I am soooo happy to see that yesterday’s blog about meal prepping without plastic packaging was such a big hit with my audience! It hit the same level as The True Cost of Fast Fashion and Busyness v. Stillness which tells me one AMAZING thing about you….
That you’re looking for ways to help the environment, you’re compassionate and you’re craving ways to find inner peace in a crazy, messed-up world.
And if you’re taking the time to read blogs like this (thank you so much from the bottom of my heart) then chances are, you’re looking for ways to take action!
This makes me feel an incredible wave of excitement and a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.
The more of us who are making small, daily changes really are the ones who will change the world; reversing climate change and environmental damage and balancing wealth between nations so no-one dies of starvation while others are throwing billions of tonnes of food away each year. (Because that’s the naked truth right now.)
I’ve been lucky enough to make changes slowly and gradually, which as we all know is generally the way to make new lifestyle habits stick.
But right now we don’t have that luxury.
Recent reports state we may have as little as twelve years to reverse some of the damage to our planet to allow nature to replenish and repopulate itself.
So, what can you do to be part of the change?
Read, listen, watch, learn. Research the facts, follow people across social media who are taking action, making a difference and sharing their knowledge and love with the world.
Learnt something new? Found a great article? Watched a good documentary? SHARE IT! It only takes a click or two on social media and instantly it falls into the laps of hundreds of people. Creating a ripple effect is easy.
Stop buying food produce wrapped in plastic. Sure, the avocados may not be as ripe, but once you get into the habit of doing it every few days, soon you’ll find a routine where you always have ripe avocados at home!
Ditto for pre-chopped vegetables and fruit in plastic. Yes, it’s a time saver but making time to prepare and cook your own meals from scratch will help you find that inner peace you’ve been craving. It teaches patience and allows us quiet time in the kitchen to reconnect to our food.
Think before you buy, anything! Clothes, shoes, technology, take-out food, toys, make-up and toiletries…. Stop and consider (a) if you really need this item, (b) if this item brings you joy and makes you feel really, truly happy on the inside (rather than simply keeping up with the Jones’s or following a trend), (c) how you might dispose of it (or its packaging) when you no longer have a use for it, and (d) by buying this item, are you taking away from another dream? I.e. by spending money here and now on this item, will it stop you achieving another goal (like buying a house, travelling, saving for retirement, fixing the house, seeing the dentist etc.).
Following on from the above point, is there a way you can buy or acquire a pre-loved version of this item? Clothes and household items are easily available second-hand and often will be more unique and save you money. (Win-win for achieving those financial dreams!)
Join in with a community project. We’re all passionate about different things and some will tug at your heart more than others. Follow your heart and make a difference in your community. Beach clean ups, cooking for a homeless charity, supporting a screening of a documentary about refugees, giving your time as a volunteer…. or even starting up your own local project or awareness campaign. The choices are endless. But stop sitting around talking about it and just do it!
When you take consistent action on these seven steps, then not only will you feel more contentment and peace in your life, but you’ll have helped others and you’ll know that, even when the results are not yet visible, you’ll have made more than a dent in planet Earth’s recovery.
If we all come together to make a difference, collectively we can make our grandchildren’s future a far more exciting prospect.
Today, I thought I’d share something a little different; an insight into my meal prep Sunday and food shopping over the past few days.
Now, I don’t meal prep EVERY Sunday,in fact, I’ve been pretty rubbish about planning in general lately which has led to rather too many simple meals of pasta in tomato sauce, or noodles with vegetables or yet another lentil curry. (Nothing wrong with lentil curry but it can get a bit monotonous!)
Now Jersey has not one but TWO package free / zero waste shops to enhance our sustainable lifestyle goals, I decided now was the time to put my money where my mouth is and buy ONLY package free (or recyclable/compostable materials) ingredients and cook or prepare meals and snacks in advance.
On Friday, I went out armed with my mesh food bags and canvas shoppers to our great new cooperative initiative – SCOOP – based at Vermont Farm in St Peter. They stock a selection of seasonal, organic vegetables plus a whole host of dried ingredients to scoop straight out into your own jars or containers. We came away with some beautiful cooking apples, a giant bag of dark green kale, cashew nuts, almonds, broccoli, toasted coconut and dried mango (which won’t last long in our house!). I also treated myself to a new bamboo toothbrush (ahem – I may have had my last one for over a year) and some Who Gives a Crap toilet paper. All excellent value for money and you can walk away with that sweet smile of smugness plastered across your face!
My daughter and I then headed off to one of our friendliest farm shops on the island, Lucas Bros on La Haule hill, St Aubin. Here you can get the most delicious fresh flat leafed parsley (I literally eat it by the handful) as well as beautiful locally grown lettuce, fresh tomatoes of all varieties, giant mushrooms and so much more. We stocked up on lots of our favourite ingredients -like avocados, cucumber and ripe bananas – and my daughter is always astonished by how cheap it is compared to buying the same items in packaging in the supermarket.
First stop on Saturday afternoon – a local health food store (Barannes) for raw, organic apple cider vinegar and almond butter. Both in glass jars – check!
Then I headed off to Mini Mall, a fantastic new shop in the centre of St Helier, Jersey, where you can take your own jars and stock up on all your dried goods, plus olive oil, teas, spices and more. Oh, and they stock the most delicious raw vegan and gluten free treats from Wild Health. I couldn’t make up my mind so came away with a mint-matcha-chocolate slice and a chocolate-raspberry torte. I’ve sliced each one into three pieces and frozen the leftovers to share with my teenage daughters. (But only if I don’t eat it all before they find out!) *cue evil laugh*
In Mini Mall I bought chia seeds, cacao powder, cacao nibs, hazelnuts and organic ground cinnamon – yummy! It works out so much cheaper buying everything this way, plus, you’re helping to save the planet from unnecessary single use plastic and packaging. Win-win. They also have strong paper bags should you ever be passing by without your own jars.
Today (Sunday) I’ve been to Rondels’ farm shop in Trinity for more ripe bananas (did I mention they’re my favourite food?), frozen fruit, some other veggies – including a giant 2.5lb sweet potato – and more avocados. The only items that had to be in a plastic bag (because I’ve run out of containers – they seem to enter the void known as ‘school’ and never return…) were the frozen berries, but I reuse the bags as many times as possible for covering food in the fridge. (Note to self, buy more large Kilner jars.)
With all the shopping out of the way, I started my Sunday morning with 500ml water, a small glass of water with apple cider vinegar, then a freshly made apple and ginger shot which boosts immunity and warms you up on a cold day. This was followed by a giant blood-boosting juice of the organic kale and carrots from Scoop, fresh parsley, a little apple, fresh lemon juice and a giant raw beetroot. Dee-lish-uss!
Our main breakfast was a chocolate-oat smoothie bowl topped with toasted coconut, almond butterand cacao nibs – a nutrient rich start to the day.
Smoothie recipe: almonds, chia seeds, water, vanilla powder, ripe bananas, maca powder, ground flaxseed, cacao powder and medjool dates. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and whizz until smooth and creamy. I made a thick smoothie with less water than I would if I was going to drink it. Pour the smoothie over the oats (gluten free) and top with fruit and toppings of your choice.
Lunch: A fresh bowl of raw salad ingredients with stuffed vine leaves (bought from Waitrose in a tin = recyclable) and a home made tahini dip.
ThenI started with all the food prep for the week ahead.
I haven’t made a specific meal plan, but I have made a selection of individual ingredients that my daughter can use for school lunches and I can eat at home for lunch to save precious writing time.
(Note: While I’m completely plant-based, my daughters do eat some meat, fish and eggs, though primarily it’s when they’re out with friends or with their dad. However, on this occasion I bought some skinless chicken breasts – straight into my own glass container – from the friendly couple who run The Country Butcher at Rondel’s Farm Shop so that my eldest daughter has a little more protein in her school lunches. I rarely cook meat for my kids at all so this is a rare occurrence!)
Here’s what I’ve been busy making, chopping and cooking all afternoon (is it bedtime yet?!):
Apple compote (stewed apple) – a great addition to breakfast dishes, as an ingredient in healthy muffins or to use as apple crumble… yum! Peel and chop cooking apples straight into a saucepan. Add a little water (about half a cup for 3-4 small cooking apples), and your choice of spices. I added cloves, star anise, ground mixed spice and cardamon seeds. However, a dash of cinnamon works perfectly well if that’s all you have. I don’t tend to sweeten my cooking apples but feel free to add a little maple syrup or agave if desired.
Cacao energy balls – a perfect mid morning snack for busy teenagers or an after dinner treat if you have a sweet tooth. They’re also great as a post-workout snack alongside a ripe banana. In a food processor add gluten free oats, chia seeds, cashew nuts (or any nut of your choice), cacao nibs, ground flaxseed and cacao powder. Blitz until it’s a coarse consistency but not a powder. Add soaked medjool dates and coconut oil and blitz until it starts coming away from the sides and can be easily rolled into balls. Roll the mixture into balls and store in the fridge or freezer in a container. I made about 15 balls which should keep us going for a few days!
Brown rice and bulgur wheat – staples for a plant-based diet, I made these in bulk and separated into portion sizes so that my 17 year old can easily put together her own lunches (dream on, mummy!). Cook until al dente, then rinse in cold water, drain and store in the fridge immediately. *Note, bulgur wheat is not gluten free.
Sweet ’n’ spicy roasted sweet potato cubes – another family favourite, I roasted peeled, cubed sweet potato in a little olive oil, sea salt, smoked paprika, turmeric, chilli flakes and cinnamon. Once cooked, allow to cool and store in the fridge in a sealed container.
Roasted pumpkin and courgette – the last of the Halloween pumpkin has now been cooked!! I peeled and cubed the pumpkin and chopped the courgette into chunks and popped them in a roasting dish together with sea salt, black pepper and a tiny bit of olive oil. Again, once cooked, allow to cool and store in the fridge in a sealed container.
Dehydrated pineapple slices – Am I the only one who buys pineapples with good intentions and then watches them slowly become overripe…?!! This one needed eating asap so I peeled, sliced finely and dehydrated in the oven on about 50 degrees celsius for a few hours. (While I was cooking the roasted vegetables I sat these in the top oven which gets slightly warm from the main oven anyway. Then I returned them to the lower heat once the oven had cooled down.) I never manage to make these as dry as the ones in the shops but they’re so yummy (and so small) that they generally last all of about 4 minutes anyway….
Chopped red bell peppers and organic carrots – washed, sliced and ready to use in salads or as a snack.
Soaked almonds – soaking in water ready for tomorrow morning’s almond milk (because I’m trying not to buy cartons of milk anymore as they’re not recyclable …)
Plus, for those of you not yet on a plant-based or vegan diet, you probably need time to transition. So here’s what I did with the chicken and eggs… (and I’m not even going to crack a joke… *groan*)
I roasted the chicken breasts in turmeric, sea salt and black pepper, then sliced into lunchbox chunks and popped half in the freezer and half in the fridge in a large Kilner jar. I hard-boiled two of the eggs and saved the others for omelette or cakes. (Just for the kids…) If you want more meal-prep inspiration for meat and fish based dishes, just search on YouTube as there are soooo many vloggers and fitness experts who share their tasty, healthy recipes.
Hopefully you’re exhausted (but inspired) just by reading this… and I’m now off for a long soak in the bath with candles!
I’ll leave you with a couple of questions to get you on track with meal prep and planning.
How could you be more organised this week and plan ahead to give yourself more time?
What meals or snacks could you prepare in advance? Even making a slow cooker casserole is a great way to free up the early evening when everyone is tired and hungry after a busy day.
Have you got any local sustainable shops near you? If you’re not sure, your challenge this week is to do some research.
If you live in Jersey, do pop in to the shops I’ve named above and tell them they were featured in a local blog. They’ll be really happy! Or share your photos on Instagram and tag me @lorrainepannetiercreative or @bowlsofsoul. I’d love to see your take on meal prep.
Have a wonderful, slow, relaxing Sunday evening,
Cacao energy balls sprinkled with toasted coconut… just because 😉
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. While you were in that phase (or maybe still are) you switched off your dreams and goals buttons and forgot all 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 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 climb it and stand on top and take your rightful place in the world.
Because, as a wise person once said, 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?
We make the mistake of believing dreams and goals have to be BIG with expensive material items; flashy cars, big houses, jewellery, clothes, a jet set lifestyle. But really, what lights you up might be something relatively small: spending your evenings knitting and creating gorgeous baby shawls, looking after your animals at home or spending an hour interruption-free with your children every evening working on their homework and inspiring them to take up extra learning in non-academic areas, in things that light up their little souls.
If this is you, somewhere between rock bottom and totally motivated but not sure where to start, then take a tip from all the amazing entrepreneurs out there who are making it big, succeeding in their personal and business goals and living their dream life – and not being ashamed to hide how fabulous that looks.
Prioritise self-care – Whether it’s regular beauty appointments or simply exercising, taking a shower and popping on some make up, just do the stuff that makes you feel good. The things that make you feel feminine and ready to kick some ass.
Start every morning with journaling and gratitude. Write down the things you are grateful for. The things that light up your life. The things you love about yourself. The things (or people) you’re proud of. (Note: include yourself in the ‘proud of’ category!)
Create a vision and set goals. Make a vision board, use Pinterest, change your laptop screen saver, stick a picture to the fridge door…. Keep your goal visual and in your space every single day.
Don’t be afraid to go left when others go right; to NOT be a sheep. Follow yourdreams, your goals, your beliefs and your values. If you want to set up your own business, homeschool or your kids, stop drinking alcohol or travel the world for a year, find a way to make it happen regardless of what everyone around you might say or how society makes you feel.
Take action. While the Law of Attraction is a powerful force, you still have to take consistent action to achieve your goals and your dream life. After all, if you want to win the lottery, you have to buy a ticket! Make the time to do your research, learning, networking, saving money or whatever it is that you need to do to get that little bit closer every single day.
If you could go to bed every night knowing you were closer than you were yesterday, wouldn’t that feel amazing?
If you enjoyed reading this blog you might like this one….
It’s a true fact that we’ve all got too much stuff!
We have too much stuff in our homes that we’re constantly moving around from room to room, from small box to big box, from one pile to another.
We have too much stuff in our minds that leaves us feeling overwhelmed, drained and unable to think clearly or truly relax.
We have too many tabs open on our laptops, too many unopened emails and constant digital overload.
It’s time we stopped collecting, consuming and drowning in possessions.
It’s time to make our lives more simple, more rewarding and more healthy – for our own well-being and for the health of our planet.
Here are 5 easy steps to bringing more ease and flow to your life …
Step 1 – Decide how you want your life to look.
I realised many years ago that I didn’t want to spend every evening sat watching television. I needed to find activities that stimulated my mind and my creativity. I slowly replaced my previous TV favourites with a combination of learning new skills (tech stuff, graphic design, an Open University degree, courses in sales, money mindset and more…) and eventually sold the television set! (You don’t have to be that extreme, but it worked for me!) Looking back, all I did was to swap the things I didn’t want in my life for the things that made me happy. Now I get to spend all my time doing the things I love and in turn, I’ve been able to create a business that helps other people and together, we’re part of a ripple effect that’s slowly changing the world. What could your life look like if you made simple changes every day?
Step 2 – Declutter your home
Whenever we think of decluttering, we tend to visualise a garage or wardrobe filled with junk and objects we’d long forgotten about and we feel a sudden sense of dread about the enormity of the job. Which is probably why we put it off for so many months (or even years) and why DIY shops sell so many storage boxes! But there’s so much more to the decluttering process than simply reorganising possessions into neatly labelled boxes. There’s a lovely little book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo which shows us how to sort our belongings by type instead of by area. (E.g. clothes, books, stationery and paper items). Kondo believes we should hold each item and ask ourselves whether it brings us joy. Of course, there are some essential exceptions to this, but on the whole, we should be surrounded by possessions that we love or that make us happy or our lives easier in some way. When we reduce the amount of clutter around us we feel a sense of lightness and renewed energy. This is particularly true of the things we notice every day, like the clothes piled up on the exercise bike in the spare room, the kitchen cupboard that is so fill something falls out and smashes or makes a mess every time we open it, the boxes in the corner of the bedroom that were meant to be sorted when you moved in … a year ago.
Step 3 – Digital declutter and detox
If you run your own business you’ll know what I mean about having multiple tabs and documents open all the time, endless pings of notifications and an inbox with unread emails in their thousands. Even if you’re not a business owner, chances are a lot of your world now revolves around technology – everything from controlling your heating to planning your holiday, reading a book or keeping in touch with friends. It’s healthy to schedule plenty of time away from your devices as it will bring you better sleep, a calmer mind and better posture. Check your emails just once or twice a day instead of responding to every notification; ditto for Facebook and other social media. Have a strict no-phones rule at the dinner table and try to charge your devices away from the bedroom. Once you remove the temptation you’ll soon realise how much you don’t need to grab your phone the minute you wake up!
Step 4 – Think about food waste
So while we’re busy over-consuming on a daily basis, we often fail to consider the amount of food that gets wasted every year in our homes. From food scraps leftover when we’re full up (because we cooked too much) to bendy carrots and mouldy lemons or packets of unused dried food or spices that’s sat at the back of the cupboard for years! There’s a healthy balance somewhere in between being overstocked and understocked. No-one wants bare cupboards, but equally, having a fridge and freezer so overstuffed is often a recipe for stress and the quickest way to get a family ordering a take-away because the cooking choices are overwhelming. Plan your meals ahead of time and take a shopping list to the supermarket to ensure you’re not buying stuff you don’t need. Also, run a quick audit of your fridge before you go out so you don’t double up on items that perish quickly. Use up slightly-past-their-best produce in dishes such as curry, casserole or pasta sauces.
Step 5 – Gratitude
In fact, this really should be step one because we’re all guilty of forgetting how much we value the simple things in life. Starting now, write a short gratitude note every day to allow yourself time to reflect on what’s really important in your life and the things that light you up. You may choose to start a gratitude journal, write little notes and fold them in a jar or perhaps you want to share them with the world on an Instagram page. It doesn’t matter how or where you write them, what matters is the intention behind every word. The more you approach life from a place of gratitude, the more you’ll realise that you don’t need things to make you happy.
Every day we see images of war torn countries, extreme weather conditions and the visible impact of human destruction: oceans filled with plastic, rainforests stripped bare and animals hunted to the point of extinction.
Just as the damage to our planet runs deep, so do the wounds that break our hearts.
If you’re a compassionate human being or an empath with heightened sensitivities, you’ve probably reached the point where you know that you have to do something to make a change; that you can no longer simply sit back and let someone else sort everything out.
It’s these small changes that help us to move forward and, collectively, will really make a difference.
So, at a time when you may well be choosing to buy less plastic packaging, opt for secondhand clothes and furniture or switch to natural toiletries and cleaning products, I want to ask you to stop for a moment and take a breath.
A deep, slow breath in…. and out.
Then ask yourself this question…
What makes me feel really good inside?
The things that make us feel good stem from the choices we make that are aligned to, or in tune with, our core values. The things that make us feel bad, icky or angry are usually the things that are the polar opposites to our values (or trigger a reaction to make us take a moment of self-reflection).
In the same way as our planet has come so far from the natural, unspoilt world it was just a few hundred years ago, we too veer off course and find ourselves living a life that sometimes feels a bit wrong.
It may look like a perfectly happy, normal life to others, but on the inside we aren’t feeling fulfilled.
And frequently we feel guilty for not feeling fulfilled when clearly we have so much more than others – like a roof over our heads, a healthy bank balance, happy children and a regular, well paid job.
The same can be true in business. We may have left the security of a corporate role to set up our own small business from home and yet it isn’t paying off with the freedom and joy we expected.
Or perhaps our business is thriving but we feel like it isn’t making us truly happy; like it’s gone off track and become something we had never expected.
In both life and business, we can easily end up living a life that pleases other people (or our customers) and forget about what really lights us up. What makes us feel good inside?
The secret to living your truth in both life and business, is to always come back to your inner truth and core values.
Think about what really lights you up – the things that give you a giant warm, fuzzy heart or butterflies in your stomach – and then do more of that!
Every time things start to feel difficult, perhaps with money problems, arguments with loved ones or frequent illness, take an honest look at what’s been going on in your life and how you may have strayed from your true path and values.
It’s not a bad thing to veer off course, if anything it can actually be helpful in giving us clarity around the things that really matter. It’s the same with following a healthy eating plan – you don’t realise how much your previous unhealthy diet was making you sick until you slip off track and resume your old habits. Each time you revert to the fresh, whole food, healthy diet you feel great again.
Time and time again we repeat this pattern and each time our commitment grows stronger.
If you feel like your business, personal life, relationships or health have gone off track, take some time today to consider what really matters to you and how you will take action to get back on course to living a life aligned to your inner truth.
The theme of FREEDOM has come up so many times for me recently that I’m taking it as a nudge from the Universe to write about it today!
In the online business space we hear (or read) the word freedom a lot…
Freedom from financial stress.
Freedom from insecurities and fears.
Freedom from feeling stuck with no clients.
Freedom from tech gremlins.
Freedom from the corporate lifestyle.
And, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably feeling a desire to break free from the consumerism culture that dominates our modern world.
Perhaps you’re thinking about how you can celebrate Christmas without the endless amounts of plastic packaging and buying presents just because you feel you should.
Or maybe you’re trying to step away from negativity and toxicity to give you the space and freedom needed to connect with more people who hold the same values as you in terms of authenticity, integrity, honesty, love and compassion.
So what does freedom mean to you in your life?
On Instagram, the hashtag #freedomlifestyle has over 145,000 posts but is dwarfed by #laptoplifestyle with 1.2 million posts! A sure sign that more and more people are looking for an existence with meaning; a lifestyle that allows them more time to do the things they are passionate about and less time simply working to pay the bills.
Do you feel you have enough freedom in your life?
Time to grab a notepad and allow your thoughts to spill out onto paper…
Do you have time freedom to do all the activities, sports, hobbies and courses you’d love to do?
Do you have financial freedom to live the lifestyle you desire, or to travel on wild adventures?
Do you have health freedom to live every day to the full, free from pain or illness?
Do you have voice freedom to speak up and share your truth or stand up for what you believe in?
Do you have spiritual freedom to just be yourself; to be comfortable in your own skin and shine brilliantly as who you really are?
Are there any areas where you feel you don’t have the freedom you desire?
If so, what could you change?
How could you make today different?
Remember, you are the only one with the power to change your life. External events may test us or take us to deep, dark places, but ultimately, you are the only one who can shift your mindset and live the life that makes you truly contented and filled with joy.
I’d love to hear what freedom means to you.
Do hit reply and share your thoughts, I personally respond to every email I receive.
‘It is worth remembering that the time of greatest gain in terms of wisdom and inner strength is often that of greatest difficulty.’
How resilient are you?
Do you crumble at the first sign of difficulty, or do you dig deep, stand strong and tap into every ounce of wisdom, strength and courage?
The art of resilience grows from looking at situations from a different perspective. Resilient people will reflect on the problem and what it’s trying to teach them.
Instead of simply wishing to get through the tough times, they actively find ways to thrive.
Today, I have a question for you…
Rather than wait for the next challenge to appear in your life, why not work on building resilience now?
Just as you wouldn’t start a 500 mile car journey without checking your car was working properly, filling up with fuel and ensuring you had all the supplies you needed en route, why would you go through life, relationships or running your own business without gaining all the essential tools required to enhance your inner strength and capabilities?
5 Top Tips for Building Resilience
Live each day with gratitude. It’s a well known fact that happy people are healthier. But what makes people happy in the first place? Rather than being ‘made’ happy by external events, happy people start with a positive mindset; they understand that happiness truly does come from within. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, start by writing a short gratitude list every day. Every morning when you wake, or every evening before bed, write down three things you feel grateful for. Start small with obvious things if you struggle: children, pets, a secure home, and build up to including small things that happened in your life, or opportunities that arose that gave you a warm, fuzzy heart. When you recognise that you’re noticing (and feeling thankful for) the small things every day, that’s when you’re truly living with an attitude of gratitude.
Extend your learning. Education and learning should not be confined to our school and college years. The most resilient people understand that learning is for life – whether that’s in the form of qualifications and training or simply the personal growth that comes from falling down and getting back up again; for feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Learning new skills that develop emotional intelligence enhance our sense of empowerment, inner strength and courage.
Play and have fun! Playing just for the fun of it isn’t limited to childhood. Breaking out of our daily routine to play simple games or have a little creative fun boosts our physical health and mental wellbeing. Add in some regular laughter and joy with friends, family or community and you have a recipe for resilience success.
Build relationships through kindness. Acting from a place of compassion, thoughtfulness and warmth is the best way to build strong, nourishing relationships. Step away from expecting anything in return and instead give your time, love and energy to others selflessly. It’s not about being a martyr or a doormat, it’s about being the best version of you. Be kind, come from a place of love and integrity and build your own web of supportive relationships and connections.
Boost your physical health. In addition to building emotional health as mentioned above, it’s important we keep our physical health in good condition. Having a strong body boosts our physical recovery through times of illness and stress. When we fail to look after our physical body, we may find that we keep getting knocked down again and again after every setback. Start by getting regular physical exercise – including cardiovascular activity and strength training – as well as plenty of time in fresh air and nature to boost overall wellbeing. Relaxation and sleep are essential too, so do schedule plenty of time for self-care. Adding meditation and yoga to your life will also enhance your physical and emotional health.
Are you building resilience on a daily basis?
If not, what can you do today to boost your inner strength?
When was the last time you noticed the breeze on your skin? Or the last time you stood by the sea on a stormy day and felt the droplets of salty water shower your body? Or the last time you were in a forest as the wind whistled through the trees?
It’s a strange phenomenon that despite living on a planet controlled by the forces of nature, so many people are totally disconnected from the world around them.
Instead of tuning into the cycles of the moon, the seasons or the rising sun, we tune into the blue screens of smart phones, the artificial stimulation of caffeine or sugar and jump straight from home to car to office without a passing nod to nature.
Of course, many of you reading this blog will not feel this way. Like me, you probably notice the colours of the sunrise, the formation of clouds in the sky, the fresh pink petals of spring blossom and the light of the full moon shining on the sea.
But there are times for all of us when life simply gets too chaotic, overwhelming or stressful and we revert to the pattern of the modern day human. We stop eating mindfully and choose less healthy foods, we get snappy and irritable with friends and family or we retreat inwards to our televisions or phone apps and lose connection to the natural world.
However you’re feeling today, whether it’s connected to nature or stuck in your own deep, dark hole, or maybe somewhere in between, take a few moments to stand outside and feel the wind or the breeze on your face.
What does the wind look like? Are the clouds rushing past or are the trees or flowers completely still? Are birds floating effortlessly in the sky or struggling to take off? Are the waves of the sea lapping up against the sea wall or is the ocean flat and shiny?
Now close your eyes and allow your other senses to take over.
How does the wind feel? Does it lightly tickle your skin or is it howling past your ears?
How does the wind sound? Is there a roaring, crashing ocean nearby or is there a serene stillness?
Stick out your tongue… how does the wind taste?
Take a few deep breaths and try to smell the wind. Is there a fresh salty sea air smell? Or an earthy smell from the forest?
Now open your eyes and have a walk around. What message is the wind bringing you today?
Perhaps ask the wind directly: ‘What message do you have for me?’
Take a mental (or written) note of the words or feelings that come up for you and come back to them throughout the day.
The messages, words, thoughts or feelings you received from the wind are simply a way to tune into your inner voice. They’re messages from your soul that you can use to shape your direction, your choices and your lifestyle.
When you were a child, did you used to enjoy making things just for the fun of it?
Did you find yourself lost in time building Lego houses, drawing pictures or creating collages with random scraps of material, buttons and ribbon? Perhaps you used to knit, crochet or sew, collect flowers for your flower press or make geometric patterns with a Spirograph?
Wasn’t it relaxing to just sit and make stuff?
And then…. we grew up. Our studies got serious, our jobs and social lives took hold and then we settled down with a mortgage, a puppy and a couple of children. Or at least some variation of that!
Suddenly we had no time or inclination to sit and create. The only time we read a whole book from front to back was on holiday by the pool. And then technology came along and swiped even more of our time away with videos and games we never even knew we needed.
Our whole lives became about consuming rather than creating.
We found ourselves on a treadmill of constant consumption. And it drained our energy, our life force, our innovation and our creativity.
In some strange way it’s as if we needed to get to this point today; a world in which Black Friday shopping madness, ocean plastic garbage patches and the highest rates of obesity and depression ever recorded are the norm.
It’s time for us to wake up and realise that we all carry the light within; the light that will save us and our planet from darkness.
“It’s only one straw. Said 8 billion people.”
Together, we are the catalyst for change.
United, we are the ripple effect.
Change begins inside you. It starts small. One less cheap t-shirt, one less plastic bottle, one less car on the road.
But just as most people fail in food diets because they focus on what’s being removed from their lives – the things they’re no longer ‘allowed’ – it’s important that we switch our mindsets away from scarcity and lack. Instead, we must focus on abundance, ease and flow.
And the easiest way to switch your mindset is by starting with gratitude.
Feeling grateful for all the small things naturally steers you away from over-consuming – in any form.
And once you stop consuming so much, you re-awaken your creativity.
You’re drawn to pottering in the garden, buying a set of paints or dusting off the old camera.
You feel an urge to declutter your wardrobe, take up hiking or start a vegan diet.
You’re inclined to spend time outdoors with your children or joining them in art and craft fun.
What have you felt drawn to?
I’ve noticed a big shift in our consciousness since 2012 – although I wasn’t aware of what was happening at the time. So many people I meet in person and through the online space have been on a journey of awakening. We’ve quit corporate jobs, taken our children out of mainstream schools, started our own businesses and begun a path of creativity and innovation. We’ve not been afraid to step out and show our unique gifts, talents and lifestyles to the world.
Perhaps you feel like you’ve been riding the same wave too?
It’s a wave of love, honesty, integrity and authenticity.
It’s a wave of connection, community, collaboration and compassion.
It’s a wave of self-awareness, reflection, personal growth and alignment.
I may not be a surfer chick, or even a water baby, but I’m riding this wave all the way!
I’m actively swapping my consumption for creation. I’ve got out the sewing machine, I’m digging out the knitting needles and I’m keen to try making a macrame wall hanging. (My godmother once taught me macrame knotting with the cords attached to her spiral staircase back in the late 1970s – how hard could it be now?!)
I feel a deep desire to create, from a place of love and meaning, every single day and I’d love to know if you feel the same?
When the new moon comes round every month, it’s the perfect time to tune into your wishes and desires, set goals and intentions and then sit back and watch the Universe use its magic.
You might think that manifesting on a moon phase is a load of spiritual woo-woo, but if you’ve never tried, you might just be surprised to see what happens when you align your actions with the cyclic power of nature.
I always knew that I had more late night energy and a bigger appetite around the full moon, but I’d never even contemplated why that might be. Until a few years ago when I started following people online who used oracle (or tarot) cards and talked about the influence of the moon. I was hooked!
I started reading more spiritual books and began to use the oracle cards myself. Before long I was writing new moon wish lists and burning them in the fireplace with my cat always by my side, curiously watching the flames.
It wasn’t long before I realised the dreams and intentions I was setting were coming true. Of course, you can’t simply wish to win the lottery or have a brand new Mercedes, and you can’t make wishes to change other people or attract them to you if the universe has other ideas. But you can (and should) wish for a feeling…
Your wishes must always start with you. Ask yourself: How do I want to feel?
If you’re craving a new lover, then think about how you want to feel in a new relationship. What qualities and values will you bring to the relationship and how will your new partner’s traits work in synergy with yours? What do you want this relationship to look like and how will that make you feel? So, for example, instead of wishing for that hot guy in the coffee shop, wish for a man with whom you feel safe, loved, special and sensual. See the difference?
Before you make your wishes spend some time relaxing, listen to an online guided meditation and light a candle. (There are more advanced New Moon manifestation rituals available online should you want to take it to the next level. Links at the bottom of the blog.)
When you’re ready to start writing, start with a gratitude list. Tuning into gratitude was a complete life changer for me. I was able to shift my mindset away from scarcity and lack and into abundance and flow. It’s a proven fact that people who think more positively generally tend to be happier and more content with life. If you find it hard to think of anything you’re grateful for, start with the obvious things: a roof over your head, heating, hot water, electricity, wifi, food in the cupboards, money in your purse, family, friends, a job… Then each time you write a gratitude list (which you can do every day if you wish, not just on a new moon) get a little more specific. Think about why you’re grateful for those things. Add in little things that happened that day or the previous day: ‘I’m so grateful for the daisies my daughter picked from the garden yesterday. As she handed them to me my heart filled with love and fuzziness.’
After you’ve written all your wishes and a gratitude list, you can either burn the list (to send the wishes up to the universe and release attachment to them), or simply keep them in a journal to refer back to months later. The most important part is to release any expectations and not constantly ask the Universe ‘where’s my wish?’!
Wish, then let it go. Just like you might on your birthday candles or a dandelion clock in summer.
Living with the rhythms of nature and the moon phases will allow you to feel more in tune with your own body; more aligned to your inner voice and true desires.
It’s time to stop living the life that society thinks you should live, and start living for you.
New Moon blessings,
My favourite New Moon resources:
Yasmin Boland’s Moonology – I refer to sections of her beautiful book every two weeks, but you can find daily updates here at moonology.com.
Brittney Carmichael – Brittney was one of my first online spiritual go-to gurus and I love her attitude to life and manifestation and all things woo-woo! Read her New Moon in Scorpio blog here.
Leah Cherry Kent – Leah is a beautiful, soft, kind, spiritual soul who is the perfect fit for women wanting more sacred femininity and reflection in their lives. Leah and I met through the online space and I love her Intuitive Moon Rituals Guidebook, it’s simply stunning!