Give a Gift to Everyone You Meet

I am thrilled to be sharing this post with you all {uploading late – sorry!}, a brilliant post gifted to us from Sarah at Creating Contentment with an important message. In life we all give and take, but do we all give enough of ourselves to others? Do we even recognise the gift we have, that we are? It was lovely to read this after a testing week and reflect on what I have to offer….
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I came across this line recently and think it rather lovely.

Give The Gift Of You.
YOU are a gift. Share this gift with everyone you meet. Now of course, I don’t mean a literal gift.

Smile at others. Ask after their day. Be kind. Be polite. Listen to people.

The simple act of smiling releases endorphins making you feel happier.

Being kind towards others encourages more kindness. 

By asking the girl at the supermarket how she is, you will develop ties with your community and strong community ties are important for a healthy wellbeing. 

Developing a sense of community can be difficult. You need to put yourself out there. You need to give yourself to the community. But before you can gift yourself to others, you need to believe yourself to be a worthy gift. And I am here to tell you that you are!

I too, have struggled to integrate myself in my local community, especially my children’s school. There are lots of articles like this one that describe the mother ‘types’ at schools and explore the difficulties of the school years. I find such articles unhelpful and hurtful. In this one in particular, I am five of the different mother types listed. It is judgmental and encourages stereotypes. I hope that other mothers can look at me for who I am, rather than the mother that sends her child to school with kale chips. Or, feel the need to be nasty because I enjoy dressing up to drop the kids off. 

If you want to meet new people, a common suggestion given is to do new things. So I signed up to do heaps of stuff at the boys school. I was (and am) on committees and boards, I volunteer in the classroom and help out on excursions. I’m often early to pick up my children and like to chat with other mums and teachers in the school yard. I hang around long after the last bell to give my children a run around on the oval and the playground. I feel like I am almost always there and am very willing to help. Yet, despite all this effort on my part, I didn’t feel ‘in’ or accepted. I still didn’t feel as if other mothers were being friendly towards me or as if I belonged to the school community.  

Over the summer holidays, I decided that a big part of this equation is me. I can control what I do and how I am. So, I decided to be happy (at school). I have decided to smile more. I have decided to approach other mothers, rather than stand apart. I decided to make eye contact. I now always say good morning. I ask how they are. I participate in the school community because I want to, rather than because I am needed.

There is more to community than simply going along. You need to give yourself to others.

It is for this reason that I also share a photo of myself everyday on Facebook and Instagram. I am putting myself out there as a gift. I hope that I am received well, but ultimately that is not something I can control so I am trying not to worry about it. 

But essentially, it is basic physics. Karma if you like. What you put out, you will receive. I am going to be friendly so to make friends. I am going to give myself, so that others will give themselves back to me.

Being apart of a community is something I value, and studies show that it is an important part of a persons healthy wellbeing. So, not only am I going along to everything but I am going to have fun and be joyful, smile and be positive. It does not matter how others perceive my behaviour, I cannot control the amount of themselves they give me. But, I am going to give myself, because I am worth giving.

What do you think? Am I onto something here?

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Talk Yourself Positive…

Here is the latest post from Sarah at Creating Contentment, it is all about using affirmations to help increase your positive mindset and make sure that your self-talk is not negative and increase your confidence. I have used various affirmations – but my favourite one at the moment is “She believed she could… and so she DID”, I find this to be very powerful and motivating. Please read on and let us know what you think of this post – I love it, and am so appreciative of the tips that Sarah has included. Find something that works for you, and use it. The best part is one day, you suddenly realise that you believe it!

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Today, I am sharing something that I have learnt.

 
It is possible to use affirmations to increase your positivity.

 
Now, in hindsight, I can see that this lesson was rather obvious, but I had to learn it through doing. Just like it is impossible to tell a women about the hardships of mothering before her first birth, some lessons need to be leant by experiencing them first hand.

 
Despite this, I am going to try and share what I learnt with you. I want YOU to know that you can use affirmations to be more positive. I am hoping that you trust me enough to try my suggestions. I hope that your confidence in me is enough that you will stop listening to your internal voice telling you that you are not enough, and put your faith in mine instead.
My message is this: using affirmations CAN make you feel better!
I use affirmations daily. Not in the formal way of looking in a mirror and talking to yourself. I have tried this, but felt too awkward and silly. Feelings of embarrassment are not conductive to voicing affirmations. Affirmations need to be believed. Therefore, when using affirmations, speak naturally. You need to believe that you are speaking the truth. And that the truth comes with the conviction of a kind friend.
Affirmations are simple statements that enhances your creative power for change. Writing your own affirmations can bring clarity to your thoughts allowing you to focus on what you really want. Speaking the words aloud allows your body to have the sensation of speaking, hearing and feeling the words as you say them. And, your feelings become engrossed in these sensations. Use your emotions to bring further life to your affirmations.

 
Or, meditate on your affirmations, like I do. Repeat the phrase over and over, feeling the words in your entire body. I try and visualise the ‘truth’ of the words and what that would look like for me.
Affirmations are personal. They should reflect your wants, your dreams, what you need from your life. That said, some of my favourite affirmations are vague enough to be relevant to many people. So, because YOU are wonderful, I shall share some of them with you.

I am beautiful.
I am worthy of exercise.
I am strong enough to do what is needed of me.
I am grounded on and supported by this earth.
I am safe and secure. All that I need will be provided for me.
I choose to make healthy choices.
I am healing. I am healed.
I am willing to believe that I can forgive.
I believe I can be happy.
I choose to stand tall and be proud.
I am actively creating my own contentment.
I am loved.

 

You need to believe the affirmation that you use. If you cannot believe the statement “I am beautiful”, change it to “I am willing to believe that I am beautiful”, or “I can choose to be beautiful”. Change the language of the statement so to make it more believable. Notice the variations of language that I use on my affirmations above. Some statements I am still distancing myself from, so that I can still believe in the truth of the statement. And that is ok. Like everything, this is a journey towards my improvement. If I was already ‘better’, there would be no need of improvement now would there? Start where you are, and take a small step … in any direction. That direction IS forward. And you, my friend, are worthy of betterment.
Perhaps one of these could be your first affirmation?
1. “I am willing to believe that I am worthy of betterment” or
2. “I believe that I am worthy of betterment” or
3. “I am worthy of betterment”.
What level/ number/ stage are you at, for this affirmation?

 
Do you like the affirmations I use? Are there any there that you could believe if you told them to yourself? Will you start telling yourself affirmations?
I would love to know if you already use affirmations, what words you tell yourself. Please leave a comment and let me know.

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December’s Arrived..

So here we are. Suddenly it is December. Where did that year go?

I honestly feel that overall the year has flown. As I sit down to write this post I look back to what was happening in my life at this time last year.. family birthdays, my own birthday + big celebratory dinner with 25 friends, drunken nights with friends I grew up with – creating memories AND writing our bucket lists then a cocktail party for New Years Eve.

Those memories seem so close but yet so far away. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this year. I ticked off many bucket list items including going skydiving, I’ve made new friends but have lost touch with some old ones, I’ve loved and definitely lost, my gorgeous Nanna passed away and I fed the travel bug a little more.

For me the biggest thing to come out of this year is that I have recognised I AM strong + capable. I struggle some days and rock through others but the point is I keep going. I learnt this year that the opinion about you that matters most, is yours

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How do I see myself? I see myself as someone who doesn’t have it all together but is trying to. Someone who feels a myriad of emotions regularly, who is passionate for what she believes in, has a voice, is loyal + protective and wants to explore + share as many experiences as possible.

Life is what you make it..

Today is a difficult day for a few reasons and I can’t hide for that. I am happy December is here – there’s my birthday, christmas and the promise of a new year + some foxy fun with the Instagram crew {more on that on my next post!}… after much coercing from my friend A, I have decided to celebrate my birthday – which is in three days and I’m actually so excited!

What does this month bring for you? What has been a high or a low for this year? What did this year teach you?

Sarah x

Inspire Me Woman…

          “I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore… I’ve been down there on the floor and no one’s ever gonna keep me down again. If I have to I can do anything… I am strong, I am invincible… I am woman…”

Over the next few months or so, I am going to publish posts on local women who I know, who I find inspiring and am glad that they have been or currently are in my life. These women are all different, they have different personalities, different outlooks and different careers… but one of the things they do have in common is that they all shine brightly.

They are passionate, creative, greatly opinionated, kind, compassionate, supportive, motivating… these women work hard, have goals and dreams which I love to see them strive for and complete.

The next post will be about me, answering the very questions I have put to these women. I was undecided whether I would write a post answering the questions, but then I thought it would be a good way to reach out to my readers and to share something about me. So I hope you enjoy this series of posts, they will be staggered out over the next couple of months. If you have any questions for the women once you have read the posts, feel free to write it in a comment and I will get it answered for you. It is important for me to allow other women or girls to see that strength is important, that a lust for life is important… that you are capable of anything you put your mind and heart’s desire to.

Kooklah Xx

Style ME inspired…

Five shots that are inspiring my sense of style this week….


Metallic eye looks with long, lush eyelashes
Simple messy, woven hairdo and winged eyeliner
Bright accessories to add emphasis to an outfit
Slightly structured, messy hair
Zoro-B in Black from Betts

What is inspiring your style currently? All of mine are somewhat edgy with a hint of structure and brights! Kooklah Xx

Inspire me Monday

Inspire me Monday, because sometimes you need something to make Monday not so blue. Five things that have grabbed my interest and are sparking the start of my week….
(This is a ‘co-post’ with my personal blog- Kooklah Check it out!!)

Get Lost in the Music- Trial Kennedy, the Final Tour
(One of my favourite indie bands on the Australian Scene, saying goodbye at one last show)
Hairspiration- Braided Topknots
(Such a cute, fun and original take on one of my favourite hairstyle the topknot.
Check out my post on topknots: The Carrie Bradshaw Bun)

Wanderlust- New York City Calling
(Have a trip booked for September in New York City is one of the destinations!
So excited, cannot wait to explore the city I’ve been dreaming of all these years. Getting butterflies everytime it’s mentioned! See this post on NYC as my money saving inspiration)

Look at ME Legs- Embellished Stockings
(A trend full of style, individuality and Sparkle… Click here for more)

Guilty Pleasure Read- Sugar and Spice
(Third novel in the L.A Candy Series by Lauren Conrad)

What is your favourite OR what is giving you inspiration at the start of the week? Check out my personal blog Kooklah, or look me up and follow me on Pinterest. Hope your week started well!

Kooklah Xx