Life Lesson #6

Be creative for you.

In a world set up for result we often forget that there are some things we can do without seeking validation through it. Creativity is one of those things you really should only be doing for you. So try to take a moment every now and then to be creative with no ulterior motive then to simply be creative.

It’s good for you and it’s something fun.

You’d be surprised how creativity can help you work through things you didn’t even know where bugging you. I call this the process of de-cluttering your soul. Being creative de-clutters your soul.

Life lesson #13

Sleeping in is not going to kill you.

I know a lot of people who push themselves until they have burn outs or panic attacks – because they fear either deadlines or judgement.

If this is you then my life lesson to you today is: one day of sleeping in is not going to be the end of your life.

If you’ve been working to 12 pm every night and then gotten up at 6am every morning then you are starving your body of the sleep it needs. One morning of sleeping in is probably good for you in this case. You need rest and missing a couple of hours from your day is not going to be the end of everything.

Sleep in and then forgive yourself for it.

Life lesson #12

When you are cold go put on a jacket and shoes.

 

This seems obvious advice but I want to point out that we as people have a tendency to ignore our needs. Especially if we think it’s minor.

My grandma gave me this advice actually. She says that the moment you feel cold you make sure you get warm again because otherwise you get sick – you don’t wait until you’re shivering and your nose is dripping snot.

I think this is great advice. Thank you grandma.

 

Life lesson #11

Don’t be afraid to get dirty.

There are some kinds of messes that are okay to get all over yourself.

For example at the end of a good day I normally have dirt on my feet, paint on my arms or pants, small handprints from little kids on my face and a smile on my lips.

These are the kinds of messes that I love to be covered in and I wish to tell you that it’s okay to not look perfectly clean if these are the sorts of things you’re covered in.

In fact I suggest you go search out days like that where you can get dirty and just enjoy it, instead of worrying about anything.

 

Turning a life around

how to

I’m not going to write some big dramatic intro that explains that my back has been sore since February.

But to get you on the same page as me I’ll tell you that my back has been sore since February and that this has totally mucked up how I saw my next few years going. I’ve really been struggling with motivation lately and I had a couple of rough days these past couple of weeks when it seemed like my condition was getting worse again.

 

 

So there was a point a little more than a week ago when I was in a really bad place and I just didn’t want to deal with the pain any more – I basically just wanted to sleep and be left alone. But then my mum took me out of the house and we went for hot chocolate – which I have an obsession over.

I felt like I was breathing again and it just separated me from the pain and the struggle for a little bit  so when we go home I was in a much better mood. I was sitting in my parent’s room next to their bookshelf with all our Christian books in. I picked up a book called ‘Communion with God’ and I started reading it.

The book is like a guide to praying (and I definitely recommend it) and I started applying it to my life.

That next weekend I basically just prayed for three days long all the way from Friday morning to Sunday night. I got a chance to talk to God and listen to Him and it healed a lot of my frustrations and made me peaceful again.

 

 

Now I’ve been planning to change my life in a major way but I just haven’t had the strength to do it. And every time I tried to make major changes in my life, I would just get exhausted and fall back into the pattern that my pain created. I would wake up and push myself out of bed despite being cold and sore. I’d drink water and look over my homework. I’d feel exhausted and overwhelmed and then just get back to bed.

 

It seemed really pathetic to me because I use to be, and still am, the kind of person who simply doesn’t stop working. My old mindset was that I can use sheer will power to get through anything but these days if I sit longer than say an hour my back starts to hurt very intensely and I can barely do anything except lie down.

So how I explain this to myself now is that life is like a video game where I get a certain number of energy points at the beginning of each day. Normally I could use these energy points on things such as school work and my job and my writing and then still have a little bit of energy points left at the end of the day.

Now those same amounts of energy points have to be distributed between more things. Now I get to spend some energy points on my school work but while I’m doing that I also use energy points to fight the pain. So throughout the day simply dealing with the pain steals a lot of my energy points.

So I can no longer do everything that I use to do because my energy points run out before the end of the day. Make sense?

 

 

Now back to me changing my life in a major way.

So after I realised that my old mindset and habits won’t be able to get me out of the pain I realized that I need to shift priorities.

I used to have writing as my top priority and then school and then my job and then my Christian walk and then my relationships and then at the complete bottom of the list my physical health and mental well being.

You’d think I’d change all that early after hurting my back but of course as a human I strongly protest against any change.

 

So here I am after a weekend of intense praying and I realise that my priorities need to look different.

Number one should be my relationship with God, and then number two should be my physical health.

The rest of the stuff is important too. But they can no longer come first because if I put all the work first then there will be no energy points left to keep my body and my mind intact. And if I don’t take care of my body, my condition will get worse.

 

 

Once I changed my priorities I also acknowledged that I can’t make any massive changes right now. As much as I would love to wake up tomorrow with a different body that doesn’t hurt and a set of life goals that I can work towards without a problem – that’s not my reality right now.

Right now I’ve got a sore body and a messed up head. I have a job and homework that I’m really far behind on and I’ve got three half finished writing ideas.

So if I can’t make that huge change in my life overnight I guess I’ll have to start with small changes.

 

Which is why on Monday night I drafted up a 30 minute routine that I decided will be the base of my life from here off on. It’s not something that will use a ton of my energy points but it consists out of things that will give me more energy points and ultimately have a real impact on my life.

 

I have an alarm that goes off on my phone and when I hear it I go to drink all my medications. I put on pyjamas, wash my face, make myself hot chocolate and a hot water bottle (a must for anyone struggling with pain) then get into bed and read bible.

All this takes me between half an hour and an hour, depending on what bible verses I’m reading. But at the end of it I’ve wholly relaxed myself and then I get a good night’s sleep before I get up in the morning to do some light exercise.

 

It’s a very simple thing to arrange a 30 minute routine but since I started doing this I’ve been waking up better. I’ve felt happier again. I’ve felt more connected to God and I pray a lot more now.

The biggest thing though is that when I shifted my priorities I stopped beating myself up for any work that I couldn’t finish. I decided to work slowly and to take proper breaks so I don’t strain myself. And this nightly routine is the perfect time for me to accept what I’ve accomplished during the day and to celebrate it – while also letting go of the negative feelings I have over what I didn’t accomplish.

 

I’m more relaxed and at ease and I honestly feel like even though I can’t make any big changes any more, that this small step is a major victory for me.

 

 

That’s my life right now. I’ll tell more another time but for this moment I can simply finish off by saying I’m feeling positive and I hope you are too – in whatever it is you’re busy dealing with.

I wrote a post that is a guide for creating a short routine, so you can go take a look at that and maybe implement the idea into your own life.

So keep moving forward and I’ll write to you again on Friday.

Life lesson #2

If you ever feel lonely

If you get lonely get a pet.

Pets give atmosphere to a room. They are something living that you can talk to. Certain pets can be cuddled with which by the way has been proven to be good for your health. Pets are there for us when people can’t be because with them you don’t have to be anything but yourself. So if your life feels lonely get a pet.

(Take good care of it. We as people need to protect our animals friends)

The greatest personal lessons of 2015

So it’s kind of tradition for people to share what they learned the past year on New Year’s. The problem is that I’ve grown a lot this IMG_3179past year and learned all kind of things while doing so.
So what do I share?
Should I tell you about how I learned to control my emotions?
Should I share with you how I went from a slack off to the serious one in my friendship group?
Perhaps I should tell you about the journey it took to except myself?

How about no… I won’t share that with you. None of that is the important lesson I’ve learned this year.

So here it is, the single most important lesson I’ve learned this year.
Be grateful.

Yes life isn’t always fair. People try to push you around, friends forget you exist and most of the time someone is trying to assert themselves above you.
The thing is that joy won’t really come from all those things you don’t have. Even when you get the extra slice of pizza you won’t be able to enjoy it if you don’t actually pay attention to how it tastes.
So this great important lesson I learned was to stop looking at what I don’t have or what I had lost. Instead I look at what I do have.
I focus on the taste of the pizza slice I do have, and it’s delicious.
You see, it really doesn’t matter what you don’t have. So instead simply cherish what you do have.
I have a family. I have my friend group, rag tag as they may be. I have my rookity old laptop with wifi. I got some books and music. I can pray when I’m upset. I even have an absurd amount of pens.
What more can I ask for?

The thing about being grateful is that it doesn’t change your circumstances but it does change how you look at it. When you stop looking at all the bad in life it really does lose its effect on you.
This piece of advice really comes hand in hand with an even better lesson I learned this year. This lesson is really, really important. I’m just glad I finally seemed to grab it.

God is always with me and he is all I need.

So yea I’m grateful for all I have but even if I didn’t have anything at all, God would still be with me. He would still love me no matter what. He still looks after me and he still wants to be in my life.
Of everything I’m grateful for, this is what I’m thankful for the most.

That was it… that was my big lessons of the year.

So go enjoy the New Year’s. Plan you future and work for what you want. Just don’t lose sight of what you already do have. Cherish those who stand with you and be thankful for any possessions you have. Savour the pizza given to you.

Goodbye 2015, welcome 2016. We’re ready for you.