Running Away From Or Towards Something?

wp-1484591806749.pngOn my second run of 2017 today I was thinking of how differently we use running as a way to deal with things in our lives. Sometimes we run away from something, sometimes we run towards something or at times we just run. During my run I was thinking the different times of my running life and how different it’s been from one to another.

It’s funny to “go back” and think why and where it all started for me. Why this blog started, why I wanted to do something to change my life.

Back then I was so depressed that I didn’t have that many options to deal with it, and from all the things possible, I chose running. A thing that I deeply hated for almost 15 years before starting it again and finding it’s healing and therapeutic ways. The reason why I hated it so deeply was the fact that in my teenage years I ran track and it was all about getting faster and getting results that weren’t even close to where I could push my body, to the point that I got badly injured for quite a long time, even while I still went to my practices. It was the mindset that was planted by my coach at the time that “if there’s no blood, it can’t hurt” and other productive ways of coaching.

So with all that I started thinking how I wish to help others who run or have recently started running or struggle with their running journey. Because I’m never going to be the fast one, or the one with massive interest in all the schedules and number playing when it comes to running. I’ve gone way past my own limits with running so I know that it’s very much possible to “be more than you thought of possible” in your own body and mind. I’ve made few running dreams true and hope to have few more of those moments in my life still, but I’m not in a mindset that “I need to” because it just takes the fun out of it for me.

Something that I come across a lot and for some reason a lot in Finland, is that there’s this need to do more, push more, be more, not rest enough, do everything serious and super goal oriented. Yes that is a way of moving for some people and they get their kicks out of it, but for some reason the past years it’s been the thing that people drive themselves towards with consequences of injuries and nagging pain in their body that they rather ignore than listen. It seems and feels that if you’re goal oriented you’re doing it “right”, if not then you are just playing around.

Maybe this is only me, but seeing these images on IG of results and how much someone did and why they don’t need rest days, it just doesn’t make any sense to me. I’ve gone through my share of injuries with running, I’ve been the one posting only exercise and health food photos, maybe I needed to go through that phase of my life to find what really works for me.

Last year I basically forgot running, I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t yearn it, I needed a break from it all. Last year I was also in a place where I wasn’t able to run for quite some time, which also sparked the want to start a crew here, to start from the bottom and hopefully helps others in that same position, with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over my few years in this all.

But the thing is, no matter how important something might be to us, sometimes we just need a break from it. We need to be honest to ourselves and listen to our gut and give our bodies and mind a break from something we’ve learned to lean to every possible time. It’s almost too easy to just run away from something through running, but does it serve a purpose then? Yes, it’s good to exercise and to get your blood moving and get rid of some of that stress that might cause the want to “run away” but it’s also insanely important to be able to stand still with yourself and go through the issue that causes those feelings. We can’t just be goal orientated in life and forget to make mistakes and learn from them and be honest and sometimes afraid or brave and take risks even with those. Being honest with yourself with what you are capable doing and what not, is not only really important but necessary for your well being. Sometimes it’s ugly and at times beautiful, but it’s necessary. None of us can plan our whole life and go with only those plans and never have to come in front of a situation that makes you think again, it would be insane way to live.

So if when I started my own journey with running, I was definitely running away from that feeling that was just like a empty hole in me, now I am running towards something I know already that I have in me, as I’ve done it more than once, but need a reminder. And if I get a feeling of being shitty or adequate next to more goal oriented runners, I try to remind myself that my strengths are in me being able to be honest with myself, being able to listen my body and mind and take those times of nothing when needed. And through my own journey and experience, I hope and feel that I’m easy to approach if needed from someone who is going through something I’ve gone through or just needs a little support or advice. I see that all as my power next to different kind of runners. I don’t need to look perfectly muscular to be “as good as them”, I need to be myself and with that I can help the most. Myself and others.

PMA ❤

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Embracing The ME I Am Right Now

wp-1477852857055.pngIt’s taken me some time to come to terms with who I am right now, and how much I love the Me right now. It’s weird feeling, I’ve never felt this good with all of me and my life in general before. I’ve always yearned and hoped and wished for this kind of feeling and now I have exactly that in my life, made by me. I really feel that I’m giving myself a chance to really embrace who I am right now, no apologies or anything. Me.

Before I wrote a lot here, I journaled all that I was going through, I felt that it was the best way to get it all out. And for a long time it was, it was who I was and could stand behind with no hesitation. But lately, more so this year, I’ve felt that I want to take a step back with it all, with all that’s been in my life. I needed to quiet down my life, in all areas, to find who I am and be okay with all of it.

I’ve been about the less is more life for couple of years now, in a way searching what it means to me. And I’m on that path still but found out what it really is right now. I’ve read a lot, which means that I’ve learned a lot, and that has helped me with how I feel about certain issues and what I personally want to do to them in my life.

One thing that was massively important to me when I moved to my own place, was to be able to fully be the one who decides what products to use around the apartment. I remember the day I got the keys and went to buy some cleaning products and how happy it made me to be able to choose the ones I wanted, the ones that are cleaner and at least a bit better for the nature. Sometimes it’s that simple of a thing that can spark your being slowly back to it’s “who am I?” gear to the right direction.

I’ve also really started to think more about the food I am eating and what it does to me, but also a lot of what it does the environment. I’ve noticed that when I live alone, I tend to go back to my vegan ways. I’ve been pretty much vegetarian for a long time, but sensing how I want to go back to those ways that truly felt the best for me and my body. And that are truly the best for the world too. A thing that is important to me, as I feel that why should any animal suffer in any way for my satisfaction when it’s not really even doing that. I feel better and I’m not harming any one while choosing this, a win – win situation.

Back when I originally started my journey to better health, especially mental health and finding ways to feel better as a whole, it was a selfish want that sparked it all. It was because I felt and was overweight and didn’t like how I looked and how that made me feel. That was the root reason for my want to change. As the time has gone by, I’ve gone from one end to another and back again and to this. But what has changed that I know more, and it’s getting harder and harder to just push the knowledge to the side and keep going like it doesn’t exist. They say that ignorance is a bliss, and in a way it is, but at what cost. I’ve been asking myself that a lot this summer. It’s really easy to be selfish and only think of your own happiness.

I think my less is more mentality has grown to take over all areas of my life, and it feels really good. I find that when I calm my life down to a level where I am strong enough to really say what I want and don’t want, to make those hard decisions without doubt in me, then I get closer and closer to my true self. I’ve started to question my decisions in a whole new way and found answers that I didn’t think I would have the courage to say even to myself. If I’ve always been honest, I’ve really been honest to myself now.

I can say that it’s one of the best feelings in the world when you are completely happy with your life and You. Like I said, I’ve wanted this moment or feeling in my life my whole life, but I’ve also been afraid of who that me really is and how it all could really feel.

This is all a funny tangle of things, but it basically all comes down to me enjoying life in the simplest of ways. I absolutely love being on my own and just read or watch interesting documentaries or movies or some ridiculous reality show. I love that I don’t feel anymore that there’s something wrong with me needing that much time alone, because I’ve felt for so many years that there was something wrong with me. That me being really sensitive is a fault in me, when it’s actually a strength.

For me right now living and enjoying my life in the simplest of ways means that I choose to buy foods that are organic and good for me and the environment, to challenge myself in finding ways and products in all areas of my life to be cleaner, to get rid of all that I truly don’t need and keeping my home simple and uncluttered.

I want to challenge myself in ways that I haven’t before and take myself further in the search of Me.

Right now for example, I am challenging myself to find clothing brands that are sustainable and ethical, while maintaining the style I’ve come to feel Me. I’m not going to buy any fast fashion anymore, the only things I’m still “allowed” to buy outside of this challenge are underwear and certain sports items, if I really can’t find alternatives to them. The thing is that I’ve bought so little clothes this year that where I’m starting is situation that I actually need new clothes, but I rather keep wearing the ones I have now than buy something that doesn’t feel right. And I’ve noticed that the less you cave in the less you feel the need. I’m happy that my general style is very simplistic and classic in a way and that I rarely feel like I want to jump to different hype styles. But the main thing in this challenge is that I want to show myself that having this style is possible in ethical and sustainable way too.

I strongly feel that it’s good to consider the whole picture of our actions and not just what feels the best for you. I’ve found myself thinking a lot that if it’s important to me that I use clean skin and hair care products, and eat clean food, then why don’t I only buy clothes with the same mindset or all else we need in our lives. I don’t think that it can’t be a whole “deal” and that you need to be without something because of this mindset. I think it’s just more about finding ways to make it work. And right now, I want to challenge myself with it and show that I can do it.

What this all really boils down to is Me feeling better and better with less is more as a whole life mindset. Being 100% okay with who I am and not being uncomfortable to face my fears or insecurities. Loving the life I am living right now and not thinking jealously that why is someone else having this or that and why am I here just being bitter of their success.

I’ve found ways to find more peace in my life, from meditating every morning, to eating cleaner, being extra gentle to myself in this once again new chapter of my life, being active in a calm way, learning more by reading and really tackling that as it is a thing I absolutely love.

I’m happy that I don’t have to be the same person I was couple of years ago, that would be sad and also impossible. I am happy that I’ve gone through a lot of heartbreak and struggles, because that’s why I am the Me I am right now. What I can do now, is to live my life the way I really want to, not saying I’m sorry in every turn, setting boundaries with what feels right and what wrong and standing with them strong. I know that not all of my decisions will make some people in my life happy, but I have to put myself first and think of my own wellbeing as my number one goal. Because when I feel good with myself, I am able to be more to others and to this world.

You’ll be seeing this new challenging chapter here too, hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

PMA ❤

When Passion Turns Into Doubts And Fear

wp-1476214605352.pngI feel little nervous even writing now, it feels that it’s so long since I last wrote a piece that felt something and made me fear to get it out a bit. Usually those are the ones that give the most after they are done.

I’m on the verge of recovering myself again, once again. The me I’ve been last year or the two years ago is so far from the me I am now. And the me I am now, I’m not even sure who that is, I am am very much in the search of that Me.

This year has completely thrown me on a spin of feelings that I did not expect and got very off guard because of them and how they truly made me feel. The things that were my biggest passions have dwindled into things that I feel no interest in doing and am really pushing to being interest again, as I know in the deepest place in me that they do bring me joy and support in a way that not others can.

When I started this blog, I remember how the words just flew off from my fingers and writing was really easy, not grammatically good but I got the feelings out and felt always better after. Probably because I never thought that no one is actually really reading what I wrote so there was no pressure in what I did, I just let all it out. This whole year has been a low key on this blog, I’ve felt strongly that I don’t really have anything to say worth writing about, which might have made me feel even more confused with all. As I haven’t written about them to anywhere else either. I’ve also felt this massive pressure to write anything at all, there’s so many amazing blogs around and I’ve just felt that what do I have to say that someone actually would like to read, do I really have something to say?!

It’s been the same with my running, or more like the lack of it, or with any physical activity in my life this year. No interest what so ever, which has been so tiring and weird but a relief too. Two years ago I did nothing else than run, I ran to heal myself from the pain of loosing my Grandma, from the end of a long and meaningful relationship, the changes I had in my life, from the confusion of it all. I ran to feel better, I ran from it, I ran to it, I just ran. And I’ve felt many times that I just ran out of that course in my life, I didn’t have anymore running or anything else in my life. And I felt and have still felt really guilty of that feeling, or not having any interest in doing anything, while so many know me through my running and now I am nothing, in a way, or at least I am not doing anything in that way.

This year has just flew past, it doesn’t feel real, so much has happened and still it feels like no time has gone by. That’s what’s scaring me so much, the realization of how fast time moves on without no care about if we have done anything with it, good or bad, to others or ourselves. And in this world we live in, it feels so often than if you don’t do do do and do something all the time, you are nothing at all. If you don’t have something to show for every damn thing all the time, you basically don’t even exist.

I’ve gotten so tired of that all, the last couple of months I’ve noticed how I have no tolerance for extra pressure if it’s not necessary, and I know now that I have no need to let it in my life, I have the keys to make those lines that others and also myself aren’t allowed to cross. And I do not need to feel bad about taking care of myself like that.

There’s this massive trend of being more all the time, faster, anyfucking thing, just as long as you do it a lot and show it to the world in some way in your media outlets. It gets tiring and has no effect at some point. I feel like I’ve been on both sides of that, and now I notice more often than not that I just don’t feel anything when I see someone posting a positive this or that or how much and fast they’ve been running, it’s just noise to me. And I feel in a way guilty of even letting myself be this honest about it. But I’ve felt that less is more can be so many things, we don’t have to post every aspect of our lives for them to be real, to us, who they should mean the most. The quality of our own lives doesn’t feel as high as it should, we put it out there like it does but does it to us all when we behave like that or do we just grave for the attention to validate our own being through likes?

And there’s this flipside of starting to feel bitter and jealous of it all. You’re surrounded by it all, it comes from every aspect of your life, not only social media and then it starts to feel like it’s suffocating you whole. And doing anything starts to feel like it’s useless because, why should you you’ll never get “there”.

It’s really hard to stay relevant even to yourself when you really don’t do a thing to make the situation better or different, but that’s the thing the pressure to do anything starts to be so massive that it’s easier to be bitter than try. Especially if you’ve had a history of failing as a habit or a way of life, because of those self doubts, those insecurities. What all that drifting further and further from that “Do” Me does is, it fills you with doubts on top of doubts, it pushes you further away from the you, you were before it all landed on you like a thick blanket without you realizing. Climbing back up from there is insanely hard work, especially when you clearly are not who you were but not 100% sure who you are or want to be now. There’s a certain pressure in “getting back up” once you’ve already done it before, whether it is writing or running or whatever. It almost gets harder and not easier, because of the fact that you’ve done it before and it also can make you feel extra insecure, because the biggest step in your way is YOU!

I have too many years in me of getting used to failure and not believing in any way or form that I do deserve the good in life, that it’s really easy to fall on that side of thoughts than remember that positive push you also have in you. But it is like anything else in life, if you don’t practice it enough and make it a habit you forget it and it becomes hard again.

I’ve had to find ways again now to start feeling better, it’s been a long road to recovery in many ways this year. I haven’t wanted to slow down because deep down I knew that when I do, all that I had dusted away will pop up. But I never knew how much will come and to what level I need to dig to start the healing once again. I really needed to slow down to a full stop to see how broken I was. I needed to let myself fall down to see if I still have the fight in me.

After almost a month of morning meditation, which isn’t the easiest thing but I’m really feeling the benefits, and reading actual books a lot, I’m starting to feel like I might have a idea who I am and who I want to be. And there’s nothing wrong that that is nothing who I have been, that’s only a good thing. I am not who I was, I am who I am now. And honestly I am scared shitless. I have no idea what to do, but I know I have to try, even when that is the one thing I wish I could just jump over or crawl under. To behave like I have done and be miserable when it didn’t work like it never did. I don’t know if anyone reads this blog, or if anyone wants to run in my running crew, but those are still two things that seem to make me feel better, so I choose to keep trying.

My insecurities, depression and doubts will always take over me, when I am weaker, but maybe that’s not so bad. I read in one book this thing that said around like this ” our depression often comes to our lives when we need to slow down and stop to evaluate our situation”. I had it bookmarked because it really resonated with me. Maybe depression isn’t only a bad thing, for me it has made me who I am now. Not with the easiest roads but still. So without the struggle who would I be, I have no interest knowing.

Being alone and really slowing down is one of the best things I know. It charges my batteries, and sometimes that takes a lot longer than before but it’s so necessary in this “ON” world of ours. And we don’t need to be able to do and be like everyone else, if someone hustles all the time, let them. But you don’t have to or need to, to be where you feel the best. That is something I need to tell myself quite often, but I’m only a human. And that’s okay.

And here it is, a piece that I just wrote, didn’t think just wrote and didn’t even proofread…

PMA ❤

Self Confidence / Insecurities

screenshot_20160916-131214It’s funny how little you need to feel like your confident self again. Sometimes you need to go far to see very close, something I’ve done a lot lately. But it also seems to be the only way to find myself again. So from insecurities to finding my self confidence to realising that I get still very lost with myself.

Last weekend I was in Stockholm, the place where I always feel like I can breath free, not sure even now after all these years why. Something in that place that I just feel so at home. I was there because of our massive running gathering, which also meant I got to see people I’ve missed like crazy, and meeting new forever friends you just click instantly.

The funny little thing I felt in me was that, instantly when we landed in Stockholm, I felt like that long lost confident me that I’ve been searching and looking for such a long time, basically the last year or so. Obviously I’ve had moments I’ve felt that me, but most of the past year has been such a weird time that wow.

After battling with my self confidence and body image this whole year, it felt so damn good to feel good about myself. And the thing is that I don’t know what changed, why there I got that part of me back. In a way it doesn’t make any sense, nothing really changed, other than the location and the people around me. Maybe just the pure positive atmosphere around me was the key. Something I feel like I am hunting after with dogs here in Finland.

The feeling of feeling comfortable and beautiful in my own skin and clothes and all that, felt so damn good. I had to do a little “you got this” at home before I left to the airport, but I remember looking at myself in the mirror and saying that “you look great” and that “do not give a shit if someone doesn’t like this”. Those peptalks are needed at times… Just try yourself.

Being myself has been a challenge lately and I’ve been so damn tired of that. I’ve known all the time that I’m there, under some weird pressure, but it’s been hard to get to the center, under all those layers of doubt. There hasn’t been enough “who cares” and too much of “what ifs” and “maybe I should make myself smaller in every way possible”.

Sometimes we need good company to remind us of our amazingness. Sometimes someone needs to give us a little attention to wake up. It might just be a look to make you smile. Or it might be words like “your body is amazing” from someone who has no idea about what you’ve gone through with your body and how insecure and at times even ugly you’ve felt with it.

We tend to forget how important it is to be there for each other and positively comment, even if it feels funny. The importance of being positive and saying those things out loud can be so massive to someone. I need to get better at that too, saying those to myself as well as to others.

Maybe someone is thinking now, that that confidence should come from within, and yes I do agree but sometimes we really need a reminder, that’s it. It’s that simple.

With all my bumps and cellulite and wobbly bits, I actually felt so beautiful and desired. I loved that feeling of not needing to be embarrassed when I felt the touch on those parts of me. Something so simple but so important. Honest gentle touch and words.

Now I just have to keep being that confident me here, in my home where it’s a lot harder. There’s something that happens to me every time I’m back in Finland that I forget all that progress I’ve made in these past years and go back to that insecure uncomfortable one, feeling like I’m stuck and have no future. It’s like my past here is holding me back, but only because I let it. That’s the only reason.

Maybe every time I feel like I’m falling to my old ways, I need to remember those words and that touch and bounce back up to my amazing beautiful self! 🙂

Self love in full effect! And thank you to that one who helped me realise my real worth without knowing my past. ❤

PMA. LOVE. ❤

I Thought I Lost You, But You Are There Still

Photo Jasmin Helmi

Photo Jasmin Helmi

Last week a friend of mine took some photos of me, I’ve asked her is she could as I needed some for my updated CV. I never thought that the images she took could make me feel the way they did. She was able to capture me, really me, the one I thought I lost during the past months.

For majority of this year I’ve felt a bit lost with myself. First because I was so adamant with my weird feeling of not wanting to stay in Finland, it felt like a prison sentence, I didn’t want to have anything solid here. I fought so hard against it all. And then with my wrist operation I think I grew tired of fighting, as I had to fight against so many other weird feelings that the operation had brought up.

The difference between this year and last is so big that sometimes I feel that they have to have more than one New Year between them. Last year was so much, it was planned and about jumping to whatever came to me, just taking whatever without thinking what it might mean in some time. I was just rushing and living, maybe too much, maybe not enough, but maybe I let myself actually live for the first time in really long time. I had been keeping myself back for so long that I just let loose and flew, not to the right direction by any means all the time, but I was still flying. And ended up my year with my wings almost cut off.

This year started with me looking in the mirror and realising things that I didn’t want to face, as I knew that they will rip all those scars that I had carefully tried to heal, open again to the core. And through this year I’ve looked myself in the mirror with that same look, quite a few times. Feeling lost and not sure what to do about it, feeling like I’m suffocating, feeling disappointed in myself, mind and body. I think that’s been the hardest to take, knowing that now I actually need to take a step back and that I can’t rush like last year. I need to heal, I need to give myself a break, I need to be patient in the many ways of that word. And it’s been very very hard. Depression has crept it’s ugly head at times, but there’s been still something that has kept me without sinking completely.

Photo Jasmin Helmi

Photo Jasmin Helmi

When I saw the photos my friend took last week tonight, I looked at myself in a different way, in new and more positive eyes. I’ve looked myself in the mirror end of this summer with new eyes few times, with a gentle and loving way, saying to myself that “you are beautiful and enough”. And smiled to what that notion has done to my face, it soften and glowing in a way I thought I lost already completely.

And today when I looked at my own face from those photos, I felt so beautiful.

It’s been such a long time I’ve felt like that. Since my operation it’s been so hard to accept the changes on my body, when I can’t be as active as I’ve been. The weight gain and lost of muscle and the cellulite, the evil cellulite that makes you feel so unwomanly for some reason. I looked photos from last summer when I felt so much like I’m in my own skin for the first time, and then this summer I looked at my body in a mirror and it was so far from what it was so little time ago. I tried to say to myself that you’ll get it back soon, but what I just wanted to do deep down was to eat more and make myself feel even worse. Which obviously doesn’t make any sense, but I was at the start again with my body, after all that insanely hard work I’d done for the past 3 something years. I had worked and worked for a body I had always dreamed of, and now it was gone.

It has been such a long summer, and not in a easy breezy nice way. I’ve looked and read and been on the sidelines as others have been living this summer like I wanted to live it. I’ve had to accept the very slow process of healing from two operations at once. Having very good things happening too, like having my own home and not feeling like I want to go again, but not being able to really be happy about all of it. It’s taken me all the way to August to slowly finding me again. 2016 hasn’t been my favorite, at least yet, I might change my mind later about that.

But something changed when I saw myself in those photos. I wasn’t sad anymore. I didn’t looked like there’s pain and frustration behind my eyes. I looked like I am happy again, slow and steady getting my real happy back.

I’m not expecting anything drastic of myself now. I want to show myself that I can again, just like I did little over 3 years ago, when this whole journey started. I’m in a new beginning. But I have great people to make this start easier and filled with deep rooted laughs and tears and honesty.

Let’s do this, once again.

PMA ❤

Photo Jasmin Helmi

Photo Jasmin Helmi