Being compassionate is a good thing, but it becomes a hindering thing when you confuse feeling someone else's pain for it actually being your own pain. There is a difference. ⠀ ⠀ When you choose to suffer for someone else, there's no way out, because you cannot solve a problem that is not yours. Feeling deeply is a gift, but with that gift comes the very important task of setting strong boundaries.
There is a piece of your becoming on every step on your path.⠀ ⠀ There is a happiness to be found in every phase of your life, it does not hit you once you've made it to the top, it is not something you can delay to feel another day in the future. ⠀ ⠀ It is a practice, a habit, something you learn to cultivate right here and now, or not at all.
Declutter your life.⠀ ⠀ Donate it, take it to the curb. ⠀ ⠀ Stop carrying around the old pieces of the person you used to be. They are not serving you anymore. They are crowding your space, stressing you out, and tethering you to the past.⠀ ⠀ You have to create space — sometimes literally — for good things to enter. ⠀ ⠀ You should wake up every day surrounded by an environment that makes you feel capable, competent and at ease.⠀ ⠀ Your space is not a reflection of who you are, it is a reflection of who you want to be.
Failure isn't the mistake that was made, it's when you don't change your behavior because you haven't learned from the mistake. ⠀ ⠀ This is important because the purpose of failure is not punishment, it is learning. It is life showing you what doesn't work, so you can figure out what will.
It’s episode 3 of Unfamiliar Places 👆. And it’s a good’n if I do say so myself. The guest on this episode is the writer Jessica Andrews who debuted her first novel Saltwater earlier this year. In the podcast, we talk about her desire to leave her home up North, her expectations of London vs the reality, attending uni from a working class background and how taking some time out in Ireland helped her get out of her head and back into her body (and it’s where she wrote Saltwater). Some of my favourite parts of the convo included the ways we try to hide or forget our homes/backgrounds, cities being a place to lose yourself rather than find yourself and how the open space of Ireland affected her in comparison to the busy city. Turn your sound on and listen to these clips, then go and listen to the full episode on Apple (link in bio) and Spotify. If you have listened already, let me know what you thought 💓.
You are not here to do someone else's work for them.⠀ ⠀ You are here to be on your own path, heal your own life, save your own soul, and then let the light you radiate from your own awakening inspire others to begin their own.⠀ ⠀ You are not here to make others dependent on you.⠀ ⠀ You are not here to create followers.⠀ ⠀ You are here to liberate others, to create more leaders, and to allow everyone to be their own hero.
How does it feel moving through middle-class spaces as a working-class person? I can tell you that it can be incredibly frustrating, or you could listen to my latest podcast episode with writer Jessica Andrews who shares how it’s affected her identity. Jessica debuted her first novel Saltwater earlier this year and it covers themes of class, home, mother and daughter relationships and how our landscapes affect us. (See pics above for quotes from the book 😍.) I don’t think I could have found a more perfect person to interview for Unfamiliar Places🌇. In our interview, we speak about Jessica leaving home and moving to London, whether cities really are the best places for self-discovery and the changes she noticed in herself when she left the city for Ireland. Something it really made me think about was how it affects us in the long run when we try to forget our homes or hide our backgrounds (i.e through changing your accent as Jessica did at uni.) There’s way too many interesting discussion points to write here so head to my story for more details or even better - go and listen for yourself. Apple link is in my bio or search Unfamiliar Places on Spotify.
Feelings are visitors and messengers.⠀ ⠀ They do not leave until we have learned what we need to learn.⠀ ⠀ They do not leave until we resolve what's unresolved.⠀ ⠀ They do not let us feel at peace until we have done what we are meant to do.⠀ ⠀ In this sense, your feelings — yes, even the ones that hurt sometimes — are the guides to your freedom.⠀ ⠀ Every feeling has a message, every feeling is a teacher.
In everything in life, there is a lesson. There is a lesson in joy, in lightness, in freedom, and in love. There is a lesson in pain, in sadness, in loss and in grief. There is something to learn in everything that we feel deeply, and the depth of us continues to expand the more we acknowledge what that could be.
To heal from the loss of a loved one, we must live in a way that would make them proud. We must imagine them seeing us, and asking ourselves: "Would they be happy with who I have become?" ⠀ ⠀ Then we must go on to live in a way that honors them, not shuts us down. Loss is a normal part of life, it happens to us all, and it will continue to. But our lives do not end because someone else's does, they go on, though irrevocably changed.⠀ ⠀ Their absence should be a constant reminder to do the best we can, because we are mortal, and our time is limited, and Now is all we really have.
Excuses don't solve problems. They don't change your life, they don't influence your outcomes. The reason why you "can't" doesn't matter in the end — your life is only measured by whether or not you did. ⠀ ⠀ Your excuses do not matter, you either do the thing or you don't. I know, it's hard to hear, which usually means that it's an extremely important thing to hear. ⠀ ⠀ Show up. Do the work. It gets easier over time. You choose what your comfort zone is by what you repeatedly do, and if you can gather the will to defy the limits of it even briefly, to create new and better habits, they will eventually become easier and more natural, if not completely second nature. ⠀ ⠀ Do this for yourself. Choose. Put in the hours, put in the sweat, show up for the people you love, reach out, do better, try again. Your feelings will fail you if you listen to them and only them. They do not know all that you are capable of — so show them. Prove to yourself that you are exactly the person you have always wanted to be. Not maybe later, not someday in the future — today, here. Right now.
Not everybody is going to get better, even though it is possible.⠀ ⠀ Not everybody is going to change the way they think or act, even if it's what's best for them.⠀ ⠀ Not everybody is going to rise into the entirety of their potential, even if they have so much of it.⠀ ⠀ People will not change unless they want to change, and that is a fact that you will have to accept. Fighting for people who do not want to change is a waste of your energy, because until they want to, they won't. To let go is not to give up on them, it is to recognize that you cannot compromise the quality of your life for people who will not grow. ⠀ ⠀ You cannot compromise who you are meant to be because someone else is stuck in who they aren't.
Every day, we are given the gift of another chance.⠀ ⠀ If you woke up today, you were given an opportunity to try again.⠀ ⠀ Take a breath, and begin.⠀ ⠀ Remember that in the end, you will not be defined by the failures, but what you achieved in spite of them.
If you are in the wake of something like this ending, please know, it is happening for a reason. Good relationships do not spontaneously end. It is not that what you had wasn't real, it's that there is something else that you may or may not be able to see, something that is guiding you, protecting you, and showing you that this is not it for you. Trust it. Let it lead you into your new, wild, beautiful life.
The 5% principle is an idea that completely changed my life.⠀ ⠀ I used to think it would be impossible to find an hour each day to go to a workout class, or write a new book, or clean my space, or do pretty much anything that would improve my wellbeing and my life as a whole.⠀ ⠀ Then I realized that one hour is only 1/24th of your time. That's less than 5% — technically 4.17% — of your day.⠀ ⠀ Is your health worth less than 5% of your time? How about your goals for the future, or taking care of your belongings and your home? When you start to think about it like that, it becomes a no-brainer. Of course those things are worth it. What you do with your hours is what you do with your day, and what you do with your day is ultimately what you do with your life.
What if you put as much energy as you do into your career into your peace of mind, your health, or your recovery? What if we all learned to be the most ambitious about our wellbeing, beyond anything else?