7 Simple Steps YOU can take TODAY to ensure life on planet Earth thrives beyond 2030

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.

Twelve years.

Scary right?

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.

Are you with me?

Lorraine xx

Messages from the Wind

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.

What messages did you receive today?

Lorraine xx

New Moon Wishes, Intentions and Goals

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,

Lorraine xx

 

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!

Busyness v. Stillness

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because, the truth is this…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So that’s me, now it’s over to you…

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

 

Lorraine xx

Climate change: Stop playing small

Chances are you’ve seen many news reports and read articles about climate change and the plastic problem in our oceans.
 
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably been reducing your use of single use plastic, gone back to buying fresh produce in paper or reusable cloth bags and cut down your intake of meat and dairy over the last few months (or even years).
 
BUT….
 
I feel like we’ve been approaching this in the same way we try to lose weight…
 
We don’t really want to change our lifestyles THAT much and how much is that occasional chocolate cupcake really going to harm our progress anyway?
 
In the same way as few of us hit our weight loss goals very easily, it’s a major concern that we aren’t going to hit these targets for reducing pollution, plastic and environmental damage.
 

I feel it’s time that we stopped playing small.

 
It’s time to dig deep, make uncomfortable changes and really begin to make the changes we wish to see in the world.
 

It all starts with us.

 
Yes, of course we want manufacturers to stop making plastic BUT first there has to be less demand for said plastic!
 
Food shopping in the UK is almost easy in comparison to the amount of plastic that infiltrates every other area of our modern, spoilt, luxurious western lives.
 
I’m afraid I don’t have all the answers but I can tell you this with absolute certainty…
 

It starts with YOU.

Here are my three tips to motivate you to pull up your big girl pants and make a difference in the world TODAY:
 
  • Increase your AWARENESS: Watch documentaries, read books, listen to podcasts and interviews. Spend more time listening to knowledgeable people.
 
  • Boost your LEARNING: As your awareness and knowledge grows, start to share it with others. Set a good example to your kids, begin initiatives in the office, write a blog, give a talk, have conversations and teach others all you’ve learnt. 
 
  • ADAPT your lifestyle: No, it’s not easy at first. Change is inherently difficult but remember WHY you’re doing this: For the future of all beings on this planet. This isn’t about some future date thousands of years away, this is about our generation right NOW. In 12 years (or perhaps less) we could damage our planet beyond repair and be at the mercy of massive natural disasters leading to mass migration and widespread destruction.
  • Keep repeating this cycle. Never stop learning, growing and raising your awareness of the issues in your community, your country and your planet.

 

Unlike Dr Who who has a space ship to travel through time and space to find a new home, we only have planet Earth.

Let’s treat our Mother Earth, and all beings on it, with the love and respect it deserves.

Lorraine xx

 

Photo credit: Dikaseva on Unsplash

Growing Roots

If I say the word Roots, what’s the first thing that springs to mind?

Trees and forests?

Buying a house?

Starting a family?

Or, perhaps, must book a hair colour appointment?!

In an era where millions of people are physically displaced from their homes through war or weather extremes and millions more feel a sense of drifting, loneliness or isolation, it’s time to talk about connection. In particular, our connection to nature, ourselves and the Universe.

You see, putting down roots is about more than buying a house or starting a family. Having roots is a connection to Mother Earth and to ourselves.

You can only start to truly connect when you realise that numbing the emptiness is futile.

A great new haircut or that first cocktail on a Friday night certainly makes you feel good, but it’s a temporary high. A series of picture perfect temporary highs might make your life seem pretty perfect to your Facebook followers. It may even make you think you’ve got this happy life thing sussed.

But when you’re brave enough to stop and look inwards, you realise there’s a gaping BIG h o l e.

A hole that will never be filled, until you stand on the edge and jump right in.

When I was 21 I thought I had my life figured out. I’d done well at school, been abroad for a year and got a good job with prospects. I was engaged to a lovely man who I lived with in a little three bedroom house with a garden, garage and two gorgeous cats. We had a great group of friends, an active social life and regular holidays to the beautiful Greek islands.

But there was something missing.

I was literally 99% on target to tick everything off that imaginary life wish list we all write when we’re teenagers (you know the one, married by 25, two children by 30…) but I carried a sense of longing and loneliness that I couldn’t describe, name or really feel into.

Until one day someone (far older, wiser and more in tune with her feminine nature) said to me: ‘If it doesn’t feel right, it’s ok. If it’s not what you want, you don’t have to do this.’

Her intuition was spot on. She felt something rising in me and put it into the words I was unable, or un-ready, to say.  In essence, she guided me to tune in to my innate wisdom, my gut instinct, my divine feminine energy. Without her light around me I would never have had the strength to go through the inevitable heartbreak and change in situation that followed.

Looking back, this was one of the big turning points in my life.

Suddenly I wasn’t just following the ‘good girl’ path expected of me and started following my heart.

Opportunities opened up for me the more I tuned in to who I really was and what I really wanted. A redundancy payment led me to retrain in nutrition, fitness and health and within a few years I had moved country, met a new man and had two beautiful daughters. (So my wish list did come true anyway!)

Connecting to our inner selves is an ongoing adventure where sometimes we’ll sit on a mountain top together admiring a beautiful sunrise, and other times we’ll be crying ourselves to sleep, hitting the pillow and shouting ‘Why me, why now, why this?’.

Connecting is not something we just do once, like setting up a broadband service or booking our annual holiday.

Understanding who we really are on the inside doesn’t just take work, it takes a willingness to open up; to be vulnerable, raw, messy and ready to receive.

When there’s a lot going on in our lives and the world around us that makes us feel like the ground is being pulled from underneath us, and that life will never be the same again (that’s actually a good thing, trust me!), this is the perfect time to tune in, reconnect and grow our roots.

Before you can put down roots, you have to trust in yourself first. Trust that your intuitive guidance system will take you to the experiences, places and emotions that you most need to move forward.

  • Trust that whatever you’re faced with, you can, and will, get through it.
  • Trust that your emotions are leading you to uncover more of who you really are.
  • Trust that the solutions will always appear, as long as you keep believing in yourself.

To connect with nature is a great way to begin reconnecting with yourself and trusting your intuition.

  • Walk barefoot on the grass or along a sandy beach.
  • Lay under the stars on a clear night.
  • Walk in the forest and listen to the sounds of the leaves and branches dancing in the breeze.
  • Eat fresh, ripe fruit with your hands and allow yourself to get messy! (Mango is great for this.)
  • Swim in the ocean.
  • Spend time with your pets; feel the unconditional love vibrating back at you and filing your heart with warm fuzziness.
  • Watch a sunrise or sunset.
  • Grow flowers or vegetables.
  • Climb a mountain (or at least a big hill with a view at the top).

As I write this blog from an olive tree covered mountainside on the Greek island of Corfu, I notice the way the trees have grown and thrived over many decades and am reminded that the beauty and strength of nature is in each and every one of us.

Our Western culture has led us to believe that we and nature are separate.

But we’re not.

We and nature are all one and the same energy.

  • So why do we say trees, flowers and sunsets are beautiful, but women of a certain shape and size are not?
  • Why do we say that we need to protect our animals, our oceans and our rainforests but we don’t seem to be doing enough to protect our children against a future of online bullying, shaming, grooming and self-esteem destruction?
  • Why do we say we want to live in a happier world and then spend our time watching sensationalised news reports, reading magazines filled with body-shaming tips masquerading as beauty or fashion tips, or trolling social media to have arguments with people we’ve never even met?

If you do one thing today to reconnect to your inner self and grow more roots, make sure it begins with love and compassion.

Do small things with big love.

In a volatile, ever-changing world, where we’re powerless to control so many things, the ONE thing we all have to take responsibility for is to create our own roots through reconnecting to our inner selves and showing up from a place of truth and alignment to who we really are.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lorraine xx