the stagnation of ‘having it all’

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I was really, really happy before Christmas. The happiest I’d been in years. Life was gliding and it felt fantastic.

You can guess where this is going. In January of this year, things went downhill and life got bleak. Again. There was no life; I breathed, ate, slept, but nothing more.

Thankfully I have readjusted, and life has colour again. I want to savour, not survive. In the past three months I have done more than I ever did in the five-ish months before Christmas. There have been dips and dark days, but I plough ahead because I know I want to, not because I have to.

I truly believe that I ‘had it all’ before Christmas; the soft contentedness was almost childlike. Nothing could – and nothing did – harm me. This was wonderful, but it was stagnant. Deeply, deeply stagnant. I relaxed into complacency, dropping me further into stagnation.

Fast forward to this year in all its painful glory, and I have accomplished far more. Searing trauma has provided me with contrast; if life can be terrible, life can be great. If I plough ahead and focus on this greatness, the contrast intensifies and life gets better. Of course no-one would want the pain to get worse, but viewing it through the lens of contrast can make the great even greater.

What I’m really trying to say is that ‘having it all’ is not what ‘having it all’ is built up to be. All you need is a taste; any more and you are sucked into a life unlived. A content life unlived is still a life unlived.  We need the pain to encourage us to live our lives out of our own accord.

Don’t let your life glide past. You really don’t need to have it all.

Love and luck,

Clodagh X

Latest video: https://youtu.be/AfrOSKclT5A

Twitter: twitter.com/clodaghmcginley

Instagram: instagram.com/clodagh.mcginley

 

 

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travel without travelling

 

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As you may or may not know, I’m not the biggest fan of travelling. You could even say that I dislike it. This is, however, dependent on a number of factors – who I’m with, how I feel, etc. So it isn’t always awful.

One of the main issues I have with going abroad – i.e. physically travelling –  is that I don’t gain a whole lot from the mere act of seeing a new place. It does not fill a void in my soul, nor does it bestow me with the travel bug. I can count on one hand the number of times visiting somewhere new has put a bounce in my step rather than a weight on my shoulders. This unsolicited ‘weight on my shoulders’ has allowed me to delve further into the concept of travelling, and what it signifies for so many.

Why do we travel? For enjoyment? Distraction? Enlightenment? Perhaps for all of the above and more. The word ‘novelty’ itself has its roots in the Old French term for ‘new’; we are constantly seeking novelty from the daily grind. A new perspective. Or maybe we just want to get away for a while.

If travelling fundamentally consists of that which is new, why must we travel to experience said newness? Do we really have to physically transport ourselves to foreign lands in order to relieve ourselves of mundanity? To set out on a path of self-discovery?

When we break down travelling like this, we can begin to comprehend how the physical act of travelling is not necessary for travel to take place. Your mind is means enough for you to explore new realms; what’s to say that the beat of a song can’t warm you up like the blazing sun? A new city is a new story – find it within yourself instead of crossing seas to hear it.

If you travel to seek distraction or escapism, I am of the opinion that you may want to take a step back and pinpoint that from which you are running. Oftentimes the only way out is through; your problems will still be there when you inevitably return home. You are not escaping so much as you are stalling.

There is much to gain from considering what it means to travel rather than the literal act of travelling, or of transporting oneself to new places. When the concept of travelling is broken down, I would almost go as far as to say that I enjoy it; that is a revelation no plane journey could have given me.

Love and luck,

Clodagh X

Latest video: https://youtu.be/AfrOSKclT5A

Twitter: twitter.com/clodaghmcginley

Instagram: instagram.com/clodagh.mcginley

acceptance over love

 

I can’t honestly say that I love myself. I do not embrace my flaws or scream ‘I am what I am’ over the rooftops. At one level, this makes me feel somewhat alienated from those who are unashamedly themselves. The people who don’t question every word they say. I don’t, however, let this bog me down; I may not love myself, but I accept myself.

There is a rhetoric floating around these days that speaks of how we must love ourselves before we love others. We must embrace our differences and eradicate self-loathing. On the surface this sounds ideal. We all just give ourselves a big hug and everything is fine! If only it were that simple.

As far as I’m concerned, it is far more important to accept yourself before you love yourself. Even if you accept yourself and you don’t end up loving every inch of your being, you’ll still be better equipped to face the world.

There is a strange guilt that comes with not expressing love for your (apparent) flaws; you feel as though your lack of self-love will inhibit your potential to love and appreciate others. You’re a disappointment to compassion.

This is where self-acceptance is key. You do not have to cherish your imperfections. You can acknowledge their presence and accept the role they play in your life, but loving them is unessential. I categorically do not love my crooked spine, asymmetrical jaw, introverted nature or tendency to assume the worse case scenario. But they’re a part of me, and that’s just fine. These things have taught me a lot, and they’ll probably continue to do so as I become older and – hopefully – wiser.

Let’s stop making people feel guilty for not ‘owning’ their flaws. You can feel lacklustre about yourself while continuing to love others. The more we accept, the more we can move on and unshackle ourselves from the impossible task of loving what we hate.

Love and luck,

Clodagh X

Latest video: https://youtu.be/AfrOSKclT5A

Twitter: twitter.com/clodaghmcginley

Instagram: instagram.com/clodagh.mcginley

 

astrology through irish | astralaíocht trí ghaeilge (VIDEO)

My lastest video is all about how to refer to astrology in the Irish language (pronunciation, terminology, handy phrases like ‘what sign are you’) – give it a watch if you like!

Love and luck,

Clodagh X

rigidity and authority

It can take a very long time to accept that you will never please everyone. Some people never accept it at all. They find themselves cornered by the opinions of others, unable to make any meaningful change in their life.

This is absolutely something I have dealt with; I can’t count the number of times I’ve woken up to searing self-doubt and non-existent self-esteem. It is no way to live, trust me.

A lot of it boils down to this feeling of never gaining approval from certain – wholly unimportant – individuals. No matter what you do they don’t seem to care. They continue to push their interests and their tastes upon those around them. It is exhausting even attempting to burst their bubble.

And thus we come to the issue. Why is their ‘bubble’ of what they deem to be ‘good’ or ‘worthy’ so definitive? It is a well-known fact that taste is purely subjective. What I hate, you may love. And vice versa. We all agree on that.

It is also a well-known fact, however, that it is very easy to present opinion as fact. It is disgustingly easy to convince someone that ‘this is better than that’ just because you say so. In short: rigidity of belief can translate to authority of belief if we are not careful.

Do not let this happen. If you like what you created, that’s the most important part. Whether or not other people like it is (unfortunately) not in your control; from a more positive angle, this also means that what other people like is not something that you are in charge of. This means that you are under no obligation to pay attention to what somebody says is good or bad. Something just ‘is’.

In no way is this post unique or groundbreaking, but it’s phenomenal how easy it is to forget that rigidity does not equate to authority. You will never, ever please the whole world at once.

Love and luck,

Clodagh X

save your Irish | Gaeilge 2018

I know I said that Iwouldn’t be doing many more posts on languages, but evidently I lied!

This is also the first video I’ve done in a long time, exciting stuff.

The Irish language is something I feel quite strongly about; it is very much a minority language + while this is unfortunate, there is a lot we can do to help save the language.

Enjoy!