My Brother Julius

I come from a big family. My immediate family contains several generations, ranging from my folks; born in the 1940s, to me, a 90s kid. I’m the youngest of 5, which is a fortunate position in some ways. I’ve been blessed with the wisdom and support of my older brothers and sister over the years. My eldest brother is 19 years older than me. (A crazy big age gap, I know). Like any milennial blogger, the necessity of gratitude is just as familiar a concept to me as it is to Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love. And as such, here is a list of reasons as to why I’m grateful to Julius.

Useful and Kind things Julius has done for me

Awoke nightly to feed and comfort me when I was just a weepy baby.

Let little me watch Beavis and Butthead with him, thus making me a punk-ass metal child \m/

Took me to Elhap, an adventure playground where I could play all day with other kiddies.

– Took me on memorable trips with said adventure playground, like the time I had my face painted like a ‘multi-coloured butterfly’ and stayed on the swings for literally hours.

When I was 11, he took me to the cinema one summer to see lots of different films, including Pirates of the Caribbean, School of Rock, Lizzie McGuire movie etc. We saw LOADS of films.

He used to walk me home from school, often buying me crisps and chocolate to treat me. Some slight rule-breaking going on here as my parents weren’t as keen on the sweets.

In the 2000s, he took me to Amnesty International meetings and encouraged my empathy for those seeking asylum at a young age.

Every year he buys me extravagant birthday cards and presents. Always huge cards and thoughtful gifts.

As a young whippersnapper, he gave me books on astrology because I enjoy indulging theories about the universe and spirituality, as does he. Not many people are so open-minded so that’s a stroke of luck.

His poetry circle is vast and he invited me into his online poetry community so I can attain feedback on my words if I so wish, as well as reading other contemporary poets.

Lastly, and perhaps most cruicial of all, he tells me vital pop culture information, like the fact R.E.M refused to play ‘Shiny Happy People’ because it got too popular maaaaan, or that Elvis has the same birthday as David Bowie.

There is obviously more but I have to cut the blogpost off somewhere eh?

Thanks, bro. 

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12 simple cures for temporary sadness

1.Cook yourself a huge portion of your favourite meal so you feel full of love (and more importantly, food).

2.Watch some comedy! Viral videos, comedy shows, pranks, sketches etc. Go back to old favourites if you know they’re guaranteed to make you laugh.

3. Open up Messenger and click the name of a friend you love to talk to. Don’t be afraid of rejection – they want to hear from you! 

4.Look at inspirational quotes on Pinterest, Twitter, Google Images… let the words do the positive thinking for you.

5.Pick an item from your To-Do list and make it a Done list.

6.Help anybody that needs it, from your best friend to a homeless person. Focus on giving out hope and you’ll receive it back.

7.Seek comfort! Go to sleep : wake up happier. Win.

8.Acknowledge how you feel, accept it, then let it go.

9.Listen to upbeat songs to curb any dwelling on feelings early (it doesn’t matter if the music is classified as cheesy). Bonus points for dancing around uninhibitedly.

10.Think of the last 3 compliments you received and let yourself believe them.

11.Dig for gratitude – this includes any good experiences occurring in recent times to you or anyone else, whether big or small. 

12.Do an everyday activity that feels suspiciously adult as a victorious distraction.

 

 

Why I Write Gratitude Lists (And You Should Too)

Nowadays we’re more inclined to digest personal growth advice in blog format or by a 140 character quote on social media, although classics like Normal Vincent Peale‘s Positive Thinking Everyday and the social anxiety-busting How To Win Friends and Influence People may still reside on your bookshelf. Successful bloggers of the 21st century take inspiration from these texts, add slathers of personal wisdom and perfect the mix with a wordy dressing to encourage self-acceptance among readers; it’s a karma-inducing formula we love to indulge in.

My first experience with self-love advisory first occurred when a teenage me googled “I don’t know what I want to do with my life” and the power of SEO directed me towards Gala Darling‘s website. This moment marked a turning point for my self awareness, I was soon hooked on ‘international playgirl’ Gala’s optimistic worldview and full-time commitment to radical self-love. Like me, Gala Darling had been surrounded by negativity – some of it self-inflicted, yet crucially wanted more for herself. Clarity of thought appealed to her, as it does to myself, and the many people who bought The Secret in 2006. She transformed her inner world by adopting various universal betterment techniques such as changing her perspective on a situation, visualising goals and writing gratitude lists…

Her ‘Things I Love Thursday‘ posts were largely responsible for my new-found understanding of the power of gratitude. Prior to this, my relationship with giving thanks was casual, saying ‘thank you’ was a facet of polite behaviour and I thought nothing more of it. From Gala, I learnt the concept of ‘limiting beliefs’ – how the imaginary force you feel working against you is 100% illusory. Changing your viewpoint helps you make the most of where you are right now and being grateful for everything you’re experiencing in the present will inspire you to create more positive experiences for yourself.

An example of a gratitude list!
An example of a gratitude list!

What exactly is a gratitude list? It’s your mind intentionally focusing on all of the good things happening around you, what you appreciate about the present, and recognising everything you love! It can be written, said aloud or created as a moodboard. It’s saying ‘thank you’ to the universe to keep your heart happy and a request for positive experiences to come your way. It’s only cheesy if you judge yourself, and you don’t need to do that! You can do what you want – optimise your mental health in quirky ways.

Once you’ve written the things you love down, why not make it visually appealing? That way you’ll enjoy reading it back even more and I guarantee your spirits will be lifted slightly when you read it back to yourself. There’s no cap on the number of blessings you can list either! If you’re experiencing strife and wondering how the dickens you’d be able to compile a list of even 10 blessings, I double-dare you to try. It’s easier than it looks and even more necessary for those who haven’t had much to be feel grateful for prior to now. Gratitude lists are particularly effective during the latter part of the week as you can confidently answer “how has your week been?” with an overflowing memory bank of good times. I encourage you to incorporate these lists into your procrastination time too because there’s nothing like mindfulness to motivate you into action.

Above all, have fun with it. Meanwhile I’m off to watch the next episode of Orange is the New Black. Thank you, universe.