A letter for when you are struggling…

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Dear You,

I know you’re having one of those days.

The one where you seem to be feeling your way through the fog, stumbling in the darknesss, going through the motions.

You feel like crawling back under the safety of the duvet, hibernating like a bear or wrapping yourself, cocoon-like away from the world.

Talking is an effort. Making a decision is complicated and positivity flew out of the window like a butterfly on a breeze a while back.

I know you can’t pull yourself out of the funk. You’re unsure how or why you got here – you just know here is where you are and you’re pretty sure you’ll be staying a while.

I’m here to tell you, it’s okay.

Okay to feel like this – it will pass.

Okay to need to retreat – that’s where the healing happens.

Okay to be quiet – that’s when you will hear what your body wants to say.

Okay to feel that no one understands – they probably don’t.

Just remember that your thoughts don’t have to dominate you. And it’s okay to ask for help, a hug, a night off. You have permission to take some time to figure out the next right step. Just be kind to yourself in the process.

You are you.

All of you. The good, the bad and the ugly. The beautiful, unique and struggling. The strong, the loving and the tired.

Struggles come and struggles go. They hang around longer than we wish and always seem to appear like an unwelcome guest when we have the least time or energy.

But they don’t have to define you, nor does it make you a bad person. But they are a part of life – like it or not.

I wish I was there to hold you, walk with you, listen to what you have to say.

But I’m not.

However, I know you got this.

You have been here before and survived.

You know what you need to soothe your soul, to make you feel a little better. Just a little better.

Do it. Go on, right now.

Do that thing that makes you smile. Makes you feel a warm glow inside. Makes you understand you can get through this.

Do something that will help you get through today. Just today, for now.

You can do it. I believe in you.

From one who knows,

Nicky xo

 

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What Flowers Can Teach us About Authenticity

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My love of flowers is well documented on my Instagram account.

There’s something so beautiful about a flower when I look at it through a camera lens that I can’t help but smile. I adore having fresh flowers in my home and always wonder at the journey that has taken place to transform a small seed into this array of colour, scent and beauty.

Starting to live a more authentic life can be daunting. It’s about assessing which elements of your life no longer serve you or fit in with who you are becoming. You can feel lonely, even misunderstood or struggle to fit in where you once belonged. You may even encounter resistance from people who don’t want you to change.

But it can also be freeing, colourful and beautiful as you transform into the most beautiful and natural version of yourself. Some may see it as an opportunity to stand out, be different and blossom.

Flowers don’t concern themselves with what every other plant in the garden is doing and they certainly don’t copy or mimic other plants around them. They grow and evolve and become what they were always destined to be. Whatever that may look like. They show up every day, quietly occupying their own space beautifully.

Here are 3 thoughts to keep you motivated and reassure you that any path that takes you closer towards authenticity and being the best version of yourself is one that’s worth walking down.

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Be who you are. Stand out, grow tall, bloom. Be there as the truest version of yourself, not pretending or trying to be like anyone else. Be extraordinary, whatever your role – be great at it. Put effort into all you do, even if no one is watching. Commend yourself on a job well done and remember to love yourself in all your uniqueness.

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Wherever you are – be amazing. Claim your space. Your home, your work, your ideas. Don’t be concerned with what others are doing alongside of you. Focus on you and your little piece of the world. Make it work for you. Make it beautiful, fill it with things that inspire you, make you smile. Surround yourself with like minded people. Find your tribe, people who have great energy, who are great to be around.

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Keep growing, always moving closer to your goals. Your journey is unique to you. Don’t be concerned with what anyone else is doing or how they’re doing it. Don’t compare yourself to someone else. Don’t run before you can walk but also don’t focus on the finish line. The learning is in the journey. The path may not be straight and there may be obstacles in the way, but it will be worth it. Change happens slowly and one step at a time. Keep going.

Where in your life can you be as authentic as a flower?

This is a previously published post that has had a little makeover and a lot of love added.

 

Can I Get a Hell Yes?

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Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you said yes to everything?

Recently I watched the TedTalk ‘My Year of Saying Yes‘ by Shonda Rhimes.

Shonda, an incredibly intelligent woman when you hear all that she has accomplished and created, speaks of how one simple decision changed her life.

She decided to say yes where she previously had not.

I was moved when she talked about how it had transformed her life, and in particular her relationship with her children.Β But I was also baffled, how could something so simple change this woman’s already seemingly amazing life?

ItΒ made me wonder if I could apply this to my life; if I had missed opportunities for happiness because I hadn’t uttered that three letter word?

Because I might have said ‘No‘ or ‘Maybe another time‘ or ‘That’s just not for me‘.

Because I took the easy way out. Because I was busy. Because I was afraid. Because I didn’t want to be seen as different.

I decided to come up with a set of rules, promises if you like that I am going to apply to my life to enhance the yes factor;Β help me focus on my beliefs; be clear on what is important to me and open myself up to new possibilities.

I Nicky, do solemnly swear to…

πŸ’‹ Say yes to embracing authenticity, uniqueness and being your own kind of beautiful.

πŸ’‹ Say yes to being responsible and owning your shit.

πŸ’‹ Say yes to listening to your body, your mind, your soul. Especially your soul.

πŸ’‹ Say yes to growth, expansion, learning.

πŸ’‹ Say yes when you need to. Only when you need to.

πŸ’‹ Say yes to putting yourself first.

πŸ’‹ Say yes to laughter, happiness and feeling fabulous.

πŸ’‹ Say yes to questioning, going against the grain, forging your own path.

πŸ’‹ Say yes to challenges, new experiences, choosing what’s best for you.

πŸ’‹ Say yes to things that make your soul sing, your heart swell and put a smile on your face.

πŸ’‹ Say yes often. Maybe even ‘Hell yes!

No longer will ‘No‘ be the favoured answer. My new three letter friend will lie seductively on the tip of my tongue. It may take some getting used to, but I feel optimistic and excited at the prospect of being someone who regularly says ‘Yes, yes, yes!

So, what might you say yes to?Β 

How Guilty Are You?

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guilt ~Β the fact or state of having done wrong or committed an offence;Β remorse or self-reproach caused by feeling that one is responsible for a wrong or offence;Β sin or crime

There are things that I do.

Unintentionally or deliberately to make my life easier, happier, less monotonous, simpler, more exciting or maybe just because I want to.

Things like…

πŸ’‹ snuggling on the sofa with my pets πŸ’‹ eating dessert before dinner πŸ’‹ watching back to back episodes of my favourite series πŸ’‹ buying expensive underwear that I save for special occasions πŸ’‹ walking on the grass next to the ‘Do Not Walk On The Grass’ sign Β πŸ’‹ only ironing when I am literally down to my last tshirt πŸ’‹ starting a new book before I’ve finished the current one πŸ’‹ buying a lipstick in exactly the same shade as one I already own πŸ’‹ being seduced by a pretty cocktail πŸ’‹ going to bed at 8pm πŸ’‹ having recipe books on my shelf that I’ve NEVER cooked from πŸ’‹ hiding the last cookie so I can eat it later πŸ’‹ making excuses to not go out πŸ’‹ only doing half a workout πŸ’‹

Inevitably, there are times after the event when IΒ feel guilty.

Guilty.

As in, I committed a crime or offence and feel remorseful. Not quite?

Guilty.

Of putting my needs first and listening to what my body needs. Is that so awful?

Guilty.

It sounds so negative. So final. So wrong.

So why do we feel guilty?

Probably because we think of the million things we could, should or are supposed to be doing.

Maybe because we’re constantly reminded of how time is money and how every day is a giftΒ and feel the pressure of making every minute count?

Perhaps it’s because we rarely see others self indulging in a little bit of what they fancy?

But what if every now and then we made our lives a little easier, had some fun, let ourselves off the hook, went with the flow?

As long as no one got angry, hurt or arrested.

I also doubt the earth would stop spinning.

What if we gave ourselves some TLC and smiled? What if we indulged in our passions and set our souls alight? What if you did somethingΒ a little out of the ordinary and and felt envigorated? What if you did something silly and laughed like a child?

Guilt free.

What would that look like?

I wonder.

 

It’s complicated…

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We all dread the ‘C’ word!

Is your life calm and quiet; with everything working in harmony? Do you have the time to talk to others, get all your jobs done and still have time to do something nice for yourself?

Right now you’re probably wondering if this is a fairy tale?

Most of us, at one time or another have taken our eyes off the ball, lost focus on our priorities or simply let our lives run us, instead of taking control.

We unintentionally allow our lives to become full of stuff we feel we have to do rather than stuff we choose to do.

You know how it is; busy at work, demands from home, a never ending to-do list, going from one job to the next, multitasking, people to see, bills to pay.

You know the feeling of the circus act who’s keeping all the plates spinning?

With little time to devote to yourself to recharge and the demands piling up, eventually it becomes difficult to keep all the plates spinning at one time and they will inevitably come crashing down.

And life becomes full of ‘C’ words: Crazy. CHAOTIC. C O M P L I C A T E D!

Your mind, body and soul can only take so much.

Something has to change.

It is so important to take time for yourself but how many of us place self care way down on the to-do list?

Let’s start by simplifying a few areas of your life.

Your health.

Ensuring you are getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating foods that nourish your body and regular exercise is the starting point to being in optimum health. It doesn’t have to be complicated – a short walk every evening, a chicken salad every lunchtime prepared the evening before, a beautiful new water bottle to remind you to drink plenty.

Good habits and regular routines make our lives easier because we won’t waste valuable headspace making decisions.Β This will enable you to cope better when things inevitably get crazy!

Learn how to say no.

Obviously I’m talking about where you can…but think about it, do you really have to do everything, every day, all of the time?

Allow yourself regular breaks from the daily grind. Do you want to sit in the staff room with all the gossips at lunch time or would you benefit from a walk and time away from your desk? Do you need to hang out with that group of friends who bring you down or talk about work all night? Or would your time be better spent doing something creative or simply not thinking about work outside of work hours?

De-clutter.

Your home. Your wardrobe. Your work space. Your mind.

Having less stuff makes it easier to keep tidy, encourages gratitude and helps you focus on what’s important in your life. Try creating a capsule wardrobe this Autumn or how about challenging yourself to give one item away every time you buy a new item? Clear your desk every evening, writing a to-do list before you leave so you know you are ready for tomorrow and you can leave work, at work.Β Allow yourself time to sit quietly and assess what’s going on in your mind. It may help you become an expert on you and what you need in your life.

Creating space – actual and metaphorical can help you think clearer, make better decisions and feel calmer.

Can you create pockets of time just for you?

Whether it’s time to read, go for a walk, bake, do something creative or simply a long hot bath listening to your favourite tunes.

Do something just for you.

This way of thinking tells your body and others around you that you are important. That you value time alone to recharge your energy and spend time doing things you love.

Do one thing every day that makes your soul sing.

You have to keep an eye on your life, or it will become complicated, busy and cluttered. There will always be one more thing to do.

Plan time out just for yourself – it’s the only way it will happen.

Work hard at simplifying your life.

Think of one thing you can do today to make your life a tiny bit less complicated.