Walking through Newcastle

I thought it would be wise to share some older posts with all of you to help get us  back on track. There are a couple of posts that I wanted to publish before I went offline and so I want to spend some time refurbishing them and sharing them with all of you! For instance, Zee and I took a stroll through Newcastle some time ago. It was a beautifully sunny day, so we made sure to apply the sunscreen and put our walking shoes on. Newcastle has a magic about it that is born through its history. It’s a steel city that floats on top of the harbour surrounded by bushland. At the time, Newcastle University was hosting a bookfair and so I decided to drag Zee along for a road-trip and some time away from the city!

Here are just a few shots we snapped on the day.

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with love

#travel #sunshine #Newcastle

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Update

I’m back with a bang! Or maybe just a toot. I’m unsure at this stage.

If you are reading this you are probably wondering where I have been, well I will tell you this dear reader. I have been busy. Too busy to blog. Or maybe I’ve just been lazy? I am unsure at this stage also.

Basically I have been hiding from the world. And by hiding I don’t mean in a loner kind-of-way. Rather, I have been writing a 100 000-word narrative about politics and media. And by narrative I mean thesis. That’s right folks, I have submitted my PhD and am now on vacation. A vacation that is short lived sadly because I have to get back to work. That is why I am here. I am here to entertain you and to share with you my utter most secrets. Ok maybe not secrets but anecdotes.

I will be changing some of the content on the blog. The overall theme will still remain ‘happiness’, but I wanted to add a little bit more. A little sass and a little sizzle. I have decided to include book reviews, vegan/vegetarian recipes and also some vlogs (if time permits). I will also be uploading lifestyle articles – all relatable to the theme of ‘happiness’. I want us all to sit down and have a chat basically. With each other. But I’ll be doing most of the talking. Or writing in this case.

I actually have so much more time to research and create fun content for all of my lovely readers. I want HashtagHappiness to be a companion for you, a place you can go to after a long day at work or school, with a cup of coffee. And maybe an apple? A banana? Fine, make it vegan cookies!

I’m super excited to be back and I bet you guys are super excited to have me back! I cant wait to share the ideas I have with you all. So stay tuned and watch out for the crazy! (SHH!! it keeps you young;)).

with love

#update #musings #staytuned

Email: hashtaghappinessblog@gmail.com

 

#Change

At the beginning of this year, I promised myself I would change everything I didn’t like about my life and the way I was living. These were obviously things within my control. Those outside my control, however, I did not just ignore but rather accepted. While I changed my behaviour, my diet, my exercise regime, my style and my hair colour, the biggest change is the choice I made to eliminate certain (poisonous) people from my life. People have often said to me, sometimes you have to let people go if they bring you nothing but misery. You need to find a truth in everyone and then judge whether that truth is worth holding on to. With old friends this is easy. Especially when you haven’t spoken for two or three years. When it comes to family however, this becomes difficult and I was always scared to say goodbye because it would put a strain on my parent’s relationships with these family members. But I did it! Yep! I was invited, not too long ago to a family gathering and I realised how much I actually dreaded going. I asked myself, who am I going for? Them or me?

I always wanted to be the good girl who respected all family members. The golden child that parents tell their children about. But after some talks with Rita (from kinesiology) I questioned my motives. If I really thought about it, I was going for them and not me. I always felt like I had to put on a front so they could perceive me in a certain way…as someone other than myself.  But once I analysed the situation, I came to conclusion that half these people didn’t care for me (family or not). All they wanted is the next gossip story or to see whether you are successful or if they can ‘one up’ you. And every time I find myself in the same situation where I pretend to be this perfect person even though I feel like shit. I asked myself why? Why do I put myself through this? Why apply happiness demerits so easily? So I told my mum that I would not be attending the gathering and she understood. I need to grow as a person, and I need to figure out how to live my life, without certain people dragging me down or making it more complicated.

After that I stopped all contact with certain people, I stopped attending events and even blocked them on social media. At the end of the day, I believed them to be negative people who bring dark energies to my auras and I refuse to deal with that voluntarily. It has been some months now and guess what, I haven’t heard from any of those people I cut out. Go figure.

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I thought I would share this story with all of you, for comfort and understanding. This is especially for those of you who are forced to socialise with people who make you feel unappreciated and unwanted. I have started to believe that family doesn’t really exist as something you are born into. Like religion and culture, you can change these things. You can create and build your own family. At the end of the day, I define family as those who love, support and respect me no matter what. Not those who find any chance to belittle me. To them I say good day!

with love

#LessonsinMotivation

Deciding to do a PhD is actually a very hard decision to make. That is because you literally have to dedicate the next 4 years of your life to unnumbered pressure tests, sleepless nights, and too many cups of coffee. Your brain will also be in overdrive most of the time causing anxiety and stress. Thinking about it now, I do question why I decided to do it.

One of the most common questions I get about my PhD study is HOW I stay motivated. Although it may sound like a simple, straight forward question, it is extremely difficult to answer.

On multiple occasions I have told people that its because I love what I do, and although this is party true, that is not the reason behind my motivation. I’m not going to lie, self-motivation takes time and effort but I am lucky enough to have help and support from my friends and family. As long as your network of people is there for you and patient with you while you throw many unnecessary tantrums, motivation becomes a less tedious task.

The other thing that I love to do to motivate myself is make up mood boards. I put together pictures, clippings, quotes and people that inspire me to do and be better. My favourites I have pinned to my desk as daily reminders of what I can achieve. Mood boards aren’t for everyone but they may be interpreted in different ways. For example, I don’t carry a BOARD around per se but rather use my journal as my creative canvass.

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Blogs are another platform I use to help gain some motivation. I love reading Daniella Monet’s blog. I find her to be so empowering and inspiring. But there are so many out there, all you have to do is find one or two or three and you’re set! Off course, social pages, websites and so on can work too. I know many people who hate reading blogs and I always suggest inspiring instagram accounts for these people.

Recently, I have started listening to podcasts that inspire me. For example, one of my favourite podcasts to download is Gretchen Reuben’s Happier. In each episode, Gretchen provides a number of tips that you can include in your daily life in order to be healthier and happier. I use these to motivate myself to write or research or attend conferences or whatever be the case. I do this by enjoying the PROCESS (something Gretchen has taught me) rather than the final product. I think this is essential as you remind yourself that it’s not about the PhD but rather about the EXPERIENCE that the PhD brings. Off course, it doesn’t have to be a PhD, this concept can be applied to any project where self-motivation is essential.

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I also love to set myself goals and deadlines (must be the journalist in me). These help me reach what I want in a good time frame. It is important to remember not to exhaust yourself with this though. All goals and deadlines must be realistic and it is also important to remember that if these goals are not reached it won’t be the end of the world.

I guess, at the end of the day, I don’t really know what motivates me. It is a mixture of so many different things. I am open to suggestions if any one has any other ways in which they motivate themselves. Please leave me a comment below and I will try it out.

with love

#MountainFever;

A couple of months ago Zee and I decided to head down to the Blue Mountains to get in touch with nature. Living in a city that is full of buzz, it is important for me to find a peaceful place where I can feel relaxed. The fact that the mountains have hiking tracks is a bonus.

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This place was called Wentworth Falls and believe me when I tell you that it was a hike-and-a-half! It took us up to three hours to walk to a point and back. We vowed that we would be back and walk the whole track. That is still is in the works!

It is important to stay grounded when we live busy lifestyles and sometimes feel like we are flying through life. In order to stay grounded, I picture trees. In my meditations I picture my feet as tree branches digging into the earth. strong and calm. Surrounded by nature I feel closer to serenity and Angel guidance.

What places do you guys go to for a bit of relaxation?

Hugs and kisses

#MorningHugs

Everything I have ever read about happiness and being happy has revolved around positive relationships. That is, the more we work on the relationships with the people in our lives (be it family, friends, neighbours or colleagues), the happier we get. I have actually questioned this theory many times, but in the end found it to be true.

That’s why I have tried to implement little habits into my life that help me form better and stronger relationships with those around me. I can’t say it hasn’t been a tedious task. There were many times where I felt like I was the only one giving in a relationship and never receiving. Just recently, I was disappointed by one of my closest friends whom I have often gone the extra mile for but never felt like she has done for me in return. Maybe I am misreading the situation, but I often feel forgotten by this friend and it makes me sad because we have been through some tough times together. This hasn’t deterred me from trying to maintain a positive friendship with her. I just need to learn my limits.

But there are little things you can do everyday that will assist you in forming better relationships. For example, every morning when I wake up and see my mum I give her a morning hug. I find this to be a substitute from the overused and misused ‘I love you’. I don’t know what it is, but something about that feeling I get knowing ever morning that a nice warm hug from my mum awaits me.  Try it for yourself and see how you feel. Off course, it doesn’t have to be your mum. You can choose who you want to receive a morning hug from as well as give one. It can be your sister, housemate, neighbour or even dog! It is entirely up to you how you go about it (although try not to make it weird).

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Re-reading I can see how cliche this post may sound, but trust me when I tell you its a wonderful start to your day 🙂

with love

Let me know about you morning habits by commenting below.