Step Away

For my guest post on Creating Contentment this week I wrote about a change I have been making lately, a way to remove toxic and negative aspects or people from my life. Hoping to make room for the positive.

Click the link to read it, have you also made some changes?

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Kooklah X.O.

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Guest Post: the Forgiveness Challenge

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I have been participating in Desmond Tutu’s Forgiveness Challenge.  Each day you are guided through how to forgive.

The Forgiveness Challenge teaches what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. Forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgiveness is not weak. Rather, forgiveness is an essential part of feeling whole.

The forgiveness Challenge aims to teach you how to bring more love and peace into your life, and help the world heal. This is because forgiveness teaches you to see the humanity in others. That is, despite whatever horrendous acts committed, they too have all the rights that you have.

I believe that forgiveness is an important part of acceptance. When you forgive someone or a situation, you are letting go of the possibility of a different past. Through forgiveness, you let go of the hurt and anger that you are holding onto. It is this hurt and anger that is preventing you from being all you can be. After forgiveness you shall be more able to accept the circumstances of your life. All these steps you have taken, and why you have ended up ‘here’ will become more clear. This is acceptance.

Acceptance is the recognition that you are right where you are meant to be. That the world is as it should be. And with such acceptance, will come contentment.

I like to think of contentment as an ‘equanimity’. The world will feel balanced. You will feel … not necessarily in control, but safe. Loved. Guided. Contentment will bring with it an understanding that bad things will happen, but they have a place, and that this too, shall pass. Contentment will allow you to always see all the good, despite the bad.

The Forgiveness Challenge started officially on the 4th May and runs for 30 days. I am only up to Day 6 of my Forgiveness Challenge. I am taking it slow. I am doing this because at times is is emotionally overwhelming. But, it is also because, I like to be doing multiple things at once. I have learnt that the ability to switch from one project to another is what keeps me interested and motivated. Ultimately, I think it is more important to complete the Challenge, to go through this process of forgiveness. I want to give it the attention it deserves, and sometimes I do not have the mental space or the physical time I wish to donate toward the Forgiveness Challenge. And so, I am taking it slow.

We have been asked to choose one person to forgive. One person to focus our learnings upon. One person.

I choose myself.

I need to forgive myself for so many bad choices. I need to forgive the situations I ended up in. I need to stop blaming myself as it is just hurting me. I am only causing myself damage. And it is now time to heal, to let go and to move on.

And, I wanted to extend an invitation for you to join me. I want you to take this step in healing yourself, and healing the world with me. I want you to do it because I believe that you will benefit, and I’d like the company.

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Thanks Sarah for this guest post, I am definitely going to consider participating in this.. Kooklah.

 

Kooklah Supports MS….

MS. Multiple Sclerosis. A chronic disease, which can largely be described as an “invisible illness”.

Invisible illnesses or conditions are those where a person can appear to be well but may actually be suffering quite badly, or look well and a few minutes later be really sick or incapacitated {there are many including anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, lupus, MS + more}.

MS affects an individual’s central nervous system {CNS}, since this is made up of not only the brain but the spinal cord and nerves the disease affects other bodily functions or systems. Unlike many conditions, there is not alot of clarity or information available about MS, particuarly how it begins {the cause}, and how it will affect someone as many with MS experience different symptoms, episodes and varied severity of the same. Some experience slow progression, and can lead a relatively normal life, others experience fast progression and may require aides to attend to everyday activities or depend on carers.

According to MS Research Australia 23,000 Australians suffer with MS, the most common age to be diagnosed is 30 and 75% of those diagnosed are women {these are statistics for Australia alone, it affects individuals in other countries too}. With the number of people getting diagnosed increasing, there is much more information needed to prevent, control and cure the disease.

Treatment has come a long way, and helps many who have it… more information is becoming available with studies and research, BUT there is currently NO cure.

Although symptoms, episodes, daily life differs for those who have it, one thing is sure – until the cause is defined and a cure found, there is a great deal of uncertainty and unpredictability involved.

As you can see I am really passionate about raising awareness of MS and for those suffering with MS. It has been on my radar since my early teens, but in the last five years it has become a lot closer to home, one of my parents has been diagnosed with MS and I see the impact of this condition most days, on both my parents, my siblings and the everyday lifestyle. There has been nerves, fears and tears. While research shows that the risk of getting MS is about 5% if one of your ‘first degree’ relatives has it, it is something I have worried about..
I’d rather put my energy and time into positive thinking instead of negative. For the second year in a row I have joined the fundraising initiative of Kiss Goodbye to MS which occurs in May to raise awareness {through information + the colour red} as well as raising funds to put towards MS research and therefore improve the livelihood of those with it.

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With donations I raised over $250.00 last year, and this year I’d love to go further, but anything will help! If anyone is interested in donating go to my funds page —> Sarah/Kooklah KGTMS

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Don’t feel obligated, my aim is to raise awareness. Donations are a bonus. Thankyou for reading…

I hope this has given some insight to MS, I’d love your feedback, comments or stories.
Sarah ☆ KOOKLAH

Slow Down

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More often than not I find myself getting to the end of a day and wondering where the time went. I always feel like there are one or two items that I had planned to complete that day and for whatever reason, have not. This used to stress me out. By used to I am talking about as recently as last week.

In the past week I think my body has wanted me to slow down, and not take on as many projects at once. I only have two hands, and giving myself unrealistic deadlines won’t give me more. I became sick out of nowhere ….

As I spent many, many hours resting and recuperating I decided that this was my chance to recharge,  and try to make the most of not having to go anywhere or do anything. I also spent some time reflecting on how I go about completing my day to day tasks ….

To read on further, click over to my latest guest post on Creating Contentment. I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think and if your body has ever forced a uncontrollable slow down on you…

Sarah ☆ KOOKLAH

 

 

Travel Inspiration Thursdays

There is nothing I love more then planning a trip and going away to explore another town, city, country or culture. I find it gives you a whole new perspective on life and broadens your world view. In light of this, each Thursday I will publish a travel themed post – from shots of places I’ve been or places on my wish list, anecdotes or stories or advice such as packing tips and tricks.

I often get the urge to pack a tote bag or suitcase and be on my way, traveling doesn’t just have to mean an international flight… explore your own country too. I used to head up the coast for a few nights a year, always at random and stay with a friend who lived along the way. I have also visited different places within my country of Australia (still have a few to go).

I’m no expert, but I love to travel and with that, comes experience and lessons learnt. In the coming weeks I will write about finding the ideal day bag for your travels, five things that must be in your carry on for long haul flights,  why you should limit the amount of shoes you take and tips for preventing swollen legs and promoting good circulation during long haul flights. If you think of a topic or question you would like answered please comment or email.

Below I have included some snapshots I took on my first international trip – a Contiki to the USA, called Best of USA first stop Los Angeles, then on to San Fransisco, Las Vegas and New York City. For today’s post I have used L.A shots – I didn’t love L.A as much as I thought I would,  Hollywood isn’t like in the movies or an episode of The Hills (goes without saying but there was still a small glimmer of hope in me that it would), don’t get me wrong, I had fun there and would go again (and I am in 7 months) but the areas I loved were Santa Monica and Venice Beach with it’s famous freakshow boardwalk.

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The beautiful rooftop garden at The Double Tree by Hilton in downtown Los Angeles – it started my love for rooftop bars and gardens + helpful staff who gave out warm chocolate chip cookies!

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The iconic tourist thing… you have to do it, don’t be afraid to take the shot or sidle up to something that is symbolic to you. You are a tourist so embrace it! I had to get a shot with Marilyn’s star I’ve idolised her since I was young.  I enjoyed Hollywood Boulevard and going to a ‘mall’ that could put most of our shopping centres to shame! (Hence the shopping bag) It also provided a clear shot of the Hollywood Sign.

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My whole trip reinforced my love of street art, but particularly in Los Angeles. The elephants are from a Korean BBQ place we went to and the art of the woman is from a section of wall along Venice Beach Boardwalk (unable to credit artists as they are unknown, if these works are yours or you know the artist contact me and I’ll happily credit them)

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Santa Monica Pier with quirky vendors, beach and souvenirs

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Venice Beach with lifeguard house just before sunset

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Watching some performers on the boardwalk… they were a troupe from Chicago who stated “we joke about racism because racism is a joke”, they had a humerous way of making a stand that got the message across to a large and varied audience.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at some snapshots Los Angeles, all photos taken by Sarah, Kooklah creator and writer. Don’t forget you can follow on instagram for a daily insight to my life (handle is @saregiak), follow Kooklah on Facebook and either like/share/comment on this post. Enjoy your day + invest in some travel daydreaming, I know I will be!

Sarah ☆ KOOKLAH

Why not go alone?

 

Credit - meetville.com

Credit – meetville.com

I’ve never felt uncomfortable in my own company. Sure I occasionally get lonely, but I try to regularly meet up with family and friends for catch ups over a meal, drinks or movies. This keeps any “lonely” type feeling at bay.

I often crave and love the moments I am at home alone or able to go and spend the day doing anything I fancy. I love it, I’m quite comfortable.

Yes, this means I have gone to a restaurant or cafe and eaten on my own, I’ve gone to gigs to watch a band and I’ve definitely rocked up solo for a movie. The more you do it, the more you realise other people are too – the first time I went to the movies on my own I was surprised to see so many people on their own. I enjoyed it and have done it a few more times… I love doing it when I’ve had a run of low points or stressful situations, it’s nice to tune into a different world and relax.

I am looking forward to my next overseas trip (in 7ish months) as I spend a third with two friends and then travel to a variety of destinations on my own,  I haven’t solo traveled on my own overseas before but as it is my third international trip I figured why not? I am looking forward to having to go by no one’s time but my own, I can skip attractions that don’t interest me and spend more time at those that do. I can have indulging, pampering days and not stress that I am slowing someone down. As Carrie Bradshaw memorably gushed when she was dating her beautiful city, there is so much you can do, everything holds potential for adventure or fun.

I think it is important that everyone has some solo time at some point to clear your mind and recharge… As the quote from Diane states building a relationship and understanding of yourself is important, you will be stronger, independent and have clearer ideals of what you want out of life, experiences and your other relationships.

I’d love to read your views and if you have or haven’t done this.

Sarah ☆ KOOKLAH

Vlogging…

I have occasionally thought about entering the “vlogging” world {video blogging} which is on a ten year rampage on mediums like YouTube. Last night I created a channel, once I beat this dreadful cold I will start working with some videos and see what I create. If I like, I’ll upload.

I have been mulling over what content I would talk about – some of our Facebook followers have commented asking for one about eyebrows + how I achieve their full look especially for a night out. I think it could be fun to try – if I dont like it, I can stop doing it… I’m alittle curious/anxious to see/hear myself on playback + to see how they would be received. But all you can do is try!

I will keep you updated, and please let me know if you have any requests!

Sarah ☆ Kooklah