Eeek! Every since my first read through of these challenges I’ve been trying to recollect my first solid memory. Maybe this is too hard?
Since the day I was born my mother has always worked as PA / secretary in big swanky offices in London. This meant it was so much easier for her to send me to a nursery around her workplace so she could drop me off and pick me up on her way to and from work. I ended going to this wonderful nursery called St ‘insert name here’ in Waterloo. So I have totally forgotten what it was called but I remember my journey there with my mum and the warm feeling I had once being there.
There is so many images that come to mind when I think of being a carefree toddler in what felt like the most amazing place in the world. I remember making chocolate krispy treats with all my little friends, and singing my favourite tunes at circle time. I remember sharing a blanket with my best friend at nap time. I remember being so full of energy once waking up and ready to start all over again with my buddies.
It’s a shame that I don’t remember who they are anymore but I hope they look back on the memories as fondly as I do.
I initially started writing about my nursery times because of one key memory. All the other memories came flowing out. The memory is off the pastry shop down the road where my mum used to take me when I was good. Or when she was hungry. The smell of the freshly baked bread and cakes always invited me in. The colour of the different pastries and cake toppings completely engrossed me. There were multicoloured sprinkle topped cupcakes, the biggest most sugary fresh doughnuts, coconut and jam layered sponge-cakes and so much more. My mum used to lift me up on to one of the high tables so I could see the pastry masters at work. It was so busy, I think everybody in the city used to love that place. My absolute favourite used to be the iced finger buns. They were so sweet and buttery and were iced in lots of different colours. Whenever I am in the area I have a look for my favourite pastry shop. I believe the last time I had a look it had been shut down but I can’t be sure of that.
It is so funny how we archive memories such as these. It has been an amazing experience re-living this memory. I think about the lovely friends I made, the nursery workers who looked after me so well, the chefs who fed me the most delicious iced buns as my first delve into a blissful existence. I know there is no way I can be absolutely care-free as an adult. I have certain responsibilities now. However I can remember how it felt to live in a world full of positivity, light and freshly baked pastry.
So due to the nature of day 5 and 6’s challenges I decided to mesh them into one post. Also something I discovered that I really need to work on, is making time to write on the weekend. When I have spare time at work, writing a post comes very naturally for me. However when it comes to the weekend I’d rather lay in bed nursing a hangover and catching up on Nashville then dedicate time to my much-loved blog. This week I am ready for day 11 and 12! I won’t let my blog or this challenge suffer because I’m procrastinating, I shall be super prepared 🙂
So on with the challenge..
Wow this is a very difficult question, especially as I am young woman trying to figure out how to live my life. I get advice from my elders, my friends and my colleagues on a daily basis as I recognise that I do need constant reassurance that I’m doing okay. Sometimes I know what the best decision is or I know that I’m on the right track but I need to hear someone else say it to me! With all this being said, I believe the best piece advice I’ve received is also the first advice I have a recollection of. Know your self-worth.
My life completely changed the moment I started to value myself. With all the growth and the self-improvement I have been doing lately it can all be traced back to the moment I began to value myself. Everyday I tell myself that I am important, beautiful and a good person. I tell myself that I can do whatever my mind can conceive if I work hard.
Okay this all sounds very cliché and cheesy, and our brains try to block out those cheesy sayings you hear all to often. But as I’ve grown up and come into contact with different people the first thing you notice is how much someone values themself. How much they stand strong in their opinions and beliefs, and how little they let the opinions of others – be it their peers or the media affect the image the have of themself. You also really notice if someone self-worth is tied to another person. If someone only values themself as much as they are valued by a loved one.
Do not get me wrong, I am all about the love. Seeing a loving couple so connected to each other is a beautiful thing. Of course your partner’s opinion will be very important to you. But you notice when after a bad relationship your self-worth was shattered that your ex’s opinion was the be all and end all for you.
Valuing one’s self is a lifelong journey. Things like heartbreak and rejection play a big part in a wobble in of self-confidence and value. But with all things you keep moving forward. You keep remembering everything good about yourself, and find a shoulder to cry on when you are having a wobble. You also remember how this feel and make sure you shoulder is extended to your loved one when their self-value is on shaky grounds.
So day 4 has had to be re-uploaded on day 5 due to many problems with the links in the description. No need to worry I will keep continuing and know for next time to plan these hyperlinked posts way ahead of time!
I have chosen interpret this challenge as ‘5 favourite blogs and vlogs’ as there a several YouTube channels that I am obsessed with. This list is no particular order, it is just my selection of online favourites.
1 – https://www.youtube.com/user/mmabutternut
I absolutely adore Mark and Ethan and fell in love with their vlogs since the day I came across them on YouTube. They are all about positivity, healthy living and adventures. Both Mark and Ethan are exceptional film makers and every vlogs is filled with cinematic shots – almost like mini life films. There energy is so infectious which is why when you start watching them you can’t stop. Yup I am defiantly a member of the Methan fan base!
So separate perspective is a blog created by my very close friend a while ago. I love reading his work as he is a beautiful and eloquent writer. If you don’t know him personally his posts invites you into his mind as he makes it his mission to get the readers to relate to his everyday struggles. He mixes real deep topics with he unique sense of humour to create this amazingly addictive blog!
So I have been subscribed to Mari Lil for a couple of years and just love her energy and humility. Mari Lil is a beauty, fashion and lifestyle YouTuber from the US. I take her tips on how to manage natural hair. I also love watching the little pieces of her life she shares with her audience.
Another beauty and fashion guru, I have been watching miss Anitta religiously since her first video. Also another friend of mine, I love her humour and her style of beauty. Nothing she uses is to expensive, yet she always ends up looking so glam!
5 – Foodie Blogs
This is one I need help with. I need some of your best foodie blogs because I’m looking for one to make my own! I have no-one at the moment I read consistently but I am looking! Any ideas?
The reasons I started blogging are different to the reasons I blog now. So let’s start with why I started to begin with.
On February 25th last year I was in a completely different place, mentally and physically. I was lacking a sense if purpose which at the time was tied into not having a job. My life was at a standstill. I wasn’t moving backwards or forwards. At the same time my friends were trudging forward with their life. I was also battling with a really bad ankle injury which made life that little bit more difficult.
However despite going through this difficult time something weird happened. I found all this motivation and positive energy from somewhere. It was immediately after I went on an employment boot camp which completely changed my outlook on the way I was choosing to live my life. I decided at the moment that I had to do something. Looking for jobs was draining but eventually I would find one and that worry would be over. In the meantime I could change the feeling of purposeless by creating a new purpose. That is when I created stay bliss.
I started to blog to help dig my way out of the hole I called home for way to long. I starting blogging to confirm to myself that I was ready to start trying again. I was ready to implement positivity into my everyday life. Things were getting better from the moment I started believing that it would.
So now I have different reason, different motivations and my purpose has shifted. I blog now because I fell in love with it. I blog now because I have seen what a difference it can make speaking good things into fruition. The feedback has been amazing and I love the idea that my words can help other people to. It is a surreal feeling being able to look back at your past posts and see how far you have come.
I haven’t reached all of my goals yet. There is still so much I want to accomplish and there is still so much life I need to live. If I am asked this question again in a year I’m sure my reasoning will have changed again. For now the there is a simple answer for this question.
I blog because it changed my life. I blog because it makes me happy. I blog because I love it.
So what’s the meaning of stay bliss and where did it come from?
Like many bloggers before me I struggled with naming this blog. Once you have decided on a concept it is very important to find a name that matches it. I wanted to stay away from a blog with ‘positive’ in the title as I thought this might imply that I have been trained in human behaviour or motivational speaking.
Stay bliss for me is a concept. It is a way of living your life and dictates how you choose to deal with life on a day-to-day basis. Staying bliss is living a life for you. A life where your happiness is the most important of things. Happiness and wellbeing are like plants, they need love, care and a good environment to enable it grow and reach its full potential. So essentially we are plants!
Life can be incredibly tough especially when it feels like you are experiencing more battles than triumphs. The answer to how you stay motivated, balanced and above it all is still unknown to me. One day I think I have all the answers and do the victory dance because I have figured out how to smash this life stuff. Alas the next day this all goes out of the window. I am forced to re-evaluate and relearn how to stay bliss. However these fundamental life nuggets to come back to really help with the journey.
There is something therapeutic about writing all your thoughts down. Stay bliss for me means giving myself the talk that I was avoiding. Hearing all those cliché sayings that are cliché for a reason. It’s visually seeing the juxtaposition between what you want to think and what you know you should think. Most of the time we know we shouldn’t give up. We know that the right career, house, love is all obtainable as long as we work hard. We may feel alone but we know our friends and family are there to support us. We just choose not to harness this support.Sometimes you need a read a sentence you have written to yourself – ‘SNAP OUT OF IT!’
It’s hard to argue with me..
One of my goals in life is to always stay bliss. And to keep encouraging others to stay bliss to. It is crazy how much your energy and outlook shape your whole life. As soon as you try to keep up your positivity and apply it to every situation things really DO start to become better. As I say time and time again, happiness is an inside job. THIS is the meaning of stay bliss.
So for the next 31 days I will be trying my best to participate in a 31 day blog challenge. When stay bliss first began I had no idea how much I would enjoy it let alone be willing to do a blogging challenge!
I chose this challenge because I love the idea of having to write about something everyday and this is a big chance for me to develop. At the moment I can only write a post when I feel like I have something worthwhile to say. This may sound good but when I am feeling uninspired for a few months (e.g. 0 posts in september) this can have real effect on me and my blog. Challenging myself to write everyday will hopefully enable me to focus and motivate myself when it comes to writing instead of always waiting on that feeling. If there are any writers or bloggers out there reading this, I invite you to do this challenge with me! If you express yourself through a different medium you may want to try looking for a challenge that suits you. There are tons of different ones you can find on the internet and you can tailor them to suit your style.
The one I have chosen is quite mature – there’s literally a question in there about kids! But the general feel of the challenge fits quite nicely with stay bliss so I will just be substituting the challenges that don’t apply to me 🙂
As I approach the 1 year birthday of my baby which has been stay bliss, I’ve reflected on my past posts which sum up the lessons I have learnt throughout the year. To say I am a different person now would be a slight exaggeration, however I do feel that I’ve grown and matured throughout this time. One thing I noticed I tend to forget sometimes is my personal life. The focus for me since this time last year was finding a career. As happy as I am about my current position, I realise that you can’t limit your focus. I cannot stress enough how happy I am with the place I am in terms of my career. For the first time in a long time I have a purpose. I have a fixed goal that I am working towards and am totally enjoying the journey. However as I reflect, I have urged myself to dig deeper. After all, having a career isn’t everything! I can’t put everything into building a life as a professional woman whilst neglecting other things that should matter just as much.
The biggest thing I have neglected is my family life. I plague my own life with issues that at the time feel like the end of the world. Sometimes I’m so concerned with it all that I forget to just be. 2017 for me is about rectifying this. It’s about spending quality time with my family who have been nothing but patient and supportive whilst I attempt to sort my life out. The great thing about family is there essentially stuck with you! You only get a couple of parents, sisters & brothers and a few cool cousins, uncles & aunts to call your own. I know it doesn’t matter how long I stray, as long as I find my way home. Staying bliss this year means to return home. If that is not an option for you, it may mean building a new one. Identifying the issue is step 1, resolving it is the much-needed step 2.
After a conversation with my girls about themes and suggestions for this post, I got the chance to listen as they reflected on their year and the lessons they took from it. One word came up time and time again – Perspective.
As young teenage girls and boys we become so self-critical of ourselves. Critiquing is not always a bad thing. The criticism (both positive and negative) we give ourselves and we receive from our peers helps learn and develop. However sometimes we take this to far. A sentiment my friends definitely share. What starts as self-motivation turns into, ‘I am fat’ ‘I am ugly’ ‘I am boring’ ‘I’m never going to make it in life’ ‘I will always be where am’.
In order to move forward and be happy with your life there needs to be a shift in viewpoint. As we grow up we begin to understand how hard life can actually be. With this knowledge you can look at your life, your age and your achievements objectively and allowing yourself to be happy about what you have. Maybe even throw some positive criticism your way.
The point my girls were trying to get across to me about the lessons they have learnt this year is ‘everything takes time.’ We are similar ages and interested in similar things. We have the same major goals such as job stability, living independently, learning to drive, travelling the world etc. We could certainly be envious of each other, as everyone has reached one or more of these goals in some capacity. It is easy to be hateful and jealous of people who are achieving. We choose instead to support each other, celebrate with each other and use one another as inspirations. Deep down we all know that with hard work, motivation and a good support network, we will be checking these goals of our lists in no time. For the mean time we will stay calm, and not fill our mind with trivial comments. Everything takes time.
I also spoke to people who have spent the last couple of years adjusting to London life. The question of what they have learnt and decisions they have come to, came from different perspectives as well. Despite the different outcomes and the realisation that London is an unforgiving place, I see what a difference it makes looking at the world through blissfully tinted glasses. I met someone who has made her very best friends in London because in her words some people are destined to be friends due to being ‘bonded by circumstance.’ To me this is a perfect example of taking the bad and making good. Not by dismissing it, or trying to change something negative that happened into a good thing. Instead by using it as fuel and not letting it stop you achieving. Everyone struggles but that is what bonds us. This is what makes you feel less alone and able to strive towards a goal hand in hand with your people.
My good friend who was the subject of my ‘saying goodbye’ post, had a completely different experience of london. He spoke about the city leaving him feeling invisible but also feeling pressured to be confident. The two years he spent in London forced him to change his outlook on life.
“There comes a moment, a short second, where everything you once saw or believed is shaken. Your attention is pulled into focus and you’re forced to stare life directly in the face with a whole new perspective. You will find clarity in the strangest places. As easily as the confusion cascaded upon you, it will subside and everything will be quiet. Your friends, family and work mates would have all given you their opinion which is likely to be the classic ‘do whatever’s best for you.’ It’s all true and you know it. Sooner or later though you realise that no viewpoint matters more than your own. Give yourself a break, hold your own as life as treasure regardless of where you find yourself. Take that moment and run with it. It’s always a matter of perspective.”
This has been the most fun and challenging post I’ve had the pleasure to write. Getting the opportunity to get everyone’s take on perspective has been eye-opening. The key thing I have taken away from this topic is that our happiness is paramount. If you find that you are unhappy or unfulfilled with your life for any reason, your viewpoint of the situation is the first place to seek anwsers. Are you looking at the issue objectively? Is it as bad as it seems? Is there a change you can make that will directly impact and begin to resolve these issues? Life is not black and white, believe me I know. But what has helped me overcome trying times is taking a big step back and looking at everything honestly. The anwser is mostly – this can be fixed. With patience, support, white wine and a LOT of hard-work there is a way out of this situation.
We all go through completely different things, and are struggling in some shape or form. The things that differentiate us and keep us moving forward is our perspective. Looking at your life objectively and patting yourself on the back when life calls for it.
I have definitely had a very blissful year! Hopefully this time next year my outlook on life will be very different, exciting! Thank you if you have subscribed, commented, liked or read a post from time to time. Here’s to another great year 🙂
Stay Bliss, Laura
P. S a big thanks to my girls, Morgan, Cameron and Kat for all the help with this post!
If you have read my week 7 and beyond post you will know exactly why this week is such a big deal! Having a new job and staying in employment for 8 whole weeks is such a big deal for me, and the way I finally prove to myself that I am not the failure my mind keeps trying to convince me that I am.
I should be jumping around like a lunatic, celebrating this achievement as I’ve been trying so hard to get here. The problem with reaching the important milestones in your life, is sometimes personal issues means they can get overlooked.
As human beings it is important to remember that not everything will always go to plan. We can be fighting a battle that we are totally ready for and all of a sudden another battle jumps out of nowhere.
This is what has happened to me. My festive period hasn’t been so festive as relationships I once valued have come to an end. I notice now more than ever how much one aspect of your life effects the rest. I think this is the biggest battle we all face and the hardest question we ask ourselves. How do we keep our lives balanced?
I genuinely do not know the answer to this as my clarity on the subject changes daily. The biggest thing I’m dealing with right now is figuring out how not to let the negative overshadow the positive. As much as I know the sensible thing to do is ditch all my worries or ‘keep calm and carry on’ as the saying goes – this is easier said than done.
I have decided the way I am going to pull myself through these uncertain times is to make myself a series of promises. Ironically one of the promises is to stick to my promises.
Another is to make sure no matter what happens in my life – I will make the time to celebrate my achievements. No matter what turmoil I find a has plagued particular aspect of my life, I will not neglect to celebrate my wins in the other.
For everything I’ve lost there are always constants that I still have. I still have some amazing friends and family. I also find myself making new friendships which have brought even more depth to my life. I promise to value these and I promise to make sure the people I love know that I love them.
Most of all I promise to always value myself. I know who I am and am proud of who am I. I have made the biggest effort to make sure I am and remain a genuine and real person and I will let nothing or no one make me doubt that. Happiness is an inside job (as I always say!) which starts with knowing and accepting yourself as you are.
If you don’t even like yourself, who will? If you don’t give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, who will?
So I say a big congratulations to me 🙂 I’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point, and promise that this is only the beginning. Onwards and upwards.
So this is just a quick post to say that there’s a lot of new things to come. (Yay!)
I have been absolutely loving this blog, it has fast become my baby and I have been looking for new and exciting ways to develop it. The biggest thing I am in the process of planning is a couple photoshoots with some photographer friends of mine. On every post I try to use a featured image that captures the gist of the message of the post. I thought going forward, it would be a good idea if these images were mine. So be prepared for a lot photos of me looking off into a dreamy landscape or indulging in cup of coffee or even typing away on my laptop.
You don’t need to wait for the new year to have a new start. From the moment I started my new job I decided to reinvent myself. I am going to do all the things I’ve always wanted to do but let fear and procrastination stop me. I want to make some new friends (you can never have to many close friends right?) and also enrol in a couple of college courses. For to long I let the fact that university didn’t go to well for me dictate where I could go in life. I thought ‘I don’t have a degree so I will always be a the bottom.’ FALSE. I can do whatever my mind can concieve as long as I put the work in. So can you.
Photoshoot, creative writing course, photography course etc. I can do and will do it all – not for anyone else, for me.
So here’s to the start of a weird and wonderful ‘stay bliss’ adventure. Maybe one day I’ll meet a partner and add to the happiness I have already established for myself. For today I say I am happy. It took a lot of work, many ups and down but I am.
If you are not there’s no need to worry. Believing in yourself and making yourself happy is the hardest job in the world. However it is the most rewarding and a job that will carry on forever. Allow yourself to wallow for a while, keep holding on and celebrate all your wins. When you reach a moment of happiness, embrace it! Hold on to it and celebrate yourself for letting sunshine into your life. Look to your loved ones for support and look into yourself for the motivation to keep going. Be honest with yourself and hopefully at the very end you can congratulate yourself on a job well done.
I’ve changed domains – staybliss.blog (it’s got a ring to it) 🙂