Fear Facing

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When you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all. We all need some form of deeply rooted, powerful motivation – it empowers us to overcome obstacles so we can live our dreams.  – Les Brown

Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it. – Judy Blume

Are you feeling a bit shaken, maybe fearful and doubtful and completely utterly, wildly terrified? Good. Keep going. – Victoria Brickson

We gain strength and courage and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Don’t let your fear of what could happen, make nothing happen. – unknown

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. – John Rohn

When you face your fears, you’re free. – unknown

If we would only see that all limitations are self-imposed and chosen out of fear, we would leap at once. – Adyashanti

February Favourites 2017

I have never done anything like this before, but why not.

I’m going to list my ‘favourites’ this month. I found these questions on Creativity Prompt’s website, but I’ve made some alterations.

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1 What is your favourite book?

Tuesdays with Morrie. Although I haven’t actually read this book yet, I got this for my birthday and I’m so excited to read it.

2. What is your favourite song?

Now, this is probably the hardest question to answer, my music choices change daily. But, if I had to choose, it would have to be Sunset Lover by Petit Biscuit.

3. What is your favourite colour?

Green green green and green

4. What is your favourite place to be?

Although this sounds sad, my favourite place to be this month is my bedroom. With all of my candles lit, my diffuser on and my music playing, I couldn’t think of anywhere more relaxing.

6. What is your favourite show?

Right now I’ve been watching Riverdale on Netflix, It’s alright.

7. What is your favourite food?

Marmite. My mum purchased some the other day and I forgot how amazing it is.

8. What is your favourite car?

I really don’t know at the moment.

9. What is your favourite piece of clothing?

My black vintage Champion hoodie from Urban Outfitter’s men’s section.

10. What is your favourite perfume?

FICO di AMALFI by ACQUA DI PARMA.

11. What is your favourite candle?

Orange, Clove & Cinnamon by Heaven Scent.

12. Favourite beauty product?

My Rose & Pomegranate Bath Oil by Neal’s Yard.

13. Favourite essential oil?

Organic Defence by Neal’s Yard.

Relieve Your Anxiety

Anxiety is completely and utterly normal. It is an emotion just like anger or happiness – every single person holds it. But, there’s a cut-off point. Once anxiety begins to impact your quality of life, that’s when it is no longer ‘normal’. That, ladies and gentleman, is when it’s a problem.

I watched a video about anxiety earlier, and the presenter described anxiety being like a sensitive car alarm. For the majority of cars, their alarms go off when there is danger i.e. someone breaking into them. But, there’s always that one car in the street that is set off from something as simple as a gust of wind – this car’s alarm has been unnecessarily turned on. A person suffering from anxiety is much like this car, their anxiety being the alarm.

aaaaa

If you are suffering from intense anxiety or even an anxiety attack, here are some calming activities that I believe may relieve you of that horrible tension:

  • Take yourself somewhere calming and comfortable. If you’re lucky enough to be at home then try your bedroom.
  • Accept how you are feeling and stop fighting it. Dedicate an hour of your time to calm down and continue with your day afterward.
  • Turn off any unnatural lighting and embrace the natural light from outside.
  • If you own a diffuser then throw that on. Right now I’m loving Organic Defence by Neil’s Yard mixed with Orange Blossom by Tisserand.
  • Music, music, music. Throw on some chilled background music to set a nice relaxing environment. A couple of suggestions are Trapped in a club by Sales and The Bend by Real Estate. In fact, create an entire playlist dedicated to your relaxation time.
  • Confide in someone. Whether it be a best friend on WhatsApp, a partner over a phone call or someone at home, it really puts your worries into perspective and takes a large weight off of your chest.
  • Eat some feel good food – a fair few chunks of dark chocolate and green tea seems to do the trick for me.
  • Submerge yourself into a warm, candle lit bath. Fill it with salts and oils and allow yourself to relax.
  • Stay away from any poisonous social media. I find browsing Pinterest or watching Ben Brown’s vlogs to be calming and very positive past times.

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It is perfectly fine to not be ok all of the time. It is perfectly fine not to be ok most of the time. What counts is that you don’t give up. What counts is that you are strong enough to trudge through these foggy times and make it out the other side.

Just because you aren’t ok right now, does not mean that you will not be ok next year, next week or even in 1 hour. Just because you aren’t reaching your potential right now, does not mean that you won’t in the future.

Tackling school, attaining a highly-paid job, or owning an Audi is fantastic, they are brilliant accomplishments. But, I believe that the biggest and best accomplishment in life is to overcome your weaknesses and fears. For a person to be happy even if they had nothing at all is the ultimate. That is a happiness not dependent on anyone or anything else, that is happiness created from within.

Here are some positive quotes to keep you going:

  • I believe in the person I’m becoming.
  • Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.
  • What you allow is what will continue.
  • The comeback is always stronger than the setback.
  • There are people who would love to have your bad days.
  • Quality, not quantity.
  • Art takes time – Monet grew his gardens before he painted them.

Zodiac Authenticity

Are Zodiac signs real? – A question mostly dismissed when asked, a theory shrugged off and mocked.

But what is the truth? With religious groups believing in the existence of mythical creatures and men in the sky, can the 12 divisions really be alive?

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Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces are the 12 signs first created in ancient Egypt and later adopted by the Babylonians. The signs are divided into 4 sub-groups.

Fire signs: Aries, Sagittarius, Leo

Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Air signs: Libra, Aquarius, Gemini

Earth signs: Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo

Like most people, I agree with the belief that you are able to make any of signs compatible with your personality. Humans love labels. Whether it be your sexuality, gender, mental state or ethnicity – people love making categories. No one can just be. Maybe it’s the natural wanting to be a part of something – to belong. This may lead people to believe they are something that they are not to fit in.

But I relate to my sign a lot. I can relate to Aquarius more than any other. Even if I were to swap all the signs names around, I would still choose Aquarius’ original description.

I know most of them are completely made up. For example, ‘What food you are most like depending on your sign‘. It’s a load of rubbish, it’s just for fun. But some of the more descriptive texts are incredibly accurate.

I stumbled across a post regarding what traits a girl holds regarding her Zodiac sign.

Mine read:

Aquarius; they love to shock you. aquarian girls will do anything to prove people wrong. they’re fiercely independent and almost always have a very large circle of friends. like Capricorn, they’re very easygoing and love to joke around. they are brutally honest and can be detached. aquarian girls will also get frustrated if they feel someone is dragging them down, they hate extra baggage.

This piece of text sums me up entirely – it’s actually scary. I showed friends and family, and they agreed. As I read through each of the other sign’s descriptions, none of them were as similar as mine. Although, I can relate to at least a few traits listed in each sign.

Maybe it is simply all in my mind, maybe it’s just a giant coincidence. Who knows. Like people say we’re living on a floating ball in a never-ending universe – anything can happen.

My Top Songs 2016 (According To Spotify)

Spotify created a Your Top Songs 2016 playlist. This playlist includes the individuals most listened to songs last year. I’m kind of a music freak and love to find out what kinds of music others listen to. For that reason, I have listed my entire playlist (minus a couple of embarrassing guilty pleasures) for you to snoop on. Enjoy.

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Money Trees by Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock

Holy Ghost by A$AP Rocky, Joe Fox

Good Idea by Kid Ink, BIA

Rumors – Rado Edit by Pep & Rash

That’s Love by Marc E, Bassy, Ty Dolla $ign

Saved (feat. E-40) by Ty Dolla $ign, E-40

It Is Not Meant To Be by Tame Impala

Talk To Me by Nick Brewer, Bibi Bourelly

For Free by DJ Khaled, Drake

U With Me? by Drake

4r Da Squaw by Isaiah Rashad

Somebody Else by The 1975

Kiss Kiss by Chris Brown, T-Pain

Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst by Kendrick Lamar

JoHn Muir by ScHoolboy Q

G.O.M.D by J.Cole

Don’t Mind by Kent Jones

Isla – Radio Edit by Felon, Kaleem Taylor

Gone Missing by Shift K3Y, BB Diamond

Promise by Kid Ink, Fetty Wap

I Don’t Fuck With You by Big Sean, E-40

Neva CHange by ScHoolboy Q, SZA

A Message by Coldplay

From Time by Drake, Jhene Aiko

Come To by Bombay Bicycle Club

Wavy (feat. Joe Moses) by Ty Dolla $ign, Joe Moses

Pink + White by Frank Ocean

Pheonix by A$AP Rocky

Moving Mountains by Disclosure, Brendan Reilly

Ruin by Shawn Mendes

L$D by A$AP Rocky

Gumbo by Jay Rock

Fun (feat. Tove Lo) by Coldplay, Tove Lo

Hotter Than Hell – Matoma Remix by Dua Lipa, Matoma

Collard Greens by ScHoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar

Wild Horses – Sam Feldt Remix by Birdy, Sam Feldt

The Wavys (feat. Sir) by Jay Rock, SiR

Stiches – Seeb Remix by Shawn Mendes, Seeb

Is This Love – Remix by Bob Marley & The Wailers, LVNDSCAPE, Boiler

Too Good by Drake, Rihanna

Wet Dreamz by J.Cole

Slave To The Vibe – Radio Edit by Billon

Momma by Kendrick Lamar

F For You by Disclosure

Truffle Butter by Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne

X & Y by Coldplay

Stuck in the Mud (feat. SZA) by Isaiah Rashad, SZA

Wearing My Rolex – Radio Edit by Wiley

1993 (No Chill) – Big Dope P Remix by Paces, Jess Kent Big Dope P

One Dance by Drake, Wizkid, Kyla

Untitled 06 06.30.2014. by Kendrick Lamar

I’m Up by Omarion, Kid Ink, French Montana

Only for You – Radio Edit by Just Kiddin

Into You by Ariana Grande

Nasty by Kid Ink, Jeremih, Spice

Holding On by Disclosure, Gregory Porter

$150 / roll widdit by Healy

She Needs Me (Remix) by Kendrick Lamar, Dom Kennedy, Murs

Sherane a.k.a Master Splinter’s Daughter by Kendrick Lamar

Beautiful Life by Lost Frequencies, Sandro Cavazza

Never Be Like You (Disclosure Remix) by Flume, Kai

Kno Ya Wrong by ScHoolboy Q, Lance Skiiwalker

Misery Business by Paramore

Say a Prayer For Me by RUFUS

Molecules by Disclosure

The Man by Ed Sheeran

Luna by Bombay Bicycle Club

Who Do You Think Of? – Zac Samuel Remix by M.O, Zac Samuel

F**kin’ Problems by A$AP Rocky, Drake, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar

Controlla by Drake

Higher – Free by All About She

Feel Good by Aslove, Daniela Andrade

Slikk da Shocka by Isaiah Rashad, Syd

Border by Years & Years

Let It All Go by Birdy, RHODES

Zonin by Drmmakid

Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande

Breathe by Seeb

The Sound by The 1975

Boss – Radio Edit by Disclosure

Back To Sleep by Chris Brown

Cool Back by Kid Ink

Lay It All On Me by Rudimental, Ed Sheeran

Fiction by Kygo, Tom Odell

Work Out by J.cole

Memo by Years & Years

Ready For Your Love by Gorgon City, MNEK

All I See – Pomo Remix by Bondax, Pomo

Can I Kick It? by A Tribe Called Quest

Bring Yo Friends by Tunji Ige

679 by Fetty Wap, Remy Boyz

Limoncella by Skratch Bastid, Shad

Sunshine by TIEKS, Dan Harkna

Gone by SG Lewis, Bishop Nehru

No Role Modelz by J.Cole

Australian Apple And Raisin Cake (Snowman Edition)

Now it is very quickly becoming a tradition that I make this cake every Christmas. As I don’t consume any dairy or animal byproducts, I miss out on most desserts  offered around the Christmas period and after the traditional Christmas dinner. Instead of being awkward and sitting there dismissing all that’s offered to me, I make this ‘accidental’ vegan cake and offer it around to the family as well as myself – they seem to love it.

Although this cake isn’t officially classed as a ‘Christmas’ cake, I find it pretty damn suitable for the occasion and I find that once you tell the elders that it’s a Mary Berry recipe, they seem more than accepting.

This recipe is featured in the BBC Book Simple Cakes by Marry Berry.

Here are the ingredients:

Cake

1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and thickly sliced

100g vegan butter/margarine (the original recipe isn’t actually vegan for those of you meat-eaters and veggies)

100g light muscovado sugar

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

175g self raising flour

1 tsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (I just used ground nutmeg)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

75g sultanas

Decorations

White ready-to-roll icing

Orange ready-to-roll icing

Black ready-to-roll icing

Marmalade

Edible glitter

Instructions

  1. Firstly, grease the cooking tin and line the base with cooking paper. The original recipe uses your usual deep, round, loose bottomed cake tin, but as mine is being turned into a glorious snowman, I use a hemisphere cake tin. Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 3/160 degrees celcius/ 325 Farenheit. Put the apple slices into a small pan, add a small amount of water and cook until tender. Stir the apple mixture to break it down but it doesn’t have to be smooth puree – chunks of apple are good in this cake
  2. Next, put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and mix together until evenly blended. Mix together the warm apple and bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl. Next, add this mixture to the butter and sugar and mix.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, nutmeg and cinnamon into the mixture, add the raisins and fold in gently. Pour into the prepared cake tin and level with a spatula or spoon.
  4. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the cake is golden brown in colour, springy to the touch and has begun to shrink away from the side of the tin. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then empty the cake out of the tin. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To decorate, warm up some marmalde and smother the entire rounded side of the cake. Next, place the already rolled out white icing onto the cake. Smooth it over and cut off any extras leaving a clean finish. You are now free to decorate the snowmans face however you please. I use black ready-to-roll icing modelled into balls for eyes, as well as for the mouth to mimick pebbles. For the nose I use orange ready-to-roll icing modelled into a 3d carrot. I stick all of the snowman’s features down using the heated marmalade. For the finishing touches I sprinkle some edible glitter over the entire cake for a christmassy touch and some ribbons tied around the outside (usually to cover up by dodgy icing job).

Now all I’ve got to with mine is finish decorating it, but I’ve been offered to head out for drinks. Southern Comfort wins this time. Pictures will follow shortly (my guess is tomorrow morning).

Merry Christmas.

My Ecological Encounter

After leaving University and having a month of much needed rest, I decided (or so my bank account did) that I needed to begin earning an income once again – especially with Christmas right around the corner.

I’m now employed at a temporary ice rink of which I work the bar, reception and marshall the ice.

Whilst handing out skates to customers, my colleague called over an older man. He was interested in the book that the older man was holding as he believed it was one he’d read.

It wasn’t the same one but was in fact a book about ecology. This gentleman then went on to tell me how he’s writing a book himself. I asked what about, and he replied that it’s about the relationship between children and nature. He mentioned that he had previously studied a PhD on the relationship between adults and nature. He believes that our connection with nature is vital, and we need to revert back to our childlike selves to rekindle this special bond with nature itself. It is something we lose as we grow due to being dismissed and ‘told off’ as children for expressing these behaviours.

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I found this man very inspiring  (of which my colleagues found very strange, I could tell from their facial expressions). Not only was this because he’s indulging himself into something quite exquisite, and attaining one of my ultimate goals of writing his own book, but because of something very relevant in my life right now.

Higher education.

He only recently attained his PhD after wanting to study it since the 1970s. I asked if he wished he’d done it earlier, but he answered no. He was very glad that he had waited. He continued to explain that the reason behind why it was better that he’d completed it as an older man, was because he didn’t feel the pressure that consumes young adults. There was no rush, he could truly apprecite his studies for all that they were.

This man was living proof that there’s no age limit or time scale to achieve your goals. I could tell that there was a fire inside of him being fueled by his passion – more passion than I’ve ever seen anyone else hold.