How to use your intuition

Sometimes, I wonder if this blog becomes too much. Too emotionally explicit. Too raw. Too vulnerable. But I’ve never been someone who doesn’t express themselves for who they are, and I’m not going to start now. It shouldn’t be seen as ‘weak’ to express emotions freely. And in fact, I have found that doing so can help to determine what you really want from life.

For instance, are you in two minds about something? A little bit confused, perhaps a little lost? You may be on the brink of a big decision in your life and stuck between more than one option. Maybe  it’s a career move, Maybe it’s to do with relationships. Maybe you don’t know whether to tell someone something you have been keeping from them. Over time, I have found something which has shown to work for me, and help me through this confusing process…

I just say what I want, out loud. Whether it’s to myself, or to a close friend, or to the person it concerns, I just say it. Then I listen to my gut feeling. Gut instincts are difficult to spot; so many times they have been masked with other ‘synthetic’ feelings. I call them synthetic because they aren’t my true feelings. Just what I have been made to believe is true. By the family that I grew up around, my friends, the TV I watch, the music I listen to. Literally so many factors can influence our thoughts and make us think ‘Yes, this is how I feel’ when in reality we don’t actually know our true opinion on the matter.

Thus, I remove myself away from these physical situations or these people (as much as I can), before saying what I want to say. I might say: ‘I want to be a dentist’. I would then elaborate if necessary and talk about the things I would be doing as a dentist. I then try and pay attention to the reaction it brings about within me. If it makes me feel uneasy, or I feel guilty, or like I am lying, then these are major alarm bells ringing and telling me that I am not comfortable with what I am saying. And genuinely, when you are saying something and it brings you any degree of discomfort, this is your body’s way of telling you that your words aren’t resonating with who you are inside. And I like to think of this as far from superstition, or paranoia, but simply intuition and awareness of what you really feel deep down.

And surely with time and practice, intuition and self-awareness can be honed and refined and it becomes progressively easier to understand and know whether you think a decision or a ‘truth’ is really true.

I know it’s a slim chance I would get answers, but if anyone stumbles upon this post, I’d be interested to know if you think in a similar way? Do you think that gut instincts mean anything?

 

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How to study and grieve at the same time

It can be so hard to keep positive when you’re surrounded by stresses. The world is fast paced. And busy. And it feels like your to do list is never ending. You tick off one item and the next thing needs doing. With exams, and other commitments it’s been really difficult to not feel overwhelmed. This paired with any personal grief can exacerbate the stress even more and make you feel inexplicably alone. In the last month I’ve realised how important it is to make time for yourself especially in these moments of pain. And that memories can’t be blocked or tossed to one dusty compartment of the mind. They must be allowed to flow in, and then flow out when they are ready.

So can you manage both studying and coping with grief at the same time?

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Above is my usual study set up – ignore my sock at the bottom. Believe it or not, this picture was largely unplanned; my study notes and the contents of my pencil case were open and sprawled across my bed. I just finished revising a section of my notes, sat back, and took a breather. It can be so difficult to manage studying, and the study-holic within me would tell me to carry on revising until the information is securely cemented into my brain with no chance of escape. However, going through loss has a funny way of telling your body what its limits are. This has meant accepting that I have done enough for the day and closing my folder of notes to have more time to myself. Maybe I didn’t finish studying everything I need to. Maybe I’m still rusty on some sentences. Maybe I don’t even remember some obscure fact about fruitflies. However, despite its heavy challenges, limiting my study time has been both a necessary and rewarding process – and has given me the time I need to relax a little.

As for the book in the picture, I always keep it nearby; it has been a staple in my healing. Having something to pick up and flick through the pages when my emotions seem too overwhelming – a seemingly regular occurrence nowadays – has been so valuable. I would recommend anyone that is going through the grieving process to look up this book. It’s definitely a way to make sense of pain and loss, and put it into perspective.

Funnily enough, some of my friends told me “throw yourself into work” to cope, however that is what I do on a daily basis – work like crazy. Admittedly it’s a good distraction, but the only thing which has truly helped is taking a step back – allowing me to bestow some much-needed time upon myself, to sift through and deal with grief. This is, of course, a work in progress, and each day I find myself forcing myself to put my notes down when I can tell that it is making me more miserable. Thus giving yourself the time you need to address your emotions, is truly an act of love and self-care. And something which definitely takes precedence over exams.

 

Partake

I wrote this ‘poem’ really quickly this morning, after feeling very heavy. You know, when sometimes your chest feels burdened and heavy with feelings? I thought writing this might help get some of it out. I know the title is ‘Partake’, but I could also name it ‘conveyer belt of emotions’. Which is quite apt, if I am honest. Anyway, if you want to comment please let me know what you think. I use the term ‘poetry’ quite loosely as actually this was very easy to write and I see it as more of a manifestation of feelings than poetry. And if anyone has been in similar situations, I hope this has put into words some of the feelings.

Grief takes time. A cycle leading you back to the same point over and over.

Or a conveyer belt. As though you think it’s done but ‘here comes more!’

I am done with this feeling. So I now choose what to feel. And though my heart is heavy, no longer in zeal.

I feel like there’s better things to come. But I can’t forget the way you upped and decided to run.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m emotional. But I have forgiven, so I’m not trapped in this tunnel.

Of despair. I’m better than that; I care about me. But some times it comes back and hits me, and I feel like I’m sinking in the sea.

When you jumped ship, you cut a hole in my heart. Not because you left me, but because you kept saying we wouldn’t be apart.

You made me believe in some thing, and went. I forgive you; humans are built to make mistakes.

But the trust is gone. And I feel like there’s no more love in which I want to partake.

Aliens

I’m sitting in bed, cushioned and cosy, in my gown and wondering ‘What on earth is going on?‘.  Lately it’s been a confusing time. Full of heartbreak and stress and misery. This year especially, has been tough. And it seemed to get progressively tougher as the months have been passing by. I don’t really know where I’m going with this blog post. It’s a pile of word-vomit I am spewing out before I collapse on my pillow; it’s been a draining and lagging day. I’ll make this short, maybe.

The last few months have been hard and I feel like I have been put through the wringer for an extreme emotional-rollercoaster reality game show that the universe is holding. In this hypothetical show, there are a number of different contestants around the world and they – and by ‘they’, I mean aliens – subject them to various degrees of emotional suffering and mental exhaustion for pure entertainment. This feels like that alien show. I am a contestant. There is also a spin-off game show whereby the alien producers of this alien show have created voodoo dolls for each contestant and hit them with a mallet whenever they feel like it, which implements a mental breakdown of sorts. Brilliant.

On the flip-side, I feel like I have made this show terribly interesting. Because for some reason, at one of the final rounds – I mean, I hope – the intense grief has transcended me into some Buddhist mental state where I have accepted that to handle the grief I can not internalise this pain. *Alien crowd boos*. And yes, I appear to have outsmarted the alien biz. And now their show is losing money, ’cause Buddha’s teachings are spreading like wildfire. Ha. No. Truthfully, I am still playing this game show. The only difference now, is that I have found the loophole. That doesn’t mean I don’t keep tripping up and getting hit by voodoo doll-induced mental breakdowns. I guess every day is a battle. A battle not against aliens, but against yourself. This is going to be such a cheesy end to the post, but don’t focus on how many times shit has happened to you today, this week, this month, or this year. Dwell on it slightly. Accept it. Learn from it. And then return to the now.

And consistent with this terrible analogy, aliens will be messing with you every day of your life. So what? Let them mess with you. Recognise how temporary feelings are. And just enjoy the moment. You owe that to you. And also fuck aliens.

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Fret

Alone in my room. I inhale deeply and exhale sweetly.

The thoughts crowd my mind, suffocating my brain. As though it is heavy rain, beating down on soft terrain.

I close my eyes and let it in. The rain soaks through me. I whisper to it, softly: “You can’t delude me”.

You think you’re bad? You’re my energy. I created you from nothing, so now we are synergy.

You can hurt me and I will hold you. You can beat me and I will only scold you.

You can let hell loose in my head. But I shan’t fret; you are part of me. So no – you won’t ruin my day. My day is wondrous. My day is perfect. My day is the best day of my life.

Now, would you care to join me for some tea?

That’s all the matters

I am sitting down at my desk with a cup of tea, embarking on a new post. The sky is midnight blue, at midnight nonetheless, and a cranked-open window in the neighbouring room slyly lets in a draft which kisses the back of my neck. The empty screen stares in front of me, full of expectation. As though it is asking me ‘What will you write today?’. I look back in disappointment; I want to be full of positive things but today was really hard. So I’ll write about that. *breathe*

Today was hard. I was faced with painful reminders at every step. Things I have seldom thought about started freely swimming through my mind every hour. As though it has every right to come and go as it pleases. Well, it does. But also, why? I can’t help but think that the universe is on a mission to make me dwell when I want to do anything but. I start to miss parts of them I don’t think I noticed fully when they were present. I start to miss the way they speak and say certain words. And the places we went together, even if it was a casual supermarket trip to pick up dinner. Or our walks. I miss our walks. I miss holding their hand. I miss our conversations. I miss everything. Every part of me seems to ache.

And I try to focus on me and bring my mind back to the present. But everyday thoughts cross my mind that they are probably fine. Not because they are heartless – they’re not. Because they left – despite saying all those things to me. Things we were to do. Places we were to see. People we were to become. Dreams we were to have. Lives we were to live. And now, it doesn’t matter. They left, in the midst of all those things. How am I to forget? Isn’t it cruel that I have to put to bed something so precious? Isn’t it unfair to be in the dark for so long? So long that all those dreams you had never really existed? And, importantly, how does a person make sense of this?

I am happy. But I am also heartbroken. And I feel like although I still believe in love, I don’t know if this breach of trust is normal. I don’t know if this is what I should expect in relationships? To be in the dark? To have someone over and over tell you this is what they want, only for them to snatch the rug from under your feet and leave you blindsided – which is an analogy accurate to how I’ve been feeling. I don’t know. I’m not sure. But I am sure that pain – no matter how brutal – is temporary. And that each day is not a battle I have to win. Not a destination I have to reach. I’ve given up fighting. I just want each day to be fulfilling. Where I can say that ‘Yes, I may not have ticked all the things off my to-do list, but I feel good and content and that’s all that matters’.

 

Song

How do you know when you’re healing? When music fills your bones, and you can listen to a song without thinking of the pain. In the first two weeks, I couldn’t listen to any songs – or pretty much make any move – without thoughts and memories of them flooding my mind. It made me more sad that I couldn’t enjoy something to distract me without being reminded of their absence in my life. But after coming to terms with that, I sought out more than a song. A whole album. To me, there aren’t many better joys than listening to a whole album without skipping any of the songs and absolutely loving every single one. Each listen brings a new depth, a new meaning, a more enriching experience than the last.

The last album I felt this way about – coincidentally this time last year – was ‘ours’. And now I have my own. It liberates me to feel like I have some music with my own new memories. And to be honest, I’m kicking myself that I didn’t find this artist sooner – and one week after their UK tour has finished. It’s hard to express through writing, how gutted I am about that so let me reiterate: I am kicking myself.

The album is War & Leisure by Miguel, and I am currently binge-listening to ‘Told You So’. Which means plugging in and zoning out instead of studying – oops.  I love the message of this song. Usually I’m all about music pleasing my ears and the message is a bonus and nothing more. Probably because I’m a shallow person, idk. But this song just grabbed me. Because it was saying something to me that I have been saying to others for a long time. That our world is fucked up and the countless wars we have inflicted on our brothers and sisters abroad is just fucking wrong. Like, hello? Do you want to know how a chain of terror attacks are happening in the western world, lately? It may have something to do with that little ‘War on Terror’ thing. You know the war on terror that wasn’t actually a war on terror, but was really a war on Iraq.

Anyway, I think I’m going to save all that for another post. But this song basically spoke to me. Literally saying: “I don’t wanna say I told you so, but I told you so“. And if I am honest, there are many different interpretations of it. Like how we are also mistreating and destroying the planet. Yeah we’re really fucking this place up. On a lighter note though, please enjoy this song.