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.
.
Plan a date to start the business.
.
Ask for what you want.
.
Start doing what you’re called to do.
.
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.
.
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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5 May 2019

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ How pretty is the blossom in the garden? ^^

Happy Sunday my lovely! How is your weekend going? Although I feel like, by the time this post actually goes up, the question should be 'how was your weekend'! Working every weekend leaves me a little frazzled by the time I get to this part of the day!

This week has been a full on one, but a good one. I think I am finding my Leaf Lane Studio mojo again; it went missing for a while, due to a new set of routines and mental health 'happenings', but I am feeling like it is coming back. More on that below!

Speaking of the main Gratitude List, let's go for it shall we? (I can see your nodding, so I'll start now!).

:: I love nothing more than sitting in the spare room and painting, with the window wide open and the sound of life going on outside as I work. The weather has been so beautiful; walkers have been wandering past, laughing and chatting, the birds have been in full spring mode, chirping away relentless and pulling bits off of the palm trees to take back to their nests and the sea has looked stunning, with lots of little boats out enjoying the sun. I’m so grateful to live in this part of the world and, when I’m able to have an entire day to paint and sit with a cup of tea on the window seat, gazing out to the ocean, I really have to pinch myself that these moments are real.

:: Mum and dad have been down recently and we went out for a yummy dinner to a restaurant in Marazion; I always have the burger there because it is delicious, but the food is only part of the reason to be grateful because the view is gorgeous. The restaurant faces St Michaels Mount and is right on the sea front, so whilst you eat you get to watch the sun setting, dogs running in and out the waves and the mounts causeway getting slowly revealed by the receding tide. It really is so beautiful there and one of my favourite local places to enjoy a meal. I may have enjoyed a glass of white wine too and been slightly tipsy just two sips in; I really need to build up resistance!

:: After not being able to think of anything but sweet and salty popcorn throughout my entire training session on Thursday, I drove straight to Morrison’s in Penzance after the gym to buy a packet. It was so good! Not sure why it was such an obsession that day, but I went with it and enjoyed every second!



:: As I mentioned at the start of this post, I have been really struggling with Leaf Lane Studio, like really struggling. This is due to a whole load of factors that I have been chatting about on social media and on here for the past five or six weeks (new job, mental health crisis etc etc). I have been totally exhausted (still am actually!) and feeling like my capacity to do anything of any substance was at zero. I was feeling overwhelmed at the amount of things I 'should' or 'could' be doing but not managing to do anything. I took a step back for a while and allowed it to 'sit' with me whilst I felt all the emotions and angst attached to not moving forward. Some of the things that came up are, quite frankly, laughable, but I needed to see what I had to change to stay in my business through this particular season of life. Do you know what the biggest thing holding me back was (and it's so crazy how big this silly thing was to me!); my Bullet Journal. You guys know I love Bullet Journaling so much, but the pressure to have a pretty set up at all times for YouTube meant that I didn't use it at all. The ripple out from that was I wasn't writing my to-do lists, which meant I felt unorganised, which meant I felt helpless and paralysed. You see how something that seems so insignificant can have such a profound affect? I know how crazy it sounds but it was all about what other people would think if I took a break from it... nuts right? So now, I am back to a standard Moleskine weekly planner, just for a bit, so I can track myself better and actually get stuff done. I will definitely Bullet Journal again and I am still planning on releasing free printables and selling planner accessories too but for me, at least, at this time in my life, I need to go back to basics!

:: This week I got around to watching Brene Browns new talk on Netflix and, let me tell you, it is wonderful. I cried, I laughed, I wrote notes... everything I want from a talk like that! The theme of the show is about how you can’t be courageous without vulnerability and it is so interesting. Anything that involves courage will leave you vulnerable and wide open to the world because it is in those courageous moments that you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into growth. If you get a chance I would highly recommend you watch it. I had to pop Friends on right after it though because crying needs balance.



:: Having been skint as a flint for a long time now, as long term readers will know, basically all my clothes have a hole (actually many holes) somewhere on them. One particular pair of jeggings I own tipped over the acceptable level of holes-to-material ratio recently, and so I had to drive down the road to Next and replace them. I’m not into shopping really, but for some reason, fueled by a wardrobe of 'air conditioned' clothes, I really enjoyed browsing the summer selection in Next and day dreaming about buying all of it. There are no shops down this end of Cornwall really, locally I mean, so going clothes shopping really involves a trip to Truro, so Next and Marks and Sparks are the only local option, which is fine by me. I was a good girl though and left only with a replaced pair of what I threw away... surely a gold star is due?

:: Yesterday, when I came in from work and had eaten, I went off for a bath and then climbed into bed for a nap. I decided to listen to a nap meditation, which was designed to give you lucid dreams (I’m so rock n roll guys) and, although I didn’t dream, I did wake up 40 minutes later feeling off my face. I looked at my phone and responded to a couple of messages feeling drunk, and swiftly went back to sleep again. I woke up at 5.30pm, having got in to bed around 3pm ish... but I felt so much better for it! It also meant that I managed to stay awake to watch MMA fighting last night which never happens now because I want to sleep by about 9pm these days!

:: I'm already super grateful and ever so excited for next Thursday as I am finally getting my hair cut and some lovely, sparkly-fresh highlights put in! Way too many grey hairs have been appearing for my liking, which isn't surprising as I haven't had my colour done since Novemeber/December! My favourite thing about the hair dressers... hair wash and massage for sure! Anyone else with me?!

That is it for this weeks ramble I'm afraid, but pop back for Wednesdays post won't you?!

Have a wonderful week ahead xx

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1 May 2019

WHO ARE YOU?



I wanted to use todays post to share an exercise with you that I had to do this week which, when I first heard it, I admit thinking it was a load of crap, but then as I got more into it I suddenly had great clarity and perspective on things.

I am referring to an exercise that I did  this week whilst at a mental health appointment, which involved exploring three different parts of your emotional self, in order to see clearly what you are like in each of those stages; there is a lot more to it than this, but I wanted to get you to think about the same thing and unpack a bit more as we go. Grab a sheet of paper and a pen and let's start with the questions...

The first thing I want you to consider is the following:

'What do you look like when your are having a good day?'

This is the easier one to consider I think; for me it is super smiley, laughing and quick-witted (in my opinion if no one elses!). I like to have loud music on and sing and bop around the house. I am always inspired and creative when I am happy and have this lust for life which I can't really pin down at any point; I could stay awake writing late into the night because ideas come flooding in, I am sociable and feel more comfortable in my own skin. I definitely have more confidence and don't let things get on top of me as easily. My goals and dreams are clear and my path is unobstructed by anything.

What about you? Jot down how you look when you are having your good days. Write down anything that comes to mind because it is all relevant (plus no one but you will be seeing it!).

Onto the second question:

'What are you like when you are experiencing really bad days (or if you suffer with mental health, what are the bad days like for you)?'

As much as this may seem like a depressing or negative thing to get you to list, just try and dig deep into yourself and identify all the things that make up a really bad day; you know the ones, where you just want to shove your head under the duvet and stay there? Yep, we all have them. If you are a fellow mental health sufferer, these days could be any range of emotions; addictive behaviours could become dominant, you may have urges to harm yourself or worse. List everything. You don't have to have a mental health issue to do this, whatever your bad day looks like for you is totally valid in context to your life.

Done that? Let's move on...

'What do you look like before a bad day comes along?'

For some people this will be a build up over several days, for others not so much. As an example, when I am cruising towards a bit of a 'meh' time, I can become a bit withdrawn, very, very tired and drained emotionally, I will continue to push and push and push because I feel like I am not doing enough (even though my body is telling me otherwise). I will crave sugar as a quick fix. I can be a bit snappy and irritable (usually because I am getting frustrated with myself for not being able to do the things I usually can). I lose focus and creativity dips.

They are a few of my alarm bells... list yours (be honest about them and what may trigger you to cycle downhill too).

Before we move onto the last bit, have a think about your answers to the three things above and consider where you spend most of your time? This was interesting for me. There may be a blurry edge to that of course. You may be mostly in 'on your way to a bad day' with a sprinkle of good, but it may be interesting to realise that you are more in the bad than the good.

Once you realise that you can start to lift yourself out, and that is where the good stuff happens. Without spending a little bit of time on exercises like this one, you can be a bit lost in your own mood. What will seem totally normal to you could be someones really bad day. So take a good hard look at yourself and consider where you're at!

Lastly, have a think about these three points:

 1. What can you do to help lift your spirits when you are starting to feel less upbeat? 

List some things that will make you feel better! Examples could be: take a bath, watch a funny movie, put on a favourite song, have a nap, go for a walk, phone a friend etc.

2. What do you need from those close to you in order to help you get back on track?

This can be harder than it looks to answer and everyone is different so there is no 'right' answer here!

3. What have you found unhelpful in the past?

This could be something you have tried and realised it only makes matters worse, but also consider some of the things that others do to help you that you find have the opposite affect. 

It is interesting to consider all these things and then have a deeper understanding of who you are, what makes you tick and what doesn't! After I completed this exercise (I have more to do in three weeks...yikes!) I found myself mentally categorising things that are in my life and seeing where they sit in terms of the three areas too. So maybe this is an additional thing you can explore: What activities do you do on a regular basis and how do they make you feel? What people do you spend time with? Do they give you energy or take it away from you? How does your work make you feel, etc etc.

What we are doing here is a kind of mind mapping everything out and by doing so, no matter how messy and no matter how you do it, you can get a clear visual on it all. For me, this is a really useful tool to see where I spend most of my head-space.

I hope you found this useful! I highly recommend giving it a shot; just make sure you are 100% honest with yourself throughout the whole thing. Give yourself some quiet time to do it and then some time to journal or reflect on whatever comes up. This exercise can act as an amazingly helpful prompt to open up to some of the deep-rooted things we have shelved in our heads.

Let me know what you think!
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24 April 2019

THERE IS MAGIC IN EVERYTHING


^^ Background image by 'Sweet Ice Cream Photography' on Unsplash ^^

What happens when we let ourselves fully lean into our vulnerabilities and emotions?

Being honest with ourselves, when we are feeling something significant in our hearts and minds, takes courage. It takes courage to let yourself have the ‘space’ to feel into it and to work it out, and it also can take a great deal of time too. I think the reason so many of us consciously choose the easier path is that we expect life to make things happen for us without any discomfort happening to us. This is an impossible thing to request because it is the discomfort that really makes us grow, even though we certainly don’t feel it at the time that’s for sure!

When we are feeling a huge amount of discomfort and fear around a subject, we can often stuff our emotions deep down and paint a beautiful coat of fresh white paint over the top to try and hide them from view (the problem is, as with real life decorating, if you haven’t done the leg work to fully prepare the wall then whatever was underneath will show through to the surface in time or just look slightly off...you get the metaphor here!). 

So what would happen if you actually gave yourself permission to jump into your more uncomfortable fears and feelings? Probably this...

1. It would feel hard (yeah, almost certainly)
2. You may cry, a lot (so what?)
3. There is a chance you may feel lost and unsure whilst allowing this emotion to surface (okay, but what will be at the other end of this exploration?)
4. You may feel vulnerable and scared (more than likely, but it will teach you so much about strength too)

These are just a few things that can come up when you decide to let your emotions in, but when you do, as I found out recently, wonderful things can happen.

About a month ago, without boring you with the nitty gritty, I had a day where I couldn’t hold in all my pent up emotions anymore; I broke, and I broke in spectacular style. I felt everything all at once; all the pain from the past, all the bad words, actions and confusing thoughts and fear. I was overwhelmed, disorientated and scared of what was happening. I cried so hard, for so many hours that I had to bathe my eyes open several times to be able to see to walk around. I sat on the floor in various places around the house, because all the pacing around was exhausting and I’d keep reaching points where I need to sit wherever I was and try to regroup. It was one of the hardest days I have experienced in my life; I was alone and I was really, really scared.

The reason I love this Rob Bell quote so much, ‘the interesting things happen when we come to the end of ourselves’, is because, after that day, where all the pieces of the jigsaw that is me, were scattered all over the place, and I’d cried every tear I had available, I sat and felt this huge wave of calm wash over me. Yes, I have no doubt it was partly utter exhaustion, but it was also like I had fully cleansed my spirit of so many things in one day.

I had ‘come to the end of myself’, or at least one chapter of myself and, as Rob Bell said, interesting things were starting to happen. Amazing thoughts started to creep into my mind over the days that followed, eye opening realisations and insights that I hadn’t considered before. I had created space for new things to come in by allowing the old to leave me. It felt so incredible. 

So here's my advice; lean in, allow things to surface and don’t be afraid to feel everything you are being shown. If in doubt, grab a pen and a notebook and write; write anything and everything that comes into your head. Don’t worry whether it makes sense, don’t try and make it look neat or sound clever; don’t give a shit about punctuation or grammar in any way, because this is for your eyes only. 

Allowing the rawness to surface to create space for something new and exciting is worth the suffering that can, but doesn’t always, come along. Just don’t stay in the suffering for too long. You have a choice whether or not to respond to the pain and allow it to hang around too long; make the right choice! Take small, conscious steps forward and keep moving in that direction, however  slowly, towards your dreams and desires. 
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21 April 2019

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



I’m back in my usual spot at 7.15am on a Sunday morning, writing this post for you guys before work kicks off in a couple of hours (and my word it’s busy at work over the Easter weekend!). I love early mornings so much, even though 7.15am is my lay-in these days because my alarm goes off at 5.20am six days a week, but when there are no other sounds but the birds and the sea it really is magical. This morning started slightly differently however, because there was a slight ‘moment’ involving Gizmo and a mystery that will never be solved! 

She was out for most of the day yesterday, enjoying the sun somewhere (heaven knows where but her ‘summer routine’ has instinctively kicked in with the warmer weather); she finally came in and had her usual brush and treats at about 8pm then went upstairs. Here’s the mystery... no one let her out, so when I woke up this morning and went to check on her, because it is highly unusual for her to sleep all night long without going out again, she wasn’t there. She was outside. How? No windows were open, she hadn’t been let out as she’d gone upstairs, so how was she out? Answers on a post card. She has been acting super strange the last few days too, which I was putting down to the full moon because she goes bonkers on each one, but now I think she can disapparate, Harry Potter-style... I just don’t get it guys!

Anyway...

Let’s get into today’s random list of heaven knows what!

:: Let’s start with an Easter based one because it is Easter Sunday after all. Earlier in this week I arrived home from work to a parcel from my mum, full of Easter treats and some of my favourite BB cream too (she knows me very well, thanks mum!). Of course, all of it went straight in the fridge (the only place from which to enjoy chocolate!) and I may have eaten some of it because I don't want it to go out of date.

:: This week I had Peta and I had scheduled in a 'Cat Mum' chat over FaceTime, which somehow extended on to almost the two hour mark. It started with Peta saying 'I'm talking to you from the supermarket car park because I've been in to buy some Easter treats' and ended with her saying 'oh no, all the Easter treats have melted and are going all out of shape!'. You know when you shouldn't laugh but you can't help it...yeah! 

 
:: I listened to a wonderful episode of Oprah's 'Super Soul Sunday' podcast this week, featuring the genius that is Brene Brown, who was talking all about trust. There is a particularly lovely story she tells about her daughter, Ellen, being very upset as a young girl, because some kids laughed at her. Ellen's friend had told the whole class something she had told her in confidence, and when she got home, she broke down to her mum saying 'I will never trust anyone again'. Brene goes on to say that the teacher in her daughters class had a jar that gets marbles added to it when good things happen and taken away for bad things, and because of the behaviour of the class that day, marbles were removed. With her daughter so distressed, Brene tried to explain that trust is like the marble jar; you share the hard things with friends who, over time, have filled up your marble jar; they have done thing after things to fill up your jar. She went on to ask Ellen if she had any 'marble jar' friends, and asked her what those friends had done to earn marbles. Ellen explained how her friend Lorna had saved her a seat at the lunch table once and how another girl had pointed out to Ellen that her grand parents were at a school event. Brene realised that it wasn't the huge, life-changing things that built trust, but lots and lots of tiny things that added marbles to the jar of trust. Go and give it a listen, it is such a good one!

:: The weather this weekend has been ridiculously beautiful hasn't it? Monday I was wrapped up and freezing cold and yesterday and today I was sat out in the garden, after work, reading my book and lapping up the sun. There is something about the sea over at Carbis Bay (where I work) and St Ives that looks so stunning in the sunshine, it is vibrant blue and green and looks so inviting, especially when you are boiling hot from wrestling a super king duvet into a duvet cover!

:: On the subject of work, I started a new 'thing' on my Instagram Stories this week, where I share with you the very random songs that come into my head whilst I am housekeeping at the hotel. I honestly don't know where my brain digs them out from, but I have had such random, old songs pop into my head and I am singing away to myself before I even realise it. If you missed this weeks installment then you missed: Fraggle Rock, It's a Jolly Holiday (from Mary Poppins), a bit of Baby Shark, Oasis, Counting Crows and some others that have escaped me! Make sure you are following my Instagram for updates!


:: This week has been the best week for training. There is literally not one muscle that doesn't ache today (aided by four hours at work too I guess!). I have pushed hard all week and it felt so good to be increasing my weights again and seeing some real results in terms of strength. My proudest achievement this week was hitting the five plates on the leg press, which is rather a lot of weight let me tell you (Mum, don't even bring it up with me okay... I can hear you rolling your eyes from here!).

:: The down side to training hard and housekeeping is that I get tired and that very much highlights my clumsy side. I am covered in scrapes, grazes and bruises right now, much like a very young child. I said to my training buddy this week that I am basically a human 'Rumba' hoover; one of those ones you let do its own thing and when it hits something it bounces off and carries on! Yep, that is me; a bull in a china shop.

I will leave it right there for today's post as I have to get myself sorted for the week and plan some things in my journal, but I will see you guys on Wednesday for another one! Have an amazing week ahead and don't forget to come and follow along on Instagram for the song game... click here or search 'fromlucywithloveblog' on the app!

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17 April 2019

THIS HAS TO STOP


^^ Background image from Unsplash, by Annie Spratt / Original quote source unknown, found on Pinterest ^^

I had a whole other post written up for today (I'll schedule it for another time!), but then I was listening to a podcast yesterday and I heard someone talking about something she had witnessed happening one day in her local gym in the US somewhere, where a woman she knew to be very capable was ‘dumbing herself down’ in order to allow a man to explain to her what she should do  on a basic piece of equipment (even thought she knew much more than him in that environment!). Sounds crazy right? Yeah, it is, but that is one example and, for the purpose of this post I and not going down the whole feminist route at all; hearing that podcast example was just a prompt for me to explore my thoughts / experiences around why we may feel the need to dumb ourselves down in certain situations.

As I thought about the scenario described in the podcast, I had a sudden, somewhat horrific, realisation that I do this ‘dumbing down’ behaviour too, although it is not because I am allowing someone to show me something (especially in the gym dammit!), it is more a self-preservation thing for me I think. If I had to paint a picture of what I am like a lot of the time, so that you could immediately reference something you know, then just think about the character Chandler from Friends; a bit of a joker who uses humour as a defence mechanism; that is totally me. 

There is nothing wrong with a sense of humour of course, but I have become very aware that I use it to keep people away from knowing ‘the real me’ sometimes; the person that is at the very core of who I am. That is a form of dumbing down in itself because, rather than get overly into a conversation I can often throw random humour in to almost try and divert from something. As an individual, I have a lot of questions and ideas or opinions to offer, but I don’t let people see that because of fear. The fear is always of not feeling qualified enough to give them the answer they want, need or expect, and there is a voice always offering up the following dialogue ‘...they will think you are stupid, they won’t agree with you and you will be wrong’. Because of that I use humour. 

I am usually the one to make people laugh, ‘Lucy has a wicked sense of humour’ is something people say a lot, and I have (I’m a hoot for heavens sake!), but I am very aware of not letting my qualities rise up and overflow into general conversation because I have a lot of fear, so I dumb myself down so that I am not asked questions that I may get 'wrong' (read this to mean that someone may not like my opinion), or so that I don’t upset anyone, because if you are ‘the funny one’ people have no expectations of you, other than some fast humour, and I can do that easily.

So what are the good qualities? How do we start to step out of the dumbing down and into our true self? Well, I am starting to work on being less afraid to offer up my opinion; people who are very close to me will probably be thinking '...you are never short of an opinion you feisty mare!', but that is because they truly know who I am. In general though, I end up being the goofy, clumsy, joker and whilst that is part of me (boy am I clumsy sometimes!), I also have other qualities that mean I am not a stupid human at all. I am intelligent, I have opinions that I am seriously passionate about and I take many subjects very seriously because of this; so dumbing down is, quite literally, DUMB.

We all need to be more confident and true to showing up as who we are. Sometimes there is a real need to put on a front in certain situations in order to get through them, we are all human and we all do this from time to time, but there is no need to be afraid of being you (saying this to me as much as you!). It is very true that people who have a fundamental issue with some part of our personality are often just projecting their own issues on you, so let's all just try and shine. Let's make a commitment to showing the world who we really are; own your sh*t because it is fine for us all to be different to one another, thank God we are different.

Having read this, can you see any dumbing down in your life? Look out for it and stop it and, if you feel like sharing it, leave me a comment and let's chat!
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14 April 2019

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Confession time my loves, I’m struggling with my time management a bit. I’m very aware that I will find my place in my new routine soon, but it is having a bit of an impact whilst I do. As I write this post it is half past seven in the morning, I am heading to work my Sunday shift at the hotel in a couple of hours, and whilst I have the time I sit scribbling down ideas for Leaf Lane Studio and this very blog. I haven't quite learned how to juggle it all yet, and the biggest thing I have noticed, thanks to sitting to write my ‘Weekly Gratitude’ posts, is that I am really getting no time whatsoever to do things that light me up and that results in me sitting at the computer with rather a blank expression when it comes to this very post.

There are plenty of things I am grateful for, but I have become conscious, over the last two weeks, that I need to have a serious think about when I get ‘me’ time and then what I actually choose to do with that time. Right now, I am so exhausted that I sleep and then, when I wake up, I’m working again. I definitely need to find a more efficient way of managing things. In my Wednesday post I made a commitment in front of you, to take myself out for a blog/business planning coffee morning (or Lucy equivalent, aka tea morning!) and I must make sure this happens asap, because when I am at home there is always something else that needs my attention or needs doing, it is all to easy to lose yourself in the 'list of crap' that needs doing instead of throwing yourself into your business. 

So, I’m going to be working on my own well being a bit more, which I am grateful to have recognised sooner rather than later as an issue, but for now at least I will attempt a list of things from the past week, or some general musings about life, to tide us over this week!

Let's go!

:: I don’t know if you guys ever do this but, occasionally, when it’s super late at night and I’m really tired, I will decide to go onto iTunes and look at the cheaper albums (I don’t buy much music these days so the cheap albums are always my ‘go to’ section!). For some reason, that I can never explain, I always end up buying a random album late at night that I’m really ‘feeling’ in my tired stupor, and then I wake up in the morning and think ‘why did I get that, I’m never going to listen to that!’. This happened recently with the Florence and the Machine album ‘High as Hope’; I like a lot of the music I have heard over the years from them, but I’ve never been a big enough fan to buy an album... but I was a couple of weeks ago apparently. My point to this long waffle is to say that I have discovered a new favourite song whilst giving the album a chance (it’s not bad actually!); the song is called ‘The End of Love’ and it is so beautiful. The album version has a long, instrumental opening section, which really gets you into the track and then it is full of gorgeous lyrics which grabbed me by the heart. It is one of those songs that needs to be played loud for a full on experience! Give it a listen on Spotify and let me know what you think. 



:: Despite losing my way, organisation wise, since starting my part time job, I’m actually really enjoying my role as housekeeper! When I decided to get a job, I knew that I’d need to get something around twenty hours a week, and I had in mind the exact thing that I knew would suit me and I can honestly say that this job is it. I wanted something that wouldn’t involve me ‘taking things home’ mentally after a shift, or take up hours and hours of head space before a day of work, due to worry or anxiety about what I’m doing. My role in this beautiful hotel, is to create a lovely environment for people who are escaping their day to day routines and I’m really loving being a part of that. Not only that but I get to do all of that whilst having the most stunning views and amazing surroundings to work in. I’m very grateful for my little job and the people I get to work with; it has had a positive impact on my mental health too, which is invaluable to me.

:: Although I have a stack of books piled up to read, I had a recommendation, from the awesome Adam Palmer on Instagram, to read Sadhguru’s ‘Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy’, which as soon as I looked into it I knew I had to buy and read it as a priority. I have listened to a few of Sadhguru’s talks on YouTube and find him utterly captivating (with a rather unexpected sense of humour too!) and I am loving his book so far, it is so up my street! 

:: This week I had an appointment with the mental health team to discuss moving forwards after my recent assessment. I wasn’t looking forward to it one bit, after my previous experiences being so bad, but I must say that this time it was different. I now have a person who is my dedicated central point, for want of another term (or because I cannot remember what her role actually is!) and she will help me or direct me to other services that may be useful and/or be a contact if I need help. Where I struggle is that I don’t need too much 99% of the time, I am high functioning and can cope with a lot; it is the rare 1% that is super severe that I need a little assistance in order to cope and, this time, I am hopeful the balance will be right. The lovely lady I saw was not too formal (phew) and wasn’t willing to pigeon-hole me at all, which is a positive thing. There is nothing worse than people who assume you are a certain way just because you have mental health battles. Fingers crossed for the future of that!


:: For basically two whole years I have not been able to spend money unless it was absolutely necessary, and over that time I have been unable to treat myself to the one skincare product I absolutely love using and that works wonders for my skin. So, with my first pay from the hotel I decided to get myself a small bottle of Pixi ‘Glow Tonic’ which, as it turned out, I got for free because I had enough points on my Boots card! I really love this stuff as it brightens my skin and rejuvenates it so much, but it doesn’t come cheap, even a small bottle is £10, but it’s such a nice treat for me. At my age I need to invest in skincare!

:: Gizmo has been super clingy to me recently (more than normal) and, when I get home from work and have my 30 minute nap (I use a timed ‘sounds’ video on YouTube which wakes you up after 28 minutes, it works for me!) she is always right by my side, stretching out he little paw to hold onto my arm or my hand an join me for a little snooze. She is like my little shadow and I utterly adore her. She is enjoying the sunnier weather too and has been outside rolling about on the patio with all four legs in the air, soaking in the warmth; she has always loved spring. The return of the sun also means she gets to play her two favourite games, ‘running up the palm trees’ and ‘hunting the pretend beast’ (which is basically just us waving a palm leaf about in the grass and her charging about after it! 

:: I cannot tell you the difference the lighter evenings are making to me. I am definitely struggling more with darkness as I get older; I seem to need much more light and sunshine now than ever before. My mood is just so much happier with more light and I am generally more motivated and inspired to do more things. Up until even a few years back I used to dread the thought of summer, but these days I cannot wait! Bring on the sun!


:: I was really happy to receive the March subscription box ‘Little Piece of Cornwall’ through the post last week; a subscription made up of the most beautiful, hand picked goodies from this even more beautiful county. When it arrived it felt like Christmas; I love subscription boxes and really miss getting my little beauty one I used to get. I was kindly gifted the March box of ‘Little Piece of Cornwall’ and I quite literally squealed when it arrived, because it is genuinely something I’ve been wanting to try since I saw the gorgeous Lucy, from Love Kernow mention it on her Insta story. The box has the most stunning foiled lettering on which I am obsessed with and the products inside, all sourced locally and hand picked around the theme of food for March, are all super yummy and gorgeous (I love the mini Cornishware cup more than I can say!). You guys should definitely check out their website and see what the subscription has to offer; if you love Cornwall, live in Cornwall and want to support local business or discover new ones, or you just want a gorgeous surprise box of goodies coming through your door every month, then you will love it! Click right here to head to the website and, if you want to go for it (go on, treat yourself), you can use the code ‘LUCY2019’ to get £10 off a six or twelve month subscription! I genuinely love it so much; I won’t accept anything that a) I wouldn’t spend money on myself or b) doesn’t fit with what I align with, because I want you guys to know that, when I work with a brand, it is because I adore them... and this is one of them! Go check them out and follow them on Instagram too for a dose of Cornwall.

:: I’m loving seeing the bluebells gradually opening up all over now and various pops of colour from the wildflowers as the spring into life again! There are also lots and lots of magnolia trees in full bloom here too; they never fail to look beautiful.

That is all for this week guys; I promise I will try and get my life back on track and get out and about a little more to show you some beautiful places in Cornwall. I have been working every weekend at the hotel, so it has been tricky, but balance will return in the end I am sure. Thank you so much for bearing with me through it all. 

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10 April 2019

SELF DEVELOPMENT | 5 THINGS I'M WORKING ON NOW


^^ Image by  Dominik Resek via Unsplash ^^

I know that the whole 'self-development' thing has become a phrase which is a little over-used these days and, because of that, has lost some meaning, but for me it is so important that I try to keep it at the forefront of my life every day. I love having full control over how I develop myself in a way that feels good to me and connects me to my place in this universe, because the way I choose to live my life, the way I show up for other people and the way I continue my human experience as a whole, is totally up to me to develop, no one else is going to wave a magic wand and make things happen for me. I don't want to conform to what we are told we should be and I certainly am not easily led by materialism or advertising in any way these days; I know what I want and, day by day I am learning more about who I am and that journey is so exciting to me.

I am completely aware that to really 'find' yourself is hard work and that to be the same as everyone else is the easier path, but easier doesn't mean better and easier certainly does not equal growth.  No matter what anyone likes to think about people who are into self-development (bring on the 'hippy' / 'woo-woo' comments!), the truth is this: to become more self aware is to embrace it all; the good and the bad, and you have to acknowledge your pain points and feel into the rawness of being you before the really good  stuff appears, but when the really good stuff does appear, that is when life gets magical.

So, here are my top five priorities for my own self-development at the moment, let me know one or some of yours in the comments, I would love to know what you are working on.

1 | M A K I N G  S P A C E

Do you ever reach saturation point in your mind? It can be many small things that have built up, or it can be one big thing; whatever it is though, we all need to have a clear out mentally (and sometimes physically too) of our 'baggage'. Right now, I need to redefine my focus, because it has got a little hazy over the last year or so; this is connected to my business mostly, because I have learned a lot and want to rework some things. To do this I need to make some space to allow my brain to think things through and know what will be a beneficial move for me.

I have realised how important it is, in order for true growth to take place, to intentionally create space in order for something new to appear, or else our energy is just getting more and more diluted as more 'stuff' gets packed into our minds. It is so easy to stay stagnant and wait for things to appear, but I truly believe in giving the new thing a nook to manifest in; we have to make sh*t happen for ourselves people!

What do you need to make space for to move forward in a positive way in your life?

2 | S H O W I N G  U P  A S  'M E'  O N  E V E R Y  P L A T F O R M

Something that has been bugging me for a long time is that I just cannot seem to maintain my 'voice' when I switch between my 'From Lucy with Love' and 'Leaf Lane Studio' Instagram pages. Something literally clicks in my head and I seem to lose all my personality when trying to do a story or post on Leaf Lane Studio's account (it's the same on Twitter too - not that I use Twitter that much; it's not my favourite platform, even though I have a lot to say so that may surprise some of you!).

I have made the decision to be exactly who I am across all accounts, because that is all I can be. I think I have been very self aware that it is a business and not a personal account, but I am also mindful of the fact that I cannot make everyone happy and that someone who aligns with who I am as an individual will 'get it' and those who don't like what I put out there will fall away, and that is okay!

What tends to happen with me is that I will stay away from doing something altogether if I am not 'feeling' it for whatever the reason may be. I want people to see exactly who I am, regardless of what the context or relevance to my business, which is the beauty of Instagram Stories after all right?

So you can expect to see more of  my general life on my Leaf Lane Studio account now too, so please make sure you are following along!



3 | N O W  I S  A L L  W E  H A V E

I know the whole 'living in the moment' thing has become a bit of an over used thing to say these days, but I am trying to really lean into re-training myself to do this because it is one of the biggest reasons I suffer with anxiety. As humans we are very much conditioned to think a lot about our past and dwell on what our futures may hold for us, which of course needs to be done to survive; we all have plans we have to think about and bills to pay, but I am talking about the bigger, more significant picture.

I think it is safe to assume that most of us, if not all of us, find ourselves getting upset or worried about things we feel may bring us some concern in the future; it is natural to worry about having job security or about whether our income is enough to sustain us and our families, but where we fail is making up too many stories that scare us so much that we become stuck in our lives.

The same goes for the past and things that have been done to us or that we may have done to others. If we refuse to learn from these times, and not move forwards, then we will either remain constantly sad and/or angry or turn bitter or worried about life in general, which will have a major effect on all of our friendships and relationships. There are always ripples out from anything we do in life, like little butterfly effects around every corner.

Let me tell you guys, this whole 'being in the present moment' is so hard to do though. I have been reading and listening to many people talking about this subject and it is extremely difficult to get my mind around just 'being', rather than comparing and contrasting to the past or what is yet to come. But think about it for a second; how many times do you feel anxious about a situation or slightly worried about doing something because of a previous experience? (Living in the past coming to haunt your future self!).

My most common anxiety is concerning people; what someone thinks, what someone may say, what they may do etc and so, for me, trying to get out of that habit is one of the best things I can do for self care, because it brings me so much anxiety. I can literally sit and make up a story of something that may happen or something someone just might be thinking about me and, before I know it, I am an anxious disaster. How crazy is that though? That we can think ourselves into that sort of mindset based on no facts whatsoever. That is what I am trying to change. 

Let's all try to live a bit more in the moment we are currently in, rather than wasting it thinking about a moment which has passed, or one yet to happen.

4 | M O R E  'M E'  T I M E

Okay, so this is a sweeping statement that could mean anything from taking a bath to going shopping (FYI, I am not a big shopping fan, not unless it is a) for gym kit or b) for art materials!), but I am talking about real quality time that speaks to my soul.

My morning workout is my first dose of 'me time' every day; it is my time to put my headphones in and lift something heavy to challenge my body, and I always leave the gym feeling so much better. What I am looking to bring back into my routine, now that spring is here and the weather is better, are my walks, no matter how short, along the coast path or just somewhere that is peaceful and allows for reflection. This walking meditation has always been the time where I can hear my intuition the most and can work through anything that needs filing away in my head or needs to be delved into more. I get my best ideas when I walk alone, quietly contemplating things and just allowing time and stillness to help me relax. The same is true late at night, when I step out and look up at the stars; staring at a familiar constellation and allowing my thoughts to pass through my mind always helps ease any anxiety I may have. The stars and nature are my 'go to' for me time.

5 | J O U R N A L I N G

I have kind of lost my way with journaling recently and I don't feel too good about it. Life has turned up a notch and many of my self-care habits have dropped away and I need to sort that out asap. For me, writing is such a passion but journaling is something altogether more cathartic and I miss it. I have suddenly developed a real guilt about having quiet time and need to drop that immediately because it is one of the most valuable things I can do to help my mental health and also generate ideas for my work. It's funny how we let go of the most important things sometimes yet still manage to find time for the most random stuff that we don't really need to do at all.

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I think the spring is all about a bit of a life audit for me; an evaluation of all the facets of my life and a re-jiggle to make sure that I have balance and time for fun (and that I try to drop all the guilt surrounding taking a few minutes off here and there!). Ultimately it will be for the greater good to take a step back and reflect for a day or two. I think that I will hold myself accountable right now and say this: I am going to take myself out for a bit of a Leaf Lane Studio / From Lucy with Love evaluation and planning morning, somewhere out of the house and where I won't get distracted by the cat or housework. It is easy to put things to one side when they are 'yours' and, actually, I deserve a morning of sitting somewhere pretty, with a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake, and working on fun ideas for my business!

There you go guys, I will get on that right after the Easter holidays, because right now Cornwall is a little bonkers! Let me know what you think you need holding accountable for when it comes to self-development, let's work on this together.

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3 April 2019

FEELING THE FEAR



I wanted to spend a bit of time talking to you about how important it is to really lean into fear, emotions and overwhelm sometimes. Last week was one of the most challenging weeks I have had for a while and, although I usually share a lot with you guys, I am not ready to share everything that went on in my world last week, but now that I am safely on the other side of things and have had time to reflect, I can see why things had to happen the way they did and have a greater understanding of why I needed to have that 'moment' last week.

One of the biggest, most significant shifts I have made more recently, is to try to allow any emotions I am feeling the space to come out, and not stuff them down until I can barely breathe. This is not easy, and it is super exhausting to go through, but when you allow it, beautiful things can happen.

Anyone can have a good cry, shout or whatever it is that we do to release the pent up emotions we hold inside, but what I really mean by giving them 'space' is to not only let them out halfheartedly,  but to really let them out; sob until you have to bathe your eyes open, scream into a cushion (if that's your thing... personally I'm a crier!) and, when you are done, and probably totally exhausted, that is when the magic starts to happen.

PS: It won't feel like magic at first...



Tuesday was the day that I totally fell apart last week. I felt like a broken human; nothing could stop the tears flowing except when I could barely breathe anymore and had to keep splashing cold water on my face again and again to stop the swelling in my eyes. Those things distracted me for long enough to stop the crazy overflow of tears, which only started again as soon as I went back to my desk to try and work (no work happened).

What started off as a few tears over a little bit of stress/worry, spiraled so fast and, before I knew it, I had hit rock bottom and life was a total mess. I felt frightened, overwhelmed by everything life had to offer and my brain chose that time to fire up my ego into 'attack' mode. Add to the mix a poor limping Gizmo who had somehow suddenly hurt her leg and I was a disaster (animals will always make me cry anyway!).

(This may not sound like much guys but, take my word for it when I tell you that I am giving you a very 'airbrushed' version of events).

That evening though, as I sat bathing my eyes open and feeding my dinner to Gizmo (she had a great time), I had this total feeling of calm wash over me. Partly it was utter exhaustion of course, but also it was very much about needing to let everything out. I sat for a while just taking in all the things that had happened that day; all the crazy thoughts and irrational fears and I let myself realise that I had just come through a really terrible day and I was proud of myself for it, which may sound silly to you, but it was so hard but I had made it out the other side.

The biggest thing I try to remember on the real crisis type of days, is that it can only get better, so hanging on, even by the thinnest thread, is what I focus on. What feels like the scariest, loneliest moment, can become your biggest victory and most joyful lesson, despite the pain.

All it takes is honest reflection.

Some times there are things that we need to learn about ourselves or our lives that are so hard to face that it is easier to bury our heads in the sand and just carry on glazing over them, but how can we ever move forward if that is what we continue to do all the time? We really have to face things head on; seek help, talk to someone, journal our feelings, meditate - just do anything positive!

Yes it hurts like hell, it really does, but it is so worth it for the personal growth alone. You may spend a week recovering from it (and using litres of concealer to cover the red, swollen eyes) but my goodness, you will be so much better off for it.

Facing fear is brave, it is full of surprises too. Don't let your ego tell you stories of how things may turn out either, because that ego of ours talks utter sh*t, it really does. If you are feeling fear or overwhelm then face it head on so that the next time you feel it you will be that little bit stronger!

Here are my top three pieces of advice for facing fear...

1. Ask yourself what it is you are afraid of and then assess whether what you are thinking is a story you have constructed out of the fear, rather than a fact that will definitely happen. In other words, be rational!

2. Chances are that if you are fearful of something it is because you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in some way. This is a good thing, so do it.

3. It doesn't matter how hard something feels at the time, or how desperate you feel in the moment, it will get easier. If you are in full fear and overwhelm together, give yourself a moment, don't act in the full emotion of it all. Take some time, if you need it, to reflect.

Don't forget to reach out for help too; we all need a friendly ear or shoulder to cry on. But most importantly remember this: you are amazing, you can do anything, and when you feel at your worst, it is just a moment in the bigger picture of your life, so let it pass, let it teach you what it is meant to and then let it go. Become a better person for it, then you win and it loses!
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31 March 2019

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ Friday's sunset over St Michaels Mount ^^

Before we get into any of this post at all, let me just say Happy Mother's Day to the lunatic that is my mum! Love you, you nut job.

Well, here we are again! These posts come around so fast (I know I say that every single week!). When this post goes live I will be working my very first shift in my new job; it's a part time position at a very beautiful hotel in Carbis Bay, and I truly can't wait to get started. I am a little nervous to get going but it is all about learning the ropes isn't it; it's always the same in any new job for the first couple of weeks as you find your feet, but I am excited to get into more of a routine and settle into the role, so wish me luck!

Of course, the fact that I am now going to be working 20 hours a week, means that I will have to up my organisation game a little! I am already pretty organised with Leaf Lane Studio and the blog, but I will lose my procrastination time, which is no bad thing! I will probably end up being even more productive now!

Right, onto this weeks gratitude/general chit-chat!

:: I'm going to start with a typical British thing to talk about: weather! The weather this week has been absolutely stunning and, although there has been a bit of a chill in the air, the sun has been out, the sky has been blue and it has made me so happy and content.

:: I have had two sunset walks this week and they were both so magical. One evening, Thursday I think, was super clear and Friday was a little misty, which meant you could see the outline of the sun and look at it safely as it set; it was in the sky above St Michaels Mount when I arrived on the coast path and was a deep, dusky orange-red. I love watching the sun go down and taking in the silence that comes with it, it is one of my favourite times of day.

:: There are so many pretty flowers to look at in the hedgerows at this time of year and the bluebells are making an appearance too. I have to stop and look at everything because it all makes me so grateful to be here and have all of this wonderful nature quite literally on the doorstep.


^^ Perranuthnue Church seagulls! ^^

:: I had a very overdue conversation with one of my favourite sea creatures this week, my 'Lobster', Helena! We always manage to leave it way too long between catch ups and then have one ma-hoosive call that really needs an interval for ice creams like in the olden cinema days! It is always so lovely to chat though and bring each other up to speed as life speeds on by!

:: I got out in the garden this week which, if you watch my Instagram Stories, you would have noticed! I had the ladders balanced in many crazy places and could hear my dad saying 'well, that's a stupid idea putting them there', but seeing as he is six hours away and unable to tell me off I just got on with it! What a rebel! There were a couple of ropey moments though but I lived to tell the tale.

:: I got reminded of a song that I absolutely love this week; I can't remember how I first heard it, I have a feeling it was via a random Spotify playlist a while ago, but anyway, it was lovely to rediscover it. The song is 'Tennessee Whiskey' by Chris Stapleton; the guys voice is incredible!

:: This week, whilst working on a bespoke, hand painted wedding card, I binge watched the remainder of the new series of Queer Eye; oh my goodness, it's just so heart warming. My favourite episode is still the one called 'Hose before Bros' (series one) or something like that, all about a fire station and their need to raise some money. I laughed so hard all the way through, it is such a great one, go watch it!



:: I have been struggling to use my Bullet Journal this month, I think I have used it twice; mostly because my mental health has been so bad that I haven't really had the enthusiasm to do it, so I have made April's spread the most simple yet; just functional with no focus on pretty illustrations, to get me back into the habit of using it again, because I have ended up with lists all over the place! The one thing I did stick to was my mini manifestation page and my monthly Oracle Card page, so I will complete those as normal, but not put any pressure on anything more for the next few weeks. I will try to make May more interesting and then pop up a YouTube video showing you how it looks! Does anyone else occasionally go off grid with diaries/journals? Sometimes it seems like too much effort, but actually I lose track of life way too fast without it!

:: After being basically bullied into it by Peta and Fraser, I watched Magic Mike this week. To be honest it was after a really bad day and I just thought, sod it, so threw it on Netflix. I really don't know what I make of that film... I mean, I'm a space geek film through and through, but at least I have watched it now, so the endless Magic Mike references being thrown at me from those two super fans will make more sense to me! Thoughts on Magic Mike people?

:: Little Gizmo has been super cute this week. I have been alone for a few days and she has followed me about even more than usual. She really is like a little dog sometimes! I have napped with her, sat out in the sun with her, gardened with her, worked with her on my lap, fed her my dinner when I was feeling too unwell to eat it (it's been a great week for her!).

My slightly nervous, somewhat scattered mind is going to call it a day there with this weeks post! I will be back, hopefully firing on most of my cylinders, on Wednesday! Have a great new week everyone!

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