This is where it starts

IMG_4366

Self Portrait 

‘Embrace the Quirks’ has now become a life motto…

Hello! I’m excited to write to you in my very first blog post! I’ve been making mental notes over the last week now, trying to think of a good way to kick off my blog! I came to the conclusion that starting from the start is a good place to start! Am I right?!

To begin with I’ll tell you, my life in the past has been a series of ups and downs. I mean, there was never anything particularly major that happened to me, good or bad, but I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster, mostly welling up from within my own mind!
I think we significantly underestimate the power of the mind. I mean we think every waking hour right? (I know, I know, men have a ‘nothing box’ where apparently they can think of.. that’s right, NOTHING! Beats me how that’s possible, but men, if it’s true, you are blessed!) It seems there’s never a passing moment where theres not one thought or another breezing through my mind and demanding my attention. If you’re like me and we think this much, how does it affect the way we live? The way we interact? Whilst I don’t propose to have in depth knowledge about this, I can share my perspective with you. And that is what I plan to do, so please forgive me if you disagree.

I know that it’s a struggle to think positively sometimes, even a lot of the time or all the time! I know this quite as well as anyone! But just realise, if negative thoughts are going through our minds about our selves, our lives and our situations, it’s no wonder that we see so many cases of mental illness! Or even struggle with it ourselves. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon.
Again I don’t profess to know in detail the specifics about mental illnesses and depression, but I do know my own battlefield and thinking negatively is not an easy habit to break!
Our thoughts are like pathways in our brain. If we travel one often enough, wearing it down, it becomes the easiest route to take. To change this requires commitment and hard work to divert and start digging out a new and improved path to take. One which leads to a more joyful and peaceful outcome!

Self-control: The ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behaviour, especially in difficult situations.
Self-control is a word people seem to cower away from. It’s almost a dirty word. Yuck, who want’s to have to control themselves when it comes to chocolate, or spending money, or sex, or thinking what we want to think. Right? We seem to want what we want, when we want it. Instant gratification. But what if that isn’t good for us?
In lacking self-control, I think we don’t learn how to love ourselves and the people around us well. With out self-control, we become selfish or greedy. We take take take and forget that it’s actually a good feeling to give a little. A little time. A little gift. A little word of encouragement. With out self-control we become open to temptation and giving into something which although we might want it, might actually be unhelpful to us. If we eat too much, we feel sick right? If we buy too much, we run out of money. If we don’t rest, we burn out. It’s the same in our minds. If we think negatively too much, there are consequences and it’s not helpful to us.

So how do we practise self-control? Well here’s a few tips I’ve tried and proved helpful. 1. Don’t let your mood or feelings dictate your decisions. 2. If a negative thought pops into your head, push it out again, replacing it with a positive truth. 3. If negative thoughts keep entering your mind, check what might be influencing you. 4. Let negative comments towards you roll off your back, like a duck! Choose carefully who’s advice you listen to. 5. Think before you act. 6. Choose not to dwell on your flaws. What you focus on you magnify. 7. Start your day in a positive way! Set the foundation for your day. Tell yourself you are successful, watch an encouraging TED talk, tell someone else something you appreciate about them. These all help in making that new pathway accessible in your brain, to a more joyful thought life. And who doesn’t want to have a truthful appearance of Joy? It’s attractive right?!

So for me, this process started one day when my artistically talented and inspiring friend Chelsea and I visited the Robert Hannaford portrait exhibition at the Adelaide Art Gallery. This was where I had an epiphany… 24 weeks ago I posted this on Instagram:

“Embracing the quirks in life, this is a very helpful reminder for me, that nothing is perfect, yet we as people are wonderful just the way we are. You are Loved just the way YOU are. Forget comparison! Each person is unique and we can embrace the things that make us different! That make us who we are! Imagine you’re a portrait painting of which a famous and brilliant artist has painted. The artist spent time and energy making sure you were just right. Just think; the artist painted you that way because the artist liked the details that make you you! You looked right to the artist. You were inspiring to the artist. The idea of you made the artist want to paint you! Tuck this picture away in your mind, in your heart and pull it out to look at when ever you begin to compare yourself to something or someone else.”

I encourage you to do just that, tuck away that unique picture of yourself which has immeasurable value, for safe keeping! Remember it when you start to think destructive thoughts. You are made beautifully how you are because the artist loves every quirk about you. Your picture was worth painting!

Stay positive!
And stay Quirky!

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