

All of this in the grand scheme of things is extremely trivial. Lives have been lost, livelihoods lost, jobs lost. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to still be upset. It’s okay to be upset.

Heartbreakingly, I said goodbye to my dog of nearly 13 years which made the rest of 2020 that bit harder to cope with. I’ve enjoyed working from home, but I haven’t enjoyed my job if that makes sense? The positives are hard to find!

Did 2020 actually bring about any good?

  • I’m grateful January to March (ish) was relatively normal and carefree.
  • I travelled
  • I passed my driving test
  • I picked up more hobbies, i.e. reading, crafting
  • I’ve still seen family and friends when it’s been allowed
  • I’ve had a full time income and lived at home!
  • My boyfriend and I have saved a huge chunk of our house deposit

Despite the dark clouds, there has been some rays of light undoubtedly. I do hope 2021 sheds more light and hope for us all.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Where am I headed in 2021?

I wasn’t going to make any resolutions or goals for this year because of the potential for them to be put on hold due to Covid. However, I then thought, why should I put my life on complete hold whilst we wait for this to blow over? So I set some goals I knew I could stick to.

  1. Start regular exercise 2-3 x a week
  2. Chill out more and not let stupid things stress me out
  3. Educate myself so I can have a more stable career
  4. Learn to cook more meals
  5. Spend less time on my phone

2021 is automatically off to a good start as we recently secured a little ginger kitten, who will be ready to come home at the end of January and we are SO excited. Stay tuned to see an introductory post to ginger George. We’re going to continue to save as much money as possible whilst living with my parents and take each day as it comes. I’m not going to plan too much because things are still very scary and we’re nowhere near normality yet.

I want to wish you all a healthy and happy new year. I hope 2021 brings good news for you all.

Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

 

 

Why don’t I have a “girl squad?”

Disclaimer: This post is in reference to friendships I’ve had in real life as opposed to online friendships. I have some lovely friends in the blogging community, but it’s time to switch off and talk about offline life.

I’d like to begin by saying I have no idea where I want this post to take me. It’s been a topic on my mind for the longest time now and I’ve debated talking about it due to not even understanding my own thoughts and emotions. This topic has made me laugh and made me cry, and it really hits home sometimes. I want to talk about what (the f***) happened to my “girl squad” and why I feel somewhat to blame.

I’m writing this post to really attempt to get things off of my chest. Most importantly, it’s to let you know that you are not alone if you too feel like this. I’m not a sympathy seeker, just a storyteller with some experience behind me. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Friends sitting under a tree talking

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

Growing up, I always remember having a solid group of friends. I was never part of the “popular” group because I don’t think this really existed in my school. There was a true mix of friendships. However, I did have friends from the same sort of group for years and years. Despite growing up and changing from the ages of 11 to 18, we were always at least acquaintances with each other. I still talk to a few nowadays about what we’re “getting up to these days?” and “remember this funny moment?” *insert photo/video that brings back shocking waves of nostalgia and a yearn for simpler times*

School life was saturated with smiles, belly laughs and pinky promises. Eventually, that turned into drunken nights out, late-night walks and work shifts together after we’d put the pen down on our final exams. Looking back, the friendships I formed aged 14 and then aged 18, were the most significant for me. However, these friendships post-education were so different. So I guess my speel is more aimed towards that life change.

Genuinely, I did not think finishing school would affect my friendships that much, but boy was I wrong. Within 6 months of leaving school, I’d whittled my group down from maybe around 10 people I socialised with, to 1. It was heartbreaking to sit and think that it wouldn’t be the same if I were to message or call them. Our walks would now be awkward with little to talk about. Yet, it all felt confusing and almost accidental?

We didn’t fall out or have an argument, so what went wrong?

Did I say something to upset them and not realise?

Did 1 or both of us simply stop making the effort?

Why does rekindling the friendship not feel like the right thing to do?

These are questions that invade my thoughts on the regular. The reason for this being I feel so bloody lonely sometimes! I’m sure I’m more of an introvert and definitely enjoy my own space, but I have a non-existent social life and it’s so saddening at times. Without an online community to turn to, I don’t know what I would do.

I understand I’m sounding like a Negative Nelly here, but I just wish I had that friend who I could visit after work, go shopping with at the weekend and ask to be my Maid of Honour one day. (Honestly, I will have no bridal party at this rate). Making friendships once you leave the routine of education is really hard and something I wish I had been more prepared for. I have 3 friends from my old job that I still speak to and plan to meet up with soon, we just sadly all live quite far from each other and so meeting up together is difficult.

Photo by Yanapi Senaud on Unsplash

Is there something wrong with me?

I do feel eternally grateful for what I do have; my mum who is my best friend, my boyfriend that is my soul mate, online friends I know that are there for me and a handful of people that still check-in. I’m alone, but I’m not alone if that makes any sense? I hope I’m not coming across badly, but I think this feeling is quite common. Instagram is riddled with girl squads and physical friendships and it’s understandably difficult to not feel left out.

Comfort is gained in knowing that my old best friends and I didn’t argue to the end, we literally just stopped speaking. It was nature taking its course because what is meant to be will be. We took different paths and our pace at life didn’t match anymore.

What I’m trying to say is I don’t have those 1 or 2 people I can visit around the corner who are more like family than friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather have 1 or 2 genuine friends than a large group that is disingenuous. Unfortunately, I do doubt and critique myself and wonder what I’m doing wrong. Where are my girl’s trips to Ibiza? Why don’t I have tapas nights? Why do I feel like the stray sock that gets lost in the wash?

Despite this, I’m determined to come to terms with the fact that not having a girl squad is perfectly okay. Societal pressures do not help, but I’m not going to let this eat away at me like the last slice of pizza. I can’t shame myself for not being a massive people person or eager to join clubs and groups. I hope in years to come, I meet more likeminded people that I can look at and say; “you’re a bit of me”.

“Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave and impossible to forget” – G.Randolf

Thank you if you read my rambling to the end, I really appreciate it. Having an online community is something that will forever amaze me. So thank you to those that have made my days feel less lonely with kind words or just a simple “have a good day!”. If you relate to any of this post, I’d love to open up a discussion in the comments. My blog is a safe space where we can all be friends.

Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

 

Taking Things For Granted

2020 has taken a turn of events I don’t think any of us could have predicted. We’re living amongst a pandemic, the first I have ever experienced in my lifetime. The UK has been locking down over the past few weeks; shops and fast food chains have closed their doors, the high streets are empty, we’ve witnessed panic buying, social distancing, working from home – and more lifestyle-changing adjustments.

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2020 Come And Get Me

Another year ends and another one begins, nice to meet you 2020! I think a lot of us can agree that 2019 was over before it started, it’s felt like one of the quickest years of my life. It’s funny to think that I’m only 20 years old but this is my 3rd decade, and I’m loving every minute of it. I really do have a lust for life and a passion for creating the most fulfilling life I can for myself.

I have so many memories stored up and 2019 has definitely added to the collection. Back at the start of 2019, I wrote a post all about my goals for the year and continued to write “monthly reviews” so I could keep track ready for this exact post you’re reading now! I’m going to see what goals I achieved and what I’m aiming to achieve in 2020.

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November 2019 Review

HAPPY DECEMBER! It’s officially the start of the Christmas season (even though I was 100% thawing off the Michael Buble album in September) and that means another month has been and gone. November was a HEFTY one and I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotional! It’s been such a mix of a month and if I’m to be completely honest, I didn’t end the month feeling particularly happy, nor much like myself.

With change comes a wave of emotions, sometimes good, sometimes bad. I definitely had a mix of the two over the course of the month and I’m here to share what I got up to in November. Since January this year, I’ve written a post to summarise each month so that I can look back through them all at the start of 2020 and see how much has happened. I’m really glad I’ve been keeping track and I’m really keen to do the same next year.

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August 2019 in Review & Welcoming the Sunday Series

Pinch punch first day of the month! September 1st has rolled around and I’m ready to activate my autumn mode. As I’m writing this it’s a beautiful sunny Sunday and I’m kicking this new month off on a positive foot.

It’s crazy to think I’ve only got a handful of these monthly reviews left until we’re leaping into 2020. August was probably the last full month of proper summer here in England which I’m almost grateful for. I’m excited for cosy evenings, winter coats and hot chocolates. I like taking a little bit of a different stance on these monthly reviews each time I write them, so I’m going to do a little roundup and then get straight into talking about the new blog series I’m going to be working on.

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