Soulful Sundays #8: The Dash

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Welcome to my 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

Happy Sunday to you all. Today I thought I would share this thought-provoking poem, The Dash Poem, which I heard read aloud recently at my local Toastmasters club. It was such a simple and moving truth that I wanted to share it with you in case you have yet to hear it. For copyright purposes, the Author Linda Ellis asks that the poem not be copied or reproduced, rather, a link shared back to her site. So if you’d like to read the poem (and I encourage you to do so), then just click here! It certainly made me think of how I would like to spend the remaining ‘dash’ in my years.

Soul Strolls

Along my soulful strolling this week I snapped this Chinese Cherry Blossom. So beautiful to see so many colourful flowers in bloom. Spring is officially my favourite time of year…

chinese-cherry-bloosom
Soul Food

Today I am sharing these Raw Caramel Slice Bites by Becomingness. They look delightful, plus I’m all about treats that don’t necessarily result in a ‘cheat’. I’ll certainly be trying these – will you?

raw-caramel-slice-bites

Soul Sounds

Today I am sharing The Writer by Sleeping at Last. I am sharing this track which I have listened to daily, because it has uplifted me whilst preparing for my book proposal, the submission date of which is due on Christmas Eve. As part of a Writers Workshop that I purchased last year, there is an magical opportunity to enter a competition to win a book publishing contract with the one and only leaders in the self-help genre, Hay House.  Yes – I know! Excited much? So when the stars align, you could be one of the first to hear of me fulfilling my lifelong dream of becoming an author! You have to believe it before you see it, right? 😉 And since you too are all passionate writers, I thought I’d share the love with this inspirational track!


Soul Sisters

And whilst on the subject of writing, I though I’d share a fellow writers book launch over at Watching The Daisies. This looks like a wonderful memoir, and not dissimilar to the message I portray in my daybook of living in the present moment. I believe that the message of slowing down and mindful living is one that can truly transform our lives, so the more people who can remind us of this, the better! So please do head over to Brigid P. Gallagher’s blog and support her in her inspiring work!

In love and light,

Hayley xx

Soul Sundays #5: Now or Never

fullsizerender

Welcome to my 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

This week has been a little tough. I have felt overwhelmed. Pulled in different directions. I have been frustrated and blocked creatively.

So easily our vision is pulled from the Now. We are interrupted, or become distracted; and not always by another well meaning person, often it can be our own self-sabotaging thoughts that intrude on our peace and sacred space. Despite our best efforts and intentions, if we listen to the voice of procrastination for too long, doubt begins to set in. Or we lose focus entirely, abandoning our project on the grounds that ‘now is not a good time to be creative.’ But Now is the only time.

Who are we kidding when we tell ourselves that we’ll work on it ‘later’ or ‘tomorrow’ or when we have ‘more time’ and the ‘conditions are ripe’?

Every time we tell our selves this – we are ‘cock-blocking’ creativity. And as vulgar as that may sound to some, that is the reality of how vulgar, intrusive and pervasive our self-sabotaging thoughts can be. The endless cycle of perfectionism and procrastination kills creativity and stops it in it’s tracks before it even has chance to gain some forward momentum.

So my advice is to simply begin. Regardless of the conditions, take action. Because worse than a blocked creator, is a frustrated one. And the only way to become unblocked is to oil the instrument and put it in motion.   It doesn’t matter if it’s not great, at least it is something. And so last night, as the rain poured, I penned this little poem. And today, the sun made her appearance.

Rain kisses earth,
Cleansing dense energy.
As energy outside shifts,
Souls inside create their lists.

Sun embraces land,
Birthing new ideas.
As inspiration takes form,
Hearts grow warm; their souls reborn.

Soul Food

Another simple yet tasty dish to share today. When I feel overwhelmed, it’s important I prepare foods that are healthy and simple and quick to prepare. Otherwise, I find myself reaching for ‘quick fixes’ and foods that inflame my body. So here’s a quick Chickpea & Tepenade Salad that is both filling and delicious.

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Soul Sounds

I play this meditation track to the children I teach during their relaxation. It is soothing and speaks to the soul. A breath of stillness is certainly what I have needed this week, and so I though I would send a Breath of Stillness your way to soothe your Sunday.

Soulful Strolls

When the sun made an appearance this afternoon, I took advantage and went for a stroll. It was just what I needed to let go of some of the frustrations and blockages that have been holding me back. I captured these beautiful roses in full bloom.

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yellow-rose

Soul Sisters

Today I am sharing Michelle’s post from Two Are Better Than One, titled You Can’t Hide. Since I often go walking to clear my head and meet with the ‘hopeful whispers’ of encouragement, I resonated a lot. Mosey on over and have a read! I’m sure you’ll find some inspiration on Michelle’s blog too!

In love and presence,

Hayley xx

Soul Sundays #4: The Fear of God

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Peace be with you on this rainy Melbourne evening. 

Welcome to my 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 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

I watched Martin Sheen in an interview last month, and this sentence that he said in the above quote struck a chord. Many people shy away at the mention of God. I know, because I used to be one of those people myself. And with messages such as this featured on the building below, which I snapped whilst out walking the other day, is it any wonder that people fear and reject God?

sin

And whilst I have nothing against anyone’s personal beliefs, I do believe that it is possible to believe in God without being tethered to Christianity or religion. For me, God is Love. God is the life force that runs through every thing and every one, connecting us all to our true essence. The Oneness that is our very nature. I have no image of Him. I only feel His presence.

Soul Food

Since the Northern hemisphere are moving into colder weather, and Melbourne is experiencing a lot of rain this evening, I thought I’d share one of my favourite winter salads. This is great as a side dish or served on it’s own. It’s full of flavour and a perfect way to start your week feeling good.

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Soul Sounds

Fleetwood Mac came on in the car whilst I was driving the other day. I’d forgotten how much I love this song. So I thought I’d remind you all of what a great track Everywhere is.

Soulful Strolls

I caught this beauty whilst walking at sunset the other day. Beauty really does surround us everywhere if we simply pay attention. I don’t no where I’d be without my nature walks.

pink-flower

Soul Sisters

In keeping with the theme of God, I wanted to share this post from Nina over at The Happy Life 101. Nina never fails to spread a little happiness to others, and this post that she shared reminded me of what God IS. He does not judge, He simply wants for His children to be happy and at peace. I will include the video that Nina shared below, and I urge you to visit her blog for a slice of joy!

Soulful Sundays #3: Soul Chocolate

elimination-of-the-non-essentials

Happy Sunday all!

Welcome to my 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 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

Lin Yuntang’s quote reminds us of the importance of an ‘Elimination List’. Many of us have endless ‘To Do’ lists, some so long that it would take us a lifetime to complete. And yet, we wonder why we have so little time to spend on the things that are most dear to us. Most of the time, we are focusing our energy on the wrong things. Often, we are so caught up in the doing that we spend little time just being. When we are gifted a moment to simply be, we squander our precious time on mindless activities; on ‘non-essentials’ that lack purpose, genuine fulfillment, or that fail to provide a return on investment.freedom

In creating an elimination list, we can be honest about where are time goes and eliminate the things that no longer serve us. In the same way that we would regularly check in with our To Do list, it pays to regularly read our Elimination List to ensure familiar behaviour patterns and habits don’t creep up on us again.

Here is an example of an Elimination List. (This is my actual Elimination List written over two months ago.) I manage to comply with it 90% of the time. The only time I falter, is when I neglect to read over it each day.

  • gluten
  • refined sugars
  • checking emails first thing in the morning
  • social networking throughout the day
  • saying ‘yes’ when I mean ‘no’
  • becoming easily offended or defensive
  • being easily dragged in to mindless arguments and drama

Of course, your list may look very different to mine. And, like anything, our lists will evolve over time. But it is good practice to make journalling a part of your morning and evening routine, to instil healthy habits of a lifetime, and to eliminate those that no longer serve you on your path.

Soul Food

Whilst it is wise for us to eliminate refined sugars from our diet, that doesn’t mean that we must give up delicious desserts altogether! Thankfully, Mother Nature provides us with natural sweeteners that, once discovered, put those nasty processed puddings to shame and provide us with a healthy does of rich nutrients. And did I mention that they taste freakin’ amazing?  Try my Chocolate Chia Pudding, which is fast, simple and good for you!

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Soul Sounds

This week I am loving Dreamer Lounge by Estelle Blanca on Spotify. It is such a powerful track to meditate too. Check it out!

Soulful Strolls

I love Lavender. The scent, the colour, the bees it attracts. Since it is Spring here in Melbourne, and my lavender plant has yet to flower, I took to the streets and snapped this bee collecting honey on it’s daily round.

lavender

Soul Sisters

Today I’d like to share this beautiful post by Mfon over at Dainty M titled Extreme. Mfon reminds us of the powerful way in which God speaks to us, often in extreme ways. When we ignore the silent whispers, sometimes he goes to extremes in order to get our attention. You can check out this bright young voice here.

Stay blessed,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sundays #2: A Slice of Life

pick-yourself-up

Happy Sunday all!

Welcome to my 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

We can, at times, feel like leaves in the wind, being tossed and turned with little control over which direction we’re headed. Many of us struggle with the concept of surrendering to an invisible, all-knowing force, let alone trust in it’s ability to bring everything into Divine order. Yet, when we trust in Spirit’s will, we can be sure that the Universe will take care of us and make certain of our safe landing, and in the gentlest way possible. Our work is to surrender and give up the struggle, to allow life to unfold as nature planned, and with the utmost faith that the Universe is operating for our highest good.leaf-in-wind

Like a leaf, I have felt a little tossed around this week. I had a melt down mid-week and cried. And on Friday I blew off some steam.

A healthy body supports a healthy mind (which is why I have decided to have a sober October this month!) This weekend I remembered why I don’t go out partying anymore! These days, on the odd occasion that I do indulge, I tend to stick to 1-2 glasses of red wine. I cannot bear the feeling of a hangover, so when I forgot my limits on Friday, I woke up feeling like my world had ended. My usual optimistic self was an emotional wreck, I felt sorry for myself. I basically self-punished. As if I hadn’t already done enough damage to my body – now I was going to beat myself up in the process?!

Feeling exhausted, I asked for help. I asked for a miracle. I knew I had to keep the faith. And just as quickly as everything had come tumbling down mid-week, it was rectified. On Saturday I got that phone call to bring about the good news I had been hoping for all week. And not only did the situation come right, but it far exceeded my expectations.

When the world around seems to tumble and fall, it is simply making way for the new. Keep the faith. Don’t be afraid to call for a miracle. Spirit loves you and wants you to be happy. The Universe would never throw anything at you that you cannot handle. You will always grow from any experience seemingly too hard to bear; and when the dark clouds part, the light will shine to guide your way.

Soul Food

In my bid to feel healthy again, I made another batch of these deliciously tasty (yet good for you) slices! The full recipe can be found on my website by clicking here.

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Soul Sounds

In my rather tipsy state on Friday, I recall singing at the top of my lungs to Where is the Love in the taxi ride home! Oh. Dear. The taxi driver was extremely amused as my boyfriend sunk lower into his seat in embarrassment. Haha – Cringe!


I also meditated to a track called Leaf In The Wind by Izumi Tanaka. I couldn’t find it on YouTube but it is available on Spotify. A beautiful piece which inspired today’s post about fallen leaves.

Soulful Strolls

Despite feeling rough as nuts – I still managed to revive myself in nature. Here’s a little beauty from my Sunday stroll. Nature heals, nature revives, nature soothes the soul.

flower

Soul Sisters

Since I resonated with this post so much today, I would like to share it. Brittany blogs at Ordinarily Extraordinary Mom, where she reminds us that everyone lives an imperfectly perfect life. Her post is a timely reminder that often, the Beauty is IN the Broken.

Stay blessed,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sundays #1: Stew & Strolls

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Happy Sunday all.

I have wanted to share a weekly feature called ‘Soulful Sundays’ for a while. 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.

Each Sunday, I will post a roundup of soulful reflections to share, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them. Let’s begin shall we?

Soul Food

We all love a little food for the soul. I love to cook, and I especially enjoy cooking tasty foods that nurture our body’s wellbeing. Growing up as a junk food kid – I have finally come to appreciate loving meals that heal and Mother Nature’s medicine. My Mum will have no problems in me divulging her culinary disasters that we had to endure as children. Thankfully, I have evolved enough from my boxed food munching days to be able to share some delicious (and nutritious) recipes with you. Like this Hearty Lentil Curry Stew I discovered and recreated. You can find the full recipe on my website, here.

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It is a favourite with my partner and my guests. And the best part about it, is that it’s incredibly easy to prepare and is mouthwateringly tasty! A one pot stew for all the family to enjoy.

Soul Sounds

I have yet to discover how to embed music files here. So for now – it will be YouTube videos I’m afraid. But this track can be found on Spotify also. When I first heard this song, it brought tears to my eyes. In fact, if I’m totally honest, it made me cry. I was listening to it whilst meditating alone in my room and was struck with an overwhelming mixture of emotions. And then, I did something extremely odd, I stood up in the middle of my room and began to dance to it with tears streaming down my face! haha What a picture I was.

I don’t have such an overwhelming reaction to hearing this song anymore, but I do feel lots of hope and joy when I hear it, and I play it most days. Ironically, the song is called Her Joy Is Complete by Sleeping At Last.


Soul Strolls

It’s Springtime here in Melbourne, Australia and I have been out flower-stalking (as usual!) I love connecting with nature – so I will share this little beauty that I snapped along my stroll.

spring-flower

Soul Sisters

And lastly, I would like to share two beautiful posts that struck a chord for me this week.

The first was by Miriam over at Out an’ About, where she showcases the wonderful impact and beauty that humans can make when they collaborate and come together.

The second was written by the ever heartwarming reflections of a teacher over at A Teacher’s Reflections, where she shares her wonderful encounter with her young students as they enjoy the classic children’s story, Charlotte’s Web. 

What is soothing your soul this Sunday?

Warm wishes,

Hayley xx

The Changing of The Seasons

A photo by Autumn Mott. unsplash.com/photos/SPd9CSoWCkY

The first day of September, the beginning of a new season. And with every new season there comes change.

If you are in the Northern hemisphere, Autumn is upon you. A time when the trees begin to shed their outgrown leaves. A time when, you too, can turn over a new leaf. Despite this shedding of the past, the ground is decorated in rich reds, yellows, oranges and greens. The path before you is colourful. So take a walk. Breath in the crisp Autumn air as you step into this season of release. A season for laying new foundations.

If you are in the Southern hemisphere, today marks the first day of Spring. Spring is a time for growth and renewal, as you emerge from the season of hibernation. The days are becoming longer; flowers bloom and burst with colour; fresh pinks and yellows and blues. Consider the freshness of Spring. What life do you wish to breathe into this season of growth?  A season for new beginnings and expansion.

As sure as the tides ebb and flow, with every season there comes change.

spring