Friday, April 4, 2014

Forget yoga, forget Zumba. It's therapy and exercise combined.

currently: listening to come classic Anberlin.

Are you emotionally frustrated?
Tired of bottling up your feelings?
Feel like running away?
Does the thought of going to a Yoga Festival to relax sound like the worst idea in the world?
Well have I got a solution for you that could change your life!

For the past few weeks, this has been me. Frustrated, exhausted, keeping all that tension inside and attempting to ignore those feelings. It's not a healthy lifestyle, and I'm not proud to admit it, but I've found myself at cracking point a few times.

It's hard to think of what that right outlet is to release all those feelings sometimes. I would read blogs of people who were eczema sufferers hoping to find thankfulness in my life. I've tried googling stuff about pilates or yoga to "find my centre" or whatever sort of crap they do. I even momentarily considered rejoining a netball team so I could have another round of being frustratingly pushed around in the back by the sweaty boobs of other females (this has happened more times you can imagine.)

But I haven't found complete solace in those solutions. However, on a walk home on one of my worst days, I had an idea which I think could be perfect for those like me who hate the idea of yoga, who can't really bare sweaty boobs, and just want to find that release.

Monday, March 24, 2014

21 day diary of my Daniel Fast

currently:kinda hungry.

Last month, over a 21 day period, I took part in something that's called the Daniel Fast. It's something I've never done before, and it really challenged me - spiritually, mentally and physically.

The Daniel Fast is a challenge to focus more on God and spiritually push yourself. It's kind of like a diet, where you remove all sugars, processed foods, coffee, yeast, chemicals, dairy, and alcohol from your life, and instead focus your sights on achieving a higher purpose (and not caving to cravings.) Essentially, it's like a vegan diet, but harder.

And I'm sure there will be vegans that go "oh that sounds so easy, that's not a challenge at all, rah rah rah" - you have to realise that for someone, who eats pretty much anything set in front of her, it felt pretty difficult. My work is filled with all sorts of treats, and my house has chocolates and Tim Tam biscuits. I ate three cronuts in one sitting last month.

So why did I decide to pick up this fast? There's a Bible verse that goes "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Well I was going to prove that my spirit was more than just willing, but was actually strong. I would challenge my body, challenge my spirit, and at the same time, focus on making healthier choices (again, three cronuts. I'm disgustingly proud of myself for that, and that's wrong.)

It was a strange 21 days, and it felt very long... But I've documented all my thoughts and maybe if you ever consider changing your diet, or challenge yourself, this could be one way to do it.:

Mel's 21 Day Daniel Fast Diary.

Day 1: I start my first ever fast with an apple for lunch just after church. I then regret said apple, because having all that acid inside of an empty stomach has not helped. Not the best start. Fast forward to later that night when I get my belated Valentine's Day present from my boyfriend - personally handmade chocolate-coated cheesecake bites, shaped like a heart. The temptation to push my fast start date by a day was so strong.. But I've put them in the freezer in hopes it will make a great celebratory 21 day treat. Later that night, Darryl and I go to the Lantern Festival and all the foods smell delicious. What I wouldn't give for some siu mai/pork dumplings... One of my favourite festivals and I have to settle for stuff from the vegetarian stalls. First pick of a mango and coconut milk smoothie was divine in the warm weather, followed up by a bit of crispy tofu Darryl had got. However my choice to get vegetarian dumplings was regretful - not as appetising as I expected. But to be fair, I would have never challenged myself to try these new things had it not been for the fast.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Two Years Ago Today.

currently: reminiscing.

A lot can happen in the space of two years. In the space of six months. In the space of just a week, or even a day.

Today marks the day I started my final year of university back in 2012, where I embarked on a year to become the journalist that I had set myself to become. I launched myself into something that was honestly bewildering and frightening, and a little doubtful.

It's true what they say about comfort zones; you don't start living until you live outside of it. I remember the days leading up to my first day of third year university. I had slight (high) anxiety, had second-guessed myself a million ways to one, and had almost dropped out of my major because I thought "what career will I manage in journalism?".

Having doubt is awful. It truly does kill the spirit, passion and your trust.

But it's amazing when you think back, like I am right now, and realise how silly you were about everything. I remember how I let other people's comments get into my head, those who thought I'd never actually make it out in the media world because I was too quiet. Or that people kept telling me the media is dying and I'd never get a job. Or how I hated the fact that my university timetable was five days a week and had hauntingly laid its classes out into the shape of an X, like some kind of warning sign.

It's silly when I think back on it now. I mean it was a pretty awful timetable, but I can happily say that I don't regret stepping outside of my comfort zone, meeting people, hearing stories, writing stories, getting stressed, having a quarter-life crisis at 21 years, getting the most ridiculous opportunities, and making good friends.

I guess when I say these things, it's not as much as for me to give myself a pat on the back and say "You know, you did a pretty good." But for anyone else, for the people in my life who may be starting university or facing that day I had two years ago and wondering "Am I making the right choice?"...

Well, let's just say two years from now, you will thank yourself for how far you've come.

And my doubts are long gone.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Switchfoot - 'Fading West' album review

currently: listening to Switchfoot's album.

So my usual habit is to buy physical albums before I go through a review, but Switchfoot's latest offering was too hard to resist. It was up on YouTube, up on Spotify, up on iTunes Radio...and how the heck was I suppose to resist? This new Switchfoot album came in at a time where I needed the therapy of music to cleanse me of a tired day-to-day life, and for that it has restrengthened my soul and gave my heart a reminder of will.

Switchfoot - Fading West (2014 album)

Switchfoot's newest album, Fading West, can be best described as the album for 'the travelling soul'. A soundtrack to those who are unsettled and wandering, and wondering about the purpose of the journey. Inspired by their travels, seeking for songs and surfs across Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Bali (which can be seen in their documentary, also titled Fading West), the album overall looks for the answer of where is home and where identities are formed. While this isn't a new theme that singer Jon Foreman hasn't covered before, the treatment to the album is like taking a breath of fresh summer air and plunging to a blue ocean.

While their last album Vice Verses featured dirty guitars and raw, rough-edged vocals, Fading West strangely takes a more pop-upbeat driven record. Gone is the previous angst, replaced with an experiment of sound which takes it into a brighter, more curious, and more layered direction. Having this album on non-stop repeat for the past week, each listen you notice a new element you hadn't picked up before. It's infectious, refreshing, and easy to fall into.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2014 Grammy Fashion Review

currently: hating the heat.

Oh Lorde, another Grammys Fashion Review.

So I have to admit, this year I didn't watch the Grammys, at all. I know - with NZ's own Lorde being nominated, it was pretty much an excuse for the entire country to not work and just watch Grammys. But that day happened to be Auckland Anniversary, and also the day that the power company shut off our street's power until 6pm. Had I been at home instead of shopping...well it would have been a useless waste of a holiday.

And of course, this post was also delayed by Laneway on that same night (Haim was excellent thanks), followed by my net cutting out last night. Good times people.

But of course, despite not being able to catch it live the first time round, I still tried to keep up with the red carpet arrivals for my favourite fashionable event - only to be let down... I don't know if it's just me, but this year's fashions seemed a bit middle ground. That or the more extravagant stars gave attending a miss because they weren't nominated for anything (coughmileyladygaganickiminajcough).

But of course, there were still a few stars who knew how to work it, and those who didn't at all. Let the reviews begin!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Bus

currently: listening to Switchfoot's latest album 'Fading West'.

The Bus - a written piece.

I'm on a bus of the apathetic. Where faces, tired of virtual windows, stare blankly into the distance. The men in the suits, the women with the fake diamond earrings, hours spent unfazed or unmoved except by the 5pm timer. The ones who don't stare out from the glass continue to occupy themselves with the virtual world they carry in their pockets. Reality only serves the purpose between the life and time spent hanging on to an internet connection.

The bus of the apathetic travel like ants across the asphalt and painted yellow lines. Each one carries a load on their back home, only to return with the same load for a duplicate sunrise. The weight shows on the hunches of the tired, the bags under the weary-eyed.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 - The Year of Something

currently: existing.

Hello, my name is Melissa and I have spent the past two hours unable to think about what to write.

Everyone considers New Years as the best time to re-evaluate your life and set yourself goals to complete in the space of 365 days. But the fact is I've been spending the last two months re-evaluating my life. And I've still not pinpointed where I want to go.

Being 22 is interesting. It's a time where more people finish their degrees and start searching for careers. It's a time where people travel within the rules of being young and being disposable with income. It's a time where people think about engagements and marriage. It's a time where people truly think about their futures.

But not me. I've just been merely existing.