Tag Archives: spiritual

Celebrate Life

Whether we’re on top of the world, or in the depths of fear and despair, LIFE is the one thing that connects us all.  Even when everything is falling apart, it is impossible to deny on a logical level that life is an amazing miracle.

We may not feel like celebrating when we are in the midst of sadness or anger, but the truth of existence remains.  The material world springs from the void in all of its complexity, and our emotion is a direct experience of this.

Whether we are aged 2, 22 or 202, we have reason to celebrate.  Life is the one thing that connects us all.  Whether we are full of love and joy, or feeling disconnected and isolated, getting back to basics and acknowledging the extraordinary experience we are sharing can only enrich our lives.

Ayutthaya, Thailand

When I was younger, this desire to celebrate came incredibly naturally.  To be dancing with other souls on this sacred journey was the best feeling in the world.  All I wanted to do was soak up every precious moment.  It was completely unconscious though.  I was just a young person enjoying the party.

Fast forward a few years, I’d had several premature mid life crises, and lost my passion for such festivities.  Somewhere along the way, I’d forgotten why I was celebrating.  I experienced the other side of life, at times lost in deep sadness and isolation.  However, avoiding parties and festivals definitely didn’t help.  At least not at first.

I didn’t know what made me happy any more, so I took the time to explore my creativity and do some serious soul searching.  I discovered my values and reasons for living, and now I truly understand the importance of celebrating our existence together.

Dressing up as a badger is the best way to celebrate any occasion!

In our society, there is a tendency as we get older to let this celebratory side of us fall asleep, in favour of a quieter peace and contentment (or bitterness, anger and resentment!).  But having experienced the full spectrum of emotions, we have the chance to bring a depth to our celebration that we were previously unaware of.

Every experience feeds our soul in some way.  The more life we have lived, the more our creativity can bloom.  It is our duty to one another to share our magic.

Handmade gemstone necklaces pictured available in my shop www.etsy.com/shop/tessheaven.

Belief in various gods or a higher power unites people in other cultures, giving festivals a deeper meaning, and a reason to set aside individual egos.  However, our lack of a shared belief system shouldn’t prevent us from joining forces, and worshipping almighty LIFE together.

I think this is something we forget in our country sometimes, in favour of hedonism and obliteration.  There is definitely a place for reckless abandon, but maybe there would be less need to escape reality if we were more focused on celebrating the one thing that unites us all.  Being ALIVE!

 

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The Power Of A Crazy Dream

I often imagine I’m levitating.  I dream that I will live forever, in a beautiful harmonious world full of magic and wonder.

Handmade macrame gemstone jewellery available in my Etsy shop.

Handmade macrame gemstone jewellery available in my Etsy shop.

Unfortunately I am not yet able to fly, and although my little segment of the world is pretty good, it definitely isn’t paradise.  However, when I focus on my magnificent dreams, I experience some very beneficial side effects.

Wrap your life in rainbows.

Wrap your life in rainbows.

When I imagine myself to be unconstrained by the limits of this physical world, I experience, without fail, a boost in energy and a surge of inspiration.  I feel motivated, capable and confident in my abilities.  This in turn leads to happiness and success in whatever I am doing.

Actually achieving the ultimate dream then becomes less relevant, because it has already benefited me in the here and now.  I may spend time visualising mystical realms of indescribable peace and beauty, but it is the calm clear mind and feeling of love that remains after the visualisation that is important.

Perfume Pagoda, Vietnam

Perfume Pagoda, Vietnam

Whether you dream of world domination, or holding your breath for an hour and diving down to the bottom of the ocean, there is a tremendous power in indulging your dreams.  Not because they might come true (although believing in your dreams is the first step in making them a reality!), but because getting in touch with the things that light up your heart brings so much inspiration, joy, clarity and confidence.

Ayutthaya, Thailand. I dream of a life of endless adventure ♡

Ayutthaya, Thailand. I dream of a life of endless adventure ♡

I have used this technique personally to overcome mental fogginess and apathy many many times.  It has also played a part in overcoming my struggles with depression and anxiety, along with a lot of other help, support, self-love, medication and therapy.  It is just one of many useful strategies I have picked up, but it definitely plays a significant part for me in cultivating happiness and moving my life in the right direction.

So if you have a weird and wonderful dream, please don’t feel like entertaining it is a waste of time.  Maybe it’s achievable, maybe it isn’t… but believing in it may just make your journey smoother and more enjoyable.  Enjoy all of the successes your dream brings you along the way, and gradually loosen all of the limitations you have imposed on yourself, until you are truly living in a world where dreams come true!

What does your heaven look like? Necklaces pictured from my Etsy shop.

What does your heaven look like? Necklaces pictured from my Etsy shop.

Tell me about your craziest dreams in the comments below 😊.

 

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The Magic Is In You – Water Wonderland

This is the second in an experimental series of posts about connecting to the magic within and all around us.  You can read the first post here as a general introduction to the idea.

I have chosen water as the theme because it is the one aspect of nature I can always rely on to soothe and calm me wherever I am.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

 

The inspiration for this post didn’t come to me in the clear turquoise waters of a tropical island, beautiful lake, or river though.  It was bubbling away in the jacuzzi at my local spa.

As I sat there in a peaceful daze, visions came to me of past times I’d been happily submerged in water, in places far and wide.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Imagined future scenes also flashed before me, until these visions enveloped me into a water wonderland which merged with the swirling delight of my present surroundings.

I sank deeper into the hot bubbling whirlpool in a dreamy stupor, and in that moment, all of my trepidation about leaving my current life behind to go off alone into the unknown again dissolved.  I knew that wherever I was I would always have this.  I could always return to the water world of my dreams that existed somewhere between planet earth and a paradise-like realm, where water was a sacred gift from the gods.

Iguasu Falls, South America

Iguasu Falls, South America

Water Meditation

Submerge yourself in water.  It could be in a bath, a river, lake, pool, hot tub or the sea.  (I have recently discovered the joy of having a wetsuit, which means I can swim comfortably even in the freezing cold water of the UK!)  Find a safe quiet spot where you feel happy to stay for a while.  Or, if you feel calmer on the move, find an open space where you can swim slowly without being disturbed.

The main aim of this activity is to relax and connect with your own magical water dreamland.  Use the flowing quality of water to wash away any negativity in your mind and body, and feel how you become almost weightless.  Feel yourself dissolving into the water, becoming more and more peaceful with every breath you take.

Your body begins to merge with the water, your movements becoming more fluid and easeful.  You are one with the water, and realise that all of the peace and calm that the water provides already exists within you.  Allow the twinkling reflections on the surface of the water, and swirling shapes your body makes as you move, to transport you to your water wonderland.

Sunset, Barbados

Sunset, Barbados

Allow images of beautiful waterfalls, lakes, rivers and oceans to float through your mind.  Enjoy the anticipation of visiting these places, and the special memories of places you have already been.  You are infinitely peaceful, and have a deep appreciation for this precious gift.

There is no set time for this meditation.  Personally, I could spend hours in water without getting bored, but everyone is different.  When you have finished, write down a few words under the heading of ‘water wonderland’ to remind you of this experience, or collect some pictures to create a collage of dream water paradises you would like to visit.

Try to take some of this relaxation and fluidity you have experienced with you into the coming days.  Allow peace to ripple out from you in all directions, and feel like you can float through any difficulties you may encounter.

Thank you for joining me in our water wonderland, I hope you enjoyed it!  Leave me a comment and tell me about your favourite places and inspiring experiences below ❤

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The Magic Is In You

This is the first in an experimental series of short posts where I will share ideas designed to inspire us to connect with the magic of nature, and the magic of ourselves.

the magic is in you2

 

I was thinking along the lines of mini challenges, meditations and adventures, but will be adapting the format as we progress, so your feedback will be extremely helpful.

Intention is the number one thing to keep in mind when taking part in any of the challenges.  The purpose is to step outside of our regular world, and into one where anything is possible;  to rediscover child-like wonder, and become enchanted by our surroundings.  By incorporating our strong intention to see the magic wherever we are, we begin to realize that if we look for the beauty, and go calmly with peace in our hearts, the world sparkles in response.

necklaces sparkly

 

The magic is in you.

So as to let this idea settle in, our first magical experience together will be a very simple one:

Bring the idea ‘THE MAGIC IS IN YOU’ to an activity of your choice.  It could be something you already do on a regular basis, such as walking, swimming, running, sitting on the bus or meditating, or you can choose something new.  It only needs to be for about 15 minutes, but feel free to shorten or lengthen the time depending on your feeling.

For this amount of time, choose to see or feel the magic in whatever you are doing.  If you find this difficult, it may be easier to choose to be somewhere in the natural world, such as a forest or near a river, where there are lots of beautiful things to appreciate.

Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia

Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia

Slow down your thoughts, and gaze with a twinkle in your eye at whatever is around you.  Don’t label or analyze anything, just appreciate anything you find beautiful or magical, like the colours, the shapes, or the patterns of light reflecting on different surfaces.

reflections

 

If you are moving, try to make your movements smooth and harmonious.  Move as if you are completely at peace.  Move as if you are magic.  Move as if you are infinite.  If you are still, use the feeling of stillness to sink deeper and deeper into peace.

When you have finished, write down 3 good things about your experience.  These can be as simple as ‘felt relaxed’, ‘beautiful light’, or ‘fresh air’.  Feel free to be more elaborate if you are inspired.  The main aim of this part is to remember the magical things you appreciated during your experience.

The more we focus on the magic, the more it will grow.  I feel infinitely more at peace with myself since I have made this my regular practice.  I hope that it will inspire you, and fill you with joy and happiness!  Please let me know what magical things you found to appreciate in the comments below 🙂

You can find all the posts in this series in “The Magic Is In You” section of this site.

 

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The Spirit Of Adventure

I am an adventurer at heart, and probably always will be.  I’m writing this post because for a really long time I’ve had an internal battle of ‘home’ vs ‘wanderlust’ going on, and it’s been driving me a bit crazy.  I’ve felt like I should ‘grow up’ and ‘settle down’, do the sensible thing, prioritize safety and comfort, and stay close to the people who already know and love me.

Doing this has been great for a while, and 100% what I have needed.  But home isn’t just a place, it’s a state of mind.  One that I only seem to be able to access when I am being true to myself and my desires.  When I think about what I want long term, the only thing I can feel genuinely inspired by is a life of adventure.

Flying high over the desert in Peru.

Flying high over the desert in Peru.

I love that feeling of home, familiar faces and places, and the warm glow that surrounds me.  But when I deny my need for adventure, I cut myself off from this connection with the world around me.  Ironically, forcing myself to stay home for too long can be the very thing that prevents me from feeling ‘at home’.

Flowers in the garden on a sunny day - that beautiful feeling of home.

Flowers in the garden on a sunny day – that beautiful feeling of home.

It makes me feel sad sometimes that I’m not motivated by the same things as most of the people around me.  I actually find the hard work, persistence and determination of friends that have saved enough money to buy a house, or weathered the tough times in long term employment in order to raise a family, incredibly inspiring.  I know that they must really want it.

People that follow an unconventional path often project their own feelings onto those that choose to find peace and contentment in a more ‘ordinary’ life.  Obviously there are exceptions, and there certainly are people that are dissatisfied with their boring job, partner and/or miserable existence.  But that’s not what I see.  For the most part, I see people that go through ups and downs, but are committed to their future, and get enough joy from their day to day lives to know that it’s worth it.

Adventure for most people is a fun interlude during an otherwise comfortable life.  I know people that come home from an action packed holiday and are actually glad to get back to their normal routine and familiar surroundings.  They have amazing memories of the experience, they may learn and grow from it, and it will enrich their lives.  This is awesome.  But it is not me.

Amazon jungle adventures

Amazon jungle adventures

I need more.  I want longer adventures.  I need to go deeper in the jungle.  I’m no Ranulph Fiennes, but I am intent on pushing my own boundaries further than I can even imagine right now.  This doesn’t mean I’m going to take crazy risks (I’m actually incredibly safety conscious these days!), but it does mean I will chase my crazy dreams.

I often wish my dreams were more aligned with those of my friends and family… a beautiful house in the countryside, some happy children, fabulous holidays, or a creative project that fits nicely into life at home in the UK.  But what I really want is to belong, and I only feel this sense of belonging when I am following my own dreams, not someone else’s.

I first knew adventure was more to me than just the occasional holiday or adventurous hobby when, nearing the end of a 5 month long trip around South America, I imagined not having to go home.  I glimpsed a freedom greater than anything I had ever dared to dream of.

A condor soaring through the vast Colca Canyon, Peru.

A condor soaring through the vast Colca Canyon, Peru.

Many years, and many adventures later, the call towards freedom had become stronger than ever.  Every time I experienced the wild beauty of life, I knew this was where I belonged.  Not in any one particular place, but in that place within me that was unconstrained, limitless and free.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

My passion for exploration and adventure is so all-consuming that when I am not adventuring (which has been too often during the last couple of years), the weirdest things give me wanderlust.  I was in a cafe a few weeks ago with a friend, and the smelly toilet actually made me yearn to be far from home in a warm country with inferior plumbing, where all the toilets smell like that.

That was a turning point for me.  I knew I needed to take action.  I am now pouring my overwhelming passion for adventure into planning and saving for a looonnnng trip to Costa Rica this winter.  For the last couple of years I have been channeling my adventurous spirit into my businesses and creative projects, which I hope to continue overseas.

The main challenge has been developing the confidence to rely on myself to earn money, and to ride out the highs and lows.  It’s still a challenge every single day, but it’s getting easier.  I have a little adventurousness left over now, so it’s time to wander again… to Costa Rica and beyond!

What does the spirit of adventure mean to you?  Is your wanderlust in balance with your life, satisfied by regular adventures?  Or is it raging out of control, to the point where even eating at a Chinese, Indian, Italian etc. restaurant brings you close to tears with the overwhelming desire to BE THERE?!  Leave me a comment with your thoughts 

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Nature Meditation

Some places are so spectacularly beautiful that we are effortlessly drawn into their magic.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Time seems to slow down and we feel a profound inner stillness.

Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

A view can seem so surreal that it brings us a fresh perspective on life.  The whole world somehow feels more alive, and more strange!

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Our surroundings interact with us and remind us that we are part of this extraordinary vision.  Contemplating a magnificent ocean view is a full sensory immersion.  The endless gentle roar of the waves, the feel of the salty sea air on the skin, and the unmistakeable smell, are so powerfully soothing.

Big Sur, California

Big Sur, California

Interacting with nature in a more dynamic way can also bring about feelings of deep peace.  The full body co-ordination involved with outdoor activities such as rock climbing, paddle boarding, skiing and surfing (along with countless others!), can really force us into a state of calm concentration and aliveness.

The adrenaline of a bungee jump or a sky dive, combined with the rushing air and amazing views can only be compared to the feeling of being the hero of a real-life computer game!  These were among the most intense natural highs I have ever experienced.

sky dive

 

Meditation was rarely my intention with these out-of-this-world experiences; but they did open a doorway for me to experience the immense beauty of the present moment.  Seen with fresh eyes, beauty appeared in details I had previously missed.  The world became so vivid to me, and I had much more appreciation for the subtle charm of ordinary things.

I realized that peace was accessible to me anywhere, any time.

Autumn leaves

A tiny patch of land where nature is allowed to flourish, 2 minutes from my home in the UK.

If  we make it our intention to deepen our sense of peace and connection to the world around us, a walk in a local park can be as magical as visiting a more dramatically beautiful place.  It may not have such a powerful impact, but if we allow its gentle beauty to permeate our being, the effect can be just as profound.

If you open your heart to the beauty of the present moment, you will be rewarded.

Whether you’re taking a peaceful stroll in nature, sitting quietly in your garden, or swimming in the ocean, consciously connecting with the magic of your surroundings will deepen the feeling of peace you experience.  The benefits will continue throughout your day, and beyond.

So my challenge for you today is to become one with the subtle magic of the present moment.  Give yourself a minimum of 5 minutes to deepen your bond with a natural environment or a particular aspect of nature.  It could be as simple as contemplating a beautiful flower or leaf, or gazing up at the vast open sky.  Or if you have more time, climb a hill or follow the path of a river.  There are endless possibilities.

beautiful flowers

 

Just remember that your intention is the most important thing.  When you combine a strong intention to nurture your bond with nature and feel peace in your heart, with a simple action that is in alignment with the intention, you will find that you create a new magic all of your own.

How do you connect with nature?  What magical moments have inspired you?  Leave me a comment below and share your wisdom 🙂

 

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You Are Infinite

Our lives are ruled by our beliefs, and what we believe about ourselves often becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

I am infinite.

Choosing to believe this one simple thought has led to a complete turnaround in my day on countless occasions.  Over time, these days are adding up to a big improvement in my life.

When your confidence takes a knock you probably have a hard time believing you’re capable of washing the dishes, let alone anything more complicated.  But luckily, you don’t need to justify it.

All you need is your imagination.

Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

Whenever you experience difficulties in life, remember the power that lies within you.  No matter what your situation, you always have had, and always will have, the potential within you to create magic.

Raw citrine crystal necklace from my Etsy shop.

Raw citrine crystal necklace from my Etsy shop.

This power has nothing to do with your past achievements or external circumstances.  It depends only on your ability to let your mind gravitate towards the things that light you up inside.

It is the power of the imagination that makes us infinite.  Our imagination is far greater than the sum of all our experiences.  We have the ability to draw inspiration from our past, and dream up new worlds which build on these magical moments.

Magical moments - beautiful pagoda on the Yen river, Vietnam.

Magical moments – beautiful pagoda on the Yen river, Vietnam.

You may not be where you want to be just yet, but you still have the capacity to appreciate beauty and feel peace in the here and now.  You can create something beautiful with what you already have, and you can share that with others.

 

When a magnificent scene of natural beauty takes your breath away, know that you are only able to feel its magic because it resonates with the magic inside of you.

Iguacu Falls, South America

Iguacu Falls, South America

If a vision truly resonates with your soul, the possibility exists for it to become real.  Even if you have temporarily lost faith in yourself, a true heartfelt desire holds the power to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Sometimes self belief can be the hardest thing in the world, especially when doing something outside of our comfort zone.  When we don’t have a solid track record of success to inspire confidence , our strength lies in tapping into our imagination, our passion and our dreams.

Himalaya sunrise

A dreamy Himalayan sunrise. Photo taken from the top of Poon Hill on the ABC trek.

These dreams and visions are a core part of who we are.  To have imagined them they must be within us, and when you realize that you start to see yourself in a much more expansive way.  If we can dream of such beautiful things, we must have this beauty inside of us.

To see an improvement in any area of your life, the image you hold of yourself is often the most important thing you can change.  (I talked about this in my earlier posts It’s Not What You Do, It’s How You Do It and The Super Power Of Visualization.)

Any time you doubt your own ability or feel fearful about something, try asking yourself:  “What would infinite/magical/superhuman (insert your name) do?”  Then do that.

It feels kind of silly at first, but I promise you, once you get into it, you’ll start to notice a real difference in how you feel and the way you approach tasks.  It may not always be easy to make the leap from feeling incapable and scared (I’m talking from personal experience here!), to visualizing an unlimited, elevated version of yourself… BUT IT IS POSSIBLE.  Just keep practising!

If you’re ready for a bit of practice, check out my post How To Create Your Own Heaven.

 

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How To Create Your Own Heaven

Developing the inner landscape of my imagination has been, and continues to be, the number one thing that helps me to overcome challenges and grow in everything that I do.

Whether you’re bursting with dreams and desires yet to be fulfilled, or are happy to take each day as it comes and rarely think of the future, you can use the power of your imagination to bring more joy into your life now.

flowers

 

I do not claim to be an expert on the inner workings of the mind, but I do have a LOT of experience with bringing myself from an uninspired, tired or agitated state, into one of peace, clarity and creativity.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking too logically when it comes to making dreams a reality.  I talk myself out of things on a daily basis because I try to predict the future, and plan an exact sequence of action.  When I’m able to let go of the outcome, everything flows so much more smoothly.

Nepal

Nepal

Step 1: Discovering inspiration

It’s important during this step to understand that inspiration isn’t just something for artists and inventors.  Finding the things that light us up is crucial in providing motivation for reaching our goals in life, as well as bringing us joy and an abundance of energy.

The view from Poon Hill in the Himalayas at sunrise.

The view from Poon Hill in the Himalayas at sunrise.

If you have visions that seem totally unrealistic, all the better.  Imagining flying during my yoga practice led to some of the freest movement and floatiest handstands I’ve ever experienced.  Visualizing myself as a magical being with an ability to create enchanting music has allowed melodies to pour out of me when I’m playing my guitar and singing, even though I’m not an experienced musician.

You may already know what inspires you, or you may need to work on finding out.  When I first started making jewellery I knew I liked doing it, and was mainly trying to re-create things I’d seen on my travels.  I later realised it was the peace, beauty and freedom of expression the bohemian jewellery represented, that I resonated with.  That led me to find my own unique style, and start making my dreams a reality.

One of a kind black onyx macrame necklace from my Etsy shop.

One of a kind black onyx macrame necklace from my Etsy shop.

Pinterest can be a great place to start your search for inspiration.  By collecting images that inspire you, your visions evolve, and you can revisit them whenever you need to.  Look at images that you love and figure out what it is about them that you love.  What emotions do they stir in you?

Think about things that have brought you joy in the past, and things that you find yourself daydreaming about doing, having and being in the future.  What feelings do these evoke?

Step 2: Finding your unifying theme

This may be a word, a collection of words, a grand vision, or a feeling, that links everything together.  I struggled for so long because I had no idea where to focus my energy.  I had so many different dreams and goals, and felt completely overwhelmed when I thought about how to attain them.  (I attempted to put this into words in one of my earlier blog posts ‘Living Your Passion’.)  I still have all these dreams and goals, plus new ones now, but I feel much calmer and happier on a day to day basis.

Initially, I was unable to see how my passions for travel, music, making jewellery, yoga and massage were related.  It seemed completely infeasible to pursue them all, and I felt I had to pick one.  Now I can see the underlying feelings that inspire my interests are very similar.  Peace and freedom are words that come close to representing my unifying theme.

Beach on Sentosa island, Singapore.

Beach on Sentosa island, Singapore.

Visualize yourself doing all the things you love, or that inspire you, in your own version of heaven.  What overall quality does it have?  Try to describe it in words, images or whatever comes most naturally to you.  This should help you to see the whole picture of how your dreams and goals could work together, rather than being in competition with each other.

Desert in Peru.  I felt my freest during the time I was away travelling in South America :)

Desert in Peru. I felt my freest during the time I was away travelling in South America.

Travel plays a big part in my vision, but it is the feeling of freedom and expansiveness I feel when travelling that appeals to me.  For others it may be a fascination with different lifestyles and cultures.  There is no ‘right’ answer, since our motivation is a personal thing.

If you dream of wealth and luxury, as many people do, why is it these things inspire you?  Is it the feeling of safety and comfort that wealth can bring?  Or would you enjoy the freedom, the confidence, and just the feeling of general awesomeness?!

Step 3: Creating your heaven’

Once you’ve got some kind of overall vision which represents your passions and sources of inspiration, you can start to move into that reality.  It doesn’t matter if it’s not clear yet, or if there are still some bits which don’t seem to fit together.  It’s a lifelong process and your visions will grow with you.

I feel a great sense of peace and inspiration when I visit beautiful temples and other grand monuments.  This is one of the temples we visited at Ayutthaya, Thailand.

A vision of heaven:  Ayutthaya, Thailand.

The secret to getting this step right is to let go of the final outcome and live your dreams NOW.  There is absolutely no point in putting all your energy into achieving goals in the future if doing so makes you unhappy in the now.  But, on the other hand, there is immense value in fulfilling your dreams, so ignoring them isn’t the optimum thing to do either.

But with such grand dreams, how do you begin to live those now??

This is where your unifying theme or vision comes in, or at least the feeling behind it.  There may be no practical way to be travelling the world indefinitely right now, or to become a millionaire overnight, but there are certainly many ways to give yourself the feelings that motivate these dreams.

Simply spending time in a park or a beautiful garden, immersed in nature, brings me a great sense of peace.

Simply spending time in a park or a beautiful garden, immersed in nature, brings me a great sense of peace.

If, like me, freedom is very important to you, try to find ways to bring more freedom to your day to day life.  For me, this looked like starting my own business, allowing me to decide how I spend my time.  For you it may be booking a trip, or opening a savings account.

A piece of my freedom:  starting my own business doing what I love.  My Etsy shop.

A piece of my freedom: starting my own business doing what I love, my Etsy shop.

It’s not about what you do, it’s about how it makes you feel.  Prioritize your core desires.  If you want to be filthy rich because it would make you feel awesome, special and amazing, do everything within your power to feel awesome, special and amazing NOW!  Take pride in your appearance, constantly remind yourself of your skills and positive qualities, and expect the best from yourself and others.

If you crave comfort and luxury but are flat broke, prioritize self care.  Enjoy taking long luxurious baths, learn some self-massage techniques, or take extra care to make your living space feel heavenly.

Summary

Prioritizing how you feel NOW doesn’t mean giving up on your goals.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  When you get into the zone of feeling good NOW, you’ll find it much easier to work towards achieving the things you desire for your future.

In my opinion, dreams are to be lived.  If you use your dreams as an indication of what to bring more of into your life NOW, you can begin to enjoy them immediately!

Walking around Warmley Forest Park near home (Bristol, UK) is a great way to re-connect with my inner peace.

Walking around Warmley Forest Park near home (Bristol, UK) is a great way to re-connect with my inner peace.

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The Most Important Lesson Travel Has Taught Me

I’ve learned so much about the world while travelling, it’s impossible not to.  But for now I just want to tell you about the number one thing that has been reinforced, again and again, by every meaningful travel experience I have had.

When you spend an extended period of time outside of your normal routine, exploring, taking in wondrous sights, and discovering the astonishing variety of life that exists on our planet, it shifts your perspective on things.  You realise that there is so much more out there.

The view from Poon Hill, Nepal

The view from Poon Hill, Nepal

It isn’t just the endless physical possibilities you now know exist.  More significantly, it is the depth of peace and the overwhelming feeling of aliveness you discover.  The world becomes a so much more enchanting place, and you have a much deeper appreciation for all of it.

Monkeys in Hampi

Monkeys in Hampi

It can be difficult to balance this new found sense of wonder with day to day life in a 9 to 5 job back home.  I struggled with it several times after returning from long trips abroad.  I needed the money, (mainly so I could go off and have more spectacular adventures!) but, more that that, I needed to slow down and enjoy the small pleasures in life.

I could no longer deny the importance of my day to day experience in the hope of experiencing more peace in the future.

I unequivocally had to live for the now.

This brought with it a whole heap of challenges, but my shift in priorities also led me to discover so many wonderful things that I wasn’t open to before.  I got into yoga in a big way, I became a qualified massage therapist, I started making my own jewellery, I picked up my guitar again after years of neglecting it, and I even began writing songs.

I've now turned my jewellery making hobby into a business.

I’ve now turned my jewellery making hobby into a business.

Now that I knew how much peace and beauty was available to be experienced in this world, I had to find a way to ‘live it’.  To only have access to this seemingly magical realm when I was on holiday from real life was an impossible thought to bear.  I experimented, failed more times that I could ever manage to relay to you, and gradually found more and more of this peace that I had been looking for, exactly where I was.

Someone tweeted the other day, and I forget who it was or the exact words, something about creativity being a “scavenger hunt for the soul”.  Those 5 words really stuck with me.  It certainly does feel that way sometimes, but my god it is worth it!!!!

Finding the treasure at the end of the rainbow!  Photo:  Iguacu Falls, South America

Finding the treasure at the end of the rainbow!  Photo: Iguacu Falls, South America

When it was just the shortest moments of peace, following so much of the absolute opposite, I feared I had chosen the wrong path.  However, I must have known somehow that things would get better, because I kept trying.  The more I learned how to get my monkey mind to cooperate and tune into my heart’s longings, and the better I became at expressing myself creatively, the more profound and longer lasting the feeling of inner peace was.

So I continue on my journey, collecting pieces of myself along the way.  But now instead of desperately searching, I go wide-eyed in wonder on my quest, knowing that really, all of it is me.  I have learned to live in the moment, content with where I am, amazed at where I have been, and excited for where I am about to go.

Ushuaia, the 'southern-most city in the world'.

Ushuaia, the ‘southern-most city in the world’.

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Make Peace A Priority

Relaxation.  It’s so easy in theory, but it can be difficult during a busy day to take the time to unwind when we’ve forgotten the value of doing so.  If we were already relaxed, we’d know it truly is where the magic happens.

When you think about the things you value in your life, how many of them do you appreciate when you’re in a stressed out state?  My guess is not many!  We can lose sight of the meaning and beauty of life without even realizing what’s happened, and it’s not until we relax that we can see the difference… and what a difference!

rose

 

When you do what soothes your soul, you will notice the ripple effect that it has both in your own life and the lives of those around you.  A peaceful walk in the woods may feel like a waste of time when you’re busy, but if you allow the stillness of the forest to enter your being it will be there to serve you when you most need it.

Light some candles or play some music and allow your mind to wander.  Later, when challenges arise, be grateful for the time spent in this relaxed state.  Allow your body’s cellular memory of the feelings of peace to inform your response, so that you can remain steady even in the midst of chaos.

Make time for peace and become steady as a mountain.

Make time for peace and become steady as a mountain.

If you regularly do the things that make you feel calm and centered it will show through in everything you do.  You will naturally feel more joy in even the mundane aspects of life.  You will gain perspective on your problems and make wiser decisions.  You will appreciate all of the good things in your life and the positive qualities that you already possess.  You will connect more with those around you, and be more sensitive to their needs.  Your open heart and easy demeanor will allow more joy to emerge in all of your relationships.

Whatever your role in life, you will make a difference.  It’s amazing what a little inner peace can do.  Whether you’ve found your calling in life, or are still working your way towards the job of your dreams, a calm heart and a peaceful mind will ensure that you maximize not only your own happiness, but that of the people you interact with along the way.

If you’re unhappy or wanting to make changes in your life, regularly connecting to these feelings of calm and contentment will allow you to see the way forward.  When things go wrong, or your mood is low, it’s easy to think that worrying will help you to find a solution.  However, it can have quite the opposite effect and block your view of the possibilities that are available.  Taking the time to relax, and allowing peace and tranquility to inform you of what truly matters, will bring you much closer to where you want to be.

Hampi, India

 

Give yourself the time to delve deep into the present moment and see what you find.  Let your mind drift in swirls like the smoke of burning incense.  Allow the hypnotic beat of the music to leave its impression on your subconscious mind, and serve as a reminder to you in the hours and days to come of this gift that you have given to yourself and to the world.

When you make peace a priority in this way, you will find ease and lightness when there was previously strain and struggle.  Your mind will be clear and you will carry a ‘piece’ of this peace with you wherever you go.

I would love to be inspired by hearing about how you like to relax, or anything else related to this subject that you would like to share. 

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