Advice from our readers
A couple of weeks ago, we asked you to send in recommendations and advice that you think would benefit other readers in some way. We wanted to capture what Kalon Azure is really all about; a community where people can love, learn, feel free and heal together and always be there to support each other. This is the final collection made up by advice for you by you! Thank you to everyone who submitted and shared a part of themselves and their experiences.
How to deal with anxiety:
Feeling anxious and overwhelmed by your emotions is natural ! It happens sometimes and there's nothing to be ashamed of.
Here are some tips that I use to calm me down when I'm anxious, I hope that some will be useful for you.
1 : BREATHE :
Concentrate on your breath, the path of the air, inhale and exhale slowly and deeply. You can put your hands on your stomach sometimes it helps to calm you down faster.
2 : SENSATIONS :
This is the most effective tips for me. I find it very useful when I am outside alone or with people.
Just concentrate on what you feel physically : the wind blowing in your hair, one particular sound (a pleasant one), smell/apply essential oil, play with the famous hand spinner or hold a crystal.
3 : TALK :
Have a talk with a loved one. Make some tea, seat down with someone and have a conversation about what you want. In the end you may not have spoken about your anxiety/stress but you will certainly feel a little better.
4 : WHY AM I ANXIOUS ?
If you feel like it, you can try to find the causes of your anxiety. Sometimes there's none.
However if there is one, finding what made you feel this way can help you minimize your trouble.
5 : DO WHAT YOU LIKE :
Watch a movie, put on your favorite face mask, drink tea, paint, take a bath, see friends, go on a walk...
Most importantly don't blame yourself for what you feel ! I know that we are all different with various ways of being anxious. I deeply hope this will help you.
Heartbreak comes in many forms and so does healing. As I can only speak for myself here I find that distraction helps me best to find peace and inspiration while being heartbroken. Heartbreak is heavy and it can be difficult to focus on things. With distraction I do not mean disregarding to your feelings though- on the contrary feeling your heartbreak is a good thing. Seek for a feeling of safety in memories. If things remind you of your love try to feel the heaviness instead of pushing it away. As cliché as it sounds writing down how you feel and why you feel that way does make a difference. Try to perceive your heartbreak as a story, maybe even a record- don’t be afraid to re-read the story as many times as you need to just re-play the record again and again. Truthfully you can only read your favourite book or play your favourite record so many times.
While I was healing I found comfort in books and music. Below are only a few things I like but I am sure there are a lot of other ways to find comfort.
Self care, art in all sorts of forms, movies etc.
Just remember: you are healing.
A list of books to take your mind of things:
A bit of philosophy in a nutshell: ‘I think, therefore I am’ by Lesley Levene
A book about wandering and getting lost: ‘The Wander Society’ by Keri Smith
A novel to forget about your own life for a while and get lots in several stories slowly intertwining: ‘The Story of Forgetting” by Stefan Merrill Block
A list of songs:
Two songs that gives you that warm love feeling:
‘Crazy Feeling’ by Lou Reed
‘Fall In Love With Me’ by Iggy Pop
A song to feel less guilty about daydreaming about your lost love:
‘Daydream’ by The Lovin’ Spoonful
Yet another love song:
‘Fool’ by Frankie Cosmos
One of those songs you should listen to in the car, on the bus or in the train:
‘The Whole Of The Law’ by The Only Ones
Soft night tunes:
‘Thoughts of You’ by Max Shrager
To remember the times when you were little:
‘Kids’ by Current Joys
Sort of just to accept that this moment right now is here and whatever is about to come is going to happen:
‘We Can’t Stop What’s Coming’ by The The
And to top it all off, a 10 minute long song that might take you places, feel the music and just exist in the moment:
‘God is in the Rhythm’ by Kind Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Why Failure And Prosperity Are Connected
This week has been one of the most tumultuous in my life. Last Thursday afternoon at 15.30 what I thought would be my future life fell apart and the illusion of the fantasy disintegrated into dust and ashes. Yet this is a story of failure and despair but a tale of the power of action we all possess in facing the unpredictable nature of the universe.
To start from the beginning of the story, I’d been contemplating with my friend over the idea of moving to San Francisco for some months to just to live and prosper instead of moving on to university in September as I’d planned. After years of studying enduring another term with the stress of assignments and facing the aftermath of a caffeine fueled all-nighters on my health did not seem that appealing anymore. Although I’d only spent a month free from school at that time I can assure you that that month was the healthiest, most flourishing month I’d had for as long as I can recall. Finally, I could write readily without the guilt of unfinished assignments. At last, I was able to make spontaneous plans with my friends, no need to take into consideration the scheduling of tests, classes, and extracurriculars. Summer nights filled with cava and candid conversations just a text away. My stomach aches are gone, my skin has cleared up, I no longer get spontaneous migraines at the sight of a math book. I’ve beat my fastest track record 3 times in this past month and I’m looking to do it again next week. As you can see I had no desire to go back to the tedious routine of classes, although I can understand the appeal of structured university life to others. In my mind the vision of an alternative life took shape. One of morning coffee in parks, punk gigs at local venues, dog-eared books in droves, and the refreshing spirit of meeting new people. My mom is moving to Berkeley to work for a couple of months so although I’d initially declined her suggestion to join her due to university it now seemed like luck was bringing me to the city. I realize now that perhaps I’ve conjured up a fantasy, fetishisation of a supposed life. I am aware of the many problems with housing, homelessness, and gentrification in the Bay area that sometimes remains unsaid by the press in the shadow of the hippie stereotype from the 1967 summer of love. Yet I also recognize perhaps university is the best alternative for me at this stage of my life and to be frank, anything is a breath of fresh air from the stale routine of studying.
The day of the results I met with my friend in our local cafe shop for some coffee to calm our nerves. Looking back I’m so grateful to have had her present at that moment, to be honest, I’m not sure what I would have done if met with the news alone and allowed to digress into darker thoughts. With my hand resting around a reassuring americano and the bittersweet aroma of the coffee filling my senses I opened the web page login at 15.30 sharp. At first glance, I was in shock. How could three years of blood, tears, vomit, coffee, missed parties and declined dates lead to this. It was devastating, yet my friend seeing my solemn expression only smiled, looked me in the eyes and said well I guess you have to start packing. We spent the rest of the evening discussing the future and laughing about what a contrast this reckless decision was from us in our school years: Uptight and never missed a deadline. And yet there we were postponing university with failing results, giving up the safety of home for the vastness of the universe. I went home that night not feeling wrecked and worthless but refreshed and bubbly. I’d realized that afternoon that life goes on despite what happens, misadventure and prosperity alike. A blocked door allows for the exploration of a new one.
This may all seem insane to some, and it still is to me. I’m scared to my wits, more so than I’ve ever been before. Scared of wasting my year on nothing, scared of not making any new friends, scared of despising a place I’ve idolized for so long. However, I’m not going to let my fear of failure limit my opportunities to experience life and form moments of spontaneous beauty. Woes and failures are in themselves significant events that make us human and shapes who we are and how we approach the pervasive future.
And so, here I am, leaving the well-known safety of my childhood home for the excitement and experiences of a new city whose arms seem to me foreign and different. Yet this time I’ve learned from my mistakes and I will welcome every ounce of spilled milk as an opportunity to grow. I’ve learned that sometimes losing control allows the uprooting of rots for better ground.
PS. If you live in the Bay area, please hit me up on IG so you can show me your favorite bookstores and vegan grub:)
Spend time on your own
Purple silk caresses my skin and bones,
I bend down to water my petunia pots on a crisp morning.
There is love and feeling in the air.
Somewhere beyond the expansive ocean lapping before me, there is a man and a women celebrating their love.
Two girls flirting at a coffee shop.
A boy and a girl staring into each other’s equally intense eyes.
But I’m alone, finding solace and love through thoughts like these and blissful bites of nectarines.
And even though it would be nice to have that personal, intimate presence of love, that’s clearly not what’s meant to be.
So I write to boys I knew long ago, with inky pens and parchment,
Allowing vulnerability to flow through me and channel self awareness.
The lesson in this sad lovesick story is to follow love before you lose it.
But I make do.
I find and reconnect with myself through my hands. Using them to bow a note on my violin, to massage my friends, to stir a pot of pasta, to draw, to write, to paint, to weed the garden, to push myself into downward dog, to embroider, to hold, to love….myself.
Can you be someone’s and still be your own?
That is the question you need to ask yourself.
Can you be alone and enjoy your own company?
Can you star-gaze, read books, cook yourself breakfast and have a bath without the comforting distraction of another being?
Movie to watch: Wonder Woman
Diana, princess of the Amazons also known as Wonder Woman,trained to be a brave warrior was raised on a sheltered island. Diana meets a crashed pilot who tells her about the war that's raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.
Growing up I didn't really have any kind of connections to Wonder Woman, although in the back of my mind I always knew that she existed. But all of that changed when I first saw batman vs superman. I was therefore very exited for the Wonder Woman movie to be released and I counted down the days til I could finally see it.
I loved seeing Diana (Gal Gadot) at different stages in her life, both before and after she discovered how cruel the world is. You get to see her as vulnerable, insecure and unsure at times but also strong and brave. You get to see her wrecked with grief but also so unbelievably happy you can't help but smile as well. Also, I loved seeing Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. Hands down I'm a huge fan of Chris. I've seen most of his filmography, and man this role really was something. He's funny but not rude, he has a heart made out of gold, and is a really good guy. The chemistry Chris and Gal had was amazing and undeniable . The characters are so real and human. And even though Diana did fall in love with the first man she met, her and Steve’s relationship does come across as sincere and rather well-developed. Also, although it is a rather quick romance, it is based on mutually learning about each others’ worlds, personal beliefs, and personalities.
The soundtrack is amazing and the film is filled with "mid jump slo-mo scenes" which I could watch 24/7. The fight scenes really surprised me because what I noticed is that Diana is neither angry or mad. She just wants to do the right thing and get the job done, and you rarely get to see that in Superhero movies.
Over all, it was probably one of the best movies I've ever seen and I've seen A LOT, and I would recommend it to both dc fans and none dc fans.
My six year old sister first saw the trailer a week or two ago and the huge posters around our city, and it made her eyes sparkle and she had the biggest smile on her face. She now owns a wonder woman doll and we're about to buy her a little costume as well. And I think that is important. Little girls, seeing inspirational strong women on huge banners and on tv. The movie is filled with so much love and that warms my heart. Here's to Wonder Woman and here's to a superhero movie about a woman, directed by a woman. And after all love always wins.
In a time where the world is filled with so much hate, a film like Wonder Woman really warms my heart. The love Diana has inspires me so much and i hope people can learn from it and get inspired as well. Wonder Woman has such an important message and what is so amazing about it is that the love she has isn't a weak thing. It's the exact opposite. It's a strength.
Advice for You by Maddie Bryann of Halcyon Girls
Sometimes life doesn’t always seem to be going right, and that’s completely okay. Life can still be going completely wrong, but it can still be beautiful; look at the stars in the sky and listen to your best friend’s laugh. Life is never perfect and it never will be, remember this is okay. Sometimes you need a little advice to get you through the tough times.
When you’re stressed… take a break. Sometimes we can work ourselves too much, past our breaking point. Think about your mental health first. Put the deadlines behind you and just take a moment to breathe. Don’t let the stress consume you.
When you’re anxious… remind yourself that you will be okay. Remember that you have gotten through 100% of the other times when you were anxious, and you can get through this one too. Take deep breaths, distract yourself, or take the anxiety head on and face it. Do whatever works best for you.
When you’re frustrated… take a break from everything. Get away from the situation that is frustrating you. Go for a walk or listen to music, and sing out your frustrations. Remind yourself of all the things you are grateful for, or all the things that you love in the world.
These are just a few emotions that make it seem like everything is going wrong. Whenever you find yourself feeling these emotions or just feeling like things aren’t going right, remember this advice and just breathe. You’re doing great, and you will get through this.
An Ode to myself
Your abit of a mess
A beautiful mess
But here are 4 things you must always do because they are what's raw and truly you:
- Smile , smiling will inevitably genuinely make you in a better mood , smile at your man, smile at your dog or smile to the sun just be bright
- SWIM!! The ocean is your sanity and home become one under its crashing waves and find that calm chaotic masterpiece
- Don't think too much, stop expecting and determine - over anticipating something/someone. Become excited with the unknown and leaving it open ended
- Get out there. Share your love, share your message and share your touch - the world is your oyster, you love the sun, dan , salt and earth so Go apart of it / put that phone down and be alone
- It is okay to be alone, spend quality time on yourself - workout, bake some treats, cuddle your dogs, go to the beach, go for a bike ride, read , write , study new unknowns , garden , meditate , do a pamper day - being alone doesn't mean your lonely / take everyday as it is there / don't rush the present
How to live with beauty and curiosity
This world is full of magic and wonders. If you're open to see and recieve it. This life can be as equally ecstatic as depressing and grey, but to lead a life of awe and beauty doesn't mean that the hardships and sorrows disappear, merely the magic is enhanced and the present moment an unwritten page.
As diverse as nature is, so are we. What works for one person might not for another. So try whatever tickles your lust, and disregard it if not. The things explored below are suggestions and more like concepts and ideas to ponder. Bend and tweak it if need be. With wishes of a magical day and life, here comes seven little wonder-starters, meant to spark your curisosity.
Gratitude for expansion
Start each day with five (5) (or more) things you're truly grateful for, and the more specific, the better. Really feel into it and try and find in which ways it moves your body. Does the feeling of thankfulness tingle, does it feel warm, or like a purring? Where can you feel it? In your stomach? In your heart? Or the wole chest, or perhaps whole body?
Share your gratitude-list with someone close, and you'll sse how you both expand in your relationship as well as individuals, slowly blooming into what you can be.
Have a word you live by- it can be one for each month or new moon, or perhaps every week or day. Try and see what works for you. If you want to you could also incorporate tarot or oracle decks, if that's something which adds colour to your world and helps you get in tune with what you want. Then meditate on the world, look up the etymology. Feel into what the word means to you, in what ways does it show up for you? How can you live by it, in a tangible and actionable way?
Beauty in details
Notice the small details- as you take a walk or stroll in nature, or on your way to work or wherever you go. Do you see anything that captures your eye? Makes you curious? What about the flowers along the concrete. Smell them, look at them. Not only with your eyes, but truly see. Bask in their glory and beauty + revel in their delight. Feel your interconnectedness. As a human-being you are also a part of the plant kingdom and animal kingdom too. Your lives are intertwined. You're equal parts magic and human. As much flesh and bone as spirit.
Take note of what catches your eye, stop and pause. Breathe in the moment. What makes you feel something? And what lingers as you sit in silence?
Look for the smallest things in people you meet- how they move and sway, the way they look as they talk about their passions, how their eyes light up as they feel seen and heard.
Pursue beauty á la Ruskin
Surround yourself with beautiful things. Paintings, crystals, notes and loveletters. Create your home as a sacred safe-zone, a place sprung from a fairytale or your fantasies. Objects reminiscing of good times, filling you with love.
Find and revel in the beauty in nature and on your travels. Ruskin was a wordsmith and painter, insanely curious about beauty and how to possess it. He said that we don't find things beautiful merely because the colours matches or its symmetry, but because it embodies a mood or values we find important. And, I think, this is true also for people. He meant that to truly encompass and possess beauty we need to be consciously aware of how and why it affects us the way it does. How can we describe a tree in the most vivid and alive sense? Can we find new words for them + how it makes us feel? To make art out of something we see makes us more aware and helps us not just look, but see. Which is why he wanted everyone to paint, regardless of the quality of the work. He coined the term wordpainting- where one uses words to describe the beauty we see as we experience a luminous sunset.
A good example is that of two people going for a walk, where one of them is an avid sketcher, and the other not accustomed to that way of being in the world. The sketcher will come back with a whole new level of acute heightened sense. In Ruskin's words; "... he will see the jewel brightness of the emerald moss and the variegated and fantastic lichens, white and blue, purple and red, all mellowed and mingled into a single garment of beauty."
Play dress up
Dress yourself in clothes that makes you feel beautiful, empowered, goddess-like, cute- whatever you feel like for the day. Ask yourself what character you want to feel like that specific day. What makes you feel yourself, your body? Whole and complete. And then go for it. It can be something simple and elegant, or cute and quirky. Mix freely, and think as if you were going out on a date with and for yourself that day, how would you dress?
Movement as medicine
Move your body + spend time in nature. Dance as if everyone's watching, but you still don't care (or like noone's watching, if that makes it easier). The important thing is to not give a damn. Get curious- what movement does this sound create in your body? How does it flow through your body? Let the music take over, let the tunes create like ripples in a pond, but through your limbs. Be possessed and consumed by the tunes. Drip drop in your soul and blood.
Seek out adventures and pleasures. Feel your body. Feel into your body and its needs and w. What needs does it (you) have today? Treat it. Don't hold back on lust or pleasures. Whatever adventure you´re up for, say yes. With the right mindset almost anything can be an adventure- look for the obscure, the abnormal, and be open for surprises. Follow your whims as you go on a walk, don't plan ahead just walk and go with your intuition. This is also a great way to explore a new city. Through this you can see and experience things you otherwise could´ve missed.
Look with the eyes of a child, as if everything held a bit of the universe inside of it, and as if everything was something you'd never seen before. What is it made of? How does it work? Can you come up with new ways for how it can be used? Through this, the rigid structures, years of conditioning, will be ever so slowly resolved and each day can be like an adventure as you open your eyes and truly see, as you live with conscious awareness and delight in even the smallest of wonder. The sound of raindrops falling on a roof of metall can make you entranced. The way the wind plays with your hair, carrying wild flowers can make you reminisce or gasp for air.
You will come to live a life of beauty and openness. Surrender and curiosity. Presence and glowing.