Yep, I’m an internet lover/addict. I jump online pretty much the moment I wake up, intermittently during the day, and it’s usually the last thing I see before I fall asleep. Scary. Apparently I’m not alone, with around 53% of Brits checking their smartphones before they roll out of bed. But what I’ve begun to realize is despite the amazing potential to be inspired, motivated and re-energized by this tool, I’m feeling a little a bit drained by it all. Oversaturated with myriad endless images and words that have stopped part of me from growing and evolving.
At the heart of it all, I think my insatiable thirst for information has converted me into a mindless consumer.
Now, I don’t mean that in a materialist sense, but when you come to think about it, our modern lives are so driven by what we consume…the media we read, the blogs we follow, the music we listen to, the films we watch, the things we buy. How much do you really create in your daily life?
So that’s really what my goal for the future has become. To sway the tide of how much I consume versus how much I create. I want to make something new every day. I want to try and fail, and be surprised at where the world leads me. By all means, internet browsing is still most definitely where I turn for inspiration, but the problem is, if the inspiration is not leading to action, then what’s the point?
I think the key to reaching this goal is, as with many new endeavours, take it one small step at a time. Creating doesn't mean that everything you try becomes a masterpiece or that ever little effort has to change the world. The little things are often the most effective and the idea is to slowly but surely keep chipping away.
Since having this epiphany, I’ve become a bit of a busy bee. I’m cooking more nutritious and exciting meals, I’ve enrolled in various classes, I’m back doing yoga, I’m writing a journal, painting and vision boarding (thanks for the great idea ladies!). Basically all things that I love to do that enrich the fabric of my life. I feel so much more fulfilled and grateful and the funny thing is, more and more “creation opportunities” keep coming my way. It’s a bit of a snowball affect I guess. Each step helps your momentum build.
So, are you a do-er or a spectator? Are you waiting for the right moment to make things happen? The reality is, the perfect moment is now, not tomorrow. And as many amazing, beautiful, inspiring things are you may see/hear/read/watch, it can’t ever make you feel as good as making something that great on your own.
Katerina Bacchiaz is a former Sydney fashion publicist living out a sea change in Mexico. Current addictions include coconut oil, morning meditation, skype, baking, airfreight magazines, MyYogaOnline and almond milk. Lover of all people and places.
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Image by Eliseo Torres Zuno (permission given)
To make a real long and complicated story short: I have had a couple of really rough and painful years. I am still not sure about the ‘how and the why’ of it all, and maybe I will never be. I spiraled down the path of depression and an eating disorder and in my fall I lost track of everything else. I was in the dark to the extent that I did not see my friends or family, I could not feel their love, even though it was absolutely there. But I wasn’t. I was empty and completely lost.
And then, December 2012 happened. The world did not end, but my life changed in every way. It felt like my own personal apocalypse. It was the most painful experience I have ever known.
My body took over and I gained the weight. It was not a choice. The choice came later: go back, or move on, fight. And I chose. I wanted to see what was on the other side. Very slowly things are changing. My dreams woke up again, I can feel the love and see the beauty in this world. I am still as lost as I was before, but now there is hope. The future doesn’t scare me as much as it did, it doesn’t seem hopeless and I don’t feel that desperate anymore.
There is still a very long journey to make and it will probably take a lifetime. That’s okay. My fight has given me a huge amount of pain, but at some point I have to accept it as a part of me. In a way it’s also one of the most meaningful and most beautiful things in my life. It’s almost like I have found that bit extra that makes me think harder and feel deeper. And that is a very powerful thing . It can break you if you’re not paying attention. But it also has the power to make you great if you learn how to use it right. Like magic, it can be used for good or evil.
My inspiration is coming back, and I can see it in the notebooks that I keep. They are filling up faster, more creative and positive. My attitude changed too. Yesterday I was thinking what it was that I could do every day to keep this going and keep my focus on my emotional well-being. When you read it, it may seem really obvious, but I thought it was worth sharing, because we all need a reminder sometimes…
1. Try your best every single day. After all that’s all you can do.
2. Go easy on yourself.
3. Be grateful and humble.
4. Accept the things that you can’t change and that are beyond your control.
5. Be honest with yourself and the people you love.
6. Be creative and look for inspiration: write, draw, read, watch movies, travel …
7. Maintain a healthy balance (in terms of eating, sleeping,etc…)
8. Respect your boundaries.
9. Be happy about every step you make. However small it seems, if it means something to you, it’s important.
It helped me to just write this and I hope these words can help others too.
An-Sofie Mattelaer is a student in Belgium with big dreams of one day travelling the world as an anthropologist and doing humanitarian work. Besides exploring the world, I am re-exploring myself, reconstructing my soul and focusing on my health–mentally and physically. My goal is to inspire and be inspired.
By Rosie Fae
This morning I woke up and proceeded to get ready for the day ahead in my very precise and planned manner. Although mornings for most is a foggy scramble and stumble out the door with a piece of toast between the teeth, for me it is a chance to set an intention for my day, align some order and make sure that, when I step out into the world, I am ready for everything. This consists of meditation/belly breathing upon waking, dry brushing, and oil pulling occasionally, a warm lemon and water and supplements, a breakfast of oats, rice milk, sheep’s yoghurt, flax oil and LSA/chia powder, speaking positive affirmations and reading specific bible scriptures!
After completion of my routine on this very morning, I wandered down to Uni, to my Brand Communication class, feeling proud of my committed and dedicated healthy lifestyle. During the lesson we investigated “marketing ploys” and “Macro trends.” Ironically, the macro trend of ‘eating healthy, organic, exotic foods and engaging in what once were ‘unique and alternative’ lifestyle practises came up. The class talked about how these things that were once only for “hippies” and “health-freaks” are now becoming a trendy and acceptable way of living. But is this macro trend really coming from people who have general interest in their health and wellbeing and want to make a change, or people who jump on the bandwagon because ‘he, she and the next person does it and it worked..?’
So the question is...do people who boast a ‘healthy and simplistic lifestyle’ really walk the talk? or do they simply use it in social situations to sound ‘better’ and more enlightened than their peers, when really the only thing in their life that contributes to this lifestyle is the packet of green tea or ‘Goji berry muesli’ in the pantry?
We must realise that a healthy lifestyle change and organic way of living must come from the individuals desire for change and to do something good for THEMSELVES regardless of what people around them claim or are involved in. Not just a passing trend to partake in in order to have the upper hand in your ‘#healthy meal photos’ but a way of living that will sustain your health for years and years to come.
So if you’re serious about yourself and your health, have a think about who you are living for… the opinions of others, or for the sake of your wellbeing? Then take the time to fully commit by establishing daily wellness routines for your mind, body, and spirit. You will eventually gain something so much more rewarding and fulfilling than a ‘healthy façade’.
Rosie is a proud Kiwi, currently studying a bachelor of Visual Communication Design, an avid junkie for all things health and wellness related, Organic/alternative skincare lover, Jesus follower, who believes that by nurturing your gifts and passions and taking all challenges as lessons, the greatest successes will become you fortune.
Depression is a common thing nowadays. In his book "Better Than Normal", Dr. Dale Archer says that depression was not that common in 80's and people only went to psychiatrists if they were in a real trouble. But today it is not like that. So many people feel like they have fallen into depression. Some go to therapists, but some try to be their own therapists and overcome depression by themselves. I had a hard depression, too. But I couldn't handle it by myself and I went to a therapist. So, as a one who has experienced depression, let me give you some advices to overcome depression easily:
Mindful Musing: Success
It has been said, about success, that its meaning is very different to different people. I would like to first off write that I disagree. Success, as defined by Webster's Dictionary, means an outcome, or result that is either favored or desired. What you choose to be successful at, now that can be different. And how successful one can be, well there are varying degrees, but the term Success is very simply goal oriented. If you set a goal, and you reach it, then, my lovelies, you may call yourself successful.
I was born in England. When I was a few months old we moved to Northern Ireland. When I was two years old we moved to Canada where we lived for seven years. When I was nine we then moved back to Republic of Ireland and settled there. So…from a young age I was travelling a lot! I was given great opportunities at a young age to travel. I went to places like California, Paris and Malaga on family holidays. But I think I took all these travelling opportunities for granted as they were handed to me on a silver platter. But I was very lucky to have them.
At the age of 20, I started to buy my own plane tickets and go off on little adventures with my friends. Living in Ireland, the air fares to other European countries were pretty cheap! We travelled to Edinburgh for a weekend…gaining many stories! Went to Berlin for a few days, even more stories! The first time I flew by myself was when I went to Vienna for the first time to visit my boyfriend. Now, I’m not great at flying, but I made myself do it. Travelling around Europe really made me see the world differently. And gave me a travel bug for more!
When I graduated from University, my friends and I were looking into travelling for a year before we continued with our studies. We had our sights set on New York but it didn’t seem realistic to find work. Then we considered Canada but we didn’t want somewhere so cold. Then one of the girls suggested Australia. I immediately said no. I couldn’t go. Panic set in me. There was no way I was going to move that far away for a year. It seemed like another planet away. The others had decided to go, but I still wasn’t sure. A few months later I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t go now, when was I ever going to go? So I booked a ticket to Australia! I lived in Melbourne first, which was amazing, then moved to Northern Australia near Airlie Beach and then moved to Perth. I lived in Oz for 18 months in total, living and working. And it was the best time of my life! I would never regret it for a second.
Currently I am living in Vienna, Austria. I think I’ll move back to Ireland eventually, but at the moment, the travel bug is still going strong. I want to travel all over Asia, America, Africa, and South America. It’s so important to travel, and moving to Australia taught me that. It gave me a new lease of life and a new perspective on things. So, my advice?….book a ticket somewhere and learn about the world!
Catherine is a psychology graduate, with a love of singing, acting and dancing. Loves travelling. Loves writing for YourZenLife, loves being healthy and is a major dog lover.
About 3 months ago I was in a depression. A hard one. I was relapsing all the time and I was closing myself up in my room. I even considered suicide. After a while, I would go to emergency-room every night to take sedatives to be able to relax.