This past year, my life as I know it, has completely changed.
A bold a and dramatic statement I know but, choosing to apply and being accepted as a candidate on The Apprentice meant that I was effectively taken out of society. I was secluded away from everybody I loved and everything I knew and was institutionalised within the filming of a TV Programme that wasn’t due to be aired for another 6 months. It was during this time I started to realise how we can become a product of the environment we live in…
We go through our childhoods trusting and believing what our parents, the media, and the political system tell us. We also learn from our own positive and negative experiences. Which results in your mind relaying stories back to you about yourself, and turns out, the stories it relays are not necessarily true. They can be full of negativity from your past that are wired into your brain through your own life experiences. These stories can turn into daily mantras that can alter how you ‘see’ yourself, even if it’s very different to how others may view you and it can unnecessarily hold you back.
When I was a little girl, I had an abusive step parent who repeatedly called me fat, ugly and stupid. As you can imagine it was a vulnerable situation anyway and I believed what was being said to me – as any young child would. It was an adult that was saying these things to me after all. So, unknowingly, deep down, I’ve grown up with those beliefs ingrained in my mind… I am fat, I am ugly and I am stupid.
Yet, after being in a completely unique scenario and seeing myself on television, in a completely different light, I realised what if those beliefs aren’t true? And if these beliefs are something I’ve learnt, what else are learnt behaviours, rather than my own genuine thoughts?
So the last couple of years I have tried to train myself to view myself in a different light through positive affirmations, meditation and exercise, amongst other things.
Unfortunately though, old habits definitely sneak back in and it has become a daily effort for me to retrain my mind and body. So I have decided to venture on a journey of ‘self-love’ to see if there is a way that I can fully retrain my mind from the mind masters themselves (the monks!), and fully be ok with who I am, without turning to forms of escapism and pass it on when I’m back home.
I interviewed some children whilst at home and they said they had similar struggles, particularly with the pressure of social media and I told them I would find a way to make it easier, so that’s what keeps me going.
Another reason for me doing this, is that it will stop me from passing my negative thoughts and bad habits to the next generation. I do not want to pass on any of my own insecurities to any child that comes into my life and I believe this to be my responsibility. Children are sponges that constantly soak up their environments. Every word, feeling, smell, snapshot of time, piece of music becomes embedded in our being, I was at the age where I was a sponge and believed everything that was said and the world I lived in and it completely structured how I saw myself.
Children are not taught how to deal with their emotions or problems in the UK which means they oppress them and with media influences from all directions it messes with the human mind.This causes anger issues, social issues and complicated relationships in every walk of life. Some people turn to drugs or alcohol, self-harm, have eating disorders, abuse other people or ultimately take their own life. My Grandma did this a few years ago, and after discovering meditation, I believe if she had found this sooner and had a stronger support system around her, she would still be here now and would have enjoyed her time here much more.
A child’s happiness is the parents or guardians responsibility but as an adult it is yours. I have learnt that my happiness is my responsibility and mine alone. The environment can have an effect on it but know I can choose how to react to whatever is put in front of me. I have recently stayed with a Balinese family for a few weeks and it’s beautiful to see how supportive they are of each other. The children are happy and light souls that smile with their eyes yet live a plain and simple life. The parents showered them with love and teach them life skills that breed confidence and security within them.
If we were taught self-care at school or coached ourselves, I am convinced it would help with the bulging strains of the NHS. If we fully accepted who we were and were ok with it, it would stop people from overeating, excessively drinking, smoking, taking drugs, self -harming or any other abusive habits we inflict on ourselves or others. I smoked for 10 years. In hindsight I don’t believe I was addicted to the nicotine, but the 5 minutes it gave me to step away from a situation for 5 minutes, pause, and breathe.
I realise that we don’t live in a world of peace but we can all work on making our environment peaceful for us and those that we love and live with whether it be family, friends, work colleagues or the person sat next to you on a train. I have much to learn but I have already started on the path of healing and it feels amazing. I can genuinely say that although I have probably had some of my lowest moments ever this year, it pushed me to where I am now and I have begun to feel internal happiness that I didn’t even know possible, and it’s only just begun.
I can’t wait to share the journey with you.
P.s. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I love hearing from you and I’m sorry if I don’t reply to some of your DMs. I try to as often as I can but sometimes I miss them.
If there’s any questions you’d like to ask, please drop me a message on email or Instagram DM and I will try and get back to you ASAP.
I appreciate your love and support more than you know!