Updated: Dec 28, 2019
At this time of year I usually reflect on my favourite experiences & memories of the year by scrolling through my photo albums. Usually it’s travel, holidays, time with family and friends. As well as that this year however I’m reflecting more on how I have changed in the past year & what life lessons I’ve learned,
I had the most wonderful year exploring Ireland & going on some of the best outdoor experiences I’ve ever had. I also spent one third of the year on sick leave. I am truly grateful for both. I experienced a spiritual awakening while being sick and it was truly life changing. For when faced with adversities do we connect with our true selves.
Where Happiness Hides
“Don't let your happiness depend on something you may lose.”
C. S. Lewis
I’m a travel & adventure addict and 2018 is the first year that I have not travelled abroad due to sickness. I couldn’t work or do any of the things that I thought my happiness depended on. In April this year I wrote about 'Finding Happiness'. I wrote about getting outdoors, hiking, doing work that I love etc. Of course these things are very important but what happens when these things are taken away from us? Well they were taken away from me and you know what I was OK. I learned that I was still able to feel at peace, calm, content and happy. Of course every day wasn’t like this , If I needed to cry I cried and had some very supportive people around me who were always there to listen; but in general I felt happy, grateful & passionate about life. I realised that true contentment or happiness doesn’t come from your job or travelling or adventures. It comes from within, its inner peace.
“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.” Eckhart Tolle.
I still have everything to learn and practice when it comes to finding inner peace, but I am so excited to be on this journey.
Living through the Heart
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion".
I learned the importance of living through the heart by showing compassion towards each person you meet. This really makes life so much more simple. When you realise we are all connected its so much easier to see past peoples pain and be able to sympathise rather than taking things personally. I practice this by repeating this mantra ‘I am Kindness’ or ‘I can handle this’ when faced with very intense situations with people. Living through the heart also stops you from judging others & attracts so much good energy into your life.
“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.”
In August this year I met someone special and he thought me the importance of prioritising my own self- care above everything else. Sleep, eating healthy, meditation etc. If this doesn’t get done nothing else is to be done. I used to feel guilty about not writing enough, not hiking enough, not posting enough on instagram, etc etc . If I’m not doing the basics well I can’t take on anything else. I can't deny the fact that my lack of self-care contributed to such an extended period of recovery from glandular fever.
“The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.”
– Steve Marble
Turning thirty and being single has thought me the importance of self- love. Loving yourself unconditionally. Accepting every part of yourself. For if we don’t accept ourselves how can we expect someone else to and if we do not love ourselves we seek it from other places. I haven’t mastered this yet but I’m working on it.
'We believe we can hurt others without affecting ourselves'.
I have made decisions in love this year that have been selfish and out of character for me. The thing is you cant wrong someone and not feel the pain yourself. The guilt ate me up for a long time. Ive learned to forgive myself, let go and learn and make sure I don’t make these mistakes again.
Living a Life in line with my Values
“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are”
Roy E. Disney
I learned the importance of truely living a life in line with my values. I love nature, animals, this planet , equality and living simple and it was about time that I led a life in line with these. Since I have incorporated fair fashion, eating a plant based diet, shopping local, living sustainably into my life I feel so much more at peace now. Again I have a lot to learn and change with this but I have made some great steps.
"You just decide what your values are in life and what you are going to do, and then you feel like you count, and that makes life worth living. It makes my life meaningful".
A friend recently said to me live by the moto 'I know nothing' and you will continue to grow, learn and navigate life easier.
“Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you'll ever have is your mind and what you put into it.”