Category Archives: Life Essentials

My Basic Theory of Skincare Routines

Let’s not be silly.

I’ve been through it when it comes to my skin. (And emerged triumphant!)

Stick to a skincare routine that you can keep up with. If you can’t consistently use all twenty of those products that you felt obliged to buy at some point (and now feel obliged to use – we’ve all been there); condense it.

Make it work for you.

Ebay is your friend. You’ll be surprised what people will buy.

Cheers,

Christie

 

Whose race are you running?

Colouring in the within the lines. A letter to myself: questions.

wood-explosion-fire-hot.jpg

Whose dream are you chasing?

Whose timeline have you come to adopt as your own?

Who defined your limits?

Who told you how far is too far?

Doubt.

When did you inherit this doubt?

When did your goals become dreams; dreams become wishes and wishes become unattainable.

When did you realise how far is too far?

When did you find silent contentment in something you never wanted.

Help.

If there were no lines, no prescribed boundaries, no end to one page; nor beginning to another; where would your brush strokes start and where would they end?

If there were no lines, what colours, shapes, and hopes would your heart desire.

 

Is this what you really wanted?

 

Run.

Don’t run someone else’s race. Don’t chase what they said would fulfil you.

Run, yes.

Run from regret.

 

On Peace, Rest and Productivity

It’s okay to take a break. 

I learned that this week.

A great man once explained that our stresses are what truly drive us to grow. He used a fantastic analogy: the lobster needs the pressure and discomfort of outgrowing his shell to be able to seclude itself, shed its old “comfort zone” and grow into its new biological environment.

So is it with us.

If you are allowing the pressures of daily life to destroy you, you are losing. Your challenges, struggles and shortcomings are valid. But it is only you who can break free from them.

I went through the fear, the fight, the resignation. And I made absolutely no progress. I decided to get up again and fight. I may have been moving slowly, making marginal progress, but I was progressing.

I drove myself to a standstill of anxiety, fear and (often unfruitful) endless hours of non-stop working. I thought I was making progress, and I was, but I was hindering myself.

This week I learned the true importance of planned, structured rest and disengagement. It sounded counterintuitive at first. But you NEED to refuel. You need rest. I was sleeping an hour a night and I grew so ineffective that I couldn’t even keep track of the days.

If you were doubting yourself, let this blog post be the anthem to help you realise that it is okay to rest. It is okay to take a break. It will help you succeed, it will not hinder you. You can be your own best friend; or worst enemy. Don’t make my mistake. It took me years to learn this.

Rest. For in rest, you will find productivity. And in rest, you will find peace.

Dealing with guilt and self-depreciation: A series of questions

A seven-step guide to taking care of yourself.

Dealing with self-hate, cultivating a spirit of self-love and avoiding subconscious self-sabotage. I wrote this for myself, I needed this. And now I offer it to you.

lake-mcdonald-landscape-panorama-sunset-158385

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you still alive?
  2. Is it that bad?
  3. Against whose criterion are you really evaluating yourself?
  4. What are the realistic worst possible consequences of the particular action/s
  5. Forgetting the past, what steps can you take to mitigate any realistic damages?
  6. Is there any possibility that your sentiments exist within a vacuum of self-doubt, pity and self-hatred; or that your evaluation of self is based on the arbitrary standards of others or warped social norms?
  7. It’s not easy, but work to forgive yourself. Your forgiven self is the most capable version of yourself to move forward, find solutions and mitigate damages.

Cheers, peace & love.

 

– Chonye

“Fortunate Happenstance”: Notes on my favourite word

A fortunate happenstance, a pleasant surprise. Sometimes beautiful things simply occur. Not necessarily when needed. Nor with any personal input, action, or longing.

Serendipity.

Not quite fortuitous. Not merely coincidence. Serendipitous. I’ve loved this word for years. I’ve also always pushed back against my love for this word. I’ve always questioned why I am drawn to this sentiment: of receiving something I seemingly have not earned or created.

sunset-192978_1280.jpg

Easy come, easy go?

Time and thought have allowed me to realise that these beautiful, serendipitous moments almost exclusively occur when I have taken the time to set my mind and my thoughts towards the light. These are the times when my every expectation is hopeful, and when I have diverted my focus from the insecure, self absorption of the inward facing lens to look outwards, focussing on actions, intention and most importantly, on others.

It’s what is called being an optimist. I have my own views on optimism; something that has not always come easily or naturally to me. But I can certainly attest to the truth that consciously removing your mind from the day to day worries of this physical world (90% of which are really inconsequential), and bringing it to a place of gratitude, respect, love, peace, and positive expectation both attracts and produces serendipity.

(And does a world of good for both heart and mind.)

– Chonye

The Foe called Fear

Fear is that uninvited dialogue in my head that raises its voice every time I attempt to write my thoughts honestly, and candidly. It is false armor. It pretends to provide protection; but really all it does is encase and suffocate. It is the brother of anxiety, the cousin of depression, the grandfather of failure, and the evil twin of regret. Because, I find, that fear always, somehow, leads to regret.

Growing up, my mum always told me not to use the word ‘can’t’.

I understand that now. Because the lexicon of fear is ‘can’t’, ‘don’t’, ‘won’t’, ‘never’ and, deceptively, ‘later’. Fear will remind you of what is impossible. And every time you consider what is possible, it will remind you of every possible hindrance to your possibilities, until the possible becomes impossible, too.

Fear is the colonizer who will not stop until it has taken all of you. It thrives in the absence of hope and creates a vacuum, where hope cannot exist. Fear is a friend of no one. It has been my foe for many years; and something I have fought against, struggled with, at times even conquered, but only recently started to understand.

I will write more on this topic in future. This piece, however, is more for my personal benefit than anyone else’s. One day I will find myself skimming through my archives. And that might be a day that I need to remind myself to resist the foe called fear. And perhaps reexamine areas of my life where I have allowed this foe to linger, or even dwell.

 

Resist it. Fight it. Conquer it.

 

Light, space, zest—that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. – Psalm 27:1 MSG

pexels-photo-4.jpg

Perspective

Here’s a thought:

Life is short.

We are here today; gone tomorrow.

In the grand scheme of things, 90% of what we worry about is of zero consequence. We worry about the actions of others (that we cannot change) but not about what will be said of us at our funeral.

Or what legacy we will leave behind. What our mark will be on our community; or world.

flowers-marguerites-destroyed-dead

Why not turn off your phone for the weekend. What’s the worst that could happen?

I think many of us could do with just a little perspective.