All you need is (self) love.

If you can’t love yourself then how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else??!!

– Rupaul

The term self love is banded around quite a lot these days. I admit I am one of those people who bangs on about self love. According to Whitney Houston learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all and I am in total agreement with Rupaul when she asks, “if you can’t love yourself then how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else”?! It’s true, if you think you are un-loveable, unworthy and not good enough then that’s what you are going to project to those around you. Which is going to make it hard for people to see the amazing person you are. One friend told me that she felt uncomfortable with the term ‘self-love’ and after thinking about it I had to agree that the term does feel a little icky!  This got me thinking that maybe this is because it conjours up some notion the we should be sat smothering ourselves in compliments or taking ourselves off to a spa & getting our nails done.

These are great ways to treat ourselves and I think that if these actions work for us then that’s great. But I think the main ingredient of self love is the way we speak to ourselves. How many times a day do we tell ourselves I am not good, enough, pretty enough etc. Self love is about acknowledging that thought a flipping it on its head, challenging that thought and not letting it eat away at you.

Self – love can be hard, many of us find it difficult to be positive about ourselves and sometimes we even feel that we are being a little arrogant if we big ourselves up. We find it easier to dumb ourselves down , I know I do. Just think about it for a moment, how many times has someone praised you and instead of just graciously accepting the compliment you feel the need to point out what you see as the flaw or imperfection.  I think we are all often guilty of this. You need to start owning your inner and outer uniqueness and praise yourself without feeling guilty or big-headed. Many of us are also guilty of falling foul of other people’s opinions of us or even what we think are other people’s opinions of us. I know am guilty of assuming people think I am stupid, incapable, unattractive, I could go on. We beat ourselves up over scenarios that may not even exist outside of our own heads. How crazy is that?! We need to stop beating ourselves up over stuff that may not even be real. We have to stop seeking approval and validation from others, embrace our uniqueness and actually believe that we are amazing just the way we are.

The real difficulty is to overcome
how you think about yourself
– Maya Angelou

Accepting our individuality is necessary for personal happiness. If we try to hide or change who we are to try to ‘fit in’ or be ‘normal’ (whatever normal is) our sense of self-worth takes a beating causing our self-esteem to take a tumble and our insecurities to sky-rocket. Social media is one area that can fuel our insecurities and play on our self-doubt.

We now live in a world where technology enables us to peer more closely in to the world of others as we have come to share more and more of our lives on social media.  Not only do many of our friends, family and work colleagues (to name but a few) give us unprecedented access to their lives we are now able to gain backstage passes to the lives of the rich and famous. To peak inside a world that for years we could only imagine what went on behind the closed doors.

But as much as it can be fascinating to peer in to the lives of others it can also sometimes leave us feeling somewhat inadequate. These ‘highlights’ of other people’s lives can sometimes lead us to compare ourselves against the images we see. We may begin to judge our looks, our abilities, our homes and so on against what is often an edited version of reality.  From time to time I am hit with a bout of insta- envy. I see photos of women creating their own businesses, escaping the 9-5 and building their empire from their fabulous home offices. But then I realise that I need to take a step back and consider the evidence.  First of all that fabulous home office may not even really be theirs, it could be a stock photo out in the public domain available to any one of us. They may still be stuck in the 9-5 whilst working on their side hustle.  Also, they may have spent the last who knows how many years working their socks off to get to where they are today. I am pretty sure it wasn’t just handed to them on a silver platter.

 “The reason we struggle
with insecurity is because
we compare our
behind-the-scenes
to everyone else’s
highlight reel”.

– Steve Furtick

Don’t get me wrong I am not completely against social media, I have met some great people through twitter and instagram it can open new doors and opportunities that may previously not been available without it. What I am saying is don’t let it consume you as everything is not always as it seems.

Social media can also lead us to chase validation through the number of followers we have of the amount of likes/views we receive. A lack of likes/followers can mean that some people are left feeling like they aren’t good enough or don’t measure up,

How often do you let your inner critic run wild? I must admit there are times I have let my inner critic cause a riot of negativity inside my head. I’m sure there are times you’ve  done the same, but when that little seed of doubt begins to take hold and bury it roots deep in to your thoughts that’s when we need to take action. You need to start focusing on your positives and become your biggest devotee. Stop comparing yourself and your life against other people’s. You are an individual, the things you love, your habits, traits and characteristics are what make you the wonderful person you are. So you need to start appreciating the wonderfully, amazing person that you are. Embrace your individuality, love who you are without worrying about what others think (or what you believe they think) of you.

No one else can do this for you. You could have the most amazing job, wonderful partner, fantastic family but all of these things will not make you happy or feel loved unless you learn to love yourself.

Love Em. XX

 

Perfectly Positive Instagram.

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I love, love, love Instagram!! Not because you can follow your fave celeb or covet the luxuries of the rich & famous. I love to see those who inspire others and spread kindness around like confetti. I follow lots of positive and inspiring people on Instagram, most of them women. Women who are just dipping their toes in to the world of entrepreneurship, sisters (in the words of Annie and Aretha) who have been ‘doing it for themselves for some time (cue music) and those that just want make the world a more positive place. Below are some of my favourite Instagram accounts.

Little Victories.

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Little Victories is a health and wellness website founded by the lovely Rebecca. Rebecca suffers with GAD and set up little victories based on the idea that each day when people experience anxiety they focus on the stuff they didn’t do rather than celebrate what they have accomplished . Little Victories is here to encourage us to celebrate all those little achievements we accomplish every day , e.g. – our ‘little victories’.

In Rebecca’s words, “A little Victory is just that something small that you have achieved during your day this can be taking some time out for yourself and preparing yourself something nice to eat, going for a nice walk or catching up with a friend. Because when your living with high levels of anxiety day-to-day tasks can be anxiety provoking and so we need to acknowledge and celebrate these no matter how small they are because they contribute to our overall health and wellbeing”.

Little Victories is all about promoting self-love, and increasing awareness of anxiety disorders and the impact it can have on people’s lives. I love seeing little victories Instagram posts they are always so comforting and uplifting. You can see from Little Victories account that they are truly passionate about helping other to love themselves.

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https://www.instagram.com/littlevictoriesmatter/

The Positive Page.

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I just love the Positive Page’s Instagram feed it’s like a packet of skittles has exploded across the realms of social media. The Positive page is a website run by the lovely Lauren and her mission is to support self-love and mental health awareness. The Positive Pages also provide support for people who are experiencing issue with their mental health.

Whenever one of Lauren’s post comes up in my feed I can’t help but smile, not only does it pack a punch with its vibrant colours but the warmth and honesty behind her messages shines through. Lauren has also set up the wonderful spread smiles project (I will talk more about this in one of my future blog posts) through which she aims to bring happiness to people’s day. Lauren really is Mental Health warrior and I thank her for making the world a brighter, more positive place.

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The Positive Page

https://www.instagram.com/thepositivitypages/

Minutes for me.

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Minutes for me is a blog set up by the lovely Samantha Spiers that encourages people to take at least five minutes to do something for yourself each day. Samantha says

Many of us are living very busy lives with very little time to think about what we might do with the five/thirty/sixty spare minutes that we have, so I am hoping to start a conversation that will reach out and connect busy people from all over the globe, through the web, instagram and Facebook, to help us enrich our lives by bringing many ideas together to inspire us all to do something different, or do something better, every day; a way to consciously engage with yourself and the world around you for at least five minutes every single day.

I just love Samantha’s idea, it so simple but so effective. The minutes for me Instagram account is filled with ideas and inspiration encouraging you to take some me time. Ideas range from spending 5 minutes tickling your taste buds and whipping up a new dish to 60 minutes of cycling. I am filled with such a feeling of calm when I am greeted with the minutes for me Insta account, it exudes such a feeling of self-love and serenity. It truly is a breath of fresh air.

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https://www.instagram.com/minutesforme/

Tapping into change.

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Tapping into change is an alternative & holistic health service run by my fabulous Insta-sista (and friend) Mel. Mel delivers therapy using EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy) Indian Head massage and hypnotherapy.

Mel’s Mission is to help other women who are ready to change, to break free from the invisible barriers that are holding them back from living to their full potential

Mel’s enthusiasm and personality leap at you through her Instagram account the passion she feels about the work she does radiates from the posts she shares. Mel doesn’t pull any punches either she’s a straight talker who likes to keep it real, but everything she says or does comes from a place of love. You can tell immediately from the inspiring quotes she shares through to her own words of wisdom that Mel genuinely wants to help other women be their best self.

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https://www.instagram.com/tapping.into.change/

Woman ready blog.

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Women ready blog was founded by the gorgeous Lou Kirby and is an online community for women to share their stories, support, inspire each other and in Lou’s words ‘Be Real’.

Lou previously wrote a book about women’s confidence and how they deal with modern-day life, her aim was to find out how real women felt. Lou talked to numerous women about their bodies, minds, work and careers, sex, relationships, kids, and the pressure they feel under to juggle life and much more!

Throughout this process Lou discovered that as women we doubt ourselves, we over-think, we hold ourselves back and wonder if we are good enough. Lou states, We shared experiences, we talked about the good stuff too, the successes, the tips and advice we had on feeling that little bit more self-assured. And we realised we are pretty awesome really but we just forget that we are.

Lou is right, women are awesome! I love Lou’s message and the her Insta account embodies her message to the max.

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https://www.instagram.com/womanreadyblog/

I highly suggest that you go check these ladies out. If there are any perfectly positive Insta accounts that you think I may like please let me know by leaving a comment below. I am always on the search for inspiring Instagram accounts.

If you would like to check out my EM-Powering Instagram account you can find me at https://www.instagram.com/em_power_

Thank you for stopping by.

Love Em. X

To blog, or not to blog?! That is the question.

I have always wanted to start a blog, in fact I have previously started a couple. But I have never got past the first post because unfortunately I have allowed my inner negative Nelly to talk me out of it. Negative Nelly likes make me to feel incapable. She loves to whisper in my ear, ” you can’t write a blog, you have nothing to say”. Plus she takes great pleasure in telling me that no one would be interested in anything I have to say. As well as informing me that there are loads of blogs out there, so there’s no point starting one because everybody is doing it. Just to rub salt in the wound she laughs that all those other blogs are also way better than anything I could ever create.
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 But what Nelly doesn’t know is that this time I am fighting back. I am not going to allow her to belittle me and consume my mind. Since I first started my blog, approximately six months ago, I have been working on myself. You see the only way I can shut Nelly up is if I challenge her, this means mastering my mindset. To do this I have been reading lots of inspirational books and listening to people such as Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins and Gabby Bernstein. I have joined Facebook groups and met other woman that inspire me and encourage me to grow.
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By allowing Nelly to set up camp inside my head means that I will never know of all the amazing adventures that are out there waiting for me. By giving Nelly room to grow I only make myself miserable and why would I want to do that?

I know this blog post is only short and a little random. But I just wanted to make a start, even if it sits here, seen by my eyes only, at least I have taken the first steps on my adventure.

Thank you for stopping by

Em. xx

“Whatever you want to do, no matter how big it is, simply start by taking one little right action.

If you want to write, write the first draft of a blog post. If you want to start a podcast, record an episode using whatever equipment you have available. If you want to make inspirational YouTube videos, set up your channel. If you want to design jewelry, make one simple piece.

Even if you want to do a hundred things….. start with one little right action.

You don’t build anything big overnight. And if you believe you need to do everything right now, I guarantee that will stop you from doing anything at all.

So just take one little right action”

– Gabby Bernstein

Sunday Sounds.

Music soothes the soul. 

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“Music expresses that which cannot be put in to words”.

– Victor Hugo.

This morning I found that the negative committee had decided to pay me a visit bringing with them their agenda of self-doubt and loathing. For a short while I let them have their say and began to feel that what they were saying made sense. Who was I to think that I could maintain a blog? Who would want to read anything I had to say anyway? Their constant tirade of destructive beliefs started to take hold. But just as I began to succumb to the aims of their visit I realised that I needed to show them the door. But I knew that they would not go without a fight, I needed to hit back. So that’s exactly what I did, I hit back with a big blast of music. I turned the volume up loud as I proceeded to dance and sing that big old negative committee right out  of my head.

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Research has shown that listening to your favourite music can help chase away those negative vibes that can plague your mind. Researcher’s at McGill University in Montreal found that listening to your desired music of choice can bring about pleasure and relaxation which can generate the release of the feel good chemical dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that can lead to increased feelings of happiness and joy.

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In Kendall Deflin’s article from 2016 it states, “Music has a direct effect on our hormones; it can even be considered a natural antidepressant. This is because certain tunes cause the release of serotonin and dopamine (neurotransmitters) in the brain that lead to increased feelings of happiness and well-being. It also releases norepinephrine, which is a hormone that invokes feelings of euphoria”. I couldn’t agree more. Music has helped me so much throughout my life and has always played an important role, be it in my everyday life or at big occasions such as my wedding. It especially helps boost my mood and picks me up when the black clouds begin to loom. The music I listen to can also be a window to my soul, take note of what I am listening to and you could put money on how I am feeling at that moment in time. I am sure it is the same for you too.

 

So I know what you are all wondering, what music do I listen to? What gets me out of a funk and fills me with the confidence to give the negative committee their marching order?! Well, I listen to anything and everything, I have extremely eclectic tastes. One day it could be Arctic Monkeys that lift me up and convince me to get on my dancing shoes. Other days Madonna convinces me to remember that I am an utterly brillant, positive ray of light! On other occasions it’s the delightful tones of the divine George Michael, reminding me I gotta have faith!! The list is endless!! But today, and this may surprise some of you, it was the lovely Pharrell that got me back on track with the upbeat ‘Happy’! Yep, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but how can anyone not listen to that song and not let the positive vibes just wash over them?!

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I can hear some of you now,  muttering away to yourself, “that song is bloody awful” and yep it’s not a Stone Roses or Beatles classic, but hey it got me back on track today! That’s all that mattered to me when I was shaking my thang round the kitchen!!

Do you have a song that you turn to when you need a hit of positivity? What music helps you get through your down days? I would love to hear from you. Don’t forget to stop by next weekend for more Sunday sounds.

I hope you will continue to follow me through WordPress. Alternatively you can you follow me on Instagram @em_power__or like my Facebook page – EM-Power  ~all support is appreciated.

Thanks Em. x

All You Need Is Positivi-Tea!

“Tumble out of bed & stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition”.

I have always wondered what Dolly’s cup of ambition looks like. I imagine pink and petite just like the lovely lady herself. But what about you? What’s your cup of choice to kick-start your morning and see you through the day?

I have a vast array of cups, in fact I am a bit of a cup-aholic! I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to my love of cups and tea (I kid you not)!

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See I told you I wasn’t joking about the Pinterest  board.

Some days we all need a cup of positivi-Tea, (or coffee) to give us a little boost. So with that in mind I thought I would share with you some of my favourite positive/motivational inspired cups/mugs that are available to buy. Why not treat yourself to one of these beauties which are certain to fill you with plenty of positive vibes (and tea).

So my first mug of choice comes from the fabulous Hello Treacle store.

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Hello Treacle is a fabulous online store founded by the lovely Amy who is (in her own words) “passionate about spreading a bit of positivity, silliness and the occasional expletive about the place”. ​Amy founded Hello Treacle to support women experiencing fertility problems. After her own encounters with infertility and pregnancy loss Amy wanted to turn her own experience in to something positive. Along with her ‘positive pants’ mug, Hello Treacle also sells a range of badges, cards and vegan delights. Go check out the store!

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Who doesn’t love a rainbow?! Especially one that radiates positivity!! This fab mug is available on Etsy via www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LifetimeSpiritShop. 

As well as spreading positive vibes I also love a good dance, so this mug will definitely be getting added to my ever expanding collection. As well as having a cup of positivi-tea with this beauty it also gives you the push you need to get your dancing shoes on. Dancing is a great way to get you out of a funk so your in for extra positivity points with this mug which is available via Redbubble.

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Another one of my favourites is this gorgeous ‘positivitea’ mug from Etsy shop Exaltation. Unfortunately they don’t seem to be trading anymore, but I just had to include it as it is just so pretty.

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How fab is this little cutie from jitterfly. It is just lovely for a positivly, perfect brew!

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I also have a fondness for birds and love the notion that just like a bird if you aren’t happy with something you can fly high and change your situation. So I adore this cup from the latest Kate whose wonderful creations are available through Red bubble. kate say that she “started drawing mental health art as a form of therapy”.  Kate has a beautiful range of illustrations combining positive and motivational quotes that can adorn mugs, stickers and notebooks to name but a few.

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This Mug  from The Daily Quotes  via zazzle is another one of my favourites.

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Radiate positive vibes from your cuppa with this fab mug from bujutshirtshop through Zazzle.

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I am totally and utterly in love with these marvellous mugs created by the amazingly talented Kathy Weller. How awesome is her ‘progress not perfection’ mug!!!

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Kathy’s online store shop.kathyweller.com is a glorious feast for the eyes with a vast array of her Uniquely Original Quirky Awesome Hand Lettered mugs and T-shirts. I urge you to go and take a look, you will not be disappointed.

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“A women is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water”

– Eleanor Roosevelt.

I hope my post has filled you with some positive vibes.

Thanks for stopping by,

Em. x

Black Treacle.

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Over the years I have had periods of feeling low it was possibly even some form of depression, but I always managed to work my way through it. But approximately 18 months ago I felt like I was constantly living with a thick black fog swirling around my head. In fact it wasn’t even a fog, it was more like black treacle. A thick, dark goo that slowed me down, pulled me to the ground encasing my mind and suffocating me. This was something I had not experienced before, something I could not shake and this thing was literally squeezing the life out of me! Once in its grip I just wanted to disappear in to the darkness, I guess, even though I don’t like to admit it I was suicidal.

When I used to think of someone having suicidal thoughts, I had always thought that it was just a case of wanting to die, to end your life. But, (I am not saying this is the same for everyone) I think it’s just more that you want peace and quiet, to silence the noise in your head. To put a stop to the darkness that consumes your mind from the moment you wake until the moment you sleep, that’s if you can sleep. It’s not that you want to end your life, you just want peace. I didn’t sit there thinking I am going to kill myself because this life is shit & I want to die. I just wanted peace, to be rid of the constant whirl going round my head, I just wanted this torment to be over.

I stopped doing the things I enjoyed, I began to withdraw in to myself. I hated myself, the way I looked, my (in my mind) lack of achievement in life, my (yet again in my mind) shortcomings as a mother, the list was endless! I didn’t want to talk to people, in part because it felt like it was too much effort, but also because talking just added more to the whirling going on in my head that I can only liken to being on a constant merry-go-round. I even stopped leaving the house, I remember having to take my husband to go and collect his car one morning. When he had gone and I had to drive back on my own,  gripped by fear. My legs shook and tears streamed down my face, I was petrified!! But why, this wasn’t me?!! What was wrong with me?!! I sat there thinking I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this, I am scared of doing this. But I knew I had to, I couldn’t sit in the car for the rest of my life!! So I drove home crying, tears streaming down my face, my hands shaking on the steering wheel, feeling sick, but all the while thinking just get home, just get home! Back to the house back to my safe haven, back to what had become my comfort blanket.

As I let the darkness consume me my days consisted of lying in bed either sleeping, or binge watching TV programmes anything to try to numb the negativity in my head. I didn’t wash or dress for days; I filled my face with unhealthy food, which in some way I saw as a form of punishment. I recall one morning just sat there unwashed, in my dressing gown stuffing myself with chocolates one after the other, hating myself. Filling my body with crap was my way of punishing myself for my weakness, for letting all this negativity take such a hold of me. My days were filled with a constant feeling of self loathing, I wanted to crawl out of my skin, I had this continued need to scratch at my skin, to claw it away, to claw myself away and my feelings of self-hate.

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I found my thoughts and feelings also hard to explain, I couldn’t understand them myself so trying to explain them to other people was (and still sometimes is) really difficult.  I feel embarrassed when I say I had/I have depression, but I am slowly learning to accept that it is nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes I think I’m cured (whatever cured is) other days I just want to be left alone to stay at home in my own little world. I think it may have always been here lurking round the corner. Depression isn’t just a case of being a bit fed up. Is it an SOS to the mind and body?! Time to slow down, take a step back, for me I think may be it was. I think depression isn’t one size fits all, I think we can have similarities with our situations, but I think everyone’s depression is personal to them it has its own uniqueness tailored made for that specific individual. Maybe that’s why it so hard to express what it is, how it makes you feel or maybe that’s just my take on it.

Surprisingly there have been some positives from all of this I have met other people who have their own demons and through sharing our experiences I have been introduced to new thoughts and ideas. Social media has been a big positive for me, especially Instagram and Pinterest both helped me to find quotes and ideas that helped me to accept that I wasn’t going mad. Scrolling through Pinterest finding quotes about how this illness made others feel and recognising that they also felt like I did played a huge role in helping me to make sense of what was going on in my head. Instagram and Pinterest also helped me to become more aware of positive thinking and putting a different perspective on my thoughts or situation. Journaling is also another method of self-help that I discovered via these social media sources.

 

A big plus for me is that I have realised that I want to try to help other people, especially women, through positive thinking and self encouragement. I think we live in a society that likes to pull people down, instead of trying to build each other up. I think we also find it difficult to big ourselves up too, especially in the UK. To think “yes, I did good” is viewed as (we believe) a sign of arrogance. Well I want to try and change that, I want to help all you fantastic females to believe in yourselves and achieve your goals, no matter how big or small they maybe.

If you enjoyed my first blog post, please consider following me through WordPress. Alternatively you can you follow me on Instagram @em_power__ or visit my facebook page – The EM-Power~all support is appreciated.

Thanks Em. x