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.

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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

A New Day

finish each day (1)

We each have moments where our words and actions fall short of our truest self. Habitual responses and behaviours can cause us to speak or act unconsciously. A situation or comment may trigger a past pain or trauma resulting in a fight, flight or freeze response. Life would be much easier if we could operate from our highest self all of the time, but life is rarely that simple. We can, however, learn to love and accept our blunders for what they are – lessons which point the way forward.

Our setbacks are there to teach us. Do you have unhealed hurts requiring your attention? Is there someone you have yet to forgive? Remember, that person needing your forgiveness may even be you.

Many of us become entangled in self-sabotaging behaviours. But it’s no use beating ourselves up over them. Instead, be gentle with yourself. Recognise what your outer world is trying to teach you about your inner world. Do you feel yourself worthy enough of happiness and fulfilment? Do you recognise that you are loved, loving and lovable even with your flaws and imperfections? Do you believe in yourself enough to make the changes necessary for growth and expansion?

You needn’t dwell on these matters for too long. Simply become aware of them. Then let them go. Move on. As Emerson reminds us, ‘tomorrow is a new day.’ Today, let’s leave the past firmly behind us so we can look to the present moment for creative solutions.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Be The Change.

be the change

Real change begins within. We must be willing to become what it is that we wish to see in our lives.

I have found that whenever my sense of inner peace is off balance, if ever I am met with difficult roadblocks along the way, there is usually a personal growth lesson I am failing to recognise. Did I waver momentarily from my authentic self? Have I communicated clearly my truth? Did I fail to recognise another’s perspective? Have I neglected my self-care practice?

Once we become aware of what’s going on on the inside, we can recognise the teachings that are being reflected to us in our outer world. Only then can we return our focus to the basic principles for a peaceful existence – acceptance; forgiveness; kindness; patience; love; joy; gratitude. The situation then usually resolves itself.

In today’s quote, Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the freedom independence and civil rights movement in India, reminds us that we must ‘be the change.’

If you crave more peace – be peaceful. Do you long for more love? Be more loving. If you wish to receive more abundance in life – give more. More happiness? Share your joy. The best way for us to experience a life of fulfillment is to be the change and lead by example. Our outer world always mirrors back to us the state of our inner world. The good news is, we have the power to change this. We have the power to shift our perceptions so that we can experience more of the love, joy, and abundance that is available to us.

Today, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world.’

In love & light,

Hayley xx