I wrote this at the beginning of last month, 2nd of June to be exact. After reading a very inspiring post by the Human’s Of New York (@humansofny), I thought I would write a response. Even if I can’t relate to this person’s problems specifically, growing up is a part of life that everyone goes through. My thoughts have changed since writing this, but I thought it would still be fun to share.
‘I read this about an hour ago. To carry this wisdom at such a youthful age is merely awe inspiring. I recently turned twenty and I am only just coming to terms with this philosophy. I am only just advancing to the reality that I may not be myself yet, and I may not be leading the life that I am destined to. But that does not mean I never will. This is not my path forever. It is simply a small road that leads to one thousand more destinations. Just because I lost my identity does not mean I will never get it back. I think I am starting to find my feet, but I haven’t wholly let go. This has given me the chance to re-build my foundation. I find it difficult to work out whether I am making decisions because I want to do it with all my heart, or because I believe that is what I should want. Because it looks good to enemies, or adds to an identity that others aspire to have. But why aspire to hold an identity that I don’t truly want? The regret I would hold to see other beings following their souls and possessing an identity that is authentically them would be in great quantities. I am scared that I am wasting my own precious life. I want to be me, I want to know what I want. But I don’t. I am so deep into this mind set that I am afraid I will be trapped here forever. But, you see, this is where we relate back to those influential words. This is not me forever. This is not who I will be in the future. I am still learning. I am still changing. I will always be changing.’
I know it’s only the beginning of July, but I know I’ll be loving everything listed here for the rest of the month.
From books to make-up to quotes; here is everything I’ve been loving.
1. What is my favourite book?
A Man’s Journey To Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach and friends.
I picked this book up for £1 from The Blue Cross charity shop in Farnham whilst volunteering. It is a collection of short stories written by men. They speak about their daily experiences and the issues crucial to them whilst covering masculinity and it’s modern day definition. ‘A Man’s Journey to Simple Abundance shows how the joys and regrets of life can bring a deeper understanding of the self and that not-so-simple creature, man.’. This is a rather random read for me, but I’m definitely enjoying it – it cures the boredom that overcomes me at work.
2. What is my favourite song?
Can I pick an album? Well I am anyway.
My favourite album at the moment HAS to be 99.9% by KAYTRANADA. I’ve been listening to a couple of his songs over the last few weeks, but I only recently gave the entire album a listen – and I LOVE it. Oh and the album art is pretty damn cool too.
3. What is my favourite place to be?
After wanting to take up rowing for years, I finally took the plunge and joined Weybridge Rowing Club a few months back. The club house is located right next to a very scenic lock, and rows of beautiful houses line the sides of the river. The club is full of the most lovely people – there’s no way anyone could be sad here.
Here is the lock and house just outside the club – cute right?
4. What is my favourite show?
Love Island – need I say anymore?
5. What is my favourite food or dish?
I’ve for some reason rekindled my love for bagels, healthy right?
6. What is my favourite piece of clothing?
I picked up a black playsuit from Urban Outfitters by Staring At Stars for my uncle’s chilled summer wedding. It’s so incredibly comfy, it actually feels like pyjamas – could you ask for anything more?
7. What is my favourite scent?
My favourite scent is that of ACQUA DI PARMA Blu Mediterraneo, FICO di AMALFI.
This was my favourite in my February Favourites 2017 blog post. That could be because of how amazing it smells, or just because I take a long time to get through perfumes – I like to savour every spray. Once I actually manage to use it all up, I would definately like to try out more of their range – delizioso!
8. What is my favourite skin care product?
If you know me in person, you’ll know that I struggle to keep my skin clear. I like to use soft, natural products rather than harsh chemicals and medicine.
A really lovely lady in The Body Shop helped me pick out an array of items best for my skin. She introduced me to Tea Tree Skin Cleansing Mattifying Toner, Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash, Tea Tree Night Time Moisturiser (not pictured), and lastly the Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Exfoliator.
After using these products for a few weeks, my skin definitely feels cleaner. I notice that it’s prevented quite a few break-outs, but my skin is left feeling quite dry. This could be because these products are a bit too harsh for my sensitive skin. Although they are deemed ‘natural’, I believe that they still contain sulfates.
I’m going to use up these products, and then search around for similar but softer products – I’ll keep you updated. Oh, and of course these products are cruelty-free!
9. What is my favourite beauty product?
This is another one from The Body Shop. It is the Drops Of Glow Lustre Finish Creator, it’s a kind of liquid illuminating highlighter. This is great to apply to the cheek bones, above the eye brows, top of forehead, end of nose, chin, and jaw line after applying foundation. It leaves a dewy and fresh-faced look. Great for an everyday or night time look. It cost a reasonable £12.
10. What is my favourite quote?
Oh you know me and my quotes.
My favourite book quote is from the book I mentioned earlier – A Man’s Journey To Simple Abundance. This piece was written by Roshi Jakusho Kwong, As It Is.
‘Remember when you learned how to tread water? The more you concentrated on trying to achieve buoyancy, the deeper you sank. It’s only when you start feeling the water and forgetting the self that buoyancy happens. The ego has to get out of the way before you can learn and realize things. You have to empty your cup so you can fill it.’ p.88
So this is something quite a lot of people in my life don’t understand.
I like to follow a more holistic and natural approach to my health.
When I have a head ache, or just don’t feel right I never reach for the overly-used ibuprofen or paracetamol. I only take pharmaceutical drugs when I’m in too much pain to handle (which thankfully isn’t very often at all). Instead I like to reduce it with natural products or just bear through the pain. This is when people often remark; “Why don’t you just take a tablet? Why suffer?”.
I believe that pharmaceutical drugs only cover the symptoms, and don’t actually address what’s causing the problem. Surely the symptoms will only keep on arising as long as the root of your pain isn’t addressed?
Here’s an example; I class caffeine as a drug. It affects our body when consumed. So the other day I was feeling incredibly lethargic. At work I could hardly keep my eyes open and no matter how much I slept, I was exhausted. When I mentioned this a lot of people just said “Have a cup of coffee”. I understand that this will improve my symptoms right now, but once it wears off I will be right back at square one. I picked up on some other symptoms such as bruising easily and paler lips. I knew that I was lacking iron. I went straight to the ol’ trusty Holland & Barrett and picked up some iron vitamins. Within a day my symptoms had been abolished. Completely resolved. I now knew to consume more iron rich food (dark chocolate here I come). Instead of covering over my tiredness with caffiene, I cured my lethargy completely.
I picked up 100 15mg Iron tablets from Holland & Barrett for £7.59. They also include small doses of other vitamins and minerals such as; Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and many more.
Here are a couple more natural products I’ve been loving lately.
Evening Primrose Oil. This stuff is great for reducing PMS and helping to balance out hormones. I bought this from Neil’s Yard for £9.50. Incredibly expensive considering you only get 30ml. I actually ran out the other day so I’ve got to re-splurge, definitely somewhere cheaper though that’s for sure. This is a great alternative to other hormone based medicine such as the contraceptive pill (for balancing hormones that is, not protection against pregnancy).
Green Rooibos tea. This was a complete random buy as it was on offer for £1 in, you guessed it, Holland & Barrett. Tea is fantastic for clear skin, a clear mind, and a hydrated body. Rooibos tea is actually made from an African bush so isn’t technically a tea. It is known for its abilities to clear up skin, reduce stress and even fight cancer. Although it’s not known if it’s actually better than green tea, it’s a great little mix up if your daily green tea is getting rather repetitive. I imagine the pure Rooibos loose tea leaves are even better, give it a try. Maybe this could reduce your need for anti-anxiety medication or skin-clearing medicine.
So what’s the point of this blog post? Well hopefully I’ve inspired you to question your drug taking. Instead of just popping pills and thinking nothing of it, question if there’s something different you could do that’s better for you, your mind, and better ethically. Taking a few minutes to research online about your symptoms and any natural cures is definitely worth a try.
Let me know of any natural medication you take.
I purchased this cold-pressed evening primrose oil from Holland & Barrett for £23.99. Yes, very expensive. But, I am getting 120ml rather than 30ml. All in the name of health hey?
“Take any emotion – love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I’m going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions – if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them – you can never get to being detached, you’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience the fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.'”
– Spoken by Morrie Schwartz, taken from Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
I spotted this magazine on the shelf of a newspaper stand in Asda. I was drawn to it’s clean, modern style and beautiful imagery. As soon as I opened the magazine, I began walking back to the check-outs. I am not interested in surfing, I have never tried it. But, I found the style of this magazine very unique and inspiring. It now sits next to my bed to remind me of the kind of pieces I could one day be working on. Wavelength magazine is based in Newquay, Cornwall aka the home of surfing. I have taken several images of my copy of the magazine, only including my favourite pages.
Bobbie Burgers is a female artist that I found via Pinterest. I LOVE flowers and plants. So much so, that I incorporate them in the majority of my designs. As someone who has previously worked with acrylic paints, I can appreciate the talent needed to create these pieces of art. I believe in the use of bright and bold colours. Although they are mainly used as ‘feature’ colours, Burgers has created all of her work using statement colours. This creates an uplifting and happy feeling when viewing her art. This is a feeling I would love others feel when witnessing my designs.
I also found Yener Torun through Pinterest. Photography and architecture (it was chosen topic for AS Level Fine Art) are two elements I adore, so when mixed, it’s only right for me to love it. As someone who is actively taking pictures, I am able to appreciate Torun’s fantastic composition and colour use. The detail and balance of his photographs are immaculate, and inspire me to create designs that produce the same amount of satisfaction when viewed.
KARIN NOVAK NEAL
Karin Novak Neal paints tropical trees, plants, and flowers. Being someone who loves colour and the use of plants in my designs, Neal’s work inspires me incredibly. Her work is very unique, and the colours she uses are positive and tropically this artist inspires me to carry on creating unique designs that I love.