Friday, 18 February 2011

Saying No

My little project at the moment can be summed up like this:


You know what I'm talking about.

I keep saying yes, yes to everything regardless of how busy I am, yes I will help out, yes I will write that for you, yes I will come visit, yes I will bake you a cake, yes yes yes yes yes....

And then someone suggests doing something that I really want to do, but I'm embarrassed to put myself forwards so no one knows I'm interested, and I effectively end up saying no...

I've decided it's time to start taking better care of myself and my own needs.

I started thinking about why I do this, why I commit to attempting to fit a million things into one day because I just can't say no, and end up missing out on what I want to do because I'm too embarrassed to say yes.

I'm afraid that I'm being selfish. And I'm afraid that I'll be letting people down.

I think that by saying no when someone asks me for a favour, that I'm being selfish as I'm thinking of myself first, and that I'll be causing them a lot of problems.

And I think that by saying yes to something that I really want to do, just for me, I'm being selfish because I should put others first.

It's not that I don't think that putting others first is good, but surely it's not good if it happens at the expense of my sanity? And if it happens at the expense of doing a job properly - if I'm trying to cram many things into a day, then it's impossible to devote as much time to each as it takes to do it properly.

It's time to stop running myself ragged saying yes to every little request that comes along, and to develop enough respect for myself to know when to turn someone down. And to know that their world won't fall apart because I've said no.

And it's time to begin respecting myself enough to know that I can have some me time, doing something that I love either with other people or on my own, and that I deserve it.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Living as if

The post it on my desk today reads

"Live as if"

I spend so much time thinking that everything will be great when I've moved house, everything will be great when I've finished my exams, everything will be great when I've finally caught up on sleep, everything will be great when I have the mythical perfect body, everything will be great when..........and when all of these things are done, then I will feel like a million dollars.

The problem with this is that I've been thinking the same thing for years!

Only as soon as I get something from the list, something else gets added to the bottom.

So everything is never great, I never feel a million dollars, and I always feel like I'm waiting for life to start.

But what if I were to get rid of all the whens and start living now. Start living as if I've got everything I want.

Buy myself gorgeous clothes as if I've got the most amazing body that I want.

Buy a pretty new cushion for the lounge as if it's the house of my dreams.

Treat myself as if I already have all the things on my list, as if I am gorgeous, as if I already deserve wonderful things.

I will never have everything that I want, but that doesn't have to stop me being everything I want.

I can stop waiting for life to start, and realise that it already has.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Post it Notes

So I have to admit that this act of kindness is not of my own making, but is shamelessly plundered (but in a nicer way than how pirates would go about it) from the most awesomely awesome Operation Beautiful.

It's such a simple idea, and so beautiful.

And it goes like this.

There are many many people out there, and you may be one of them, and I certainly am, who don't always appreciate how beautiful or how amazing or just generally how fantastic they are.

So, you take a post it note, and write something on it. Things like:

"You're BEAUTIFUL! (Yes, you!)"


"Be good, be sweet, BE YOURSELF"

"Makeup is useless on you, you're beautiful already"

"You are WONDERFUL!"

Basically, as long as it's happy and uplifting and designed to make a special person feel all warm and fuzzy inside then go for it.

And then stick it somewhere. Anywhere. I like to stick them on mirrors in public toilets, also on cash machines, on the little boxes you press to get the green man to turn on so you can cross the road (what are they called?), on postboxes, on the back of toilet doors...

Because I'm a bit of a wimp I tend to only do it when I'm fairly confident no one will see. But I'm working on that.

And then walk off and leave it. And let some other beautiful person find it and be reminded how utterley gorgeous they are.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

You Look Gorgeous Today

Each day on my way to work, I walk past a lovely little cafe. It’s called The Hungry Pumpkin, and is a tiny, extremely friendly place that serves gorgeous coffee.

But the best thing about this cafe isn’t the coffee, or the chocolate brownies, or even the smiley people behind the counter, it’s this sign which they have standing outside:

What a lovely way to spread a bit of love. Every time I walk past, it gives me a little boost. I stand a little straighter, and feel a little happier, and think yes, you’re right, I am gorgeous.

The question that then strikes me is this:

Why do I need something external to make me feel good?

Why can't I just know this, and feel it all the time? Now that's something to work on. In the meantime, I'll keep walking past the board :)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Get those hooks out - Crochet Flower!

I recently started a craft group and I’m LOVING IT.

I’ve always loved making things, anything really, and it’s great fun to get together with other people who love making things too.

Last night we crocheted (or attempted to crochet) a flower brooch – I learnt to crochet last year and now just can’t get enough of it.

Here is the brooch:

And here is the pattern:

I used leftover scraps of wool, and a button I found at the bottom of a box in the spare room (aka "the dumping ground").

I used a 7mm hook, a bigger or smaller one will just make a slightly bigger or smaller flower.

For the basic flower:

  • Chain 3.
  • Slip stitch into the first stitch to make a ring.
  • 5 dc into the ring.
  • Slip stitch into the first dc.
  • Chain 4. Slip stitch into the second dc.
  • Chain 4. Slip stitch into the third dc.
  • Chain 4. Slip stitch into the fourth dc.
  • Chain 4. Slip stitch into the fifth dc.
  • Chain 4. Slip stitch into the first dc.
  • Chain 7. Slip stitch into the second dc.
  • Chain 7. Slip stitch into the third dc.
  • Chain 7. Slip stitch into the fourth dc.
  • Chain 7. Slip stitch into the fifth dc.
  • Chain 7. Slip stitch into the first dc.

For the centre, use a different colour wool:

  • Chain 3.
  • Slip stitch into the first stitch to make a ring.
  • 5 dc into the ring.
  • Slip stitch into the first dc.
  • Chain 1
  • 2 dc into each dc on preceding row (10 in total).
  • Slip stitch into first dc.

Stitch this into the centre of the flower.

Sew a button onto the front, and sew or glue a brooch back onto the back.


PS I’m in the UK, so the stitches are UK stitches. There are lots of sites that will convert them to US stitches if you need it, or the flower might look a bit odd!

Copying: This is my pattern, which I came up with one evening in front of the TV. Please make as many as you want to wear/decorate yourself/give to friends, but please don’t sell them. Also, feel free to copy the pattern, but please link to/mention this post. Thanks!

Monday, 7 February 2011

I'm doing my thing

Today I have a sticky note attached to my desk at work. It reads:

I’m doing my thing.

To remind myself that I’m me, and I don’t need to compare myself with everyone else. I’m doing my thing. Everyone else is doing their thing.

When I compare myself to other people it paralyses me, I can’t do anything because I’m too afraid that I don’t measure up.

If I can realise that it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, because they’re not doing MY thing, then I’m free to not compare, and free to get on with things how I think is best, to use my initiative, to grow wings and fly.

Friday, 4 February 2011

You are Unique

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

We are constantly bombarded (by tv, radio, newspapers, magazines, friends, family, shops, random strangers, spam email – lets just call them the mob) with the idea that we are not good enough, that there is something wrong with us the way we are.

Don't believe me?

All those articles on dieting are telling you not beautiful the way you are.

All those adverts saying if you eat this one foodstuff for the next month then you’ll drop a dress size are telling you that you need to change to be stunning.

Every time a friend says “ooh I shouldn’t eat that”, they’re giving you the idea that if you do, there is something wrong with you.

Every billboard that displays an impossibly skinny (and most likely airbrushed) model, makes you think that if you don’t look like that then you’re not gorgeous.

I’m sure you can think of hundreds more examples of when the mob implies that you are not fantastic, you are not beautiful, and that you should try to change yourself to fit in with an impossible view of what we should be/look like/do.

But why should we listen? You are YOU. You are unique. There will never be another YOU in the whole of humankind. Ever. And there will never be another Me. Doesn’t that make us fantastic? Doesn’t that make us incredible? Doesn’t that make us absolutely amazingly beautiful?

Don’t waste your time feeling anything but gorgeous. And spread the word: that YOU are beautiful.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Random Acts of Kindness



This is my space to talk about anything that I feel like talking about.

Largely I will probably talk about a mission that's been brewing in my mind for sometime now. I think it started the day I dropped a twix into a postbox.

My mission is to bring a little bit more love and sparkliness into the world, or at least into my little corner of it, through Random Acts of Kindness.

This one particular day in the middle of December it was very cold, and icy, and snowy, and I was feeling sorry for anyone who had to go outside. So I dropped some chocolate into the postbox for the postman to find.

I don't know if the postman was just confused (though I did stick a post it on the twix saying "Have a nice day :)" to try and alleviate some of the possibly inevitable confusion), or maybe they thought it was a prank, or maybe, just maybe, it made them smile. And if it did that, then mission accomplished.