Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Being positive takes work

Being positive is hard work and I am by no means perfect at it. Maintaining a positive outlook needs constant practice.There will be days where I'm down and there are going to be times when it's hard to see eye to eye with someone else. There are also going to be days where I am a bitch and I make a crappy comment. That's the truth. What I try to do if I'm having a bad day or thinking bad thoughts, is rein it in. I limit the "bad".

If I am thinking bad thoughts I ask myself "why?" and "can it be sorted?"
If  the answer is yes, then the situation can be managed. If it something out of your control, for example; an individual is being off with you and you can't rectify it, then leave it be. Let those thoughts pass through you calmly and carry on. You can't please everyone and you can't always please yourself. There are going to be days where it would be easier to stay in the grumpy mood you woke up in. It would be easier to stay annoyed.

Making the choice to turn your day around, to be positive, will always be a work in progress. This is because we can't plan exactly what will happen in our day or who we will encounter. Sometimes I get so fed and I spend an hour or two sulking. Then for me at least, it has to stop. I try not to let my bad mood rub of on anyone else, so I consciously try to see the positive. Yes it is hard and sometimes I fail.

But isn't better to work on the positive and push through what you perceive as the "bad"?

Monday, 28 April 2014

On Reaching Out

Why are we always too polite or shy to ask for what we want? You don't have to be rude about it in any way. The fearful idea of failure makes us weak. We shy away from what could be, because we have already decided that we wont get what we want and we will fail at the first hurdle.

We have always be told "want doesn't get". It's said to many children throughout the day, as a way of reasoning with them as to why they can't fill their faces with sweets or swim in chocolate. Either way it becomes ingrained in us. Don't be greedy, don't show that you want anything.

As an adult this phrase has almost become a joke, when someone expresses what they want, someone may chime in with "remember, want doesn't get".

Maybe the petty wants don't matter and yes greed is bad. But is it bad to be greedy when you want to spend your time doing something you love, or to study a topic for a new career prospect or practice a new hobby that you have always WANTED to do?

Have you wanted to talk to that cool person in class? Have you wanted to send a fangirl/guy type email to a blogger/writer/professional who you don't know but have always admired? Write them an email, what's the worst that could happen, they don't write back? At least you have tried. Maybe you want to take a course but are afraid to apply? Take small steps, find out what is needed to create the best application and go for it. Gym? take that class! Why not?

Its not about being greedy,  because remember....."if you want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it". This world is full of contradictions.

Life is too sort. What do you want? go get it. Reach out and take it. (but don't snatch and remember to share).

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Animal Totem:The Hummingbird

The Humming bird is a symbol of lightness of being. 
The hummingbird encourages you to push out negativity with ease and take enjoyment from the pleasures in your daily life

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

This is me

This is me.
My eyes disappear when I smile. Sometimes my gap between my lower teeth shows when I laugh
I have quite a few grey hairs that like to peek out from the brown.
I have awkward eyebrows.
I have hooded eyelids.
I get dark circles easily.
I have tiny nails and chubby fingers.
I look like my dad.

I have fair olive skin that can easily burn.
I have lots of moles. Everywhere.
I have three different birthmarks.
I can't help but tilt my head to one side when I'm talking to a friend.
My weight fluctuates, often.
I get puffy eyes when I'm tired.
I look like my mum.

I don't particularity love this picture of myself, that's why I chose to use it.

I used to try and change what I thought was wrong with me. Even though I will still see some of these things as faults, for example; I think I will dye my hair if the grey persists. I will always wear makeup when I want a pick me up and will escape the sun when others can enjoy it all day. As I have gotten older, I have found that I have gradually started to accept how I look. I am a unique combination of my parents and no one will ever look exactly like me. So I may as well work on enjoying it and stop wishing for something else that is unattainable.

Enjoy your unique self!

Monday, 21 April 2014

How much are you worth?

I'm not talking about money
I don't mean how much do you earn
I really don't need to know how much you spend
I don't care what designer goods you have
I am not bothered by how many holidays you go on

All I want to know is:
How much do you value yourself?
What is your own worth?
How do you want to spend your time?

In this world, there are undoubtedly countless opportunities at every turn to compare yourself to others, downgrade your achievements and sabotage your future. Why do we all do this?

I used to be like this and honestly I'm still working on how to avoid my own avoidance techniques. I believe that by staying present in your life, you can become happy with what you have and where you are in your life. This happiness adds value to your life.

But what if you do want more? That's fine, you are allowed to strive for more. Just don't make it hard on yourself when you want to try new things. If you want to read that book go for it, make the time to do it. If you want to go to that new age yoga class that your friends might not understand, who cares, go on your own and see what it is like.
It doesn't matter if you end up hating the new things you have tried. At least you have let yourself go within the experience and gone with your own instincts. You have valued your time enough to do something different.

I think once you do start valuing yourself, it doesn't matter how you compare to others. Because you know your own worth.

Procrastinating is an art form that I am a master of. I can tell myself that I am going to do something productive, then something on the television comes on and bang....... two hours have gone. In that time, I could have exercised, tried out a new recipe, meditated, called a friend or studied a new interest.

The point I am making is that once you start to value yourself as your most prized possession (not in an egotistical annoying way). How you spend your time will become more important, how you take care of yourself will be more important, how you nourish your body and soul will be, you guessed it, more important!

Love yourself. Value yourself. You are important. Your time is precious.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Project Pan: Letting go of the old

Okay it's confession time
I have thrown out a few more items of make up because when I began to organise it, I knew that I was looking at old make up that needed to go.

Why is it so hard to let go of what you don't need and don't use?

For me it's because I know I've spent money on it or I know it was a present. For example my first ever Urban Decay palette has been kept at the back on my drawer for about 8 years and no I haven't used it but it means something to me okay!

 "it was the first piece of makeup that I felt really suited me"

The purple velvet has darkened with wear, the chain-male decoration on the front has wrinkled and the mirror inside smashed along time ago. The only colours that got used regularly where the gold and bronze brown (a sign of things to come). What it holds now are memories of nights out. Of batting eyelashes whilst looking at a boy you are interested in. Drum and Bass nights with my friends and the first girly nights out with people would turned into my best friends.

It was the first make up item I begged my Mum to get me for Christmas and it was also the first bit of makeup I didn't buy myself. That palette was lent out the friends whilst getting ready for nights out and gave me so much confidence, it was the first piece of makeup that I felt really suited me.

There were products in my make-up drawer that I used to wear so religiously, that they seem to have become a part of my past.They are the remnants of different stages in my life. They are the only bit of tangible reality left, the rest of my memories are paused in pictures for all to see on Facebook, or de-tagged pictures that remain hidden on my desktop that I look back on a think "what was I thinking?" But then that's all part of the fun.

Make up is fun and I enjoy it, but the time has come to stopped devouring everything I see in the make up isles and learn how to use what I've already got (that's still in date!) and learn to tell myself "NO, you do not need seven mascara's and seven different types of green or purple eyeshadow.

Although no matter how much I want to de-clutter my stash, I can never have too many bronze and gold shadows, Right?

Friday, 18 April 2014

Mind Body Spirit London Wellbeing Festival 2014

Now I've got that long post title out the way, I wanted to share with you a cool event happening in London over May Bank Holiday weekend. The Mind Body Spirit Festival has been running since 1971 making it one of the U.K's longest running holistic festivals and it hosts a range of wellbeing workshops, Inspirational speakers, exercise classes, live music and exhibition stalls.

I hope to be going on Saturday the 24th of May as Ruby Wax will be talking about mindfulness as part of her Sane New World Tour. I think it will be really interesting and good fun. There is an option to pay to be a part of the smaller workshops, this cost is on top on the £10 entry fee. What you get for the ticket entry is amazing in my opinion. On the free stage there's an eclectic mix of concerts, dance performances, yoga and even shamanic drumming. The Mantra Lounge is where you can join a meditation class, take part in a healing sound bath of Tibetan drums or you may want to take part in class focusing on conscious rest (I really want to go to this one).

There is so much going on at the festival, head over to to check it out for yourself.

If you are into self-development, self-empowerment, yoga, meditation and wellbeing then you should be planning a visit to the Mind Body Spirit London Wellbeing Festival 23-26 May.
This May sees the awesome Mind Body Spirit London Wellbeing Festival roll into London for a four day festival celebration of self-exploration, self-expression, music, workshops and community. A gathering of a global tribe, all looking to lead a better, healthier, empowered lifestyle.

The festival also features 3 dedicated workshop spaces, live music, the popular Wellbeing Studio, two pop up temples, the Mantra Lounge, the Love Dome, A 360 degree cinema and creative art exhibitions.
So ditch your work mind and come explore your play time in a celebration of our positivity and hunger for community, personal growth and change.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Avocado face mask

Do you ever find yourself wondering what to do with the left overs of your beloved avocado?
How about put it on your face?

Avocado is extremely nourishing and a teaspoon of the green stuff is enough for a quick face mask. I'll show you how I make mine below, remember that you can try it with a variety of base oils and essential oils. Mix it up according to your skin needs.

What I used:

One teaspoon of Avocado:
Some of the Benefits: Avocado is a known natural moisturiser, it also contains vitamin A which gently exfoliates the skin.
Two drops of Tea Tree Oil:
Some of the Benefits: Tea Tree is naturally anti fungal, it helps reduce the redness of outbreaks. It can be drying so I wouldn't put it all over my face neat, however it can be used neat as a spot treatment on small areas on the skin.
Two teaspoons of organic sweet almond oil:
Some of the Benefits: Almond oil contains vitamins A, B and E, these can help to improve your complexion giving it a lovely glow. The oil is great at giving an extra boost of moisture to dry skin. I love Almond oil, it is great for hair, skin and nails! Get some!

What I did:

Step One: Don't throw your avocado skins away and have a mini pamper party
Step Two: Remove what avocado you can from the skins and add it to a small bowl.
Step Three: Mix the avocado with the base oil and essential oil of your choice.
Step Four: Marvel at your green monster face for at least ten minutes to reap some great benefits. Keep it on for as long as you like.

After 20 minutes I washed the mask off with warm water and was left with plump, soft feeling skin. Yes I could have just used the almond oil, but where's the fun in that!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Practice acts of kindness

Spread the kindness around by sharing your love and generosity with others around you. It can be cheeky drink and nibbles with friends as an unexpected surprise (see above) or you could send them a handwritten card. Maybe buy your mum flowers when she least expects it, she did give birth to you after all! Get that DVD or book they have been talking about. Maybe you've made them a home cooked meal when you knew they were busy. Practice any action that will make them smile. Any action big or small is an act of kindness.

If you want a life that is filled with love and happiness, then you need to spread it around as much as possible. How about passing on a random act of kindness to a stranger, pay for their coffee, or pass them your day travel ticket when you are finished with it. I didn't have enough change for a train station toilet the the other day and a lovely lady saved me from a rather soggy embarrassment by giving me 20p. It gave my heart warm fuzzies and emptied my bladder. What more could you want? With that good deed still fresh in my mind, I made sure I smiled at everyone that I made eye contact with, I helped a lady with her suitcase and opened the door for my fellow man.

It makes you feel good when you do good.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Materialism and wellbeing: When you stop wanting more.

Once I truly started to focus on my wellbeing I noticed that I was becoming less and less interested in constantly shopping. Sure, I still indulge in the odd internet shop, I am only human after all. But, I am buying less and needing less. I want less. I am becoming better at distinguishing between need and want.

I still go out shopping and make purchases. I will always be a consumer to an extent, but as I am becoming more focused on what I was unhappy with in the past, I know the solution isn't always shopping. Now that I am starting to build my self worth inward and not build on it externally, becoming less reliant on material objects, I am feeling so much better.

"When I dress for myself, I buy less because I am happier with my purchases that I make in the first place"

This may not be a problem for everyone, but I know that a few years back I was spending a lot on stuff I didn't need. I was hoping that it would make me feel better. I was lying to myself. convincing myself that a void would be filled and life would be great. For me at least, it doesn't work that way. I don't feel complete if I'm wearing designer 100 pound Jeans. I don't feel like I fit in any more or any less then I have done if I'm wearing the on trend make up of the moment.

Once I let the worry go and I was wanting to find other interests, I didn't need to go out shopping as much. When I say Interests I mean I've been working on finding a purpose within myself. I want to develop my self worth and confidence without all the material goods. Without all the stuff. Because the stuff wasn't working. The stuff is now clutter and it then becomes baggage.

I'm being honest here, I used to dress to please boyfriends, I tried to emulate their image. I tried to guess how they might like their girlfriend to dress. I would find myself dressing to what was popular with the crowd I was hanging out with. Of course growing up is all about experimenting and mostly I think I enjoyed it. However, I never gave myself a chance to focus on my own taste and style. Which has essentially evolved into a mish mash of all sorts and that's okay.

I no longer care what people think of my outfit, because I dress for myself. When I dress for myself, I buy less because I am happier with my purchases that I make in the first place. I am not loosing interest in the items I'm buying, because it's coming from me and not based on someone's opinion.

This all makes me sound like a little lost sheep and maybe I was in a way. Now, I am focusing on who I am and I like what I see.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Wellbeing // What does wellbeing mean to you?

In this new series I am asking, "what does wellbeing mean to you?". It's a question with answers as individual and varied as the person being asked.  This first post of the series has been written by Rachel, her answer offers a wonderful perspective on how our own wellbeing affects others around us.

   So, what does wellbeing mean to me?

For me, the answer to this question has changed over the years. Since having my daughter my whole idea of wellbeing has been challenged and changed. 

Originally wellbeing was taking a bit of time to be 'selfish' and do something that made me happy. The gym, reading a book, painting my nails, a takeaway, a long bath, a holiday, etc.
When I was pregnant well being meant being healthy (good food choices, lots of sleep, rest, etc) and being happy (no stress, sadness, etc). I was very aware that the tiny person growing inside me would eat whatever I ate and feel whatever I felt.

"since having my daughter my whole idea of wellbeing has been challenged and changed."

After she was born I assumed that this would change and my wellbeing would come second to hers. Which, in a way, it does but really I need to be in the best possible condition I can to give her the care she needs and deserves. 

While I was nursing this was easy to apply - I still needed to eat right and rest well to be able to feed her but even after finishing breast feeding I realised that connection was still there. When I am stressed and tired I'm not 'there' for her, she doesn't receive the best possible care as I don't have the energy or spirit to provide it. This, in turn, affects her wellbeing and I've quickly realised that as a Mum my wellbeing is always going to be just as important, if not more so, than hers. 

"if I am at my best emotionally and physically then my daughter receives the best possible care and therefore her wellbeing is entirely linked with my own."

She is 4 years old now and I still find that this still rings true - if I am tired, stressed, hungry and/or running late then I have less patience with her and she isn't given the opportunity to complete tasks independently and with supportive guidance, I can't be as enthusiastic about playing with her, etc.

I hope you can see what I am trying to say - if I am at my best emotionally and physically then my daughter receives the best possible care and therefore her wellbeing is entirely linked with my own.

My view is that 'wellbeing' is about looking after myself so that I can look after my daughter to the high standard I wish to. 

Rachel writes All Natural Aspirations, it's a fantastic resource for green living and non-toxic beauty. Find her on Twitter here and watch her on Youtube here

Friday, 4 April 2014

Dr Bronner's haul and review

Dr Bronner's is a staple in many green homes. I was excited to try not just the castile soap but also test out what else they had to offer. I brought this lot back in January and I have gotten good use out of all the products.

Here's what I brought:
Dr Bronner's Organic Shaving Gel in Lemongrass Lime 208ml £7.29
Dr Bronner's Organic  Hair Creme in Peppermint 178ml £7.99
Dr Bronner's Organic Shikakai Conditioning Hair Rinse in Citrus 236ml £8.99
Dr Bronner's Organic Liquid Castile Soap in Almond 237ml £5.49
Dr Bronner's Organic Lip Balm in Lemon Lime 4g £2.69

The shaving gel has a thick consistency and brownish orange in colour. I can smell the lemon grass scent and really enjoy using it. It doesn't foam up but I have found it works best if your leg is slightly damp and then the gel is massaged into the skin. This creates a soapy like film, resulting in a easy shave. My legs feel soft and smooth after using it. What more could you want?

I didn't get on too well with the hair creme at first. I use a full pump on my hair whilst is was damp before blow drying and it did not work for me. The creme didn't dry into my hair, leaving my hair looking unwashed. It wasn't pretty.
 Next time I used half a pump on almost dried hair and it worked a treat. I really rubbed it into my hands before I worked it through my hair. I put it on my mid lengths, concentrating on the ends. I personally wouldn't put this on my roots, I have fine hair and I don't think it would do me any favors. When you figure out how to use this on your hair, it is great value for money, considering how much product you get. It has also worked well separating day old curls and other styles that need refreshing.

The conditioning hair rinse is interesting. The scent is very strong, it is a mix of orange and strong herbs and to be honest I have not gotten used to it. Used as a rinse was difficult, I was never sure if I had managed to distribute it evenly. I found that dipping the ends of my hair in the premixed solution (you have to mix a cap of the rinse with water in cup) worked really well. The rinse is soaked up by the dry areas of hair and rinses out easily leaving lovely conditioned hair (with no weird smell!). I have been using this in place of a hair mask.

Next the cult classic castile liquid soap. The Almond scent reminds me of amaretto, I like it but I'm glad that it only lasts while in the shower. This alternative to shower gel leaves you squeaky clean and  refreshed, I can't wait to try more scents. The uses for this soap are endless and I can easily see this being a staple from now on.

I have to tell you that at first sniff I absolutely HATED this lip balm. Normally I love anything lemon and lime, I feel that this scent is more hemp then anything else. Either way this is a great lip balm and I have got used to the smell, I now enjoy it! It leaves my lips soft and moisturised, which is what I brought it for.

In all it was a successful shopping gamble and I have found some products that I will definitely purchase again.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Hard work always pays off

 "If you aren't finding the time to make the effort, maybe you need to ask yourself why you are not moving forward?"

It might not seem a big deal for many but I recently passed my driving theory test. I had failed it previously by just one point, so I was worried that I was in for the same fate.

This time it was different. This was because I wanted to pass for different reasons. My motivations where my own and I managed my time to make sure I studied.

When you are wanting to meet a goal head on, it will take preparation and it will need effort. The effort will come easily enough if it is something you really want. If you aren't finding the time to make the effort, maybe you need to ask yourself why you are not moving forward?

In the past I was being pestered a lot by others around me to pass my test, I was being told constantly that I needed to drive. So to put the nagging to rest. I started to learn how to drive and I hated it. I put all my pent up frustration that I held towards all nagging into the driving. I wasted a lot money, my time and the driving instructors time because of it. It was not productive. It definitely was not positive. I just didn't feel the need to drive yet.

"I wanted it bad enough, so I made it happen and I am so happy that I did."

I started to think about driving differently. Now I need too, friends are moving further away and opportunities may arrive that I may need to travel for. I now see driving as a positive. It is a step in the right direction.

With anything in life, you have to primarily do it for yourself. Trying for others approval will not get you anywhere. I wanted it bad enough, so I made it happen and I am so happy that I did.