The Jar – Project 2015…

In yesterday’s post Project 2015 in a Jar {Positivity, Happiness, Thankfulness & Direction}, I wrote about how I was going to use a positivity jar as I had in 2014. I found this experience to be so rewarding. Getting to the end of the year and reading back all the moments, days and people that had a very positive and uplifting effect on my life was fantastic. I could actually see when my outlook had changed, when finding positives was not so difficult because I would look around and see mainly positives. The words I would say to people, the advice or support I would give was so much more positive; to be strong and keep going, believe in yourself, you CAN do this, look around – there is brightness everywhere.

Now, 2014 was a year I absolutely struggled. I had MANY ‘down’ moments. Times when I felt lost, trapped or afraid. The difference this year is that I honestly believed I could get through it, and that I could move on to an inner calm and brightness that I had not felt in a long time. I was uncertain within myself and which direction I wanted to move forward in, had doubts about my career, there was family illness and my health suffered too even resulting in surgery. I do not look back and only see tears and anger. I look back and see determination, laughter, love, resilience and strength. I didn’t do it alone, but I became aware of how much I can handle on my own. That I can put my own struggle aside and help another.

Reflecting on those coloured bits of paper helped me see how far I have come {note – not all pictured}.

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Here are some of the highlights of last year (I limited to 10, as honestly there were way too many!)

1. Realising as 2014 began that in less than a year I’d be back in my favourite city – New York City

2. Knowing a loved one who was struggling with an awful illness had amazing specialists team behind them.

3. Spending a lot of time with my younger brother and having DVD marathons.

4. The many catch ups and coffees with friends

5. Getting precious one on one time with my Mum – we had a few lunch dates and had the best conversations that were random, funny and heartfelt.

6. Planning, booking and flying to USA with my two friends L + C; celebrating 2014 and bringing in the New Year at an event in Times Square in New York City {major bucket list item ticked!}

7. House-sitting in a great location right near one of the local beaches – really uplifted my mood during a struggle period!

8. Spending an evening with two of my gorgeous little cousins just before I went away – we went to the beach and enjoyed dinner together.

9. Seeing two of my gorgeous friends marry each other and celebrating at their love filled wedding!

10. Spending time with my friends and their new babies – such a blessing!

here's to 2015!

here’s to 2015!

Ok, so now for Kooklah’s 2015 Positivity Jar …. {I am also going to add “She believed she could and so she did” to the lid}

Ribbon, quote on top and gold stars inside...

Ribbon, quote on top and gold stars inside…

This year has been so amazing already, in so many ways. I hope you will join me in this journey – either by keeping track of my updates, by commenting with some of your own positives, or maybe even starting your own jar. Your project can be the same or different. If you are doing something similar I would love to hear from you!

Kooklah Xo

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Project 2015 in a Jar {Positivity, Happiness, Thankfulness & Direction}

Last year I was on a journey of positivity, happiness and thankfulness. I have long been aware of how fortunate I am despite some harrowing experiences and awful losses. But it can be easy to get caught up in the busy aspects of life and dwell on the negativity.
In Project 2014 in a Jar {Positivity, Happiness & Thankfulness} I decided I would decorate a jar and then write down anything that was positive, a goal that came true, something funny or happy on a piece of paper. This paper is then put into the jar (I usually fold to save space), you can do this daily, weekly or monthly – whatever works for you! At the end of the year the idea is to take them out and read them, a whole year’s worth of positives engulf you at once. How powerful.

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I am doing it again this year. While I was away on holiday, and working a lot I have been writing things down in a notebook and today will convert them to pieces of paper and place in the jar. Later today I will show you my 2015 jar.
This year I have added direction to the project – I have goals and aspects of my life I want to clarify and achieve.

Each day, from today, I am going to upload a photo to my Instagram {@saregiak} and the Kooklah Facebook Page with three positive things.

From last year I noticed that my happiness lifted and I was more positive in my outlook. Which made me more thankful for the experiences I have. I am also thinking about opening the possibility to my loved ones, if they want to contribute to the jar – either about an experience or write something positive about me – as I think reading those affirmations would be a highlight…

How are you injecting more happiness, positivity and thankfulness into your life? Or more direction?

Hope you have had a good day,
Kooklah… xo

KOOKLAH ~ A living doll, living a life not yet imagined

Add a small spark…

I have been feeling pretty low lately. It will take me a little bit to get back to normal, to the happiness I found during my 100 days challenge (I really really will do an overview post soon) … but today I did things for me.

I had a day where I just followed my instincts for what I wanted to do. I had errands to run, work or housework today but I left those and attended to a day that would be good for the soul.

I first enjoyed a sleep in, followed by a walk with my dog and then a stroll over to my favourite beauty salon Little Miss Gorgeous for a manicure I had booked in this morning. It was while there, talking to the beauty therapist that I decided I needed to inject and add some sparkle to my day. I have an obsession with all things glittery, sparkly or embellished {most likely a leftover piece of my childhood}… I had been about to choose a standard colour for my nails, when I came across a colour called ‘ruby glitz’, the name and colour reminds me of Dorothy’s brilliant shoes in The Wizard of Oz … they glisten in the light and are making me smile when I look at them.

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My afternoon consisted of playing with makeup and watching multiple episodes of an old favourite Gilmore Girls. It was during this that I injected more sparkle through eye makeup, creating my look for today’s Fox in Flats Style Dare and I have loved it so much that I’m only just taking it off now.

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I will do a post soon with a ‘how to’ for this glitter eye look,  for now head to my instagram feed {saregiak} for a hint of the products and other shots!

Hope you’re having a good night,
More soon!
KOOKLAH ‘a living doll, living a life not yet imagined’

KOOKLAH BLOG

Three words to watch..

How often do you have someone ask about you? The ‘how are you’, ‘how are things going’ or ‘how have you been’ ?

Every day? Or every second? I think it is a pretty usual part of life. From family, friends, coworkers and sometimes even strangers. Another way in which we can connect and share with others.

Are you ready for my next question? Here it is …

Do you answer honestly? You don’t have to spill to every single person who greets you in a day, BUT to your people – the ones you want to know about, support and celebrate life with – how do you reply?

I have been holding onto this thought for a while now this year. Mostly because I found myself to be answering automatically and quickly. As if I was on some kind of auto pilot, or like I didn’t want to ‘bother’ people.
How ridiculous, especially if these are people who love and care for you – they most likely want to know that you feel sad, low, angry, happy, ecstatic or balanced.

I found myself using three words often…
* Alright * Ok * Fine *

They are not feelings, they are noncommittal words that brush the question or person away. I’m trying really hard lately to avoid these words staying in my everyday vocabulary.

It is perfectly acceptable to say how you feel. I hope you know that, or learn it. As I have learnt.

Watch out for the repeated use of those three words.. they can trigger that maybe something just isn’t OK.

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KOOKLAH ‘a living doll, living a life not yet imagined..’ XO

.:.:.:. KOOKLAH .:.:.:.

Treat Yourself …

Everyone deserves to feel special, happy and worthy. You may receive this from the attention or actions of others, but I think it is important – possibly more important – to give to yourself.

There is a quote from Diane Von Furstenburg that reminds me of the old ‘have to love yourself before someone will love you’. It reinforces that the way you treat yourself is as important as the way you treat others and that in fact a good relationship with yourself will only improve the relationships with other people in your life.

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Image - braveraconteuse.files.wordpress.com

To fulfill this idea, you need to spend time getting to know yourself. From the physical to the mental, what you like and what you don’t,  the things in life that make you happy and are important. In Why not go alone? I wrote about the reasons why spending time on your own is a vital aspect to a fulfilling life; to really know yourself, to clear your mind or perspective, gain independence …
By utilising some individual time it will help to create balance in your life and encourage you to be reflective,  supportive,  kind and realistic with yourself.

A fantastic way to build your self-relationship is by treating yourself. Showing yourself some love and kindness will increase your self belief, confidence and worth. If you do, you’ll shine brightly and attract others who do too.

I’m not just encouraging you to do this, I have made a commitment to attending to my needs as well.
Lately I have been really focused on my mental and emotional health – I’ve gone for walks in the sun with my dog, continued doing yoga at home, am participating in the 100 days of happiness challenge (see the Kooklah introductory post – 100 Days of Happy – update post to come soon) and am trying to step away from negativity by spending more time with positive people. Today I allowed myself to enjoy a facial + complimentary warm oil foot massage {first one ever- I’m sold} and an expresso martini with dinner.

Look after YOU,
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.

 

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