A Radically Real Discussion on Body Positivity with Sarah Little

“There’s not one physical body in this world that doesn’t deserve love and appreciation.” – Sarah Little

Meet Sarah Little.  Sarah is a yoga teacher and Body Positivity advocate raising awareness and spreading the message of self-love through her brand Self Love Sarah.  Through her own transformational journey, she helps other women to embrace their bodies, find their authenticity, and ultimately to love and accept themselves fully.   At the summer-autumn cusp, we met underneath a dappled canopy of trees to discuss all things “body positivity” over a mug of almond hot choccie! So grab yourself a luxurious beverage, get comfy, and join us.

“Why can’t we celebrate women on magazine covers for something more than their appearance?” Sarah asks, as we contemplate the controversial October issue of Cosmopolitan featuring “plus size” model Tess Holliday.  Whilst a lot of people supported the move to place Tess on the cover, there was a lot of backlash which criticised the magazine for promoting obesity.  “Why do we have to address the size at all? Why can’t we think Wow, look at her tattoos! or Wow, look at her – she’s amazing!“, Sarah argued.

Cosmopolitan Tess Holliday

Body Positivity is a term that has been splashed across media platforms in recent months, but as with all social movements it inherently has different facets of opinion within it. So, I asked Sarah how she perceived the movement and what it means to her.

“There is definitely a Body Positivity movement and I agree with most of it, but I definitely have my own stance on what Body Positivity is for me.  It’s about celebrating that all bodies are beautiful and amazing, no matter what size, gender, colour or race.  We should not discriminate against anybody’s body. We should celebrate all bodies exactly as they are, with zero judgement.  We all deserve to have our bodies celebrated and accept that this is what they are, and it’s beautiful. That’s my take on it.”

For me, body positivity and self-love go hand-in-hand.  Body positivity can’t just be about your appearance: there has to be a deeper practice to it.  Sarah agrees.  “You can’t have body positivity without self-love.  Body positivity stems from self-love.  I know that if I didn’t love myself, I wouldn’t believe in the Body Positivity movement.  The Body Positivity movement is looking at other bodies and thinking ‘Wow, beautiful!’ no matter what. If I can’t love my own body that way, I can’t love someone else’s body that way.  So it all comes back to yourself.  I think for people who don’t understand the Body Positivity movement, it all comes back to a lack of self-love.”

As a social movement, it is becoming more impactful right now, and Sarah has definitely had a mixed reaction to the content she puts out.  Lots of people are open to the Body Positivity message and Sarah receives daily messages from women who have found new inspiration and confidence, but she says there are lots of different opinions on it: “There are people who aren’t quite on board with Body Positivity. I do get people questioning what I say, and whether it’s healthy to promote a “fat person”.  But, who says that fat means unhealthy?  There are lots of different angles of it.  The Body Positivity movement on social media can be quite aggressive: I get where the aggression is coming from because these people have been marginalised and outcast because of the way they look and they’re angry about it, but I think the aggression isn’t needed.  My whole brand is Self Love Sarah, and I always do everything from a place of love.”

Sarah cites an incident at aged 11 when she was mocked for her appearance, and says it was the first time that she felt she couldn’t be herself and had to be what she believed the “popular” girls told her she had to be.  “I remember at secondary school thinking thoughts like ‘Oh well, I have five years to get skinny for my prom dress’.  I used to say to myself daily: when I’m skinny, I’ll be happy.  When I’m skinny, I’ll be popular. In my teenage years I dimmed my light to fit in, and starved myself to be thin.  I did all the diets just to be thin and happy.  This was my life from 11 years old until two years ago.”

Two years ago, Sarah quit her unsatisfying job in an act of self-love, found The Goddess Revolution by Mel Wells, and realised that diet culture really is bullshit! The more she researched and learned about self-love and body positivity, the more she found her own path and can now confidently say that she loves herself: “I can truly say I one-hundred percent love and accept myself, exactly as I am.  I can look in the mirror naked and not burst into tears, and actually think you look amazing! Look at your body, it’s incredible!, which I would never have been able to do two years ago.” Through her new-found confidence, Sarah feels able to share pictures of her body without feelings of shame, but arguably more importantly, by ditching the obsessive diet-culture mindset she now has more space to be herself, and in that space came to realise that she has a voice – a voice that people what to listen to.  “I feel that I have a purpose now.”

Self-love and body positivity encourage us to not body shame ourselves, but loving your body does mean looking after it as best as you are able, and this means nourishing it properly and lovingly, and treating it well.  A mindful connection with one’s body is vital. “You are in a relationship with yourself.”, Sarah says, and encourages us to have an open dialogue with ourselves.  For example, when stressed Sarah will now sit with herself and think about what she really needs.  Her previous go-to response would be to hit the cupboards for food, but she knows now that stress-eating is not the solution. “I need a hug, a chat with a friend, a walk in nature”.  But, she stresses that it is a daily practice.  “It’s about checking in with yourself frequently and asking yourself what you really need.” It’s also about consciously re-framing your thoughts towards self-love.  “A really good question to ask is: what would a person who loves themselves do?  They wouldn’t go and scoff a load of food, or punish themselves at the gym.  They would do what feels like love.”

Sarah L 3

Sarah cites yoga, meditation, journaling and grounding as valuable tools for creating this connection with your body, your inner self, and also with the world around you.  It helps us to remember there’s a bigger picture to life than just the way we look.  But, in connecting to ourselves in this deeper manner, we have to accept our true inner feelings.  I personally have felt that the “spiritual” movements popular on social media have left people feeling that they shouldn’t feel anger, for example, and I share with Sarah that I have a bad habit of forcing these uncomfortable feelings away.  “We’re human beings, we’re supposed to experience a wide spectrum of emotions.”, she replies.  We both agree that it is empowering to accept all of your feelings as valid, and this process of acceptance allows you to understand yourself better.  You have to acknowledge the way you are right now, in order to know where you make any necessary changes.

And, this leads us nicely to a sticking point within both the self-love and body positive practices: does wanting to make changes in your life, and in yourself mean that you aren’t all self-loving or body positive? “You can be body positive, you can love yourself, and still want to change yourself.  I completely, one-hundred percent believe that,” Sarah says. “When it comes from a place of love, such as, I’m feeling really lethargic and slow and heavy in my body right now, and I know that if I exercise a little bit more and eat a little bit healthier my body is going to feel vibrant, energetic and light, then I think it’s coming from a place of love where you honour and respect your body so much that you want to treat it like a goddess, like a temple, and that’s very body positive.  If it’s coming from a place of fear, lack or hate, then people need to have a bit more love injected into their lives!”

Feeling more at peace in her body, Sarah believes that her quality of life has improved ten-fold.  Her relationships are better (she chooses which relationships she needs in her life, and those which she doesn’t), her authenticity has strengthened, and she says “When I was trying to be someone else, I didn’t have any friends. Now that I have completely surrendered to being completely, unapologetically me, I am attracting so many more people into my life. It has given me permission to be completely myself, which has attracted everything I wanted into my life. My relationship with my husband is great, I have a little tribe, a community of women online and from retreats who know more about me than people who have known me my whole life know about me, my sex life is better…  Everything has completely changed, and it has given me permission to go out there and live my dream life.” Making peace with her body was the foundation layer of confidence from which to build all other layers of confidence in all other areas of life, including becoming a business woman with a voice!

Social media is a strong tool for propelling the Body Positivity ethos out into the world, but social media can often be a source of stress that exacerbates low self-esteem.   “Why is that triggering you? It’s not actually to do with that person, it’s to do with you.  Is there an area in your life that you’re not happy with that is causing that reaction? That needs addressing.”, Sarah says.  When comparing fitness levels or yoga skills, for example, Sarah has come to a point where she is content to say “This is my body and it does what it does.”.  I have to concur.  “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.”

All aspects of the media show a limited variety of body types, but even within the Body Positivity movement I feel there is room for more diverse representation and I question whether there is enough variety of voices coming from a variety of bodies.  It still appears that a lot of the successful proponents of the Body Positivity Movement, whilst expressing a worthy message, are of an “Instragram-worthy” aesthetic (usually a slim, white female from a certain level of privilege) and that people of other body sizes are not amassing the same level of following (or not even noticed at all). “We need diversity,” Sarah agrees, but believes that, although change is happening in media representation of women, it is currently predominantly one extreme or the other: “It’s either a slim person or a very “overweight” person.  We’re missing a whole middle ground of normal sized people here, and I think that’s where we need more diversity, and I hope that’s what I am doing: being that person that can now use their voice as a pretty average, pretty normal person, and make other people believe that they can be that way too.”

The change that Sarah would like to see across the media and throughout institutions such as schools is more openness around mental health, which is, of course, a huge element of body positivity and self-love.  Before finding this new phase of her life, Sarah struggled with thirteen years worth of ingrained diet culture.  “Think of the effect that had on my mental health!”, she exclaimed, adding that “You have to address the psychological reasons behind your eating habits and your body image.  The inner work is so much more important.  The inner work is what sticks (as opposed to strict weight loss which is often regained).”  Inner work involves addressing the limiting beliefs you hold about yourself, and the stories you tell yourself.

What you tell yourself daily, you come to believe, so it’s all about mindset shift.  The words that we use are powerful and we have to be mindful of them.  I asked Sarah what words we should use towards ourselves and others.  “Three words come to mind that are the most powerful words to me: you are enough.”, she replied.  Furthermore, Sarah believes that we need to take the emphasis off appearance. “We have so many more things about us than just our looks and our appearance.  You’re intelligent, you’re creative, you’ve got so much power, you have so much to give.  These are things we should be saying, rather than focusing upon the physical.  There is nothing wrong with complimenting people on their looks, but remember that we are so much more than our appearance and we should start seeing the magic in people rather than just what they look like.”

Amen.

If you would like to learn more about Sarah’s work, you can find her at www.selflovesarah.com.

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Start Believing the Compliments

Low self-esteem is an awful and difficult thing to live with, and often an even harder thing to overcome.  With such a low opinion of one’s self, it is near impossible to believe any complimentary words offered to you by another person.  But, why is it that we find it so difficult to see ourselves in a positive light, or accept that others might do so?  Low self-esteem, the ‘imposter syndrome’, and a cultural fear of narcissism leave us very cagey about receiving compliments, and oftentimes a compliment can leave us feeling worse about ourselves than we did before we were paid it.

Society (British society in particular) frowns upon arrogance and self-aggrandizing – and so it should.  But a problem arises when we must become so humble, modest and negative towards ourselves in order to avoid being labelled as arrogant or narcissistic that our relationships with ourselves suffer.  Rejecting and deflecting compliments in a self-deprecating manner has become a social norm.  So, even when we may start to believe and be grateful for the compliments offered to us by another, we almost daren’t show it.

Currently, consumerist society does not encourage self-acceptance or self-love because that is not where profits lie.  So, we are always left feeling “less than”: less pretty, less affluent, less well travelled… The feeling of insufficiency coupled with the pressure to reject compliments just leaves us feeling worthless.  These negative feelings breed other negative feelings such as mistrust, a victim complex, anger and depression, and very low self-regard.

For many years I found it very hard to accept a compliment or attention and would genuinely believe that people were only complimenting me out of pity, or that they were mistaken and that there was something wrong with their eyes!  I had such an aversion to appearing arrogant that I would immediately deflect any kind comment by disagreeing with it or pointing out something else that was wrong with me.  If people were looking at me, for example, it was because there must be something wrong with my face.  This was my attitude towards myself.

I projected all the opinions I had about myself onto others and this was highlighted very strongly one summer a couple of years back.   I was in a public park wearing one of my favourite summer outfits: a flowing, paisley print max skirt, white top with flowing sleeves, and a big floppy hat.  As I walked along, I noticed people looking at me and immediately my inner dialogue started racing through my head: Why are people looking at me? Is there something on my top? Do they think I look preposterous in this hat? Is there something on my face? Do they think I am trying to be better than I am?  I bet they’re laughing at me behind my back. They must think I am ridiculous. And on, and on… The stress crept into my shoulders and my heart deflated.  A woman stopped throwing a ball to her son and turned to look at me.  I tried to scurry past with my head down.  “That’s a really beautiful outfit!”, she said.  There was no mockery in her tone, no pity in her eyes, just genuine appreciation for the way I looked.  I was taken aback by this, and then it struck me how stupid my automatic reaction to attention was.  Why did I find it so hard to believe that people – even strangers – could regard me positively?

And then I realised what a disservice I was doing to the people who paid me attention or compliments: to automatically assume that someone was either so mean-spirited that they were playing a joke on me, or so stupid that they couldn’t see me clearly was a very unfair and ungracious way for me to behave.  I wouldn’t throw a physical gift back in someone’s face, so why was I throwing their words back in their faces?

Tentatively, I started to accept compliments with a simple “thank you” and I immediately began to feel better.  No longer was I throwing back kind words with ingratitude, I was becoming softer towards myself.

Then, I saw a YouTube video by Gala Darling in which she encouraged us to create compliment lists in order to build self-belief.  Every time someone complimented us, we were to write it down.  Compliments could be about anything, not just our looks.  So I did.  And I found that people had lots of praise for me about my skills as a writer, as a photographer, about my thoughtfulness, my positivity, the support I had offered, the fun times we had together, the beauty of my natural hair colour, and so on… Not all of these people were stupid.  Not all of them were lying.  Their comments were genuine, and when I took the time to notice them and really consider them, I realised that my low self-esteem and negative self-talk were unwarranted.  I still struggle, particularly when it comes to my looks where my initial reaction is still to think why are they looking at me? What’s wrong?, but I am more aware of it, more able to gently reframe my thoughts, and more able to accept that I am worthy of the kindness being showed to me.

But, compliments aren’t all about our physical appearance and nor should they be.  We are multi-faceted beings who are so much more than our bodies.  Putting all our self-esteem into a transient, ever-changing thing such as looks is only ever going to lead to disappointment.  So, I challenge you to start noticing all the ways in which people pay you a compliment: they could tell you that you look beautiful, or they could spend their time with you.  They could listen to you intently, or they could praise your work.  Start being open to the ways in which people show you consideration and affection.

And then start to believe that you actually deserve it.  Accept compliments with dignity, and don’t deflect them away.  People’s words are meaningful, and people’s attention is special, and they wouldn’t give them to you if they didn’t think you were worth it.  There is a distinction between flattery and genuine compliments but trust your discernment and you will see that most people are coming from their hearts.  Allow these compliments to nourish your soul.  Let them fuel you as you pursue your dreams.  Realise that you have so much to offer, and are a source of light and joy in other people’s lives.

Believe it, accept it, and in turn spread your own compliments like flower petals everywhere you go.  When we allow this love to flow in and out of us in equal measure, the world will start to become a much happier place to exist.

XoXo

Meditation For Examining Your Beliefs

This meditation appeared in my mind after writing last week’s post, Breaking Up With My Spiritual Guru, and I felt an strong desire to share it with you. I have come to realise that it is so important to take stock of your beliefs, and examine them to see whether they actually serve you and are aligned with your authentic self. If you feel called to, give this meditation a try.  I don’t think it matters where you are when you do it, so long as you are in a place where you will be undisturbed and feel able to go within.  I suggest that you read this through a couple of times beforehand to properly familiarise yourself with it, or you could record yourself reading it aloud and play it back.

***

You’re sitting on a golden beach with the sun gently warming your skin and the waves moving rhythmically upon the shore.  You are relaxed and peaceful.  This is a completely safe space: your own little cove, with lush vegetation at your back.

Next to you is a pile of pebbles and rocks. Each one of these stones represents a belief that you hold.  Take a moment to look at the pile as a whole.  How does it make you feel instinctively in your gut, in the seat of your power?

Now, begin to look closely at the stones.  What are their sizes and shapes? Perhaps some are angular, rough and sharp.  Perhaps some are rounded and smooth.  Perhaps some are chipped or cracked, or perhaps some are decorated with paintings or symbols.  How do they look to you?

Pick them up, one by one, and notice what belief they represent to you.  Don’t overthink this.  Go with your first thought or, if nothing comes up for you, put that stone aside and come back to it later. Take a close look at the stone and notice the details upon it, and most especially how it makes you feel to hold it.  Does it comfort you, light you up, or is it heavy and painful in your hand? Is it a stone that you would like to use as a strong foundation for your life? Is it a belief that will make you stronger, more empowered, more aligned with your true self?

Divide the stones into two piles: those you wish to discard, and those you wish to keep.  It does not matter how many stones are in each pile.  Perhaps you don’t want to keep any, or maybe you’ve found that all of the stones feel good to you.  Maybe there are some you are not yet ready to discard.  If there are any that you have put to one side, go back to them now and consider them again.

When you feel ready, rise to your feet and gather up the stones you wish to discard in your arms.  Walk slowly to the water’s edge and with a great sigh of relief, throw the stones you do not want to keep into the sea.  You no longer need to hold onto them.  They are gone, and will be taken care of and purified by the water.  You are free of these beliefs now.

Take a moment to relax and bask in the sunlight.  How do you feel now?  Remember that you are completely safe.

Stay as long as you want, but when you feel ready, turn and walk away from the ocean and head towards the treeline.  There is a pathway there. Follow it.  As you leave the beach, know that you can come back to this sanctum at any time to review your foundation stones.

Coming out of the meditation, slowly bring movement back into your fingers and toes, and blink open your eyes.  Place your hands on your heart and thank yourself for the immense act of courage you just showed yourself.  Remember that you are entitled to reevaluate your life and your beliefs as many times as you need.

XoXo

Breaking Up With My Spiritual Guru

*This is in no way intended as a judgement of any person’s beliefs or life choices.  This is simply a part of my story and I share it in solidarity with those who have had similar experiences.

When Doreen Virtue renounced her New Age beliefs and teachings and converted to orthodox Christianity in 2017, it was a wake up call for me.  Doreen and her teachings had, up to this point, been a massive part of my life.  She was one of the first New Age teachers that I was introduced to, and she made a big impression on me.  Through her teachings on angels, goddesses, spiritual beings, veganism, equality and heart-centred living, I found a lot of comfort, reassurance and excitement! I saw magic in the world, and I felt empowered.  As a teenager at the beginning of self-discovery, I found that the New Age spiritual world gave me the tools to be able to move out into the ‘real’ world with strength, and Doreen’s teachings were ones that I took to heart the most.

I essentially followed Doreen’s teachings and messages to the letter.  I didn’t change who I was to copy her because I found that a lot of what she professed already resonated with me.  But I did, unbeknownst to me at the time, begin to think of New Age beliefs – and Doreen’s in particular – to be the Truth.  I adored Doreen and cited her as my biggest inspiration.  She made me feel good about myself, and helped me to feel connected to a much larger and very beautiful Universe.

In 2017, a lot of my beliefs had already started to waver and come under the harsh scrutiny of a more objective part of myself that had hitherto remained in the background.  I became aware of how my lived experience wasn’t matching up to the picture I’d created from my New Age beliefs.  When a few months later, this woman I had listened to unquestioningly suddenly turned away from what she had taught, I was stunned.  I know a lot of her followers were too.

Doreen’s choices are not under question here.  Although I do not resonate with the Christian and often fear-based (in my opinion) teachings that she now professes, I still deeply admire her authenticity and her commitment to her truth in the face of massive, world-wide judgement and rejection.   What her life choice did reveal to me was that her truth was not my truth, and perhaps I had never really known what my truth actually was.

As I took in other peoples’ reactions to her conversion, I saw a lot of people expressing similar realisations: we had put too much stock in the words of another, and believed them to be absolute Truth.  But, even with this growing awareness, I discovered a few months ago that I was still investing a lot of power in Doreen’s words.  For example, she now doubted angels and I suddenly, startlingly, realised that I had begun to doubt as well.  Fear and mistrust had crept in.  Even at this precise moment, I cannot quite shake the doubt.

So many of my beliefs had already started to crumble, and Doreen took down many more of them with her.  It is disconcerting, but it shows how so many of those beliefs weren’t wholeheartedly mine anyway.  The space left behind is full of a lot of confusion, and grief.  I do not feel I resonate with Doreen any more and therefore cannot follow her, but I do keenly miss the comforting presence she once occupied in my life.  Although I am grateful for the clarity and new awareness, I do feel that some sparkle has vanished from the world.  I am no longer quite so optimistic, and I frequently feel jaded – even cynical.  It all goes to prove that I had unwittingly invested too much in one person, and have let their choices influence my own life too much.

Breaking up with my spiritual guru was not easy.  I feel like I am having to start the process of discovery and self-identity all over again.  I have to take each of the beliefs I held and examine them clearly to see if they are the bricks I want to build my life with. It is uncomfortable and part of me wishes to run and bury my face in Doreen’s skirts, but I also recognise this as an incredible opportunity for growth and adventure.  In the midst of this tumultuous place of doubt, darkness and unsteadiness, the seed of my true self has started to take root and sprout.  Blossoming is a beautiful, painful process, but how glorious it will be in the end!

Ultimately, it is up to me to put the sparkle back in my life by learning to see and feel the world through my eyes and heart, and make sense of it my way.  Listening to peoples’ stories, thoughts and ideas are wonderful ways to expand your mind and consider new possibilities, but it is so important to get to know yourself and keep your own truth.

XoXo

Manifestation and Expectation

It is my intention to be radically real in my writing here, so I have to confess before we go any further that this isn’t a peppy blog post about how you can manifest your dreams.  There are many of those types of posts out there on blogs and social media, and in books.  Some of these posts are wonderfully motivating and supportive, not to mention comforting.  But what I want to discuss today is what I have found to be the “unhelpful” side of the manifestation trend: more specifically, its unexpected side-effect: expectation.

I used to devour anything related to manifestation, staring dreamy-eyed at the Instagram posts of those people who were making their dream lives their reality, and devouring book after book from many spiritual gurus and thought leaders.  I took to heart all of their messages, and their methods.  I created manifestation boards, wrote lists, employed visualisation techniques, and many of the other practices that were suggested.  I even quit my job, left my friends and family, and went to the other side of the world on my own, taking “the risk” that was so often touted as necessary in these stories.

The impression I had gained from all my reading and Instagram-watching was that if I did the practices, took the leap, surrendered to the Universe, I would be magically rewarded.  I had taken to heart so many stories of dream homes magically appearing on the market at an unlikely affordable price, or the dream guy suddenly stumbling into your life and changing everything, or the publishing contract, or travel opportunity, or the right career presenting itself to you after you’d quit the life-sucking job you hated.  If it happened to them, it would happen that way for me too because that’s the way the Universe works according to these stories (or so it seemed to me).

And there is was: the incredibly subtle yet powerful infiltration of expectation into my mind.

When I quit my job and went to New Zealand, I expected to find everything I was looking for and when, in reality, I was an absolute mess and the “promised” joy didn’t appear, I was so utterly and deeply bereft and confused.  I did everything they said I should do. Why hasn’t the Universe rewarded me like they said it would? 

It sent me into a spiritual crisis that I am still feeling my way through 18 months later.  But, the doubt that rocked my world has become a healthy skepticism.  I wrote about this in my post Why Losing Belief Isn’t Always Bad, so I won’t go into that any further here.  Suffice it to say, the skepticism that has prompted me to question a lot of things has ultimately revealed a lot of conditioned thoughts and behaviours that I had adopted.  Yes, the “spiritual” and New Age realms are not impervious to this.

Please don’t mistake my words here as criticism or rejection of manifestation practices.  They can be excellent tools to help us hone our focus and our intentions when it comes to our goals and desires, and I do still use them.  But, as with any set of practices or beliefs, we need to be mindful about how blindly we follow these manifestation methods.  I think one of the potential problems inherent with manifestation is that it leads you to believe that if you complete a certain action, adopt a certain mindset or follow a certain behaviour protocol, you will attain a specific circumstance or be rewarded with what you desire. That if you follow all the rules of the manifestation process, you will be rewarded because that’s how the Universe functions.

By adopting this belief, I had unwittingly placed absolutely ENORMOUS expectations on Life and it was no wonder that I was so utterly disappointed.  I had taken it for granted that I would automatically be given what I’d asked for.  I thought the thoughts, followed the methods, and sat back and waited for My Dream Life to materialise.

In all honesty, I am unsure whether the Universe is completely rigged in our favour. There is an unpredictability to Life that cannot be ignored.  I do, however, still believe that we can have some form of energetic interaction with the Universe and I am curious to learn more about that and share what I discover.

It is helpful to remember that there is often magnificent beauty in the unexpected.

More and more, I realise that manifestation is no magic button and that we often have to make things happen, rather than wait for them to be given.  Creating the life you want requires a lot of hard work, and it is tumultuous, uncertain and sometimes painful.  But, it is also beautiful, vivid and eye-opening.  Do we always get all the opportunities we want or deserve? I don’t know. I don’t think there is a guarantee.  If I put myself out there whilst dating (for example), will I immediately find my path aligned with a man who is right for me? Well, it hasn’t happened so far – though I hope it will! My point is, our thoughts are powerful, but just because you think something, don’t assume that it is going to happen.

If there is no guarantee that we can manifest everything we desire, does that mean we can’t be happy? Life is full of cycles and duality, lows and highs, peaceful times and times that challenge us to our very core.  But, happiness isn’t dependent upon getting that book deal (though I’d love one!), or the perfect house with the ocean view, or whatever it is that you’d like to manifest.

Everyone deserves to be happy.  But, don’t get so caught up in expecting a specific outcome that you miss being happy now, or in whatever circumstance you find yourself in.  I don’t think anyone can be happy all of the time, but there is ample opportunity for happiness out there if you are open to it.  I will keep working towards my book deal, on finding a soulful, romantic relationship, on getting my body strong and all the other things I want in my life, but I will not sit here waiting for the Universe to plop them into my open, expectant hands, and I will not let those things be the definition of my happiness.

Basically, I will be grateful for whatever I am given, for the opportunity to exist and interact with this beautiful world, and I will be open to the beauty and growth within whatever situations arise for me now and in the future.  It is helpful to remember that there is often magnificent beauty in the unexpected.

I want to leave you with one last thought to consider that really comforted me when I heard it:

Having no expectation leaves the space for infinite possibilities.

 

If you feel it will help, ask yourself where you might have placed expectations on Life, and whether you might find more fulfillment by letting go of them.

XoXo

 

As always, thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your presence here and love connecting with you.  If you feel that this post will resonate with someone, please share.  It may be just what someone needs to hear.  And in turn, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this topic so please comment below, or contact me at alex@alexandrapayne.co.uk.