#2 Grateful for Urban Decay

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There’s a road at the end of my street which has, to put it nicely, been forgotten. The weeds have grown over… well everything and a large building, once a factory of some sort, (I’ll have to do some local history research to find out what for) is now boarded up. It was painted white many years ago as it’s been that way since I can remember and I’ve lived around these parts (off and on) for 30 years. It’s not what you’d call conventionally pretty and has unfortunately taken a huge brunt of my anxieties over the past few year as to why I’ve wanted to escape the area. I know, I know, it’s not the area (well it is a little), it’s me wanting to escape myself but that’s another post for another day :).

So, this road at the end of my street which is also next to a 10 lane carriageway (noisy bugger) is a road I prefer to avoid. When you have anxiety you tend to project your ‘stuff’ onto places/things or people. In my head it’s gone something like this…. ‘I can’t go to that place because I had a panic attack there and it must be full of bad vibes as I feel weird every time I go so I avoid that place like the plague’. It’s been a conversation I’ve had with myself for many years about many places, places I am now slowly re-introducing into my life, like old lost friends. I’m finding new ways to look at spaces I once found difficult or triggered a fear or feeling that unsettled me. It’s all about new perspectives at the moment, so that is my aim, to find beauty in the overlooked and inject fresh energy into places I’ve felt were stagnant or have triggered insecurities.

Starting with the building at the end of my road.

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Getting up close and personal stopped my usual ‘I need to walk quickly down this eerie road’ self-talk and prompted stillness as I decided what I pictures I wanted to take. I had to look, properly, not just skim the surface as I think about something in my head and not notice the beauty that really can be found everywhere.

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In doing so, most importantly, I enjoyed those moments of examination. I smiled as I roamed around the outskirts of the building, noticing more than I’d ever done before.

Now I want to explore more and that feels bloody fantastic. The excitement that comes when we discover new is the best feeling. I think that makes us feel so incredibly alive, when we want to discover, to examine, to appreciate. That is the high I’m on right now as I write this, I am so grateful for this decaying building, for it’s beauty, for being an undisturbed resting zone for precious creatures…

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And for teaching me today that no place is ever the monster that I once believed it to be. All the sadness and pain and frustrations I’ve associated with a place, they come from within and even if an environment vibrates lower than another (everything is energy after all) there will always be a corner where beauty can thrive and searching for that corner is the most fun of all.

Old Friend

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Hello anxiety, old buddy, old pal

With intentions to keep me out of harms way

Building those bridges to comfort zones

That I eagerly crossed, back and forth each day.

I’ve taken you places, so many to count

With syncing strides as we’re one of the same

You’re no stranger to me, or demonic force

Yet upon you I’ve laid such hurtful blame.

But blaming you only sets us apart

Like two sides fighting with the strength of one

Was me versus you on bloody fields

Your attacks I would lose but peace was not won.

I don’t ask you to leave and never come back

As my wholeness depends on the lessons you teach

But let us shake hands and soften the battle

And decide it is Love that we both choose to preach.

 

Change Happens

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Ok, so I’m making some changes, some serious changes. These intentions to change have not grown overnight, it’s been two years of crying, aching, hibernating, facing a trauma that happened when I was 6, which I’ve not had the courage to face until now. It’s taken a breakdown, or as I like to think of it, a breakthrough for me to reach this point when I can begin to see the shifts happening in my life.

  1. De – Cluttering. I’ve decided to get rid of most of my material shit… and it really was that, useless shit. Again, this has taken time. I live with my folks in London, I am a 34 year old woman who moved back in with her parents when she was 31 and no longer am I ashamed of this fact. I moved back because –  well firstly, I came out of a 4-year relationship and needed a place to live. I was living with him, I worked with him and as a result, the breakup meant I lost pretty much everything, well except for the dog, he came to live with my family, lucky fella. Secondly, I’m broke. London is not a place to live comfortably when you’ve little funds and as a writer, beginning her career, I knew money was going to be tight for the next couple of years. Thirdly, as I mentioned above, I suffered a breakdown, mentally I was incapable of many things, including leaving the house and it’s pretty hard to function when you can’t even step over the Welcome mat without having a panic attack. It was pretty shitty, ok really shitty but honestly, I wouldn’t change one thing… through all the crap something miraculous happened, I changed in ways I’d never thought possible and I saw a strength in me that has blown me out of the water (muddy waters to be precise). So, de-cluttering, old shit had to go, it was time to invite space for new and that is where I’m at, letting go of what no longer serves me.
  2. Letting go of what no longer serves me. I know, that sounds like it’s a part of de-cluttering, especially as I wrote it above but putting a bag in the charity shop of material stuff is so much easier than knowing what mental habits are hurting me rather than assisting growth. Where do you even start with that? So, I know I don’t have the all the answers and everyone’s journey to their truth is different but I knew I had to make a few changes in daily habits. I’ve stopped watching the news – It doesn’t really inform me what’s going on in the world, it gives me a point of view and it’s so flipping negative! The media is so controlled now and I get so angry when I watched it, so I stopped. Big news has a way of filtering into social media anyway so I guess I’m still in the loop of international activity. Diet changes – so listening to my body rather than enforcing a change because I think it might add an extra few years onto my life, that has been key here. I don’t eat meat because I can’t put the flesh of an animal in my mouth. I don’t eat diary because I taste animal and that makes me feel sick. I don’t eat gluten because it makes me constipated and I don’t really drink alcohol as I don’t like the way if makes me feel. Having said that, I will have a glass of wine if I fancy one, I’ll drink a coffee if I want one (even though I recently wrote an article about giving up coffee, what can I say, I gave in) and I’ll eat a packet of salted crisps because I love them. Saying No – If I don’t want to do something, I say no. It sounds simple but it’s not always. I might not want to let people down or I think I should be doing something rather than what it is I want to. Stop using the word ‘should’ – should is a crap word. I should be feeling this or I should be doing that… nope, should makes you feel like you’re not doing enough or you’ve made the wrong choice even though the choice you made was right for you. ‘Should’ has to go.
  3. Trust. This is a big one, a work in progress. Trusting goes much further than lets say trust in a relationship (although that’s important), for me it’s a process of trusting the outcomes of life, of each moment, every event that happens. Knowing the result of a ‘problem’ or crisis will always be for your greater good, even if it feels like the world is falling down around you, it’s right, it’s perfect. Tough, I know.
  4. Facing fears. Massive!… and not done in day. I have grown up as a fearful person. Afraid of the dark, of spiders, of hurting myself and others, of what people might think, of disaster happening if I leave the house… blah blah blah… the list goes on. I respect these fears as some are still part of the story of me (for now) but I know that to feel truly alive, to live the life I want, I have to face them. I do acknowledge them, I accept them as part of my growth (fear can be our greatest teacher) but I will try my very best to no longer allow them to drive every decision I make. To think, is this decision out of fear or out of love. I once heard the quote ‘a life lived in fear is a life half lived’… oh how true that is.
  5. Loving myself, unconditionally. This is beautiful but really bloody hard. It’s only since I’ve been consciously pouring love into myself and my daily habits that I realise how little I loved who I am. I was hating on myself, every single day! This is changing and boy, are the differences noticeable. I am truly starting to believe that all we need to do in life is love ourselves, unconditionally and all the rest seems to fall into place. It’s a beautiful journey, not always easy but who wants easy anyway!
  6. Spiritual practice. It’s about finding one that works for you. At the very beginning of my spiritual adventure about 3 years ago (although we’re all spiritual beings, I guess my adventure started when I got curious) at first it was Law of Attraction, then Kundalini, then meditation, then vinyasa yoga, then Reiki, then Shamanic practices, then Ashtanga yoga… it’s a pretty long list. I’ve honed down since then, now I mainly practice Ashtanga yoga, meditation (I’m learning more about Buddhism) and I love learning about astrology, although more about our energetic make-up (birth charts) than predictions etc. Point it, spiritual practice is a long life affair and it’s been rocky to say the least but to have tools to calm, ground, stir up the shit when it needs to come out, to have ways to bring me closer to me has been invaluable. I feel blessed to have many teachings in my life.
  7. Hmmmm, i think that might be it, for now. There’s always more to discover, more journeys to go on but I really wanted to share the beginnings of what I feel is going to be an epic adventure. We all live such incredible lives, no matter what happens and I want to fill my life with as much love and happiness as I can. I believe we are ALL perfect in our own unique ways, and I going forward on this blog, I plan to share more of my adventures back to self, back to love.

Thank you for reading! From my heart to yours, sending so much love.

Happy Friday.