The Importance Of Not Judging A Book By Its Cover

823ac557f14dd4effb75412ef822cbc6.jpgWe live in a society where many people judge and treat others based on their looks. Have you ever had an experience talking to someone, and then felt that they spoke differently with another person beside you. Perhaps the tone in their voice changes, the eyes look more engaged and various other signs that are a giveaway. I previously wrote about how we live in a shallow world and how to stay true to yourself in a superficial world. Whether it is in friendship or any relationship, we always meet people first by seeing the way they look, before sinking deeper into their personality. There is a concept that people who are considered more attractive are more trustworthy and likely to be successful.

Although, I could write about many different examples, Appearances will always be valued at various degrees. I still feel that it is very shallow and unreasonable to compare someones self worth with the way they look. In hoping to not contradict myself, I do want to write about it from both point of views. Everyone has such different personalities and beauties within that can be seen if given the time to get to know them. Another aspect is the different experiences we have all been through. No matter how much we perceive someone visually, we cannot imagine or judge what they have been through. It’s only when we speak, listen, give our time and engage, that we can understand.

When I wrote about what really matters in the world, I genuinely believe that the world needs more kindness, love and compassion. I believe that the most important thing at the end of the day is the relationships we have with people. Yet, with most people we barely scratch the surface. We walk around past thousands of strangers in our life time. Judgement of a film, book or a person before giving them a chance, can make a person lose the chance of possibly unfolding and diving into a wonderful story or friendship. Perhaps the reason why people judge, is because there is an assumption that if we feel someone is unattractive or attractive, it will be connected to positive or negative traits they may possess.

I previously wrote about why I deleted my personal Facebook, and in many aspects I felt that having a Facebook with hundreds of primary, high school and university friends and acquaintances started to feel like many people used it solely to judge others. Whether it was what they currently look like now, what someone did on a Friday night, what job they have and so on. I now have a private Facebook with literally 5 people, who are family members that I message. As much as I try not to judge, I am someone who is a more ‘keep to myself’ sort of person, where most of those thoughts tend to stay in my head. But I think there is an importance in what we speak that should be considered, whether it’s kind, constructive or necessary.

Although, I have been speaking strongly about not judging a book by the cover, it’s only fair to see it from both sides of the coin. There are many times where small situations may cause us to judge by the cover. For example, I noticed that I get asked a lot for directions or asked to take photos for tourists. I generally have a friendly face, I don’t use my phone on the streets, I’m generally very aware of my surroundings and seem more approachable to some people. Maybe it’s a good thing and maybe it’s not. There are certain situations that causes us to naturally judge someone by their appearances. We may judge ones appearances for our safety at night time or a persons outfit for an interview. There is a difference between fair judgment and condemnation.

In terms of body image, we tend to judge a bigger body in leaning towards the unhealthy side and a slender figure with a healthy body. Whereas, that may not necessarily be the case, as body image does not determine inner health. The truth is people will always judge. When you walk down the streets, people aren’t able to see your wonderful humour, great personality or way of speaking. The important thing to remember as an individual, is to stay true to yourself. When we get caught up with the world, it can be quick to be absorbed into the superficiality. Remember to stay grounded, honest, true and focused on what is really important in life.

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5 Things Highly Sensitive People Want You To Know

4974aa3ea0eacff34d5646c46437934d.jpgThis may not be the perfect image to explain the highly sensitive person, but I wanted to make this post more from my own personal point of view as an introvert (note: not all HSP’s are necessarily introverts). I’m very much like the girl in the image in the sense that I feel colourful in my mind when I’m doing something enjoyable in an environment I feel comfortable and creative in without any distractions. As a more quiet soul, and as well as an INFJ, I have felt a lot of misconceptions in terms of being an introvert, being sensitive and being a more quiet person. I could probably expand more on being an HSP in the workplace or in social situations, but I will just touch on the general things that most HSP’s may feel too.

1) We feel very deeply and our thoughts are very often unseen. Most people will speak out what they are thinking in their mind. However, most HSP’s will keep many of their thoughts to themselves. We can feel an overwhelming amount of emotions from the smallest seemingly things, such as smells, lighting and noise and more obvious things such as a stressful situations. Many of us are very empathetic and don’t like to say things that might affect someone negatively. If I’m ever in a group conversation, I’m very often the listener.

2) We feed off creativity and having the ability to tap in our inner world. We desire the need to express our emotions and reduce any stress, anxiety or tension if we have any. Creativity is imagination. It is a wonderful world inside of ourselves that we need in order to have energy, inspiration and motivation. We may find it in drawing, reading, dancing, singing, playing an instrument, writing or whatever else it may be. Being able to express ourselves through creativity is such an important aspect of being an HSP.

3) We don’t deal well in situations with people who are forceful and loud. This point is mostly from my personal experience. I clash easily with highly extroverted and loud individuals who are more forceful and blunt. Nor do I tend to deal well with managers who are more on the insensitive side and are direct in an unkind way. Especially the ones who never offer any praise and make one feel negative. It can really cause us to want to escape from the situation and avoid having to interact with the person.

4) We take many things to heart and can be easily amused or easily upset. This is an individual’s journey, as many things I have had to learn to let it fly by and not let it get to me too much. But there are certain things that hurt us as we often care too much. There are many matters in the world that many HSP’s care deeply about, and wish they could do something about it. As someone who is highly sensitive, listening to music or eating great food can be a simple way to feel happy. If a person is funny and amusing to me, it’s easy for me to laugh and smile around them. If a film is extremely emotional and touching, it’s very easy for me to cry.

5) We believe that sensitivity should be seen as a strength, not a weakness. The biggest misconception of sensitivity is that it is a weak trait. This is definitely not the case. I’ve always found it interesting how many people are able to let certain things slide past them, but they will talk about it negatively to their friends or family. The truth is we are all sensitive.Sensitivity allows us to connect with other people and really meet people in a heart to heart way.

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The Feeling Of Being A 20 Year Old So Far

tumblr_m8cifw51nm1r7c5r8o1_500It was one month after my birthday when I wanted to write about this, as the feeling of being 2o sunk in a lot deeper than expected. However, now that 4 months has flown by, I feel that I can list everything more smoothly and sanely. As much as I know that age is just a number, the emphasis of no longer being a teenager sinks in even more when you know that you have reached two decades of life. It’s a wonderful and scary thing at the same time. There are many perks and new experiences you will face.

here are some of the things I’ve felt from being a 20 year old so far…

There are no excuses anymore for being young. This may be from the fact that I left home at 16. At the time, people were far more laid back and I would often hear “Don’t worry, you’re still young!” but as the years go by, you are expected to know what you are doing in your life.

You feel like you aren’t quite an adult. I definitely feel like my silly and imaginative self far more when I’m in my own world. When talking to adults, I feel the need to hide those aspects of myself. You will also feel like there is a lot that you still don’t know, which is completely normal.

Adults are strange human beings. I say this in the most possibly The Little Prince way. As a semi-somewhat adult, I feel I cannot fully relate to many adults just yet. There are many adults who act in a way where they think they are always right, adults who are truly wise and adults who have surprisingly unexpected good humour. It’s a whole ‘nother world in the adult world.

People will ask your age more often. From my experience, 20 is the age where I look like I could pass as a teenager or someone in my something 20’s.  It’s the slightly awkward stage where people will ask you if you’re still in high school, what you do as a job or what you’re studying in university.

You will begin the journey of learning, failing and succeeding. You will for sure have experiences you wish you didn’t have to experience, but they will teach you a lot about yourself and other people. They will also teach you how to deal with situations better next time. If you don’t make mistakes, then you’ll never learn and grow.

Grocery Shopping and seeing discounts becomes a joy. This was definitely true when I left home, but at 20 I am more serious about saving money, and seeing bananas and avocados at low price or almond milk on sale makes me so happy.

Saving money becomes one of your top priority. It sinks in a lot more that you will need money to buy a house and a car in the future. You will need money to travel  to your favourite countries. You will need money to pay for your future children’s education and various other things that you will need money to pay.

Realising how much time I like to spend by myself. At 20 years old, I realise how much I only need a small amount of friends to be happy, and how much I like to spend 80% of my time alone. All my hobbies (reading, writing, walking, watching movies, exercising, cooking etc) are things that I generally do alone.

Exercising regularly becomes a routine. Fast metabolism is not going to last forever. I believe that as you grow older, your metabolism naturally slows down, and in order to maintain your health it’s important to exercise regularly.

The question “What am I doing with my life” sinks in. Many people in university may also feel this way, as I know it’s common to still feel unsure even when one is studying a degree. It’s the uncertainty of what specific job and asking myself will I enjoy it. Life is unpredictable. I remember talking to a few adults who told me they changed their careers several times throughout their lives. It’s okay to try different things.

Discovering who you are as a person. At 20, I feel more sure of who I am, what I like/don’t like, people I like being surrounded by and the things I feel passionate about compared to my younger high school self. At the same time, I still have a lot more experiences to go through and a lot more to discover about myself.

Being aware of eating healthy and drinking water. Good health and staying hydrated is something you will become more and more aware of. I mentioned previously in a post, that I went to the doctors several times in the last year, and it really made me realise how important it is to remember to drink water throughout the day and eat! I am 3 months meat-free so far and can feel the health benefits.

Fashion personal style changes and choices. In my teen years I wore a lot more cute clothing, with lace, bows and florals. However, I noticed I wear a lot more monochrome clothing now, with staple pieces of black and grey. I take far far less time to get dressed and don’t really think too much of it now, whereas my teen years, getting dressed seemed to be a very important thing.

You start thinking about marriage and your career. Thinking about the future is inescapable. As you enter your 20’s there’s definitely a consideration for the next step. I start thinking about when I might get married, have children, what job I might be doing in 5 years time and which city I will be living in. By all means, reminding myself to stay in the moment, but 20 seems to bring all these questions into my mind.

Keeping your plants alive makes you feel accomplished. It truly does. If you can take care of yourself independently that is the most important thing. But being able to keep plants alive by remembering to water them, makes one feel like there’s a chance of getting a cat or two some day.

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You Are Capable Of Much More Than Looking Pretty

5779de052f3190a73919c29d8209353d.jpgWhen I was younger, whenever there was a new girl at school, one of the girls at school (who later became a fashion model) and her friends would always ask “is she prettier than us?” It was quite sad to see that many young girls already put their self worth on physical attractiveness, comparing themselves to others and getting more attention from other boys at school at a young age. I felt the need to write about this, because it is more apparent in our media, society and everyday life more than ever. The amount of emphasis that women (and men) put on surface leveled things are so common that it is almost made normal. The amount of importance placed on looks can be detrimental.

One of the causes of eating disorders, body dysmorphia, depression and various other illnesses arise from the simple thinking that our self worth comes from the way we look. Young people are exposed more than ever to a level of perfection that is unattainable in the ‘real’ world. The amount of images that are filtered and edited are more than we realise. I was watching an interview with Audrey Hepburn. As one of the most undeniably beautiful and kind hearted human being, you could see in her eyes that she did not see her physical beauty the way others do, when she spoke about the way people described her physicality. She talks about how she goes home like everyone and spends time doing her own things.

We must advocate for health, kindness and rising others up. The issue is that health is determined by image very much of the time. Women are always being looked at, analysed and judged heavily for their appearances. You are able to do more than you know, than being looked at. Every person has unique abilities and talents to contribute to something powerful and positive in the world. There is something inside of you that no one else has. Time is all we have at the end of the day. To spend too much time thinking about appearances is a great loss.

Life is beautiful when you are in the moment, unconcerned about appearing beautiful as you try to live. When you think of your happiest times, were they only when you snapped the moment on Social Media? Were you happiest when you were spending time to appear happy or attractive to others? Happiness and beauty come from living – truly living and ultimately comes from within. Life is a gift. It is all about the feeling, but often we are told it is about what it appears to others and ourselves. To feel truly happy and satisifed, is to not care whether it is seen by others.

Photograph by Parker Fitzgerald

INFJ Careers That Have Creativity And Meaning

5c352378472fe06d97b303ae24b29001.jpgI grew up playing music, drawing and writing. Creativity was always something that made me feel alive. I have been a music teacher, office assistant, cafe waitress, juice maker, fashion writer, yoghurt store assistant, marketing assistant and various other jobs over the years that allowed me to know more about myself and what I truly care about and enjoy doing. After finishing a job last year, I researched on suitable jobs for INFJ’s. There are definitely many other jobs which will not be listed that are enjoyable for some INFJ’s. They do not necessarily have to be in the creative industry. We are very passionate individuals, and if it is anything we feel strongly for, then we will most likely enjoy it.

As an INFJ, I feel we are very caring, emotional, empathetic, helpful and passionate souls. We yearn to do work that feels a sense of meaning or allows us to contribute in making a difference. Other times it’s the need to have an outlet of self expression and creativity. Many INFJ’s are typically independent workers who are most productive in calm environments. We would much rather do a job we enjoy and love, than do a job for money or social status. If a career runs with our personal values, that is far more important than anything else. Many INFJ’s find joy in the arts and other industries: not-for-profit, health care, social service, education.

I know that the best situation for many INFJ’s is to be their own boss.We like a fair situation in the working environment, where no one is talked down on, but treated the same. As long as we feel we have the creative freedom and the ability to be in control of many aspects of our job, as well as a career that is align with our values, it can give us the satisfaction we need. We don’t want a job that feels soul destroying or energy draining. The environment we are in, the people we are surrounded with and the difference we can make in a job, will influence the enjoyment and long term motivation to keep going. If you are an INFJ, it doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to one of these careers or that you won’t be happy elsewhere.

If there are any particular jobs that may come to mind, please let me know and I am happy to add it to the list. 

Arts

Actor, Animator, Architect, Art Director, Art Historian, Artist, Art/Museum Curator, Interior/Graphic/Fashion Designer, Author, Book Shop Assistant, Choreographer, Creative Writer, Creative Director, Composer, Dancer, Editor, Film Critic, Film Director, Librarian, Makeup Artist, Music Therapist, Musician, Painter, Philosopher, Playwright, Photographer, Poet, Singer, Stylist, Technical Writer, Translator, Writer

Business

Accountant, Coaching, Environmental Attorney, Financial Advisor, HR Manager, Corporate Trainer, WordPress Developer, Software Engineer

Education

Early Childhood Teacher, Music Teacher, Lecturer/Professor, Primary Teacher, School Counselor, Special Education Teacher, Tutor

Health Care

Acupuncturist, Care giver, Chiropractor, Dentist, Dietician, Doctor, Human Resources Worker, Mental Health Carer, Nurse, Nutritionist, Pharmacist, Yoga Instructor, Veterinian

Not-For-Profit

Community Worker, Environmental Worker, Human Rights Advocate, Humanitarian

Science

Biologist, Botanist, Food Scientist, Research Assistant, Sociologist,

Social Service

Career Counselor, Clergy, Psychologist, Social Worker, Religious Educator, Therapist

Other

Animal Shelter Volunteer, Blogger, Dog Trainer, Entrepeneur, Florist, Freelancer, Missionary, Priest, Social Media Marketing, Self-Employed, Stay at home parent, Zoologist

If you’re an INFJ: what job would you like to have or what job are you currently in? Do you enjoy it?

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Living In A World That Is Always Busy

A cat is a wonderful example of taking life one day at a time. Do you ever wonder how common it seems that when we ask people “How have you been?”, often the response is “I’ve been very busy”. At least, for many of the times when we have had a hectic week, a lot has been happening or because it has simply become socially accepted and almost encouraged and praised to be a busy person. It is something that has become admired for sounding productive, hard working and always on-the-go. I felt the need to write this, because I feel there is an incredible need to embrace the art of relaxation (as the ginger cat appears to show).

Relaxation is an art of living, breathing and soaking in life. Truly there are weeks where we simply are very busy and it is inescapable, and there are other times where we cause ourselves to feel busy. At the same time, time is something that is often a term loosely thrown around. The truth is there is always time. Busy has become an excuse, over exaggeration, over used and a term made to make us feel a sense of business so to speak. As a country girl at heart, I deeply felt that sense of business when I moved to the city. Everything was always moving, going and never stopping. Many strangers faces looked stressed or occupied. Where as in the country side, people took the time to say hello, good morning and have a chat.

How much work do we really achieve when we are busy? You may of heard of the words: Quality not Quantity. The term busy, actually increases the chances of feeling stress and imbalance in ones working and private life. Life requires balance and ultimately enjoyment. A schedule and lifestyle is very often something that comes from our choices and attitudes towards it. A messy wardrobe can become easily minimal and simple if we make the choice and time to clean it out.

A few years ago, I was working at a lovely cafe. Each Saturday, a co-worker would ask me “What are you getting up to this weekend?” and most of the time I would reply with “I’m just relaxing” or “I’m doing nothing”. She would look concerned and say “Just nothing?”. However, when I made the effort to ask everyone, there would always be an exhausting list of things that many people plan. It’s a simple example, but there is a wonderful enjoyment in doing nothing or just relaxing that we often overlook.

Many people believe time is always running out and money is there to make, therefore adopting a busy lifestyle is expected. Yes, we all need to survive through work, but there is always a part of me that feels the need to escape into an adventure and live, truly live life. Even just taking time to read a good book or spend an afternoon listening to music. Everything is possible, when we make the time for it. The world feels non-stop especially with the rise of technology and living a life online and offline.

The decision to live a life that is simple and enjoyable is always in our hands. Take moments to reflect what the little things you enjoy in life. The early morning sunshine, quiet moments to rest, daily walk outside or the meal you had for lunch. Living a life by putting importance on peace, relationships and inner well being is far more important than running a never ending schedule. Believe it or not, we are the choice makers in our lives. Bask in the wonderful things you enjoy, such as the hobbies one makes time for. Life needs those moments to step back, take a deep breath and pause.

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Do You Consider “You Are Cute” As A Compliment?

cf97c972ebefcef12cc77e74b5336474.jpgIf you were the one growing up who was always called cute, even up until now as a 20 year old, you may relate to some of these points. In many places I worked, lived, went to school and talked to people, I have been told many times that I am a cute person. 90% of the time, when someone gives me the compliment “You are so cute,” they mean well. I smile and I say thank you! I am used to it now, and assume it may be from my personality, clothing and mannerisms. At a young age I fell in love with Hello Kitty, Disney, Stationary, Asian Fashion and Studio Ghibli.

As a soft spoken person who is in her own world a lot of the time, I feel that many people connect cute with looking innocent. I also feel Cute is the sort of compliment that touches on your personality and the way you look. It is very common in Asia for girls to go for a cute fashion style. In the past I’ve been compared to a bunny rabbit, kitten and various other little creatures. However, after the many times it happens, it can get tiring and demeaning. It starts to become patronising. That’s when cute is no longer a compliment. A scenario is the way us girls love to compliment each other. You can always sense when a compliment is not genuine, especially when someone says”Aww.. Cute!” down on you.

As an adult, it can be patronising in the sense that the person saying it to you, can make it feel like they think they are better than you. It can make you feel as if you are being treated like a child. I think perhaps many petite girls may relate to being called cute, because of a smaller stature. Being called cute can often make one feel they cannot be taken seriously. It brings you down a certain level. It becomes condescending in those moments, when the person treats you like a small person. Other times it can be from having a youthful appearance. I don’t mind seeming more child-like by looking younger than I am, but I do mind being treated childishly. I have as many experiences as the person next to me, and I know that often being cute is based on appearances.

When being called is a compliment, you can usually feel that the person is leaning towards the way you move, speak, the clothing you wear or the way you smile. It is usually connected with the word nice. Other times it’s when we’re telling our friends they look cute or they said something funny. The thing with compliments like “You are cute”, is that it can range from being a genuine well meant compliment or a condescending sentence. It just depends on how it is said. Personally, I always use cute as a well meant compliment. If something is cute in my eyes, it is sweet, charming and lovely.

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