Hey guys! So recently I’ve hit a low in my life. Having a mental illness, I am up and down all the time but I’m so fed up and I want to try to do things productively and try and pull myself out of it quicker than months at a time.
I reached out to Sophia and I asked her could I put her book into practice to see if it can actually help in my quest for happiness or to see things differently. Sophia is lovely and so down to earth, I even asked her to sign my book and she did, which was so lovely of her!
I read the book and I’ve reread it. It’s a simple book to read with beautiful illustration the whole way through it. It is definitely more appealing than most “self help” books. I wanted to make notes through the book and actually use it when I am feeling bad, so then I can actually give you an honest review of situations and how I used it to help me. This has taken some time, unfortunately with mental health things can take longer to do and to focus on, I want to make sure I did it right before jumping right in.
So the book ❤️
Living life on your terms
Right away I had a click moment, so often I don’t live my life on my terms, I always adjust to other people’s, making sure they’re happy but never myself. Why is that? Maybe it’s how I was brought up but I know this is something I need to work on. I would love to build my strength and living life on my terms, with boundaries and being happy; that doesn’t seem to hard or does it?
Sophia explains a bit of her story and I felt like I had written it myself. It was relatable and I felt like I was talking with a friend going through some stuff. The words she used like “I appear to be a happy person and have a nice smile”, I must admit I get people saying to me all the time you appear to be a happy person always smiling, I even had the nickname smiler when I was younger and it’s funny that a few people who watch me on YouTube call me that name too, unfortunately it’s far from the truth.
I had high hopes from this moment onwards.
I wanted to highlight this important message. We are so bogged down with what are the social media norms and how we view ourselves, this is why the body positive movement took off and as a photographer I delve into gender policitcs and how the social constructs of the media influences the female body. We need to love our bodies and celebrate ourselves because if we don’t, no one else will.
The book looks at being honest, taking a look at your life and if you’re not happy; you have a baseline to work to transform.
Sophia refers to when she lost her dad and what he said to her. My experience, when my mum past she told me she didn’t live a good life, she told me she settled and was unhappy. Knowing my mother was dying in front of me and then knowing she was so unhappy still breaks my heart, she was taken to soon anyway but knowing this, still kills me to this day. I always said I didn’t want to feel what my mum did but for over 10 years I’ve been unhappy, part of it can’t be helped but part for it I can try, try new techniques, complete my therapy and using guides like this, I have felt positive about it. I don’t want my kids to be at my death bed and know I hated my life. I need to change that…NOW.
You have tasks in the book to guide you into the answer you are longing for. These are straight forward questions, no leading questions and it insists you be honest with yourself. These are not for anyone to see but for you to do in private, be honest and the answers you give will help you take the next step to transform yourself.
I’m not going to lie this was hard, why is it so hard to be honest with ourselves? I know why, I felt selfish, guilty, destressed and upset. I felt all these emotions even though it was for me to help me to become happier but in turn I worried I would upset someone else, that I shouldn’t put myself first, that I should be grateful instead of complaining; goodness the list is endless. I had to step backwards then I realised if this is making me truly unhappy, then my family isn’t getting the best version of me, so in turn I need to change things that will make me happier and then maybe everyone can be happier too. I want to live for myself as much as I life for my family.
Change your thoughts and transform your world. -Richard Llover
As I go further into the book there are more tasks to do from writing lists of people who do not uplift you to, gratitude, play and set a date. Each one serves a purpose. It makes you look at each aspect of your life an evaluate it. Some are easy and some are not.
For example: one task is to have a list of people’s names who do not uplift you and delete them from Facebook. This should be a simple task but my situation is a little more complex and as I look at the unfriend, I can’t do it to everyone so I’ve taken a baby step and hit unfollow, so we are still friends but I will no longer see them in my feed.
I’ve enjoyed going through this book, it has been hard and at times I’ve had to walk away and then go back to it. It makes me realise I’ve put the steps in motion, when something is too much to take myself away from the situation without guilt and go back once I’m ready to do so.
Once I’ve done a task I like ripping the paper up and binning it. It is a like a removal of negative energy.
I do believe this book has steps in it that are easy to do and understand. It makes you dig deep and harness thoughts, emotions and teachings techniques to deal with situations. Of course it doesn’t have all the answers, everyone is unique and has a different prescriptive.
I would suggest that if you are using the book, to not use it when you’re feeling extremely vulnerable, I say this because when you are able to pinpoint parts in the tasks it could upset you and if you do not have a support system around you, your mood could drop. I only mention this because I feel I have a duty of care, knowing about mental health and dealing with it, doing something when feeling low isn’t a great idea unless you have a friend, carer, parent or partner close so you can have help or a cuddle afterwards.
I would highly recommend this book. I think it is a great tool to help you on your way to happiness. I don’t say that lightly either as I know how important this is.
Things I’ve learned from the book
- To be consistent
- Be honest
- Set goals
- Be true to myself
- To stop worrying if I don’t get things right the first, second or third time!
- To keep practicing what I learn
- Be patient
- It’s ok to cut people out of your life
- It’s ok to cry
Until next time;
Never Stop & Stay Strong x