Saturday, 2 December 2017

WHAT CAN I SAY, I'M A GEMINI



i've been staring at a blank notebook all day trying to come up with ideas for blog posts. actually, i've been staring at that blank page for months now. writing and creating posts on here has always brought me the most joy and satisfaction, but lately when i've sat down to try and write there's just been a mental brick wall. while staring at that blank page today i realised that the truth of the situation is that i just haven't really known what i want to say on this platform anymore.

while i've always loved writing and photography, this blog started as solely a fashion blog. i would beg my mum to take photos of me in whatever new outfit i'd bought. i'd always had a love for clothes, but turns out most of the time i actually hated being in front of a camera. i struggled with the way i looked and always wanted the creative control behind taking the images, rather than just posing in front. i also soon became insecure about posting these photos. i think partially due to fear of judgement from my peers at the time, but also those posts brought forth somewhat a sense of identity confusion. i saw loving clothes and posting all these photos of myself as vain and shallow and somewhat contradictory to the 'deep' and intellectual side i also have always had. i do now see my love for clothes as just another form of creative expression, with the colours and textures and shapes of clothing telling a story just like a piece of artwork. so while to this day there is that part of me that still really loves fashion, doing outfit posts of myself limits me creatively almost completely. which i guess is then where all this 'other stuff' started popping up.

if you've followed me for a while you'd know that i've posted travel photography and recipes and hippie bullshit and poetry and rants on a real range of different topics. since the solely fashion related post days, my blog has become a mismatch and jumble of different themes. i've never seen a problem with this or gave it a second thought really, up until recently. throughout the design course i've been doing this year the fact that i have a blog has slipped a few times, and understandably each time i'm met with a "what type of blog do you have?". and in response each time i stumble out a "uh its a mix of everything i guess", which is then met with a "you know if you focused on one thing you'd be more successful". i guess the fact that this exact conversation has happened a number of times started getting to me. i have all these elements to my personality and different things i like and i've been unsure of how to present those here, or which ones i want to focus on. i love clothes and spirituality and veganism and the idea of saving the world and poetry and photography and i guess i've just realised that i can post about all those things. screw people telling me i need to focus on one thing for my blog to be successful. i never started this blog to "be successful". i'm not going to limit myself or my blog to a label - this isn't a 'fashion blog' or a 'health blog' or a 'lifestyle blog', this has always and will only ever be an 'araina blog'. i'm not going to squeeze this creative platform into any kind of box. 

i guess this struggle to define and categorise my blog has been mirroring my inner thoughts of myself and my personality lately too. i've always had that real mix of loving 'material' things as well as exploring 'deeper' spiritual elements. recently i've been struggling with the balance between the two and trying to work out where exactly i want to sit on the scale of those things. i think my answer to that question will always fluctuate, and that's totally fine. right now i'm okay with spending one friday night reading tarot cards and journalling for hours and the next drinking and partying all night, or, getting eyelash extensions and going to a sound healing bath the same day. i don't need to fit myself into a perfect mold of a "spiritual person" or whatever to still enjoy elements of that nature. just like my blog, i'm realising that i don't need to be easily definable or digestible. 

my personality and the things i post on this blog will continue to be a jumble i'm forever working out. i think i will always be a walking set of contradictions. what can i say, i'm a freaking double gemini after all.


Monday, 6 November 2017

SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER DIARY


well hello - i’m back with a new blog design and hopefully a new sense of inspiration and post regularity! as it’s been a minute or two i thought i’d do just a little update post recapping the last couple of months in my world.

september and october were both very tough and very beautiful.

i spent these two months hugging trees, falling in love with the smell of jasmine, buying a new car, snowboarding, drinking coffee again, kissing and crying. my days were filled with spring blooms, live music, meals cooked with love, heartbreak, old friends and new connections, sunshine on bare skin, solo dance parties, social media breaks, spontaneous hair dyeing, picnics of mangoes and watermelon, poetry books, gratitude journals, a million cups of chamomile tea, and so much laughter.

loverboy and i ended things for good which simultaneously hurt a whole lot and also felt really good. since first breaking up we’d dragged things on for eight months of back and forth which was partially torture, but he was my best friend and first love and it took a lot to walk away from that. when you’ve been head over heels for someone for two years it’s hard to let go of that part of your life. however, after the initial aching, it brought a real sense of freedom and relief that my energy no longer had to be spent on that situation. i’m so proud of myself for walking away from a situation that no longer serves me. it’s okay to outgrow what no longer works. it’s also okay to have growing pains from that.

in search of some temporary peace, i fell in love with taking long walks. having my sun, moon and rising signs all air signs makes me feel pretty airheaded and ungrounded a lot of the time, and getting back into my body can really help with that. getting out into nature and breathing in fresh air and that good ass prana does wonders to most situations. i also really tried to incorporate movement into my day. whether it be going for a long walk or doing yoga, i’ve recently found the power of exercise for moving stuck energy around the body so it flows freely. doing yoga flows to music became my new obsession this month. so dang good for the body and soul. leading on from that also sprung my newfound tendency to break out in solo dance parties.

september and october taught me the importance of connection. within those months i lost both my best friends from the past year or two. while these were both through my own doing and to better align the people closest to me with my highest self, initially it still left me feeling pretty lonely. don’t get me wrong, i completely love spending time alone and being the introvert i am it’s so essential to my wellbeing, but i do also of course crave that connection and love. i’m pretty sensitive to everything and do need a lot of my own introspective space, but i do think a lot of the time i perhaps place too much value on that and don’t fully realise or forget how much i do love spending time with the right people. connection is at the centre of life after all. i really reconnected with my old best friend, sinead (present in a lot of the above photos) which i couldn’t be happier about, and made a lot of sweet new friends this month.

i realised that sometimes self-love means yoga classes and face masks and crystals, and sometimes it means letting yourself cry in your car and going on long sweaty runs and telling people they’ve hurt you or admitting you’ve hurt them. self-care isn’t always fun and beautiful, sometimes it’s just difficult and painful. i drank alcohol a few times after i think not touching it for over six months. i guess i’d been so focused on healing and trying to look after myself and didn’t feel as though getting drunk aligned with that. i think focusing on healing and self-care by looking after yourself and journaling, etc etc, is obviously so incredibly important but i forget that sometimes just letting go of everything for a while and having a dance all night is just as important and beneficial for your soul.

similarly, i was taught lessons of balance in other ways too. especially that the dark/negative is just as, if not more important than the light/positive, because it’s in that darkness that we really grow. in the past few months i’ve felt a lot of shit coming up that i have to work on – the shadow work. it’s understandably difficult to want to sit with icky feelings but i’ve been trying to do just that, because there is no use attempting to ignore or supress them. you’ve just gotta feel through them, so they don’t become stuck in your mind and body. as always, writing through stuff has been my number one tool, but this past month i also tried talking through things with people more. touching back in with that deeper connection i guess.

i also worked on learning lessons of surrendering, patience and trusting my intuition. when i get stressed about things i’ve been trying to remember that i’m divinely taken care of and that the universe always has my back. just surrendering is so important because it’s when we try to force things or ignore our intuition that things start getting messy, as they aren’t aligned with that greater picture. because i’m literally the most indecisive person in the world (again, triple air signs), i struggle to distinguish between intuitive gut feelings. i think your sense/trust of that intuition develops the more you do tap in and actually learn to listen to it though.

as well as listening to my intuition, i’ve been trying to listen to my body in other ways too, especially with what i should be fuelling it with. i have been struggling a bit with filling it with quite a bit of (vegan) junk which leaves me feeling pretty gross. trying to pay attention to things that feel as though they're lowering my vibrational level. i do feel like i’ve been slightly battling this urge to be spontaneous and careless and maybe even verging on self-destructive. i guess when i’m feeling kind of off for some reason or another that tends to be one potential mindset i tap into. honouring that i am still a teenager so some of that is understandable, but trying not to sink into it too much because ultimately that isn’t aligned with how i want to be or live. i listened to a podcast the other day that gave the best wisdom: before making any decision, ask yourself if it’s what your highest self would want or do. if you were a perfect being of love. what would you take in and put out. what would you put in your body, what choices and actions would you take, etc. i love that. it’s such a simple yet profound way to live.


i was about to apologise for this rambling mess, but for one, you guys should be more than used to that by now and two, this is my own little corner of the internet and i don’t have to apologise for anything in this space. maybe november will bring less apologies and more thank yous. thank you for reading this. i really enjoyed putting together this post. i feel like aiming to do one of these monthly or every few months would help me pick up my camera more every day. i really do love documenting moments and having both photos and words to look back on. let me know if you guys enjoy posts like this at all in the comments below.




Tuesday, 5 September 2017

SUN-DRENCHED


on my second last day in byron bay, the incredible gabi mulder and i crossed paths for a magical, sun-drenched afternoon. we shared stories and vegan chocolate chip cookies, swam underneath the crashing waves and snapped photos in the fading golden light. i've admired gabi's work for years and she's hands-down one of my favourite photographers. she also truly has the sweetest soul made of sunshine to match.

check out her beautiful work on her blog and instagram. endlessly inspiring.




Saturday, 12 August 2017

SUNSHINE, SNOW & THE BIG CITY


it's been a while, i know. honestly i've just been overwhelming uninspired and lost the last few months. the past six months have been the biggest rollercoaster and amidst trying to keep my head above the water i kinda lost track of everything i enjoy doing. stopped doing the things that light my soul on fire. up until a couple weeks ago i hadn't picked my camera up in months. hadn't done anything creative just for me, not just because the course i was doing forced me to. between my mental health breakdowns and boy whirlwinds, i got trapped in just trying to stay afloat. 

under the growing pressure that i think most teenagers feel, i was panicking about what i was "going to do with my life", and growing increasingly more disheartened due to feeling as though the course i was doing just wasn't for me. i think i've mentioned a few times that i was doing a six month uni course that was supposed to be based around trialling different creative fields. while i enjoyed it to begin with, as it progressed i began to have doubts that it was the right path for me. as it was supposed to be a broad creative course, when i began to not truly enjoy it, i also began to question myself as a "creative person". i think subconsciously it became stuck in my head that because i wasn't enjoying this specific creative course, that a creative path in general wasn't right for me. cue 'aha' moment of potential cause of certain breakdowns in the last few months. i haven't really ever enjoyed anything that isn't creative in some sense, so it makes sense why i was struggling so much with this questioning. 

a common theme in the last few months has been that i overwhelming felt as though i've had no real sense of purpose or anything going for me in life, which now appears obvious due to my abandonment of the things i enjoy. i now realise that i can't expect myself to have been happy during those months when i neglected that huge part of myself - the creative, expressive part. taking photos, editing photos, writing, putting together blog posts - those are some of the main things that light me up and warm my soul. i feel as though this blog continues to change as i constantly recreate myself and grow and find the things i want to share and write about, which at times results in me not knowing what i want to post. that's okay though, i'm learning not to force things and instead just trust the process. i've really been trying to surrender and put trust in the unconditional love and greater plans of the universe. as soon as i started doing that, everything began to fall into place. you become more supported by the universe the more you let go and stop pushing for things. there is a perfect time and place for everything. i know it's as cliche as it can possibly get but i believe so deeply that everything happens for a reason. it's all in line with the greater divine plans. 

that was a giant backstory of some of the stuff going on in the last six months and i get that most people probably couldn't care less about my incessant life rambling, but honestly i write most of this blog crap purely for my own sake. whilst writing those last few paragraphs i kinda realised most of those things for the first time, so in that sense i guess some of what this blog has become is just me learning stuff. i can't promise i'm going to fully get back into the blog post swing of things, but i can say that i really would like to and i'm going to try my best to. hopefully once i continue to sort life things out and get back into the groove and flow of inspiration i'll start posting more regularly.

speaking of sorting life things out, i just got home from almost a month away. what initially started as a two-week holiday to sunny byron bay turned into a month long adventure. as i already talked about in the last few paragraphs, the past 6ish months have just been suuper draining. before i left for this trip i could literally feel that my heart and soul were exhausted and depleted. over the span of a lunch date with one of my favourite women, i came up with the idea of heading to byron for a while and decided that was exactly what i needed. (spoiler: it totally was). within a week i had booked my tickets and was counting down the days until the sunshine and salt water. 

byron was exactly what i needed and more. if you've heard of byron bay you've heard of the cliche spiritual nature of the place, and if you know me you know i can be as cliche as it gets. so i'm just gonna go out and say there's definitely some healing and magical energy to that place. almost immediately i just felt more at peace, grounded and centred, and those feelings lasted the duration of my trip. the two weeks i spent there were filled with endless sunshine, markets, swimming in the ocean, reading, yoga, fresh strawberries, journaling, meditating and just listening to what my soul needed, which a lot of the time was to just relax. my days were filled with a lot of introspection and reflection, which was extremely valuable, and at risk of sounding cliche once again, i learnt a lot and grew a lot. the seeds of a number of important lessons and mindset shifts were planted for me to continue to work at in the future. through and in addition to these lessons and realisations i really began to look into and deepen my spiritual knowledge, beliefs and practises. on one particular day i drove through winding backroads to a little cottage and had my first tarot reading, which was an insane, fascinating and enlightening experience. i also was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with one of my favourite photographers and just the sweetest soul, gabi mulder. (i've got a post coming up shortly with photos i took of her). 

i feel blessed and thankful for trusting the flow and going with my heart and gut, which halfway through my trip led me to extend it for another two weeks. i'm suuper close with my mum and usually quite a homebody which i thought would result in me being my usual homesick self, but that couldn't have been further from the truth on this trip. due to my realisation that i could survive by myself, the day i was supposed to fly home i ended up only getting on my first flight and instead staying in melbourne and going up to mount hotham. much more fast-paced than byron, my time in melbourne was filled with incredible vegan food (i lost count of how many smith & deli sandwiches i ate), walking through the city listening to want you back by haim, going to a uni open day and consequently freaking out about my future. i struggled in the big city with what i can only describe as sensory overload and missed the ocean within the first day i was there. there's definitely a contrast between the speeds of life in byron and melbourne, but i appreciated them both for what they brought. i then headed up to the mountain for a while where i visited mr bestfriend/soulmate and discovered my love for snowboarding. back to a slower pace, that week of snow was full of bliss and beauty and memories to be cherished for a long time.

getting on my flight back home was pretty rough and bittersweet. i guess returning back to reality always is. as well as learning so much about myself, i was also just so happy and at peace within myself for pretty much the majority of the trip, which made coming home extra tough. as i kind of explained at the start of this post, before i left i was pretty darn unhappy and struggling with a lot of things, so i was scared to sink back into that headspace when i returned home after feeling so much better being away. i'm not gonna lie, being home this week has resulted in me feeling a bit down, but i know the steps i need to take to keep trying to improve that. currently trying to work out my life but my heart just keeps telling me to get on a one-way flight to hawaii, so we'll see. i'll keep you posted.

if you've read this far i'm both surprised and thoroughly impressed. let me know what you've been up to in the comments below, i'd love to start more conversations with you all!

all my love & light,


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