Soulful Sunday #60: The Other Side Of Fear

The other side of fear

Welcome to my fifty-sixth 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 dreams and intentions 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

Fear is debilitating. It can literally leave us paralysed with anxiety.

There is a famous quote (and book for that matter) by Susan Jeffers who reminds us:

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

My biggest work over the last few months has been to face my fears around labour, particularly around the ‘normal’ practice of hospitals whose medical interventions often result in unnecessary trauma for both Mum and baby. Don’t get me wrong, in a medical emergency these procedures can save lives; but in a normal, safe, healthy pregnancy and birth, such interventions often cause more harm than good.  Is it any wonder then, that we hear so many horror stories about birth?

Once my fears were acknowledged, I could then begin to dissolve them. I turned to natural birthing books and absorbed myself in the thousands of positive birth stories (yes – they exist!!!) each contained. The more I read, the more I began to meet women who had birthed naturally, and with less complications (if any) than those who had birthed at the hands of doctors and drugs.

We also decided on Hypno-birthing classes to prepare ourselves for a calm birth using breath work, relaxations, visualisations, strengthening affirmations and natures own pain relief; oxytocin – all of which helped to deepen our confidence and trust in a natural birth.

Whilst our preparations do not guarantee us a smooth, uninterrupted birth with little to no complication or medical intervention; what they do provide us with are the innate tools to birth in love and trust, rather than shrouded in fear.

Of course, there are always some residue fears of the unknown and lingering What if’s? But since the only way out of my birth is through, I must ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’

The only way out is through.

– Robert Frost

And through we shall go, in love and trust.

Soul Strolls

With three weeks to go until we meet our baby, strolling has become somewhat of a waddle! The pelvic pressure is real haha And so, after finishing my last week of work last Friday, I decided to put my feet up and rest this pregnant body.

I booked in for a pregnancy massage at Endota Spa (which was the best massage I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot!) and soaked up the healing vibes. I plan to spend the next three weeks resting and nourishing myself and our baby, and enjoying our last few weeks as a ‘two.’

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‘Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.’ – Marcel Proust

Soul Recipes

This recipe is an oldy but a goody of mine. I love using my slow cooker, and this dish lends itself perfectly to one. It’s hearty, it’s comforting, it’s delicious and it’s even healthy My Hearty Lentil Curry gets a thumbs up every time. Let me know what you think!

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Yummy lentil curry!

Soul Music

On the other side of fear lies freedom and peace. So today I would love to share this delightfully peaceful track by Ashana titled Deep Peace. Put you feet up, take a deep breath in and receive the deep peace flowing to you. Now sigh and release. You are free. You are safe. You are secure and loved.

Soul Sisters

Today I would love to share this beautifully nourishing poem titled Bliss by Aroused. A timely reminder for us to connect with our intuition within and to trust.

Wrapping you all in a warm loving hug on this soulful Sunday.

Love always,

Hayley xx

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Soulful Sunday #55: Beautiful Bodies

comparison

Welcome to my fifty-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 dreams and intentions 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

At seven and a half months pregnant, I’m amazed by the number of women who feel compelled to comment on the size of my bump, comparing its size to that of their friend who is ‘due two weeks before me and is SO much smaller’, so small in fact you can ‘hardly tell’. I’ve even had my belly compared to a basket ball!

I’d like to think the women delivering these words are well intentioned and simply unaware of the potential harm their comments can cause. Still, I can’t help but feel a little disheartened that body comparison is so prevalent, even during pregnancy.

Isn’t a women supposed to feel beautiful and bountiful in her pregnant body? Is the fullness of her tummy not the fullest expression of creation itself? A time to celebrate the changes in her body as it nurtures new life within?

I have to acknowledge that I’ve also had many women tell me I look beautiful and stunning as I bloom to full size. To those Divine Goddesses; I salute you. For you are the ones who focus not on the ‘neatness of the bump’, or for how long it can remain disguised or ‘unnoticed’; but instead on the natural beauty to be embraced throughout the many changing phases of a woman’s body.

Today, let’s lift each other up. Let’s celebrate our bodies; big, small, teeny or tall, remembering that we are ALL Divine.

Soul Strolls

This week’s soul strolling took place in the hospital. We had our hospital tour where we were able to walk through where we’ll go on the day of our birthing. Despite having had some fears around birthing in a hospital, as I walked the corridors I blessed them with love and repeated the mantra, ‘All is well. I have nothing to fear. Love, peace, harmony and joy surround and indwell me.’

The Mercy Hospital for Women does feel like a safer space than my previous hospital. The midwives are very supportive of a natural birth with as little intervention as possible. I trust I am in safe hands.

Live your life as if everything is rigged in your favour.

– Rumi

Soul Recipes

lamb-massaman-tall3

My partner loves to buy a Massaman Curry from our local Thai. Since he spent this soulful Sunday working, I decided to surprise him with a Slow Cooked Lamb Massaman which was simply divine! I adapted the recipe slightly (and cheated) by buying a massaman curry paste rather than making my own from scratch, as this recipe suggests. If I owned a food processor I would definitely have attempted the homemade paste in this recipe… I also used carrots, red pepper and red chillies in addition to the potato instead of the green beans, since I already had those vegetables on hand at home.

Needless to say, this dish was yummy and my man had a happy tummy after a hard days work.

Soul Music

I’d love to share Heather Mae’s I Am Enough as a stunning reminder that our body’s are not ‘wrong’ or ‘shameful’. We can be grateful for our body, regardless of our shape or size. This makes me smile each time I listen. Today, give your body a big appreciative hug, tell your body how much you love it… and then have a good ole dance to this feel good track! I’ll be dancing along with you with my pregnant bump 😉

Soul Sisters

I’d love to share the work of a soul sister who has been pivotal in reducing my fears around labour. I bought Kat’s book in my second trimester when I was led to it by a serendipitous moment. It was just what I needed to believe in my abilities to birth my baby naturally. I will be gifting Kat’s work to any pregnant ladies I know! You can find Kat at The Birth Goddess.

Wishing you all a soulful Sunday. May you feel safe, supported and loved, today and always.

Love always,

Hayley xx

 

Soulful Sunday #54: Blessings Of Love

 

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Welcome to my fifty-fourth 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 dreams and intentions 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

I’ve heard it time and time again, yet this past week I’ve really come to know this as true: There are really only ever two choices; love or fear.

Last week I came close to having a panic attack I was so overwhelmed with the unknown outcomes of following a natural birthing journey in a medical hospital setting. Fear encompassed every ounce of my being and I was deeply emerged in my shadow. Yet this week, I’ve worked to dissolve those fears, to seek the truth within. And sure enough, the Universe delivered the love and support required to pull me back into the light.

Harmony, peace, love and joy surround and indwell me. I am safe and secure.

– Louise Hay

I am my own pillar of safety and strength. I have a voice. And when I trust in myself and the Universe, my world reflects back to me the safety and security I desire.

Soul Strolls

Last week we took our soul strolling to the local parks to have some photos taken by a friend of ours. This was her first pregnancy shoot, and we think she did a great job! Here’s a couple of sneaky photos. We had lots of fun goofing around in nature with my baby bump in tow.

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Soul Food

I have been a little slack with creating and uploading my own recipes as I used to. But this week, I served a delicious Dhal to my guests which went down a treat. Since I haven’t written down what I used, I will share this delicious Dhal recipe which is not dissimilar to my own. I used pumpkin instead of sweet potato and added garam masala, chilli flakes and coriander to the mix. Enjoy!

spinach-sweet-potato-lentil-dhal

Soul Music

This week I would love to share this stunning track by Karen Drucker titled, There Is Only Love. Such a simple message, yet one which resonates so deeply and infuses my being with peace and love. Have a listen. I hope it brings you as much comfort as it does for me.


Soul Sisters

Yesterday I had my Mothers Blessing and truly felt the power of ‘Soul Sisters.’ So much love and energy in one room, how could I not feel loved and supported? I am a very lucky lady to have so many incredible and inspiring women in my life, each gifting me with their words of wisdom, and loving gifts of the heart.

Many of you may recognise our beautiful writer and fellow blogger Miriam from Out An About in these photos. Such a Divine soul who never fails to lift my energy to one of spirited grace and unity.

I have the energy of so many Divine women supporting me on my natural birthing journey. All fears aside, there really is ‘only love.’

And on that note, it’s Fathers Day in the UK and I’d like to acknowledge two of the most incredible men in my life; my angel Dad, and this gorgeous Daddy to be 💙💙

I’m proud to have walked beside both of you in this lifetime, you are strong men of honour, yet neither afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve.

I only hope that more women and children have the opportunity to know and experience a good man in their lives, whether paternal, teacher, lover or friend.

Here’s to all the men and Dad’s who rock our world 🙌🏻

Here’s wishing you a soulful Sunday permeated with love, trust, harmony and peace.

Love always,

Hayley xx  

 

Soulful Sunday #53: Be Your Vulnerable Self

secret sorrows

Welcome to my fifty-third 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 dreams and intentions 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’ve been sitting with my vulnerabilities and allowing myself to feel into what arises, trusting that it’s all there to teach me and to help me to grow.

How many of us automatically reply “I’m well thank you!” when asked how we are, when in actual fact – we are not ok? We feel we are burdensome or negative company if we actually share what’s really going on.

Today, I’d like you to consider what support may be available to you if you showed up in your authentic state and gave yourself permission to be vulnerable and open. Remember, in doing so you allow others to do the same.

Let us let go of the surface level interactions we’ve maintained as our shield of protection and be willing to dive deep.

Allow yourself to receive the support you need. You are worthy.

Soul Strolls

With 9 weeks of pregnancy left, I am still continuing my soul strolls around my neighbourhood. I’m finding it’s not long before I have to empty my bladder these days so I can’t stray too far from home. But even around the local area there is much beauty to be found.

Watsonia

‘If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.’ – Vincent Van Gogh


Soul Food

I am loving cashew cheese at the moment, but i’m not loving the price! Which is why I plan to have a go at making my own. I found this fermented cashew cheese recipe which I plan to try! If you haven’t tasted Cashew Cheese yet, I highly recommend it, especially on some toasted sourdough with a sprinkle of paprika! Yum! And the best news is, it’s super healthy for your gut – bonus 🙂

ketogenic-fermented-cashew-cheese

Soul Music

I’d love to share this beautiful song by India Arie titled I Am Light. A timely reminder that whatever we are going through, however we are feeling, at our very core we are love and light. Each day we get to reshape ourselves, to reinvent and recreate our experiences based on this recognition. I hope you tune in for a listen…


On this Soulful Sunday, I wish you a peaceful week ahead. Trust that you are safe and secure, even in your vulnerable self. Be open to receiving the support you need. And remember, your biggest Source of support lies within; connect with it, ask for what you need – and above all else, remember your own strength.

Soul Sisters

A fellow writer who I admire for always writing from the heart and saying it ‘how it is’, is Tanya from The Incurable Dreamer. She has the ability to make me laugh out loud whilst also bringing a heartfelt tear to my eye. One of my favourite posts Tanya has written is A Storm So Perfect , where she embodies her vulnerable self so well. Head on over for a valuable read!

Love Always,

Hayley xx

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Soulful Sunday #51: Inspired Action

Welcome to my fifty first 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.

Hello Soul Friends,

I haven’t posted a Soulful Sunday post for two weeks, and am so grateful to be reconnecting with my usual weekly feature. In saying that, I enjoyed the break and freedom from my usual routine, which I spent camping over the Easter weekend and moving house the following.

For the last two Sunday’s I could hear myself saying…. “I SHOULD write my Sunday post…” even when I didn’t feel inspired to do so. I was present with my friends camping in nature…and then present to the process of moving house. Writing felt like a ‘should.’ This weekend, I’m feeling very much inspired to write. The space has opened up. And I am fully present to the writing process. Ahhh. Now doesn’t that feel better?

Sometimes we forget that it’s ok to ease up from our daily duties when other matters take centre stage for a while. If there is something that is feeling like a ‘should’ to you, then ask yourself:

Why do I feel obligated to do this?

What is the outcome of me not doing it?

Why am I feeling resistance towards doing this?

Is there a better time for me to attend to this or is this something I can eliminate altogether?

Then take action accordingly.

Soul Reflections

This week I’ve been sitting with the feeling of ‘inspired action.’ Letting go of the ‘shoulds’ and connecting more deeply with what inspires me. Of course, there are certain responsibilities we must tend to each day, daily duties that require our attention. Duties that, with a small shift in perspective can be tackled from a place of gratitude for renewed vigour.

But I also invite you to consider where in your life you can carve out some space for INSPIRED ACTION.  The answer may just lie in letting go of some of the ‘shoulds’ that take up unnecessary time – time fillers or distractions designed to keep us from doing what we feel most inspired to do. We all have them: responding to non-urgent emails/messages, sorting out the junk drawer, scrolling through social media, getting caught up in the drama on television or real life.

Instead, turn off any distractions and get still. Take a pen and paper and begin to free write. Let your heart run wild and free. If you weren’t bound by limitations, what would you be doing? What would your life look like? Now ask yourself – What action can I take today to bring my dreams closer to my reality?

Today, see if you can take one small step in the direction of your dreams.

Soul Strolls

Before our house move last weekend, we managed to get away for the long Easter weekend break. On a whim, we decided to join our friends camping near Mount Bogong, the highest mountain in Victoria, Australia.

We arrived a day later than the rest of the tribe, and so missed the trek to the top of the mountain. At 6 months pregnant, I didn’t feel too bummed about that. It was still nice to join our friends around the camp fire for an evening of relaxing, connecting and enjoying camp food. And to our surprise, we woke in the morning to find that the Easter Bunny had paid us a visit!

Yum!

My man looking very happy with his chocolate egg!

Soul Food

I want to share this delicious  Pork, Pineapple and Coconut Curry from one of my favourite wellness bloggers, Alice Nicholls. I opted to cook it in the stock pot which meant the pork was melt-in-the-mouth tender by the time we arrived home. I also added some Bok Choy. This is such a yummy, heart-warming dish perfect for the cooler Melbourne weather.

Australian-Pork-Campaign-2

Soul Music

In light of us catching our dreams and turning them into reality, I’d like to share this soothing track titled Dreamcatcher by Kamal. Why not have a listen and become lost in its magical melody as you manifest your dreams into reality?

Soul Sisters

Today, I’d like to share Brittany’s post, Living Large Through Little Things, who aptly reminds us that sometimes, inspired action can simply mean tending to the ‘little things’, which are actually the big things. Head on over for an inspirational, and heartwarming read.

Wishing each and every one of you an inspired Sunday. Now go catch those dreams!

Love Always,

Hayley xx

 

 

Soulful Sunday #49: Miracles Within

Pregnancy unseen force

Welcome to my forty-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

On this soulful Sunday I would like to share the news of our little miracle within. For the last 5 months I have been growing a little baby in my tummy! Eeeek! And what a journey it has been so far. Being pregnant with the miracle of life has caused me to become fertile with a myriad of magical possibilities.

“To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and distressingly inhabited. Soul and spirit are stretched – along with body – making pregnancy a time of transition, growth, and profound beginnings.”

– Anne Christian Buchanan

I have journeyed through resistance, doubt and fear only to emerge on the other side feeling a profound sense of connection and a deep level of trust in the ‘unseen force behind all of life.’ To be part of life’s creation is to fully surrender to life’s dance; trusting that you will intuitively rise to the challenges and changes each new step presents. Pregnancy is not a time for control, but a time to let go, to trust and to flow with the rhythm of life.

Soul Strolls

Whilst I have been walking a lot during my pregnancy, most of our strolling has been to house inspections to house our growing family. A fortnight ago I shared with you a home we were sure was ours. Somehow, between talking with the landlord, submitting our application and the rental agency presenting applicants, our application was lost and we missed out. It’s still a mystery to this day what happened, as we never took the landlords number. And whilst it was a little disheartening at first, I was sure there must be a reason why things turned out the way they did. And of course, there was.

One of my wishes has been to have a little woodland themed nursery for our baby. But I knew that may not be possible with a rental. Often repainting requires clearance from landlords and not many wish for their neutral homes to be tampered with.

Well. Just last week we came across a rental that already had a woodland themed nursery! Talk about the Law of Attraction! After being declined for four rental’s, this was the one that finally pulled through. I now know that this is the home for us.

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Our little nursery ❤

Soul Food

This week we treated ourselves to some Indian food. Yum! Not only was the food scrumptious and heart warming, but we also revealed whether we were having a boy or a girl over dinner.

I’d enlisted the help of one of my students to create some beaded love hearts; one in pink and one in blue.  Rather than have the lady reveal what we were expecting at the scan, we asked if she would secretly place the correct coloured heart into the box so we could reveal it to ourselves over dinner! Here’s the result:

What will it be

What will it be?

Oooo the suspense

Ooo the suspense!

Ta Daaaaa

Ta Daaaaaa!

5 months

Our Baby Boy ❤

 

Soul Music

Our baby is very responsive to music. Last weekend we saw Incubus live as well as Ed Sheeran. At both concerts baby was wriggling and kicking with content. I was too in the moment to capture any videos, but I’d like to share two of my favourite songs, one from Incubus, Wish You Were Here and Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud. The lyrics to both are beautifully timeless.

Soul Sisters

Today I’d love to share Kate’s poem, Incubation. Since i’m incubating a little baby right now, who I can’t wait to share with the world, Kate’s poem resonated with me deeply! I know you’ll enjoy this fun, insightful poem as much as I did!

Wishing each and every one of you a miracle Sunday.

Whether you are birthing new ideas, experiences and dreams or birthing new life – may you have full trust in your abilities and in the dance of life itself.

Love always,

Hayley xx

 

 

Soulful Sunday #48: Listen, and TRUST.

Trust that still small voice that says, _This might work and I'll try it._

Welcome to my forty-eighth 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

Too often we dismiss our ideas as ‘silly’ or ‘absurd’. We keep quiet and fail to take action through fear of ‘getting it wrong’ or looking stupid. But as T. Harv Eker reminds us:

One step in the right direction is better than one hundred years thinking about it.

I am your typical procrastinator. Yet I have come to realise that procrastination is one of either two things: perfectionism or fear. The truth is, that there is never a perfect time to begin and there is no time like the present. As for a perfect outcome? That too, is never guaranteed. So make a start and don’t delay. Fear of beginning, failing or even succeeding are some of the biggest roadblocks to living the life we intended to live.

So my advice to you is to simply begin.  You don’t need to know how to do it, you just need to know why you are doing it. And it is your WHY that will keep you moving forward, especially when you are faced with setbacks and adversity.

Create for joy. There need be no other reason.

– Kate. M. Foster

Whatever your intuition is urging you to do, trust in that small voice within. Your dreams are real. So go after them.

Soul Strolls

My partner and I are currently looking for a place to live. The rental competition is tough here in Melbourne, and many people arrive at the viewings all with the hope of being chosen. After a number of underwhelming viewings and one uncertain and tentative application which was (thankfully) declined, one property just ‘felt right.’

And that’s when my intuition began to nudge a little louder!

My partner and I noticed two gentlemen fixing the roof in the garage. We stopped to say ‘hello.’ It turned out that one of the gentlemen happened to be the landlord. The landlords make the final decision based on tenant application, yet it’s very rare that they are present at the property during inspection.

We had two more back to back viewings to race to, but knew even as we looked around the other houses that our hearts were still set on the first. Following our gut instincts, we returned to the first property, where we introduced ourselves again to the landlord.

We explained we’d fallen in love with his home and asked what he was looking for in a tenant and to our surprise, he said: “To be honest, I said to my friend that I’d give you both the property as you were both pleasant enough to say ‘hello’ as you looked through.’

Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts, and go that extra mile. After the landlord thanked us for returning to enquire further, we said our goodbye’s. We submitted our application that same evening. I will let you know next week if the stars align!

For now – I will visualise my partner and I walking hand in hand through the door to our new home… Wish us luck!

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0ur new home 😉

Soul Food

My friend made a delicious vegan lasagna which tasted incredible. Although, she used lasagna pasta sheets, which I love! Although pasta does NOT love me! (Think BLOAT and GAS!) Not pretty. So I discovered this delicious grain free, gluten free, dairy free lasagna from one of my favourite Health and Wellness pals, Alice Nicholls. You could even make this meat free if desired! I will definitely be giving this one a try. Yum!

Soul Music

Today I’d like to share this beautiful meditative track titled Sacred Alignment, by Dean Evenson. It’s gentle melody is the perfect reminder to go ‘inward.’ The answer lies within. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.

Soul Sisters

I would like to share this stunning post by Deb at Once Upon A Hot Flash. I first met Debs here on WordPress, and we quickly connected and became friends. Deb is a beautiful soul, who connected me with other beautiful souls whilst walking along this WordPress journey. I am so grateful for her presence here.

I am sharing this post as, after an incredible daily run, Debs has decided to share her last Daily Gratitude post. Head on over and share your gratitude, as I truly believe that the best way to become aligned is to be grateful.

Trusting each and every one of you are feeling aligned on this peaceful Sunday, and if you are not – get still and listen. Trust that your heart is whispering guidance to you.

Love Always,

Hayley xx