January 1st carries all of our hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Whether we want to finally shift those extra kilos, run a half marathon, change careers, become a morning person, find love, go travelling or start a business, everyone is talking about their New Years Resolutions. On the one hand, the first day of the new year is filled with optimism and abuzz with energy; and on the other, it's a reminder of things yet to be achieved or attempted, flaws, failures and daunting ambitions.
"This year will be different. I want it more now. I have a plan this time."
There's nothing like a hot drink to warm your cockles in the winter. Whilst I adore a coffee on occasion it tends to make me a little antsy, hot chocolates are delicious but predictable, and a good cup of herbal tea is always comforting but a little light weight. I've been excited about an array of medicinal hot drinks and coffee alternatives ever since I returned from Australia where they were on the menu of more than a handful of cafes and coffee shops. Enter, the turmeric latte.
This cup of hot stuff has been doing the rounds on social media and food blogs of late (often under the pseudonym 'Golden Milk' or 'Golden Latte'), and for good reason: it's soothing, immune-bosting, a touch sweet and totally photogenic. And frothy. Who doesn't love a bit of froth?
Advent marks the start of rapidly filling social calendars, mulled wine season, and best of all, its finally acceptable to play Christmas songs. We spend all year looking forward to Christmas, but the lead up to Christmas is a hectic time for everyone and it can be a little draining if you’re not careful. I thought I’d share a handful of tips to help keep you centred and combat overwhelm in Advent.
I've been sitting on this post for a little while now, trying to find a clever way to present my travel notes that will express my joy, learnings and enthusiasm for the world Down Under. But no such luck. I had also originally intended to write this post whilst I was travelling to make sure that I could share it all with you without missing a thing. But again, it wasn't meant to be. To be honest, I don't that there are words that could do justice to how I feel about my travels anyway (or at least I haven't found them yet) and my photography skills are hardly up to scratch. So instead, I'm just going to say that this is simply a verbal and visual snapshot.
Gosh, are you guys in for a treat today. Connie Chapman is one of the women I most admire in the personal growth and coaching field. Having had a session with her myself I can tell you first hand that Connie goes deep, has an uncannily spot-on intuition (there's no hiding!) and she is there to support her clients the whole way as they inhabit the changes they crave. Her vulnerability is pretty darn inspiring and her writing is truly stirring. And let's not forget her brilliant podcast, Awaken Radio, which is a must-hear. She's filling in the blanks for us today.
I recently had a photoshoot for my website with the incredibly talented and lovely Michelle Swan of Eyes of Love Photography. In all honesty, this brought up a lot of ‘stuff’ for me. Although I am now more comfortable in my skin than ever before, I have always avoided having my photo taken, simply because I don’t feel particularly comfortable in front of the camera, but also because I didn’t want to have my ‘fatness' captured on film. I think that this is probably true for a lot of us.
So when I booked in my photoshoot back in July my first thought was, “at least that gives me a few months to shift some extra weight so that I have 'the glow’.” Now, to be clear, I was not hating on my body at this point in time, but with almost 20-years of body-bashing behind me my reflexes are not yet totally reprogrammed. I still felt - on some level - that in order to convey a ‘true’ image of health I should probably be in a bit 'better' shape. This, of course, implies that I do not not fit society’s perception of the healthy ideal. And it’s true, because society has a very narrow idea of what healthy should look like. But it also challenged me to reassess my own perceptions of a health ideal, which were to some extent still attached to a certain figure, despite what I knew about health.
Social media (and the wider media) is getting a pretty bad rap at the moment. There’s a trend online to highlight how damaging comparing ourselves to the constructed social media presence of those that are ‘social media famous’ can be. The social media famous teen, Essena O’Neill, recently quit Instagram, deleted over 2,000 photos and edited the remaining captions to show her 500,000 Instagram followers that social media isn’t real life, and it has got a fair bit of media coverage. I also shared a ‘real selfie' earlier this month as part of Mel Wells’s #showyourrealselfie project to celebrate reality, and our beauty minus all the posing and filters (she explains why here). I think that this is a really important message to share and raise awareness of. BUT (and it’s big but) I think there’s also a tendency to blame social media.
The thing is, by blaming social media for all of its potentially negative influences, we aren’t acknowledging our own choices.