14 Influential Poems From 'Milk And Honey'

14 Influential Poems From 'Milk And Honey'

Do yourself a favor and buy this book.
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There is a common problem in school systems today that is rarely spoken about in the media. Students are pushed to read literary novels too soon or are given a heaping amount of reading material for the summer. In turn, children learn to associate reading with something they “have to do” not something they want to do. I despise reading so much that I have become a professional skimmer (it is a talent). Don’t get me wrong, I have been influenced and felt connected to books throughout my life. I loved Catcher in the Rye so much that I went out and bought Franny and Zooey. Do you think I finished that? Nope. I was pretty damn close to the end, though. It isn’t like I have spent my entire life glued to the television and never find joy in immersing myself in a book. It’s just that I find myself to be the girl who never finishes anything (books, at least)—I'm basically the evil doctor in Jimmy Neutron. I eventually became banned from buying any reading material because they inevitably turn into dust collectors.

Then, I was introduced to "Milk and Honey." After going through a massive change in my life, a friend of mine suggested I buy the book of poems written by Rupi Kaur. With no questions asked, I found my way clicking "check out" on Amazon within minutes. I am one that expresses emotion in extremes, and the only mechanisms that help me through are writing, drawing and pretty things. Clearly, I have a spending problem—if you haven’t figured that out yet. I like to pride myself on being a self-taught retail therapist. These activities calm my mind and help to make sense of all of the chaos. Reading was NEVER something that felt peaceful for me. Rather, it made me antsy. Then I opened up the first page of Rupi Kaur’s book of wonder and was instantly hooked. Reading through "Milk and Honey" was as if I was reading about myself. Kaur is able to write about her personal experience in such a fantastical manner. Her style is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Almost every page had a drawing, a way in which the author expressed her emotions. As I read, the more I wanted to keep going. I had a new epiphany page after page. I sat in the same spot reading each line of text three times over. If "Milk and Honey" can impact my life, I assure you: it will change yours, too.

Here are a few of my favorite lines from the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing.

1.

Do you ever feel that you aren't appreciated enough? Don't worry, you're clearly a work of art, and these fools just cannot understand.



2.

My entire life I grew up learning how to "kill people with kindness." This poem puts my mother's wise words in such an elegant and simple manner. It is much easier to be kind and lead your life with compassion than it is to be cruel. These seven words sum that up perfectly.



3.

I'm someone who is small but makes an entrance. Due to my loud voice, everyone notices when I walk into the room. Now, this isn't a conscious act. I do this without knowing. Commanding attention is a part of my personality. I bet many "innocent" and "tiny" girls like me feel the same.



4.


After going through a few tough times in my life, like everyone in this world does, I grew into a stronger human being. We weren't put on this earth to handle anything we weren't meant to. Kaur exemplifies this in her poem above.


5.


Being someone who tends to react in extremes, I can relate to this wholeheartedly. Notice I said react rather than act. I REALLY don't have a great ability to stop and think.


6.

My whole life I felt it was hard to express myself without offending or bothering others. Then I thought to myself "F**k it, I'm awesome. I'm made this way for a reason." My internal voice has just as much of a potty mouth as I do (honestly, even worse). Kaur does a great job at making readers feel comfortable in their skin. I even made this poem my phone background.


7.


After all of the shitty events that go on in our world, this quote does a great job at making sense of it all. There is always a way and a reason to persevere and keep going.



8.

This is the story of my life. The easy way out is clearly not human nature. Why do we always thirst for the chase?



9.

After living through a few years of college and being on the outskirts of partying and hook-ups, this is something that hits home for me. It isn't that hard to do the right thing, yet, so many struggle with doing so.



10.

We're all made different for a reason. It's vital to appreciate our differences rather than tear them down. We need to stop and value the little things that we otherwise would ignore.



11.

Nothing else matters than love and family. There are many people I have met throughout my life that are primarily focused on money and success. Being wealthy does not make a rich life and monetary means cannot buyout loneliness.



12.

Stop looking for other people to make you whole. Don't look around the corner for someone else. YOU are around the corner. We have to love ourselves first which is something that most of humanity seems to struggle with. We're stuck with ourselves for the rest of our lives, no one else.



13.

Maybe if everyone read this book, we'd have world peace.



14.

After always searching for something "more," I have come to realize that my relationships in life are blooming as a result of who I am. Confidence and self-love are vital to lead a happy and healthy life. Putting too much credit on others can only prove to be detrimental. Something to remember: People keep coming back as a result of the way YOU made them feel.

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100 Ways To Practice Self-Care In Your Everyday Life, In 20 Minutes Or Less

Simple ways to start taking care of yourself.

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Life is overwhelming and distracting so it's easy to forget about yourself sometimes, but practicing small self-care acts is easy. Making time for yourself every day isn't selfish and is really good for your mental health. I think it's important for everyone to spend time doing things that make them happy and more calm, even if you only dedicate 20 minutes each day. Putting yourself first can lead to growth so many other aspects of your life.

Obviously, each person is allowed to practice self-care in their own unique way, but here are some ideas to get you started!

1. Do something new. 

2. Make a list of things you need to get done that week. 

3. Drink some hot tea. 

4. Go for a walk on a scenic trail.

5. Paint your nails.

6. Have a good laugh.

7. Buy yourself flowers.

8. Light a candle.

9. Do some tidying up.

10. Don't feel bad for saying 'no.'

11. Listen to music.

12. Slow down.

13. Drink a smoothie.

14. Run mindless errands.

15. Write down your goals for the week.

16. Talk to someone about the future.

17. Wake up early and get coffee. 

18. Take care of a plant. 

19. Take a bubble bath. 

20. Give yourself a compliment.

21. Give a stranger a compliment.

22. Watch a movie.

23. Put your phone down.

24. Declutter your personal space.

25. Go to bed early. 

26. Pray or meditate. 

27. Go for a drive. 

28. Make it a habit to stargaze. 

29. Read a book. 

30. Read poems. 

31. Sing loudly. 

32. Make a list of things you're grateful for. 

33. Drink a lot of water. 

34. Put on make-up for no reason.

35. Watch funny videos. 

36. Take a deep breath. 

37. Distance yourself from negativity. 

38. Unfollow people you don't care to follow on social media. 

39. Have a pajama day. 

40. Read an inspirational book. 

41. Call your parents/ loved ones. 

42. Donate old clothing. 

43. Dedicate a day out of the week to not eating meat. 

44. Do a fun craft or DIY project. 

45. Put on a face mask and relax. 

46. Do a small workout. 

47. Take a power nap. 

48. Listen to a podcast. 

49. Open a window. 

50. Open your curtains in the morning to let in natural light. 

51. Make your bed. 

52. Cook dinner instead of eating out. 

53. Play/ cuddle with an animal. 

54. At the end of the day, think of all the positive things that happened.

55. Moisturize. 

56. Buy a comforting blanket. 

57. Give someone a hug. 

58. Create a vision board. 

59. Have some alone time.

60. Enjoy the sun on your skin. 

61. Dance like nobody is watching.

62. Walk in the rain every once in a while. 

63. Drive with the windows down. 

64. Give someone a gift for no reason. 

65. Get a massage. 

66. Do something that gets your adrenaline running. 

67. Spend the day at the library or a book store. 

68. Organize your work space/ binders. 

69. Spend a weekend in. 

70. Recognize hard work and reward yourself. 

71. Sign up for a work out class. 

72. Eat lunch with a friend. 

73. Spend the day helping others. 

74. Get your hair done. 

75. Have a good cry. 

76. Use sticky notes. 

77. Color code your planner. 

78. Print out pictures and hang them up. 

79. Hang motivational quotes on your mirror and read them when you get ready. 

80. Do random acts of kindness. 

81. Buy fuzzy socks. 

82. Redecorate or rearrange furniture. 

83. Be present. 

84. Set a new years resolution. 

85. Make a bucket list. 

86. Stretch in the morning. 

87. Watch an interesting documentary. 

88. Make a music playlist.

89. Watch the sunrise or sunset. 

90. Explore somewhere new.

91. Be slow to respond to negativity. 

92. Have a game night with friends. 

93. Buy concert tickets. 

94. Have a nightly routine before bed. 

95. Eat your favorite dessert. 

96. Do something you've been putting off. 

97. Invest in essential oils. 

98. Manage your finances. 

99. Buy a new outfit. 

100. Make your own gratitude list. 

Try at least one of these every week and see how you feel! I guarantee you will notice a difference in the way you are living your life.

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Dying My Hair Gave Me More Confidence Than I Could Have Expected

The upkeep is worth everything positive that's come from this one action.

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Right before Halloween, I did something I have wanted to do since starting college:

I dyed my hair.

Sure, that sounds like nothing for most people. But for me, it's not totally in my character to do something that in my eyes, is pretty adventurous and a significant commitment. And to make this action even more out of my character, I dyed the underside of my hair purple.

This was something I had been tossing around since freshman year of college. I experimented back then with a blue streak over winter break, but it washed out hella fast (thank you, crappy dye) and I had a blonde streak in my hair for the next three years. The pics below are from January 20, 2016 (the day I dyed the streak), February 2, and February 28. I kid you not, that's how quickly the color washed out. NEVER use Splat dye, folks


Even after that interesting experience, I was still curious about what it would be like to really dye my hair. I knew it was something I wanted to do at some point, but I wasn't sure about the timing. I wasn't sure if I could work with dyed hair. And throughout my junior year, I was either looking for an internship or working one, and the environments, while great, were pretty professional--so not exactly ones where you could walk around with brightly colored hair.

But this year, I decided I would finally do it.

I was working in a chill environment, it's my senior year of college, and I wasn't planning to do anything super drastic. I was in a better place to make this decision and not overanalyze it (thank you, anxiety). And honestly? It was 100% a moment of "you know what, fuck it. I'm going to do something cool and fun, something that I've always wanted to do, FOR ME."

So two days before Halloween, I went into my local Bubbles salon.

After a few hours and one awesome stylist, I left behind my boring brown hair and walked out with a bomb-ass bold purple peekaboo.

I had the biggest smile on my face as I left and for the rest of the day, honestly. This was something I had wanted to do for so long but felt too scared to do. Too afraid of what having unnaturally colored hair could do to me professionally, because my parents always emphasized professionalism in both looks and behavior. Not that dyed hair was something they were against, but having that mindset definitely held me back a bit from going ahead and doing something like this sooner.

I immediately began experimenting with my typical hairstyles to see how this purple peekaboo looked. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the next day, as I got ready for class, that something as simple as throwing my hair up in a messy bun made me look significantly more put-together and like I had put that much more effort in--just because of that one little detail that jazzed up what otherwise would've been a boring, everyday messy bun.

I know that doesn't sound like anything too impressive, but it is for me. As someone who deals with anxiety, particularly when getting dressed for class, to have something so small instantly make me feel more put together and "on" made a huge difference. I walked with my head held higher. I didn't feel as uncomfortable in my body and clothes as I usually did. I didn't change outfits multiple times like I have an anxious tendency to do, worrying too much about what others think of what I wear and how I look.

Doing something as out there as dying my hair purple reminded me that I had confidence in me.

That one change brought out some of the confidence that had been hiding inside me. The compliments I've gotten on my hair and the positive reactions from friends, family, and even strangers have helped as well. I know I shouldn't care as much as I do about what others think of me and how I look, but as someone who doesn't often get compliments just because or on something in particular about my looks, it feels like a little light has been lit inside me every time someone says "I love your hair!"

But most importantly, I feel more like "me."

That's not to say I didn't feel like myself before. But once I dyed my hair, I realized that something had been missing to me and this was it: something on the outside that truly helped to express the fun, lively person I am on the inside.

What's next in this adventure of re-finding myself? Well, the first step is touching up my hair to bring some the boldness back, thanks to hair washing (not even color-protecting shampoo can fully stop a semi-permanent color from washing out a little bit). After that, maybe I'll finally get around to re-piercing my ears and maybe even do a second piercing. Yes, I realize these aren't big things for most people, but for me, these actions have a big inner impact.

Here's to learning more about myself in 2019!

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