Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

How Taking a Psychobiotic Has Changed My Social Life...

I’m alway curious about the latest research and findings regarding how our gut affects our brain, more specifically, our mental health. So I’m always asking questions to Paul, the pharmacist of Inish Pharmacy. Recently he mentioned ‘Zenflore’ to me. Zenflore is a psychobiotic.But first, let us get our heads around the Brain-Gut axis.

Understanding the Gut-Brain Connection

We feel our emotions in our stomach. We get feelings of nausea when we’re scared and ‘butterflies’ when we’re nervous. It’s also makes sense why people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) have flare-ups when they’re stressed or under pressure. Anxiety and Depression affect our stomach, and our stomach health can affect our mental health. They’re inextricably linked. However, this doesn’t always mean your mental health is the sole reason to why you may have stomach/digestive issues; there are other reasons why you may have digestive issues. Harvard Medical School state that “the gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness, elation — all of these feelings (and others) can trigger symptoms in the gut."

What are Psychobiotics and how can they help my mental health?

Psycho- relating to  mind; mental; psychological

Biotic’-relating to or resulting from living organisms (in our gut in this case).

You’ll be familiar with those advertisements for Yakult or Actimel and their association with ‘good bacteria’. Psychobiotics are probiotics and prebiotics that can improve your mental  health by changing the mixture of bacteria in your gut.500-100- species of bacteria live in the gut and are collectively known as ‘microbiome’.Our brains are subsequently affected by these species of bacteria, and the quantity of ‘Good Bacteria Vs. Bad Bacteria’ can considerably shift our moods, feelings of anxiety, thoughts and feelings. Nowadays, with the amount of processed foods and herbicides, we’re all likely dealing with some kind of microbiome distress and feeling it in our moods.

Introducing Zenflore

Last month Paul sent me two bottles of  the psychobiotic, Zenflore. I gave a bottle to my friend. I gave them to this particular friend because he has quite a demanding job and I wanted a first hand account from someone who deals with stressful situations to see if he felt that the Zenflore helped mitigated the symptoms of stress. Since he has started taking Zenflore he has claimed that he feels more equipped to deal with the onset of pressure and feels he can go to the gym more often after work because there were times he felt he didn't have the energy to do anything after work.

Zenflore is a psychobiotic developed by PrecisionBiotics in “partnership with scientists and clinicians from one of the world’s leading centres of research on the gut-brain axis.”Zenflore claims that “modern life can be busy and often means feeling stressed.Combining this unique culture with specially selected vitamins, Zenflore provides a complete solution to help support a healthy mind and combat stress related fatigue.”

My experience of Zenflore

It’s been two days since I’ve run out of Zenflore, and I don’t know if I’m imagining it or it’s genuine, but I have that old familiar heaviness in my stomach again, my mood is a bit subdued and I could sleep on string…

Alongside taking Zenflore I also take
-Vitamin D,
-Vitamin B complex

I also take my usual mental health medication.

For the last few weeks I’ve had motivation that I’ve never had before. I’ve been feeling more ambitious and doing much more work. Usually, I have to be careful with the amount of work I take on because my mental health condition can be easily triggered when I’ve overwhelmed. For once I can fulfill my ambition and get productive without feeling like I’m about to fall apart. I was even out at the weekend and even stayed out until closing. If you know me personally you’ll know that I turned from a partier into someone who couldn’t even deal with late nights never mind drinking.I couldn’t believe the energy I had and the mental energy I had to talk, to socialise and to actually just enjoy being out dancing without yawning every second and watching my phone to see if it was time to leave.On Saturday night I didn’t want to leave. A first in many, many years.So, whether it’s a combination of all my vitamins and supplements AND the Zenflore or not, I know the Zenflore is definitely doing something.
I'll be starting to take it again.
I don't recommend things to my clients unless I've tried them.

I sincerely believe you'll notice a significant change in your mental health, and feelings of anxiety in your gut, when you begin taking Zenflore

You can get in touch with Inish Pharmacy on their website if you’ve any questions to ask Paul.

-Inish Pharmacy (You can even talk to Paul on a Live Chat on the Website)

-Read more about Zenflore

* This post has not been sponsored or in any way affiliated with Zenflore 

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The importance of being Emotionally Intelligent

I could portray a 'perfect' life. It's the social norm as of late, but I choose not to. I choose to be authentic.
There are things I could change about myself physically; My insecurities and flaws. But I choose not to. 
To be authentic, or at least endeavouring to be, means accepting yourself for the organic version of yourself in all its entirety without the sharp needle of ego, injecting you with notions that you too should be everything like those girls and guys parading a pseudo-idyllic life on social media. Their minds are as confined, changeable and flippant as the very boxes in which those euphoric scenes appear.  It's like a game of human tetris; you only fit in if you meet the criteria: Abs, Plastic Surgery, some kind of diet/protein product in hand, airbrushed, probably unfulfilled and chronically unhappy. Now, don't get me wrong. I do enjoy seeing what people wear, makeup and beautiful art and photography. However, I do think there is a distinct difference between content that is led by the want to share experiences, work and beauty and content that is led by ego for status, an X amount of 'Likes' and validation. 

Point is, anybody could feign this 'lifestyle'. Congratulations to those who choose to embrace their oftentimes not-so-easy-reality, you've unlocked the 'Emotional Intelligence' level. Game over for players who thought they could learn the 'cheats' and get ahead. Life isn't a game, there is no winner. 

I believe it take a great degree of emotional intelligence to not conform to an unrealistic lifestyle as well as being responsible with what you show on social media, especially to our impressionable youth. It's because of our youth and their naivety that we should be cautious about what we turn into 'trends' and 'normative' human behaviour. So, since there is a huge amount of irresponsibility, I only feel it's my responsibility to highlight the importance of living as real as we humans ought to, and that's with humility, control of ego and with a good conscience. Not to mention that choosing to be vulnerable and to show your true self is in fact liberating. 

So back to
Emotional Intelligence

The components of 'Emotional Intelligence' as given by Daniel Goleman is:

-Moral Compass

If we work on cultivating these aspects that are the definition of Emotional Intelligence then we can become better humans and create a better society. And it's possible because if you become aware of your inclination to 'think' a certain way then that's you becoming aware of your thinking styles and knowing which are helpful and unhelpful. For Example, I would have the tendency to 'Catastrophize', and so my 'meta-thinking', which basically means 'thinking about your thinking' allows me to work on developing another habit of thinking. I know this isn't easy, but it's possible. It's called neuroplasticity. It's where the brain physically "shapes itself according to repeated experiences"- Daniel Goldman 

This is important because it can prevent you from getting caught up in unhelpful cyclical behaviours that you may always find yourself in, but never really know why. 
 The more you become aware of your own thinking and feeling then the more empathetic you become towards other people. The more empathetic you become, the more compassionate and calm you become. You see? Developing your emotional intelligence equips you to be a better human. When you're more compassionate you think twice about what influence you have over others, especially our young people. You choose to do what's good for others instead of you and your ego. 

You'll find that people who have been through the wars with their mental health and tragic or negative life events are often the most empathetic people who care so much for others.

Being in the mental health field both as a blogger and a professional you would think  you'd find the most wholesome people, but it's is actually the opposite. Just like any other career or area there is competition. And to practice what I preach and remain authentic I'll tell you the truth; It's very frustrating.

However, whenever people do compete with me I've already outdone them from that very moment. How? Well because I don't reciprocate, because for me there is no competition. I'm in mental health because I was born with a mental health disorder and my own suffering has impassioned me to help wherever I can. Not to mention over a decade of training and experience.

To compete is to be led by ego and to need constant recognition, to support and collaborate is to be led by compassion and empathy for the people around you.

You can have self-satisfaction without seeking validation on social media. You are enough, just as you have always been enough in your most imperfect, authentic state. 

Having Emotional Intelligence helps to immunise you from being absorbed by this inane culture, a culture that only survive on ego and money. If you starve it, then we become a much healthier, compassionate and authentic culture. 

Monday, 15 January 2018

Just Another Manic Monday...

 Today is Monday! 'Blue Monday' apparently?!
Like, who actually comes up with these 'trends'? Well, to answer my own question, and hopefully yours, Blue Monday was actually part of a marketing plan from a 'Travel Company' as an incentive to encourage people to book holidays.  Relatively smart marketing yes, but a disregard for those of us who already struggle through tough, tarnished weeks upon weeks of mental torture.What about our hashtags and formulas?! Have you one for my O.C.D? Or my friend's P.T.S.D?
  This pseudoscience was argued to have been discovered through using a "scientific formula"...

"The formula uses many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action. (By some fella Arnall in 2006).

Let me introduce you to Natasha, Counsellor, Mother, Mental Health Warrior and part of the Replenish Tribe. 
Natasha speaks candidly about her struggle with her mental health and how she manages through all those days that nobody has a hashtag or marketing strategy for.

What Natasha has to say to you...

When I am having a 'bad day' (don't you just love that label by the way? How I wish it was confined to one day - I'd skip off to bed that evening, safe in the knowledge that tomorrow everything would be ok again), which sometimes turns into days & worst case scenario a week or longer, my confidence plummets.

When I DO find the courage to look in the mirror I mostly don't recognise the woman looking back at me. Where did my vibrant, assertive, funny, confident self go? The girl who loved concerts, nights out in the City, travel?
On the bad days those things mostly fill me with fear. How will I get out of a concert in a venue I'm not familiar with, if I need to? People on nights out who have consumed too much alcohol peak my anxiety as they can be unpredictable, argumentative, aggressive. Travel means airports, security, confined spaces. 

I can only manage it with people I feel 'safe' with.
When I feel low & anxious I feel worthless, like I have nothing interesting to say to my friends, family, colleagues. Especially colleagues & customers, people who know me the least.
The paranoia is relentless, persistent and exhausting. The internal dialogue usually goes something like 'they think I'm boring/stupid, they wish I'd hurry up, they think I'm weird because I don't go on work nights out or drink, I'm the only one who makes mistakes' and on and on the list is endless.
When I'm having a 'bad day' I see no point in anything, there's no colour, everything is messy & dis-organised. I just want to stay in bed. I feel like I am merely going through the motions, functioning at the lowest level necessary, existing. NOT living.
That is what anxiety does to you. It robs you of your personality, robs you of your confidence and robs you of your identity.
My own experience caused me to feel as if my emotions and feelings had disappeared. I could not feel the highs of love that I used to feel, the intense happiness & excitement of seeing my favourite band, I couldn't grieve the loss of both my Aunts. Emotionless! This is exactly how I feel on a 'bad day'. Nothing anyone could do or say could make me happy. I feel numb and detached and there are times when I think I might never smile again.
My only thought can be HOPE. Recovering from the way I feel on those 'bad days'. I can tell those of you who feel like this that your emotions do come back in recovery. Your confidence and personality gradually return in little strips, building up in layers, until eventually you feel like the person you were before you became ill.
It takes commitment & tenacity. It takes speaking up, confiding in your 'tribe', being honest with yourself and with them. Totally honest! If you can't say it out loud, technology is your friend - put it in a text, just start the conversation.
Everyone's self-care is different. For me it's taking quiet time out, detaching, re-charging. My work is busy, both physically & mentally demanding, so quiet time is vital for me. I like to spend time with people who are close in my circle, people I feel safe with. Movies, pamper time, naps, meditation - these are all things I enjoy and I make time to incorporate them into my life. It's absolutely vital for me.
I read a lot about anxiety & obsessive thoughts.
Meeting Caroline has been an absolutely pivotal part in my recovery. Finally I felt like I could speak about how I was feeling, without fear. It was absolutely liberating. I drove home exhilarated after my first group session - I WAS NOT ALONE!

One thing I've read & utilise now on the daily is this :
'Never say yes when you mean no, and never say no when you means yes'
Simple but effective. Try it.
I was a people pleaser even to my detriment on most occasions, but now I realise I also need to please myself.
I often think to myself 'who am I kidding?'. I rarely stop thinking. I wonder about my internal dialogue. Would I speak to other people the way I speak to myself? Would I allow other people to speak to me the way I speak to myself? Absolutely not! Why then do I re-enforce the negative automatic thoughts? Example: 'You're useless/ugly/incapable/a laughing stock.....the list is endless'.
I've started challenging these thoughts when I have them and try to list facts to support the thoughts. The majority of the time they are unsupported.
I often feel tired of being tired. Obsessional thoughts are exhausting. Sometimes I just don't lend the energy to it. I concentrate on getting tasks done and nothing else. The more you learn to accept and let go, the more your body will respond to a new way of thinking.
I am the most impatient person, this I know. With everything in my life, not just wanting to be well. Recovery, I am told, will come in time. There is no time limit or magic cure. Everybody is different and some people will recover more quickly than others. Medication and therapy which works for one person might be totally ineffective for you - as I've discovered. Yes, it's frustrating - please trust me, just be patient and your body will take care of itself in its own time.
Remember this: you deserve to BE WELL. If you are struggling to be taken seriously by health professionals then be aware that you can take an advocate with you to help speak with you. I took Caroline with me to get the ball rolling. It started my journey towards reclaiming good mental health & has given me confidence to speak up to my GP since.
 Go easy on yourself x 



You do not have to be alone as you deal with your mental health. Replenish is developed by people with mental health issues who are compassionate about helping others who are similar to us.

Get in touch with us on:
or find out where your local 'Replenish Tribe' is.

What the media doesn't tell us is how to manage those Blue Mondays after they've created a unnecessary hype.

However, it's a hype that does bring more global awareness to mental health.
See what we had to say in our YOUTUBE video/Podcast here: 

Monday, 18 December 2017

Making Waves

2017 was the most fulfilling year of my life. Period. 

I didn't earn any huge sums of money, I didn't invest in property and I didn't buy Bitcoin. 

My year was quite the opposite of the superficial meaning of 'success', actually.

For the first time in my 28 years on this planet I felt part of something. Here's why:

January 2018 will mark 1 year since I created Replenish: Acting on Mental Health,  my Mental Health organisation
I launched Replenish as a response to the lack of ground level and non-clinical mental health support and care that I experienced whilst growing up. The concept of Replenish was my way of creating just that exact kind of support. Replenish is a refuge for those enduring the crippling isolation that our mental health can bestow upon us, making us feel like we're in the barren wilderness.

I started as myself, just me, as it has always been.
Today, I have a team of professionals who work with Replenish to provide their care, advice and support. These are people who share the vision of Replenish. They help and facilitate people to 'act on their mental health'.

To illustrate how Replenish has grown exponentially, and exceeded all my expectations, let us go back to October 10th, World Mental Health Day.

For World Mental Health Day on October 2016 I created a documentary with the help of University of Ulster students looking at how mental health was perceived and understood in the city of Derry.
(Watch Here)

So for 2017 I knew I had to move up the scale and do something a bit bigger and a lot more effective.  And that we did.

We developed an output of speakers, advice and activities in a way that demonstrated how good mental health wellbeing and recovery isn't down to one solution, but many small accumulative actions. Oh, and we also made a short film, 'Unfiltered Water' (Watch Here)

We demonstrated action planning with an Occupational Therapist, a Yoga Session, Nutritional advice, Pharmaceutical information, Complementary Therapies, discussions and panels surrounding workplace mental health and maternal mental health, and the benefits from massage. We proved  how inclusive, uplifting and empowering acting on your mental health can actually be.

Yasmin, Occupational Therapist

Sophie Dechant of Pole Infinity Derry

Michele Jones of Shipquay Townhouse & Spa

Michele explaining her role as a Heartmath Practitioner. 

Michelle Harkin of MacCaffery's Pharmacy

George Hutton, Personal Trainer 

Riadh, The Feel Good Nutritionist

George, Emer and Myself. 'Unfiltered Water'

Megan Robinson of Pearl Healing Corner

Incredible Women, Emma & Natasha 

The Team 

What's your One Word?

Replenish 'Snapchat' Filter

You will see that it doesn't just take one person to make a change, it takes a lot of selfless people to contribute to making big changes and creating a revolution in mental health awareness and culture.

Since World Mental Health Day, October 10th 2017, I was able to take my existing 6 week Workshops and enhance them by incorporating the work of the professionals that you've just seen. They are now an integral part of Replenish and reason why we've been able to make waves, even in our infancy. We've been to Letterkenny, Buncrana, 5 times in Derry, Limavady, Sligo and in 2018 we're going further afield.

2017 saw Replenish deliver workshops in Workplaces and Schools and we are already booked for 2018, and we want you to get involved. Whether it's volunteering, sharing your professional expertise or simply being part of the Replenish movement, we would love to have you.

Speaking at The Villa Rose launch of 'V SPA'

Seasonal Affective Disorder article in The Belfast Telegraph 

The Derry Journal
Launching World Mental Health Day on the Radio

Speaking in Antrim at the Health & Safety Executive of Northern Ireland's 'Build | Health' conference. 

Speaking with the Youth at the Donegal Youth Service for the 'Shape of You' Body and Image Initiative. 

Derry Post

Speaking for the Endometriosis Association of Ireland in Dublin 

Speaking at St Mary's College

So you can imagine the excitement for Replenish 2018.

For now, we want you to know that we are developing a 6 Week 'Steps to Self-Care' programme that is specific to developing a plan that empowers an individual to act on their mental health with accessible, non-clinical and compassionate professionals.

To book the upcoming 'Steps to Self-Care' Workshops beginning in January please go to the  Replenish Wesbite or message me on

Thank you for supporting, taking part in, believing in and helping us in making waves in mental health.

To be part of the Replenish Tribes, which are support groups that are continued after the 6 week workshops, you can join here HERE

Sunday, 10 December 2017

The Core of Me

A time traveller from as recent as the 1980s upon landing in the almost 2020s and finding us having a non-reciprocal conversation with our phone screens would propel him to scurry back into the 80s in whatever format he arrived in. Only after I hustled him for his retro Adidas slippers, of course. Oops, capitalism sneaking in there and I haven’t even got to making that point yet. Anyway, there I was, on snapchat; surpassing my recommended daily intake advised for a healthy social media diet.
I stood there trying to justify why I wore more makeup than usual. I know how it looks when somebody, who aims (and claims) to live their life ‘authentically’, says so whilst wearing a full face of makeup.  So I’ve decided to let you in on understanding the guilt I feel as a privileged, westernised girl (I’m 29 soon, and yet I don’t feel calling myself Woman is a force I can lay upon my emotions just yet)  whose mind extends beyond the shores of the capitalist regime of well, the world. Not because I feel you should know about me, but because it may lead you to understand your own internal struggles. Unless you’re not a complex thinker as I am, to which I will say ‘I bet you’re glad’.

The Journey to the Centre

This post isn’t so much about getting you to understand me as it is for me to understand myself. So, to set the context for the journey to the centre of my mind, let me share my deep, core beliefs. Simply put, we all have ‘Core Beliefs’ which we are unconscious of.  Tell me go into therapist mode here for a minute and explain just exactly what core beliefs are, and the strength of these beliefs. In ‘Cognitive Therapy’ these core beliefs  drive our thinking, emotions and behaviours. They’re formed when we’re young and quite impressionable. They mould our perception of ourselves, people and the world. To illustrate this point further let me take you back to 1999 when I was 10 years old. I had just moved house from an estate where we were closer as a community and our dogs all ran mad around the street. Frankly, therein lay the best days of my life and the essence of my childhood. I moved to a more private estate, excuse us!. It was basically a huge change for us all, my dog included. So a couple of weeks after having moved, my daddy and I took my dog out a walk in our new surroundings. Being an absolute hallion we let our dog run loose, much to the detriment of well, the rest of my life because Tandy (the dog) ran out onto a busy road upon seeing another dog and getting hit twice. To cut a traumatic long story short, the core belief that would dictate my life formed on the very spot, in that very moment where I stood in dry shock having seen and heard my dog getting killed. I AM RESPONSIBLE!

To be clear, I didn’t consciously stir up this Core Belief, it was my unconsciousness at work because somewhere in the Mines of Moria of my mind the Balrog was stirring. (That was a Lord of the Rings reference there for you otherwise Harry Potter fans).

Nobody had told me it was my fault, nobody told me she died because she wasn’t on a leash. It was the nerve, literally, of my brain to form that conclusion.

So how do I know that my ‘Core Belief’ is “I am Responsible” if we’re meant to be unconscious of them?

Well, the formation of this core belief on that night in September 1999 led me to develop a crippling form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (O.C.D) which had to be managed with C.B.T therapy. Ironically, I was training in it whilst receiving it for my newly diagnosed mental health disorder. O.C.D is a condition that there is no known cure for, so we’re roomies for the foreseeable future, it and I. It knows not to drink out of my cup or sit on my bed, but it’s a shapeshifter because when I think I see myself in the mirror it’s actually my O.C.D presenting itself as me, telling me I’m the worst thing in the world. And it’s easy to believe it, especially when it’s your own reflection telling you so. O.C.D feeds off your identity. You can never really tell when your mind is your own, or the O.C.D at play. That was a metaphor, by the way. O.C.D is a on the neurosis end of the scale, it's not psychosis. My reflection doesn't speak back to me. Just to be clear.

So I take certain tablets to break us up, to keep it somewhat restrained. It still stares at me, from across the room it is not paying rent for in my head. Sometimes, if I shift my gaze, it can attack. It tries to attack often.

So, when you have this knowledge that you’re ‘responsible’ as a result of a tragic situation where you were irresponsible would you change it? No! Because for me it drives me to behave in a way to be responsible for others when they themselves can’t be. So there’s why I work in mental health. I don’t charge what I could charge for my services. Why? I believe mental health care and support should be very cheap if not free. So I don’t want to be responsible for somebody’s ill health because they couldn’t afford therapy.

So that brings us to why I feel I have to justify my actions and behaviours. The more privileged I am the more guilt I feel for those who don’t have warmth, food, shelter, love. I feel responsible for what I have and for what they don’t have.

My View of the World

As a reluctant citizen of the Western world I’m in conflict between wanting to be successful and wanting to fulfil my obligation of being responsible, both of which are excruciatingly demanding. To have ‘effect’ in my world in mental health I have to be ‘seen’. I have to be ‘heard’, to tell people “Look, there is help”. But the modern method is seeking attention conflicts with my need to be authentic. If I don’t show that my backside is toned on Instagram, will I be ignored? How is my Ego being fuelled in all of this? Will I catch the attention I need to lead them to what I really want them to see? That real, genuine care that is overlooked if I don’t package it with a big sicker of myself on the front for the voyeurs that populates social media. My running thought is “how can I do something that attracts attention to the help I’m offering in a way that is alluring to the ‘superficial’ and ‘choreographed’  standards of social media, but authentic to me?”  Can you see how difficult it can be?  Can you begin to understand that internal conflict I, and so many others, deal with?

Because I understand certain people’s incessant need for validation from posting incessant photos of themselves, I begin to fear that if I do it then I will look just as insecure and drive my the need to inflate my ego. Let me go into therapist mode again. Whilst my main core belief is ‘I am responsible’, there are many of us whose main core belief is “I’m not good enough”, “I’m unlovable”, etc. So then, just as my behaviours are driven by the need to do things that keep me from being irresponsible, so too do the people who feel unworthy do things that stop them from feeling unworthy. So then we have those people who constantly post photos of themselves filtered to the eyeballs. They overcompensate for the ‘lack’ that they feel. Just like I feel guilt for being unable to help the people who are living third world countries. The result of my guilt is cynicism and disgust for the world I live in, just as the person’s incessant posting of themselves is a result of their feelings of unworthiness which is temporarily placated by ‘likes’. When that wears off, they post another photo and then another and another.

So to myself who feels responsible, you don’t have to be and you can’t be. You can contribute to change, but you can’t change the world by not wearing lipstick. To the person who feels unloved and unworthy, you are validated long before you take that photo and post it. You are enough without having to prove it. You are lovable in all your imperfect perfection.

The Authentic Self

My need to be ‘authentic’ doesn’t have to comply with this unrealistic demand upon myself to be responsible. My authentic self wants to wear makeup, it would be inauthentic to deny myself that. My belief of needing to be ‘responsible’ shames me into believing that wearing makeup is superficial in the bigger picture of a world full of suffering. So can you see why I felt compelled to justify my wearing of makeup on snapchat? I tread carefully. I deliberate over each photo I post, over my actions and my words. “Does it comply with my ‘authenticity’? Yes, I love makeup and it’s a photo of me wearing makeup! But are you being responsible? No, it’s superficial and there are people dying and here I am putting on makeup”. Yes, it’s exhausting.

The Destination does not Exist

Our pursuit for ‘Happiness’ is what drives our life decisions. However, our concept of ‘Happy’ is flawed, in regards to our culture which enforces it via advertising.
The Westernised concept of happiness is capitalised. It’s the new 4X4 jeep that can do your brows as you drive, or the Gucci bag made from the skin of your enemies. Happiness, in the West, is an obscure refraction of a much more simplistic and metaphysical value system.
Travel the world and you’ll find different concepts of happiness respective of cultures and religions. Our ignorant culture makes us sympathise for the “poor people in the East who can’t afford a wee Iphone”, whilst they look at us and think “poor white people have to buy an Iphone to feel happy.”

The road of life is not paved with happiness, it’s formed from ‘contentment’. Happiness is just the flowers we see on the way; not always there, but pleasant when we do come across them. The flowers cannot sustain us, it’s the hardy ground of contentment that we need more to keep us going.  Contentment is acceptance of the fact that you’re not the most beautiful, richest or smartest, but grateful that you’ve stability to keep walking through life anyway.

So there, a reflection of my mind in one sitting.
I applaud you if you’ve gotten this far.
If anything, the awareness in and of itself of how my mind and its internal conflicts are enough to keep me grounded, humble and conscious people other than myself. I could come to a destination where these conflicts no longer exist and I can make clear, constructed and conscientious decisions. But that destination doesn’t exist because it’s the very struggle of life itself that takes us from a piece of rock to a sculpture of our true selves that resides within. Life is the sculptor and we are its art.

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