NEW BLOG!!

Hey guys, if you’re reading this then I’m impressed that you still followed this blog, I appriciate it even more.

Can I ask that you move over to my new

blog with me which is filled with all sorts of exciting stuff and a lot more content around travelling and what not.

It’s The Profound Traveller and I’d really love for you to join me.

Thank you you caring bunch!

With love, Earthling.

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Coffee enlightenment.

Starbucks

Starbucks solo time

I’ve sat in a popular coffee shop all day working on assignments and presentations to meet my university deadlines coming up next month (marking the end of year two, hurrah!) because I find it difficult to concentrate at home surrounded by exciting opportunities like ‘loading the washing machine’ or ‘feeding the cat’ to distract myself.

I have a habit of people watching and reflecting on my progress today coming to a coffee shop was probably more distracting than being at home, but two large green teas, one fruit pot, a double expresso and two ginger biscuits later, I’m writing about the people I have observed today.   The majority of people, bar one gentleman who was also loaded with caffeine and his laptop, have been couples, collegeas and friends meeting up to discuss their current affairs.  In they come, down they sit, coffee they drink, and talk they do.

I work in the private health industry (outside of studies) which is quite isolated as far as engaging with the general public goes, and being here in this coffee community made me slightly envious that I don’t have the luxury of seeing people from all walks of life, live.  Paths are laid out for us in advance and ‘coincidences’ happen to guide us along those tracks, people are given to us to answer the questions we are consciously unaware of and in turn we will answer the questions of others without realising it.

So I’m thinking: I wonder just how many ‘answers’ and inspirational people have passed me by?  We all need to make the most of meeting new people, especially under unexpected circumstances, to embrace opportunities and life changing events that are right on the end of our tongue, literally.

So introduce yourself to your neighbour on the bus, have a refreshing water-cooler conversation and share a coffee with the first person you made eye-contact with at Starbucks; because you never know what and who could take you in a new direction.

I’m going to strike a conversation with someone new each time I get that meant-to-be feeling and if it doesn’t educate me, inspire me or take me to a knew level in some way, then at least i’ve heard some interesting stories and met some beautiful strangers.

‘The Box’

I’m finding it quite difficult to comprehend that it’s still February. The last two months seam to have lasted beyond their given daily count, maybe it’s because I’ve been spending most of my weekends in the big smoke – London that is – traveling and touring myself around the city’s sights, visiting old friends and stretching a 24hour birthday over 4 weeks. Maybe it’s because my spiritual journey of self discovery and becoming one with my divine self ensures I get the absolute most from each day; counting my blessings, being present in each moment and being mindful. The two combined are undoubtably allowing me to make the most the dark winter days.

So what have I encountered this month which supports my commitment to do something new and something selfless each month of 2013? Standing up front in the selfless queue is a random act of kindness of which I bought 5 lottery tickets and 5 scratch cards, paired them up, then placed them in the car windows of parked cars at my local supermarket. I hoped that this would brighten up the cold afternoon of those shoppers and fingers crossed my spare change may change someone’s life in some way.

As for myself, I unfortunately haven’t had much time to commit to doing something purely for my own good but I did get two new ear piercings (left and right forward/anti helix) and I went to my first ever Cabernet evening; with a twist. Let me explain that in more detail. Now, one may have heard of Soho’s latest ‘big thing’ – The Box – if so, I really need not to say much more, but for the benefit of those whom have not, I will tell you this: it is not for the prude nor faint hearted.

‘The Box’, otherwise known as Soho’s seediest night club, was a last minute decision whilst in London and also my first encounter with this ‘erotic show’ venue; hidden behind unsigned double wooden doors, down a backstreet, surrounded by sex shops and vibrant bars. Not sure what I was to expect, I did what any other novice would do; a trusty google search. Reading review after review all naming A-list celebrity guests and extremely high priced drinks menus, I soon realised the casual outfit I had planned was not going to be appropriate…. Oxford Street it was.

‘Doors open at 11pm, arrive before 12’ the website states, and so we did. Now lucky for me the DJ is a good friend and entry was never going to be an issue, however, stood in the ‘table/special guest’ queue you could see the desperate look on the cold faces of the people stood waiting in the general queue who, just like me, wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

“It’s a two thousand pound minimum spend for two people, we have only one table left”, the host said to a couple queuing beside us, five minutes later they were being escorted beyond the double doors. Next it would be us. Graced in the presence of several beautiful women, and men, dressed in very little but certainly not holding back on the dance routine – props included – I made my way to the bar (pleasantly surprised by the drinks prices) loaded up on alcohol, I was going to need it, and earned a great viewing spot from the DJ booth.

I’m not going to say much about the acts, apart from I was almost disappointed after the huge build up I had created for myself, they were fantastic at their job and made what was labeled as ‘seedy’ actually a very artistic show….Upstairs is another story, for whole other blog-sphere!!

I would definitely return, it was an unforgettable experience, something totally different, not to mention the music being utter perfection and the bar tenders making customised cocktails to our taste.

A great month from February.
Check out THE BOX SOHO website and decide for yourself

Presented before a table dressed in a white cloth with two small chairs..

5x50As January closes to an end I find myself thinking back over the last month to consider which two events I should share with you that one; developed myself, and two; was a selfless act for a stranger when I realised what a selfish month I’ve actually had.  Okay, so it’s been my birthday and I’ve been ill for the past few days but that doesn’t count for the last 3 weeks.   So I realise, the more I do for myself the less I do for others – which, I get, goes without saying, but it’s stopped me in my tracks and reminded me that I should, and can, fit an extra hour in my week to do for others.

That being said I have just registered for the 5×50 challenge which is a 5k run, cycle, swim or even walk for 50 consecutive day’s, from the 31st March, raising money for Comic Relief. This will be my first charity influenced exercise event so I hope to do myself and others proud.

I have made pay it forwards throughout the month helping people on a daily basis, but because that has become second nature it almost feels effortless, and I like to feel I have made an effort for someone somewhere.  My plans to take a friend to her first meditation class fell though due to bad weather, so I can do that next month.

For the first time I visited a rugby game and I got a reading of a psychic; lets move forward with the latter.  I choose never to ignore when things are brought into my life unexpectedly, so I saw a clear sign when I ‘just so’ happened to over hear my manger ‘just so’ happen to mention she recently saw a psychic (something I had casually thought about doing) so I took that and ran with it.

My reading was spot on.  Having a strong belief in the power of reading energies but being sceptical about ‘genuine psychics’ I really wasn’t sure what to expect, other than hoping for big things after hearing my managers story.   So I walk into this normal family home and am quite uninvitingly taken upstairs into a spare room, presented before a table dressed in a  white cloth with two small chairs.  I won’t lie I was secretly hoping for black cats, broomsticks and a crystal ball.. but hey, it’s the 21st century.

I wont give you the secrets of my reading but lets just say she was well aware of the speeding ticket I received that morning and was correct with dates of significant events.  I’ve taken it as an interesting experience, and almost a counselling session, that I will likely to embark on again in the future.

Many other things have been drawn to me throughout January; people, advice, guidance and prospects.. I have a great feeling towards the months to come, so of course, keep reading!

Turning 25 and all its glory.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the past 24 years of my life as Charlotte Vaun Brierley, so what better way to spend the year celebrating my quarter of a century in existence than to do 25 things that I have never done before.

My plan for this is as follows;

Each month I will achieve, participate or complete a challenge, activity, or passion of which I have never succeeded in doing so before for my own personal development or pleasure.

Each month I will also do a selfless act for a stranger or person in need, something substantial or at least to the best of my ability, again an act of which I have never done before.

Lastly for number 25; a huge personal, physical and mental challenge. This, already in planning, is climbing Kilimanjaro in August for charity.

I’ll be sure to reflect back on each month and detail what my 2 blessings were. I love this idea and maybe you could consider doing something similar. Don’t forget the doing for others #payitforward

Thank you.

I guess the ‘new year, new me’ blog post is the most popular post of them all and mine will likely be equally as bland to read, but to write, oh to write it is a special time for each of us. It’s a time to sit, gather your memories, note down what you could do better next year and be grateful for what you’ve had this last.

On that I’m saying no more. I don’t need to share with the world all the good times I’ve had with friends, the holidays I’ve been on and the memories I’ve made, they’re likely to be no different to yours, but what I will talk about is the journey I’ve been on this year and where it’s taken me, because that has changed my future and maybe by sharing it, it could change yours too.

Lets start at the beginning, you want the whole storey right? Thought so. 6th January 2012, my 24th birthday, I finished work looking forward to a birthday surprise from my boyfriend of three years; Happy birthday, your surprise is…’nothing’. That’s right, not a dime! Why? Man flu apparently, not like my annual birthday hadn’t been approaching the the last 364 days or anything. So with that I made a decision, that for me had been a long time coming, no acknowledgement of my birthday was the cherry on the top of my red velvet cupcake, and I ended the relationship. It was a fairly clean brake-up, when I was finally taken seriously, and I never looked back. I never forgot a friends words one day “Being single for a couple of years was the best thing I’ve ever done, I found myself” like me she had been in long term relationships since leaving education, and I just knew I needed that break too. I thank her till this day; I wouldn’t be who I am now without making that choice to spend some quality time with myself and my needs, instead of always tending to others.

That was the beginning and from that day I’ve never felt happier. Time was mine to do with as I pleased and outside the obvious social events I found myself becoming deeper involved with Buddhism, tuning into my spiritual being and meditation. It started with a book called ‘The art of happiness’ by the Dalai Lama and my soul blossomed from there. Not being a religious person I found the Buddhism philosophy a pure and peaceful way of life, one of which I wanted to connect with. Studying and working full time results in me living a very fast paced, busy lifestyle with little time to myself, so the serenity and calm attitude of Buddhism and the practice of meditation was exactly what I needed. I am now a better person. My research continued and my visits to the Buddhist centre became frequent. Summer came and I was blessed with my best friend coming to live with me (following a brake-up with her partner) for three months. Jenna is in very much in touch with her spiritual side and discussions and experiences became a part of our daily lifes, again, this was a huge transition for me to truly live compassionately, practise patience and be selfless; three months I will never forget. They changed me further more.

By this time the universe was beginning to return to me the positive energies I had been sending out and like minded, great people were beginning to enter my life on a regular basis. Those people inspire me everyday, they are my angels, my soul mates and my faith in our future. I began doing selfless random acts of kindness (think pay it forward) such as buying a stranger lunch, giving away a lottery ticket or something so simple as leaving a post-it note on a random table in the city. What ever struck me at the time to make a total stranger smile became a daily occurrence. I’d finally found what made me the happiest, what I got back the most from, and that was doing for others and expecting NOTHING in return. How can you possibly expect anything back from a stranger, or someone you don’t actually meet that happens to stumble upon your lunch ticket? You can’t, and that really made/makes me feel like it can make a difference, make that person think about what a complete stranger has done for them that day and how they could make someone else feel by doing the same. We know this as ‘the butterfly effect’.

Okay, so maybe I do get a little back from paying it forward but that’s energies choice not mine. By this I mean it’s apparent that the good I give out, karma gives right back to me. Great people continue to enter my life to teach me, show me and guide me and each day a blessing is given or answered for me, I count these each day and make sure I give thanks and show my gratitude.

I have now become high on life, quite literally. Being alive is a thing of the past, now I feel alive and I want nothing more than to feel with great passion exactly all blessings we have on this earth. 2012 has been the start of a passionate spiritual enlightenment that I can’t wait to continue and I see no coincidence that it happened to be the year of the great shift. I’m a lucky chosen one to be enlightened and gain knowledge before December came, which again I thank my angels for my inspiration and guidance. I’m so grateful to be in physical form for this next stage in the universal movement that I am holding on with both hands for the ride of my life. Something great has happened to me each day since the 21/12/12 and my energy levels are through the roof; so for each day of 2013 I am going to write down a positive moment of that day and store them in a jar to which I will look back on next year and reabsorb all the energy that joined me in 2013, and hey, I may even share them with you next time.

My word of the year is THANK YOU, because I truly am thankful for everything; everything I just mentioned, everyone I’ve met and all the lessons I’ve learned. I am looking forward to my future more than ever before. Life is the most beautiful thing when you learn how to appreciate it.

We do not ‘find’ ourselves, we create ourselves.

A question I am certain we have all asked ourselves and an answer people seem to search for; Who am I?

Let me save you from the heartache, the skull and cross bone tattoo, the sports car your thinking of buying on your 40th birthday, you are who you want to become.

Life around us tells us that we have a core or essence within us and people go through life searching for this core trying to find out who they are. What can you possibly be looking for? A gene that got lost during conception? A horoscope that is meaningful? The answer to a quiz test? These things either don’t exist or don’t define you. There is no answer because you can’t find yourself, no such thing is permanent, you simply create yourself.

For thousands of years the Buddha has helped people to understand that we are created, that the mind is everything and what we think we will be.

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world”

Buddha

Like a clock we are real but only because we are made up of many things, the face, the hands, the shell the mechanics. You are made up of the things you love, the places you have been, the people you have met, the beliefs in which you follow. You won’t find that waiting for you, you already do those things and that creates you.

Philosophers over centuries have promoted the same message. Socrates said that

“Energy, or soul, is separate from matter, and that the universe is made of energy

I’ve always said with regards to love; don’t expect to be with one person for the rest of your life, you will change as a person and as you grow and experience new things, places or people, you will continue to create who you are therefore cannot expect to be the same person you was 10years prior on your first date. I’m not saying soul mates don’t grow together but don’t be negative about out growing someone see it as a beautiful transition.

Stop searching, start being. Stop asking, start answering. Stop wondering, start defining. The fact that you do create your self is the greatest blessing of all.

Positive post of the week #2

I must tell you about my Bikram
journey. Bikram yoga for those who don’t know is yoga practise in a hot room and I can’t promote the benefits enough.

‘Bikram’s Yoga College of India states that yoga alters the construction of your body from head to toe. Heat is used to warm up your body and soften your muscles to improve flexibility. Each studio is heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Another benefit of the heat used in Bikram Yoga is to remove toxins from your body through the act of sweating. Bikram Yoga has 26 postures and when done in the correct order they are designed to move fresh, oxygenated blood to your muscles, organs and fibers to restore all systems of your body to proper working order.’

I attended 7 sessions in my first 10 days and my flexibility, skin, and fitness all improved dramatically. It’s far more challenging than conventional yoga, this here is what I enjoy.

Yoga in the past has never been more than a stretching process when my muscles are in need after training, but Bikram feels like a workout in its self while still increasing flexibility and core strength. Not to mention the health befits each stretch or compression provides. It has also mentally made me enjoy the works of the human body more by seeing what amazing contortions the body can withstand once you build up your strength and mental ability.

I’m now attending Bikram as often as my schedule allows, and I hope with lots more practise and growing confidence I will peruse a yoga instructor course which I can then use to teach when I travel Asia.

Seeing my best friends new born baby boy for the first time.

Being told that my positive attitude has helped influence another person to become more spiritually aware.

My best friend’s mum who is fighting cancer came out of hospital to a loving home, keep fighting.

Less is more; the paradox of choice.

I always considered one of my negative traits as my inability to make decisions, until now. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t wake up this morning a new person, but I was enlightened with the words of a wise man, Barry Schwartz, on the paradox of choice; realising it is not my personality to blame but the abundance of choice here in western society.

It’s not exactly new news me talking about the millions of choices in footwear, thousands of hair styles, and hundreds of bottled water options, but to me, realising that all these choices we think we need and understanding its exactly what we don’t need, is.

“choice has made us not freer but more paralysed, not happier but more dissatisfied”

Barry Schwartz

The availability of so much choice has turned us, as people, into always wanting more, knowing that if we had picked up the other apple it probably would have tasted sweeter. Whereas before we had such choices, we were grateful for what we had; and that apple would have been a blessing.

It’s the same with people; how often do you hear ‘plenty more fish in the sea’, yes we know it’s a future of speech to hopefully lift moral, but what your really saying is ‘don’t worry there are more choices’ so we become ungrateful, we will always want better, and will always compare.

You can’t remove choices that are already there, no, but you can remove the state of mind that forces you to see choice as a need, when really it is a desire, a desire that you do not need.

Word of the day #GRATITUDE

Positive ways keep Doctors at bay.

Those who know me know I’m an extremely positive person.  Just yesterday a friend text me to say she wanted my advice, “Your the least judgemental person I know and always have a positive outlook with everything..”, I felt so honoured and happy to know my positivity makes a difference, even in the smallest ways.

So I thought I’d share a really inspiring conference talk with you, I like this one for 2 reasons; it’s light hearted in spirit and has you smiling throughout (give it a few minutes to get to the main points as it is a slow starter), and it’s not too deep – audience friendly.

http://on.ted.com/Achor

If you stuck it out to the end then you should have listened to Sean’s ‘5 small changes’, which I adhere too,  one being write down or discuss a positive event that has happened to you in the week, each week.

I decided I would do this on my here blog.  Try it; you have NOTHING to loose!

This weeks positive post to follow 🙂