To Market with the Hippie- Wanna-be’s.

Just watched this hilarious piss taking of the new age ethical living/ hippy culture which summed up this blog post perfectly… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnbtRiLamsw

Alternative Thoughts

Sunday Morning: a magical period of time often spent harbouring hang overs, marinating in bed before brunching;  training for a marathon or participating in the coolest activity right now: visiting the markets.

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I know I know, markets have been around forever, certainly before mass production took over (when we actually knew WTF was in our produce).

Like everything though, trends are cyclical, being regurgitated by different generations for differing purposes.

While I don’t want to be overly neggy on this summery Sunday, my recent trip to the local farmers market has left me slightly cynical about the marketers and their free luvin’ vibe.

A quick round of the vegan- tree hugging grounds, enhanced by the sounds of the dread locked musos, and sight of bare foot, bra-less locals moving organically to the beats, only highlights just how squeaky clean, westernised and outa’ place I am.

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Despite being born and raised…

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Juice Your Judgement!

Around 3.30am on Sunday morning I suddenly woke and was forced to sit up in bed, holding my hard, swollen tummy while assessing whether or not last nights dinner had digested at all, and what end it was likely explode out of.

While patiently waiting for my body to sort its shit out (literally), I cursed every waiter, chef and ignorant random that has had the audacity to directly question the severity of my gluten intolerance and what ‘exactly happens’ when I consume it (and clearly ignore it while preparing the meal I pay for).

While calmly restraining from screaming DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW? WILL YOU CLEAN THE TOILET? I usually gently inform them that it is ‘severe’.

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This is the precise experience I wish I could bottle up and provide to anyone who thinks I am merely conforming to a fashionable fad diet in the attempt to rock a bikini selfie.

I was apprehensive about writing this post for a few reasons (mainly not wanting to be self-indulgent and non-relatable).

But to be honest, I am SO over the judgements made over what we do and don’t put in our mouths, and the efforts people make to enhance/ improve their body & mind, as well as the labels associated with such ‘lifestyle choices’.

And by the sound of the things I ain’t completely alone.

Yesterday I had brekky with a friend who likes to work out everyday, drink hot lemon water each morning and enjoys a vino or two, but not in excess.

At a recent dinner party she had received a lot of eye- rolls and “you’re boring” comments, when announcing that she couldn’t have a big night as she was training the following morning. However, not an eye lid was battered when a friend left the restaurant to smoke a cigarette, while excessive bottles of booze were being consumed.

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Now I don’t intend on being hypocritical, or pretending that I too don’t like to drink + skinny dip. I love nothing more than steak & chips. But these actions are my CHOICE.

No one has the right to feed me something I don’t want (or cannot eat) or to turn their nose down at my choice to spend a Friday night down ward dogging (or bragging about the benefits afterwards).

Last week I had a discussion with a person who has made a living out of educating students on her opinions and world views, in relation to particular social issues. Every single time I am EVER in the woman’s presence, I am ‘blessed’ with the findings of her research, and have my own views involuntary challenged.

The reason I am mentioning this, is because the same person expressed their frustration with ‘health nuts’, particularly those on Paleo diets, who ‘have NO right to tell anyone how to live their life’, apparently.

I found this rather entertaining, ironic and bloody hypocritical. Being an intelligent person (with a psychology degree), I expected more from someone who equally as passionate, particularly about  wellbeing.

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What many don’t realise however, is that a shift in our diet and exercise regime can be life changing, having major effects on our state of mind and body; making us happier, more confident, relaxed and fulfilled people, and can limit our reliance on legal and illegal drugs to suppress pain, anger or voids. (intolerant or not).

Before ya’ll serve me up a plate of ‘drugs are sometimes the only option’ / ‘you don’t know what leads to addictions’ backlash, chill. I know that we have been raised in world that glorifies doctors as gurus and pharmaceuticals as pills of hope and healing, when often they do little to help, when they are NOT used as part of a holistic approach. 

I also know a thing or two about mental illness, and that it can be hard to find suitable alternative therapy also.

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As reformed drug addict Russell Brand pointed out in a documentary, the (current) system of treating drug and alcohol addiction with more drugs is not the answer, rehabilitation support is.

But in the end of the day, one must WANT TO CHANGE THEIR LIFE, for it to occur. And once someone starts their journey, they should be supported and encouraged! Rather than laughed at and doubted by haters.

I guess my point is that we have to do what works FOR US, making choices that best serve our own wellbeing, and if that’s means eating excess lettuce leaves, or doing juice cleanses, then who is anyone to judge?

Lose the ‘tude.

Okay, you’re going to have to excuse me. I’m finally on uni break so my brain function is limited, which combined with the country air, beach runs, vino consumption and morning yoga, has sent me into a light coma. The happy- land daze has worked its magic; putting shit in perspective, making it really hard to be negative.

Being neggy actually isn’t fun at all. It takes energy to hate, judge, bitch, assume and participate in the rumour mill. But when we are stressed we can easily get caught up in it, particularly when we feel shitty about ourselves, our life, jobs, acquaintances and relationships. Especially when we feel small, incapable or threatened. image Stupidly, we project our self- ridicule, judgment and insecurities onto each other, in an attempt to feel better about ourselves, or to entertain.

With the daily bulletins constantly reminding us of the shocking and scary happenings of the world, it’s not always easy to smell the roses, or to not feel guilty when trying to. Mainstream media platforms are experts at making us feel extra shitty, fearful and inadequate, to ensure they maintain power.

As well as promoting the capitalist, secular (not to mention sexist, racist and xenophobic) views of the corporations funding them, the only ‘new idea’ or ‘good medicine‘ that is reinforced is the skill of scrutiny. image Last week we had the WAG parades in Australia- the awards nights that celebrate the achievements of AFL and NRL football players.

Now I’m all for a bit of glitz & glam, and I can appreciate sexiness and beauty- as y’all know; I’m all about that base.

What I am NOT about, is measuring strangers waist sizes, boob to ass ratio or eye brow contouring, or rating them on a scale, mainly because I don’t fucking know them. Also because they are not a piece of meat.

In saying this, it was when I was watching the recent interview with the first (former) female prime minister of OZ a few days ago, that I remembered just how hurtful and damaging scrutiny can be. image I was never a fan of Julia Gillard– her political bandwagon, her argumentative approach, her suites or her waddle. Her accent is on another level. I often joined in on the JG hate train, ‘coz ya know, I’ve run a country so I know better! [We all know I’d be kicked out and locked up in the first week of office for swearing in parliament.]

Of all the anecdotes she told, mistakes she owned and resilience she showed in response to the bullshit said about her private life, (in the interview) there were two main points that stood out for me.

The first was Julia’s recollection of the hourly phone calls her assistant received from (bored and pathetic) members of the public who disapproved of the necklace, earrings, skirt or hair- style she was last seen sporting. WTF!

The OTHER part that stood out to me was Gillard’s reliance on her daily YOGA practice and workout regime. imageIn battling the nation wide hate brigade, Julia resorted to the down ward dog, like I do, to fight her natural urge to retaliate. While the pressures did get the better of her, (understandably) Gillard can now draw a link between the ridicule and her defensive actions.

This is the type of realization that comes when we are forced to STOP, breathe, move and reflect. Not only was it exciting to hear that JG isn’t afraid of viewing life from different angles, {being the counseling student that I am}, it was comforting to know that someone whose been subjected to a lot of lows (amongst highs) has reaped the benefits of yoga.

“What others think of me is none of my business”

I drink, swear and love a good steak. I’m not a stereotypical yogini, but I practice it regularly. I do it for my head- to clear it,  let go of shit that doesn’t serve my life, and accept what I cannot control (like others perceptions).

Turning the focus INWARD not only teachers us about who we REALLY are rather than what we are trying/ told to be, it turns it off others. image Yoga helps us to accept and love ourselves, while accepting the different stages we may be at or challenges we might have. I wish I could tell you EXACTLY how it works, but all I’ve figured out is that the marriage of philosophy, sweat, stretching, releasing and ‘omming’ works absolute wonders for the mind body and soul. And you know the best part? it kills our super-ego– forcing us to lose the ‘tude and be nicer people to be around.

I encourage y’all to try it out, or at least go for a nice walk and smell the roses.   image

Piss off Mr Tick Tock!

On Monday I had a conversation that made really angry with myself. My friend was in a horrible state of despair, hurt and frustration, one I know only too well. In a plead for the direction, support and strength she needed to finish the grossly poisonous relationship eating away at her vital organs, she asked me questions typical of a freshly broken heart. The only answer I could provide, that didn’t delude the reality or increase the hurt was time.

I really hate clocks, I always have. Just ask my sister, who screamed at me every single school morning for making her late for the all-important pre- bell chats. Time is so limiting, and while a timer may be needed to ensure my gluten free muffins are cooked until perfectly fluffy and moist, living our lives by deadlines imposes unnecessary expectations and pressure to have achieved certain life events by certain points.

All sorts of goals regarding our financial independence, relationships, marriage and babies swim around in our subconscious, only to show their ugly heads when we experience set backs that suggest our lives may not be panning out as promised (thanks Hollywood!).

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Buddhists believe that the root of all suffering is attachment. In a way I see their point, the search for love is a rough one for most us, and breakups can be fucking brutal. As the success of Adele’s album 21 proves, loving and being loved is messy, because we drag all the stuff we have endured, good and bad, into a new dynamic, in an effort to love a flawed person, and receive love for our flawed selves. Incase that isn’t enough pressure, we then try and remain in a relationship for as long as possible, putting up with shit we wouldn’t allow our friends to, so we can achieve the happily ever after fantasy.

As Adele said at her concert, we have all experienced hurt and rejection in different forms. We don’t have to have been dumped by a lover to experience heartbreak, and sometimes the smallest events have the biggest effects. While the deeper questions may be why we feel what we do, and what on earth we did wrong in our past lives to deserve an emotional trip to the rubbish dump, the answers may take months or years to surface, when our hearts have stopped trying to escape through our belly buttons. The question that needs to be answered, particularly for my friend, is how to lift ourselves out of the dump.

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The first thing I wish someone had told me was to give myself full permission. Permission to roll around in the shit for as long as possible, riding the full rollercoaster of emotions because, no matter how long we squish them up, our feelings will not escape until we feel and release them (sorry).

Unfortunately big girls and boys DO need to CRY to rid ourselves of the shit eating away at our minds and hearts, and I wish I had given myself more permission to do so. Being STRONG actually requires us to be VULNERABLE, to accept that we are hurting. Remembering that there is no time limit for heart break is also crucial.

Joining the gym was the best decision I ever made, it gave me a focus and a healthy outlet for my anger frustration. Taking classes that encouraged kicking and shouting was therapeutic in itself, while the salty sweat and pumping of endorphins worked wonders, being proven to be more effective than anti depressants.

Of course, different forms of exercise suit different people, but I think having a healthy outlet is crucial, particularly in combating the alcohol and comfort food consumption. Exercise gets us out of our head and into our body, and also encourages us to focus on ourselves, putting our needs and wellbeing first,  not to mention the positive effect on our hormones and weight.

Talking about our shit, either with others or by writing a journal is also crucial to the releasing process, relying on our mates in hard times is what friendships are for. Travel also works as a wonderful ‘escape’ even from ourselves. Experiencing life in a new environment distant to our own provides us with clarity and a chance for re-evaluation and reflection.

While these things helped my healing process, they didn’t sew up the wounds. While a fresh perspective came in time, it was the acceptance of the past actions of others and myself that really helped me. In time, you will be able to appreciate the relationship for what it was, the good and bad part parts, and most importantly, the lessons you learnt about yourself and life.

Till then, stay strong, and take it a day at a time.

 

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