Why Is Nature Walking So Satisfying?

So today we were on puppy duty for our neighbour – which only entails (:D) taking him out to stretch his legs at lunchtime. But, since we’ve been in the apartment for a few days (we both work a lot from home) we thought we’d take Hughbert out for a nice, long walk through the woods in a local nature reserve.

West Yorkshire is particularly grey at the moment, and it was a muddy, bogged-down and slushy walk. But I feel a million bucks after it. Why is that?

What Does Nature Do For Us?

A person in a black jacket walks a small black dog in the countryside.

According to the University of Minnesota’s ‘Taking Charge of Your Wellbeing‘ site, “Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings.” And there has also been evidence that it can reduce our blood pressure, stress hormone production and heart rate.

Being outside can also improve your concentration, your Vitamin D stores and absorption, and your immune system.

What About for Witches?

A person sits on a jetty by the water, the sun setting.

For us Boss Witches, it’s especially important to be out in nature – communing with Mother Earth and the Universe’s natural bounty makes us feel more connected to our spiritual selves. Even just going for a walk can be meditative, but there are also loads of free access walking meditations to stick into your ears if you find the silence a bit overwhelming.

This isn’t the blog post I was going to write today, but I felt compelled – walking (and a borrowed puppy) made my day a bit better. Maybe it will make it better for you, too.

Namaste,

xxK

What is Samhain?

So around this time of year, the other witches, boss witches, pagans, and loads of assorted people will start talking about Samhain (pronounced “Sah-win”, among other pronunciations). So what actually is it?

Three dogs wearing ghost costumes pose with a pumpkin.

Samhain celebrates the point between the light and the dark half of the year, and the time in which the veil between the two worlds (ours and the next) is at its thinnest. So while we celebrate Samhain on the same night as Halloween (October 31st), it’s not the same. But the two do have history.

Of course, on Halloween, we traditionally dress up as ‘scary’ things (ghosts, spooks, witches etc) and go around to get treats. But Samhain is less for children and more for the spiritual.

Tarot cards and candles.

Samhain is basically the time when the door to the world of the departed opens and we welcome and are wary of the visitation from those from the other realm into our own. For 24 hours (from Samhain night to the night of November 1), we are aware that spirits may be with us, and we can commune with them, if we are so inclined. We celebrate their lives and we honour our ancestors, as well as asking advice and performing divination rituals, such as reading the Tarot and gazing into the future.

An image of a ghostly hand in a circular mirror with illustrations around it.

I’m no historic (or witching) expert, so if you’d like more info on how Wiccans celebrate Samhain, I highly recommend Wicca Living’s write-up on it.

But for now – be mindful of your thoughts and feelings, and be aware that we are in a phase where spirits may be more readily nearby than normal.

Namaste,

xxK

Boss Witch: Friday Fashion

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: this blog is supposed to be about wellness.

But the purpose of OBW is to start conversations and give blessings and joy to ALL REAL-LIFE BOSS WITCHES. That means you maybe have a full time job, or you’re at home with one to eight babies right now, or you’re caring for someone. Or maybe you’re having a really bad time at the moment (sending love to you) and you just want answers to this burning question:

WHAT DOES A BOSS WITCH WEAR?

A person with blue hair wears sunglasses and a blue printed top.

Answer: Actually, anything the f*ck you want, witch, because it’s your body, your life and you can wear what you want. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. You should feel comfortable and fabulous and like a Boss Witch at all times. And if you want to wear sweats for nine days straight, guess what? You’re still a Boss Witch. Not interested in doing laundry this week? No problem. Still a Boss Witch. Want to walk around your house naked for three days? That is extremely Boss Witchy, congratulations.

A person with long hair wears a hat and gazes out at the countryside by sunset.

Life is hard, and fashion is one of those things that, for me, brings me a glorious, daydreamy escape. So today, I am going to bring you a feast for the eyes – some aspirational Boss Witch Wear from pop culture, fashion brands I like and the best Boss Witch Characters ever (in my opinion).

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN

A promotional image from American Horror Story: Coven.

I don’t really like watching horror that much, because really gory and violet sh*t tends to give me nightmares. But my partner loves horror. And I work in making horror content, so that’s a little riddle for another time.

So I agree to give AHS: Coven a go because WITCHES. And boy, was I happy I did. Can we talk about the heavenly joy of giant black hats, big sunnies, thick-heeled ankle boots and the overall AllSaints aesthetic of this series? Can we discuss the overall Boss Witch that is Angela Bassett? Can we look at the gorgeous tailoring on Sarah Poulson? Yes, yes we can.

Angela Bassett in period costume in American Horror Story: Coven

But for now, just feast your eyes.

PENNY DREADFUL

A promotional image from Penny Dreadful.

All witches love Eva Green, I think? Actually, I think just everyone loves Eva Green. My friend met her once and apparently she is just lovely. So there you go.

Anyway, I digress.

Eva Green in Penny Dreadful.

Penny Dreadful is basically Victoriana Boss Witch gospel. If, like me, you are partial to black lace, a high collar, some excellent corsetry and Victorian button boots, then Penny Dreadful is the escape you have been waiting for. It’s dark, it’s good, it’s beautifully written, and the costumes are INSANE. Kudos there to costume designer, Gabriella Pescucci, who, by the way, also designed for The Borgias, which is another very, very pretty and entertaining show, which deals with poison, and therefore counts as Boss Witchy.

THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA

Still image of The Weird Sisters from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Let’s sidestep the cutesy 1950s/60s vibe for a second. Because I want to look at The Weird Sisters. Again, Victorian influence. Fabulous hair. Amazing makeup. Matching coven outfits. Sorry, is there something not to love here? Also please note that Tati Gabrielle (Prudence) is a style icon. Thank you.

Miranda Otto as Aunt Zelda in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Additionally, I would like to discuss Miranda Otto as Aunt Zelda and just how amazing she is in this pure, 1940s Boss Witch way, with her amazing sunglasses and the way she wears a pencil skirt suit to bury bodies. It’s just generally badass and I love her. See also: Mirando Otto in Cashmere Mafia, which was short-lived and had nothing to do with witches, but also featured Miranda Otto in amazing Boss Witch clothing.

A Conclusion

As a little wrap-up to today’s fashion fiesta, I want to reiterate that you can wear whatever you want. But sometimes it’s fun to dress a little Boss Witch to get that outside-inside vibe going. Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to sign up to the OBW newsletter, which comes out on Sunday.

Namaste, witches.

xxK

PS – If you’re into dressing up, head over to my friend and fellow Boss Witch Costumier-Saurus’ Etsy page. She is out of stock on silk capes right now (bummer) but often has witchy gems pop up. Enjoy!

How to Meditate When Sh*t Is Stressful

It’s all very well to say we need to meditate every day, but sometimes you just want to watch Netflix and eat crap and feel miserable in peace. Why can’t we be left alone to be miserable? Why do we have to meditate?

Benefits of Meditation:

A person sits high up on a hillside, looking out over a city at sunset.
  • It relieves stress
  • It relieves anxiety
  • It can help you sleep
  • It helps you figure out what’s really, truly bothering you
  • It helps you let go of sh*t
  • It can even lower your blood pressure.

Basically, when you’re feeling like you’d rather do literally anything than set yourself up for a meditation session, that’s probably when you need to do it the most.

Great, so how do I get myself to do it?

The first thing I try to do when I know I should meditate but I’m feeling lazy/annoyed/stressed is I think about how I would feel after meditation. And generally the ways I feel after I meditate are:

A person with dark hair meditates cross-legged on a yoga mat.
  • less stressed
  • more relaxed
  • clearer in the mind
  • less sore (muscle pains etc)
  • less angry
  • more calm
  • more understanding of why I’m feeling so sh*tty
  • clearer on what I need to do to get myself out of this funk.

So once I’ve established that I’ll feel better afterward, I try to give myself the easiest option. And that option is a personal favourite of mine: Yoga Nidra.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is sometimes called ‘Yogic Sleep’. It’s basically a very deep, powerful form of meditation which (great news) you can do LYING DOWN. The idea is to become first fully aware of each part of your body, and then to let go of the body and descend into a very, very deep state of relaxation and meditation.

An illustration of a personal with long, dark hair, laying down with their eyes closed.

It’s absolutely, insanely good for insomnia. There are hundreds of free Yoga Nidra guided sessions on (yep, you guessed it), Insight Timer, and other free apps. My favourite guided sessions are by Jennifer Piercy, who seems to have some kind of honey/whisky soothing quality to her voice which just enhance her very good sessions. She’ll guide you through each part of the body, teach you to expand your consciousness to encompass the room, the town, the world, and generally leaves you feeling like a million bucks.

I’m not into Yoga Nidra. I want to stay awake.

GREAT! You’re more of a wake-me-up kind of Boss Witch. I get that! So what might be great for you is something more bite-sized, like little 15 minute pockets of meditational goodness. Either find something on a free meditation app that you like, or perhaps you should try the Deepak Chopra 21 Day Abundance Challenge. I’m on Day 10 right now and I have to say, it’s the best way ever to start my day.

Okay, so I meditated. Now what?

A person sits on their bed wearing pyjamas and holding a cup of herbal tea.

Reward yourself. Maybe start a little log of which days you meditate, and give yourself a treat at the end of the week. Maybe the way you feel is treat enough. Write down how good you feel afterwards, and read that back the next time you’re feeling wound up and agitated and you can’t be arsed meditating. Do it for yourself.

I can’t meditate.

YES YOU CAN. Okay, so we all have this moment when we’re learning to meditate where we suddenly go, “I’m doing it! I’m doing it!”. Only then, you’re not doing it, because you’ve got distracted by how kick-ass you are at meditating. And that’s okay. Just bring yourself back into yourself, and try again. Because nobody, and I mean nobody, is perfect. Meditation is a skill, and it takes practice. And that, my friends, is why we call it our ‘Practice’. Same goes for yoga, but that is a post for another day.

A sad looking dog sits in a chair by a window. Sun streams in.

I believe in you.

Namaste.

xxK

PS – if you’re still feeling crappy, head on over to my aptly-named post, Remaining Positive When Things Are Sh*tty.

Productivity & The Bullet Journal

How to be productive without changing your entire life.

It’s no secret that I’m addicted to bullet journaling. I first came across it on Instagram, and then I discovered the bullet journal YouTubers like Amanda Rach Lee.

October 2019 Plan With Me (Amanda Rach Lee)

I spent weeks watching videos and dreaming up the beautiful, productive bullet journal I was going to create, and I was exciting about the new, productive life I was going to have.

But let’s face facts: not everyone has the time to sit and spend 8 hours a day working on doodles and charts and lists and spreads about how many episodes of which TV shows we’ve watched. If only!

But, when I got my first ‘Bujo’ in January of 2018, it did change my life, for one major reason: Productivity.

I’m a Virgo, so I like lists. If you, too, like lists, then bullet journalling is definitely for you.

What is a Bullet Journal?

The concept of the BuJo came from a gent called Ryder Carroll, who needed to find a new way to track and maintain his productivity. From there, it became what some people see as almost a stationery cult. It’s huge. It’s a big deal. And it’s all to do with systems.

A person writes in a journal. A coffee and a smartphone sit on the white table next to them.

The basic idea is this: you write down the tasks you have to complete. Each one gets a little tick-box.

If you complete the task, you colour in the box (or whichever system you prefer). If you can’t quite get to it on that day, you ‘migrate’ it (move it to the next day) by drawing a line through the box, and writing it down on the next day’s list. There are a bunch more symbols so head over to Ryder Carroll’s website and jump into the rabbit hole that is BuJo culture!

So How Do I Do It?

There are a multitude of ways to bullet journal, and I really do recommend reading about it, then trying out lots of different systems until you find the right one for you. I took about 6 months to find the perfect system for me, and now I rarely deviate.

I have an overview of the year, where I write down things like birthdays, important dates and due dates, holidays, jobs, that sort of thing. Then, when I get to a new month, I draw up a box-grid monthly spread, which is basically the calendar for the month. I check back to the yearly overview, note those dates for the month in the monthly spread, and add anything new.

A wall of colourful post-it notes.

Then, as each new week approaches, I have a special weekly spread, which includes:

  • A small calendar to track where I am in the month
  • A to-do list box for my PhD
  • A to-do list box for my health
  • A to-do list box for general life admin
  • A to-do list box for work stuff
  • A habit tracker
  • A section for each day of the week, split into tasks and appointments.

Now, this habit tracker thing is contentious, because some people have a massive monthly habit tracker at the start of their month, and it has 30 different habits on it. I tried this: I failed. It was overwhelming, and I got in over my head, I lost track and I never used it. Once I cut the habit tracker down to just 5 things (health, PhD, work, growing my business, happiness) and did it weekly instead, I found that I not only use it, but, because I see it every day, I am more motivated to fill it in and actually track those habits. That keeps me accountable for staying on track with my goals.

Daily Spreads

My daily spreads alternate between 2 layouts, depending on how busy I am. For example, if I’m away on holiday, it’s unlikely I have 15 things to do every day. So I’ll squish the week onto a two-page spread. But usually, I do have 6789 things to do every day, so I use the dutch door system so that I can see my whole week’s tasks at the top and still have just over half a page to use for each weekday’s tasks and appointments, and a quarter of a page each for Saturday and Sunday.

Why Would I Bother? What Does It Achieve?

Friends, bullet journalling is like the magical key / gateway drug to organisation and the beginning of your productivity journey. I could literally go on for days, but I won’t. So here’s a list (yay for lists):

  • I don’t forget things anymore. As soon as I think of something I need to do, I write it into my bullet journal. On the monthly, weekly, or daily – wherever. It’s there in front of me, so I can’t forget to do it.
  • It holds me accountable to do my tasks. There’s nothing like a bit of self-guilt to make you actually do something that you don’t want to do. For example, I’ve had ‘finish 2018-2019 tax’ in my BuJo for 2 weeks. It keeps getting migrated. That looks bad to me. Nobody else sees my planner, but it annoys me. So today, I will allocate a day to finally finish that f*cking tax return so I can move on with my life.
  • It helps you plan ahead. Ever been so busy that you’ve suddenly realised it’s your friend’s wedding today and you haven’t got a gift, anything to wear, and you’re a 2 hour drive away? No? Me neither…(gulp). So anyway, that wouldn’t have happened if I had been using my bullet journal properly. And it will never happen again.
A person in an orange jumper with an open monthly planner.
  • Never miss a bill. If you have a direct debit coming out on the 21st of each month, write into your planner a few days ahead to make sure that money is sitting in the right account.
  • It’s calming. If you’re like me, you get stressed out by the unknown. This way, I know what’s coming up. I have this magical little book that has all the answers. I know which events, which writing deadlines, which notification deadlines are coming up. I also know which day my favourite TV show is coming back for a new season, when my friends’ birthdays are (so I can send a card in advance) and so on. This brings me a sense of calm.
  • It’s a productive way to be creative. The beauty of the BuJo is that you want it to look nice, but that just means it looks nice to you. So if you’re an amazing artist and you want to do some incredibly detailed and gorgeous spreads, spend that time doing it. If you like a minimalist-looking planner, do that. Because a) you’ll get to expend some creative energy, and b) you’re going to enjoy looking at that BuJo afterwards, and you’ll use it.
A pink background with white headphones, a white journal, a wireless keyboard and mouse, and a pen.

For me, I usually put aside Sunday mornings with a cup of coffee to plan my week ahead. I find it relaxing, and enjoyable, and a nice way to prepare for what the week is going to bring. It also reminds me of sh*t I haven’t done, so I can make sure to do them or to allocate them to a new day.

Anyway. If you want to know more about bullet journal, you should check the #planwithme #bujo #bulletjournal tags on Instagram and YouTube, but be warned: you might be scrolling for a few hours (days). I’ll get around to posting some pictures of my own BuJo at some point soon (see? I’m writing that down in my BuJo).

Are you a bullet journaller? Show me pictures!

Namaste.

xxK

What is a Chakra?

You know how people are like, “Oh, my chakras are out of whack”, or “I need to realign my chakras”? Yeah, what are they on about?

The Chopra Center describes it best as “wheels of energy throughout the body”.

So this idea that different areas of the body relate to different energies in our lives is what we’re talking about when it comes to chakras.

“These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy flows are restricted. Think of something as simple as your bathtub drain. If you allow too much hair to go into the drain, the bathtub will back up with water, stagnate and eventually bacteria and mold will grow. So is too with our bodies and the chakras. A bathtub is simple; it’s physical so the fix is easy.”

“What Is a Chakra?” – Michelle Fondin, Chopra.com

So we need to clear and realign our chakras in order to be functioning at our best. Sometimes the best way to do this is to use a guided meditation – if you use my favourite, the Insight Timer App, you’ll find a plentitude of meditations that guide you simply through the process of clearing and aligning the chakras.

But what do they do, exactly?

Look, none of this could be described as an exact science, but if you happen to believe in it, like I do, you will believe that the chakra points, as well as key points in your body, hold onto negative and stagnant energies that prevent you from feeling free, relaxed and fulfilled.

A silhouetted figure with chakra points lit up.

I think the above ‘bathtub’ analogy is pretty great – just like we use lymphatic drainage massage to release stagnant sh*t, and like we need to release what no longer serves us in order to move forward with our lives, we need to release the energy that’s sitting and festering in those chakra points to unburden ourselves and get on with the important sh*t we all have to do.

Okay, so where are these chakras?

An illustration of a person meditating with the chakras noted at each chakra point.

There are seven chakras in all. Each chakra is location at a different place in your body, and relates to a different area of your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

FIRST CHAKRA: MULADHARA

Illustration of Muladhara Chakra Mandala.

This is the chakra that relates to our basic needs. We start at the base of the spine, and we feel out the bladder, the colon and the first three vertebrae of the spine (from the bottom). It is sometimes referred to as the ‘root’ chakra – it connects us with the Earth.

SECOND CHAKRA: SVADHISTHANA

Illustration of Svadhisthana Chakra Mandala.

This chakra relates to sexuality (yay!) and creativity (YAY!). This is an important chakra. It sits between the navel and the pubic bone. This is where we hold sh*t that relates to our creative expression, and yes, that means that sexual expression and creative expression are linked.

This is also where our reproductive health sits. So if your period is killing you (for those of you who have periods), Svadhisthana might be worth revisiting.

THIRD CHAKRA: MANIPURA

Illustration of Manipura Chakra Mandala.

This is the chakra that links to that ‘gut instinct’ and the feeling of fire in the belly. It nestles from the bellybutton up to your breastbone. This is referred to as the ‘solar plexus’ chakra.

FOURTH CHAKRA: ANAHATA

Illustration of Anahata Chakra Mandala.

This one is important, because Anahata links the lower and the upper chakras – the physical and the spiritual. It’s like the mediator between body and spirit, if you like. This heart chakra is where we often bring our hands in prayer during a yoga or meditation session. Interestingly, this is also where Christians often hold their hands in prayer. Just a little crossover there for you. You may have noticed that the heart chakra is where you might physically feel emotional pain – again, it’s the meeting point of the physical and the emotional.

FIFTH CHAKRA: VISHUDDHA

Illustration of Vishuddha Chakra Mandala.

This is a really interesting chakra for me. I remember once someone telling me that the reason I was experiencing a hideous eczema outbreak on my upper chest between my clavicles was because I was holding in my feelings and not speaking my truth. Well – they were right.

The throat chakra is where we speak from. We bring our truths out through verbalisation, and when we have a blockage, we know it. Sore throat, froggy voice, weird, dull ache? TELL THE TRUTH. SAY WHAT YOU MEAN. Don’t hold it in.

The fifth chakra deals with our mouths, throat, tongue, jaw, neck, thyroid and parathyroid glands (did I mention I was also really ill with a thyroid problem when I was younger?).

Basically – don’t hold stuff in. Release what no longer serves you. Fifth chakra.

SIXTH CHAKRA: AJNA

Illustration of Ajna Chakra Mandala.

This is also known at the ‘third eye’, which you’ve probably heard before. It’s about psychic knowing, about examining ourselves and the ‘sixth sense’ (OMG, see? It’s all connected). If you want to trust yourself more, and get comfortable with your own instincts and intuition, head right on into that third eye and have a long, hard look inside. You might be surprised at what you find.

SEVENTH CHAKRA: SAHASWARA

Illustration of Sahaswara Chakra mandala.

This is the chakra that sits on top of your head like the crown you deserve. This is where we connect to the Spirit, the higher self, Goddess/God, the spiritual Universe and is basically the top tier of chakras.

So now what do I do with them?

This is the fun bit – do some research! There is so much information around on chakras and what symptoms might be if yours are under or over active, and how to get them back where they should be. There are food recommendations, essential oil recommendations and all sorts.

So go forth, enjoy, and get those chakras back into line!

Namaste.

xxK

Release What No Longer Serves You

What does that mean, exactly?

This is one of those phrases that you’ll hear repeatedly if you’re dipping toes into meditation, mindfulness and general ‘new age’ energy work.

But for the everyday, real person, what does it mean to ‘Release What No Longer Serves You’?

A person wearing a scarf and a backpack looks out over a mountain vista.

Let’s take a look at it this way. You’ve gone on a hike (well done, you!) and you have one backpack. This hike is going to take a day, and it’s pretty hot outside. You have your hiking shoes, you have a hat, and you have one backpack. Now, obviously, you have to plan what goes into that backpack. So let’s think logically about that. You’re going to need water. You’re going to need some food (snacks, lunch). You might need a hoodie in case it gets cold. Maybe you have to take medication at lunch time, so you’d better pack that, too. You’ve got your phone, you have a little first aid kit.

You know what you don’t need on your hike?

A f*cking brick. Or a bag of stones. Or something else really heavy and pointless, like a textbook on TORTS law. Those things are not going to serve you any purpose on this hike. They’re going to weigh you down, hurt your back, and make your hike way, way harder than it needs to be. They’re going to turn your nice day hiking into a long, painful, hot, sweaty, brutal ordeal.

A stack of red books.

So, let’s switch that analogy back to Real Life. Life is the hike. The backpack is your emotional and mental sh*t capacity. And the emotional and mental sh*t that makes your backpack heavy is the Sh*t That No Longer Serves You.

Say you have some unresolved guilt/resentment/anger from your past. Don’t we all? That thing you did 10 years ago that you still really wish you hadn’t done, but you did, and you can’t stop thinking about it, especially at night time when you should be sleeping peacefully. Here’s the thing: that unresolved thing is a DECADE in the past. What good does it bring to your life to lay awake at night, thinking about it? Does it make you stronger? Better? Smarter? Happier? F*ck no, it does not. It makes you anxious, stressed, guilty, sad, depressed, and unable to move forward with your actual, good life. That thing? It’s a brick. It is a bag of rocks that no longer serves you.

A person wearing a backpack with hiking sticks is silhouetted by the sun.

If you’re on the hike, you’re going to take a few steps and be like, “You know what? I don’t need this brick in my backpack. It’s f*cking heavy and it’s hurting my back.” And then, you’re going to stop, open up your backpack and throw it the hell away.

That unresolved thing is what you need to throw away.

But how do I release what no longer serves me?

A street sign reads “Time to say goodbye”.

Okay, I get it. It’s harder to let go of sh*t from the past than to throw a brick out of your backpack. And it’s important to say that some stuff, like traumas, are probably going to need some help to let go of. That means therapy, tapping, reiki, medication, medical intervention, all sorts. Whatever you need – there is no shame in seeking and getting help. In fact, it’s one of the smartest things you can do, you boss witch.

But when we are settling into a meditation, and the calm voice guiding us says, “Release what no longer serves you”, do you know what they mean? They mean that that is not the sh*t you need to be carrying right now in your backpack. Right now, you want to be relaxing, meditating and getting your good life going and the good juices flowing.

As I’ve mentioned, I suffer from pretty bad anxiety, and have done for a long time.

I’m not a doctor. If you need medical help, GO TO A DOCTOR. It’s a great, wonderful and sensible, responsible thing to do.

If you just need a few strategies to help you start the baby steps to releasing what no longer serves you, then here you go. Try my 5 best Positive Thoughts for Releasing What No Longer Serves You.

A person with blonde hair takes a nap on a sofa.
  • Is there anything I can do about this right this very second? This one’s important. When you’re in bed and it’s late and it’s dark and you can’t stop stressing about that thing that Eric said to you at work, or the fact that Brenda asked you to be a bridesmaid and you actually hate Brenda, is the nighttime while you are in bed trying to get your beauty sleep the right time to solve this problem? NO. No, it is not. Take a deep breath. Write it down if you need to, then let that sh*t go for the night. You can deal with Eric and Brenda tomorrow.
Two elderly people hold hands.
  • Would I judge someone else for this as harshly as I am judging myself? The answer is probably NO. If you keep replaying something you did when you were a dumb teenager or in your early twenties, which, let’s face it, is basically an extension of the teenaged years, then I want you to ask yourself: if my best friend told me they were losing sleep over doing this exact thing, what would I tell them? The answer is probably that you would tell them that it was a long time ago, we all do stupid sh*t, but we have to move on, and that you love them. So say it to yourself: “That was a long time ago. I was a different person. It was stupid. But it’s over now. I have to move on. I love myself too much to let this brick take up space in my backpack.”
  • What good am I doing to myself by holding onto this sh*t? I’m guessing – NOTHING. You are giving yourself stress, anxiety, sleep depravation, probably bad skin and a dodgy belly. Now ask yourself, What good COULD I do for myself by letting this sh*t go? Write a list. Think about it.
  • I have done a lot of good things in my life. I want you to literally lay there, or sit there, or stand there on the tram, and list in your head, or on paper, 20 good things you have done in your life. That could be having your kids, or passing your Master’s degree, or helping an old lady with the groceries, or taking a yoga class, or studying really hard, or helping a neighbour with their kids. Literally anything you have done that did good to yourself, or good for someone else, or something you are proud of. Every time the bad thoughts start to try to sneak their way in, I want you to come back to that list.
Two people in cold-weather clothes drink hot beverages outdoors with a pug.
  • Where do I want to go, and who do I want to be? This one is the Biggie. I want you to think about what you want for yourself in life. I want you to imagine your best life, what it looks like, how it feels, how it smells and how fabulous your hair is. Really picture it. Is that horrible thing that you are holding onto going to help you get that fabulous f*cking hair? Let it go. It no longer serves you.

I know, I know. Easier said than done. And I’m definitely not saying that if you try these 5 things you’re going to be cured of the Sh*t That No Longer Serves You. It’s going to take some work, and it’s going to take some time.

But trust me – if you can take these small steps towards letting go of the sh*t that is holding you back, making you sad, making you anxious and keeping you in a state of stuck-in-the-mud, you will start that road to recovery.

For some meditations for Releasing What No Longer Serves You, try these:

Blissfully Minded
Ariel Christopher

PLUS! Get yourself the FREE Insight Timer App (this is not an ad, I just love this app so much) which has literally thousands of guided meditations straight into your ears for anything you could think of.

If you need some help with your mental health or trauma, here are some great services you can access (and you should!):

In the UK, try Mind.uk for a list of specified services you can reach out to.

In the US, Psych Central has this comprehensive list of helplines.

In Australia, try the government’s Health Direct listings.

You can do this. I believe in you.

Namaste.

xxK

A person’s legs and feet in hiking boots, standing on top of some rocks.

Why is it Important to Imagine What You Want?

The Law of Attraction is one of those things – maybe you’re already into it, and you’re manifesting your butt off and achieving your dreams. Or maybe you think it’s a crock of sh*t and you shudder every time someone mentions The Secret.

A person’s hand in meditation formation.

I have to admit that I used to think it was all bullsh*t. And I’m not saying I’ve manifested my dream life and I’m living in luxury with everything I ever wanted. BUT.

There is something to be said for the Law of Attraction, whether you think it’s the key to happiness or not. And that something is this – POSITIVITY.

I talk a lot about positive thinking because it’s something I’ve always struggled with. I have anxiety, and I’m a worst-case-scenario kind of person in general. But over the past year or so I’ve really been trying to shift my mindset into a more positive place, and I’ve been doing it by using the basics of the Law of Attraction.

A dog lays down with one eye open.

For example, if you lay in bed every night thinking about all the sh*tty stuff that’s going on with you right now, you’re going to go to sleep in a negative frame of mind, and, when you wake up, that’s right where you’re going to be: in the middle of all that sh*t. But if you can change your practice when you go to bed to begin to think about all the good things in your life, and the good things you imagine for yourself, what’s going to happen? You’re going to go to sleep thinking about your hopes and dreams for the future, the great things that are going to happen, and the exciting life you’re going to lead. So, when you wake up, you’re going to wake up in a Good Place.

A person with dark hair takes a nap with their white dog.

That’s the very basics of it. Positive thinking is like the gateway drug to manifestation. Gabrielle Bernstein talks about being a “Super Attractor”. On her interview in the Your Own Magic podcast, Gabrielle says that we’re all Super Attractors, anyway – the point is, what are you attracting? Are you thinking about and magnetising negative sh*t, drawing it right into your life? Or are you thinking about and manifesting the excellent stuff? The work, the life, the family, the friends, the happiness and peace that you want for yourself?

Maybe you still think it stinks of fish. But I reckon these manifesters are onto something.

A person with a tattoo meditates in a room with plants.

So this morning, I woke up, I went and got a flu jab (get your flu jab, everyone, it takes 2 seconds and it saves you from dying from the plague), and I did my Day 5 exercise for the 21 Day Abundance Challenge. And you know what? After I did my meditation, and imagined the home, the work, the family and the life I will have, I came out feeling like a million bucks. And that’s the energy I’m taking into the rest of my day.

Do you believe in the Law of Attraction? Do you practise Manifestation? Tell me below.

Namaste.

xxK

A Note on the Snooze Button

I have this habit, which I think is partly listening to my body, and partly my needing to dig deeper to find motivation on some days. The habit is this: I write a list for the day, and by the time I get to the afternoon, I’m exhausted. So I think, “I’m going to take a rest for a while before I get back to it”. Only I never get back to it, so in the end I don’t finish my to-do list for the day, and then my alarm for the next morning gets pulled slowly back to an earlier time.

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break when you’re worn out. But once you’re worn out and you make this decision (to shift tasks to the next day), I do have a few pointers for actually keeping yourself on track and accountable.

A person with dark hair relaxes on a bed.
  1. Once you decide that you’re done for the day, let go. That means no laying in bed, wishing you were actually doing what you had planned to get done. No feeling guilty for not being active, and no beating yourself up. There are lots of reasons for this, but the main one is this: if you’re doing any of these things, it means you’re not actually resting. And if you’re not actually resting and relaxing, or just giving yourself a breather, then what is the point of this rest period? Just shift your tasks over mentally (or in your planner or bullet journal) to the next day, take a deep breath, and let go. Enjoy your rest time.
A tired person snuggles in bed.

2. In the morning, that alarm is still going to seem early and painful. But if you need to get up to get things done, my biggest tip is: DON’T SNOOZE. There’s lots of information here about why, but listen. In my personal experience, I’m tired when I wake up, no matter whether it’s naturally or with an alarm. But if I give myself 5, 10, 30 more minutes? I drag myself out of bed feeling even worse. Reach deep within yourself, get out of bed, and…

A person in a white tank top does yoga in a studio.

3. Have a plan for what you’ll do as soon as you get up. For me (on my best days) it’s get dressed in leggings, pee, do a quick yoga routine (meditate at the same time, kill two birds), then make a coffee and start working. In this way, I find that by the time I sit down at my desk, I’m ready to work. My brain is awake and engaged. And even though I’m tired, I have already achieved something by the time I need to start working through the to-do list. I also put the yoga on the to-do list so that I can mark a task as DONE before I even start ‘work’ for the day.

A dotted journal with a blue and a purple pen, and a cup of tea.

What are your best tips for the morning? Tell me in the comments.

Namaste.

xxK

Remaining Positive When Things Are Sh*tty

I wanted to write this post because sometimes life is just a bit sh*tty. Like work is stressful, or maybe you’re having a tough time with your family or friends, or maybe you struggle with anxiety (like me) and everything seems to be going wrong.

I’m not the expert here, but I know this – it’s really, really hard to stay positive and keep that ‘abundant’ mindset when you’re in one of these phases of your life, so I wanted to share some of my top tips from personal experience.

  1. Remind yourself why a positive attitude is important to you. What is it that you’re trying to achieve in your life that really, really needs you to stay focused and positive? For me, I know that not only do I have responsibilities (PhD, work, life), I also have goals and aspirations. And I’m not getting any closer to them with negative thoughts.
FlyLady cartoon
The Fly Lady

2. Get up and put on real clothes. I swear down, this is my best tip for those times when you feel overwhelmed and down and you feel like you can’t do anything. Get out of bed, take a shower, and put on real clothes. That means no sweats. Put on jeans, a bra (if you are a bra wearer), a top, a jumper, whatever. If you feel totally overwhelmed, I have gone back time and again to this great website run by The Flylady. It gives you 31 baby steps to get your house/life in order, day by day. And Day 2 is: get dressed to lace-up shoes. I know. I never wear shoes in the house, but trust me – if you put shoes on, you will feel 100% more human and productive.

3. Meditate. Maybe try the 21 Day Abundance Challenge. Or just download the Insight Timer App, which I absolutely swear by. Just giving yourself even 5-10 minutes of quiet time to breathe and relax will help you re-centre your positive brain.

A black journal closed with pens and markers next to it.

4. Make a list. I myself am a Bullet Journal addict. I write absolutely every single task down that I have to do, and I plan ahead. I track what I work on each day so I can hold myself accountable for keeping up with the varying facets of my life. Some Bullet Journallers make these incredibly intricate, beautiful works of art, but listen, I don’t have the time or the artistic talent for that. I just have my own system (work out what works for you) and over nearly 2 years I have my layout down pat. I never forget things anymore (well, tasks anyway). And I know ahead of time what I have coming up. I also write in things that I have to look forward to that KEEP ME POSITIVE.

A person with red hair wearing a black jacket sits by the lake next to a brown and white dog, watching the sunset.

5. Seek out the positive people in your life. I know that I have certain friends I can call on when my negative brain is getting the better of me, and they will pull me straight back into that positive space, simply by being who they are. If you don’t have any friends or family who are positive, happy people – find some. Or just pop onto here or onto another blog or website where you might find some positivity. It works by association.

I believe in you. And I hope your day is not sh*tty.

Namaste.

xxK