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

Soulful Sunday # 30: Life’s Riches

abundance
Welcome to my thirtieth 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

Recently, I have been stripped back to the bare minimum; no fixed abode, no car, and fluctuating work opportunities. At times, I have felt uncertain as to how I will survive the coming weeks; but when self doubt creeps in, I remember to keep the faith in a supportive universe. It is this deep faith that has ensured a constant stream of abundance continues to flow to and through me.

Both abundance and lack coexist. Where we place our focus is a matter of choice. We can choose to tend to the garden of insufficiency, or the garden of appreciation. Give thanks for life’s true riches; friends, work, family, health, nature, love, joy and laughter. Watch how the seeds of appreciation blossom into the bountiful fruits of abundance.

Soul Strolls

I recently enjoyed a beautiful stroll through the Botanical Gardens with my sweetheart. I love that, even during Melbourne winter, nature thrives with the colour and vibrancy of life.

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Soul Food

I love wholesome meals. You can’t beat the smell of a home cooked stew or soup drifting through your home on a brisk winters day, which is why I have started using my stock pot again. Today I am sharing this delicious Pea & Ham Soup by my favourite health and wellbeing blogger, Alice Nicholls. Enjoy!

pea & Ham soup
Soul Music

I would like to share this track by Slumber Jack. It’s a reminder not to be afraid anymore, plus it has a pretty sweet baseline! So rock your socks off!


Soul Sisters

I would love to share Michelle’s post Sunrise Sermon: Safe in His Arms. It is in keeping with today’s theme of counting our blessings and focusing on what’s right, rather than what’s wrong. Do head over for an inspirational read.

Wishing you all an abundant Sunday.

In love and light,

Hayley xx

Trust In Yourself

trust in yourself
Self-doubt. We all experience it. We’ve all succumbed to that nagging voice of, “I’m not good enough, worthy enough, deserving enough… Who am I to shine? Why would anyone listen to me? I’ll just play small rather than make a fool of myself….”

But as Marianne Williamson reminds us:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?’

– Marianne Williamson

Last week I threw caution to the wind and created a video entry for the Writers Workshop Sydney competition, where I’ll have the opportunity to submit a book proposal if I receive enough votes to attend. I waited two weeks before uploading a video. I was stunted by self-doubt. Some of the thoughts that ran through my head were:

“There are some entries who already have 500 votes…I don’t even have 500 followers! How will I ever obtain that many votes?”

“I entered the competition last year online and my book wasn’t selected then, why would it be selected this time?”

“You’re going to look very silly, Hayley…just leave it up to those who can do it well…”

“I’ve entered far too late anyway, the competition has been running for two weeks, I should have done it at the start…Too late. Why bother?”

I had to dig deep. I had to silence that nagging voice of self-doubt. I had to trust in myself. Every ounce of my being tells me: “Hayley, you came here to teach, and to write. And if it doesn’t happen this time, it will happen at the right time. Keep the faith.”

Our dreams come from the same Divine energy that created us. Our dreams are real. We must trust in ourselves, and go after them. Whatever your wish, whatever you feel called upon to do – throw caution to the wind and go for it. It’s ok to be vulnerable. It’s ok to fail. But don’t let fear of failure or judgement get in the way of your dreams.

Here’s to believing in yourself and going after your dreams. Trust in yourself and know that when you do, ‘you are trusting in the same wisdom that created you.’ – Wayne Dyer.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

If you would like to vote for my video entry and support me on my writing journey, click on the link here. You can click on the word ‘VOTE’, find my video (Hayley) and click on the heart below my video to place your vote. Your support means the world to me xx 

 

 

Soulful Sundays #19: Cease Control

birds-of-worry-and-care

Welcome to my nineteenth 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

Worry stems from the feeling of not being in control. There are plenty of times in life when we are called upon to take charge, but worrying about external circumstances that are out of our control is not one of them.

Countless triggers can send our anxiety levels into overdrive; sudden change, overwhelm and stress, a comment or remark, unexpected adversity, an upcoming event, the health and well-being of a loved one, the results of something dear to us…the list is endless. However, we cannot control what others might or might not think of us, or what may or may never happen, nor need we try. We will only exhaust ourselves in our efforts. But we can control the way we respond to life’s setbacks and uncertainties.

At best, we can breathe and remain calm. I find the best place to go whenever I am feeling at a loss or overwhelmed, is within. Whether through meditation, yoga, prayer, time spent in nature, or through simple moments of solitude – in stillness we discover the peace and answers we seek.

Today, be still. Take a step back and allow things to unfold as nature planned. Refrain from the need to resist or control outcomes. Instead, listen to that quiet voice of intuition within. It is there to guide you, so keep the faith and trust that everything will be ok. Because ‘that the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.’ Know that the universe has your back and will never throw anything your way that you cannot handle. You’ve got this.

Soul Strolls 

As I headed out for my walk this evening I spotted these beauties in my front garden. So blessed to be surrounded by such beauty.

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Soul Food

This week I made this tasty Scrambled Veggie & Tofu Spaghetti. It tasted amazing and was ready in just ten minutes! My kind of meal!

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Soul Music

Today I am sharing this version of Make You Feel My Love by Sleeping At Last. We are each of us loved by a loving universe. God is always there for us every step of the way. Keep the faith.


Soul Sisters

I am sharing On Your Knees by Michelle over at Two Are Better Than One. Her beautiful words are in perfect keeping with today’s theme of keeping the faith even when life brings us to our knees. Head on over and have a read.

Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday free from the birds of worry,

In love & light,

Hayley xx

The Time is Now

to-everything-there-is-a-purpose
Nothing is promised. Not even time. The only thing we ever really have is Now – this moment. This may account for all of the grasping and scrambling and frantic worrying we do in our lives. We fear we have no time. But that never serves to get us ahead. Quite the opposite. It only robs us of the only time we’ll ever have – the present.

When we try to do or have it all at once, we soon lose momentum. So take your time and breathe. It is what we do Now that counts. How fully immersed are we in this moment? When out having coffee with friend, are we delighting in the exchange or thinking of the lawns that need mowing at home?  When we are mowing the lawns, are we savouring the scent of the freshly cut grass or wishing we were out having a coffee with a friend?  Too often we are distracted from what we are doing and wishing our time away on thoughts of next next next.

Slow down. Know that you have time. Trust that it is alright to advance towards your dreams at a gentler pace, that supportive doors will open for you when you surrender control to what is. Let go. Refrain from trying to control outcomes or attempting to do everything at once. Instead, choose one thing to do and do it well. Yes – it is important we dedicate time to working on our dreams, yet we must also balance this with time for play and laughter, alone time, as well as time spent with loved ones and friends.

Today, breathe and enjoy the moment. Have faith that there is ‘a time to every purpose under the heaven.’

In love & light,

Hayley xx

 

 

A Leap of Faith

 

there-are-hazards-in-anything-one-does
There are many of us stunted by fear – fear of the unknown; fear of failure; fear of succeeding; fear of fear itself! The overwhelming ‘What if’s?’ leave us paralysed, unfulfilled and miserable.  We even try to convince ourselves that ‘now is not the time’, or ‘that ship has already sailed’, or ‘somebody else has already sung it, wrote it, created, pioneered or mastered it.’ And maybe they have! But nobody has ever done it quite like you…

It doesn’t matter how many greats have come before us; or how long we have to imitate before we innovate; because whatever it is we are trying to achieve – we will be adding our own unique flavour and special spark. If you have a calling to do something, yet are allowing fear to stand between you and your dreams – then you risk a lifetime of discontent. For the risks of ignoring the whispers of your heart far outweigh any embarrassment of failure that may come your way.

Honour your dreams. Honour your soul. Don’t allow fear to hold you back any longer. Because yes – ‘there are hazards in anything one does, but there are greater hazards in doing nothing.’

Today, may we take a leap of faith. Let us remember that taking risks is fun, that FAIL simply stands for First Attempt In Learning, and that nobody does it quite like we do!

In Love & Light

Hayley xx