Forced Positivity On Youtube.

Gothic Couple Denied Entry to The Louvre Museum in Paris.

The art of letting go.

Since my previous blog post about minimalism, I have been making time to declutter my living space and go through my stuff by asking myself a series of simple and direct questions.

  • When was the last time I wore/used this?
  • Will I honestly wear/use this in the next 6 months?
  • Is this useful to me?
  • Does this bring me joy?

You can make up your own questions when de-cluttering, but these are the questions that work for me personally. Once you are clear and honest with yourself, you are on the right track. Since starting my minimalism journey, I have discovered that getting rid of things isn’t as easy as I had anticipated. Some things are a lot harder to get rid of than others. For me it’s clothing & shoes.

Two days ago I decided to finally start going through my wardrobe. At first, I found it relatively easy, I had quite a few items that I was happy to donate to local charity shops. But as my wardrobe started to dwindle down, the going got tough for me. I discovered clothing that I had forgotten all about (this tends to happen when you hoard clothes for years and years!) and I found myself reminiscing about the past when I held up an old dress I used to wear all the time.

I tried it on and realised it no longer fit me. I held on to this dress for a decade and I still expected it to fit me as snug as it did when I was a teenager. Hilariously, even though it didn’t zip up all the way anymore, I still wanted to keep it! Sentimental items are the hardest to rid of. In that moment I understood that it’s not the item we want to hold on to, it’s the feeling it used to give us and the memories attached to it.

Image: Pinterest

In regards to clothing we hoard for years on end, I discovered that although these items remind us of certain events, time periods or memories, they can also make us feel horrible about ourselves. When I tried on that dress and realised that it no longer fit me, it made me feel bad about myself. Even though it’s silly to think my body wouldn’t have changed over the course of ten years. When I put on the dress, it no longer brought me joy. It no longer made me feel good about myself when I put it on. And then I finally saw it for what it was, fabric. It’s just a piece of fabric.

So, I donated it to a charity shop and decided to let someone else get value from it.

It was liberating!

Today I watched a very interesting and eye-opening TED Talks video about why we become so attached to things. Rewiring our brains to dissociate our feelings towards inanimate objects is difficult. We’ve been sold things all of our lives, we see adverts almost very minute of the day on our commutes to work, our social media feeds and even in the films we watch. In order avoid succumbing to these advertisements, we must become more aware. Awareness is the key to freeing ourselves from the illusion of advertisements and the want for useless things.

Delving into the world of minimalism has been a great joy for me so far. I have found that I feel lighter, less stressed, my awareness has increased and the act of letting go of things that no longer bring me joy is incredibly freeing. Although the de-cluttering process is bringing up a lot of feelings and emotions, it’s nice to actually begin to face my thoughts head on and be gentle with myself. Usually, if I feel a resistance when getting rid of something, I put it in a bag for a day or two and see how I feel later. More often than not, I conclude that the item is not of great importance to me. Sometimes, letting go is a process and there is no shame in that.

I just remind myself that it’s okay to let go.

XO

Discovering Minimalism.

What do you think of when you think of minimalism? If you’re anything like me, you may have thought instantly of a crisp white room, displaying a barely any furniture. Maybe just a wooden chair and a table, with a small but stylish plant placed neatly in the center. To me, minimalism seemed arty and slightly pretentious. It was a hashtag on instagram, not a lifestyle or movement. Looking back, I initially associated it with interior design more than anything else!

But boy was I wrong.

Over the holiday season I had fallen ill with a flu, it was so bad I couldn’t leave my bed for almost a week or more. I was so weak and miserable, I did the only thing I could do. I watched some Netflix.

I came across a documentary called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.

Hand-on-heart, I can honestly say that this documentary has changed the way I look at things, and for the better. So much, that I feel happier than I have felt in a long time, due to adopting the principles laid out by the documentaries storytellers, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus.

TheMinimalists.com

I was enlightened to discover that minimalism was not a pretentious instagram trend, but a lifestyle and a philosophy. After watching the documentary, for days I pondered the questions it posed. I am still thinking a lot about it and even introduced a friend to the documentary, whom it also had a profound affect on. I feel like a switch has gone off in my brain and I finally know what the next step is to clear my mind and cleanse my body of some of the built up stress I have been carrying around. I started by slowly getting rid of a few material possessions that brought no joy or served no purpose in my life. Essentially, I started to de-clutter, but it is so much more than that. By getting rid of things that no longer or have never severed us, we free up so much space.

Literally and spiritually. 

Essentially, the minimalist lifestyle is about freeing yourself. From the mundane carousel of consumerism, from mental clutter and so much more. To quote The Minimalists directly:

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.

That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.

TheMinimalists.com

This lifestyle has impacted me in a such a profound and deep way. I am so interested in learning more about the art of letting go. I have held so much in, for so long and I finally think it is time to start de-cluttering my life, starting with what I own.

Minimalism is really helping me work through a lot of emotions and thoughts that I have been too scared to deal with for many years. By getting rid of the literally clutter in my life, I am learning about focusing on what matters to me, the best way to describe it is like seeing a fog clear. I feel mindful about what or whom I allow into my life now, I ask myself what purpose does this person/object/experience serve. Does it/they bring me joy?

I have come to learn that becoming minimalist is often a long process it can take months to finally be ready to let go of everything you don’t need. In a modern world where people are often defined by what they own, it is quite the mind fuck at times, to become hyper-aware of how zombie like we have become as consumers and as people. Minimalism is mindfulness. It’s a practice and I know I will get better at it with time and learning to let go will be a journey. And I am so excited to be taking the first steps.

I will be documenting my minimalism journey through this blog and my YouTube channel. I hope I can inspire others to try it out and see if it can cultivate a new awareness, a shift in perspective or even change someones life.

XO

Judging Girls Helps Their Self-esteem?! According to Onision.

Ban Merry Christmas?!

Goodbye, Septum Piercing?

The Dublin Ink Controversy.

The Sterling Silver hair dye by Arctic Fox turned my hair green!

To be honest, I wasn’t going to write this blog. I don’t like doing negative reviews but if it will save someone going through the hassle that I went through, then I will do it.

For a long time, I spent months fading and removing the Virgin Pink hair dye by Arctic Fox, from my hair and getting it back to a clean blonde. I somehow managed to achieve that, after much hassle and money spent. It was a lot of effort to remove the bright pink colour from my hair but once I had, I was ready to tone it to my desired colour of silver/grey.

hair2

Hair during the removal of the Virgin Pink hair dye

hair1

And after I fully removed Virgin Pink. (No toning)

I noticed that Arctic Fox had released a silver dye and after researching the best ways to tone your hair to silver, I discovered that the best option for me might be to use a silver dye, rather than a toner. As it would last longer and be easier to use. Or so I thought.

As I had used their products before and I trusted Arctic Fox as  a company, I looked up a few YouTube reviews of the product. I also checked the Arctic Fox instagram for photos of people who have already tried and tested the dye. I found it very difficult to find many videos or photos of people who had used Sterling Silver and I was about to find out why.

What happened next was a disaster.

I foolishly purchased the large bottle of Sterling Silver from the Arctic Fox website and applied it to my hair. It went on as a dark silver and I left it in for the recommended time. I thought all was well, until I washed it out. When I was washing my hair over the bathtub, I noticed from the corner of my eye, a flicker of green. My heart sank and I almost screamed with absolute shock.

I whipped my head up in that very instant and looked in the mirror. My hair was bright green.

hair3

Hair after using Sterling Silver by Arctic Fox

I instantly burst into tears. All my hard work of fading the pink and getting my hair to blonde, was gone to waste. Needless to say, I was absolutely furious and couldn’t understand what had happened. My hair was evenly blonde and the colour was the perfect shade of blonde to be toned to a silver tone.

In my rage, I tweeted about my misfortune and to my surprise, received a response from someone who had the same outcome with the same brand. I was then directed to several review sites, all with many other customers, claiming to have had the same issue as me.

I contacted the company and explained the situation. They responded to me within a few days and pretty much gave me no answers, other than that it must have been yellow tones in my hair. So, apparently it was my fault!?? They did give me a full refund (which I demanded), but I was still furious and frantically trying to remove the disgusting green tone from my hair.

arc

I used ColorB4 to remove the bulk of the green and then proceeded to do two separate bleach baths on my hair. My hair was in pretty bad shape after all of the scrubbing and treatments I was doing to remove the green, but there was absolutely no way I was walking around with my hair looking like that. It looked horrendous.

I am still allowing my hair to recover and have since been to a hairdresser to ask for advice. She tested my a piece of my hair, to see if it could be toned and she told me that the Sterling Silver was possibly still stuck in my hair cuticle. Making the sample of my hair turn green again and making toning not possible at this time.

Since then, I’ve been wearing a wig in my videos and have been taking care of my hair with lots of deep conditioning treatments and shampooing it as normal. Hopefully I can tone my hair before Christmas, otherwise I will just have to wait and see what can be done with it or change the colour entirely, as I may have no other option.

Honestly, I am so furious about the entire situation. My hair was a at peak condition prior to adding the Sterling Silver hair dye to my hair. I wish I had just left it the way it was, as the hair dye caused my hair to change tone completely, taking me back to square one and leaving myself and two professional hairdressers baffled.

I am not posting this review to bad mouth Arctic Fox. However, I do want to warn people about this product. I am not the only one who has had this issue, as you can read in these amazon reviews and here on the HotTopic website. I’m not sure if I got a bad batch or if the formula hasn’t fully been perfected yet. Either way, it is not a product I would recommend to anyone.

Be very careful when researching and buying these types of products online. Sometimes it is worth saving your money and going to a professional. I wish I had!

XO

Disney Princesses are a danger to children!?