How to Lift Your Soul…

Hello Beautiful People

I’VE GOT SO MUCH TO TELL YOU But I must do an ACTUAL post first…so first up I need to say…

Apologies for the absence AGAIN!! I’m a terrible blogger and I deserve punishment, although looking at my stats is punishment enough right now so I have instead decided to pluck up the courage to just say AH WELL SH*T HAPPENS and give you a nice fresh new post, just for you, yes you, I’m talking to YOU!! This is all yours, I hope you enjoy it.

Now as some of you may or may not know I began meditating a few months ago, around the same time that I started this blog.  When I started out I found it so difficult, I had a real problem with staying ‘quiet’.  With my Bucket List, I wanted to try to bring myself some inner peace and start to feel like I was pushing my own life forward.  Now I must insert a small disclaimer here, for anyone reading who has not read before, I’m not religious, at all, I have no interest in religion but in a moment of utter darkness I fell to my knees and felt it was natural to try this meditation malarkey that that woman banged on about in Eat, Pray, Love.

I remember the first time I tried it, I couldn’t sit still.  I kept shuffling and wriggling, I was bugging myself.  I stood up (battling the sitting position convention) I shook my body out like I used to in Drama class, I shook and I shook and I shook till I got pins and needles all over then dropped to my knees again.

‘this isn’t working’

This little voice in my head was driving me mad, I wanted so badly to feel utter peace and calm from the rage inside me but it just wasn’t working.  I laid on my front, literally face down in the carpet.

nothing.

I sat in the ‘typical’ position, legs crossed, hands pinched between finger and thumb.

nothing.

I let out a massive sigh, literally expelling every ounce of air from my lungs and I felt it, a brief billi-second of peace, of silence.  I opened my eyes and fist pumped ‘YES!!’ I looked at every inch of my body studying the position that had allowed me this precious moment of silence.

NOT ATTRACTIVE.

This pose would not win me any princely kisses that’s for sure!  I was sat like a teddy bear sits when they are dropped from a great height.  Slouched and comfortable.  Legs akimbo, arms limply by my side, I leaned up against  a cabinet in my room, and noticed that from where I was sitting, I could see the entire sky, really bright and a deep navy blue, tinted with sparkling stars.  In that moment 4 things came to me, that shaped how I would meditate from here on in.

  1. My ornamental (literally I think it’s made of plastic) Buddha was positioned in a way that I felt she (yes my Buddha is a she, because well, I said so! apologies for any offence caused) so, I felt that she was looking down from my murky windowsill, her stare was washing over me and actually felt very supportive.  Almost like she was saying ‘it’s ok kid, keep at it’, so I always meditate in her shadow.
  2. Night time was the best time to do this.  My house was silent, all I could hear were the distant snores of the Incredibles and the murmur of Batman’s TV.  This was a peaceful time, a magical sort of time that lends itself very nicely, to the calming nature of meditation.
  3. I liked the dark.  I had started this little experiment without realising it, in the pitch dark.  The only light was coming from the moon and stars, it made me feel all philosophical and poignant.  It made me focus, eventually, allowing me to block out the stuff around me.
  4. I DON’T SHUT UP!  This really got on my nerves, I just cannot not think, it’s infuriating.  So I decided to use it to my advantage and I found myself singing in my head.  I would do my breathing exercises, focusing in my mind on different places in my body (called chakras or something!) and I would sing in my head.  Whatever came to mind.

This is the official guide to your Chakras, I just work my way around the body, but this is here just incase you really wanted to know 🙂

I don’t meditate every day.  I feel that takes the effectiveness out of it for me.  I meditate when I feel I need to.  When I need to bring myself some peace, or just need some time to myself I find meditation surrounds me in a little bubble where I can be entirely alone for a little while.

Your probably wondering, so this is called HOW TO LIFT YOUR SOUL…..Well……how do I? right??

Well I have created a mini playlist just for you, of the songs that I turn to when meditating, I have a playlist of every single song I have ever thought of whilst meditating but here are the top 6 that are truly my favourites!  I hope you enjoy and if you don’t already I’d suggest meditation to anyone at all, but my advice would be DO IT YOUR OWN WAY.  Don’t ever feel like you’re doing it wrong, find your own path and be your own person.  Do what’s best for you!

P.S  Yes you will hear a theme with the songs, they represent my favourite music I think, the music that truly settles my soul, some are covers, and some are weird, and some will have you thinking REALLY?? YOU MEDITATE TO THIS?!?! Well, I hope you enjoy 🙂

This girl is just amazing, Kina Grannis is still in the shadows over in England, but in America and around the world she IS a superstar.  Her voice is like warm honey!  This is my favourite cover of hers.  I’m not really a Taylor swift fan, this cover brought me round and Kina really has found a song that suits her beautiful voice!

This kid is Cameron Mitchell.  His covers are awesome!! As a recent fan of Coldplay and I bit of a nerd for covers I searched around and I found that I loved this version much more than the Coldplay version.  Sorry Coldplay.  This song has always served me well in meditation as it’s quite upbeat and speeds up my breathing!

I always turn to Ed Sheeran.  In times of utter happiness and utter despair, Ed Sheeran always gets played no matter what.  I’ve loved Ed’s music since the moment I first heard him on SBTV in my mates bedroom, Iron Man demanded I listened to it and sat me down.  I was blown away by every second of Ed’s performance.  This song in particular calms me down a lot because well 1. it’s a beautiful song and 2.  Rupert Grint is in it and let’s face it, I’ve been a Weasley lover since I was 13!!

When I’m feeling like I need to really concentrate, Lior’s album always comes to mind.  All of his songs, upbeat or more relaxed always bring me to a place that is pensive and peaceful.  This song is called Bedouin Song, it really shows off Lior’s Israeli roots.  I first saw Lior at WOMAD festival years ago and since have followed him avidly!

Now, you’re probably thinking, REALLY???!!! a Rihanna dance track?? WTF?!?!  This song came to me one night when I was in a really bad place.  The fast beat allowed me to move my body in a fast way to release anger and tension whilst the softer lyrics encouraged my breathing to be much slower, it had a strange effect making me feel revitalised and relaxed all at the same time like I had just been boxing crossed with floating on my back in a freezing cold pool!  It was awesome!  This song taught me not to try to box in my meditation, it taught me to ALWAYS let it all come naturally.

Adam Pluse came onto my radar a few weeks back and has already creeped into my meditation periphery.  This version (yes it is a cover) of Titanium by David Guetta ft. Sia honestly rocks my sensual world, I sit imagining the beefy drops in the original version then get lifted away by the lute-ing guitar.  Adam has a unique way of playing the guitar which just increases it’s awesome-ness.

So there you have it, my 6 songs to lift your soul.  I hope this encourages you to try meditation, and to try it your own way.  Nothing in this life is ‘normal’, here is a quote from The Thing, it was his status today and it made me feel really happy…

“We all strive to be “normal” or compare ourselves to “normal” people. We are told it is a common behavior or a trend as though there is one code of conduct and we have an inherent urge to comply. The main objection is that we all have different ideas of what “normal” is. What we each perceive as “normal” differs because it is a personal projection of how we feel we ought to live our lives. It should never be exposed to external influences. Conduct yourself by your own standards not others.”

Happy Blogging, Cheers for Reading…

L.J.Simms x

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103 WAYS TO GIVE UP SMOKING

A Thousand
Paper Cranes…

[BARE WITH THIS POST, I HAVE ADDED THIS POST-POSTING TO THIS POST…HAHA SORRY, ERMM YES, I BEGAN WRITING THIS 2 WEEKS AGO, SINCE WRITING THIS I HAVE NOT HAD A SINGLE CIGARETTE, AND SINCE STARTING THE PAPER CRANES JUST OVER A WEEK AGO I HAVE FOLDED 103 CRANES, JUST THINKING I WOULD HAVE SMOKED THAT MANY CIGARETTES IF NOT MORE, IN 7.5 DAYS, SCARY STUFF…GOOD LUCK TO ALL THOSE QUITTING SMOKING THIS YEAR, I’M REALLY GOING TO STICK TO IT THIS TIME]

1,000 Paper Cranes  (千羽鶴 Senbazuru?)
“Thousand Origami Cranes is a group of one thousand origami paper cranes held together by strings. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury.”

[http://tinyurl.com/7tjdxxo]

The idea intrigues me, it made me almost cry when I watched it on Heroes, noteably one of my favourite series’ of the past few years.

 Watching Charlie’s expression, when the camera zoomed out and revealed the epic amount of cranes delicately hanging by clear threads around their heads was in my opinion, utterly beautiful and actually quite stylish! Ha Ha…

Now, today has frankly been an awful day, I woke up in that highly irritating situation where your neck has been sleeping comfortably all evening, and then, suddenly, the second you wake up…AH%&$$! F*&£”~#!! …your neck trips into spasm and you can’t move for the rest of the day! anddddd I decided to start item number 20 on my Bucket List, I figured that although I have ticked a few things off the list, I’m still no closer to actually COMPLETING the list.

Item Number 20. ATTEMPT TO GIVE UP SMOKING…

Now your all probably wondering what the hell item 20 and paper cranes have in common, well it all started like this…..

So being unemployed, with no car, no money, not alot of people around during the day and a family who all smoke! (that’s right kids, Batman, The Incredibles, Poison Ivy, Misty Knight, Iron Man, WONDER WOMAN!! allllllllll of them SMOKE!)  Now obviously Poison Ivy is up lá duff so has stopped smoking, but for me it was so easy to just light up a fag, puff puff puffy away all day, I would say I had a steady 20 a day deal going on, menthol rollies were to me like a warm glass of red wine of an evening, just something i enjoyed!  and then the fateful day arrived….

Poison Ivy had warned me something like this may happen, and when Wonder Woman tried to give up last month, she said the same thing, there comes a point where something just snaps in your mind, and smoking just isn’t nice anymore!
Now for all those people out there screaming,’SMOKING’S DISGUSTING’ ‘IT’S GOING TO KILL YOU’ ‘YOU SMELL LIKE AN ASHTRAY’ I really don’t care, unless you’re a smoker you have no concept of how good it feels to have a fresh cup of coffee and a sneaky ciggie, or rolling a menthol and relaxing just puffing away.  IF YOU ARE NOT A SMOKER YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW GOOD THAT FEELS!!! and after sex……. WOWWWWWW better than the sex before it haha.

But anyway I digress, so I was sat in the study with my tobacco rolling a cig, and it happened, something choked a little in my throat, i licked the rizla and the smell of the dry tobacco made me feel a bit icky, and as I sparked the cigarette, I was convincing myself that I wanted to become a non-smoker! (I think it helped that my pouch was now empty and I had no way of getting anymore haha!!)

Day one – Fine, 0 cigarettes
Day two – Fine, 0 cigarettes
Day three – Ok, 0 Cigarettes
Day four – Average, 0 cigarettes, stood behind woman at cashpoint inhaling her scarf it smelt so good
Day five – SH*T, SH*TE, CR*P, AWFUL, SHODDY, EURGH, CRAPOLAAA! 0 cigarettes…grrrr
Day six – Pissed off, angry, want to murder someone for £3.50 to get tobacco… 0 cigarettes
Day seven – Today…woke up, feeling refreshed, breathing (asthma) noticeably clearer, cravings minimum, 0 cigarettes…

Now….how did I do it?

PAPER CRANES!!!

Honestly, for the past week I have ranged through every emotion possible, this first week of not smoking has almost killed me, and I think its mainly due to the fact that I have nothing to cure the boredom, smoking became a habit because I was bored.  It gave me something to do with my hands, the ceremony of rolling the cigarette, lighting it, inhaling and enjoying the minty smoke, sitting back and taking it in…..it takes time, its a process, its also really difficult to describe!  So I had to find something to keep my hands busy, and remembering the episode of Heroes, whilst thinking about my meditation experiences of late, I thought, I bet I can make 1,000 paper cranes….that will stop me from smoking.

Now, everytime I want a cigarette I fold a piece of paper, and it can be anything, newspapers, magazines, catalogues, comic books, junk mail…anything that I can find just to keep my mind off smoking.  and I can say now it’s working, being around smoke makes me feel ill, the smell makes me want to vom on their faces, and the change in myself is remarkable, it’s early days yet but here’s to crossing off another Bucket List item and to continuing on my journey.

Made with 1978 Superman Comic Book

Made From: Pandora Jewellery Catalogue Page.

I found an Irregular choice Shoebox and have given them a home already

Here’s to the SuperCranes!!   May they guide me through this rough patch and grant me a blooming good wish when I’ve made 10,000 of the buggars!

Cheers for reading 🙂

L.J x

I’m Truly Stunned…

Pick a Faith Any Faith…

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Sometimes mental health induced sleep deprivation can be a good thing... :