Real Talk

“It was when I stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundations of home within myself I found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole.” – Rupi Kaur

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Time for some real talk.

 

It’s been a tough few months for me, and I wanna be as honest as possible with you. Talking about wellness and mental health for a while sometimes makes you feel like you always have to show some hope and positivity when you speak about it – but life just isn’t positive or hopeful 100% of the time, and I think it’s unnatural to think that it will be.

 

I’ve been going through a rough patch that I’m slowly getting out of, which is why I feel a bit more comfortable to talk about it now.  I’ve been neglecting my blog and social media because whenever I feel like this it’s the last place I wanna be, and I also don’t wanna be posting fake shit when I know it’s not how I’m really feeling.

 

I don’t really know how or why this started, but isn’t that how mental health goes? It sometimes knocks you off your feet when you think you’ve been fine.

 

I slowly lost interest in doing yoga daily, which I haven’t practiced regularly for a long time now. I started experiencing some body dysmorphia and not feeling comfortable in myself or my body anymore, I started losing all interest in my work life as well.

 

I’ve been on medication for skin issues for the past year or so, my weight has fluctuated with this as well, putting me in a shitty mood and everything just sort of spiraled without me noticing for ages. Being in a long distance relationship also gives rise to its own struggles, when you’re wanting to be with someone so much and you just can’t.

 

I kinda felt like I lost myself to be very honest with you. Totally consumed with all the things life was throwing at me.

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I became determined to drag myself out of it, I started doing yoga again on and off, started working out more, eating healthier food and doing things that I know have put me in a better mood when this has happened in the past.

 

Working on your mind folks. That’s the key thing here

It’s never easy –

It’s never instant –

It takes work –

 

That sometimes you don’t wanna put in. But if you care about yourself you’ll keep trying, keep looking for the small things that make you happy and make you move forward. You just can’t give up on yourself, because things do get better. Life always throws shitty situations at you, little stresses and problems – but if your mind is in a healthy place, your ability to deal with those issues improves, and your mental health won’t be as affected by them.

 

I’m feeling a lot better now, and I’m starting to loosen up a bit. I think it’s also about learning to accept that it’s totally ok if you’re feeling like a bag of shite. This is normal, and we all experience it sometimes. However, if this is becoming a regular thing – you’re feeling shit for longer periods of time – maybe you need some extra help. Be aware of how you’re feeling daily, and take steps to improve your situation in any way that you can.

 

Because you’re worth it. We are all worth it.

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I still don’t really know why I’m writing this or what the point is. I guess I just didn’t want to start posting regular stuff until I had been fully honest about what has been going on with me. Albeit, I’m feeling pretty good right now.

 

People are constantly changing and learning – and I feel like maybe my blog doesn’t reflect my true self as much as I’d want it to: it’s probably why I never post anymore. I want to feel as creative as possible when I write and not have to think twice about it (my own fault). I write so many posts that afterwards  I do absolutely nothing with. I’m gonna try my best to make a change to this system I have going on, and start being more free with content.

 

So…

 

You gotta pick yourself up when you need it, love yourself even when you don’t (does that make sense?). I mean, even if you don’t love yourself right now, love yourself enough to work on yourself. All feelings are temporary and you have to remember that. Every single time you fall, you gain a higher strength from that experience. We are constantly learning.

 

It’s always work. And it’s always worth it.

 

I’m grateful for these shit experiences because they give me more opportunity to grow.

 

Sending you all love,

 

& thanks for reading,

 

Amy xxx

 

 

Please give me some suggestions or topics you want me to write about, I would love to get your feedback – comment here, on my Instagram (amy.lauren.butler) or twitter (@amylauren_b)

 

 

 

 

The #YogaRevolution



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When I started to write this post, I decided to read over my post on last years ‘yoga camp‘. Dayuum has a lot changed in my life. I still feel so much gratitude for how yoga camp reminded me how to love myself.

But this is a different year.

A different January.

The same me, a different outlook.

A Yoga Revolution.

31 days of Yoga.  January 2017.

January is a hard month for most, but Adriene Mishler’s month long yoga programme is what it’s all about for me. This woman inspires me to no end.

My yoga practice has come a long way in the last few years. I guess my focus now is on building strength and exploring more difficult and challenging poses. But always practising and working on the simpler ones.

Yoga revolution is a 31 day free yoga programme on Yoga with Adriene’s youtube channel.  A daily email to set the tone. A calendar to see what you’ve accomplished and get excited for the next practice. A journey into yourself.

To start a revolution. To practice being present and love and trust in yourself. To allow time for yourself.

 

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The run times for this years programme are shorter than those of last years, averaging at 30 mins per day, which I think was a clever move and a bit more do-able for most. But a shorter practice does not mean less of an experience.

The quality and thought put into the programme inspired me greatly. Each day was perfect for the timeline of the programme, maintaining a balance and understanding of what your body might need, in comparison to the previous practice or what was yet to come.

A workout. But mindful and gentle at the same time.

Prana bods as Adriene puts it. I will be using this term time and time again and I’m sure the YogaRevolution community will be too. Energy flow baby.

I learned how to practice lightness in every movement, an awareness of every limb and how it feels and moves. It changed my daily life, my posture, my unconscious yogic movements throughout the day. I adjusted my car seat so my lower back felt supported. I sat up straight at my desk. I did a quick forward fold and mountain pose during my bathroom breaks in work (don’t tell anyone it might seem weird).

The daily practise has worked its way into my unconscious and connected my body to my mind more than ever before. I move with intent.

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Although last year’s program was very emotional for me as I had so many personal issues with insecurity and self-love that I had to work through, I didn’t feel that emotional during yoga revolution. Until Day 31.

Just as the video started playing, I cried.

Tears of happiness. Gratitude. Pride. I smile-cried.

I sat and looked at my calendar as I ticked off the final day. Placed on the wall above last year’s calendar for yoga camp. I read the mantra’s I completed last year. I cried again. There is no better feeling than appreciating yourself and reflecting on how far you have come.

This truly was a journey, a magnificent one. So thank you Adriene. Namaste you lovely lady.

I intend to practice daily following yoga revolution. I’m gon’ make my own calendar, to stay focussed. It has been a revolution for me. Feel empowered – Laugh – Build strength – Smile – Start your own inner revolution here with Adriene Mishler -> Yoga Revolution

Namaste. Honor the prana bod.

“Present and awake.

Love yourself.

Love your neighbour.

Move from a place of connect.

Present and awake.

May all beings be free and happy.” – Adriene Mishler.

 

Amy xx

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Where Have I Been?

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I’m not even sure how to start this!  I’ve been in a blogging drought since May and I feel like I need to explain myself.  However that’s very hard when it’s difficult to pin point exactly how you’re feeling.

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So for ages I haven’t been happy with how the blog was going, how I was putting in that work, what I was writing about etc.  I wanted to keep things more personal, more real, more relatable… and less about products and material things.  But when you want to make that kind of change, you have to have feelings or experiences to write about.  My best posts were written when I was going through a big change in my life, and those sorts of big changes don’t come around often.  So then I feel this pressure to feel, to be different and to learn, but you can’t force that kind of thing.  On top of that I am currently unemployed and looking for work, so as much as I love blogging I really have to give 95% percent of my time into changing that.  I’m letting y’all know this because things are hopefully going to be different from now on.

I don’t want my posts to be as long or as intricate because even though I push myself to keep a high standard of content, it stops me from being consistent.  It becomes this big thing in my mind and the pressure I put on myself scares me out of just completing it.  So I want my posts to be shorter, more concise, more direct.  And on any topic I’m thinking about that week or whatever is relevant to my experiences at that time.

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I want to feel more connected to whoever reads my blog, I want to have good conversations and interactions, so please feel free to tweet me or comment on my instagram and we can start to feel more together.

The photos taken for this post were in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland – on a much needed trip recently to clear my head.

I love you all so much and thanks to anyone who takes time out of their day to read anything here,

Love and light,

Namaste,

Amy xx

UPDATE : So I wrote this post two days ago intending to post it today.  As of two days ago, I NOW HAVE A JOB!  A job I have wanted for a really long time and I am so excited to start.  I wanted to include this, because it’s funny how just as I write about it something changes.  That’s just life though isn’t it!  Love to all you gorgeous people!!

Getting Fitter with Lucy Wyndham-Read #LWRHIITIN4

I first discovered Lucy’s videos through the SacconeJolys channel on youtube and was completely inspired by Anna Saccone’s body transformation.  Much like me, she didn’t want to particularly lose weight but wanted to feel stronger and fitter.  Lucy used to be in the Army and is a qualified personal trainer, among many other things, with over 20 years experience in the Health & Fitness industry.  When I was a teenager I used to run a lot …  Then I grew bigger boobs and started drinking, as you do, and just completely lost interest in it all.  When I was in boarding school I used to go for a 15 minute run … purely for my mental health.  Then college happened, more unhealthy living, and here I am a year after graduating.

As some of you may know I went through a tough breakup last October (Read about it here… ‘A Bit More Personal…’, and shortly after this I decided to try some of Lucy’s videos on top of my daily yoga routine. I really enjoyed the choice of workouts on her channel, how quick they were and how motivated she made me feel.  I did one of these every week.  In January, I followed YogaCamp with YogaWithAdriene and felt fitter physically, but most of the change was mental (Read about this here..‘How Yoga Camp with ‘Yoga With Adriene’ Changed Me).

After January I found a new drive and motivation to do things for myself, things that I enjoy. And I decided I wanted to feel stronger physically, to match some changes I had made mentally. I started doing a few targeted workouts each day, arms, abs, thighs…. My legs were my main focus, they completely lacked strength and any muscle at all really. At this point, I probably did 3 workouts a week.  THEN LWRHIITIN4 HAPPENED!

WEEK 1 LWR

So Lucy decided to upload a video every single day in April to her youtube channel consisting of a 4 minute workout.  I was pleasantly surprised that after the first day I felt I could do so much more that just the 4 minutes, which is probably attributed to using her videos in the previous few months.  They got progressively harder, each week, with one rest day per week. Getting into that daily routine helped me so much and after the first few days, I would do the hiit workout, then an arm workout, and either abs or thighs after that. I couldn’t believe how much fitter I got and how I ACTUALLY ENJOYED being worked to the limit! Something I used to hate! But as she always says ‘When it challenges us, is when it changes/tones us.’ So I felt her words going through my head every time something felt difficult. Now I crave that, I feel odd if I don’t work out for one day. I’m so happy with the outcome.  Physically, I look and feel more toned all over! Arms, abs, thighs, calves… even my chest! These days, I do her daily video workout, 2 arm workouts, 180 rep abs (my favourite – 180 Rep Ab Workout – the five best moves for a curvy waistline) and a thigh routine. I think back to the time when 1 arm workout was all I could handle for the day.  So even though you might not believe it, 4 minutes really is all it takes to get fitter. The picture above, and the 3 below are screenshots of each week of the challenge so you can get a taste of what they look like before you start!  Each exercise is only 20 seconds.

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WEEK 3 LWR

WEEK 4 LWR

I have a serious amount of love and respect for this woman.  She is strong, and beautiful, and so so caring towards her followers.  We can avail of a personal trainer all for free.  Also beware of some serious fitness wear envy…she always has the best outifts! She wants you to be happy and get fit and strong, and that is apparent in her videos and the amount of effort she puts in.  So much so, that she has a new challenge for May, Lucy’s 100 reps a day…. that I’ve already started! A new challenge is so good for motivation.  Her tagline ’Fall in love with fitness’ could not be a more real description for what she does for people…

I’ll leave a link to her lwrhiitin4 here –4 Minute HIIT Workout Challenge – and no matter what month you’re in, the videos will always be there and you can start from Week 1 Day 1. Also, anyone who is doing lucy’s 100 reps a day challenge tweet me so we can all encourage eachother to be the best version’s of ourselves! LUCY’S SQUAD, OUT! *mic drop*

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this,

Namaste,

Amy xx

My Favourite Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

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For about a year now I’ve been completely converted to being a smoothie drinker every morning, cutting out the sugar filled cereals and smashing in those fruits and veggies instead has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only is it so quick, but playing around with different flavours can be so fun and easy to change. One of the reasons it’s super quick, is that I have invested in an appliance that’s like the cheaper version of the ‘Nutri-Bullet’ everyone raves about. It was about €30 and I actually prefer it, as the bottle sizes are about 900 ml, (much more than the Nutri-Bullet), and the typical the portion I would have every morning. So without more babbling, here’s the recipe I’ve been using most recently..

2 Apples

1 Banana

3 tbsp Frozen Mixed Berries

3 handfuls Frozen Spinach

2 tbsp Almonds

3 tbsp Oats

2 tbsp Natural Yoghurt

200 ml Orange Juice

100 ml Almond Milk

50 ml Soya Milk

It sounds like a lot to put in but usually I would have chopped the apples and bananas the night before, and put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. The reason I use frozen ingredients a lot is not only to keep the smoothie cold but also the keep the fruit from going off, it works really well and means everything lasts much longer while locking in essential nutrients, and I can stock up! I put the oats in because you can’t taste them, but they just add a lot more energy to the smoothie that’s slow-releasing so will keep you going for longer. The almonds are there for no particular reason other than taste, and I usually make my own almond milk so the whole almond nuts are to hand. I tend to mix up the liquids in the smoothie (almond & soya milk, orange juice) a lot depending on what I feel that week, even water is great! I also never measure the liquids, the above is just an approximation, it’s usually just all just sloshed in together and rarely planned!

I hope some of you try this recipe out, it’s healthy and filling, and the amount of each ingredient can be altered to fill whatever size smoothie you want, and best of all, it tastes delicious! If you do happen to give it a go, be sure to tweet or instagram me the results!

Love and Light,

Namaste,

Amy xx