Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year with Gratitude!

So, it's that time of year again, where we all start planning out our New Years resolutions. We start to plan for certain goals such as losing weight, quit smoking, exercise every day, stop drinking, start volunteering more, and so on. 

While these all sound like great life choices, why do we only want to commit to them in the first month of the year? What happens to those goals come February?

This year I am trying a new plan. 

Instead of having a list of resolutions, I intend to develop a list of gratitude and include of all of the things that I am grateful for from the past year of 2015 and all of the things that I am looking forward to in 2016.    

Many of us do not realise (until  we look back)  that each year is a time of change, and change is essential for personal growth. I want to start the year feeling grateful for all I’ve been through and the lessons I've learned, as they will help to prepare me for future changes.

With some huge life changes recently occuring, I am actually finding more things that I am grateful for now than in past years.  A year with struggle, change, heartache, and pain has actually shown me who I really am.

Granted 2015 was not nearly as much of a struggle as 2014, but there were still so many challenges and life lessons encountered none the less. 

Despite all the never ending series of challenges, each challenge still had some good to them too, and today I took the time to reflect on those good things. 

I ended a long term relationship that was no longer fulfilling, which means I am a stronger person now than I was in the past. I am no longer afraid to be independent and on my own. 

As a result, I had to move and, therefore, learned to let go of attachments. 

I have also struggled financially but have also learned to creatively manifest all I need. 

Most importantly I've learned the greatest lesson of all, which is every challenge has a learning opportunity and a reason. 

So, as I go into 2016 I'm going to continue to take the time to look back and reflect on what I have accomplished, what I am already grateful for, and what I have learned.  I'm ready to make 2016 my best year yet!!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Dating with Bipolar Type II: How Honest is Too Honest? (The Meraki Maiden - Dating Diva Series)

When it comes to dating online, I am always faced with the dilemma of how much I should reveal to someone I've just met. I love communicating - especially online with someone that I seem to have an intellectual connection with. This can be dangerous, though. In my past dating experiences, I have often felt too comfortable too soon; and those skeletons that have been gathering dust and cobwebs in my closet suddenly come rushing out. It can be a real struggle to hold back. I can often be more than just an open book; in fact, some might say I'm a flashing billboard sign.     
I am trying to be more cautious this time, though, and I find myself constantly worrying about what I should reveal and what I should be honest about. These worries stem from the fact that I have been clinically diagnosed with Bipolar Type II, as well as anxiety and depression. 
As if dating wasn't hard enough! 
Although, I have to admit, being diagnosed with BPII has been a blessing in a lot of ways. I have a better understanding of myself and why I react to certain situations the way I do. When I was first diagnosed, I had been in a long-term relationship; but now I'm faced with the challenge of managing my mental illness in the dating world. Yay me!
This is why I think online dating is better suited for me. I don' think I'd have much luck meeting someone new while out with friends at a bar - or any other social setting for that matter. Generally, when out in public, I am the girl with anxiety, that has a natural shyness about her and is constantly hiding in a corner, pondering the meaning of life. Online, however, I am the cool, quirky girl bursting with positive energy and self-confidence. 
Now, most of you ladies can agree with me, that when it comes to online dating, you do find yourself constantly fighting off a range of  'unsuitable' candidates. I tend to catergories the unsuitable into the following: douchebags, creepy old men, let me see more pics because I don't have the ability to connect with you on an intellectual level type, or the dick pic senders - Yes, that right... dick pics... and no I do not request nor appreciate them!
So far, in my online experience I have only met with one person. Let's call him Liverpool, as he is a huge fan of the soccer team.
Liverpool seemed really sweet and genuine, and we seemed to have a lot in common. We also had quite a few mutual acquaintances. So, we communicated via text over a few days and then finally he asked me to meet him for coffee. Coffee went really well, the conversation was flowing, and I found myself questioning whether or not I should mention my mental illness. After some back and forth debating, I finally decided to reveal all. I mentioned being diagnosed, going to counselling and also that my mental illness was the reason for my last break up. He seemed really understanding and open-minded about it all. Overall, I think the coffee date went well...  I haven't heard from him since, though... Perhaps I said a little too much? 
Maybe I did reveal too much too soon. However, to be completely honest, I don't want to have to hide the fact that I'm living with BPII. Granted I am only seeking to gain some new friendships; but what if one of those friendships, become something long term? I would need to be certain, that the other person I choose to be with is going to be understanding and supportive.  
Having a support system is critical to successfully managing bipolar disorder. It shouldn't feel like a secret, however, the reality is, people's reactions will vary immensely. There are  still many people that don't understand the disorder.  
However, everyone is different, and I do know there are people who have had some positive experiences. Hopefully, I will have some too. The search continues, until then.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happily Falling Together

Life, in all  its glory, is so beautiful; it is not always simple nor easy though. We all have or will face moments of disappointment, struggle and even misery. I myself journeyed through some troubled times. I can't say that I have always handled my struggles gracefully; but when I do look back and reminisce, I actually have a deep appreciation for each and every time I was sad, hurt, angry, or lost in this crazy world.  

We all know the age-old saying "That which does not kill you, makes you stronger", which is true. However, what most of us don't seem to realise, is that these moments are not what they appear to be. We have been taught and conditioned to believe that hardships are the enemy, designed to beat us down and cause us pain. When we enter a time of struggle, we innately feel disheartened and distressed, with a sense that everything is "falling apart".  

For me, everyday has it's challenges, as I'm sure it does for most of you. Career goals are my priority right now, both with my day job, and my aspirations to become a writer. I am at a point where opportunities seem to be in reach - mostly in my day job - and a lot of hard work and focus is required. I have certain expectations for myself, with the current role I'm in; but a lot of change seems to be happening in my workplace. Past experiences - in similar situations - have conditioned me to believe that the potential opportunities I thought I had, may no longer exist. I saw myself as a leader, and hoped to move into a management role. However, this may not be the case... 

Now, it could just be that my anxiety is playing on tricks on me. Nasty anxiety! Regardless, I've made the decision just let things play out as they should.  I also took the time to look back on the similar past experience, and reminded myself that everything worked out for me in the end. 

Our plans, dreams and heart desires may sometimes be disrupted; but it is in the eye of the storm that we learn our greatest lesson. I have come to believe that my struggles and disappointments, are merely opportunities to learn and grow. It's never a pleasant experience of course - no one likes to feel hurt or disappointed; but still I choose accept that everything happens for a good reason. 

If life can have its ups, it will certainly have its downs.  I am aware of my weaknesses, so I know I have strengths. If I am brought down by struggle or disappointment, I am not afraid to get up and face life with new faith and insight.

To anyone that is going through a difficult time - you have the power to turn your worries into wisdom. Accept what is happening and use what you have learned to step forward. Your struggle is merely giving you an opportunity to grow and prepare for what is yet to be experienced.   

Life is not falling apart, you are simply falling together. 

Meraki Maiden xoxo

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Introducing!!!... The Meraki Maiden - Dating Diva Series

So, I have recently re-joined the single girls club again, yay me! I know most females my age would not be entirely thrilled with the idea of being in the more "mature" end of their 20 somethings, and of course still single. I on the other hand choose to embrace my new found freedom.

It's a chance for me to really connect with myself, improve on my awesomeness and just be fucking amazing! Oh yeah, plus a get to date again. Woo...

After renewing my single girl membership I was soon faced with the inevitable reality... I'm going to have to be open to the idea of dating 30 somethings... Now I know that might not sound  like such a big deal, but you have to keep in mind that when I last resided in the single world, I was in my early to mid 20's; back then 30 somethings were old and creepy, which means that I myself could potentially be considered old and possibly even creepy.

I then realised that I don't actually have any single friends left. Everyone I know is coupled up and prefer the family orientated lifestyle, which lead me to the next horrific realisation... Dating sites...

I'm sure most of you are 100% comfortable with meeting a potential partner this way. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's just the standard now, considering there are so many dating apps available. I myself have no issue with online dating; I practically live my life online anyway (as sad and depressing as that sounds).

I then began to reminisce; there are definitely some hilariously memorable experiences from my dating past and knowing me I'm sure to meet some "interesting" people in my dating future.

Then it hit me! This would be perfect materiel for a Meraki Maiden series, I mean a writer has to get their stories from somewhere right? And boy oh boy will I have some tales to tell.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you - The Meraki Maiden - Dating Diva Series!

First, dating episode will be posted soon.

In the meantime Live, Love and Laugh with Meraki xoxo

Monday, 26 October 2015

Challenges in Life

Every day, every situation & every person is your teacher; everything you encounter in life will have a good or bad hidden message that will shape you into the person you are meant to be. 

It can be hard to maintain that mentality though, especially when life begins to challenge you. What most of us don't realise though is that those challenges are not designed to make you weak or set you up for failure. They are merely exercises to help you develop your strengths & learn something new about yourself. We only fail these challenges when we begin to view them as pitfalls; blocks to our passions & dreams. 

What we need to start realising is that there is more to our book of life then just that one page we are stuck on. 

Don't let those challenges discourage you; you have what it takes to persevere. You WILL succeed eventually. 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Meraki Maiden Awakening

Meraki - pronounced may-rah-kee - is a Greek word used to describe doing something whole heartedly with love and passion.

The actual definition is: To do something with soul, creativity and love - to put "something of yourself" into whatever it is you are doing.

When I first discovered this word I was immediately drawn to it; it perfectly describes my true self.

I am what some would consider a deep emotional thinker. I feel things deeply and have an intense need to express myself creatively.

Drawing, singing and writing have always been of interest to me. However, my lack of self-confidence and belief have stopped me from wanting to draw, sing or write.

I had been bound by fear, a fear of not being talented enough in these areas. So instead of taking the time to 'perfect my craft', I simply gave up.

Until today...

I feel as though this beautiful word has been delivered to me, as a gift from the from the universe.

After learning the true definition of the word meraki, I now feel inspired and motivated to express myself creatively.

Writing is something I have always wanted to pursue, and I have made some writing attempts in the past.

However, intrusive thoughts filled with anxiety and doubt, have stopped me from continuing with my passion; and that is not who I want to be anymore.

From now on I want to live with a heart full of meraki; so I have made the decision to no longer be limited by my fears and to just do the things I love, for me and no one else.

The first step is to curb my writing appetite, and thus The Meraki Maiden has been born.

I'm not sure what topics I will be touching on as yet; rest assured they will certinly be written with meraki!