UK’s warm weather and gentle breeze reflects my present mood; freeing and joyful. For years I’ve tried following steps I’ve read online – remove toxic friends, eat healthy; wake up early… And as much as they’ve helped, lately my own perseverance and widening wonder has developed my contentment. These 5 things changed my life:
I’ve mentioned Guru Ashta-deb already on my blog due to her immense input – particularly when mustering strength to leave an old job. Reading her book “Life Happens to Us” made me begin my love affair with books again and question my ‘victimhood’. Ashta grew up in a household of abuse; abandoned by her parents and devastated at the loss of her teenage sister. Realising her PTSD, she undertook a journey to heal using Western and Eastern medicine.
What I love about her book; she doesn’t make herself a victim. Her mistakes and actions are admitted throughout which invites you to connect to her truths. When we tell stories, we like editing ourselves to look angelic. In society, we arguably place blame on others by decreasing our responsibility. When I blogged about dealing with our dark sides, I explained how some negative traits seem more acceptable.
Over-worrying for example, sounds better than relishing manipulation. Ashta taught me to face myself 100% and begin acknowledging my different sides. Auto-biographies linger on my complex longer than fiction because real experiences put reality in perspective. Lauren Bacall’s By Myself remains a favourite – honest, raw and relatable despite her Hollywood stardom.
Removing life pleasure
Going vegan changed my life, but it’s not something I suggest for everyone. It’s a diet requiring awareness, research and full commitment. Though giving up cheese and chocolate granted me confidence and discipline I hadn’t known. I was a cheese addict – slicing chunks of cheddar to gobble like a child munching popcorn through Disney. Taking a break from food addictions makes you realise the control you possess over your mind.
I became happier with my lifestyle choices when I found independence from ‘needing’ and ‘wanting’. Currently I’m banishing coffee from my body – need overconsumed desire. I think (from a non-expert viewpoint) letting yourself get comfortable with switching your routine – not always enjoying a sweet treat after dinner etc, improves mentality. Issues arise with fixation and guilt.
In addition to veganism, generally saying no to fun habits strengthened my character. For example, browsing needlessly online, hours of Netflix and always purchasing similar easy-reading stories. Balance I find, challenges us bigger than altering habits. Is it possible for life to measure equally on every scale?
I love dancing and I adore watching others perform. Dance makes me want to run, live and explore. Clubbing to me meant dance and music rather than alcohol and kissing – somehow everything combines. As I’m not a ‘clubber’ now, I struggle to find similar release. That until I discovered YouTube dance workouts. The New York Ballet Workout and trainer Keaira LaShae uploads videos I like – it’s good to browse YouTubers and experiment first.
In Ibiza, dancing both day and night felt amazing. The vibe and atmosphere catch you sober or drunk, and awkward me managed to dance at the stage area of a pool party. When reaching mid-twenties, nightclubs became ‘uncool’ and a bygone ode to early twenties. I blame drinking – millennials drink less, and the 2am stumbling out, trying to find a cab to get home and sleep ready for Sunday. Lying in bed during the day doesn’t hold the same enticement.
When abroad I notice countless bars catering to dance without club thumping noise. The problem I notice living in the UK, people don’t feel good dancing in public unless pre-drinking. After doing a dance workout at home, I feel sexy and confident. Dance benefits according to Everyday Health include memory and flexibility.
Holistic healing involves spiritual, physical, emotional and mental health collectively. For full details on how I practice, read: A Holistic Approach to Health. My ethos centres around what you can. I don’t calculate ‘bad’ ingredients and list what I’m avoiding. Instead I summarise the nutrients I hope to absorb and go through their benefits. After eating plenty of healthy meals, it’s difficult to then eat processed junk – not saying it doesn’t happen.
I like meditating (I let thoughts come and go), stretching and writing monthly lists of what I’ve achieved. Teenage me didn’t care about my emotional state and this led to years of turmoil – regardless of my physical look. The book Seeds for the Soul cultured me on positive thinking, using an approachable method that doesn’t sound cliché or over motivational. Positivity encourages me to appreciate sadness and negative traits – my complete character.
In an ideal world, these lessons wouldn’t leave my side. Never again would insecurity creep and anxiety parade the door exiting my house. The reason these things have changed my life; they’ve given me a point to visit when bleakness appears.
Writing changed my life
My blog, career and poems – my heart connects my spirit to words and the art of arranging them. The Style of Laura Jane acts as a therapist and never did I imagine the dedication and grounding sourced from years of posting. This morning I glanced over posts from two years ago and beamed at old notions and momentary thoughts once overwhelming. To see the growth as a writer and as a person, keeps me penning heartfelt emotions.
My Instagram poetry page @laurajanepoetry holds as my new project, but I’m constantly thinking how to grow writing further. Above all, the biggest thing that’s changed my life.
What things have changed your life?