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!

How Yoga Camp with ‘Yoga With Adriene’ Changed Me

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Towards the end of last year I went through a huge change, a break-up, something I discussed in my ‘A Bit More Personal..’ post (have a read if you want to get up to date with me!).  I was struggling with self-love, and Christmas was particularly difficult for me.  New Years was even worse.  I so desperately wanted things to change.  I wanted to go into 2016 with a positive outlook, and most importantly, start doing things for myself for once.  So when I heard ‘Yoga with Adriene’s’ Adriene Mishler was starting a 30 day Yogacamp for the month of January, completely free, with a video uploaded every single day, I was sold.  I signed up, and got my first email which included the YogaCamp Calendar.  I printed it out and marvelled at all the beautiful mantras I was yet to experience.  The whole idea seemed too good to be true, and I feel the universe was helping me by bringing it to my attention.  It was exactly what I needed, and was aimed to tackle my largest problem at the time, self-love.

On January 1st, it all started.  The first video was an introduction, and then Jan 2nd the first yoga practise of the month was uploaded.  I rolled out my matt, tied my hair up, and took some deep breaths.  I cannot explain to you how, even after the first day of yogacamp, I felt a weight lifted.  I felt I was moving in the right direction.  AND GUUURL WAS I RIGHT!

Adriene is from Texas so each upload was at 6am her time, which was 12pm for me in Ireland.  I made a habit of waking up, cleaning, tending to the animals, eating breakfast, and doing a few odd jobs before the video came in.  I felt for the first time in months I was excited to get out of bed, and would become so elated knowing that 12pm was coming soon.  It truly revived a part of me that had been lost for many years, the drive…the excitement…the gratitude..the accomplishment…the self-love.  It got to a point where I was laughing at myself thinking ‘oh my friends want to go out this weekend, buuuuut what about my yogacamp?!’.  That’s another thing that was so important after the breakup, to keep friends close, and to get out the house and enjoy myself.  I couldn’t believe I wanted to stay home alone, not to eat ice cream and feel sorry for myself…but just so I could make sure I got my yogacamp fix!

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I got so used to doing it everyday, and concentrating on each day’s mantra, that I felt I was subconsciously letting myself feel everything I was trying to avoid months before.  That sounds bad, but beforehand I was constantly trying to force myself to be happy and confident, which after I while I realised was the thing holding me back and that was stopping me from moving forward.  Focussing on positive mantras, and only that, until the next day rolled around, kept things small, easier to handle, and approachable.  It wasn’t scary anymore.

On top of all that, I felt part of a community that was separate from the people I know in my life, who didn’t have opinions on what I was going through.  I found that so refreshing, part of a family that had no judgement.  Reading other people’s experiences of the very same videos I was watching, was grounding in itself.

The gratitude I feel for this woman is immense.  She came out of the blue and helped me with deep personal issues I’ve had for years.  And she gave it all out for free.  You can just tell the amount of effort that went into the mantras, the thoughtful poses for each day, the awareness of different levels people may be at, the delicacy with which she handled the intense and overwhelming idea of ‘making self-love cool again’.. all the while making you laugh with her hilarious jokes.  I’ve been doing yoga for years and have never felt so affected by a practise in my life.

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When it all came to an end there is a sadness attached, however I decided to restart it all over again.  I was hopeful that the change in self-love could only double after doing it all again for the next month.  I was right.  I feel the happiest and most at peace I’ve ever felt, I feel strong, beautiful, and capable of tackling anything that comes my way in the future.  Some of those things I never thought I’d say.  It is always a constant journey, but respect it and be patient.  So after all that, I want to say, Thank you Adriene Mishler.  You’ll probably never read this, but I’m sending love and light to you!  I am aware I’m a bit late to post this, a few months after… but I feel it was important to express this and better late than never.

If you are struggling with self-love, or are curious about sticking to yoga practise for 30 days, I cannot recommend this enough.  If that’s not your cup of tea, she has a vast amount of other videos on her channel which I’ll link below.  HAPPY YOGA-ING AND REMEMBER TO LOVE YOURSELF!

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

Namaste,

Amy xx

Welcome to Turkey : How getting away can clear your mind!

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So I have arrived in Turkey! After the stress of finishing college and doing exams, going on a holiday has never come at such a perfect time. De-stressing and evaulating the frame of mind I am in are my main goals for this trip. Lying in the sun, swimming, and continuing my yoga practice along with the odd meditation session are the activities I plan to incorporate into most of my days here. The second I stepped off that plane and landed on turkish soil I felt a weight lifted. For me, nothing clears my head more than experiencing a different environment from that which I’ve been living in, for what seems like forever. It forces you to take a step back and view how your life has been going recently and thus, have a critical view of your state of happiness. I have been here for 3 days now and not much has happened, which I consider a good thing seeing how we all feel like life has to be constantly busy in order to achieve and progress. I’ve been lying in the sun getting a tan and swimming, without venturing outside the hotel for too long. I did a short and sweet yoga class this morning and it was so beautiful in the morning sun, something I feel I’ll be doing every day! Being content in doing nothing has been a hard thing for me to accept after being so busy for the last 4 years of college. Living in the now, taking in every present moment has been and is still a large lesson for me to learn. Right now I am drinking a cold beer and listening to the mosque calls to prayer, thoroughly enjoying the different experiences and reflecting on my life so far. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of this country, it’s people and the relaxed way of life, reminiscing back to a time when I first visited about 10 years ago when I was too young to understand the history and to appreciate it’s unique culture.

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Using this time to post as much as possible was a big goal of mine before I left Ireland, however looking back now I crave the relaxation associated with no deadlines and pressures. Saying that, this blog is just a breath of fresh air for me because the pressure I have is only there because I decide it is. We can all strive to be better, but we also have to be patient.

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On another note, I’ve been reading a fantastic book that I’d like to share with everyone! It’s called ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff….and it’s all small stuff’ by Richard Carlson and for someone who suffers every single day with anxiety, it’s benefitted me more than I could have imagined. Everyone can learn something from this so I’d advise you pick up a copy 😉 Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this post.

Love and light always,

Namaste,

Amy xx