The Power of Silence

newproject_2_originalPeople want to be heard and they use words and gestures to achieve this (duh). If they do not receive the response or attention they want, they may raise their voices louder and make grander gestures. Whilst this is an obvious point to make about humans, it is often forgotten that silence can be even more powerful.

A typical example is bartering. A proposition is made to buy something for £10. The proposition is declined and a counter offer is made of £20. This is declined and the buyer asks to meet in the middle at £15. The seller pauses to consider this and a silence is created. If the buyer assumes in the silence that the seller is going to say no, he may break the silence and say, ‘what about £17.50?’. The seller is immediately happier as the price is nearer to his original asking price. Had the buyer let the silence hang in the air, the seller may have concluded that it was in fact reasonable to meet in the middle at £15. This art of negotiation can be used for anything, as long as silence is utilised effectively.

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If you ask someone a direct question, always leave it to them to break the silence, otherwise you disturb their thought process and inadvertently end up where you didn’t want to be. Silences like this can be majorly uncomfortable, although once you see the rewards of staying silent, you will find things go your way more often and it is easier to do. The reason for this is that the respondent often feels pressured to answer a direct question quickly and are therefore more likely to  please in haste. In a sense, it is ruthless, however, this skill is beneficial in official settings such as debates, business and protests.

Another way that silence is powerful is when someone or a group of people are attempting to tear you down, either mentally, physically, or both. This behaviour is mainly rooted in jealousy. Jealousy is just as powerful as silence, but it is a negative emotion that can be destructive. If someone calls you a name or spreads hate about you, the worst thing you can do is respond. As soon as that response is made you are in the same categories as them, petty and childish. Remember…

‘Queens don’t leave their thrones for peasants throwing stones’

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The people who know you personally will not pay attention to such comments anyway and any external people who feed hateful behaviour are not worth your time. We live in a politically correct yet judgemental society which is for the most part ‘noisy’. This means silence is now our greatest power. Show people how to behave and progress by focusing on enjoying and furthering your own life. Don’t brag just live! We’re not all born with thick skin but we are born with the ability to be indifferent. In time, the negatives will realise that they are not going to get the response they want from you and that they look more and more ridiculous each time they attempt to strip you of your worth. Let them show the world who they are. Your silence speaks louder than their voice ever could.

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This is applicable to other situations, such as people trying to engage you in negative conversations. If Sandra tells you that she can’t stand Sharon for X, Y and Z reasons, but you like Sharon, don’t sell her out just for the bants. If you stay silent, Sandra will be forced to reconsider if what she just said was appropriate or not. She may continue venting in your silence, or she may pause, think and then break the silence by back tracking, ‘but Sharon’s alright really’. Lols. Engaging in negative conversations about others does not result in positive outcome for yourself. Your circle is representative of who you are, so use your silence to reveal people.

Silence is also an educator for children. It can be majorly frustrating when a child misbehaves or simply won’t listen. Many parents get into the routine of telling their kids off and even arguing with them to stop bad behaviour. The easiest tool to use is…silence!

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This must be backed up with all the willpower you can muster though. Children want attention and they do that by making noise. If you stay silent they will get louder and if you give in at this point then silence can no longer be your weapon of education. However, if you stay silent and let the child’s noise levels peak (even if they’re screaming!) they won’t be able to sustain it in your silence.

20170414_133905No words, no eye contact, no moving them or yourself away. Just still silence. As children’s attention spans are short, they will eventually move on to doing something else. Stay silent until they show a positive action or say positive words. Doing this consistently builds into the child’s consciousness that if they do positive things they will get a positive response. If they do negative things, it will isolate them. Let’s face it, that’s how it is in the adult world and if they grow up with this skill, they will use it effectively in their adult lives. Win win!

So, there you go, a few ways to make silence your all conquering friend.

Are you suffering from Chronic Stress?

wp-1491043434690.jpgDo you ever feel, that if you must say, hear or feel one more thing then your brain and body will just explode out of frustration?

If yes then you have the stress.

The problem with chronic stress is that it can take some time to identify if you have got used to coping. Unless you have very close caring people around you who see the subtle changes in your mood and looks, others will attribute them to you just ‘having a bad day’, ‘being out of sorts’ or ‘having a late one’. It is quite concerning how much stress is brushed off as something minor. Even if you recognise it in yourself, you may be reluctant to make anyone aware in case they accuse you of being unable to cope or that you’re being melodramatic…it is okay to feel this way! The emotion needs to come out eventually, although it should be in a constructive way.

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A little bit of stress can be beneficial such as helping you run away from danger, completing tasks under pressure or making a difficult decision. It becomes an issue when it is the only emotional response you are experiencing over a prolonged period. When the body detects stress, it releases hormones and adrenaline, a fight of flight response if you will. Being stuck in this state for a long time will send your body haywire and ultimately strip your immune system of its strength.

Whilst I try to err on the side of mentioning myself in these blogs, I have experience of this unforgiving feeling. Forcing myself to cope with stress resulted in following ailments for nigh on six weeks-

*Cystic Acne- A real confidence destroyer. Scientists can only speculate why this happens but they assume the high hormone levels promote oil production. Cystic acne is deep within the skin and can take months to heal.  The face feels tender and pressurised. Picking it will make it stay, trust me.

*0-100 Irritability- Reacting to comments and situations literally faster than lighting. Shutting down negativity with aggression because you just can’t bear to hear anymore from anyone. Every noise sounding like an atomic bomb. People’s voices sounding like nails on chalk boards. ‘Burn them all!’ is my Cersei phrase of choice. FYI- If you don’t watch GOT that sentence will mean nothing to you.

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*Broken sleep- Sleep is my first love and if left alone with it, I can easy do a peaceful ten-twelve-hour session. Stress took this pleasure from me and said I can only have 4 hours a night…in intervals of four. Thanks.

*Unable to fall asleep- Turning off electronics, lighting incense and melts, audio books, massage, working out late, none of it helped. Sleeping for a few hours then tackling a 12-hour day just spells disaster.

*Unexplainable rash/hives- As I have resilient skin in that I can use any washing powders, soaps etc. I was surprised when I developed hives on my arms and behind my ears. If this happened to you it is your immune system telling you ‘we’re done, good luck!’. An anti-histamine will only sort it in the short term.

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Lethargy- Walking into the gym ready to do a heavy weights session, feeling pumped. I try to warm up and feel my body rejecting the exercise. Muscles seize up, mind clouds over and suddenly I can barely lift a dumbbell, never mind the 55kg squats I usually do. Sad and defeated I blubber my eyes out in the sauna, feeling like a big fat failure of a woman. My body and my brain had given up on me.

Migraines- These are prompted by all manner of things from lighting to food to lack of sleep. Nonetheless, it is also a characteristic of stress. Your brain is trying to force itself through the cloud of raging hormones and stress to think clearly. The blood vessels are under pressure and the stress increases. Then boom you’re in a 24 hour migraine that medication can’t penetrate.

Feeling alone- This is the worst part of chronic stress. The reality of this world is that most people are only concerned with themselves. We all have that right and I am true believer that you must look after yourself first and foremost. Nonetheless, showing kindness when someone is projecting a negative feeling can go a long way to helping them.

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Getting rid of chronic stress is doable if you are willing to ask for help. You also need to learn to draw the line in all aspects of your life. People pleasing, taking on too much, feeling singled out, resentful feelings, confrontations, making assumptions and all other destructive behaviour/feelings will ensure you burn yourself out. Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell people you are stressed, or if you think that they are being inappropriate and it is impacting on you. Most importantly, it is about choice. What you choose to listen to and how you choose to respond will shape your response to stress.

On some occasions, you will simply have to re-evaluate your environment and you may conclude that it needs a complete overhaul. This could be moving house, changing job, ending a relationship or cutting off toxic people. Remember that it is your right to live in peace and if you’re stressed you’re not living at all.

Take a step back, breathe and look after yourself…FIRST!

Keyboard Warriors

wp-1485965304685.pngThe first step to getting along with someone with an opposing opinion (and possibly changing their mind and creating peace), is acceptance and understanding. Even if that means accepting you can’t change their mind or understand their view. This can be difficult if the topic in question is sensitive such as racism, sexism, religion, Brexit or Donald Trump. I myself was called a fascist this week, which made me laugh myself to tears. I’ve also been called diplomatic but it was meant as an insult…yes seriously. Am I supposed to scream and shout and carry a weapon instead? Apologies for treating humans as humans, my bad. Unfortunately, those who label others don’t realise they feed the right-wing mindsets of this world and ultimately assist in promoting fascism, racism, religious intolerance and all manner of other evils. The bottom line is, any group that is organised is hierarchical and to truly understand the mechanics of the world we must step outside it and look at the wider context.

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Perhaps being a historian allows me to do this a little easier, as I am forever required to put myself in different historical shoes; men, women, devout religious followers, politicians, soldiers, indigenous peoples and so on. The notion that you cannot possibly understand something until it has happened to you is a bit too extreme (in my opinion, please don’t cry). Humans have compassion and empathy built into their DNA, although using it is by choice. If you claim someone does not ‘understand’ without knowing anything about them, then it makes you the ignorant bigot. And this is the problem with our society in the twenty first century, we’re all social media keyboarding bigots.

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Keyboard warriors just cannot help themselves. They type without thinking. I have been there myself when feeling passionate and instantly regretted it. This approach  just does not work. If you cannot have a debate without it turning into a heated argument, then you’re probably better just logging off for your own wellbeing. Those who continue relentlessly usually aren’t well read and most likely eat up the headline of every article they did not read. Finding the truth or getting to a place of understanding (understanding something doesn’t mean you agree!) takes research and a degree of cross referencing. Being unable to entertain a thought you don’t agree with means you’re being close minded. This approach will make it difficult for you to place people and events in a wider context. It also results in a lack of personal growth. Sadly, many individuals go with majority opinions without researching topics themselves because they either-

  1. Don’t know their own opinion or how to form it.
  2. Are brainwashed
  3. Are attention seeking
  4. Bored of their existence

Those who are adamantly opposed to any opinion but their own will always focus on the negatives. They will find numerous problems with your solutions and anything you verbalise will fall on deaf ears, even if it makes sense. It is admirable and strong to stand alone in your opinion, although speaking to be right only wastes time and energy and does not bring any form of peace or understanding. You’ll know if someone knows their stuff because they will debate, not argue with you. Anyone who evokes their anger does so due to feeling uninformed and backed into a corner, as they do not really know enough to keep the debate going peacefully.  Anyone with a well-informed opinion will stay humble and hit you with facts. Don’t be too proud to admit it if you have come around to their way of thinking either. This is how society should operate!

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In closing, there is no shame in changing your opinion or sticking with it, providing you are willing to consider and examine the views of others. Those who respond with anger by labelling you or getting upset are the ones that create mass panic in this world. Only brainless people will be keen to jump on that band wagon. Unfortunately, social media is full of people like this so 99% of the time you will face persecution if your opinion differs from the majority. Don’t let this get you down though, things could be worse…you could be living like them… with your eyes wide shut.

So, remember, knowing is being well read, taking time to read between the lines and coming to your own conclusions, not taking a headline and running with it. Do this and at least your opinion will have understanding from all perspectives, rather than the agenda of someone else.

WHY MEN CHEAT

 

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monogamy

noun

  • the practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only one partner.

 

Some believe that monogamy is not human nature and like wild animals we are supposed to mate using our instincts. If this was the case (which for some it is), no doubt we would quickly overpopulate the earth. Others argue that monogamy is a worldwide conspiracy set up by governments to control the world population! An interesting topic to explore…but we’ll shelve that one for now.

There are of course those traditionalists (or some us call them ‘normal people’) who believe in monogamy and they can’t wait to dance in the joys of marriage, babies, glitter and cheesy selfies. But how do these hopeless romantics, who appear to have the world at their feet, end up in a place where the man decides to cheat?

Well, there are countless reasons that could be put forward, however, in general, there is a pattern amongst men… and women.

Men are animals in their nature. They have basic needs ‘eat, sleep, sex, repeat’, with maybe a workout and a console sesh in-between. Many can have sex as a leisure activity and not be emotionally effected by it the next day. Women often ask their adulterating partners ‘how can you cheat on me if you love me?’.  Well, having sex with someone else does not necessarily mean they do not love their woman any more, it may just be that they are unhappy with them or themselves. It could be they’re not getting what they need physically because the woman is upset and is withholding sex.

Unfortunately, some males also like shiny new things they have never played with beforewp-1484593586884.png and they cannot exercise self-control. Males who act this way on a regular basis are in fact boys, because their head has not figured out what they want and so they lead with their helmet and hope for the best. On the other hand, they may have an enormous ego and are happy to boast that they can have their cake and eat it. These beings are soul destroyers so do not let them charm you into their bed.

Another reason men cheat is due to self-esteem. Jealousy can be a driving factor and they feel they need to get one over on you by exerting their manliness and to prove that they can still successfully ‘hunt’. A boy on his way to being a man will usually realise the gravity of his mistake once he sees what he may lose because of his actions. They say ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’, however, this is not always the case and forgiveness and remorse can make for a strong foundation going forward…see blog 49!

Long term relationships are at risk of going stale and couples may spend more time as individuals doing their own thing. The more this happens, the less sex happens and the more likely the man will meet someone who creates a new spark. If that spark starts flaming on a regular basis, then he is on a slippery slope to being a cheater. This is where phrases like ‘it just happened’ come from, even though they have been emotionally cheating for months. After a while, relationships can feel like an obligation, so the excitement disappears and instead of listening to why the Mrs is annoyed with him, he’ll seek solace with the woman who makes him feel good. Ultimately though, both sides have a duty to keep the flame burning in the relationship and to be completely honest if they think it is going down the pan. People only stay together for years because they want to!

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Lastly, some men are just evil manipulators. They see a vulnerability they can exploit and in turn you unknowingly meet their needs, either sexually, emotionally, financially or just by making their life easier in general. Whilst you’re playing Mother Hubbard, he is unapologetically sleeping with several different women. Sadly, these can be the most addictive men because women just want to be their number one. Women can easily get wrapped up in these games by making the mans conquests a target of their destruction instead of him…and all it does is increase his already embarrassingly big ego.

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The bottom line is…if both people in the relationship are happy then none of them will cheat…unless they’re mentally unstable. If you have ever been cheated on, please don’t give up on love as it will only make you bitter. Forgive, forget and move on. It is important that you do not tarnish any new man in your life with your ex’s brush, or you’ll push them away with your insecurity. If your partner cheated and you want to forgive them then remember…many couples who experience cheating eventually move past it and have a better relationship in the long run. As long as your happy everyone else will move on too 🙂

And don’t worry guys, I am not man bashing…it the women’s turn next!

Forgiveness

wp-1483898817978.jpgDivorce, break ups and frenemies are much more prominent nowadays. A quarter of the children in the UK are being raised by a lone parent, as per the Office of Statistics and Lady Leshurr tells us that some girls change their friends more than their panties! It is a little sad that so many couples and old friends could not make it out of the darkness and stay together, or at least stay amicable to keep the peace.

Friends particularly fall out much easier and individuals will  refer to their friends ‘mugging them off’, or ‘talking BS’ about them to someone else. On social media, you see people unfriending lots of people at once to have a ‘clear out’ and others comment comically saying they ‘hope they make the cut’. This can also extend to family members… ‘were only family by blood’…this one can cause a whole new set of problems for the people involved.

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But how did society end up this way? When did we start throwing people out like yesterday’s trash without a second thought? Granted, sometimes we don’t have a choice and we need to protect ourselves from toxic people. Surely there is still room for forgiveness in our lives though? Forgiveness is now seen as a weakness when it is in fact a great strength. When someone wrongs us we naturally feel hurt and betrayed and we share these feelings with those who love us. Those who love us want to protect us and they may exhibit angry opinions at our circumstances and to the person who hurt us. They may even go as far as to tell you what action to take or to cut the person off completely. This is where lines start to get blurred. Instead of leading with our own heart and head we lead with someone else’s.
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To forgive someone, you should first want to forgive them. Is their mistake bigger than the relationship you have with them? Is one mistake in 5, 10 or 15 years’ worth throwing everything away? Ultimately it comes down to trust. In the immediate aftermath of the situation when emotions are raging, it is likely you will feel that you will never trust that person again. Trust can be rebuilt though and it takes an enormous effort on both sides. If the betrayer has no remorse or isn’t showing signs of trying to make it right, then you should cut them off. If they are, or you know that they have deep rooted issues, or are going through turmoil at the time the incident happened, you should not be hasty in your decision.
The bottom line is…GOOD PEOPLE DO BAD THINGS. Forgiveness is not a weakness, it is empowering. Being able to forgive means you have empathy, compassion and most importantly, a sense of humanity. Imagine it was you who did what that person did. How would you feel? Would you want one last chance to make things right? Would you wish for just one person to understand? We are all human and we all mess up, sometimes big and sometimes small. Losing someone you love because of a mistake you made can cause years of guilt and self-loathing. Do they deserve that? You can forgive and protect yourself from future betrayal at the same time. As the saying goes, ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’. You can forgive someone twice but it may mean a relationship overhaul to protect your mental wellbeing.

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A beautiful side effect of forgiveness is a deeper love for your partner, friend or family. A good person who has done a bad thing will forever hold you dear to their heart because you found forgiveness for them in yours. Don’t let feelings like hate, anger and resentment rule you or you will never have the capacity to forgive again.

Dear diary, am I living?

wp-1483736788875.jpgWe all have different ideas about what it means to live a full happy life. There are those ‘superior’ people who insist that if you haven’t done what they have done or do what they are doing, then you have missed out. These kinds of people lay their words on you thickly and they want you to feel envious of their fabulous existence. The truth is though, it can’t be all singing and dancing if they find the time to brag about that existence to you. A higher being did not descend upon them and instruct them to spread the word that everyone should live like them. If they need to put it all up in your face, then perhaps they are not fully enjoying themselves either. The point is, these people make you doubt your life and that is unacceptable. You could have a little fun by pointing out the flaws in their life or ask them if they have considered that not everyone needs the same things as they do…but you would be wasting your time. Leave the self-confessed ‘high fliers’ to their business and wish them well in their future endeavors (like what ex employers who hate you tell you when you leave!). It is delusional to assume someone is jealous of your circumstances and then to be smug about the fact that they feel that way.

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Our society as a consciousness is mainly concerned with success in a monetary and popularity sense. This can push us to chase things that aren’t really for us and this eventually damages our self-esteem, particularly if we fail. Seriously though, who wants to be remembered for how much money they made or how many people they knew?! There are likely to be people who do feel like that and we are not here to judge them, although spiritual living sounds much more appealing than buying ‘stuff’. Money undeniably makes things easier, however, it shouldn’t define the worth of your life. Knowing lots of people may make you feel popular but if they don’t lift your spirits what are they doing for you? We often compare other people’s fun to our own existence and this results in us surrounding ourselves with the wrong people. There are those who think living is going out partying and getting drunk. Others think it is seeing as much of the world as possible. Many parents don’t need anything but the presence of their children to feel fulfilled and see them as their greatest accomplishment. Interestingly, I often see the below meme, which gets thousands and thousands of likes on social media.

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Perhaps living simply is the real key to living? 

Getting bogged down with trying to save for that holiday, getting that promotion or getting little Timmy into that school are all examples of situations that cause us stress. It could be that you keep dropping something (my own cause of stress! Why won’t my hand just keep hold of the damn things?!) or your computer plays up and for the rest of the day you’re annoyed and stressed. These instances stop us living in the moment. For every short spurt of annoyance and anger, happiness disappears from your brain. How many of these moments have you had only this week? The simpler you live the less stress there is to take away your happiness…

…and you will start to feel like you’re living life to the full.

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It’s like when you come across an old friend and have a simple conversation to catch up. There is only you two but the laughter can be heard in the far east because you are feeling spiritually alive. Sadly, we all had the freedom of living like this when we were little children. Whilst children may fight for a toy or paddy at eating dinner, most of their time is spent finding fulfilment in simple things. You buy them a toy and they play with a cushion (lols).

Go back to basics and find life in your immediate surroundings. If you feel the need to steer yourself somewhere else, then go for it. As long as you are still finding happiness in the simple things, you will always feel fulfilled and that your living your life…not just existing. In the end though, only you can validate it!

Willpower

The power I seek is one of will

I know I have that ability still

The goals in my head won’t be achieved

If I don’t ignore feeling aggrieved

 

No one will be my success for me

I separate the real from the corny

What I need is a motivator

To make me sit and write on paper

 

In the gym I feel strong

but if I stay home I feel wrong

Tiredness has taken over my being

and my goals are sat staying unseen

 

The worst thing I do is look at others

It makes me hide under covers

Self comparison cannot compare

to embracing yourself and artistic flair

 

Just for writing this poem I feel better

I’ve changed into my gym kit from my sweater

I’ll shut out the world and finish my tasks

and ignore the creepers behind the masks