☆ The Beauty Of It All- Out on Kindle NOW ☆

tboia

 The Beauty Of It All

‘The Beauty Of it All’ follows on from the previously release I Haven’t Lived At All. It acts as a testament to the importance of living each day as it comes, leaving yourself open to new opportunities and rolling with the punches.
Drawing a link between starting to live and finding the hidden beauty in life, ‘The Beauty Of It All’ takes a lighter and braver dive into the world, although the theme found within I Haven’t Lived At All remains strong.

Today I released ‘The Beauty Of It All’ on Kindle (all be it with no warning and no previous promoting!- more on this in a different post)

Please do take a look, give it a try and don’t forget to leave a review. Help me spread the word!

You can check out the preview of this book over on www.evelynknightley.com

Available on Amazon

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#DearMe

Hey Guys!

I’ve spent an hour or so of my Friday night catching up on some youtube videos, and I noticed a lot of them titled #DearMe, these videos are you tubers speaking to their younger selves and sharing a few pearls of wisdom from present to past selves. This struck a chord with me. I’ve always struggled to not dislike who I was growing up, but I figured now is the time to sit back and take a real reflection on who younger me really was.
If you’re inspired to do this yourself, please do link me to this, I’d love to see!

– E
x

Dear Me,

Firstly I need you to know that you’re doing great and I wish you could be proud of yourself. You’re doing the best you can, don’t expect any more of yourself and know that it’s okay to struggle.

You really don’t need to put so much pressure on yourself. Getting good grades and doing well in school is important, sure, but it doesn’t define your worth and you’ll be just fine. You don’t need to prove anything to yourself or anyone else.
To add on to this, stop punishing yourself because of who you are and because of things that are out of your control. I know you don’t see it just yet, but you really are very strong and I wish you could find kindness towards yourself.
It’s okay that you don’t enjoy the same things as your peers; books interest you more than  staying out late and getting into trouble- one day you’ll really appreciate that you stuck to your guns and stayed true to yourself. You might feel like you’re missing out, or that you’re weird because you’re content staying in with a movie and a couple of friends rather than going out and…doing whatever it was everyone else was doing. This is just who you are, and it won’t change, but one day you’ll meet like-minded people who will enjoy this with you, and you’ll meet people who love your quirks and despite calling you Grandma, they really won’t judge you for this.

People like you, no really, they do. You’ll lose contact with a lot of people, but you’ll meet so many new and inspiring people. Their company will always be a pleasure and you’ll learn so much about yourself because of them.
You’ll meet a guy, too, and despite all of your stubbornness that (in the words of Paramore) “I’m content with loneliness,” he’ll change this and you’ll be glad you allowed yourself to let your guard down.
This is a rule that could be applied to life in general, let more people in and don’t close yourself off from others. It’s frustrating when it feels like no one is really listening or trying to understand you, but at the same time it’s equally as frustrating for someone to be talking to a wall.

You’re going to experience some more hard times, but you’ll get through them. You’ll need to take some time to heal yourself, but with the aid of good friends, good memories and a lot of laughter, you’ll begin that journey.

Don’t take everything so seriously. A lot of things just aren’t worth the effort and there are some things you just need to let go. You can’t control everything, and although this will annoy you to no end, you’ll learn to deal with it and you’ll accept that not being in control of everything isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I know you’ve always believed that there was something worth living for, and you were never quite sure what that was; you’ll slowly begin to see these small parts of life that are worth the world.
Appreciate the simple things in life, because these are the things that make you happy: friends, family, love, dreams and laughter, these are the things that really matter to you.

You’re not perfect, and you might not have your life completely together (you’ll learn that nobody really does!) It’s the journey that counts. Embrace it.
You’re doing okay, kid.

Searching for a bit of inner peace ||Dealing with Anxiety

Hi all!

I’m here with something a bit different for this blog. I hope that’s okay! Anxiety is something that’s becoming more widely spoken about. Hooray, I say to that. I wanted to add in my own 2 cents, for what they’re worth.

I was diagnosed with GAD (generalised anxiety disorder) about 2 years ago, alongside this I was also sent for an assessment for OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder.) Sometimes it’s hard for me to differentiate between the two, often anxiety is present on it’s own but OCD is never without the anxiety. Since the diagnosis of both of these, I’ve had 6 months of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and was prescribed medication.
I wanted to make a post about anxiety because, despite the help I’ve received, it’s still something I suffer from. I also know a lot of people who suffer with anxiety, and I really believe that openness is key in dealing with this.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is actually a very handy tool in stressful or dangerous situations. Back in the days when we were hunter gatherers, living in the wilderness and protecting ourselves from predators, anxiety was key in our survival. Anxiety can simply be described as fight-or-flight response. A danger is recognised and our body prepares to react; do you fight it or do you run for the hills?
My therapist once explained this to me in very simple terms; a lion comes into a room and your body has a reaction.
Hormones such as adrenaline are released into your body, this quickens your  heart beat, your breathing, your nerve responses among other effects. If you’re in danger, your body is automatically readying itself to deal with the threat. 

Anxiety becomes a problem when your body has this same response to situations that aren’t threats. When this takes place, you’re experiencing the same emotions and physical responses as you would if you were in danger. You begin to feel scared, tense, stressed and it’s probable that you will experience physical responses too;  such as, dizziness, palpitations, sweatiness, dry mouth, trembling and fast breathing.

Living with Anxiety

I often experience the above symptoms of anxiety, and anxiety can often become a panic attack. (I can write more about this in a different post if anybody would like me to.) Anxiety is easier to deal with if you can recognise your triggers. For me, my triggers largely centre around crowded places, changed plans and generally not feeling in complete control of a situation. Occasionally this leaks on to every day things such as travelling, transport and sometimes even leaving the house. I’ve also noticed that my anxiety becomes a lot worse (and I’m more likely to have a panic attack) if I’m feeling particularly run down and becoming ill.
It can often feel like anxiety is taking control of your life, and for those of you who also suffer with anxiety, you know how horrible that is. For me, my triggers seem to completely clash with my interests. I love music and gigs, I love cities, I love holidays; I’ve been to New York twice, loved it and would love to go again. My anxiety seems to get in the way of these things. How can I go to a gig and enjoy the music when even the thought of the crowd, fire exits, ceilings collapsing (you get the idea) brings anxiety on- it’s also interesting to note that my fear of crowds then leads on to thoughts the building falling down. Talk about jumping the gun. I’ve felt very down more than a few times over the thought of never being able to visit New York again because I know that right now I couldn’t handle it, sometimes anxiety can feel like it’s ruining your life.

Dealing with Anxiety

Anxiety can influence day-to-day decisions. For me, it’s important that I both make an allowance for things that I can/can’t do whilst not letting it completely ruin my week. For example, if my anxiety seems to be based around leaving the house or catching a bus; I do just that. It’s a lot easier said than done, but I know from experience that the longer you avoid doing something the more terrifying it becomes. It’s like the saying, Destroy what destroys you. If anxiety is telling you not to leave the house, do it anyway and when you next return home you’ll have proof for yourself that nothing bad is going to happen.
Having said that, it’s important not to be hard on yourself and not to push yourself too far. If I get overwhelmed walking around a shop, the chances are that going to a gig or the cinema isn’t going to do me any favours. I have a reasonable expectation of myself. I really believe this is important in not letting anxiety completely rule your life.
I struggle to find techniques that really help deal with my anxiety, and even after 2 different forms of therapy (although neither solely focused on anxiety- it of course was a discussion point) I find anxiety hard to deal with. There are things that help take the edge off of it, and sometimes just having a plan in place for the next bout of anxiety is a helpful reassurance.

Leaves on a River- This is a method I practised during CBT. It involves picturing a river surrounded by trees. In my mind, it’s always autumn and the wind is softly touching the leaves and making them fall from their branches and into the river below. As the leaves float down the river, every thought you have is placed on to a leaf and you just watch it sail away. It’s human nature to have a continuous stream of mental junk in your head, this is made even worse during anxiety. Leaves on a river gives you chance to recognise and place each thought.

There are simple, small things that are go-to coping methods for me. Lighting a scented candle, opening a window and putting on some relaxing music in a dimly lit room engages different sense and takes some of my focus away from my mind and on to things such as a pleasant scent, noise and breeze around me.
Most importantly, talking to people is the greatest help of all. Nobody likes to feel alone, and everybody wants to be heard. It’s a great comfort to know that you’re understood and not alone in your suffering.

My anxiety becomes a harder entity to deal with when it isn’t living independently of my OCD. During my CBT, a lot of the focus was on not following my compulsive thoughts, this alone increases anxiety but sometimes it appears the other way around. OCD has also become a way for me to deal with anxiety, a distraction method I suppose. Sometimes an internal argument takes place; do I simply fulfil my OCD behaviours in order to add a temporary relief to my anxiety, or do I ignore these behaviours at the risk of increasing my already present anxiety? This is something that has been a particular struggle over the past few weeks, but I have faith that I’ll find a balance.

I suppose I’ll leave put an end to this post now! If there’s anything I’ve mentioned that you’d like to read more about, please do let me know. I apologise if this is a bit long-winded, this is a new kind of post for me but I hope it was a …helpful/interesting read?

-E
X

Help me bring a book to life- The Beauty Of It All

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Preview of cover for “The Beauty of it All” © Jay Heath

Kickstarter Page

In 2013, I embarked on a mission to self-publish my first book of short stories and poetry; I Haven’t Lived At All. This was a learning curve for me, and it’s to my joy that I have received positive reviews!(You can take a look at Goodreads reviews here!)
This was only possible because of Kickstarter, and I hope this can help me again.

I played it safe, I was held back by fear and caution and I see it being so much more than what it already is. Now, I have new vision.

An anthology of poetry and art work, featuring favourites from I Haven’t Lived At All along with an array of artwork inspired by the poetry.

© Doodleheart Illustration

How is this book different?

Firstly, this book will now be strictly poetry- no short stories. I feel like this gives it a more of a ‘category’ and easier to follow.
Of course, it will have a new cover, new formatting, new poetry. Whilst I will still be including poetry from I Haven’t Lived At All, I can promise that this will be bigger and better.
The most exciting part for me is my aim to include art work inspiredby the poetry. I want this to be different and something myself and others can really be proud of. (And on this note, if you’re interested in contributing to this book- please drop me an email:contact@evelynknightley.co.uk)

What will my money go towards?

During the process of self-publishing I Haven’t Lived At All, I discovered just how much I underestimated. This goes in hand with why I feel the book isn’t as good as it could have been, I cut a lot of corners in order to stick to a budget. This time, my aim is to rise more money and to not cut corners.
Your money will go towards (list includes but is not limited to);

– Formatting
– Editing
– Printing
– Artwork/Illustration
– Advertising/Marketing

With any left over funds, I would love to create prints of the artwork involved in the book and other forms of merchandise. I want this to be special.

Kickstarter Page

The Beauty Of It All

Hello Guys and Gals!!

I’ve been saying for ages that I’m working on something, and these weren’t just empty words. All is now revealed with this Kickstart project!
For those of you who don’t know, I Haven’t Lived At All was funded and made possible by Kickstarted, and I truly hope the kindness and support of you all with help make this next book possible.
Please take a look and spread the word. Heck, pledge if you want! Just talk about it, spread the word. That helps more than you know.
I’m here if you have any questions at all!!

tboia

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wallflower-x/the-beauty-of-it-all