Why journalling is a beautiful tool to uncover messages from spirit animals

Messages from your spirit animals, signs from the Universe, nudges from your inner wisdom – however you choose to see it, or label it, I believe that when we see the same thing repeatedly, there’s a hidden meaning for us to decode. Whether that’s a number combination (like 11 or 1111), a word or a phrase, an animal, insect or bird, or a random object, there’s an energy that’s trying to make itself seen; an energy that wants to grab our attention.

When these synchronicities happen, our task is to dig deeper into our minds and bodies to reveal their meaning.

Let me share an example that you may already be familiar with in your life: Many people who have lost a loved one may see a robin or a butterfly and sense that their loved one’s spirit or presence is close by. It can be comforting and bring back happy memories.

I’ve been seeing ‘angel numbers’ for a very long time, and one memory from about 15 years ago always sticks in my mind…

My daughters were young and I decided it would be a fun 1 January activity to create our own vision boards for the year ahead. We had lots of fun cutting up magazines and holiday brochures onto big colourful pieces of paper! I included a ‘747’ jumbo jet because dreamed of taking my children on an exotic holiday on a big plane. While the holiday never materialised, I started seeing 747 and 47 repeatedly, on number plates, till receipts, online purchases, the clock on my computer and so many other places.

4+7 =11 and 11 is classed as a ‘master number’ in numerology because it carries a powerful and unique vibration. Over the years, 47 and 747 have formed a special place in my heart; a gentle nudge that I’m on the right path.

Like yesterday, when I took a leap of faith and booked an adventure for 2023. Not only did my flights add up to £68.47, but all my reference numbers for flights and a hotel contained the number 47! It makes me smile every time – as if my angels are showering me with love for my actions or intentions.

It was a pink flamingo that prompted this blog!

This weekend, my eldest daughter was home from university for a couple of days, so we took the opportunity to visit Jersey Zoo (which is less of a zoo and more of a wildlife conservation organisation founded by Gerald Durrell) to see the new additions – two cute sloths and an adorable aardvark named Tafari!

My eldest daughter mentioned seeing the flamingos a couple of times but I didn’t think too much of it until we finally got to them near the end of our visit. It was a beautiful sunny day with a pure blue sky and trees in all shades of green, orange and yellow which cast reflections into the water around the flamingo pond. The flamingos’ feathers were incredible shades of creamy pink with flashes of hot pink and they seemed so serene, even balanced on one leg.

It got me thinking about resilience and how I do everything myself and rarely rely on anyone else! But those thoughts swiftly disappeared as we moved on to the next enclosure.

Later that evening, catching up with some of my favourite YouTube channels, I saw two images of flamingos: one on a lady’s t-shirt and one was a bright pink inflatable in a pond!

The next day, I was looking at travel insurance websites and one had a graphic of suitcases with a vivid cartoon flamingo in the middle! By this point I sensed that there was a message there for me somewhere hidden in the flamingo symbolism, but never got round to looking into it any further.

Just one day later and another flamingo appeared! This time, a whole flock on a YouTube music video! (It wasn’t a video I was sitting and watching, it was background music while I was working, so the fact I flicked onto that tab just at the moment that the flamingos appeared I felt to be pretty significant!)

It was at this point that I decided to dig a bit deeper to see what messages the flamingo might have for me…

I started with a little internet research looking for ‘animal symbolism’ and the flamingo. On spirit-animals.com, this paragraph stood out for me. (I always believe that we’re drawn to the words or sentences we most need at that moment.)

Flamingo symbolism may be letting you know that it is time for you to get out and socialize. Therefore it is time to have some fun in your life. Moreover, socializing will help let go of stressful situations and coming to terms with changes in your life. Correspondingly, this bird also brings new ideas and options that will come to you while immersing yourself in the company of others. It will also allow you to find balance and gratitude for what you have. It will give you a greater appreciation of those around you.” 

While in an article by ‘She Works in the Library’ on Medium, I loved the quote:

“For me, the saying, ‘be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons’, serves as a reminder to ‘let your light shine’.”

Reading these articles was the first step in the self-reflection, awareness and journalling exercise. 

I still needed to look deeper to uncover the specific meaning for me at this moment in time. So I began journalling with the following prompts:

  • What message does the flamingo have for me?
  • Why is it appearing now?

My journalling took me back to a powerful life experience in 2019 when I broke my left ankle and was literally balancing on one leg – just like a flamingo! I wrote a blog about this experience back in 2019 – ‘A grateful flamingo – an entrepreneur’s perspective after injury’ – which shares more of the impact this imposed period of rest had on my mindset and my business. (Hint: It’s all good!)

This time, my journalling took me down the route of relationships and how much I rely on myself and perhaps don’t allow others the space to support me in the way I deeply desire. As my friend Katie Phillips at The School of Self Love says (paraphrased from multiple trainings): “We stay stuck in the same painful situations over and over again because at some level they feel comfortable. We’re so used to them they’ve become ingrained in our being. It becomes ‘easy’ or normal to stay in a dysfunctional or toxic relationship or repeat patterns from our parent’s marriage. It’s easier to stay stuck than to look into our shadow side – the darkest parts of ourselves that we hide from the world and refuse to acknowledge. Only when you do the work and look inside can you begin to change your situation.”

As I came to the end of my journalling, I walked to the kitchen to grab some water and saw rainbow reflections across the walls. I refer to these as my ‘rainbow dragons’ – little splashes of vivid colour that remind me I’m on the right path; signs and synchronicity from the Universe.

I pondered how far I’ve come since breaking my ankle three years ago; how much I’ve grown and transformed energetically and how grateful I am for all that’s happened in between. All the amazing people I’ve met, all the clients I’ve worked with, the collaborations I’ve experienced and all the magical moments in my personal life with my friends and daughters.

And all this from a trip to the zoo and some recurring flamingo images!

Do you see the same animals, words, numbers or images frequently?

If so, it’s worth grabbing your journal and keeping track of them. Here are some journal prompts to support you on this journey:

Note: Always write down whatever words first come into your mind, Don’t edit or filter your thoughts. Even if it doesn’t make any sense, just write it down. At some point (maybe weeks later) it will all fall into place. 

  • What is it that you’re seeing regularly?
  • What were you doing or thinking just before it appeared?
  • How did seeing it make you feel?
  • What did you sense on an energetic level?
  • Do you remember when you first were aware of seeing this regularly?
  • What did you believe it meant back then?
  • Has your perception changed over that time?

Allow your writing to flow, adding in whatever questions spring to the forefront of your own mind.

Other useful journal prompts might be:

  • Do I feel safe talking about these experiences? If not, why not?
  • Do I feel that people will judge me for being ‘woo-woo’? If so, why does that bother me? What’s at the core of this judgement?
  • How do I want to explore this more deeply?
  • What am I feeling drawn to?
  • How would I love my life to look?
  • What needs to change in my life to get closer to this vision?
  • Who do I need to be and how do I need to act every day to make this vision a reality?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on signs and synchronicities from the Universe, angels or spirit guides and how these have shown up for you and prompted a shift in your mindset or a transformation in your life.

With love,

Lorraine xx

Ps. As I finished this blog I glanced up and saw the word count (before this Ps. message) was 1547! And then a draft saved at 5:37:47pm! I’ll take that as a sign to mean that this blog will reach the people it’s meant to reach. My work is done!

 

How to repurpose old blogs to increase engagement and expand your brand

Be smart! Repurpose existing blog content!

If you’re a business owner or personal brand who posts new blogs on your website every week, congratulations!

But if you’re more likely to go through phases of writing for a few weeks then barely touching your website for months, welcome to the club!

Blogs (depending on their subject matter) can be a great form of evergreen content; pieces of work that provide information, inspiration, education and entertainment for years to come.

What’s evergreen content?

Creating evergreen content is a brilliant tool for longevity in your business. Sure, you can hop over to short-form video based platforms like TikTok or Instagram Reels and get thousands of views, but that content is soon lost amongst millions of daily uploads.

Evergreen content is like creating a legacy; sharing your wisdom and expertise in a way that will benefit people for generations to come.

How to repurpose old or low-performing blogs

If you don’t have the time, energy or motivation to write and create new blog posts, here’s a smart way to repurpose existing content to increase engagement, build a connection with your audience and attract new clients and paying customers:

Start with an existing blog

Find an existing blog that isn’t getting many views each month but that contains evergreen content; information and ideas that will inspire and empower people at any time of the year, across the world.

Add interesting and engaging new sections

Read it through 2-3 times and highlight all the best bits and discard any pieces that are no longer relevant.

Think about what you could add to the blog that’s current and interesting. For example: the latest stats, opinions, testimonials, your clients’ experience or your own experiences and learning. Do some research and collate everything in one place.

use keywords

Spend around an hour crafting a new blog, making sure to include the main keywords that people might search for in your industry.

SEO tools

Once you start to type your new blog into the website, don’t forget to make use of SEO tools (like Yoast for WordPress), to ensure that your readability scores and your overall blog SEO is good.

Use the heading tags (H1 H2 H3 etc.) to break your text up into easily readable and scannable sections, making the blog reading experience pleasurable for your audience. (This also helps you rank higher in search engines as the bots can see it’s a proper blog, not simply a word stuffing exercise or spam!)

Choosing a high performing title

Take your time creating a great new title. If the original blog didn’t perform well, it could be because of the title (or maybe you simply didn’t share it or tell people about your blog!). I love to use the Headline Analyzer tool by coschedule.com. This handy app gives a headline score and uses a traffic light system as well as helpful hints to write a more powerful, attention-grabbing title.

Add new images

Add a new blog banner image (use the ALT tags too) and add an extra photo, diagram or infographic within the blog where appropriate.

share your blog everywhere!

Press PUBLISH and then share your sparkly new blog with your social media audience, your email list and your community.

Let’s co-create magic!

If this all sounds like far too much effort or you prefer to spend your time on income generating activities and supporting your 1-1 clients, then let me help you!

Together we can create empowering, engaging and entertaining blogs that help you to build your reputation and credibility in the online space, build a larger audience and attract more ideal clients and customers.

October special offer

I want to share with you my October special offer for blogs – for personal brands, small businesses and heart-centred entrepreneurs

OFFER 1: Blog makeover and revamp

ONE blog £111 / FOUR blogs for just £333!

OFFER 2: work with me to create BRAND NEW blog content for your website

ONE blog £175 / FOUR blogs for just £500!

This offer is only available during October, so get in touch today via DM or email lorraine@thesoulfulword.com and let’s chat.

With love,

Lorraine xx

What advice would you give your younger self?

What advice would you give your younger self?

Here are my thoughts, in no particular order…

❤️ Make saving money and creating financial security a priority. This will give you the freedom you crave to travel, explore, learn and be spontaneous! 

❤️ Don’t get hung up on body parts that you feel aren’t perfect. Honestly, no-one even cares about your body shape, thigh dimples, whether your skin is evenly tanned or if you have any stray bikini hairs! And if anyone judges, that’s their story, their perception, their thoughts and it has nothing to do with you. So, enjoy the moment, wear the shorts and live life to the fullest! 

❤️ Don’t buy cheap fashion. It doesn’t last – either in quality or ‘trendiness’. It’ll either fall apart or you’ll get bored. All that money you spend on clothes could help you buy a house or travel the world.

❤️ Never put off the things you really want to do; all those things you’ve talked about for years and years, maybe even for your whole life! Learn the language, book the flights. Just do it! 

❤️ Spend more time getting to know your grandparents and your parents as adult human beings. Find out what really lights them up, the dreams they had and all the things they still want to do. 

What would you add to your list?

Lorraine xx

girl walking towards the beach

The Beauty and Magic Within You

When you slow down you notice all kinds of beauty in nature. But when was the last time you paused to appreciate the beauty and magic within you?

What amazing skills, talents and gifts do you keep hidden inside?

Is there a part of you that you’d love to share with the world (or even just your friends and family) but are too afraid; worried about what they might think of you?

What if you simply started ‘doing’ more of the things you love? Taking action on your dreams…

When we start to take action, we let go of the beliefs that have been holding us back. 

Little by little, action steps help us to become free from the past and step into a new future. 

Share more of your magic, brilliance and light with the world this week and you might be surprised just how powerful it is! 

Lorraine xx

create space graphic

Create Space to Make Your Visions a Reality

Is there something you’d really love to do for yourself but never seem to find the time to make it happen?

When you focus your energy on that one thing that you dream of making a reality, you will feel happy, proud and accomplished! 

Whether it’s writing a book, learning a new language, improving your strength in the gym or learning how to bake almond croissants, how can you CREATE SPACE this week to make your visions and dreams a reality?

Creating space isn’t just about physical space, it might mean saying no to a social event, switching your phone off for a few hours or finishing off pieces of work so that you have a clear stretch of time, energy or resources to devote to your goal. 

Creating space for yourself also means setting up boundaries or communicating your plans with others. (Remember, our partners or family aren’t mind readers!) 

Set the intention to achieve one specific step towards your goal each day. If you have lots of free time, you may even be able to devote whole days to your dreams but if you have a busy family, work or social life, perhaps it’s just carving out a hour when you can. 

💥 1 hour of your day is just 4% of your whole day…. imagine how far you could progress and what you could achieve if you devoted an hour every day for a whole year!

I’d love to know, what are you creating space for this week? (And making space for relaxation after a busy summer with small children is definitely a thing!!)

Lorraine xx

sea view in Jersey

Flow vs. Procrastination

Flow vs. Procrastination 

It’s easy to notice when we feel creative and in flow. We get work done, we take care of ourselves and we feel happy, lighter and more inclined to step out of our comfort zone and try new things or meet new people.

But when we’re stuck in an energy of procrastination, there can be a subtle negative spiral of emotions and actions. 

We really *want* to get things done – especially projects close to our hearts like writing our book, decorating our home or planning holidays – but the days just seem to slip away. Before we know it, we’ve binge-watched an entire new series on Netflix, eaten a whole packet of cookies or not been to the gym for a month!

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that procrastination kicks in when I feel overwhelmed. 

It’s a complex web of connections between my brain and my body, but essentially my energy dips when I’m stressed financially. When I’m stressed my health issues flare up which means my energy levels dip – physically and mentally. When my energy is low I don’t do as much exercise and catch myself numbing out with old Sex and the City episodes, snacking instead of making proper meals and avoiding socialising. 

But the key here is that while this may be my pattern, I now have the AWARENESS to notice when it’s happening. 

💥Your triggers and patterns will be different to mine, but being able to spot them is the key to changing your habits and setting yourself on a new course.💥

I believe that it’s important to allow yourself to FEEL these emotions and experiences though.

It’s not about avoiding all those negative dips and moments of procrastination. They’re important steps in our journey of life.

💫To get back on track, my top tip is to set yourself a new routine. This will look different for each of us but will likely include a regular morning wake up time, journalling, a walk in nature or exercise of some kind, healthy eating, uninterrupted chunks of work time and scheduled treats – such as a massage, a weekend away or simply a cup of tea with a friend.💫

𝑯𝒐𝒘 𝒅𝒐𝒆𝒔 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒖𝒑 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖?

Lorraine xx

old stone wall in countryside in summer

The Stories Held Within Old Stones

Do you ever wonder about the stories old structures hold within? Imagine all the things they’ve seen and heard; the people who have touched them and the seasons they’ve weathered.

I love old dry stone walls. They’re so pretty, don’t you think? I imagine the people who collected the stones and built the walls. The stories they told of their families, love or travel as they measured, hammered or laid the stones in place. The jokes they shared as they ate their home made lunch; the way they leant against the wall after a hard week’s work.

I imagine the thousands of people who have walked past the walls, each on their own journey, chatting to their friends, making holiday plans with their partner or walking their dog. 

I imagine the seasons coming and going and the light changing. The early morning sunrise glow or the winter snowscape, covering the wall in fluffy snowflakes, dotted with the footprints of hungry robins searching for food in the cracks. 

Perhaps I simply have a vivid imagination, or perhaps we all possess a far deeper, greater connection to nature than we can ever comprehend. Perhaps these feelings of connection to an old stone wall (or to trees, or neolithic sites or old buildings) are just a tiny part of a HUGE picture that is way beyond our imagination. 

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts….

Lorraine xx

group of friends at sunset

How To Build Meaningful Connections and Deeper Friendships

 If you desire a relationship, friendship or connection that is based on trust, openness and love, then there’s only one way to build and grow it into something deep, strong and magical.

Vulnerability.

This is when we are brave enough to open up and show the other person who we truly are, without any mask or projection of some ‘perfect’ image of who we believe the other person wants us to be! 

Vulnerability isn’t weakness. It’s a strength.

Vulnerability is showing other people that we’re brave enough to speak our truth, whether that’s something as simple as where we’d like to go on a date for dinner or something far more intense like sharing an intimate truth. 

I remember so many times (in my teens and 20s) when I just wanted to please other people by going along with what they wanted to do. But in giving in and going against my soul’s truth I felt a shift of energy within me that left me frustrated, sad or irritated! 

Now that I’m older, wiser and have done many years of ‘inner work’, reflecting on my habits and behaviours and understanding why we act (or react) in these ways, I have very clear boundaries about the kind of energy I allow into my life as well as the energy I bring to relationships of all kinds.

I truly value the deep relationships I have with friends and connections in both the physical and virtual worlds. Whenever we connect, I try to only bring honesty, openness, vulnerability, love and positive energy to the conversation and hold space for them to step into their true selves with courage.

How can you step deeper into your vulnerability today? 

Lorraine xx

small waterfall and lilies in pond

Walking Thoughts and Connections To Nature

As I was walking in nature today, I had a profound thought…

We build schools, gyms and hospitals (places of education, exercise and ‘health’ care) in huge concrete structures, cutting down trees and forests, reclaiming land along the seashore and covering millions of acres of soil in tarmac and paving. 

Is it any wonder that we (as western cultures) feel so disconnected, sick and stressed? We’ve literally cut off, covered over, squashed and drowned out our connection to nature. 

We need more children (and adults!) playing in forests, learning from nature and moving their bodies in a way that’s fun and boosts fitness and health. 

I remember as a child in the 1980s that most of the houses in my town had front gardens. Most houses only had one car and that was often parked IN the garage. Fast forward a couple of decades and people everywhere started tarmacking over their front gardens to create extra parking and reduce their ‘garden chores’ burden! (And now their garages are filled with junk they don’t even use.)

And now, 40 years on, more and more people don’t even have the luxury of a front garden (or even a back garden!) with millions of people living in apartments and blocks of flats, cut off from nature in a landscape of concrete. 

The only way to find our way back is on an individual human level. 

Each one of us is responsible for sourcing and maintaining our own connections to nature – rewilding paved areas, weekly visits to lakes, forests or the beach, daily connections to nature close to home, bringing plants into the home.

AND we’re also collectively responsible for creating change! We can only make a difference if we come together.

Start with what you can do with love from your heart. Growing extra food in your garden for your community. Writing articles for the internet or magazines. Talking to people at your school or workplace about your concerns and coming up with group efforts. using your business skills as a writer, designer, photographer or videographer to support organisations and campaigns who have the planet and humanity at their core. 

It all starts with us. 

Lorraine xx

 

sunset on the beach

Small inspired action steps

There’s a long (and messy) period of personal growth between realising we’re not happy or healthy where we are and making regular, daily, committed changes to creating a life that feels like a better fit. 

A huge gap between feeling STUCK and feeling ALIGNED.

All we can ever do, wherever we are, is take ONE SMALL INSPIRED ACTION STEP in the right direction.

Maybe you dream of a whole new career direction but feel stuck in your job because you have bills to pay and children to feed. 

Maybe your heart is tugging you towards being self-sufficient; growing your own vegetables and fruit instead of buying lots of items in plastic packaging each week.

Maybe you’re a young person wanting to get out of a bad life situation and have no idea where to start because no-one in your family has ever been brave enough to do that before.

JUST ONE STEP:

Want to learn a language? Download an app and take your first lesson.

Want to move country? Start researching the immigration process.

Want a new career in a new field? Research the qualifications required or search out role models and read about their story or find some mutual connections through LinkedIn and reach out with your questions. 

Want to grow a vegetable garden? Start with a couple of pots of potatoes or a fruit tree.

Want to switch your buying habits away from plastic packaging? Find local farm shops and check them out to see which ones suit you and your budget/location best. 

Want to get out of a bad situation (debt, bad/abusive relationship, poverty etc.) – get help. Ask a trusted friend, a helpline or an organisation for help and guidance. 

JUST ONE STEP. That’s all it takes to set a whole new life into action!

You’ve got this!

Lorraine xx