17 July 2019

DISCOVERING WHO YOU ARE



I feel like the last couple of years have been full of self discovery, mostly painful self discovery but totally worth every second of agony, because I think the only way to truly get on the path that leads onward is through the grit. I have chosen to put myself through all the hurt and all the anxiety to discover more about myself; the person I am underneath the smile I have for everyone every single day, the things that fire me up, make me happy or sad, the stupid little things that break me, the things that make my day brighter.

Discovering who you really are sounds easy, but it really isn't. The movies and the airy fairy, fluffy kind of self-help books make us think that we just need to sit in a lotus position and meditate for a bit and suddenly we will emerge a more well-rounded human being, but in my experience I have had to completely break down, several times over, to fully 'see' myself for who I am. Have I always liked what I've seen? No way, but I needed to (and will always need to) see those dark places to know where I can go and how to grow from them, because it is true that out of the darkness we see more light than we can ever imagine.

Don't be scared to look within, don't be afraid to delve right on in to the hardest thing you have been through and work out why things happened. I have looked back over many things in the last 18 months and asked serious questions of myself to work out why something happened how it did and what I could have done differently. I have been to all ends of the emotional spectrum, ending up in the care of the mental health crisis team on the way, but I needed to get things out. 

I guess I have been looking to reach a point of self acceptance in some way, a place where I can let go of guilt and pain and try to live in the now, rather than hovering about between the past and the future, forever questioning actions and decisions. Naturally, as human beings, we all find ourselves gravitating back to things that have happened in our lives, but I have learned that the more I look within, the more I unpick and sort through all the mental crap I carry about, the easier it is to let things wash over me when they inevitably revisit. It is just about not letting them set up camp in your head I guess.



Why am I writing all this? Honestly, I really don't know. It was all in my heart and I wanted to place it somewhere. Recently I have discharged myself from the care of the mental health team in favour of other ways of dealing with things. I realised that I haven't got something long term to be medicated forever more and to be constantly diagnosed medically, but in-fact I have a sensitive soul, and that I am someone who is never going to just accept things without deep questioning, a questioning that can often cause me severe agony. I have my own unique outlooks on many parts of life which are very different to others and one day I just realised I was searching for self-acceptance. 

The path of comparison is a dangerous one, and it is the one that has dug into my mind and eaten away at me for longer than I care to admit. When I have got upset about something and told someone else, only to hear them say 'that's bloody weird, why do you get upset about that', I have questioned myself to the core, battling what I think is important with what they think is important. With many things I am in the minority, but I am learning that being in the minority is kind of cool actually. This is the work I am doing for myself now; accepting my thoughts are okay, accepting that I am not strange for feeling all the things that I do that many don't understand. I am me, and that is okay, the same way that you are you, and we are unique in our own thoughts and actions.

It's not an easy path, the one of self-development. If you choose to walk it you are bloody brave, and I am right next to you, being brave too. But I would much prefer to walk this path than to just be closed off to the world and the emotions it brings. The core of real life is in the lessons of our every day experiences, but also there is so much to gain from sitting in the difficulties for a while too, just don't sit there too long, only long enough to see what you came for, then simply get up, and walk away.
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15 July 2019

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Hello my loves, so evidently I find myself getting more and more behind and more and more tired, so my Sunday post has become a Monday post! Whoops. Never mind, it's here now! In my defense, I have been working super hard on deadlines for things as well as working 20 hours a week at the hotel, so life takes over sometimes huh?

Let's jump on in to all the things that happened to be grateful for last week!

:: Last week was a beautifully warm and sunny one and has also had its moments of high humidity. Between the South and North coast of Cornwall the weather can change quite a lot, but I love seeing the difference in the light and the clouds on my drive to and from Carbis Bay. The nights have been wonderfully clear too, which you guys know is right up my street for a little peep at the stars, and my goodness, they have been so stunning.

:: On Thursday I ventured out the house (can I get a cheer for stopping work for a few hours?!) and met Peta (from Nourishing Soulfully) and her other half ‘Cat Dad’ (not his real name, in case you wondered!). They are back in Cornwall visiting family and we managed to squeeze some time in together at St Michaels Mount in Marazion. Being a slightly anti-social local these days I try and avoid the main 'places to be' in the summer because crowds of people freak me out, but you know you’re a special person in my life when I will tackle a full car park and sweaty crowds to see you! Once I’d taken a few deep breaths into a paper bag and gathered myself together, I found Peta heading towards the beach with a bright pink Alpaca under her arm, which she named ‘Lawrence’! I love him and he is now pride of place in my office and has been promoted to Leaf Lane Studio Lawyer. We had a wonderful wander about and Peta brought a picnic along too (she is definitely a teacher and organised our trip!), so we found a quiet spot to chill and eat. With my anxiety and crazy fear of crowds, it was good to push myself and do something I would normally shy away from. The gardens at the mount are gorgeous and I would love to see them again; they are only open sporadically, and in all the years I’ve been coming to Cornwall, this was the first time I’ve actually been at the mount when they’ve been open. Thank you to Peta and Cat Dad for a great day, and for my cute little bracelet too, I adore it!



:: You know, sometimes all it takes is one little change in life to make you feel so much better. My change this week is upping my water to three litres a day (apart from today where I was so busy I just didn’t drink enough). It has honestly taken away bloating and given me so much more energy than before. Water, I am grateful for you buddy!

:: I sent a few of my new Leaf Lane Studio tear-off ‘to-do’ list off to some of my closest pals last week to see what they thought and had some lovely feedback (thanks ladies!). All I have to decide now is a launch date and order the next couple of things in the product line so you guys can buy things all together, because you may want one of everything, right?!! Seriously though guys, I am just grateful for any support you offer even if it’s a ‘like’ on my studio vlogs on YouTube I am really grateful to you. I am on a huge mission with my business, big, big plans and things I really want to achieve, but I can’t do it without you!

:: I've mentioned the wonderful Catherine from Katnipp Illustrations before, but I can't help but bring her into this list once more because her studio vlogs are just so inspirational to me. Even though our art styles are totally different, what she does so well is show true and honest business 'behind the scenes' and I have so enjoyed watching her build Katnipp up and up. I admire her honesty about failures and her feedback about suppliers and all the things that come with running a business, because it can seem so hard to know what is normal and what isn't when you start out; you are just left going along on your own and guessing what is what and trying to figure out how not to make mistakes. I have learnt a lot from watching Catherine's channel and continue to  be inspired by her every day; the woman is awesome!

:: You guys know how much I adore a good quote, and I am always writing them down on bits of scrap paper and losing them again, and although I have hundreds on Pinterest, I like having them written down too, especially the ones that really spark something in me. So I decided to grab one of my spare notebooks and turn it into a bit of a scribble pad for quotes and interesting things I see. I think it will be a lovely thing to look back on too.

:: Whilst at St Michaels Mount I treated myself to two cute little succulents from their sweet 'Garden Shop', I love having plants in the house and I figure that succulents are hard to kill off, so they came home with me. They had so many to choose from and they were so pretty, but not as grand as the ones in the grounds of the mount though, they were huge!

That is all I have for you this week guys, it's been a full on busy one, so forgive the short list as there hasn't been much time for anything but work and general life admin! Have a great week and pop back on Wednesday as I think you may like the post I have all ready and waiting to go up!

In the meantime, why not head over to my YouTube Channel and catch my latest vlogs, I would love to see you over there!

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10 July 2019

PEACEFUL PLACES | GODOLPHIN HOUSE



I don't know about you, but I love nothing more than peace and quiet in order to return into myself and reboot my mind, body and soul, and one of my favourite places to do just that is in the stunning grounds of Godolphin House, one of the National Trust properties here in Cornwall. I adore every National Trust place I have ever been, but there is just something about this one that calls out to me, it is truly special.

It is such a magical place and has this way of refilling my inspiration, restoring my spirit and connecting me back into nature, it never fails. You rarely see crowds of people, so you can stroll around, lost in your thoughts and find some serenity again without being disturbed by endless chatter (nothing wrong with chatter, I'm a pro at it, but this place calls for a more peaceful approach).

I could talk about this beautiful place for ages, but I think I will let the photos speak for themselves. The house only opens on the first weekend of every month, and it is gorgeous too, but the gardens are the most wonderful part of the visit, unless you are counting the cake in the cafe, although there wasn't any of that this time!

PS: at the end of this post is my latest Studio Vlog, which includes some footage from Godolphin House too, which I hope you will love as much as I do! Enjoy the photographs from one of my favourite peaceful spots in Cornwall.



Thank you so much for being here, I hope you felt a small sense of how amazingly magical Godolphin House is through the photos, but if you visit Cornwall, add it to your list, it is truly a must see at any time of year, but spring and summer are pretty special!

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7 July 2019

YOU HAVE THE POWER


In every situation, you have the power to decide to stay or walk away, to carry on reading the book you are reading or to set it aside, to take the risk or to stay in safety. You have the power to change your life, from the tiny details to the bigger dreams, it is in your hands.

This, rather intense subject, came up for me recently when I was at work, where I am pretty much alone for four hours cleaning in silence, so things tend to surface and run away with themselves (which sometimes is awesome and other times is really bad!). On this occasion I was intrigued by how the thoughts unfolded. I started to consider how many situations I have really battled with, even though they felt 'off', how many times I have made myself stick with something because I was worried about the opinions of those around me, or how many hours I have spent absorbing information that is just a total waste of time.

The universe had my back with this thought though, because a day later, I was listening to one of my absolute favourite podcasts, Earn Your Happy, by Lori Harder, when she began talking about how we need to decide daily, whether something makes us 'expand' or 'contract' when we are within it. When I heard her talking about this, I sat up and took notice because it really hit the nail on the head and resonated with all the things I had been thinking about. 

Asking ourselves whether something makes us expand or contract works for anything, from the meals we are choosing, to friendships we surround ourselves with. It is so easy to brush things under the carpet and just get along with things, even if they don't really add anything to our lives. As I have got older, I have become very aware of what takes my energy away and what builds it, and now I have had that realisation in my life, nothing can stop me noticing it.

For example, when you are with a friend who lights you up, makes you laugh, has your back through everything and will also tell you when you are being a total idiot, that is utter expansion. Within expansion you should feel better for that person or situation being around you, you should feel more alive, it should flow and become part of who you are seamlessly.



With contraction we feel pullback, resistance, doubt, fear, negativity and not like we are growing into a more fulfilled human being. We feel uneasy in contraction, and like we are being held back from who we are. We have all experienced this, probably daily if we think about all the small things that happen, and that is totally normal, but what I am saying is to be a bit more mindful of these things and, as Lori says in episode 390, ask yourself the question 'does this {insert situation here} make me expand or contract', and just see what shows up.

We shouldn't be wasting time with people who restrict us, who clip our wings and fight to bring us down to where they are in their lives at that given moment. Instead, what we do need is a team who lifts us up, even on our darkest days, tells us we can do it and reminds us that every cloud has a silver lining. These people are the ones who encourage us to expand into the better versions of us; they are 'the keepers' and the ones worth having around.

So, audit your life, see what fits into which category (write a list if you need to!), and see how you feel when you look at it; be super honest with yourself and don't beat yourself up about it. You need to refill your energy tank with all the good things; the music that you love, the books that inspire you and open up your heart, the people that you are excited to be around, and the food that your body is nourished by. There is no right or wrong answer here, and only you can make the choices of whether or not something is worth keeping in your life.

Resonate with this? Pop a comment down below and let me know your thoughts on it!
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30 June 2019

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ A little throw back to living in Perranuthnoe, because I miss it a lot! ^^

Despite having 50mph winds for a couple of days here in West Cornwall, I didn’t get blown away, so here I am with another Weekly Gratitude post, hurrah!

In case you aren’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, which you definitely should be if you like watching vlogs about creativity, Cornwall and cats (I will also love you forever if you do subscribe!), I thought you may like to know that I put up my first ‘Studio Vlog’ video this week, which I’ve linked at the bottom of this post for you too! As the vlogs go on they will get much more interesting to watch, include many more creative clips and be less of me just chatting to the camera, but everything has to start somewhere! My aim for the vlogs are to document the journey of me building Leaf Lane Studio, so I want them to be totally raw and honest, so if you have any questions or things you’d like me to specifically talk about on the videos, please let me know!

Let’s jump into this weeks list!

:: When I got home from work yesterday I jumped straight in the shower and then fell into bed for a mammoth three hour ‘nap’, although I’m not sure three hours counts as a nap does it, maybe just a sleep! There’s nothing like getting into bed, all fresh from the shower, and knowing there is nothing else to do but sleep! I just can't seem to catch up with myself at any point right now and, as my friend Kimberley said to me this week 'burn out is a real thing you know!' (don't tell her she is right... but she is right!).

:: After work on Friday I met up with my gorgeous friend Kimberley (the one that is right about everything... yeah, that one!) at Birdies Bistro by the Hayle estuary; we were over due a good girlie catch up and it was wonderful! I was ‘force fed’ a fish finger sandwich, which was bloomin’ delicious, phew, I did it for the team! Being so busy all the time I can easily forget how amazing it is to sit, talk about random things (like huge pants!) and have a giggle about life, it was very needed and must be repeated asap!


^^ Look at that resting bitch face of hers! ^^

:: Little Gizmo has been ever so cute since the move, she is a lot more clingy these days because she is having a hard old time outside, bless her paws, but she is getting there and establishing her territory bit by bit. The only thing that is freaking us out is that she has taken to journeying over the main road, which I think is because of the need to find a bit of peace and quiet away from the cats that bully her, but the road is crazy-busy and, even though it is meant to be a 30mph zone, it isn't adhered to at all. It is such a difficult thing to sort out because Giz is a cat that thrives outdoors, so to keep her in would make her miserable, but at the same time, the thought of anything happening to the little bear breaks my heart. What would you guys do?

:: On Tuesday I had the most amazing treatments at Cornish Holistic Therapies in Carbis Bay. Mum had kindly given me some money for a massage/whatever treatment I fancied, so I booked in for their ‘rebalancing’ package, which included an Indian Head Massage and a reiki session with the amazing Kirsten. Honestly guys, I came out feeling like I was buzzing with energy throughout my entire body, it was such a beautiful treatment. If you’re in the West Cornwall area and looking for somewhere to have some ‘you’ time, then I highly recommend paying them a visit, it is a gorgeous setting and super sweet and friendly too.


:: I have switched my training routine back to high repetitions and lower weights to try and burn some fat off (I like to alternate every 8-12 weeks between strength and endurance) and my God am I sweating guys! I am super-setting exercises and have reduced my rest time right down and increased my cardio a bit and, let me tell you, I am loving it (but I look like a puddle by the end!). I enjoy every kind of training really, but strength is my all time favourite because it is so challenging to try and lift something super heavy, but this new kind of training is just as much of a challenge in its own way. I thrive when I am pushing my body to the extreme (my mum will be rolling her eyes as she reads this and I will be hearing about this and getting told off!), I really enjoy seeing what my body can do and how much it can handle. The gym has it's big door open now it is warmer and that always marks the arrival of summer; I love that place so much!

:: I mentioned last week that I was starting to write ‘Morning Pages’, a stream of conscious style journaling practice done as soon as you wake up in the morning. I am absolutely loving this so far and discovering some interesting things as I write. It isn’t easy to just let your mind feed you information from the subconscious, but I usually find that if I start writing anything at all, that within about half a page, something far more interesting comes through. It seems like a far more natural process early in the morning, before I have properly woken up; whenever I have tried to journal after the gym, or at any time of day other than first thing, I really struggle to just let go and allow my mind to wander freely. Give it a go, even if you have to set your alarm 15 minutes early, I promise you it’s worth it.

:: I love this time of year for the live music that is everywhere; I have been trying to watch as many highlights and live sets from Glastonbury as possible and always find myself thinking 'I must go there one year'. I am so not a camping person, so if I'm doing it, I'm doing it in style, but I would love to tick that box... anyone wanna join in?! I would love to see so much more live music and have a few bands I was hoping to see before I turn 40, so I had better get a bloody move on, only a year and a half to go! I am listening to one of my top five bands to see live as I type right now, Coldplay! Others would be The Foo's, Metallica, Matchbox Twenty (although I have seen them before I definitely want to see them again), Counting Crows and Kings of Leon. I also would really like to see my all time favourite cheesy artist just one more time, Bryan Adams. He played at the Eden Project last year I think, and as usual I was super late to look up who was playing. Note to self, get more efficient Lucy! Who would you really like to see?

I am going to leave it there for this weeks post guys! Be sure to pop back for Wednesdays post and if you watch my vlog and want to support my business journey, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel as it will really help the channel grow and allow me to do new things as this happens! Have a wonderful week!

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27 June 2019

TOMORROWS


^^ Background image by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash ^^

Do you ever ponder about the amount of times you have said 'tomorrow'? Think about it for a second and see where your thoughts take you. We are all guilty of one/some/all of the following statements from time to time:

I'll eat healthier food from tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will clean out my clothes and try and be less wasteful.

I am going to start planning for that business idea tomorrow.

I must catch up with that friend I haven't seen in so long, I'll message them tomorrow.

I really need to start exercising more, I'll look into it tomorrow.

I'll read/reply to that message/email tomorrow.

I'll stop drinking wine on a week night from tomorrow, but tonight I will have one last bottle.

I want to do more self-development, tomorrow I'll go on Amazon and look for that book I want to read and think about what I can do.

It's been ages since I called my mum/dad/family member, I'll give them a call tomorrow.

I'll just say that I am sorry tomorrow.

I'll be kinder to people tomorrow.

From tomorrow I will think more before I speak.

I am so unhappy in my job, tomorrow I'll update my CV and start looking for something new.

My house is so cluttered, maybe tomorrow I will start sorting things out and taking somethings to the charity shop and clear my space.

Tomorrow
Tomorrow 
Tomorrow

* The only justification to any of this stuff is if you are thinking about it at, say, 11pm... just go to bed and bloody do it tomorrow!

Can you imagine how much further towards our goals and dreams we would be if we quit with the 'tomorrows' and just did it now? How different would things really look then?

The amount of anxiety I have caused myself through not getting on with something right at that moment is insane; especially around being afraid to open emails that I fear may be difficult, when 99% of the time they are absolutely fine and I may have created days of anxiety over something which needed no further thought!

Using any of the things listed above as an example, by just starting them, or just putting them into action in whatever way possible, you will feel so much more productive; everything just piles up and up when you put it off time and time again, trust me, I have an Olympic medal in it! When it came to launching my business, believe me, I took my lifetime supply of 'tomorrows' and used them as an excuse. With some things you simply have to accept that you will never be ready, you will never know 'all the things', but do you know the best way? Start the bloody thing. No one else knows where you are at but you; you are the mastermind behind all of your ambitions, all of your dreams and everything you wish for, so just do it now (or at the very least start it and pursue it with all of your might!).

If you want to get to the gym, drive past one on the way home from work and find out how to sign up, just don't let it simmer in your head for days because it will fade and be another thing you add to your New Years resolution list (every, single year!). If you want to make amends with that friend, pick up the phone and just do it now. Today is the best time to do the thing you are thinking of, today will be made more complete by doing whatever it is. Do you know one of the things I hate the most? Going to bed with a head full of thoughts that I have wasted a day because I have not been productive. What I have learned very fast is how much less anxiety I feel and how much more inspired I feel by simply doing things when they arise. It really is that simple.
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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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