Thank you

I’ll be the first to testify that the more we are grateful for the things we have in life; the more life provides us with things to be grateful for.

So why is gratitude the first thing we let slide the moment the shit hits the fan?

A good friend of mine recently said; “It’s easy to be grateful when all of your ducks are lined up… But if you can look for the good and stay grateful when life is a struggle, THAT’s when the real magic happens.” Wise words 🙏🏻

Today, see the beauty in all situations. Even the ones that are there to test you. Because ultimately, those are the experiences that urge you to grow, to evolve and to expand your horizons.

And that is why I’m choosing to see the beauty in my sadness today…

On this day 13 years ago heaven needed another angel, and decided you were the one Dad..

In your memory, I’d like to reflect on the gifts you blessed me with in hope that I can offer my baby the same unconditional love you bestowed upon me as a little girl.

💫 Bear hugs. I was never too old or too grumpy to receive one of your warm bear hugs. And even if I was, and tried to side step your cuddles – you’d stretch out your arm and reel me in with an anaconda type grip that said: “You’re receiving my love, grumpy or not, now take it!” …I will never deny my son a hug… (Even if he’s being a little sh*t 😝)

💫 Your weirdness. Your humour was unique, unapologetic and had us all in fits of belly laughter! I will teach my son to embrace his weirdness and to never apologise for who he is!

💫 Protection. Your nature was gentle and loving, but MY GOD if anyone ever interfered with our happiness you were FIERCELY protective and would shield us with your strength. I will teach my son to be his own pillar of strength should anyone ever threaten his sense of self.

💫 Humbleness. You faced many adversities during your brief time here, yet you remained humble throughout. Rarely did I hear you complaining or wishing for things to be different… I will teach my son that he is always enough and to count his blessings, even in times of adversity.

Thank you for everything that you taught me Dad 🙏🏻

Loving you always, forgetting you never 🙏🏻💙 xx

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Soulful Sunday #42: Birthday Wishes

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Welcome to my forty-second instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’. A weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my hopes and dreams for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

This week I have been like a little hedgehog in hibernation. I am working on my book proposal for the Hay House Writers Workshop Competition and at one point, I became so overwhelmed with the realisation that I’d over commitment myself to friends and family, that I had a little anxious cry. I took a deep breathe and reached out to explain my intentions to complete my submission on time. Sure enough, I was met with nothing but compassion and understanding – and that is exactly why I can safely call my friends ‘friends’. Real friends understand.

Just as time spent with friends and loved ones is crucial for a happy existence, so is time spent alone.

Honouring our alone time is essential for balance and renewal. During these stolen moments of solitude we reconnect with ourselves; our deepest dreams, wishes, hopes and desires.

Taking a break from the world doesn’t mean that we care any less for our friends and family, it simply means that we love them enough to take care of ourselves first. We cannot give away what we don’t have. If we are depleted, out of touch with ourselves, tired and run down – how can we give the best of ourselves to others?

Today, take a guilt free moment of peace.

‘Compassion is not complete if it does not include oneself.’
– Allan Lokos.

Know that in serving YOU first, you can better serve the world. When you take the time to connect with who you are; your truest, essential nature – the love and compassion you show for yourself will ultimately bless those you come into contact with.

Soul Strolls

Last weekend it was my birthday, and what better way to turn 33 than to spend it out in nature with my man. We loaded the car and off we drove to Warburton – a peaceful pocket of peace just 90 minutes from home.

We stayed on a lovely rustic farm surrounded by green acres. It was bliss. And we even made a little friend!

 


We explored rain-forests and revelled in the tranquil outdoors. I loved these luscious green ferns and the way they slowly unravel into their full expansiveness over time… A beautiful unfolding of life right there.

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The sound of the rushing waterfalls and the smell of the forest ferns was intoxicating. As Mother Nature enveloped us in her tranquil hug, I couldn’t help but feel at peace.

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Soul Food

Last weekend I decided to treat myself since it was my birthday! I enjoyed two puddings because I couldn’t decide between the Coconut Chia and Rasberry pudding and the Peanut Butter and Almond Milk Oats – so I bought both! Yum! I plan to replicate both of these and will share the recipe once I perfect them 🙂

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Soul Music & Soul Sisters

On our way back from Warburton, we stopped in to visit my good friend and fellow blogger, Miriam Blaker from Out & About. I had the pleasure of being serenaded buy this sweet soul who’s voice is just simply Divine. What made the moment even more special, was the song that Miriam sang for us was written by another soul sister and fellow blogger of ours, Deb from Once Upon A Hot Flash. 

You can hear Miriam singing Deb’s song on Miriam’s latest post here!

Co-creation at it’s best!

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Birthday wishes really do come true. For my birthday, I had wished for a magical weekend of balance and calm, and to be surrounded by nature and those who are nearest and dearest to me – especially since my family live on the other side of the world…

I can honestly say, all of my wishes came true ❤

Here’s to finding balance, to following our dreams, and to heartfelt wishes fulfilled.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Eternal Bond

never truly lost

Forever Young you shall be. Forever in our hearts you shall remain. I wrote this song for you a few years ago and my good friends Samuel Jones, Ben Jones, and Christopher Roach breathed eternal life into it… And for that I am forever grateful.

Happy 60th birthday Dad xx

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So short lived were my chocolate raisin days
The only thing I have now are the memories of your ways
No more bear hugs, no more Match Box cars today
I’m holding on tight cause this doesn’t feel right
Don’t let this slip away
 
Cause I will never forget you
Your with me in everything I do
My smiles a reflection of you
I live my life through you because it’s all I can do
Your my parachute
 
Your brief time here, it was rocky it was rough
Never said you were giving up, my gentle giant was too tough
No need for fast cars, brief cases or expensive suits
Your love was just enough and your love was all for us
Don’t let this slip away
 
Your descent upon this material world
It was oh so brief, I was left in disbelief
I had to stop being Daddy’s girl
Your courage was reborn deep in my heart
The realisation that from you I shall never part
I’m letting go because I know I must grow
But you’ll always remain forever young
 
Cause I will never forget you
Your with me in everything I do
My smiles a reflection of you
I live my life through you because it’s all I can do
Your my parachute
 
My king of hearts has flown
But I’m willing to take the thrown
To your legacy I live
And I’ll give as you’d give
 
My parachute. My strength. My breath, my parachute. The reason I’m living so free…
 

Soulful Sunday #29: Happy Fathers Day

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Dad greeting me into the world xx

Welcome to my twenty-ninth instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’. A weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my hopes and dreams for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

Wishing my Dad a Happy Fathers Day in the sky. Heaven knows how much you are missed each and every day; how grateful I am to have had you in my life, and how privileged I feel to get to call you my Dad…

Thank you for blessing me with your love and for always being my guiding light. Loving you always, forgetting your never xx

Soul Strolls

During the Queen’s birthday weekend here in Melbourne last week, we took a day trip to Daylesford to enjoyed a lakeside lunch at The Boathouse. The sun was shining, the lake was peaceful and still, and the food was yummo! The perfect get away we’d been craving. We strolled around the town perusing the antique shops and boutiques.

The simplest things makes life so rich.

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The Boathouse, Daylesford

Soul Food

Today I would like to share with you this Raw-ish Caramel Ginger-nut Slice from one of my favourite health and wellness sites. It looks incredible. I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to satisfy my sweet tooth, and this one seems divine! I hope you have as much fun trying it as I will.

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Soul Music

In memory of Dad, I am sharing Bob Dylan’s Forever Young. Dad was a huge Dylan fan, and this track, which was played at Dad’s funeral, reminds me of the way Dad lived his life. He will always be forever young in our hearts.


Soul Sisters

I am sharing a beautiful post titled To The Beautiful Women Who Is Striving To Be Skinny by My Own Private Idaho. A powerful piece that acknowledges the way women become so entangled by the numbers on the scale. Here we have a stunning reminder of our inner worth and beauty.

I wish you all a peaceful Sunday. On this day, may we remember our Fathers past and present and send them peace and love.

In love and light,

Hayley xx

The Gift of Sight

two gifts
When I said goodbye to Dad for the last time, there’s one lesson I learnt – life is fleeting.

With the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, along with the many other lives lost each day around the globe, we are reminded to hug our loved ones.

Forgive quickly, love passionately, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is too precious, too fragile, too fleeting to hold grudges, to love cautiously and to squander our days dreaming instead of doing.

Be willing to let go. Don’t be afraid to say “I love you…” you never know when it will be your last. See life for what it is, a gift. Live courageously. Laugh often (and loudly!) Spread joy. Be the untethered force of light that you are. There’s no need to live every day like it is your last… Choose instead, to live every day like it is your first… With a sense of childlike wonder, rapture and appreciation. Give thanks for the two gifts that you opened today – your eyes.

For today is another day you get to live.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

I Love You Because…


It’s been 12 years today since my bear hugs were taken away… There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to capture how greatly you are missed. But on this day I’d like to remind you of how much you are loved…

Dad, I love you because…

…you would walk us around on your feet as little girls.

…you would shine a spotlight on us as we danced around the living room.

…you never complained about your stroke or your epilepsy, even though the seizures frightened you.

…you made us smile and laugh daily with your unpredictable humour.

…you were the most selfless human being I’ve ever met and would spend your last £5 on chocolate raisins, Beano magazines and Matchbox cars for us.

…you lived with 3 feisty females and never lashed out physically or verbally once – you’d always walk away when angry.

…you gave the best bear hugs ever.

…you cared and worried about our safety.

…you surprised us with cups of teas and Garfield The Cat inspired butties in the mornings and always made them with a smile.

…you weren’t afraid to show your emotions.

Because of a million other reasons I never had the chance to say to you – but mostly, because you’re my Dad…

My love for you is infinitely endless. I love and miss you so so much. Thank you for being my guide.

Loving you always – forgetting you never 💙 xx

A Letter to My Younger Self

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Dear Hayley,

It’s me, Hayley. Your future you. I wanted to write to you because, well, I guess there are some things you don’t know yet that I think may help you along the way. Let’s begin at the start shall we?

See that photo? That’s you on the day you were born, all red faced and new in your Dad’s arms. In years to come, when he is gone (don’t panic – you have nineteen more years together before that happens…), you will look at this photo a lot; at the way his hands, which are almost as big as your body, are holding you tight in case he drops you. You’ll wish you could remember being held as you look longingly at the presence of you both together. Don’t worry – see how Dad is looking down on you even though your eyes are closed tight? Your eyes do open eventually… And when they do, you can see the bigger picture. Although there are many years of feeling bereft, in time, you do heal. So don’t fret little one – he’s with you now, just enjoy the warmth of his embrace.

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This is your first birthday. (Healthy right?) This is pretty much your diet growing up as a kid. In fact, you’ll eat nothing but white stodgy stuff right up until the age of about eighteen. It’s surprising you don’t resemble a loaf of bread really! (And by the way, you go through a really weird phase of eating nothing but instant noodles and meatballs.) But fear not, after much trial and error you finally discover the beauty of fresh ingredients, and by the time you are thirty one, you are eating a diet rich in wholefoods – you’re even eating organic! (I know – madness right?) But I just want you to know that you’ll be ok and that miraculously, you manage to avoid any fillings or cavities despite the copious amounts of fizzy pop you’ll consume far into your late teens. In fact, you haven’t drunk a drop of sugary beverage for the last seven years! Can you believe it? I still don’t know how you manage to survive not drinking a drop of water until you turn eighteen??? But you do. And now you can’t get enough of the stuff!

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This is your first school photo. I don’t know how it became all speckled like that, but it looks as though you have a terrible case of the measles. Behind your smile is a frightened little girl. This is the year you first witnessed Dad have an epileptic fit and it’s made you very fearful. You’re scared of the dark, of sleeping on your own, you still wet the bed and you’re even scared of your soft cuddly toys because you think they come to life at night! You hallucinate quite a bit and have scary dreams too… But I’m here to tell you that everything will be alright. I know it makes you sad when Mum won’t let you sleep in her bed; I know you lie awake all night in terror that something will eat you… But I promise that you won’t get killed by the freaky looking pot doll Mum bought you, and you don’t need to long jump into your bed in case an arm pops out from beneath it to grab your ankles and swallow you up! You are totally safe. And yes, there will be times in your teens, shortly after Dad dies, that you begin to have nightmares again. In fact, you will experience a year of terrible insomnia, but you get through it and, although you are still a light sleeper, you now have a healthy sleep routine. You’re even brave enough to walk to the toilet in the dark! (I won’t lie, your heart does beat a little fast as you do) – but the affirmations you say whilst tip-toeing down the hallway help! I am safe. I am protected. All is well…  And all is well!

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Heyyyyy twenty year old you! Don’t you look fresh? But behind that smile is a sadness so great I can almost feel it rendering me paralysed again now… In fact – here is another shot taken whilst you were off guard, and it reveals the true emptiness behind your eyes and your smile.

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You are numb. You are confused and your heart is heavy. You are also smoking a lot (thank God you’ve stopped that filthy habit) and drinking to numb the pain. Recreational drugs are taking their toll on your relationships and your job. You feel as though life is grim and grey and it is. You have recently lost your gentle giant, and Dad’s absence weighs heavily on your heart. Why pretend you are happy when you are not? It’s ok to feel grief, it’s ok to feel pain – just roll with it, everything is in divine order. I want you to know that things do improve. You have a few more years of losing yourself in drugs and alcohol, and unhealthy relationships. So if I could give you any advice right now, it would be to stop putting on a brave face. Stop worrying that your grief will effect others. This stuffing down of your emotions is causing you to turn to external ‘pleasures’ and false sensory highs. You needn’t numb the feelings. It’s ok to allow them to just be. I know you feel lost, I know you feel lonely and misunderstood, but this, in time, will pass.

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And this? This is me (you) now. (Well – actually that photo was taken last year in Paris) but still! – this is you at thirty one! Not as bad as you thought eh? How could you ever think thirty was old?

So a little of your life now…You are learning to love yourself. In fact, most days you look in the mirror and say, I love you Hayley. And guess what? You actually mean it! Some days it’s harder than others, but deep down you know that at your very core you are love. You have replaced drugs and alcohol with yoga and meditation. You love to spend time in nature (just as you did when you were little.) And you are a teacher too! You love working with children and seeing the world through their eyes. In fact, it has reminded you of the importance of embracing your own inner child and to follow your childhood dreams of becoming an author (just like Roald Dahl! Remember?) You write again and feel so much joy when you do. You have neglected your passion for drawing and sketching – but we can look for an art class here in Melbourne if you like?! (Oh yes – you now live in Australia!) And behind that lens is your best friend and man of six years, Mark.

It’s been a journey of self-discovery, of learning to love and be loved. But do you know what? You finally feel joy again. You have a deep and profound gratitude for life. You’ve discovered your true nature, your authentic self, and with that comes a knowing far greater than ever imagined – a knowledge that you are whole, connected, one – despite being imperfectly you. Dad is in your heart, you are in his, and that, my dear child, will never change.

Love always,

Hayley xx