Friday, 30 May 2014

It's The Weekend SO Let's Have Some Fun

With the weekend now officially upon us, it's time for a little fun. 

As simple as it sounds, the word "fun" perhaps brings a little pressure when we aren't feeling so great about life but the thing to remember about the idea of fun is that is completely unique and always lies in the most simple of things.. What I might find fun you may consider boring and torturous and visa versa but in finding what it is we ourselves find fun we open our lives to so much happiness..

So without further a do, here are some simple things that might possibly bring a little fun to your weekend..

Go on a photographic walk somewhere you love and take lots of photos of the beauty around you..

Have an afternoon tea party for you and your friends..

If the weather is nice, there's no where more fun than going (to see your family at) the zoo.. Just kidding, but really it is the perfect way to spend some time getting lost in the wonders of the world..

Pretend you're a tourist in your own city or community. Go and do something you've never done before or see something as though you're excited to see it for the first time. Bringing a little wonder to your life can be so much fun..

Pick flowers in the wild and make a pretty arrangement for your bedroom..

Take some time to chill and read your book. Turning off all technology, let yourself get lost in the other world being lived in the pages of your chosen read..

Invite friends or be your own company in hosting a movie marathon in your own home. Watch back to back classics or anything that you've grown up loving and make sure you make popcorn super salty..

Dedicate time to clearing out your closet. This might not seem fun but once you pump up the music and get in the mood it's the most freeing thing to have done at the end of the day..

Pack a picnic and spend the day at the park. Cloud-watching is a must and people-watching can be super fun. Get creative and imagine where they're going, what they do in their lives and let it be as crazy and fun as you possibly can..

Get dressed up and go to the theatre. Like the cinema it can be such a wonderful distraction and escape but having fun getting dressed up can add that little extra element of fun..

Visit someone you've been meaning to visit but have been putting off. Especially someone older who might not see anyone from one end of the week to the other. Perhaps take them shopping or for a stroll, you'd be surprised just how much YOU can make someone else's weekend fun..

Go dancing or bowling, go-carting or rollerblading. Some form of activity can really be super fun..

Paint, draw, colour, do a puzzle, write a story. Get messy in something creative and make sure you leave perfectionism out of it cause fun can never be perfect..

Spend time with kids and let yourself embrace their inhibitions and lack of judgement. Think about how fun they find the silliest of things yet notice how happy and free they are. They really are the greatest teachers..

The definition of fun is: "enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure" and so it's not just all about the big and obvious things we associate with having fun but also, and often far more, all the little things that money can't buy..

So this weekend all you need to add a little fun to your weekend is 

An open mind

Now what's stopping you?

Dare To Live SOS

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Random Facts

Some more random information for the day

You share your birthday with at least 9 million other people
A 99-year old man divorced his 96-year old wife after 77 years of marriage because he discovered she had an affair in the 1940s
A group of kittens is called a kindle. A group of hedgehogs is called a prickle, and a group of bunnies is called a fluffle.
Dalmations are completely white at birth
The most popular male dog names are Max and Jake. The most popular female names are Maggie and Molly.
Jellyfish have lived in the oceans for more than 650 million years, long before the dinosaurs.
A cat’s heart beats nearly twice as fast as a human heart, at 110 to 140 beats a minute.
Did you know penguins can hop?? View the link below to see the proof !
Dare To Live SOS

Everyone Deserves Help

Why do we often find it difficult to ask for help ? Do we feel like it undermines our ability to cope? Is it our pride ? Fear of rejection? Not wanting to put people out or be a burden? Isolating ourselves? Feeling it is a sign of weakness and offering yourself up as being vulnerable? Most people can probably relate to some of these statements at one stage or another.
A lot of the time when we suffer with low self esteem, depressive feelings or any other mental turmoil we are often reluctant to accept or even ask for help. We often want to help everyone else except ourselves and love when other people ask us for help, it makes you feel good- so why cant the favour be returned? It is in a way hypocritical to help others but refuse to accept help off them in return don't you think?So legalising accepting help is the key.
To overcome these thought patterns we must first learn to change how we think.
Some ideas that could help is to remind yourself:
- You don't burden someone when you ask them for help
- A problem shared is a problem halved
- You are worthy of help
- Trust
- By denying to receive help we are in fact denying people the chance to be kind and giving. So when
you think about it- by allowing someone to help, you are in return helping them.
- You wouldnt turn someone else away or say they are unworthy of a helping hand would you? So apply it to yourself.
- Next time somebody offers to help (even the simplest of things) - learn to say yes and accept the help.
Accepting help does not always mean verbally saying you need help. It could be as simple as meeting a friend and just 'being' with them - going for a coffee , a walk or just a change of environment in general. This in itself can be the help someone needs. A sense of human connection.
One of the main things to remember is not to push people away. By doing this you are isolating yourself and creating an invisible barrier between yourself and the world that disconnects you from relationships with others and magnifies a sense of loneliness.
When in need, reach out! You will find others are only too happy to help in whatever way they can.

Dare To Live SOS


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

There is life after feeling suicidal

A topic that has come up for me for a lot of reasons lately is suicide. There seems to be a lot of discussion about people who have committed suicide and why. Is this helpful though? Do questioning motives really help anybody? Don't get me wrong,I do not wish to offend anyone, suicide, like any death is a devastating tragedy. However, we hear so much about the pain that person must have felt , how they felt like they had nowhere else to turn,no other option,no other way and in my opinion this doesn't help anyone who is feeling suicidal in any way nor does printing statistics on such matters.
Again,this is just my opinion, but what about hearing about the people who attempted suicide but are still here? Does that not offer us more hope than being confronted by the thoughts of the sadness of the people that are left behind? What about the people who are carrying on with their lives after a failed attempt and are extremely happy? What about the people who have went on and created fantastic paths in their lives,who have created families,who contribute to the world? Why don't we hear more about those people?
Well,I'm one of those people. That's the first time I've ever said that in a public place but I feel strongly enough about the topic to share my experience in the hope that maybe somebody can realise that ending life doesn't have to be the answer,
I attempted suicide a few years ago (and failed, obviously!!) I really thought there was no way out but in hindsight there were options I just didn't want to take them-they seemed too difficult,again I don't mean to offend anyone who knows anyone who has taken their own life-this is my experience but for me it was an impulsive decision with a quick fix solution, who doesn't' want a quick fix when suffering from ED? However,after time working things out in my head,I realise that my pain would have been transferred onto everyone around me,my friends,family,people I met,worked with, you see the effects of suicide stretch very far,a lot of people get hurt. So I'm in pain but if I end it all, 50 other people can take on my suffering instead-sounds harsh I know but I believe it to be very true. My whole family would have been destroyed and I would have been just another statistic.
I am not in any way minimising the issue of suicide or minimising suicidal thoughts because they are very very real but there is always other ways. I am horrified now by what I could have done, by the hurt I could have caused,the grief, the pain that I would have transferred onto the people I loved. I could not be more happy that my attempt failed for millions of reasons-too many to list.
We seldom hear of the people who are very very happy because I guess that doesn't sell but there is happiness there, you can hit rock bottom and bounce back,when you hit the bottom, the only way is up after all.
Life would have went on without me but the child I had at the time would have grown up without a mother and with the stigma of a mother who took their own life.
My two other children I have now would not exist.
I would have never married my husband.
I would never have done any of the things that I wanted to do.
I would have never had a chance at having a career.
I would never have gotten the chance to be the mother I wanted to be,
I would never have lived my life being truly happy.
I would have ended my life as another victim,I do not want to be remembered as a victim when I die.
To be honest that list could go on forever,all of the things that I have done since that time are the reasons why I am glad I am still here. Al the happiness I would have missed out on,standing in the church marrying my husband and giving birth to my children were he most magnificent moments of my life and I wold have never experienced them but most of all I wold have taken away the happiness of my whole family,I would have left them with huge holes in their hearts and taken away some of heir future also.
Life is,precious and it can be so good,each day in recover,life gets better and better,everybody can be happy you just have to fight for it and work really hard-it is hard,it's the hardest thing I have ever done but by far the best thing,my life is mine again-I am not a victim-I am a survivor and so grateful that I survived.
Dare To Live SOS

Monday, 26 May 2014

Personal Monday: The feeling will pass

I have experienced suicide in different areas of my life. Both first hand within myself - having thoughts or fantasising about it and then being affected second hand where it has happened to family members / friends.
I think for me, having an eating disorder has been at the core of these destructive thoughts- I noticed that I never really had suicidal thoughts(or at least proper ones) until I was in the debts of the condition. I may have played around with thoughts but they then started to become real, possible solutions to all my problems. Now,  from working on myself through recovery I have learned that these thoughts are very common among sufferers of ED. Malnutrition has a huge affect on your mood and therefore depression and low mood in most cases goes hand in hand with this condition.  It was always in the back of my mind that if all else fails, if i don't recover from this and things don't work out this is my escape, i always have this option where I just wouldn't have to care anymore or feel or deal with anything anymore. I wouldn't have to be a 'failure' anymore.  It is almost like an anchor to have as a comfort and a reassurance to know it's there. Sometimes even in a way for me I saw it as a way to 'get back' at someone/people who may have hurt me. An argument could be enough to trigger the thought or something hurtful being said can make the thoughts very strong and send into a spiral of thinking people don't want you around and I always found bits of anger would creep in and I'd have thoughts like 'if i did it now it would show them... they would feel bad for the last thing they said to me' . I know that is a pretty horrible way to be thinking but when in that state of mind, the irrational angry thoughts could take over. It's difficult to admit that now but they are just SOME of the thoughts that would have gone through my head when I felt in that dark place.
I think when people get so low and that they feel there is no other option , it is the worst possible place anyone can be in and often at that stage, most would not consider reaching out to someone. It would usually be the last thing on your mind. I think personally most of the time the person needs to learn how to talk themselves out of it. Other people can tell a person to snap out of it or things will get better but they need to believe and convince themselves that it will.  
Of course it would be a great thing to reach out and ask for help in those moments but personally from my own experience I'm not so sure how open you are to listen when you're in that state of mind. Of course it depends on the person themselves.
I noticed that these destructive thoughts usually would slowly seep in when you are feeling low and grow and grow until before you know it you are spiralling down into a black hole of negative thoughts and self hatred. And then swamped with all the negatives that are wrong in your life , how the world and everyone in it is against you- all the reasons why there is 'no going back.' 
Unfortunately there are still times when these thoughts come but I need to personally keep reminding myself that I have managed to talk myself out of it before so I can do it again , that my half assed attempts to go through with it must mean that my heart must not have been in it, that a part of me must have wanted to live and see if things would get better. Its like the curiosity you have when climbing a mountain- to see what might be on the other side.
In the past, what has helped me is thinking about the things I would be losing / giving up, like dancing which I love and have worked so hard to keep through the tough times in ED. What if it didnt work and I damaged myself beyond repair . I would be far worse off than I am now. Other things like I would be abandoning my animals, who would look after them?? It all came down to my passions, asking myself what motivates me to go on? Personally thoughts of what it would do to my family never really came up  which sounds selfish and IS but I think suicide itself is in a sense a selfish act and you have to be selfish to do it and I think selfish to get out of it.

Knowing 3 people in recent years who have died from suicide I have seen it from the other side of the coin and seen the devastation it leaves behind. All the unanswered questions and blame that comes up. The not knowing. I think that is really something to think about if in that frame of mind , the amount of people who would be affected , family , friends, friends of friends its amazing how many..the list goes on. People that deep down you wouldn't want to do that to. 
People don't understand the torment that goes through someones minds in that moment and unfortunately some people are unable to convince themselves that things will get better. They are the ones who need help before getting to that stage but you can never really know what goes on inside someones head unless they actually tell you. 
Having gone through these intense feelings but coming out the other side I think it is very important to remember that these feelings can pass and will . My advice to anyone concerned about a loved one or someone you know if you think they might be contemplating suicide and you want to help then just give them some hope and reassurance.. To look at the bigger picture, find the things that are good in their life, things to look forward to or dream about.. Reading inspiring stories of people who have been there can spark a bit of hope.  Hope can make all the difference because at the end of the day it is what saves lives.And reassurance that they are never on their own.  Let them know if they just wait and play for time, these feelings will pass. Things do get better. There are so many people who are living proof of that. Everyone deserves to be happy.
To quote from the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - 'Everything will be OK in the end. If it is not OK , it is not yet the end' :) 

Thanks for reading


This powerful contribution was written by the lovely P. Her words are all-encompassing, having experienced suicide from both sides of the coin. Her insight is invaluable and we greatly appreciate her inspiring and helpful post. This post conveys how suicidal thoughts are not individual to depression. There is a dangerous misconception that only those with depression can be suicidal. This is not the case - the thoughts may invade any person's mind. It is important to be aware of this and not be blind to it simply because your loved one doesn't have depression.
As she points out, the feelings of desperation will past. The moment is only temporary, things will move on and things will improve. You can be strong enough to pull yourself out of the misery and move forward, you do have the strength. As P suggests, think about what you're passionate about in life - your hobbies, interests, passions, good news, family, friends, anything that you like spending time doing or thinking about. They are what life is about - they are what fuels the desire for living. If you do one thing today, write a list of all of your passions and focus your energy on connecting with one of them this week. You will surprise yourself how uplifting they can be.
Take care and enjoy,
Dare to Life SOS

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Randy Pausch and The Beauty Of A Dream

As individual as we all are, one of the things that every single human being has within them is a dream of some kind. An aspiration or goal, plan or ambition to be realised with the self belief that anything is possible if we have the courage to believe so..

It isn't always easy to find that self belief though, nor is it as uncomplicated as we might wish at times but if you do one thing this week please be open to watching this video we share with you today. The Last Lecture' by Randy Pausch may be long but trust us, in the search for some inspiration and motivation to accomplish your own dreams (of childhood or now) and gain some reason to live a little more these 76 minutes will inevitably plant a seed of hope and light in your heart..

(If you find it difficult to concentrate or a busy schedule won't allow you watch it all in one go, don't stress for that's the beauty of the "pause" and "play" buttons..)

Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday!

Dare To Live SOS

Saturday, 24 May 2014

A Life Free of Comparison is Something Nothing Can Compare

How often do you feel that your neighbour, your friend, a loved one or simply the stranger on the street (whom in fact you know nothing about) is, in some way, shape or form, better than you? How often do you feel less than because someone else appears to be more successful or generally more apt at this whole thing called life? Well guess what? It's called comparing and as Theodore Roosevelt once wisely and very simply said, "comparison is the thief of joy." 

The ironically funny yet superbly liberating thing to understand about living in a world with billions of other individuals is that we, just like each other, are all completely unique. Just like each other none of us are the same and trying to compete with others is a truly pointless exercise that ultimately blinds us to all the good that lies within and around us. In focusing on others and how we think their lives must be we essentially turn our back on all the good in our own and how great ours actually are.. if only we'd open our eyes to it.

So how can you learn to appreciate your own uniqueness and get more joy back into your life? Well here are a few tips to get you started..

Firstly ask yourself: Am I really that special that everyone can be better than me? Trust me, you're really so precious, more precious than you might realise right now and your worth is immeasurable but none of us are that special to think we could be worth so little as to hand our joy over to another because we think they are better. 

Look at all that you DO have and DO do and stop focusing on what you don't have and do. There will always be someone better off and someone worse off than you but in really being grateful for all that is in your life you can unlock a huge part of self-happiness.

Write a gratitude list and include all the little things that make your life your own. From the tiniest and seemingly insignificant moment can come a whirlwind of happiness if only we'd stop to appreciate it for all it's worth.

Start writing down the compliments others give you. You'll see the same ones come up again and again and when you can allow yourself learn to trust those nice things you can then appreciate within yourself what others love about you! believe me the say these things for good reason!

A fun way to think about is perhaps to change your mental diet. And by that I mean become aware of what you tell yourself, start thinking about what your surround yourself with and whom you spend most of your time with. If you find yourself watching TV shows that inevitably speak negatively to you or constantly read magazines that promote unhealthy ideals and seemingly perfect lives then perhaps it's time to do a little mental spring cleaning. It's not about cutting people out of your life or never stepping into a newsagents again but rather about becoming aware of the things you allow enter your brain. The most important thing to remember in this tip is that the thoughts we think run our lives and so learning to become the master of our thoughts is crucial to a life of freed and joy. Everything comes from a thought and so from today on just open your mind to more loving and caring thoughts and you'll be utterly amazed at what can and will happen!

Credit yourself more for what you do. It's funny how we are so quick to berate ourselves for the things we do "wrong". Yet funnily enough we can't understand how we might feel so down some of the times. Imagine if you forgot about what others are doing or achieving and stopped to think about all you've done and achieved in your life and the people you make happy by just being you! Again sitting down to actually write them out is a really helpful tool to refocus. 

Be aware of social media and the possibly negative effect it may have on you. Just ask yourself, how does reading this or looking through your friends "amazing" lives on Facebook make you feel about yourself and then act accordingly to what you know to be true for you. I got off Facebook for over a year and quiet enjoyed not knowing or seeing. Different stages in our lives call for different measures but first you need to ask yourself what it is you need now!

And lastly, remember that nobody in the world can be you as well as you do it!!!

So they are just a few little tips to practice and begin including in your life to create a sense of belonging within, a sense that comparing can never give!

Dare To Live SOS

Friday, 23 May 2014

A little lift for the weekend

We thought a little film therapy might be good this Friday in preparation for the weekend. Movies are a great distraction from the challenges of life.  Here are a few films which we think are uplifting  and good for the soul. Happy viewing!!

Imagine being able to act like you were 13 again.....that's exactly what happens to Tom Hanks in this feel good movie. More than anything, 13 year old josh wants to be an adult, he makes a wish and wakes up the next day stuck in the body of a man. Trying to work out what to do, he takes a job with a toy company and so the fun begins.......

Cool Runnings
There's nothing more uplifting than an against the odds sporting movie. This movie is based on the true story of the first Jamaican bobsled team trying to make it to the winter Olympics. this movie proves that hard work and determination pays off.

The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz is one of the most charming movies of all time. Dorothy and her dog Toto are caught in a Tornado's path and somehow end up in the land of Oz. Dorothy begins her quest to return home but meets some strange characters along the way....

Toy story
Toy story is a film that captures both the joys of childhood and the wonders of imagination. The characters may be animated but it doesn't stop them from capturing the sympathy of the audience since they are faced with relateable circumstances. Toy story is also guaranteed to make you smile and giggle.

E.T is possibly one of the most beautiful movies ever made. E.T is an alien who wants to go home. It's a story of friendship and hope. Look out for some inspirational one-liners...

Forrest Gump
Wonderfully acted by Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump succeeds at most things despite his low IQ. The one thing that he hasn't succeeded in is winning the affection of his childhood sweetheart. Another movie that is filled with some very memorable one-liners.

Miracle on 34th Street
A little girl discovers dreams do come true if you really believe. In this movie the little girl (Susan) is given the most precious gift of all-something to believe in.

Although the beginning of this movie is a little heartrending, Up is a joyous and personal journey of self-discovery. By tying thousands of balloons to his home 78 year old Carl sets out to fulfil his life long dream of travel, Russell, a little boy is a stowaway and so a beautiful friendship forms....

Finding Nemo
The story of one fishes journey to find his missing son.
Finding Nemo is an endearing tale of love, determination and hope, packed with the most wonderful characters you can imagine.

We hope you will spare a couple of hours to watch one of these beautiful movies and leave the pressures of life aside for a while.  Preparing for the weekend is not about spending hours getting ready to go out. Getting ready for the weekend is doing what you like to do and doing what is relaxing for you/
                                                              Dare to live SOS

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Time For Thursday Randomness

It's time to get Random again! Did you know....

Over 90% of stress is brought on by the act of over thinking.

If you shave a guinea pig, it looks just like a baby hippo.

Friday increases happiness all around the world by 11%

The most children born to one woman was 69 -- She had 16 twins, 7 triplets, and 4 quadruplets. (scary!!)

Laughing at least 10-15 minutes a day keeps you healthy and adds up to 5 years to your life.

There are more than 100,000 chemical reactions happening in the human brain every second.


May 2nd is International Harry Potter day
August 26th is International Dog Day!

And to finish off with the randomness, here is a video of a hilarious 'rat prank' from a hidden camera show. You can't help but laugh at the reactions :) And remember laughter improves your health! Enjoy!

Dare To Live SOS

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

You Belong - Every Drop Makes An Ocean

We are all a part of this place we call Earth whether we like it or not. Everyone has been put here for a reason. Nobody is more insignificant than anybody else. So why do we often feel unworthy ? Don't deprive the world of your presence. Everybody plays an active part in this world. Without you in it it would not be complete just like an ocean would be one droplet short.
A lot of the time we tend to put people on pedastals. We compare, feel inadequate, think that they are 'better' than us, more deserving or worthy- but this is an illusion- your own mind just trying to convince you that you are not good enough. That is never true. Nobody is 'better' than anyone else. We are all different and have a purpose, have different values, opinions and interests. If everyone was the same the world would most certainly be a very boring place!
We all want to feel we belong. It is one of the things we all as human beings have in common. If you feel out of place in this world it just means you haven't found your purpose yet. But the reassuring thing is - you can choose your own purpose - every single person has one and it is waiting to be discovered within you. Ask yourself that famous question 'who am i? ' Usually there you will find the answer.
So embrace your place on this earth - you are needed, you are a piece of the puzzle of life and the only thing left to do is to live it.
Dare To Live SOS

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Inspirational Tuesday: Movies

During times of deep distress, we can become numb to our emotions and feelings. Our eyes won't shed tears, our voice boxes don't vibrate with laughter. How do we reconnect with emotions then? How do we begin to feel them again? 

Movies are a great source of knowledge. They can scare you, enlighten you, inspire you, bore you, entertain you, upset you, enthrall you..they can instill just about any emotion in you. When someone initially told me to watch movies as a part of recovery, I thought they were ridiculous. 'Movies?', the intellect snob in me sneered, 'how are movies going to help me?' Oh how unaware I was at the time! Movies are a powerful resource and I encourage everyone to  watch them. They can reawaken emotions that you thought you would never experience like excitement, happiness, fear or shock. They help you to create your own opinions about what you liked or disliked about the film. They force you to escape from your own thoughts for an hour or two. They're an antidote to rumination. 

As it's Tuesday, I'm going to share with you a movie that I found really inspiring and I hope you will watch it. It's called 'Freedom Writers'.
It's a movie based on a book written by Erin Gruwell who was a teacher. It's based on true events, which makes it even more inspiring I think because then what she did can truly happen and who she is really exists. 

The film is about a teacher who recently moved to a new area in America. She was a really passionate teacher who had a vision of making a change to her pupils education experience. What she was met with on the first day of her new job threw her a little bit. It wasn't quite all rainbows and sunshine to say the least. The pupils in her class are all involved in street gangs and some in violence. Her mission to teach them looks like an impossible task. 

I won't ruin the story line, but I will share what I found inspirational about the film. Although the teacher could have walked away from the job as her father told her to, she didn't. She was a strong and determined woman who knew her values. She believed in her ability to turn the situation around. She never gave up. She had a dream and she wasn't going to let a few hurdles knock her down, rather she was going to knock the hurdles down instead. She broke barriers. She adapted to a situation and found new ways to approach things. She didn't give up on the pupils because she knew that was part of the reason why they were in so much trouble. People kept giving up on them. She had a vision for change and she passed that vision on to the pupils. They believed that they were trapped in their circumstances and were fated to relive the lives of the generations before them. This woman showed them otherwise. That's what makes this movie great.
We don't have to be victims of our own circumstances. If we are in challenging situations, we don't have to remain in them. If we educate ourselves, we can move out of that space. We can flourish and develop into who we want to be. We can achieve our dreams when we put the work in to get them. We can remain locked in our negativity, every day living in guilt or shame, feeling as though we don't deserve the life we have. Well to be honest, you do. We all do. We all deserve life and it is our duty to live it. Don't feel guilty about the past, just take action to ensure that the future is better. The teacher in the film inspired her pupils to realise that they have a choice in their futures and that they can create a different path for the next generation. And so can we. 
We need to become images of inspiration, not of desperation if we want the next generation to have a hope of living freely, without the insecurity that could potentially damn them. The onus is on each of us to live our lives in a way that makes us feel proud. Inspire yourself - look at all that your amazing abilities. it may seem frivolous at first but look at your body - it is a living machine - it allows you to move, to feel, to express, to LIVE. Your legs carry you every day, your arms and hands can create, make, mend, touch. Your brain is the powerhouse and generates your thoughts and ideas. You are an amazing creature and it's about time we all realised this. 

So today, watch a movie. Take yourself out of your thoughts for a while. It can be any movie, (even Disney ones! They're swimming in deep meanings actually!) just as long as you watch it. After watching it, ask yourself if you found any part of it inspiring? Ask what did you learn from the movie? Did you find yourself feeling any emotions during it?
Also after watching the movie, give yourself credit. And watch another one..

Here's a quote from 'Freedom Writers' for you to ponder;

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Dare to Live SOS

Monday, 19 May 2014

Personal Monday: The Importance of Others

The following is my recollection of the worst day of my life. It helped begin an important process and it is now a part of my story that I am ready to share.
It was Saturday afternoon. I was clearing tables in the café in which I worked. I'd been working there part-time since January and things had got progressively worse as the months had passed. I now knew only dark days. There was no light. I had almost forgotten how to smile. My father and two close friends were the only individuals with whom I was capable of spending any length of time and this was only made possible by the fact that I felt I could cry freely in front of them, which I invariably did.  Anyone else's company was a form of torture. I had to pretend I was listening to their news, feign interest in what they were saying, nod, smile, laugh and express enthusiasm about suggestions of activities in which I would later create an excuse not to partake. 
Looking back now, I can remember very little of the year up to that sunny August Saturday. I remember even less about the previous few years and likewise very little about the years that followed it. That whole period is a dark, hopeless haze of a deepening dread of having to keep going. I hated myself for  not having quite enough of whatever it would have taken to end it. I feared time. It was my worst enemy. I felt uncomfortable doing anything but crying and sleeping, when my mind would be blank. 
I know facts about what happened during this time, rather than possessing memories. I know that I created a fantasy around an utterly unsustainable ‘relationship' I had with a man who was himself suffering from alcoholism, in which everything would somehow magically turn out beautifully in a way I had not yet managed to fabricate. I know that my poor mother came close to asking me to leave the family home over this and several other, awful realities of the person I'd become. I know that I managed to drag myself out of this relationship after something particularly horrible prompted me to realise how unhealthy (nay, how completely unreal) it was. 
I know that my young cousin died tragically and that I didn't even feel that I was present during the days surrounding his death and funeral, let alone feeling the solidarity which one would ideally feel at such a time, when surrounded by family.  Instead I stood alone, consumed by guilt that I was not the person in the grave. 
I know that without my father and those two friends, things could have gone in a direction that I do not now care to contemplate.
I also know that during this dreadful period, I became accomplished at concentrating very hard on that which made up my shifts at that café, during which I escaped from the overwhelming belief that I could not ‘do life'. I focused unwaveringly on the plates, the cups, the bread, the coffee machine, the chopping, the cleaning, chatting with customers. My internal monologue consisted of "Just gather up these plates…just clean this table…just greet this man and ask what he would like…just open the cash register…just mop this spill…" I could not contemplate further ahead than the next half an hour, at most.
At approximately 3pm that August Saturday, I looked at the clock and broke. I had thought it was 5pm at the earliest, which would mean I only had to do another hour until it would be time to begin the end-of-the-day jobs, before closing up at 6.30pm. That would be another shift over and then it was simply a case of going home and hopefully there would be something happening in the house which I could sit and observe until it was acceptable to go to bed. It was only a few hours really. I could manage that. I did not dare to think about there being a tomorrow to do after this. Just get through the evening. 
But when I saw the actual time and realised there were three hours to go through before I could think about leaving, I forgot where I was. I don't know how I didn't drop the tray in my hand. I do remember just about getting into the kitchen before I began weeping uncontrollably.  I could not stop. I don't remember thinking very much. My manager must have come in and spoken to me because my father was called and he came to collect me. I think I stood outside the back door of the café, where no one could see me, for the fifteen minutes it took him to drive up for me. I can't recall what happened between this and getting home but a while later I was sitting on my bed. I had not stopped crying and I hadn't really thought about trying to do so.
I was aware that one of my sisters, whom no longer lived at home, had called down that afternoon and was in the kitchen talking to my mother. I hated them for being in the same room as the medicine cabinet and I berated myself for not visiting the several pharmacies around the village, during my lunch-break. What a fool I was not to prepare properly. I had known this time would come. And this evening was certainly the time. There was no other option. This was it.
A quiet, faint voice inside me did strain to be heard. It told me to go up and tell my mother and sister what I was thinking. It was too quiet though. I would not tell anyone about this. 
And then my brother knocked on the door of my bedroom. My dear, sweet, older brother had watched my descent in silence in the preceding years, unsure as to how he could possibly help in a situation of which he had absolutely no understanding. Now, he came in and knelt beside my bed. He had a pen and paper in his hand. He did not refer to my state or the fact that I had returned from work early.
He began to talk to me about his plans to buy a new van. He had figures relating to tax and insurance, and explained to me that if he bought his own van, rather than continuing to use the company van, he would be classed as self-employed…or something along those lines. I wasn't really able to listen properly or take in what he was saying very well, but I concentrated very hard on the figures on the page and nodded as he told me how his decision might affect his income and expenditure. 
By the time he had completed the proposal of his plan, I felt just a fraction more grounded than I had felt a few minutes prior to that. I left the room with him and floated around for the rest of the evening, just managing to make myself stay connected to the people surrounding me, forcing myself to focus on the conversations of family members, not thinking about anything in particular. 
There was no light bulb moment.  There were no amazing words of inspiration. There was no internal revelation that life was worth living, and it was a very long time before I came to understand just how worthwhile living is, which I can now proudly say I do. But my brother's wonderfully mundane, everyday words that Saturday enabled me to re-connect with the world around me just enough to prevent my dangerous train of thought going any further. I did not feel enormously happy about living, but the desire to die had abated.
My brother will never know that, in that moment, he saved my life. Ultimately, I saved myself in the long run. But what I needed that awful evening was a dose of normality. I needed a reminder that the world was going on and I could partake in some way if I wished, even if I was only nodding at someone's explanation of his financial plans.
He reached in, in a way that made sense to him. He helped me ground myself for just long enough to stop wanting to leave this life. With an enormous amount of support from many individuals, I grew to realise my own strength and worth, and now I enjoy living in so many ways that I never want to leave.

None of us should ever choose to leave. We do not always see it clearly, but we are needed, we are important, and we are loved. I am so grateful that I see this now.

Thank you to M for her beautiful sharing. This story is an invaluable piece of learning for everyone - those who are in distress and those who wish to reach out to someone they know that is stuck in the darkness. We are all significant in one another's lives and our presence is important even when we don't realise it. We can all help each other and ourselves if we just re-direct our thinking. In the darkest of moments when all seems lost just wait. Don't act on the destructive thoughts - sit tight and wait, you won't regret it.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

A Dream Filled Sunday

As someone who loves the wisdom of an inspiring and motivating quote and in light of my belief that dreams require daily work to be truly LIVED, today I share with you some of my favourite quotes on the very topic that is so essential to a life of love, laughter, positivity and LIVING..

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.” 
- Lao Tzu

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. ” 
- Erma Bombeck

“In dreams, we enter a world that's entirely our own.” 
- J.K. Rowling

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” 
- Vincent van Gogh

“Dreams are necessary to life.” 
- Anaïs Nin

“Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.” 
- Alice Sebold

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” 
- Gloria Steinem

“Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” 
- Walt Disney 

“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.” 
- Martin Luther King Jr

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” 
- Paulo Coelho

Wishing you a dream filled Sunday!

Dare To live SOS

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Spontaneous Saturday


The weekend is upon us. Have you anything you have decided to do to add a bit of fun and LIFE to your Saturday? If not, why not try something different? One tip to living a free life is the gift of spontaneity! Many people live by rules, by structure and routine which is all well and good but sometimes it is nice to be spontaneous ! Why not give it a shot? Sometimes the most unplanned random things can be the most fun! Why not go all out and do something completely out of the ordinary for you?

If you like the outdoors or adventure why not take a trip to the coast try a bit of surfing? Go for a hike? or kayaking?
Do you like comedy? Why not invite a friend out to a comedy gig in the city?
Being spontaneous doesn't even have to be doing something major. The simple act of deciding to do something at the last minute is enough. A lot of people panic when faced with something not already on the 'schedule' for the day. (been guilty of that one) Simply a friend suggesting to go for a drive in an hour is enough to set you into a frenzy! Instead of making an excuse not to , why not just say yes? What is the worst that can happen? You may enjoy yourself and realise not everything needs to be planned. Live in the present moment and take things day by day minute by minute.
The word spontaneity derives from the Latin word Sponte meaning 'of ones free will' . Spontaneity is often described as the purest expression of freedom.
So how about putting this gift of freedom to the test this weekend? Sure give it a try. You have nothing to lose.
Dare To Live SOS

Friday, 16 May 2014

Get that Friday Feeling - Get Excited For The Weekend


Well the weekend is here again. For some it is a couple of days off work , for others its like any other days of the week and perhaps something not to be looked forward to. A lot of people 'live for the weekend' and spend the week looking forward to it - to speak the phrase 'TGIF!' Why not you too? Why not use the weekend as something to look forward to and do the things you love? Don't use it as another couple days to berate yourself over everything you 'don't' have or everything that is 'wrong' in your life. Spending the whole weekend in bed isolating yourself from the world isn't the answer- Grace the world with your presence!
Having things to look forward to has a huge impact on your way of thinking. If you have things to look forward to you are less likely to be thinking negatively about life. You have a focus.
What can you do this weekend for yourself to make you feel good? What is it you can look forward to this weekend and get excited about? Here are some suggestions:
  • If there is a new movie out that you want to see - go see it ! Suggestion: Bad Neighbours is apparently a good one if you want a laugh. Sometimes even on the dark days a good laugh at something silly can make all the difference. But there are plenty of good movies out.

    • Getting out in the fresh air. Go for a walk. Being amongst nature can be very freeing and uplifting. Going for a walk in the park, or the beach. A trip to a wildlife park or the zoo. Just taking some time to 'be' in nature can bring some peace of mind in that moment. It's hard to think negatively when you're looking at wildlife and the beauty around you.
  • If you are feeling tired then maybe a nice bath and a DVD. Some self care is a nice way to feel more in the moment and connect with your senses. I find even making yourself a cup of tea and taking those few minutes to unwind and clear your head of all your worries even for those few minutes can be very helpful.
  • If you feel like you are isolating yourself, why not arrange to meet a friend for a coffee? It's always the things you don't really feel like doing that you end up enjoying the most so you never know, maybe a catch up with a friend is what you need. Maybe someone you have been meaning to meet up with but have been putting it off? It definately gets you out of your head and sometimes its nice to listen how things are going in someone elses life, to hear other people's news or problems for a change. Everyone has them. Human connection is the key to beating loneliness.
    Think about all the things that you love doing. Perhaps write them out. Sometimes you may think you don't have any but if you start writing you could be surprised the mount of things that could pop into your head. It can be the most simple of things! Sure why not try and incorporate them into your weekend! What's the worst that can happen? You have a nice time?
    There is so much you can do to make your weekend a good one and in turn allow yourself to live. So make the most of it for YOU and start looking forward to it :)
    Dare To Live SOS




    Thursday, 15 May 2014

    Thursday Randomness; Facts & Fun

    Keeping the mind active and alive with positive thoughts and fun facts can never be underestimated! So let's get down to a little Thursday randomness and pump those brain muscles shall we..

    Did you know?

    Almonds are members of the peach family 

    Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy. 

    Coca-Cola was originally green. 

    A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why. 

  • A group of goril­las is called a shrewdness.
  • A group of flamin­gos is called a stand.
  • A group of giraffes is called a tower.
  • A group of uni­corns is called a blessing.
  • A group of crows is called a murder.
  • A group of larks is called an exaltation.
  • A group of ravens is called an unkindness.
  • A group of ferrets is called a business.

  • 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321 

    When you sneeze, all your bodily functions stop even your heart. 
    ..thank goodness it doesn't last long..

    Flies jump backwards when they take off. 

    The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 in China in 1910 
    ..ok this is INSANE..

    Wow look at that, you learn something new every day!

    Hyphephilia are people who get aroused by touching fabrics.

    An eagle can kill a young deer and fly away with it.

    Polar bears can eat as many as 86 penguins in a single sitting

    The following can be read forward and backwards: Do geese see God?

    A baby octopus is about the size of a flea when it is born

    Cute no?

    Happy Thursday world!!

    Dare To Live SOS

    Wednesday, 14 May 2014

    Picture Of Life; The Light Within

    There is no body in life who escapes the sometimes darker days or moments when the light, seemingly so dim, seems to be nowhere near enough to let us see into the next second of time let alone take us through this one we may feel stuck in right now. In fact there may even be times when complete darkness forever looks to be the only way to the light. I've been there, I understand.

    But I also know too that moments pass. As do days and weeks, months and years. No matter how long you find yourself in the darkness I can tell you that upon coming though my own darkened periods and having hung on in the trust and hope that there really is a better life to be lived, it's most certainly worth the fight. I can attest with all my being that there is always, always, ALWAYS a way out of the dark times when life seems to be caving in on top of you. And it's called LIFE. Only life can heal the wounds that hurt and only life and the living of it can cast out the darkness and let the light flow into your heart again or perhaps for the very first time. 

    But you want to know the real secret to life? 
    Well it's the light within. Yep the very light that exists within each of us. I've got it, you've got it and just like no body escapes some darker moments in life so it is that no body can escape the light within. Admittedly we can't always see it nor can we truly appreciate it's strength and power when we blind ourselves to it with negativity yet we were all born with it and it never fades; a very special source within our souls that often others can see long before we allow ourselves acknowledge it's existence. Far too often we look with-out to find solace and comfort but the only true happiness can only ever come from within. And it's in all of us, just a little digging and dusting but it's there, waiting for you to discover it. It's WHO we are. The light is about WHO we are and what makes us unique.

    Don't be scared though for we don't need to "find" it in order for it to exist. It exists simply because you do. There is of course always someone or something who loves each of us and the light that ripples from us into their lives but the real key in lighting up your world is embracing this special light and knowing it's your own. 

    However, until you realise the power you possess, perhaps you can turn to others.
    And so today, and every day until you can bask in the glory of your own light, we encourage you to take on board the positive things others tell you. Let their love guide you. Embrace the good light they experience you in and trust they can see it. Write down each and every compliment another person gives you and keep them safe to read over when those darker thoughts might pop in; compliments are gifts after all and it's rude to not accept a gift. Let your loved ones hug you and show you they care. Take on board the positives around you, whether you truly believe them or not yet. Please don't push others away. Be WITH people and work to not isolate yourself from the world around you, others deserve your company and this world wouldn't be itself without you. Because at the end of the day, those around you love you for who you are and in trusting them it won't be long until you too can and will love you for who you are too!

    Happy Wednesday world!

    Dare To Live SOS

    Tuesday, 13 May 2014

    Inspirational Tuesday - extraordinary ordinary people

    This blog is honest - we know what it takes to take ourselves out of the darkness of destructive thinking and turn towards life. We are not afraid to say things how they are. 

    Do you consider yourself to be a victim? Do you think like a victim? 
    Yes it's true, we become victims of our own thinking. But by dwelling in the negativity we are choosing to remain victims. We may not realise that this is the case, so how do we know if we are choosing to be victims or not? Being a victim is simply continuing to sit on the ground after a fall and not getting back up again. It's choosing to remain down. It's believing that the universe made you fall down and that it's "their fault" you ended up down there. It's listening to the negative whispers goading you, telling you you deserve to remain on the ground. It's not learning from the fall but focusing on the bruises. 

    So how can we stop being victims?
    Every human encounters hardship in their life but the hard times cannot be what defines us. What makes humans amazing is their ability to persevere and survive. Our reactions and how we choose to deal with the hardship is what can shape us. 

    --By choosing to accept responsibility for our emotions, actions and behaviours we are choosing not to be victims. If you notice your mood slipping when you are around certain people, or whether someone says something negative to you, you can always walk away. You can choose not to listen to the negative words. It's not being rude it's being self-protective. It's taking the action to prevent entering the victim mode and letting other people impact your feelings.

    --By choosing to learn from every experience - both good and bad - you are choosing to improve your life. If something doesn't go quite how you had planned it, it's not failure! When you are not a victim you see the situation as a learning curve - you didn't do it wrong you just learned how not to do it!

    --By believing that there is always a solution and that we are not helpless, we are choosing to be strong and self-supportive. No matter what, you can always help yourself. Inside every person is the answer to anything you need to know. Think; what would I tell somebody else? Apply that knowledge to yourself and it really will work. We need to walk the walk in order to talk the talk, as cliché as that sounds. 

    Life is full of opportunities and decisions. We can either stay down or pick ourselves back up again. We all have the strength to be the hero of our own lives if we take the action to do so. 

    This video is about an inspiring Irish teenager who is choosing to live life. Inspirational people don't have to b historic figures who changed the world. They can be ordinary people who choose to be extraordinary. Joanne Is one of these people. She could choose not to try, not to connect with others, not to see the beauty of the world if she focused on what she can't do. Joanne focuses on exactly the opposite - her abilities, her talents - and in doing so she is an inspiration to the world. This video is not to make us feel guilty for our behaviours because feeling guilty is default victim mode. Instead, watch the video and consider what you can do to stop being a victim of the mind.

    She dares to live, so why don't you?

    Dare to Live SOS