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. 
FullSizeRender (5)

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!
soup-resize

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

Let There Be Love

love-knows-not-its-own-depths

As we approach the close of 2016, we reach a stage when self-reflection is inevitable, especially if we are to live a life of purpose and peaceful fulfillment.  And we can start with the essential vibe of love.

Have we loved enough; ourselves as well as others? Who have we taken for granted? Are there any unhealed hurts left unresolved? Is there someone we have neglected or forgotten to express our love and appreciation for? Let us not be idle in thinking that they already know.

When I lost my Dad without warning, there were a million things left unsaid. Expressions of love and gratitude I assumed he knew and never had the chance to say to him. Don’t let yourself be that person who only knows the depth of your love at the hour of separation.

Here’s my wish for myself and you in 2017… Let us express more love; may we appreciate those we often take for granted; let us forgive easily and love passionately; may we live a life free from regrets; may love flow easily and often.

In love and light,

Hayley xx

Open Hearts

even-after-all-his-time-the-sun-never-says-to-the-earth-you-owe-me-personal-development-quote.jpg

There are times when our hearts become closed. Just like tender skin that has come into contact with a hot stove; we contract and recoil from the pain. Our body’s defence mechanisms are designed to protect us from further discomfort; if we fail to withdraw, we risk severe burns, or worse still – death. Our natural reaction, therefore, is to retreat.

But what happens when we remain constricted, when we close our hearts through fear of ‘getting burnt’? When we build a wall of protection around us, we cut off the natural flow of love. Not only do we prevent ourselves from giving love, but we also restrict our ability to receive love. What is called for is not complete constriction, but caution; which is simply another word for ‘attention’, or ‘awareness’.

Just as the stove does not purposely set out to burn our skin, it is not usually another’s intent to inflict harm upon us (with the rare exception under extreme circumstances, of course). But more often than not, we get hurt because there was some degree of carelessness involved. Our own carelessness or that of another. Maybe the heat was turned too high and the pot had reached boiling point? Could it be that we rushed in impatiently, or approached at the wrong angle? Maybe we neglected the stove completely and a fire broke lose? Whatever our reasons for getting burnt, regardless of who was to blame, the affects need not result in the permanent closing down of our kitchens. And the same is true of our hearts.

When we remain open, we choose expansion over constriction. The doors are set ajar for love to drift through once more, filling our hearts with the sweet aroma and comfort of joy. To close our hearts is to take a pillow to our souls and smother our very essence. At the core we are love. And to restrict that life force within us is a slow death for fettered hearts. That is not to say that if you are dealing with a hazardous or faulty stove that you shouldn’t replace it, because your safety and wellbeing is paramount. But what I am saying, is that there is no need to stop cooking, to stop loving, to shut up shop and starve.

It is ok to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. We need only exercise more care and attention, that’s all. But what if I am hopeless in the kitchen? – you may ask. As a child raised on boxed food and packet noodles in working class Tameside, I reply: cooking takes practice and patience. We don’t always get it right. Sometimes it leaves our kitchens in complete disarray, or an unpleasant taste in our mouths which can linger –  but when we do manage to create something wonderful, nothing compares to the pleasure and comfort of a sumptuous home cooked meal, prepared with tender loving care.

Those are the ones that warm our hearts, soothe our souls and ‘light the whole sky.’ That, my Dear, is a love that tastes simply divine.