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

Eternal Bond

never truly lost

Forever Young you shall be. Forever in our hearts you shall remain. I wrote this song for you a few years ago and my good friends Samuel Jones, Ben Jones, and Christopher Roach breathed eternal life into it… And for that I am forever grateful.

Happy 60th birthday Dad xx

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So short lived were my chocolate raisin days
The only thing I have now are the memories of your ways
No more bear hugs, no more Match Box cars today
I’m holding on tight cause this doesn’t feel right
Don’t let this slip away
 
Cause I will never forget you
Your with me in everything I do
My smiles a reflection of you
I live my life through you because it’s all I can do
Your my parachute
 
Your brief time here, it was rocky it was rough
Never said you were giving up, my gentle giant was too tough
No need for fast cars, brief cases or expensive suits
Your love was just enough and your love was all for us
Don’t let this slip away
 
Your descent upon this material world
It was oh so brief, I was left in disbelief
I had to stop being Daddy’s girl
Your courage was reborn deep in my heart
The realisation that from you I shall never part
I’m letting go because I know I must grow
But you’ll always remain forever young
 
Cause I will never forget you
Your with me in everything I do
My smiles a reflection of you
I live my life through you because it’s all I can do
Your my parachute
 
My king of hearts has flown
But I’m willing to take the thrown
To your legacy I live
And I’ll give as you’d give
 
My parachute. My strength. My breath, my parachute. The reason I’m living so free…
 

The Gift of Sight

two gifts
When I said goodbye to Dad for the last time, there’s one lesson I learnt – life is fleeting.

With the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, along with the many other lives lost each day around the globe, we are reminded to hug our loved ones.

Forgive quickly, love passionately, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is too precious, too fragile, too fleeting to hold grudges, to love cautiously and to squander our days dreaming instead of doing.

Be willing to let go. Don’t be afraid to say “I love you…” you never know when it will be your last. See life for what it is, a gift. Live courageously. Laugh often (and loudly!) Spread joy. Be the untethered force of light that you are. There’s no need to live every day like it is your last… Choose instead, to live every day like it is your first… With a sense of childlike wonder, rapture and appreciation. Give thanks for the two gifts that you opened today – your eyes.

For today is another day you get to live.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #28: Love Is Stronger Than Hate

Welcome to my twenty-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

Heaven knows we need love now more than ever. In a world pervasive in deep depression and anxiety; stress and disease, separation, hostility and confusion – it is time we listened to our hearts, time for us to acknowledge the deeper yearnings and whisperings of our soul. It is time we became whole again.

With the recent terror attack claiming 22 lives in my home city of Manchester, I can’t help but feel our world can, at times, feel so fragmented. So senseless an act which claimed those innocent lives. So much sorrow those family’s affected will surely endure. Yet in spite of this, I refuse to believe we live in a hostile Universe. Manchester has shown much love during hostile times. And this is what I choose to focus on – the love, not the hate.

I believe that, if we all discovered authentic love and connection that the world would not only survive, but thrive.
‘The universities of the future will do one thing we do not do today. They will teach the art of self-discovery. There is nothing more fundamental in life.’
– Ben Okri
As a Teacher of Mindfulness and Yoga for children, I visit multiple schools each term across Victoria, Melbourne. Throughout my teaching career, I have recognized the student’s parents and teachers crave simplicity and stability as much as their young ones, often (apologetically) participating in my sessions to surrender their busy lives to a moment of pure peace.
‘If every eight year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.’
– Dalai Lama

Only with full hearts, can we bestow our loving gifts upon the world and shine our light upon those we love. I wish to bring more love and light to the world. Please support my journey towards spreading more love and connection; heaven knows we need it during these times of upheaval.

It is my wish to give something positive back to Manchester.

There is an opportunity to learn from the pioneers of spiritual healing by attending the Hay House Writers workshop in Sydney, where I’d have the incredible opportunity to submit a book proposal – a beautiful meditative Daybook of soul connection and hope in times of struggle. It teaches women to live by their own light, and by extension, their young ones and families. However, I cannot do this alone. I need YOUR help.

I have three days to try and push my votes above 565. I am currently sitting at 35 votes… So please VOTE, share, and spread the light. Thank you to those who have already supported me on this journey. My heart is so full of gratitude for each and every one of you. I am completely overwhelmed by the kindness shown from friends old and new and the connections I have made here in our online community of like-minded individuals and writers.
Your support means the world to me.
Let’s do this for Manchester. Let’s do this for my beautiful city. Let’s do this because the world needs more hope, more connection and more LOVE. You can vote here! Just click on ‘vote’, find my video (Hayley) and click on the love heart underneath! Thank you in advance ❤
Soul Strolls

Nature heals. This weekend I felt I needed just that, some time spent in Mother Nature and some energy healing. So we drove two hours out of Melbourne to join up friends who were camping at Cathedral Ranges. We enjoyed a beautiful climb up the mountain and some yummy food around the camp fire. 
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The view from a rock we stopped to perch on halfway up


Soul Food
It’s a rather cold and wet day here in Melbourne, so I thought I’d share my Chunky Chickpea & Sweet Potato Soup for those who may have missed it. It will warm your tum on a chilly day like today. Enjoy!
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Soul Music
I am sharing Don’t Look Back In Anger by Manchester’s legendary rock and rollers, Oasis. Crowds sung this song recently for those lives that were taken too soon, and so I’d like to share the song here today as a reminder for us to avoid looking back in anger; love is stronger than hate.

Soul Sisters
Today, I’d like to share a post titled Releasing The Little Person Within by Di over at Matters For The Heart. A beautiful, poignant reminder for us to make peace with our inner child. I urge you to head over for a read of Di’s blog where she shares beautiful matters of the heart which resonate at a soul level.
I wish you all a peaceful Sunday.
In love and light,
Hayley xx

I Love You Because…


It’s been 12 years today since my bear hugs were taken away… There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to capture how greatly you are missed. But on this day I’d like to remind you of how much you are loved…

Dad, I love you because…

…you would walk us around on your feet as little girls.

…you would shine a spotlight on us as we danced around the living room.

…you never complained about your stroke or your epilepsy, even though the seizures frightened you.

…you made us smile and laugh daily with your unpredictable humour.

…you were the most selfless human being I’ve ever met and would spend your last £5 on chocolate raisins, Beano magazines and Matchbox cars for us.

…you lived with 3 feisty females and never lashed out physically or verbally once – you’d always walk away when angry.

…you gave the best bear hugs ever.

…you cared and worried about our safety.

…you surprised us with cups of teas and Garfield The Cat inspired butties in the mornings and always made them with a smile.

…you weren’t afraid to show your emotions.

Because of a million other reasons I never had the chance to say to you – but mostly, because you’re my Dad…

My love for you is infinitely endless. I love and miss you so so much. Thank you for being my guide.

Loving you always – forgetting you never 💙 xx

Gentle Strength

nothing-is-so-strong-as-gentleness-nothing-a-gentle-as-real-strength
I believe it takes a strong person to be gentle. There is a benign strength that exists in the tenderhearted.

I am forever grateful to have been blessed with a compassionate father figure. However brief our time together was, the lessons and blessings remain infinitely eternal. He was known as our gentle giant. All six foot two inches of him was benevolent and kind. Despite living with epilepsy, and four feisty females, he never once wavered from love and compassion. Dad’s inner strength has remained a guiding light for right action in my own life. I don’t always get it right, but I certainly do try.

Where and when can we practice gentleness in our own lives? One of my favourite quotes by the Dalai Lama states:

‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’

It takes strength and courage to choose kindness; to be humble when faced with adversity; to consider the needs of others when our own are not being met, and to be vulnerable when our hearts are on the line. But when we are guided by the part of us that is honest, good-natured and true, we remind others that it is safe to do the same.

Today, find the strength to be gentle. May our thoughts be forgiving and merciful, may our words inspire and uplift, and may our actions show compassion and empathy in all circumstances – towards others as well as ourselves. Because ‘nothing is so strong as gentleness; nothing so gentle as real strength.’

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #14: Perspective

because-when-you-stop-and-look-around-this-life-is-pretty-amazing

Welcome to my fourteenth 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 have been experiencing a lot of change in my life recently. My partner and I of six years have decided to go our separate ways. Letting go is never easy, but I have managed to reach a place of acceptance and peace, despite my world being so uncertain right now.

Adversity affects us all in varying degrees. It may come knocking on our door uninvited, or if we are lucky, at least with some prior warning so that we can prepare ourselves. But when adversity does hit, we may not feel ready to face the changes that are upon us. Life becomes uncertain. We become caught in a whirlwind of emotions as we are swept off our feet and carried by the winds of change. The best we can do in this instance is to go with it. To trust that we will land safely on the other side.

Change is inevitable. Change allows for growth and expansion. It is in our darkest moments that we often discover our light; our inner strength and commitment to oneself. Whether that commitment is to heal; to learn; to accept; or to be kinder to ourselves as well as others, change commands for us to dig deep and seek the light of Truth. To shift our perspective from one of anger, pain and blame, to one of peaceful acceptance and awareness.

Whatever troubles you are facing in your life right now, be kind to yourself. Be honest with yourself and others. What do you need right now? Quiet space? Welcome distraction? Time to heal? Support and assistance? Adversity is never easy. But there is always something beautiful waiting on the other side. Focus on what’s right, instead of what’s wrong. Search for the good. Seek beauty, freedom, clarity and joy. Have faith that all will come right. And do what makes your soul happy; ‘because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.’

Soul Strolls 

Walking has been helping me to work through the changes in my life right now. Spending time in nature brings clarity, space and freedom from obsessive thinking. I snapped these beautiful blue flowers the other day. I was feeling blue, but seeing the vibrant blue of these flowers reminded me that the colour blue is also associated with beauty.

blue-flowers

Soul Food

I haven’t felt like cooking much and have been keeping life simple with salads and smoothies. So I thought I’d share this delicious Chocolate Avocado Smoothie smoothie recipe from Kris Carr. Because chocolate just makes me happy 🙂

chocolate-avocado1

Soul Sounds

Today I am sharing Coldplay’s Beautiful World. A reminder that we live in a beautiful world, however tough times get.

Soul Sisters

Today, I am also sharing this simple, resonating poem titled Wasted by Chole In To Diamonds. It resonated with me so much when I read it and so I thought I’d share it in today’s Soulful Sunday post.

Have a peaceful Sunday all,

In love and light,

Hayley xx