Do you know what you want? Some people have always known what they wanted. When I was younger, I was sure that I wanted to be a doctor. Then I got into my pre-medical course. I saw that my biggest motivation was helping people. I found purpose in living a life that benefited others, but I also started to realise that there were different ways I could help people while using the gifts I had. I enjoyed many elements of my introduction to Medicine, but there were many others I could not imagine living as me. So I set about finding my gifts, what was I naturally good at? How could I develop it and how could I use my gifts to find a fulfilling career?
Here are five things I find useful in helping me identify my God-given gifts:
- Define happiness for you
Ask yourself, when is this life have you been happy? Like really in bliss and content and filled with joy. What where you doing? Where were you? What caused you to feel that way. And most importantly why? Write down as many happy memories as you can remember
- Recognise your strengths
For some reason, we tend to pay more attention to the negative things people say about us rather than the positive ones. Let’s flip the script! What are you good at? What do people always say – WOW you are GREAT at that! For me, it was always writing, but like many of us – I didn’t really pay attention to that because it came so naturally to me. What comes naturally to you? Pay attention to these things, play to your strengths.
We all know actions speak louder than words. There are some things we are quite good at but don’t believe. This could be for various reasons, perhaps they make us uncomfortable, or we don’t realise just how good we are because nobody tell us, and when they do, we don’t believe them. For example, I used to be a brilliant high jumper at school, my P.E. teacher would enter me into all sorts of competitions across the county. But I hit my teens and developed really bad anxiety. I would dread competition days so much that I failed to sleep dreaming about them. My teacher noticed I was more reluctant and said we could work through the nerves, but I was too scared. *insert sad emoji here*
- Reflect on the hard times
So this one is interesting, but have you ever gone through a low patch? Has your friend gone through a low patch? How did you behave during that time? You are here today, maybe you are going through a rough time right now, but you’ve made it through before. How? Some of our best qualities shine in the darkest of times. Last year on my birthday trip to Miami, we were caught up in hurricane Irma. We had to evacuate South beach and find somewhere safe to ride out the storm. We had no electricity and tornadoes hit us night after night, but I got to experience a different, very protective side to me. My number one goal was to make sure my best friends were safe. I now add ‘protective’ to my list of qualities. What characteristics did you display in times of difficulty?
- Celebrate your differences
Despite the world wanting us to believe there is only one way to be intelligent, beautiful or talented, there are several different versions of these things. We were all made for a unique reason and our differences are what drive the success of our being. It’s very dangerous to try and be like everyone else, I recall at one point having some identity crisis in my teens when my characteristics became a trend. But it took me a while to learn that my natural hair, love of avocados and vinyasa yoga are not what made me who I was. My soul makes me who I am, other people can do exactly what I do but NOBODY can do it like me. That’s the difference. You have gotta stay you because authenticity lasts the test of time.
No-one is you and that is your power.
Love and light x MC
Shirt: Bershka | Inside crop top: Missguided | Trousers: Topshop
Hi loves, as you can see – this post was shot in Bradford! I wanted to check out The Broadway shopping centre in hope of grabbing some goodies for myself and browsing the Father’s Day sales. Although I ended up online shopping instead and found a few gems like this luxury Father’s Day Perfume Gift Set and this Activist Gift Set by The Body Shop, it was still a worthwhile journey to capture the city with my brother.
I am excited to share the series of shoots we took with you. Bradford is one of those places that you hear so much about before you actually experience it. I had the chance to study there for a while and it taught me so much about life, resilience, culture and of course science. So I wanted to share some of the city with you, in the hope that you can see the beauty I encountered there . Just like Bradford, this post is about looking past the multiple layers of perception and finding true happiness within. The truth is we live in an imperfect world and it’s up to us to create our own happiness. Here are five things that are helping me along that journey.
I once read a quote that said ‘Forgive everyone for everything’. Not sure whom it was by, but I find forgiveness extremely freeing. Holding a grudge or even resentment towards someone takes up energy and space that you might not even realise. That energy could be freed up to use on loving yourself more! You deserve all your energy, love, and kindness unreservedly.
Seeking purpose has been instrumental in helping me find peace. The belief that you are here for a specific reason that only you can fulfill, provides solace through the rough times, and gives an inner joy that cannot be stolen by the world.
3. Stay in your lane
Once you believe in your purpose, the challenge is to focus on your own journey to achieving that purpose. Look neither left nor right but focus on YOURSELF. Comparison is the thief of joy and a sure way to lose sight of your many blessings. Be aware of those who are trying to bring negative energy in your life and steer away from such energies. Protect your energy and always look within first.
You are surrounded by blessings, your life is a blessing, your body and mind are blessings and this moment is a blessing. Choosing to recognise and focus on my blessings has helped me develop an attitude of gratitude. When was the last time you gave thanks for your food? I tend to take the smallest things for granted until I no longer have them. But it’s the simple things that we miss the most. Once we start to appreciate everything we have, we see life as a gift and develop joy.
Love, love, love. We were created to love. Love is a verb, an action that can be applied to everything you do. Loving others starts with loving yourself, flaws and all. I used to be so hard on myself all the time about everything. It took me so long to realise that I’m not supposed to be perfect – nobody is and that’s okay. Now I am mindful about the way I think of myself, I have learnt to be patient and kind with myself first. Once you love who you are, it’s easy to spread that love and kindness to those around you.
“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
I hope you find these points as helpful as I have in creating joy in my life. What do you do to create and maintain happiness in your life? Please share in the comments, I’d love to hear to from you.
Love & Light x MC
Dress: ADIDAS | Block Heels: New Look
Hi guys, I hope you are well and enjoying the lovely spring weather. How wonderful has it been these last couple of weeks? We even had a rain-free bank holiday with plenty of sunshine – the first one in England for 11 years!
LISTEN, if that doesn’t convince you that it’s YOUR time then I don’t know what will! I mean, everything is possible! America’s president was a reality TV star! Imagine that. Anything is possible.
So my introduction (accidentally) ties in with what I wanted to write about today. A lesson I have been going through this year regarding believing in myself, believing in my ideas and in my dreams.
I think we are all born knowing exactly what we want – well it starts with food or a mother’s breast in my case, then we go through the motions to stay comfortable and happy. As babies we cry when we are uncomfortable, and we cry when we are unhappy, until our parents/guardians figure out what we want. Ah bliss! (Ironic that this is probably the best stage of our lives and we don’t even remember it eh?)
Anyway as we get older, we get more conditioned. We start listening to adults telling us what we can and cannot do. That we cannot just follow our dreams because we have responsibilities. Or that life has a generic path that everyone is walking down which we are supposed to follow. We are forced to begin following that path through school, then we get older and learn that maybe our dreams don’t mean nothing, maybe our imagination is supposed to just stay in our minds and that all the ideas we had where a childhood fantasy. Right?
To be honest, I didn’t really think about it. It’s taken several events to force me to reflect on my own limited self-belief. At one point I realised that I have ALWAYS had these dreams. I am not just doing things for the sake of it but I have actually always been this person. I wanted to do certain things, to be a certain person and to live a certain way. It’s crazy because I don’t think we realise just how much we let go of ourselves to ‘fit’ into the ideas and ways of society. It’s like we are conditioned to follow others rather than STICK to our own ideas about life and how to live it.
This year has been so eye opening for me. We are one hundred and twenty-nine (129) days into 2018 and the lesson for me is loud and clear: You are right, you were right. You were right to have your dreams as a kid, they were right for you. You were right to do what you enjoyed as a teenager, things that made you happy. You were right not to care what everyone else thought or what they were doing. You were right.
You were right to believe in yourself. And you really ARE all those wonderful magical things you thought you were and wanted to be.
Nothing can stop you living your purpose apart from yourself.
Step into it with confidence. This is your year, and mine.
Love and light x MC
Top: PrettyLittleThing | Shorts: Missguided | Heels: New Look | Photography: CHIP
Hi guys, Happy Easter! How are you? It’s been a minute since I posted, actually it has been two months! That is such a long time for me but I have been doing a few things, travelling and thinking about life too.
To summarise, I visited America in February. We went to Atlanta and then spent some time in sunny Florida. It was a wonderful trip, necessary and fulfilling. I came back home in March and since then I have been VEGAN! *Insert scream here* I know right! Can you believe it? I aint even going to Coachella! (Beyhive y’all know 😉 ) But as much as I appreciate Queen B’s talents and influence, I had always planned to go vegan…eventually. I was vegetarian in University for a while and had always planned to go back. It has been four years since then so you can see how long it took me to mentally prepare for a vegan life. But I’m very glad I made the commitment. I can go into more detail about what I’m eating, how the journey’s been and tips on this in another dedicated post – just let me know if you would like that.
This post is more about the culmination of all the thoughts, experiences and lessons over these few months.
Value (n). ‘The importance, worth, or usefulness of something’
Have you considered that who you are now, your desires, your dreams and wishes are linked to your purpose on earth? I’ve gone through a period of deep reflection and found several underlying traits that have been a part of me in one way or another as far back as I can remember. For example, I have always regarded my physical health as important. I can remember thinking I should participate in more sport when I was 12 years old and actually deciding then that I wanted to be a fit individual. That is just one example but there are many other things that have been fundamental to shaping me.
I am learning to hold on more to these things, to realise they are part of my fabric and embrace each one despite of how society perceives them, negatively or positively. In accepting parts of myself, I am beginning to recognise the significance of my being, and finally starting to live on purpose. I will write that again:
‘Live on purpose’.
See I realise that when you discover the wonderful varied creature you are with all your complexities and twists you begin to appreciate and believe in yourself when you realise that there is actually no one else on earth like you. You have been made different for a reason. The difficulty in this time and age is that there is a constant pressure in the background or foreground sometimes to be like everyone else. We have access to each other’s lives like never before, and with that comes the creation of societal ‘standards’ from this herd mentality we have as humans to follow what gathers the most worldly value. An example is social media e.g. Instagram. Bloggers on Instagram fall under certain categories, if you are a fashion blogger – you plan your feed a certain way, take your photos from certain angles and have your makeup a specific way. It’s like there is a grade you have to meet to ‘fit’ into these categories and it’s like what if I don’t? So I don’t get a thousand likes on my photos and I don’t have thousands of followers. Am I doing something wrong? Am I good enough? Am I enough?
You do not realise how easy how easy it is to fall into this trap, until you find that you have forgotten why you started. Who you are, the value of those unique pieces we discussed above that shape the wonderful individual you are. So what do you do when the world doesn’t value you? Should you quit?
Not everyone can be the same. We all have different gifts and it doesn’t mean if you do not look a certain way or do things like the next person you are wrong. Not at all. Even the most celebrated individual had to learn to see themselves for their goodness.
The first step is to accept and recognise your traits. What makes you who you are? Who are you? Your gifts are your God-given compass points that will align you to the path of your dreams and lead you to your purpose. Value everything that makes you who you are.
Love and Light x MC
Dress: Missguided [Buy here]
I believe this is my second post of 2018. How you doing? I’ve made a few changes to the blog as you can see, so let me know how you like it below. I’m so happy to be writing again after so long. You guys know how much of a struggle winter is for me, and it has been. But thankfully I managed to have the opportunity go away in January to celebrate one of my fave’s birthday. If you follow me on social media you will have seen some of the posts I shared while in sunny Spain. (@metiyachique)
How ironic is life. Can you imagine that you can jump on a plane for less than two hours and be somewhere free of these Arctic winds? What a joke. But I am very grateful for it. I had a wonderful time with my girls and it’s amazing what an ocean view and some sunshine can do to clear your mind, because sometimes honestly, it’s like life is so monotonous that I can’t think here, my mind is fully blocked.
Anyway the point of this is to talk about beauty products YAY! Basically what do I use to go from drab to fab in the space of a 2 hour flight? Here are my most trusted holiday goodies which I use to enhance that glow and allow my melanin to pop further.
1. The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Protect Lotion SPF 30
This is my GO-TO facial moisturiser anytime I am heading to the sun. I’ve been using it for over three years and it never fails to deliver. It has a light consistency which absorbs into the skin without feeling greasy. It does make my skin appear brighter too – perhaps to do with the Vitamin C (my new obsession) which is great for diminishing dark spots and promoting an even skin tone.
2. The Body Shop Shimmering Dry Oil – Honey Bronze
I have shared my love for this product before (here). It is no secret that I am a fan of the statuesque bronze look at all times! I love when skin is radiant and shimmery. Sometimes it takes a while to catch that holiday tan, and this is a great way of faking it before you make it. It is a dry oil so it actually goes into your skin and doesn’t rub off on your clothes. But it gives just enough shimmer to create an even, natural glow. A little goes a long way with this, and I normally just pour some out into a travel bottle for my suitcase.
3. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF10
First of all, I keep one of these in rotation at ALL TIMES! This is one of my favourite concealers of ALL time honey! But it deserves a place on this list because it is a holiday beauty saviour. I can literally dab this underneath my eyes, along the bridge of my nose and voila! Natural highlight sorted. The consistency is perfect for the sun, it does not crease and the lighting is perfect. You can wear this on its own too as it contains some SPF and is quite creamy. Have a go and let me know, my shade is 5N.
4. 100% Unrefined Whipped Shea Butter
So this is another one I have raved on about (here). But guys you know when I said sometimes you have to fake it with the bronzer till you make it? Well this is MAKING IT. Using this to moisturise my skin during winter has been a LIFESAVER for me. The dryness of these Arctic winds is not holy. Let me tell you, I needed something strong. What better than this divine gift from the motherland, 100% natural AND fairly traded from Ghana by a Ghanaian queen (Hey Akua!) All her products are amazing, but seriously invest in some shea butter if you care about having healthy, nourished skin all year round. It means less work to do on your hols and soft, glowing skin for you to enjoy all year.
5. MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Spray
The only thing I regret when it comes to this product – is how LONG it took me to get on it! LISTEN when you see them YouTube girls spraying this thing passionately onto their face like it contains blessings from The Queen of Sheba, it’s because it DOES! What can I say? MAC cosmetics MVP for this one. It is perfect for a natural dewy, everything-set-in-place finish. It helps on holiday when I wear less makeup to just complete and maintain the glow for me.
And there we have it folks! My top five beauty products for those winter escapes to sunshine. I’d love to know what your top holiday products are. Let me know in the comments. I hope you are taking care of yourself and I wish you sunshine from within regardless of the weather outside.
Love and light x MC