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HAPPY. CONTENT. POSITIVE. SHOULD BE STRESSED?

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Grey’s Bay, Bowen

Lately things have been kinda stressful, especially if I take a step back, looking from the outward in, but from my point of view, (especially or mainly due to the daily yoga practice I’ve been doing since January 1st) I don’t feel stressed, although I know there are some pressing matters that I should probably feel pretty darn stressed about.

Do you ever feel like you should feel stressed, like almost society says you should be stressed out by something and so you kind of play it out?

I haven’t done that so far, apart from acknowledging that I am in a potentially stressful place if I choose to accept it. I’m going to be brutally honest here.

16559132_10155123903552868_13656560_nI have less money in the bank than I am comfortable with, although I have no debts, no credit cards, no mortgage to pay off, so in many ways I am in fact free-er than the average home owner. (except I don’t have the joy of owning a home!)

Last year I earned more money than I think I have any other year of my life, I felt rich! I had a steady income, worked my butt off and was very happy. I’m glad for that as it helped me to make so many precious memories and journeys. I have lived work-free on and off for many months, living a life of luxury!  (Mainly because of lack of work not from choice!)

However, I have a visa to renew before November costing nearly $7000 aud.

It is looming over me.

I am working to a bit of a deadline, but there is a need that I must fulfil, I have to make it happen as no one else can. So, here goes, I’m gonna do my darnedest to create the life we want.

The biggest problem I’ve faced so far is that being on a working holiday visa, commonly known as a backpacker visa, means that any full time work I apply for is instantly rejected and so I am constantly applying for jobs, and if I get far enough then going to interviews and finally  being rejected when they find out my visa situation. It gets slightly disheartening, but I won’t stop trying!

It’s a catch 22 situation, no work because of my visa and no new visa applied for yet, because I don’t have the money to apply for it.

Anyway, my point is that I am trying out this new thing, called “Not freaking out about things.” I am just trying my best, staying positive, and taking whatever casual work I can to keep us afloat, which will hopefully lead to something more permanent. I have found that keeping tabs on my positivity levels and staying happy and thankful for what I have, makes me way more productive and likely to be able to get through any challenging times.

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Murray’s Bay, Bowen

After my visa comes through (Please accept me Australia!), we have big plans for the longterm. Buy a property to renovate eventually, (possibly where we are living now, in Bowen, possibly not) have our own boat and live in North Queensland with some beautiful dogs in a GORGEOUS place near to the beach that we’ve made our own. Our door always open to parents, siblings, friends and naughty nieces & nephews to visit.

Oohhh I can just see it all!

Side Note: (Say HELLO to ZEUS, the little puppy we are adopting, who will be ours on Saturday!)

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Our new family member, Zeus

So that’s the dream! We’ve found our little piece of heaven in each other and now it’s time to make it our home!

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Dingo Beach

Definitely a time to remember that making your dreams a reality isn’t always easy, but it’s worth a try.

You just gotta take it one step at a time.

My top five stress relieving tips:

  1. Daily exercise routine. No matter how much time you have to spare, take a little time out of your day even if it’s just 10 minutes to do a short relaxation yoga or meditation video on Youtube, or going for a short walk. You’ll often want to do more than you’ve planned on once there, and if not that’s okay. This will also help you sleep better as it really clears your mind and is a natural stress reliever. I highly recommend Yoga With Adriene’s videos.
  2. Following on from the last point, Sleep! I can be a terrible sleeper especially when I know I have something important to do the next day. It always seems to be once my head hits the pillow all of my worries crawl out of the shadows. I try to encourage a good nights sleep for myself by being productive during the day, keeping a notebook and pen beside my bed to jot down anything I remember I need to do and preparing what I’ll need for the next day – even just laying out my outfit and shoes, or re-organising my handbag helps me. A cup of tea also helps me to unwind and chill out. If I wake up in the night or can’t sleep, I go to the toilet, drink some water, write down whatever is bothering me and try again.
  3. Talk to someone. I find just voicing my fears or troubles to someone close to me can help to understand things from another perspective and it also helps to feel supported, receive suggestions and to help come up with solutions. It really helps to feel less alone. Everyone gets stressed out and if you meet up with a friend to do something fun such as go out for a walk or lunch for a chat, or have someone over for movies or drinks, then you can feel some clarity whilst having fun, which can help to eradicate negative emotions surrounding you. You may also realise that your positive friend has some stressful situations going on in their life and that can put your issues into perspective
  4. Tidy up your life. If you’re already stressed, it certainly doesn’t help to be surrounded by chaos, and I find that organising my clothes or even just hoovering and cleaning a little helps to make me feel less stressed out. You know where everything is and it feels calming to be in a nice environment and while that certainly doesn’t fix the reason you are stressing out, it definitely helps you to focus on what is important. Writing lists, making a bullet journal, buying a fancy new notebook to make plans in or even just pampering yourself a little can definitely help. I bought a new Doona cover the other day from Woolies on sale for $10, it has brightened up our bedroom and I definitely have been feeling happier and more relaxed from such a simple difference.
  5. Change it up. As Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results” I’m a big believer in moving out of your comfort zone, even if you don’t like it, at least you tried. If you are scared of flying then maybe book a fun trip with friends, if you  hate your job or where you live then why not go volunteer or teach abroad for a few months, if you are sad about being unfit why not join the gym or make up your own fitness regime. Sadly it can be easier to come up with excuses. Something that sometimes helps me, as strange as it sounds to say it, I think of life like a challenge. I don’t want the game to be over and for me to still be on level one. I want to have felt emotions, been places, met people, been scared, got stronger, pushed myself. There is a danger of living a slightly boring existence full of regrets if you don’t push out of your comfort zone. And remember that it is NEVER too late to start. Sometimes when life is frustrating and you feel you are getting nowhere, you have to light it up yourself. You’ll be waiting a long time if you expect anybody else to make a change happen aside from you.

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Thank you so much for reading, I hope it helps if you are feeling a little stressed out at the moment.

Lots of love,

Hippy Hoo Ha x

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When did it become okay to tell someone you don’t like how they look?

NEVER.

It never became okay!

I’ve noticed a recent increase in people commenting on how I look and giving me their quite frankly unwanted opinions on my personal decisions.

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So let me clear this up: this is for all the unwanted hair-touchers, prodders and outspoken opinion makers who I’m sure we have all encountered, and maybe if you realise you have done this you can see how rude and inappropriate you have been.

Respect is the biggest lesson to be learnt here.

Here’s 5 things all arseholes don’t realise:

  • Touching a strangers hair is inappropriate & unwelcome attention.

I cannot really find anyway to make touching a strangers hair an appropriate way to greet someone, so first of all please don’t  do it on a whim because you don’t understand it, and second of all please just don’t ask to do it. Go home and Google it or something. Most people are happy to answer any questions you have, but please don’t interrupt my private conversations. The amount of times I’ve been interrupted by a random hair toucher is unreal! I would NEVER interrupt someone to ask a dumb question so STOP IT NOW!

  • Just because I look different doesn’t  mean I want to talk to you about it

You cannot comprehend how many times I have been asked ‘What do your tattoos mean?’

I don’t ask what your hairdo means or your clothes, really please just leave me alone.

To me it’s mainly decoration, and any that I have that do mean something, what do I owe to you to tell you?

It’s not a strangers business so back the fuck up.

  • People with tattoos think its a way to relate to me:

Okay, so you have tattoos, I have tattoos, that’s great, I still don’t want to talk about mine, so please stand here and tell me for hours about how and when and where you got yours and I can try slowly slither away out of earshot. Holy Christ. I don’t wanna talk about it.

(This one is probably the bane of my life.)

  • You don’t like my hair/tattoos/piercings/image/style and feel an unbearable need to let me know:

I don’t judge you or comment on your life, so please keep your thoughts to yourself. I have a partner and I am very happy and content. I don’t need your approval and I am very aware of my life choices. It doesn’t bother me if you don’t like something about me, but I would certainly never feel the need to tell anyone friend or stranger something about their image that I personally didn’t like. Keep it to yourself! How rude of you! Live and let live!

  • You need to let me know that I’m probably going to regret that:

Oh yeah, so I never realised until you mentioned that it’s permanent.

Yeah I’ll totes regret it.

I hate your face!

(jokes)

So, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t understand why people think its okay to comment, is it because they think I want the attention? I genuinely think that some people assume that if you have tattoos and piercings and ‘mad’ hair you are doing it for attention, well you are very wrong.

I along with most other people who are seen as alternative are just being who we are.

I understand why people ask about these things but most of the time I get asked in a very rude manner. I worded this post in a jokey manner to try keep it fun. I am never rude to people who do ask me about things, but I would live a simpler life without this hassle as I’m sure a lot of people would too.

I choose to live my life this way and I like to decorate my body, I would never dream of asking someone why they don’t have body modifications so please give us a break and realise that we don’t all live our lives  in the same way!

* as a back note I’d like to say that I understand genuine human curiosity and that I can respect that and I can tell the people who are genuinely curious from the invasive rude people! Most of you are just lovely, it’s just a small percentage that lets us down.

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Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. – Greg Anderson

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Often we are made to feel that our achievements are merely the end result of our hard work when, in fact the most enjoyable,  meaningful and memorable parts of our lives are often not the milestones themselves, but rather, they are what we discover during the process.

“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

I don’t know many people who would talk about the day they graduated as the best experience of their lives. On the contrary, I know many, many people including myself, who would talk about how much they loved their time as a student, the friends they made, the nights out, the partying, the laughter at their failures, looking back at the foolishness of leaving assignments to the very last night before they were due, the exam panics, their frantic love lives, nights in, nights out, the joy of student discounts, working out how to pay bills and wash clothes without mum, summer holidays, wearing the same (hoodies & jeans) clothes most of the time, surviving mainly solely on cheap pasta and lager, keeping fit by walking all over town up and down stairs from class to class, not worrying about too many responsibilities and just being happy & grateful to make it through to another school year.

Some things never really change, we keep going through the same challenges our whole lives, always hoping one day we’re going to make it. There’s no end though. What are we looking for? You could have the longest most impressive CV ever written, you could have climbed up snow topped mountains, parachuted out of planes, or cycled across the Arabian desert (that one would be really impressive)!

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If you didn’t live within that moment though, if you didn’t stop to take a deep breath, if you didn’t focus on the present, let yourself go and immersed yourself in it, with no flicker of guilt of what you did yesterday, and no worries of what could have happened tomorrow. If you spent your time dreaming of what else could be happening, wishing you were somewhere else, younger, older, fitter, kinder, meaner, faster, more successful, more like that guy you heard about, more like your mums neighbours daughter who’s jet setting all over the world on a huge wage for a successful company, feeling jealous, feeling like the grass is greener elsewhere, dreaming about “if onlys” then you really haven’t made the most of the present. It doesn’t matter. We should be trying to be bettering ourselves not trying to be better than others.

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We’ve forgotten that in fact nobody has reached their destination. Every body is on a journey. Focus on that journey. Trust me, its the best part. If you’re unemployed, spend your time wisely and make the most of your spare time because trust me when you have a job you will pine for the times you didn’t have to work, and will wish you had made the most of it. As is true from the other perspective, as money does not provide us with happiness, but quite often a unique purpose does and we are too often reliant on others to provide ourselves with a purpose in life. The most fulfilling thing you can do is to get up and give yourself a purpose, use your potential. It doesn’t have to be a massively impressive purpose. Feed it and it will grow.

Believing that “Once I have a baby, my life will be better” or convincing yourself that “Getting married will fix our relationship”,  that bagging your dream job, losing the last of that Christmas weight or winning a huge sum of money will make you happy will not help you to succeed in seeing the full potential in yourself. Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting these things, but if you are looking for these things to add more to your meaning in life without being already able to see the beauty in your life NOW then it is likely to be a short term gain. You will still have the same issues, and the lack of coping mechanisms. It is just as hard to be a failure as it is to be a success. You deserve to realize your potential now. Let’s stop worrying.

“Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this ‘reality’ as you view your dreams.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

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“Writing, someone said, is turning blood into ink. Whatever, the idea of suffering is so natural to both writers and runners it seems to be a common bond.” – Running and Being, Dr George Sheehan

A few weeks ago, my brother’s wife Sarah shared a link online about a challenge called 5×50. I looked up the website www.5×50.org to see what it was all about. This challenge meant signing up to a website and then agreeing to run, jog, walk (or equivalent) a 5 kilometer distance every day for 50 days. It sounded a bit overwhelming!

I didn’t want to sign up to the website, (that’s my inner rebellious streak showing) but I decided straight away that I wanted to do this challenge myself!

One of the reasons I didn’t sign up to the official challenge is because I wanted to show how it’s possible to challenge yourself and use your own progress as an incentive. I also wanted this to become a habit in my life, so if I was doing the official challenge maybe I would feel relieved for it to be over after 50 days, whereas this way, I can use my intuition  and I know that I am finding ways everyday to make sure I fit my life around my workout. Also the faster and fitter I get, the less time my workout takes up out of my life! Only around 2 weeks in and I already feel like I now need to get out for my wee run or a nice long walk everyday to function properly!

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I downloaded  the Map My Run app for my Samsung (Android) phone and I started using it straight away! The actual 5×50 challenge started officially on Sunday the 30th March, so although i started a week early trying and testing all the walks ahead of time to make sure I felt I could commit to it, I’m officially 13 straight days into it so far!

If you want to see my progress/ keep up to date/ join in then you can find my app uploads on www.mapmyrun.com by searching for Punk Morvs. You may need an account to access all the information though, but it would be great if you have an account, then add me as a friend! I’d love some running buddies, wherever you are in the world!

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I got my Nike running shoes, my super comfy and warm black leggings/ yoga pants ( with reflector detail) and my cute little training socks all at Sports Direct on Paisley High Street. My sports bras were pretty good value too from Primark. I usually wear any old t-shirt with the rest of my gear, plus I tie my hair up in a cute bandana so it’s outta my face. You don’t need to break the bank buying running gear and you don’t need to wear nasty sportswear ( I love my tacky pink and blue trainers!). You can still totally dress like yourself, which in my case is just a bit strange, but who cares! As long as you feel comfortable that’s the most important thing!

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Myself (looking very sleepy!) with some lovely ladies, including my sister Cat, just before we ran the Barcelona Half Marathon last year!

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I would never have thought I could run a half marathon, nevermind a marathon (which definitely seems more realistic now!) so it was a really fulfilling experience! If you just sign up to these things, even just a 5km race or 10km race with your friends you will get through it and feel so proud!

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I just recently moved house so it’s been great to get out and about to discover the local area, plus with the GPS function on my phone the app it shouts out tells me when I have completed each kilometer and it records it really easily afterwards, uploading it online to the map my run website with the simplest push of a button. It records a full map of my route, saves the route in case I (or anyone else) want to do the same route again, and records all of my splits too so I can see what areas of a workout need to be, well, worked on! Plus, if I ever feel lost I can easily work out on the map where i am and feel free to adventure knowing i can get home okay and vaguely how far away I am.

You can view some of my routes here.

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Lola relaxing in Barshaw Park after a long walk. Greyhounds are notoriously lazy!

Lola (my rescue greyhound) is excellent company during our long walks and she can certainly sprint when given the opportunity, but 5km+ runs are not her bag, so if I feel I need some quality time with my girl or if my legs are tired, I just walk with Lola for between 45minutes and 1 hr & a half to get in our daily walk instead of a run. Lola’s a major sniffer and stops a lot to do so, so she makes walks very slow, whereas a 5km run can take as little as 25-30 minutes out of your day when you are alone and focused.

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I think the other lovely thing is that it feels as if spring has sprung! The weather has been so beautiful and I hate sitting about in the house when its so beautiful outside!

It is hard. It’s really hard. The key is to stop thinking. Just put on your shoes, get excited about the breeze in your face and THAT feeling you get afterwards. It’s not about being the best. It is about doing the best for yourself. I read a really good article about the fact that it is hard or uncomfortable when you are running at times, but if you just keep going from that point and don’t give up, you realize it never gets worse than that, you just get used to the feeling, or it goes away/ becomes less important and then you lose yourself in the moment. It’s a bit like taking out the rubbish, after a run I feel like I’ve thrown all of my worries and tension into a bin and it’s no longer my trash to carry around!

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My sister Cat & I after the Nike Cursa Bombers in Barcelona a couple of years ago. It translates as the Fireman’s Run, where the firemen of Barcelona run the full 10 km race in their heavy fire fighting suits. They must have been boiling, it was so humid! I made wee silly fiery hair accessories for it and covered my face in glitter, so they would chase me ( justified this in my head that I would maybe look on fire and that they would chase me trying to put me out)!

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It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”George Sheehan

The one other important factor for me personally that I am reluctant to mention too much, but which I think others may find helpful, is the effect on my mental health since I started making a real effort to spend time with myself doing physically and/ or mentally demanding things everyday. My self esteem has increased, as has my self worth. My symptoms of past problems have pretty much been shot out the water because i have no room in my life for silly problems anymore. I am full of natural highs and a feeling of being connected to nature, my old negative and unhelpful thoughts barely cross my mind anymore. There’s an awful lot to be said for losing your thoughts whilst running through nature. It’s about taking the bins out every day and not letting the rubbish mount up in your mind or on your shoulders.

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When I lived in Castelldefels near Barcelona, my favourite runs were either the run down to the beach where you were rewarded with the sea breeze and sandy feet or the cooler more secluded run through the forest with all of its hills and trees shading the sun.

Whilst in Barcelona, I also participated in a really fun session of Laughter Yoga during an Improvised Comedy weekend getaway with some pals. It was basically hours of full on playing like children and getting back to letting yourself be free of judgement of others, allowing your creativity to flow like it did as a child. It was brilliant fun, we were so sore from laughing so hard and absolutely exhausted too!

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Laughter yogis after a sticker fight.

I found it really fun and useful and I have found some classes in Partick, Glasgow, with a place called Joyworks. I’m not sure if they will be taught in the same style as in Barcelona but I’m definitely excited to try it!

There’s a class on next Thursday night (17th April) if any body is interested coming along with me?

The details of the event are here.

Leave me a comment or contact me through the contact page if you have any questions.

Thank you so much for reading and I really would love to hear if I’ve inspired you to get out and about in nature or just out and about more aware of the present moment.

I really hope that you’ve enjoyed reading my blog.

“It is never too late to become what you might have been” – George Eliot

 

 

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