Weathering the Storm

Tough Times

Sometimes, no matter how strong it shines, the sun's rays can't seep through the clouds. Sometimes the sky is dark and murky, the rain is heavy and cold, the thunder is deafening and strong all while the wind howls sending shivers through your bones. Sometimes even nature can't handle the pressure and even the sky itself explodes.

Life, like nature's sky, can be stormy at times. As much as we may want to laugh under the summer sunbeams and dance with the soft spring breeze, winter always eventually comes. Suddenly, a monsoon falls to earth, seemingly washing every sparkle of hope and each glimmer of peace away.

However, there is hope; sunshine comes to all those who feel hail, storms don't last forever and on the other side of the clouds is a bright blue sky.

Here are some things I have found help me weather the storms of life.

'And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.'

Be Kind To Yourself
Just because the times are hard on you doesn't mean you have to be hard on yourself. Take this falling rain and shower yourself with love. Do nice things for yourself that will help you through this storm. It may be something as simple as making yourself a hot cup of yummy tea or maybe something more grandeur like booking a self healing retreat in Costa Rica, just to escape for a little while. You deserve rest, you deserve peace, you deserve happiness and you deserve respite from this pain. 

Silver Linings 
The storm may tear you apart, but you get to decide how to put yourself back together again. This period of personal pain may bring with it its perks. Flowers can't grow without rain, each drop of water deepens a tree's roots. The storms of life may have struck your heart, windswept your dreams and drowned the magic of your soul, yet still, here you are, ready to bloom. Allow the cycles of nature to help you to take your time of pain and turn it into your own sense of beauty. Planted deep in the wounds of your darkness were seeds, waiting for this magical moment to grow into exquisite flowers. One can cut all of your stems but that will not stop the light from shining; no adversity will stop you from blossoming. The night has passed, the morning is coming, it’s time to live your life in full bloom, young wildflower. Take this time of pain and turn it into your own sense of beauty. When you are going through a tough time it is undeniably difficult to try and see any good in it. Perhaps one of the most patronising things people can say is 'everything happens for a reason', (I am the biggest culprit of saying this), but it may just be true. I promise that this painful period will strengthen and nourish you, you may unveil a deep roar of thunder within of which you never knew you possessed. You may think you can not withstand the storm but what if this reveals to you that, you, you are the storm. Click here to read my post about embracing change.

Rainbows are Coming 
'Everyone wants happiness and nobody wants pain but you can't have a rainbow without a little rain.' The pain you are experiencing can not compare to the beauty that is coming. Every storm runs out of rain, just as every heartache runs out of pain. When I was first admitted into a specialist unit for my Anorexia, I was hopeless. All I could see and feel was grey; no light or sunbeams shone upon me.  Having spent nine months in hospital battling my demons, I can truly admit that a glimmer of hope sparkled through my clouds. Now, months later, it is still hard, but I am able to see a silver lining that once upon a time was just an illusive dream. Good things are coming, I truly believe and hope that they are for you and I both. We just have to be strong and brave and full of hope. The moment you feel like giving up is the very moment the tide will turn, the clouds will clear and the beautiful prism of the rainbow will appear. 

The Eye of the Storm 
When you are feeling hopeless and full of despair, stop and tell yourself, 'I am alive'. How liberating is it to know that you have survived every single day of your life. Every time that your life was a seemingly unending hurricane of hardship, of which you thought would never did. You survived the whirlwinds before and you will survive them again. Everyone has had experiences of which they thought they would never ever bounce back from; death, divorce, destruction...anything, but they did. Think back on a really painful period of your life and ask yourself, 'Does it still matter now, was it worth all of the self induced worry and stress?'. Hopefully the answer is no. Like the eye of the storm, open your mind to a bigger more beautiful perspective. You are alive, you are breathing, in very simple animalistic terms, how could anything truly be wrong?

Dance in The Rain 
'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain', one of my favourite quotes! The rhythm of nature doesn't stop for anyone, neither does the cycle of life. The storm will pass, the sun will shine, then the winds will turn again. Learn to fall in love with the uncertainty of the weather, the changing of the seasons, the unpredictability of life and the universe's irrational reasons. It may just make your world a little bit brighter.

'Snowdrops are blossoming, cherries are sweetening, air is softening; the beauty of nature is reawakening. Spring, a beautiful reminder of how enchanting change can be.'

What helps you cultivate calm within the storm? Please comment below blog post ideas, suggestions and questions or anonymously in the 'ASK' section of my blog. I hope you enjoyed this post. Click here to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on new blog posts. Thank you so much for reading!

 lots of love & peace & happiness
Lauren x 

Peacefully Wild

The Human Contradiction

'There is peace, there is wild, there is both at the same time'.

Who are you? Are you man or woman, black or white, old or young, quiet or loud, strong or weak? Or are you both? What if there are no true limitations or boxes of which we must fit into? What if instead of black and white we are all just unique contrasting shadows of grey?
What if we are both?

'Go wild for a while, my moon child!' 
- Elle (fellow soul sister and crystal lover)

Recently I felt a bit paranoid over other's perhaps perceived notion of who I was, I was scared I wasn't fitting into an idealised standard of which I myself had created. There is part of my soul which loves meditating, sunrise yoga, nighttime journaling, exploring the world and reading self growth books with a cup of peppermint tea. But what if I told you that there is another part of my heart that craves dancing until the early hours of the morning, getting too drunk after one sip of alcohol, spending way too much money online shopping and having fun with my could that be? Shouldn't I be scouting charity shops and condemning support of the fashion industry? Shouldn't I be cleansing my soul with kale juice and avoiding all 'unnatural' forms of euphoria? Shouldn't I be practicing yogi backbends and helping the less fortunate in all of my spare time?

I started getting upset as to why I was allowing myself to listen to the parts of me which did not coincide with this idealised version of perfection which I believed I needed to be. I thought I needed to be one or the other, all 'peace' or all 'wild' yet the thought of either makes me feel extremely fraudulent and off balance. 

My beautiful sister reminded me that as humans we are not one or the other. We are allowed to have whatever proportion of characteristics within ourselves as we feel to be true. We may appear as a paradox of opposing beliefs but that is the beauty of humanity, we are messy creatures. The different sides of us are not mutually exclusive but are rather intertwined as one to create the uniquely stunning people that we are. Like yin and yang, we are entities that need balance. We need both the peace in the wild and the wild within the peace. Allowing yourself to find a balance between the perhaps contradictory states within you rather than tip-toeing on a tightrope is what will help you find contentment and comfort in who you are rather than trying to fit into a specific idealised standard of who you believe you should be. 

It is important to nurture every aspect of your self to create balance within your mind, body and soul. That may mean spending all week studying diligently and all weekend partying hard. It may ensue eating pizza and chips for dinner followed by a green juice to wash it all down. There is no right or wrong way to fulfil your heart's true needs and desires. You are you and that is your power!

I am starting to realise the importance of this; that I am me and you are you. I am the kind of girl who craves solitude yet who also adores spending time with others. Half of me is bursting with words yet the other half is awkwardly shy. I desire to live in the heart of Manhattan yet I want to build a tree house in the forests of Bali.

'This is the messiness of life; that we all carry multitudes, so must sit with the shifts. We are complicated creatures and ultimately, the balance comes from this understanding. Be water. Flowing, flexible and soft. Subtly powerful and open. Able to accept all changes, yet still led by the pull of steady tides. It is enough'. 

'Im the kinda girl that listens to gansta rap on the way to the farmer's market after yoga'...who are you? Please comment below how you balance the different yet beautiful aspects of your being. Thank you to Leah and Ellen for being my inspirations for this little wander of thoughts. I hope you enjoyed this post, please leave any suggestions or questions below or anonymously in the 'ASK' section of my blog. Click here to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on new blog posts. Thank you so much for reading!

lots of love & peace & happiness
Lauren x 

My Morning Routine

Good Morning

Throughout the summer I became obsessed with creating a morning routine that made me feel happy, connected and prepared for the day ahead. After reading the 'Miracle Morning' and many trial and errors, I have finally fallen in love with my waking up ways. The greatest thing I realised was the importance of engaging in what your true soul wants you to do rather than what your mind feels you must do. 

While not everyone is a morning person, (I once was most definitely not one), the good things that come with waking up early and having rituals set in place are endless. This routine isn't for everyone and maybe you have other things that you would prefer to do such as reading, working or maybe even going straight back to sleep! Comment below some activities that you like to do every morning.

Mind Over Mattress
I set my alarm for 6:45 every morning and usually check my phone for a while. If I still am not up, another alarm goes off at 6:55 when I get out of bed no matter what. It took me a while to start doing this until one day I read a technique called '3, 2, 1' which has been scientifically proven to override your thinking brain. Simply count down from three and just do it, lift your body out of bed, before your mind has time to engage and come up with excuses as to why you should sleep longer.

'Begin each day with a grateful heart'. The second my alarm goes off, (in my very sleepy and drowsy state), I bring to mind three things I am grateful for. It doesn't have to be anything huge, it can be something as simple as 'I am grateful for the bed I sleep on', 'I am grateful for my bleary eyes of which I get to witness this morning through', 'I am grateful for my loving family and friends'. This helps start my day on a positive and grounding note while giving out positive vibes to the universe. The more things you are grateful for, the more things the universe will give you to be grateful for; the law of attraction. To learn a bit more about how you can express gratitude you can read my blogpost 'An Attitude of Gratitude'.

Each night before I go to sleep, I roll out my yoga mat and prepare my outfit for the next day. I step out of bed and onto my mat, facing out my window overlooking the beautiful sunrise and my handmade Buddha head (more often than not it's grey and rainy but it is still as beautiful!). The day yoga becomes a form of exercise for me is the day I know I will have to stop. For me yoga allows me to ground myself for the day ahead and mindfully tune in with my body and breath. The days I have yoga class in the evening I notice I feel more anxious and just not that great until I go to class. I do a twenty to thirty minute practice every morning but if you even connect with your inner yogi for five minutes I promise you will feel the benefits! I click shuffle on my morning yoga youtube playlist or turn on Spotify and go freestyle. Here is a great short tutorial for beginners if you would like to explore this beautiful form of relaxation and invigoration. Comment or message me if you would like see a blogpost on my yoga journey and how I believe it can help you to heal and grow. 

The days I have yoga class in the evening, I try not to do yoga in the morning so as not to overwork myself. Instead I sit in my 'cosy corner' (in my picture above) and journal. I recently read an article about a new self growth 'trend' called morning pages. Through practicing this, one writes three pages full of their overflowing inner dialogue and thoughts which are thought to be at their purest and most naturally unfiltered, (as the ego has yet to awaken), the minute you wake up. I tried this once and it amazed me beyond words, I gained insights into thoughts that I never knew I had ever even harboured. I haven't done it since but if you want to try something new and change things up I would definitely recommend it. 

A kind lady I once met made me a beautiful list of positive affirmations which I framed and placed on my bathroom sink. Every morning when I brush my teeth and wash my face, I pick an affirmation at random and repeat it to myself. To be quite honest I don't really know if this does anything for me but so many teachers talk about the astounding advantages of daily affirmations, I guess it doesn't hurt to try!

Compassion Meditation
Self compassion is personally one of my biggest obstacles and something which I have been told I need to work on each day. Every morning I do a simple 3 minute guided compassion focused meditation before I leave the house. It helps keep me grounded before a busy day of school or work and reminds me not to be too hard on myself. It also helps foster self kindness and self love. I use an app called Aura which has different variations of meditations depending on your needs; if you want to quickly destress or a need shot of morning motivation then this app is for you.

Usually while I am getting ready (especially on Mondays), I like to listen to podcasts or Ted Talks on youtube. My favourite speakers to listen to are Abraham Hicks, Gary Vaynerchuk, Brené Brown and also good ol' Oprah heheh. It gives me an extra bit of motivation, hope and determination to try and make each day the best day!

I hope you find something here that you can incorporate into your daily life. Please comment if you tried any of these or some morning rituals you practice to make your day! I hope you enjoyed this post, please leave any suggestions or questions below or anonymously in the 'ASK' section of my blog. Click here to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on new blog posts. Thank you so much for reading!

lots of love & peace & happiness
Lauren x 

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