Quotes to inspire more self-love

pinkflowersI love reading motivational or inspiring quotes. Depending on where you are at in your life, the beautiful words you read can have endless meanings.

Making time for ourselves can be difficult when we have so many demands in our lives but it is actually the best thing you can do for yourself and those around you.

Here are a few quotes to inspire more self-love in your life. To make these quotes really work for you, you may like to write the ones that resonate with you the most in your calendar or set them as a reminder in your phone each day. You may like to write it in your journal, add it as a screen saver or simply write it on paper and keep it close by. Which one speaks to you the most?

  • When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier. – Diane Von Furstenberg
  • We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light. – Mary Dunbar
  • To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.
- Louise L. Hay
  • Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
- Veronica A. Shoffstall
  • To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance. – Oscar Wilde
  • Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. –  Carl Gustav Jung
  • Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her. – Lao-Tzu
  • There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.  Anaïs Nin

Do you have a favourite self-love quote? Please share it with us in the comments.

Why I’m working with a Life Coach

_DSC6638I’m the kind of person who sets goals and works hard to achieve them. I decided I wanted to live overseas and travel, so I did. I decided I wanted to go back to university and become a Primary School Teacher, so I made it happen. I chose to follow my passion and enrol in the Institute Integrative Nutrition (IIN) course for a year, set up my Health Coaching business and a website all while working full time. I achieved all of this through my own motivation and determination. I never thought I would want or need to work with a Life Coach!

During my year at IIN, one of the most valuable things for me was speaking with like-minded people and encouraging and supporting each other. I really missed the regular check-ins and catch-ups once the course was complete and I certainly took away an appreciation for the positive role an accountability coach can have on your life. As a Health Coach myself, I see immense value in having that guide on the side to support and cheer you along on your path to achieving your goals.

At the start of the year, just like many of you, I thought about all of the things I wanted to achieve or do in 2016. Being halfway through my pregnancy at the time, I found it a little difficult to see beyond my due date. I also had so many questions come up such as, how can I still work on my business with a newborn? What will my life look like once she is born? How can I still have time for myself? Can I still complete my studies, work on my business and look after a baby?

I found myself facing a huge transition in my life and I was also presented with the opportunity to work with an amazing Life Coach. I jumped at the chance! I had goals I wanted to achieve and an inner monologue that just kept going around in circles! I needed to get out of my head!

From the very first session with Amy from Designing her Life I had clarity and felt uplifted. Hearing her bright and cheery voice of reason really gave me the motivation, support and the sounding board that I needed. She helped me prioritise what I really wanted to achieve and we began working on my business goal and a personal goal. One of the things I loved so much about working with Amy is that she encouraged me to consider how I felt about my goals and how I wanted to feel about them. She gave me the space to bounce ideas or concerns and take an in depth look at the choices I am making.

Working with a coach is a lot different to leaning on a friend for support or guidance. Friends and family can be a little biased because they want what’s best for you or perhaps they know you too well. They may unintentionally give you the kind of advice that may lead you away from what it is you really want. With a Life Coach of course they want what’s best for you too, but the approach is a lot different to speaking with a friend. For a whole hour it’s all about me and I’m asked the kinds of questions that lead me to realising my own answers or seeing an issue from another perspective. Priceless!! Amy, in her beautiful heart-centred way, also reflects back to me what I have accomplished already and reminds me that I am succeeding.

Personally, working with a Life Coach has not only given me the clarity, sense of purpose and flow that I was seeking, I also think it has made me a better coach myself. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re at in life or what it is you want to achieve. Having a personal cheerleader by your side is life-changing!

The unexpected news that changed my life

_DSC6638I know, my blog has been a bit of a ghost town until now. I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long! It’s been months and months since writing and so much has happened. Something huge that has surprised and shocked me and also changed the entire course of my life’s journey. Something I thought would never happen has actually happened! This has both delighted me while also prompting me to retreat into my Cancerian shell.

Last year was huge for me. I took many steps outside my comfort zone. The most significant leap was sharing my fertility struggles. It’s not something that was easy to do, but it was something I felt I needed to do. It also allowed me to reveal a part of me with those who know me well. Fertility can be a challenging topic to speak about. Writing about it was healing for me. You can read about my fertility journey here and about how I made peace with this news here.

The setbacks that we have in life can often lead us on the path to where we are destined to be. Looking back, I understand that it was all for a reason, a higher purpose and a catalyst for me to truly grow and understand myself. It has also taught me the biggest lesson in gratitude.

At the end of last year, my husband and I were blessed with the news that I was pregnant. At first, I couldn’t believe that the positive pregnancy test was true. I didn’t allow myself to feel any emotions, even after the third positive test. With my ‘infertility diagnosis’ I thought it was something to do with menopause. Once the doctor confirmed it, I just cried, a really ugly cry too! Breaking the news to my husband is a day that we will both never forget.

Of course, after wanting this for the last four years, I spent most of my first trimester feeling a little bit scared. I just wanted everything to be ok. Coming from a place where I believed that this was not on the cards for me, it felt surreal and unbelievable, and well into my second trimester I still felt this way. I just couldn’t believe it, even with my growing tummy.

I’ve been in my own world and not sure how to share my surprising news with you on this blog. I have definitely gone within myself and felt many different emotions. I’ve been worried, ecstatically happy, disconnected and dazed! Most of all I’ve felt blessed and deeply, deeply grateful.

I’m not saying that women who fall pregnant easily don’t have these same feelings, but for someone who has been trying for years and years and has been told that it wouldn’t happen naturally, this is just the most amazing news in the world! Every day I wake up and know how blessed I am, because after four years I know what it’s like to want to be pregnant. Every day my husband and I acknowledge how grateful and lucky we are because we were given a ten percent chance of this even happening.

As I write this, I am now in my third trimester and the news has finally sunk in! With each day, week and pregnancy milestone, I am getting so much closer to meeting our baby girl. Miracles happen everyday.

I’m so excited to share some of the lessons and learning that I have experienced in the past few years, including most recently with my pregnancy. My future posts will be more personal than what I have written in the past. I would love to hear from you if you have any questions or are going through something similar so please leave a comment or a message. Thank you so much for coming along on this journey with me.x

How to enjoy the outdoors

_DSC6611A series of moments is what makes a life. Life shouldn’t be so serious all of the time. Sometimes we need to focus on living and have some fun. The warmer months are the best time to get some fun into your life, enjoy the beautiful outdoors and spend your days or evenings doing more of what you love. Here are a few ideas that will get you outside and enjoying all the amazing things that this season has to offer, even if you’re on a budget!

  • Walk around your neighbourhood before or after work
  • Notice the beautiful flowers that are blossoming right now, so many amazing colours
  • A sunset picnic dinner at the beach
  • A picnic in the park
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Spend a day at the beach, pack some fruit, sandwiches, cold drinks and a good book
  • Try stand up paddle, surfing or canoeing
  • Visit your local farmers market for the freshest produce, mangoes anyone?
  • Have a BBQ and eat dinner outside
  • Go for a beach walk
  • Go for a swim at the beach, local rock pools, creak or in your backyard pool
  • Decorate your home with fresh flowers
  • Make a delicious fruit platter to enjoy sitting under a tree
  • Play a round of golf
  • Be still in nature, hear the birds chirping and smell the flowers
  • Wear dresses again, let those legs see the sun!
  • Open all of the windows in your house and let in the fresh spring air
  • Visit your local botanical gardens and explore
  • Check out the free activities happening in your local area. This could be an outdoor cinema, new markets, food markets or active and healthy programs
  • Go camping and switch off your phone!
  • Blend bananas, berries and a little coconut water to make your own ice blocks
  • Add fruit to your water for added flavour and goodness. Try mint, cucumber and orange, watermelon, lime and basil, watermelon and rosemary, lemon, lime and orange or berries. Serve it in a jug and drink it poolside.
  • Invite your friends over and play a game of bocce in the backyard

What activities would you add to this list? Please leave a comment below.

How I made peace…

_DSC6620Ever since my interview with Gaby Gogarty about my fertility journey, I have wanted to follow up with how I came to make peace with my situation. I mention in the interview that thoughts of having a baby don’t consume me, I have surrendered to whatever will be, will be. There were a few steps in making peace with the fact that I may never have children of my own and I want to share that with you, in the hope that it may help you on your own journey. I also think these steps can be translated to support healing in other situations such as a bad break-up, job loss or overcoming a health issue.

Gratitude
This was definitely the first step in regaining my happiness and strength. I began with being grateful for the simplest of things such as being able to see and hear. My body may not be able to do exactly what I want it to do at that time, but it is strong enough to hike to the top of a mountain or get me through a tough yoga class. I was grateful for all of the things that my amazing body could do. Beyond my physical self, I also thought about how fortunate I am to have a lot of love in my life from my husband, family and friends. I have a modest but beautiful home and a job that allows us to live comfortably. As a primary school teacher, I am surrounded by children every day and have a very important role in their lives. I also have two stepsons and nieces and nephews, there are a lot of children in my life.

If you are going through a difficult time at the moment, I can’t speak enough about the simplicity of gratitude and focussing on what you do have. This simple act brings so much happiness and a new perspective.

Visualisation: “If I don’t have kids, what will my life look like?”
Once I made the decision that IVF was not the right thing for me, I had to face the fact that there was a very small chance that I could have a baby of my own. If this didn’t happen, what would my life look like? This was a conversation that my husband and I had together, as it’s not just my life, it’s our life. I’ve never known what it is like to have a child so it was quite easy for me to not get caught up on what I could possibly be missing out on.

The biggest factor that came to mind was freedom. Once my stepsons have finished school, we would be free to travel, possibly even live overseas, downsize our home and move closer to the beach. There were many options for us and a future to look forward to. A positive spin on things can make all the difference.

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.
– Hippocrates

Growth, move on, set goals, take action
The best way to take your mind off something is to be active. I decided that the most important thing was for me to focus on being the healthiest and happiest version of myself. I completely overhauled my beauty regime. I ditched the perfumes, commercial deodorants and hair products, face creams and make up. I replaced all of this with chemical free and non-toxic versions. I also began to only shop at farmers markets for my fruit and veg and found an organic farmer who delivers to my door. I ate a lot more gut healing foods and cooked a lot more from scratch. I also continued with my outdoor yoga and walking routine. Eventually my lifestyle and interests led me to enrol at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Studying and working full time, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and relationships as well as starting my own business filled me up each day. I was growing personally, setting goals and achieving them. 

Translate the qualities of being a mum…
Finally, I couldn’t help but think I would be a great mum. I’m caring, nurturing a good listener, quite calm and patient and would love seeing something that I created grow every day. All of these qualities can certainly be suited to other situations. As a Health Coach and having my own business, I employ these qualities each day and it is incredibly fulfilling. Plus, I’m a fur mumma to my beautiful dog and he gets a lot of love and nurturing from me!

It may be helpful, if you’re going through a difficult time, to think about the feelings or qualities that you believe you are missing out on. Or perhaps the attributes that are important to you. What are some other ways that you can get this into your life?

When things aren’t going the way you had hoped or planned, it can be very easy to allow thoughts of this to occupy your mind and your time. This can make the situation worse as it begins to wear you down and affect your happiness and eventually, your health. I hope that the process I went through to make peace with my situation will also help you through yours. I would love to hear from you if you found something in this article that resonated with you. Please leave a comment below.

If you missed my interview with Gaby Gogarty, you can read it here.

Shine Bright.x

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake by Kylie Ann Casey

strawberryHow amazing are strawberries? Not only are they delicious, they are also a superfood. Yes, the humble strawberry has amazing super powers to benefit your health! Strawberries are rich in nutrients and antioxidants including vitamin C, therefore boosting immunity. They promote eye health, keep wrinkles at bay, reduce inflammation, help to regulate blood pressure and also promote pre-natal health.

When I saw my friend and fellow IIN graduate, Kylie’s Instagram feed with this amazing creation, I knew I needed the recipe and I had to share it with you all. I’m so excited that she agreed!

_______________________________________________________

It is an honour to be asked to contribute, a guest post to Lisa’s beautiful blog here.

I’m Kylie Ann Casey, like Lisa I graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and now specialise in Plant-based Wellness and Early Childhood Nutrition. I have worked with young children for the last 12 years and have realised that at some stage, all parents and care givers struggle to get their children to eat healthy food. I’ve seen these struggles and some very unhealthy lunch boxes! I have created a blog www.growingtastebuds.net where I will be sharing simple, affordable and healthy recipes that children will love.

The easiest way I have noticed to get any child (or fussy Husband) to eat healthy and nutritious food is in the form of dessert! So with this in mind, I created this delicious and healthy, Strawberry Ice Cream Cake.

Ingredients:

Base:
1 cup Brazil Nutsstrawberry cake
1 cup medjool dates (pitted)
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Filling:
1 can coconut cream
1 cup strawberries
¼ cup raspberries
½ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Topping:
Extra strawberries and Raspberries to decorate!

Instructions:
1. Place all base ingredients in a food processer and pulse till all combined 1-2 minutes depending on how powerful your food processor is.

2. When base is ready and combined, place in a medium sized cake tin and firmly mold the base evenly across the bottom

3. Put the base in the freezer to start setting while you make the filling

4. Put all filling ingredients in your blender or food processer and blend till combined, again this is usually 1-2 minutes

5. Pour filling over the base and place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes

6. When cake has set decorate with strawberries on top

Handy Hints: Cake tastes best when not frozen completely, think soft serve consistency. If freezing for a future time let the cake defrost in your fridge for 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy xx

Make sure you check out Kylie’s Facebook page, Growing Tastebuds, her website and also follow her on Instagram @kylieanncasey for more healthy food inspiration.

33 Years, 33 Things

_DSC6638Birthdays are like a personal New Year. I like to take time around my birthday to reflect a little on the year that has just passed and where I’d like to head moving forward. Last month I turned 33. A seemingly uneventful birthday and age to be turning. But I like the look of the two 3’s, numbers seen in doubles seem magical to me. So I began to think about what are some things I have learnt in my 33 years? Which nuggets of wisdom have shaped how I live my life today? Read on and I’d love you to leave a comment if any resonate with you.

  1. Some things are worth waiting for They really are! Sometimes it’s the journey, not the destination that matters the most, we get more out of it to enrich our lives. Then when that moment finally arrives we are filled with gratitude.
  2. There is more satisfaction in simplicity A satisfied life does not need to be complicated. The times when I have felt the most happy and satisfied have been the times when I have got back to basics and all of the materialism from everyday life was non-existent. I experience this the most while camping. It’s all about eating, sleeping, playing and resting. Simple!
  3. There will always be highs and lows Just like a rollercoaster! Having faith that you will make it through the lows to the highs is what it’s all about. There are always opportunities for growth and new knowledge and perspectives. Again, if we didn’t experience the challenging times, would we truly appreciate the good times?
  4.  If you want something, work hard for it Most of us don’t get what we want handed to us on a silver platter. It usually takes hard work and I believe that if you just try to get where you want to be, you’re successful in life. For me, I worked hard at university the first time around for 5 years. I changed my whole direction and decided to become a teacher so went back to university and worked really hard. I wanted to buy a house so worked really hard to save for that. When you work hard for something, finally achieving it fills you with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
  5. Be still in nature We belong in nature and this is so important to feel more connected and grounded. It’s my ‘go to’ to feel more balanced and peaceful.
  6. Quiet the mind and the answers will come For me it helps to go for a walk and be mindful of my surroundings. It quiets the internal chatter and inspires clarity.
  7. Sometimes you just need to go with the flow Yep, we can’t control everything, sometimes we need to just trust, surrender and allow.
  8. There is a lesson to be learned from everyone you meet It can be inspirational or a ‘what not to do’ kind of lesson but I truly believe that I have learnt something from everyone in my life. Some have given me more lessons than others. We can learn from their experiences, action, knowledge, lifestyle, how they speak etc. Be open to it all.
  9. Be grateful for the small things If you feel you have nothing to be thankful for, begin with the small things, they tend to add up.
  10. Family will always be there for you Sometimes you will not always get along, but you know that they will always be there for you.
  11. Get to know your grandparents One of the best relationships in my life was with my Nanna. We were great friends and were quite similar. We shared a sense of independence and a sense of humour. We spoke weekly and I learnt a lot about her life before she became my Nanna. I have so many memories of her being there throughout my whole life. She was probably my biggest cheerleader too! So comforting to have the wonderful memories.
  12. Travel and you will understand yourself better There are often challenges along the way, how do you handle them? You’ll find yourself experiencing different cultures, how does that affect you? You may find yourself all alone or meeting many like-minded people. You won’t come home the same person.
  13. Travel to truly appreciate where you come from I’ve been to some amazing and beautiful parts of this world and met some very generous and happy people. But as an Australian who has travelled to many different countries, I really am appreciative and grateful that I am a citizen of such a lucky country.
  14. Just travel! It’s the only thing you can spend money on that will make you richer!
  15. Sometimes not getting what you want can be a wonderful stroke of luck The Universe has better plans for you. That job you didn’t get? There’s a better one for you. That person who broke your heart? It was to make room in your life for someone better.
  16. Keep calm and have a cup of tea Having a rough day? Just breathe and put the kettle on!
  17. Just eat real food Mostly plant based, not from a packet. You can’t go wrong!
  18. Truly take in the moment Be in the moment, take it all in, give it the attention it deserves then look back on it with a smile.
  19. Invest in yourself The best investment you’ll ever make is in yourself. You can do this through healthy eating, getting enough sleep, exercise, self-care and study. Whatever you enjoy, do that!
  20. Healing is a matter of time, but it is also a matter of opportunity – Hippocrates It won’t happen overnight, trust the process. Digging deep to heal your mind, body or soul will present you with opportunities you would never have thought possible. My fertility journey has certainly showed me this is true.
  21. Drink water Why would you want to drink anything else? Really?? 😉
  22.  Positivity is a choice It’s not always the easiest choice. It involves mindfulness and acceptance. The people in my life who have stayed positive through challenges have been the most inspiring to me. Take each day as it comes, choose to see the good.
  23. Have a sense of humour Life shouldn’t be so serious all of the time. Sometimes you just have to find the funny side. Having a good sense of humour is a quality I love in others.
  24.  Be able to laugh at yourself People who can laugh at themselves and situations are generally more relaxed in my books.
  25.  If you have a passion or interest, make it happen! No one is going to hand it to you on a silver platter, go after it, chase it, fail and try again. Do what you love.
  26. Opposites attract I like to think of it as yin and yang, it can be the ‘perfect’ balance. It allows you to see things from a new perspective or try things you wouldn’t usually try.
  27.  Enjoy being alone “In your silence, when there are no words, no language, nobody else is present, you are getting in tune with existence.” – Osho Spending time on my own has always been something I enjoy. I love having the house to myself, I enjoy going to the beach or for a walk on my own, I’ll go to café’s on my own. I love my ‘me’ time.
  28. Find an exercise that you love For me, I love walking and yoga. I love that this kind of exercise gets me outdoors and I can enjoy the beautiful sounds of nature, the fresh air and the sunshine.
  29. Listen to your body Your body is giving you messages all the time, about the foods you eat, the amount of rest you have, the exercise you do and even stress and drama can take its toll on your body. Listen to your body, it’s smarter than you.
  30. Say no You can’t be all things to all people. When you want to say no, with love, say no.
  31.  There are mean and selfish people out there but it’s up to you how much you let them get to you It’s up to you whether you give them the time or not. I know which one I choose.
  32. Love makes life better It really does. Doing things with love, doing something you love and finding those you love and love you back. Life is dull without love.
  33. Strive for progress not perfection I don’t believe that perfection is an actual destination. Make every day better than the last.

This list wasn’t in any form of priority of importance. Some are simple and some are more thought provoking. These ideals, lessons and truths have certainly contributed to who I am today. Which one’s did you resonate with? I’d love for you to leave a comment below.