The Never-Ending Pursuit of Happiness

By Leila Edwards

Girl in nature pexels-photo

I was having a conversation with a lovely client recently regarding the never-ending pursuit of happiness. This chat sparked me to write a blog post about it because I think it’s a subject that applies to all of us in one way or another… Why?

All humans have one thing in common – we all want to be happy…

But instead of being happy on a daily basis, we wait. We live our lives waiting for that time in the future we have everything we ever wanted – and only THEN, will we be happy.

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What are you waiting for?


I refer to it as getting stuck in the “I’ll be happy when…” trap. You know what I’m talking about. I’ll be happy when…

+ I lose weight

+ I get married

+ We buy our dream home

+ I can afford a fancy car

+ I get that job promotion

+ I receive a pay rise

+ I have kids

+ My kids leave home

+ I have more friends

+ I can buy the latest xyz…

But this isn’t normally the case… Sure, having these “things” will probably make us feel happy in the short-term, but then soon enough we are seeking something else to fill the happiness void. I’m making it sound like we’re being greedy but let me assure you, it’s totally natural.

So how do we conquer this never-ending feeling of want/unhappiness? We need to appreciate and take note of the little things that bring joy to our lives on a daily basis (not just the big ticket items). Enjoy the journey, not just wait until something big and wonderful happens before we allow ourselves to be happy.

This is the key to finding happiness and feeling truly content.

You’ll often hear quotes such as “Happiness is a direction, not a place” or “Happiness is a journey, not a destination”. Which are great reminders to stop waiting and make the decision to be happy NOW.

If you’ve ever worked with me, you’ll know that when it comes to goal setting I’m a firm believer in the notion that ‘you’re not chasing the goal, you are chasing a feeling you hope reaching the goal will give you’. Danielle LaPorte, amazing author of The Desire Map* got me onto this new way of thinking (if you haven’t read her book yet, I highly recommend it!).

Your goal might be that you want to lose weight – but is that all you want? Or do you want to lose weight so that you can FEEL healthy. Light. Energized. Sexy. Confident (insert your feeling of choice here!). Perhaps you want a career change? Do you really want a new job though or do you just yearn to feel free/creative/respected/innovative/empowered? If that’s the case, then maybe you don’t need to quit your job in order to feel those feelings, perhaps you can create those feelings by sourcing them elsewhere… or maybe it’s up to you to come up with some ideas and present them to your boss so that you can start feeling this way at work.

It’s about making simple improvements and implementing small things into your day in order for you to feel the way you want to feel as often as possible. What small changes can you make right now that will make you feel the way YOU want to feel? The secret to feeling ‘joy’ or ‘happiness’ is that you have to feel and create joy now. As Danielle LaPorte explains in The Desire Map* “The journey has to reflect your destination. You can’t ‘suck it up’ on your way to JOY. You can’t ‘crank’ your way to EASE. Or ‘fight’ your way to PEACE. If what you are chasing is JOY, the process has to be joyful. What can you do right this minute to help you feel that way?”

So YES absolutely set and strive to achieve your goals – I would love to help you do this! – But don’t attach your happiness to the end result.  Instead, try switching your focus to feeling happiness throughout the whole journey. Of course life is always going to be filled with challenges and obstacles and sometimes feeling happy isn’t always possible – afterall, life is about experiencing hundreds of different emotions. But this is YOUR life and if we’re not making a conscious choice – and it really is a choice – to be happy then we are just enduring life as opposed to really living and enjoying it.


How can you evoke the feelings that you want to feel every day?

+ Doing things that you love to do on a daily basis. Write a list of things that you LOVE doing (I do this exercise with all of my clients). Are you doing at least one thing off this list every day? If not, start now!

+ Set heart-centred goals that are in alignment with how you want to feel. Ensuring that the action steps that you need to take in order to reach your goal are going to make you feel the way you hope to feel when you achieve the end result – not just at the end but the WHOLE way through

+ Taking the time to enjoy and appreciate the little moments that bring you daily joy.  A beautiful flower, a child’s laughter, stepping out into nature, finding a great bargain, a meaningful chat with a friend…

+ Learn from life’s obstacles and find hidden messages in the challenges (including challenging relationships). By this I don’t mean analyse every situation or place blame on others – I mean look for ways to grow, learn and expand. How did this experience make you a better person? What did you learn about yourself? What lesson was that relationship meant to teach you? Always find little gems in the good and the bad experiences that life throws at us.

+ Presence and gratitude. Presence and gratitude. Presence and gratitude. Incorporate exercises into your daily routine that encourage you to live in the present moment: Practising mindfulness, meditation, breathing techniques. Keeping a Gratitude Diary – writing down at least three things daily that you are grateful for –  can really help you to focus on the positive and wonderful things that we do have in our lives as opposed to focusing on the negative and/or what’s lacking.

 

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“If you want to find happiness, find gratitude”. – Steve Maraboli


I hope you enjoyed this post! Did it resonate with you? Are you stuck in the “I’ll be happy when…” trap? Tell me about it in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. As always, if you know someone who would be interested in reading this article then please share the love by clicking on the below share buttons x

*This is an affiliate link where I will receive a small kickback if you purchase through my link – I will only ever promote, share and associate myself with products and people that I believe in.

{IMAGE CREDITS} Cover image 1 via Pexels | Image 2 via Stock Snap | Image 3 via Steve Maraboli

My Journey to Living a Life Less Cluttered

By Leila Edwards

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Clutter. It would have to be one of the most stressful things that we have in our lives, agree?

It seems that the more belongings we have and the more we own in terms of ‘stuff’ – the big stuff – cars, houses, property, shares – all become harder to keep track of due to all of the never-ending maintenance, associated bills, rates, licences, not to mention the responsibility that come with it… STRESSFUL!

Well the same goes for all of the ‘little stuff’: Clothes, shoes, books, handbags, DVD’s, magazines, paperwork, electrical cords and chargers, coffee mugs, beauty products… The more belongings we have and the more clutter and mess we have surrounding us, the more stressed and overwhelming things become. As the number of ‘things’ start to increase and take over our personal living space our overall sense of peace and happiness begins to decrease. Who has ever needed 15 coffee mugs anyway?

One word I chose to put on my vision board this year was SIMPLIFY.

I wanted to simplify my life and to me this means having physical and mental clarity. Physically having less STUFF taking up space in my home and surroundings. Mentally having less stress and freeing up some space in my BRAIN! Having the capacity to think and dream and create – to do the things that I love to do – as opposed to filling my mind with incessant worrying about to-do lists that I never got around to, along with other meaningless mind-clutter. To simplify my inner and outer worlds… Peaceful. Relaxing. Calming. Ahhhh…. Who doesn’t want to be able to describe their life using those lovely words?! And let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to relax and unwind when you’re sitting in the middle of a pile of crap.

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“Cluttered surroundings create cluttered minds” – Tweet that (just kidding, I don’t even know how Twitter works… yet. Watch this space.)

I’ve always been a cluttery (made-up word) person – not by choice, that’s just how I am. As a teenager my bedroom was always a mess and as an adult I’ve struggled to keep the clutter at bay, even though I hate it. There always seems to be a pile of books, stacks of papers, a stash of toys or random bits of stationary piling up nearby. And it truly drives me nuts.

Enter the KonMari Method.

Recently, I got a hold of a book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Japanese decluttering queen Marie Kondo. It only took me a few days to power through it – and those who know me will know that this is record timing! Basically the idea behind the KonMari Method is that you only keep the things that SPARK JOY. While this isn’t always feasible – I wouldn’t say that my kitchen appliances exactly “spark joy”, but I need to keep them around right? – The concept really struck a chord with me. I was intrigued. I actually couldn’t wait to get started.

KonMari Book

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo


I’ll admit, the book can get a little cray at times… folding socks instead of balling them together to give them the respect they deserve (okaaaaay…) and saying hello to your house when you return home (Stick with me here!) BUT – I love the overall message. Surrounding yourself with things that you love and that make you happy can’t be a bad thing. And I reckon that any form of decluttering is good for the soul no matter how much or how little you get rid of, you are still creating SPACE!

I started by coming up with a vision of how I wanted my life and surroundings to look and feel. Here are some of the words I came up with…

My Vision


So what has applying the KonMari Method meant for me? Much to my husband’s delight (Chief ‘Throwing-Out-Everything’ Man) I have started to sell/bin/giveaway and generally cull many of our belongings. This started with going through my collection of clothes. Why is it that we always say we have nothing to wear but when it comes to the folding up and putting away the dreaded washing mountain (or is that just me that has one of those??), we seem to have an abundance of clothes and too many to manage? Well after reading this book I’ve come to realise that I owned FAR too many clothes, but very few of them “sparked joy”. I actually didn’t LIKE most of them. I literally had close to 100 singlet tops stuffed into my drawers that I never wore – they were either too young looking/didn’t suit me/too small/too whatever – and yet I still kept them. As it is, I try not to wear many singlet tops anymore due to repeated sun damage from when I was younger, so WHY did I hang onto these clothes for so long when I didn’t even wear them? Crazy. It was the same story for shorts and pants. Off to the local Vinnies they went.

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Before and after pics of the clothes sorting!

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My ‘tops’ are now looking a lot more user-friendly


When it came to dresses, I seemed to have more in my closet that were brand new and still had shop tags on them than those that didn’t. I sorted through them and decided to sell about half (mostly the ones that still had tags on). So I took to some of our local ‘For Sale’ facebook groups and started advertising. On the selling pile included a beautiful dress that I had bought a few years back that was 2 sizes too big for me and that I had great plans of getting altered. Never happened. It was great to see it go to someone who fell in love with it straight away. She had recently lost a lot of weight and looked fabulous in it! Gotta love a feel-good moment and it was win-win for both of us.

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The culled dress collection


Next on the list, books! As a book lover and someone who has a big collection, I’m not looking forward to this one, but the thought of only keeping books that I love and WILL read again actually kind of excites me… I’ll keep you posted.

The Benefits of Decluttering

+ Less stress & less mess = Less overwhelm (the less you have, the less you have to put away and manage!)

+ Less time cleaning = More time for the things and people you love!

+ A clearer, calmer mind = Focus & mental clarity

+ Buy less crap = Save more money (for awesome things like holidays!)

+ More gratitude and appreciation for what you have = Creates more abundance in your life. How does the saying go? Where energy flows, abundance grows? Something like that.

Some tips on decluttering: KonMari Style!

+ Only keep things that SPARK JOY! Ask yourself “Does this item make me happy? Does it bring me joy?”

+ Follow the correct order when sorting through your belongings. I found this cute, printable guide here

+ Fold/hang clothing correctly to save space – there are plenty of videos on YouTube demonstrating the KonMari way of folding

And my 2 cents worth…

+ Keep in mind that it’s super important to keep on top of your clutter. It sneaks back into our homes and lives on a daily basis. Think about it – mail/bills, school newsletters, kids drawings, magazines/newspapers. The list goes on. Read them and then bin them or file them straight away. Don’t start creating those piles again!

+ When it comes to shopping, before you buy something – whether it’s a new item of clothing/jewellery, an ornament for the house, a book, anything –  make sure that it’s something you really love! Are you going to wear/use it or is it going to sit there un-used, un-loved, taking up space and collecting dust? To stop things from getting out of hand again, why not try this out as a rule of thumb: As something comes in, something goes out. When you bring something new into the home, donate, sell or get rid of something old. Simple.

As a side note…

I’m all for teaching my kids about responsibility and looking after their belongings, but lately their rooms have been worse than they EVER have. I’m so sick of telling them to tidy up! And I know they are sick of being asked… So it was great timing when I came across this article a couple of days ago.

It’s about an idea called The 20-Toy Rule and it’s as simple as name suggests. You get your kids to sort through their toys and pick out 20 toys each to keep. That’s it. The rest magically disappear… This method makes things more manageable for the child and less overwhelming for them when it comes to tidying their rooms. They can also see everything they own and therefore they’re more likely to appreciate and play with it. As soon as I read the article I was immediately sold! The kids? Not so much. But I am determined to work on them!

I will be bending the rules slightly to suit our family. I personally think that 20 toys isn’t a lot and I’m happy to increase that number with my kids to something that we can all agree on. I think they will be more on board with the idea if they can be involved in the process and help to set the boundaries. To help them understand and appreciate how lucky they are, I’ll be getting them to donate some of their unwanted toys to kids less fortunate (including the Department of Child Protection, the children’s ward at the local hospital and the women’s shelter) as well as selling some items to make a bit of pocket money.

So there you have it. The beginnings of my quest to live a life less cluttered. I still have a long way to go, there’s heaps of stuff I still need to sort through, but I’m making some serious progress. I love the idea of being grateful for and appreciating what I own and surrounding myself with the things that I love and bring me joy – flattering clothes, family photographs, pretty colours, fresh flowers, books that inspire, lovely smelling candles… My advice to you would be to do the same. KonMari the shit out of your life (literally!) and see for yourself how good it feels to clear some space and surround yourself with things that spark joy.

What did you take away from this post? Will you be giving it a go yourself? I’d love to see your before and after pics if you do. If you know someone who would be interested in reading this article then please share the love by clicking on the below share buttons x

*This is an affiliate link where I will receive a small kickback if you purchase through my link – I will only ever promote, share and associate myself with products and people that I believe in.

{IMAGE CREDITS} Beautiful artwork via VOL25 | Simplify text via Pinterest

How to Attract Beautiful Female Friendships

By Leila Edwards

Girls on Beach - stokpic

 

I’ve been compelled to write about something that has been coming up a lot lately with my beautiful coaching clients. Almost all of them are craving (and I mean really craving) this one thing… Friendships. Authentic, supportive, effortless female friendships. The kind where you feel understood, held and like you just belong. Friendships that are encouraging, uplifting and inspiring. None of this draining, exhausting, fake-friends business either – no, I’m talking about true friends.

As we get older, our interests and passions can start to change and evolve. Friendships quite often drift apart as a natural progression of people changing or moving away. It’s very normal, but it can also be sad and lonely. Beautiful, strong friendships is something that everyone wants in their lives – but making new friends as an adult can be hard sometimes!

So how can you call in some of these soul-sister-like friendships into your life and find those people who “just get us”?

+ Try new things, go new places

It really doesn’t get any more obvious than this, but you need to ‘put yourself out there’. By starting to do the things that you really love to do, as well as trying new things (think about what you’ve been wanting to try forever – yep THAT!), you’ll be surrounded by people who share similar interests to you.  So what are you waiting for? Join a group, take a class, sign up for a course – whatever you need to do to put yourself out there and enjoy doing the things that light you up and bring you joy.

+ Just be you

When you’re looking to make new friends, you really need to be authentic. Just by being your true, authentic self, and showing up as who you are (warts and all!) you will attract the right people into your life. When you try to be someone else, you’re drawing in the wrong crowd for you. And be prepared – you’re not going to win everyone over and not everyone is going to like you. But that’s totally fine, it just means that they aren’t the right people for you anyway. You just need to show up as yourself and be unapologetic about it! How easy is that?! It will take up so much less energy than trying to pretend and keep up a charade.

+ Connection is a clue

If you feel a pull towards a certain person, be bold and make the first move! If you keep bumping into the same person, because they are frequenting the same places as you, it’s pretty safe to say you probably have a fair bit it common with them. So if you feel that there is a connection there and you think it’s possible that they could become a good friend, listen to your intuition, be brave, swallow your pride and reach out! Introduce yourself, start up a conversation, ask them to catch up for a cuppa/lunch/playdate with the kids/a girly movie. – whatever – and just see what happens. Yes, it’s scary. Uncomfortable, without a doubt. But you’ve got nothing to lose and who knows, maybe a beautiful friendship to gain.  Extend an invitation (send that text you’ve been too shy to send!) because nearly everyone loves being invited to things – you do, don’t you?

+ Create space

In order to call new friends into your life, you need to make room for them. This means saying no to toxic friendships and spending less of your precious time and energy on the people who are draining you. You know the people who I’m talking about. They’re the ones who are always negative, bring you down, use you, or rain on your parade. Maybe they don’t believe in you, they aren’t supportive or it’s always ‘all about them’. If you keep spending time with the people who drag you down, you’re not opening up the space for inviting new people to come in AND you’re sending out the message that you don’t need any new friends.

+ Consistency is key

It’s important to remember that friendships (like any relationship for that matter) take work and don’t develop overnight. Nothing will eventuate unless you nurture it and have consistent contact. Choosing an activity that is reoccurring is a great way of ensuring that there is that consistent connection. Maybe a weekly class, a monthly book club or even catching up to watch a weekly TV show together. Scheduling regular catch up’s will give your friendship a chance to bloom and flourish.

 

Jim Rohn famously said “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. So who are the 5 most prominent adults in your life? Who do you spend most of your time with? Do these people light you up, encourage and inspire you? Or are these relationships exhausting and soul-destroying?

Life is too short to not surround yourself with loving, inspiring people who love and respect you just the way you are, agree?

I’d like to get a bit workshop-y with you now so grab your journal or piece of paper and ask yourself the following questions…

Who do you already know that you would like to make more of a connection with?

What can you do to start building a relationship with this person? How can you take action today?

I really hope that this post resonated with you and has given you the confidence to be brave and reach out. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. What are your thoughts on female friendships? Do you have any tips to share with my lovely readers?

Image courteous of stokpic.com

The Essence of Life Coaching

By Leila Edwards

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I recently read a post by another Coach that really got me thinking… She was asked by a friend if she thought it was “sad” that people need a Life Coach. Asking “Are we really that lost?”

Wait… what?! Lovely lady, is that what you think? Does Life Coaching still have a bit of a stigma attached to it in your eyes? If so, please stick with me here whilst I clear a few things up. I want to show you that having a Coach is ANYTHING but sad…

In this awesome Move Nourish Believe article with Rachel MacDonald (from In Spaces Between), Rach says,

“The beautiful thing about Life Coaching is – distilled to its essence – it’s about empowering people to move from where they are to where they want to be, so honestly, working with a coach is for absolutely anyone that wants to create positive change in their lives”.

Life Coaching is for passionate people wanting to OWN their life and make the very most out of it! It’s for smart women who want MORE and to live a life they love. Women who are ready and wanting to take inspired action, get excited about their future and put some juicy plans in place to get things in motion. Perhaps you want to take control of specific areas of your life (eg your health), or need support in certain areas such as your career (soul-destroying job, anyone?). You might be feeling stuck in some areas and not sure where to begin. This doesn’t make you ‘sad’ though my lovely. The beauty of having a Coach is that over the course of the program, you will go through all of the different areas of your life and fine tune them all, putting extra effort into those areas that you aren’t 100% satisfied with.

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10 Random Things About Me

By Leila Edwards

random things about me

I wanted to start my blog on a bit of a fun note and so for my first shot behind the bloggers wheel, I have decided to share a few interesting/fun/crazy facts about me so that you can get to know me a little bit better. OK here goes, don’t laugh!

1. I’m left handed

2. I have a fear of birds!

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3. My fav TV show is Revenge

4. I am definitely not a morning person (nor am I a night person for that matter… I’m more of a “sleep” person)

5. I am a big fan of tea

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6. I’ve lived in the same town for 24 years (more…)

Going Coconuts Over Coconut Oil!

By Leila Edwards

coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of my must haves, one of my all time favourites. It’s an amazing product and something that I use EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Below is a quick list of just some of the ways that you can incorporate coconut oil into your daily routine. I LOVE the stuff and go through a jar at least once a week. I keep a jar in the pantry and a jar in my bathroom.

I buy the brands in today’s photo and yesterday’s photo as they are readily available from my local supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths) but you can buy coconut oil from health food stores or online. Just make sure you get one that is organic, virgin, cold-pressed and unrefined.

This amazing, versatile product has so many different uses, not to mention the benefits!

1. Cooking – Coconut oil is believed to be the healthiest of all the oil to cook with. It is suitable for cooking at high temperatures as it doesn’t turn rancid and oxidize when introduced to high heat (unlike many other oils). It also lasts for ages with a shelf life of approximately two years

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