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)

 

 

 

 

Balance

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So I’m sitting here on the 2nd of January unsure of what to start writing about.

 

I’ve only made 5 posts on this blog this year.

 

The longer I leave it between posts the more difficult it is to start a new one.

 

But that’s ok. This is where I’m at. This is 2018.

 

Honestly when I think back on this year, I’m filled with gratitude and happiness.

 

Total sap.

 

I’ve continuously worked my ass off at a job that I love. It’s developed into such a rewarding passion. I’ve learned so much from it and it has brought me on some crazy adventures around this beautiful Island I call home.

 

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It’s given me the freedom to do things outside of work that also bring me happiness.

 

Good quality time. Adventures abroad and at home. Festivals. National Parks. Drunken nights expressing my love to my friends. Sober nights laughing my face off.

 

So it’s brought me to this one particular thing that I feel 2017 has been all about for me.

 

Balance.

 

Balancing work and play. Balancing healthy eating with not so healthy eating. Nights in and nights out. The ups and downs of mental health. A learning curve.

 

Life is so unpredictable no matter how much you try to think that it isn’t. Things change so consistently.

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When I was younger, having a bit of a battle with anxiety and mental health, as so many of us do, change seemed like a really scary thing. Trying to take control of certain aspects of my life always appeared to give me comfort. It’s now that I realise that isn’t true – attempting to control things, that are truly out of your control, usually just leads to you feeling worse.

 

I’m aware that’s a super vague way of putting it, but I hope that at least some of you get where I’m coming from.

 

Change is inevitable. And so much is out of our control.

 

All that we truly have control over is our own thoughts, our own feelings, and whether or not we choose to be happy.

 

If ever someone told me years ago that you could just choose to be happy, I’d call them out on that bullshit. As if it was that easy.

 

It’s not that easy. It’s hard work. But I believe most of us still can.

 

And now I’m this person. I’ve chosen to be happy and I am.

 

I’ve chosen to try my best to take things in my stride, to maintain a healthy balance with whatever I do. Feeling comfortable with myself.

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2017 was super fun. While maintaining a balance with things that I love, like yoga, hikes and some good laughs, I also tried new things that made me step out of my comfort zone. Things that made me feel a bit uncomfortable at first, vulnerable and unknown. Opportunities for growth. I truly feel like I’ve understood how important having a healthy balance is to your mental health.

 

I’m going into 2018 happy and excited for a new chapter. I hope that you are too, and that you know you deserve to feel the same.

 

I talk about this every year because it’s something that always leaves a lasting impact on me: a month of daily yoga in January with Adriene Mishler. You’ll be sick of me mentioning this lady – but tune in to her youtube channel for a new practise every day for the month of January. The series is called ‘True’ this year. It’s real damn good so far.

 

Getting older has been a truly beautiful thing for me, keeping it real and being honest with myself every step of the way has been what’s helped me to stay balanced within myself.

 

Still on that self-love train. Still accepting the ups and downs. Still giving all the love.

 

I wish you all the best for 2018.

 

I’d typically write a little note here on when you’ll hear from me next, but let’s be honest, cut the bullshit and keep it real, neither of us know when that’s gonna happen. I only write when I feel the urge to, which clearly is not that often! All the same, I want to say thank you to anyone who took the time to read the rambles this year.

 

Love & Light to you beautiful people,

 

Namaste,

 

Amy xx

 

 

Just for you

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Let’s think about doing things just for you.

In the same way you would take time to restore your muscles, it’s important to take time to restore your emotions.

Hard core self love.

I take a lot of time to listen to my body and my mind, because I really think that’s where all the answers come from.

I suppose it’s a meditation in a way; the key is awareness.

Knowing what your body actually needs to feel good, the same for your mind, helps you to take responsibility for your own happiness.

Do more things for you.

Things that make you feel good.

Dance on your own. Twerk it all out if you feel like it.

Laugh at yourself.

Be conscious of your personal development.

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Of course it’s easier said than done, it’s hard to find the time, but I think you can always make time.

I love taking the time to reevaluate where I’m at. What I want going forward. Making sure I know what actually makes me feel good. Be candid and honest with yourself. Being honest with yourself is damn hard, but trust me, it’s worth it.

I feel like every time I do this something changes. I feel more focussed. More bad ass. 

All the feel good vibes.

Connect to yourself fully.

And trust yourself.

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I know a few people who seem to find it difficult to spent time on their own. Give it a try. I take a lot of time to do things that truly serve me – maybe even too much – and they usually involve being alone.

But I’ve found that the more love you can give to yourself, the more love you can give to others. It grows exponentially.

There’s a huge difference between being alone and being lonely.

Love yourself.

And treat YO’SELF.

Know that there will always be aspects of fear in your life, you are only human. I’m my own worst critic too – take a step back and trust.

Life can get a bit much sometimes, we can get caught up in the daily grind. Always having so much to do, what’s the next task, the next move. It sounds cheesy AF but slow it all down, be a bit more in the moment. Take it all in.

I do a lot of yoga (quite often in my underwear … why the fuck not) and I take a lot of baths. I spend a lot of time with my animals, go for walks, take in my surroundings. I dance. I laugh a lot with my friends. I listen to music far too loud. That’s what makes me feel good. When I write, I go into total hermit mode, and sometimes that’s just what I need.

Be aware of yourself,

but be light and go with ease.

What do you do, just for you?

 

Namaste,

Amy xx

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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2017

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I know I’m late.

But how late is too late?

2017. Wait… 2016.

Let’s talk about 2016.

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2016 was  one of the hardest and best years of my life thus far. Let’s start from the beginning.

January was filled with #yogacamp by the wonderful Adriene Mishler – see my post about it here. I learned self-love, confidence, trusting in myself. It changed me.

February I started to step out of my comfort zone. I went on dates. I kept up the fitness – LWRHIITIN4. My body changed dramatically.

I bought my first car and got insured. I started to drive and tasted that freedom for the first time.

I became closer to female friends, lost some, gained some. I felt I only truly started to understand the beauty of women and all that we are.

I agreed to do my first photo-shoot for a hair salon. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I took the leap, I couldn’t believe I did it. I let the hairstylist do what she wanted to my hair. I felt such empowerment and freedom from this experience (I wasn’t thrilled with the new look … but hey that was part of the process!)

I saw Beyoncé in June. Formation World Tour. BEYONCÉ. What?! B.E.Y.O.N.C.É. That night legit changed my life. So much happiness, so much strength. So. Much. Love.

I passed my driving test first time.

I spent the sunny Irish summer (max. 3 weeks… maybe…) lying in my back garden, mostly naked, listening to music and reading books. All day everyday for those 3 weeks. I enjoyed this time with myself so much and will never forget it.

I got a job. I got the job. I got a job that I always wanted. I cried with happiness, I welcomed the challenge. I still love it.

I stayed vegan all this year. I don’t think I will ever go back. It gives me such gratitude and respect for all living things.

I overcame so many mental issues. So many downfalls, tears, difficulty… within myself. I worked through it. I had the strength and drive to want better for myself. I can’t say I solved everything ….there is always work to be done (Do you ever really ‘get there’?). But I achieved so much and have come so far. I am not even close to the person I was this time last year. I learned to love myself. I learned to give love.

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2017.

This year tho.

This gon’ be my year tho.

Let’s just list out some things/thoughts for 2017, cause that’s what people do, right?

I want to explore my creativity, fully, now that I have recognised how much joy it gives me. And to explore that through many different outlets. Write more on the blog, pull back on the perfectionism … you’re just writing about you and the things that you love.

I want to continuously remind myself to take responsibility for my own happiness.

I want to continue to practise yoga, daily, because I know how good it makes me feel.

I want to get fitter and push the boundaries of that, but with ease and awareness.

I want to continue to challenge myself in my work, and push myself to learn and succeed.

I want to love more. I know that I have the capacity and it is in my nature, but past hurt has made me wary, less giving. I want to let go of that fear, and I want to give love to the people in my life that matter so much to me. *Don’t cry*

I want to laugh more and stop being so god damn serious (if you read my blog you will totally get this!)

I want to travel more and see more of the world, and through this learn more about myself.

Finally, something I’ve really been working on and getting somewhere with, is to apologise less. Stop apologising. You are who you are. You know who you are. You love who you are.

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A lot of negative things happened in 2016. A lot of sad things, scary things. Things I never imagined would happen, and things I am not going to comment on or discuss here. All I will say is, keep your focus on love. Love will conquer, and there is always love to be found if you look hard enough.

Happy New Year.

Feel free to comment… to discuss things you’ve overcome in 2016, goals you have for the new year, or just to have a chat, please do so down below… or tweet me @amylauren_b

Thank you so much to everyone who has read my blog over the past year, it means a lot more to me than you might think! I wish you all the best for the year ahead.

So. Much. Love.

Namaste,

Amy xx

P.s.   First full moon of 2017 last night. I’m relishing in it, and viewing it as the ‘real’ New Year. Celebrate. Be present. Enjoy!

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!!

A Bit More Personal…

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Recently I’ve been going through a massive change in my life. I have come out of a nearly 6 year relationship.  Being only 21, I’ve been with this person though very crucial years of my life where you find yourself, you realise who you are, and you spend a lot of time thinking about what direction you want to take in life.  To say that it has been incredibly difficult doesn’t quite capture this feeling.   The pain that I feel can’t be described in words.  This post is going to be very personal, and quite different to anything I’ve written before.  So if this is not something you want to spend time reading, click away now!

In a way what I’m feeling is grief.  I am mourning the loss of a friend, a lover, their family, a lifestyle and all the fuzzy feelings that come with it.  They say that grief comes in 5 stages; denial & isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  I don’t feel that these stages are exact, they flow into each other, and I think every single day it’s different.  Denial & isolation definitely came first, it felt like I was in a dream world and nothing was real, that was before the large rush of feelings that came to greet me.  For the last two weeks I have been angry, angry at the other person for certain changes they could have made that may have made it work, angry at their actions following the break up.  It somehow felt easier to move on when anger was felt towards them, it justified it in my mind and made it feel more ‘right’.  Although I respect my process at this time and am trying to have patience, the feelings of anger were a bit extreme.  You can’t change a person, and I really feel I understand that now.  They are going through their own journey, as am I.  I have also recognised the bargaining stage, where I felt that I had chosen the wrong thing, I was being foolish and all of these ‘if only’s’ came flooding through my mind 24/7.  I also blamed myself. During this period I cried a lot, and found it very difficult to sleep.  I had to keep telling myself this happened for a reason.  Right now I feel like I am in the ‘depression’ stage, because i don’t really feel I’ve fully accepted the situation yet.

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One of the hardest things about this big change is the waves it comes in.  Some days I will almost feel ecstatic, happy and ready to face the world single and alone.  Some days I will feel so low and wake up to find myself heading straight into a big crying session.  This makes it so hard because I’m never sure how I will feel the next day.  I am aware I have to have patience and it may even take me years to feel okay with everything.  I am desperate to get away from Ireland, and travel so that the constant reminders of fun times together won’t come into my mind as much. I wonder if this is a false sense of security in travelling, that I’m always looking for something to stop me feeling all the feelings!

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In times like these true friends really show themselves, and I’ve had support from two fantastic friends.  Who have been wary of my situation and have helped me by talking for days on end on a couch aided by some vino. Tears were dropped, laughs at my situation were had, and support has been shown.  However great this is, whenever I return home I feel alone instantly, and sad again.  This is normal, but still not easy.  On another note, the friend’s group I once had is no more, to avoid contact with my ex I don’t go out like I used to, or not with the same people.  Hello anger.  I am angry that this person gets to have that group around him to distract him and I am left to face everything alone.  But all things are relative and I can’t say what he is feeling.  KEEP IT TOGETHER WOMAN!

Time will heal me, and perspective will help me. Change is always hard, and when that involves a person you spent so much loving time with, and now they are gone, I think it’s even harder. *Think positive thoughts and don’t cry* 

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Yes I am aware this is a rambling mess of feelings and probably quite ridiculous to read, for that I apologise. However I want this blog to take a different turn, I want to be more real and honest. And this is just the period I am at right now.  Respect the process.  There is so much more I could say but this post would be far too long. A relevant quote to end this post should be nice and make it seem more put together and less all over the place!

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance” – Alan Watts

This was a very scary post to write so please be kind! I want anyone reading this to know that change is natural, although difficult, and we never know what the future will bring.  If anyone wants to chat or discuss change, feel free to comment below or tweet me @amylauren_b 🙂

Namaste,

Amy xx

How I Inspire Myself

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I think the word Inspire can mean many different things to all kinds of people.  It’s something that can fuel so much in your life.  The people you meet, the stories you hear, the places you visit.  Even that inspirational feeling can be manifested from your own mind.  For me, inspiration can come from any experience I have. Believing in yourself is difficult, but I feel it’s something that has given me the drive to push myself forward.

Even this post was inspired by a recent achievement in my life.  Two days ago I was awarded a B.Sc. Environmental Science, and being only 21, having done a 4 year course in something I am so passionate about was a very overwhelming feeling.  I pushed myself so hard, but at the same time I had a lot of patience in myself during that time.  When I was 17, just starting university, I definitely didn’t have much of an insight into what this venture would actually mean to me. Who does at 17 right? Nevertheless, the amount I have learned about myself, life, and other people amazes me.  It makes me excited for the future.  However, reminding me to cherish the present. During school all I wanted was to be out of school, when I started University all I wanted was to be finished my degree, and here I am.  Unemployed and wishing I had a job. The grass isn’t greener on the other side.  It’s a huge lesson i’m only just coming to terms with.  Don’t wish your life away.  Right now, this is when you are living.  Life takes us on many journeys, down different paths, and it all shapes who we are as people.

It is so important to inspire yourself.  Find what your passion is, be it many different things such as myself, or one thing that is special to you, and enjoy it with all your heart. Be patient with yourself to find what you love, and go for it. Inspire yourself, discover what you enjoy, and push yourself to do it. Try to not be scared of the next chapter in life. It is okay to fail, something I have really struggled with, but through these failures we can learn so much.  Embrace your mistakes.  Cherish your insecurities.  Live in the power of now.  Spread positivity, and love with every part of your being.

If you are finding it difficult, looking to others can really help with inspiration.  There are so many people in this world, and I think that everyone comes across someone who really makes an impact.  However small it may be.  Take this and apply it to your own life.  It doesn’t have to be something grand or amazing or huge, as long as it makes you happy and you feel proud of yourself, it’s worth it.

I know this post contains a lot of rambling, and may not excite those who read it, but I feel this needed to be here. For myself, and also for anyone who needs inspiration. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this,

Love and Light always,

Namaste,

Amy xx