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.’

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‘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!

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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

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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

Soulful Sunday #51: Inspired Action

Welcome to my fifty first 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.

Hello Soul Friends,

I haven’t posted a Soulful Sunday post for two weeks, and am so grateful to be reconnecting with my usual weekly feature. In saying that, I enjoyed the break and freedom from my usual routine, which I spent camping over the Easter weekend and moving house the following.

For the last two Sunday’s I could hear myself saying…. “I SHOULD write my Sunday post…” even when I didn’t feel inspired to do so. I was present with my friends camping in nature…and then present to the process of moving house. Writing felt like a ‘should.’ This weekend, I’m feeling very much inspired to write. The space has opened up. And I am fully present to the writing process. Ahhh. Now doesn’t that feel better?

Sometimes we forget that it’s ok to ease up from our daily duties when other matters take centre stage for a while. If there is something that is feeling like a ‘should’ to you, then ask yourself:

Why do I feel obligated to do this?

What is the outcome of me not doing it?

Why am I feeling resistance towards doing this?

Is there a better time for me to attend to this or is this something I can eliminate altogether?

Then take action accordingly.

Soul Reflections

This week I’ve been sitting with the feeling of ‘inspired action.’ Letting go of the ‘shoulds’ and connecting more deeply with what inspires me. Of course, there are certain responsibilities we must tend to each day, daily duties that require our attention. Duties that, with a small shift in perspective can be tackled from a place of gratitude for renewed vigour.

But I also invite you to consider where in your life you can carve out some space for INSPIRED ACTION.  The answer may just lie in letting go of some of the ‘shoulds’ that take up unnecessary time – time fillers or distractions designed to keep us from doing what we feel most inspired to do. We all have them: responding to non-urgent emails/messages, sorting out the junk drawer, scrolling through social media, getting caught up in the drama on television or real life.

Instead, turn off any distractions and get still. Take a pen and paper and begin to free write. Let your heart run wild and free. If you weren’t bound by limitations, what would you be doing? What would your life look like? Now ask yourself – What action can I take today to bring my dreams closer to my reality?

Today, see if you can take one small step in the direction of your dreams.

Soul Strolls

Before our house move last weekend, we managed to get away for the long Easter weekend break. On a whim, we decided to join our friends camping near Mount Bogong, the highest mountain in Victoria, Australia.

We arrived a day later than the rest of the tribe, and so missed the trek to the top of the mountain. At 6 months pregnant, I didn’t feel too bummed about that. It was still nice to join our friends around the camp fire for an evening of relaxing, connecting and enjoying camp food. And to our surprise, we woke in the morning to find that the Easter Bunny had paid us a visit!

Yum!

My man looking very happy with his chocolate egg!

Soul Food

I want to share this delicious  Pork, Pineapple and Coconut Curry from one of my favourite wellness bloggers, Alice Nicholls. I opted to cook it in the stock pot which meant the pork was melt-in-the-mouth tender by the time we arrived home. I also added some Bok Choy. This is such a yummy, heart-warming dish perfect for the cooler Melbourne weather.

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Soul Music

In light of us catching our dreams and turning them into reality, I’d like to share this soothing track titled Dreamcatcher by Kamal. Why not have a listen and become lost in its magical melody as you manifest your dreams into reality?

Soul Sisters

Today, I’d like to share Brittany’s post, Living Large Through Little Things, who aptly reminds us that sometimes, inspired action can simply mean tending to the ‘little things’, which are actually the big things. Head on over for an inspirational, and heartwarming read.

Wishing each and every one of you an inspired Sunday. Now go catch those dreams!

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

 

 

Soulful Sunday #48: Listen, and TRUST.

Trust that still small voice that says, _This might work and I'll try it._

Welcome to my forty-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

Too often we dismiss our ideas as ‘silly’ or ‘absurd’. We keep quiet and fail to take action through fear of ‘getting it wrong’ or looking stupid. But as T. Harv Eker reminds us:

One step in the right direction is better than one hundred years thinking about it.

I am your typical procrastinator. Yet I have come to realise that procrastination is one of either two things: perfectionism or fear. The truth is, that there is never a perfect time to begin and there is no time like the present. As for a perfect outcome? That too, is never guaranteed. So make a start and don’t delay. Fear of beginning, failing or even succeeding are some of the biggest roadblocks to living the life we intended to live.

So my advice to you is to simply begin.  You don’t need to know how to do it, you just need to know why you are doing it. And it is your WHY that will keep you moving forward, especially when you are faced with setbacks and adversity.

Create for joy. There need be no other reason.

– Kate. M. Foster

Whatever your intuition is urging you to do, trust in that small voice within. Your dreams are real. So go after them.

Soul Strolls

My partner and I are currently looking for a place to live. The rental competition is tough here in Melbourne, and many people arrive at the viewings all with the hope of being chosen. After a number of underwhelming viewings and one uncertain and tentative application which was (thankfully) declined, one property just ‘felt right.’

And that’s when my intuition began to nudge a little louder!

My partner and I noticed two gentlemen fixing the roof in the garage. We stopped to say ‘hello.’ It turned out that one of the gentlemen happened to be the landlord. The landlords make the final decision based on tenant application, yet it’s very rare that they are present at the property during inspection.

We had two more back to back viewings to race to, but knew even as we looked around the other houses that our hearts were still set on the first. Following our gut instincts, we returned to the first property, where we introduced ourselves again to the landlord.

We explained we’d fallen in love with his home and asked what he was looking for in a tenant and to our surprise, he said: “To be honest, I said to my friend that I’d give you both the property as you were both pleasant enough to say ‘hello’ as you looked through.’

Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts, and go that extra mile. After the landlord thanked us for returning to enquire further, we said our goodbye’s. We submitted our application that same evening. I will let you know next week if the stars align!

For now – I will visualise my partner and I walking hand in hand through the door to our new home… Wish us luck!

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0ur new home 😉

Soul Food

My friend made a delicious vegan lasagna which tasted incredible. Although, she used lasagna pasta sheets, which I love! Although pasta does NOT love me! (Think BLOAT and GAS!) Not pretty. So I discovered this delicious grain free, gluten free, dairy free lasagna from one of my favourite Health and Wellness pals, Alice Nicholls. You could even make this meat free if desired! I will definitely be giving this one a try. Yum!

Soul Music

Today I’d like to share this beautiful meditative track titled Sacred Alignment, by Dean Evenson. It’s gentle melody is the perfect reminder to go ‘inward.’ The answer lies within. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.

Soul Sisters

I would like to share this stunning post by Deb at Once Upon A Hot Flash. I first met Debs here on WordPress, and we quickly connected and became friends. Deb is a beautiful soul, who connected me with other beautiful souls whilst walking along this WordPress journey. I am so grateful for her presence here.

I am sharing this post as, after an incredible daily run, Debs has decided to share her last Daily Gratitude post. Head on over and share your gratitude, as I truly believe that the best way to become aligned is to be grateful.

Trusting each and every one of you are feeling aligned on this peaceful Sunday, and if you are not – get still and listen. Trust that your heart is whispering guidance to you.

Love Always,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #47: Inevitable Disagreements

disagreements (1)

Welcome to my forty-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

I have long held the opinion that arguments are unavoidable. Those who claim ‘Oh we never argue!’ I suspect to be dishonest or slightly delusional. Healthy relationships are not about NEVER disagreeing, but more about HOW we disagree.

How would we ever learn, grow and expand our world if we all just agreed? Besides, life would be very boring and monotonous.

The more we are able to engage in enthusiastic disagreement with each other, the more we will be able to uncover the best in ourselves and each other. – Karen Kimsey-House

Whilst disagreements aren’t avoidable, there ARE healthy and unhealthy ways to argue. I resonate with this quote by Dave Willis:

In marriage disagreements are inevitable but disrespect is a choice.

I believe this to be true in any relationship, be it with a partner, parent, sibling, friend or complete stranger. Maintaining respect for another during conflict eases our ability to heal and find harmony afterwards. On the other hand, disrespect, especially when repeated, often leads to irreparable suffering and resentment.

The key to finding unity is forgiveness, and it is far easier to forgive when a high degree of dignity is maintained during disagreements than if we say or do something we may later regret.

Next time you are triggered in the thick of conflict, before you hurl insults, or cause verbal or even physical harm to another, remember the severity of suffering this one senseless act can cause. Vow instead to view any disagreement as an opportunity to grow, to learn more about yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, and those of another.

This is how we stand united in our division.

Soul Strolls

My partner and I finally managed to get away camping this weekend. We visited Yanakee near Wilson’s Prom, a beautiful campsite close to the waters edge.

Like with any relationship, there were moments of discord coupled with moments of pure surrender and softness. I wouldn’t trade any of the more challenging moments during our trip, because they each taught me something about myself and my man. And, yes! whilst there were moments we wanted to tear each other’s hair out, at the end of our trip we stood united, smiling and holding one another in earnest.

In my life, I have experienced deep levels of disrespect. I have felt firsthand suffering and pain as a result. Today, I stand tall in forgiveness. I am grateful for every experience so far, for they each taught me new levels of being and living in this world.

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Yanakee, Melbourne

Like this colourful ocean before me, there are moments of unrest and moments of calm – but deep down at it’s very core, all is perfect, pure and still.

Soul Food

Soul food this weekend was camp food! I created these little Parma Cups based on an Aussie fave, Parmigiana. All the yumminess of a traditional Parmi placed into little puff pastry cups. Perfect for an Aussie camping trip.

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Soul Music

Waking up surrounded by nature certainly created for a ‘dreamy Sunday morning’. So I am sharing Clouds by Hugo Kant so that you too may experience dreaminess, wherever you may be.

Soul Sisters

Today I am sharing Bernice’s post, Your Eyes Are The Mirror To Your Soul. A beautiful reminder that respect includes oneself. Head on over for some beautiful affirmative statements that embody all that you are through the power of mirror work and self-love!

Wishing you all a dreamy Sunday.

Love always,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #46: Acceptance Ignites Change

acceptance

Soul Reflections

I have discovered that whenever my life seems stagnant, stuck or uninspiring – I am usually experiencing some form of resistance. Resistance can signify a crave for change, but it can also indicate a non-acceptance of what is.

I like to think of acceptance as a releasing of the pressure cooker. When we bless and accept our circumstances as they are, suddenly the pressure eases, the tension lifts, and we undergo a shift – a softening of the soul. In letting go of the struggle we place our faith in a Higher consciousness.

It is from this healing place of trust that true transformation occurs.

Today, as you move through your day, notice any resistance that arises. Try to accept the present moment as it is; this is my account balance, this is my work situation, this is my house with the messy floors, this is my relationship status, my weight and my rusty car. This is okay. This is real life. And then surrender. Release all control. Trust that life will undergo a change once you embrace the healing power of acceptance.

Soul Strolls

Since returning from our New Zealand trip, we have been experiencing some extreme temperatures here in Melbourne. My English blood has yet to acclimatise to 40 degree heat, and navigating work and home life in such high temperatures has been a call for me to practice acceptance. Sometimes we just need to slow down, keep cool and honour our body’s need for rest.

My partner and I planned to go away on a camping trip for the long weekend, and true to our style we left it a little late only to discover that most of the camping grounds within a 3 hour radius were already fully booked. Rather than remain disappointed, we planned little dates throughout the weekend to keep cool and enjoy this rare time off together.

I learned to accept that ‘Soul Strolls’ don’t always involve getting outside. Sometimes Soul Strolls include belly laughing at the new Jumanji movie (such a funny film!), dancing to live music, breakfasts at the local cafe and ‘doing’ life with my man by my side. This is a true stroll of the soul.

Soul Food

I’ll admit that cooking isn’t high on my agenda when coping with this heat, and salads have been my saviour! So I am sharing an oldy but a goody that I like to prepare (even in the winter if you are on the other side of the hemisphere!) So call it a ‘Winter’ salad or a ‘Summer’ salad – it’s delicious whatever the season! Enjoy.

Winter Kale & Beetroot Salad

Soul Music

I’m loving the track Brighter Days by Hybrid Minds, which reminds us to ‘slow down and take a breath.’ It’s a beautiful, soulful track infused with the gentle sounds of liquid drum and base to ignite the soul. Go on – have a listen!

 

Soul Brothers

Today I am sharing a short yet powerful post titled, If Only You Did 1 Thing Today by Charles French. I love this simple, yet potent enquiry of the soul.

Whether you are slowing down or gearing up a notch, I wish you all a soulful Sunday free from resistance and struggle. It is sometimes in our chaos, that we discover the magical dance of life.

Love Always,

Hayley xx