You Are The Entire Universe

Sometimes inner peace is about relaxing, smoothing over rough edges, smiling and simply breathing.  Other times, when we are dealing with turbulent forces inside and outside of us, we are forced to really embrace our infinite nature.

We may experience thunder storms and volcanoes inside of us, which can be overwhelming, or act as a reminder to grow.  Sometimes the battles we are facing seem so big that only in becoming bigger that a galaxy of stars do we feel able to cope.  Only then are we able to see the beauty of the mountains we have conquered.

View from Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal

When you are the entire universe there is no need to fight against the wild forces that exist within you.  You can appreciate the fire, the lightning and rough seas, just as much as you can appreciate the beautiful sunny days when your mind is crystal clear.

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Dissolving into a blissful state of peace is easy when conditions are gentle, but when we are facing challenges (whether these come from within or without) we get the opportunity to feel our power.  When we remember that we have the ability to expand beyond whatever emotion or turmoil we are facing, no matter how huge it seems, we no longer feel the need to try to deny, diminish or fight against it.

The fire inside us that we were previously trying to extinguish for fear it would destroy us, becomes pure magic.  We no longer feel that we are drowning in our emotions.  We can swim through them, enjoying their depth and vastness.

Tranquillity may not seem possible in the midst of extreme conditions, but if we can visualise the trials we are facing to be powerful forces of nature, peace can be found in visualising ourselves to be the infinite space of a universe full of stars which allows everything within to exist without restraint.

When we no longer feel the need to restrict any part of ourselves or others due to fear, we can experience a beautiful freedom which grows with us.  The more we can expand into our infinite selves, the more joy we can find, even in our struggles.

When you are the entire universe, how can you not see the beauty of the explosions inside of you?  They are no threat to your existence, and the drama only enhances your magnificence.  So don’t be afraid next time a storm comes, it’s just showing you who you really are!

It is my wish that this post helps you find a little more acceptance for difficult emotions or experiences you may face, and is not intended to be taken too seriously.  Never be afraid to seek out professional help if you need it.  Therapy is an incredibly empowering process which I would recommend 100% from my personal experience.  Your journey is unique, and doing what feels right for YOU without fear of judgement is the best advice I can give.  Feel free to leave me a comment below to say hello 🙂

 

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Strange Beauty

Other worldly things remind us that anything is possible.  They temporarily set us free from our limited perspective, and remind us of our infinite potential.  Strangeness is essential if we are to evolve and grow.  Every breakthrough or new invention is the result of doing something differently, or something that has never been done before.

A great way to free up our creativity is to fully embrace all things weird and wonderful.

It’s easy to feel at peace on a sunny day, surrounded by pleasant things, but a whole new world of magic opens up when we can begin to see the beauty in unusual places.

Reflections, Dublin, Ireland

I got very lost recently when I was in Belgrade, Serbia.  I found myself in what I considered to be an ‘ugly’ part of town, miles away from where I was trying to go.  Luckily I get lost a lot, and was ready for the familiar feelings of anger and frustration that arose.  However, when I’m travelling my aim is to enjoy every minute, even when things aren’t going my way.

I suddenly realised how awesome it was to be alone in an area of the city where tourists never go.  My eyes opened to the beauty around me, and I even began to enjoy the feeling of frustration at being lost.  If it was easy there would be no adventure.

Belgrade, Serbia

These strange wonders, that we encounter when we least expect, provide contrast and allow us to fully appreciate the more obvious joyful experiences in life.

As well as these unexpected discoveries of hidden treasure, we can purposefully choose to admire the captivating weirdness of the world around us.  Take a long slow walk seeking out the magic in unusual places.  Discover the beauty in the brambles and the dirt, and admire the strangeness of all of existence.

When we view weird, eerie and even ugly things as reminders of our creative potential, fear and disgust are instantly transformed into pleasure and awe.  Our natural tendency is to avoid unpleasant things, and for good reason, but by releasing resistance to what we fear we may learn something new about the world and ourselves.

Inspiration often hides in strange places!

Graffiti in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

If you tried my suggestion above of taking a walk with the intention of appreciating the strange beauty all around us, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.  What did you discover?

 

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Shimmering Magic Everywhere

After an overnight bus to Belgrade, Serbia, I was feeling exhausted and a little grumpy.  As I wandered around the most beautiful part of the city, I found it difficult to appreciate my surroundings, so I had to make a deliberate effort to change my mindset.

Through meditation and repeatedly focusing my attention back towards anything beautiful or that I appreciated in some way, I found myself slowly manifesting my intention to see the world through fresh eyes.

Belgrade, Serbia

I wrote this meditation as a way to share the magic with you.

Meditation

“Shimmering magic everywhere.”  Make this your mantra and watch the wonders unfold.  Keep your heart expansive and your eyes open, and see how much more beauty you notice.  Feel a subtle tingling throughout your whole body as you realise you are a part of this miraculous reality.

Belgrade, Serbia

Whatever your current surroundings are, glide through with lightness and ease.  Appreciate every blessing, no matter how small, and give yourself the gift of enjoying each precious moment.

Shimmering. Magic. Everywhere.

Even when it feels like there is nothing beautiful to appreciate, there is magic hiding in plain sight.

Cloud reflected in water.

There is magic in the window reflections, in the street lights and flickering shadows.  There is magic in the sky, and the ground beneath our feet.

As you observe the shimmering magic all around you, feel it inside your body too.  You created this feeling with your intention, and with practice it becomes a lot easier to access.  You can store it up to use how and whenever you want, and radiate it out into the world.

Another amazing way to embody this feeling is by wearing beautiful jewels and anything else you find uplifting.  Take a look at my Etsy shop to see some of my creations, made with the intention of reflecting this magic.

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The Magic Is In You – Hidden Places

I’m so excited to be travelling to southeastern Europe this week.  People keep asking me where I’m going, and I still have no idea!  Even though I’ve embraced planning more recently (see my post ‘How To Be An Organised Free Spirit‘), I’m going back to my old adventurous ways on this trip!

I’m sure I’ll check off some famous tourist sites, such as Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, and Kotor Bay, Montenegro, but what I’m most looking forward to are those precious moments alone in hidden places.

You don’t have to venture far off the beaten track to find them, you just need an explorer’s attitude!  If you give yourself time to get lost, you can appreciate your surroundings even if you aren’t where you intended to be.

I remember being amazed at the dramatic scenery of Cappadocia, Turkey, along with many other tourists.  The hot air balloon ride was out of this world, and the fairy chimney rock formations were incredible.  However, the best part was getting lost in this arid landscape.  I vividly remember quiet moments alone, away from the main sights, scrambling up sandy slopes, through bushes, with thorns in my shoes!

Rose Valley, Cappadocia

You don’t have to travel far to discover secret treasures though.  I’m still finding new hidden spots within walking distance of home, and often have to remind myself of where I am, as I feel like I could be hundreds of miles away.

That’s the beauty of going somewhere new, even if it’s just a quiet park you’ve never been to before.  For a moment you feel as though you have been transported to another world.

Meditation

Explore a hidden place, near or far, or just somewhere quiet that you’ve never been before.  As you take in your surroundings, contemplate how many hidden places there must be in the world.  Even if you spent your whole life trying, you couldn’t begin to see them all.

As you explore this new place, let it be a reminder of the endless adventures that are possible.  Adventure doesn’t need to be about location, it is a feeling that comes from within (see my post ‘The Benefit Of An Adventurous Mindset‘).  If you keep your eyes and mind open there are opportunities everywhere to make new discoveries.

Greenbank Cemetery, Bristol, UK

Notice the tingles of excitement you get when discovering a new corner of this beautiful planet.  Your senses become heightened as you experience this place for the first time.  Spend as long as you wish soaking in this feeling.  Try to capture it in a few words or photos, so that you can return to it later.

There are so many amazing miracles happening all around us.  Let this experience of exploring a hidden place be a reminder to stay tuned in to the spirit of discovery, so that we can witness more of this magic every day.

Exploring hidden places is such a great way to find a bit of peace and reset our busy minds.  Is it something you already do regularly, or something you want to do more of?  Let me know in the comments below 🙂

 

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Fairytale Magic In Killarney, Ireland

My time in Dublin had been nice.  I’d spent hours getting lost in the museum absorbing all the history.  I’d walked for miles, stopping to admire amazing architecture and eat at yummy vegetarian restaurants.  But it wasn’t until I was on the bus out of there that I really started to relax into the trip.

I don’t know if it was just my imagination, but the cows in the fields looked happier than they do in the UK.  Everything seemed just that little bit softer.  There was hardly any traffic, and I imagined how awesome it would be to come back on an epic road trip.  For now though, I was very happy not to be driving, and drifted in and out of sleep, listened to music and day dreamed about what was to come.

We passed through some gorgeous towns that I would love to visit one day, and then we began the approach into Killarney National Park.  The scenery became more rugged, and I finally felt like I was on an adventure again.  I’d felt excited at the airport, as I always do, but Dublin was so much like home that it didn’t really give me that holiday feeling.

Even while I was still on the bus it felt easier to breathe in these wild surroundings.  As we emerged from the forest into the small town I saw some serious walkers with all their outdoor gear, obviously about to tackle some of the surrounding peaks.  There were horse drawn carriages to take tourists wanting a less physically demanding holiday around the park.  I was somewhere in the middle.  I intended to do lots of walking, but no mountains this time!

My hostel was an idyllic haven, truly a home away from home.  The people were lovely and welcoming, and all the rooms were named after animals!  Everything inside was made out of wood, which combined with the fresh country air to create the feeling of being on some kind of retreat.

I met the most wonderful guy from Canada, whose eyes lit up when he talked about his time in Ireland.  He had an almost Irish sounding accent, as he was from a very isolated part of Newfoundland where there were a lot of Irish immigrants.  Maybe that’s why he felt such a strong connection to this country.

I love meeting people from all over the world, especially when they have such different lifestyles to mine.  There is something really special about people who live away from the hustle and bustle of big cities.  They radiate such a gentle calm presence.  I don’t think I could live in a rural area (I need good vegan pizza and all my friends near me!) but I feel such a strong pull towards that simpler way of life.

From what I had gathered from my conversations with other travellers, everywhere in the national park was extremely beautiful, and I could easily spend many days walking and exploring here.  I was excited but tired, so took a nap and just spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the town, preparing for an adventure the following day.  I felt like I was already settling into the slower pace of life that Killarney invited.

On my first full day there I took a walk along the shores of the vast lake to Ross Castle.  A German girl I’d met in Dublin had recommended the route, so I followed in her footsteps.  I was not disappointed.  Almost immediately I spotted a grey heron as I walked along the river that led to the lake.

When I reached the lake I basked in the stillness, taking in the shimmering water and majestic hills that surrounded it.  I imagined people hundreds of years ago experiencing that same feeling of wonder as they stood on these very shores, gazing at the beautiful landscape.  I continued my walk, sometimes next to the water, sometimes deeper into the forest, surrounded by wild flowers and lush green leaves.

Just as my feet were beginning to ache, I caught a glimpse of Ross Castle between the trees.  Seconds before I took this photo, a ray of sunlight shone through the parting clouds, illuminating the castle.  Obviously, as soon as I got my camera out the sun disappeared, but it was a magical moment!

The castle perfectly reflected the drama of the landscape, creating an otherworldly fairytale scene.  It was a strange feeling to reach the castle and be surrounded by people again, who had come by car or horse and carriage.  There was something extremely satisfying about arriving on foot, as I drive almost everywhere at home!

I decided to walk back along the road, which was long and boring, because my legs couldn’t handle going all the way back around the lake!  When I reached the hostel, I immediately collapsed on my bed for a snooze, cooked a huge bowl of pasta, and psyched myself up to do it all again the next day!

I had a vague plan to explore the area around Muckross Abbey as I set off on my next adventure in the national park.  The sun was shining, and the lake looked stunning.  The soothing sound of the lapping water made me want to lie down on the pebbles and take a nap, but I had a lot of ground to cover so I kept walking.

Eventually I reached the abbey ruins, and took my time exploring every nook and cranny.  Suddenly the clouds came over, and it looked like it was about to rain, creating an eerie atmosphere.  The sun soon came back out, and I avoided getting wet, but thought I should probably get a move on in case the weather changed again.

Muckross Abbey

The path got more and more scenic, luring me further along until I reached Muckross House and gardens.  Arriving in the gardens was like stepping into some kind of paradise after the long walk.  The beautifully designed gardens were so soothing, and completely distracted me from the blisters on my feet, hunger and general exhaustion!  I was only at the half way point of my walk, but felt totally revived by the heavenly surroundings.

The return journey was a lot easier than I’d imagined, but I still fell asleep again as soon as I got back!  I felt very content when I woke up, which was lucky because my tranquil retreat had transformed into a noisy hub of activity.  It was a bank holiday weekend, and there was a huge car rally happening in the tiny town.

I could understand why, with such amazing roads around the lake and surrounding hills, but it was a bit of a shock to be woken up that night by revving engines and car horns!  I can sleep through almost anything though, so although a little confused, I still got plenty of rest.

The next day I had a lazy start, and took a gentler walk along a circuit where I could see herds of red deer, and more magnificent views.  I had planned on taking a day trip to the Dingle peninsula, having heard amazing things about it.  However, I decided to prioritize relaxation over trying to do absolutely everything in a short space of time.

On my trip to Costa Rica last year I got sick twice (I rarely get ill at home) because I pushed myself to do more than I genuinely wanted to.  I met some great people who were packing in all of the sights, and although I enjoyed days out with them, I much prefer to go at my own pace.  So I learned my lesson, and passed on the fabulous sounding tour.  It felt really good to honor my own feelings though, instead of thinking that I ‘should’ be doing more.

So Dingle is another place to add to the list for a future Ireland road trip!  It’s exciting to have a country so nearby that I have barely begun to explore.  I’m not sure when I’ll go back, there are so many more adventures to be had in new countries before then, but with my tent, a car and some friends, it will be a completely different experience!

I headed back to Dublin feeling relaxed and invigorated, ready to enjoy some more good food and tourist attractions before heading home.  Even with the crazy boy racers, Killarney had been the perfect relaxing break in the countryside that I’d been hoping for!

Have you been to Ireland?  So many people I met recommended Killarney to me, and now I see why!  Where in Ireland would you recommend going?

 

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What Would You Do If There Were No Limitations?

I used to be so limited in my thinking.  I rarely exercised my imagination, as I could see no practical use for it.  Now I see the world a little differently.  Having experimented extensively with visualization and expressing myself creatively, I have experienced the inspiration it can bring.

When you truly allow yourself to dream without limitations, you feel better in your body and clearer in your mind, and new ideas which are in alignment with your dreams may come to you spontaneously.  Taking action feels easier and less forced.

I talk more about taking action in my previous post How To Turn Life Into A Magical Adventure, but for now I want to discuss the ‘dreaming without limitations’ aspect in detail.

What would you do if there were no limitations?

How would you go through life if you knew you would live forever?  I would feel so much lighter and freer.  I would play more, explore more, and just soak up every detail.  I would feel like a fairy, sprinkling love and joy wherever I went.  Sounds like a nice way to live to me, regardless of whether or not the original assumption is true!

What if you weren’t limited by money?  I’m not just talking about being rich.  I mean, what if you could experience anything you wanted without money?  I would surround myself with precious jewels, go on amazing adventures, and spend time relaxing deeply while basking in luxurious surroundings.

What would you do if you were not limited by your body?  Or gravity?  If there were no physical limitations, I would delight in floating through space, surrounded by a dazzling array of twinkling lights.  I would move my body freely any way I wanted, enjoying the amazing range of motion.

How would you behave if other people’s opinions didn’t affect you?  Would you dress differently?  Would you join the circus, or sing to birds, or spend time living with a pack of wolves, or a troupe of monkeys??

There are infinitely many different limitations on all of us.  Some of them are self imposed, and some of them we did not consciously choose.  Do your dreams ignite that spark of magic inside you?  If not, then you may be imposing limitations of the ‘real world’ on your dream world.

The kind of dreams that give you that inner glow are the ones in which anything is possible.  You may choose certain limitations, such as a human body and gravity, so that you can have earthly adventures.  Or you may choose to experience a realm in which you have superhuman powers.

The choice is entirely yours.  Go with whatever gives you that blissful feeling inside.

Even moving a tiny amount towards overcoming our limitations is such a liberating feeling.  For example, imagining flying probably isn’t going to lead to us immediately becoming weightless and floating away up into space.  However, it inspired me to try out some arm balances today that I hadn’t done for a while, which felt awesome.

Imagining myself in a cave filled with precious jewels doesn’t make me any richer, but it does give me a renewed appreciation for the beauty of all the crystals I surround myself with, and inspires me to keep creating and working on my Etsy shop.

Dreaming of adventures led me to watch some incredibly inspiring Youtube videos about travelling in China.  I’m in the very early research stages of planning a trip there, but I’m enjoying every second of it!  Just taking that tiny step of looking online at all of the amazing things to see, and food to eat, makes me feel like the adventure has already begun!

We are always moving towards and creating new things in life.  We will have to compromise in the outer world, but we don’t have to compromise on our dreams.  If we are heading in the direction of our majestic dreams, we are sure to experience some amazing things along the way!

What are you dreaming of?

Leave me a comment below 🙂

 

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Be More Savage

If you are a ‘push through’ and ‘work hard’ kind of person, this post isn’t for you.  You don’t need to get better at tolerating pain and discomfort.  In fact, if you are in touch with your tough side, but struggle with relaxation, you may like to read my post Make Peace A Priority, as this is probably more relevant to you right now.

Disclaimer out of the way, this is my current perspective on developing an aspect of myself that has suffered ever since I stopped rock climbing, became vegetarian and took up yoga, meditation and massage therapy!

I am very in touch with my soft, compassionate, emotional side.  I am extremely sensitive, and I value this quality, but you can definitely have too much of a good thing.  I would never want to lose my ability to cry at terrible suffering, a beautiful song, or a cute puppy!  However, when my extreme sensitivity paralyses me, causing confusion and a general feeling of wanting to hide from the world, I need to call upon my inner warrior goddess.

My usual approach when undertaking physical challenges is to relax as much as possible in order to conserve energy.  This usually works really well.  I recently managed to survive an inflatable 5k obstacle race relatively unscathed, despite not having run in years!  I really dislike running, and my body was attempting to panic a little at the situation, but my yoga mindset kicked in and I was able to relax and enjoy myself.

Long walks on my recent trip to Ireland really got me though.  With blisters and aching feet, a shortage of water, and 5 miles still to walk, my sense of ease was rapidly fading.  I usually try to avoid too much physical discomfort, and treat pain as a warning signal from my body.  When I can’t escape discomfort my thoughts can rapidly spiral downwards.

Rainforest near La Fortuna, Costa Rica

This time, however, I was determined to enjoy my day, so I decided I needed to work on my mindset.  I tried visualizing being light, joyful and full of energy, but unfortunately it just wasn’t working and I kept getting sucked back into negativity.  Then I had a breakthrough.

Since I couldn’t avoid the pain, I decided I may as well embrace it.  I would be doing a lot of lying down, eating and relaxing later.  My body would have plenty of time to rest, and I could go back to being the sensitive, deep feeling creature I know and love.  But for now I needed to toughen the hell up, and be inspired by the more savage aspects of myself.

‘World’s most dangerous road’, Bolivia

I visualized ferocious, yet divine, creatures that channelled their monster like qualities into fierce unstoppable power.  I saw the absolute beauty in these savage qualities, infinitely capable of surviving the most extreme conditions.  It sounds silly, but that was the kind of energy I needed to really enjoy my experience.

I imagined my claws poised ready to tear through any obstacles, and my eyes glowing purple with pure energy.  The discomfort became fuel to my inner fire, and I felt like I could take on any challenge.

Angel Falls, Venezuela

My blisters felt like battle scars, the pain in my ankles reminded me how far I’d walked, and I thrived on feeling thirsty, hungry and tired.  It was such a rapid turn around from how I’d been feeling moments before.  The power of the human mind is phenomenal.

By the end of the walk I was feeling euphoric.  I was back in the city, and the usual anxiety I feel in crowded places was displaced by an inner strength and power I hadn’t felt for a long time.  I also no longer felt the urgency to eat immediately, or the panic about straining my muscles.  I had become ever so slightly more badass.

Mr President, a ferocious disabled little kitten we met in Morocco, was such an inspiration. He climbed up steps by doing handstands as he had no use of his back legs, and hissed at the big dogs who were scared to go near him!

My primary inspiration is still a more gentle divine being, but I loved exploring this lesser developed aspect of myself.  We are capable of infinitely many modes of being, and there is great benefit in developing sides of ourselves we may be shying away from.  Treasure is often found in the least likely places!

What are your less developed / hidden qualities?  Do you want to explore them?  If you don’t know where to begin, try thinking of mythical (or real) creatures that embody these qualities, and use them as your inspiration!  Let me know how it goes, or any other thoughts, in the comments below 🙂

 

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How To Be An Organised Free Spirit

Surely a contradiction in terms?  You value freedom and spontaneity more than air, and the thought of doing anything in a remotely organised logical manner makes you shudder with fear.  You will not be stifled, and will break out of every box you are put in.  But what about when your desire to be free becomes the trap that holds you?

When your lack of focus and clear thinking prevent you from doing the things you love, something has to change.  Do you dream of travelling the world, but never manage to save enough money?  Do you feel overwhelmed managing every day tasks like keeping your house clean, but have dreams bigger than a galaxy?

I used to love flying by the seat of my pants, and still do to some extent, but recently I’ve been burned by my aversion to planning and strategic thinking.  When I was much younger my organisational skills were excellent.  I was always the one arranging social events, and I managed my finances like a dream.  Then I got bored.  So so bored.

I rebelled a little, and I had a lot of fun!  I quit jobs and took risks.  I travelled not knowing when I would come home, or how long my money would last.  (Luckily I had all my stuff destroyed in a huge fire, so came home early with more than enough money, but that’s another story!)

Monastery in Georgia

I sent my plan of a serious career using my mathematics degree floating happily out of the window.  Unfortunately I threw away that entire side of my brain with it, and lost all structure and stability in my life.

I’ve had several wake up calls lately, which have made me realise I need to reclaim my lost skills.  One example was when I was refused entry to Panama because I didn’t have the right documentation, and was sent on a bus (in tears, I might add) back to Costa Rica with my tail between my legs.  Granted I ended up having the most wonderful Christmas at home with friends and family, but I was frustrated with myself for not being on top of my game.

The most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen, in Costa Rica, somewhere near Punta Uva in the Puerto Viejo area.

It’s one thing when a lack of focus and planning interferes with life at home, but when it interferes with my travels, and prevents me from spending Christmas on a deserted tropical island, SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE!

I still find getting my brain in order a struggle at times, but I am learning to embrace it through a complete change in how I see ‘boring’ administrative tasks.  I have my friend Claire to thank for my new found ability to enjoy being organised.  She is the absolute Queen of planning, and often writes lists purely for the love of it!

Seeing what a positive impact this had on her life, and the fact it was more of a pleasure than a chore, made me realise that I could benefit from a different mindset.  I doubt I’ll ever go back to being the super organised girl I used to be, who had everything under control, but I don’t think I would want to.  There was a rigidity to my life that chaos well and truly set me free from.

There is such beauty in letting go, but I have come to see the beauty in organisation too.  If you can’t see it yet, I completely understand.  To a wild free spirit, structure can feel like it is literally suffocating you.  I think this comes from associating things like planning ahead and being proactive with having to do things you don’t want to do.  It doesn’t have to be this way though.

I have begun to make a new association with being organised.  Instead of feeling a sense of doom when I have to make a phone call, book a flight, or do my accounts, I associate it with a sense of peace.  Yet again, it is visualisation to the rescue for me!  (I have written MANY posts on this topic.)  Whenever I exercise my organisational skills, I see ripples of peace flowing out into every aspect of my life.  I know my mind will be just a little bit calmer because of the action I have taken, and I know that these tiny habits will compound over time.

I am passionate about peace.  It is something I value as highly as freedom, so when I saw the connection between being organised and living more peacefully, it was easy to embrace a little structure every now and then.  I am certainly not claiming to live a serenely peaceful life with everything flowing smoothly, but I have definitely made significant improvements.

Simple things such as writing a shopping list or planning my day can take away unnecessary stress, leaving my mind clear and tranquil.  This is the ultimate prize, especially for a dreamer.  The more efficient we can be at dealing with the necessary but sometimes boring details of life, the freer we are to see the magnificence of the bigger picture.

Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland

So next time you’re struggling to get the washing up done, or lacking the motivation to get your finances in order, try thinking of it as a way of cultivating a deeper feeling of peace in your life.  Remember this while you are completing the arduous or boring task, and after you have finished feel grateful that you taken a small step in the direction of a more smoothly flowing life.

There is great freedom in floating through our days in a dreamy messy haze, embracing whatever life throws at us.  Our wild side is an asset that should never be lost.  However, when we combine it with joyfully doing the things that will ultimately make our life easier, we taste a greater freedom than we ever imagined possible.

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Do you have a good balance of order and chaos in your life, or do you lean more towards one side?  If you keep everything in perfect order, do you wish you could let go a little?  If you always go with the flow, do you wish you had a little more control?  I’ve thoroughly experimented with both, so would love to hear from you either way!

 

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Celebrate Life

Whether we’re on top of the world, or in the depths of fear and despair, LIFE is the one thing that connects us all.  Even when everything is falling apart, it is impossible to deny on a logical level that life is an amazing miracle.

We may not feel like celebrating when we are in the midst of sadness or anger, but the truth of existence remains.  The material world springs from the void in all of its complexity, and our emotion is a direct experience of this.

Whether we are aged 2, 22 or 202, we have reason to celebrate.  Life is the one thing that connects us all.  Whether we are full of love and joy, or feeling disconnected and isolated, getting back to basics and acknowledging the extraordinary experience we are sharing can only enrich our lives.

Ayutthaya, Thailand

When I was younger, this desire to celebrate came incredibly naturally.  To be dancing with other souls on this sacred journey was the best feeling in the world.  All I wanted to do was soak up every precious moment.  It was completely unconscious though.  I was just a young person enjoying the party.

Fast forward a few years, I’d had several premature mid life crises, and lost my passion for such festivities.  Somewhere along the way, I’d forgotten why I was celebrating.  I experienced the other side of life, at times lost in deep sadness and isolation.  However, avoiding parties and festivals definitely didn’t help.  At least not at first.

I didn’t know what made me happy any more, so I took the time to explore my creativity and do some serious soul searching.  I discovered my values and reasons for living, and now I truly understand the importance of celebrating our existence together.

Dressing up as a badger is the best way to celebrate any occasion!

In our society, there is a tendency as we get older to let this celebratory side of us fall asleep, in favour of a quieter peace and contentment (or bitterness, anger and resentment!).  But having experienced the full spectrum of emotions, we have the chance to bring a depth to our celebration that we were previously unaware of.

Every experience feeds our soul in some way.  The more life we have lived, the more our creativity can bloom.  It is our duty to one another to share our magic.

Handmade gemstone necklaces pictured available in my shop www.etsy.com/shop/tessheaven.

Belief in various gods or a higher power unites people in other cultures, giving festivals a deeper meaning, and a reason to set aside individual egos.  However, our lack of a shared belief system shouldn’t prevent us from joining forces, and worshipping almighty LIFE together.

I think this is something we forget in our country sometimes, in favour of hedonism and obliteration.  There is definitely a place for reckless abandon, but maybe there would be less need to escape reality if we were more focused on celebrating the one thing that unites us all.  Being ALIVE!

 

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A Letter To My Fellow Solo Adventurers

This post was inspired by a good friend of mine who is moving back to Bristol soon after spending many months living alone in Cornwall, one of the most wild and beautiful parts of our country.  I recently went to visit her, and she showed me some awesome places, but also told me how she’d been struggling with loneliness.

Beach near Porthtowan, Cornwall, UK

This is an all too familiar story to me, having recently cut short my travels in Costa Rica to be with friends and family for Christmas.  Obviously I’m delighted my friend is coming home, as having loved ones around you is one of the most precious things in the world.  But I know that people like us will always crave new experiences and adventures, and sometimes this means having no one to share them with.

This letter is to myself, my friend, and the thousands of other brave souls out there living unconventional lives.

Dear Adventurer,

I know you feel like you are alone right now, but you are wrong.  I am thinking of you when you feel sad because you think the difficult path you have chosen was a mistake.  I am with you when you are admiring a breathtaking view with a feeling of melancholy because there is nobody to share the special moment.

Even when your adventures don’t feel as enjoyable as they should, know that you are still inspiring me.  I can see you with the wind in your hair out there living life, when I am wrapped up in my blanket at home planning my next escape.

When you’re worrying about your next move or trip, know that I’m here doing the same.  Planning, scheming, getting excited, and thinking ‘what the hell am I doing with my life?!’.  There are so many of us, we shouldn’t feel alone.

Monteverde, Costa Rica

I’m with you when you are gazing longingly at photos of faraway places, wondering if it is worth leaving the supportive embrace of home to take on a new challenge.  There will be struggles whether you stay or go, and know that you are not alone in this.

We are separated by time and space, but we are always together.  Next time you are at the top of a mountain, swimming in a river, or walking on a deserted beach with sand between your toes, say a quiet hello to me.

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Sometimes we will get to experience adventures together, and these will be all the more amazing.  Our brave solo adventures have strengthened our adventurous spirits, and when we are together it is magical.

Thank you for choosing the road less travelled.  Soak up every unique detail because I want to hear about it all.  The world through your eyes is such a beautiful place, and although I will never be able to fully share your experience, the glimpses I get bring me so much joy.

Next time you are out exploring alone, remember you’re not just doing it for yourself.  Your courage helps keep the spirit of adventure alive in all of us.  Whether you’re travelling the world, or simply out surfing for the afternoon, your actions have an inspiring ripple effect, spreading an empowering message to so many others.

Baldi Hot Springs, Costa Rica

When you’re lost in the wilderness, or lost in a maze of confusion in your own mind, know that you are never ever alone.  We share the same dreams, and every step you take towards yours brings me closer to my own.  Let’s create a world where we celebrate our individual paths, enjoying the moments where we intersect, and giving each other the strength to walk sections alone.

All my love,

Tess ❤

 

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