The Duty of Being Happy

Duty of being happy
With so much to ‘do’ in a limited number of hours each day, we often neglect the most important duty of all – the duty of being happy. Poet and writer, Robert Louis Stevenson was right when he acknowledged that our happiness ‘sow[s] anonymous benefits upon the world.’

When we take responsibility for our own happiness, each person we come into contact with profits. At times, it may seem as if our happiness depends on outside circumstances – but if we remember that happiness is a choice, we can remain steadfast even in the face of adversity. Our happiness is not determined by our gains and our losses, but by the way we choose to respond to life.

Happiness is not a possession to be prized. It is a quality of thought, a state of mind.

– Daphne Du Maurier

Today, take a moment to check in with yourself. How are you feeling? If you notice you are not happy, you can begin to raise your vibration with gratitude. Happiness is a by-product of being grateful. When you take a moment to count your blessings, however small that may seem, you’ll discover that happiness is already available to you, here. Right now. In this moment.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

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A New Day

yesterday

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 😉

The Three Grand Essentials To Happiness

essentials to happiness

Happiness is a state of mind; a state which can shift from pure contentment to complete dissatisfaction in any given moment. This change in perspective can be triggered by a number of outside circumstances seemingly out of our control; unexpected news, the loss of something dear, an ill-mannered interaction with a stranger…

At times our discomfort is prolonged and happiness can feel like a distant memory. I remember the overwhelming feeling of complete sorrow in the long months that followed my Dad’s death. I was a sinking ship. Afraid of marring others with my grief, I’d hide my devastation beneath a brave face, but on the inside I was an empty vessel lost at sea. If I knew then what I know now, I would advise my nineteen-year-old self to honour her feelings; to be unafraid of reaching out and asking for help.

If you are feeling bereft, try not to stuff down your emotions. Be kind to yourself and trust that this feeling will pass. It may not go away entirely, but as sure as the tides ebb and flow, so will your state of happiness. Nothing in life is constant. As rocky as the oceans may seem, the tides will settle in time. So don’t lose heart. It’s not your job to control the weather – life is unpredictable. But we can learn to navigate the storms, we can learn to stay afloat instead of drowning.

We can begin with the three essentials to happiness.

Something to do:

This could be as simple as petting your dog; making a start on a long neglected project or planting some vegetables to harvest in winter. Participating in life brings us back to the only moment we have – NOW. It is now that we are free from the binds of the past and worries about the future. For me, writing, walking in nature, and belly laughing with loved ones always brings me back to a state of gratitude for the moment I’m in.

Something to love:

At our core, we are pure, unbounded love. Therefore, not to love is a slow death to the soul. Yet many of us forget that we cannot give away what we don’t have. Love begins first with oneself. Not in a conceited self-righteous way, but in a way that is non-judgemental and self-accepting. When we truly love ourselves, we are able love others unconditionally. Make a promise each day to look in the mirror and say with deep compassion: “I love you.” Watch how that love flows outward to others.

Something to hope for:

Studies have shown that those who practice optimism and gratitude live longer, healthier lives. Hopeful individuals repeatedly show reduced levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Hope instills a sense of faith that everything will work out for our highest good. You don’t have to be religious to have faith in a higher power. You can have faith in yourself; faith in a loving Universe, faith in others, faith in a non-denominational Divine guidance. In short, faith and hope free us from the shackles of limiting beliefs, bringing a sense of peace to even the darkest of days.

Today, take the time to do something you love. Reflect and give thanks for this moment. Trust that everything is precisely as it is meant to be, and keep the faith.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #32: In Difficult Times

difficult times

Welcome to my thirty-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

In times of difficulty, we may wonder; ‘Why me? What have I done to deserve this?’ We have been conditioned to believe in a God who judges and condemns; the man upstairs who watches over our every move, waiting for the moment we step out of line so He can send His Angels of Punishment down to teach us a lesson or two! Is it any wonder, then, that when the shit hits the fan, we immediately blame ourselves?

The truth is, we live in a loving Universe who knows no difference between good and evil. There are no discrimination’s or favouritism’s when deciding between luck and adversity. Circumstances befall us, not to reward or punish ‘good and bad’ behaviour; but to strengthen us.

We are each strengthened at various stages in our lives. Without life’s contrasts, life would remain static. Life’s joys teach us peace, love and appreciation. Life’s adversities teach us resilience; acceptance and forgiveness. In times of difficulty, it pays to keep faith. Know that life loves you and all is well.

Soul Strolls

I am currently house sitting for friends, who I used to live with before they welcomed their beautiful new arrival; baby Yvey. I have missed my daily walks to the local park since moving away. So sure enough, as soon as I woke I indulged in one of my favourite little soul strolls. I spotted this vibrant Lavender soaking up the early morning sunrise, and smiled. Isn’t nature one of life’s true treasures?

Soul Food

I recently stayed with a good friend of mine who came to my rescue when I needed a place to stay. It was the perfect relief needed for rest and recovery. We woke most mornings to yoga followed by a delicious and nutritious smoothie. I have shared my smoothie recipes before, but today I’d like to re-share my Choco Berry Smoothie recipe in honour of my good friend Sal. This was a winner for her! She loved it, and I hope you love it too!

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Soul Music

Since today’s post is about resilience in the face of adversity, I’d like to share James Arthur’s version of Stronger; a reminder that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. James Arthur has released two albums since winning the UK X Factor in 2012. If you have yet to hear his music, check him out! His voice is raw and emotive. A true gift.


Soul Sisters

I’d love to share Di’s post What Is Love, Mummy? I found it beautifully vulnerable and one we can all relate to. Head over to Di’s blog, Matters For The Heart to discover more heart warming reads like this one.  I know Di will welcome you with open arms.

Wishing you all strength and peace on the blustery Melbourne Sunday!

 

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Love the Moment

love the moment
Whether you are standing in line at the check out, or reading your favourite novel; curled on the sofa with a loved one, or cleaning the dirty dishes – pause… Smile. And love the moment you are in.

Nothing is more powerful than gratitude – nothing far greater than love. When we embrace each moment with joy and appreciation, we breathe energy and life into the present. This stimulates higher frequencies of pure peace to move into our field of energy. Mindfulness is an art, and one we must practice each day if we are to become good at it.

Bless, love and accept each moment, regardless of your circumstances. In doing so, you will surpass all boundaries and limitations.

Today, breathe and smile. Love the moment you are in and trust that all is precisely how it is supposed to be.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

The Beauty of Your dreams

beauty of dreams
In the pursuit of my dreams I was once challenged with; “What if you fail, Hayley?” My response was the same truth I tell the children I teach; “There are no failures. Only lessons. FAIL stands for First Attempt In Learning.”

If things don’t work out, we can grow from the experience and apply the lessons moving forward. Failure is simply an opportunity for growth and expansion.

On your path to freedom and fulfilment, don’t let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big. There have been moments in my life when the stars have not aligned, but I truly believe that if circumstances don’t work out it’s because a far greater opportunity awaits us or there is more wisdom to be gained. Divine timing is at work in each our lives, so trust in the process of life itself. Believe in the beauty of your dreams and never lose sight of them in the face of adversity.

Your dreams are real. So go after them.

In love & light,

Hayley xx 

Breathe.

Breathe (1)
Today, I noticed a six year old boy distressed and crying. He’d gotten into a fight with his friend and was quite shaken by the event. I sat beside him and reminded him to breathe. I’d taught him yoga and mindfulness last year and together, we pretended we had balloons in our tummies. We filled them with air as we breathed in, and then let go a little more each time we breathed out. As we sat breathing together, I felt my own worries subside a little. Within seconds, he’d stopped crying. We smiled at each other. Little did he know, that I needed to breathe just as much as he did…

Later, I noticed he was alone. He was making something using card and sticky tape. I asked what it was. ‘It has special powers,’ he replied. ‘This button, when pressed, creates a protective shield around you.’ He pointed out a little scribble he’d marked on the card. ‘But this button here is the most powerful…’
‘What does it do?’ I asked.
‘It helps you to stay calm,’ he said.

Even at the age of six, this young wee soul understood the power of remaining calm.

We are each faced with adversities. There are things that happen to us in life that are beyond our control – events that we can’t stop or change. This can be difficult to accept. At times, we’re not even aware of why we feel sad or anxious. We just do. But it’s ok to not feel ok all of the time, so long as we don’t get stuck there for too long.

Today, be gentle on yourself. Sometimes it’s ok if the only thing you did today was breathe. Take it day by day, and trust that everything will be ok.

In love & light,
Hayley xx