No one just wakes up happy every day. Regardless of your natural state of being, personality traits, surroundings - we all need a little bit of help sometimes to let our inner light shine. Positivity is a muscle that you must dedicate time to grow. It brings sunlight to your world - even on the dark and stormy days. It can’t be stolen or lost. It’s always inside of you - and all you have to do to access it is remember to try.
I’m generally a very happy person - but I still get bad moods and have bad days like the rest of us. I go through phases where I feel like nothing is going right, moments of anxiety where my whole body jitters and I feel so overwhelmed that I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. But the more I practice these techniques, the fewer these become - and the more magic is allowed to flow into my world and make the highs even higher, and the lows barely existent.
Captured by Natascha Elisa
In this journal there are lots of methods I use to access my positivity, but at the core of everything are these two principles:
1. ‘Fill your own cup’ visualisation
Visualising my mental health as a cup that needs replenishing is a way that I have trained my brain to do things to fill myself up rather than beat myself up for not just ‘naturally’ feeling a particular way. This journey will explain methods I use to do this.
2. Following my personal truth
Many of the tools I’m about to tell you help raise my frequency to feel better. But nothing has set me more on fire or feel more alive than following my personal truth. I keep a page in my personal journal where I have written my core values; what truly matters to me to live by and feel fulfilled. Having this little reminder allows me to check back in when the world gets noisy and give time to the core Moni that has always been inside of me.
With that in check, the rest is just a matter of personal preference. Here are mine..
MEDITATION - IN ALL FORMS
Meditation has been a way that I have created space in my mind for silence, a space just for me to simply exist and be grateful for what it means to be here - right now, in this moment. There are many things that we can do to make us happy, but having this simple understanding for me has been the key to maintaining my happiness regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. The first way I got into meditating was with guided meditation. An app I use for this is Insight Timer which you can find here. You can also add me as a friend on here and see my favourite meditations.
But meditation is not just sitting still.. I also love to meditate through repetitive activities where I give whatever it is the steering wheel and sit back and enjoy the ride. Some ways I do this are through art, journalling and spending time in nature..
ART: Art is freedom of expression. There are many times where I will start with a page and have no idea of what I’m about to create. I let my inner voice choose colours and express myself through whatever shapes and drawings come to mind. This isn’t always pretty - sometimes it will turn into something, a lot of times it won’t. Whatever it is, art is something I do for enjoyment and understanding of what is really going on inside my mind. To get started I’d recommend getting a portfolio diary or a roll of butchers paper, your choice of medium (the easiest and least expensive materials I’ve found are acrylic paints or water colour pencils), and just begin.
JOURNALLING: I started journalling about a year ago and it has opened up so many corners of my mind - including writing creatively to share with you! I use journalling either to hold on to certain feelings, or let go of those that don’t serve me. If you don’t know where to start, some triggers I use are:
10 things I’m grateful for today
Affirmations to live by today
My intention for the day
Ways that I can show deeper love
How a particular event made me feel
Or sometimes I just write down everything going on in my internal monologue (that I’m usually overthinking).. You’d be surprised how much sense (or nonsense) things make once you write them down.
SPENDING TIME IN NATURE: Biophilia is a real thing. It’s the science of plants and their impact on our health both mentally and physically. I let Her work her magic just by being present. I take time to immerse myself in my surroundings, appreciating Her perfect imperfections, a blooming flower, a decomposing leaf, a little ant carrying food back to his nest.. In nature is where I find I can be most present and appreciate the magic of simply BEing.
LOOK AFTER YOUR HEALTH (BOTH MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY)
Your brain is a product of your environment, and it’s most immediate environment is the body you keep it in. When you look after yourself and are as healthy as can be, you’re giving your mind a head start. I do this through food, exercise and other natural medicines.
FOOD: Eating organic, whole, clean foods as much as possible is how I honour and respect my body. Food can also be a meditation by making time to cook, sit and eat and do absolutely nothing else but focus on the flavours in front of you.
EXERCISE: I try to start every day with yoga, stretching out, checking in with myself and removing any stagnation. Other than that, rather than dedicating time for exercise, I like to integrate it into my every day life. Walking where possible, climbing in nature, dancing by myself or with my friends and lover..
OTHER NATURAL MEDICINES: If you’re having health issues, my first recommendation is to find a wholistic health practitioner. This is someone that knows the benefits of both natural and western medicine. Most conditions can be resolved simply by the first two methods, but some vices that have provided me extra support are: acupuncture, saunas/wellness spa’s and being on herbs (either natural herbs or Chinese medicine).
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD COMPANY
You’re an average of who and what you spend your time with. Choose your company wisely. Usually when people say this they are referring to people, but company can be books, music, social media - anything we obtain influence from.
FRIENDS: Your friends are extensions of parts of your own personality. I look at them like seeds. My time is like water and I choose wisely of what seeds of truth I would like to grow. Whether that’s to be more creative, logical, motivated, silly or whatever it is I’m hoping to learn.. I have friends for all different reasons and from all walks of life. This is one of the ways that I stay grounded, well rounded and maintain an open mind. When making friends, I let my intuition guide me. When it guides me to have an exchange with someone, I run full pelt and dive in. Some friends are forever, some are flighting romances - know when to let go when you are not serving each other any more and respect the friendship you had. Changing is completely okay and we are all together in this world, whether we talk every day or not.
BOOKS: Books are portals to other worlds, filled with wisdom and teachings from all sorts of journeys. Reading books are my way of obtaining advice and understanding from well researched voices on matters that I’d like more understanding of. Some of the most nourishing books I’ve found are:
The Power of Now: Teaching presence and appreciation for simply being.
The Alchemist: a simple and easy read of navigating our morals and appreciating life’s journey.
Siddharthur: I think of this as an apple from the same tree as The Alchemist. This book was a reminder of staying grounded and navigating my inner truth.
The Teachings of the Buddha: while I don’t identify with any particular religion at this stage in my life, I take inspiration from a range of spiritual teachings and what they stand for. The thing I love about Buddhism is its respect for human kind and the responsibility it places on us to achieve our own enlightenment.
Women who run with the Wolves: This book continues to be a bible for me as I navigate my way through womanhood. This is filled with easy to read archetype stories followed by analytical decompositions.
Five Love Languages: This changed everything for me. Understanding that people show and receive love in many ways and how to speak to people in their language has allowed me to experience deep love and understanding.
You can find these and more on my Good Reads account, available here.
With all this learning, I try to break it up with reading something light: my favourite fiction author is Tom Robbins. He writes from a dream state that reminds me to always be a bit ridiculous and have fun, no matter how deep the lessons are.
MUSIC: Music is filled with sounds, words and meanings that offer us an overwhelming ability to put it’s finger on what we previously couldn’t understand. I use music to get motivated, influence the mood, trigger special memories and more. There are millions of people and their life’s teachings behind every song we listen to. I have made special playlists for when I want to float in fairy land, dance to disco, transport over to France and so on..
You can add me on Spotify here.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Whether we want to admit it or not - social media has an impact on our mental health. A little bit ago I ‘unfollowed’ anything that made me feel unsettled or unhappy with myself. You guys helped me with that here. I reshaped my feed from your suggestions and now have a much happier and healthier experience with my news feed!
It’s not all about me. ;) Through giving, I show myself that the world is a lot bigger than my mind or immediate surroundings and this reminds me of the bigger meaning to us all being here and playing our part. This turns the arrow away from me, and points it outwards as I think of ways that I can give back. Pay it forward. Live with kindness. Lead with love. Give unconditionally and without expectation. Be the help that you wish you had. But always protect that cup of yours and make sure you keep filling it up when it is emptied.
DRESS TO EXPRESS
The clothes you wear aren’t just your message to the world - they’re a message to yourself. I like to wear clothes that make me feel good. When I’m wearing something bright, colourful, flowy, comfortable - it only makes sense that I also feel that way. This is why I love vintage as it feels as though you’re wearing the stories of many people before you, walking in their shoes and appreciating all that brought you to this very moment in time.. Sometimes when I have to be ‘professional’ I have to wear structured clothing, and I see the benefit in that too. But I always bring a part of myself with me - like my energetically charged stone rings, silly socks or a funky pair of knickers hahah!
ASK FOR HELP
As humans we love to overcome our challenges on our own, and there is a lot of strength in this too. But there will come a time where you’ll need help from the outside - and that’s where that good company of yours comes in handy. We can’t expect people to know what we need or want, and it’s times like these where we have to remember to gracefully and without expectation - ask. This is a lesson that I am learning time and time over again as I come up against my pride and stubbornness of the mentality that ‘I can do it all on my own’. But the truth is, sometimes I can’t - and other times, I just don’t have to. The world has many fruits of knowledge - don’t be afraid to let it feed you.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
This definitely isn’t towards the end because it’s the least important - this is something that should be practiced every step of the way. Try not to be hard on yourself. No one can be positive all of the time. We were given a range of emotions for a reason and it is our right to embrace all colours of our rainbow. Sit with your feelings with acceptance and understanding. Let it move through you. Know that what goes up may eventually come down and that’s what makes life interesting. We are only human, after all. When I am feeling down, rather than putting pressure to change it, I practice saying “I am soft right now, please be soft with me.” and up my self love game until i feel my cup is full again.
REMEMBER TO PLAY!
Doing things just because, just for fun - just for you. This looks like travelling, exploring new ways to approach my practices (a new art style, a different pen to write with, a different style of clothing!?), adventuring, hoola hooping, dancing, skinny dipping.. I love making time to be silly to remind me that life doesn’t always have to be so serious and the reason we are all here is for PURE and FULL enjoyment!
SHOW AND BE LOVE
My strongest love language is words and that’s why I share in this way. In my nest in Byron Bay I would stick up love notes from my friends all around my room to look at every day. My audience online also has a huge role in this - your heartfelt messages of support mean more than you could know. While I’m travelling around without a base - I keep my most special letters in my backpack so I can pull them out any time I need a special reminder and keep screenshots of your beautiful messages in my phone. I also always have a bunch of ‘You are Sunshine’ stickers in my bag at all times to write little notes on them and give light to strangers or thank you’s to those who have shared with me. If you’d like to do this, head to the contact page and shoot me a message of how many you’d like to order and I can organise a discount for you. In the mean time, I’ve made a 20% discount code for all subscribers, sign up below to receive it :)