Spirituality and Self-help

THE GLAMOROUS TRUTH ABOUT COURAGE

Hello everyone. My name is Nike, I am the owner of the fashion and lifestyle blog SpecsandBlazers. It is my pleasure to share with you the glamorous truth about courage. Truth is…it’s not. It’s not glamorous at all. My story starts on a farm in Abeokuta, Nigeria – my father was a professor but always had this passion for farming. It was by all counts a home that was full love and I recall that at every dinner we had to go outside and pick our own vegetables. (the real organic). Around the age of three I can remember my parents arguing about their daughter – me, my mom would say : “Oh that child she’s so stubborn, she only listens to herself what are we gonna do about her?” My dad would say : she’ll grow out of it. Well…I never did. My behavior continued all throughout pri...

WHY THE TERM “OVERCOME YOUR FEAR” NEEDS A SERIOUS RETHINK

I’ve been consumed by a sense of scarcity lately. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s as though my soul is choking on dust. It seems like this world has limited, depleting resources and I’m always running behind the candy train. My pulse races over the smallest of things slipping through my fingers: the last nacho on the shared plate going into someone else’s mouth, losing one earring from the set, the extra cash on restaurant meals (I can cook at home!). I feel smaller, contained, nervous, fearful that if don’t keep a beady eye on all parts of my life, the things that I hold dear will slip away, or be snatched, irrecoverably. I re-enforce boundaries, protect what I have, hoard my thoughts and my stuff. In my fluster of activity, I’m trying to achieve fullness and satisfaction, but...

THEY SAY I’M SELFISH

Some of us know that “selfish” doesn’t have to have a negative connotation,  but the trait can actually make you a better person. How are you supposed to take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself?  Sometimes, we need to be selfish. I’m not talking about being  unkind and inconsiderate of others. I mean the part of  responsibility for getting your personal, emotional and physical needs met. Our feelings are important, our bodies are important. Don’t let anything break them. To keep them healthy we have to take good care of them. We  can also become more empathic to others feelings. Sometimes you just need to unplug, and spend some time with yourself.  Do not feel guilty for taking the time you deserve. One of the hardest parts is learning  to lose the guilt when ...

PRETENDING STUPIDITY

It dawned on me today that I pretend I don’t know something in order to get out of not speaking, just in case someone counters what I have to say or asks me questions. I fear looking stupid to others because maybe I don’t ‘speak right’. I do struggle with pronouncing certain vowels, which I attempt to hide by speaking little or avoiding ‘big words’ with too many vowels. So, if someone asks me to elaborate on a topic, anxiety rises in me, and I choke up, stutter, and/or speak too fast. My thoughts either begin to race, and then my words are flipped around and what I wanted to say comes out jumbled, or too fast and I then have to repeat myself. I realized today this happens because as a kid I overheard my father telling my brother, “that’s stupid”. I was seven years old at the ti...

10 WAYS TO BE SELFISH WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY FOR IT

Stop neglecting your health If you don’t take care of your body, it will put a dent on pretty much every other area of your life. The more you take care of yourself, the more your life as a whole benefits from it. It’s crazy how much of an impact this has. So fuel your body with the nutrients it needs + get active. You won’t regret it. You will feel so much more motivated, energetic + happier overall. You are worthy Do you need permission to put yourself first? Thought so. Here’s permission. You deserve a hell of a lot more than what you’re putting yourself through right now. Stop telling yourself you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, skilled enough, etc. There is so much room for improvement in your life but it’s up to you to put in that work. No matter where you are at in ...

YOUR SOUL IS SCREAMING FOR YOU: WHY IT’S TIME TO LISTEN

Our world is devoid of listening. Yes, we listen to music, to talking heads, to TedX speakers. We listen outside. We’ve come to love it. There’s something very safe about listening to what others have to say—about succumbing to the bombardment of lyrics and directives and seminars and countless other messages that influence our lives. I don’t mean that kind of listening—we’ve gotten good at that (though it comes at a price). I mean deeply listening. Deep listening means hearing the nagging pain in our bodies that tells us we’re working too hard, to the repetitive dreams that suggest a situation we’re in is smothering our souls. Deep listening means noticing the conversations we can’t escape—the ones where we keep saying the same things over and over again, but nothing seems to change. The ...

WALKING MY WAY BACK TO ME

In the summer of 2014 I found myself crying in the shower each morning. I was living in paradise but deep inside it was dark, joyless and so utterly pointless. This was not the life I had envisaged for myself. Then I heard it! That whisper. So soft! So silent! Calling! Calling! I nearly missed it.  There it was again, every day, louder, LOUDER, my name being spoken along with ‘Santiago el Camino.’  I listened to every whisper, tormenting, teasing and then one day it settled over me, warm, soothing and I allowed myself to trust it. I bought a beautiful pair of boots, hauled my backpack out of the attic and was good to go.  I was excited.  I had been attending to guests as an international hotelier for so many years that I had forgotten how to be a friend, a true friend, having a conve...

LESSONS I LEARNED IN MY TWENTIES

  I will be turning thirty next week – June first to be exact. I haven’t had much time to really dwell on it until now. This milestone leaves me feeling a sort of sadness and regret for wishing time to pass so quickly during some of my twenties; anger for not learning lessons as quickly as I should have; and hope for a better decade – one filled with adventures, love, mistakes and a desire to keep on living life to its fullest. So before the clock strikes midnight on May 31st and I transition into a new phase of life – here are the lessons I learned in my twenties: Rules were made to be broken. I spent so much time playing by the rules when I should have been trying to redefine them. I learned this lesson later in my twenties and I wish I would have learned it earlier. There are so ma...

BRACE YOURSELF TO FACE YOURSELF

The realization of feeling happy, enough and valuable hit me so suddenly I almost choked. It was a chilly afternoon, and cotton candy clouds were hugging the setting sun. And I just stood there, almost crushed by the discovery I’d just made. Now, I’m not here to brag about how spiritual, mindful and enlightened I am, because I am not. My life has been very far from perfect: from being molested from ages seven to 11, which lead to 15-year long depression, anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, borderline personality disorder, alcohol abuse, PTSD, insomnia and panic attacks – you name it, I had it. But at the core of all of my problems was one simple belief: “I am not enough”. Not worthy, not valuable, not lovable, NOTHING. Looking back, the desire to stop existing was enweaved into my life fo...

COMFORTING DARKNESS

Statements made by Dutch mental health care professionals while I was looking for help dealing with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: While I was attempting to be committed to a psych ward: You’re trying to manipulate the system. You just want free housing. This is not the place for you because you have too much insight into your problems. During an intake/diagnostic session: You are talking about your trauma’s like they’re exciting stories. It’s very hard to take you seriously. I don’t believe you’re traumatized. During a session I expressed anger I still felt towards an abuser: Well if you’re still upset about that after all these years, there must be something wrong with your personality! At a battered women shelter: I’m not getting a PTSD vibe from you. I think you’re lying about...

STOP COMPLIMENTING YOUR FRIEND ON HER BODY

It was Friday night, my friends and I had just finished dinner and we were excited to spend a night out on the town. We did what all girls do when they get ready – turn on some music, ask each other for outfit advice and slowly nurse our red solo cups of cheap wine. It had been the first time I had seen my girlfriends from college in seven months. Naturally, we were excited to relive our time together but I couldn’t shake this unwelcome wave of insecurity. It was a feeling I hadn’t felt in a very long time. What triggered it? My friend, who for the sake of the story we’ll call Carrie (for some odd reason we have an ongoing debate on who is which Sex and the City character). Carrie began to point out what she liked about all our bodies, which sounds weird from an outsiders’ perspectiv...

LESSONS FROM A FAILED FASHION BLOG

My cursor blinked on and off on an empty page, mocking me that I still hadn’t worked on the blog post I’d meant to submit weeks ago. As I stared blankly at my computer screen, I realized that I hated fashion blogging. It wasn’t anything remotely close to what I wanted to write about and it wasn’t much fun anymore.  Last August, I launched a fashion blog because I needed a project. My dad had just died, my relationship was failing, I hated my job and I desperately needed to lose myself in something. I spent every minute of my free time flipping through fashion publications, reading (and re-reading) Sophia Amoruso’s Girlboss, and stalking my fashion icons on social media. Everywhere I looked I saw someone other than myself achieving success. I hungered to get my...

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