Soulful Sunday #35: Honour Yourself

Honour Yourself

Welcome to my thirty-fifth 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

There are days when our hearts are so over-joyed we feel we could walk on air we’re so high… And then there are days when we want to punch pillows and hide under duvets in a darkened room. Life’s contrasts are real. But we needn’t hide or run from them. We just need to live them. And be kind to ourselves in the process.

Whether you are high on life today, or having a duvet day (like me) because your lady cramps are in full force and the sight of puppies causes you to cry into your rice crispies – whatever your mood may be, honour yourself. Do what makes your soul happy (or at least do what makes you feel sane!) Take yourself off for a walk. Watch back to back episodes of Friends and laugh untill your belly hurts. Create a delicious, nourishing meal that heals, or devour some crumpets with drippings and drippings of butter!

Whatever you decide to do, do it with complete love for yourself. Honour your feelings, and trust that everything will be just fine.

Soul Strolls

I have the honour of house sitting for my friends again, taking care of their beautiful cat, Bella, whilst they are away on holiday. Their home is ten minutes from Princes Park, so I have been lucky enough to enjoy some daily soul strolls again this week. There is nothing like a walk to wash away your woes. I took this photo on the first day of Spring here in Melbourne, Australia.

Since ancient times, the first of September has been viewed as a time for reflection and renewal. As the seasons gently give way to one another, may we be gentle on ourselves. The seasonal transition is synonymous with our own growth and regeneration, so let us be kind as we reflect, blossom and bloom into all that we were meant to be.

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Beautiful white flowers captured in Princes Park on the first day of Spring

Soul Food

Tomorrow, I’ve decided to make my Amaranth & Seed Superfood slices, it’s been a while since I’ve made them. They are such a delicious little snack to keep on hand for those moments when you need a little pick me up without the added nasties that can sometimes be hidden in so called pre-packaged ‘health’ bars. What’s your favourite little go-to snack?

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Soul Music

I’d like to share a meditation track today titled, Love Song From The Mountains by Deuter. It is truly mesmerising, the perfect song to honour yourself with in a moment of tranquil bliss. Take a moment to close your eyes and become lost in it’s heavenly sounds.

Soul Sisters

Today I would like to share the post How To Recognise An Incredible Woman.

I discovered it on My Own Private Idaho. Head on over for a read! I’m sure we can all identify with the woman in this beautiful, honest piece.

Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday of love and self-honouring my friends.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

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A New Day

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Life is rarely perfect. Last week I failed to meet deadlines, managed to work through only half of my to do list, and arrived at the end of the week feeling like I’d accomplished very little. There were disagreements, disappointments, tears and set backs, but amidst the chaos that is life, I can wholeheartedly say: “I am grateful for each and every moment.” As mentioned before, life is rarely perfect – but we can learn to love our perfectly imperfect lives.

When things don’t go according to plan, look for the beauty in the lessons. Take note of all that you have to be thankful for. If life appears to rush by faster than a Busta Rhymes rap, take a moment to breathe. Give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing. Sometimes we need to lose ourselves in the many contrasts of life to remember that life is for living; the good, the not so good, and the crazy!

In releasing some of the expectations we place on ourselves we can learn to accept life as it is. We make peace with the parts of our lives that are working for us, and those parts which need some tweaks. Experience and observation allows us to regain some momentum and clarity, and it is through this process of trial and error that we can begin to make the necessary adjustments

Today, let go of the ‘what ifs’, the ‘should haves’ and the ‘could haves’ and embrace this new day. Release all expectations of what today should be. Whatever life throws at you, give thanks for it’s many lessons and blessings.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

p.s I though you might like to hear a mega fast Busta Rhymes rap! Enjoy 😉

Never Too Late

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Stop for a moment. Are you living the life you imagined? Or do you daydream of the things you just ‘never got around to doing’?

Maybe you always wanted to learn the piano? Or to dance the Tango? Have you always wanted to travel to Paris or learn to speak French? Maybe you admire women who dare to cut their hair short, yet wear yours long and say “I’d never pull it off anyway…” Have you dreamt of owning a pair of red stiletto heals, yet play it safe with ‘practical’ comfy loafers instead? How many of us look in the mirror and no longer recognise the person staring back at us?

Whatever our wishes and dreams may be, let us not ignore the whispers of our authentic selves any longer. Throw caution to the wind. We may have neglected who we are up until now, but ‘it’s never too late to be who you might have been.’

In Love and Light (and red stilettos) 👠😉

Hayley xx 

Ahhh shucks.

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That I can post this even with a tear stained face from having a psycho mental breakdown moment is a true sign that we are only ever one breath away from pure, immeasurable peace.

The key is to not berate ourselves. When we judge ourselves, we fail to recognise that life, beautiful pulsating life, ebbs and flows, just as sure as the tides flow and the winds blow.

So no more judging yourselves in your moments of craziness please. Smile, laugh it off! Forgive yourself. LOVE yourself! (Crazy psycho nutbag moments and all!) 😉

Peace be with you my friends xx

Operation Affirmation Frustration

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Some people go into panic mode when they realise the power of their emotions. They attempt to tie a noose around their negative thoughts and walk around affirming positive statements that simply aren’t true yet.

I am not denying that affirmations are a powerful and effective tool for manifestation; because they are and that is why I use them myself and encourage others to do so. However, I am suggesting that we choose our affirmations carefully. If we affirm something that is too far from our current personal reality, this may lead to further frustration. If there is too great a discord between where we are and where we’d like to be in our affirmative statement, then our good intentions could, in fact, have the opposite effect and lead to blocks.

For example, it’s no use saying ‘I am slender’ on days when we feel like a beached whale. That statement will only remind us of what we are not (yet) feeling. And it’s a sure fire way to have us running for the spoon and jar of peanut butter! (Or is that just me???) peanut-butter-meme-700x700So on days when our self esteem and joy are somewhat waning, rather than attempt to bridge an impossible gap, it is much more effective to reach for thoughts and feelings that improve our current state of mind. This is usually something closer within our reach, for example; I feed my body with foods that help it thrive. I love my workouts once I get going. I know that my body is capable of reaching a healthy weight if I allow it to. I am progressing towards a healthy body. My next meal will be healthy and nutritious. There are parts of my body which I love. I am further along than I think. From here, we are able to build some positive momentum. These statements are achievable now. We can take action.

You see, it is not what we say, but how we feel when we say it. So if we are affirming that we are sexy hot like Beyonce Knowles, but feeling like we are sexy NOT like Princess Fiona, beyonce-knowles-and-shrekthen the only emotions we are emitting to the ethers are those of lack, inadequacy, frustration, and disappointment. It is much more powerful to reach for something that makes us feel better NOW! (And no – that does not include the Haagan Daaz Cookies and Cream ice-cream!) That’s a temporary feel good! Trust me – I know… 😉 It means reaching for an honest thought or feeling that allows us to feel vibrationally aligned again in this moment.

Once we feel empowered again, then we can embrace the more assertive ‘I Am’ present moment affirmations – such as I Am *insert desire of choice*
eg. tall dark and handsome/in possession of the job I seek/the shizzle McNizzle!

If we affirm these statements whilst feeling good, then guuuuuurl you are all that and more! (And you fellas!) Heh hem – all this Beyonce talk has got me feeling like Beyonce! Maybe this whole post was wrong after all? And all we gotta do is fake it till we make it?! 😉

Happy Friday loveables! And remember – you are beautiful – Beyonce bootay or not!

Word.

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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

Five Reasons Why I Am Grateful For My Dad

It is but a simple shift in perception. From one of sorrow to joy; of envy to inspired appreciation; of lack to fulfillment, gratitude and abundance. With this shift in perception comes a renewed love of all things – even the ones that bring with them great heartache and despair. For it is precisely from knowing and experiencing such heartaches that we come to recognise and appreciate the rainbows after the storm.

Flowers grow out of dark moments.

– Corita Kent

Five Reasons Why I Am Grateful For My Dad

  1. You were, and still are, my greatest teacher. You were my biggest heartbreak, and yet my most profound awakening to a deeper kind of love. In losing you, I gained another part of you – a part that is ever infinite and always guiding.
  2. You taught me not to take myself too seriously. Ever the joker, you showed me that the quickest and surest way to ease my own sorrow is through laughter. Laughter really is the best medicine, and you had an ability to make others laugh uncontrollably. Whenever I feel glum or despondent, I turn to laughter. ‘Daft as a brush just like your Dad’ my best friend says. ‘Nothing embarrasses you’ Mum tells me, ‘you get that from your Dad, not me!’ It makes me smile to know that I will always have this part of you.
  3. You showed me the true meaning of grace. In moments of darkness you faced the terrors head on, never the victim – always accepting what life threw at you with an earnest grace. If I have learnt anything in this life, it is that our most trialing experiences are often our biggest teachers. Through your adversity, you remained steadfast and strong, despite your obvious pain – your love for us never wavered.
  4. Because of you I have an endless well of patience. Any man who can live with four hot headed females as you did, has reached a state of tolerance to rival that of taxi driver working the drunk o’clock shift. It takes a strong man to not react and continue navigating others home whilst all his buttons are being pushed. If ever my patience is tested, I need only remember your poise and ability to remain calm and nonreactive under testing circumstances!
  5. Without witnessing your life lived with epilepsy, I could never have developed such a profound empathy towards others. Through watching your struggles from a very young age, I have come to stare with deep sincerity into the heart of every soul regardless of their condition, social status, or circumstance. This has led me to undertake work that brings me great purpose and fulfillment. At the heart of every person lies a beautiful soul – and I am committed to treating others with compassion and understanding at all cost. I owe this gift to you.

Happy Fathers Day Dad – Loving You Always, Forgetting you Never xx

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