Soulful Sundays #7: Mindful Craft


whatever-makes-your-soul-happy

Welcome to my seventh 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 I have focused on living more mindfully. It’s ironic that I teach children yoga and mindfulness, yet often, within moments of leaving school my mind begins to race again with the smallest of distractions. It’s not that I don’t know how to live mindfully, just that at times it’s so easy to forget.

So I have been connecting with my breath more whenever I notice my thoughts slip into auto pilot; I must reply to Tanya, I must remember to pick up lentils and potatoes, when is my hair appointment again? And breathe. Now isn’t this a wonderful day? Look how that butterfly flits around my midriff as though weaving an invisible outfit upon me… Maybe it’s sprinkling invisible glitter bliss balls on me. There. Now doesn’t that feel better? 😉

I wrote a list of 20 things I love to do. Surprising how many I had neglected. I suggest you try it too. Then make a promise to do one thing of those things off that list each week. One thing on my list which I had neglected was crafting, so whilst out (purchasing my lentils and potatoes) hehe I stopped in at Kikki K to pick up a new journal and treated myself to some inspirational quotes. And then I remembered the jars I had collected and stored in my kitchen cupboards. So when I got home, I dismissed checking my emails, switched off my phone and got crafty. I even said out loud: “I’m having so much fun!” So cheesy I know, but it was true. I felt so happy enjoying this simple pleasure. This week – whatever makes your soul happy, do that.


Soul Strolls 

I love lavender, as I have probably mentioned before. I use lavender oils daily and the scent is one I find calming and comforting. So when I passed my favourite corner on my daily walk, I was pleased to see that the red roses were in full bloom, creating a striking blood red contrast with the subtle lilacs of the lavender plant. Both plants reminded me of home in England, and brought a smile to my face.

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Soul Food

This week I am sharing my guilt free Blueberry & Oat Biscuits. I baked these for our camping trip last weekend and they were met with orgasmic Ummm ‘s and Ahhh’s of approval all round. If you love a good dunking biscuit without the refined sugars, then give these biccies a try. You wont regret it!

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Soul Sounds

Today I am sharing a lovely little track from one of my favourite soundtracks Many Beautiful Things. This song is called Meeting Lillias. It is short, but oh so very sweet.

Soul Sister’s

Today I am sharing a very apt post by one of my favourite writers here on WordPress, Miriam from Out n About. Miriam’s post is very fitting for this weeks focus on mindful living. Looking Up In November is a beautiful reminder  for us to look up and keep our eyes to the skies.

In love and light,

Hayley xx

Operation Affirmation Frustration

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Some people go into panic mode when they realise the power of their emotions. They attempt to tie a noose around their negative thoughts and walk around affirming positive statements that simply aren’t true yet.

I am not denying that affirmations are a powerful and effective tool for manifestation; because they are and that is why I use them myself and encourage others to do so. However, I am suggesting that we choose our affirmations carefully. If we affirm something that is too far from our current personal reality, this may lead to further frustration. If there is too great a discord between where we are and where we’d like to be in our affirmative statement, then our good intentions could, in fact, have the opposite effect and lead to blocks.

For example, it’s no use saying ‘I am slender’ on days when we feel like a beached whale. That statement will only remind us of what we are not (yet) feeling. And it’s a sure fire way to have us running for the spoon and jar of peanut butter! (Or is that just me???) peanut-butter-meme-700x700So on days when our self esteem and joy are somewhat waning, rather than attempt to bridge an impossible gap, it is much more effective to reach for thoughts and feelings that improve our current state of mind. This is usually something closer within our reach, for example; I feed my body with foods that help it thrive. I love my workouts once I get going. I know that my body is capable of reaching a healthy weight if I allow it to. I am progressing towards a healthy body. My next meal will be healthy and nutritious. There are parts of my body which I love. I am further along than I think. From here, we are able to build some positive momentum. These statements are achievable now. We can take action.

You see, it is not what we say, but how we feel when we say it. So if we are affirming that we are sexy hot like Beyonce Knowles, but feeling like we are sexy NOT like Princess Fiona, beyonce-knowles-and-shrekthen the only emotions we are emitting to the ethers are those of lack, inadequacy, frustration, and disappointment. It is much more powerful to reach for something that makes us feel better NOW! (And no – that does not include the Haagan Daaz Cookies and Cream ice-cream!) That’s a temporary feel good! Trust me – I know… 😉 It means reaching for an honest thought or feeling that allows us to feel vibrationally aligned again in this moment.

Once we feel empowered again, then we can embrace the more assertive ‘I Am’ present moment affirmations – such as I Am *insert desire of choice*
eg. tall dark and handsome/in possession of the job I seek/the shizzle McNizzle!

If we affirm these statements whilst feeling good, then guuuuuurl you are all that and more! (And you fellas!) Heh hem – all this Beyonce talk has got me feeling like Beyonce! Maybe this whole post was wrong after all? And all we gotta do is fake it till we make it?! 😉

Happy Friday loveables! And remember – you are beautiful – Beyonce bootay or not!

Word.

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The Magic in The Mundane

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I often wonder at the contrast of life. It is oftentimes noted that without contrast, we could not know life’s opposites. Without knowing what we do not want, how could we ever know what we do want?

It got me wondering about finding the magic in the mundane. Being mindful and present even when life is lacking in obvious spark.

It is easy for us to feel inspired when looking out over the vast ocean, or delighting in a fresh slice of water melon. But is it only when basking in the flood of a magnificent sunset, or when nature cajoles us to walk beside Her and revel in Her harmonious ways, that such peace and bliss may become accessible? What when we are in the midst of a disagreement with our spouse? Or when we have shattered something sentimental and dear? When our dreams have become broken or worse still, simply faded away?

In times such as these, we don’t often notice the magic. We dismiss life’s teachings and the growth opportunities being offered.

If we are unable or unwilling to take a step back and view the bigger picture, we risk becoming misaligned, disconnected from our truth. Could a disagreement with a loved one be an assertion of our boundaries, giving voice to something that has long remained unspoken? Maybe it is our own behaviour that requires attention, and so is being brought to light for the greater good of the relationship? Did we break or lose something tangible because we have been refusing to let go of the past? Forgetting that love is not short-lived, but enduring and eternal? Maybe our unfulfilled dreams are a reminder that life is too short to squander our time feeling despondent and powerless?

Whatever the reason, these moments are here, not to cause our lives to become stagnant, blocked and miserable, but to allow us to recognise beauty when we see it, to feel elation and joy when they come to visit, to know the blessings that transcend pain, and to be grateful that we can know all of this – because had we not experienced their opposite, we could never come to know the fullness of finding such magic in the mundane.

In love and light,

Hayley xx

‘No’ is a complete sentence.

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The biggest gift we can offer others as we journey towards our own joy and peace, is the gift of independence.

Many light-workers, (those who love to share their healing with others) make great counsellors. And often unpaid counsellors. We counsel our friends, our families, our colleagues, our partners, and even complete strangers!

Light-workers (whether you know you are one or not) will often hear statements such as; ‘You give great advice…’, or, ‘I’d like your opinion on something…’ In the beginning, this feels good. We love to help and be of service to others. We are healing others and healing ourselves in the process. That is what light-workers do. Our hearts are open and we are usually always willing to listen and assist. However, this often comes at a price.

Before we know it, we are inundated with people wanting our ‘help’ with something. And because of our kind natures, we often find it difficult to say ‘no.’ But unfortunately, if we do not learn that ‘no’ is a complete sentence and requires no explanation or justification, then we risk becoming exploited by certain people. You know the ones. Those who offload all of their latest baggage onto you, rarely pausing for breath until the moment you about to part, and then finally remember (and usually as an after thought) to ask: “And how are you?!”
“I’m good!” we lie. 
We should do this again!” they say. “I feel so much better…”

And I am not talking about the friends who are just having a bad day. I am talking about the ones who are always having a bad day. The ones who love to spatter us with paint balls of problems. And rather than the pretty hues that colour our lives, we are pummelled with dark, muddy, greys and blacks that leave throbbing red marks for hours, sometimes days afterwards! Julia Cameron likes to call these people the ‘crazy-makers’. We all know a crazy-maker or two. They are the ones who never pick up on (or choose to ignore) our subtle hints of; “I’ve got a lot on at the moment…” or “I’m working on something dear to me…”
“Oh – this will only take a moment!” they reply. Or; “So when can I call/see you then?” they persistently ask. “You work too hard – relax! Come and let your hair down!”
Yeah right, like ‘relax’ is ever on the agenda when in their company. Before we know it, we have become resentful. Our willingness to help has cost us our own joy and wellbeing.

It is then that we realise the best gift we can offer another human being is their independence. To teach them, not to rely on our broader perspective, but to tap into their own inner guidance.  It is our job to teach people how to become their own counsellors. And we can do this with love.

This week, after being inundated with message after message of drama after drama, I finally realised that the person in question didn’t need genuine guidance after all – they simply wanted to feel justified. And so, feeling weary, exhausted and noticing the effects my involvement with this person was beginning to have on my own life and relationship, I responded with love; “Choose the path that brings you the most peace. Follow your heart, your inner compass. If you listen to your heart, it will always lead you back to love and joy. But you didn’t need me to tell you that … you got this!  😉 ” And sure enough, they figured it out for themselves. Rather than give the gift of continuous guidance, I gave the gift of independence.

Who, in your circle, is dependant on you for advice? Next time you meet, or speak – send them love. But be firm. Send them the gift of independence, and then politely send them on their way. You will both feel much lighter as a result. And hopefully, your friendship (if genuine) will flourish as a result of your new found heart space.

As light-workers, we cannot heal the masses if we are spending all of our valuable time and resources on a handful of needy crazy-makers.

In love and light,

Hayley xx

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.

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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.

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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

Wherever her mind wanders, she is already home.

Day Eight: Death to Adverbs Today’s Prompt: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind. Today’s twist: write an adverb-free post.

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Here I sit, in the park behind my house. I don’t have a garden at home, and so the park has become my outdoor retreat. I often sit here to catch the last rays of sun; to people gaze, to study or to read a book. Today I am here to write.

As I sit, cross legged on my blanket, my eyes are first drawn to a family of Asian origin – a young couple and their toddler, who teeters on her feet, her tiny arms poised high like a tight-rope walker. She wears short denim dungarees and a crisp white sun hat. Her chubby, inquisitive legs are dotted at the ends by a pair of frilly, white ankle socks and teal strapped sandals. Her feet patter this way and that and before long, she spots a stray piece of paper fluttering in the grass. She waddles over and crouches to catch it as the wind sweeps it up and away from her reach. She follows a little before flopping onto her bottom, distracted by a new allurement in the grass.

The curious little wanderer continues to explore as Dad watches from his seat on a nearby bench. His hair is full and thick as it dances in the breeze. Mum is lolled across the tire swing and is rocking to and fro, her limbs draped over the sides in a rag-doll fashion. I am in complete awe of her; her relaxed state of being; her complete trust in her partner, who watches over their baby girl; her ability to just be. She does not fuss or stir, she doesn’t rise to instruct or to check that everything is in order – she simply sways, her youthful face cast to the sky. What is she thinking? Does she dream of her homeland and relatives afar? Does she wish to be transported to that vibrant place? Or is she just stealing a moment to herself whilst she can? Something in her manner tells me that whatever she is doing, she seeks nothing more than this moment. Wherever her mind wanders, she is already home.

She remains in her serene state, even as two Staffordshire Terriers begin to bark, bolting toward a group of girls who are pic-nicking nearby. The adult dog bulges and swells with muscle and the pup, who is equally sturdy despite her smaller frame, boasts a beautiful blue-grey coat. The young boy clutching at the reigns doesn’t stand a chance and he is forced to dig his heels into the grass as though competing in a tug of war. He leans back so far that he is practically horizontal and he slides to the floor in his struggle. I can’t help but chuckle as the power hounds drag him along on his bottom, tugging and yanking until they eventually reach the girls, who are squealing and disbanding with haste. The jumpy duo find this even more thrilling as they lick and pounce and chase. The boy’s mum is heavy with child and has been lumbering her way over. She takes charge of the reigns and within moments, all is calm again. The teenage girls begin to drift and edge their way back to their blanket, reforming like tidewater.

I return my gaze to the young family and smile. The little girl has discovered her sleepy mummy on the swing and she reaches up, making a clutching motion with her tiny fingers and hands. Daddy saunters over, lifting her onto the tire swing as mum wraps her arms around her daughter, holding her baby close to her chest. It is here that I remain, gazing at their love, watching as Dad pushes his small family on the swing. And as I watch, it is as if time is standing completely still.