Busyness v. Stillness

Once upon a time I was a mother of two little children, rushing around from one activity to the next, surrounded by a sea of plastic toys and answering hundreds of random questions every day.

I was always busy, always thinking, always moving. I never stopped. A ‘mummy drink’ of Bacardi and coke and a generous portion of reality TV simply numbed the senses but didn’t really allow me to switch off.

I got irritated really easily, kicked toys, drove too fast and ate a lot of chocolate.

My body, mind and soul were constantly swept up in a tornado of ‘doing’ and ‘stuff’.

Fast forward a few years and in contrast to busyness, I now enjoy stillness.

The change did not happen overnight. It’s been a long process of aligning to my inner truths and core values; a journey of learning to understand and love the real me on the inside.

Because, the truth is this…

Sometimes we just get swept up with life. The boyfriend, the house, the wedding, the baby, the nursery, the toys, the school, the activities, the jobs, the money, the food, the shopping, the socialising. The endless accumulation of stuff to do and stuff to own. We find ourselves constantly irritated by minor things and filling the void with food, alcohol, caffeine, sugar or substances. (Because stuff does not equal contentment.)

I realised I had enough stuff in my life. In fact, I had too much. All this stuff was drowning my spirit and making me stressed and overwhelmed.

There wasn’t one point at which I suddenly said ‘that’s enough!’, it was a gradual process; a mirror of the process it took to get there. The layers piled on and now they needed peeling off again.

When I moved from a bungalow in 2013 I had ten years of stuff in the loft to clear out. Every painting and drawing the girls had ever made, every pair of shoes they’d ever worn, every outfit, every toy, every blanket, every photo … plus there were boxes of mine and my ex-husband’s that we’d not looked at since the late 90s! Emptying the loft took longer than emptying the actual main living space. (Although, carrying boxes down a ladder every day for three weeks is great for your legs and bum! #silverlinings)

In the last five years what’s changed the most is the realisation that I need stillness, calm, peace and time to reflect every day. Not just once a week for an hour between other activities, I need it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

When I’m out with friends, networking or at an event, I love being with people. I love listening to their stories and finding out what lights them up and fuels their creative passion. When I’m with my children I love to listen to their stories of school, work, social media and friendships and understand what makes them tick as they grow into amazing young adults. And when I’m by myself I love to just BE. To look up at the clouds and watch the trees swaying in the wind, to spend quiet time with a purring cat on my lap or watching my bunnies wash their faces or eat daisies – stem first (it’s the cutest thing!).

As a small business owner I’ve tried making schedules and timetables and plans but I’ve realised that they don’t work for me because they don’t allow for time to just be. This precious time (and precious moments with children, partners and pets or in nature) can’t be allocated within a spreadsheet. Sometimes you have to seize the moment or the opportunity when it presents itself. If you’re trying to stick to a schedule then you’ll always feel like you failed, even if you actually took time off to do something that made you feel great.

So, what really changed over the last five to ten years? How did I get from overwhelmed, rushing, stressed out mummy to calm, serene business owner?

  • I switched my mindset. I read The Gratitude Diaries, Eat Pray Love, Big Magic and countless other books that helped me to live life from a place of gratitude, not scarcity. I wrote daily gratitude lists and made more time to enjoy the simple things in life. 
  • I cut drama and negativity out of my life. I stopped watching the news, daytime TV, reading newspapers and reading the negative comments across social media. I actually sold my TV too! Now I watch just the documentaries, movies or programmes that I choose, online, at my preferred time.
  • I began decluttering. I realised that simply tidying the stuff from one room to another or rearranging it into yet more plastic storage boxes simply wasn’t working! The stagnant energy was still sitting there. Slowly, I’ve reduced our possessions to perhaps a tenth of what we had back in 2013. I’m working on creating a capsule wardrobe where I love everything in it and every item fits me well and makes me feel great. This stops that ‘I have nothing to wear’ scenario and reduces the stress of washing mountains or packing for holidays.
  • I stopped trying to make everything fit and just tuned in to ME. I realised that I was happiest when I wasn’t constantly trying to be something that I wasn’t. I shared more of the real me online which attracted more of my ‘tribe’. Now with an amazing, extended group of like-minded people all around me, I feel supported, respected and loved. And the best part is that I get to make others feel good too! #connectionsandcommunity
  • I switched back to a mainly vegetarian diet somewhere around 2012 … and then tried four months as a raw vegan before ending up at a 95% plant-based diet that suited me and my family really well. In the last year I’ve committed to a completely plant-based lifestyle and the last pieces all fell into place. Love, compassion, peace, kindness, stillness, nature, lunar cycles and Mother Earth – it all fits together like a beautiful hand made wooden puzzle.
  • Plus (and you may not like these!), I stopped drinking diet coke, rarely drink alcohol and never drink black tea or coffee. Before switching to a plant-based diet I’d also stopped eating over-processed milk chocolate bars (like the ones in purple wrappers) and switched to dairy-free dark chocolate instead. So, basically, cut the caffeine, sugar and alcohol and you’ll feel much less stressed! Eating a healthy, vegetable and fruit rich diet with primarily home cooked foods will support and nourish your body.

So that’s me, now it’s over to you…

  • What can you do today to bring more stillness, calm and joy into your life?
  • What can you do today to reduce the amount of stress and overwhelm you feel? Where do you need to be honest with yourself? What difficult conversations do you need to have? Where do you need support?
  • What can you do today to connect with people that will lift you up, support your goals and make you feel great? How can you make other people feel loved, respected and heard?

 

Lorraine xx

If the song of my heart ceases to play, can I survive the silence?

‘If the song of my heart ceases to play, can I survive the silence?’

– Shonda Rhimes

When you suddenly realise you’ve lost the joy in your life, the silence can be deafening.

You pause for a while, looking in on your life from above, like an out-of-body experience. You barely recognise who you’ve become.

 

Where did the vibrant young woman go? What happened to her dreams?

Where was the laughter, the music, the giggling, the song?

Where was the dancing in the rain and the wind-swept hair?

❤︎

When was the last time you felt excitement, like the fizzing magnetism of a first date kiss?

When was the last time you felt truly fulfilled – your heart overflowing like marshmallows and whipped cream piled high on a steaming mug of hot chocolate?

When was the last time you didn’t get through a whole week on autopilot? Numb to the simple pleasures of life and a slave to something you can’t even put into words.

❤︎

When you’re broken and burnt out, or just feeling totally empty, there IS a way to find the magic again.

You see, the magic is LOVE.

Always has been, always will be.

The secret to turning your life around isn’t really a secret at all.

It’s about living each moment with love – in its simplest form.

Play. Laugh. Write. Run. Paint. Stretch. Sleep. Create. Give. Cook. Share. Sing. Dance.

Indulge your soul for 15 minutes a day doing something that brings you pure joy.

Fifteen minutes.      900 seconds.       1% of your day.

Everyone can find 15 minutes…

  •   The more you do the things that light you up, the more creative and enthusiastic you’ll feel about other projects in life.
  •   The more you follow you heart, the more you’ll attract the right people and opportunities in to your life to help you reach your personal or business goals.
  •   The more you tune in and listen to the whispers of your soul, the more aligned you’ll feel and life will begin to flow effortlessly.

 

As Shonda Rhimes says, in her TED talk My year of saying yes to everything:

‘The more I play, the happier I am and the happier my kids are.

I said YES to less work and more play and somehow I still run my world.’

A Love Letter to my Dream Client

A love letter to my dream client (read on, it might be you!)…

Hey beautiful, I have to take a moment to tell you how much I admire you.

I love your passion for your work, your heart-centred approach and the way you do everything with complete integrity and grace.

I love your curiosity and dedication to learning and personal growth. Watching you step out of your comfort zone to follow your soul’s desire is one of life’s most beautiful things. It’s up there with mountain peaks at sunrise, rosy-cheeked babies dressed in fleece bodysuits and ducklings in a line trying to keep up with mum.

It gives me goosebumps when I hear you tell your story; the journey of highs and lows, spiritual awakening and massive transformation that has brought you to where you are today.

It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to listen to you and watch you grow, but being able to play a small part in your life is truly amazing.

I believe in you and all your unique gifts and talents you have to offer. You’re such an inspiration to so many people and I’m blown away by the work you’ve already achieved and the incredible words of praise and transformation your clients write about you.

I’m so excited to get started on writing your website copy, e-book and social media and look forward to watching you shine even more brilliantly.

With love + light (and a lot of green tea)

Lorraine xx

to my dream client

Photo credit: Caju Gomes @ Unsplash

Want to find out more about working with me? Click here for all the info!

You’ve got this fire burning in your belly

You’ve got this fire BURNING in your belly …

🔥  a desire to make a difference

🔥  a message that needs to be heard

🔥  a truth that must be told

But, the reality is, as much as you LOVE what you do, you spend a lot of the time overwhelmed by all the ‘stuff’ you feel you need to do on social media to promote your business, build an engaged tribe and be seen as the expert in your field.

What if …

… there was someone on hand who completely understood your business, supported your mission, could talk your language AND thought you were completely AWESOME? (because you are!)

And imagine…

… if that same person was your content creation angel 👼; someone who would consistently create engaging, innovative and interesting blogs and articles for your business every month so you could sit back and do the REAL, deep, core work you do with your clients?

🔥🔥🔥 How much brighter, stronger and hotter would your fire burn in 6 months time if you had a bigger audience, an engaged tribe of people who ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ your energy, pay 💰💰💰 for your products or services and 😃😃😃 tell everyone how happy they are?

If you have a passionate, clear message, an existing biz and a soul-driven purpose but are lacking time, energy or skills to create consistent, high quality content, then working with me could take you to the next level – a place where you feel abundant, relaxed and filled with vitality and enthusiasm to continue to rise.

Click here for package prices for blogs, articles and website copy.

Ready to crackle and sparkle? Let’s chat!

Lorraine xx

Is someone standing on YOUR podium?

When did you decide to stop following your dreams?

I know you had dreams, desires, goals. Maybe even just a knowing feeling that somewhere in life there would be more than this. But, at some point you gave up. You settled for less than you deserved. Less than you were meant to be. Less than you dreamed of.

Why did you do that?

Because the fight got too hard. It was easier to live a quiet, simple life. It was easier to stay in the job you hated. It was easier to let the kids eat oven-ready dinners. It was easier to just throw on the same jumper and jeans. It was easier to go for the natural look. It was easier to live with someone who made you feel rubbish than to put yourself back in the dating pool. It was easier to keep driving the old car that kept breaking down. It was easier to rely on your husband for money. It was easier to book the family holiday to the same place every year where the kids would be safe and entertained.

But what happened when you stopped fighting and just lived the easy life?

You resented the job you were in. Your kids didn’t thrive as much as they might have on home cooked, real food. You felt frumpy and plain and maybe invisible too. Your self-esteem took a nose dive. You didn’t trade in the car for a more reliable one. You didn’t have any need to take a risk. You didn’t travel to places that really lit up your heart.

Did that feel good?

I’m guessing not. Although while you were in that phase (or maybe still are) you switched off your dreams and goals buttons and forgot about them. At least, you thought you had. But deep inside there was always this gnawing feeling that you weren’t quite in the right place or living the life that was right for you. Sometimes these feelings disappeared for months at a time. Maybe you embraced a new partner, a new baby, a new house, a new job, wonderful friends, dieting breakthroughs and fabulous new clothes. It wasn’t all bad. Hey, from the outside your life even looked great.

But then, out of the blue came one of those lightbulb moments. A realisation. A feeling. A sensation.

You began to feel fired up; that warmth in your belly and tingly pins and needles down your limbs. Your mind raced as you pieced together a few more parts of the puzzle. Yes! I can do this! This is for me! Why didn’t I see it before? And then, like a shooting star that fizzles before your eyes, the fears are back and your dreams are lost.

You pick yourself up and soon fall back again. And again. And again. But just like a baby learning to walk, you have to keep trying. You really do.

If you don’t try to live the life of your dreams someone else will.

Someone else will be there, shining bright, on your podium.

It’s your step.

It may be a big one, but you have to stretch up and stand on top and take your rightful place in the world.

Because honey, you were born for greatness.

You were born to shine brightly.

You were born to be you.

Don’t ever let anyone else tell you you can’t do something. You can achieve anything you put your mind to. What would really make you happy?

What makes your light shine brightly inside?

What lights your soul and brings about that sparkle that others notice in you?

Lorraine xx

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Lorraine Pannetier is an intuitive copywriter and content creator who helps heart-centred entrepreneurs, Earth angels and goddess warriors to shine brilliantly through carefully crafted copy that embraces their unique essence so they attract their tribe, increase credibility and feel confident showing up as the amazing women they were born to be.

What to do when creativity leaves the building

When creativity disappears and leaves you lost for ideas, it sucks!

 

Waves of frustration wash over you.

‘Why can everyone else put out loads of new content all the time and I’m stuck?’

Every day you try new tactics, but your mind just becomes overfilled and overwhelmed.

There’s that lingering sense of ‘I’m not good enough’.

‘Why can’t it just be easy?’

 

It’s in these moments you either give up or become fiercely determined to succeed.

 

Frustration is replaced with a new commitment.

Overwhelm is swapped for a shiny new schedule.

Deflation morphs into creation.

 

You leap into your new plan filled with all the energy of a space shuttle launch.

But just as rocket fuel quickly burns away, so does your dedication.

You’re back where you started.

 

So what’s going so wrong?

What needs to change?

 

Here are my top 3 tips to bring creativity back into your life:

  • Creativity flows when you’re in alignment to your inner values and desires. What does that mean in real life? Well, when you’re being true to who you really are, that’s when your authentic voice shines through. Your words are warmer, you attract your ideal clients with ease and you come across as honest and real. Humans are naturally wired to sniff out truth or deception and those who are more intuitive (i.e. regularly have that ‘gut feeling’ or instinct about people or situations) can pick up on this in seconds. So figure out what you really believe in and then stand up for that. Be bold. Be courageous. Be you.
  • Creativity is drowned by overwhelm. When you’re trying to do everything by yourself you simply have too many tabs open in your brain. What are the basic tasks needed to run your business successfully? What tasks could you delegate? What tasks can only you do? Do you have a schedule to stick to? How could your family help around the house? Could you get a cleaner? Do you waste time being reactive to social media? There are so many things that we all do every single day and it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. Start by scheduling 1 hour a day just for you. This can be in 2 x 30 minute blocks or 3 x 20 minutes if you prefer. This hour is for anything you desire that isn’t connected to your business or creativity. So, read a book, go for a walk, sort your wardrobe, meet a friend for coffee and cake (cake makes everything better), watch a TEDx talk or take a candlelit bath. Then for all the other ‘tasks’ in your life (business and personal), just write down the 3 most important things and get them done first.
  • Creativity is all about connection. In the online space it’s vitally important we connect with people every single day. Whether it’s through your own posts, engaging in groups or paid memberships, simply showing up, being visible, sharing your knowledge, being known as the expert in your field or offering support and inspiration, it’s all connection. It doesn’t matter whether your preferred medium is video, audio, photographic or written – use whichever one most lights you up and the one that is most applicable to the tribe you wish to attract. Then show up every single day.

 

If a relaxing writing retreat sounds like the perfect antidote to your creative struggles, check out my Corfu Writing Retreat (October 2017).

 

Lorraine xx