Asking the Right Questions!?

Molecular ThoughtsHave you ever taken public transport and looked around. I was on the tube today and I looked up, paying attention to what was around me. What I saw was many individuals looking as if they were run down (one lady was actually asleep) and looking like lost souls. Now, this may not be what they were feeling but there was definitely a distinctive look and feel to everyone on the tube. I couldn’t help but wonder… what are we doing to ourselves? This was during the time that most people were making their way back home and I couldn’t help contemplate… what lives are we living and what jobs are we doing that create this feeling in us!?

The other realisation was that we seem to be needing connections with other living souls yet we look down at our newspapers, books and phones while listening to music, completely cut off, by choice, to what surrounds us. Why do we do this?

Then there were those who were clearly trying to get the attention of others either by acting out, being loud reacting with large expressions and the general ‘i’m beautiful/handsome” behaviours but, if anyone dared to look at them they pretend that they don’t want the attention. Again, very perplexing!!!

Somewhere along the way we have confused our minds and making some strange choices that does not feed our souls… I am part of this problem!

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking feeds into this problem! We seem to only want to be seen when we choose to be seen, in the image we want to portray and they be gratified for it when we do! Never really wanting to be seen in our full ‘glory;’ the good and bad! The simple community interaction has become obsolete, if anything we look at people who try to interact and have a conversation in public environments with disdain (why are you interacting with me, disturbing me from my own controlled environment where I’m pretending no one exists around me) or with apprehension that they may be ‘strange.’

As a society and as individuals what have we become? This does not feel as if it’s the right route to fulfilment! It has also not gone unnoticed by me that we are in a society with the highest rate of depression, anxiety and suicide. British people are ranked around the most depressed people in the western world. Are these factors to these illnesses! Then we have to take prescription drugs, or even self medicate through ‘street drugs’ to deal with it and come out the other side with some resemblance of normality or happiness.

I know many of us believed that if we had more money we would be happy and those who are rich are automatically happy for what do they worry about. But then, I wonder if we ask people around the world who are dealing with starvation, war, natural disasters and oppression what they thought about the British, they would probably have the same response. What do we have to worry about… free education, healthcare and government services to help those who are struggling, such as council houses, benefits, social services etc! Yet, here we stand with a statistic that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. In actual figures that is quarter of 66.57 million which is about 16.64 million people!!!

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. That is more than the populations of New York and Florida combined.

These are some scary and telling statistics which clearly indicates to me that we need to change things as they are broken!!!

There has been reports and clinical research stating that the more time young adults spend using popular social media, the greater the link to depression. But, what about us, the fully grown adults, what’s the reasoning behind our ratio?

When doing research I found that many researchers state that depression can be caused by:-

  • Abuse. Past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can cause depression later in life.
  • Certain medications. For example, some drugs used to treat high blood pressure, such as beta-blockers or reserpine, can increase your risk of depression.
  • Conflict. Depression may result from personal conflicts or disputes with family members or friends.
  • Death or a loss. Sadness or grief from the death or loss of a loved one, though natural, can also increase the risk of depression.
  • Genetics. A family history of depression may increase the risk. It’s thought that depression is passed genetically from one generation to the next. The exact way this happens, though, is not known.
  • Major events. Even good events such as starting a new job, graduating, or getting married can lead to depression. So can moving, losing a job or income, getting divorced, or retiring.
  • Other personal problems. Problems such as social isolation due to other mental illnesses or being cast out of a family or social group can lead to depression.
  • Serious illnesses. Sometimes depression co-exists with a major illness or is a reaction to the illness.
  • Substance abuse. Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have major or clinical depression.

“Depression is an extremely complex disease. It occurs for a variety of reasons. Some people experience depression during a serious medical illness. Others may have depression with life changes such as a move or the death of a loved one. Still others have a family history of depression. Those who do may experience depression and feel overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness for no known reason.”

Is it really “for no reason” or are we not asking the right questions. Such as:-

  • Fulfilment in job… are we choosing careers that we enjoy and are genuinely interested in or do we often ‘fall into them in our younger ages” and then continue to do them without questions. Or choose careers that pay well and have high social standings. How often are we choosing university courses based on what we’re goof at or what would make us a lot of money instead of what we’re interested in! Anything can be a career yet we choose to ignore that fact! The problem begins at a young age!
  • True connections in the relationships we foster. Are we with the people who bring out the best in us, who we can share things with, treat us with respect, empathy and love or do we compromise so we are not alone, so we can have the image of childhood; partner, marriage, house, children, grandchildren?
  • Our social acceptance of the high consumption of alcohol! We drink to celebrate, when we’re sad, as a reward, to drown our sorrows, when we socialise, when we’re alone, when we are stressed and when we are happy!… Why do we do this? Social norms or are we overwhelmed by our emotions during these situations and try to numb or control them or, simply to have an outlet for them??
  • Are we making decisions through expectations, social norms or fear instead of choice? Would the world really fall apart if we all did the things we want (just as long as we are no hitting ourselves or others.) Or would it just be that it would change drastically! No longer fulfilling the commercialised world with profit based industrialised companies such as banks etc that was created before us! It might not be recognisable to the world that we lived in and maybe that would be a good thing because how good is this world really, to justify the fighting, pain and hurt that we are doing and in, to keep it this way?
  • Do we want to be seen and heard for who we truly and yet project a false self to the world and the break comes from when that becomes to exhausting, especially when life throws us challenges and changes?
  • Do we want to feel like we belong but, spend so much energy being accepted and often have to shut down parts of ourselves!
  • What happens when we have been taught to question our instincts and that ‘logic’ should override it?! Are we now using our brain to tell our heart what we want instead of our heart guiding our minds into helping us achieve the things we want!… We shouldn’t or can’t go after and have what we want because …(full in the blanks.)
  • That we have become so busy that we no longer allow or choose to self-reflect. How well do we really know ourselves. What motivates us, how are we feeling, what do we really think about any given subject, not regurgitating someone else’s idea’s and words but, actually come to some form of conclusion ourselves which may often fall somewhere in the grey area instead of black or white!
  • Are we too busy planning and working towards our future that we are no-longer taking time to experience and explore the present?! When was the last time you appreciated the natural beauty that is a sunset? When we do eventually do it, we always stop in awe at the beauty, yet we do not take the time to do it and it’s free and occurs every day!

To me, these are some valid questions and reasons why I think we and myself often fall into darkness! Am I asking myself the right questions, this was not taught to me instead it is something I have had to figure out on my own through my own experiences.

So how do we, who are aware of this, ask ourselves these questions and try to make conscious decisions navigate within this world. Could doing this be another cause or reason for anxiety and depression… quite likely, yes?!

My journey and point of this post it to try and figure out how ‘we stand in the light’. What helps us create happiness within our lives because the stories we were told as children; have a good job, have a partner who has a good job, get a house, be married and have children does not seem to be the full answer. There definitely is some truth in it but, I guess in all things, it depends on the translation of it and what each point really means, which is where the answer probably lies.

I’ll keep investigating, keep asking and definitely keep being interested… if you have any thoughts or comments, please let me know.

Sincerely,

MsIHaveAVoice

For help regarding depression, anxiety or similar conditions please check out the following links :-
United Kingdom
United States of America https://adaa.org/finding-help

 

Advertisements

Dig Deeper!

iceberg

Deeper, must go deeper!

I realised that although my previous post was long, I’m not sure I investigated deep enough into myself with regards to having self doubts about the path I choose to follow… the one that I think to be true and authentic to my soul.

I think I motivated myself out of going too deep into the uncomfortable thoughts. The benefit however, was the identifications of my motivations of how and why I have this dream to be an actress!

I always believed that acting was my calling, given to me as a gift from God, as no one else in my family are remotely creative or artistic. What scares me is the understanding now that it could be an obsession and escapism rather than ‘calling.’ It could still very much be part of my path of self discovery as it has given me the permission, understanding and language to gauge how I feel about things, if I am willing to shut-up, be still and listen to what I am feeling!

I think underneath all of this is, the sadness that I am of a certain age and have yet to seem to figure out my life, I have nothing to show for the years I have been on this planet and the things I have experience in this life. Nothing truly manifested in the real world that I can be proud of, or even just simply call my own and have some feeling of independence, self-worth and feeling safe… as safe as we could feel in this fragile world!

The other side of going after what you want and believing that you can get it is dealing with the flip side of the coin of what happens if I put in all this effort, time, made the sacrifices and took on the challenges thrown at me for following this path and then I end up with nothing at the end of it! Would I have wasted my life or would I look back and go… at least I went after the thing I wanted… I gave it a go!

The daunting thing is that if I’m not meant to be an actress, I do not know what I could do! I know I could NEVER go back to working in an office; I have no other skills in the creative world other than acting… so what… do a minimally paid job where I just check in and out of work where I have no say in how things, people and situations around me are handled or cared for. Have no passion for my job.

There is something about being true to how I’m feeling that resonates with me as well as something I put a great deal of importance on. Acting, music, dance, painting, writing and all creative artistic work has an energy that flows from your soul that I don’t think you find anywhere else and that is something I love; the expression of that! That I DO know for sure! So maybe, acting is my calling and all I am going through is the challenges that come from it!

What if I don’t ever make enough money to have my own home, I don’t think I would be happy at the end of that story either! I understand that there is always a gamble, a risk that has to be taken in these situations and then coupled with the belief that this is worth it! But, it is something I have been thinking about more recently and it scares and causes a lot of anxiousness within me. … Maybe more meditation would help!

To be honest, I used to meditate twice a day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night but, I recently have not been doing it. I became even more distressed, jaded and pessimistic about life and that things for me are never going to change. I also believe myself to be angry at God, not really trusting this omnipotent power or myself. I’m disappointed!!! I literally just realised that that is exactly what I am feeling and why I have been avoiding any meditation recently.

I am losing my faith and that scares me as, if God is not true and all we have are us how lonely, frightening and sad it feels.

So what do I do from here? I know the idea of not acting again makes me feel really miserable. So what… I keep pushing forward? Keep perusing it! It doesn’t’ change anything, it just means I can’t go after anything else and honestly, there is nothing else I want to go after in this moment! So I miss out on nothing!

Are these cages and frustration in life real or is it just in my head? Stifling me! I do need to get out of the presence to my father. One of the most dysfunctional and hurtful relationships I have in my life and I shouldn’t have him in my regular environment. Every child just wants to be loved and cherished by their father but in some cases, it was just never going to be and I must deal. My main drive and intention is to get out of this environment, as a means to protect what minimal light I may still have in me!

So what I realised from this post which has been enlightening is, yes, maybe the path I am on is my calling, it may be a difficult road but these are the things that all actors and creative’s go through, these are the challenges we must all face on a daily basis, so understand that, truly comprehend it and accept it! There is no way to be in this industry without having to deal with this. Not going to lie, a break here or there would be truly appreciated!!! So I get refocused! I have understood my thoughts and put them into perspective. It is just the fear creeping through but, it is good to identify understand what is going on inside me and to check in with it and deal with it instead of trying to ignore its presence and push through it, when it comes to emotions that is never the solution. So I have cleared it!

Meditation… oh meditation I know I must get back to you. Once I finish this post that is the first thing I do! You may or may not help me manifest things but, you do help my soul and that is important… there is a whole conflict inside of me with regards to meditation that I can feel when I wrote the sentence but, I will figure that out another time! Tomorrow…. I’m not sure my brain can handle any more analysing!!! Today, I meditated!

So, I sign of with gratitude for a clearer understanding of myself and when I bite the bullet and dig deeper there are no scary monsters within me, just the light of understanding!

“Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.” 

― Elizabeth Gilbert,

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” 

― Horace Walpole

Being true to who we are!

Always

MsIHaveAVoice

Sobriety, is it all its cracked up to be?!

smokedrink

“Even though you’re growing up, you should never stop having fun!”

So I’ve doing this sobriety thing for about two years now! The back story is that I’m a girl who worked in Central London for many years and enjoyed all the “benefits” of it, the parties, socialising, clubbing, the bar-hoping.

However, when I began Acting I went to a “Method” drama school which changed my life forever… it had us asking ourselves, “why do we feel the need to do these things all the time?”

When I began the process of analysing what I do and what motivates my actions, I realised that I wasn’t completely happy with my “paying Central London job” and I hadn’t been for a while, I was trying to ignore it as the idea of changing it and changing it to the ‘Arts‘ scared me! Also, I realised that I’d been socialising with essentially the same group of people since my teenage years and we saw each other so regularly that I had become bored of the conversations, bored of the places we were going, bored of the lifestyle and the most shocking part… I was bored of myself but, it was all I knew and it was so wrapped up with my identity of who I was that I didn’t want to think about changing it!

It was the boredom that was leading to my heavy partying as the drinking and extracurricular activities made me feel, even if it was for a short time, excited! It was a quick solution to enjoyment when I had allowed and created a world where I wasn’t particularly interested in anything surrounding me! So, when I made the transition and went into acting; something I was interested and excited about, surrounded by people and conversations I was interested in, I decided to stop the entire “Central London Girl” thing!

Unfortunately, I began looking at everyone who had continued living that life in pity, as if I had discovered some profound secret; if you surround yourself by the things you love, you are naturally excited and there is no need for the chemical stimulation!

However, recently… we’ll actually not that recently; pretty regularly throughout the past two years, I have been wondering if this sobriety is all it’s cracked out to be!

Yes, I do enjoy how my brain functions these days, no more foggy head or tired body, I learn quicker, have a higher patience threshold and well honestly… that’s all I can think (as well as the obvious financial and health reasons!)

I’ve been thinking that there is something to that frivolous way of being, not always taking life SO seriously with only sombre thoughts in my head trying to figure out those profound questions of life… one’s that I’m not so sure I’m any closer to answering!

Is there a way of being both? I’m not going to lie; I’m swaying very much to the need and want of a day where my brain switches of… just one day, actually I’ll trade just a couple of hours at this point! But those annoying questions keeping popping up in my head… Why do I feel this way? Because I feel overwhelmed and sad! So, shouldn’t you just feel it, sit in it and go through it, cleansing it out of your system so it doesn’t weave a poisonous vine in your body and soul! Yes, I should but, I just don’t think I want to!!

That’s the bit that I forgot about, before it became a habit and a numbing experience, debauchery was fun, just plain and simple fun when done in moderation and intermittently. Before, it got out of hand, and yes, I do want to experience that again, I crave it, the simplicity of it!

So many people I admire allow themselves the opportunity to have this freedom, maybe not exactly this circumstance… or maybe in EXACT same circumstance?! Why don’t I allow myself the same liberty? The thought that if I do this then I must be weak!

I also think of the “Central London Girl,” the girl I used to be as bad and I will be again, if I do this… Everyone who ever told me that I was bad or useless or have no faith in me, they were right and I can never really healed from my brokenness!!

And I do, want to be whole! To be all that I can be! I have this version of myself in my head where I am strong, nothing and no one’s negativity gets to me and they have nothing negative to say to me because I AM intelligent, successful, powerful and kind but, by doing debauchery it will take away all the possibility of this, making me stupid, useless, weak and selfish! I guess deep down, these are my self-doubts that I wrestle with, which I am able to keep under control when I don’t do anything “wrong.”

Who ever told me it was wrong… is it really wrong? Why do I believe them? It is true, when it is abused, when there is no control and the debauchery has taken over your life, it can never really end well! However, allowing yourself to relax, something you have earned by doing your hard work and being busy with fulfilling all your responsibility in your life, having a drink or a couple of drinks once in a while is not wrong, it does not make you weak or sad it just makes you human!

Beating myself up for not being perfect is actually more destructive than anything that I really want to do (I don’t want to get completely out of hand, just a bit buzzy.) We are human we are not perfect! I try my best to be good, kind, helpful, present and fair so I am going to give myself permission to go out once in a while and allow myself the freedom of being a little stupid.

‘Wasting time is not always time wasted’, sometime that is actually what your mind and body requires… just keep it in moderation. The minute it becomes regular that it becomes a habit that is when you must re-evaluate what you are doing! So, go out there, take a breath and have some fun!

Always,

MsIHaveAVoice

Standing in the light! ~ Gratitude

standinlight

Practice makes perfect… or at least happiness!

I wanted to write a follow-up to my ‘Grounded in Success’ blog as I put into practice today everything I wrote about, there were five things that I had put on my ‘Must Do’ List:-

  1. A good night’s rest and a good breakfast.
  2. Meditation
  3. Prayer
  4. Sitting In the emotion
  5. Gratitude

I have completed the first four things on the list and it is fascinating how, by doing those four simple steps, it has hugely benefited me today. I am feeling lighter and more energised! I am still tired, as I think we all are as functioning adults, I’m not sure my life will ever be as smooth running as it once was as a child but, the brain feels as if it is functioning at a reasonable level, I feel inspired and just overall happier today.

Which comes to my final point on my list… gratitude and this is something I wanted to share! They may not be big or exciting but I am grateful for them.

Firstly, my wonderful bed! I am so grateful about how comfortable, safe and snugly you are partnered with my cosy pillows! I had a great night sleep on you and when I am not sleeping on you, I miss you and I appreciate you!

Secondly, the very tasty bacon sandwich I had this morning! I recognise how lucky I am that I am able to go into my fridge, get you and put you on my cooker! Such a simple act is sadly a luxury that not all humans on this planet have and I am grateful that I have the ability to do so… and  oh my, you were so very yummy and warmed what the cold weather chilled inside me! A perfect start to my morning!

Thirdly, It may be cold at the moment but the sun is out today. On a late September day, that is rare and I’m glad to see you! I enjoyed my morning coffee in your light, you shone your beauty on my surroundings. I appreciate the natural beauty that is around me and for that I am truly grateful as you are helping to prolong the dark days that will eventually come… As is nature and the cycle of the seasons!

Fourthly, now this is probably not the correct way of doing this…. My family! You drive me crazy, yes you do! But, I am still very grateful to have you in my life! You/I will not be here forever so I take this moment and appreciate the fact that I have you to drive me crazy, to bring joy, to challenge me and to support me (in your own unique individual ways.) You may not always support me in the way I require it but, underneath it all, I know that you believe that you are trying in your own way.

Fifthly, this blog! Now it is something I have done and paid for by myself, no-one gave me this, I went after it and created it through my own wants but, that does not diminish how grateful I am for having it. Whatever inspired me to make the move to start actually doing it, I am so grateful and appreciative! This is something creative I do just because I enjoy it and it is so refreshing that all that it requires is that I am myself, I write what I want and how I want to! It is not linked to any form of professional or financial gain.

I made the steps a couple of years ago to convert the thing I love into my career. It was my best decision as I am now doing something I am passionate about as my career but, it did change things. Having my income be linked to it somehow changed it so having this blog be what it is, is liberating, freeing, creative, enjoyable and most importantly fun and not riddled with anxiousness! For that I am so very truly grateful to have you in my life!

It is easier to see the positives in one’s life after completing this list and when it is a daily habit, which is once was, my life is better for it, internally and externally!

My hope for this blog is that, if you are someone who is struggling, these are five easy steps to help you gain momentum to a better day, then a better week, month, year and life. We add things as we feel better about life and ourselves such as exercise, healthy eating etc but, for now, this should hopefully help you stand in the light!

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ~ Meistar Eckhart Tolle

Sincerely always,

MsIHaveAVoice

Grounded in Success

planet__new_wallpaper__by_hardii-d69ed7e

Light vs dark!

A strange understanding came to me recently, I realised that somewhere along the way, between teenage and adulthood, my thoughts or maybe it’s more accurate to say that, my feelings are not as bright and shiny as I believed it to be.

This realisation came to me when I recognised that somehow, I had found my way down an avenue of potential career ‘success/growth/fulfilment’ and yet I could not sit still, my thoughts were finding ways to be anxious, nervousness and sadness which led to thoughts of the eventual failure that it was going to happen… hopes crushed!

This had somehow become my default setting! When I caught myself and tried to visualise it working out exactly as I dreamed, to be happy, hopeful and just take in the moment, I have to be honest, I got fidgety! It felt almost uncomfortable…. I have become comfortable in the uncomfortable (sadness, anxiety, failure, defeat.)

Worse still, this has somehow become my norm that I seem to make clearer and sensible decisions in that space! I am more humble, kinder, grounded, and it seems that it is linked somehow to my drive, creativity and my passion to express.

When I am in a healthy situation whereby I have the ability to freely express myself, I seem to struggle to function in that space!

Take away the sadness, the darkness and place me in the pathway of fulfilment and light and my drive becomes paralysed and I find myself reacting with almost an entitled mindset. It is as if the decisions and reactions are being made by a completely different person!

The idea of succeeding almost goes to my head because of my constant belief and wallowing in “failure.”

The decisions being made in this state rarely has a positive outcome, and I realised that I may be self-sabotaging myself so that I eventually get back to manifesting failure in my life which stems from my feelings about myself!… Money is bad and the root of all evil, I am not a good person, I am useless… I am unworthy!

I wasn’t always like this, I remember a time when I expected growth and ‘success’ from my career, from most of my life decisions but, somewhere along the way I got jaded, exhausted and began to have disbelief. What surprised me was that, I believed that for the past ten years I have been working on this; spiritually, artistically, psychologically. To realise that I have been deceiving myself, that I may be saying one thing to myself but, how I actually feel about things are a completely different scenario.

Now I am aware, that I have had a tough couple of month by anyone standards which may the cause of the increased dark and twistyness but it is also something I am glad to be aware of so that I can deal with it!

So the next inevitable question is… “How do we stay grounded and rooted when we are on a path that excites us, to continue the growth and to stay humble and essentially keep acting via your moral beliefs.”

I know Oprah has always suggested a gratitude book whereby every day you write five things we are grateful for! No. 1 Must Do!

When I get exited, I get completely engrossed in a project, focusing hours at a time into the night and the meditation and visualisation that kept me moving forward during the times of struggle seems to go out the window and becomes nonexistent. No. 2 Must Do!

The simple act of eating regularly and having a good couple of hours sleep. No 3 Must Do!

The “acting world” suggests to simply sit in the emotion, do nothing and try and recognise what it might be triggering up… what emotions is it bringing up? Recognising always helps in changing the pattern! Must Do No.4

For me, the simple act of praying and asking for help is my Must Do No 5.

With the constant stimulation of work, people, music and tv (Netflix etc) I sometimes forget that I have to ask myself “how am I actually feeling,” not just ‘what am I thinking’ because, all those stimulation’s essentially overrides the voice in my head… never giving it space to reflect, to feel and to enlighten! And to me, that is the only voice that should I listen to, to guide me. So, it’s about reconnecting with that stillness within me because somehow, through neglect or choice, I have broken the connection!

Always,

MsIHaveAVoice