As a new age approaches, I’ve been reflecting on the highs and lows of my 22nd year on Earth; the new experiences I have had and discoveries I have made.
There are a few key things I’ve found in the past year that have really had a positive impact on my wellbeing, mentally and physically.
Podcasts: I’ve talked about this in a previous blog post, so I won’t go on too much, but listening to podcasts has honestly made such a positive difference to my everyday life. I love hearing other peoples’ stories and perspectives…from love and relationships, to food, fitness and mental health.
Some of the series I listen to are educational, some have genuinely made me cry and others are sidesplittingly funny; like with music, what I choose to play often depends on my mood. I believe podcasts are a great way to learn more about the world and feel connected to people you haven’t even met which can be so comforting.
Yoga: This was the year I truly fell in love with yoga; maybe it sounds dramatic, but it has literally changed my life. I’ve practised it on and off for a long time and always liked it, but it wasn’t really until I started going to regular classes and completed a teacher training course that I developed a much deeper understanding of the practice.
Most people think Asana (the poses) are the only part of yoga, but actually it’s the philosophy behind it that gives it all meaning; it’s the ‘yogi way of life’. In a (very brief) nutshell, the core principles of yoga are kindness, compassion, truthfulness, simplicity, self-discipline, non-attachent, concentration, meditation, contentment and finally, the feeling of ‘oneness’ (enlightenment). Reading about these principles and trying to incorporate them into my everyday life has, I believe, has helped equip me to deal with certain situations better.
Of course, the physical side of yoga has also helped massively with improving my strength, flexibility and balance as well as relieving back pain I have had for years from an old sports injury.
Festivals: I had never really been to a festival before (I’m not sure you can count sneaking into one when I was 15 with my friends) but the three I went to last summer (LoveFit, Wilderness and Soul Circle) were definitely highlights of my year. Being outside in nature, listening to music, eating food from a cardboard box, being covered in glitter and dancing the night away in flip flops just made me feel so free, so blissfully happy. I would LOVE to put on my own festival one day (watch this space, aye).
New Moon Intentions: Okay, this may sound a bit ‘hippie’ but hear me out. These are essentially like mini New Years resolutions, except they are often a lot more realistic and therefore achievable. Introduced to me by one of my yogi-friends, the idea is to simply write down a list of 3-5 intentions to focus on each time there is a new moon (around the beginning of the month, I use an app to keep track). I get overwhelmed very easily so this has been a really great way to help me concentrate on just a few things I want to achieve within each month (and I think I have been a lot more productive since).
Performing: This is more of a re-discovery rather than a new discovery; I was a competitive gymnast when I was younger and then got into acting in my mid to late teens, so performing has always been something I have enjoyed. However, somewhere between doing A-levels, travelling and working full-time, it took a back seat.
I decided to rekindle the flame last year when I auditioned for a production of Romeo and Juliet and got the part of Lady Montague (rather ironic as I look about 16…I really had to call upon my acting ability). It reminded me how much of a buzz I get from performing to an audience and was a great way to meet new people , which is always a bonus!re
I also took up singing lessons around this time last year, something I was initially terrified to do. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and it has certainly done that! I’m not ready to release an EP quite yet (sorry pals), but I love learning new skills and seeing how I far I have progressed.
Here’s to feeling’ 22!
new moon (around