Resolutions for 2014!!

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!!

So let’s get right into it. For 2014 I would like to expand my brain and give it the confidence and vigour that it previously had when I was 16 and always learning (as opposed to 24 and stumbling through life lessons that I had learned and then completely forgotten years ago) :-s

I have realized that putting vague large or obvious goals isn’t necessarily very effective. What I have decided to do to make sure I get results out of myself this year is set resolutions that are definite, objective baby steps to becoming a better me! I always hope to be a better person, and here is how I am going to do it:

1) Read AT LEAST one good book every two months.

2) Write down my thoughts at least once a week in a personal “journal”.

3) Paint or draw at least one GOOD work of art for the year.

I have decided to do this cos I need to get my creative juices flowing. I often just feel a little bit like a robot, doing the same thing over and over. My brain needs some real excersise to better prepare me for the actual life decisions which, however big or small, often need to be made on the spot and one thing I HATE is making decisions on the spot! I just don’t have the confidence! I have heard it said before that “one can never know the extent of the ripples of ones actions”…. That is probably SEVERELY misquoted by whoever came up with it… But whatever it is true! And it is equally as TERRIFYING as it is EMPOWERING. 

So yea, in order to help myself to become a better person, I need a better brain.

Its the same goal I was hoping for last year, as well as planning a bad ass wedding.

I think that in order to excel in all parts of life, whether it is work, love or life in general, you need to excercise your brain in whatever it was made to do. Unless you are employed in your dream job, then there’s a good chance that the 9 to 5 is not doing this for you. You need to excercise your brain on your own time! The good thing is that is just means picking an activity you love and feel you can be good at. Do not just sit and watch YouTube and Facebook!! Yes I am SO guilty of this. So here I am trying to read, write and draw again. :-) Getting creative so that I can try and be a functional human being!!

Have a wonderful 2014 everyone!!!

Lots of Love!!

Making Decisions Is Impossible

Hmm… I can relate. Yes I did make ONE big humongous decision recently a.k.a. MARRIAGE but in other areas of my life (work life, social life etc…) this is how I often feel and I am now on my way to 25! Bleh. This world has so many uncertainties and only a few constants. I hold on to and cherish my constants!

Thought Catalog

This week in my creative writing class, my professor mentioned that he had recently read The Poetics of Music, a work by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. In it, Stravinsky mentions how, when composing a piece of music, he was sometimes utterly paralyzed by the “infinite possibilities” at his disposal. Every choice he made — each carefully placed note, chord, and phrase — could affect the composition as a whole.

Like Stravinsky, I am also sometimes utterly paralyzed by the infinite possibilities before me — though my particular paralysis is more existential than artistic. As college students on the brink of our twenties, we are led to believe that our four years represent the blissful purgatory between adolescence and — shudder — adulthood. During this time, we are free from serious responsibility; for the most part, our parents and professors still coddle us.

However, the decisions we make during college…

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Update / Forms of Prayer

OMG I’m getting married in almost ONE MONTH!!

This year went by incredibly fast!

I have been so busy.

I have been hiding from the internet.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

My faith, along with many other things tends to progress in hills and valleys, meaning: sometimes my faith is strong, sometimes it is weak, sometimes I take God for granted. Seeing those last few words on paper just seem so harsh. I don’t like it.

I’m not like some people who’s faith is so ingrained in them that it just seems to come so naturally, that missing church on New Years Eve or on a random Sunday would be unthinkable. Sometimes I have to remind myself to pray and some times it. just. doesn’t. happen. For whatever reason, I could be distracted, I could have nothing to say. Most of the time distracted.

Anyway, I was very happy this weekend because 1. I went to church. 2. It’s time to choose readings for the wedding :)

Reading seems to help me more than anything when it comes to prayer. It just focuses my mind and it motivates me. It gives me different topics to think about and dwell on. I feel/hope that on the days when I don’t manage to lie down and focus on just silent prayer, that my reading and the thoughts sparked by reading are heard by God.

On top of this, I am very thankful when people are willing and eager to talk about faith. You could be Christian, Atheist, Muslim, whatever. We don’t have to agree on everything or even on most things, but I am just happy that these kinds of discussions keep my mind on or around God and that hopefully I am doing the same for you too!

Anyway, time to go and prepare for tomorrow. Tonight that means sleep and pray!

Goodnight and sweet dreams :)

This One Time, at Band Camp…

I have just finished my first full week at my new job, and I feel like this entire week and a half has been one giant blonde moment!!

That plus the fact that I still have a knack for word vomiting my entire life story in one conversation means…

I am still the Queen of Awkward! And T.M.I. (too much info… incase ya didn’t know!!) :-s

Ugh… school days…

Oh well… it’s still early days. God willing, I still have plenty of time to redeem myself… Please God!

Anyway… YAAAAAYYYY WEEKEND!!!!

Lots of Love!

Smileyface!! :)

Thought Snippets

Have spotted a couple of gems on my Reader in the past day or two :)

This one encouraged me a lot before starting yesterday’s post as of course I can relate to this whole thing entirely!! Feels like a snapshot of my life, wish I had written it myself. I think every woman needs to read this anyway. So go ahead then get back to me. Do it now!

The other one stated a quote I had not heard before, but I love it so have decided to share.

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.— Frank Outlaw

Don’t know who Frank Outlaw is, have not felt like Googling him just yet as I am sleeepy! But I like this quote anyway, would like to turn it into a painting and hang it above my bed.

I need to buy some paint.

And some paper.

And some brushes… gaaahh!!

Hope that these snippets inspire you as much as they inspired me :)

Small Victories: Acting Out the Honour

So being engaged and all, I now have to open my self up to the responsibility of the vocation which I have to honour that is now staring me right in the face.

I knew it was coming, but it just wasn’t IN MY FACE like it is now!

I didn’t expect the “inmyface-ness” to be so intense, me and my fiance have been together for almost 10 years now. Yep! Our first date was one week before my 14th birthday :-) sweetness! So needless to say, we have had plenty of time to prepare.

I’ve been looking at bridal websites as that is how I do my research on how I’m supposed to plan a wedding, what the etiquette is etc. These websites also have a fun selection of quizzes and articles to help prepare us for married life… pssshhh! Right! These articles and quizzes have all become a big vague blur of shallow bullet points detailing top 10 date night ideas, what our sleeping style says about us, how to win over the in-laws bla bla bla.

Then there is the occasional emphasis on marriage being a lifelong commitment. Which is true. We know this already and we’ve heard it many times before! But that is all that is said. I don’t know why all these articles everywhere can state that “marriage is a lifelong commitment” but never actually dissect what it is they are really saying. It is just a blanket statement! What does this commitment entail? What is it made up of?

So what I want to emphasise today is this: Marriage is not just a “life long commitment”. Marriage is a responsibility and it is an honour. Honour is something that needs to be acted out. It needs to be lived. It is a continuous every day action.

I think this viewpoint is important because sometimes people can view the word “commitment” as simply implying that you are to stay with your spouse til death do you part. That’s not all there is and it’s not that simple!

Marriage is not just staying together.

The actions and responsibilities aren’t just that you do what you have to do just to be with your partner.

You do everything you can to grow together as a unit or a team.

Your partners growth is now not only their own responsibility, it is now yours too. Just as it is now their responsibility to help you in your own personal growth.

You are not there just for the sake of being there. You are there with a job to do! You are there to act as your partners rock, support and empowerment.

This is the action of honouring the vocation of marriage.

For example:

I know the cycles My Dark Side goes through. There are three or four, haven’t actually counted but anyway. I need to put little goals in my mind. This is a good thing because when I am working towards a goal I do my best to achieve it. I have on my best behaviour and I think everything out as best I can. The bad thing is that once I have reached that goal I stop. I feel like I have reached. I can afford to relax. I don’t need to put more effort in! I’ve done enough! So I stop thinking, stop trying, stop my positive actions. Then boom My Dark Side is back again. I slip up and didn’t even think it was that bad because “my previous good actions can make up for that! So I’m still good! I’ve done enough!!”

Then there’s the next cycle. Once I have realised the error I have made in the previous cycle of reaching a goal followed by a big lazy fall from grace, I am now aware of how bad it feels to fall from such a height. With the knowledge that it is human to fail, I become fearful of reaching such a height again due to the “inevitable” fall that will soon follow. So I enter into a cycle where I will follow a short burst of good actions by a self sabotaging burst of mess ups and failure. I know what I’m doing. I would just rather mess up now while both my partner and I anticipate it.

When you think it is O.K. to just be there with your partner for being there’s sake, this cycle is entirely possible. Because even though either of us can mess up and take our relationship for granted, at least we are there with each other and not moving!

But when you are engaged, when marriage is on the horizon, you are no longer just there to be there. You are there to honour your vocation to marriage.

Once again, you have a job to do!

So… when I hear My Dark Side begin to whisper in my ear at the beginning of any cycle it may be going through I have a new motivation to hold it off as long as I can. Yes, a fall from a great height may hurt much more than a shorter fall I chose for myself. But in the end the fall does not matter if I can climb back up again. And I know I can, I’ve already done it many times over the past 9.75 years! And even if the climbs get higher and the falls more so, isn’t that part of growing up? More responsibility? More honour?

And how do I hold off My Dark Side? Well this is just another small victory I have discovered. When I hear that whisper of My Dark Side I pause, nod, then get up and decidedly do something the complete opposite! I will do something nice for my fiance. Not just a hug or kiss because that would be for my own benefit. I get up and either pour him a drink, cook him lunch, massage his shoulders…. just something to say that this is my purpose, this is my vocation. Nothing else comes close!

So there we go, another small victory!

Easily Influenced?

I can be easily influenced.

So…

I try to surround myself with POSITIVE influences!

I think people underestimate the power of other influences in their lives. I had to say this because many people (including myself) often feel too proud or even too “grown up” to be influenced by others. I used to feel like I was too smart to be easily influenced.

But then I realised, it’s not that I was too smart to be easily influenced. It’s that I had been surrounded by intelligent people that acted as positive influences in my life and my self-image. So how could I possibly go down a bad road when I am only interacting with positive influences?

This realisation didn’t happen overnight. But from my experiences over the years with a few different groups of people, my standards and views on life flow in response to who and what is going on around me. If you surround yourself with people who have what you would consider a lower moral standard than yourself (and lets be honest, cutting all the niceties and polite-ness, you KNOW when this is the case!) you begin to feel like you are an amazingly wise and saintly person! You may then start to feel like because of all your hard work and moral value, you can afford to relax a little and give in to that one vice which appears innocent compared to what’s going on around you. After all, it’s not like you’re being as bad as them!

This is not healthy, this is how bad habits are formed. But it happens. As humans we always compare and most things are relative. I know it!

The wake up call comes when you suddenly find yourself surrounded by people of a higher moral standard than you. It’s very simple! All of a sudden you realise that you would rather not share the stories of those tiny little vices you’ve been indulging in, however small they are. You may even feel a little ashamed! Stay around these people long enough, and you will find yourself phasing out those vices once again. Eventually.

I guess it comes down to which influence you spend more time with. This will end up being your primary influence and the winner of your soul. Boom.

I know that everyone has different degrees of this. We are not all EXACTLY the same. Some people appear much harder to influence than others, but I would like to argue that no one gets this way on their own. If I meet someone who appears to be very well grounded in their values and principles… someone who is simply just very hard to influence, then I will assume that they probably have a much stronger influence in their life with which they choose to really focus themselves. Positive or negative.

This is why I find that religion is such a gift to humanity.

I am fully aware that there are lots of atheists out there living full and happy lives filled with deep inner peace and a love for their neighbours and the world around them. My Dad has always been a real example of this to me. He is an atheist, and I can easily say that he is the most kind hearted person I know. The influences that contribute to who he is are his parents (who are in fact Christian) and his siblings. Their influence is held on to and continued through my Dad’s strong sense of purpose to be a good Dad and provider for our family. I could dedicate an entire book to his example (if I could write a book!).

But family is not the only influence in anyone’s life. I’ve had friends, teachers, classmates, communities, culture, tv, music, art, the list goes ooooonnnnnn….. All of these things are my influences and all of these things have a tendency to send mixed signals from time to time.

I need guidance to know when to follow and when to lead, when to hold on and when to let go, what to believe in and what to be wary of.

I can’t come up with this all by myself.

I need a positive and constant influence to surround myself with.

This is one reason why I have been gradually introducing Catholicism to myself over the past few years. It’s a lot to take on all at once.

But God is one influence in my life who I can say with confidence will always lead me down the right path, keeping in mind that I need to know how to apply my belief and understand God according to the context of what is written and what I have been taught. God is also the one influence who I could present any issue to without worrying about the shame or embarrassment I would rather not put myself through when I am afraid to speak to anyone else. Stating the obvious: I care about how people see me, especially the people I am closest to. God however already knows all there is to me so there’s no point in hiding.

I can’t say that religion is black and white, the Bible, as with any religious text, is very open to interpretation hence there are many different sectors of Christianity who all interprate the Bible differently. I need to take the time to read, pray and meditate on what I am reading and maybe speak with someone about it as well. Someone who I respect and who also knows the Bible and Catholicism better than I do! Speaking indirectly about an issue with someone by asking questions about the Bible may be a lot easier than speaking directly about whatever the issue is. Of course they may read me and figure out what it is that is really bothering me, I have to decide if I want to take that risk!

Anyway, what this all comes down to is I believe that no matter how “mature” we are, we are all easily influenced. The key is to try and choose your influences as wisely as possible. Be picky! Be picky with who your friends are, be picky about the music you listen to and be picky about the TV you watch. Be mindful about how much time you spend with negative influences you can’t avoid, and be determined to spend at least equal or more time than that with the influences you need.

In fact you can start by just choosing one influence that you know you can always depend on to lead you down the right path. When you have found that influence feel free to question it at times, questions lead to a deeper understanding, but do not ever turn your back on it. Keep it with you.

I would like to recommend this post, Everyone Worships Something, on a blog which I don’t always agree with, but I do believe holds a lot of insight and wisdom which I can’t get enough of! I love reading each post as it comes up on my Reader and they always give me something to really think about.

I think I could write half a dissertation about influences, so I will just leave it at that for now!

Much Love!

Smileyface :-)

Tillah Willah

words. tunes. trouble-making. mangoes. etc

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