Do what ignite your soul

I’m quite satisfied with my life by now. I’m building my every day happiness piece by piece, with commitment, passion and joy. It’s not an easy process, or a smooth one. Some things get in the way, very often indeed, and I try not to get stuck by those pebbles that I face on my path.

Sometimes I can handle it, and sometimes…I learn.

Few days ago I went to the ER. I fainted, in my office. I was back after a very intense exams session and I was literally drained but happy, because of the success in my university career. In the past week, before the exams, I tried to stick with my normal routine schedule (meditation, exercise, house chores and so on), but it was really hard. I gave up on my exercise program because I was literally without energy: the study took all of my strenght. But I was ok, because sometimes you face priorities and insted of being solid rock (too solid rock), I prefer to be water and follow the stream. Just for a few days.

Coming back to work, I thought I would be able to regain my routines, and my life how it was before my finals session. I was so wrong. I’ll be clear, I don’t love my day job. It’s a desk job, but I don’t like the business area they’re in, and I don’t like to collect calls from angry clients all the time. The boss manage the entire office without coordination, communication and clear goals. So it’s a mess, and it’s a great source of stress for me.

So why I don’t quit? Because it’s a part time job, so I have time for myself after 14 pm, and because I must pay for my studies (hopefully I will graduate in spring 2017, so there’s little time left), but above all I need some money in order to improve my real dreams, and to buy my artist’s tools and stuff. I’m working hard in the evening to build a proper job alternative, somewhat that can reflect me and myself honestly.

But for now, I work there. I have this day job, and when I went back to it after the exams session I pretend to be ok. To be fine. To be relaxed. It worked? No. As I say I fainted near the bathroom and hit my head on the door. They took me at the hospital, where doctors did all the necessary tests and (thankfully) they found nothing wrong in my body. But something happened, for sure: it was clearly a stress breakdown.

What’s that? It means that your body is talking right to you saying you need to stop and rest. Relax your nerves. Let your mind be steady and calm. But how come it happened to me? I practice yoga and meditation, I (try) to practice mindfulness…how come?

The answer was clear to me: that’s ok, but it’s not enough. Not for me, not for this situation. Why? Because I try to be happy and to become a better person, to improve myself (and I made huge steps in the last year), while my day work try to take me back to the start. Always. Every day.

Now that I have some time to rest (I’m forced to, actually), some time for myself just to relax and do the things I like, I realized that I need some help. I must develope the right tools in order to continue with my path of self-improving and not be influenced by the nature and the attitude of my day jobs.

So my path is expanding. It’s going much wider than I thought in the very beginning. I’m happy and thankful for what happened to me last week, I’m happy of that episode and I’m thankful that it was just that: an episode. I’m thankful for being on, that my health is really good. I’m thankful for all of this because I opened my eyes much more than before.

What I’m trying to say to myself (and to you), it’s that sometimes you need to compromise: with yourself, with your daily life. But just don’t compromise with your dream. Let your dream guide you, and let that dream ignite your soul. Don’t forget it, don’t mistreat it. Love it and look at it while you’re doing the stuff you must do in order to reach it, or get near to it.

Even if it’s just a tiny step.

If you give up, even for a little while (and you know that’s never for a little while), you’ll get sick. You’ll become a shadow of yourself, a pale shade of your real potential. In order to achieve something you must see it, even if it’s just a visualization in your mind.

It will be hard, but it will be harder just to give up.

Do what ignite your soul(if you like it, visit my instagram profile!)

Love,

Francesca.

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Morning Routine: 5 habits for a better life

I talked about the Happiness Toolbox and the powerful tools you already have in your hands in order to actvely build up a new you…just as you imagine youself! As Michael Sandlers said in one of his podcast you become what you do. Repeteadly. Over and over. Day by day. You’re a Lego, actually. Yep, you are. And you can choose your pieces, that’s funny. You can choose how to build yourself and the shape of your life.

So let me introduce you to the Morning Routine: 5 habits for a better life.

1 – Wake up early and drink water

Morning routine - Wake up early
Credits: Monoar Rahman

I usually wake up at 6 am. I was a last minute person, I woke up at 8 am in order to be on my bus at 8.20 am (my day job starts at 9 am), so…you can figure it out. I was a total mess. I had no time for anything, and I became really busy getting angry with myself and my bad scheduling. It’s not a big deal at all, you know, to wake up at 6 am.

Why waking up earlier will benefit your day and your life:

  • you have TIME. For anything: for youself, for your activities, for your hobbies
  • you have SILENCE and SPACE. This is true in particular for those who have kids or partners that always “get in the middle”
  • you have a PURPOSE. You didn’t get up because you must go to work. You get up because YOU WANT TO! And then you go to work, but it’s part of other activities and not the main thing.

As you pop out of your bed, drink at least one or two glass of water. I suggest you room temperature water because fresh water can be pretty shocking for your body. If you want to add some lemon, go on! I drink 600 ml:

  • 1 glass as I wake up, I have a bottle on my bedside table (’cause it’s pretty impossible that you’ll fall asleep while drinking…if you can do something like this, tell me and let’s meet Prof. Xavier!)
  • 1 glass after the bathroom pit stop
  • 1 glass while i write my Morning Pages

2 – Morning Pages

Morning routine - Morning pages
Credits: Luis Llerana

I prefer this practice insted of Brain Dump. Probably because there’s a link with the inner you and the greater outer Universe as Julia Cameron says. I start to fill a A4 page with all my worries, to-dos stuff, ideas, daily goals, month goals, random thoughts, crazy stuff, and so on. Literally with everything is on my mind at the time. Then I read it from the start and underline the things I want to add to my bullet journal (yes, I definitely need to write a post about this). It takes 30 minutes or so.

3 – Blogilates calendar workout

Morning Routine - Exercise
Credits: Christopher Campbell

As I said before, I work out with Cassey Ho and her monthly calendar (you can find it here). Everyday it offers me a different set of workouts for a specific part of the body. I feel so sore but energized at the very same time, yup.

4 – Meditation / Yoga

Morning Routine - Meditate
Credits: Dingzeyu Li

I usually meditate after a big workout (Blogilates workouts last about 45 minutes). I love Chakra cleansing meditations or Chakra activation meditations, but on Friday (that’s my rest day) I do some yoga practice.

Meditation helps me to improve my focus and build a source of energy from which I can draw through the day.

5 – Listen to podcast / Reading

Morning Routine - Commute
Credits: Wilfred Iven

I listen to some podcast about self-improvement or creative success while I set up my breakfast and during my morning commute. While I’m on my bus I read some easy-reading book (I’m on Mortal Instruments by now, yay).

I suggest you to listen and to read something light, that can make you happier. Since you’re going to work or getting busy, I mean…let’s just entertain your brain!

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Be water, my friend

Since when you were a toddler, people asked you who would be as a grown up. Your parents, your teachers, your friends: literally everyone wanted to know your preferences in the vast amount of skills and knowledge you had, and how you would apply them to life as an adult.

Probably, they let you also learn and improve a variety of skills as well: you enjoyed a sport, music or art class, foreign language class, and many of us did both sport and classes as well. We were busy discovering and growing up our preferences, our centers of personality, our future paths.

This sound a little weird, isn’t it? You are performing in so many areas of the human knowledge (arts, sport activities, hobbies) and then BAM! they ask you to choose. They ask you to cut out “something” in order to make your road to your future being more straight, and clear.

In some cases this is not a bad issue. Chaos need to be restrain to a certain amount of doubt, and too many choices to choose from could be dangerous also, because they can lead to procrastination, unclarity and stillness. No action can be taken without a little clarity of mind. This is obvious.

What it’s not so obvious, is that you don’t need to specialyze yourself in order to give your life a Why. You don’t need to take a role, stick it to yourself and hold it firmly. Once a Bruce Lee said “Be water, my friend”. And this is one of the biggest and better advice you would ever take in your life

What’s take to be water

To be water is hard, is challenging and is also the right opposite of what you were told  since your childwood. To be water mean to be in action, to be flowing, and not just to stamp on the first rock that comes on your path as an obstacle or a challenge. It also mean that you can pick interests, preferences, knowledges as you would pick flowers from a beautiful and rich garden (a metaphorical garden, or you’ll be probably jailed for it).

So, you start as a daughter, or a son. You are as well a sister or a brother, a nephew, a friend, a scholar and so on. Then, as school starts, you are suggested to choose and let yourself be tagged. So you become someone who likes music, the actress, the cheerleader, the football player, the weirdo, the nerd and so on. Then you face college or you start to search for a job. The things are getting harder in this part: you must really choose the path to follow. So you choose: you become a scientist, an artist, an employee, a teacher, an engineer and so on. Perhaps you’ll even be a partner, a wife or a husband, and then a mother or a father.

And some think that’s all. You follow a ladder (that’s your life) and you must take all the steps in a particular order, just to reach the top. This magnificent, mythological top, where you will be happy, satisfied with your life, complete and in peace. Well, in some situations and for some kind of people this is true. For me is incredible, but let’s face it. But for other people this is a lie. And is counterproductive to be expected to live like this, to grow up like this and to die like this.

That’s not all, at all. You are a magnificent sum of many qualities, aspects, choises, preferences, roles and interests. You are a rainbow, you can’t just pretend to be an orange, or a red, c’mon!

Let’s pick some examples

This is a list from Buzzfeed of famous people that are quite good at doing something else besides being famous. Even those people who we think about as the most. And this is a simple test you can take, just for fun, to become aware of the multiple intelligences that make you yourself. What for? Just to understand that

It’s not how smart you are that matters, what really counts is how you are smart.”
~ Howard Gardner

Paraphrasing it, I dare to say that

It’s not how happy you are that matters, what really count is how you are happy, and why.

This is not, in fact, a race. This is not a challenge with everyone else. This is a challenge with yourself, with the persone you were yesterday, and the day before and so on, to be better and to be happier, because it is your own right. This should be your life projects, your main projects, your bigger life project that will contain all the others.

I suggest you to just give a try to a new state of mind. Be free, set yourself free to be what you want. Just right now, not tomorrow or in ten years from now. What to do you think, that right now, will make you better, and happier. A new hobby? Maybe you want to know more about women literature. Or about bugs. You don’t have to be the most aknowledge scholar about it. You don’t have to maximize your investment in something, not for now. Just try to be good at it, just start.

You can do what you want
The opportunity’s on
And if you can find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo.

~ Cat Stevens, If you want to sing out sing out

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