Just a Little Bit of Magic – Culture Night the Story

It was a cold, dark September night, 9pm to be exact. We could see our breath creating a silver fog as we exhaled and our red noses were beginning to freeze. We were lucky, the air was crisp and clear with the occassional whisp of dark cloud crossing the moon as if the last short breathes of summer were finally being expelled. The ink-black sky cast a bakcdrop of magic and enchantment over the event. Dark, crumbling castle walls, like the ribcage of a carcass, reached up to the silver pendant in the sky, and begged for compassion as it was filled with a new type of life, a life where coloured lights cast terrifying shadows that danced across its walls, where characters once feared and respected were revived with an eerie mixture of fear and excitement. This was the scene the unexpecting audience were greeted by as they crossed the threshold, one by one, maps, books and pens in hand, ready to meet the creatures of magical origins, human history, the depths of the deepest lakes and those who warned of death, each deliberately plucked from Irish mythology and re-created in a modern world.

Magic has always been of intrigue, fascinating us, humanity, capturing a part of our imaginations that wonder that little bit further than the story books spell out for us. It would break my heart to see fields cleared, woods cut down, waterways disturbed because…what if, just what if, there was an element of truth to the magic of Irish mythology.

The past few weeks my life has been consumed by Irish mythology and literature. As ever, Culture Night is an opportunity for us to bring magic back into the world, open up imaginations to the possibilities that somewhere out there, in the woods, the waterways, the deepest darkest thoughts, magic really, truly does exist.

While I have not yet figured out how to blog and sew chainmail simultaneously, when making and creating, my thoughts have never stopped. Occassionaly interrupted by the pesky question ‘how the bloody hell am I going to make this’ and followed by a solution, or 10 attempts of soultions before one finally works, but something I love about costume making is that it gives me a lot of time to think, wonder, imagine… Through all this thinking I find myself wondering how I ended up exactly where I am, right in the moment when sewing sequins into the gown of Queen Maeve or building horns for the Puca or driving home from a rehearsal bringing the Yeats family to life.

People often ask ‘what do you?’ Well… I create… I create experiences for people. That’s the most specific answer I can give. But why do we (The Rabbits Riot) feel the need to create these experiences? Whether it’s re-imagining children’s books for the stage, challenging stigma’s in society, creating magic or bringing historical figures to life… why do we do what we do? Because someone somewhere once did the same for us when we were young enough to be captivated by it and old enough to remember it, and it left an incessant need in our blood, a need to pass on that magic of imagination, to evoke emotions and broaden minds. It pulses through our veins, that need to share the magic. We were once shown a path where story telling, history and magic were believed in, a time when they were the foundations of culture, a time before technology, before films and YouTube, a time before political correctness and a whirlwind of lawsuits.

Being Irish, my mother always ensured that we were raised with books, stories, myths and legends that taught us of our Irish heritage. We didn’t grow up in Ireland but we would visit every few years for summer or for Christmas. Magical memories of beaches littered with shells, mountain walks scattered with buttercups and fairy rings and walks through the woods full to the brim of bluebells and towering, ominous trees where fairies were bound to still live, the magic of our first snowfall and the endless horizons of glassy lakes make up my memories of Ireland as a child. They were vastly different to those of dusty roads, swealtering heat and hippos and monkeys in the lake and forest by our house…which made up my day to day childhood reality. When I was about 5 or so my granny sent over a book of Irish myths and legends, I still have it somewhere. It had a variety of stories in it but Queen Maeve and the Bull of Cooley was always one of my favourites. Although not perfect, she lived in a time when women were powerful and ruled their households. They could lead armies, wage war and made the laws of the land. As a child I didn’t know of her infidelity and all the moral questions of her character but she was fierce, fearless and powerful. I was enchanted by her strength and the power she had over the lands of Connacht. The cover of the book had a picture of her leading her prize winning bull, her hair in curls down to her ankles wearing a coat of furs and jewels.

When slightly older, we moved to Ireland. Once, at Halloween, our parents took us to Achill Island for the day. We visited the ruins of a famine village (I would not suggest this on Halloween!) as well as the ruins of a castle. The castle belonged to Grainne O’Malley, one of several that she had. Although Queen Maeve was still a favourite, Grainne O’Malley soon followed suit. The Legendary Pirate Queen of the Irish waters both fascinated and terrified me, much in the same way Queen Maeve did. She was fierce and powerful and being a woman didn’t stop her, or her army, becoming the most feared pirates of the seas. She was definitely the reason I became a little obsessed with pirates, ships and swords!

Needless to say, Queen Maeve and Grainne O’Malley were the two human representatives in our Irish Myths and Legends experience, created in the ruins of Manorhamilton Castle. There were magical characters…the Puca, a shapeshifter and trickster and the Abhartach, a vampire like creature with Druid blood, said to have partly inspired the stories of Dracula. There were water creatures… The Merrow, a mermaid like creature who resembles the selkie and the Dobharcu, a water hound who drew people to their death, who’s pawprint is said to be on a gravestone in Leitrim and there were creatures of Death…the Banshee, the symbol of death for certain families in Irish history, her scream is said to still be heard today by some unlucky few and the Dullahan. He was my favourite, the original headless horseman of death, with a scythe in one hand and a whip made from human spine in the other, who would appear if death was near and blind, with his human spine, any who looked upon him.

Culture Night for us was made up of characters and literature. While creating magic in the ruins of the castle we were also re-creating the Yeats siblings in Sligo, using the shreds of information we have on the four siblings William, Susan, Elizabeth and Jack (yep, WB Yeats had 2 sisters and a younger brother!) to build an interactive poetry hunt for children.

In all the work that we produce, the characters are central. Stories come from people, and people come from reality. Magical or otherwise, all creatures come from humanity…whether imagination or not…to leave their mark in history. The characters that we choose to represent are always very specific. Last year we recreated a world of Faeries as part of Culture Night. Faeries may or may not be real, along with the entire concept of magic, but the very idea of Faeries and magic has been inspiring story telling in the imagination of children and grown-ups alike for thousands of years. So what purer way to celebrate our Cultural Heritage than to inspire the imagination through legends, magic and literature.

The characters we chose represent more than just the magic and history of Ireland. Grainne O’Malley and Queen Maeve represent a time when women had power and remind us that women are strong and fierce. The creatures of magic and water remind us that despite what logical thinking may teach us, there is always room for the inexplainable and there will always be space in our imagination for magic, questions and games. The Banshee and the Dullahan represent death, both warnings, one casting fear into those who see him, the other fair warning for those who hear her scream. They represent mortality, they remind us that magic or no magic we are mortal. Legends may live forever, granted that we keep them alive, but even Legends can die.

The Yeats family represents a more recent history, pathways laid down a hundred years ago that are still being built on and followed today. We are still delving into the lives of the Yeats family as we gradually begin to build the story of a family, real people who lead difficult lives, faced challenges of their own both with each other as well as outside forces, as they learnt to survive, to live and then to build a legacy to carry on Irish literature, the old arts of story telling, design, culture, the belief in magic and Faeries and the power of culture and literature in a world often so driven to move forward that it sometimes forgets to look back on where it came from.

And so our Culture Night projects were born of character, of culture, of literature, of all the influences of magic over the years.

Sometimes we get so tied up in our lives, in the day-to-day dramas, in the chaos of technology and the instant world that we live in, that sitting in the quiet with our thoughts for comfort we can reflect on all the happenings in our lives that have lead us to where we are now. It can be fascinating to look back over our lives and see the influence a storybook given to us when we were a child can have on us when we are in our late 20’s, the power a poem learned by heart in primary school has over our imagination, the choices our families have made to bring us to where we are and the influence story-telling and literature can have in our lives in a way we may never have anticipated. My mother was an avid believer in myths and legends, fairytales and literature teaching us more about life than a school could ever teach us. In many ways, she reminds me of W.B. Yeats’ father who ensured his children were well read and learnΓ©d but not necessarily school smart. We went to school and worked hard but I have always been aware that living and learning are far from linear, they come hand in hand through experience, survival and just a little bit of magic to help us on our way as we create the character that we, ourselves, choose to become.

Be a Novelty…not a Twat

S’up y’all! Yes…that’s me using my boyfriends Snapchat πŸ™ˆ Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and had happy fuzzy times wondering around The Works (have you all noticed that it’s my favourite shop?) buying them out of sparkly things, unicorn Faux Fur and mermaid tails!

It was bliss!! ❀

Nothing else too exciting happened over the week…excpet that the new kitchen is NEARLY….FINALLY…FINISHED!! I will post a sneaky pic of the sparkly handles we chose as soon as it’s finished!

In the meantime… Here’s some Bespoke headpieces for saaaaaale!!! Email me sonialoveshappiness@gmail.com to get yo hands on some!

I’m sitting here writing with droopy eyes because somone stayed up last night to finish reading her latest murder crime novel (one of the 3 for Β£5 in the Works last week!) and only went to sleep at 7am for a few hours. As I lay awake listening to the radio before my partner got up for work, I mulled over the book in my head. It was cleverly written, 2 story lines runnning alongside each other and although they were both very different conclusions…one turned out to be a wife murdering her husband and the other an 18 year old accidentally killing his estranged granny (in self defense as she tried to kill her daughter – his mother) who turned out to be the love child of the main detective! Little did he know he had an 18 year old son… Point is both killers wound up asking for help from a person of influence right before the cases were solved. One went to her uncle, a well-respected, retired seargeant and the other to his father (although that’s how he finds out he has a son!) chief investigator and mulling over the thought of early retirement to spend time with his family, coincidentally! The retired seargant helps his niece bury the body of her dead husband in the foundations of a new veranda, before completing the veranda. The other arrests his son for murder and pulls every string in the book (including his daughter who is a top attorney) and going to every friend in high places to ensure he is given the best chance at trial.

The thought of these two characters faced with similar scenarios and the choices they consequently made (one arrested for being involved in the murder and the other doing the arresting of aforementioned son) lead to two very different knock-on affects. One tried depserately to protect his niece but in doing so not only destroyed his life but his wifes’ and son’s life. The other, although no walk in park by any means, faced up to the challenge and stood by what he believed to be the right thing to do.

Sometimes I wonder how fine this line is, do we always recognise the consequences of our choices before we make them? Doing right by others and doing right by us can often be a fine line to tread and, regularly, it can seem almost impossible. In a previous post I talked about choices, the choices we can make in our day to day lives, the people we choose to have around us (check it out…Hell No!) and how it affects the way in which we live our lives. But do we really think about things before we say them or do them?

Not for one second am I saying that I’ve got this shit figured out, because clearly…I haven’t. But so often I hear people saying things like ‘well they were rude to me so I don’t have to be nice to them’ or ‘they got what they deserved’ or some much nastier comments that I’d rather not write out for fear someone somewhere may think that they are my own thoughts!!

I get it, it can sometimes feel like we are super hard done by in the world, ‘fuck the lot of them’… But what if we did small things like…making a choice to carry a travel mug in the car to reduce the coffee cup landfills… what if we smiled at the rude person in the shop instead returning their negativity… what if we seperated our rubbish to make sure as much is getting recycled as possible to save just one fish along the way… what if we woke up and smiled before a single negative thought came into our head.

Some of you may know, I recently became vegetarian…the path to veganism is a work in progress but my diet is almost entirely plant based now! I feel so much more energetic than I have in a while (apart from not sleeping last night so currently running on Evian and coffee!) and I am consciously eating far healthier and cleaner. This is a choice that I have decided not to impose on anyone. Both my sisters are vegetarians, one of them is vegan and the other has eggs but other than that she eats plant based, other family members and friends are vegan and some are vegan for the health benefits, some for the environmental benefits, others specifically as animal rights activists. Me? If I can have a nutritious and scrumptious dinner and know that no living beings were harmed in the making of it, why wouldn’t I? The fact that it’s far better for the environement and makes me feel healthier… are both pretty good added perks. It seems pretty black and white to me, but, as I said, I am not forcing my opinions or choices on others.

This came up in conversation recently, actually it comes up quite a lot! Most people are relatively understanding of the vegetarian thing…a lot of people are very not inderstanding of the vegan thing… In the conversation that stuck with me most, it was said that being vegan is a ‘novelty’ and that they hold a lot of respect for the person who can raise and kill their own food to survive. Look… we live in a pretty advanced country, not as advanced as some, but advanced in many ways. Even the back-arse of nowhere, Bally-go-backwards as my mother has always referred to rural Ireland, we absolutely are spoilt in that we do not have to kill to survive, there are so many plant based options readily available (far more readily available than I actually realised, although if ButterCreamDream Bakery could find a way to deliver to Fermanagh I would hugely appreciate it :p ) even in Bally-go-backwards that the choice has been given to us to make.

The other day I was watching a series on Netflix about weird and wonderful cultures across the globe. (I can’t watch crime dramas or movies when I’m designing/making because I get way too involved in the shows and end up forgetting that I’m working so I stick to documentaries that I can listen to!) One of the cultures was on some teeny tiny island somewhere where the village children were being educated to ensure that they would look to the ‘modern world’ for education, employment and a ‘better life’… as it was described. The people lived a very simple life, it made me slightly envious in many ways. Hpwever, their food consisted largely of whatever whale or dolphin they might catch that week and that would feed the whole village until they managed to catch another. At first, I grimaced, the thought of ripping a dolphin open made me gag. As a vegetarian I should be wholly against this lifestyle…shouldn’t I? But this simple, beautiful, way of life, without technology or wifi, without imports and exports, without the social pressures of the selfie game, took place on a beautiful beach, with huts made from the earth, clothes spun from the plants, food provided by the sea…no plastic, no landfills, no polution… This way of life was a reminder that we may be blessed with the choice of certain lifestyles, we may have the luxury of choosing cruelty free…but it is choices made by the modern world, as it became the world that we live in today, that have lead us to a point where choosing to do good when it can sometimes seem easier not to care…is more important than ever.

Judging is not in my mindset, what goes through your head and leads to your choices are entirely your decision. And I’m not telling everyone that they should start eating plant based (although if you do…YAAAAY!) but if we could all make a choice, just one little choice every day, to make the world a better place…isn’t that our duty as human beings living in a world of plenty to make choices that will make the world a better place?

A few months ago I was having coffee with a journalist to promote our production of ‘Peter Pan: Welcome to Neverland’. When asked about funding and financial resources for producing theatre, Treasa (my better theatre-half and co-founder of our wonderful company The Rabbits Riot Theatre Company….go check out facebook πŸ˜‰ ) laughed and said even if we were given €1million we’d still be building sets out of recycled materials and up-cycling old jeans to make waistcoats! This is the happy truth, when we have money to spend we invest in people, talents, skills…sure we have to spend something on set and costumes, even upcycled corsets need new eyelets, but it’s making a choice to use old election posters to build trees and nursery’s instead of buying a bunch of stuff when we really don’t need to, raiding everyone’s crappy jeans and painting them up to look like leather and cutting up debs dresses instead of spending a fortune on a costume that will only end up being upcycled again at some point anyway!

Small choices, every day, paint a bigger, happier picture. Smile at the checkout clerk… you’ve no idea why they aren’t in great form… buy a re-usable coffee cup and every now and again have a vegatarian dinner πŸ™‚

Stay fabulous my wonderful friends,

Sparkly kitchen handles will be up next week!

Much Love

Sonia

Even Unicorns Need a Break

The latest unicorn attempt…

Hi Friends!! How are you all??

As I stand in the kitchen at my laptop beginning to write I feel strangely chilled out and relaxed. Last week felt crazy busy, every day last week was spent sewing, writing, fretting over designs that weren’t working, having meetings, socialising and organising…the weekend, although wonderful and full of energetic emotions, consisted of a lot of driving and a lot more socialising.

We drove to Dublin this weekend, although not to see the pope as many others did. It was perhaps the best weekend to travel down as there was less traffic than would usually be around on a Saturday afternoon as anyone who didn’t NEED to be in Dublin made a point of not being there! Or at the very least had stayed off the roads for fear of all the anticipated traffic (which then didn’t materialise). Nope, we went down to surprise one of my nearest and dearest for her surprise birthday party, her girlfriend had organised said surprise birthday party and it was the most loving birthday I had been to in a long time! Sometimes, I fear, we can forget how important people are in our lives until we experience something like a surprise birthday where everyone comes together to celebrate how much they love one dear friend! We had a lovely evening, many cocktails flowed and the mountains of food were devoured along with the increadibly chocolatey, rainbow cake filled with crunchy M&M’s!

When first arriving near the ‘big-city’ we visited my sister for lunch as we were staying with her for the night. She had chosen a sweet little cafe in an old manor house re-purposed as a tourist attraction. The menu was full of delicious options…if one was a carnivore or even a pescatarian but my sister and I had one salad option, although I would quite often order salads (I had a fab vegan salad in Cafe Fluer in Sligo last week!) this was a poor attempt as something filling as it was predominantly made up of lettuce with a few cherry tomatoes in it, a couple of green beans and perhaps one full asparagus chopped up! Dinner at my friends the following day was far nicer and she even went to the effort of making a deliciously beautiful vegan cake!

Anyway, point is, although it may have been a week no busier than any other and really a very enjoyable weekend, I regularly forget how much of an introvert I am. Yesterday I woke up completely and utterly drained, my throat was scratchy and sore as though I was contracting a flu, my energy levels were all but depleted and my motivation was out the window! Only my habit of getting up, dressed, making the bed and having a coffee got me started and I had promised for work to be done by the end of yesterday after being away for the weekend so I forced myself to get on with it and stumbled through the day getting a start on some big up-coming projects (Culture Night is going to be AMAZING…just saying!) But I was grumpy and fed up by the time anyone was home. I joked and chatted and tried to distract myself by scrolling through vegan recipes to decide what to eat (eventually making lentil dahl which actually turned out really yum!) but although my brain was saying ‘get yo shit together and act like a grown up’ my body was saying ‘fuck you, let me sleep’.

The Urban Dictionary states that ‘contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love to see their friends but just need some time to ”recharge” afterwards. The word “introvert” has negative connotations that need to be destroyed.’

I love socialising, but I need to re-charge after I do so and although the past 7 days were far from the most chaotic of my life, they were busy, focused and draining with no recharge time! Today I got up with a pile of designs to develop that I could have forced my brain to attempt to create and end up just as drained as I was by the end of yesterday OR read my book (it was really good, not for the faint hearted though!! The Visitors by Catherine Burns), stick on my favourite soundtracks, wash the mountain of dishes piled up around the sink, tidy up the kitchen and clean out some cupboards that I’ve been looking at for months wishing that they would just clean themselves… I did the latter. I barely spoke to anyone today…and as much as I love my freinds and family…one day of focusing on the little things that will clear my head and re-charge my batteries will boost me into having a more productive rest of the week.

There’s this book, ‘Bounce’ by Robert J Wicks, and he talks about taking out some chill time each day to re-focus, re-charge and prep for a clean slate to start tomorrow. It’s mostly about resilience and avoiding burn-out but re-charging is often something I think we forget about. We sleep at the end of each day so clearly that’s enough to re-charge us, right? Maybe I’m just a weirdo but life is freaking crazy in today’s society, with so much to keep up with and so many different pressures, surely it can only be a good thing if we can find 10 minutes to have to ourselves each day, no phone, no kids, no TV or laptop, just us with our favourite soundtrack and some dishes to wash (or whatever…I like cleaning, I find it therapeutic… and no, I’m not a Stepford wife!).

So here I am, I know I’m blessed to have got a whole day, sometimes it’s 10 minutes stolen here and there, but as an introvert (and honestly I think as a human, it can’t just be an introvert thing!), I need to re-charge. Last week I wrote about remembering to say ‘fuck off’ ( Check out Hell No!!) and that you are the most important person in your life… well remember to take some time out, re-charge those batteries so that we can be that bad ass that gets shit done the rest of the time, take some time away from the blue lights of technology, clean a cupboard out that you’ve been looking at for months (it feels hilariously awesome to finally have it cleaned and tidied! It will probably only last a day but I took a pic just to prove that it was tidy for 5 minutes :p ) read that book that’s been sitting gathering dust, do something that’s for you, not for anyone else, because that will put a smile on your face when you cook dinner and all the saucepans don’t fall out of the topsy-turvy cupboard… and give yourself a freaking break.

You are doing awesome things just by being alive πŸ™‚

Stay Fabulous,

Stay chilled

and keep being AMAZING!!

Much Love

Sonia

xx

Hell No!

Hey y’all, how’s tricks this week? Hopefully everyone has had a relatively uneventful weekend and is powering into a productive week! Our weekend went without too much drama… got followed and waited for by the police Saturday night and apparently hit a pole outside McDonalds while waiting for my drive through food, I was at least 3 foot away from said pole and parking sensors don’t lie! At 1am I suppose they’re just doing their job! I offered to breathe into a breathalizer (unless sparkling Ballygowan is now laced with alcohol because I would have been sooooo over the limit if it is!) but they went on their way… very odd!

And yesterday I got a fabric delivery… red and green satin, red and green sequin fabric, red and green tulle and oooh..the silver paisley! So much pretty….and guess who is already prepping for the Big C! I cannot believe that I’m one of those people this year! I’m just back from coffee with mum (vegan coffee and vegan choooocolate fudge cake… heaven has been found people!!), afterwards we went into a craft/book store and holy crap! The first thing you see is all the Christmas stationary for card making and homemade baubles! Super duper crazy cute stuff…but guys… it’s freaking August, not even the last week of August…not even September…or Halloween…or Thanksgiving for all you American folks (hey y’all!) but freaking August! They had green and red ribbon to match the reams of fabric that were delivered yesterday so who the hell am I to talk!

Anyway, this blog wasn’t supposed to be about Christmas, or fabric or AMAZING vegan chocolate cake…it’s meant to be about the most important thing in my life, and everyone’s life…my hair. Yes, my hair is pretty high up there in the priorities list for me, shallow I know, but I have my reasons!

I have come to notice that so many people are so damn worried about other peoples’ opinions of them that they have locked themselves into little boxes and refuse to come out, they shy away from confrontation in case they hurt someones’ feelings, they ‘go with the flow’ and try to ‘fit in’ in absolutely every way that they can, they let people walk all over them and do you know what? They are freaking miserable.

Let me tell you a story about my past… One Halloween night we went away with some friends, I didn’t know said friends too well but knew they enjoyed drink and a good time. They were perfectly nice and welcoming and the night started alright… although nothing of the sort had been said, I felt a pressure to keep up with the alcohol consumption and a need to prove myself as an equal. Later that night, in an overcrowded bar, with lots of drunk people in fancy dress and masks, I had a panic attack. My boyfriend rushed me back to the house in a taxi as it gradually got worse and worse, took me up to our room and tried everything he could to calm me down. Panic attacks were normal for me, they were becoming more and more regular, but this was a new level of freaky. Eventually an ambulance was called and the medics finally stabilized me. For weeks I was a shaking mess, humiliated that I hadn’t been strong enough to stand my own, horrified that my poor boyfriend (we hadn’t been together very long at that stage!) had such a scary experience with me…but worst of all? I was terrified of the demons in my own head, that’s where it all starts and ends. Sure, there had been a few years of shit that had lead me up to this point but social anxiety had taken me by the horns and was throwing me around like a ping pong ball.

After I had managed to work past the fact that this had actually happened, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. Life is a bitch. We will face hardship no matter what, there will aways be an asshole somewhere who wants to ruin your day, a shop clerk in a shitty mood who could do with a smile or a stupid driver who gives you a fright (thank god for decent driving skills!) but one thing I have learned over the past few years is that we are ALWAYS at the mercy of our own thoughts. We become what we allow to have in our lives. People treating you like crap? Well guess what honey, you are letting them do that. Friends being ass holes? You choose to keep them around. Boyfriend being a douche bag and letting you down? You can walk out, you can always walk out.

So many of my family and friends have come to me over the years for advice… shit knows why because my life is a mess half the time! But one thing I have begun to understand is the power we have over ourselves. Today I had a conversation about how in ‘todays world’ there are so many choices, it’s so much easier to be free, to be who you want to be… in some cases, sure there are more career options, travel options, women aren’t expected (as much) to just get married and pop out babies, choosing veganism or vegetarianism is more accepted and it may be ‘easier’ to follow your dreams and yet when I dye my hair and walk down main street people look at me as though I have landed from Mars.

So many people preach about ‘being yourself’ and ‘staying true to yourself’ yet when we do that we are questioned or shunned. Sure my friends think its cool, my boyfriend loves it and my family think I’m a brave crazy person but that’s because I have chosen to have people around me who accept me as me, all the mad colours, high heels, princess dresses and fairy wings combined (they also tend to keep me stocked with chocolate during stressful times!) and I accept them as my tribe. Sometimes, the colours fade weirdly, sometimes it’s a fucking disaster but my crazy hair, tattoos, funky clothes and extensive shoe collection are an outward representation of who I am. I like me, I’m flawed and fucked up and have made so many mistakes than I can’t count them, but I am me and I’m happy with that!

Now, I’m not saying that everyone should dress funky and dye their hair rainbow (although I encourage all healthy expressions of inner radiance πŸ˜‰ ) but I am saying that we can choose what people we allow to play a role in our life. If someone in your close circle is out of line ask yourself ‘would I treat a friend like that?’. So often self doubt, lack of self worth, and just being too close to a situation can cloud our judgement…so this way we let our gut decide if this behaviour is ok or not. We might not always understand how we should be treated, but we always know how we treat others. If the answer is no then maybe it’s time to have a convo with the person that made you feel like crap! If it’s a regular occurance or they refuse to see why it’s wrong theeeen do you really want to have people with that kind of attitude in your life?

It’s the same with our own thoughts… if you suffer from depression, anxiety or even just having shitty days where the world can feel agaisnt you, you’ll probably find that you say some pretty shitty things to yourself. Ask yourself… would I say that to a friend? UH…hell no! They’d ditch me and tell me where to shove it! So why the bloody hell do you speak to yourself like that!

That panic attack at Halloween is probably the best thing that ever happened to me… I started to face my demons, head on. My thought processes were challenged, I started reading self help books, re-training my thoughts, focusing on the amazing things in life, showing grattitude (grattitude journals are awesome…start one! A journal just dedicated to things to be grateful for!), choosing who I allowed to influence my life, putting my energies into things that made me happy rather than things that starved my creative energies and learning how to not give a fuck.

We are here for one life and one life alone (unless your a Buddhist, in which case you will come back as a sparkling Unicorn), why the hell would we let other people control our lives?! When I die I want to know that I lived the width and breadth of my life…not just the length of it, and if that means having orange rainbow hair then so be it!

Start saying no to ass holes, ‘fuck off’ to unwelcome thoughts and practising a bit of self care. We are the most important person in our lives (it’s not selfish, it’s a fact)…because that makes us alive… otherwise we would be dead and that would not be cool! Stop giving a fuck, take control of your life, have a freaking party, do something every day that makes you happy and watch your world change baby!

Stay fabulous my friends!!

Much Love

Sonia

xx

Good People Can be Stupid Too

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All Human and Hoods!

Good morning all!! …or afternoon…or night…wherever in the world you are when reading this. Hope you have all had a wonderful weekend and are taking this week by the horns and whooping some productive ass!

This picture is me…all human and hoods…no make up or contouring…haven’t even brushed my hair to be honest! Because d’you know what? We’re all freaking human, we should celebrate ourselves every now and again! Leave me some comments about what make you FABULOUS! I’ll start… check the comments!

Warning… offensive words have been *’d out πŸ™‚

Anyway…back to the blog…This morning I got up at an ungodly hour, took my boyfriend 5 minutes down the road en route to his workplace and his boss pulled in in front of us and took him to work for me, saved me 40 minutes on the road! Great start to the day! I also attempted what looked like a fairly straightforward calorie busting workout that I found on Pinterest…never trust Pinterest… it burns like a moth**f***er! My legs are jelly and feel as though they will stay like this for some time… #progress …

Anyway, yesterday I wrote out a blog to post today, lots of serious stuff about how other people are narrow minded and racist and how can they not see that the statements they make are offensive and bla bla bla. This was after a rather racist comment was said to me on Sunday night and the rest of yesterday was spent mulling over the sick feeling I had in my stomach because…narrow minded people are so f***ing stupid sometimes!

Last night, I had a revelation… remember that wedding cake falling apart in the van? (check my blogΒ It’s Me if you missed it), well, for all the anger I harboured towards narrow minded people I wasted an entire freaking day without barely an ounce of positive thought. I tried everything I knew to justify the racist comments to make myself feel better while I continuously stabbed myself with sewing pins due to a serious lack of concentration… but nothing worked, except perfecting the art of stabbing myself. I even had a scalding hot shower and washed my, now slightly faded, orange locks because that ALWAYS makes me feel better. But that didn’t work either… how dare this one person take over a whole freaking day of my life and fill it with negative thoughts and upset me so much with such narrow minded thinking.

Revelation: I can be a judgemental bitch sometimes.

Honestly, I think we all can be. So often, when someone has a strong oposing opinion to our own, our immediate response is to judge them as a person and build up anger and disgust that anyone could think in such a way. Instead of stopping to wonder what has lead them to the opinion that they have, we assume that they are just a bad person. This can create some seeeerious warfare in a brains when we KNOW that they are a very good person but if so, then how can they have such awful opinions?

Expecting someone who is a good person to always have wonderful opinions about everything, despite being fed the wrong information which has lead to their questionable opinions, is like expecting someone who has never even drawn a pattern to create a master-piece gown. To create a gown of any kind we must first have some basic skills, we need to know how to choose the right fabric, to envision some sort of concept, to thread a needle at the very least and, perhaps, use a pair of scissors, we can’t just hand a baby a sewing project and expect miracles! So if someone who has never made anything out of fabric before gets the worst advice ever, makes a gown and it falls apart as soon as someone puts it on…can we blame them for making a somewhat useless (or useful depending on how easily you like your clothes to fall off) item of clothing? Or do we wonder how on earth they managed to create such a disaster?

Over the years there has always been someone dictating and preaching hate, whether it’s Catholics vs Protestants during the Civil War, whether it’s Nazi leaders against the Jews, whether it’s the KKK against humans of colour, whether it’s world leader’s against Muslims, whether it’s in the fight for equal marriage or the legalizing abortion campaign, there is ALWAYS someone, somewhere preaching hate.

My opinion? Hate comes from fear… fear comes from a lack of knowledge… a lack of knowledge comes from a lack in education (or being fed false information). I can’t blame other people for putting me in a shitty mood because of not being educated, it’s not entirely their fault. It can take years of un-learning hate that has been drilled into them from a child or fed through daily news reports, and years to realise that maybe those teachings were in fact wrong before they can even begin to consider a world beyond those thoughts and opinions. It’s not our responsibility to make people change their opinions but I can make it a responsibility to share my knowledge if people want to open their minds to be more understanding. If someone wants to make a dress…there’s a few things I’m still figuring out, it’ll stay in one piece and last multiple events, survive your washing machine and hopefully the colour won’t run, and I have plenty of useful information to get people started but I’m still learning too…as we all should be and do well to remember it because being a judgemental snob will ruin your day… trust me… I will never get those 24 hours back!

Before anyone decides to jump down my throat…I am not condoning racism, the spreading of hate or any other such negative process but what I am suggesting is that before assuming someone is clearly going to burn in hell (or wherever the burning happens) start to consider how they ended up with those thoughts and/or opinions. Sometimes, those are the people that need to witness and experience the open minded kindness, love and humility seen in the world before they can start to change their views.

Good people can have shitty opinons, we’re all human (well…my mother reckons I’m a Martian but hell, I like to think I’m human most of the time) and god knows we all f*** up, but that’s part of life isn’t it? Take the curve ball and keep playing the game…and maybe… juuuuust maybe we might figure out the freaking rules one day, maybe make it to the wedding reception in one piece, but until then… keep rebuilding those layers until you figure out how to make them stick together!

Have an awesome week my friends!

Share the Love

Share the Happiness

Share the Kindness

And stay f***cking FABULOUS!

Love Sonia

xx