This was the last day in our trip to Arran and I have to say I really want to go back, it was such an amazing place with so much history and ridiculously beautiful scenery. We were lucky enough to see quite a bit of it but I know there is still a lot left to be explored next time we come.
“Happy are those who take life day by day, complain very little, and are thankful for the little things in life” – Unknown
As Christians we are told not to worry about tomorrow as today has enough troubles already (Matthew 6:34) and repeatedly through the bible it tells us to focus on the moment, to be present in that time trusting that God has everything under control and it will all be alright. As a person who suffers with depression and anxiety this is something I find very hard not to worry about the future, to not over think things and try to create a plan or strategy for everything. It is one of my many faults and I think is perhaps up there with my worst faults, for not only does it massively effect me and my mental health but it also has an effect on Russell.
I decided that 2016 was to be my year, the year where I stopped letting people push me down roads I don’t want to go down and started to take charge of my life. 2016 for has been all about starting to create the life I want and to explore the person I want to become. So far I feel I have done pretty well, I have left a university course that I really didn’t enjoy, I have become completely independent of my parents and I am making massive changes to my lifestyle including diet, exercise and most importantly mindfulness.
Mindfulness has become one of my biggest things this year, I am reading and absorbing as much as I can on the subject and trying to create a way of being mindful that is 100% Christian and focused on God. I have to say I am surprised by how well mindfulness and Christianity go hand in hand but I will talk about that in another post. For now my main focus is on learning to select my thoughts. Instead of worrying about the next day, week, month and year I am trying to become more present in the moment. To enjoy my time of reading, colouring, walking e.t.c and giving it all to God. At first it was very hard to shut off but as I do it more and more I am finding that you really can select your thoughts. You can wake up every day and choose to look at the good and the happy things rather than the bad. One way I have found works really well for me is to thank God for those blessings, to thank God for this time of peace, this time of walking, reading, cuddling a puppy or whatever it is that is making me happy. I focus myself into the present by thanking God for the moment I am in. Because really when I look around at my life I am so blessed and although there are worries and hard times God will always be there to strengthen me. He will always be there blessing me with the simple things in life, because really how could I not be happy when I have walks, dogs, the sea and a hand to hold.
These photos were taken in Arran (again! sorry can’t get enough of this place) on beautiful Sannox beach!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now you will know I have a slightly worrying obsession with all things Scotland. My obsession is completely justified, I think, by the fact there really is no other place on earth like it, its a place where mountains, rivers, rolling hills, forests, seas and amazing cities all collide and it is definitely where I am happiest. Luckily for me the man I am marrying is from Scotland and so I get to visit his parents on the east coast very regularly. However this Easter we all ventured west to holiday for a week on the Isle of Arran. I was really looking forward to exploring this new part of Scotland and as usual it didn’t disappoint. We saw forests and mountains and distilleries and castles and so much more which I will be putting into the next few blog posts. But for now here is a look at one of the lovely walks we went on.
One of the best parts of Arran has to be the hundreds of different trails and walks you can go on throughout the Island most of which are run by the Forestry Commission and range from very easy to strenuous. Due to it being an Island, most of the walks take in mountains, forests, sea views and ruins of some sort which to me is the best kind of walk you can find. These photos were taken on the Glenashdale Falls trail where we saw beautiful sea views, Goatfell mountain in the distance, an amazing iron age fort, a huge waterfall and a beautiful forest. If you are planning on going to Arran at some point this is a great walk for everyone, with only one steep section and a lot of views a long the way to keep small people entertained.
This was one of my favourite walks we went on this holiday (we went on quite a lot!) it was so unbelievably beautiful, and Scottish, and just reminded me of something out of a folk tale. I was even tempted to go searching for will-o-the-wisps in the forest as we walked around, it definitely made me feel a little bit like Merida. I’m really hoping to go back to Arran one day and I’d love to do this trail again, maybe next time I will have to wear a cape and carry a bow!
Look out for more Arran posts coming soon!
I know this year there has been a real trend going around that people aren’t making new years resolutions and whilst I fully support people not putting too much pressure on themselves to achieve I actually find setting goals quite a helpful tool for myself. Every year I like to set myself some achievable goals that I know I can do and some crazy out there dreams that help me to keep my sights on the stars. And so without further ado here are my new years resolutions for 2016:
Health and well being:
A goal I set myself last year was to become healthier and to take more care of myself both physically and mentally. This past year I’ve started to get really interested in nutrition and have learnt a lot about the foods we eat and what they do to our bodies, I have also started to exercise more, take time out to spend it in green open spaces and meditate more through yoga or prayer. This year I would like to continue learning more, I’d like to get fitter and stronger and lose some more weight. I have already lost a stone by changing my diet to plantbased and doing more exercise and I’d like to continue that to get back down to the weight I used to be when I was my most comfortable.
As a lot of you will know if you’ve been reading my blog, I am a writer and I love it! My main goal for this year is to finish my current novel which I am now a third of the way through and to get something published be that an article, a short story or a novel. I think its more likely to be the first two but I am going to try as hard as I can to become a published author this year, wish me luck!
I love this little space of the internet but over the past few months I have struggled to figure out what it should be. I found myself worrying about what I was doing and copying other successful bloggers who I liked instead of looking for my own unique voice. This year I would like to focus more on what I want this space to be like and what I want to share on here. I don’t want to be a bad copy of something else I want it to be entirely me. I am hoping to explore my interests and learn more about photography, green living, cooking and fashion through trying out new things on here. I’d also love to meet more bloggers and do some collabs so please message me, I’d love to chat.
There are always a few random goals I set myself and this year is no different. I would like to read one inspiring book a month as well as making the time to read more. I would like to start to grow my own vegetables and I would like to make mine and Russell’s Sunday walks a weekly thing for this year.
I hope you all had a lovely new year, what are your new years resolutions?
This summer me and my family travelled to the beautiful island of Madeira for one week and boy am I glad we went. Madeira is a tropical island in the middle of the Atlantic and one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited and unlike a lot of holiday destinations in the middle of August it was surprisingly quiet and tranquil.
On the first day we decided to take the famous cable car up to the little mountain town of Monte which is where you can catch one of the infamous toboggans. Although rather pricey these are definitely worth doing just for the fun and joy of experiencing a Madeiran tradition but make sure you take your hat off before you get on. We then had a little wander round the church and saw the decorations for the festival which was going on that weekend. We were lucky that we happened to be there that weekend as we saw the stunning decorations of bright bunting all through the town and local villages. There were also stalls with traditional Madeiran food such as garlic flat bread and chocolate filled churro’s which I would definitely recommend to anyone going to Madeira.
We then took another smaller cable car across to the botanical gardens which were very interesting with cactus gardens and stunning views over the main city of Funchal. We had a seriously good lunch in their cafe with lots of fresh salad and fruit. Madeira has a strange climate and normally by mid afternoon it gets very cloudy so it’s best to do things up in the mountains as early as possible to get the best views.
Hope you enjoyed some little snapshots of my trip to Madeira, there will be a post two and three with more things you can enjoy on the island. Let me know in the comments if you’ve been to Madeira I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Bye for now!