life, motivation, Personal, self care

Thrive, don’t just Survive

thriveLast year a friend told me his goal was to change his way of thinking from surviving to thriving. He had been inspired by this quote from Maya Angelou:

 

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with passion, compassion, some humour, and some style.

Maya Angelou

 

It really got me thinking. So often I feel as if I just have my head above water, or that I’m juggling so many balls I often feel frozen as they rain down around me and I don’t know which one to take. Other times I don’t feel so on the edge, but I wouldn’t call it thriving either. It’s kind of just being in neutral. Like when you get to the end of the weekend and wonder what you did, or realise that yet another year has passed and so much of it was spent in mundane banalities. I was so struck by it that i found a nice picture of the quote and stuck it above my desk at school. Continue reading “Thrive, don’t just Survive”

life, motivation, self care

FOMO – is it really that bad to miss out?

fomo signEven though it was a few years ago now, I still remember getting sent a photo from a good friend. The photo showed him and a whole bunch of my other good friends on an awesome road trip.

 

Without me.

 

Having fun.

 

Without me.

 

He hadn’t meant for me to feel left out. In fact, I think he sent the pic so I would know that they were thinking of me – that they were wishing I could be there.  It took a while for me to see that, though. At first I just felt a kick in the gut that ALL MY FRIENDS were having fun without me. How could they have fun if I wasn’t there? Look at all the fun I was missing! Continue reading “FOMO – is it really that bad to miss out?”

Musings on Fiction and Tropes

Why Fairy Tales are Important

Fairy tale fighting dragon

Fairy tales, and their modern counterparts, teach us more than unrealistic expectations about love and the chance of being hidden royalty. They teach us about courage and bravery, about the importance of using your wits, about dangers and evils and tragedy. They teach us that the monsters can be fought and dreams can be achieved.

 

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Neil Gaiman

 

Fairy tales keep alive the hope that there is such a thing as true love, and that it’s almost part of your destiny. In a world where the path to love is frequently bumpy or long, and loneliness is all too common, stories promising love as destiny, love as the Happy Ending, help us hang on to hope. Sure, they sometimes might set us up for unreal expectations too, but whats a little unreal expectation between friends! Continue reading “Why Fairy Tales are Important”

life, self care

Resilience – or, bouncing back like Tigger

daisies in concrete

Resilience. The ability to tap into an inner core of strength and keep going. To bounce back. There are a plethora of great quotes on resilience. They centre on the idea of persisting despite failure, of overcoming obstacles through sheer tenacity and willpower, of rising to the challenge.  About choosing to be strong (which, in itself, is an act of strength).

 

This is a really important skill and something I think we’re not really helping our young people develop. I look at the changes in the student cohorts I’ve taught over the last 11 years. There’s been a big shift in their (outward) resilience. I see increased anxiety, apathy, a belief that if you don’t succeed the first time you’re just rubbish at it, a tendency to become overwhelmed at the workload and social pressures. Resilience is needed and I don’t think they’ve been helped to develop it in the system that we provide. Continue reading “Resilience – or, bouncing back like Tigger”

inspiration, life

What does it mean to live an authentic life?

 

How to live an authentic life? How to be true to yourself? Kids know. They are their authentic selves without thought. So what happens to change us in that?

 

The authentic life, according to my long distant memory of Second Year Philosophy at Uni and Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time, is when you no longer define yourself by das man, but by your authentic, true self. What Heidegger called ‘Being-in-the-World’. He described this as a shift from a preference for distraction and inauthenticity, passivity, conformity, to a passionate embrace of Existenz, of a drive to one’s true possibilities. I have always taken from this that to define yourself by what you do, what your job is, by how you fit into a conforming society, is inauthentic. To be authentic, you have to be able to define yourself truly, and to live with enthusiastic possibility. Continue reading “What does it mean to live an authentic life?”