Sparks is my way to share images and quotes with you, that speak to me. I collect all different kinds of visuals for inspiration and happen to find myself drawn to a very distinct overall theme.
This month, welcome to
Do you enjoy being alone? Is there anything magical to it for you? To me, there’s nothing that grounds me more than being by myself by choice. Prepping a delicious meal for myself only, or watching a movie in that little cinema nearby. A long solo walk outside, or biking through the city without any plans is just what I need to feel like the best version of myself. Me at my fiercest can only come from well-spent alone time. What does magical solitude mean to you?
It’s Monday once again and Monday means Monday Madness! Once again, I’ve scoured my favorite reads from fellow female bloggers as well as women who are just killing it lately. Since my Live Feminism! rant quickly became one of your favorites so far, I decided to keep the girl power in this month’s link love. Cool?!
One of my goals this year is to actively listen to my body and learn what it needs. Sometimes that means a fresh green smoothie and other times it means having all the chocolate cookies and a nice cup of coffee to wash it down with. It’s all about balance, you know. Lately, there was no balance though. I wasn’t able to go to sleep, when was tired or to take a few moments off to ground myself, when I felt overwhelmed. I felt extremely out of touch with myself, inside and out.
Recently, I learned how much impact a stressful life has on the body and the way it might cause major inflammation everywhere. For someone who already has to deal with an autoimmune disease, this also added to being so out of touch with myself. Piece by piece I was able to put that puzzle together and decided that enough is enough and I need to take back the reins. I made a few changes to the way I eat, live and deal with stressful situations. Maybe that’s something some of you struggle with as well.
Here are five ways to live more intuitively that made such a difference in my life so far:
Focus on your breath
I wasn’t aware that I don’t breathe the right way. My breath is kinda flat which means the oxygen isn’t properly delivered to all of the body’s cells. By putting my focus on my breathing throughout the day, I feel much more relaxed and energized in an instant. Give it a try!
Eat when and what makes you feel good
This means to not put any emphasis on so-called typical meal times. If you don’t feel like having lunch at noon, then don’t. If everyone wants to order pizza, but you feel like having a big bowl of scrumptious salad with prawns instead, go for it. It’s so much easier to just go with the flow, I know that because that’s practically what I lived by, but it’s much more worth it, to really listen to your body and feed it what it needs.
Create before you consume
One thing that not only takes up way too much time but also is a sure-fire way to make me feel bad in just a minute or less, is mindlessly scrolling through my social media feeds before doing something productive for myself. I know that we basically control our feeds and who we follow and don’t follow ourselves. Leave it to me though, to find the perfect time to come across an article that smack-talks including smoothies to your diet, when I was about to have one… Therefore, I made it a priority to not go online when I am hungry, to not read other blogs before blogging myself, and to not purchase anything online before giving it a second thought.
Live in the moment
In the past, I counted being able to multitask to my strengths and praised myself for being able to cross-read an article, eat lunch, text with a friend and email a coworker at the same time. Not only is this extremely stressful for the body and mind, it’s also practically useless. A few minutes later, I usually wasn’t able to repeat what that article said, confirm if I added any attachments to the email or if I enjoyed my lunch that I just had. It doesn’t make any sense or does it?! Now, for instance, when I am in my kitchen cooking, I am really there. I don’t scroll through my feeds or check my emails while I wait for the water to boil. I cut up veggies in the meantime or load the dishwasher. Not only is my body present in the kitchen, my mind is too.
Find a sleep routine that works for you
For years I was envious of those who could just sleep 4 hours a night and felt rested, because they had so much more time in a day to get stuff done. Right?! On the flip side I admired those who could easily sleep 9 hours and felt well rested and never seemed to struggle to handle their assignments. I just juggled along, often ran late and forgot the smallest details if I didn’t write them down. So annoying!
It was hard for me to calm down before bed and to fall asleep because my head was still on. That changed when I started to really listen to my body’s signals and what works for me. It’s still not perfect but way better than a few weeks ago. Now, I sleep around 7 hours, which seems to be the magic number for me, and use a body oil that calms me down before bed. I like to read a few pages in bed with dimmed light which also adds to getting sleepy. Also it’s a strictly phone-free zone! Works like a charm
There isn’t a term as contradictory as feminism right now. Especially women either claim to have no opinion on that subject or they are aggressively against it or feel uncomfortable to even talk about it. Like it’s an out-of-body experience to declare yourself feminist. Feminism, Feminism, Feminism! There, I said it three times. Can it now please manifest itself in our heads as the normal thing that it is?!
As an avid blog reader myself, I read many posts about what feminism means in this day and age to various bloggers male and female, but mostly female. Between the lines, a certain reluctance swung with the words though. I assume you regularly read a few blogs as well and just know when you come across a paragraph that’s not dedicated to something but also not against it. More like “yeah, feminism. What else is new?!” to include the keyword for once and be done with it.
Being a feminist means you believe that men and women are equal!
That’s it! Period. What feminism doesn’t mean are many things. Feminism doesn’t mean that you hate men, it doesn’t mean that you hate masculine women (yes, I heard that as well believe it or not!), it doesn’t mean that you think women are superior to men. Feminism doesn’t mean that the world should be lead by dominatrix women who enslave the male population (and yes, I read about that crazy scenario on a blog as well). Feminism, of course, also includes the LGBTQ community. Why is that even a question? It’s mindblowing how many things feminism doesn’t mean, yet they are more discussed than the simple statement that being a feminist truly is!
If you are male and consider yourself a feminist, it means that you believe that a woman should receive the same paycheck as you and a female competitor deserves the same chances as you. You believe that men and women are equal and worthy of equal rights. If you are female and consider yourself a feminist, you believe the same exact thing. Isn’t that amazing?!
There are people who try to make this overly complicated by saying they aren’t feminists but egalitarian. So what now?! Egalitarian, by definition, means that someone believes in the equality of all people, especially in political, economic and social life. For me that comes in the package. It wouldn’t make much sense to call yourself egalitarian but not feminist or does it?
The bottom line is, that feminist isn’t a dirty word and you shouldn’t feel afraid to use it. Quite the opposite actually, you should shout if from the rooftops and be informed about what you can do to empower your fellow females. Maybe you want to start with my not-so-ranty rant on how important it is that Women Empower Women or why it pains me that it’s still such a foreign concept to Live Feminism! I, for one, am a feminist with a never ending to-do list. Who are you?
This week, as the bathroom renovations were going on, I tried to soak up as much sun as I could on the patio between cleaning breaks. I hummed along to past Sunday Mixtapes and my favorite tunes on shuffle. Suddently Young Folks came up and severe flashbacks were happening right there on the sun-drenched patio…
A few years back, I spent nearly a year in New York City, residing in Brooklyn’s Kensington neighborhood close to Prospect Park. Living in a German-American household with a music writer on hand, made me appreciate my love for indie music even more. New CD’s were mailed in daily and I was asked about my opinion a lot, which was so exciting for a rookie music aficionado like me.
That way, I was introduced to artists like Citizen Cope, The Weepies and also Peter Bjorn and John, and can’t listen to their tunes without feeling instantly brought back to the good old Brooklyn days. So, I was standing there on my patio, the messy bathroom was calling my name for cleaning round number two, when Young Folks came on. It was glorious. I had it on loop the whole afternoon and cleaned the place like a beast. And as the sun set, we had another epic coral pink sky moment. The third one that week…
I mixed that Spring tune from my Brooklyn days with current releases and initially wanted to name this mixtape Smells like Spring, when I realized, there’s only one title that would do it justice…