Monday, December 5, 2011

Midnight in paris

I have just finished watching Midnight in Paris, recommended by my friend (Check out her awesome blog here . I am writing it about it here to recommend it to you as well.

Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen (2011), has gained critical acclaim since its release and has been one of the films I have enjoyed most this year. This may be for a variety of reasons:
a) I love Paris - who doesn't?
b) I love writing - and this story explores the struggle of a writer.
c) You get to meet all your favourite authors/painters from the 1920s ranging from Picasso, Hemingway, Fitzgerald and many more.

Overall this film is romantic, magical, existentialist and a film that is perhaps needed in this time where people seem to easily forget about the struggles of the past which has brought us here. This does not mean we must live in the past. By appreciating the past, we appreciate what has made us, but by living in the present we form ourselves. We are often surrounded by several oppurtunities we let slip by, either because we are living in the past or the future. We must make sure our eyes are open to these opportunities, these 'chance meetings'...

This film explores the concpet of the 'Golden Age' - which time period is best to live in? Is time as linear as we assume? I certainly think not. I believe it is often good to be reminded of this, especially if we are trying to be creative. Creativity is certainly not linear, and shouldn't be.

Zite - Personalised iPad magazine

Since I have been ill for the past week with tonsillitis and currently with a bad cough, I have been spending quite a lot of time reading, watching films and discovering more about my iPad. For those iPad users out there I want to talk about the app 'Zite'.

Zite is a free personalised iPad magazine which posts articles from all around the web in an easy to use, eloquent looking digitalised magazine. You can share articles on social networking sites such as twitter and facebook, and the more articles you 'like', the more personalised the magazine will start to become. You can choose from a range of topics ranging from history, pop culture, cooking, theology, science...and eliminate the ones you are not interested in.

I thought I would share the fact that this magazine has provided me with hours of interesting articles and has been one of my favourite apps to use on the iPad. Truly a great experience.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Quote of the Day

"To live a creative life, we must lose the fear of being wrong." - Joseph Chilton Pearce

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Candle in the Dark

This is an image I had whilst dreaming...but I quite like the idea.

Imagine a room – An enormous room, almost unimaginably enormous (the ceiling and the walls are so far apart you cannot touch a single wall if you walk for days.)

Now imagine the Universe – or ‘Existence’ IS the room.

The room is pitch black and full of objects/paintings/furniture.

All you have is a small candle and you are in the middle of this room.

All you can discover and see are small parts of the room at a time.

By walking around you can try and piece together, through your perception,
what you believe the reality of the room is.

But you cannot see the room in its entirety (unless you find a light switch – which is nearly impossible, by the mere size of the room as well as the fact that the switch could be anywhere – and most probably somewhere you cannot reach.)

You can make assumptions about what the room is like, or what it is made of, but you cannot KNOW for certain.

Even if you were to find the light switch you would see a small section of the room from a subjective viewpoint.

You might spend your whole life walking around this room trying to discover the ‘secret’ of the universe or your existence.

Now imagine further that this room is part of a larger house still and you firmly believe that only the room you are in is the one that exists.

When you 'see' you may come to 'believe' that everything around you is the only truth/reality (but you still cannot know). When you 'believe' it is more than everything around you, you may 'see' reality in a different way but again not know...

I feel this is one way that could also be used to describe the plight of believing or not believing in a God (or a Creator) of the Universe/Existence..

Science fumbles around with one candle, religion with another, philosophy with another, and individuals with another...

Monday, October 17, 2011

We can change the world - An inspirational song...

Graham Nash - Chicago
Sleepy Sun - Chicago cover

So your brother's bound and gagged
And they've chained him to a chair
Won't you please come to chicago just to sing
In a land that's known as freedom how can such a thing be fair
won't you please come to chicago for the help that we can bring

We can change the world rearrange the world
It's dying - to get better

Politicians sit yourselves down, there's nothing for you here
won't you please come to chicago for a ride
don't ask jack to help you `cause he'll turn the other ear
won't you please come to chicago or else join the other side

We can change the world rearrange the world
it's dying - if you believe in justice
dying - and if you believe in freedom
dying - let a man live his own life
dying - rules and regulations, who needs them open up the door

Somehow people must be free I hope the day comes soon
won't you please come to chicago show your face
From the bottom of the ocean to the mountains of the moon
won't you please come to chicago no one else can take your place

We can change the world rearrange the world
It's dying - if you believe in justice
dying - and if you believe in freedom
dying - let a man live his own life
dying - rules and regulations, who needs them open up the door

Quote of the Day

"A man's errors are his portals of discovery." - James Joyce.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Children are lots of fun.

It's my third day at the school and I'm loving being a Teaching Assistant. I went up to Barcelona on Monday for my orientation and met some other teaching assistants . There were about 300 at least and all from different countries: England, Italy, Ireland, France, U.S. I think this program has a lot to offer for cultural exchange. Having a native speaker in a local school all around the world in order to help with language acquisition is a great idea and helps with learning a language in a more natural way. Children are also interested in other cultures and traditions, so in that sense there is a lot to explore and many ideas to come up with. I'm thinking of getting the children to celebrate Halloween at the end of October. I'll let you know how that goes.

I've forgotten how much fun children are; they are awesome and they come up with the funniest questions and ideas. The school has an amazing atmosphere and it's so satisfying being able to be a part of something that is full of lots of positive energy. I will write more on this later as I am currently on my lunch break but all I want to say is - to all my previous teachers out there - I am sorry for being loud and talkative when I was a kid. I now know how it feels like. And another thing is - I have endless respect for teachers. Seriously. It's hard work and should not be taken lightly.

In the last few days I have been thinking about when I was 8-12 years old and what thoughts I had, what games I used to like to play, what I enjoyed doing. And I realised it was all about FUN (mostly). I think this is why I like working with children - they manage to remind you of how much fun having FUN is. I find myself seeing my old self in some of the children and smiling. Some of them have hair braids in their hair that they made during break time. I used to make hair braids.

All in all, my first week so far has been great. =) Looking forward to my presentation next week where I will introduce myself, my favourite hobbies and my countries.

Another thing is - they all keep asking me if I have seen Big Ben. I reckon I need a photo of it in my presentation - if any of you have great photos of London (big ben, london eye etc.) that I can share for the sake of cultural exchange, please send them to me. You can contact me via email :

Take care for now! Adios!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The day I learnt to keep my mouth shut – whilst cycling.

So, a little update for everyone. My life in Palafrugell has been quite pleasant so far; as I don’t start work for another week or so I’ve been settling in, going to the beach, discovering my local cafes and the surrounding area. I was taken out to lunch by an English couple for Chinese which was lovely and have been playing guitar with some of the people in the nearby bar. I even cooked Turkish meatballs for the customers one day – they went down well.

Today’s story however, is about how I cycled for 6.5 km from a little village called Pals to Palafrugell. Pals is an antique town with a modern side to it too as well as a vast open beach where people go to wind surf and fly their kites. There’s a beautiful shop in the antique area called L’era d'en Saulot that my coordinator at the school runs. The shop sells local produce ranging from cheese, wine and honey as well as promoting local artists and writers.

It is here where I acquired a bike. Very kindly I have been lent a bike for a year so I can cycle around town and to the surrounding areas. (There are a very extensive bike routes all around this area that pass through fields/forests etc.)

So, I was dropped off at Pals, very kindly by one of the teachers of the school and decided I would have a little adventure on the way back and cycle through the fields back to my home town. I have photos to share with you when I have access to the internet. The ride was very pleasant and I have definitely missed feeling the wind on my face as I bike through fields and forests. I did learn a few lessons though.

Lesson no. 1 – Do not open your mouth at any time. Keep it shut. Seriously. Flies and other winged insects will find a way to aim at your mouth and enter. You will temporarily feel the sensation of chocking as you try hard to steer the bike in the direction you want. Preferably straight.

Lesson no. 2 – Do not cycle through sand. It’s impossible.

Lesson no. 3 – Whilst biking do not creep up on the people in front of you and say “PERDON” to catch their attention so you can ask for directions. Install a working bell on your bike.

These are my first lessons that I had somewhat forgotten as I haven’t been properly biking for two years because of living in London.

So, for other words of wisdom of lessons learnt from biking, keep your eye on this blog.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

III - The day I discovered the sharpness of my kitchen knife

I awake bright and early to meet my coordinator at the school. I am excited and nervous at the prospect of meeting all the teachers. I manage to get lost on the way but still make it on time. (I don’t know HOW exactly I manage to get lost as the map shows a straight line.)

Let’s just rewind for one little second. When I wake up in the morning, being used to English weather, when I open the window at 08:30 it appears chilli. I wear a long sleeved dress/jumper and quickly realise within 15 minutes of walking towards the school I have made a horrific mistake. The sun suddenly comes up in all its glory and mocks me. It says “foreigner!” I laugh and explain to the teachers later about why I have chosen this particular outfit. They tell me it’s normal and most people make this mistake when they first arrive. Rookie error.

The teachers are incredibly friendly, the school is beautiful and the director of the school welcomes me. I am told that I will be teaching 10-11 year olds and I am pretty happy with everything. I go for coffee with the teachers and we chat about different ways to order coffee.

I will skip forward to after I have registered being a resident of Palafrugell (which was rather annoying as I waited in line to be seen and realised I not only needed a letter from the school and my passport but also my house contract. Point is – now I officially live here!)

I go to Espada – It’s a shop which sells everything necessary for homes. I hear its quite expensive so I only buy some more essentials that I need for that evening, such as a mixing bowl, a drainer, a chopping board and a knife. Ah, the knife.

So I spend at least 15 minutes in the knife aisle thinking about which knife I should buy. AT LEAST 15 minutes. This is an important decision – do I want a kitchen knife set? Or do I want to buy one for now and perhaps add onto it later? And if I do buy now, do I buy a steak knife or an all purpose knife? Do I spend the extra 10€ on a Chef’s knife? No, I don’t. But I do update from 3€ to 6€. This looks like a good knife. Small, but good.

And indeed it is, in fact it’s a bloody amazing knife. On my way home walking home from the shop, I have all my newly purchased belongings in one of those cardboard bags that you usually are given in places like B&Q. For one second I push the bag to my back and use my left arm to balance the items before bringing it back to the front. While I attempt to do this though I suddenly feel a very sharp feeling in my left thumb. I look at it and, yes, it is bleeding. I look at the bag and see that the knife (which was wrapped in plastic wrapping!) has cut through the wrapping, the bag and has decided to aim straight for the thumb. I’m laughing, and also a little scared, as I am not sure how deep it has cut.

It’s my third day and here I am running down the street with a big bag full of items to the pharmacy by my house (they did say on the first day that if I needed anything I could go back – I had bought cold tablets). I run in and I am sent straight to the back where a nurse helps me out. I’m laughing and explaining what has happened. The nurse laughs too. I thank them and excitedly head back home ready to use my knife for the first – sorry – second time. =)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Catalan Adventures II - The day I learnt 5 new words I repeated constantly

Since my days are completely packed with new things happening constantly I have decided that I will try and pick the most momentous events unless the whole day is worth sharing.

The day I learnt five new words I repeated constantly.

a) Sabanas - Sheets
b) Almohada - Pillow
c) Toalla - Towel
d) Borrato – Cheap
e) Cerrado - Closed

From these words I’m sure you have gathered my mission was to find a) b) and c) for a d) price. However, most the places I looked were e). That’s right, closed. So not only do most shops not even open on Mondays in Palafrugell, but those that do decide to open are of course shut for siesta which is between 1.30pm and 5pm. I remember the time being 4pm so I head to the square where I have my lunch and check out the one and only cheap duvet/sheet shop in town – it’s closed.

I hear the big shopping markets are open so I head to ESCLAT where I first learn how to say pillow my miming a square and saying “dormir” – “to sleep”. Nada. Then LIDL (Yes, there is a Lidl in this town!). Again, Nada. (or one measly pillow covered in stains) No, muchas gracias.

I decide to leave Carrefour for another day, it’s on the other end of town. Unsuccessful I return home and on my way decide to stop a stranger and ask if there are any other shops I can try. I am desperate to not use my jumper as a pillow tonight.He mentions the shop in the square. I tell him it’s closed. He tells me it opens at 5pm. I say it’s Monday. He says it opens for tourists.

I walk to the square after thanking him and indeed – it is open. I sigh and wish I could kick myself in the head.

I head in and there it is sheets, duvets, towels and for d) cheap. I thank the lady who truly helps me out and head straight home to my bed.

After 4 hours of walking around I now have beautiful black and red sheets. =)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Catalan Adventures I - The day I accidentaly broke into someone's home

My arrival day was quite eventful. I am now copying what I have written in my diary onto my computer for your enjoyment. Excuse the very long first post but it could not be shorter. =)

09:00 – I get up, finish packing my bags, make myself a cappuccino, eat a slice of bread and kiss everyone goodbye. This is always hard. Everyone hates goodbyes so I try and make it quick say “see you soon” and head off out the flat. I try not to cry but I always do.

10:30 – I get in the cab that will be taking me to London City Airport. I have never flown from City Airport before so am excited at the prospect of it only taking 30 minutes for me to reach it. My flight is at 1.15pm. The cab driver is from Ethiopia but he was born in Sudan. He tells me he loves Spain after he asks about my destination and I tell him I want to go to Addis Ababa one day. The most of the journey is silent. I’m reflecting on how the next year is going to be.

11:00 – We arrive at the airport. I check in via the self check-in machines so all I need to do is ‘bag drop’, drop my bag, right? Wrong. Everyone who has checked in before hand is made to queue with those who haven’t checked in. There is a very long queue. I think ‘fudge this’ and go off to find a solution for my rumbling stomach. I find a prĂȘt a manger; buy myself a club sandwich and a cuppa tea. Satisfied, I get up and rush to the toilets whilst trying to balance the newly bought mandarin between my luggage. [Side note 1 – I have one hiking bag, one backpack (very heavy backpack), a guitar, a small bag for my important items and a plastic bag containing The economist, Time, New Scientist and Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time)

11:30 – I leave the toilet, there is still a massive queue so I decided I have to join it. So I queue, I pick up my copy of “Wharf” newspaper and drool over the photo of the winner of the astronomy photography competition and further complain with the couple behind me about the whole situation of having to queue when we had checked in before hand. I am told by a random stranger he is going to Portugal, I smile and kindly ignore.

11:45 - Finally it’s my turn and I stroll up to the desk, hand my ticket over and am told I must drop my bag in Zone A. (!?) I go to Zone A, drop my bag and head towards security.

12:00 – After passing through security, which was quite eventless other than having to take my shoes off and being frisked by a way-too-keen police officer I go to Waterstones and purchase the magazines I mentioned earlier. Bit of light reading for the journey. I find a seat in the lounge, eat my mandarin and commence reading.

12.50 – Roughly an hour later I am asked to board, so I walk down the long corridor to gate 10. (Side note 2 – London city Airport is quite small. If I hadn’t queued for an hour I would have nicer things to say about it – such as mentioning the comfort of the leather lounge chairs)

13:00 – We pass through the gate to find ourselves in a relatively small stuffy room. I am lucky enough to find a seat. An old Spanish couple kick up a fuss with the somewhat unhelpful airport staff about why we were asked to wait in this small stuffy room when in fact we were sat comfortably in the lounge. I offer my chair up, proudly they refuse. After 15 mins or so we are allowed to board the plane. I make my way to the front stairs and get settled into 5B next to a lovely Scottish lady who lives in Melbourne.

15:00 – We still haven’t budged. The minute we had entered the plane it had started to rain and after refuelling, due to weight restrictions we are not allowed to fly. After 4 volunteers leave the plane to catch a later flight from Gatwick at 6pm (and £250 pounds richer due to compensation) and after their bags have been individually found from the heap of suitcases in the baggage hold we wait for another 30 minutes for permission from air traffic control before we can lift off. Meanwhile, the air conditioner is on full blast and I have literally pulled my hoodie over my face trying to avoid making my cold worst.

18:30 – I awake 5 minutes left to landing. The only thing I have eaten are a packet of korma crisps made especially for the flight. I have also shared a small bottle of red wine with my neighbour. Eager to leave we get up when we land and head quickly into the airport to baggage claim.

18:45 – I have my bags and am currently sharing a cab into Barcelona with the lady from Melbourne. I am late and need to be at the train station to Flaca. We decide sharing a cab will be a) cheaper and b) quicker. I nearly send the driver to Estats Nord (the bus station) but correct my mistake and send him to SANTS (the train station) instead. I get off at the station and he helps put my hiking bag on my back. I look like a camel.

19:15 – I am on the train to Flaca. Finally. I am still hungry and now quite tired. Some of my friends will know the term we use for this situation of hunger mixed with grumpiness. HANGER (hunger + angry). I am hangry. The journey is two hours long. (Side note 3 – There is no announcement on the train as to which station we are at so it gets increasingly difficult to figure out where the hell I am in the dark looking through the window of the train. I keep asking people “Donde Estamos?” “Where are we?” and finally manage to find my stop) A kind gentleman helps me with my guitar and I am greeted by my coordinator.

21:30 – I am in a car with my coordinator, her friend, her daughter and a dog. I am making my way to Palafrugell, my hometown for the next year and am told that a teacher from the school I will be teaching has prepared some food for me. My mum texts me “It’s getting realer by the minute”. I agree.

22:00 – I arrive at the teacher’s house that receives me kindly with her husband and two children. There is an omelette, manchego cheese and pan con tomate (bread with tomato sauce, olive oil and a little garlic sometimes). I could not be happier. I feel welcome.

22.20 – I am taken to my apartment by the husband of the teacher and their 8-year-old daughter. We are not only carrying my items but umbrellas too. It has started to rain heavily. I am told that “I have bought the rain from England”. I hope he’s not right!

22:25 – I walk up to the first floor of the apartment building and am let into my flat. I say that it was meant to be the flat next door but we have the set of keys, given to us by the estate agent for this flat. I don’t make a fuss, the flats are identical so I walk in happily, put my bags on the floor, say goodbye and sigh a sigh of relief. I start exploring. Everything is pristine. I am glad, they have cleaned the place up for me. I go into the bathroom and find a bathroom mat in the shower. Oh! A gift, I lay it on the floor and smile. I then make my way into the bedroom. There are sheets on the bed all made up. I think that’s very nice of them. I then open the drawer and to my surprise find some bras looking up at me.

Hang on a minute, says my brain, this doesn’t seem right. My parents call just at this minute. I explain the situation and I am convinced to call my estate agent. I hang up, call my estate agent and hear a long sigh. There has been a mistake. I hang up and slowly panic. What if the lady who lives here comes back right now as I am looking at her dressed in her cupboard?? I take all my things; turn off all the lights, and head to sit on the stairs of the apartment. I am waiting for the estate agent to call me back. I get up every 30 seconds to press the apartment lights on so I don’t sit in complete darkness. I am called back and told there is a key to my apartment under the mat of a flat upstairs. I don’t ask questions, go upstairs and indeed there is. The agent explains, the woman who lives upstairs used to live in my flat and has just put them there for me, as she hasn’t returned them to the office.

23:00 – I get into my own flat. My empty flat and sigh again. This is home. I brush my teeth and head straight to my empty bed. My jumper makes a fabulous pillows and I fall fast asleep.

Follow up – I get a visit the next day from my neighbour. She introduces herself and asks “Did you take a shower in my flat?” I’m surprised. “No, of course not. Nice to meet you too” Then I remember – the bathroom mat. I explain, we laugh and am told, “Well, if you ever need anything you’re more than welcome.” I give my thanks and we enter our own flats.

Friday, May 27, 2011


So in between working hard and playing hard, I haven't had much time to update my blog. But I have been meaning to tell all you music lovers out there about Musicovery and Stereomood.

I know most of us (especially in the UK) have converted to using Spotify or have been faithfully using LAST.FM or Grooveshark for our musical needs but I want to tell you about the above which I haven't heard discussed/used as much.

Musicovery - A great website I discovered a few years back when I was getting bored of shuffle on my iTunes. It's a website where you scroll over a 'mood pad' and choose inbetween the options of 'dark', 'positive', 'energetic' and 'calm'. Upon doing this you click and Musicovery makes a playlist for you. You can register (for free!), share the songs on facebook, make playlists etc. It's pretty good for discovering new tunes an artists (also can be quite fitting for your mood. The layout used to be better in my opinion (lovely bubbles of colour floating around representing each song ) but its still easy to use and colourful.

Now in my opinion, musicovery is good for the random selection of music you can get ranging from 80s disco music to 00s rock etc. You can also taylor in your 'mood pad', the genre you want. But for thematic choice of songs for your mood stereomood is the place to be.

Stereomood. - Steremood is a great wesbite, again which you can register for free, share songs and make personalised playlists. What's great about this site is you get to choose from a list of words which mood you are in such as 'happy, 'good karma' (the two I choose the most - Good Karma has a great playlist) , 'groovy', 'worried', 'asleep on my feet', 'troubled', 'nostalgic' etc. Also has a great user interface. Stereomood is 2 years old this year; apparently America is the 'happiest' nation whilst Canadians the most 'relaxed'. Check it out, seriously!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ICYE UK - Volunteer abroad!

So, I've just started a marketing and recruitment intern at ICYE UK (Inter Cultural Youth Exchange UK) and am loving it.

ICYE UK is part of a larger federation called ICYE that works with other local ICYE offices around the world to promote ethical volunteering.

If you are up for volunteering overseas for short term or long term programmes check out our website!

Currently there are great opportunities long-term in Mexico, Bolivia and Brazil!

If you are interested in finding out more contact ICYE UK today.

Also you can 'like' us on facebook to keep up to date with new opportunities and follow us on twitter @ICYEUK

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Anonymous poem

"When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit."
~ Unknown

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February - The Depressing Month?

So, everyone says February is the most depressing month of the year. Christmas celebrations are over, New Year's Resolutions have been thrown out the window (Thank God I didn't make any this year!) and well it's not quite spring and not quite winter. I think today however can prove people wrong, especially for those living in London which is obviously where I am based. Look at that sun! Anyway.

Now - the reason I think February is possibly considered a depressing month is because we clearly expect way to much from ourselves and say to ourselves 'this year will be the best year ever!' There is no reason for this kind of pressure. Of course it is great to make resolutions, to want to improve ourselves, eat healthier, do more exercise etc. but it's even worst when we feel disappointed with ourselves for not carrying out those new promises we have made. What I'm trying to say is realistic expectations are less prone to disappoint. So instead of making a new year's resolution I just kind of decided I would take one day at a time, see what was bugging me about myself and sort of start from there.

To be perfectly honest my winter blues were the most intense this year during December and this was due to a variety of factors such as being ill with tonsillitis for a while, moving house, and not knowing what the hell to do with my life after graduating from my MA. Now, the disappointment or frustration was due to expectations. We are told since the beginning of our school lives that if we go to university then we will be able to get good fun jobs and live will be perfect. Well, admittedly this is not really the case and I am not sure if this build up is really fair on children/teenagers. Another thing which is rather annoying is that people in the U.K around thirty years ago were able to find decent jobs without having to go to university. Now this is practically impossible - you need to have a BA, MA, unpaid work experience, more experience and what's that - oh yeah, more unpaid experience. If you don't give me experience how am I ever to go where I need?

The most important thing is taking initiative and being creative. It's a dog eat dog world out there and if you don't have that little spark then your chance of getting that dream job is going to be even harder especially in a city as competitive as London.

What I also find rather annoying is that certain skills are not valued as much as they should be. I know this isn't a great example necessarily, but why is it that being a carpenter is less valuable than being a banker? Isn't creating something with our hands both beautiful and as creative as you can get? Actually physically interacting with the objects/materials around us? Yes I know I am being awfully and ridiculously romantic at the moment considering human beings are no longer living in small societies and are interacting on a global scale with complex systems of trade and capitalism in place. Things are no longer 'small'. And is it still the case that 'small is beautiful'? Discuss. (See Schumacher's 'Small is Beautiful': Economics as if people mattered)

The point I am trying to make with my rant is that we should take some time during our day to day lives to just stop and 'be'. We are constantly concerned about the future or the past, and as cliche as this may sounds, it is true. Take some time to be on your own, take a walk, maybe make something with your hands - they are not just there to type away on a computer (...). People constantly say "I don't have the talent to draw, paint, play guitar, learn an instrument, carve wood, make potterty etc etc." I think that isn't necessarily true. It only takes a bit of determination and desire to get better at something. Go into an arts and crafts shop buy some random supplies and try! Or just cook a decent meal from scratch for Ford's sake!

Yes, you might not be the next Rembrandt or Bach but once you've painted even the worst of paintings you will feel some sort of sense of satisfaction or release (I promise - I have friends to vouch for this). To avoid February or in fact any month being a depressing month try and find new ways of releasing, expressing or even perceiving the world - yes it may not be easy, but that's the point. Read books you never would, go to music gigs you don't generally like, be vegetarian for a week. Even small differences I reckon can help people look into themselves and see the things they want to change or keep.

I know you've probably heard all of the above before, but I felt like releasing and so I did, and sometimes it's important to have little reminders to tell us that there actually is a world of opportunities out there, not just the little bubble we are a part of!

Thanks for reading this long if you have, leave comments if you so desire!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Carpe Diem?

When one is at peace and 'happy' in themselves, then that is only when they can confront the rest of the world and reject fear, or use it to their advantage. the reason I have placed quotation marks on the word happy is because I do not like this word much - it seems to undervalue the feeling of happiness. If I had it my way there would be a perfect word to describe the feeling of complete content coupled with peacefulness, which would describe happiness. Perhaps this word is simply 'being' or 'sensing', 'pure sensation'. Not just satisfaction (happiness as understood today perhaps, temporary gratification) . Pure sensation is the one to strive for and revel in once felt. Of course one can experience or sense 'bad' things, is this to be embraced with open hands? I argue that these bad sensations are similar to that of temporary gratification - a somewhat temporary dissatisfaction, a mask of just 'being'. Feelings, emotions are in flux. It is that which is not in flux - which we tune into when we are sensing purely that is the state of being which is what brings us closer to ourselves.

We try too hard to reach this state. Yet all we have to do is the opposite.

When I mention using fear to one's advantage I am referring to seeing the fear that is in fact unnecessary and disposing of it. Fear swallows us up, takes us away from who we truly are.