23 June 2019

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Here we are again friends; another weekly round up of all the things that have made the week a good one. How has your week been? Have you guys seen the sun this week? It’s been such a mixed bag of weather here in West Cornwall, with bright sun one minute and misty rain the next. As I type, it is raining and so humid, I spent most of my housekeeping shift sweating, which was a little bit of an improvement of early this week when I accidentally knocked on a shower with my elbow, the problem being that I was standing under it at the time. 

Anyway, quite enough of my clumsy antics...

:: The first thing I want to mention on this weeks list is the amazing fish and chips we had on Friday night. Sometimes it feels totally needed to have something that is fried and covered in salt doesn’t it?! When I’m suffering from ‘all the hormones’, fish and chips take the problems away. The headache I get just disappears and I feel bloody wonderful, needs must huh?

:: After way too many weeks without a chat, my beautiful bestie, Helena, and I managed to speak for a bit. You sometimes have to wonder how life gets so busy and flies by so fast that you can’t even talk to one of your favourite humans. It’s crazy, but with Helena and her husband running their bed and breakfast, East Lyn House, over in Lynmouth, they barely get any time to breathe. Now I’m housekeeping at the hotel I can understand, albeit on just a small scale, why they never stop. Mind you, their place is so lovely and I would highly recommend booking a room there and having a good explore in Lynmouth and the Exmoor National Park, it is incredible and so breath taking. If you book in make sure you say hi to Helena from me!



:: Thank you to all you guys who got in touch with me on Instagram following my stories about little Gizmo getting beaten up by the cat from round the corner. She really has been through it this week as the offending cat brought its sister around too (she’s identical to him but a little smaller) and they have both been surrounding her. You guys are super sweet to message and I really appreciate your thoughts on it.

:: I made a brave step for Leaf Lane Studio this week (brave because of the financial commitment *breathes into a paper bag*) and ordered my A6, tear-off ‘to do’ list pads from an online manufacturer. It worked out the easier and more cost effective way to go, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that I made a good choice. I also ordered some little stickers, exclusive to the collection, which will be stuck on the packaging! I’m really excited to get them delivered and see how they have turned out. The next thing I will be getting printed, depending on the outcome of the ‘to do’ lists, is the matching note pad, which is A5 and super cute! Once everything I have created for this range is ready I will be letting you know on my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram when they will be released, so be sure to give me a follow! I will also be documenting all of it on studio vlogs (subscribe to my YouTube channel here).

:: On the subject of YouTube, I uploaded a new video on my channel this week; a little catch up and a mini tour of my little office/studio in the new house, I have linked it down below if you want to give it a watch! I’d love you to leave me a comment below the video on YouTube and click the thumbs up button too; my goal is to hit 1k subscribers by the New Year, and I’m only half way, so any support you can give me I would really appreciate!



:: I almost forgot to mention my greatest achievement of the week! Okay, so it may seem like nothing to you guys, but to me it is quite the achievement! On Monday I managed to do five sets of full press ups, I really couldn’t believe it and have felt so proud of myself all week! Press ups have always been something I’ve struggled with so I am chuffed about that! My next goal is a chin up, but they are crazy difficult, doesn't stop me trying though!

:: I have been wanting to read the book 'The Artists Way', by Julia Cameron, for a long time, and haven't been able to get it, but this morning I saw it on eBay for just £3.00, so ordered it immediately. I am really excited to work through it as it is designed to reignite creativity, remove fear or creative blocks and encourage daily creative exercises, such as the 'Morning Pages' routine, which I am actually starting ahead of getting the book. I have set my alarm an extra ten minutes early (hello 5am) to enable me to do this additional practice in my morning routine, which consists of getting out of bed and immediately writing at least three pages of stream of consciousness writing. The point is to help 'tidy' your mind, sort out anything that is coming up or simply get down anything that pops into your mind at the time. I can see this is likely to be something I get better at the more I do it, which is why the advice is to simply write 'I cannot think of anything to write', over and over again, if you are totally blank. I will document how it is going on my studio vlogs, but I won't be sharing what comes up for me as it is suggested that you don't look back, just use it as a dump and run kind of routine.

:: I had the pleasure of creating a cute little A5 'initial' for Christening gift this week. I love painting these, there is something really satisfying about it! If you want to find out about getting yourself one then head to Leaf Lane Studio for a mooch and find all the information. If you require something more bespoke just email me on hello@leaflanestudio.com.

That is everything my brain can recollect from this week (it is 10.40pm as I type this so I am not surprised at the lack of remembering skills!). Have a wonderful new week and I will see you right back in this space on Wednesday! 

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21 June 2019

WHY NOT YOU, IS BECAUSE OF YOU



I heard a quote this week that said ‘Why not you, is because of you’ and it really stuck with me all day, so I thought I would unpick some of my thoughts about it with you.

To start with, let me say that the whole ‘why isn’t that me’ outlook is not something I subscribe to these days, and if it pops into my head, it is swiftly bat away, because I have done a lot of work to ensure that I realise where I am in my journey and I am also no longer afraid to identify what is not working for me and why I am not somewhere that someone else may be.

Why not me’ is something that can hold you back so much if you let it, it is a paralysing thought process to get into because it gives you permission to spend way too much of your time and energy looking at what other people are doing and trying to dissect it in so much detail that you drive yourself insane. A great example of 'past Lucy' doing this was a couple of years before Leaf Lane Studio came into fruition; whilst researching other companies I liked I kept on thinking ‘they are doing so well / look at their studio / they have work in so many retail outlets and in magazines...’ and the whole ‘why isn’t that me’ thing took over. I was blinded by seeing other people working for themselves and being successful that I was like a deer in headlights in awe of it, but it wasn’t healthy because it overwhelmed me in a huge way. I thought that my lack of knowledge (compared to those I was looking at) meant I wouldn’t ever ‘catch up’, but looking back I have to smile, because I don’t ever need to catch up! It’s like that other quote says ‘don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter 15’ (or something like that!) because we all have to start somewhere, and once we are ‘in it’, like I am with my business now, I can totally see that every single person must go through that same thought process.

My first year and a bit in business has been incredibly tough and the learning curve has been massive, but would I want someone to drop me down in a successful, high profit business now and say ‘you wanted this, there you go!, honestly guys it is a no on that front. I wouldn’t be learning as much and I wouldn’t appreciate the small victories and little wins that I make along the way. I really value the personal and professional development more than the money, but the money will follow, and I will be better equipped for it when it arrives.

Circling back to the ‘Why not you, is because of you’ quote, it is true that you are getting in your own way if you are stuck in the ‘it’s not fair’ mindset; you have to decide what you want and go for it. Very recently I realised that I wasn't putting anywhere near enough energy into the right parts of my business. I was 'busy', but not busy on business development, just busy on the easier things that I could do, rather than doing useful things that will help move Leaf Lane Studio forward.

Quite honestly I was sick of myself being in that cycle, so I made a plan and I am trying my best to put it into practice (see my new studio vlogs - starting next week - for all the behind the scenes stuff!). At this stage of my life, as a 38 year old woman, I am earning the least amount of money I have ever earned, sleeping for the least amount of time ever, working super hard and still seem to not find enough time in the day for it all, but I have a proper plan now, and the plan will reap the results I have dreamed of. The path is made up of so many pot holes and hills, but it’s so bloody worth it all, because when it works I can say ‘I did this’ rather than ‘why is that not me?’ (It will be me!).

I think it is important to learn that, rather than looking at someone through envious eyes, you can look at them as a mentor or pure inspiration and proof that something is possible for you. But honestly, who can say that they would want the exact same, cookie-cutter version of someone else’s life? I most certainly wouldn’t, because I have been through battles and tough experiences that have shaped me; they are my stories and my lessons, the roads have been mine and mine alone to walk and conquer, and so why would I want to give that up?

What do you think about this? Can you identify somewhere that you are thinking 'I wish that was me / I wish that was my life' and see how you can step out of your own way in order to achieve that for yourself by taking action? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

PS: I uploaded a little 'catch up / mini office tour' on my YouTube Channel yesterday, if you haven't checked it out yet I would love you to give it a watch! Please make sure you subscribe to my channel too! I really want to hit 1000 subscribers by the New Year!

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16 June 2019

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ A beautiful sunset from the new house ^^

It's been way too long since I have done a Weekly Gratitude list and I am so excited to be sitting down to type this because they are my faves posts to write. For this list I will be rounding up a collection of things from over the last couple of weeks because I have been making a few scribbles as things have happened and I would love to share them with you, so let's jump on in!

:: I mentioned 'the move' in Wednesday's post, and I am grateful that it is done. It was so exhausting, much more tiring than the move from Wiltshire to Cornwall strangely enough, but now that we are in the house I am actually enjoying it more than I thought. I got myself so down about leaving the cottage in Perranuthnoe; it was so beautiful and, there is no denying that the old village was my favourite place to have lived, but in the spirit of new chapters and positive thoughts, this new house has brought me an office I love (more on that in a bit) and some cute animals to look out on too. Renting is one of those things in life that throws curve balls and you have to role with the punches don't you? 

:: Let's talk about the new office! I had a vision in my mind, right from the start, of how I wanted my little office to look and, whilst I didn't have a huge budget to blow, I managed to get it to how I wanted it to look well within my means. I have a super cute view out the window over to the animals in the field opposite and it is beautiful and light in the room all day, which is so lovely; I am so content working in here and finally having all my things in one place! I am planning a blog post about my office to go with a little vlog I am editing too, so stay tuned. 



:: On the first night in the house, when there were no curtains in the bedroom at all, we learned how dark the skies are where we live now because I have never seen that many stars in my life. The old village was awesome for star gazing, but this place is even better. There is no light pollution at all and so the sky seems huge and so bright. We saw three shooting stars in the space of about five minutes and so much more than I have ever seen before. Bring on the meteor shower in August (fingers crossed for a clear sky that night please!).

:: Stepping away from house stuff for a second (not that there has been much else happening of late!). You know when you discover someone new online and you find they have a YouTube channel, then you basically become their new stalker and watch all of their videos since the year dot? Asking for a friend. My 'friend' has just discovered Leigh Ellexson, a bloody amazing illustrator and all round cool human being, and I... I mean, my friend, has been binge watching all the videos ever made, because she is so awesome! I highly recommend her if you are into art and studio vlogs! She has a wonderful little budgie called 'Hercules' and a dog called Toadie and she is creating the most cute animal art ever; I adore her style and the way she vlogs in general. 

:: Last week one of the yummiest burgers I have ever eaten was consumed over at The Rockpool in Godrevy. I mentioned it in Wednesday's post, but it is worth mentioning again because it was that delicious! After weeks of hard graft and little sleep (there was one night where we ate dinner at 11.30pm) it felt amazing to sit down and eat a really tasty meal. I highly recommend The Rockpool if you are over that way, it is super cool inside and right on the beach too (and it is dog friendly if that is something you need too!).



:: The little bear (aka: Gizmo) has been settling into the new house (fights with a neighbours cat to one side). Honestly guys, all my energy went into worrying about her being close to a main road/ going missing/ running away/ hating us forever more, but in reality she settled in so fast and went out after just 8/9 days and has been so well behaved. I think the big difference this time was actually bringing her straight into a little room that was set up just like the spare room in the old house. She loved to sleep under the spare bed on top of a suitcase that was stored there, so we set it up the same for her and I plugged in a new Feliway too (bloody hell those are expensive, it cost £36 for that thing!). She is loving her new 'gaff' though and I have everything crossed that the issues with Sully, a grey and white cat from round the corner, will ebb away fast.

:: On the subject of animals; you guys will remember how many bird friends we had over at the cottage, there were so many, well here there was initially only a couple of black birds and nothing else whatsoever. This made me so sad because birds are something I adore so much and so we got a new hanging feeder station thing and within a couple of days there were some sparrows, blue-tits and a robin or two visiting (YAY!). Is it normal to go to your old garden and give out 'change of address' cards to the birds? (Asking for another friend).



:: A big thank you to my mum for sending some gorgeous flowers for when we moved in. It makes any new house feel more like a home doesn't it. They are still going strong and brightening up several places downstairs; I really love having flowers in the house. My plants are also doing so much better for more light in this house; they were all dying and I was beside myself because, no matter what I did, they weren't coming back to life. But after just a few short days in the new place they started to perk up. Even my fern, which sadly lost 80% of it's leaves for reasons unknown, is slowly growing new, curled up shoots. My office space has two gorgeous plants in, Celia (a Calathea plant from the old office) and Matilda (a Monstera plant and a new addition to the family!). I can't get enough plants in my life and am going to be on a mission to get some more unusual ones in the future (now that I know it was the environment killing them off and not me, phew!).

:: Last week two, of a handful of my favourite humans, had their birthdays! Whoop whoop! My daddy turned cough, cough, 75, cough, cough (sorry dad, bad throat) and Peta (from Nourishing Soulfully blog) also celebrated another year flying around our nearest star! Another very, very important birthday will be celebrated later this year, a very first one (zero days old in-fact!). No, that is not my way of telling you I am pregnant, calm down people, it is never going to happen! My lobby, and bestest girly friend, Helena, is cruising along in her journey to mummyhood (I'm making up all kinds of words right now aren't I!) and I cannot wait to meet the mini-lobster! She sends me little scan photos through on WhatsApp and I just love receiving them!


:: I want to discuss Trello for a moment. As usual I am very late to the band-wagon (I have always been that person... fashion, music, films, whatever it is that the human race is 'into' I will be there about 12 months after!). I'm sure everyone knows that Trello is basically a tool to improve organisation, productivity and to help collaboration in business, between colleagues and people working on projects etc, but for me it is proving super helpful to manage 'all the things' I am juggling, and I am only 24 hours into using it. Yeah, I love it that much. We had a rocky first date though, Trello and I, and I had to message 'Queen of Trello', Peta, saying 'wtf is this sorcery and how does it work?'. I decided to stop being a moron and watch a YouTube 'beginners guide' and have been in love ever since. It is designed to have a left to right work flow, so you can easily move 'to-do's' along the line until they reach the 'done' section, but for me I just needed somewhere to brain dump ideas and then catagorise everything into some logical order. I love the ability to design your own layout and choose exactly how you want everything to work. I highly recommend this tool, plus you can have the app on your phone also, which means you can constantly add to your boards/lists. Love, love, love it!

I think that is it for this weeks list! Be sure to come back on Wednesday for another post and also make sure you are subscribed to my YouTube channel too, because I am starting 'Studio Vlogs' as of next week (one vlog will go up before that all about my new office set up and just with a bit of an update then the other ones will kick off!). I am so excited to share with you guys all the new things that I have got coming up... watch this space!

Have a wonderful week ahead and I will see you right back here on Wednesday!
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12 June 2019

LET'S CATCH UP!



After telling you guys I was 'taking a week or two off blogging to move', I am back, almost one month later (oops!). I wish I could tell you that the time off has left me feeling rested and rejuvenated, but it really hasn't! Moving is a right bitch isn't it?!

It seemed to take such a long time to actually move as we were between the old cottage and the new house for a couple of weeks. After four hour shifts of housekeeping at the hotel, I was swinging by the new place to clean and get everything sorted for the move and we were bringing boxes over in the car, which meant it all took so long.

Now though, everything is in, there are no lingering boxes of random crap laying about anymore (my God, those boxes are the worst aren't they!) and life is starting to settle into a routine somewhere new. Gizmo has even started going out which, if you have been following along with my Instagram stories, you will know that she has been having a bit of trouble with a local cat called Sully. Up to now it has seemed that Sully was after a bit of lovin' but today I came home from work to find out that quite the fight had occurred and that Sully had been beating up my little girl. I will not stand for such ungentlemanly behaviour let me tell you (any tips on helping solve this feline frenzy please comment below!).  



Cat wars to one side, my main focus after all the unpacking was to get my office all sorted and build new shelves and storage to make sure that actually got done right from the get-go. I wanted Leaf Lane Studio to feel official and for my work and creative space to feel inspiring and like it is somewhere I want to be, which it now does. I am going to save the details for a separate blog post and vlog though, so hang fire on that one, and make sure that you are following my YouTube channel to see new vlogs as they appear, because they will be making a come back I promise. 

The time I have taken off this blog and my business has given me so much opportunity to reflect and gain more perspective; plus the house cleaning and prep allowed me to listen to all the podcasts that give me inspiration and ideas for content and business strategy, so I am feeling reading to go (but just very exhausted!).



I feel very much like all I have done over the last month is work, clean, pack, unpack, build furniture and repeat, and I feel desperate to get out in the world again! There was only a few hours where tools were put down and a yummy lunch was eaten over at The Rockpool beach restaurant in Godrevy. We have never been there before because the National Trust car park we always use is right by the smaller cafe and so that has always been the chosen spot, but it just goes to show what we have been missing, because The Rockpool was so lovely (and my burger was delicious!). I also wanted to check it out as I am doing some wedding invitations for a lovely bride to be who is getting married there in 2020, so my burger was pure research!

So, here I am, back at my desk and ready to started getting back to all the things that have been waiting for me. I have missed you guys! Let's get back to it shall we?

Come back for Sunday's 'Weekly Gratitude' and make sure you are following me on Instagram for daily updates and stories too!

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19 May 2019

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ I can't believe there is only about another 10 days left of this view, I'm so sad about moving from this cottage ^^

I am writing this post feeling like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards after spending over seven hours cleaning in various places yesterday; so before anything, I’d like to say that I am grateful for bathroom sealant, toilet duck (‘other toilet cleaners are widely available’!) and, most of all, paracetamol!

How has your week unfolded? Has it been a good one? I’d love to hear what you guys have been up to in the comments, let me live my life through you for a bit! 

Alright then gang, let’s jump into this weeks gratitude, I’ll try and keep the cleaning products to a minimum!

:: I have to start this post with last nights Eurovision because it was everything I hoped it would be (CHEESY!). It was on in the background but enough concentration was had to give scores to every artist performing. I refuse to take it seriously because, let’s face it, that is impossible (even though many people do take it seriously, judging from the people in the audience!). My highlight was Iceland, purely for their absolute bonkers staging and screaming lyrics (get the man some cough syrup). Whilst you are at the chemist getting Mr Iceland something for his throat, pick up some anti sickness tablets for those three Australian ladies... did you see their entry? It was like Kate Bush verses the circus, but I kind of loved it; I was deliriously tired by that stage though so maybe that was it. Anyway, whatever your thoughts on the subject of Eurovision, when you take it for exactly what it is, it can be quite fun to watch! PS: Thoughts on Madonna? My thought was simple: terrible! 

 ^^ This little bear really gets herself into some comfortable positions! ^^

:: I finally had a much needed catch up with my Lobster, Helena, this week! Since I’ve started work at the hotel I now have a tiny idea of all the stuff that Helena and her hubby have to do over at their gorgeous Bed and Breakfast in Lynmouth. We always say we will chat more, but life just sticks it’s big old foot in the way and before you know it a month or three have passed. Honestly, those guys are my heroes, I don’t know how they do everything that they do, and now my Lobby is expecting a mini Lobby (finally, I can say it!) she must be absolutely shattered. Love you Lobs!

:: Every morning when I drive out of the little road that leads to the village, I see so many rabbits just munching on the grass on the side of the road, it makes me so happy to see them. On Thursday morning, as I pulled into the top of the road on my way home from training, I saw the cutest sight ever; there was a big rabbit sat there keeping watch, whilst the tiniest little baby gently nibbled on some grass. It was the most adorable thing ever!

:: I managed to get both of my commissions posted this week, and I am so happy with how they turned out! If you are interested in getting a little quote painting inside a floral border, similar to the one below, just email me on hello@leaflanestudio.com. As soon as the move is over with I will be getting back to Leaf Lane Studio at full speed again and I have lots of exciting things coming up!

:: I am so proud of Peta (from Nourishing Soulfully) this week (well, every week because she is awesome) because she did two bloody wonderful things this week! I’m not sure if I’m going to get this completely right but she managed to put together a proposal for the school she works in to ensure that the little ones get educated about body positivity/confidence and their relationships with food. Her proposal got given the go ahead and it will be on her schools curriculum soon! I think that is such an amazing thing to do, she is just awesome at delivering that message so I know it will be so helpful. The second thing was her podcast interview on Ally Grace Muir’s podcast ‘Continuously Brave’, which is just the most beautiful interview ever. She talks about her story with food, her illness and all the things she went through to remain healthy and positive through it all, as well as cats (because, you know, cats are life!) and cat dad too. Please click right here to have a listen to it and be sure to head to Peta’s Instagram and show her some big love for such an incredible week, she rocks!

:: This week I treated myself to a couple of amazing budget beauty buys from Boots and, having tested them out for a few days I can safely say I am in love with all of them. I started to type everything out here, but soon realised that I can get a blog post out of my current favourites, so I will try and put that together soon. I have been on the hunt for products that allow my skin to look super radiant, but without being greasy and, finally, I have found the combination! More to come on that really soon!

:: My Sunday morning lay in is something I am super grateful for. Granted, it is only until 7-7.30am, but compared to my 5.20am alarm for the other six days a week it is really wonderful. As I drove to work this morning I really noticed how everywhere always feels so much more relaxed on a Sunday. The roads are slower and quieter and everywhere has a beautiful sense of peace about it that I love so much. 

I think I am going to have to leave it there for today guys, sorry for a shorter post but, if you read my other post from this week, then you will know that we are currently moving so it is all go this end. I will see you next week for another post, in the mean time be sure to come and say hi on Instagram!
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17 May 2019

5 THINGS I'M DOING TO STEP FORWARD

On Tuesday I saw the Instagram caption (below) on a recent post from Lori Harder, who is a woman I seriously admire; her podcast, Earn Your Happy, I have mentioned more than once here, but it is her energy that I find so awesome, which is why I wanted to share her post with you...

'Do the thing.
.
Wear the dress.
.
Take the vacation.
.
Say you’re sorry.
.
Have the conversation.
.
Plan a date to leave the job.
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Plan a date to start the business.
.
Ask for what you want.
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Start doing what you’re called to do.
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The time will never feel right, you’ll never be ready, you’ll always feel too busy, unsure, possibly unworthy and fearful...until you actually just start to take action, set the dates, start saving money or put money down.
.
Once you do, you’ll see everything is possible and all of our lack of time, reasons that hold us back and fear are made up.
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Make the room by saying yes, putting it the calendar and taking the leap.
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More of what lights us up please. No matter what.'



I loved this post because, as a 'professional' day dreamer, I can really lose myself in the thought and vision of something, usually whilst at work cleaning (what can I say, my mind wanders whilst I’m buffing taps!), and when it comes to it, some kind of fear steps up and I back away or say to myself that I’ll do whatever 'the thing' is tomorrow/next week; that is why it took me so many years to launch Leaf Lane Studio, but I have come a long way since then for sure.  

I have become very aware of time passing by this year; maybe it's an age thing, but the faster it goes, the more mindful I become about being left standing still whilst life happens around me. I’m so tired of dreaming and writing notes excitedly, but not allowing myself the space to create and push forward. So things have got to shift. Who's with me?

I want to take more risks, not necessarily huge and scary risks that involve money that I don’t have, but more personally challenging ones, like wearing clothes that fit me and not hiding my body away anymore and saying what’s on my mind, regardless of how people may feel about my opinion (being rejected is a huge fear of mine). I want to get out and see more of the world we live in, go on long walks and take the lesser trodden path (literally and metaphorically speaking!). I long to try more things, like paddle boarding or go to a class or two to try pottery, writing or sculpture (I fancy wooden sculpture actually!). I want to attend networking events for the blog or Leaf Lane Studio, even though they terrify me to go to alone. I want to see live music... and lots of it, because it has been too long... hands up if you want to come along! I want to get out of my own way and just 'do the thing' as Lori says.

Time is passing so fast and I want to look back and know that I gave every opportunity a chance, even if it ended up being a disaster (which isn’t really a disaster, just an opportunity for learning and growth... yeah, I’m one of ‘those people’ now).

I had to have a serious word with myself recently and question why I haven’t reached some of my goals, even the tiny ones, but then I realised how much has been going on and had to let myself off the hook. But now is the time to reboot and try again and start living life with a bit more balls (sorry, but that’s the only way I could think to express it!).

The thing I need to get over is the extreme feeling of tiredness I have from training early then heading to work, which is a physically demanding job, then digging into work on Leaf Lane Studio in the late afternoon. But I know that if I make that effort and plan better I can achieve my dreams and also give myself a whole day off too, because it has been so long. There are so many amazing women out there that I admire, such as Catherine from Katnipp Illustrations, who is just storming through her work and is super prolific and inspiring (her studio vlogs are adorable!), and then there is Holly Sutton of 'A Branch of Holly' who, quite frankly, is the ultimate 'girl boss' if I ever did see one! Holly is a coach for small business owners and bloggers who want to really make their mark and has so many fantastic  free resources on her blog as well as her podcast too - the woman is my hero! These girls, and many others too, are working super hard and are making crazy headway with their businesses and I look up to their motivation and passion so much.



So, accountability time... here are five things I am going to put into action ASAP, in order to get myself on track:

ONE
After listening to this episode of Holly Sutton’s ‘Blog It, Boss It Radio’, I am planning to introduce batch working in order to help my productivity, and reduce my stress about things like posts and social media captions. If you are a business owner or blogger, have a job too and are struggling to get things done (even if you don’t have a job!) then you need to listen to this episode because it is so useful. In fact, Holly’s blog and podcast is crazy helpful full stop, so I will be putting many more of her suggestions into action.

TWO
I don’t know about you guys, but environment is massively important to me in terms of working space, and in the next couple of week, due to a house move, I will have an office space that is completely mine. I’m super excited to make it into a productive and pretty space and can’t wait to settle into my own working environment again. It’s going to be a small room but I want to make it functional and treat myself to a few things that will help me stay on target. 

THREE
As I mentioned above, I haven’t had any proper time off, as in chunks of time that I can actually do useful or fun things with, in so long, so I am going to ensure that I do this as soon as the move is over and done with. Even if I can give myself a full day off every couple of weeks and a half day once a week it would make so much difference. I want to grab my vlogging camera and head off somewhere for a couple of hours and just ‘be’. I get so much inspiration from exploring new places or going for walks, so it would help my writing and artwork to do this. I know how important this time off and/or time for myself is, yet I struggle to make it happen. That is where the next step comes in!

FOUR
Scheduling. Scheduling. Scheduling. I have mentioned recently that I have been really struggling to use my Bullet Journal, simply because I haven’t had time to draw it all out. This really upsets me because I love it so much, but I’ve had to admit defeat for a while because I need a diary and somewhere to plan! So I have gone back to basics with a Moleskine weekly planner and am starting to ease my stress by getting back into creating my lists of things to do. I am also going to attempt to set up some kind of planning system on my computer for my main ‘mind dumps’, which are great places to get everything out and use as like a master list; then delegate the things out to my planner weekly. When I lose my grip with keeping a planning/diary system I tend to do absolutely nothing, just because I literally have no idea what I’m doing or what is happening. Life has been totally thrown for a loop lately so that is why I have got so bad at things and now just feel major overwhelm, which leaves me paralysed and utterly useless, so anything I can do at this point will be helpful!

FIVE
Although self care is a very overused phrase now, I am really aware that I don’t really do much of it, and what I do manage to squeeze in is always rushed (therefore defeating the object!). I have made it a priority to try and book one treatment per month for myself and have my eye on a really lovely holistic place in Carbis Bay that does things like Indian Head Massage and Reiki. The gym is part of my self care too, but it is also physically draining so I am trying to force some balance in there! I have developed a guilt complex around taking time for myself which really needs to go away asap.

There you have it, all of that stemmed from reading Lori's caption on Instagram because I realised how much more I can do to aim for what I want. I just need to re-jig a few things to make sure that I am working smarter, whilst remembering to have some fun in the process!

What immediately springs to mind for you when you read Lori's words?
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12 May 2019

WHAT ARE YOUR STORIES?


^^ Background image by Javier Allegue Barros, via Unsplash ^^

As I write this post, I am in two minds whether or not to press 'publish' because it is making me feel a little fear, but I figure that is all the more reason to make it live. Fear has been a dominating factor throughout most of my life so I am trying to laugh in the face of it and tell my ‘truth’ to you guys more and more as I discover it (understand also that I am constantly learning so these thoughts are just what is whirling within my own mind, and I am not an expert!).

Recently I have been chatting on Instagram to Adam Palmer, an online coach and mentor, about my business and other interesting spiritual bits and bobs, and one of his responses to something I said really sparked a ripple in my head that niggled away for days. He had been talking to me about the fact that we all have stories from our past experiences that affect us, and naturally have an impact on our lives, and how it is easy to get ‘stuck’ in them. In some form or another we have all heard this before, and I am pretty sure I have even written a post on it, but there was something about how Adam put it that triggered my mind to really dig away at it.

We all have our own stories that dominate our thoughts and actions, some can even be how we introduce ourselves to other people, because the stories are so strong within us that we feel they are us. Do you know what yours are?

On a really raw level these are the three main stories that have stuck with me throughout my life and examples of how they map out how I live my life through them when I hold them close to me as my current truth:

Story one: I used to be much larger than I am now

Story two: I left school before I took any GCSE’s

Story three: I spent most of my life with hardly any confidence or self-esteem

One of the big things that hit me this week was how, if we introduce our old stories as part of who we are in the present day, we allow them to stick around, grow in size and strength and we can even start to bend our behaviour to fit them, and prove them to be real. For example, if you are still hiding behind the version of yourself that barely has any confidence, you may tell someone you meet that you are shy or have little self esteem, and as a result of that you may make them see you as anxious and perhaps they will continue to ask you if you are you okay or even question your ability to do something because of the story you have told them. This, in turn, can lead to a resurgence of past emotions for you, and ultimately manifest the old behaviours and feelings, leading you to be that way with that person every time you meet. The reason I know that is because I have done it, a lot, and until very recently. 

There is a grey area here of course, and that is that we will all revisit old patterns, old feelings and emotional behaviours and will genuinely be 'back with them' for days at a time. There’s nothing wrong with telling someone how you are feeling in these times either, because it is totally valid, but there is a difference between telling them ‘...today I am feeling...’ to telling someone ‘...I am the kind of person who always...’, do you see the difference here? Temporary verses permanent.

I hope that makes sense. It’s the difference between living ‘in’ your stories and occasionally ‘feeling’ an emotion that may be attached to a story; they should be different things.


^^ Background image by Constellate, via Unsplash ^^

It’s important to realise that is is okay to move on and to change as a person, which is what has happened/is happening to me, and to understand that it’s actually okay to leave old things behind. I have got so attached to my stories because they had such huge impacts on me, that is why they are so ingrained. But after talking with Adam, his comments to me made me realise that those things aren’t how I am seen by new people in my life and I actually realised how shocked I can be when people explain how they see me and describe me outside of my own perception. Then I had this massive epiphany of ‘...oh my goodness, I’m not that person anymore, it’s just who I was and not who I am now’.

What Adam did, I have come to realise, is not dive into the old stories, he just saw current day Lucy and didn’t entertain the other stuff in a way that allowed it to be a part of the current conversation. What that did was force the Lucy I am right now, and all the new things I have within me, to be the dominant force in the conversation, which brought all of it into the limelight and made me realise that I am so different now to the person I was. Yes, I still suffer my mental health issues, but they aren’t 'me' full time, they are an illness that shows up in various strengths over the course of a year, but I have worked hard on me, and I am proud of that.

So, who are you when you let go of all past stories? What are your strengths, what are your skills, what makes you a bloody fabulous human being? It’s hard to celebrate who you are sometimes, as we hold fear around it due to worry of seeming self important or arrogant, but there is a huge difference. You don’t have to tell the world, just hold all your amazing qualities in your own energy because they will radiate out, focus on the positive things that make you, you, whilst acknowledging the things that have shaped you, because they helped you grow, just don’t put them in the driving seat. Be strong in who you are, forget what everyone else thinks about it, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone and are a kind human being, you are doing fine.

This is my challenge to you right now, as a mini exercise to round up today’s post:

Grab a pen and paper and write down, in anyway you like, what your three main stories are; your ‘go-to’ things that you will tell people about yourself that are based on past events. Next, write what emotions are attached and what behaviours you exhibit from them. After you have done that, ask yourself if that is really who you are now; if the answer is undoubtedly ‘yes’, then maybe you have to do more work on healing that, but still do the next part anyway! If the answer is ‘no’ then write a huge list of all of your amazing qualities; your happiest moments, the things you do that makes you the incredible human you are or, if you are struggling to do this, list the positive, lovely things that other people tell you about yourself.

Start to transform how you see yourself and the moment you are living in and things will shift. They may feel a bit uncomfortable for a while because our past is a safe place for us, even if it’s not very nice, whereas moving forward and evolving can be super challenging (but SO worth it).

I hope this little mind dump sparked something in you, because it was significant for me! Head over to Adams Instagram if you are interested in seeing more about what he does as a coach, I highly recommend him.

As usual, let me know your thoughts by leaving a little comment or popping over to Instagram and having a chat (that is where I hang out the most!).
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