A French in New York City in 10 facts

nycAlmost two years in NYC, and the Frenchie that I am has never felt more French, or more American. Let me explain. Being so far away from home made me realize how French I was and how much my country’s traditions were well rooted in me. However, the more I live in NYC, the more I feel like a true New Yorker. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what matters is where your heart is. And right now, my heart is in NYC.

Being an expat, I can’t help but comparing the culture I was raised in and the culture I now know. The country that gave birth to me, and the country that I now call home. The friends who’ve been part of my life forever and the friends I made as an adult. So here are a few differences I noticed about me the past couple of years. Differences in language, behavior, reactions. Because moving abroad and leaving everything you know behind might not fundamentally change who you are but it fundamentally changes your life.

 

europe1. I no longer say France, Spain, or the UK (although since the Brexit happened, I probably should!). I say Europe. I understand now why people coming from America don’t just visit one country but rather travel around the Old Continent. It makes total sense now. Europe is like this one big country to me. Now that I live in the US, I realize how similar European cultures are. You just need to step outside of Europe to realize it. Experiencing that big a shift in perspective is amazing.

 

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2. I go to the nail salon ALL THE TIME! 10-minute massage? Yes. Mani-pedi? Yes yes yes! You’ll find them at every corner; it’s an institution here. No need to make appointments and spend a fortune on treatments, you can feel rejuvenated in 10 minutes and it will cost you 15 dollars. Now I wonder how I could live without them my whole life.

 

 

3. I stopped apologizing all the time. I should mention that I spent 5 years in London, where the only interaction nyc-subwayyou’ll see on the subway or on the street is “sorry” and “thanks”. That being said, I also stopped apologizing for who I am. You’re free to be who you are in this country. American people are unapologetic and I like that. I love how they easily talk to you, speak their mind and think aloud, even for the socially awkward me. Which brings me to number 4.

 

4. I talk to people and people talk to me. On the street, at the grocery store, everywhere. At first, I was never too sure if I should reply or start a conversation, but now I just go with the flow and talk back even when I know they’re just thinking out loud.

 

credit5. I have a bunch of credit lines. Like any good European, I didn’t want anything to do with credit, but eventually surrendered when I realized there was no way around it! You have to build your “credit score” (the score shows how reliable you are when it comes to paying your bills) in order to do anything. I have 4 credit lines to this day.

 

6. I tip everyone, everywhere. This is something I do because I have to, but I seriously hate it. You cannot go the tippinghairdresser’s, the spa or the restaurant without having to tip around 20%. Even the guys bagging your groceries expect a tip at my local supermarket. Everywhere you go, you’ll see people begging for a dollar. Even though service is included in Europe, I became a great tipper there too, force of habit!

 

carrie-hot-day7. The AC is my best friend. You cannot live in NYC without one, it’s become part of my life and I simply couldn’t live without it (in the summer, that is). Summer in NYC is extremely hot and humid, nothing like what I experienced before.

 

 

 

8. I celebrate Thanksgiving. And I love it. I love the atmosphere, the food, the colors… It’s the American version ofthanksgiving Christmas. I’m not going back to France for Christmas this year but I’ll be flying to Paris on Thanksgiving Day, so my mom is organizing a Thanksgiving dinner just for me! See… I even Americanized my family.

 

9. I try to eat local, fresh & organic when I can. Not because I turned organicinto a hipster (I do live in Brooklyn though) but because I need to! Food regulations in the US are different from those in Europe, and you need to be careful what you eat. Same goes with cleaning & beauty products. I buy all my cleaning products from The Honest Company, this is the only brand I know and trust here.

 

dating

10. My friends date. Terms like “dating”, “exclusive”, “seeing other people” are totally foreign concepts to us Europeans. On one hand, I couldn’t do it – not knowing if you’re actually with someone would freak me out – but on the other hand, I wish I could experience it and get rid of this feeling that I’m missing out on something that is so big in this country. Even my single French friends do not date, they meet someone, and they’re either together or they’re not. And even if they’re seeing someone and are not too sure of what their relationship status is, they still don’t call it “dating”, simply because the term does not exist.

Xx

Lili

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The day I quit smoking

3-excuses-for-smoking-1Today is a special day to me. Nine years ago, I did myself a favour and quit smoking. For good. I thought I would never make it. The so-called addiction was consuming me, and all I could think about was smoking. But I had to stop, I had no money of my own, my boyfriend hated it and we were fighting all the time, and most importantly, it was seriously damaging my health. I was diagnosed with asthma and chronic bronchitis and developed hay fever, which wasn’t helping. I was sick all the time.

How to quit?

I tried patches, didn’t work. I tried the gums, didn’t work either. I tried nicotine-free cigarettes, those were really weird. They smelled and tasted like weed and would arouse everyone’s curiosity in the high school yard (yes, smoking was allowed in my high school). So I couldn’t stop smoking but I had to. Then, I heard about a book by Allen Carr called The easy way to stop smoking and about how people were quitting overnight after reading it. I bought it. Best decision I had ever made.

The easy way to stop smoking

Allen Carr explains very clearly that you experience two kinds of cigarette addiction: the physical one, that is insignificant, and the mental one, what he calls the Big Monster. It’s basically all in your head. You don’t actually need to smoke, and (according to another great author named Rob Kelly) you’re not even addicted. It’s just a bad habit you have. You think you’re addicted and you think it’s going to be hard to quit, that’s why it’s hard.

First, Allen Carr makes you want to quit by listing all the negative aspects of smoking. Then, he gives you the tools to quit for good. I’m not going to go into details here (because I don’t remember them to be honest, it was a long time ago!) so if you’re curious, buy the book! The book is not a fun read, it is deliberately repetitive!

Another important point: there’s no limit to how many times you can read it! It doesn’t work the first time? Read it again, and again! I read it three times and I finally got it. Thanks to the book, I felt empowered to stop and I believed it would be easy, and so it was. I chose the first day of my summer holiday and I think that helped break the routine. I quit overnight and never ever smoked anything that is smokable again (ok, I smoked shisha once)!

Smoking is such a bad decision to make (let’s face it, you waste your money on it, you’re damaging your health, it smells bad, it decreases your appetite, it’s bad for your skin, and so on), that to protect you and remove the guilt attached to it, your mind makes you believe that you’re addicted and you can’t help it. But the truth is, you CAN help it. It is not easy to admit, but once you acknowledge that, you have the power to change things. And let me tell you: the sense of achievement you get in return is so worth it. I feel so proud of being in control that I insist on celebrating this special anniversary every year, just to remind myself of how big a deal it is. And as I heard some say at the time, if I can do it, you can do it!

 

So take back control and quit smoking NOW!

allen carrThrive-as-non-smoker-2

If you want direct support, you can also find a consultant and attend sessions. There is no shame in trying and failing. Just experiment and find what works best for you.

I wish a happy smoke-free life to you all!

A.

 

Imperfection is beauty

beauty-myth-322x235We usually all agree on what a beautiful woman is: a model, an actress, a princess. They are made beautiful for us and we believe that we will never get there, that we will never be as beautiful as they are. This is all a deception, an illusion. Beauty is not a perfect skin, a flawless face, a flat tummy, a hairless body. Nor is it make-up, beautiful clothes and expensive jewellery. This is all fake. Do you really think those models we see on the cover of magazines or those actresses at red carpet events are real? Even they don’t look like them in real life. Being confronted to perfection on a daily basis, from a young age, can have a dramatic effect on an impressionable young girl. She will want to look skinny, get bigger breasts, wear designer clothes… leading to depression, low self-esteem, anorexia, bulimia…

But who’s responsible? Everyone is trying to meet a need: model agencies, designers, magazines… Fortunately, some people are willing to change things: Stella McCartney only wants size 10 models, Vogue finally banned too skinny models from their pages, and brands like Dove expose what real beauty is. We spend so much time and energy on what isn’t right about ourselves that we forget the most important. For years, all I could see on my face was that my nose wasn’t right, overlooking the rest entirely… We are so harsh when it comes to how we look. For those of you who haven’t seen it, check out the Dove video below, it is quite powerful!

 

Your mind is a pharmacy

The truth is we don’t need expensive products and fancy clothes to feel and look pretty. All you need to do is feel good about yourself and you’ll look good. You’re much more beautiful when you smile than when you frown, don’t you think? Being positive will really have an impact on your health and on how you look. Don’t we say that a woman in love is glowing?! If you don’t believe me, check out the other Dove video below:

 

Impressed much? Now let me show you what real beauty is to me. Flaws are part of nature and should be celebrated.

Flattering, definitely!

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Flawless…

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Absolutely wonderful

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Everything we see, everything we’re told, helps build a wall of misconceptions about ourselves and we need to break that wall, brick by brick. I think it’s important to educate our younger peers and help them realize that what they see in magazines and TV shows is not real. What happens when you strive for perfection and never get there? You’re miserable. My breasts won’t get bigger, my nose will never be small and cute, my hair has no volume whatsoever… That’s just the way I am, that’s how nature made me. Today, I accept that, and everyone should do the same. There is no one like me, just like there is no one like you, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

A.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

This week, I decided to take on the WordPress weekly challenge and share photos of “something inside something”…

My chipmunk Hercule gets inside so many funny things that he instantly came to mind!

Inside a vase

chipmunk inside vase

Inside a pot

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Inside a home-made nest

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Inside a glass

inside glass

Inside his house

inside house

Inside the flat

inside tree

Inside a state of contemplation

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Inside glass walls

inside glass walls

Inside his own little world

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And finally…

Inside my melting heart

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We all live inside something, whether physically or figuratively!

A.

My beauty list!

Spa-Packages-Thai-Square

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, so let us be girly for a moment! I spent some time pampering myself and had a little ‘spa morning’ at home, which felt really nice!

I don’t wear a lot of make-up, I must say I’m quite lazy (and always late in the morning!), but I do wash and moisturise my face morning and night, I think that a good beauty routine is way more important that just wearing make-up. I also drink a lot of water and tea!

Without further ado, here are my favourite beauty products of the moment:

Gel Pureté, Chanel

Rinse-off Foaming Gel Cleanser Purity + Anti-pollution

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Crème Éclat du Jour, Clarins

Daily Energizer Cream

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HydraQuench Cream Mask, Clarins

Dehydrated Skin

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Tea Tree Blackhead Exfoliating Wash, The Body Shop

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Immortelle Essential Water, L’Occitane

Tonic Lotion with Floral Water

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Immortelle Milk Make-up Remover, L’Occitane

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Capture Totale, Dior

Multi-perfection Eye Treatment

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Beauté Initiale, Chanel

Energizing Multi-protection Fluid Healthy Glow

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Hydrating Lip Balm, Yves Rocher

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Body Scrub, The Body Shop

Spa Fit Smoothing & Refining Scrub

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Almond Milk Veil, L’Occitane

Firming and Beautifying Body Lotion

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Huile Prodigieuse, Nuxe

Multi-Usage Dry Oil

huile prodigieuse

Touche Éclat, Yves Saint Laurent

Radiant Touch Highlighting Pen

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Dandelion, Benefit

Brightening Face Powder

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Le Blush Crème de Chanel

Présage Shade

blush crème chanel

They’re Real! Mascara, Benefit

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Lèvres Scintillantes Glossimer, Chanel

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Nail Polish, Chanel (for the amazing colours!)

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Happy shopping guys!

A.

“This is my religion”

religion3Whether or not we are believers, we can’t deny it: religion is all around us. It brings people together and drives them apart. Religion is not just about living your life a certain way or being a better person: it’s also a promise that everything is going to be ok. This world we live in, it’s not the end. This is such a huge statement to make, how can we be certain of such a thing?

Religion is embedded in our daily lives: our bank holidays, the food we eat (fish on Friday?), the veiled women we walk past every day, the “Oh My God” we hear and say on a regular basis.

We could say I was raised a Christian (I went to a catholic school, was baptised and took my communion), all that without never really knowing what it actually meant. This was all a bit blurry until I met Sarah. Sarah is a Christian and has taught me that Christianity wasn’t (just) about going to church every Sunday and “being a good person with good moral values”. She taught me it was about getting to know Jesus a little bit more every day.

My good friend Rachid has taught me that Islam wasn’t just about living by a set of rules, it was about living a happier life. That’s a simple fact, but that’s all too important.

And what I’ve learnt from my colleague Anand is that Hinduism is about doing the right thing no matter what and detaching yourself from all materialistic things.

I like to challenge things, and I ask a lot of questions. How can Jesus’ death can save us all? How come you say one thing and my Muslim friend says another? Why do people fight and kill each other in the name of God, who is nothing but caring and loving? Is there one or several Gods? Is there one at all?

Three of my friends accepted to answer my questions and tell us more about their religion. I’ve asked them the same four questions and asked them to provide a quotation. Enjoy.

Meet Sarah. 27 years old. Translator. From London, UK.Stained Glass Depicting Jesus Christ

Can you define your religion and tell us what it is about?

The heart of the Christian message is summed by this verse in the Bible: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

I’ll briefly explain what this means… The Bible says that everyone in the world has turned their backs on God. Instead of living under his loving leadership, we want to run our lives our own way, and God is angry with the way we treat him and other people. God is just and won’t sweep our sin/wrongdoings under the carpet as if they don’t matter, but at the same time he is loving and merciful. This leaves everyone with a dilemma: how can any of us approach a holy, pure God when we’re all sinners? Amazingly, God himself provides the solution. Jesus, God’s own son, died on the cross to take on himself God the Father’s anger at our sin. This swap means that God looks at guilty sinners as people who are completely forgiven and innocent! He also includes them in his family and offers them the gift of eternal life with him.

This offer is open to anyone in the world but to receive it we need to turn back to God and ask him for the forgiveness. The Bible also says that one day Jesus will return to judge everyone. Christians have nothing to fear when they meet Jesus because their sin and guilt is completely dealt with by him. But anyone who continues to reject Jesus and his offer of forgiveness will have to pay the punishment for their sin themselves.

What wrong beliefs do people have?

The main wrong view people have is Christianity is a religion based on merit, i.e. that God will be pleased with you if you do something for him. This could take various forms, e.g. attending church occasionally; attending church every week for your entire life; getting baptised, confirmed, married in a church; giving money to church and/or charity; being a good moral person; having a Christian background; not committing any major crimes; etc.

How did you come to believe in God and what impact has it had on your life?

I became a Christian in my mid-teens having gone to church with my parents ever since I was born. I must have heard who Jesus was and why he died many, many times, but it didn’t affect how I lived in a huge way. When I was about 14, something clicked and I began to understand the significance of Jesus’ claims to be God and why his death was so important. If Jesus really was God, then he had authority over me! And if Jesus did take the punishment for my sins, I wanted to turn back to him and have my sins forgiven! I can remember the night I turned back to Jesus: I asked him for forgiveness and thanked him for dying on the cross for me, and said that I wanted to live under his authority.

Being a Christian has impacted my life in various ways, which all stem from understanding the change that took place in my life when I became a Christian: instead of being separated from God and under his anger, I am now one of his dearly loved children and can approach him at any time as father! I’m really grateful for all he did to make this possible. I go to church, read the Bible and pray because I want to get to know him better, and I want to bring all my behaviour, priorities and decisions under his leadership because I know that his ways are best, even if it’s hard at times.

What do you think your life would be like if religion wasn’t part of it?

I would probably worry a lot more than I do at the moment, e.g. about achievements, success, my appearance, the future. However, I know that to God I am incredibly valuable because he went to such great lengths to bring me back to him, so I don’t need to prove my worth through these other areas. I also don’t need to worry about the future (e.g. jobs, accommodation) because God has promised to provide his children with everything they need. I don’t even need to worry about death because I can know for certain that I will not face God’s judgement because Jesus has taken the punishment for me. Instead, I can look forward to eternal life with him beyond death in a perfect new creation.

And because Jesus will bring in a perfect new creation, I don’t have to be consumed by FOMO now! I can enjoy the things I love like travelling, good food, time with friends, etc. but because I know all these things will be even better in the new creation, I don’t have to cram everything in now!

Sarah’s quote

“Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.” Garrison Keillor

Meet Rachid. 28 years old. Actuary. From Le Mans, Francecoran.

Can you define your religion and tell us what it is about?

There are many ways to introduce Islam, but all of them agree to say that it is a religion of peace. Incidentally, in Arabic, the word “Islam” stands for submission (to God) but it is part of the same ‘word family’ as “Salam”, which means “Peace”.

With regards to the practice, being a Muslim begins with the reading of the Shahadah (Testimony), to accept the truth of Islam. Then we have to pray five times a day, must fast from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan, give Zakat (regular charity) to the poor, and finally, the Hajj: Muslims must make a pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca (at least) once in their lifetime.

What wrong beliefs do people have?

To me, the three most common wrong beliefs that people have are:

“Women wear a hijab (Islamic scarf) because they are submitted to their husband.” Wrong. When a woman decides to wear it, it’s her own decision, and it’s a sign of submission to God, like eating halal, not drinking alcohol…

“Muslims don’t eat pork because it’s dirty and a source of disease.” Wrong. The reason we don’t eat pork is because it’s an order from God, and we have to obey Him, period. It’s an impure meat, as well as non-halal meat or the meat of a dead animal.

“Muslims are Arabs, and Arabs are Muslims.” Wrong. Only 20% of the 1.5 billion Muslims on earth are Arabs, and many Arabs are Christians, Jewish and even atheists.

Funny anecdote: one day, while I was cooking, a friend of mine seriously asked me: “Do you guys, when you cook, have to orientate the saucepan towards Mecca?” I couldn’t stop laughing.

How did you come to believe in God and what impact has it had on your life?

As my parents are Muslims, I was born and raised a Muslim. I have always believed in Allah. He is with me. Everywhere, all the time. I adore Him, and I fear Him. He helps me cope with my challenges, a lot. I can tell Him about my problems, my concerns, my joys and, unlike people, he doesn’t get bored. It’s quite the contrary. He helps me take everything with philosophy. There is good in the “bad things” that happen to me, to us.

What do you think your life would be like if religion wasn’t part of it?

If Islam wasn’t part of my life, I would probably still have wondered about our existence on earth. As a good mathematician, I would have been confronted with the reality of figures and probability for sure, which would have led me to question the accidental nature of the creation of the universe, the earth, the living. Just like Einstein who believed in God without believing in any religion.

On a concrete level, if I weren’t a Muslim, I would drink, I would most probably smoke, I would have done more stupid things that I actually did… because in a lot of situations, Islam was preventing me from doing all of those things, it was reasoning me. I wouldn’t have all those fundamental principles, I would lose focus. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be married to my wonderful wife, because a Muslim woman cannot get married to a non-Muslim man. Like the yin missing the yang, my life would be incomplete.

Rachid’s quote:

“In a World where people are surrounded by darkness, ignorance and fear, it is a sign of hope to be celebrating Islam’s message of peace and light, and the last great Messenger, born and chosen to deliver them to all mankind.” Cat Stevens

Meet Anand. 27 years old. Project Manager. From London, UK.aaaaaaaa-hindu_god_lord_vishnu_painting

Can you define your religion and tell us what it is about?

What is Hinduism? Tough to answer in just a few words.

To me and a billion others, it is more of a way of life than a religion. A bringing together of cultural, philosophical and spiritual customaries that breathe a foundation of righteousness in our short material lives, that eventually will lead to liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Righteousness, or “dharma” as we call it, is instilled into our lives from a tender age by our elders, teaching us to carry out our duties whilst respecting nature and its complex laws.

“Karma”, which is a law of action and reaction, is what keeps us in check, and regulates us to ensure we reap as we sow.

What wrong beliefs do people have?

The main misunderstanding people outside of Hinduism have is that we have thousands of gods.

We do not.

I’m not entirely sure how to explain this clearly, but I’ll give it my best shot. To break it down simply, we have one supreme godhead known as Vishnu, who uses an “avatar” or reincarnates to descend onto earth each time there is a dilemma which needs resolving, to bring back stability and balance the books so to speak.
The concept of reincarnation is explained better on this site:

http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/concepts/avatar.asp

The second main misconception is that we are a bunch of cow worshippers. Really?

This is actually laughable. Yes, it’s true that we respect nature and all forms of life, but the idea that we see cows as deities is totally misinterpreted. More information and probably a better explanation can be found here:

http://hinduism.about.com/od/basics/a/hinduism.htm

How did you come to believe in God and what impact has it had on your life?

To a certain extent, I have always believed in the idea or at least the thought that there is someone up there who watches down on us.

I would say that I was fairly agnostic up until the last few years.

I view life as a continuous lesson, right up until we “kick the bucket” and I would say that due to a few significant circumstances so far in life, my beliefs have broadened and I’m also continuously learning new things, not only about religion, but also plenty of other things that are slowly being introduced into my journey.

What my belief does for me is keep me on the straight and narrow. It allows me to make the correct decisions and be satisfied with the outcome.

What do you think your life would be like if religion wasn’t part of it?

“Ifs and buts” as they say. No one can truly know how my life would have turned out to be like without “Sanātana Dharma” (or Hinduism to everyone else).

I’m not saying that everything has worked out perfectly with Hinduism being a part of my life, but I have a very good inkling that I would be totally lost without it. I will leave it at that, as I dislike making assumptions and I may be very wrong. Never assume as they say.

I hope you enjoyed seeing things from my vantage point (if you would like to call it that) and I hope it’s given you a slight insight on what Hinduism is about.

Anand’s quote:

“Keep your ego to one side, and treat every day as another lesson in life.” This is actually from Anand.

Back to me now…

Let me just say one thing: I haven’t picked these three religions because I think they are the only ones worth writing about, but because I had these three people close to me who were willing to share their beliefs. So please don’t feel left out in any way if your religion is not mentioned!

If you want to know more about Judaism, check out this website:

http://judaism.about.com/od/judaismbasics/a/All-About-Judaism-10-Common-Questions.htm

The point of this article was not to answer any existential questions, I just think it’s important to consider other people’s views and be aware of what’s out there! This is also about fighting prejudice and realising that some of our preconceived ideas are wrong. Yes, some people turn religion into a bad thing but let’s not forget what it is truly about.

I will finish on this note: I may not share their beliefs, but let me tell you one thing: all three of these people have the following in common: they are kind, loving, understanding and certainly fun to be around!

A.

A fearless life

Santosha-Yoga-Surfing-Retreats-300608-004-1024x681If you’re like me, and suffer from anxiety, you know that it’s not easy every day. Fear is all around us. You might feel ashamed or guilty for having this “ridiculous” problem, but if you start talking about it around you, not only will you realize that everyone has issues (yes, more people that you think), and that there’s a lot of people like you, but you will also find it very liberating.

Over the course of my 27 years on earth, I’ve met people who are scared of driving, being in the dark, flying, spiders, being sick, having a heart attack, scared of being scared (that’s a good one!). We need to stop torturing ourselves. Did you know that you’re not actually scared of what you think you’re scared of? What you fear is your reaction to it! Even though it is not our fault that we have anxiety in the first place, it isn’t something that happens to us: we create it. Only we have the power to rid ourselves of whatever fear or thought that limits us.

You’ll find below some very helpful and interesting tips that I learnt along the way, which will help you get over your anxiety and, ultimately, live your life to the fullest:

–          Think positive: whatever negative thought you have in your mind: find the positive in it. After all, we all live in the same world, so how come some people see the good when we see the bad? As Albert Einstein wisely said, the most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.

–          Try not to control everything: people who want to control everything end up being very frustrated because, well, some things in life are just outside of our control! So learn to let go and you’ll realize that nothing catastrophic happens.

–          Learn to forgive: you are hurting yourself by holding grudges. Don’t be enemy-centred, instead try to figure out how you can be a better person. (I’ve finally stopped resenting my boyfriend for checking that girl out nine years ago!)

–          Do whatever makes you feel happy, express your creativity and relax every day: by seeing your friends and family, writing a blog, watching Downton Abbey, training for the rock paper scissors world championship (yes, it is a real thing)…

–          Learn to love yourself: praise yourself for every positive thing you do, and be confident that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. You can even keep a journal of your positive experiences on a daily basis, this will help you realize that you experience more positive things than you think, and will help build your self-confidence.

–         VISUALIZE success: if you visualize the positive or desired outcome, it is much more likely to happen, first because rehearsing situations in your mind allows you to be prepared, and then because if you think positive, you generate the positive! Let’s take an example: if you fear/think you’re going to fail an exam and you build a lot of pressure around it, then your anxiety will prevent you from concentrating, leading you to fail indeed! Understand that things come from inside of you, not from outside (with the exception of the national lottery maybe): success will not come to you out of nowhere. You have the skills and power to change your life.

–         Do some regular exercise and (I might sound like your mom) eat some vegetables!

–         Final tip: if, in spite of your efforts, you find yourself panicking (you know, that “oh no” moment), do not fight it! Do not try to stop or control it, it will only make it worse. Just accept it and try not to pay too much attention to the physical symptoms, learn to accept the uncomfortable, it’s no big deal! You need to embrace your emotions, and turn them into positive ones.

Easy to say but not so easy to implement you might say. Getting over anxiety is a constant effort, you need to be patient, and it will eventually pay off. I know, it’s not fair, some people just seem to never be affected by what happens around them. But take your problem as an opportunity to get to know yourself better and to come out of it stronger. Stronger and wiser than anyone who will never have to go through this.

Actress Teresa Palmer regularly posts videos on how to live a happy life, they are called Tez Talks. I found this one particularly relevant:

If you want to rid yourself of a smoking habit, phobia or social problem, have a look at the Thrive program (from which the tips above are largely inspired), an amazing program created by Rob Kelly:

http://www.thriveprogramme.org/

If you don’t suffer from any specific issue but just want to be as successful as you can be, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is what you need. Don’t be put off by the title, this is actually a powerful lesson in personal change!

7_habits_of_effective_people

 

Remember that change comes from inside!

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