Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

Thinking back to this time last year when I was writing about how great 2017 had been… I had no idea that 2018 was going to be as amazing as it was. I mean, wow. What a year!

I like sitting down to write a post like this at the beginning of a new year, because it’s a chance to reflect on what’s changed since this time last year. Am I still the same person that I was? No, not at all. None of us are. We are always changing and growing and realising new things about ourselves, surprising ourselves, exceeding our own expectations. And yeah, we are all disappointing ourselves too: failing at things we thought should be easy, realising we aren’t quite as good as we thought we were at something, and not all of the changes we face are good. But that’s the human experience. We have to take the good with the bad and just roll with it. But this post isn’t about anything bad. Because what’s the point in dwelling on the things that didn’t go so well (unless it’s something we can learn from, of course, but that’s for another day!) No, this post is about my amazing year!

I finished 2018 so full of love and gratitude. On New Year’s Eve, I was literally buzzing with energy all day because I’d taken the time to write down things I was grateful for and the good things that happened that year. Having a years worth of positivity on a page in front of you and on your mind does wonders for your soul. I’m not kidding. Give it a try sometime, it’s not too late.

5

Me and Yorick on New Year’s Eve, 2018.

Last year, I started a new tradition. On New Year’s Eve 2017, I wrote a letter to myself. A letter from 2017 Misuzu to 2018 Misuzu. The idea is, you open the letter exactly a year later and if you feel so inclined (as I was), you write another letter to yourself for the following year.

When I sat down to read the letter I wrote at the end of 2017, I was surprised. After a year had passed, I’d completely forgotten what I’d written, so it was new to me. It was like a little bit of Misuzu captured in time, an echo from the person I was the year before. I had written such a  kind and thoughtful note to myself, it was empowering. I didn’t realise how wise I could be until I read that letter from the year before. I definitely recommend this practice. I know it sounds silly, but give it a try. You might be surprised.

But anyway, the reason I’m writing about the little tradition I invented is because that’s in a way what these blog posts are to me. The public version of the letter I wrote to myself. Something to look back on. If I’m ever feeling down in 2019, or things aren’t going according to plan… I’ll look at this post, or the one I wrote last year, and remember all the good and positive things that happened in previous years and be able to capture some of that positive energy I felt on New year’s Eve. A little gift to myself. And you’re along for the ride.

Of course, this post is also a good opportunity for you to see what I’ve been up to and read about things that you might have missed while dipping in and out of social media. Or if you’ve only just realised I exist then here’s a chance for you to get to know me a bit. It’s not entirely for myself. Not entirely.


So I’ve decided to split this post into sections because there’s so much that I want to write about! I was going to go through the year chronologically but there’s too much and it’ll be all over the place… So here we go. Travel. Duo modelling. Photography. Personal life. Music.

3

A picture of me looking a bit gothy, just because it seemed time for a picture but I couldn’t think of a relevant one.


Travel

In March 2018, I did my first ever modelling tour outside of England. It was pretty scary to be honest! Knowing that I’d have to negotiate my way around a foreign country by myself, meet a number of new people, and knowing that I would not be able to speak the language (I try to remember basic phrases so as not to be rude but they never stick in my head, I’m bad enough with English 😛 ) was kind of a big deal for me. As it happens, I needn’t have worried as the people I worked with while I was there were fantastic. Such lovely, friendly people. I felt completely looked after during my stay, especially as I was feeling a bit out of my depth when I arrived.

The first photographer I worked with collected me from the airport on the day I arrived and made sure I got back to the airport at the end of my stay even though he didn’t have to. He also made sure I caught the right trains when I was leaving for a different part of the country and he was lovely to spend time with as well as work with. We got some fantastic images from classical portraits and fashion, to more quirky images.

I also stayed with a photography couple while I was there and they fed me amazing food (and they catered to me as a vegan even though they weren’t vegan themselves, which was truly wonderful!) and made me feel welcome in their home. The images I got from my two days I was working with them were amazing!

Going to a foreign country by yourself is something that I now know makes you grow and develop as a person and I’m so grateful to have been given this experience. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to do something like this a few years ago, so I’m very proud of myself for actually arranging this tour and going through with it! There will definitely be a blog post about two of the shoots I did while I was in The Netherlands.

My traditional red wine selfie at the airport, followed by one on my first morning in The Netherlands when it was too sunny to take a good selfie, then a selfie inside just before I started my first shoot of the tour!

Selfie on the canals of Amsterdam and a selfie outside Anne Frank’s house when I got a bit of time to explore in between shoots. Exploring this wonderful city by myself was wonderful.

In April, I went back to Greece for the second time and I stayed for nearly twice as long as I had in November 2017. I learnt so much about the history of Greece as well as working to get some more amazing images… Which I knew we would. I was lucky enough to visit The Devil’s Bridge on Friday the 13th (what are the chances?!) and I got to spend a day in Athens too this time. The experience of ascending the Acropolis and visiting the Parthenon was something I will never forget. As well as exploring more Mycenaean ruins, of course. Something I find extremely fascinating, it’s sort of becoming my thing. I’m grateful to be able to work alongside such a talented photographer to get beautiful, classical images as well as the opportunity to learn about the people who walked those sites 3,500 years before me. Magical. Expect more blog posts about Greece too!

There it is. The red wine airport selfie. And then a bathroom mirror selfie at the airport before I came home. In between these two pictures being taken, I’d had so much fun, learnt a lot and created some amazing art. Although, I was glad to be going home to cuddle with Yorick, I missed him like crazy as it was the longest time I’d spent away from him. 11 days without bunny cuddles is 11 too many.

Selfie from when I revisited my favourite place in the whole world: The Theatre at The Sancturary of Asklepios… And a selfie when I was on the Acropolis in Athens outside the amazing Parthenon. What a place, what an experience!

In October, I had a very last-minute trip. I went to Bulgaria. I was asked if I was available to go late on a Thursday night… The flight out was the following Tuesday afternoon. That’s how short notice this trip was! Saying yes to things is a powerful tool. I said yes, even though the prospect of travelling so far away from home on such short notice (and knowing that the weekend in between me being asked to go and flying out was hella busy!) was daunting and scary but I’m so glad I went. Not only did I have a great time and got some wonderful images from the five photographers that were on the trip, I experienced another culture that is so different to England… and I made a friend.

The other model on the trip is a wonderful latex/fashion model called Stacie Mai. She is amazing at what she does, I mean, like… WOW. But not only that, after spending the week together, we realised we’d become really close.

On this trip, I also met Rosie, the daughter of Colin Grist from Pathways Studio in Chester who organised the trip. Rosie was there helping Colin to renovate the house he has out there, which is where we stayed for the first half of the trip. She was also there to help look after everyone and she was very good at that. Rosie is amazing. She’s funny, kind and really worked hard to ensure everyone was okay. Rosie also made me amazing vegan food and was conscientious enough to ask me about veganism so she knew she was feeding me food I was happy with. I think that was very thoughtful. She also got me an avocado for the road. That girl sure knows the way to a vegan girl’s heart.

I’m grateful to have been asked to go on this trip, I’m grateful for the places I visited and the things I saw while I was there, and I’m grateful for the new friendships I’ve made because I said yes.

The last red wine airport selfie of 2018 and a selfie with Dobby who I made friends with after a 3 hour flight and 5 hour car journey through the night to get to our destination. I miss Dobby.

Me and the wonderful Stacie Mai before we boarded the plane and again when we landed in Bulgaria. We were very drunk by the time we landed and I don’t fully remember getting there. Oops.

Some behind-the-scenes shots (taken by Stacie) of me modelling on the streets of Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria.

On the way  home: the pre-flight selfie and the onboard selfie. I love this girl more than words can say. She is a gem 🙂


Duo Modelling

Prepare for an awful lot of selfies… You have been warned.

So I’d been modelling for a full three years by the time 2018 rolled around and do you know what I’d not really done any of? Duo modelling. I’d done the odd bit where I was in the same frame as another model very briefly on group shoots and at photography events, but it was literally just the odd shot. I’d never done a shoot where the sole purpose was to be modelling with someone else. Weird, huh?

In January, I was asked to do a shoot with Phil Bruce, a local male model, by Kevin Sheldon, the photographer who was the first person I ever worked with and he’s the one who runs the studio I help out at (more on this later). It was January and it was cold, but we had a giggle and got some wonderful shots of the two of us walking around Rudyard Lake. Phil made shooting with him easy because he’s very outgoing and funny and you can’t help but have a good time when you’re working with him. He’d done a lot of shoots with other models, so I was a bit nervous to be working with him if I’m honest, but I needn’t have been. He was great.

1

Me and Phil Bruce in January.

It wasn’t until August last year that I did another duo shoot. A photographer I’d worked with a few times, Danny, had also worked with a model from Wales called Leaf. Me and Leaf had been chatting for about a year about possibly doing some duo work together as we both love each other’s work but it never really happened until Danny suggested booking the two of us together. We both jumped at the chance.

So in August, me and Leaf spent an afternoon running through woodland, climbing trees, getting into rivers/waterfalls and frolicking along the beach while Danny took some pictures of the two of us. It was lovely. The next day, we were joined by Silk, another model from Wales. Danny shot the three of us together and we all got on well, creatively and personally. It was a really lovely day. Considering I hadn’t done much work with other models, I was surprised at how natural and how easy it was to work alongside these amazing ladies. It just sort of happened, and I didn’t really need to think about it, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was.

In September, me and Leaf organised a duo studio weekend at The X Factory which sold out really quickly. We were impressed by that and we spent two hectic days at the studio, climbing into windows, rolling around in the dust on the floor, draping ourselves over each other and bending ourselves into different shapes. We were exhausted by the time we’d finished, but we had such great fun and some of the pictures from those two days were just outstanding. This isn’t the last time me and Leaf will be collaborating!

A quick selfie in the middle of my duo shoot with Leaf and a group selfie after our trio shoot the next day with myself, Leaf and Silk. These ladies are wonderful to work with.

5

Me and Leaf outside the studio on the first day of our duo weekend in September by the sign I made with our names on.

Rolling into August, I met Kelsey. A photographer friend of mine Phil, who I’ve worked with on numerous occasions, had worked with Kelsey and thought the two of us would look good working together and would get on well as people. So we arranged it. A full day shoot, me and Kelsey in Delemere Forest. Phil was right, me and Kelsey do look good as a modelling duo and we got on better than I could have imagined. So we organised a duo studio weekend for October, which went well. We also did some duo self portraits that I’ve yet to edit (sorry Kelsey!) and we generally just chatted and had a laugh in between photographers coming to the studio. We have decided that in 2019, we will be working together a lot more so have come up with a reduced rate for the two of us together. I’m looking forward to the good weather so we can get creating in the wilderness again!

4

Me and Kelsey on our duo shoot in August. We have more antics planned for 2019, don’t worry 😀

So I won’t go on too much about me and Stacie because I’ve already written a bit about how we met in the previous section on travel, but I’d like to elaborate a little if you’d let me.

Me and Stacie got the opportunity to model together on the trip and we created some fantastic results. I’d never modelled latex before and that’s sort of Stacie’s thing. So she introduced me to it. It’s always fun to try new things, but having someone who shot a lot of latex to show me the ropes was beneficial. I’m sure part of me and Stacie becoming close was due to us having to be all up in each other’s faces all the time but also, we just clicked. And on top of that, I bet nobody could not be friends after one of you (Stacie) was trying to pull a bit of latex up over the other one’s naked butt (Me). I’m pretty sure she saw wayyyyy more of me than she ever wanted/needed to during that trip but hey, if we weren’t friends before that moment, we certainly were after!

I’m so grateful that she was the other model on the trip because I feel like I’ve found a friend for life. Despite living a bit of a distance away, we’ve already seen each other a few times since then with more plans to meet up on a regular basis, along with Rosie of course.

Two selfies from Bulgaria of me and Stacie. I was so lucky to be modelling alongside her and spending so much time with her.

Me, Stacie and Rosie. These two girls inspire me. I hope to see a lot more of them in 2019.

13

Here’s the three of us reunited in early 2019 ❤

There’s a model local to me called Vivian Blue. I’d never met her until this year. Photographers seem to think that all models know each other but it’s not really true. I rarely get to meet other models (unless I’m doing duo work with them, which as I said, I’ve only started to do this year!) so even though we live pretty close to each other, we’d never crossed paths before.

I was helping out a photographer on his shoot with Vivian and that’s how we met. We started chatting and decided to organise a duo weekend together. I did some duo self-portraits of the two of us and we used those to advertise the weekend. We sold out all of the slots. On the weekend, it was freezing because it was November but we soldiered on, getting some cracking shots and having a bit of a giggle along the way (like when Vivian was trying to zip me into a catsuit and the zip broke, and when she accidentally hit me in the face with a metal bar… yep, these things happen!)

The funny thing is that me and Vivian started modelling at the same time. We are the same age. We are the same height. We have a similar build. We shoot similar styles. The only real difference is that she’s very pale and I’m quite tanned. It makes a nice contrast.

We did a Christmas themed group shoot in mid December too. It was even colder than it was on our duo weekend, but we got through (just about, with the help of coffee and hot water bottles!) and I can’t imagine anyone else I’d rather be freezing my ass off in silly Christmas outfits with 😛

Me and Vivian Blue on our duo weekend and again at the Christmas themed group shoot we organised!


Photography

So as most people will know, I’ve been helping out at a local studio called The X Factory. The photographer who set it up, Kevin Sheldon is the first photographer I ever worked with. He asked me to be involved and to help him out. In return, I could use the studio whenever I want. Sweet deal. I ended up working there an awful lot since August and I was there so much that there were times when I was considering just taking a sleeping bag and staying there! I had so many amazing shoots in that space last year with an array of photographers. I have done so much work in that space that I’m proud of. I hope that this continues into 2019.

I organised several duo days (as mentioned in the above section) and I’m rather proud of myself for this because a lot of work goes into making such events run smoothly and the majority of the days I organised alongside other models sold out completely which is absolutely amazing.

In the space, I also did a fair bit of self portraiture. I feel like my photography has come along so much this year and having a studio space with such character and amazing light to play with was amazing. Due to the amount of photography I did in 2018, I was able to design my latest set of business cards using all my own images. I thought that was pretty cool!

My photography has just been getting better and better and I’m really proud of the images I’ve created. My self portraiture is something I pride myself on. It’s a great feeling to know that the whole process start to finish was all my own work. Expect to see more of this in 2019.


Personal Life

So I won’t bang on too much about my own life because I’m sure that’s not overly interesting to anyone else but me and I still want people to read my posts, even if my main motivation for writing them is for myself. But some things need to be noted.

1

Here’s a picture of me dicking about in a tree on a walk in summer. Nothing if not a big kid!

In February, I participated in InCoWriMo. For those who don’t know, it stands for International Correspondence Writing Month. You write a letter to a stranger every day in February. And I did. I have made some amazing pen pals with people all around the world because I participated in this event. I already had a few pen pals, but InCoWriMo simply expanded my world-wide network of friends.

My pen pal from Canada, Sonia, definitely deserves a shout out. We have been writing to each other for over two years now and we basically write each other novel-length letters and I absolutely love and treasure our friendship. I keep all the letters I’ve ever received and Sonia had to have her own folder because of the sheer volume of lengthy letters we have exchanged. I love it. Thank you Sonia for your friendship, your letters and your thoughtful gifts on my birthdays and at Christmas. Also, I want to mention my pen pal from New York, Jonathan. I love the letters we exchange and although he’s been having a tough time, he still manages to write to keep me updated and he even sent me a wonderful and thoughtful Christmas gift.

1

I don’t have any pictures to do with writing letters so here’s a random picture of me from June when I crimped my hair for the first time.

Now I’m pretty sure that absolutely everyone who knows anything about me will know that Yorick is my best friend in the entire world and I love him more than anything. He turned 5 this year. Obviously he has a million presents and a little party, because how could I not celebrate my fluffy boy’s birthdays?! We had a wonderful day, he was very spoilt. I enjoy every snuggle, every bunny kiss and I even treasure the moments when he gets cross with me for one reason or another and tries to ignore me. Yorick, you’re the best!

1.jpeg

Here is Yorick on his 5th Birthday enjoying his birthday breakfast of parsley (his favourite, mine too), coriander, celery, mint and cavallo nero.

Halloween this year was fun. I didn’t go anywhere. I stayed in. I watched horror movies with my other half. You all know that I still dressed up though, right? I even did a quick little photo shoot just for fun. Playing around with liquid latex was interesting and I’m pretty happy with the results I got considering it was the first time I’d ever used it and basically was winging it! If you haven’t watched Netflix’s ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ yet, then I recommend it. It was amazing. I have yet to read the book though. It’s on my wishlist so I don’t forget!

Anyway, I made a yummy Halloween themed dinner (vegan, of course!). I had an amazing time.

My pumpkin this year. I was pretty proud of him actually. Then a selfie after I’d done my Halloween make up. And finally, the Halloween-themed dinner I made: Mashed potato bats, mummified sausages and pumpkin patch veg (carrots as the pumpkins, kale as the grass and broccoli as the trees). Clearly I have too much time on my hands/am never going to grow up.

A couple of my Misuzu Photography shots from Halloween featuring my liquid latex skills and excessive photoshop on the background to make the shots look tacky because that’s allowed when it’s Halloween!

Something weird happened this year. After being someone who despises sport (yes, that’s a strong word and I mean it 100%), I was tempted into watching the last few World Cup games this year because England got really far. I mean wow, well done England! Getting as far as we did was pretty exciting. I watched the final even though we weren’t in it and was happy to see France win (I wasn’t a fan of the Croatia team in general). But anyway, when it was over, I found myself feeling a bit lost, so I ended up getting drawn into the Nation’s League after that. Possibly just because of Harry Kane *swoon*. I’ve been watching a lot of football in the last half of this year. I actually understand the offside rule too. Get me. I’m really getting into this football nonsense, and I barely recognise myself while I sit there cheering on our team and shouting, ‘come on lads’ (I’m not even kidding, I genuinely heard myself saying that and thought, ‘who the hell am I? What have I become?!’) Embarrassing, considering I’ve always thought watching sport was pointless.

Here’s the best part: because of my sudden newfound interest in football, me and my partner decided to start watching American football. And do you know what happened? I absolutely fell head over heels in love with the game, I’m not even exaggerating. New Orleans has always been a bit of a thing in our household. We celebrate Mardi Gras every year and there’s rarely a day that goes by where New Orleans jazz and/or blues isn’t played at some point. So the obvious choice for an American football team to support would be the New Orleans Saints. As it happens, the Saints have been having an amazing season and ended up getting the first seed in the playoffs. Woop. Good time to start supporting a team, eh? Anyway, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara work their magic on the field. One of my close friends in America even sent me a Saints shirt for Christmas which was amazing. Now I’m a proper fan. Fingers crossed to see the Saints in the Super Bowl this year! #WhoDat #WhoDatNation #NewOrleansSaints

Selfies in my super awesome New Orleans Saints Football shirt. The first was just after I got it on Christmas day and the other two were taken just before the first Saints game of 2019 🙂

I continued my avid reading this year. I read a total of 52 books. That’s not quite as many as I read in 2017 as I finished that year having read 57 books in total. A lot of my time for reading comes from spending a ridiculous amount of time on trains, which I just haven’t done this year as most of my work has been local. But I set a goal and reached it. One book a week on average. You can see the list of what I read in 2018 by clicking here if you’re interested at all.

I also wrote a short story in 2018 called ‘The Railway Rabbits’ based on my favourite bunny. Of course, Yorick is the main character. Who’s surprised? Nobody. I’m super proud of this story and a lot of my close friends and family have already read it and I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on it. I’m grateful to everyone who’s read it so far for taking the time to read my little bit of silliness.

Nothing to do with writing, but some pictures of me that I feel capture my personality a bit. They are both from a trip I took in June with my friend. We spent a day at Dovedale. The first picture is me being silly as usual. The second is on the stepping stones where I modelled once back in 2015. My friend said, ‘do a pose like you did that time you shot here’ so I did. It looks a bit less impressive when you’re wearing a Harry Potter hoodie and Converse shoes, but still. The memory is there.

I also wanted to note that I had an amazing Christmas. We had an extra guest at Christmas which was a welcome change! I’m always one to try and spread the magic of Christmas to anyone and everyone, because I love Christmas and everything it stands for. Having an extra person around to share in the festivities was lovely.

Also, I was very much spoilt at Christmastime. I had so many people express gratitude towards me, lots of wonderful Christmas cards with touching messages inside, and even had some unexpected gifts from people whom I didn’t expect to be on their gift list. I’m so grateful and felt very loved and appreciated this year. Particularly thoughtful gifts I received this year include: Books (obviously a good choice with me, especially since my wish list is probably 90% books), New Orleans Saints shirt, remote trigger for my camera (for my self portraiture), a book about whales (I love whales), a banana (yep, you read that right), a llama travel mug, Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit, and a personalised book about me and Yorick.

Thank you to everyone who made my Christmastime special with messages, letters, gifts and hugs. I felt so much love and positivity this holiday season. It was amazing, definitely my best Christmas so far.

Two silly Christmas Day selfies. I love Christmas!! Check out my amazing Christmas jumper!

Two selfies from before Christmas. The first one was just before a Christmas party where I wore jingle bells in my hair and had a stash of candy canes in my bag. I am Christmas personified. The second one was showing off my fab Christmas t-shirt. Dinosaurs + Christmas = Super Happy Misuzu.

Selfies with my family. Me and my wonderful nan on the left (she hasn’t really got the hang of selfies yet, bless her) and on the right, me with my grumpy dad and my beautiful mom.


Music

So I usually write about the bands I’ve seen that year, because music is important to me. So here we go, I will try to be brief as I’m sure if you’re still reading this, you’re waiting for me to wrap it up.

In February, I went to see Bowling For Soup (my favourite band) for the second time and it was pretty last minute. I couldn’t really justify the cost of the tickets, travel, hotel, merch, drinks, food etc. when the tickets went on sale, but I found myself in a position to be able to afford to go a few days before the event. I was lucky to get tickets to be honest as most of the places were sold out, but I managed to get tickets to see them in Manchester. I know I would have regretted it if I missed the chance to see them as they are an American band, so it’s not like they’re always touring the UK!

So I got tickets and me and my partner went to Manchester to see my favourite band! They were being supported by a band called the Aquabats! that I hadn’t heard of before, but I absolutely love them now. Their set was so full of energy, it was funny and lively. They even had inflatables that they threw out into the crowd. At one point, they sent a child out into the audience crowd surfing on an inflatable slice of pizza. I’m not even kidding. It was great fun.

Of course, seeing Bowling For Soup who have been my favourite band for the majority of my life (not an exaggeration here) was just amazing. I’m so glad I was able to go. Also, being in Manchester means going to get falafel too, which is always good.

MC Bat Commander of The Aquabats! followed by Bowling For Soup (in order left to right: Gary, Chris, Jaret, Eric) and a gig selfie of me and the other half in the crowd 🙂

In September 2017, I went to See Jaret Reddick, the lead singer of Bowling For Soup, in his solo acoustic tour called Heartache and Hilarity. I went by myself. In London. It was a proud moment. The gig was amazing. More personal than their usual shows, and very touching. So when I found out that Jaret was coming back for Heartache and Hilarity Too, and he was bringing The Dollyrots with him (another of my favourite bands)… of course I had to get tickets and go, this time dragging my partner with me. It was amazing. I also got to meet Kelly after the gig too, one of the highlights of last year for me!

The gig was in Liverpool and so I got chance to explore a bit of Liverpool, rather than simply going there for work and coming straight home, which had been the deal on my previous visits to Liverpool. I found an all vegan pub for dinner before the gig and a then found a place that was all vegetarian and did a vegan breakfast for us to refuel the morning after. We also visited The Cavern Club, which was amazing. I can’t believe it had taken me 27 years to go there. If you haven’t been yet, you need to get down there. It’s an experience.

Mirror selfie of my outfit for the gig, and a pre-gig selfie of me and Matt waiting in line outside the venue!

Luis and Kelly of the Dollyrots on the left and Jaret Reddick on the right.

5

Kelly was hanging around after the gig. This woman inspires me. I’m so happy to have been able to give her a hug and get a quick picture with her. The Dollyrots truly love and appreciate their fans and I think that’s wonderful.

Me and Matt in The Cavern Club and me in The Cavern Club wearing merch from the gig the night before!

In November, I got to see Reel Big Fish. From backstage. No kidding. That was really really cool. I saw their sound check, hung out on the tour bus, and watched the entire show from backstage. Everyone was really really nice to me while I was there. I will treasure the experience of meeting these talented people forever 🙂

Me and Billy Kottage outside the gig venue… And me wearing his hat, because why not.

Two selfies with Matt Appleton (one after soundcheck and one just before the band went onstage) and a selfie with Ed Beach after the set.

6

A shot of the band as they were going on stage. I just thought this was pretty cool 😛


2019 Goals and Resolutions

So, onto the main reason for this post. Below is what I wrote were my goals for 2018 as it seems like a good place to start. I’ve just copied and pasted it from the post I wrote at the beginning of 2018.

My Goals for 2018

So I’m just going to write down a few things here that I want to achieve this year. Some are more personal, and some are more to do with my modelling work. If I post it on the internet, then I have to try twice as hard to achieve them. That’s how it works, right?

Anyway, here goes:

  • Blog more (first post of 2018, check!)
  • Plan more modelling tours, including Scotland and Ireland (because I’ve wanted to do that since I first started modelling!)
  • Go back to work in Greece again, if Rick will have me!
  • Put more effort into my own photography.
  • Read at least 52 books this year too. Because only good things can come from reading more.

There, it’s on the internet now, so I have to try extra hard. Accountability. It works wonders 😛

I did some of them. Okay so I always say I’m going to blog more and I never get around to it.I blogged a bit in 2018, as I wanted to but I’m going to try extra hard to actually achieve that this year.

I didn’t plan as many modelling tours as I wanted to because I was simply too busy locally, especially in the last half of the year. There’s still so much of England that I haven’t explored yet and so many photographers I’ve yet to work with who are simply too far away so I desperately want to travel England more this year… As well as going abroad again, obviously.

The last three goals, I did achieve. I did make it back to Greece, I expanded my own photography more than I could have possibly imagined and I hit my goal of 52 books as I mentioned earlier.

Three and a half out of five for 2018 isn’t bad going! I’m going to try extra hard this year to hit my targets and achieve my goals. And here they are:

  • Travel to Europe as much as last year, if not more.
  • Blog properly (come on now, Misuzu. You can do it. No excuses).
  • Organise modelling tours to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. It’s about time you just did it.
  • Continue to develop your photography skills and aim to sell some of your work.
  • Read another 52 books at least.
  • Write another short story. Or two. Go for two. Shoot for the stars. Also do something with the story you’ve already written, don’t just let it sit there on your hard drive, for goodness sake!
  • Take the chance to see the bands you like when they’re playing near you.

I think these are attainable goals. And they will make me happy. So I’m going to do it. here’s to an amazing 2019.

2

I feel like this needed an image at the end so here you go. Throwback to summer when it was crazy hot and I constantly felt like I was melting.


That you to anyone who made it all the way through my rambling, slightly self-absorbed post. I love and appreciate you more than you know. I hope 2019 brings you everything you want and more and I’d like to wish you a slightly belated Happy New Year. Go out there and smash your goals and achieve your dreams!


If you like my work and want to support me, feel free to buy me a drink by clicking here for PayPal or here for Ko-Fi. I’m also on OnlyFans, so click here if you would like to sign up to see images before anywhere else, exclusive content, and selfies!


 

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

 


Hello everyone. I hope 2018 has been kind to you so far. Last year, I said I was going to blog more. I didn’t. There’s one 2017 resolution that didn’t happen. But never mind. If at first you don’t succeed, try again… Or whatever it was that person said. Good advice. So here we are, 2018 (it just has to be the perfect year as it starts on a Monday. It’s just beautiful!). I’m actually going to blog more this year. You can hold me to that.

 

I wanted to write a bit about my achievements of 2017 and my plans for 2018… This post will be about gratitude for last year and intention setting for this year. I don’t expect you to read all of this really, you can just wait for some of the ones I’ll be posting later this month which will hopefully be less rambly. Hopefully. This post is more for me than anything.


I think 2017 was a good year. I achieved so much and did so many things. Plus, 2016 was just so shit for pretty much everyone that 2017 probably seemed awesome by default… Amirite? 😉

 

But seriously, 2017 was great for me. I have the best job in the world (at least I think so), so many exciting things happen because of my job and doing what I love (like getting the chance to go to Greece for example!), but I don’t just mean that 2017 was good for my work, although it was. I mean that 2017 was good for me. I did things I didn’t think I’d be able to do. I did things I can really be proud of. I had fun and explored new places. It was a really awesome feeling as 2017 drew to a close and I was writing down what I was grateful for. When I’d finished, I felt a little overwhelmed at how awesome a year it had been. And it’s given me a bit of drive to make 2018 even better.

 

I didn’t feel like 2017 was all that great when I was living it day to day. It felt average at best. But the power of looking back at all the things I did was a really amazing experience for me. If you didn’t write a list of things you’re grateful for that happened in 2017, I strongly recommend doing it. At first you’ll be staring at a blank piece of paper, but then you’ll think of one thing and then another, and another and before you know it, you’ve written a whole list of things. It’s magical.


My 2017 Gratitude List

The first thing I want to write about is the number of books I read this year. At the beginning of 2017, I set myself a goal of one book a week. So by the end of 2017, I will have read 52 books. I achieved my goal and actually ended up on 57 as the total number of books I read in 2017. I think that’s awesome. I love reading so much. I read a variety of books, mostly fiction, but some YA fiction, some graphic novels and a couple of non-fiction books too. I’m going to list them in a separate blog post, in case anyone else is as much of a bookworm as me and wanted to inspiration on things to read. I’m always happy to receive book recommendations, by the way, so feel free to comment with your favourite book or ones you’ve read recently and loved. I read pretty much everything! So even if I didn’t blog like I’d planned in 2017, I achieved my reading goal! That’s something to be proud of.


In 2017, I finally got to spend a weekend away with my best friend, Katie. We stayed in London and went to see Mamma Mia! onstage at the Novello theatre. Then we got very very drunk and spent the next day hungover in a fancy hotel eating vegan pizza from Zizzi and watching Come Dine With Me on TV. Literally the stuff dreams are made of. It might seem a weird thing to say I’m grateful for in 2017, but let me point out that me and Katie live very far apart and hardly ever get to actually see each other. So that weekend really rocked, and I’m very very grateful for that experience. Thank you 2017 (and thank you, Katie!)!

Me and Katie before leaving the hotel, and in the lift on the way out of the hotel, on our way to see Mamma Mia!

Me and Katie queueing outside the Novello theatre and then seated in the theatre, waiting for the performance to start (there was lots of giggling and girlish squeals!)

Me hungover, snuggled in the hotel room, eating vegan pizza from Zizzi in the hope of curing the hangover, and watching Come Dine With Me on TV, while snuggled in the hotel bath robe and slippers!


I taught a yoga and meditation class to children in 2017. My mum works with kids, she’s always been a teacher. She asked me about whether meditation and yoga could help some of her students. We talked about it and decided that I should go in to talk to the head teacher and the deputy head teacher about it. So I did. I mentioned wanting to do my yoga teacher training at some point because teaching yoga is something I’d love to be able to do (eventually). And before I knew it, this idea had snowballed into me teaching a 30 minute yoga and meditation class to two separate groups of children. Well, that escalated quickly.

I. Was. Terrified.

I was so scared. I’m very passionate about yoga and meditation and the benefits of those things, so often find myself talking to people about them… but to actually try to impart that knowledge to a group of children in a way they can understand and connect with, who will all be looking right at me the whole time, expecting me to know all of the answers to all of those awkward weird questions that children ask… *shudders*

I’ve never been one to enjoy public speaking. I’m actually quite shy and quiet and don’t like being the centre of attention. So this was scary for me. As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. All of the kids were lovely, I had fun and they had fun, and I got a really positive reaction from them. It was a fantastic experience. Another win for 2017, I overcame a fear and it all went well.

Two yoga themed self portraits I took at the beginning of 2017.


Another thing that was really exciting for me in 2017 was going on holiday with Katie in August. I don’t really like warm weather when it hits England (I spend the whole time it’s here [all 24 hours of it, usually] complaining that it’s too hot to do anything and wishing for winter, and then when it’s winter, I spend the whole time huddled up in duvets with hot water bottles, grumpy because it’s too cold all the time, wishing for summer…)

Anyway, so me and Katie had decided to go to Portugal for a few days. It’s really hot in Portugal in summer. It wasn’t until I was packing that I realised how much of a stupid idea this was. In May, when me and Katie were in London, it was really really hot (anyone else remember that crazy hot weather we had in May??? It was ridiculous…) and we both spent the whole time complaining that we hated warm weather… I was failing to see the logic behind us deciding to go to a hot country in the height of summer, but we did.

And it was actually amazing. The heat is different to the two days of summer we get in England and it was lovely. We spent time in the pool, on the river beach, sunbathing by the pool, sunbathing on the veranda… Basically lots and lots of sunbathing. It isn’t usually my thing, but apparently it was for the time I was in Portugal. I was like a reptile, basking in the sun at every opportunity. Then in the evenings, we got to go in the local village and attend their festas. We were staying in a tiny village, away from anything even remotely touristic so we got to experience real, rural Portuguese culture. The festa was lovely. There was music, dancing and wine. Everybody knew everybody. It was beautiful to watch and amazing to be part of. I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to experience a different culture without all all of the touristic influence. Thank you 2017 for the experience of another culture. And thank you to Marilyn and David (Katie’s aunt and uncle) who let us stay with them and showed us around.

Me having a selfie with my favourite boy before I left for the airport, and a photograph of me outside my front door, all packed ready to go! (I’m a loser, I’m aware of that fact!)

Me and Katie on the shuttle bus into the airport (looking very tired as it was about 4am, and then us sitting on the plane, being very excited and discussing whether or not is is okay to order prosecco at 5am, if you’re on an aeroplane (in case you’re wondering, we ordered the prosecco).

Pool selfies are mandatory on holidays that involve pools. As are the weird faces, so don’t judge!

Me and Katie enjoying the river beach in Coja. It was amazing and such a lovely day for it. The sun was hot, and the water was cool. Perfection.

There were lots and lots of selfies. I’ve limited it to just a few as I’m sure you’re sick of seeing my face by now, but I’d like to mention that these sunglasses died just before I was supposed to go to Greece so I had to buy new ones that aren’t as lovely. R.I.P favourite sunnies 😦

Pool selfie, followed by a photograph of me nearly drowning because I’m trying to read in the pool… Followed by a slightly more dignified picture of me afterwards (There was a more flattering version of that last picture, where I don’t have such a dorky look on my face, but I thought this one was more fun!)

Me and Katie in the car on our way to the airport to go home. It was some ungodly hour in the morning, hence the darkness. Me on the plane, listening to either Bowling for Soup or the soundtrack to Mamma Mia. I can’t remember which. Then a picture from just after we landed back in England. It was raining. I don’t know who that guy is in the background.

While I was in Portugal, I appear to have taken lots of photographs of my legs. If anyone can explain why I might have done this, I’d be very grateful. I have no idea.


In September, I spent some time in London. I was there to go to the Wanderlust 108m festival which is described as a mindful triathlon. Basically, it was a 5k walk or run, followed by yoga, followed by a meditation. I bought my ticket as soon as I heard about it. One ticket. I’d be going by myself. It was the first time I’d be going to something like that alone. Usually there would be friends, or family to go along, or I’d just drag the boyfriend begrudgingly along with me. But that wasn’t an option this time (worst. boyfriend. ever… just kidding). Basically, if I wanted to go, I’d be going alone. So I did.

A couple of months after booking my ticket, I found out that just two days before the Wanderlust festival, the lead singer of my favourite band was going to be performing a solo acoustic tour in London (Jaret Reddick form Bowling for Soup, in case you’re interested). That was fate. So I bought a ticket to that too. One ticket. I went by myself.

Going to things alone is actually really empowering, if a little scary. 2017; giving Misuzu the confidence to do what she wants to, even if she has to go it alone. I’m very proud of myself for dong it. Again, it might not seem like a big deal to you, but believe me when I tell you, this was a huge deal for me. And it was a nice adventure.

A picture of my ticket to see Jaret, and a selfie of me waiting outside in the rain before the doors were opened.

A selfie of me with my extortionately expensive Jack Daniels and Coke (London prices are crazy!) And a selfie of me post-gig, back at my hostel, wearing the hoodie I bought from the gig. It says ‘Jaret Reddick might be my dad’ on the back.

The day between the gig and the Wanderlust festival, I decided to have a wander around Camden. While I was there, I stumbled across this palace. I had my lunch there and it was AMAZING. I got back to the hostel and in the end decided to go back to Camden to find this place again for dinner. It really is that good.


Anyway, so the Wanderlust festival kicks off with a 5k walk or run. I was convinced I’d be walking it, if I managed to finish it at all. I’d tried to start to train myself to run a couple of months before the festival but as usually happens whenever I try to pick up a running habit; I did it for about a week and then stopped. I just can’t seem to keep a running practice. I’m not really sure why…

But anyway, I attended the Wanderlust festival as I’d planned. By myself. Prepared to walk the 5k to kick of the mindful triathlon… And for some magical reason, I ran the 5k. Okay, I walked some of it, but I ran more than I walked, which was an important distinction for me. And I did it in just under 40 minutes (which, I think is pretty good!). I’d been aiming for an hour so do it in less than 40 minutes felt really really great. I felt soooooo happy and energised when I finished the run (rather than exhausted as I’d anticipated)… I was really proud of myself.

I did something I didn’t think I had it in me to do. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard (and very sweaty) and took an awful lot of perseverance… But I did it. So 2017 saw Misuzu running 5k!

A selfie of me shortly after I arrived at Wanderlust. I got there early so I got a great spot for my yoga mat. And then there is a picture of the stage (I was the front row, right behind the mats that were set up for the volunteers… Arriving early has its benefits!)

A pre-5k selfie with all the other people waiting to start the run, and the Wanderlust starting line. A screen shot of my phone just after I finished the 5k! And a lovely, post-run selfie, covered in sweat but very very happy!

A funny selfie just before the yoga started. The sun decide to come out, making me all squinty… But it was glorious doing yoga in the sunshine, with thousands of other people! And then a picture of the yummy vegan food I got there.


Finally, in 2017 I got my first opportunity to work abroad as a model. I was invited to Greece by a photographer, Rick who goes by the name of Garden of the Muses. At the beginning of November, I spent a week in Greece with Rick in the Peloponnese region. I learnt so much about Greek history and culture, as well as working with Rick to get some amazing images. I’m hoping to go back this year at some point as I’m sure the images me and Rick will produce will just keep getting better and better each time. So, 2017 taught me to say ‘yes’ to opportunities as they arise. By saying yes, you might be taking a risk, but good things can come from taking risks.

IMG_6170.JPG

A selfie of me in the Theatre of Epidavros at the Sanctuary of Asklepios with the new friend I made! (There are more selfies and silly snaps from Greece but I think I’ve overstayed my welcome a little with them in this post, so I’ll save those for another post!)

Oh, and here are the new sunglasses.They’re just not as good!


My parents moved out of the house I grew up this year, which gave me the chance to go through all of the things from my childhood ( I had taken up a large space in their loft when I ‘moved out’ after university). It was great to see evidence of the adult I became, emerging from all of my childhood items. And lots of lovely, embarrassing photographs too. That’s always lots of fun!

An old photograph of me and my little brother camping, two school photographss from middle school and a framed picture of me as a super cute baby (clearly, I was supposed to grow up to be a model, since I’ve been doing it since I was tiny!)


I’m grateful for all that Matthew has done for me this year. He had continued to support my work and helped me to feel confident in putting myself out there. It’s very easy to miss feeling gratitude for the people and things that are always there, so I wanted to make sure I included this here.

Thank you for all of the lovely things we have celebrated this year, like Mardi Gras, birthdays and of course, Christmas (Christmas especially, we did so many lovely, festive things!).

Thank you for getting me 26 presents on my birthday in July because I jokingly said a few months before that you had to get me 26 presents because I’m turning 26.

Thank you for agreeing to have Halloween a bit early because I was flying out on the 31st.

Thank you for taking me to see the My Little Pony movie and not even being embarrassed by the fact that I wore my Fluttershy t-shirt.

Thank you for always being there waiting with a glass of red wine whenever I get back late from a shoot. You have no idea how amazing this is.

Thank you for wearing the scarf I made you.

Thank you for all of the little surprises that arrive in the post, like Rosemary Clooney CDs and Adrian Mole books.

A family portrait I took of us on Mardi Gras, and a selfie we took when we bought our pumpkins for carving in October.

Me and Matt when we went to see a Bon Jovi triute band in July, The Hoosiers at the beginning of October and then when we went to see the My Little Pony movie at the end of October.

The bunny shaped Easter egg Matthew got for me, a photograph of our pumpkins (Matt’s is the one on the left, mine is the one on the right) and our lovely little Christmas tree, Antonio (yes, we name our Christmas tree every year!)

My 26 birthday presents, and a photograph of me enjoying a G&T on my birthday 🙂

IMG_5573.jpg

Matthew wearing the scarf I made for him.


Finally, I’m grateful to Yorick for being awesome every single day. I love you buddy.

yorick-5wm

My beautiful baby from a shoot I did with him at the beginning of 2017.

IMG_5775.jpg

Yorick being all spooky on Halloween!


My Goals for 2018

So I’m just going to write down a few things here that I want to achieve this year. Some are more personal, and some are more to do with my modelling work. If I post it on the internet, then I have to try twice as hard to achieve them. That’s how it works, right?

Anyway, here goes:

  • Blog more (first post of 2018, check!)
  • Plan more modelling tours, including Scotland and Ireland (because I’ve wanted to do that since I first started modelling!)
  • Go back to work in Greece again, if Rick will have me!
  • Put more effort into my own photography.
  • Read at least 52 books this year too. Because only good things can come from reading more.

There, it’s on the internet now, so I have to try extra hard. Accountability. It works wonders 😛


So, thank you for reading this. If you stuck with it until the end, I’m grateful (and somewhat astounded). You’re probably bored to tears by this point… I’m sorry. But I needed to write this post for myself. It’ll be something I can look back on in December 2018 and see how far I’ve come and whether or not I managed to achieve all the things I listed here. It will be interesting, I think.


My trip to Greece is what I will be writing several blog posts about during the course of this month, to showcase the work me and Rick did. It is work that I feel deserves attention. So after this rambly, kinda self-centred post there are some really great images ready to be published on my little piece of the internet. So keep an eye out. You won’t be disappointed. Don’t let this post put you off!


 

November.

I haven’t completely disappeared and I’ve still been modelling, but my online presence has sort of diminished. I had a very busy November!


I was a NaNoWriMo participant this year. If you don’t know what that means, it means I wrote a novel last month! Yes, a novel. The way NaNo works is, you write at least 1,667 words every day in November to stay on target for hitting a 50,000 word count.

I wrote something every single day in November, finishing with a word count of 54,155. I wrote a novel that has been inside me for nearly a decade. It’s a story I’ve been wanting to bring into the world for a long time and to know that I finally did it is… Well, it’s amazing.

To anyone who has ever taken part in NaNo, whether you hit your goal or not, well done for doing it. It’s a really daunting task, but I was lucky… My story wrote itself for the most part. There were points where I wasn’t sure that it was actually me directing my characters’ actions, rather they were choosing their own adventure! Sitting down and writing a novel is a great experience and I think it’s something everyone should try at some point.

I now have a first draft of something that I can work on for the foreseeable future to get it up to a standard whereby I might actually want someone else to read it…


During November, I also completed a 30 day yoga programme by Yoga With Adriene called Empower. It was a lot of fun and physically challenging, but I completed that too.

I love yoga because it gives me time to myself to reflect and quieten my mind. The Empower programme wasn’t like that, it was more of an intense work out. It was tough and I like a challenge, thoroughly enjoying my 30 days of it. That said,  I’m happy to get back to the slower, self-love, reflective, mind-body awareness, soothing yoga for the most part (maybe a little of the more intense stuff mixed in here and there!).

Again, something else I challenged myself to and succeeded. Adriene is doing (as she does every year) a programme that runs throughout January, and if anyone is interested in doing this with me, it would be great! It’s always more fun when you can share the experience with someone else. I’m quite looking forward to it.


The last thing I wanted to talk about (and probably the most important bit!) is… *drum roll please* I’ve started working behind the lens as well as in front of it. Just for fun, not for work, but even so, it will help my modelling work immensely if I understand the process from both sides.

I had a DSLR when I was 21 but I didn’t dare to take it off automatic: it confused the hell out of me and I really struggled to get my head around how photography actually works. I figured it’s best for me to stick to the side of the lens I know how to rock, right?

But recently, I have been experimenting and I’ve found that I’ve actually taken some pictures that I not only like, but love.


In November of last year, I worked with a photographer when I was touring Gloucester. He showed me some of the sites because he had worked in the city centre for a long time. I got some pictures while we were wandering around… Then later on, he taught me how to take pictures at night with a long exposure. He explained how the aperture changes what the lights end up looking like on your final image. It was the first time that phrases like ISO, F-number and shutter speed had any meaning to me. Before, it all just went straight over my head and I couldn’t understand it. Here are some images of Gloucester towards the end of last year.


gloucester-1wm


gloucester-2wm


gloucester-3wm


It was another six months or so after then that  I started to look at my camera more seriously again. I did a location shoot with another photographer friend and then afterwards, I took some pictures with my camera. I picked up a bit more advice there and got some fantastic pictures in the beautiful woodland location we were in (it helps when the person taking you is extremely knowledgeable in all things nature and spotted some great things to photograph that most people miss!)


edits-28-10-16-steve-2wm


Edits 28-10-16 Steve-4WM.jpg


edits-28-10-16-steve-1wm


My Dad helped me to transform my front room into a little studio space. It was partially so I could try out some ideas I had and partially to have somewhere to shoot if the weather is cold or rainy, so shoots don’t have to be cancelled or postponed.

Wy Dad taught me how to set up all of the lights properly, then I had a go at some studio photography in the comfort of my own home. I started to photograph my pets in there and got some images that I’m rather proud of! Turns out, the modelling gene runs in the family: my fur-babies are superstars!


yorick-5wm


mj-1wm


hale-1wm


I spent a few days in Wales with my Dad earlier this month (yes, I know it’s not wise to go to Wales in December… It’s wet!) He helped me to understand the technical side to getting some amazing landscape images. I got some pictures of the beach and of the fog coming down the mountains.


Wales 10-12-2016-10WM.jpg


wales-10-12-2016-3wm


wales-10-12-2016-7wm

 


Personally, I’m really proud of the pictures I’ve taken so I hope you like some of them too. I’m aware they aren’t perfect (learning curve, right?) but I’ve created something that I like and that’s what’s important to me. I’ve learnt that my style is very dark, I seem to prefer darker images and that I favour high contrast too. Not everyone’s cup of tea, I’m sure, but I’d love to hear what you think either way.


I often think about how fortunate I am to have met the people I have and to have been given the opportunities I’ve been given. Especially around this time of year. I’m very lucky to have been helped and supported by many family members and friends. I was always encouraged to be creative as a child and I never grew out of it. That’s probably how I ended up becoming a model, because I get paid to be creative. I’m really going to put more effort into my photography from now on. I have a studio in my front room and family/friends who know lots about photography. What excuse do I have not to?


I want to take a moment to wish everyone who reads this (and everyone who doesn’t) an amazing Christmas and New Year. Have fun, stay safe and make sure 2016 goes out on a positive note and start 2017 without anything from this year holding us back.

Namaste.


I now have a studio that I can put up in my front room. If you’re not a photographer then ignore this, but if you are and might be interested in booking me in this space, here is a list of the stuff that’s in there and a link to the PurplePort casting call:

  • A white background that can be backlit (it works really well, I’ve had a play around with it!). It turns around to be a black background and has a green screen cover with a bit that trails on the floor.
  • Four studio lights (two for the back ground, two for the model with soft boxes)
  • Barn door
  • Coloured gels
  • Honeycomb
  • Snoot
  • Tri-flector and stand
  • A frame and clips for hanging your own backdrops from (I’m hoping to get a black and a white one of those soon too)
  • Sekonic light meter to help with set up.
  • Full set of triggers.
  • I will be getting speed lights soon too and I have a soft box for them already.

Expect to see more work from me in this space from both sides of the lens (it won’t all be bunny pictures, I promise!)


 

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection – Gautama Buddha

This post isn’t modelling related (sorry). Remember my recent post about the carnival? I started that one off with an intention for my next trip around the sun. More posts, more of me. So here we go.


I finally started a daily yoga practice 90 days ago today!!! This post is in celebration of that and is the story about how I started. No modelling images here, I’m afraid. Just my ramblings and thoughts!


I’d been meaning to start doing yoga for over 3 years. I’d owned a yoga mat for over a year. Despite this, I still hadn’t actually started doing yoga… Because… Well… I had no clue where to start! I don’t drive and there weren’t any classes near to me. I didn’t want to just buy random work out DVDs and stuff, because you never know what you’re getting. Also, I was worried in case I didn’t hit the poses right and hurt myself. So I just ended up not doing it at all.

Then, I was having coffee with my big sister. I was saying about wanting to start yoga. She recommended a yoga youtube channel called Yoga With Adriene. I took a look when I got home and found something called 30 Day Yoga Camp. In this camp, there is a video for 30 consecutive days. Each video consists of a work out and a mantra to focus on, every day for 30 days.

This happened on the 1st June. June is a 30 day month. So I rolled out my yoga mat (after shaking off the dust!) and started. After that first day, I did the relevant yoga camp video every morning, first thing after I woke up. I took a picture every day. I used an app called Rhonna to add text to each image, stating the mantra. I posted each picture on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.

I completed Yoga Camp. Since then, I do yoga every morning and every evening. Yoga is the first thing I do in the morning when I wake up, and last thing I do at night, just before I go to bed. Often, I do some yoga during the day too. I can’t get across in words how much yoga practice has helped me. Specifically, the way Adriene teaches it. The idea of being kind to yourself, kind to your body, honouring what level you’re working at every day, being grateful for who you are and just a general sense of self love and appreciation.

I wish I’d started practicing yoga  earlier! Well, that’s not true, actually. In a way, I wish I’d started earlier, but mostly, I think I discovered the magical world of yoga at just the right time. The right time for me. I was in the right place for it to imprint upon me. It was as it was supposed to be.

It is because of the amazing experience I had, that I wanted to share my 30 days with you. I want to share each of the mantras and what they mean to me. This is a very personal thing for me, but the process of writing them down and putting them out there reminded me to stay true to myself, to stay open and honest about who I am and how I’m feeling. I hope that by writing this and putting my experience into words, I can inspire someone else, the way Adriene inspired me!

“Find what feels good” – Adriene Mishler


Day 1: I Accept

I accept myself as I am today. It’s okay to express self-love. It’s not vanity, it’s taking care of yourself. Show up for yourself and you’ll find it easier to show up for others. I accept.

1


 Day 2: I Create

I create time for myself and my yoga practice. I create a space where I can be free to focus on my practice. After doing yoga for a little while, this time and space I created became habit and part of who I am.

2


Day 3: I Embrace

I embrace change. When I was doing yoga camp, I was achey from the second practice. So I had to work hard to embrace the aches, because it meant there was a positive change for my body happening. Embrace happiness. Embrace your true self.

3


Day 4: I Awaken

I awaken my body and mind. I now do yoga every morning, but on day 4, it was the first time I woke up early and did yoga. It was a habit that stuck since then!

4


Day 5: I am Alive

I am alive. What more can I say about this mantra that those three words themselves don’t already say? I am alive. I’m grateful to be alive. Enjoy it.

5


Day 6: I Am Supported

Day 6 was abs day. The mantra helped me through this tough practice, because it was all about feeling supported by your yoga mat and finding inner physical strength (core strength) to help guide you. I am supported by my own body. I am supported by the people around me. I am supported by the earth.

6


Day 7: I Am Capable

I am capable of a lot more than I think I am. I always thought I really suck at anything to do with balance. I surprised myself on day 7. I was good at a balancing practice! I am capable of seeing a tough yoga practice through to the end, therefore, I am capable to face challenges life throws at me.

7


Day 8: I Choose

I choose to do yoga everyday. I choose to strive for healthy body and mind. This is my choice, and I’m proud to have stuck with it!

8


Day 9: I Am Bold

I am bold. There isn’t much else to say here. Be bold. Be you.

9


Day 10: I Am Present

I am present. Yoga is great for keeping your mind present and focused. When I’m physically on my mat, I find it easier to keep my mind there too.

10


 Day 11: I Release

I release the tension in my body, and in my mind. I have learnt to let go of things that are no longer serving me and learnt to relax more, physically.

11


Day 12: I Trust

I trust myself. I trust the yoga practice. I trust Adriene to always have my back (she has on many occasions!)

12


 Day 13: I Deserve

When I originally posted this on my Instagram page, I wrote quite a lot more than for the other days. I’ll just write the same thing here:

“Today’s mantra got me thinking less about myself and more about people in general. What does everybody deserve? Everybody deserves to be able to love themselves, body and mind. Everything in the media and advertising seems to work on our insecurities and make us feel like we are missing something or aren’t as good as we can be. We all DESERVE to be able to accept ourselves fully, as we are in this moment. Love yourself, because you are you. Love your body, because it’s the only one you’ve got. Love your mind, because you are unique. That’s what we all deserve.” – Misuzu

13


 Day 14: I Go With The Flow

I go with the flow and can learn to let go and just roll with what’s happening. You can’t control everything that happens, so just let it flow and allow yourself to be carried along with it.

14


Day 15: I Am Open

I am open to transformation and change. I am open to all possibilities. When you allow yourself to remain open to possibility, you never know what good things might come your way!

15


Day 16: I Enjoy

I enjoy practicing yoga. I enjoy the journey and I enjoy taking that time for myself. I enjoy looking at how far I’ve come in such as short space of time.

16


Day 17: I Am Focused

I am focused. During practice, you focus on your breath and let that guide you through your movements.

17


Day 18: I Surrender

Another mantra where I’ll just quote what I originally wrote:

“I struggled with today’s mantra. The practice was awesome, but the mantra just didn’t seem to resonate with me at all. What am I supposed to be surrendering to? Then something kind of ironic happened. I realised that I didn’t have to force a mantra to resonate with me or to make sense right away… There’s nothing wrong with that! So I realised, I’d surrendered the need to always understand. I’d surrendered to the mantra by realising I didn’t have to force it. Cool, huh?” – Misuzu

18


Day 19: I Respect

I respect myself and I respect my body. I respect the yoga practice.

19


Day 20: I Am Worthy

I am worthy of the positive changes that yoga practice brings for my body and mind. I am worthy of self-love and love from others.

20


Day 21: I Believe

I believe in myself and my own ability. I believe in the possibilities that practicing yoga brings.

21


Day 22: I Surround Myself

I surround myself with positivity. Positive thoughts, positive energy and positive people.

22


Day 23: I Am Secure

I am secure in my body and mind.

23


Day 24: I Am In Control

I am in control of my own body and my own yoga practice.I choose to practice yoga every day. I am the only person who is in control of that.

24


Day 25: I Am Strong

I am strong. I have a strong, determined mind and my body is getting stronger with more practice.

25


 Day 26: I Attract

I attract a place of calm and stillness on my mat. Only I can make this place a sanctuary, and I have attracted positive energy to my mat.

26


Day 27: I Am Grateful

I am grateful for the positive changes that practicing yoga has bought me. I am grateful to everyone who supported and/or encouraged me during my journey through the 30 days. I am grateful for Adriene, I could not have asked for a better teacher.

27


 Day 28: I Celebrate

I celebrate my progress. At this point, I was four weeks in and already, yoga had become part of my day and part of my identity. I also took this time to celebrate all of the people who helped me to get this far, and I celebrated myself for getting this far.

28


Day 29: I Love ❤

I love myself. I love my body. I love the people who have been there for me. I have loved my yoga journey!

29


Day 30!

“I did it!! Congratulations to me, I’m so proud of myself right now. Day 30 is choose your own mantra. I spent a little time thinking about this… I was tempted to go for ‘I am victorious’… But I changed my mind… I’m going to come back around to the mantras that have aided me this past month. Starting at: ‘I accept’. These past 30 days have flown by… And I’ve changed and grown so much in that time, on and off my mat. So here goes:

I accept myself fully. I create a space on my mat and time for myself. I embrace the yoga practice with open arms. I am truly alive! I feel supported by my friends and they have helped me to see that I am capable of being successful. I choose to be bold. In my practice, I have been working on being present. As I release myself into the practice, body and mind, I learnt to truly trust in it. I deserve to feel great. In this 30 days, I have learnt to just go with the flow and sink in to my practice. I have remained open to the positive changes and enjoyed my time. I stayed focused, surrendered to the practice and formed a higher level of respect for myself in my body and mind. I am worthy of this change and I am worthy of positivity. I believe that if I surround myself with this positive energy, I can be the best version of myself. I am secure and I am in control: I am the only one responsible for myself and my health. I am a strong person. I attract good things and remain grateful for what I have. Today, I celebrate my victory and I love myself, fully. I accept.

Thank you @adrienelouise … You have changed me. I’m a better, happier, healthier person than I was 30 days ago. You have taught me that self love is important. Peace and love. Namaste!” – Misuzu

30


So there we go. Thirty days of mantra and yoga. If you’re curious about starting a yoga practice, or if you’re just looking for something a little different in your work out, I fully recommend Yoga With Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Camp. It’s great for body and mind. Try it. I’d love to hear anybody else’s experiences with yoga!

If anyone is interested in subscribing to Adriene’s members site, if you use the link below, I get a free month for recommending you, which is cool. I do fully recommend the Yoga With Adriene members site, there is so much on there, there really is something for everybody and it is all done with such positivity.

https://yogawithadriene.vhx.tv/?campaign=YWAR-2430119

If anyone is still reading this and is interested in meditation, there is a great app called Simple Habit. Five minutes a day is all you need to do to feel the benefits. I really recommend it if you’re looking to start meditating or prefer guided meditation. Anyone can meditate. Give it a try with the link below. If you use the code DMMKC then you can get a free two week trial:

https://www.simplehabitapp.com/

That’s all from me for today. Any questions or comments are all appreciated. Thank you for reading. Namaste.