6 RELATIONSHIP MYTHS – How to find / maintain a great relationship

There are many reasons why great relationships may seem elusive. Believing the myths we’ve been sold by films / novels / romantic philosophies will lead us down a disappointing road. Let’s clear up some relationship myths so we can spend our valuable time and energy on what really matters and not on trying to find or cultivate these ‘romantic’ notions that don’t exist.

MYTH: Great couples never argue

There will always be disagreements – you are not the same person. You are there to learn from each other. The question is HOW you disagree. You can disagree and still be open to listening. You can disagree and not shout. You can disagree and still respect each other. You can disagree and not get defensive. These are all possible, but not all easy. They each take practice and require us to address our own negative behaviour patterns. What do you need to improve so that your disagreements become constructive rather than destructive?

MYTH: Great couples always feel passionately in love

To love someone deeply and be passionately ‘in love’ are two different things. Yes, sometimes they coincide but they never coexist continuously.  Deep love can be continuous and present throughout all kinds of other feelings which come and go in a relationship. The passionate ‘in love’ feeling is very common at the start of a relationship, sometimes while the deep love is developing, sometimes just on it’s own. Eventually that heady cocktail of hormones subsides and if deep love hasn’t formed underneath that, the relationship usually ends. People who continuously seek the passionate ‘in love’ feeling will be destined go from short relationship to short relationship. Great couples accept that deep love is far more important and also put effort and energy into creating moments of passion within the relationship without worrying when they’re not there.

MYTH: Great couples know the needs and feelings of the other without having to say it

Fortunately, as babies, our caregivers were able to guess (with excellent accuracy) our needs and feelings before we were able to speak. They knew when we were hungry, tired, ill, upset, happy, etc. Our needs where quite simple back then. Unfortunately some of us haven’t yet fully accepted that as adults our needs and feelings are a hell of a lot more complicated than when we were infants. That means it is VITAL to communicate clearly and openly in relationships. If you need something, say it. If you want something, ask. If you feel an emotion which is affecting your actions/ decisions, tell your partner. It might be sad and painful to accept that the person we love and have chosen to spend our life with, is not able to know what we need and feel all the time but it is absolutely necessary. The sooner we realise this the sooner we start communicating openly and having our needs met and feelings understood. 

MYTH: Great couples are only attracted to each other

Humans are attracted to other humans whether we are in a relationship or not. Sure, when you’re in a relationship you might notice it less, you may even deny it to yourself (and your partner) but you will be attracted to other people. There is NO problem with that. The problem arrises either when you believe that being attracted to someone else means something it doesn’t – you don’t love your partner enough, or they’re not ‘the one’ etc. Or when you can’t just accept that the attraction is there and then just leave it, but choose to act on it. Those are the two main problems with the attraction to other people, not the attraction itself.

MYTH: Great relationships are easy and natural

Humans are incredibly complex animals. We live in an amazing environment we have created for ourselves. But so much of it is not ‘natural’. Monogamous behaviours are indeed natural for our species but lifetime monogamy is not necessarily supported by our biology. That being said, it’s absolutely possible when you understand human psychology. That’s because when it comes to decision-making, we are the masters of our own destiny. If you decide that what you want is to have a lifelong relationship with someone then you absolutely can. What you must accept though, is that it’s not going to be easy. Just like working in a ‘job’ is also not ‘natural’ and living in big cities is not ‘natural’ etc. Just because something isn’t natural doesn’t mean it’s not possible or even fun and enjoyable. Our lives, now more that ever before are about our choices. Relationships are no different. Make the choice, make the commitment and then learn and grow. Learning isn’t easy, growing isn’t easy (remember growing pains?) but that’s part of the beauty of being human.

MYTH: Great relationships are made up of two halves of a whole

There is not one single person on this planet who is going to complete you. You need to be a whole and complete person by yourself in order to have a happy and fulfilling relationship. That means you’ve also got to accept that your partner is a whole and complete person without you. You choose to be together, not out of necessity, but out of joy. It doesn’t mean that you won’t compliment each other in many ways. Maybe you see the ways you differ and so your relationship leaves room for learning and growth, but it’s not that you’re incomplete without them. It also means there are other people – family, friends – who will also contribute important things to your life so you are not reliant on just one other person.

In so many ways, what we chose to believe about relationships and our willingness to grow as individuals will determine their success. Being accepting and aware of the truth about ourselves and others is a great place to start.

FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM – you’re allowed to let go

Forgiveness is a necessary life skill for anyone living a human existence. We are going to make mistakes; other people are going to make mistakes. We must accept this as a fact of life and learn how to let go of anger and resentment and move forward in a healthy way in order to heal.

Usually when we think of forgiveness we think about forgiving people who have wronged us but even more important and profound is learning to forgive ourselves. Yes, we must let go of the anger, frustration, disgust, disappointment we have towards ourselves; we are allowed to. Forgetting or repressing what we have done keeps us trapped.

When we have been around people who are very hard on themselves and others it can make it difficult for us to learn to forgive. Search for forgiveness stories and realise that people are able to let go of deep hurts and heal. People have found the strength to forgive themselves for worse than we have done, it’s time to stop carrying these burdens.

Compassion towards ourselves leads to compassion towards others and vice versa. This is a cornerstone of healthy relationships. Forgiveness can set us free from people who have hurt us or betrayed our trust. When we hold resentment towards someone, they don’t suffer, we do. We think it brings justice but it’s actually just hurting us. Forgiveness is not for them, it’s for us.

What forgiveness is NOT

Let’s clarify some forgiveness myths:

  • Forgiveness is NOT: Denying or pretending something didn’t happen. 
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Having no consequence for a behaviour. 
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Having the pain magically go away. It might take a long time to heal.
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Finding a way to allow that person to stay in our life.
  • Forgiveness is NOT: Changing our boundaries to accommodate Someone else’s behaviour.

If we are suffering due to an inability to forgive ourselves, we can begin by trying to right the wrong. Often, expressing an apology in any form will help you towards self-forgiveness. That doesn’t mean the other person has to forgive us. Our own self-forgiveness is not dependent on others. That being said, if we are really honest and vulnerable with the person about our mistake and offer a heart-felt apology, they are likely to forgive us. We shouldn’t be attached to this outcome though.

If there is nothing more we can do to make it better, we gain nothing by living with guilt and regret. There is something to be learned from the experience, so consciously acknowledge the lesson and implement it in life. Self-reflection is key here. We may need to venture into deep and uncomfortable places within ourselves to truly see why we did something but only then can we understand it, heal it, and trust ourselves not to do it again. Remember that all humans make mistakes and it does not make us bad people. These life experiences are crucial for growth. What is that thing you are still punishing yourself for? Time to let it go.

MY 5 GREATEST MENTORS OF 2019 – They can be yours too!

How lucky that we can learn from inspiring people on the other side of the world in real time. Books have always been a gateway to new ways of thinking and being but thanks to YouTube and social media platforms we now not only get up-to-date information and ideas but also more access to the people behind them.

Here are my 5 most influential mentors of 2019:

MARIE FORLEO

I relate so much to Marie as she is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who champions personal growth and ethical business. Her YouTube channel Marie TV is full of insightful interviews and entertaining content for anyone wanting to build a life they love. 

“Everything is figureoutable.” 

Start before you’re ready.” 

“Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.”

EVERYTHING IS FIGUREOUTABLE

ECKHART TOLLE

Eckhart articulates huge life-changing ideas and also wisdom in responding to the smallest of daily occurrences. His calm and humorous way of explaining such profound concepts such as oneness and presence makes them engaging and accessible to all.

“You aren’t in the universe, you are the universe.” 

“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole lives waiting to start living.” 

“The future never comes. Life is always now.”

THE POWER OF NOW

JEN SINCERO

I found Jen through her book “You are a badass”, lent to me by a friend. Her no-nonsense writing style and delivery of truth and accountability makes her books awesome reads and the kick up the butt I sometimes need to get things done.

“On the other side of your fear is your freedom.” 

“If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.” 

“There isn’t a single person on this planet who’s entitled to treat you like shit.”

YOU ARE A BADASS

YUVAL NOAH HARARI

Yuval is a celebrated historian, author and speaker.  His ideas about the present circumstances and future of humankind are both compelling and sobering. His intriguing combination of academics and spiritual wisdom make him, in my opinion, one of the greatest thinkers of our time.

“Humans were always far better at inventing tools than using them wisely.” 

“Today having power means knowing what to ignore.” 

“There are no gods, no nations, no money and no human rights except in our collective imagination.”

21 LESSONS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

GABBY BERNSTEIN

Gabby embodies a beautiful balance between empowerment and compassion. She brings an ancient message to a modern audience with honesty and integrity. She lives her philosophy and radiates hope for a better future.

”True abundance isn’t based on our net worth, it’s based on our self worth.” 

“At our core we are all love and light..” 

“What you believe, you receive.”

SUPER ATTRACTOR

*affiliate links to books

ARE YOU SUCCESSFUL? 5 rules for success in life

Although success is most commonly associated with career and finances, they do not guarantee a successful life. Let’s break down what a successful life consists of…

1 – Only YOU can define success.

In the context of your life, you always make the rules. Success is no different. So forget what you learned about success in school, forget what you’ve seen in films, what you’ve read in magazines and heard on the news. Start from scratch. There is no salary you need to earn, no job title you need to achieve, no specific thing you need to buy or one person you need to find in order to be successful.

2 – Start with how you FEEL.

Instead of looking at outside achievements, possessions or people; a good indication of a successful life is an overall sense of wellbeing within yourself. That doesn’t mean you have to be happy everyday. That doesn’t mean you are immune to sadness or worry. It means that in the grand scheme of things, you feel content and complete. Are you looking after your physical and emotional wellbeing? If your pursuit of “success” is actually detrimental to that, maybe it’s time to reevaluate. Do more of what you enjoy and don’t be afraid to let go of what makes you feel angry or resentful.

3 – Feel ABUNDANT.

Abundance cannot be measured through physical possessions or money in the bank. It’s not about numbers. Number of friends, number of children, number of cars, number of degrees, number of deadlifts, number of holidays, number of sexual partners, number of handbags, number of employees, number of followers, number of properties. These are nothing to do with feeling abundant and they do not equal success. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of these things but we shouldn’t confuse their meaning in our life. A monk with only a few worldly possessions may feel wildly more abundant than a billionaire who still suffers from lack and inadequacy. Be grateful for what you already have and understand that you are capable of feeling abundant right now.

4 – Live with PURPOSE.

We are all different and, as such, have different things to offer to the world and to each other. When people find something they care about and feel they are making a positive difference, that is purpose. It doesn’t have to be a career, although it can be. It could be creating your own business, it could be raising children, it could be volunteering, it could be creating, it could be teaching, it could be sharing, it could be helping in any way. When we bring value to the world, we feel valued. Some find their purpose through passion, others find it through pain. Whether you inspire or heal or both, that is success.

5 – Do your BEST.

Whatever your day to day looks like, if you are doing your best, that is success. If for you it’s just a struggle to get our of bed in the morning and you manage to make yourself breakfast, that’s success. If for you it’s terrifying to go to a social event but you manage to get dressed and go, that’s success. If for you it’s hard to be honest about something with your partner but you manage to have an open conversation, that’s success. Success is being true to yourself, even when it’s difficult. You are successful every time you do your best and continue to learn and grow.

Taking back control of your social media

Control your social media or it will control you. Without you even realising, it will dictate your schedule, your mood and even your health. Being intentional leads you where YOU want to go, not where others are pulling you.

  • turn off notifications
  • follow inspiring people
  • post intentional content
  • find authentic connection

TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS

If you were in the middle of doing something and someone just walked up to you with complete disregard for your current preoccupation and started talking about something completely unrelated, it might seem a bit (or very) rude. Yet, we allow ourselves to be constantly interrupted by little notifications popping up on our phone screens at any hour of the day.

The first step is to put your phone on silent which is, thankfully, more and more common. Secondly, go into your phone settings, find notifications and turn them off for all apps except the absolutely essential ones.

A part of you will resist doing this. That is because that little hit of dopamine you receive every time someone has ‘liked’ or commented on your post makes those notifications addictive. Yes, psychologists have studied this and proven that we are addicted to social media. Acknowledge the resistance and turn off the notifications anyway.

We also have FOMO where we think we will miss something important if we’re not being constantly notified. Well you won’t. If there is an emergency and you are needed, someone will call you. For everything else, you’ll see it when YOU decide to open that app, not when someone else decides to like, comment or post.

The only notifications I receive on my phone are through WhatsApp which is where I will be contacted for anything important. For over 4 years I haven’t received Instagram, Facebook or YouTube notifications. So even if social media part of your job (as is my case), it’s still not a good enough excuse. You’ll probably be spending plenty of time on the app anyway so you’ll see everything that you need to when you decide to login.

FOLLOW INSPIRING PEOPLE

You get to decide what you see on social media. Follow people who genuinely inspire you to be the best version of yourself. Don’t follow people who make you feel envy. Don’t follow people who spread negativity and drama. Don’t follow people just because they have a big following. Don’t follow people just to look at… we are humans, not objects. I mean how does looking at photos of attractive people actually inspire you to be a better person if you’re really honest with yourself?! Having said that, there are plenty of good-looking people also doing great things and spreading wonderful ideas. So follow them for that!

Of course, you don’t have to do any of what I just said. Everything you choose in life should be because you want to, not because someone else told you to. Take time to actually think about how you feel and what desires start to form while you’re scrolling. Do you want to buy more things? Do you feel like you should be prettier? Richer? More ‘successful’? Do you feel like your life isn’t good enough? OR do you feel inspired to cook a healthy meal? Do something nice for someone you love? Invest in your own career or personal growth? Try something new you think you’ll enjoy? Get involved in a cause you feel passionate about?

The way social media makes us feel is not to be underestimated. We spend so much time over the course of a week scrolling, posting, liking and commenting that the least we can do is make sure it’s a positive, inspiring experience.

INTENTIONAL CONTENT

Just as it’s important to be intentional about who you follow and what you’re consuming, it’s a good idea to also be mindful of what you’re putting out there. Social media is NOT a replacement for genuine relationships in your life.

If you’re feeling lonely and sad, social media seems like an easy fix but instead of sharing a post to see how many people comment and ‘care’ about you, think of one person in your life who you can call or meet up with and have a conversation with them. Talk about your feelings with someone you trust rather than relying on ‘likes’ or ‘loves’ on a social media post.

If you’re feeling insecure, don’t post a photo of yourself half naked or plastered in make up to see how much ‘approval’ you can get from people on your social media. Call up a friend and do something you enjoy. Go for a run, meditate, dance, play a game, make a smoothie, watch a TED talk. Any of these will do more for genuine self-confidence than looking for ‘likes’ on social media.

If you’re angry at someone, don’t post something passive aggressive for others to see. Either speak directly to the person (not via social media) or find a way to forgive them by trying to understand their perspective so you can be at peace. Again, you have real life people who love and support you. Rely on them, not acquaintances on social media. Yes, it requires you to be vulnerable in front of a real person, not in front of a screen, but vulnerability is something which creates a deep connection between people.

Of course we might share the odd post relating to one of the things I talked about above, but mainly, it’s a good idea to share content which is either inspiring, educational or entertaining (in a positive way). It DOES matter what you post about, your voice IS important and impactful. Just as people who complain a lot will find life gives them more and more things to complain about, if you share inspiring, important or positive things on social media, life will give you more of that!

FIND AUTHENTIC CONNECTION

Let’s end on a positive. Social media is an incredible resource for meeting people who ‘get’ us, who have a similar interest or who inspire us. But let’s take the initiative to act on these connections we’ve found. Organise a meet-up for some of the people you’ve met online. Even if you’re on the other side of the world, you can go from liking each others posts to having a more authentic interaction via direct message. Instead of just consuming more and more content, let’s build on the connections we’ve already made!

I’ve met some great people, some of whom have become my good friends through social media. When I travel somewhere new, I reach out to the adult ballet community and I know I will get to meet like-minded and fun people wherever I am. I can’t think of a better use of social media than being a tool to bring people together in real life. Whether it’s to encourage people to get together to protest climate change, meet-up to do an activity, create a support group, connect with someone in a new city or even meet your life partner, shifting our focus from content consumption to human connection will mean we make the most of social media.

Healthy Changes for Modern Equality of the Sexes – SPLITTING THE BILL

Do you still think a man should pay on the first date? Pull out a woman’s chair so she can sit down? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself WHY? Do we still buy into the lie of “ladies first” when quite clearly in most other aspects of life it has been ladies last? Is the gesture of walking through a door first really worth more than REAL equality which might mean, god forbid, walking through the door second?

If the only answer you can come up with for the question of “why?” is ‘because that’s what men should do’ then you’ve sunk just as low as those who say a wife should cook for her husband because she is a woman. There is no biological or psychological reason for it, only outdated societal norms. In my opinion, there are NO things that people should and shouldn’t do based on their gender. There are only things that they can or can’t do, for example, give birth.

Let’s take the example of splitting the bill. Women (and some men) have been fighting for equal pay for decades, and we’re still not there yet. But how can we ask for equal pay and in the same breath ask for a man to pay for our food on a date? Even if he earns more money than the woman, why does that matter? If you go out for a meal with your girl friends, would you expect the one who earns the most to pay more? Of course not, that’s not how equality works. Do you really think that a man paying for your food is a good indication of whether he is a generous person or not? Generosity is not measured in conforming to gender roles dictated by society. If you want to know if someone is generous, pay attention to how they choose to divide their time, whether they give you their full, undivided attention, how willing they are to compromise.

If historically the work place was the ‘male domain’ and the home was the woman’s then at the same time as we women enter and influence the world of employment, so too should men be invited into home and family life and valued for what they bring. Valuing equality in the world of work higher than in raising a family, is in itself sexist. If what we want is as many female CEOs as males then surely we should also be welcoming the idea of having as many fathers taking just as an important role in raising their children as mothers. I’m not just talking culturally, but legally too, men should have equal rights and protection when it comes to their children. It shouldn’t be to do with the gender of the parent but to do with the best environment to raise a child. Maybe there is a bit of that sexist hangover kicking in right about now? You’re thinking it’s justified because women are better at raising children than men? Just because someone is more practiced at something doesn’t mean others can’t learn to do it just as well. Other than the biological factors of breastfeeding etc., there is no reason why men shouldn’t play just as important a role in raising their children as women. Just as men historically said women cannot study certain subjects (or study at all for that matter) or do certain jobs because they aren’t as intelligent, we have proved that wrong. If we address the issues of ‘toxic masculinity’ and give men an equal chance at raising children, I’m certain they will prove and are already proving to us that they can do just a good a job as women.

So should a man carry a woman’s bags, they are stronger after all!? Even with biological differences when it comes to our physiology, we have proven that we women are also strong, fast, powerful. If you think about it, some women are stronger than some men, it all depends on how you choose to live your life. I am just as capable of carrying my luggage as my boyfriend, I am just as capable of opening a heavy door as my brother. However, there may be some cases where I might struggle physically and require help but I’d be just as happy for a woman to help me out as a man. It’s not to do with gender. Therefore a man shouldn’t feel embarrassed to be helped by a woman either; we all need help sometimes.

As they say, equality is a two way street. I am proud to be a feminist, and women’s rights are extremely important to me. So are men’s rights. I don’t want to undermine the incredible struggle of women thought history and still to this day. Oppression must be fought but I think we have a better chance now by working together than by hating and blaming. We have the opportunity to create a world which is more equal for everyone but to do so we must recognise areas for improvement in ourselves as well as others.

MULTI-CULTURAL RELATIONSHIPS – Falling for a Foreigner

I just celebrated my 5 year anniversary with my half Spanish half Colombian boyfriend. When you consider that I am half British and half Cypriot, that’s an interesting mix of nationalities, although I know many more exotic couples than we are! So I wanted to share, in a light-hearted way, some of the pros and cons of falling in love with someone from a different country.

I don’t really like the word foreigner. It is, of course, a relative term and I am as much a foreigner to someone else as they are to me. Or more specifically in this case, I was the ‘extranjera’. I wasn’t even looking for a boyfriend, but that night in a bar in Madrid, I met such a special man that I welcomed him into my life for the long run. So let’s start with the pros.

  • Learning another language – I had been in Spain for almost a year when we met but my Spanish still left a lot to be desired! Google translate was the 3rd wheel on all our first dates and it was hilarious. There’s no better motivation to get good at a language quickly than when you are desperate to communicate with the person you’re falling in love with.
  • Gene diversity – this might sound like a joke but there is actually scientific evidence that gene diversity is linked to disease resistance. Good news for our future babies!
  • Open mind – living in another country will certainly open your mind but actually sharing your life with someone from another country will involve you day to day in another way of living so being open-minded is the only way it will work for both people!
  • More tolerant – learning about another culture from someone you love is bound to make you more tolerant and understanding of other people’s views and beliefs. You will realise that often there is no ‘right’ way to do things, rather, different ways. Part of the fun of a multi-cultural relationship is combining your two lifestyles and making a hybrid that is even better than either of the originals.
  • Know yourself better – the combination of opening your mind and becoming more tolerant inevitably leads to some self reflection. I cannot express how grateful I am to have learned so much about myself and to have questioned things I considered to be ‘right’, ‘normal’ and ‘good’. You get much closer to some kind of ‘truth’. It is so liberating to free yourself of your ‘home’ culture and to create your own life together with your partner, it’s like a fresh start.

I could only think of 3 cons which is a good sign!

  • Argument fails – the first time I tried to argue in Spanish was such a fail! You take it for granted being able to express yourself in your own language. It’s also when you realise how your brain doesn’t function quite the same when emotions are running high. The words didn’t come and I ended up reverting back to English even though I knew he didn’t understand. That also taught me about my lack of self-control in arguments so in the end it was actually useful. Even if you are quite advanced in the other language, if you don’t share the same first language as your partner then some misunderstandings are inevitable. There will be some mis-translations and even just some cultural differences in how you express emotions. It’s definitely a learning process.
  • Food differences – eating habits can differ greatly from country to country. We don’t realise how important our eating habits are to us until we can’t eat what we want when we want. But again, you keep an open mind and learn to adapt. In Spain the biggest meal of the day is usually lunch, with dinner being a lighter meal. Of course that is the other way around in the UK and I wanted my huge plate of pasta in the evening. I did get used to the Spanish way of eating though and learned to thoroughly enjoy my big bowl of plant-based pasta in the afternoon. It actually makes more sense to have the bigger meal for lunch!
  • Timing – this was a tricky one. It takes a bit of adapting to relax your concept of punctuality. That is a must if you live in Spain. However it’s a whole other level when you’re trying to navigate that in a relationship. I had to learn that ‘ya llego’ (literal translation – I’m arriving now) actually means ‘I’m on my way and I’ll be arriving in 10-20 minutes’. In the end there was some meeting in the middle on this one!

 

In the end, these cons just reaffirm my points about becoming more tolerant and openminded. So it’s really all positives! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, it’s just a bit of fun 🙂

THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD – We Have It, Let’s Use It!

Sometimes it might seem that the ways of the world are so ingrained that changing them is impossible or at least highly unlikely. Things are the way they are and we just have to accept them…!? Well imagine where we’d be if everyone throughout history had thought like that. Things are much more malleable and less stable than we are lead to believe.

I wanted to write about this today after watching a video on the YouTube channel The School of Life entitled Why You Can Change the World. I quite often take the way I think about things for granted and I forget the ways I used to think and the different ways people see the world. This video reminded me of that and of the importance of knowing that positive change is very much possible.

I’ve always been passionate about justice. From a little girl making sure my two siblings and I had the same size piece of birthday cake, to debates with my uni housemates about racism and sexism to stopping eating meat 3 years ago. I don’t accept injustice just because my culture or society does. I will speak up for what I believe in and try to converse calmly (the calmly part is a work in progress) with others who are open to an exchange of opinions. Could I do more to fight it? Yes, of course I could. I could join activist groups, protest, sign petitions (I do sometimes). For now, I’m writing this blog post.

So without really realising it, I have obviously always had the belief that things could and should get better. Where did that come from? My parents? My education? I’m not exactly sure, but I think it’s important that everyone has that hopefulness for a better world. We don’t have to look too far back in history to see huge changes which would have been unthinkable for the generation which preceded them- ending apartheid, votes for women, gay marriage.

History is not only a matter of the past but also the present. Every decision we make today, every conversation, is determining history. I remember wondering as a teenager why the world is how it is and never really finding an answer. Of course now I understand that it is because the world we live in was never destined to be as it is now, it is arbitrary. It could have been very, very different. It could still be very, very different but in order for that to happen, people need to believe that it can change.

I know at present it’s not easy to stay optimistic about the future of humanity, never mind the world as a whole – yes, there are plants and animals too who are also living on this beautiful, fragile planet. But the first and most important step is to NOT accept things as they are just because they have been that way for X amount of time. We live in an age of incredible knowledge, let’s use it for the better. Let’s stand up for what we know is right and not just easy.

The internet is an incredible thing and, as with everything, can be used for positive or negative ends. Let’s focus on the positive – we can now join together in numbers never before possible to raise awareness and show our support for certain causes like ending domestic violence or the refugee crisis or animal cruelty. It also gives us access to ways of thinking that we may never have come across in our day to day lives. What a wonderful opportunity for personal growth as well as positive change in society.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy or straight-forward. I am very lucky in that the only way injustice affects my life is people complaining that my diet is difficult to accommodate or trying to ‘educate’ me on why they think I must be protein deficient. Or my boyfriend calling me annoying because I made a comment about the misogyny in the series we are watching. Or an awkward moment in a social situation where I let someone know that I consider something to be unacceptable. Or rare occasions of having to deal with sexist behaviour towards me. These seem almost ridiculous when compared to the injustice millions of people (and animals) suffer every single day.

I am incredibly fortunate to be safe, healthy, educated, which means there is all the more reason for me to be aware of the injustices others suffer and have open conversations about it. The only people who will lose out in a more equal and fair world are those who abuse power. Of course there are those who are privileged and therefore powerful (whether they realise it or not) and would never dream of abusing that power, but that’s not enough. We should use it to help those who don’t have it. The first step is to NOT accept things the way they are, the second is to let people know what is unacceptable and why.

If you have made it to the end of this blog post, thank you so much. I realise this was quite philosophical, political even, but there will be a few of these between the lifestyle stuff, after all, everyone should be entitled to live a happy, healthy life.