July: Monthly Write-Up!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful July, I know I certainly have! As I’ve been getting up to quite a lot this month, I thought I’d take the time to look back and fill you in on some of my favourite moments.

4th July: My Birthday

Starting the month off with a bang (literally I guess if you were living in America) was my 27th birthday! I usually am not the biggest fan of birthdays (long story) but this one was so lovely, I got inundated with cards/gifts/flowers (okay by inundated I mean slightly more than usual) and had some great life chats with friends over rose lemonade.

5th July: School’s Workshop

Okay this might not seem particularly life changing but this was one great session! I was asked by Ged Thompson, a fellow poet/friend to visit a class he has been working with. It was great seeing the students asking questions about poetry and I am wholeheartedly inspired by Ged’s attempt to sneak creativity back into the curriculum! (once a rebel, always a rebel)

Ongoing

I volunteered on a project that was delivered by Writing on the Wall and Liverpool Pride that worked with LGBT+ Liverpool residents and refugees. The project was called What’s Your World Pride Story. The team delivered 8 weeks of sessions that explored writing around identity. The pieces of fiction, non-fiction and poetry produced were published in an anthology. I loved watching the process unfold and was blown away by the work that was created.

22nd July: Alternative Fashion Fest: Rock Night

There’s going to be a lot about AFF in this post because it just so happened that they did a lot this month that I was involved in! This event saw the team take over The Tivoli in Buckley, Wales and put on a night full of fashion, fire & glass-eating (yup, you heard me) not to mention much more.

24th July: Photoshoot for Sean’s Birthday

A friend and fellow member of AFF decided that instead of a party, he wanted to run a huge photoshoot showcasing the personalities of his friends and family. I loved the concept Sean dreamt up for me. The original idea was to decorate my face and neck in lines from some of my poems. When I found out the Sean writes too; we decided to use his words for the majority, which I thought was a nice way to collaborate. In the spirit of not making this post ridiculously long: I’m going to post Sean’s results in a separate blog post where I can include the lines of poetry too.

29th July: Pride March

I marched in the parade amongst 8000 others representing Alternative Fashion Fest and their stance on anti-bullying, anti-hate crime, tolerance and body positivity. I also swung by the Where’s Your Pride Story book launch and ended the day taking shelter from the chaos in the VIP section.

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Photo by Sean Joseph Murray

30th July: Pride Performance

Alternative Fashion Fest took to the steps of St Georges Hall. The performance consisted of body positive catwalks, fire performances, dance, burlesque, speeches and what I call “think pieces” I performed some spoken word around acceptance and did some live streaming from behind the scenes which was really fun.

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I don’t love this of me but the other two look adorable! Photo by Faris Khalifa
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Me attempting to do a body positive catwalk and not trip in heels. Picture by Jacob Kazara.

This month I also slept a lot, ate way too many quorn burgers, got a bit of a tan and went through a phase of grumpiness/eventual acceptance as I realised that summer is nearly over. Oh and I went to a yoga class too! (I understand that one out of a month is not the best but just let me be happy about it okay)

Final Stats:

Reading: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel.

Watching: Scary stories on YouTube!

Listening: Ultralife by Oh Wonder and Green Light by Lorde

Drinking: Cacao, lots of cacao.

And there you have it!

What were your best bits from the last month? Let me know in the comments below. What are you looking forward to most about August?

Lyndsay xo

27 Things I Did This Year That Made Me Happy

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In honour of turning 27 next week, I thought I’d list 27 things I’ve done this year that made me really happy.

With no further adieu….

1. I performed at Pride. I got to stand on stage as part of a book launch and perform some poetry about acceptance.

2. I set up this blog. I’d wanted to for a while. This year I had that final push to make it happen.

3. I travelled. Specifically: Wales, Barcelona, Thailand and Bali! And with that…..

4. I did a silent retreat. (Probably the highlight of the whole year) I spent 7 days in mindful silence and am really excited at the thought of doing another in the future.

5. I ran my first spoken word programme. Find Your Voice had some lovely feedback and I am well on the way to putting on two more courses – an advanced course for the people who completed the first and a beginners one for a new intake of people! (Soon I will have created my very own army of socially conscious spoken word artists muahahaha)

6. I got to perform at Sound City. I’ve performed at a few festivals but this was the one I was the most excited about. I got to watch The Kooks afterwards and Mamatung which made my night.

7. I was published – twice! Once by Writing on The Wall and the other in Womanly Words by Shakti Women.

8. Podcasts, podcasts, podcasts! I find them so fun. This year I was a part of 4 in total….

9. I had a reiki attunement. Meaning now I am able to practise on other people. Hit me up if you need some of that healing goodness in your life.

10. I got my fashion on. Alternative Fashion Fest recruited me into their performances to share some poetry I have around beauty standards. Every performance is jam packed with a chaotic atmosphere backstage and I love being a part of the family.

11. I learned to contour. Now I’m not really someone who’s super bothered about makeup. But it dawned on me that I have been applying makeup the same exact way pretty much for the last 10 years and thought it was definitely time to learn a new technique or two! Which brings me to…

12. I wore a dress. In my last two years I had removed pretty much everything that could be  seen as feminine out of my wardrobe in favour of black jeans, doc martins and jumpers. I bought myself a vintage style floral print number and it feels amazing to wear! Especially when you turn around and it does that swooshing thing.

13. I had a life coach. I never thought I’d have one, I thought it sounded a bit gimmicky but I met mine under such natural circumstances that choosing to work with her felt right.

14. I started the new year off right. I usually worry about NYE, panic and agree to do something I don’t really want to do. This year (and also the year before, actually) I learned to take a risk, do something a little unconventional and put myself out of my comfort zone in order to spend New Year with amazing people, doing something incredible. I really felt that the risk paid off.

15. I worked for an organisation that was doing incredible work to create a fairer society.

16. I stood up for myself. When something seriously uncool took place in my life I chose to handle it in a way that made me proud. I’m so thankful to have had the support of an amazing community during this time and feel that what happened ultimately helped me to create stronger bonds with others. Solidarity is the best. 

17. I started writing more. After going through a bit of a slump, recent months have seen my creativity spark again. As well as poetry I’ve also been trying my hand at scriptwriting, blogging and even a YA novel!

18. I got to grips with photography. I realised how useful it is to have those skills so I put in time behind the camera to learn a thing or two about getting the perfect picture.

19. I watched my friend get married!

20. I worked in a different city. Well many of them but I specifically spent a lot of time in Manchester where I met some amazing people. Manchester definitely has a huge part of my heart.

21. I read a lot more. Some favourites being: Eat, Pray, Love, The Alchemist, The Celestine Prophecy, Holes, The Secret Garden and The Night Circus.

22. I spent time in the studio. I got to put some of my poetry to music with my extremely talented friend Lewis.

23. I competed in The Great Northern Slam. I’d only ever done one slam before and that was a couple of years ago. Jeff Price runs a tight ship and the whole night was tense but enjoyable at the same time! I got the highest score in the first round, lost out on the second round by 1% but I had an amazing time and learned a lot.

24. I grew. Later in the year I started doing a lot of personal growth work. It’s tiring and exhausting sometimes but it really is amazing to see the judgements that you have carried through life and watch those be challenged. I feel proud of myself for confronting some deep things and hopefully this is just the start of the journey for me.

25. I got my shaman on: sacred sound journeys, cacao ceremonies, divine feminine workshops, gong baths and energy healing sessions. This has definitely been a year for expanding my horizons.

26. I saw Akala live. I’ve wanted to see him for a while now and he didn’t disappoint.

27. I looked to the future. I took the time to make goals that worked for me. I’m currently weighing up the options for the years ahead with the possibility of doing a masters or even a big move!

Who knows what the future holds. I’m looking forward to making my 27th year even better than this one. What are some things you have done this year that made you happy? Also, if you are a July baby like me then I’d love to know your summer birthday celebration plans!

Lyndsay xo

How To Set Goals Like a Pro

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Calligraphy image on phone by Pauline at http://www.happyhandsproject.com 

Last week I wrote a post on why it’s good to set goals, which you can read here. This week I’m sharing some of my favourite goal setting techniques for you to try. It’s a bit of a long one, but stick with me and you’ll get a great overview of how to set goals that work for you!

You Don’t Have to Focus on Your Career

It’s common to see people setting goals that focus solely on their careers however it is really good to check in frequently with the other areas of your life and ask if there is anything you could be doing to better enhance those.

First you need to know what other areas there are. When I’m setting lots of goals for myself, (something I usually do about twice yearly) I consider the 7 dimensions of wellness: Social, Emotional, Occupational, Environmental, Intellectual, Physical and Spiritual.

Side note: If you don’t class yourself as a spiritual person – don’t worry! This section could be anything along the lines of: appreciating a sunset, doing kind things for your friends and family or feeling inspired creatively. It can really mean whatever you want it to.

If some of these don’t resonate with you, then you can always change them around a bit. I think they serve as a good guide to go off but you could divide the areas in your life in many different ways. The key is to make them specific and relevant to you. An example could be: Home, Education, Work, Friends/Family/Relationships, Fun, and Health. Really any way you do it is fine.

The important part is to make goals that correspond to all the different areas of your life.

Get Smart

You may want to use S.M.A.R.T Targets when you set a goal. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant and Time Bound) I’m going to break them down to give you a better idea of what I mean.

Specific: Be as specific as possible with your goals. When I was younger, I’d make New Year’s resolutions that would say “Be happier” “Be successful” etc. which sounds nice but what does that even mean? How would I even begin to work towards that? And how would I know when it had been achieved? You want to turn your goal into something tangible. Include the details.

Measurable: E.g. “I will have completed (X task) by (X amount of time)” There has to be an end and there has to be a way you can track your progress. “I want to be a successful poet” is something I would have probably written down a while ago but something like “I want to have a poetry collection published by 2018” gives a clearer idea of what needs to be done.

Attainable: If you can keep your goal attainable and realistic then you are far more likely to achieve it. An ideal goal should be a little hard to attain but not impossible. It’s about finding the right kind of challenges for you. We don’t want to place unrealistic expectations on ourselves. If we ask the world of ourselves and fail to achieve it then that’s only going to lower our self-esteem and further take us away from actually achieving. Keep your goals simple to start and you can always build on them later. Splitting things up into small manageable chunks should also help with this.

Realistic/Relevant: Different websites or professionals will use either one of these two titles. I like to use relevant. Is this goal A: something you’re interested in and B: something that is actually relevant to your life? Does it fit in with your wider goals and dreams? It could be worth running some of your goals by someone who knows you well, see if they agree that it’s worth focusing on. (But remember to take people’s opinions with a grain of salt and also I’d only share your goals with someone who is supportive) Either way, now is the time to be clear.

Time Bound: Pretty self-explanatory but adding a time frame or deadline to your goal will make a big difference. Again be realistic, we’d all like to be super successful by tomorrow but it’s not going to happen. It’s a good idea to break your goal down into manageable chunks with their own deadlines too. For example if my goal was to hit 1 million views on YouTube by next year then today I need to set up a YouTube channel. This week I need to film my first video. Next week I need to take out a book on marketing etc.

Finally

Your goals should exist to inspire and motivate you. If you do not achieve them it doesn’t mean you have failed, it may be that you set something slightly unrealistic and it means you know better for next time. As time passes people generally get better at setting appropriate goals for themselves. What is important, in my opinion is to let your goals serve as a guide.

The next post on this topic will go through some tips and tricks to make goal-setting even easier! I’d love to know how you get on if you decide to try any of these techniques. Thanks for sticking with me on a slightly longer post. Hopefully I’ve taken some of the headache out of goal setting for you! Don’t forget to subscribe and/or follow me on social media for poetry musings and updates.

Lyndsay xo

Why It’s Good to Set Goals

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I’ve always been a fan of goal setting and reflecting.

When I was younger I actually used to think that no-one else did things like this and that it was me being way controlling over my life and extra laborious! As I have grown up, I have discovered (to my delight) that other people do this too. Not only that, but there is whole plethora of books, e-books, seminars, talks, YouTube videos and courses that all centre on the importance of goal setting and reflection.

I’m going to be talking about this over a series of blog posts in more detail but for now lets cover some of the basics…

Why Bother Setting Goals?

I think for many of us, especially those of us who are creative, the idea of goal setting can feel a little unnatural. In my experience, I have found that learning to set goals in a useful way can actually help you to dream big and put your plans into action! We all have ideas in our head of things we would like to achieve, goal setting is just another way to make them concrete and ultimately: help you get them done! Since I’ve been setting goals for myself I’ve felt a lot more inspired in life, I have more faith in myself to get things done and have achieved things that I never thought possible. The key lies in creating goals and plans that are specific, simple and tangible! There is definitely a knack to getting it right.

Turn Your Year Around: Workbook

I recently came across a workbook (pictured above) by YouTuber MuchellB. It was a free download linked on her video How To Slay The Next 6 Months, which you can watch here. I thought this seemed like a great way to check in with the progress you’ve made so far this year and set some expectations for the months ahead .

MuchellB also talks a lot about goal setting, organisation, minimalism, creating positive habits and just generally how to be a responsible human being. I do recommend you check out her stuff if you want a little motivation in these areas.

One thing I like about this workbook is that it’s pretty extensive! It really goes into detail and there’s an emphasis on your feelings around certain things which I like.

Adjustments

You may want to create your own little system with questions that are more specific to you. However there is something nice about having a 9 page document that is already done for you and set out beautifully! (Plus if you are like me and sometimes need an extra push into doing your life admin, then having a pre-made document will probably mean that you’re more likely to actually do it)

To Wrap it Up

In my experience, having clear goals can really help to fast track your life and realise your full potential. Hopefully this introduction sparks your interest or re-ignites your passion if you are already a goal-setter needing a little push. Next week I will share some of my favourite techniques along with the common pitfalls that people make! If that’s something you need in your life you can follow me on social media and subscribe on WordPress to be the first to know when it’s out!

I hope the next 6 months see all of us achieving some incredible things and I can’t wait to hear how you all get on!

Lyndsay xo

The Secret Garden: Book Review

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Image by: Cristina Colli: www.cristinacolli.com

On World Book day, I wrote about two books that have shaped my life. Today I wanted to review something that I am currently reading; The Secret Garden written by Frances Hodgson Burnett and published in 1911!

Why Did I Decide To Read It?

A while ago I was incredibly lucky to be able to spend some time in Bali, Indonesia. One thing I loved the most about the country was the scenery! I live in the north of England so as you can imagine: jungles, palm trees and tropical flowers are not exactly things I get to see very often.  While I was revelling at these sights, I realised that I had really been taking the UK’s countryside for granted.

I was desperate to get my hands on a book that celebrated the landscapes of this cold climate. (maybe thinking it would cushion the blow of flying back home during the depths of winter)  and I remembered this book was sitting at home in my bookcase.

Overview

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”

– Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden

The story follows a little girl called Mary who spent her young life living as a very spoiled, bad tempered child in India. When a terrible illness wipes out everyone in her home but her, she is sent to live with her uncle at his manor house in Yorkshire, England.

With nothing much to do and many rooms in the house considered “out-of-bounds”, Mary takes to the gardens. Here she meets gardener Ben Weatherstaff, makes friends with a Robin and uncovers both the key and the entrance to the off-limits secret garden.

Plot

“As she came closer to him she noticed that there was a clean fresh scent of heather and grass and leaves about him, almost as if he were made of them. She liked it very much and when she looked into his funny face with the red cheeks and round blue eyes she forgot that she had felt shy.”

– Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden

Playing outside and breathing in the fresh air from the Yorkshire moor has a strange effect on Mary, much to the surprise of the staff at the manor. Mistress Mary, who previously never had a nice word to say, nor interest in anything or anyone gradually changes for the better.

The Secret Garden follows Mary’s adventure and the friends she makes along the way.

“However many years she lived, Mary always felt that ‘she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow’.”

– Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden

My Verdict

Delightful and enchanting are two words that spring to mind when I think of this book! It captures a real sense of childlike wonder and places emphasis on the simple things in life that we often take for granted.

Having a central character that is flawed and unlikeable is really refreshing and the descriptions of the Yorkshire moors are gorgeous!

I really enjoy the sentiment behind the story. In a gentle way, the author portrays how after throwing herself into the outdoors and tending to a garden; a previously miserable, ungrateful child suddenly comes into bloom herself. Mary starts to appreciate the beauty in her surroundings, gains a whole new respect for life and ultimately lives as a happier child.

There is something in that, don’t you think?

“Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden – in all the places.

Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden

“Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.”

– Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden

I’d love to know if there are any books from your childhood that you feel have stood the test of time and absolutely love today! I haven’t read many of the classics so if there is anything you think is worth reading then please let me know and hopefully we can discuss them soon!

Lyndsay xo

Old Journal Entries

 

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I hope you’re all having a happy Easter if you’re celebrating.

Today I was looking through some old journal entries on my laptop and found some things I couldn’t help but share.

The quotes below really range in terms of time frame. All are from 2014 onwards and were written at separate times.

I was a lot younger then (in my mind more so than actual age) Some of these conjure up a little groan of embarrassment however mostly,  I really am surprised by the depth in my own thinking back during a time where I seemed quite disconnected in hindsight.

I suppose they were the sort of thing I didn’t really know what to do with once I had wrote them. I didn’t turn them into poems or essays, they sort of just stayed. I enjoyed what I had written but I wasn’t sure how to present them to others or in what form etc. I suppose now a blog post feels like the right place to honour some of my favourites.

I hope you take something from them, (I hope I take something from remembering them too) and I hope you enjoy the rare luxury of getting to take a peek inside what a girl writes in her bedroom all alone on a Sunday.

Enjoy the following excerpts.

1.

I want to feel free. I want to be standing at the top of a mountain and I want to feel the wind in my hair. I want to hear beautiful music and I want to be in complete awe of life and the world. I want to feel alive. I want to feel beauty. I want to be held by someone who loves me. I want to look in their eyes. I want to lay on the grass. I want to feel nature against my skin. I want to feel the earth breathing beneath me. I want to smile at the animals and the insects. I want to feel part of it all. I want us all to feel as though we are all together. I want to feel part of the atmosphere. I want to feel part of the droplets of rain. I want to feel the suns rays. I want to feel the bark in the trees. We are all one. ❤ if you don’t like it that’s fine. But I have felt moved by moments of divine beauty. And these moments are what keep me breathing.

2.

Sometimes you need those late nights of bohemian art and creativity. Those late nights of solitude, never lonely cause you have a thousand thoughts to comfort you. Spending quality time with the universe is what you need totally. Not even caring that you’re cold, cause the words give you your warmth back anyway. The vibe in my room is peaceful and serene and present. The vibe my room gives off tells me the time is now.

3.

I can visualise a nice life, somewhere hot, somewhere I get to decorate my own little patch and call it home. Somewhere I can invite poets and lovers and friends into my little world. Where they will see me running around, being myself, incense burning, some sort of soulful music playing, windows open, letting a breeze in, herbal tea brewing, I’m wearing something that floats around my feet and have my legs out, skin all tanned from the sunshine, we eat healthy food and tell each other what we’re thankful for. I’m like a whirlwind, all poems and tattoos, the living room floor is littered with them, I’m typing on my typewriter, there is beauty and religion everywhere, and they are just taking it all in. This is how I show people my essence. And until I’m there, I will not feel completely right. Not when I know deep down the person I could definitely be. I’ve just created such a beautiful picture for myself.

Don’t ever be less than what you’re supposed to be.

4.

Do not try to replicate or mimic. Listen, absorb and learn. Then allow yourself to unlearn and forget as you continue to experience life while living in the present and living in the light. Some lessons only serve a purpose for a short period of time. All the information and soul energy that you absorb will benefit you fully in the moment that you receive it. All the important stuff will become imbedded into your DNA naturally. Anything else, feel free to let go of. There might be some lessons/forms of consciousness or other-worldly experiences that you must be exposed to on your own. You must feel them yourself. So that is why any of the other information may perhaps not stick; because you yourself are currently not in the right position to begin to learn said lesson. Or experience whatever it is. Love them fully. Thank them for stopping by to say “hi” on your journey. Don’t try to contrive anything, or make anything fit anything other than your soul’s utter need and desire at that time. Don’t listen to logic. Take out the poisons from your life and your brain. Love everything. Nurture your soul.

I am important. I am valid. I am vital.

5.

Life Is Amazing.

Thank you, Universe.

For teaching me how to love harder than anything. Or anyone.

Please continue to love me, to bless me, to help me live in the light. Thank you so much for your beauty. I have far to go. But I’m there. I’m exactly right where I need to be. I love my life more than I ever imagined I could. Exciting things are about to happen. But I love myself, my shell and my life.

Nav and Jason and Charlie have all taught me so much about myself…. ❤

They have all existed to show me lessons, to guide my heart, to teach me how to love, to let me know that I wasn’t alone, to expand my mind, to show me a level of consciousness that I not currently fully comprehend…. I love them all. ❤ ❤ ❤

6.

Keep asking questions and waiting for answers.

And thats the end for now! I’d love to know if any of these resonated with you. I thought they were kind of sweet. I may post some more at a later date but I thought that was enough for the time being. If you’d like to see more then let me know and I can certainly share more in the future.

I hate to round this off with a social media push after such a personal, reflective post. (However as I am a new freelancer building up a brand and trying to do my part to support my local creative community so I don’t really feel that bad :p ) If you enjoy the things I post, make sure to subscribe on here and also “like” my page on Facebook (LyndsayPricePoetry) and follow me on twitter. (@saltwaterpoetry)

Much love always

Lyndsay. x