27 September 2017

YOU ARE NOT AN IMPOSTER


This morning, whilst doing my mandatory half an hour of cardio after my weights session, I did what I do every morning to pass the time and threw on a podcast (that way I feel like I am learning whilst I am dying of boredom on the step-mill!). This mornings choice was Lola Hoad's One Girl Band Podcast on Imposter Syndrome and, whilst I have listened to my fair share of podcasts about 'how to deal with feeling like an imposter', this one just jolted me, in a positive way! Before I tell you the quote that made me smile and made me just think 'oh... we all feel like this at some stage then', I just want to recommend you listen to Lola's podcast because it really is a great one!

Towards the end of the episode, Lola mentions a quote she saw from author Neil Gaiman and I really wanted to share it with you because it made me smile and feel a little less concerned about the cloud of 'not good enough' that can follow us all about!

'... Some years ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to a gathering of great and good people: artists and scientists, writers and discoverers of things.  And I felt that at any moment they would realise that I didn’t qualify to be there, among these people who had really done things.

On my second or third night there, I was standing at the back of the hall, while a musical entertainment happened, and I started talking to a very nice, polite, elderly gentleman about several things, including our shared first name. And then he pointed to the hall of people, and said words to the effect of, “I just look at all these people, and I think, what the heck am I doing here? They’ve made amazing things. I just went where I was sent.”

And I said, “Yes. But you were the first man on the moon. I think that counts for something.”

And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for.'


Looking in, from an outsiders perspective, it is so clear that we all think the other person is doing just fine and is totally confident and self-assured but I think this quote just proves the opposite is true! If bloody amazing Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, yet still managed to fly about in space and step foot on the moon then, surely, we can tell those little imposter-devils-on-our-shoulders to sod off when they show up and be the best we can be doing what we do?! Above all we need to continue to help one another realise how awesome we all are and build one another up because there really is way to much negativity out there! Community over competition and all that!
SHARE:

24 September 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^This little flower popped up almost overnight and is so pretty^^

Good afternoon guys! How has everyone's week been? Good I hope. Are you all seeing the change in the trees in your gardens/surroundings? This morning was super foggy here; it was so quiet and cosy laying in bed, in the warm, just glancing out at the fog drifting by.

Let's jump into the highlights of the week:

:: After a couple of up and down weeks with exercise, due to business stuff and work I needed to get done, I have finally got back on track with training again and managed four gym sessions and a couple of cardio sessions. To some, that may sound excessive, but for me it is necessary to keep my mind in tip top shape, mental health wise.Without exercise I can feel awful, so it is super important to me. I managed to increase some weights this week too, which is great! 

:: After Wednesdays blog post I received some lovely, honest and heartfelt messages from people who found it helpful and, I just wanted to quickly say here, that getting those messages is exactly the reason why I open up in this space and share the experiences I do. Thank you so much if you took the time to message/email/comment, it means the world.

:: Yesterday we went off for a much needed afternoons walk on the beach; it was gorgeous even with the wind blowing a constant speed (which certainly cleared the cobwebs out!). The beach was back to its usual quiet self, post summer madness, and it was wonderful to see dogs back on there again, leaping in and out the waves with tails wagging high! After a walk we popped into the Peppercorn Cafe, just near our house, and treated ourselves to a slice of the most amazing cake I have had in a long time. As you guys know, I am on a mission health wise, but I am trying to let myself have the very occasional treat as and when because I can really give myself a hard time over food. It was delicious and I enjoyed every bite!



:: I have been feeling down for a little while now and find daily brightness from several people on-line, but the top prize for cheering me up this week goes to Emily Coxhead, a gorgeous artist/illustrator who never fails at making me smile with her Instagram feed but, more specifically her Insta-stories! She has a smiley face always and is usually found singing/miming away to something whilst working, which is exactly what I am usually doing, so I really enjoy seeing what she is up to! If you guys don't know her and you crave a bit of sunshine in your life you need to add her to your IG feed right now!

:: Some of you guys may know that I am a huge fan of the Alien films and finally got to see the new one on Wednesday night. I hadn't heard the most amazing things about it but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! I still prefer the older ones and I do really like Prometheus, but it was okay! Also, I actually managed to sit still and not do any work through the entire thing, which is somewhat of a miracle for me, I am grateful for that!

:: I have decided to structure my week so that I have one full art-focused day per week now, as I have so many ideas for my general 'paper product' store that I want to get started! I also need to get some more wedding collections underway, and I need a dedicated day to get stuck in because, and you will know this if you are a creative person, as soon as you start creating, time just seems to slip through your hands! I took Thursday (and Friday...whoops) as arty days and enjoyed them so much. It felt like just what my soul needed after weeks and weeks of being tied to my computer! I had the window open and could smell the fresh, salty-sea air whilst I was painting and it just felt perfect. Art and fresh air... a wonderful combination.



:: On a business note... I am finding that this next stage of launching a business is feeling like the first day of school all over again! When I decided to try and make my dream happen, with little idea of where to actually start, I felt the same way. The whole thing is a constant learning curve but what i am noticing is that I am grabbing new experiences quicker and with less hesitation then I did before! For example, having put together a rather huge spreadsheet of blogs, magazines and wedding related contacts I wanted to try and get my sample packs out to, I sent out lots of emails to say 'hello' and introduce my business. This was a big deal  for me guys as, a year ago, or even six months ago, I would never have done it! I heard back from 95% of people and had some really positive feedback and ideas, so I am excited for what will happen! I have so many more people to contact this week too. It is so scary (and I definitely have zero nails left) but my advice is just get on it! I am working on building this 'thick skin' that everyone is constantly talking about!

That is all for today guys... but before I go... I put up a vlog on Wednesday, so if you want to check that out scroll on down to the bottom of this post! I would love for you to subscribe to my YouTube channel too, if you aren't already, as every new subscriber helps my visibility over there!

SHARE:

20 September 2017

THE AFFECT OF TIREDNESS ON MENTAL HEALTH


^^This gorgeous piece of work can be found on Etsy, by Ariana^^

*Before you read this, please know that I am talking about one extreme day here and, for the record, it ends well but you guys know I like to share and help people realise they are not alone, so if you don't like these sort of posts please visit on Sunday when there will be a lovely gratitude post up instead!

Seeing as my mental health has been fairly stable recently (other than the occasional hormone related meltdown) you can imagine my total overwhelm when I was hit with a severe bout of dark depression last week. It was nasty and came along with its best mate, anxiety. Anyone who has suffered with these two 'buddies' together will know how conflicting and paralysing they can be when they have a day out together. If you are not familiar, let me sum it up for you...

Depression, for me, can come along for no reason. It hits like a wave of overwhelming fear and darkness. For me it sings the tune of 'you will never succeed, you are not good enough, you should give up on everything, what is the point of you being here?'. It makes me feel tired, emotionally numb and, sorry for the honesty, somewhat suicidal at its worst. Anxiety, on the other hand, is like a hyper alien, jumping about in my brain. It never stops chatting away and fidgeting about inside my head. Between the two of these things they push and pull me one way and then the other and, let me tell you, there is no winning whatsoever. Both are equally exhausting. The conflicts they cause can be so frustrating, for example...

Me: 'I am so tired and I haven't really eaten anything... I should get something'
Depression: 'If you eat you'll get fatter, you already look like shit, look at you... actually who would want to look at you!'
Anxiety: 'You should eat lots and lots, it will make you feel better... go on, do it, you know you will feel better... go on!'

Me: 'I haven't been to the gym for a day. I know I will feel better if I go'
Depression: 'What's the point? It'll take more than a gym session to make you look better.'
Anxiety: 'You should go, what will people think of you if you don't go? They will think you're a failure. But if you do go, they will all stare at you and know how anxious you are...but if you don't go they will judge you when they see you again because you haven't been'

Yep, it is exhausting isn't it? 

However, these days I don't let it get away with turning my brain to mush as quickly as it used to and I certainly will not let it wipe out an entire week for me. When I realised what was happening to me I forced myself to sit quietly and think through what had changed, what was different and why I could be feeling so terrible and I suddenly realised the big thing that had changed... sleep. I had taken on a big piece of work and was getting up at silly o'clock to get it done and still going past midnight with barely any time off. I didn't think about the affect it would have on my mental health at all. How ridiculous is it that such a small thing can switch everything around in such a significant way? It served as a massive reminder that I do still have mental health issues and they haven't disappeared. When I am super productive and happy with what I am doing, I barely notice anything is there and it would be easy to forget that it exists, but as soon as something as small as a few hours sleep is different, and it hits me face on from nowhere, I get taken aback by it and it reminds me how awful it can feel.

The upside? Well, this is rare now, and that is a huge achievement. I am able to identify what the cause is most of the time and 'get over it' much faster but that has come from years and years of dark days that went on and on and on. It has come from listening to my body, eating right, exercising, reading useful and inspiring books and having people around who 'get it' (or at least try to get it!).

I know many of my readers resonate with these posts so I will always share my experience. I also share it because I am sick and tired of it being a stigma because it still is. I do have some people question why I put it all on the internet but, honestly, I don't care because if it helps one person get themselves help or just realise they aren't alone, that is all I need to know.

As always, make sure that if you, or someone you know, is suffering at all with any mental health concerns that you/they seek medical attention. It is super important and it can be helped, I promise you that.

In case you missed it...

SHARE:

17 September 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Before I leap head-first into todays gratitude list I want to say a big old sorry for not putting up a post on Wednesday. All I will say for now is that I have had a bit of an up and down kind of week and just couldn't find any free time or brain power to sit and type words that made sense (I did try though, I promise!).

I have been basically housebound all week and that is never a good thing is it? I had a huge deadline to meet for some work and needed to just power through. This meant I was super exhausted and a bit all over the shop and that means that I can't give you heaps of amazing things that have happened this week! However, there is always something to be thankful for, so here we go...

:: This week I have basically survived because of Netflix and music! I am not one to sit in front of the television for long but, when I am forced into it I will make the most of it! This week I watched a lot of Friends (just like last week!) and also watched two films on Netflix that I have wanted to see for a while. The first was 'Paper Towns', have you guys seen it? After 'A Fault in Our Stars' I was expecting it to be great and thought it was okay but it didn't blow me sideways. The second film was a re-watch for me as I saw it when it first came out in the cinema, back in 2001 (I think), 'The Other Boleyn Girl'. It is no surprise to find me watching that when it appeared in the listings as you guys know I am a huge Tudor history geek, I love it. I really enjoyed the film actually but find it quite funny how many of the same actors are in all the Tudor programmes and films! It can get confusing if you don't keep your wits about you!

:: This week also saw the return of a new series of Doctor Foster. I loved the first series and was a little unsure whether they would be able to make the second any good but, one episode in and I am already hooked. If you watched it let me know what you thought in the comments!

:: I wanted to take a second to mention Holly, the lovely, inspirational lady behind the blog 'A Branch of Holly'. Holly's blog has been scribbled in my Bullet Journal as one to sit down and explore over a mug of tea for ages but with the business launching and work to be done, I just couldn't find any time at all. I have failed at reading other peoples blogs in the most part recently, which is so irritating because there are so many I love. Anyway, back to Holly... Holly, if you don't know, is a bit of a blogging wizard and her posts are super helpful to dig into and cover a wide range of tips and amazing pieces of advice for bloggers but, I only discovered on Friday, that she also has a YouTube channel! Hooray! I like being able to watch videos whilst I edit a picture on Photoshop, so felt over the moon to add myself as a subscriber. Anyway, I wanted to give her a mention and also say that she has an amazing (free) 'Blogging Breakthrough' magazine which you can pop your name on her list to receive to your inbox! I just got July's one but I believe she is doing a bit of an Aug/Sept double issue that comes out soon, so head over to her site www.abranchofholly.com to join in all the fun!

:: One of my biggest amounts of gratitude this week goes to the little fluff ball pictured below. When my mental health plummets she is a God send and she just seems to know what is happening. She has wanted to be super close to me and cuddles tighter than usual. I love this little bear.



:: As I drove along yesterday I noticed just how many trees are changing gold, red and orange. I honestly cannot believe it is that time of year again, but it feels so magical. I love each season when it changes and am trying to appreciate each moment of autumn, as it approaches, because it is truly very beautiful.

:: We seem to have a new feathered friend spending more time in our garden than usual, a cute little robin. I adore robins so get so excited to see it hopping about in the trees!

:: Yesterday both Joe and I were beyond desperate to get out in the fresh air after a mad week. Granted, we live right by the beach but, for some reason, every time the clock turned 5.30pm this week the heavens opened and we could go nowhere. So, Saturday morning saw a lovely trip to Sennen Cove, one of my all time favourite beaches to visit. I know that everyone says that the light in St Ives is magical, which is really is, but the light in Sennen is the same. Everything is bright, vivid and so very beautiful. The tide was right in, so there was no beach walk had, plus there were signs to keep watch for the Portuguese 'Man O'War' jellyfish which have been rocking up on Cornish beaches this week (don't want to mess with those guys!) so maybe it was just as well we didn't venture onto the sand. But it was so wonderful to get out in the (very cold) fresh air and have a walk about and admire the views. If you are ever in the far west of Cornwall you must visit Sennen, you won't regret it!

That is everything for this week friends! But, the good news (possibly!) is that I am working on a vlog again! I am editing right now and will aim to get one a week up like I did BL ('before launch'!). If you have any requests or questions relating to business or anything else you would like to see me talk about in the videos just leave me a comment below! Have a fab week!

SHARE:

10 September 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^The beautiful Godolphin House^^

This week has been ever so slightly bonkers! It took me the whole of last weekend to recover from the lack of sleep and craziness of launching my new website; I was basically a totally useless moron for a few days post launch and felt like I had been hit by a huge pile of bricks. I just wanted to nap and stare at the TV; which is pretty much what I did. I also got struck down with a massive migraine that lasted a few days too. What happened to the days where I could burn the candle at both ends and still get up early, work all day and party well into the night? (Actually, don't answer that!).

Mum and Dad visited this week and, luckily, I had rediscovered a slightly more awake self by the time they arrived, although I did pop upstairs for five minutes at one point and fell asleep for an hour...oops! I had a good few days with absolutely no work whatsoever though, which was very much needed but, this week coming I will need to find the motivation again!

Let's get into todays post, which is going to have more pictures than words I feel!

:: On Wednesday, whilst the sun was out, mum and I went off for a coast walk. We were only going to do a short one but ended up walking for five or six miles all in. I took mum over to Cudden Point, which you can see from our back garden. It is a mixed terrain walk but one of my absolute favourites as every turn reveals something even more beautiful than the last. It is a constantly changing environment and I can never get enough of it.



:: Having completed the coast path walk and burned off some calories, we all popped into Marazion for some dinner at the Godolphin Hotel/Restaurant. Last time my parents came I booked us a table there, but the fog was so thick that we couldn't even see the balcony, let alone the amazing view of St Michaels Mount. The food is so tasty there and, if you are ever in the area, definitely go! There was a gorgeous sunset that night too which made it even more special.

:: On Wednesday I dragged mum and dad to the ever so stunning Godolphin House (nothing to do with the restaurant we went to!). I have done a blog post about the property before, when Joe and I visited earlier this year, but I really wanted to go back and thought mum and dad would like it too. The gardens blow my mind, it is so peaceful and pretty there and you can totally forget the year you are living in as you wander around... perfect for a soppy sod like me!



:: This week I had three thousand boxes to stick, as part of my little job at my printers, so decided to dig out my Friends box-set and set to work. I haven't watched Friends for so long. I think it has to be one of my favourite things to watch, ever! I started right from series one and am working my way through. What is your favourite Friends moment? Obviously there are many, many hysterical scenes but I adore the Monica and Chandler proposal scene and the episode where Ross and Rachel finally get together... I'm a sucker for romance guys, I know! The 'pivot' scene comes a very close third though!! Ross is the best!

:: Yesterday I finally cracked open my second Bullet Journal and began getting it ready for October! I can't believe I have stuck with a journal for so long! I am basically keeping it the same but I have vowed to get some of my photos printed out every few months and stick them in to allocated spaces, so I am reminded of places, people and things I have done. I enjoy looking back at the mini diary entries I do each day to see what was going on and find that doing so really jogs my memory. Here's to another journal and more memories!

:: After a bit of fog and rain this week I enjoyed a bit of time outdoors, taking in the little droplets on the plants and flowers. It smelt amazing outside and the fog created a blanket of eerie calm around our village. I haven't ever experienced sea mist and fog before but it really can appear out of nowhere. I sometimes find that I can be working away and look up and can no longer see our back gate! I feel so grateful that we have changeable weather though and appreciate how it changes the feel of a day too. The air really has a touch of autumn about it now and to open the door in the evenings to the smell of wood-smoke is one of my absolute favourite things!

That is all for this week lovely friends. I hope you have had a lovely weekend so far. Don't forget that if you know anyone who is getting married and on the hunt for some wedding stationery, please give them a heads-up about www.leaflanestudio.com - I would help wonderful, loved-up couples find the perfect stationery collection for their big day. I am still running a 15% off all wedding collections offer throughout September, so please help me spread the word!

SHARE:

6 September 2017

A LETTER I WISH I COULD WRITE


Recently, as life has changed significantly, and I am closer to being my happiest self ever (just one or two low days here and there rather than weeks or months of the black cloud hovering about) I have been thinking a lot about the people that have been in my life when I have been at my darkest, when I have been unwilling or not wanting to feel better. Yep, that's the thing about mental health lovely friends, sometimes, lost in the sheer hell of it all, it can become your only friend, a recognisable feeling that you hate and yet acts as a strange comfort all at once. It seems like the only stable thing in your life but it is simultaneously the reason you are at your worst. 

If I could write a letter to some of the significant people that have been in my life over the years and the ones who have left my life, probably branding me as a total f**ked up idiot, these are some of the things I would say...


... thank you for every bit of support you ever offered me and all the times you stepped in to help me, cover my arse or steer me away from trouble. I may not have realised what you were doing for me at the time but I do now; you are the reason I am still here. I often ask myself why it is that with time comes such clarity because, well, it would've been handy to have seen what you were going through in the moment, rather than just focusing on what I was going through. You must have been suffering as much as me, feeling worried and scared and probably like you wanted to leave me and run in the opposite direction, which I probably told you to do countless times, but you didn't.

These days you may not recognise who I have become. I am driven, motivated, inspired and more in tune with who I am than I have ever been. Sometimes I wish you could see me now and be proud of who I have become, because I feel like I owe it to you to let you see I am not the person you once knew. 

Thank you for your kindness, your patience and your support through it all.


It's so weird to have hindsight isn't it? I don't have any regrets in life because I see it all as part of the path I am meant to be following but, the one thing I wish I could do is sit and have a conversation with a small handful of people to whom I will always be thankful. I feel frustrated that they have no idea how grateful I am for their time in my life but maybe one day I will get to tell them.

There are still people in my life now that stand by me of course, but the difference these days is that I actually help myself! I am much more aware of what is going on and how I am behaving, which means I have the chance to say how I am feeling from a more informed place.

Anyway, I wanted to put this post up because it's been a while since I talked about anything mental health related. I am lucky enough to have found a great amount of stability, made much easier by a significant change to my lifestyle and kept balanced through medication. When I look back at the days where I was either on and off meds or trying to self-medicate here and there, I just think that I must have looked like a right old disaster zone! The thing is though guys, is that sometimes we have to put ourselves through these horrific times to find out who we are and, if we are lucky to come out of those times with people still around, us then we are very fortunate.

My message here I guess, is to always try to communicate. Always seek professional help and don't turn your nose up at the thought of medication. It may take a while to find what works but try it, be patient (even though you are desperate) because, when you find the right balance of meds, healthy lifestyle and supportive friends/family, you will improve so much quicker.

As always, feel free to comment, or email me if you want to have a chat on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com but more importantly, if you or anyone you know is in need of support please seek the help of your doctor or a mental health charity, such as Mind (0300 12303393).
SHARE:

3 September 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^We have had lots of these guys in our garden this summer, and this one was the last to appear^^

We are at the end of the week again and, it's been a really big week for me. If you follow along on Instagram, then you may have seen what Friday had in store for me. Friday was the launch of my business, the launch of the Leaf Lane Studios website, but it was not the day I had planned at all and, I have to say, I suffered all day yesterday as a consequence of the emotional roller-coaster of the day! More on that another time!

I am going to jump straight into this weeks gratitude list because, as I sit here writing this, my head is thumping and my stomach is in total knots so happy thoughts are required...!

:: Ten minute tea breaks. This week, the lovely Peta (from www.pe-ta.com) and I came up with the genius idea of making sure we were both taking a little break in the day, as we have both working super hard on all our 'stuff', and had mentioned to each other over messages that we hadn't been stopping properly. So, we set a time each morning to stop, log on to Facebook messenger and chat about our day and what we were working on (over a cup of tea of course). We gave ourselves 10-15 minutes to just natter away before returning to our work. I can't tell you how lovely it felt to just take some time out to chat; I didn't feel guilty because it was only 10 minutes and it is amazing what 10 minutes can do to help de-stress and realign your thoughts.

:: On Friday morning, mixed in with all the crazy shit that was happening with the internet crashing and my brain having a meltdown, a lovely box of flowers arrived from my mum and dad. The timing was pretty damn good! Thanks guys... you're the best parents I've had ;-)

:: On the subject of wonderful gifts arriving... the ever so lovely Gemma (who you guys definitely know by now!) sent me a gorgeous package of essential oils, crystals and lovely notes (that lady knows me too well!). This was another case of beyond magical timing and I got straight into the relaxing blend of oils she created for me. Gemma really is the lady to go to if you want to know more about essential oils, so head over to her website for more info! Thank you so much Gemma xx


:: Spotify has been a total savior this week! I have been listening to the most random of playlists on there whilst I worked, even cracking out a 'late night love songs' list whilst I worked until 2am on Tuesday! I stumbled across the 'ballads from the musicals' playlist on Thursday and, whilst I didn't expect to like it, I found myself singing along to loads of songs that I didn't think I knew. Plus, there were some trusty old classics on there from The Lion King and Grease so, I had a great time!

:: After a big week of working so many hours that I lost track, and all the stress of Fridays events, the house literally looked like it had been burgled... Leaf Lane Studio notes everywhere, things left all over the place from the various photo-shoots I had done and scraps of paper with reminders of 'things to do' on pretty much every surface. To top it all my desk looked like hell and all of this makes my head fell like it's going to burst off my body; clearly something had to be done! Yesterday, despite having a migraine and generally feeling like death, I blitzed the house within an inch of its life and totally re-organised my desk. It is like pressing reset in my mind when my surroundings are tidy. Although, having done all of that work, my head became a million times worse, so I went to bed! (But at least I woke up to a tidy house!).

:: I know I have mentioned the business a few times in this post but, one thing I really want to mention is how many amazing messages I got from you guys on Friday. So many of you took the time out of your lives (and holidays for a few of you!) to message me and wish me good luck. Some of you, knowing how I had to put my website up without actually seeing it on my computer, messaged me to say you would help me if I needed it and also told me how it was looking and that, my lovely friends, meant the world. Your support through this has been incredible and I can't wait to continue the journey with you. I have so many things in the pipe line for Leaf Lane Studio and would love you to stick with me on the journey! Now comes the hard bit.. marketing and promotion so that I have some customers! If you haven't seen the website yet and fancy a nose about, click here to go right over there! I will be adding other products (non wedding) as soon as I can and have so many ideas that I am driving myself a little bonkers!

Todays post is a little short and sweet but normal service will be resumed when my brain returns from its week of madness! I will leave you with a few images I put together for the business and will see you guys on Wednesday!

SHARE:
© From Lucy, with Love. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig