Clearing out a room

Imagine clearing everything out of a room until it is completely empty.

You then dust, wipe the walls, vacuum the floor and then mop it. You wipe the windows and polish the glass.

The space has now been freshened up and it’s time to start bringing things back in.

You’d be quite intentional about what you bring back into the room because it’s now a totally clean space.

Whereas before, with the dust and dirt you didn’t care as much what was in the room and what you brought into it.

The same applies when you take a break from your normal routine to rest and restore. Once the break is over, you might find that you’d rather create a whole new routine than go back to the one you were used to.

Opening up

The idea of opening up is often used to refer to situations where perhaps you’re going through something. You’re advised to open up to allow people to do things like support, help and care for you.

But I like to apply the idea of opening up to those that are closed off, in general. Perhaps you don’t open up because you have a fear of being seen. Sometimes, the truth is that you’ve allow yourself to be so consumed by the potential opinion of others that you’ve taught yourself to be as neutral as possible.

This can show up as being someone who finds it hard to say what they do and don’t like. Perhaps you’re used to saying things like ‘it’s fine’ when it’s not or ‘I don’t mind’ when you really do.

Maybe you think that no one will listen, maybe you don’t value your voice. It could even be that you’re just trying to avoid attention.

But the game of life is that by choosing not to open up you end up in situations where you don’t feel comfortable, you don’t feel heard and you’re accepting things you don’t want. Meanwhile you think that by being closed off and essentially hiding you’re making things easier for yourself.

Opening up not only gives you space to be yourself, it gives others the chance to see you as you are.

Lucky

Some things sound like a terrible idea yet actually turn out perfectly fine. I think that’s called luck.

Sometimes those that consider themselves to be lucky get into the habit of pushing the boat out. They want to push their luck as far as it can go without it going over the edge.

In other words, they want to rest the theory of being lucky until you’re not.

And if you happen to be unlucky, things can turn out pretty terrible.

I think the bottom line is that as much as feeling lucky can be liberating, as the saying goes don’t push your luck.

What’s it like?

I committed myself to writing and sharing it on this blog over 3 years ago. Sometimes it’s easy but other times it feels difficult to do. Sometimes I want to write about the world or social media and other times I want to share what I’ve learnt about myself through self-exploration. The personal posts come easy to me because I’m used to writing about myself. When I write about social media or the world, it’s fun because I’m sharing my ideas.

I’ve developed such soft spot for this writing space. I can show up, write and share it. I get to express myself through words and it’s so liberating. And then when you show up as a reader, sometimes it feels validating. It’s nice knowing that my words don’t simply get lost or drowned out. But I think most importantly, it’s good to know that there are people that get it. I’m not writing anything that is obscure or uncommon. The Daily Gemm is really just thoughts on life but in my own style which I’m still developing.

I recently wondered if I should give up this site to make space for other creative work. However, I realised that in my 10+ years of blogging this has been my favourite and best blog. Even when I’m struggling for what to write or the words aren’t quite coming together well, I still enjoy it.

I love to write, I’ve gotten and continue to get so much from it. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. There’s really nothing like it.

In search of motivation

We all tend to start the new year with enthusiasm and vigour. In the beginning, it’s easy to stay motivated because you’re running on that ‘new year’ energy. Then as the days and weeks pass you have to rely on your own motivation.

If you’re unable to make changes at any other point in the year, chances are January won’t be any different.

So, by the time February rolls around you’re back to your usual self wondering if long term change is possible.

The answer is yes, you just have to find what works for you.

That might mean signing up for something you have to pay for, making your goal part of your morning or evening routine or just starting as small as possible.

Adjustment period

Most change takes a period of adjustment to acclimatise to the new way of living. Yet so often we’re in a rush instead of embracing the settle down period.

Change is like a wave. It can be big, ferocious and and pretty intense. But then it eventually settles.

We tend to view the adjust period as a negative thing, something to get over as soon as possible as though it is something terrible. Change can be all of those things but it doesn’t have to be.

It’s not about getting overwhelmed by the new and falling apart each time your life becomes different, it’s about paying attention to where you are, how you feel and what you need.

Debunking myths about writers

There is this idea about writers, infact it applies to creatives in general. The idea is that our best work comes from a place of negative experience that serves as the poker that stokes our flames of creativity.

I enjoy writing about being a writer, mainly because it’s a title I struggle to attach to myself as a blogger. However, here in this space where all I do is write, I suppose I am a writer.

There are all these ideas about the way that writers should be and it’s strange that we cling to them, even the negative ones.

A common one is the idea of the tortured writer. For them the writing process is like some sort of possession where it takes over and you have no choice but to sit and write until you are possessed no more.

I used to carry the belief that the best work or at least the best of my own work had to come from a place of sadness, anger or frustration. It’s not that I looked for those things but I found myself happy to use experiences that brought on those emotions as opportunities to write something.

Then one day after catching up with a dear friend, I left with a full heart and inspiration to write. When I started to write, the words poured out with such great ease like they have so many times before. the only difference was that this time I was full of joy.

In that moment, I realised that I had debunked the myths that I had once believed about myself as a writer.

7 types of people to unfollow on Instagram

I regularly update who I follow on Instagram. I do this because I understand that even if it is only in a small way, who I follow impacts me. Social media can have you invested in the lives of strangers, influence you to waste money on things you don’t really want and serve as an unhelpful comparison to judge your life against.

Here are some ideas for who you might want to unfollow on Instagram:

People you don’t know

Following people you’ve never met can lead to learning or even friendship. However it can also result in you being over invested in total strangers. You wonder if something is wrong when they don’t post for a day and keep up with their life with great eagerness but perhaps that time could be better spent doing something else.

People you don’t personally interact with

If you don’t watch their stories and you don’t like or comment on their posts then maybe you don’t need to be following them?

People that constantly want to sell you something

I recently unfollowed a bunch of fashion/lifestyle content creators. I enjoy their content but everyday I was being recommended this amazing product that was equally as good as the one they recommend the day before. And I understand that it’s part of how they make a living, I just realised it wasn’t something I wanted to see so often.

People whose content you don’t find interesting

Sometimes I come across an account that I like the images of and decide to follow. But a few months later if I’m not interested in the content or interacting with it then there’s no keep following the person.

People who make you feel bad

This may be people with more money than you, people that constantly post upsetting content or who post things you can’t afford to buy and places you can’t afford to go. They might not necessarily make you feel bad but if the people you follow don’t make you feel good, then what’s the point? Obviously there is a case for learning to not be impacted by things but the chances are whatever is on social media isn’t important enough to be the thing that teaches you that lesson.

People whose lives you’re not interested in keeping up with

Maybe there is a person you went to school with but haven’t spoken to in 5-10 years. You probably don’t interact with what they post and you have no intentions of rekindling any sort of relationship with them. Keeping up with their life is totally unnecessary because you don’t actually care.

People you don’t agree with

As much as it is good to take in views or opinions that differ from your own, you don’t need to do that on Instagram or social media in general, especially when it’s coming from strangers. You can have conversations in person, watch shows, listen to podcasts or read articles to hear other peoples views.

5 things to do for when you feel stuck

It is really easy to give advice in hindsight or just from an outsiders perspective. However, when you are in the midst of a personal challenge it can be difficult to know how to help yourself in the moment. It’s something that takes time and practice.

I’ve had plenty of times when I’ve felt stuck. Sometimes sitting around, wallowing and doing the bare minimum feels like the only thing that you can muster the effort for. However, if you’re willing to step outside of yourself and whatever situation you’re in you’ll see that there are plenty of other things you can do that would be much more useful.

Things like:

Doing a workout because endorphins make you feel good.

Going for a walk in nature because nature is a healer or will at least help you feel calm.

Venting to someone that won’t give advice because often you just want to be heard and don’t need someone to tell you what to do.

Have a solo dance party because your favourite music will always brighten your day.

Journaling to work through your feelings because it helps bring clarity.

Changing yourself to progress your career

The workplace can often just feel like one long game with lots of rules. For many people following these rules requires changing perhaps to the point of doing things that you don’t really want to do.

So, how much should you change for the sake of career progression?

If you feel like you have to become someone else or play up to the idea of who people think that you should be to have the career you want, you probably won’t be happy when you get it.

Some people understand the game and are willing to play it whilst others find the cheat codes and figure out how to work things their favour. Then there are the ones who understand the game but aren’t willing to play it and lastly the ones that have no awareness of the game whatsoever.

I have a lot of beliefs about work and the kind of career I want.

In a past experience, after discovering the game and attempting to play it, I realised that I didn’t want to.

If you have to change to progress in your career it’ll only be worth it if you like the person you’re becoming. Playing the game can be fun but it can also be exhausting. It might be for some people but others are better off stopping and finding a place to work with a game they enjoy playing or better yet no game at all.