thoughts

why i dislike christianity

I’d had this post in a draft for a while, with only the title written. This was early March. I’ve been unsure whether or not to post it, fearing hate, but you know what? This is my blog, and so I’ll say what I want.

I dislike Christianity. There, I’ve said it.

Growing up, my family went to Mass every Sunday. This went on until I was maybe seven or eight, and I was baptized, made my Communion/Confirmation, etc. I attend a Catholic secondary school.

But I have rejected Christianity.

One of the main reasons is that it’s so restrictive. When I’m in a church or something, I feel trapped. Sermons never felt uplifting, really – they felt like lectures. Only worse. Praying to God felt like some sort of duty, like cleaning a mess. I never felt happy, or content after praying. Mass was… ugh, I can’t describe the feeling, but I knew I didn’t belong there.

The biggest thing by far, though, was that nothing ever f*cking happened. “Dear God, make my grandfather well again…” – he died. “Help me do well” – I didn’t. NOTHING HAPPENED. I prayed. So what? All praying seemed to be for was letting God know that his followers still loved him, even though he did virtually nothing for his faithful believers.

That’s what I like witchcraft. The Goddess resides in the Earth. All you have to do is treat the world well, instead of reciting prayers about how great she is. And things will manifest. When you cast a spell, you pave the way for things to happen.

And I know people will call me out for this. But I’ll be honest: I resent Christians partly because of witch hunts. My sisters, and indeed brethren, were hung or drowned, often for nothing, or for simply healing people. Why? Because of we’re-so-great-better-than-you Christians. I know, I know. It was a few hundred years ago.

But that deep injustice still pervades within me – and no, I am not a granddaughter of a witch, as far as I know. Or the daughter of one. I am the first in my line to practice this, but I still seethe at the innocent girls and women who were killed. Not because of witchcraft, but because I am female too. They were my sisters, not in blood but in soul.

So all in all, I dislike Christianity. As a religion. If you are Christian, I genuinely have nothing against you, it’s just your practice I’m not a fan of. But chill – I won’t curse you or anything. I know plenty of good, decent Christians.

But this is just me. I dislike Christianity, and so I am a witch. What are your thoughts? Leave them down below!

30-second recap

  • I dislike Christianity
  • It’s so restrictive
  • Nothing happens
  • I resent Christianity for the witch hunts
  • But I still like Christian people, just not the religion

(Credits to The Witches Box email subscription for the beautiful header)

Advertisements
Discussion, Health & Wellness

the return – 20 days without internet

In case you didn’t read my last post, I’ve just attempted to spend twenty days without internet. The only exception is school and music (I play instruments, so online sheet music is my saviour).

In today’s post, I wanted to discuss my experience, some lessons I learned and my new approach in future.

(Oh, and by the way, I’ve decided to start doing a 30-second recap at the end of all my posts. Scroll down if you’re in a hurry, but still want to read this)

My experience

Let’s start with a little background. I’ve been getting into some bad habits recently, and the worst one was getting stuck in the black hole that is YouTube. I’d log on just to watch a new video I’ve been wanting to see, or do some research, and end up clicking onto 45-minute vines and suchlike. It was useless, it was mindless, and I was losing an hour or so almost every day to YouTube videos.

I was hoping that by taking time off the internet, I could get back into productivity, and perhaps learn something from it. I have to say, I was astonished by the amount of time I had. Homework was done quickly, I could exercise and then do an hour of music practice.

If I had to use the internet, I went online with a purpose. Yes, I didn’t fully stick to my plan, because I did watch a YouTube video once, but that’s because I wanted to find out information. So I suppose it was educational. And if I used the internet for something not related to school, it was usually because I needed to find out something, for example an event that was on, or the like.

Yes, I slipped up here and there. A fun game my little sister wanted to play on my device lost me twenty minutes one Thursday afternoon. But as far as I’m concerned, this was my first time doing such a challenge, and I did better than I thought I would.

Coming back on the internet

I had originally planned to go back on the 16th of April, but I hadn’t realized that it was a Monday. I had seen notifications come up when I used the internet for school, so I knew there were over a hundred emails waiting for me in my inbox. Sorting through them quickly on a Monday wasn’t going to happen, so I made the choice to get a head start and catch up on what I missed today, instead of on Monday.

But I’m fine with that. I will be away later this week, and will only be bringing my Kindle to read, so there’ll be no internet on those two or three days. I’ve caught up with my emails now, and intend to finish all my catching up by Sunday night.

Lessons I’ve learned

We all need to take break from being online. I didn’t realize how much I needed it until now, and I’m so happy I did. If you’ve been finding yourself slacking recently, or being lazy, shut down your devices and turn off your phone. You’ll thank me for it.

And if you have any FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) – chill. Instagram will survive without you, and your blog isn’t going to lose its traffic. Well, mine didn’t, anyway.

Use the internet with a purpose. This has been a complete breakthrough for me – I never realized how much of my internet time consisted of mindless scrolling and watching silly videos, rather doing proper things like writing a blog post, or working on projects.

Try writing out a list of what you need to do before opening your browser. This is a good idea to try, as you set out with specific tasks in mind, and will at least get these done before the funny cat videos.

(If you’re still having trouble, install a website blocker. Chrome users, head to chrome.google.com/webstore and go to “Extensions.” Type “website blocker” into the search box. Personally, I like the extensions Forest and Website Blocker)

Turn off your notifications. All they really do is distract you if you’re doing a task, because they immediately prompt you to see a new email, who followed you, or who liked your post. There’s really no sense in that. If you must have them on, make it rule not to check your device every time there’s a little ding or pop-up.

Still unsure? I’m a case study – turning off notifications was the best decision I ever made. Now, the only time I see my emails is when I actually set out to check them all in one go, usually mid-morning on a weekend, or after homework in the evening.

Have a set time to check email. This ties in with turning off notifications – rather than constantly check every time there’s another pop-up, do everything in one go.

Once you open your inbox, have a first quick scan, and immediately delete anything you won’t be opening. Next, go through each email, and if it requires an action, do it immediately. I for one am not an advocate of archiving or moving to “Action” folders. Get it done, now. This also includes responding to emails.

When you’ve taken action, trash the email (unless you need to keep it, of course). The key is to pretend you’re a robot, and just go through each email quickly and efficiently.

What’s ahead

So, I’m back. And I’m full of fire and energy, ready to start bring meaningful content to your inbox/Reader once again.

Some posts you can expect soon:

  • My spring capsule wardrobe
  • Minimalism online + on your computer
  • Online intentions (using the internet intentionally)

Plus I have other ideas about minimalism, natural-makeup-that’s-not-makeup, harnessing lunar energies, and more… click SUBSCRIBE (sidebar) and you can be notified when I have new posts up.

Also…

Yesterday was my two-year anniversary on WordPress! For anyone who’s been with me since I began with Of Pens & Paper, thank you for your dedication. And indeed, to everyone who’s even visited my Homepage: thank you. Without you, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to discover so much about myself, share advice, and learn an incredible amount of information.


As great as my digital break was, it’s nice to be back blogging again. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss all my new posts coming. Oh, and let me know in a comment: what topics would you like me to discuss? I’d like to get some reader opinions.

30-second recap 

  • An internet detox is something everyone needs – I don’t regret mine at all…
  • …but it’s okay if you slip up. Just keep going.
  • Use the internet with a purpose!
  • Turn off notifications.
  • Check email at a set time, and go through it quickly, properly, and efficiently.
  • It was my 2-year WordPress anniversary yesterday…
  • …thank you for all you’ve made possible.
  • Let me know in the comments what topics you’d like to see discussed.

 

natural living

drifting

Lately, I’ve been feeling lost.

Drifting on an endless sea of emptiness.

It’s that I feel unmotivated or lazy, it’s just… I feel torn, in a way.

A part of me is screaming to be released, to run away from home and move to Hawaii, to shed everything and dance in the sun, to not worry about anything – while the other part of me is trying to get top grades, is thinking about university in a few years, what I want to do with my life, productivity…

And so I have been drifting.

Watching YouTube, scrolling through perfect Instagram feeds, thinking I should probably go do something more productive. I think that part of this problem is in a screen, namely the screen of my Windows Surface, as it prevents me from being truly present.

So I’m taking a break. From tomorrow (March 24th) until the full moon on April 16th, I’m not going online. Well, I am, for school and ordering library books, but that’s it. No blogging, Goodreads, emails, YouTube or anything. I’m blocking every site apart from a few for school and the library.

I need to take time for myself; to heal, connect with the Goddess, become whole. I’m going to study, do homework, play violin, read, worship, relax, minimize, eat well, hydrate, spend time outdoors, exercise… in short, take care of myself to find my purpose and meaning of life.

I’ll see you on the 17th of April. Until then, may the Goddess be with you, and I hope you too try a digital detox and discover yourself.

Witchy Things

ostara 2018

Tomorrow marks the first day of spring, while today is the vernal equinox – a day when both day and night are equal, and winter has left us.

This is a most important time. The world is completely in balance – feminine and masculine, day and night, sun and moon. It’s a time to celebrate rebirth – the winter’s darkness has ceased, giving way to the warmth and light of the spring.

Celebrate today by sowing seeds, or doing a rebirth spell/ritual. It’s time to refresh and prepare yourself for the coming season of light. Shed your old skin, and welcome the new by starting good habits, clearing out your space, and get freshened up.

What’s more, the moon is currently in a waxing phase, meaning it is getting bigger. If you wish to cast a spell to increase happiness/fortune/etc. in the coming season, now is the time to do so. This time is most potent for casting spells of fertility, love, abundance or growth, and the world has been rebirthed after the dark time of winter.

Since today is the vernal equinox (an not the first day of spring like some people have mistake), everything is balanced. Therefore, if you need balance in your life, cast your ritual or spell today, when the time is perfect.

If you’re looking to redecorate your altar, you can do so with fresh flowers, eggs, seeds, nuts, berries and representations of spring-related animals such as hares or lambs.

Today is also ideal to take a ritual bath, to cleanse and purify yourself for the time ahead. Get outside and reconnect with nature.

And I hope you have a wonderful Ostara ❤

Discussion, For Students, Tea Talk

tea talk: self-discovery + popularity

Hello! Welcome to another new segment here at Happiness Is Natural: Tea Talk. Every week or two I’ll be sitting down to discuss something everyday, but big. I. today’s case, popularity and self-discovery.

So go pour yourself a cup of herbal tea, sit down, and get ready for a big discussion in the comments! If you enjoy this post, like it to let me know. And subscribe (sidebar) to get the next Tea Talk straight to your email inbox!

design

Let me start by saying this: I’m not a very popular person. In school, I have two or three very close friends, and a more extended circle of people I get along well with. Then there’s everyone else, who knows my name and might say hello if I passed by, but we’re not best friends or anything. I also have a few friends outside of school, who live in the same area as me, or that I’ve met visiting other places (penpals, etc).

Overall, I don’t exactly have a very full social calendar. I live in the middle of the countryside, so to meet up is a lot of hassle, plus my parents aren’t fond of me going out by myself. My days revolve round school, homework, violin, blogging, reading and exercise. In between I practice witchcraft, have fun with my family, and learn Russian.

Earlier, I was scrolling through a friend’s Instagram. She’s only recently started it, but already has five posts up, including a little “album” of her recent day out with three friends.

Looking at that photo, I must say I felt a little jealous. She and I had been close before starting secondary school, and we still are, but our paths are very different. Her parents are quite lenient with her, and she’s been out with friends a lot (from what I hear when I speak with her). And not to mention in some of her photos you can see her fancy new camera.

I know it sounds like I’m bitching about her, but I’m not. I’m trying to show you how different our lives are. In comparison, my parents are pretty strict when it comes to going out – the only time I see friends outside of school is if they come to my home, or I go to theirs. No chance of me going shopping or anything like that! And a camera? Pfft.

But this made me think. Would I honestly want to change places with her? I will admit, school holidays to get a bit lonely when you only have your family as your company, but even still: there’s one advantage I have that she hasn’t.

I have so much time for self growth and discovery.

*sip of tea*

Obviously, she’s not out with friends every minute of her spare time. But thinking about it, would I have discovered witchcraft if I was a popular girl with a busy social calendar? I think not. Plus, I have time to focus on myself – eating well, exercising, keeping on top of schoolwork and blogging! That’s not to say one can’t do those things if one is popular with plenty of events, but I feel like I can really shape myself into the person I want to be with my “lonely” free time.

I think sometimes people who think themselves “not popular” don’t realize what an opportunity it is to work on yourself. Find a passion, build a healthy lifestyle, learn something new, take care of yourself! Especially if you’re a teenager, this is a time for you to discover yourself and build the bones of your life.

Don’t spend time worrying about how to get a big friendship circle. Instead, use your time for yourself. Exercise, learn a language, take up a hobby – do something you always wanted to do but never did! Take risks, jump right in, be bold and powerful and beautiful.

*sips tea, and chokes* I’m okay!

Because ten years from now, when you’re applying for jobs, or moving to the other side of the world, your friends aren’t going to matter very much. Instead, you’ll look back and think “I should have spent my time learning new things/doing stuff for myself instead of clubbing” or something similar.

Use your time to your advantage. Life is short, and while it’s great to spend doing things with friends, it’s also great to spend on yourself. You must discover yourself first before trying to gain a massive circle of friends. Otherwise, it ends up that maybe you get the friends and full calendar you always wanted, but your grades could slip down, you could lose control of your health, you might not exercise as often as you should…

*sip of tea*

You come first. Because face it: if you have cancer at the age of 30, yes, your friends will be important, but you’ll have a bucket list in mind, and I can bet that about 70% of the things on your list won’t involve your old classmates.

So, rather than trying to climb the ladder of popularity, head up the stairs of self-discovery instead. Use your time to explore what makes you the person you are. After all,once you’re out of school how popular you were won’t matter.

Your life is short, so don’t waste it by seeking others for validation. If you’re having trouble with a “solitary life”, feel free to comment and I won’t hesitate to chat with you and uplift you 🙂

*empty teacup*

design

How did you like my first Tea Talk? Let me know, and don’t hesitate to suggest a topic for next week, or leave any thoughts about this post.

thanks for reading!

Witchy Things

the witches moon unboxing: healing & transformation

Today’s post is one I am writing with much happiness and peace. I was sent The Moon Box from The Witches Moon for honest review.

Before I begin, I would like to give a disclaimer: I’ve been wanting to try out a pagan subscription box for a long time, and The Witches Moon were the first company to accept my offer. Just because they set me their box does not impede on my opinions of their product.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s just head right into the unboxing!

design

WIN_20180307_15_37_21_Pro_LI

Presenting… this month’s Moon Box! I absolutely love the beautiful logo – it makes something as simple as a cardboard box look beautiful. Oh, and when I opened it? My bedroom still smells like a meadow on a summer’s day. Maybe it was the incense, or maybe it was magick. Either way, I wish you could smell through the screen!

As you can see from the title, this month’s theme was “Healing and Transformation.” I find this to be an extremely personal thing, as over the past year I have been developing and growing so much as a person. This month there are some new habits I am doing to further better myself.

I believe that this is magick working – we are all connected, and this has led to the Goddess knowing what I need and guiding the curators of The Witches Moon. Even if they did not receive any personal message from Her, I believe that somehow the Goddess has played a part in this.

WIN_20180307_15_38_45_Pro_LI
When I opened the box, I was greeted by some lovely blue paper. Everything was packed so well, and there was no danger of anything getting damaged.
WIN_20180307_15_38_31_Pro_LI
My first impression of the contents! Here you can see an Oracle card, the “what’s inside” letter, and a lovely card for Ostara.
WIN_20180307_17_42_11_Pro
This is the Ostara card, made by a local artist. Isn’t it beautiful?
WIN_20180307_17_42_44_Pro
With every box is a letter with a greeting from the company, some advice and a list of the items inside. I don’t want to show you the contents of the letter – for some reason, it feels extremely private and personal.

WIN_20180307_17_42_23_Pro

WIN_20180307_17_45_14_Pro
This is the personalized Oracle card. A little whimsical, a little magickal.
WIN_20180307_15_41_55_Pro_LI
My favourite item of the whole box! This is the Celestial Hare Pendant. It gives “the power to think clearly and make decisions without anxiety.” I’m wearing it now, and I still keep looking at it to marvel at its beauty.
WIN_20180307_15_42_18_Pro_LI
There were three packets containing herbs – chamomile, eucalyptus leaf and Lady Meadow (meadowsweet). And I’ve been looking out for some new herbs to use in my workings!
WIN_20180307_15_43_40_Pro_LI
These are pieces of blue kyanite, which assists in clarity, conviction and power. Useful in meditation, and helps to generate a more powerful aura.
WIN_20180307_15_43_55_Pro_LI
Sanitatem magickal oil for healing, and Shasta sage from the sacred Mount Shasta in Northern Carlifornia. Mt Shasta is considered to be a major energy grid point on the planet, a powerful spiritual energy vortex.
WIN_20180307_15_44_11_Pro_LI
A chalice, used for offerings and to receive spiritual energy. Previously, I had just been using some plastic bowls around our home, but this eliminates that!
WIN_20180307_15_44_22_Pro_LI
Enliven incense, with a wonderful sweet, fresh scent of eucalyptus.
WIN_20180307_15_44_47_Pro_LI
This is sacred salt to permeate the characteristics of the Goddess Aegle, “who was known for her brightness and splendor.”
WIN_20180307_15_45_40_Pro_LI
Last but not least was a spell + candle for a spell of “Healing Flight.” I haven’t done it yet, but I’ll definitely update you when I cast the spell.

My thoughts on this box

Like I said earlier, we are all connected. All of the items in here are ones that somehow will guide me to better & heal myself so I can do my life’s work to the fullest extent of my ability. I  could not be happier with this box, as I know the items are of good quality and will aid me in my spiritual practices.

Would I recommend this box?

I’m not going to lie. $54 – $78 (depending where you are in the world) is pretty steep for a box of ten or so small items. However, as a minimalist, I strive for quality over quantity, which means I am willing to pay more for something that will last longer, which works out cheaper in the long run. So overall, I would say this: treat yourself. Deep down, I think we all know that we deserve a break, and to heal ourselves again. With The Witches Moon Box, you can do this.

As well as this, you know that I would never recommend a product/service/company/etc. that I didn’t truly think would add great quality and value to your life. This is one of those things that I believe can transform you.

Why not? Save up, and do it for your soul.

P.S. They’re great with customer inquiries. Best company I’ve ever dealt with… well, actually, the first.

Witchy Things

the book of shadows – what, why & how

Welcome once more, witches. Today I wanted to discuss a topic that’s very prominent among witches and Wiccans – the Book Of Shadows.

Just to clear this up before I start: a Book Of Shadows and a Grimoire are two different things. The BOS is where practitioners can keep a record of their magickal rituals, spells, thoughts, etc. It’s basically a diary for witches. The Grimoire is more fact based. Pagans usually record information based on their beliefs – deities, lunar phases, spells, rituals, stories, histories, etc.


So, now that that’s out of the way, let’s discuss the Book Of Shadows (which I may refer to as the BOS throughout this post).

Me and my BOS

I used to keep a general diary – I’ve gone through countless little notebooks, and yet while writing in a diary was nice for venting, it used to feel a little… off. I wanted to find solutions to my problems, not just write about them. In fact, I think that this “I need action” mentality is what may have also encouraged me to become a witch… but anyway.

So, writing in a regular diary never really felt right. I also tried keeping a Grimoire, but it just felt purposeless. After all, whatever I was writing I had in my head, and i I wanted to mentor someone into becoming a witch, I’d teach them more verbally.

Then, at the beginning of January, I wrote my first entry in my new Book Of Shadows. And it felt perfect. I didn’t want to have a general diary, or keep a Grimoire, so a Book Of Shadows was somewhere in between. Granted, I don’t write in it every evening before bed or whatever, but instead I prefer to write when I feel that I actually have something in my head worth writing.

So, do you need a Book Of Shadows?

If you already have a Grimoire, I will say this: go ahead and keep using that. But if you want to have something a little more personal to you, rather just an “encyclopedia”, then a Book Of Shadows is something you should consider.

I also find that I have some philosophical thoughts on life, etc. that just wouldn’t be suitable for a Grimoire. As I said earlier, the BOS is basically your magickal diary, so you can just put pen to paper and allow your deep, soul-searching thoughts to flow freely.

However, bear in mind that a BOS is just that: a Book Of Shadows. As in, don’t write things like “I got a new haircut” or something like that. The BOS is for your deep thoughts – the spiritual ones, the thoughts about life, death, reincarnation…

Another thing you might want to consider is this: do you intend to pass on your BOS? As in, if you intend to have children, or already do, would you like to pass your BOS to them? Or maybe you’d like it to go to your younger sister?

If this is something you would like to do, and then keep the witchcraft tradition going through your family, you may want to consider having a Book Of Shadows. Who knows, perhaps your musings can assist people down the line!

I for one as a teenager do not know if  will ever have children, but if I do, I know that I would definitely like to pass my BOS onto them when I die. Because of course, I would raise them through witchcraft traditions. However, if I end up childless (which I like the sound of too), I hope that my sisters can take my Book Of Shadows and perhaps use it for the good of others? Who, knows, maybe it’ll get published!

Exactly what do I put into my BOS?!

For the third time, your BOS is your magickal diary.

As in, don’t write things like “I got a new haircut” or something like that. The BOS is for your deep thoughts – the spiritual ones, the thoughts about life, death, reincarnation, etc.

Precisely. If you have some extremely philosophical thoughts, or would just like to think about your meaning in this life, etc. – then your BOS is the place to go.

I usually allow my thoughts to flow, and write about any magickal experiences I have. I also record any rituals/spells I do, so that I can look back and see when/where/how I did them, and if there’s anything I can improve on/incorporate into my next working.

How to start a Book Of Shadows

For your Book Of Shadows, I would suggest an investment. Well, you don’t have to spend a hundred quid on a fancy leather notebook, but try to steer away from the basic 99-cent school copies. A hardback notebook is best, as this will help it last longer.

Alternatively, you can purchase a folder/ring binder, and then as you go along, you can continue to add things in. This method is great if you intend to go back and edit your previous entries as you progress through life.

If you can’t get a notebook, you can of course go digital. I would, however, recommend that you have a backup of your BOS should there be an accident in which your file is lost.

For your very first pages, here are a few tips for what to write:

  • Your name
  • Your path
  • Your deities
  • Why you are a witch/Wiccan/pagan/etc.
  • The Wiccan Rede (if you are a Wiccan)
  • Your goals for your path (not everyone has these, though)

More ideas for your Book Of Shadows

  • Spells/rituals you’ve done
  • Tarot readings + your interpretation
  • How you spent Sabbats/Esbats
  • Observations about the lunar cycle
  • How you used a certain plant for something
  • Thoughts you have while meditating
  • Astral projection experiences
  • If you’re in a coven, record what happened at a coven meeting

Remember, the BOS is an extremely personal item to every witch/Wiccan, so there are no set rules as to what can or cannot be done. Just do what feels right, and it is right.

I hope this post has informed you well! If you have any questions about the Book Of Shadows, please leave a comment, and I will do my best to help you. Thanks!

Lifestyle, Minimalism

a minimalist’s sunday routine

You’ve probably heard of this one – the Sunday Routine, the GYST Routine, End-of-the-week Routine… for now let’s just call it a Sunday routine.

The Sunday routine is one of the best habits to get into. No matter how old or young you are, I am in firm belief that everyone needs a Sunday routine to refresh, re-energize, reset and sort yourself out to prepare for a new week.

Today, I’ll be showing you what my Sunday routine typically looks like. Every second week I’ll go all out and do a deep clean of my living space, but the other days I will just do a quick clean and tidy up a little. However, every Sunday I also focus on myself and getting my mind & body prepared for the upcoming week.

So, here’s my step-by-step Sunday routine! (this is the deep-clean routine, please note)

design

1: Declutter

Of course, I’ve already done a full declutter of my life, but inevitably during the week papers, dishes, books, clothes, etc. will pile up a little. So before anything else, I get rid of anything that shouldn’t be in my room:

  • papers are discarded
  • bin is emptied
  • dishes brought to the kitchen
  • clothes folded/hung & put away
  • general little things that have been scattered around will be sorted
  • school & library books are sorted depending on what I need/am reading – anything that needs to go will be taken out

2: Clean + purify

Te most crucial part to my Sunday routine – cleaning. As a minimalist, I now no longer spend and longer than an hour getting everything cleaned on Sunday:

  • surfaces are dusted
  • floor is vacuumed
  • bathroom sink is cleaned
  • bathroom floor is washed if need be

I make sure to open the windows and turn on my salt lamp for at least an hour too, so that my space can be aired of any odors and it can feel clean and fresh. No need for room sprays!

The bed is left to air for most of the day, after stripping it of the dirty bed linen, and I put fresh sheets on in the evening. The bathroom towel is also changed.

3: Tasks

After cleaning, I tackle any tasks that need to be done. This can be anything:

  • getting something
  • finishing homework
  • doing a little extra study
  • writing a blog post
  • replying to/sending emails
  • reorganizing certain things
  • planning ahead for the week

#allthethings that have been piling up during the week are taken care of, so I can start the week with a blank schedule.

4: Shower time

Of course, I shower during the week, but on Sunday I go a little further. Face mask/scrub, body exfoliation, deep conditioner + hair oil, moisturizing, etc. Sunday is when I get myself completely scrubbed and refreshed. I’ll even use my Stylfile!

Every month or so, I also like to soak my feet in a Wild Oats bath milk.

5: Preparation

After all of that, I need to prepare for the week ahead. Of course, I have school, so this means getting my books together, ensuring I have homework/study completed, and ensuring my uniform is clean & ready to go. I’ll pack my bag and have everything prepared for Monday morning.

Although I don’t have much happening for the week most of the time, if there are any events, Sunday is my day to prepare. This will involve getting things ready, choosing outfits, and revising for anything.

6: And… relax.

After everything is back in order, I can relax. I’ll usually meditate, read, do some yoga or light stretching, or perhaps get outside for a walk/gentle run. I’ll go to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. to ensure I’m well rested for the upcoming week.

Thus concludes my Sunday routine.

Discussion, Feminism, natural living

why i support #freethenipple

Edit: I received a comment that explains some brilliant thoughts.

Screenshot (14)


I can already see some of you with the most hilarious expressions of horror on your face after reading the title.

Yes, I support the #freethenipple campaign.

And for those of you who have no idea what this is, #free thenipple is a movement started to encourage women to literally, free their nipples. As in, don’t bother with bras, and go out topless in public if you want.

Yes, I’m in complete support of this. 🙂

Why? Because I’m sick of society constantly sexualizing women. From an early age (four years old, if not younger) we’re taught that we should hide our chests. I’ve never understood this. Why should boys and men walk around baring everything to people, when women must cover up?

After all, nipples are a part of who we are (unless you have issues where you don’t have nipples, in which case I support you). For goodness’ sake, none of us would survive if our mothers didn’t breastfeed us! Breasts and nipples are an essential part of life.

As well as this, when you teach young girls to cover the chests, you’re already sexualizing their bodies. Yes, whether you like it or not, in essence, that’s what you’re doing. Not only that, but you’re teaching your children to conform to society’s expectations – then down the line, you wonder why your eighteen-year-old has anorexia, or is spending thousands on plastic surgery!

For those of you women who say “but I wouldn’t feel comfortable walking around topless; men would stare” – I understand you completely. And to be honest, I’ve never walked around topless either. You don’t have to go as far as that at first – start with not wearing bras (which reminds me – I have another post coming out on the topic of bras), and once you realize how comfortable it is, move on.

And if men stare, walk up to them and say “Don’t sexualize my breasts. You wouldn’t be alive without your mother’s.” If they harass you – call the police. Then if the police say “Well, you shouldn’t be walking around topless” – explain to them the #freeethenipple movement and how absurd it is that women must cover up, while men don’t.

(I realize now that I don’t have a good hindsight as to what to do when dealing with police, so for that I apologize profusely.)

To end this post, I have messages.

Teens and young women:

While you’re young, stop conforming to society. Believe me, once you stop wearing a bra, you’ll realize how comfortable and empowering it is. And encourage other females (or people who identify as female) of your age to the same – word of the movement must spread of this world is to ever change.

Mothers and older women:

First off, don’t teach your children to cover themselves. If you have boys, explain to them that thy shouldn’t sexualize girls like they’re taught.And for yourselves, become freed and empowered.

Older women, if you worry about sagging breasts – don’t. To be honest, there’s nothing wrong with it; after all, the majority of us will have sagging breasts once we hit a certain age. Reassure other women that flaws are okay – we all have them.

Boys and men:

Stop sexualizing women. And if you see a woman being harassed about #freethenipple, stand by her and encourage her. Fathers, encourage your daughters to empower themselves this way. Explain to them that they are conforming to society’s ridiculous expectations, and that the world must change – but it starts with them.

Let’s have all hell break loose in the comments. No matter what your thoughts on this are, leave them below!

natural living

beginner’s 10-minute yoga sequence

Welcome, young grasshoppers.

Today, I’ll be showing you a yoga sequence that I’ve created. It’s a sequence that I try to do every day – after all, it’s only ten minutes. I’ve created this with (1) beginner yogis and (2) people with a tight schedule in mind. Because of this, it’s easy, quick, but can stretch you out + focus your mind.

Please note that throughout the flow I will say “do this a few times” “hold this position for a moment”. This is because what may feel right to others isn’t right for everyone – it’s about finding what flows for you. Just do what feels right, and flows.

I would also like to credit the websites where I took photos of yoga poses from, and the end image. I do not claim ownership to any of these pictures, apart from the header image (above).

Now that that’s out of the way, let us prepare.

Prep

I advise to have dim lighting while practising yoga. Bright fluorescent bulbs can sometimes make everything feel harsh, while a soft candle or lamp will help you to feel relaxed. Bonus points if it’s a salt lamp!

However, if it’s still daylight, make sure to have only natural lighting. Even if it’s stormy outside, open your shutters and let the light through.

Make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing. Yoga pants, a jumper or loose-fitting shirt are fine. After all, no-one will be judging you. Make sure also that you are comfortable inside – have some water at hand, use the bathroom, and let people know not to disturb you for ten minutes.

And finally, ensure you are not too cold or hot.

The flow

1

We’ll begin at the end of our mat. Sit in lotus position, and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths, in and out.

Related image

Make sure these breaths are coming from deep in the belly, rather than the chest (this will make your breathing tight and quick). If it helps, place a hand on your belly to feel that you are breathing correctly.

As you breathe, try to forget about everything. To-dos, events, what happened yesterday… a good trick for this is to just picture the beach, with gentle waves coming in. Breathe for a little while, until you feel relaxed, and centered.

2

Next, we’re going to move into the cow. Hold the position for a moment, and then switch to the cat.Image result for cat position yoga

Repeat this a few times.

When you are in cow position, pull back into child’s pose.

Image result for child's pose

Hold this for a few moments, focusing again on your breath.

From child’s pose, pull up into downward dog. Make sure that your heels are as far into the mat as you can get them, and your knees are straight. Allow yourself to feel the pull for a few moments.

Related image

Come up into the cobra. Really arch your back, and open your chest. This is very good for the heart chakra, located (where else?) in the heart. The phrase I would say here would be open yourself.

Related image

Switch the cobra with downward dog a few times, until you feel like you’ve stretched.

Come back to downward dog for the last time. Now bring your right leg forward, keeping your left leg behind. With your right hand, either touch the floor, or grab your ankle/foot; whichever is easier. Extend your left arm straight up, pointing at the sky (or ceiling). This is the triangle, which is another “opening pose.”

Image result for triangle pose

Hold the triangle for a few moments to stretch, and then come back to downward dog. Repeat the triangle, only this time put your left leg forward and your right arm up. Hold, and stretch.

After you’ve done the triangle, downward dog again, and stretch. This time, you’re going to come up again, similar to how we did the triangle – only you’ll come into the warrior.

Related image

Hold this for a few moments until you feel a stretch, and then gently move to the other side, so that you’re now stretching your other leg. Repeat this movement a few times, until you you feel stretched.

Now, bring your legs together, stand tall, and draw your arms in a wide circle, coming together so that your palms are pressed together.

Image result for mountain pose

Next, you’ll bring your legs together so that you are standing tall like this in mountain pose. Draw your arms in a wide circle, and bring your palms together. You should end like this (of course, you don’t have to bend backards, but if you want to get an extra stretch, feel free to do so):

Image result for mountain pose with prayer hands

Take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed, and allow yourself to focus, using your hand as a focus point.

Once again, step back into downward dog, hold for a stretch, and then come back into child’s pose. Take some deep breaths. 

And finish. Slowly open your eyes and allow yourself to readjust to your surroundings.

I’d like to thank you for joining me in this short yoga sequence. Feel free to use it at any time of day – in the morning to wake up, in the afternoon to refresh, or in the evening to relax and unwind from a stressful day.

Until next time,

Image result for namaste