On The Road Towards Yourself

Autumn. It’s 5:30 pm and lanterns lightening up the twilight. Trees are visible through the glow from the lamps below. It is raining. It starts pouring. 5:35 pm. Raindrops are visible on some windows. Silhouettes of strangers on their bikes vanishing around corners. People are heading home to escape the cold and the rain. Autumn.

This time of the year is my favorite. Cozying up in the apartment. Enjoying a cup of tea, with a good series or good music blasting out the speaker, or both.  A lot of time for yourself. A lot of time to think; think about whatever is going on at this particular moment in life. Some people call it mindfulness, some people call it weird, I call it essential for happiness.

I often encounter conversations with people who are scared of that. Scared of being alone. Providing deep thoughts in this solitude, an opportunity to circle around. I get it. It can be scary. Scary to face problems and issues. However, these moments are purely assigned to reflect on yourself and everything that is happening around you. Solitude should not feel empty, nor scary, it should help you to get a better understanding of exactly yourself and the things making up your world.

It might sound and feel weird for you now. You might even feel uncomfortable to read further because you think this is just spiritual bull*. This is probably the simplest form to get to another level of happiness in life. This kind of happiness you find in yourself.

If you are open-minded enough to assimilate these words and apply them to yourself, look at the following advice…

Allow yourself time alone.
What do I mean with that? Try to avoid background noises on a 24/7 – basis; playing music every second possible, listen to a podcast, watch a series or anything else that creates something louder than your actual thoughts. In doing so, you will allow your thoughts to be free.

Give your thoughts the opportunity to cycle around.
Let the thoughts develop. It might be helpful to write them down. For this, journaling can be a nice method for you, to question your thoughts without feeling ‘weird’ or ‘wanna-be spiritual’. – “What do you feel right now? / Why do you feel the way you feel?” (Inspiration on how to get started with journaling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STRXoISJuDg)

Face your thoughts.
As we face issues in life, negative thoughts will eventually come off, and it might be fucked up at this point in life. Life will always be this, a challenge and an emotional rollercoaster, with all its ups and downs. If you won’t face these thoughts now, they will come back at some other point anyway. – “Why did you take a particular action? / Why do you have these positive or negative feelings? / Is there something or someone in your past that might have an influence on these present thoughts?”

Take control.
Do not be scared. You know these are just your thoughts, you are in control of them and whenever there is a moment of feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed you can always divert yourself from them.

Stop making excuses.
As always in life try to start easy. Take at least these five minutes every day that you would normally spend with things that would withhold your thoughts. Take these five minutes to breathe, to introspect and take back the control of your mind and your thoughts.

Autumn. The time of the year that creates the atmosphere and vibes to get closer to yourself. Now it is up to you use these vibes and generate more self- awareness, Autumn.

Author: Antonia
Editor: Kat

Fall Funk

As the rain pours down and a gloomy grey consumes the sky, there is little motivation to leave the bed. The fall funk: a period of hibernation consisting of Netflix binges, oversized hoodies, and no desire to participate in any form of physical activity. I have found that the only way to combat fall funk is through a concept of the same name: Fall Funk. With ten songs from every decade ranging back to the 1920s, Fall Funk is a playlist powerful in its ability to eradicate any of that melancholy and gloom threatening to consume you in the coming months. 

When You’re Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You) – Louis Armstrong
A song that will put a smile on your face – in no time, you will be skipping around in the rain with an umbrella in hand. Armstrong preaches the message that the joy you emanate will be reflected in everything around you. Let the sweet sound of the trumpet take you back to the 1920s, perhaps at a jazz bar in New York City, as you watch the world go by. 

Over the Rainbow – Judy Garland 
Garland’s melody expresses the message that beyond the rain lies a place bereft of clouds or trouble. Written for the classic film Wizard of Oz, Over the Rainbow gives a sense of innocence and adventure shown by Dorothy throughout her adventures in Oz. To spook up your October, watch the film and find yourself in a land of witches, scarecrows, and tin men. 

In the Mood – Glenn Miller
In the Mood will put you in the mood – perhaps for a night out, or an evening spent grooving in the comfort of your apartment. Miller’s big band-era tune stirs up nostalgia, giving you the feeling of sailing across the San Francisco Bay on a yacht, drinking cocktails galore and swing dancing until dawn. 

Rockin’ Robin – Bobby Day
Blurring the lines between pop and R&B, this smash hit begins with an upbeat rhythm accompanied by the mimicked sound of chirping birds. Bring yourself back to the decade of Grease, hand jiving your way through high school proms and county fairs. 

Do You Believe in Magic – The Lovin’ Spoonful
This groovy tune will have you bouncing around in no time. An anthem expressing the power of music and love, The Lovin Spoonful’s timeless hit is sure to get you out of your October gloom and take you to the 1960s, into a decade of innovation, counterculture, and activism.

Blame It on the Boogie – The Jacksons
This banger will get your head bopping and your feet twisting as you find yourself dancing along to The Jackson’s tune. Watch the music video to truly understand what it means to blame it on the boogie.

Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears for Fears
A new wave song incorporating guitar solos and melody shifts, Tears for Fears’ classic was released in a decade defined by shoulder pads and leg warmers. Take yourself back to the era of Stranger Things, dancing through shopping malls and roller skating rinks.

Doo Wop (That Thing) – Edit – Ms. Lauryn Hill
Influenced by R&B and soul, Ms. Lauryn Hill’s tune will have you on your feet in seconds, ready to take on the day no matter how grey the sky is outside. A female rap anthem inspired by doo-wop music of the 1950s, this song will have you prepared for anything coming your way. 

Rock Your Body – Justin Timberlake
JT knows how to get you out of a funk and into a FUNK. Let your hips shake, fingers snap, and body rock to this gem of a song. Netflix can wait- getting down to this song can’t. 

Patience – Tame Impala
Arguably the greatest bop of 2019, Patience is the essence of Funk. The lyrics discuss the phases we go through and the inevitability of change. If Fall Funk can’t get you out of bed, let one piece of advice from the final song ring through- have patience, fall funk will pass, as it does every year. 

Author: Gigi
Editor: Kat
Illustrator: Clara

5 Things I Learnt Trying to Get that ‘Summer Body’

From early childhood on, I have been struggling with my weight and appearance. I was always the chubby kid, and I took this baggage with me all the way to university. This January 1st, I made the decision to lose my beer belly for good and succeeded through losing more than 20lbs. For this IBCoMagazine post, I dissected the five lessons I learned along the way on my journey.

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