How to slow down, simplify and create a life you love.

When my children were very little I was challenged to slow down and enjoy them. I had to choose to spend less time cleaning up and stressing over the mess in our home and look at investing my time in them. I chose to consciously be aware of how many times I said things like, ' in a minute darling,' or 'when I've just finished this.' I realised that housework had its place but that I needed to prioritise my time to include playing, reading, walking, talking and baking with my children. These are the times we build upon our relationships. When we take time to listen to their hearts and see their development. It was out of this realisation that I wrote the poem 'Slow Down Mummy.' Years on my children are older, but in a grown up sense this is still a continual challenge.

Now my three girls are all in full time school and I run my own Yoga business, teaching evening classes, I work within the childcare sector in nurseries and I privately clean homes during the week. Now I face the challenge of not only being a Mother and a Wife, but also juggling the pressures I place upon myself to be able to do what I used to do before I returned to work. I simply no longer have the time to cook healthy, organic home cooked meals each night or have deep cleaned each bedroom. I am behind in most things I 'need' to do and it can be exhausting trying to stay on top.

But there are a few things I have learnt along the way.

  1. We must learn to adapt and be flexible and apply huge doses of grace on our frazzled selves! I know trying to compete with my former 'stay at home' version of myself is insanity! I've learnt to give myself a break and cut corners where possible to free up both time and energy. I now try and cook maybe twice a week or even just once if it's really hectic. Other nights it might be cooking something out of the freezer and adding a hearty salad instead.
  2. You have to do the best you can with the energy and time you have. We place such unrealistic expectations on ourselves and are more often that not likely to fail at them. This can burden us with feelings of guilt and stress. I now try and get up earlier, just 15 minutes before the kids is enough sometimes. Waking 15-20 earlier gives me time to pour a fresh brew of coffee, do some quiet yoga or meditate on the silence of a fresh morning. This can set my mind in the right direction before the craziness of a school morning begins.
  3. Make a date with yourself for at least one evening out a week. I invest in something for myself, whether it be a yoga class I attend ( not one I teach) or just an hour to journal or write. For you it could be to take a painting class, a fitness class, wine with a friend, a coffee out in a little quaint cafe, anything! But something that feels luxurious to you. To refuel you, to prevent resentment and stress levels from rising. You matter! Your time is precious and how you spend it becomes more important as we age.
  4. We need to control what we invest in and carve out time for the things we enjoy. It could be as simple as taking a walk in nature appreciating the new life that the season of spring brings or as lavish as planning a trip to a remote island on the opposite side of the world. I recently hit the big 40 and I can honestly say I have less patience for things that just don't matter to me. I've realised even more how precious my time on earth is and I am not willing to waste it. There's so much of life I am yet to explore. Family time is extremely important to me and so I need to create time for them. Planning in designated family time is vital! Schedule it in on the family planner, check everyone is free and make a plan. Otherwise it just won't happen. Organise time with your partner in the same way, schedule in monthly date nights, clear a weekend to just drink coffee and take walks, whatever you can to keep things ticking and healthy.
  5. Remove anything that is in your life that feels like it sucks your energy and no longer serves you. Again, you may need to be brave and ruthless with this one. Test it by looking into how it makes you feel. I've recently looked at my work schedule and pulled out things that just seemed too much. Reducing my workload but freeing up more of my time. As a life coach I look at people's lives and goals under a microscope and you can do this yourself too.

WHEEL of LIFE EXERCISE:  Using a tool named the wheel of life. Write a list with these headings, • Emotions • Health • Hobbies • Personal time • Work life • Love life • Finances • Spirituality • Family life • Friendships / social life Look in depth at each area and mark each one with a number 1-10. 1 being low and 10 being high. Then look at all the low areas and see how you could improve or bring about change. With a little investment looking into each area of your life we can bring clarity to the areas which need a little TLC and areas that are working just fine. With a little evaluating and soul searching you can identify areas where you need to invest more time and areas you can drop back. You can create a life that looks and feels more authentic and joyful, bringing you a new sense of freedom and ease.

‘Love the life you live and live the life you love.’
— Bob Marley

5 Tips to Spring Clean Your Closet & Add a Touch of FABulous Confidence to Your Life

Feeling overwhelmed by the piles of laundry stacking up around you? It’s easy to put ourselves on the back burner while taking care of everyone else.

Freshen things up this Spring by tackling the clutter in your closet with ease. Feel energetically lighter and add a boost of confidence to your life by completing the following 5 steps:  

  1. Evaluate your relationship (with your clothes).
    If you’re not totally in love, it’s time to say “see ya later” & pack things up.  That goes for shoes, jewelry, clothes. Even your underwear!  As a social worker by day & Life Stylist by night, I meet women all over the world who are trying to juggle the demands of life. Regardless of their financial status, the women who are comfortable & confident in their clothes carry themselves differently. They have a different level of peace and clarity than the ones fidgeting with their top because it’s too tight in the tummy or hiding behind an old oversized sweater that makes them feel frumpy.

    The items in your closet should make you feel amazing- full of energy & a zest for life. Let your light shine by only keeping things that make you feel FABulous! Everything else needs to go.

    And don’t get caught up in the anxiety of throwing clothes away immediately. I always tell my clients to pack things up (not throw them away). Just put anything you’re not loving at the moment in a tote or box and move it away from your closet (in the garage, under your bed, etc). Outta sight, outta mind will give you a fresh perspective. This way, if you regret the decision in a few weeks and desperately miss your fav pair of shoes, you can pull them back out and place them in your existing wardrobe with FABulous confidence!
     

  2. Pick your 3 FAV outfits in-case-of-emergency.
    Having a go-to style for days when you’re not feeling your best or you’re short on time is a game changer! Think of all the mental energy you’ll save on the days you’re feeling bloated, blah, or running late by putting on something that makes you feel amazing!

    To cover all the basic scenarios, choose one outfit from each of the 3 categories below and have it ready to go at all times.
    1. Work (9-5 attire, Skype meeting, a coffee date with a new client)
    2. Play (date night, Saturday with the family, mom-on-the-go)
    3. Lounging (comfortable attire to hang out in home, but feel still feel confident if the neighbors dropped by unexpectedly)

    Once you get this step mastered, you can try adding another outfit to each category so you have a few to rotate between (2 work outfits, 2 for play, etc).
     

  3. Get matching hangers.
    Want to add an instant breath of fresh air to your closet? Get matching hangers! It will give a streamlined look & make everything feel clean. I recommend a neutral color like white, black, or tan. And if you share a closet like me, try dividing it up visually by hanger colors (my hubby’s side is black, mine is tan).
     

  4. Add more of your favorite color
    Color can be an instant mood booster! Infuse more of your favorite hugh into all areas of your wardrobe (clothes, accessories, shoes, even your nail polish). Have fun with it and really think about how each color makes you feel when you put it on. Generally blues are soothing while bright colors like red, orange, and yellow can add a pop of energy.
     

  5. When in doubt, K.I.S.S.
    Keep it Simple, Sweetie. Looking & feeling FABulous doesn’t have to be complicated. Just remember: wear what you love & watch your confidence soar! Don’t concern yourself with fashion trends or being age appropriate. The secret to FABulous Style is loving what’s on your body.

    My passion is to help women feel FABulous in LIFE & Style- regardless of what is going on in their lives. Because as much as we want to maintain control, crap happens, our energy gets drained, and we often feel worn out and alone. I know from personal experience how important it is to give and receive love in all circumstances. I believe that when we look better, we feel better. And when we feel better, we are more effective in sharing the light God placed inside of us. So let your FABulous light shine bright!

CLICK HERE to get a FREE Shop Your Closet Online Course http://www.fabover.com/shop-your-closet/

/Source

Allison Howell

Allison “FAB” Howell-I’m a social worker by day, Life Stylist by night. Allison combines her experience in fashion with a background in psychology, so that you feel FAB inside AND out. She’ll help you discover your true style, and incorporate it into all aspects of your day, so you can embrace a life that feels fun, fresh, and full of FABulous love!

FREE: Shop Your Closet Online Course http://www.fabover.com/shop-your-closet/

Are you a daffodil in winter?

It's been a tough winter here in Boston.  March is always the worst month for me as I want it to be Spring so bad!  I just want to BLOOM.  And go outside for a walk.  Maybe not wear 5 layers of clothing.  But there is a layer of ice on everything.  So for now, I'm a daffodil in winter.  I'm ready for something new, ready to grow, ready to expand.  

The blog format of Light Happy Life is a lot like this.  We are growing and expanding.  Our blog will now feature articles from coaches and experts to help give you quick tips on health, life, and ways to live YOUR light happy life. 

The private monthly membership club of YOURLHL.com is about ready to open its doors!  I am so excited to help you in this format!  The private club will allow for a focused approach to what you see every month.  We know you are BUSY.  And you don't need a ton of topics (you don't need one more thing to be overwhelmed about!)  The private membership will allow you to have deeper interactions between you and our experts.  

Because the membership is new, I am offering you a FOUNDING membership rate.  This is almost HALF off the monthly rate and there is a limited number of these available.  This is open now so if you are thinking about it SIGN UP before it is gone!