The island of Milos sits on the Aegean Sea as part of the Cyclades, a group of islands in the southeast of mainland Greece.
As part of an archipelago of around 220 islands, both large and small, the choice of which to explore may be overwhelming and could help explain all the traffic that other Cycladic islands such as Mykonos and Santorini receive as the go-to Grecian islands for travellers looking for a Mediterranean getaway.
Overlooking Milos and all that it has to offer has been a common mistake, yet this seems to be changing.
The natural landscape of striking white rock formations of Sarakiniko and Kleftiko contouring its beaches and its sharp contrast to the dazzling turquoise waters crashing against it can be attributed to the volcanic activity that the island has experienced throughout the years.
Milos has no shortage of archaeological gems from early-Christian catacombs dating back to the first century AD, the ancient city of Melos overlooking the Aegean where the city’s fortifications and theatre offer the perfect backdrop for sunset stroll, to the Archaeological Museum of Milos itself who’s collection proudly boasts the island’s rich history.
The attraction of Milos is unlike the more popular islands of Greece. Milos is not a sprawling party island, and its party scene is lacking compared to its rivals, yet this does not take away at all from the island itself.
What Milos lacks in its nightlife, it more than makes up for in its charm, natural beauty, and arresting authenticity. Whilst tourists flock to the hotspot islands, Milos is able to retain a genuineness that you are able to immerse yourself in.
Having a comfortable balance of tourism has allowed Milos to find a way to sustain itself yet also provide fresh new openings of boutique hotels and restaurants whilst retaining its integrity and avoiding the pitfall of mass tourism and gaudiness. The lack of crowds leaves you to explore the island as it is and as it likes to be.
Pollonia is the perfect village for a quiet landscape that gives you a better glimpse of rustic island life in a fishing village. The White Pebble Suites in Pollonia captures the quiet intimacy of the village that are made for couples looking for a dreamy quiet getaway with a focus on privacy.
The main port of Milos in Adamas has the hustle and bustle that you may be craving and acts as the centre of Milos, accommodating the needs of any traveller very well acting as a great base to start exploring Milos from. Adamas is where you’ll find the greatest concentration of nightlife if you were in want of some balance between the softer life that Milos has during the day and a way to let loose, showing that Milos has something for everyone.
We hope that this article has inspired you to explore Milos for your next Greek getaway, this tiny island as a lot to offer and is the perfect destination away from the beaten path.
As tree leaves start to turn orange and drop, it is easy to fall into a monotonous pattern that feels lethargic and tiring.
It can be really hard to self-motivate when the days are shorter and darker and the social life of summer seems to have fallen away. Here are some useful suggestions for how to maintain that ever-important motivation in the coming winter months.
So, let’s look at 5 tips you can easily implement to keep motivated during winter.
1. Keep Happy
When it is winter time, melancholy and drear can weave its way into your life through the post summer blues.
Therefore, it is vital that you surround yourself with people that boost you up, not bring you down. By being surrounded by the ‘right’ people, you are able to access emotional and motivational support – which is essential for keeping self-motivated throughout winter.
You can achieve this by ensuring you schedule some dedicated meet-up time with your friends and family, joining some groups to meet new people or simply making time for yourself and what makes you happy.
Think hobbies, self-care, quality time, reading good books, making the most of the hours of light outdoors. What will resonate and get that oxytocin flowing is unique to you, so get your happy thinking hat on before winter strikes.
2. Keep exercise warm
It can feel really difficult to stay motivated in winter to do exercise – especially as in the summer it is easy to benefit from warm, bright walks and runs, and even activities such as sea swimming and cycling.
We understand that in winter these activities are not always possible.
Thus, it is beneficial to consider other activities to spice up your exercise routine. For example, there are local activities such as hot yoga (which definitely is warm), inside gym use, and indoor swimming.
All of these do not require exposure to the elements and keep you fit!
By keeping exercise warm, there are also health benefits such as keeping your muscles looser and having less propensity for injury. By changing up the forms of exercise done, it encourages you to both stay healthy and motivated during winter.
3. Keep your routine changing
A key way to maintain motivation in the winter months is by ensuring that your routine is ever-changing.
Motivation can be easily lost if there is too much of a boring pattern throughout the next six months. Therefore, by making sure that there is still a level of excitement (like the spontaneity of summer), this can be radical for maintaining motivation.
For example, by planning weekends away, exploring new parts of your town, or booking a midweek day off from work, these can help the slow pace that winter tends to take.
Keep yourself on your toes and create a feeling of anticipation, it does not have to be an intercontinental travel or something huge: sometimes it’s the little things that keep us going.
4. Keep (or get) organised
Winter is a brilliant time to get organised both personally and professionally.
Whilst the busyness of winter might be gone, it is a great excuse to get organised and advance professional goals. A suggestion is perhaps scheduling review sessions at work to talk about next steps, your goals and how your company (etc) can help you achieve these.
By setting clear goals alongside your boss, you are able to negotiate and be at a clear understanding about your progression and corporate desires.
Thus, winter is a great time to spend a little bit more time on your professional development.
And when it comes to being (or getting) organised personally, the possibilities are endless: think about making a plan to achieve your personal goals, use those long winter nights to re-organise your home and consider a bullet journal. All these steps will help you getting a better grip on your day-to-day without losing motivation during the cold months.
5. Keep your aims in mind
As reiterated several times, it is easy to get into a position where you are lacking any kind of motivation, but a good way to combat that is by setting clear goals personally as well as professionally.
A fun way to set personal goals is by creating a winter bucket list.
Bucket lists are a compilation of all the things you want to do and it becomes an exciting challenge to try and cross them all off.
By having a physical list, this motivates you to actually stick to it and complete as much as you can. Your list can be as long or as short as you would like – but it would be advisable to include at least ten separate articles.
A way to approach the bucket list could be by focussing on one activity each week, which would not require too much of a time commitment.
Overall, the key to maintaining motivation in the coming winter months is by understanding that it is all about balance, keeping life as exciting as possible, and clarifying what exactly is a priority for you, and what is beneficial for your progress.
Wordsworth’s poem, ‘Ode to Duty’ challenges and effectively captures the struggle of duty.
He speaks of how easy it is to become consumed by the external, such as things that provide sensory joy, and whilst these of course have their place, Wordsworth comments on the benefit of ‘duty’ or ‘purpose’ in regard to being able to become one’s truest self.
This poem is particularly motivating on days when it is difficult to remember your purpose or if it is a challenging day at work – that the duty to both fully commit to your role and to commit to your goals, is the true source of motivation and inspiration.
Thus, this poem is inspirational due to its undertones of responsibility towards achieving goals.
Moss’ poem, ‘Notes from the Castle’ considers themes of the passage of life and the precision of following one’s journey.
Moss, somewhat shockingly, recognises life for what it is, a passage of time in which we must be ‘with’ ourselves regardless of anything else. He likens life to many different things, but notably he suggests that life is “another temporary battlefield”.
This from the offset seems quite pessimistic, but rather if you look at it from the idea that life, and especially the goals you have set out, is worth fighting for, then this poem takes on a whole new light. Moss throughout the poem indulges in the idea that life is full of ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ but that throughout it, key motivators such as ‘ambition’ and ‘time’ make it worthwhile.
This poem is especially inspiring for those who have a desire to nurture their ambition, whilst acknowledging that ‘you are going to be stuck with yourself’ insofar that you have a responsibility to become the best possible version of yourself.
Whilst not much is known of Wintle himself, there is a lot to be taken from this very inspirational poem, ‘Thinking’.
For such a short poem (only 4 stanzas long), the message behind it is both deep and profound. Wintle’s poem takes an almost assertive commanding tone, presenting to the reader exactly what occurs when negative thinking happens; “if you think you are beaten, you are”.
By acknowledging that negative thinking can only have negative repercussions, he challenges toxic mindsets by suggesting ‘you are who you think you are’.
The message of this poem rings clear, the power of thinking wills things into existence. Simply, the advice and inspiration to be taken from this poem is that to succeed in all aspects of life, one’s attitude, thoughts, and behaviour must mirror it to manifest success.
Nichols’ poetry embodies a message of self-empowerment and self-motivation which can only be seen as an inspiration for all.
She is able to allude in a very careful nuanced fashion to the idea of feeling like an imposter in the life you’re living. But what lies at the very foundation of her poetry is that regardless of what others think, and what you may think others think, a vital aspect of a successful and well-rounded life is self recognition and focus.
She effectively captures that your ‘purpose’ is self-defined, both personally and professionally, so that you manage the narrative of your own life.
Schultz, like many of the other poets addressed in this piece, embodies motivation through her use of imagery. In particular the image of the ‘first fires on earth’ leads the reader to recognise the importance of ‘igniting’ their goals into reality.
By not wanting ‘to get to the end of anything anymore’, Schultz is considering that with each end comes a beginning. In a professional setting, an ending always creates a new opportunity that with the passage of time may morph into a vital and positive change.
Thus, on the Renaissaint journey to becoming one’s best self, by recognising that every ‘end’ creates a ‘first fire’ highlights an essential lesson and mantra to carry with oneself in all aspects of life.
We hope that this curated list of poems has inspired you and motivated you to achieve your goals on a daily basis, if you have other pieces of poetry that you consider motivating and engaging please let us know in the comments. We are always happy to broaden our horizons.
Anyone who has stepped foot in Paris in the Summer months may notice a distinct lack of Parisians, and albeit an abundance of tourists trundling around the Latin Quarter and ordering snails. Those observant enough to pick up on this will begin to wonder where they all are, and were you to ask them you could be sure that a large number would tell you ‘Marseille’.
In recent years, and precipitated by the pandemic, this southern port city on the Mediterranean has become the place to be outside of Paris for the French for those who wish to escape the prices, the isolation from nature, the ‘bourgeois’ atmosphere… or whatever other excuse the might throw in.
But regardless of the reason, there has undeniably been an exodus of Parisians to Marseille, and when the summer throngs have cleared away and the peak of the summer heat has passed, you might be tempted to go discover this city for yourself.
For most living outside of France, Marseille is likely to be beyond the radar, perhaps with a slight ringing of alarm bells and a vague sense of danger. Indeed, Marseille was the centre of the infamous ‘French Connection’ for drug trafficking many decades ago, and the Corsican Mafia at one stage ran rampant, but those days are done.
By no means is the social fabric of the city entirely healed, with the northern quarters holding some of the most abject poverty in Europe while to the south of the city lie gleaming villas, the purview of rich holiday-makers.
A certain edge is palpable upon arriving in the city, and the streets aren’t the same spotless, postcard-worthy scenes as you might encounter in the capital, but if you catch the train down from the north of the country, it is impossible not to gasp as you disembark and find yourself atop the stones steps of the Gare St-Charles, a huge staircase in the iconic cream-coloured stone of the area which rises above the city and affords a view of its towers and rooftops with perhaps a glint of the sea.
Descending the staircase and entering into the bowels of the city, the streets hum with activity, and as you will quickly realise, therein lies the charm of the city. It is a city very much inhabited by its people and even as a visitor you are very much invited to partake. Keeping your eyes peeled, you’ll notice that posters adorn the walls displaying upcoming events of all kinds; cinema screenings, gigs, parties, festivals… There is a vibrant culture in Marseille that is generated by its own people.
It lacks the official, institutional veneer of Paris, though there are a few noteworthy museums, particularly the Mucem, the museum of Mediterranean culture housed inside a fort from which crusader knights once departed towards the Middle East, and which boasts a stunning view over the sea and the islands that dot the coast just a few miles from the shore.
Another central part of street life in Marseille are its culinary offerings, the standout of which is pizza. There is such a quantity of pizza vendors that the air is almost saturated with their aroma, and at less than 2€ a slice you will find yourself consuming many.
Other culinary offerings include the North African specialities of tagines and cous-cous, with a number of such restaurants clustered around the market district of Noailles, which will no doubt tempt you after walk through this commercial hub of the city, with spice shops lining the streets. For those wanting a taste of the fruits of the sea, Bouillabaisse is the local seafood delicacy, a dish emblematic of the city, containing a host of freshly caught seafood, likely mussels and crab alongside haddock and other fish fillets, all tinted a distinct, rich red due to the saffron used in the recipe. Diplomatically, I can offer no recommendation as to the best spot for Bouillabaisse in town as every Marseillais(e) would tell you a different one.
A recommendation I can offer with authority however is for a place to drink. Ascending from the vieux port (old port), where a forest of masts floats upon the water between the jetties and flanked by the city on both sides, winding through alleys and staircases, you will soon reach a plateau, a relief after such a momentous ascent.
This square lined on all sides with bars and restaurants is the Cours Julien, one of a few centres of activity in the activity, where live bands can be found, drinks can be had and the general, relaxed and DIY atmosphere can be soaked in.
It is likewise home to independent cinemas, galleries and boutiques to have you wanting for nothing. Continue further through a maze of zigzagging streets, where the sprawl of shops and bars spills into, and arrive at Place Jean Jaures, colloquially known as La Plaine, where café terrases spill onto the square and locals and tourists alike drink coffee, beer and pastis (the regional liqueur, aniseed flavoured and best consumed diluted with ice-cold water) at almost any hour of the day.
Wandering this part of the city in search of food and drink is a joy and you’ll no doubt return night after night.
For an active day, heading south of the city along the cliffs that jut above the mediteranean, leads you to a string of rocky beaches, with Vendoume perhaps being a hidden gem, where you can plunge from body-polished boulders into the sea before clambering out to sun yourself.
The benefit of visiting past the peak season is the joy of having this expanse of natural beauty largely to yourself besides small groups of locals scattered around, nursing beers and chatting.
Just to the south of the city itself, a bus journey away are Les Calanques. These, the dull english translation of which is ‘inlet’, form a national park which spans a significant stretch of the côte d’azure. Towering cliffs, which can be traversed, connect the individual inlets which are better described as secluded bays where, again, you can swim or simply enjoy the scenery. Although it requires some trekking to reach certain spots that don’t have road access, the views to be had in this area are sublime and worth a day’s investment to escape the hubbub of the city.
Though, if a more urban peak is desired (though, as you may have learned to expect by now, climbing an enormous hill is required) then the summit of Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille’s cathedral, provides a panorama not only the city which extends to the north, but a vast expanse of sea and the beginnings of Les Calanques to the south.
The monument soars above the city from almost any angle, so there’s little doubt that you would have missed it this far into your sojourn, though even still the view, particularly as the sun is setting, is likely to take your breath away to an equal or greater extent than the climb to the top. A fitting place for a site of worship, as sitting contemplatively and observing the landscape before you is more or less all you’ll manage at first.
Altogether, Marseille will appeal to those who seek a less polished city-break and want to savour a more real city life. It offers a vibrant cultural scene, nightlife and some outstanding natural beauty and bit of excitement all at a reasonable price, making it quite rightly the destination of choice for tired Parisians.
There are few things in life more satisfying than finding a really good book. From intellectual classics to snappy novellas, reading keeps the mind active and the heart racing.
However, there are a select few novels that go above and beyond our expectations. As well as being enjoyable, some books hit a deeper chord and really get under the skin.
Novels that fit this category are more than just good stories. Whether original in concept, exceptional in writing style, or notably controversial, truly memorable literature is few and far between.
Without further ado, here is a list of 10 books that you aren’t likely to forget in a hurry.
10. Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin
Giovanni’s Room is an iconic contribution to the world of LGBTQ literature. The story follows a young man named David and explores the tension between his desire for Italian bartender Giovanni and the promise of stability and security that comes with heterosexual married life.
Both important and controversial at its time of publication, Giovanni’s Room is a story of love, loss and hope. David’s painful self-loathing, a dose of political undertones and an ending that is little short of heartbreaking make Giovanni’s Room a novel that shaped a generation and remains unforgettable to this day.
Roy’s The God of Small Things is less of a story than it is an experience.
Through touching flashbacks and a deliciously playful, occasionally funny narrative, Arundhati Roy shows us the world of the wealthy Ayemenem family and their eventual downfall at the hands of both love and grief.
Focusing mainly on the childhood of twins Rahel and Estha, Roy crafts an eclectic cast of characters that will stay in your mind long after the novel’s poignant ending.
With haunting and beautiful lines that truly resonate with the reader, as well as moments of painful sadness, The God of Small Things is a masterpiece that deserves to be remembered.
Martin Amis’ Time’s Arrow presents a vivid reimagining of the Holocaust with a twist: the mass genocide, and all of the events leading up to it, occur in a backward world.
Seen through the eyes of Todd T. Friendly, a Nazi war criminal, sentences are spoken backwards, partners break up before falling in love, and life begins with old age.
When the war begins, Friendly experiences this in reverse as well, meaning that only the reader is aware of the true nature of the crimes committed by Amis’ deluded narrator.
Overall, Amis’ Holocaust narrative is a daring, original concept that pushes the boundaries of fiction to emphasise the horrific and nonsensical nature of one of the most terrifying mass genocides in modern history.
More of a novella than a novel, Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is like nothing I read before and nothing I have read since.
Both darkly comedic and deeply disconcerting, The Metamorphosis follows the journey of Gregor Samsa, a man who wakes up one day and discovers, to his dismay, that he has turned into a giant insect overnight.
Prior to reading The Metamorphosis, I had never before contemplated what it would be like to wake up as a large, cockroach-esque creature, so Kafka gets points for that reason alone.
Aside from this, The Metamorphosis is unsettling, surreal and incredibly unique in concept. You will not find another story like it.
The Picture of Dorian Gray combines art, tragedy and horror in an unforgettable cocktail. Wilde tells the story of Dorian Gray, a beautiful upper-class gentleman.
Out of fear of losing his attractive physical appearance to the hands of time, Gray curses his portrait to age instead of himself. From here, Gray begins a life of debauchery that eventually leads to his demise.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a classic, and Wilde does an impressive job of tapping into a common human fear that resonates with most readers: old age.
As demonstrated by the novel’s chilling ending, The Picture of Dorian Gray shows us the disastrous results of a lifestyle ruled by greed and hedonism.
Although its mighty length and troubling themes might make Yanagihara’s novel difficult to read at times, A Little Life is a powerful and emotionally devastating story about love, trauma and loss that is simply impossible to forget.
The 800-page book tells the story of four college students and takes the reader on a journey throughout their lives, from youth to old age.
Despite its occasional moments of joy, A Little Life is fundamentally a very upsetting novel. Yanagihara refuses to shy away from hard-hitting themes, and the melancholy last few chapters weighed on my mind for months after completion.
I know a lot of people who would place Toni Morrison’s most famous novel amongst their favourite of all time, and there is good reason for this.
Beloved is a complex dive into the horrors of slavery in nineteenth-century America, following the life of escapee Sethe, her daughter Denver and the ‘baby ghost’ that haunts their home.
Beloved is a very layered novel, and is memorable in every aspect. With Morrison’s complex characters, brutal imagery and thought-provoking symbolism, Beloved is not designed to be a comfortable read. Morrison keeps us guessing at every turn, making Beloved a story to remember.
Where to begin with Great Expectations? One of Dickens’ most popular reads and arguably one of the greatest novels ever written, Great Expectations tells the story of young Pip, a blacksmith’s apprentice, who suddenly comes into an unexpected fortune.
Great Expectations has one of the most colourful and lively cast of characters found in any novel. I dare you to forget the eccentric Miss Havisham, the mysterious Abel Magwitch and the kindly Joe Gargery.
The novel’s overarching theme of how love is more important than money and class is touchingly beautiful. To put it simply, Great Expectations will make you smile, whilst also leaving you with a strong and positive message in its aftermath.
Naturally, Burgess’s iconic 1960’s dystopian sci-fi novel had to place somewhere on this list.
A Clockwork Orange follows Alex, a teenage boy who spends his days committing an array of violent and disturbing crimes. After being imprisoned, he agrees to undertake a new, experimental treatment, and from here the novel changes direction drastically.
A Clockwork Orange is memorable for an array of reasons. To start with, Burgess’s invented slang ‘Nadsat’ composes the entirety of the novel’s narration, which makes for a unique reading experience to say the least.
Secondly, A Clockwork Orange raises an array of moral questions surrounding free will and the nature of good and bad. Both political and experimental, A Clockwork Orange is creative, fast-paced and controversial, providing the reader with a lot of food for thought.
Nabokov’s controversial masterpiece is undeniably unforgettable. Narrated by the villainous Humbert Humbert, Lolita tells the story of a man’s obsession with his twelve-year-old stepdaughter.
From its opening pages, we are sucked into Humbert’s narrative and forced to see the world through his eyes, which creates an experience that is nothing short of spine-chilling.
The narrative’s inconsistencies and shamelessness will leave you pondering the novel’s timeline and events long after completion.
However, the controversy of Lolita sometimes outshines its literary merit – this is a beautifully written novel with multiple lines that fall nothing short of perfection. All in all, Lolita is memorable for all of the wrong reasons, as well as all of the right ones.
The frontman of Nirvana had a life that even non-rockers are at least somewhat aware of. However, in spite of the massive publicity, outsiders that looked into Nirvana from the mainstream media’s perspective are likely to have a skewed perception of Kurt Cobain as little more than a participant in the tragic ending narrative that many encountered within the music scene.
Although the nature of his death on April 5th, 1994 (at the age of 27) was indeed a tragedy that is sorely felt across many generations, it overshadows the life lessons he left behind, consciously or otherwise.
These are just some of the lessons we can take from Kurt’s art, music, interviews, journals and career path.
1. Words go deeper than the surface level
According to Albert Mehrabian (a researcher of body language), words makeup only 7% of face to face communication, with the rest being 38% vocal and 55% nonverbal.
When people first heard Nirvana’s song Heart Shaped Box there were very few that would dare say they understood exactly what Kurt was communicating in the lyrics – yet it was a hit.
In addition to this, in Kurt Cobain’s last recorded interview, he claimed most of his lyrics were garble and last second because [he is] really lazy. Further to that, we know from his journals that he also indulged in subconscious writing techniques where even he himself was not aware of the definitive meaning behind the sequencing of specific words.
Nirvana’s album Nevermind was awarded platinum certification within 9 weeks of its release and their most popular track Smells Like Teen Spirit has over 1.5 billion views and counting on YouTube.
These facts make it very apparent that the personal selection of words, conscious or otherwise, act as a gateway into meaning that creeps beyond text-book definitions and general understandings.
If we notice that we become aggravated in response to a co-worker or employee saying ‘I don’t try anymore’, it is in our interest to convert our aggravation into curiosity.
What do they mean? It could be that they are adept or content enough with their job that they may still work hard, but it comes to them naturally in a way it does not – to them – feel like ‘trying’.
Or, perhaps they have given up because the opposite is true and they have lost the meaning and purpose that had previously driven them.
By looking at Kurt’s success as a singer/songwriter, we know the significance of the energy that drives words into being. If they make this announcement to us with a flaccid physicality and a reluctant monotony in their tone, the latter interpretation is the more likely reality and we’ve had prompts into a more sensible direction to proceed with.
2. Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be
Kurt would often deprecate himself by denouncing the notion of being a musician. He would prefer to be recognised as a ‘singer/songwriter’.
Nirvana’s staple style of songs were 3-chord grunge tracks which would allow him to express the energies that consumed him and to channel it consistently into hit songs.
The band’s success was a testament to the shared yearning to express the accumulating angst that many individuals had in the 90s. This may not have been possible if the band hadn’t stuck to and refined the “simple” selection of rock n’ roll elements their sound was rooted in.
Quite often, we are ready to move on from something before we have laid down the foundation. Sometimes you may feel a need to overcomplicate a workout because you don’t get the results we want.
The reason you’re not progressing however, could be due to underestimating your current strength level and therefore not lifting a heavy enough load to create more of those mass-gaining micro-tears in the activated muscles. Thus, there may not be a reason to ditch those fundamental exercises, such as the ‘Big 5’ Compound movements, yet. Work with them more thoroughly!
Life’s complicated enough, so although you should by no means avoid all complexity and experimentation, avoiding unnecessary complications and giving yourself room to build stronger foundations, will help your life resemble a stress free one and you will be in a more stable position to deal with any stress you do encounter.
3. Confront your demons without being controlled by them
The perceived dangers don’t lie exclusively when honesty is applied in social interactions, but also when we are alone.
Acknowledging and accepting thoughts that are even reminiscent of tragedy, especially depicting or causing it, is a challenge. It can feel like a dangerous game to play: if we feed the beast with too much of our attention it shall grow and consume us.
On the other hand, psychology seems to have a uniform understanding of repression: it’s like whacking a wall with a fizzy drink-filled bottle. In prolonging the release of gas, we amplify the inescapable event of the carbonated beverage bursting from its bottled surroundings.
A conclusion far more destructive and messy than if we had taken off the lid as early as possible. Life will whack us against the wall and shake us around because it is a bumpy ride.
A renowned psychologist Carl Jung pointed out that we have a shadow and when we fail to confront it, it consumes us. In his words:
Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is
The disturbing atmosphere of Kurt’s poetry and artwork (which can be viewed online and in his journals) is that of a person who is in touch with his shadow and the honest exploration and investigation he had with himself would translate into his musical ability’s potential to connect with the darker parts of people’s psyche: rage, depression, anxiety, mistrust. Gases that need to be released as safely as possible.
When you allow your shadow to reveal itself in journaling rather than in an argument with a loved one, we can be one step ahead in safely integrating our ‘demons’ into our passions – like Kurt did with his music.
Of course, if these shadows are not integrated with enough awareness and compassionate support, we are presented with a means to destroy ourselves; playing with our shadows without confronting and working with them, is akin to playing with fire – someone, probably you, will get burnt.
4. People will accept you when you stay true to yourself
Even if he was being sarcastic in interviews, Kurt Cobain would do so without trying to hide it. He would openly toy with those that tried to censor him.
MTV requested the band play their biggest selling single ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ from Nevermind, but Nirvana offered to play Rape Me. Due to its challenging themes, it was vetoed.
Another example would be when Top of the Pops asked Nirvana to play to a backing track. This inspired them to butcher ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ as a middle finger to manipulative authority.
This rebellious spirit spoke volumes to the people. Nirvana didn’t care to compromise with music moguls and populist demands, but they had to play by the rules just enough to succeed in an industry dominated by these types of people and organisations, especially as far as money is concerned.
In Kurt’s diary, he talked about disguising oneself as part of the empire in order to infiltrate it. People loved this anti-corporate attitude in part because the band refused to have their identities completely compromised and lost in the distortion.
If you feel as if you’re doing what you think you should do as opposed to what you want to do and life doesn’t seem to be granting you fulfilling moments on a regular basis, it could be time to start exposing your true self.
You’re more likely to have people and things which hold abundant value stick around if they’re acquired by or at least familiar with who you are instead of the person you think you should be.
5. You need to evolve, even if it means some people won’t stick around
Nirvana’s debut album Bleach was a heavier listen than their following works. As part of the basement punk rock scene and with the drummer Chad Channing instead of his now-famous successor Dave Grohl, Kurt worked some ‘hastily’ written lyrics into an energy resembling nails in a washing machine with its door being open and closed abruptly – that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The album left the band unfulfilled. Their second album Nevermind containing hits like Smells Like Teen Spirit and In Bloom had a much cleaner sound which left them looking back at their work with dissatisfaction again.
Finally came In Utero, an album recorded to sound like the band were playing live, with songs such as Rape Me and the hit single Heart Shaped Box. The band believed they were boldly risking a reduction in their fanbase because of this new sound that they were finally happy with.
Evolution is a fundamental part of life. Our cosmic reality is in a constant state of mutability; people are subject to this eternal state of change. If artists are to continually produce authentic artwork, they need to reflect the change in themselves and the world.
By not denying and choosing to embrace these evolving patterns, we become better at sustaining ourselves. People will unavoidably contend with the progression, but a life lived in accordance with our own evolving nature will bear more fruits than living in accordance with the changing nature of other people, especially when everyone’s specific nature overwhelmingly varies.
Stability is incredibly important and it can be too easy to dismiss people because of differences that seem to separate you. It’s still worth considering if we are stunting ourselves with an assumption that we need to work the same job, have the exact same friends or wear the same clothes for the rest of our lives.
We may be able to then stop preventing ourselves from progressing in ways that don’t leave trails of regret and the mournful “what ifs”.
6. Some things are worth compromising
In a couple of interviews with band mates and towards the end of his journals, Kurt revealed that he was performing odd sounds in ascending, then descending order without a sense of irony.
This was because he had finally accepted that his relentless screaming and smoking were damaging his voice. After blowing it out one time too many, he decided to compromise in order to preserve the iconic vocals that were the core to Nirvana’s sound.
Although there is a fulfilling freedom in denying to tread paths that most follow, if it comes at the cost of burdening that which sustains your freedom (like his vocal ability to express freely), then a calculated move towards standard procedures and practices may have to be sought over pride.
There’s no shame in following the mainstream sometimes and neither is there in asking for help whilst you’re at it.
So, a final note.
Despite his substance use, unforgiving stomach ulcer and relentless rings of reprimand, Kurt Cobain was able to leave enough life lessons to cover a lifetime of learning.
Since the open sourced nature of internet investigations, a man previously portrayed as resentful has been realised to be a man who was loved by many and capable of loving many.
The authenticity felt across his work and personal artefacts continue to unite thousands upon thousands of people regardless of when they were born.
With an almost perverse amount of access into the history and life of Nirvana’s front man available, there is a lot of must-have material to delve into if you can bypass the feeling of being intrusive… the choice is yours.
With a life always on the go, podcasts are a great way to keep in tune with news, interesting topics and expand your knowledge without necessarily having to be stuck to a screen.
Read this article to discover a curated selection of podcasts to make you feel happy. Thought-provoking topics, engaging hosts and great guests that will brighten up your day and get you thinking.
1. “I Weigh” with Jameela Jamil
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of taking care of ourselves. The way I got through the pandemic was with the help of Jamila Jamil, and her ‘I Weigh’ movement.
This incredible mental health podcast is breaking the stigma around weight, shifting the narrative from numbers on a scale to the things in our lives we feel most proud of.
Which begs the question – what really makes us who we are, and what in our lives do we truly weigh?
Each week Jameela talks to an array of interesting guests who cover a whole host of topics from breaking the gender binary, to crushing the shame around our bodies.
This podcast is perfect for making you feel not only good about yourself, but also a little less alone in this wild world.
Well worth a listen.
2. “Getting Curious” with Jonathan Van Ness
The sensational hair and self care guru themselves Jonathan Van Ness takes us on the ultimate journey of curiosities in this hilarious, informative, energetic podcast!
Van Ness leaves no stone unturned on their fascinating quest for knowledge. Any question you can think of, on any topic you can imagine, JVN has asked it. Or probably will ask it next week. At any rate they’re hot on the heels of the best brainiacs, who are eager to get us thinking!
Each week Jonathan brings on some of the most well informed experts to discuss a diverse range of issues, asking questions like What’s A Day In The Life Of A Coral Reef and What’s It LIke To Be An Ex-Nun.
A perfect podcast for those deep thinkers, but also for those of us that have always wondered – Why Is Olive Oil So Extra?
3. “That Peter Crouch Podcast” with Peter Crouch
Okay, do I love football? It’s a strong no.
But something about this podcast is so hilarious and ridiculous, it’s making me think that maybe there is something to this so-called beautiful game.
Imagine a 7ft something Peter Crouch huddled behind a minuscule microphone, flanked by the hilarious Chris Stark and Tom Fordyce, chatting absolute nonsense to the who’s who of football royalty each week.
Bafflingly funny and effortlessly charming, this podcast is perfect for both the hardcore footy buffs, who will thrive on the delicious details of the sport, but also the football newbies, who just want something silly to listen to on the drive home.
Believe me, this ‘pod’ will get you obsessed with the identity of the infamous ‘Parched’ quicker than you scream ‘back stronger!’.
4. “Off Menu” with Ed Gamble and James Acaster
It’s so weird, and it works so well!
Gamble and Acaster band together in this delicious treat of a podcast, chatting to a host of different celebrities each week about their favourite foods, culminating in the formation of a magical, make believe three-course menu. Drinks included, of course.
This comedy duo bounce off each other effortlessly, making it a truly dynamic listen. Guests include actor Rob Brydon, who nervously contemplates his love of Welsh lamb, and baker extraordinaire Nadia Hussain, who candidly admits she will absolutely judge you on your chips.
This gem of a podcast will leave you hungry for more. And also for chips…
Warning – make sure your favourite snack is on hand. A great listen.
5. “Grounded” with Louis Theroux
Louis Theroux. Need I say more? I don’t need to…but I will! Recorded during the pandemic, this brilliant series of interviews conducted by Louis Theroux never fails to bring copious amounts of intrigue, comedy, joy and shock.
He provides us with a smorgasbord of fascinating guests from Rose McGowan, who talks so candidly about her experience as a key whistle blower in Hollywood, to Miriam Margolyse, whose shocking tales about her life know no bounds.
Theroux is gentle yet direct, carefully guiding his guests to topics that will tantalise and thrill! In my opinion, an essential listen.
Have you ever caught yourself wondering if you could achieve more in life, personal goals or otherwise?
If you’re nodding your head, then stay tuned; because we’re here to confirm that you can do just that!
You can manifest your dreams into reality by using numerous techniques. However, using manifesting techniques alone won’t help obtain your goals. You must stay positive and keep a clear mind when it comes to your dreams.
Are you ready to start your journey to fulfilment? The path is long and won’t be easy, but with our nine habits to manifest your dreams, you’ll get there in no time!
1) Clarify what your dream is
Manifesting is all about positive energy and thoughts to achieve your goals. Though, how can you focus on anything positive when your goal is hazy?
Think about it, you must clarify what your dream is before you can take the next step.
So, take a deep breath and answer these three questions:
What do you want most in life?
What progress do you need to make?
Are your goals realistic and attainable?
2) Visualise what you want
How do you manifest your dreams? Well, the first step is to visualise exactly what you want. In order to visualise, you will want to write your goals onto a piece of paper to figure out why you want to achieve them.
Then every morning and night, read your list of goals and picture what you want in your mind’s eye. Connect with the happiness and success you would feel when you achieve your dreams, and let those positive feelings guide you throughout the day.
3) Create a plan
As manifesting can improve every aspect of your life because it encourages you to be the very best version of yourself, it’s important that you create a plan.
Once you know your goals, put them in the order you think is the quickest way to achieve your dream. Write it down and stick it to your wall or fridge so you can see it every day, and tick off each goal as you achieve it.
Have you ever heard the phrase “a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind”?
Well, if we apply Albert Einstein’s phrase to manifesting, then you can see how it closely relates: We must have a free mind in order to focus on our goals.
So, practice 20-30 minutes of meditation a day to start seeing a change in not only your goals, but your attitude toward life.
5) Keep a gratitude journal
Gratitude journals have boomed in popularity over the past couple of years – and for good reason.
By keeping a daily gratitude journal, you are able to view everything that you appreciate and love, and everything you view as blessings. This ultimately puts you in a “feel good” mood and can increase our positive energy every day.
6) Write your goals down
It can be hard to sit down and think of what your dream entails. It can be even harder to put pen to paper to write your goals down.
Though, not for a lack of trying, but because it can seem impossible to figure out what you must achieve in order to get to your ultimate goal.
However, using the manifesting technique called the stepping stones strategy, and by having a serious think about what your goals have to be, then you’ll figure out how to get from point A to B.
7) Don’t limit your beliefs
Anything is possible when you start to manifest your dreams. So don’t limit yourself on what you should or shouldn’t achieve, as long as it’s a realistic dream.
If you want it badly enough, you can and will make strides in order to have it within your grasp. Whether that’s a new car, a job promotion or moving to another country, it’s up to you.
8) Focus on your feelings
When you visualise your dream life, take the time to really dive into the details. Think about what it looks like, and what it feels like.
Really focus on how you feel while you watch your future unfold. Do you feel happy and excited? Maybe even content?
If you aren’t excited over your dream, or your goals, then you need to go back to the drawing board and think of another goal before you progress further.
9) Take inspired action
Once you have gotten excited about your dream, let the positivity of your future wash over you.
By using your excitement to go after your goals, you will be that much closer to obtaining them and more.
Sometimes wondering ‘how do you manifest your dreams’ can lead you onto a journey like no other. Life has many twisty paths and turns we must follow, but if you stay strong and hold your ground, you can achieve all your goals through our 9 manifesting techniques.
The world is your oyster, embrace it so you can manifest your ideal life!
Are you feeling stuck for ideas about what to watch on Netflix? Stop the never-ending catalogue scrolling right there, we have chosen and ranked 5 Netflix shows out now that you don’t want to miss.
Happy reading, and happy watching!
5. The Gray Man
Film, Action, Adventure, Thriller
A convict is approached in prison by a member of a secret vigilante agency.
“Do our dirty work, and you’ll walk free”. A tempting offer. In fact, so tempting he can’t refuse it.
And so CR ‘6’ is born. But when an important ‘hit’ goes wrong, a bounty is put on 6’s head, attracting the most skilled assassins in the game to take him out.
This film is packed with excitement, adventure, and really fast cars. Ryan Gosling radiates charm and charisma, and Chris Evans as the loose canon hit man gives us a performance far from his Captain America days.
A perfect watch for anyone who loves action, intrigue and a really well-fitting suit.
4. Girl in the Picture
Documentary, True Crime, Mystery
In the middle of the night just outside Oklahoma City in April 1990, two men in a truck find the body of a young blonde woman on the side of the road.
The two men take the woman to their nearest hospital where she is identified as Tonya Hughes. But… who is Tonya Hughes, and what happened to her?
This is easily one of the most chilling, twisted and fascinating documentaries Netflix has to offer.
Exploring Tonya’s tragic life and the lies that lead to her untimely demise, this documentary is packed with explosive interviews, unbelievable revelations and heart-breaking consequences.
Playing at 1 hour 40 minutes, this story will leave you suitably rattled. No spoilers, but if you’ve got a strong stomach, a keen interest in detective work and a thirst for justice, this is the documentary for you.
3. Iron Chef
Food, Reality, Cooking, Family, Watch Together
This fast-paced, super fun, cooking competition pits up and coming restaurateurs against a group of award winning Iron Chefs.
Hosted by the beautifully bonkers Mark Dasascos, each week the chefs face off against each other to create a series of courses based on one key ingredient.
They are then judged by a panel of culinary experts who determine the winner. With a strict time limit and a specific brief to fit, these chefs are under pressure and you can feel it!
A recent release to Netflix, this show is perfect for any foodie out there who love watching masters at work, are looking to pick up a cheeky recipe or two, or simply love the drama.
British, Romance, Comedy Drama
If there is anything I feel you MUST watch on Netflix right now, it’s Heartstopper.
Did I watch it all in one day? Yes I did. And this is why.
This truly beautiful piece is bursting with incredible writing, the most heart-warming performances, and is the beautiful coming of age romantic LGBTQIA+ comedy drama we need right now.
You’ll laugh, you’ll sob, but most of all Heartstopper will leave you feeling warm, fuzzy and beaming.
Please don’t miss it!
1. Stranger Things
Sci-Fi, Teen, Horror, Thriller, Drama
If you are not yet aware of the fascinating phenomenon that is Stranger things, then firstly… where have you been!?
And secondly, hold on to your boom boxes because this 1980s inspired masterpiece is not to be missed.
With the highly anticipated Season 4 Volume 1 dropping last month and the tantalisingly nail-biting conclusion of Volume 2 dropping at the beginning of July, this show will have your head spinning upside down faster than you can say Joyce!
The Duffer brothers never miss a beat or an opportunity for a jaw dropping plot twist. Season 4 is here, and no one is safe.
The feeling of stagnancy is deep rooted in a world where we are constantly moving forward, towards a goal or purpose. A stagnant mindset can be defined as feeling stuck, or like you are simply drifting along, unsure what your true interests or goals are.
You might find yourself asking questions like ‘what motivates me?’, ‘what are my aspirations?’, ‘what is my purpose?’. When we are confronted with these questions and are unable to answer with confidence, it is easy to feel that we are simply existing without moving forwards.
Immersed in this mindset, the feeling of stagnancy can easily be accompanied with a lack of productivity.
When we tell ourselves, ‘I have no motivation, no aspirations and no purpose’, our lives are uncertain and without direction. pulling yourself from this ‘stuck’ mindset can be difficult.
It’s easy to feel defeated, to question what there is in the world that’s made for you, and sink into this state of stagnancy. The feeling that there is nothing you are passionate about, can lead to a lack of motivation in all areas.
However, once we are able to understand what has caused this feeling, we can look at ways to overcome this mindset.
Am I in a Stagnant Mindset?
There are several ways to identify if you may be experiencing a stagnant mindset.
For example, if daily life starts to feel repetitive in a way that makes the activities and hobbies you used to enjoy less pleasurable, it might be sign that you are demotivated and in a stagnant mindset.
If you’re questioning your opportunities for growth, in your career, relationships, or on a personal level, it could also contribute to the feeling of being stuck.
If your goals start to feel unrealistic and, out of fear and despondence, you do not feel motivated to progress it’s also easy to end up in a state of stagnation.
All of these feelings can be related to various circumstances, but they are indicative of a stagnant mindset.
It is easy to fall into, when we are told how many opportunities there are, how many aspirations we should have, what our goals in life should be. It can be difficult not to compare ourselves with others, in terms of achievements and the stage of life we are in. The slightest comparison can push us to feel inadequate and as though our goals are that much harder to attain than the people surrounding us.
Then there can also be a quickly compounding effect of the thoughts leading us to feel unproductive, unmotivated and depleted, which then leads to a lack of progress, which then makes is feel even more unproductive and depleted.
These are some tips for overcoming a stagnant mindset and replacing this way of thinking with a mindset for growth.
Tips for Overcoming a Stagnant Mindset
Remember that these are general tips that can be tailored to a particular scenario, if the feeling stems from career progression, relationships or personal growth.
1. Do something new or something you have never thought to try before
Sometimes discovering a new interest, or something previously overlooked can reinvigorate that sense of motivation or purpose. Interests can change, if it does not bring you happiness or a sense of satisfaction, it is not a failure deciding to move away.
Everything we experience we can learn from. Exploring a new interest, no matter what it is, you will come away having learnt something. This might just help to recover a sense of motivation or purpose.
2. Only compare yourself with yourself
It’s easier said than done, but comparing yourself, your achievements, and inspirations to others is incredibly damaging to a mindset for growth. A way to try and overcome this, is use your instinct to compare, to compare yourself to your previous self.
Look back at who you used to be, and who are now. Then consider who you will be in the future. When you recognise how much you’ve changed from who you were, it doesn’t seem as daunting to imagine how much you can grow in the future.
Sometimes during this process, we can worry what motivates us has changed. This doesn’t mean you’re failing your past self; it just means you’re growing with a different set of aspirations in mind.
3. Speak to someone you are comfortable with
Speaking to someone you are comfortable with, possibly a friend or family member, can really help pull you out of a stagnant mindset. It’s incredibly likely they have felt a similar way at some point in their life, therefore verbalising how you feel can help you feel less isolated.
Realising that a stagnant mindset, feeling unproductive and unmotivated is incredibly common may give you a sense of relief, take the pressure off and allow you to more naturally move forward.
4. Set reasonable goals for yourself in terms of productivity
Productivity levels can fluctuate daily. Some days it will be easier to get a set list of tasks done, while other days it’ll be much harder. It’s important to identify these periods where completing tasks is more difficult. Once we recognise these, it would be detrimental to expect yourself to complete the same number of tasks as a different day.
On these days, we need to set reasonable goals, that consider our expected level of productivity. If we meet these expectations or even exceed them, it can then feel just as rewarding and as a win rather than focusing on the fact that you didn’t achieve everything you had hoped.
Being realistic and understanding towards your productivity, can help re-build your relationship with your goals and put you in a growth mindset.
5. Write down/verbalise what you have achieved so far and what you believe will fulfil your needs going forward
Writing down or verbalising what you have achieved and what you are proud of, can help you move towards understanding your purpose.
Achievements can be big or small to different people, so realising what you have done that you are most proud of can help identify what could be a passion or goal for you in the future.
Writing down or verbalising what you believe will fulfil your needs going forward, will help you identify if there is anything holding you back or anything that needs to change.
You will realise if there is something that has impacted your motivation and mindset. Once identifying this, you can work towards setting boundaries for yourself, or changes that tackle anything preventing you from progressing.
These are only a few tips to overcoming a stagnant mindset, there are many other ways to move forward and various techniques to use to try and regain motivation.
What is important is recognising it is common to feel ‘stuck’, no matter your stage in life.
Once coming to terms with this feeling and understanding why it happens, we can work on overcoming this and replacing it with a growth mindset.