tropical beach covered in plastic

How to step out of your plastic comfort zone

It may not be easy, but I believe we must all join together and step out of our plastic comfort zone. It’s time to reduce our consumption of plastic in all its forms, today!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ll be well aware of planet Earth’s plastic crisis.

David Attenborough’s beautiful documentary series ‘Blue Planet II’ highlighted the damage we humans have created in the oceans today.

If we don’t start taking more responsibility for our plastic trash, soon our seas will contain more plastic than fish. A pretty scary thought.

We managed to reduce cigarette consumption, advertising and promotion…

When I was a little girl, I remember seeing cigarette adverts on television and in magazines, and on posters at bus stops.

Characters smoking in movies and TV shows was commonplace – as was smoking in offices, restaurants and aeroplanes.

And then throughout the 1980s, prompted by medical and scientific research, ‘we’ (the public consumer) began to realise that smoking was bad for human health.

Slowly, images of blackened lungs and long lists of health complications filtered into our lives on a daily basis.

At school we learned the negative impact of smoking cigarettes and consequently made different choices to our parents’ generation. 

The same thing has happened with sugar, alcohol and stress related illness.

We’re more aware of the risks and actively take steps to protect our physical and mental health.

So, if we can make such substantial shifts with cigarettes, sugar and stress, why is it taking us so long to change our plastic habits?

Is it because the results aren’t seen and felt within our own bodies? 

We’re bombarded with photographic images of floating plastic islands and third world populations living in squalid conditions surrounded by dead lakes and rivers; water suffocated through plastic pollution.

And yet we still don’t make a change.

We were horrified by video footage of a turtle with a plastic straw stuck inside its nostril, and yet, beyond cutting out plastic straws and plastic shopping bags, still we continue along the same path that will result in irreversible environmental damage.

A grim future for humans and many species of animal life. 

It’s as if we don’t really care enough.

We know you can’t quit smoking by having ‘a couple’ a day, nor reverse diabetes by indulging in sugary processed snacks every evening.

Equally, we cannot solve the plastic pollution epidemic by just dipping our toes in and out when it’s convenient for us. 

It’s time we pulled on our big girl pants (or superhero cape) and stepped waaaaaaaay out of our comfort zones to really make a difference. 

We have to stop and consider our choices every time we make a purchase.

Even if that means missing out on our favourite snack or spending more money on a more durable (or recyclable) option.

Or learning to be more patient while we source a better, non-plastic choice.

We’ve reached new levels of destruction…

On a short trip to mainland England last year, I witnessed the level of destruction we’re causing to our beautiful planet through our bad habits and incessant use of plastic.

On various train journeys across the country, I saw large sections of railway line littered with old plastic items. These weren’t simply bags and bottles that blew here on ‘dustbin day’ a week or two ago, these were items that have been laying there for years.

Their colours faded but their shape still very much intact.

As I watched plastic bags caught in trees, forlornly blowing in the wind, I felt a sense of sadness, as if they were waving for help that would never come.

This has to stop!

I’m calling time on plastic.

Now, it’s fair to say that the majority of people who read this article will already be somewhat aware of the plastic issues and will be actively making a difference.

I know I maybe preaching to the converted: you carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go, take food to work in your stainless steel lunchbox and you do your grocery shopping with cotton bags. 

But, even as an advocate for intentional living, I realise that I’m not perfect and it’s time for ME to step up MY game.

 I feel like you and I are missing many parts of this complex equation because we …

  • Focus on just a tiny part of the plastic problem (i.e. straws, bags, coffee cups).
  • Do too much of it alone instead of collaborating and connecting with others.
  • Don’t commit 100%.

So, what can we do TODAY, this week, this month and this year to truly step up our game and be part of the change?

  • Learn more. A lot more. While there are statistics available, it’s up to us to dig deeper, do the research and contact manufacturers. We must write to politicians, make connections and share knowledge. A world with less plastic and less plastic pollution is the only way forward. 
  • Stop and think before you buy. Do I really need this item? Is there a non-plastic alternative? Will this item be delivered wrapped in plastic? How will I dispose of this item when I no longer need it? Can it be repaired?
  • Commit to a life with as little plastic as possible – particularly single use plastic but also larger items such as garden pots and storage containers. (Use swap groups and second hand sites to ensure we use the existing items in circulation rather than creating demand for new ones.)

I believe that life is a beautiful journey; that we receive the information and opportunities when we need them in order to progress to the next stage.

BUT…. at some point you have to stop playing small and step up your game.

That’s the point I’m at now. 

I’ve had enough of sitting quietly and doing my thing. It’s time to make the ripples in the world that I’ve been talking about for so long. 

You see, I’ve been here before.

I was an early advocate of plant-based eating but I played small through my own fears of being judged and lack of action taking. I only managed to engage a relatively small audience of around five thousand people and sold a few hundred copies of my plant-based e-books. 

(They’re on sale HERE if you’d like to support me on my mission to make the world a better place for all of us and future generations.)

It wasn’t enough. 

And my plastic action-taking isn’t enough either.

Are you truly doing enough? Could you do more? 

Don’t leave it any longer. Today is the day we must all embrace the challenge and step out of our plastic comfort zone.

Lorraine xx

Want to read more about climate change issues? You might like my blog: Climate Change Protests: How NOT to be a d*ck on social media!

Want to read more about climate change an environmental issues? Check out this blog…
How to edit your life for increased happiness. White flowers in vase on wooden side table next to white covered bed.

How to edit your life for increased happiness

‘Could I do with a little Life Editing?’

This is the question posed by Graham Hill in his TED talk ‘Less stuff, more happiness’.

It inspires us to take a closer look at what we have, why we have it, how we live and, most importantly, how we dream of living.

When life is weighing us down with physical clutter it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, burnt out and ready to quit.

So, what is physical clutter?

If you say the words ‘physical clutter’ aloud, what images spring to mind?

You might visualise a hoarder living in dark, dingy accommodation packed from floor to ceiling with ‘stuff’, or a garden filled with old bikes, broken fence panels and a rusty fridge.

Of course, this is an extreme case and probably only enters our minds because of television shows we’ve seen. 

Perhaps you visualise an older person surrounded by years of memorabilia, photos, hundreds of books and a shed filled with bric-a-brac that’s sure to ‘come in handy one day’. 

Or maybe you picture a large family home with each room bursting at the seam with endless toys and games….

A kitchen filled with every gadget and electrical item.

A garage so full that the car can no longer enjoy its rightful home.

Bathrooms packed with multi-coloured plastic bottles for every body part, for each member of the tribe. 

And it’s not just physical clutter…

In this digital age, we’re bombarded more and more with data clutter. Newsletters, sales emails, special offers and messages all enticing us to ‘sign up NOW!’

We have multiple tabs open on every device; not to mention upgrading these devices every 18 months just to keep up.

It’s time to stop cluttering our lives and instead enjoying more freedom and joy.

In his TED talk, Hill primes us with the notion of the joys of less.

When you’re travelling and only have an overnight bag in a hotel room, how do you feel?

I’m guessing…

Free. Relaxed. Creative. Enthusiastic. Calm.

How do you feel when you walk back through your front door and straight into the noise, clutter and chaos? 

It’s draining.

Like your life source is instantly sucked out from within you and leaves you feeling weak, tired and numb or stressed, angry and impatient for change.

So, what can you do? 

In addition to considering living ‘smaller’ and more efficiently in a multi-functional space that suits your needs, Hill suggests we should ‘edit ruthlessly’.

This is not just about getting rid of stuff, but reducing the flow of new items into your space and being far more aware of what you buy and how it will make you feel. 

(Read more about my personal journey in this blog ‘Why I love thrift shopping’.)

Bea Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home, suggests a similar first stage to living a more efficient, joy-filled life by learning to REFUSE and REDUCE the quantity of goods you acquire. 

Simply recycling and selling or donating what we have isn’t enough.

This is about a complete mindset shift towards being aware of how we act as consumers and the intention in how we live our everyday lives. 

Still not convinced? 

In America the average family has three times more space they had fifty years ago and commercial storage units have become a $22 billion industry! 

We’ve now each got more debt, a higher carbon footprint and considerably more stress than ever before. Plus, we’re not even as happy!

I believe that now is the time to take drastic action and begin living a life that feels aligned to your soul and good for your family. 

It’s the time to live happier lives with less stuff, more experiences and more of the important stuff that actually makes your heart sing. 

We must make a pact to live intentionally and to share that knowledge and experience with others.

Stop. 

Breathe. 

Because it’s time to live the life you deserve and the life you truly dream of; a life filled with joy.

Are you ready to edit your life for increased happiness?

Lorraine xx

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Eat more plants for a happy, healthy life

Just as it’s important to build strong foundations to create a healthy business, so we need to build strong foundations, or pillars, for our personal health.

These health pillars relate to our physical health in both mind and body, and can also relate to spiritual and financial health.

Eating a diet rich in organic fruit and vegetables is great, but if at the same time you’re living unhealthy practices in mental health, spiralling into debt or stuck in a toxic relationship, then you aren’t going to achieve the vibrant health and vitality you dream of.

Food is not the enemy, but equally it isn’t the saviour. Clean food won’t instantly transform your life nor make the fat, inflammation or disease formed from years of destructive self talk disappear over night.

It’s time to think about food as just one part of a happy, energetic, harmonious life.

I’ve long held the mantra (and the hashtag) ‘Eat More Plants’, in fact, it was even the title of my very first recipe e-book back in 2015 as well as the name of the cooking class I taught at a local college.

To me, the essence of eating more plant-based foods revolves around nourishing your body at a cellular level, being more connected to nature and the seasons and filling your plate with a rainbow of foods created the way nature intended.

A whole food, plant based lifestyle means that we naturally consume far less processed and man-made foods (including junk food and snacks) as well as less sugar, less salt and less saturated fat than the standard British or American diet.

Eating this way means that you have to get back in the kitchen to wash, prepare and cook ingredients – which for many people is the one thing that sends them running straight back to the supermarket for ready meals or sauces in jars.

But one of the most important things I’ve realised over the years is that once you slow down and make time for home cooking, the more connected you feel to the food you eat and the greater the satisfaction in eating. This connection is heightened by more family meals around the table, children helping you cook and prepare food or even going foraging together or creating your own veggie patch in the garden.

It’s like a positive version of a catch 22. The more you slow down, the more relaxed and happy you feel and the lower the chance of stress eating, bingeing or grabbing that chocolate bar or bag of crisps from the petrol station or corner shop.

You’ve switched from running around at warp speed, unsuccessfully multi-tasking in every aspect of your life (we all know that when you try to spin too many plates they invariably fall and smash spectacularly at your feet), to slowing down to a pace where you have time to breathe.

To stop and smell the metaphorical roses.

To just be in the present moment.

To take that evening walk. To visit the friend. To take grandma out for Sunday tea.

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After a few months, your body catches up with your mind. You realise your sleep is better; no more staring at the ceiling at 3am or waking up with a feeling of dread hanging over you. Your body moves more freely; you sign up to the gym or a local exercise class or dip your toes in the sea. Your skin is brighter with less need for a mask of heavy make up – freeing up more time in the morning for reading, writing or creative passions. Your clothes fit better and you feel a sense of confidence return; perhaps you will join the dance class or dating site after all….

Eating (and enjoying) a plant-based lifestyle isn’t just about you though. It evokes a wider sense of community: a desire to meet other people following the same path, to share information and recipes or to swap home grown produce.

Helping the planet reverse the impact of catastrophic climate change is another crucial benefit of eating more plant based food and less meat, fish and dairy. If you’re interested in the statistics, just ask Google (or Ecosia – the eco-friendly search engine which plants trees as you search).

While switching your diet overnight is generally pretty difficult (particularly if you have a partner and children eating in the same house), there are many simple ways you can tip the balance in favour of plants. 

Here are some of my favourite top tips to help you to Eat More Plants:

  • Switch the balance of your current family favourites in favour of plants. Take out half the mince and add a can of brown lentils to a lasagne, shepherd’s pie or bolognese. Take out half the chicken or fish from a curry or stir fry and add more vegetables. Try courgette noodles instead of pasta with a home made tomato sauce blended with roasted vegetables (try carrots, onion, garlic, red pepper and tomatoes with fresh basil). Swap cheese sprinkled on hot dishes for toasted pine nuts or broken pieces of cashew nuts.
  • Try eating meat free one day a week. Or one meal a day every day. There are probably lots of meals you already enjoy that are either vegetarian or could be easily switched to plant based. Easy choices are pasta with tomato sauce, lentil or chick pea curry, mushroom risotto and bean chilli with potato wedges. There’s a global movement based around meat-free or meatless Monday – simply search for the hashtag across social media.
  • Learn something new. Learning is a huge part of human life. We’re constantly learning, growing and evolving in relationships, work, sport and creative pursuits. Learning how to cook, trying new recipes, joining an evening cooking class, watching a documentary, listening to podcasts, buying a book…. there are billions of bite sized pieces of information out there created by passionate, knowledgeable and artistic people.
  • Share information and resources. Once you’ve learnt something new, share it. Lend a book, write a blog, share a meal, comment on a social media post. If you have friends already embracing a plant-based (or vegan) lifestyle, ask them a few questions, invite them to eat with you, share their information with others if they’re running a plant-based food business or website.
  • As Brené Brown would probably say, ‘dare greatly’. Be confident and courageous and try something new in the kitchen. What’s the worst that could happen? If the food tastes really bad or you burn it it’ll end up in the bin and you’ll eat something else. But chances are, it’ll be edible – and better than that, it could be totally delicious! Explore, experiment and enjoy your new food adventures.

If you’d like to buy my two original plant-based recipe e-books, click here for more details.

Lorraine xx

5 Motivation Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs

Are you a self-employed business owner returning to work after the long summer holidays?

Whether you’ve taken a month or two off to spend time with family and travel abroad, or have been mainly at home dipping your toes in your business all summer, chances are you’re ready to get your head back in the game and start creating new projects and opportunities.

Like you, I’m feeling both excited to get started and a little apprehensive about my ability to actually sit down and ‘get sh*t done’! Knowing how easily I get distracted (ooh look pretty interiors on Pinterest), I’ve created a list of strategies that help me to feel more motivated, aligned, supported and nourished, so that I can achieve my goals with ease and flow.

Here are five top tips to make returning to work productive and enjoyable:

  • Set a realistic alarm. Let’s be honest, if you’ve been staying up late (I won’t mention G&Ts) and relaxing all morning over the summer months then a 5am alarm is going to feel pretty terrible! You’ll hit snooze over and over, before finally dragging yourself into the kitchen for coffee a couple of hours later. So be realistic and set a time that you know will work for you. Remember, you can always make it 5-10 minutes earlier each day for a week until you get to your preferred wake up time.
  • Drink a glass of water. Keep a bottle by your bed (I love my 24 Bottles ‘Clima’ bottle that keeps water cold overnight) and drink as soon as you wake up. Hydration is key to a clear head, so keep drinking water all day long. Two litres is a minimum and aim for three or more if you live in a hot climate or exercise for over an hour.
  • Start the day with some meditation and stretching. I found a couple of short meditation and yoga videos on YouTube over the summer and have been doing them every morning for a few weeks and it feels great. I created a playlist that also includes a cardio/body toning workout and some affirmations – so I pick and choose which I feel like doing. Sometimes just the three minute meditation is all I need to feel focused. Find something that works for you and just do it before anything else!
  • Wear clothes that make you feel fabulous. That gorgeous floaty maxi dress you only wore once to a party, wear it! Those beautiful new earrings you fell in love with in the shop but haven’t worn yet, put them on! When you work from home it doesn’t matter what you wear, but by choosing fabrics, textures and colours that make you feel great, you’ll be exuding a more positive energy that will shine through in all you do – whether that’s client projects or boring admin tasks.
  • Plan your most important activities. I’m not a fan of hour-by-hour scheduling, I find it too restrictive, but I do get far more done when I plan the most important tasks each day and give them a time frame. For example, one hour of blog writing, one hour for a video chat with an online business friend, three hours on a client project. I can then be flexible with each activity and work them around cooking for my family, picking up one of my daughters from a friend’s house or going shopping for cat food. (Luna is telling me he’s hungry as I write this!)

However you spend your days at work, always ensure you plan ahead for the important things that make life even better. Things like date nights, family trips, self-care and time with friends – as well as making time to prepare, cook and eat delicious healthy food that supports your body, mind and soul.

Take some time every day to reward yourself for your commitment to your business and to plan ahead for the next few months. Use this time to think about what lights you up, what fuels your passion and what lights the fire in your belly.

As a small business owner or creative entrepreneur, the lines between business and personal life can get repeatedly blurred. It’s important to always allow yourself time to fully switch off from work mode by spending time journalling, relaxing and being in nature so that clarity and creativity flow freely and abundantly.

Lorraine xx

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Lorraine is a self-confessed lover of homemade vegan hot chocolate, fluffy animals and Pinterest. In between looking after her family and pets she effortlessly weaves words into magnetic copy for overwhelmed creative entrepreneurs who need a little word-whispering magic sprinkled over their unique brand. Find out more about Lorraine’s copywriting, ghost writing and content creation services here.

Still haven’t finished your cup of tea? Then head over here to read another of Lorraine’s blogs.

 

Celebrating and Supporting Women

Unless you’ve unplugged from social media this week, or are enjoying a relaxing internet-free break on a tropical island (lucky you), chances are you’ve noticed that today (Friday 8 March) is International Women’s Day.

This year’s theme focuses on Balance – with the sentiment being that ‘a balanced world is a better world’.

Balance is something we’re all trying to achieve but somehow often falling short.

Today, I want to let you know that even if you haven’t reached a particular goal or dream in your life or business, it’s ok!

You’re not a failure for having failed, you’re amazing for having even tried.

In honour of International Women’s Day, I want to support and promote some of the amazing women who’ve crossed my path in the last twelve months.

All of these women inspire me to be a better version of myself than I was yesterday.

So, a huge thank you to each and every one of you. You’re making more of a difference in the world than you could ever have dreamed of.

Lorraine xx

(As they say on reality TV: ‘In no particular order…’)

Celebrating International Women's Day

MAEVE NORTHCROSS

Maeve is a real-life guardian angel; an effervescent Soul Coach who radiates love and warmth. While we’ve yet to meet in person, our video calls feel like we’ve known each other for lifetimes (and perhaps we have!). Maeve has had such an incredible journey to arrive at this point today where she uses her decades of professional and personal experience to guide clients and retreat guests to a place of personal stillness and joy. Maeve is hosting a beautiful retreat in the rolling countryside of Northern Ireland this summer and for a few lucky people it will be exactly what they’ve dreamed of for so long.

JULES WHITE

Jules is one of the kindest souls on the planet. Her sales coaching work evolves from her deeply held belief that selling is really based on Human Conversation. Jules believes that many of the life skills we possess are sales skills in disguise and that we shouldn’t be afraid to promote our skills, talents, experience and natural gifts with the world. When it comes to action-taking, Jules definitely wins the top award! In the past year she’s spoken at a TEDx event, started a podcast, launched a course, written an Amazon best selling book and been invited to teach and speak all around the UK and in the USA – making her a truly international sales coach. I’m so proud of her unrelenting determination to succeed and to make a difference to small businesses and personal lives.

TINA LEIGH MCDONALD

Tina is one of those unassuming, humble people who really has NO idea how incredible she is and how much of a difference she’s making to young adults in the UK. Tina’s work in schools and the private sector help young people to gain vital skills needed to progress into the workplace. But, more importantly than that, she helps young people to believe in themselves – something that’s absolutely vital for long term emotional and physical health. Tina, I’ve said it before but you truly are amazing. Keep up the great work! xx

KATIE PHILLIPS

When I heard Katie speak at an event last summer, her words touched my heart. To go on a personal journey is one thing, but to be able to share that journey with others in a way that encourages transformation and spreads love is truly beautiful. I’m hoping to work with Katie over the next few months so that I can bloom and grow beyond my wildest dreams – and I know in my heart that Katie’s love and support will be the perfect catalyst for change.

SHELLEY MONK

You may not have heard of Shelley yet, but I guarantee that this little ray of sunshine will be bursting into your world very soon! I first met Shelley a couple of years ago and have watched her evolve into the confident Relationship Coach that she is now. If you’ve been struggling with finding your true, authentic self or are stuck in relationship hell, then her coaching will enable you to find your way and transform into the person you were meant to be. Go follow her now before she’s famous!

HELEN PACKHAM

Helen runs a highly successful and engaging Facebook group called The Courageous Leaders Club – which beautifully sums up everything Helen is about: courage, leadership and collaboration. Helen sets a great example every day in how to successfully run a business from a place of authenticity and vulnerability. Her ability to openly share the messy challenges that affect most of us on a weekly basis means that she builds a safe, supportive place where everyone feels comfortable in being real. The online space definitely needs more people like Helen!

NICOLA ARNOLD

I listened to Nicola speak at Helen Packham’s Entrepreneurial Leaders Live event last summer and was blown away by her energy, love and passion for making a difference in people’s lives. Nicola helps people to build their self-worth and resilience so that they can see, attract and take advantage of all the possibilities that come their way. Nicola’s mantra – ‘This is me’ – and her work as a Life Coach enable people to feel happy in their skin and enjoy the journey through behaviour and mindset change.

SANDY COUSENS

Sandy is a gifted, talented artist and interior designer who is quite simply one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. She supported me endlessly in my previous work in nutrition and food coaching and now it’s my turn to share her skills and talents with the world. If I had the money and the dream house with blank, white walls, I would have no hesitation in flying Sandy over from Australia to give my home a splash of her beautiful artwork and her laid back beach-vibe style. Sandy has created a dream art and design studio where she welcomes people for special events and workshops. If you live on the Gold Coast (lucky you!), do try to attend her events. For everyone else, take a look at Sandy’s relaxing website and online shop.

KAY FABELLA

Kay is a beautiful soul, inside and out and chatting to her is guaranteed to brighten your day! Kay is a talented storyteller with a gift for helping brands to find the message that forms the essence of the services they provide and to share that message with the world. I relate so much to Kay as a like-minded, curious, language lover with a passion for helping other women leverage their authenticity and shine brightly.

EMMA GAYWOOD

Emma is a Spiritual Guide who channels messages and energy from divine sources and is guaranteed to always hit the proverbial nail on the head! I couldn’t believe quite how accurate her reading was for me back in December when I asked a question about writing my book. Emma and I have bonded over a love of cats and spirituality and I’m so grateful to have Emma in my life. I’m excited for her next online gathering later in March.

 

Healing the heart space is scary

Healing the heart space is one of the scariest things we can do.

I know.

Because right now I’m scared.

Scared to open up and be vulnerable in a way I’ve never been before. I know my coach is going to ask me questions that will be uncomfortable – painful even. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

But if I don’t do it I will stay here.

Stuck.

Forever in a place of ‘not quite enough’; a silent haunting that weaves its way through all aspects of life.

When I think about how I’ll feel once we start our coaching journey together I breathe a huge sign of relief. A full, long breath that forces my shoulders to relax and allows my heart to open a little wider.

My eyes begin to well up with tears.

I know that my coach will trigger emotions from deep within me that I have to deal with in order to move forward, rise to the next level and achieve all of my life’s goals and desires.

You see, having an open heart isn’t just about being an animal lover, a kind, compassionate human being or a loving, tactile parent. Having an open heart is about being able to dig really deep into the darkest parts of your soul and to allow those fears to surface; to shine such a bright light on them that they no longer haunt your every thought.

I’m ready to do the inner work and feel the love of the Universe radiate from deep within me. I’m ready to be courageous even through times of fear and uncertainty. I’m ready to choose vulnerable and feminine each time my masculine ego kicks in to take me back to where I’ve always been.

After all, as Albert Einstein said: ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

However cliché it may sound, it’s time for me to step outside of my comfort zone.

I cannot evolve if I stay where it’s comfortable and safe.

It’s time to take a risk and know that the Universe is always there to support me.

If I’m feeling this way, chances are that you might feel this way too.

You KNOW you’re ready to step up your game in life, love or business but there are always excuses…

And when a coach (or friend, lover, parent or child) calls you out on your excuses, it’s as if you have an out of body experience where you can hear the words spewing from your mouth but in your heart you know they’re not true.

That’s why people trigger us when they call us out on our bullsh*t! We sometimes take it to heart as a negative judgement or harsh criticism because, ultimately, the truth hurts.

Now is the time to take that hurt and turn it into something that can bloom and grow into the life and love you’ve always dreamed of.

I’m ready.

I have faith that the Universe will support me every step of the way.

All it takes is that first step.

To commit.

To set the intention.

To say ‘YES, I’m ready!’

(At this point the Universe will probably throw its head back, laugh out loud and say ‘about time too!’)

I’m scared, but I’m ready.

Are you?

 

Lorraine xx

How can I be the best version of myself?

NEW! Listen to the audio version of this blog here.

How can I be the best version of myself?

Is that a question you’ve asked yourself lately?

Or ever?

We spend far too much of our time worrying about living up to other people’s expectations without pausing for a while to consider our own.

What values do you hold in high regard?

What traits do you most admire in others?

How can you spend more time living and breathing as the best version of yourself?

As a small-business owner (or heart-centred entrepreneur, as I like to say) I used to spend far too much time trying to create services and packages that would appeal to all different kinds of potential customers. If someone suggested a different angle I hadn’t thought of, I’d add that too. And I got tired. Exhausted. Burnt out.

As the old saying goes, I was trying to please all of the people, all of the time and winding up not pleasing anyone! Least of all myself.

Something had to change.

Through various twists and turns, challenges and plot twists, meetings with inspiring thought leaders and taking the time to tune into what was really important to me (aka core values), my life slowly began to sparkle.

It felt feel really good. Great, in fact.

It was as if all the magic I’d believed in as a child had landed in my lap. 

It wasn’t luck though, or even hard work.

The magic appeared because I’d become aligned to my inner voice and started to truly understand that it wasn’t what I did in my work (and personal life) that was important, but how and why I did it.

Asking myself the question: ‘How can I be the best version of myself today?’ soon became a daily habit.

For many months, I wrote down my thoughts, used oracle cards and my favourite rose quartz crystals, and allowed my inner voice to guide me.

You see, it wasn’t about creating a new e-book about a certain topic, or putting out a special priced offer on a new course, what really mattered was the passion at the core of everything I touched with my love and energy.

I realised that helping other people to shine brilliantly – to be the best version of themselves – was the really important thing to me.

This was (and still is) my why.

It didn’t matter whether I helped people gain business clarity during a quick 20 minute video call or supported them by writing their website copy, sent a quick ‘how are you feeling today?’ message or offered a short training session in their Facebook group.

How I delivered each of those things – from a place of love, compassion, kindness, empathy, experience and integrity – was integral to my personal fulfilment and, ultimately, more business success.

When you begin each day by thinking about how you can be the best version of yourself, you remove the need for expectation. You’re not expecting other people to act or talk in a certain way, you’re focused on how you can be better.

Once expectation is out of the way, it’s far easier to live from a place of love.

There’s no longer any need to act from fear, sadness or anger.

Whether you’re a business owner or not, we all make thousands of choices every single day. Choose the things that are in alignment to your core values, your inner voice, your ‘why’, and together we can create a ripple effect that makes every home, every school, every workplace and every community a more nourishing place to be.

How can you be the best version of yourself today?

Lorraine xx

Are you a passionate heart-centred entrepreneur interested in finding out how I can help you to shine brilliantly? Then hop on over to my Work with Me page to find out more. 

Full Moon – A time to forgive and move forward

If you look up into the sky tonight you’ll see the full moon illuminating the world around you.

You may have noticed your energy has been supercharged over the last few days – physically or emotionally – and tonight is the perfect time to tune into your spiritual energy and put the lunar magic to good use.

Each full moon is the right moment to deal with difficult emotions, and you’ll soon find that working on forgiveness will help to bring you inner peace.

Forgive others, but don’t forget to forgive yourself too.

Human beings aren’t perfect and we all make mistakes and bad choices.

But we must remember that even those bad choices can be the right ones at that particular moment and to look back, not with regret but with forgiveness and love.

Today’s full moon is in the air sign Gemini: a sign of communication, writing, speaking, connections and friendships. The Gemini twins bring double the energy so there’s twice as much to be grateful for tonight.

While the Gemini full moon brings about busyness and chattiness, it’s important to remind ourselves to become good listeners and aim to be the best version of ourselves that we can be when it comes to communication.

Take the time to consider how you’re listening to others.

Could you be a better listener?

The full moon is also the perfect moment to put down our smart phones and laptops and explore what’s happening around us. Spend more time talking to people, visiting local events, spending time outdoors, socialising, asking questions….

The dual aspect of Gemini energy means this full moon is a great time to connect, make new friendships or collaborate with like-minded business people who share your positive attitude, integrity and compassion.

With every full moon, it’s a good idea to write a gratitude list. This helps us to tune into what’s really important to us and keeps us on our path to achieving our goals and dreams. If you wish you can burn your gratitude list (safely) afterwards, or keep it in a moon journal to refer back to in the future.

What (or who) are you grateful for today?

Lorraine xx

 

Moon Rituals:

My Full Moon ritual is a simple one. I light a candle and work through forgiveness and gratitude in a special journal. I love writing down my thoughts as I find this is the best way for me to access my inner voice. I usually pull three oracle cards and write down my interpretation of these in relation to where I’m at and where I want to be. I’ve always got my rose quartz crystal with me throughout and I hold it while I’m working through my forgiveness and gratitude journalling.

I refer to my favourite lunar book, Moonology, which goes into more depth about moon rituals for specific star signs and ascendants.

What does your moon ritual look like?

You don’t need to fix yourself

Instead of always trying to fix things, realise you deserve better.

Stop waiting for change. Make the change. Be the change.

You don’t need to FIX yourself. You are beautiful, loved and special just the way you are.

But you know something doesn’t feel right. Something is missing.

You blame your body.

You blame the food you eat.

You blame someone else for making you feel this way.

You blame the weather.

You blame a friend.

You blame the money.

You blame anyone or anything else for your feelings.

 

I used to do this. It was always someone else’s fault.

And then one day I woke up.

Well, it was more of a gradual awakening really.

I realised that I have complete and total responsibility for my own well-being. If I feel frustrated, sad, lonely, irritated, self-conscious, un-loved and un-special, then only I have the power to change that.

Every moment of every day, we have a choice.

And sometimes we’ll make the wrong choices – we are human after all.

I believe that even the wrong choices are the right ones because they give us a greater learning curve or send us on a journey to help us learn a specific lesson.

After all, we’ve all dated that guy we really shouldn’t have dated. We knew it wouldn’t work. We knew we’d get hurt. But we did it anyway.

And in dating the wrong guy it helped us reinforce exactly who the RIGHT guy is.

We’ve all done this with food too. Spent a whole holiday eating and drinking all the things we know our bodies can’t handle. But we’re ‘on holiday’, ‘life’s too short’, ‘everyone else does it so why shouldn’t I?’… Falling off the wagon can be a useful path too in learning exactly what does make our bodies feel really GOOD.

Remember that time you did that clean eating plan for a month? Remember how good you felt? Remember that time you had a personal trainer for six months and got the toned, fit body you dreamed of?

Take all those experiences and think about the times you felt REALLY GOOD in your life.

(And guess what? Some of those times when you were loving life may not have been your skinniest or when you were eating the ‘right’ food. It might have been when you just let go, embraced who you were and allowed experiences and love to take over!)

Grab some paper and a pen (or use your phone if you prefer) and write down:

1. The times in your life when you felt happiest. Include as much detail as possible. Where were you living, how old were you, what made you feel so happy/loved/special? What was your daily routine like? What kind of food did you eat? Did you do daily exercise? Were you learning a new skill? Who were you with? Try to bring the images to life with smells, colours, songs and words.

2. Now write down all the things that are good in your life NOW. Like a gratitude list if you like. All the things that make you happy and feel great.

3. What does your daily routine look like at the moment? Is that something that’s making you happy? Or is it causing you stress and fatigue? Write down all the good points of your daily routine; all the stuff you want to keep.

4. Now think about how you want to FEEL every day. Loved, nourished, special? Write a list of at least 10 words that describe how you wish to feel.

5. Next to each of those words, write down ways in which you can ensure that feeling happens every, single day. (Write in the present tense as if you’re already doing it)

E.g. I want to feel loved: I treat myself lovingly. I buy myself flowers. I wear my favourite colours. I wrap myself up in a warm blanket on the sofa. I spend time with my pets.

The final step is, of course, to take some action!

Ensure you treat yourself well every day so that you always feel loved/ special/ happy/ nourished/ appreciated …

Making a simple switch from a slice of toast and an instant coffee to making a fresh fruit smoothie or preparing a pretty oat bowl the night before will make so much difference to the start of your day.

Find the things that work for you, that fit in to your lifestyle/budget/family/values and that make you feel AMAZING!

Have a wonderful day!

Lorraine xx

Profile photo of Lorraine Pannetier outside by palm tree holding a cup of tea and wearing a grey jumper and smiling at the camera.

The Connection between Gratitude and Creativity

 

Living, writing and creating in Jersey is a breath of fresh air.

From the rugged north coast to the palm trees of the south, the waves of the wild west to the glowing eastern sunrise, there’s something unique and special about every angle of our tiny island.

Our landscape is an endless source of inspiration for local creative artists, many of whom have successfully created products that are sought after worldwide for customers wanting to take a little of Jersey’s essence into their homes. Even if you’ve never heard of the island of Jersey, chances are you’ve tasted a Jersey Royal or can spot a Jersey cow!

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Photo by George Hiles on Unsplash

When I first came to Jersey twenty years ago as a young personal trainer, nutrition consultant and massage therapist, I soon discovered a whole circle of incredible healers and practitioners whose magic hands were capable of transforming energy levels, health and well-being.

I intuitively felt safe, supported and inspired by their wealth of knowledge and experience and immersed myself in many kinds of treatments such as reflexology, chiropractic, cranio-sacral therapy and crystal healing.

Investing in our body’s health should really be a no-brainer.

Except we live in a world where obesity and chronic illness are prevalent in developed countries while malnutrition and preventable disease run rife in the third world. So, looking beyond diet, exercise and disease control, what else can we do to make our human bodies run more efficiently and enjoy happier lives?

Well, I believe that part of the secret lies here in Jersey.

Spending time being active outdoors in nature and breathing in our fresh, unpolluted air is one way to boost our health and spirit. However, there is one important thing that needs to be added here…

Gratitude.

Too many of us simply take our island and our beautiful surroundings (and many other amazing things in our lives) for granted.

When was the last time you found yourself stuck in traffic along The Avenue? Probably fairly frequently if you’re a rush-hour commuter. But did you take the time to notice the millpond-like sea in St Aubin’s bay, to watch the palm trees fluttering gently in the breeze or to look up and see a flock of birds or a ‘kiss’ of aeroplane trails in the sky?

two women sat on a bench in Jersey overlooking the sea on a beautiful summer's day

Simple pleasures – Noirmont point, overlooking Portelet Bay, Jersey

Being thankful for our island’s natural beauty is a prerequisite for a more joy-filled existence.

We will all experience problems, challenges and pain in our lives, but how we choose to react to those situations will be far more positive when we begin to live every day from a place of love, kindness and gratitude.

 

As a writer and creative entrepreneur based in Jersey, I’m grateful every day for the inspiration I find in our island and how that translates into beautiful words for my clients.

Whenever my creativity gets stuck or my energy feels stagnant, a short walk in nature, a trip to the sea or some time in the company of animals reawakens my passions and stimulates my creative juices.

Here are my top tips to living life from a place of gratitude:

  • Keep a gratitude diary. Write down at least three things you’re grateful for every day and how they make you feel. Need some inspiration? Read on…

 

  • Take a few moments every morning to look out of your bedroom window. Notice the trees and flowers, the clouds, the sky, the sunrise and the birds. Watch how the seasons change the colours and textures.

 

  • Close your eyes in the shower and feel the warmth of the water trickling over your body. Whilst appreciating the availability of running water, heating, fluffy towels and clean clothes, think about your big dreams or life goals. What would you like to achieve? Where would you love to travel to? What legacy would you like to leave behind? Thinking about these things daily and taking small action steps towards achieving them is far easier when the rest of your day is rooted in gratitude.

 

  • Do kind things for others. It doesn’t have to be a grand or expensive gesture, but perhaps something as simple as cooking a meal for an elderly neighbour, bringing fresh fruit into work to support your colleague’s health goals, passing on a good book or donating unwanted clothes or household items to charity.

 

  • Spend more quality time with your children, family or friends without the distraction of smart phones. Listen to elderly relatives’ stories and pass on their wisdom and history to the younger generation.

     

Our island’s natural beauty and heritage is not a separate entity. It’s interwoven into every piece of creative artwork and lives on forever through each one of us.

Lorraine xx

A Love Note to Jersey – First published in The Jersey Life Magazine May 2018

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Fliquet beach, Jersey