Hey there, and Happy Sunday!
Hope your weekend has been good! Mine certainly has, even though I’ve been fighting a starting flu for a few days now. Yesterday started with a 1,5 hour yoga session at my yoga studio. I just love Saturday mornings there – a long yoga work out is just the best way to start a relaxing weekend. The rest of the day was very quiet and spent at home watching football and enjoying good food and wine.
This morning my boyfriend cooked a delicious breakfast for me while I stayed in bed to read and relax. I don’t know what is going on in my body but every single muscle is aching today. That’s why I wanted to go on a long walk by the water to get rid off the stiffness and to move my body a little bit. It’s been so nice to not have any plans for this weekend and just take it easy. Especially because the next two weekends will be very hectic since my little sister is going to be here! Words can’t describe how excited and happy I am!! 🙂
Anyway, what I really wanted to write about today is meditation.
Meditation is something I never saw myself taking up. I’ve always been the one who’s rushing from one place to another, and who wouldn’t have time to waste on nonsense such as meditation. On top of that, I’ve always thought that the purpose of meditation is to sit quietly and uncomfortably until you get into a state where you don’t have any thoughts in your mind. Well how wrong was I.
In my latest posts I’ve talked about feeling very uprooted. There have been times when I’ve felt very lost and not having been able to live in the moment. Earlier I would have just ignored those feelings and waited for things to change. But now I know that what really helps me, is taking a moment for myself and listen to my own thoughts, or taking a moment for focusing on the positive thoughts.
So how do I meditate?
What works for me is a space as quiet and calm as possible without too many distractions. I usually start by closing my eyes and by deepening my breath. I try to really focus on my breath and take a moment in between every inhale and exhale. If my intention is to relief stress I will just focus on my breath to calm my mind and to be in the moment.
Lately I have noticed that I’ve been in quite a negative mindset so my intention has been to transform my mind from negative to more positive. How this happens is by actively focusing on the positive thoughts and gratitude.
I must admit that I still have a long way to go when it comes to meditation. My mind starts to easily thrift for a few minutes before I notice myself thinking and stressing about things I was supposed to leave for later. But I sure am getting better and better, and it’s getting easier for me to stay present.
Have you tried meditation and do you have some good techniques you’d like to share? 🙂
Enjoy your day! xx
Quite often I find myself thinking what self-confidence really is and if it’s possible to be improved?
The confusing part probably is all the different terms, such as self-confidence and self-esteem. How I see the difference between these, is that self-esteem is more what you feel towards yourself and how you see yourself. I think that people who have high self-esteem love themselves inside and out and are happy to be who they are. They are content with their life and with the choices they have made in the past, and also accept the mistakes they might have made. A person with high self-esteem is very accepting and also ready to challenge oneself both mentally and physically.
Self-confident people, on the other hand, are people who are confident with who they are and what they do and think. So confident that for them it’s okay even though people didn’t always agree with them and they can admit being wrong. A self-confident person is good with people but also confident enough to be alone and not be the centre of attention. They can make a very difficult decision and truly stand behind it. They are okay to do things differently and accept differences in people. However, I think that sometimes self-confidence is something that comes and goes. In one moment you feel like you’re ready to conquer the world, and in the next you feel like giving up and hiding under a blanket for the rest of your life.
In my opinion both self-esteem and self-confidence can be improved. I must say that a few years ago I wasn’t self-confident at all, and today I feel very confident in my own skin, with my life and with all the decisions I’ve made. What has helped me the most, has been stepping outside my comfort zone, spending time alone and focusing on the things that make me happy. A few years ago I was very much out of my comfort zone when I was spending time alone or had to do things alone. Even having lunch or a coffee alone sounded frightening, but today it’s very normal for me to just sit alone and enjoy it. I think all the things that take you outside your comfort zone strengthen your self confidence because they give you new experiences and challenge you. Other very important thing is simply accepting yourself and getting to know yourself. It’s okay to have flaws and it’s okay to not be perfect.
Another thing that has helped me is pursuing things I love and trying to become best person of myself, as big of a cliche as it is. I don’t mean the best looking version of myself, but the best version of myself mentally and physically. I feel like I have found some kind of piece within myself and I’m learning to take things as they come. I’ve also learnt to make decisions just by listening to myself and not others. I’ve come to realise that it doesn’t matter what others think of me as long as I’m treat myself and others well.
It’s good to remember though that self-confidence and self-esteem don’t have anything to do with being arrogant. I hate it when people who clearly think they are the most confident people in the world, push other people down and think everything is about them. But there’s nothing as inspiring as meeting people who are so confident with what they do and who they are that they are very willing and happy to help others shine.
I started to write this in Finnish but I guess I’m just so used to writing my blog in English now that it didn’t really come naturally 😀 Anyway, tomorrow it has been a month since I arrived in Australia. However, it feels like so much longer, probably because a lot has happened.
When I first came here I thought I wouldn’t have any expectations about my life here. It was kind of exciting to just leave life as I knew it behind and not know where I’m gonna work, whom I’m gonna meet and what my days are gonna look like here. But I’ve come to realise that I still had an image of my life here in my head and some kind of expectations. I thought that my mindset is gonna change to a more relaxed one when I’m here, and that adjusting to this new environment will be quite easy for me. And I also thought meeting new people would not be too difficult, because after all, I’m in Australia.
Well how do I feel after a month here?
I feel like I’m a little bit all over the place.
Every other day I’m ready to move back to Helsinki, just because I miss being inside my comfort zone all the time, and then every other day I’m so freakishly happy I’m here, and even just the early morning sunlight makes me the happiest person in the world. And sometimes I’m walking down a street just a big smile on my face and unable to truly understand I really live here.
It’s probably very normal to have all these mixed feelings. Maybe it would be different if I already had my life figured out here. I mean if I had a job I genuinely loved and felt like I was working towards a goal I’m passionate about, or if I was studying here and met likeminded people at uni. But the truth is that at the moment the only things that make me feel like home here are my boyfriend and our home.
It’s also my first time ever living abroad. And even though I consider myseld being very fluent in English, I find myself struggling a lot. For example, when people don’t understand some words because of my accent, I get very frustrated, and almost upset. And it actually is very overwhelming and it takes quite a lot of energy to try adjust to a completely new environment and speak in my non native language all day every day.
Then because I find it quite overwhelming, I want to give myself time to feel comfortable and at home here. So I haven’t really tried to be very social yet. For example it probably would be a good idea to contact some other Finns living in Sydney to meet new people and possibly make friends with them. But I just don’t have the energy for that and then the same time I almost want to beat myself up because I feel like I should be social and I already should have a social circle here. And it’s weird being a very unsocial person without a single friend here after coming from Helsinki, where I lived with friends and would meet up with people multiple times a week.
And also because I’m here on the other side of the world I feel like it’s a crime to just stay home and do nothing. Especially because I’m in Australia where sun seems to shine almost every day. Back in Finland I was known to skip all the parties cause I wanted to spend time alone, and here I really struggle at enjoying my alone time. Maybe because most of the time I am alone. And I, out of all the people, have started to suffer from FOMO!! Probably just because I love having lots of people around and here I’m just wondering what is everyone else doing. And I feel like I should see and experience as much as possible now that I’m here, even though it’s totally okay if I haven’t travelled all around Australia during the first couple of months. But maybe it’s a bit different for me than for people who come here just for a year or two, and I think I really should stop all the stalking and comparing I’m doing on social media.
Maybe I should be more worried if I didn’t have any doubts or if I didn’t miss home at all. And the reality is, that I’m kind of trying to build a new identity for myself here. Because back in Finland I would have identified myself as a political science student and as everything I enjoyed doing regularly and through the people I spent the most time with. And all those things are kind of behind me at the moment and I really don’t know what I want to do or be. Especially now in the beginning, when everything is new, I’ve needed to sort out lots of things, I’m still adjusting, and there’s not much time for normal everyday activities. So in order to feel more like home and more like ”myself”, I know I should put more time into the things I enjoy the most and the things that make me “me”. First step will be singing up to a yoga studio near us this week. And putting more time into my normal wellness stuff that I really enjoy doing and sharing here with you.
I hope you’re not getting a very negative vibe out of this post. Because obviously I’m happy where I am at the moment. I just somehow thought it would have been easier to get started here. And because I’m such a short tempeder and impatient person, I struggle at giving time to myself and except having everything sorted out in a week after moving on the other side of the world.
At the moment I’m at work, having lunch outside in 34 degrees enjoying the sunshine. And sunshine is something that will always make me happy. And when I’m thinking about how nice and cozy life in Helsinki would be, I just need to remind myself of its’ awful weather. And the fact that it’s been my dream for such a long time to live in Australia and that I’m finally here.
But yes, everything comes with a trade off. Even though Sydney is such a beautiful and vibrant city, where I’m very happy to live the first years of my life here in Australia, I honestly can’t wait to move somewhere more quiet. An efficient public transport system would also be cool. You know the kind that takes you wherever you want in less than 1 hour. But let’s not get to that now.
Anyway, at the end of the day we all know that only you can make yourself happy. And it all comes from within. And what I need at the moment, is probably just a change in my mindset and lots more yoga!
P.S. Our home is starting to be ready! Just waiting for a giraffe poster I decided to order from somewhere as near to us as Sweden 😀
Happy Easter! Hope you’ve taken the time to unwind and relax!
Remember my post about freedom a couple months back? I wrote that I really miss routines in my life because I really didn’t have any due to traveling, and that I would really want to work in a normal 9-17 job. Well I found my first job in Sydney last week and finally started working on Wednesday! I’m super excited because I get to meet new people, learn new things and have a routine in my life (and of course regular income). But at the same time I’m also horrified, because as I said before, I’ll certainly miss all my free time 😀
I know I’m the kind of person who needs routines in order to stay active and ambitious. I wouldn’t like to admit this but when I don’t have anything I have to do, I get lazy and a bit too comfortable. You could almost say that I just start drifting. And I’m always very aware of it.
Some people say they work better under pressure/stress and I guess I’m one of them. Maybe because when someone’s stressed, they need to use their willpower more than normally in order to achieve their goals. And I sure as hell have a lot of willpower in me. But then it all just disappears when life is easy and I have nothing to stress about.
I’ve always been very fascinated about golden middle way but I’ve also come to realise that there just might not be such thing. In my case it’s just more about bouncing between the two extremes. At the moment, after a long holiday, I’m in a position where I miss the very ambitious me who wants to achieve things and set new goals. And I certainly think that having a routine in my life will help me get there.
It almost feels like summer’s over and I’m going back to school. You remember the feeling when you were a kid and got a new pencil case, backpack and calendar for the year and could barely hold your excitement? I’m that kid now! I want to write down all my goals for the next weeks, months and years and actually start working for them. The first thing on my list is to get rid of all these Easter chocolates and create a workout/yoga plan for the upcoming weeks 😀
First I wanted to write just about FOMO. Then I started writing and realised I had so much more to say. So much more to say about happiness, self-confidence and being content. And about how social media and social expectations affect us.
One thing that everyone should get rid of in order to enjoy life to its fullest, is fear of missing out. You could spend every single day thinking about the things you should do and things that you might miss out on. You can try to make a decision and always end up thinking about the other options you’re leaving out. Or, you could just simply be content with whatever you choose and have the self confidence to do whatever makes you happy in that moment.
Probably everyone of us has at some point of our lives envied someone. Maybe because of what they have, how they look or what their life is like. And how do we react when someone else has something we want? Most likely by wasting our energy at the negative feelings. The best way to get rid of those feelings is by thinking why do you feel like it and how can you achieve the things you want. If you envy your friends, you might be able to change things around by trying your best to be happy for them. In the best case scenario, the person you envy can actually help you realise your dreams.
ALWAYS WANTING MORE
Wanting another piece of chocolate after having one. Wanting a new job or a promotion just after starting at your current one. Having an endless travel bucket list. And the list goes on! It’s okay to want new things, travel more, see the world, gain new experiences and challenge yourself. But the problem with always wanting more is that we stop appreciating the things we already have. We start taking everything for granted and find it hard to be happy. If its too hard to be grateful for the things you have now, think back 5 years and see how far you’ve come.
You want to change your life, move somewhere else, jump into a new relationship, quit a job you hate or just get a haircut. But you can’t because you’re too scared of the things that could go wrong. What if I start missing home? What if I can’t find a new job? Well you never know, especially if you never try. If you fail, you can always go back. But not giving it a chance will probably haunt you much longer than giving it a chance. Thinking about all the what ifs doesn’t take you anywhere and it truly is just waste of your own energy and happiness. Sometimes you just need to be brave enough to make a decision. And usually, everything works out in the end.
COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
There will always be people who are better than you at something. Or who have something you want. If you constantly compare yourself to others, it will eat you alive. You can never be anyone else or have someone else’s life. But what you can do, is become the best version of yourself, whatever it might mean to you. You can start by being grateful for yourself and by focusing on the good things in your life and in yourself. After all its just a mental game, and if you stop focusing on the bad things, they will eventually disappear.
By the way, here’s a little fun fact. Earlier, when people went to see a plastic surgeon, they usually brought a photo of a celebrity to show what they wanted. Today, lots of people bring a screenshot of their selfie with a Snapchat/Instagram filter. How crazy is that! Not saying that wanting to look like a celebrity would be any better, but I don’t think filters are the solution either.
SEEKING SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE
Everyone always asks me how many readers does my blog have and have I carefully studied Google Analytics. The answers are I have no idea and nope. Because if I started to stare at the numbers, I think I wouldn’t enjoy writing anymore. I think I would become trapped by the numbers and only start seeking more readers. I would probably set goals for myself and feel like I shouldn’t keep on writing if I didn’t have a certain amount of visitors every week. Many people say that whenever they start doing things for social acceptance, they stop enjoying doing those things. That’s why the only motivators anyone should have, are their own happiness and self acceptance.
I’LL JUST EMBARRASS MYSELF
Four years ago we decided with my little sister that we’re gonna delete the word “embarrassing” from our vocabulary. Because why on earth should we do or not do thing based on what people would think about us? Why should we always first consider if something is embarrassing or not? I think the word should be deleted from everyone’s vocabulary. If you want to do yoga in the middle of a park but suck at it, so what? Or if you answer a question wrong in a class room in front of everyone else, so what? At least you tried. When you stop caring about other people’s opinions, the happier your life will be. Of course you still can be considerate, but you sure as hell don’t have to leave things undone just because you don’t want to embarrass yourself.