Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Your Dreams

486f7e926b2270b84179c3bb3b1e9c24.jpgThis is one of the most important reminders in life that we need. Last year I wrote a post called Getting Outside Of Your Comfort Zone because for a very long time I allowed my anxiety to take over my daily life.  Most fear is built up in our imagination. Once we conquer our fear, it never is as scary as you thought it would be. Playing it safe can limit us. Sometimes taking risks, challenging ourselves and breaking our safety barrier can make us stronger and wiser. Fear of Failure stops us from taking the first step. When we fear failure, we have already set ourselves up for failure in our mind. It means that we don’t give ourselves the chance to try.

Many goals and successes that someone reaches, has conquered many failures. I remember watching the ballet, The Nutcracker. The ballerinas make every move look graceful and effortless, yet it took a lot of hard work, time, energy and passion. Through all of that, they have faced their own failures. It took moments where there may have been many bad practice days or rejections from auditions, but there they were on the stage now, because they had a dream and worked hard for it. Fear tells us to not try and it tells us we’re not worth it. It stops us from enjoying life and being happy in the moment.

In order to achieve our goals, we must start with the first step. Our mind is so powerful because every thought we feed it affects the actions we’ll take. If we tell ourselves we can, then we’ll make that action to do it, and that’s when we set the path in the direction we build for ourselves. Everyone is on a different journey, and we all want to achieve different things in our life. Life is unpredictable, but having dreams is what makes it worthwhile. I saw the quote the other day, that we aren’t here to pay the bills and die. It’s absolutely true!

Life has far more meaning, and dreams are within all of us. We often want to wait for the right moment when we feel ready, but often that moment won’t really come. Most things in life start when we take the first step, just the way we learn to take the first step as a baby. We might have fallen over, but we have to keep trying until we learn to walk, and now it’s something we don’t even think about, we just do. In that moment we might have been hesitant, but when you pass that feeling of your comfort zone, there is so much you realise you have the ability to achieve. It all starts with taking the first step.

Art by Naomi Wilkinson

Feed Your Mind With Good Thoughts

b32b16e1ab4404f0dc8279b19b1e9e0f.jpgWe all have good and bad days, even when it seems like we’re the only one feeling this way. I recently finished reading a book called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, which I highly recommend for anyone at any stage of their life. This week I’ve realised how much food affects my mood, and what I feed into my body. When I have a healthy, nutritious meal, I feel revitalised, energised and able to think clearly. This is similar to what we feed our mind, and the food we give it. If you think bad thoughts, they can grow and grow, the way someone might eat junk food often and feel sick and tired.

No one can be happy, smiling and laughing all the time. However, after reading the book, it makes you realise that we have the ability to remain conscious and choose inner peace when we accept things as they are. There are many things we cannot change, but we have the ability to decide our attitude and feelings towards the situation. The Power of Now reminds us of that true fulfilment in life, is living this moment right here, right now. It’s this very moment that you’re reading these words, taking a deep breath and being aware of your surroundings.

Living in the moment is what gives us true joy because we don’t dwell in the past, and we don’t constantly live in the future when we think thoughts like when this happens when that happens…then I’ll be happy. This seems to happen often, that we tell ourselves when I finally have this or that, I’ll be happy. True happiness, is being grateful for this very moment you have right now. The way I think of it is the way that tomorrow is not guaranteed. If I were not here tomorrow, then I would have wanted to live the day before being kind to myself, feeding myself good thoughts and being kind to other people.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”
― Walt Whitman

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”
― Bill Watterson

“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.”
― Maya Angelou

“What day is it?” It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
― A.A. Milne

20 Things To Do On A Rainy Day In Auckland

cf56edfba10fc338bdb7e26beba971c8.jpgOn a rainy day during rush hour, you may see an ocean of umbrellas in the city. Auckland is the place where four seasons in a day is the norm, and carrying a small umbrella, jacket or raincoat in your bag may become a habit. The clouds definitely move by fast in this city! One moment it could be a beautiful sunny blue sky day, and another it could pour down with a cool shower, and another moment the weather is warm and muggy. Some of the best days are definitely the ones where the skies are blue with a few white clouds in the sky.

1. Visit your favourite coffee shop. Parnell has some lovely cafes along Parnell Road. 

2. Go thrift shopping at shops like Tatty’s, Recycle Boutique, Paper Bag Princess.

3. Watch a movie at the cinema. Kill a few hours at the movies with your favourite snack. 

4. Sit at the Library and read your favourite book or discover a new book. 

5. Cook a warm delicious meal. Then sit on the couch in your blankets to enjoy your meal!

6. Visit the Auckland Art Gallery. There’s something peaceful about watching art on a rainy day.

7. Order a Pizza and watch your favourite tv show or movie with your friends. 

8. Satisfy your sweet cravings at the Chocolate Boutique with a hot chocolate and dessert. 

9. Sit by the fireplace (if you have one) and warm up your feet with your cat. 

10. Go on a clean frenzy. Wash your sheets, wash your clothes, clean your bathroom, declutter your room. 

11. Have a bath/shower. It’s such a great feeling getting out of your damp socks and having a shower after a rainy day outside. 

12. Spend the afternoon at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. 

13. Watch a show, performance or concert at the Civic Theatre, Aotea Centre or Town Hall. 

14. Grab a friend or take the family to ten pin bowling. 

15. Spend the day at home to just relax and do the art of nothing. 

16. Eat lunch out for a good catch up or bring your favourite book. 

17. People watch. If you’re in the city, there’s something amusing about people watching. 

18. Take a bus ride to somewhere new to a nearby suburb in Auckland. 

19. Browse in an old bookstore, and get lost amongst the books.

20. Play a board game. Monopoly, card games, charades!

Art by Chris Turnham

What Does Happiness Mean To You?

4.gifHappiness is one of those things that make us forget all our worries. It fills us up like a cup of warm hot chocolate on a cold Winter’s night (don’t forget the toasty socks!). It makes me think of a dog wagging its tail, the sound of a child laughing and a beautiful day lying on the beach, staring at the blue sky. If I asked what happiness means to you, what would you say? It’s almost the kind of answer that we can’t fully explain in words because it’s something so deeply and wonderfully felt.

Similar to asking what does love mean to you, it’s often felt in a way that even if we describe it, it can’t quite fully express our complete feeling of it. Although, if I think in the most simplistic ways to express what happiness means to me. These would be a few snapshots of what it is. Please feel free to let me know, what are some things or something that makes you happy? Happiness is lying in bed in the morning, and the cat comes and lies on your stomach purring. It’s talking and laughing with your family about anything and nothing.

Happiness means sitting in silence with someone you love, doing something you both enjoy or just doing nothing, but feeling at complete ease. It’s the smell of baking that fills up the whole house, into a sweet oven of toasty warm air. It’s the sound of birds in the early morning, singing a song to one another. Happiness is being with nature and appreciating the peace it brings us. It’s having gratitude for all the things we have, and feeling satisfied of how much we have. Happiness is the taste of a delicious meal.

Happiness is lying on the grass staring at the clouds. One by one they move by, changing into different shapes. It’s the feeling of going home after a rainy day to take a nice hot shower, before going in bed and falling asleep. It’s reading a book you enjoy, watching a movie you like and going places new and old. It’s the great memories you have and the ones you’re going to make. It’s waking up in the morning and deciding that it’s going to be a beautiful day. Happiness is a choice, not a destination.

Art by Oamul

Can Women And Men Just Be Friends?

567d710200b2c0896c31e291ad099e2f.jpgThat is the question. I wrote about it here a few years ago, and I still have a similar feeling towards whether women and men can just be friends. It definitely depends on the person themselves, the situation and their personality. There are genuine people where there is no attraction more than just being a friend. I like to think of it as the Hermione and Harry friendship. There are people where it might be ambiguous if they may have feelings for you, and then there are friends who end up falling in love with one another.

They can be just friends if it’s similar on both sides, where each person has no feelings whatsoever. They don’t do anything that would be romantic or lead towards something. The friendship could be a brother-sister like relationship or someone that we know we’d never want to spend the rest of our lives with (which sounds harsh, but that’s how you’re able to just be friends). On the other hand, being friends with someone means that you like them. It means you’re attracted to certain qualities of the person. It doesn’t always mean that you’ll end up falling for them.

In my case, I was friends first with Mr Penguin, and over time we knew that we’re meant to be together. Which is why a part of me thinks no, men and women can’t be just friends because feelings will get in the way. On the other hand, there are certain people that you could never imagine having any other kind of feeling for, and know that you’re safe to be just friends with them. There may be friends that you have a certain distance with, or don’t go into too much depth and detail.

It’s important to state that there’s such a difference between being a naturally friendly, kind and polite person or being a flirtatious person. I am possibly one of the least flirtatious people I know because I talk to everyone in a general friendly manner. I also think that’s important regardless to if you’re in a relationship or not. However, sometimes being friendly can be mistaken as being flirty. What are your thoughts? Can women and men just be friends?

Art by Oamul

三月的收藏 March Favourites 2017

97f62a2c5d088a99442d442a32908c80.jpg每一個月即將結束的時候, 請提醒自己充分利用你的時間, 好好享受生命。

生活就像一本書, 每個月都像一個不同的章節,在這個章節中我們會遇到不同的人,做不一樣的事情,參加各種活動,然後創寫、記錄下饒富意義的篇章。就如同一年四季會變換,我們每個月的生活也會如春夏秋冬般,呈現出不同的面貌。

你有沒有過在一個月當中一直重複聽一首歌, 讓那首歌成為你這個月生活的主旋律?
就讓我來分享這個月常常出現在我生活中、我喜歡的東西!

歌曲Better Days, Electric Twist, Now Is The Start最好的安排, This Is Living, Slow Love, What A Beautiful Name, Lights Down Low.

食物 / 葱油饼, 蘿蔔糕, 芋頭麵包, 壽司, 素餃, 蕎麥麵.

部落格 / Empty, tere romances, frankie.b, well hello monday, the bright mornings, love from zar, Love, Lucy RebeccaI Accidently Ate The Whole Thing, Laura Bruj, Misty Prose.

香味 / 茉莉花的味道, 綠茶, 新鮮洗滌的床單, 早上的空氣 貓的毛, 走過麵包店.

文章 / Tiny Clay Creatures, Casual Denim Style, You Are What You Read扮可愛的年齡限制 – too old for cuteness新西兰航空的Dior空姐制服太有范了!

電影 / Midnight in Paris. 氣氛,音樂和故事都在美麗的巴黎.  我的少女時代. 這部電影讓我笑和
影讓哭. 是一部很好看的電影.

產品 / Natio 防曬 SPF 50+, Love Your Skin Manuka 蜂蜜 維他命 A Balm, Ecostore 洗頭, Pears
手部保濕, CROP 面部保濕, Essano Coconut 沐浴露.

時尚 / 套頭毛衣, 長袖襯衫, 樂福鞋, 黑色靴子, 黃金首飾, 長裙子, 定制褲子.

視頻 / Biggest Lies & Problems of The Fashion Industry, What is pretty?, No One Knew I was Depressed, How I turned my life around.

地點 / 圖書館,Parnell玫瑰花園, Mission Bay 海灘, 公園, 奧克蘭美術館

藝術家 / Yelena Bryksenkova. 她的畫風, 我覺得真的很棒!

貓 / 鄰居灰色的貓, 有點胖, 但非常友好和甜蜜 :)

Art by Yelena Bryksenkova

There’s A First Time For Everything

eeff2958191f065a0c336eb9bfbc7cc8.jpgWhen you learn, experience or find out something new, that’s when you know that there’s a first time for everything. It happens in our personal life, relationships, travel, school, work and so on. Imagine seeing yourself as a baby, taking the first steps to learn how to walk. In terms of relationships, there’s a first time for everything. From the first time you hold hands, have a 3 hour conversation on the phone, the first kiss, the first time you travel together, the first time you cook together, the first argument or the first time you have a laughing fit together.

When I think back to those moments, it’s such a sweet feeling. Yet, the more time you spend with someone you love, just doing the most simple things can give you the greatest joy. The first time for anything is special, memorable and precious. It’s something you treasure, and there are certain things you remember distinctively from that memory. Whether it’s the colour of clothing, the weather that day, how you were feeling or the food you were eating. The more you get to know someone, and go past those first times, that’s when you really start to get to know someone in depth.

Think of the moments you first met a friend and got to know them. Perhaps after the first time you meet someone, you spend more time after to talk.  Many people talk about first impressions, and how important they are. They will only ever happen once. In a way, they are how someone initially remembers us. However, I find that sometimes our first impression may be right (or wrong!) or may change our minds once we get to know someone more and more. Most people naturally show more of their personality as you get to know them.

First impressions also remind us why it’s important to not judge a book by a cover, but then it’s also a natural process of guessing what a person might be like. If you have a natural click with them, laugh at one another’s jokes and feel comfortable, you can feel that many new things you experience (whether with a friend or loved one) can be really enjoyable. There’s an endless list of first times for everything, and as they say “You learn something new everyday.” It shows that no matter how old we are, we’ll always be experiencing something for the first time.

Art by Lubi