Emerging Butterflies 🦋

Today, I am quite the caterpillar – slow moving, yet steady, and grateful for the transformation my body is undergoing as it nurtures new life within.

As I reach the end of my pregnancy walking has become a waddle; turning over in bed an Olympic event; and peeing, as regular and frequent as breathing.

I now understand why heavily pregnant women reach a point in late pregnancy when they say; ‘I’m ready.’

Despite feeling ready, I’m savouring these precious last moments of pregnancy, for part of me will grieve the absence of my big round belly; the swish of little hands and feet moving from within… I’d also be lying if I pretended part of me won’t miss my care-free life pre-parenting.

But so much more of me now anticipates the emergence of the beautiful butterfly; the birth of new life, the magical transition from maiden to Mother. Yes – change can be challenging and scary, but I have complete faith in the joyful adventure these colourful new wings will bring 🦋

Love always,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #60: The Other Side Of Fear

The other side of fear

Welcome to my fifty-sixth 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 dreams and intentions 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

Fear is debilitating. It can literally leave us paralysed with anxiety.

There is a famous quote (and book for that matter) by Susan Jeffers who reminds us:

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

My biggest work over the last few months has been to face my fears around labour, particularly around the ‘normal’ practice of hospitals whose medical interventions often result in unnecessary trauma for both Mum and baby. Don’t get me wrong, in a medical emergency these procedures can save lives; but in a normal, safe, healthy pregnancy and birth, such interventions often cause more harm than good.  Is it any wonder then, that we hear so many horror stories about birth?

Once my fears were acknowledged, I could then begin to dissolve them. I turned to natural birthing books and absorbed myself in the thousands of positive birth stories (yes – they exist!!!) each contained. The more I read, the more I began to meet women who had birthed naturally, and with less complications (if any) than those who had birthed at the hands of doctors and drugs.

We also decided on Hypno-birthing classes to prepare ourselves for a calm birth using breath work, relaxations, visualisations, strengthening affirmations and natures own pain relief; oxytocin – all of which helped to deepen our confidence and trust in a natural birth.

Whilst our preparations do not guarantee us a smooth, uninterrupted birth with little to no complication or medical intervention; what they do provide us with are the innate tools to birth in love and trust, rather than shrouded in fear.

Of course, there are always some residue fears of the unknown and lingering What if’s? But since the only way out of my birth is through, I must ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’

The only way out is through.

– Robert Frost

And through we shall go, in love and trust.

Soul Strolls

With three weeks to go until we meet our baby, strolling has become somewhat of a waddle! The pelvic pressure is real haha And so, after finishing my last week of work last Friday, I decided to put my feet up and rest this pregnant body.

I booked in for a pregnancy massage at Endota Spa (which was the best massage I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot!) and soaked up the healing vibes. I plan to spend the next three weeks resting and nourishing myself and our baby, and enjoying our last few weeks as a ‘two.’

HAYLEY_28(LowRes)

‘Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.’ – Marcel Proust

Soul Recipes

This recipe is an oldy but a goody of mine. I love using my slow cooker, and this dish lends itself perfectly to one. It’s hearty, it’s comforting, it’s delicious and it’s even healthy My Hearty Lentil Curry gets a thumbs up every time. Let me know what you think!

Lentil-Curry-Recipe-FV-768x520

Yummy lentil curry!

Soul Music

On the other side of fear lies freedom and peace. So today I would love to share this delightfully peaceful track by Ashana titled Deep Peace. Put you feet up, take a deep breath in and receive the deep peace flowing to you. Now sigh and release. You are free. You are safe. You are secure and loved.

Soul Sisters

Today I would love to share this beautifully nourishing poem titled Bliss by Aroused. A timely reminder for us to connect with our intuition within and to trust.

Wrapping you all in a warm loving hug on this soulful Sunday.

Love always,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #55: Beautiful Bodies

comparison

Welcome to my fifty-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 dreams and intentions 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

At seven and a half months pregnant, I’m amazed by the number of women who feel compelled to comment on the size of my bump, comparing its size to that of their friend who is ‘due two weeks before me and is SO much smaller’, so small in fact you can ‘hardly tell’. I’ve even had my belly compared to a basket ball!

I’d like to think the women delivering these words are well intentioned and simply unaware of the potential harm their comments can cause. Still, I can’t help but feel a little disheartened that body comparison is so prevalent, even during pregnancy.

Isn’t a women supposed to feel beautiful and bountiful in her pregnant body? Is the fullness of her tummy not the fullest expression of creation itself? A time to celebrate the changes in her body as it nurtures new life within?

I have to acknowledge that I’ve also had many women tell me I look beautiful and stunning as I bloom to full size. To those Divine Goddesses; I salute you. For you are the ones who focus not on the ‘neatness of the bump’, or for how long it can remain disguised or ‘unnoticed’; but instead on the natural beauty to be embraced throughout the many changing phases of a woman’s body.

Today, let’s lift each other up. Let’s celebrate our bodies; big, small, teeny or tall, remembering that we are ALL Divine.

Soul Strolls

This week’s soul strolling took place in the hospital. We had our hospital tour where we were able to walk through where we’ll go on the day of our birthing. Despite having had some fears around birthing in a hospital, as I walked the corridors I blessed them with love and repeated the mantra, ‘All is well. I have nothing to fear. Love, peace, harmony and joy surround and indwell me.’

The Mercy Hospital for Women does feel like a safer space than my previous hospital. The midwives are very supportive of a natural birth with as little intervention as possible. I trust I am in safe hands.

Live your life as if everything is rigged in your favour.

– Rumi

Soul Recipes

lamb-massaman-tall3

My partner loves to buy a Massaman Curry from our local Thai. Since he spent this soulful Sunday working, I decided to surprise him with a Slow Cooked Lamb Massaman which was simply divine! I adapted the recipe slightly (and cheated) by buying a massaman curry paste rather than making my own from scratch, as this recipe suggests. If I owned a food processor I would definitely have attempted the homemade paste in this recipe… I also used carrots, red pepper and red chillies in addition to the potato instead of the green beans, since I already had those vegetables on hand at home.

Needless to say, this dish was yummy and my man had a happy tummy after a hard days work.

Soul Music

I’d love to share Heather Mae’s I Am Enough as a stunning reminder that our body’s are not ‘wrong’ or ‘shameful’. We can be grateful for our body, regardless of our shape or size. This makes me smile each time I listen. Today, give your body a big appreciative hug, tell your body how much you love it… and then have a good ole dance to this feel good track! I’ll be dancing along with you with my pregnant bump 😉

Soul Sisters

I’d love to share the work of a soul sister who has been pivotal in reducing my fears around labour. I bought Kat’s book in my second trimester when I was led to it by a serendipitous moment. It was just what I needed to believe in my abilities to birth my baby naturally. I will be gifting Kat’s work to any pregnant ladies I know! You can find Kat at The Birth Goddess.

Wishing you all a soulful Sunday. May you feel safe, supported and loved, today and always.

Love always,

Hayley xx

 

Soulful Sunday #52: Slow Down

Nature Does Not Hurry

Welcome to my fifty-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

As I move deeper into my Third trimester, if there’s one thing pregnancy is really teaching me, it is to SLOW DOWN. As Lao Tzu so profoundly reminds us:

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

– Lao Tzu

It’s so easy to become caught in the lists of ‘To Do’s’ and ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ when we live in a society governed by time. But when we let go of the need to ‘hurry’ – time expands. It is from this expansive space that our actions become inspired, rather than ruled by frantic doing.

As we move into a new week, I encourage you to slow down and tune in. Notice if your actions become more purposeful (and pleasurable) as a result.

Soul Strolls

Walking has been my favourite form of exercise during pregnancy, along with yoga. But having recently moved house to an unfamiliar area, my daily walk came to a screeching halt. For a whole month!

And boy did I feel it; physically AND emotionally.

You see, walking doesn’t just keep me fit and active, walking INVIGORATES me. It brings me new perspective and fresh insight, allowing me to step away from the daily grind to just appreciate, breathe and BE.
As I move closer and closer to my due date, it’s my hope to go slow and steady, just like nature. To trust that everything will fall into place, with little need for ‘hurry’.
Where in your life can you embrace the power of nature and SLOW DOWN, trusting that all will be accomplished at the right time?
Grasslands Reserve
Soul Food
Soul food for me this Sunday was a simple cook up with my man. Naughty, but nice. Life is about balance, and you can’t beat a good old fashioned breakfast of hashbrowns and scrambled eggs whilst listening to some country music! Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that bring us the most pleasure.
scrambled eggs!

Stapleton and scrambled eggs – yum!

Soul Music
Since Chris Stapleton’s velvety tones soothed our souls over breakfast this morning, it seems appropriate to share one of his many incredible tracks. One of our favourite songs reminds us that love is the most potent of riches, and it is with this song I wish you a millionaire of love.
Soul Connections
I’d love to share this simplistic yet profound poem titled Sip Your Coffee Nice and Slow  by Kamal at Boundless Blessings.
Head on over for a nice, heartwarming reminder to enjoy the slow.
Wishing you a slow, soulful Sunday filled with love and simple riches.
Love Always,
Hayley xx

Sacred Home

Pregnancy has certainly brought with it many physical and emotional challenges; some which have been easier to embrace than others! It’s been a constant journey of reconnecting with myself and the life-force within to fully appreciate and accept all the changes my body must undergo to create and birth this precious new life.

I can’t stress enough the importance of caring for our emotional and physical wellbeing during this delicate transition. This is something I’ve had to remind myself daily.

There have been days and weeks when my health has been at it’s optimal, and days when I’ve opted to skip my self-care practice and nourishment to reach for that comforting treat.

The key here is to monitor your self-talk and remember to be BE KIND. Be mindful of how you talk to yourself. Your body listens!!!! So no berating or self-judgment please ladies…

But just as your body listens, your body talks.

Are you listening to your body and what it needs? Rest, fresh air, movement, nourishment, gentle caresses and positive-self-talk?

There is no better time than the present to love and care for your body, your sacred home 🙏🏻 So what are you waiting for?

Love always,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #49: Miracles Within

Pregnancy unseen force

Welcome to my forty-ninth 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

On this soulful Sunday I would like to share the news of our little miracle within. For the last 5 months I have been growing a little baby in my tummy! Eeeek! And what a journey it has been so far. Being pregnant with the miracle of life has caused me to become fertile with a myriad of magical possibilities.

“To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and distressingly inhabited. Soul and spirit are stretched – along with body – making pregnancy a time of transition, growth, and profound beginnings.”

– Anne Christian Buchanan

I have journeyed through resistance, doubt and fear only to emerge on the other side feeling a profound sense of connection and a deep level of trust in the ‘unseen force behind all of life.’ To be part of life’s creation is to fully surrender to life’s dance; trusting that you will intuitively rise to the challenges and changes each new step presents. Pregnancy is not a time for control, but a time to let go, to trust and to flow with the rhythm of life.

Soul Strolls

Whilst I have been walking a lot during my pregnancy, most of our strolling has been to house inspections to house our growing family. A fortnight ago I shared with you a home we were sure was ours. Somehow, between talking with the landlord, submitting our application and the rental agency presenting applicants, our application was lost and we missed out. It’s still a mystery to this day what happened, as we never took the landlords number. And whilst it was a little disheartening at first, I was sure there must be a reason why things turned out the way they did. And of course, there was.

One of my wishes has been to have a little woodland themed nursery for our baby. But I knew that may not be possible with a rental. Often repainting requires clearance from landlords and not many wish for their neutral homes to be tampered with.

Well. Just last week we came across a rental that already had a woodland themed nursery! Talk about the Law of Attraction! After being declined for four rental’s, this was the one that finally pulled through. I now know that this is the home for us.

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Our little nursery ❤

Soul Food

This week we treated ourselves to some Indian food. Yum! Not only was the food scrumptious and heart warming, but we also revealed whether we were having a boy or a girl over dinner.

I’d enlisted the help of one of my students to create some beaded love hearts; one in pink and one in blue.  Rather than have the lady reveal what we were expecting at the scan, we asked if she would secretly place the correct coloured heart into the box so we could reveal it to ourselves over dinner! Here’s the result:

What will it be

What will it be?

Oooo the suspense

Ooo the suspense!

Ta Daaaaa

Ta Daaaaaa!

5 months

Our Baby Boy ❤

 

Soul Music

Our baby is very responsive to music. Last weekend we saw Incubus live as well as Ed Sheeran. At both concerts baby was wriggling and kicking with content. I was too in the moment to capture any videos, but I’d like to share two of my favourite songs, one from Incubus, Wish You Were Here and Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud. The lyrics to both are beautifully timeless.

Soul Sisters

Today I’d love to share Kate’s poem, Incubation. Since i’m incubating a little baby right now, who I can’t wait to share with the world, Kate’s poem resonated with me deeply! I know you’ll enjoy this fun, insightful poem as much as I did!

Wishing each and every one of you a miracle Sunday.

Whether you are birthing new ideas, experiences and dreams or birthing new life – may you have full trust in your abilities and in the dance of life itself.

Love always,

Hayley xx