Change is Afoot

Tomorrow, I meet with the CEO to find out my fate; redundancy or a significant change in job role await.

In uncertain times like these it can be hard to remain positive, but we must always trust that the Universe knows best. It will provide us with the assurances that everything is working out for our highest good if we’re willing to see and hear them.

I visited one of my favourite bookshops, Foyles, in London yesterday.

Here, I sought out the Mind, Body & Spirit section where I’d spent many a lunch hour when I worked nearby. I browsed the books, taking in the wonderful new-book smell that filled the air, before picking up a copy of Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul and settling on an exert titled: What Do You Want to Be?

In this particular story, Reverend Teri Johnson talked about a conversation she’d had with her young daughter.

Her daughter asked what she thought was a simple question, what do you want to be when you grow up, but Teri was somewhat confused. As a woman who is already a pastor and the mother of five children, she gave these as her answers, but her daughter soon grew frustrated by this.

It became clear that Teri didn’t understand her daughter’s question because her daughter still saw infinite possibilities waiting for Teri in her future. Whether she wanted to be a ballet dancer or an astronaut, her daughter didn’t see Teri’s age and life decisions to date as restrictions. She believed Teri could still go after anything she wanted.

This was just the reminder I needed and I’m very glad I stumbled across this story.

Have you had any signs from the Universe to remind you that things are working out for your highest good?

The Little Things

Sometimes when it feels like the world is getting to be too much, expressing gratitude for what we have can help to pull us back into the present.

It’s easier said than done when our minds feel like they’re constantly gravitating towards the negative, but, no matter how bad a day might seem overall, there are always little things that we can be grateful for throughout.

Here’s 20 little things that have made me smile recently:

  • Alex kissing me on the forehead
  • Finding a parking space right next to my office
  • Fresh daffodils bringing some sunshine to the living room
  • Relaxing into a hot bath full of Epsom salts and lavender oil
  • Doing yoga when I’m not in the mood, only to find that it’s a relaxing practice today
  • Eating food I haven’t had for ages and rediscovering why I like it so much
  • Belly laughing with friends
  • Someone kindly letting me out of a junction straightaway
  • Feeling the warmth of the sun on my face as I walk across the Tyne Bridge
  • A meeting being cancelled so I gained an hour of my day back
  • Green light after green light as I drive home from work
  • Daydreaming about where I would go if I had to money to travel
  • Coming across a quote on Pinterest that was just what I needed to hear
  • Finding exactly what I’m looking for in a charity shop
  • Putting on my pyjamas as soon as I get home
  • The wind blowing a gale outside while I’m tucked up in bed
  • Making homemade soup with what’s in the cupboards and it tasting delicious
  • Setting my out of office reply because I’m off tomorrow
  • Closing the front door after a long week at work and knowing I don’t have to leave the house unless I want to tomorrow
  • A song coming on the radio that I haven’t heard in years

Can you take inspiration from this and recognise the little things that make you smile each day?

Cherish Those You Love

This week, the news headlines have been filled with messages of shock surrounding Kobe Bryant’s untimely death.

A basketball star, famous for his endeavours on the court, died in a helicopter crash, together with his daughter and seven others.

The news has shaken America, along with the rest of the world.

The premature death of all those on board the helicopter that day has reminded us just how fleeting life can be. There are no guarantees that anyone has an abundance of tomorrows in their future, and moments like these give us cause to reflect.

Are you sure that everyone that you hold dear knows how you much you care?

Take some time this week to cherish your nearest and dearest and make sure you also take a moment to remember those you, too, have lost.

Finding Your Passion Again

I recently finished reading the first book in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.

By reading, I mean I physically held a book in my hands – something that I rarely do.

As a child, I loved reading. I was always walking to the library at the edge of our estate to pick up yet another book. I loved to get lost in the stories written by the likes of Enid Blyton or Fiona Kelly.

Technically, I still read a lot because I have an Audible subscription, but it’s not the same. I like Audible because I can listen whilst getting on with other things, meaning reading is no longer an all encompassing activity that helps me to relax.

Reading A Discovery of Witches and immersing myself in a world of witches, vampires and daemons, with tales of love and strife woven throughout was just what I needed to find my passion for reading again.

With the stresses of daily life always surrounding us, it’s important that we have ways to pull ourselves out of our own heads so we can properly relax.

Reading is one of those things for me but I’d forgotten how to enjoy it fully.

What’s something that you love doing but haven’t done properly in ages?

Give it a go this week and see how you feel 😊

Go into battle for yourself

Today, I pulled the most beautiful oracle card from the Ask An Angel deck.

It read ‘Battle’.

Initially, I assumed the word had negative connotations but I realised the image didn’t trigger this same reaction. Upon reading the description, I found that the message what just what I needed to hear – as it so often is.

In essence, it explained that heroes battling dragons stand in the face of danger and surrender to a higher state of consciousness. They do so at the expense of all ego attachments such as pride, greed and compulsion.

The hero goes on a journey to face the shadow in order to bring back the good, and it is time for you to go on this journey.

It asked if you had “fallen asleep” in the mundane routine of life and needed an adventure. If so, this is your sign and it’s up to you to decide where you want to be and what you’re willing to fight for.

Does this resonate with anyone else?

I know I needed to hear this today and I assume someone else does too 🙂

Move Your Body

Anyone else follow Joe Wicks (@thebodycoach) on Instagram?

I always find him to be very motivating, especially when he’s tired with a new-born baby and he’s still encouraging everyone to move their body.

Today he reminded us to:

‘Stop telling yourself reasons not to exercise and remind yourself how good you’ll feel afterwards and how much more energy you’ll have afterwards.’

January is a good month for me and exercise; partly because of the New Year motivation and partly because Yoga with Adriene always does a 30 day challenge – and I need this kind of accountability to stick with it.

Doing the YWA challenge works well for me because the daily videos are posted at 6am meaning I can do it in the mornings before work. I never get sweaty enough to require washing my hair afterwards – a serious bonus! And, I don’t have to think about which exercise video to choose on YouTube because that’s decided for me. In short, all my excuses not to exercise are stopped in their tracks.

And guess what? A week in, I really do feel better!

Don’t get me wrong, I still hate my life a little when my alarm goes off an hour before I actually have to be up, but in no time, I’m happily settled on my yoga mat, focusing on my breath and I feel good. Even after today’s video which, in my opinion, was crunches hell masquerading as yoga… I still feel good.

I know that when you’re already feeling exhausted, exercising is the last thing on your mind, but Joe is right that you do feel better afterwards.

So, with that in mind, how are you going to move your body today?

New Year’s Day

It’s arrived – the day where we all get to start afresh with a clean slate.

We’re all waking up and feeling excited at the prospect of what we’ll achieve this year, or at least we will be once the hangover subsides…

But, it’s not just a new year, it’s a new decade and the world is our oyster!

Let’s make sure 2020 is a great year by creating goals that are centre around what is going to make us happy.

Scrap the New Year’s Resolution that you make every year and give up on by mid-January. Instead, focus on small goals that you can build on. You don’t have to make huge shifts in the first two weeks to feel like you’re achieving something! Design your goals so you’re making small changes in the right direction.

You want to lose weight? Make a resolution to start walking for 20 minutes on your lunch break or have a healthy smoothie for breakfast every morning.

You want to save up for an amazing holiday? Make a resolution to choose to save the money instead of going to after work drinks on a Friday or having a takeaway on the weekend.

You want to spend more time with friends and family? Make a resolution to leave work on time at least once a week or to ask to work from home one day a week so you don’t waste time commuting.

Whatever it is, don’t try to go from zero to a hundred in a day! New Year’s Resolutions are a recipe for disaster because we try to make too many changes all at once.

Slow down.

Yes, 2020 can be a great year for us if we push ourselves, but we have a whole year to get to where we want to be. Let’s be realistic about what we can achieve in the short term.

‘Tis the season…

I wondered what to write when I realised a blog post would fall on Christmas Day, but then I read this from the lovely @bodyposipanda on Instagram and I knew I couldn’t say it any better.

“Today, I want to hold a little space for the people who aren’t feeling merry or joyful and might be wondering how they’re gonna get through the holiday season.

The people who lost someone this year and are bracing themselves for the first time without them.

The people who are going home to guaranteed body shaming and fatphobia.

The people whose mental health issues won’t magically disappear just because it’s Christmas.

The people with eating disorders who are worried about holding onto recovery when everything is so food-centred this time of year.

The people who are struggling to afford every day life and might go into debt trying to keep up with celebrations.

The queer kids who aren’t able to fully be themselves around family because it might not be safe.

The people gathering strength to fight against racist comments round the dinner tables.

The people who don’t drink anymore and will have to keep explaining why because who doesn’t drink over the holidays?

The carers, the retail workers, the hospital staff, everyone working extra time under extra pressure for not enough extra pay.

Anyone who’s just feeling overwhelmed and like they can’t keep up with it all.

I see you. And I want you to know that it’s totally okay to feel exactly how you feel. To get through this year however you can. To protect and preserve yourself whenever you are able to. And to take this season a day at a time.”

Slowing Down

Alex and I spent this weekend in Copenhagen – somewhere I’d recommend to anyone if they have the chance to go!

The city’s history is evident all around, with stunning architecture and cobbled streets combining to create an idyllic setting.

As we wandered around the city’s streets, I felt a similar sense of peace as I do in many other cities on the Continent. There’s an innate knowing that life is lived at a slower pace. The frantic, impatient pace of London, or any other UK city for that matter, wasn’t present as people casually made their way about their day.

I felt wonderfully relaxed while we were away, but as soon as we landed back in Edinburgh, my mind started racing with thoughts of when I could do the Christmas food shop, buy those last few presents and make time to see friends and family over the next couple of weeks.

For all the joy and happiness that Christmas brings, stresses come with it too, so it made me smile when I got into work today and my daily quote calendar had these words of wisdom to share: “The muddiest water clears as it is stilled. And out of that stillness, life arises.” Wayne Dyer

All too quickly I had left the calm and serenity of Copenhagen behind and fallen back into bad habits that lead to feelings of anxiety.

Anyone else guilty of doing this?

I needed a reminder that stillness is good and we don’t need to be racing around in order to get everything done.

Whenever I feel myself operating from a place of stress, I’m going to try to channel a Copenhagen resident and remember to slow down. Could you benefit from doing this too?


I forgot…

I cannot tell you how much those two words having been winding me up lately.

Every time they emerge from Alex’s mouth, I find my face morphing into an ‘are you f*cking serious’ look.

There had been some underlying tensions in our relationship for a short while, but Alex was none the wiser…

I’d asked him to do a number of things that still hadn’t been done and it had been his turn to clean the bathroom for the last couple of weeks. Determined not to ask him to do something that should’ve already been on his radar, I clung onto the vain hope that I would one day wake up to find him cleaning of his own accord. Wishful thinking, that as time went on, resulted in one very passive-aggressive wife…

While this is just a silly anecdote about my other half not doing his fair share of the household chores (no shock there), it is indicative of how little things can become big things if you’re not communicating.

As a couple, the differences in our personalities work to our advantage most of the time, but they do sometimes lead to frustrations. A little to and fro is an inescapable part of any relationship – romantic or not – and communication is the key to making sure it doesn’t breakdown past the point of no return.

I wish I didn’t have to remind Alex to do things, but I know deep down that there is never anything malicious behind his actions (or lack thereof). He just doesn’t work in the same way that I do. When something is on my to-do list, I can’t relax until it’s done. Alex, on the other hand, doesn’t even have a to-do list…

Have you found yourself getting frustrated with anyone in your life lately? Can you honestly say you’ve communicated effectively and told them outright what you need from them? If not, do it now. And if you feel like you already have, do it again.

I can easily talk myself out of repeating what I need from Alex because I feel like it falls on deaf ears sometimes, but if I’m not communicating with him when something is bothering me, I’m just as much to blame for any strain that is put on our relationship. As the saying goes, if you don’t ask you don’t get, so many sure you’re asking for what you need from the other person in your relationship.