Reflections: Procrastination and distractions – how do they impact your life?

Sticky
Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear – Norman Vincent Peale

A new month starts and can’t believe it’s already September – we start the last quarter of the year and I think… where did the rest of the year go? Time flies!

Do you sometimes have the feeling that time passes and you haven’t done much? Do you tend to procrastinate things? I’m not a huge procrastination myself, I’m more inclined to eat the frog first so I can move on and do things I enjoy. I have to admit though, that sometimes I do. And I also get distracted VERY easily – the phone rings, someone comes to talk to you, an email arrives into your inbox, text message, what’s app message, etc.

It’s hard to get things done and focus when you are a procrastinator or get distracted very easily. Something I’ve found that works for me in order to get better at it is the following (and remember, you need to find what works for YOU):

  • Understanding that when I eliminate procrastination from my life I get important benefits:
    • Sometimes we procrastinate because of fear, so if we take action and do that thing that makes us feel scared, the fear disappears and we gain confidence. Most times, it wasn’t that scary and hard!
    • When we take action, our creativity unleashes and our natural qualities / attributes shine.
    • Our self-esteem grows: we take action, gain confidence, realised we can do it (it wasn’t that hard after all), inspiration shines and we are aware of our real self and value. It can only get better!
    • We get a new level of experience or ability. We realised we can do it so we keep trying and getting better at it (and new things) – we keep learning and enriching ourselves.
  • Power sessions. Those work really well for me when I need to focus on something and get it done. It’s a very easy concept, it just requires discipline. How do I do it? I start my day by having a cup of tea and my moment of gratitude, then I stop to do my mindful breathing for few minutes (sometimes accompanied by couple of yoga exercises) and review my day’s schedule. Then I choose two or three tasks that need to be done (professional/personal) and decide which ones require my immediate attention so I book them in for my power session. How it works is:
    • Get rid of distractions: silence my phone, close my email, if at work I move to a quiet room, etc.
    • Spend few minutes visualising what I want to create and why. What value it is going to create.
    • I make myself fully present in the now and what I want to achieve.
    • I focus and do the task.

And you might thing that it’s easier said than done. You are right! Actually, I’ve been procrastinating for a month the refurbishment of my coming daughter changing table. When we moved into our new home a month and a half ago I decided to refurbish an old set of drawers instead of buying a new one. I got super excited and thought it’d be a great idea. The roadblock was (and is) that I have no idea how to do it. I’ve been procrastinating it with the excuse of having to sort other things in the house first, but reality is that now everything is organised and I can do it. So yesterday I decided to stop procrastinating! Let’s do it – I’ll need to book few different power sessions to do it (one to learn how, go to buy materials, and one or two more to get it done). I’m determined to do it this month – watch out for an accountability photo!

As I wrote in my previous post, this is just something that works for me and you need to find what works for YOU. I just hope that it might empower some of you. Would love to hear what works and doesn’t work for you, and if the above somehow supports what you are already doing.

With lots of love,

Laia x

Friday reflections: Find what works for you

Sticky
Just do what works for you, because there will always be someone who think differently… – Michelle Obama

Do you know what works and what doesn’t work for you? If you do, just do it.

Going through my personal development journey I read, listen to audios, talk to people, etc. to enrich myself and learn from others. I love learning different tools, techniques, etc. to improve every day, for myself and those who surround me. The issue is that I’m the perfectionist type (I know, never aim for perfection, aim for excellence! It is work in progress). I learn something new that it works for others, and if I think that it’d benefit me, I strictly implement it in my life.

I thought that was ok as you are told that consistency and discipline are key to success, so I wasn’t going to do less. What I’ve learnt recently is that not everything works for you and that sticking to things because you “have to” isn’t always right. Flexibility can also be a great thing to incorporate in your life.

I’m 28 weeks pregnant and I feel better than ever! I feel calm, relax, with huge inner peace. It has a great positive impact in my life: myself, my relationships, how I deal with things, my growing baby and so on. Reflecting on what has changed since months ago, I realised that the reason why I feel this way is because I’ve allowed myself to be flexible: stop being so tough on myself, change my morning routines and do what I feel like doing.

I was kind of obsessed with my morning routines actually: get up very early, meditate, read a personal development book for 30 minutes, review your goals, visualise your dreams – all before going to work. All of this is great but when you start doing it because you have to, not because you want to, you stop enjoying it along the way.

Because of my pregnancy, I’m slightly more tired and sometimes I don’t have a good night sleep. So I decided that for my last few months of pregnancy I was going to allow myself to rest and enjoy instead of being tired and stressed for the amount of things that I always had in my to do list. So I started getting up 30 minutes or an hour later, replacing my meditation for some mindful breathing while in bed or while doing few minutes of yoga exercises, leaving my reading for another moment of the day (normally in the evening), etc. And voila, I started enjoying more my mornings which was a great start of the day! I still like having my moment of gratitude in the morning (and night) where I can set my mindset and my intention for the day, but don’t feel pressured if one morning I skip it because I’m in a rush – I can do that in the car on my way to work!

I’ve found another way to do things, a way that works beautifully well for me. Leaving my perfect and strict being and moving towards flexibility has just let me enjoy everything else in a healthier way. Of course I want to keep growing, having healthy routines and get better every day, but sometimes you just have to be gentle to yourself and let you enjoy the little things. At least, it worked for me.

Would you like to share what works for you?

With lots of love,

Laia x

Little things matter

Sticky

Today I was listening to a podcast where someone was emphasising the importance of meditation and how practicing it -even for busy and no so consistent minds like mine- helps you to be “nicer”, less reactive, mindful, enjoy the little things. And again I reminded myself of how important is to be present and pay attention to all those little things: smile to a stranger when you cross paths, be nice and kind with the shop assistant, enjoy the little kick of your growing unborn baby, hugging your partner, etc.

Because those little moments are what matter. Make a difference in someone else’s life, be grateful, add value, enjoy the present moment – appreciate those little things, that at the end of the day, aren’t little.

With lots of love,

Laia x

Are you creating change and making life happen?

Sticky

Post 3 - Mel Robins quote.jpg

This quote is self explanatory – thought of sharing it as I agree 200%!

I keep daily routines such as meditation, reading of personal development content, exercising and those non-negotiable things that need to be done to grow your business. I try to be better every day, work on my higher self and always do my best – no matter if I fall, I stand up, learn from it and keep going forward.

What are those things you decide to do every day, no matter what? What are those things that create change in your life and create what you want?

With lots of love,

Laia x

Do you trust your intuition?

Sticky

Post 2 - Buddha quote

Do you trust your intuition? Your common sense? Your gut feeling?

For long time, I didn’t. And so many times I told myself: “I knew this was going to happen”. Why did I allow it to happen then? I didn’t trust my intuition, my gut feeling.

Years ago I was told to trust my intuition, to learn to listen to myself, to trust when something didn’t feel right. It was a long process, but slowly, I stared accepting and developing it.

When I started doing it, things worked much better for me. Now, I trust the universe, I trust my intuition, I make choices and take responsibility. Because whatever happens in my life, it’s my responsibility. I listen to others, I read, I learn new things – but for things to work our for me, they need to make sense to me.

What’s your personal experience with intuition?

With lots of love,

Laia x

 

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Sticky

Post 1 - Quote Susan Jeffers

We all have fears, we do.

We all have a choice: feel the fear and do it anyway or let the fear stop us.

I recently read Susan Jeffers, a great reminder to keep moving forward no matter what stands in our way, including our fears. I choose every day to feel the fear and do it anyway – what’s your choice?

With lots of love,

Laia x

Compassionate awareness

Sticky
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn

Everyone has heard at some point the phrase “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – haven’t you? Motivational speaker Jim Rohn, speaking about the law of averages, introduced this concept that now is noted everywhere.

Today I’d like to talk about this and how those people we choose to spend most of our time with impact our lives. It’s a reflection of what I’ve learned over the years – when I was young I used to choose quantity over quality. I used to be very social and know lots of people. But as I grew older, I leaned that it’s very important to pick well who we surround ourselves with, and started having difficulties finding real connections. Am I the only one?

Our relationships, financials, attitudes, professional success or anything else we want in our life, will tend to be close to the average of these conditions in the closest people we associate with. Why? Well, look around you. Do the conversations you have with those you surround yourself with focus on the present or past? Do they have a forward-looking, positive attitude or a blame and negative vibe? Ask yourself:

  • Are you surrounded by empowering people? Those who no matter what will find the positives and will find a way?
  • Are you surrounded by people that are draining you down? People that exhale negativity, blame and complain?

We should be asking ourselves the two questions above to measure if we are spending the right amount of time with the right people. And it’s not easy. It’s simple, but not easy. Why? Because most times, those people who are draining us down are close friends or family and it’s hard to drawn the line…

Actually, I used to be one of those people. I was disappointed with life and focused on the negatives instead of the positives which made me a “complainer”. That’s not good. It drains people down. I was lucky enough to gain awareness and see it, but hey, I do understand if I scared people off!

When I decided to include mindfulness and meditation into my daily life I was introduced to the two terms of compassion and awareness in order to practice it. It changed my life by giving me inner peace, something I can’t remember when was last time I experienced it.

It’s funny how very recently I came across the concept of compassionate awareness. Having compassion and having awareness and direction are not mutually exclusive. This concept allows me now to take care of myself, to careful think and discern who I surround myself with, even if that means to re-establish my whole circle. I don’t judge, I’m just honest with myself and ask the questions above. I ask myself whether or not the relationships I have in my life are empowering me, are the right support to my purpose and dreams (and even if I don’t have a clear purpose, they help me gain direction).

So next time you are spending time with a friend or family member and leave the catch up feeling exhausted, with low energy levels, try to reflect and answer the questions above. Then, there you have your answer.

I’m not saying you have to cut someone from your life, but draining relationships don’t deserve quality time – at least from my point of view, that doesn’t have to agree with everyone else of course. There are people with whom you can spend five minutes, but not three hours. There are people with whom you can spend three hours, but not two days.

Look after yourself and disassociate from those who drain you down. If you are working on your personal growth and development, focus on people who understand it and empower you.

The greatest gift you could ever give yourself, the wisest investment you could ever make is your own personal development – invest in yourself: improve, grow and be better every day. And choose well who are those people that walk along your side in your journey.

With lots of love,

Laia x

Friday reflections…

Sticky
“You can’t change the past. You can change the future. would you rather to be influenced by something you can’t change or by something you can?” Jeff Olsen

I’ve not been writing a lot recently, life can sometimes get on the way! But the positive side is that the last couple of months have been life changing so now I have more to share!

I’m currently reading a book called The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen. The content is not new for me but it’s great to be reminded of how important are those little things, easy to do (and also easy not to do), that if you consistently do them will drive you to success. At some point during my reading I stopped to reflect and I realised how many things I’ve achieved by consistently working little by little towards something. And suddenly, I’ve just realised that I’ve turned my life towards everything I wanted in 2 years!

How have I done it? I think it has happened by believing it was possible and being truthful to what I wanted, keeping up good habits and consistently working towards my better self. I guess you want to know what has happened? So, in two years I’ve built an amazing relationship with someone that loves and respects me for who I’m, we got married, we are going to be parents, and we are about to buy our first home! Besides that, we both have started our own professional projects and are well on track. How cool is that?!

I know it’s not just a result of two years’ work, but I’ve not seen the results till now and the last two years have been the scenario of all changes. For example, I always wanted to own my own house. But it was impossible for me to see myself with enough savings for the deposit of a house. However, I carried on saving little by little every month and they grew. I also found an amazing life partner when I was 33 – I always wanted someone like him but I wasn’t doing the right “things” to attract someone like him – I first had to work on myself and grow as a person. Now, both of us can see that brilliant future ahead when only two years ago it seemed very far away. That is magic!

Sometimes we oversee great achievements like these. Why? Because we focus on what we don’t have instead of in what we do have. For this reason, last year I started my daily good habits to grow personally and professionally and rise my awareness. Sometimes, it was tough to keep going as I couldn’t see the results straight away, but it’s been worth it every second!

So, this is not a post to show you all how well I’m doing – myself, like everyone, face daily challenges. This is just a reminder of how the simple things you do every day (easy to do and also easy not to do), the things that don’t look like they matter, do matter. And making the choice to do those things, no matter what, is what makes the difference.

Forget luck – you create your own luck! For years I was focusing on awaiting for my good luck to come that I did nothing to create it. And of course nothing happened! Nothing happened till I took the reins of my life and I invested in myself, my life and the direction I wanted it to take.

So, now that my pregnancy sicknesses are starting to improve I hope to be back writing down my daily learnings, experiences and things that motivate me – I’m sure I’ll get lots of them through this new episode in my (our) lives! It’s beautiful and at the same time very scary, so a great opportunity to keep growing and being my better self with whatever challenge is in front of me.

With lots of love,

Laia x

Quote of the day

Sticky
If you add a little to a little and do this often, soon the little will become great“. Jeff Olsen

Something I’ve learned lately: Success doesn’t come with luck. It comes with consistent hard work. With consistently doing a little bit every day towards your goals. Do what others aren’t willing to do, leave your comfort zone, grow yourself, and never give up.

With lots of love,

Laia

Sunday reflections… Decide and do it!

Sticky
Busy is a decision. Stress is a decision. Mindfulness is a decision. You don’t find the time to do things, you make the time to do things.

Today I’d like to briefly touch on making decisions. I’m not meaning those slight decisions we constantly make: “I’ve decided to get fit” (but don’t exercise few times a week or have a routine, for example). I mean, when you are serious about something and really decide to do it. You decide to take the action required to make it happen. Because without actions, dreams don’t become real. They are just that, dreams.

Don’t stop dreaming, just make sure you put your time, intention and actions towards that dream and make it happen. It’s your choice.

Remember: action supersedes everything!

With lots of love,

Laia

Is working from home for you?

Sticky

Have you ever dreamed of working from home to avoid the traffic in the morning? Or just to have more flexibility and save commuting time? I was one of those wishing it. Now, I work from home and I love it! But… it’s not all a bed of roses. Working out of a home-based office is certainly not for everyone. I’ve pulled together those pros and cons I’ve experienced – feel free to share yours!

Pros of working from home:

  • I save time. Not having to commute to work every day saves me time, money and sometime even stress.
  • The flexibility to wear what I feel comfortable with, working on my most productive hours and fitting potential appointments that need to happen during business hours.
  • I reduce some distractions such as interruptions from other co-workers or phone calls.
  • I save money, not just on the commute but on coffees, lunches and shopping during lunch breaks! I can also claim a portion of my house as a home office expenses.
  • My work/life balance has improved.
  • Mindfulness: I feel calm and relaxed, under less stress.

Cons of working from home:

  • I need a lot of self-discipline: getting up, not getting distracted with things that need to be done in the house (that’s a big one!), etc.
  • Working all day on your my, without contact with co-workers and colleagues, can be very isolating and make me feel lonely sometimes.
  • It’s harder to shut down. Less distractions can make it harder to shut down and more likely that you will overwork.
  • I lose living space as the spare room has become my home office.
  • Relationships are harder to form as it’s difficult to establish trust and develop relationships when you are on your own. I have to make an extra effort to go out and network/connect with people, prospects and clients.
  • When I worked at an office I was exposed to learning and development from my company and peers. When you work from home, you will need to make an extra effort to seek out networking and learning opportunities on your own.

For me, the most challenging aspect at the beginning was self-discipline. I had to make an effort to avoid getting distracted with house to-do things as I always found things that needed to be done. I had to do a mindset shift in order to keep focus on my work when I go to my home office.

Having a separate office works great. However, my husband prefers to work in the living room which made him struggle a bit at the beginning as he felt he was the whole day at work. Ideally, we’d like to have a bigger house where we can have an office space separated from the living space so we can clearly focus on work with no distractions.

Overall, I love having the flexibility to work around my own times and commitments. I love being able to design my day, my week. Love getting up in the morning and going for a morning walk in the park and I’m getting better at differentiating personal from work life when I’m at home – sometimes difficult! I also need to make an extra effort to go out there and connect with other people, which is also good as it helps me to leave my comfort zone.

So, is working from home for you?

With lots of love,

Laia

My daily butterfly affirmations

Sticky

Today I was going to write about my new “challenge” of working from home but I came across this wonderful Butterfly Affirmation and decided to change topics.

Positivity is a must for me.

Positive self-talk and thinking is very important to keep a good mindset. Even when knowing this, we sometimes let our thoughts switch our mood, change our attitude, etc. My mum always tells me: “Laia, remember that you are not your thoughts”. So if we are not our thoughts, what are we? Well, this is something many people asks themselves and I think the answer is deep inside. I read somewhere in the Internet: “you are not your thoughts or words; you are the place where your thoughts and words come from. You are the place where this question “who am I?” comes from.” Leaving you here for some self-reflection…

So, our thoughts are not real then – everything going on in my mind (thoughts, feelings, sensations and everything I am aware of) is in fact happening only in my private internal world. What makes a thought feel real is the attention we bring to it. Sometimes, we focus on a thought so much that we make it into a solid thing and relate to it as if it is an event happening in the world somewhere.

What do you think would happen if we monitor our thoughts so we stop our negative ones and we empower our positive ones? When we manage to “re-direct” our thoughts towards a positive path (via meditation, awareness or any other technique), I can assure you your inner world changes. Mine did.

That’s the reason why I always try to check on my positive attitude during the day, do my moment of gratitude in the morning and night, do my positive affirmations every morning – and now, read my butterfly affirmations every day. Today I got this one: Today everything is unfolding perfectly, accordingly to a greater plan. It made my day. Because positivity boosts have the power to keep you on track and happy with your inner self, no matter what happens in the outside.

I know, it’s easier said than done but hey, no one said that it was going to be easy! So just keep trying.

How can we practice positivity and optimism every day? Here’s some ideas:

  • Guiding your energy through positive thinking so you attract positive energy.
  • Connect with yourself on your own way. For me is meditation or through my inner reflections, for example.
  • Practice visualisation. I do this every morning – visualising where you want to be is very powerful. Remember – visualisation is not enough to make things happen though, you then need to take action and the steps towards what you want to achieve.
  • Slow down in order to move forward. Slowing down is a choice that can lead to greater appreciation for life and a greater level of happiness. It’s quite hard in the current western world but just trying it can make a huge change.
  • Read and watch books and movies with inspiring stories. Also, take the time to journal (very good to release stress) and write down your positive affirmations.
  • Be kind to yourself and practice love every day, towards yourself and others.
  • Practice gratitude and focus on the positive.

I encourage you to practice positivity and optimism, to surround yourself of people who empowers you and has plenty of good energy/vibes, to monitor your thoughts to make sure they don’t lead you in the wrong way.

With lots of love,

Laia

Qualities that will make you a winner

Sticky
“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” – Chris Grosser

When it comes to life (and business) we sometimes don’t understand why some people are successful and others aren’t (we aren’t). We compare, blame, and even associate luck to our success or failures.

For long time I felt that I had lots of thing to offer, a huge potential inside me that I wasn’t using. Therefore, I was feeling unfulfilled. I used to blame others, my past experiences, my bad luck, etc. I was focusing on the negatives instead of the positives – and let me remind you that all experiences have their positives: my past experiences took me where I am today, helped me to grow every day, as a person and as a professional. We ALL have the potential to do whatever we want, this means that we all can make our dreams happen. However, sitting on our couch watching TV is not going to make a shift. We need to take control of our life and take action for it to happen. We need to have a clear WHY, a purpose, that drives us towards our goals. And we need to want to make the change.

We all have what we need to succeed inside. We do have to develop it in order to get there though. We do have to be willing to grow as a person in order to develop ourselves into a winner, in life and business.

Nothing worthwhile is easy – isn’t it? Have you ever wondered what is required to take yourself to the next level? I actually have. And what I realised is that the starting point is making a choice. Success is a choice. Winning is a choice. If you want to separate yourself from the rest, you just have to make choice.

I’m going to share with you three qualities I believe can take you wherever you want to go:

  • Believe: believe in yourself, in what you are doing and why you are doing it. Have a crystal clear WHY and believe that you can do whatever it takes for the right reasons.
  • Commitment: be committed to what you do no matter what. Do what it needs to be done, even when you don’t feel like to. Be discipline with your actions, with your goals, with your MINDSET and ownership, take responsibility. Be committed and discipline in gratitude and practice it every day.
  • Attitude: have an excellent attitude and attract excellent things. Make sure you set your attitude for the day every morning and check on it along the day.

Some more I’ve been taken through recently that I do believe play an important role in our success are:

  • Be passionate and fall in love with what you do every day.
  • Make a difference in other people’s lives.
  • Respect: yourself, those who surround you and what you have in front of you.
  • Practice no matter how good you are at something and put things on perspective.
  • Have the courage to give 100% even when things feel off.
  • Leadership: know your why and empower others, inspire those who surround you.
  • Be focused, take ownership and responsibility – no excuses.
  • Bounce back: be resilient, let things go and move forward.
  • Visualisation: visualise your future before it happens and take action to make it occurs.

I guess we already know most of those things, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves what requires to build the life we truly desire and deserve. Don’t be scared to dream big. Do it and take the required steps to make it happen – take action! Leave your comfort zone and find the way. As the say goes: “when there is a will, there is a way”.

So, what’s your dream? And how are you going to make it a reality?

Treat every single day with gratitude and love!

With lots of love,

Laia

Healthy living it’s a choice

Sticky

A healthy lifestyle not only changes your body – it changes your mind, your attitude, your mindset, your mood. It definitely changed my life when I made the choice to live my life on my own (healthy) terms. What is your choice? 🙂

With lots of love,

Laia

Keep the momentum going

Sticky
“One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” – Michael Korda

Momentum. During the last few months I’ve heard this word quite a bit, but it was just a word.

I recently read this quote from Tony Robbins, who talks quite a bit about momentum. “Success comes from taking the initiative and following up… persisting… eloquently expressing the depth of your love. What simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life?”. While reading the quote I couldn’t understand why, if I was doing everything I had to be doing, momentum wasn’t showing. I was impatient and tough to myself. At that moment I couldn’t see that all I had to be doing is being patient, keep working consistently and steadily, step by step, doing my best and letting things flow. And momentum arrived and it felt AWESOME!

Let’s stop and have a look at what momentum means. The Cambridge Dictionary defines momentum as “the force that keeps an object moving or keeps an event developing after it has started: once you push it, it keeps going under its own momentum”. You can think of momentum as a force unwilling to stop. It’s a word commonly used term in sports – they often talk of a team in a momentum to refer to a team on a winning streak that is seemingly unstoppable.

How many times you work hard and don’t see results straight away and feel discouraged? Has this happened to you? It has definitely happened to me. But – If you stop moving forward discouraged by the lack of momentum, if you stop summing up small (and big) efforts repeated day in and day out, momentum is not going to happen. However, if you are consistent, look for constant improvement and take action: it will happen! We just need to be patient and carry one (something I’m really bad at, actually! Work in progress though).

When we start a new project, personal or professional, we put a lot of energy on it. And let’s be real, we all look forward for the results and momentum to come because when momentum starts, things keep rolling. The greater the momentum is, the harder it is to stop it.

Momentum builds when we ensure that everything goes as planned, that things that need to happen are happening, that we are producing results and our motivation grows and grows. When we have it in business, everything seems to move forward: we get things done, stuff flows and results are showing. And then the magic happens: you look better than you are and you accomplish a lot – because you believe you can do it!

I’d like to share with you my personal experience. I started my business very slowly, I was working full time at the time, under a lot of pressure and stress and had no energy left after my 8 (or more) hours at the office. I did as much as I could, but things were slow. I demanded too much to myself. Consistency was hard due my lack of time and energy, but what was really stopping me was my lack of self-believe. I just didn’t believe I could do it – I was exhausted. I used to say: “I can do it”. But I didn’t really believe it.

Because I’m stubborn and I don’t give up easily, I decided to carry on working and learning till I got my initial inversion back. I wanted to proof myself I could do it so I went to training sessions, conferences, etc. and the shift happened. I started believing in myself. I started believing more strongly in the company, the industry and the business opportunity. And I also started taking action and doing everything I was told I had to do in order to start moving forward. And suddenly momentum came and I started filling my calendar with activity.

It’s still early days and keep working hard. I can see things moving forward. I observe how stuff happen when you consistently work, in your business and in yourself (I do believe that personal growth is essential if you want to develop your business so I make sure I keep developing myself as a person in parallel to my business).

The feeling is amazing! I don’t know how well I’ll do next month, or in the next six months, or next year. But what I do know is that if you are consistent, reflect in what you are doing and find the way to change things that don’t work, learn from others and have your best attitude: you’ll do whatever you decide to do!

With lots of love,

Laia

What’s the big deal about skin?

Sticky

My partner, who reads all my post (or at least I want to believe it!) suggested last week to write about the skin to complement my post about what we put in our skin. What a lovely he is! As I’m very interested in how we look after our skin, I think it’s appropriate to stop and have a look at our largest organ to better understand what the big deal about it is.

The Oxford dictionary says that “the skin is the thin layer of tissue forming the natural outer covering of the body of a person or animal”. What does this mean? Well, basically skin protects us from the microbes and the elements that are in the air – it’s our first line of defense.

It’s the largest organ of the body as well as the largest organ of detoxification so it’s important to look after it from the outside as well as to incorporate proper diet. Our body works as a system where every function is connected so nutrition also plays an important role on how we feel in the inside and we look in the outside. Great skin starts from within – when we feel good in the inside we look good in the outside. Would you agree?

Being our protective covering, our first barrier to fight illness and disease, you would think we all care about it, right? Well, the issue is that it’s easy to take skin for granted. I sometimes get a complement about my face skin: “You have a great skin”, they say. Well, let me share with you something: the difference between neglected and pampered skin is incredible. So ask yourself: how am I treating my skin? What do I put on it? And you might have an answer on why your skin is (or not) looking so good…

To make things simple: healthy skin is vital for us, both emotionally and physically. What we put on our skin is just as important as what we put in our body. Both affect the wellbeing of our entire body so next time you cover yourself on body lotion, remember that your skin absorbs a large percentage of what you put on it.

Did you know how much we rely on our skin?

  • The skin defends us from a range of harmful things each day. Think of all the germs and particles that are in the air. In addition, skin is a protective barrier that helps preserve our internal fluids and organs.
  • Clean pores enable our body to expel waste so keeping your pores clean provides a clear exit strategy for all kinds of nasty toxins that accumulate in our bodies.
  • Our skin provides the first signal to our brain that we’re being hurt or in pain. This signal helps us react quickly to prevent a worse injury.
  • The skin is an indicator for our overall health. Early warning signs of many diseases manifest themselves on the skin.
  • Vitamin D is vital to our immune system. With proper sun exposure, skin plays a large role in manufacturing Vitamin D.
  • Skin is the body’s natural heating and air conditioning system. It helps regulate body temperature and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold.
  • Harsh chemicals, soaps and skin care products that reduce our bodies’ natural protective oils demolish our natural defense strategy.
  • Touch is one the most meaningful ways we connect to other people. Our skin allows us to experience pleasure through touch.

Also, don’t forget appearance: so much of how we feel about ourselves is wrapped up in the way we look.

I hope you are getting a sense of how important it is to look after ourselves and our skin by giving it what it needs. Next time you have to choose a personal or skin care product, be conscious on what you are selecting. A good start would be avoiding nasty chemicals on your skin and eating healthy – you’ll feel the difference!

With lots of love,

Laia x

Photo on VisualHunt

Friday reflections…

Sticky

I’m getting married tomorrow. “Are you nervous? Do you still have time to do other stuff than worrying about the wedding?! Are you excited?”. These are some of the frequent questions I’ve heard for the last two weeks, by text or in person, from my family and closest friends. My response: “I’m not nervous. I’m excited. Yes – I do have time to do lots of other stuff besides wedding stuff”. Why do I say this? Because it seems that it’s not normal to be calm and content before your wedding so you can enjoy it. Actually, the good news is that you can! (Although I guess that tomorrow I’ll get a little bit of stomach ticking…)

Well, I might be the exception to the rule, but I’m happy, calm, relaxed, not nervous at all, and I’ve highly enjoyed organising it since Lucas and I decided that we were only going to do a very simple and casual wedding. Most arguments finished when we decided to have an unpretentious wedding. Before that -when in my head I had this idea of a big Spanish princess wedding with lots of family and friends- the wedding was going to be trouble. We had arguments since day one because we couldn’t agree on the basics. We just wanted different things. I wanted my princess wedding and Lucas wanted a very casual one. When we decided to make it simple (overcoming all my resistance) and mirror who we are, not what’s expected from us, it was different. Actually, it’s been the easiest event I’ve ever organised in my career in events management and marketing! Can you believe it?!

Why I’m telling you this? Because of the internal shift that had to happen for me to see this and feel this way. The swing towards what’s important and what’s not… While initially my focus was others and what was culturally and socially correct, now my priority is us. When the focus shifted to us, what we really wanted and what was important for US, it was easy! I just didn’t want to spend a full year of preparation having lots of arguments because we couldn’t agree on the basics. Not to mention the high cost that a traditional wedding was going to have. It wasn’t going to work.

You might wonder how I did the shift. Well, as most important things in life, I had a ‘wake-up call’ through couple of very close family members getting very sick. Suddenly, my perspective changed. My priorities changed. Not only personally, also professionally. I started asking myself questions such as:

  • What’s important for me?
  • Am I following my heart of what’s been taught to me?
  • How am I living my life? Am I making the right choices?
  • Are my decisions worth the sacrifices involved?
  • What’s more important: getting good money in a stressful job that doesn’t full fill you or seeking something else that gives you purpose (even if the money isn’t good to start with)?
  • Who am I surrounded with? Are they positive or negative influence for me?
  • What are those things I really want to invest my time with?
  • Who are those people that empower me to move forward and upwards in my journey?

And so on. Because our daily choices (the small ones) determine the life we have and our success. So, through being aware and conscious of how I want to live, everything started falling into place. My partner (husband to be soon) was so good and helped a lot when initially I was stressed and with no energy due to my work and sadness for my family not being able to make it here for the big day – he kicked off all the planning. Then, slowly, I started getting more involved and loved jumping fully on board. Now, one day to go and we only need to sort couple of small things that always happen the day before which means that I can relax, feel content and do lots of other stuff. I feel proud of myself and proud of us as a couple for not letting the stress to get me/us.

Proud of myself because I managed to overcome the barrier of what’s socially acceptable and organise a low cost wedding, casual and lovely with those people who matter to us so we can then travel to Spain and Argentina to celebrate there with our wider family.

Proud of us because we have handled it pretty well – at least if I compare it with other people who tell me that they spent the full year of preparation arguing for wedding stuff. Also, because during the last few weeks we have had people visiting us before the wedding; we have been sorting lots of wedding stuff; Lucas has been working so hard on his business; I’ve also been working on my personal and professional projects. All these things had an impact on us and our relationship with little time left for us. But after all, we are handling it the best we can with contentment.

I just wanted to share this story with you as I believe it’s very important how we manage our emotions and how feel towards things in order to have this sense of contentment in anything we do. Because experience has taught me that being stressed and ‘upset’ constantly for what others do or what you do (but it’s not what you wanted) is not healthy. You need to start by respecting yourself. By being gentle towards your body and soul, your most precious assets. Sometimes we are our worst enemies, or judges – don’t judge yourself (nor others). Always do your best, be impeccable with your words, don’t take anything personally and don’t make assumptions. That’s a great formula to live a life full of love, happiness and contentment.

With lots of love,

Laia x

Do you know what are you putting on your body?

Sticky

Following up on my last post on how to identify toxins in your foods, I’ve decided to write a little bit about my own experience with personal care and beauty products. Why? Because my choice of healthy living is from the inside out, so what I put on my skin matters as much as what I eat.

Did you know that:

  • Cosmetics is a self-regulating industry? The people who create the commercial products used every day are who determine if the product and the chemicals contained within them are safe.
  • This means that chemicals are used in cosmetics (skin, hair, beauty, personal, baby, oral) on the basis that they are safe till the opposite is demonstrated?
  • Your skin will absorb chemicals 10 times faster than by way of ingestion because the skin doesn’t have a digestive system or the liver detoxifying process to break the chemicals down
  • The average person puts over 200+ chemicals on their skin every day? 65% of these chemicals are absorbed into the body.

This is something I learnt not long ago, and most people I talk to these days don’t know either. I remember my mum telling me what to buy for my personal and skin care… and I used to ignore her. When she told me to stop using certain brands because of their ingredients, I ignored her. Till one day someone else told me about it, and then it clicked and I realised what I was doing to my body.

An example someone gave once: have you ever received a topical prescription from a doctor, such as an anti-fungal or anti-bacterial cream? Or used a topical pain reliever for a mouth sore (or for your baby’s teething)? What about a birth control patch that slowly releases hormones? Why do these products work so well when applied to our skin, rather than taken orally? Well, I know why now… our skin readily absorbs chemicals and other substances deeper into our body– through our skin layers, into muscles and fat, and ultimately into our bloodstream and organs.

Another example: Make up. It doesn’t just hover around on the outer layer of your skin until you remove it at night – it penetrates deeper and deeper into your body throughout the day.

Scary, hey? Well, I thought it was scary. There is so much information available around about nutrition and skin & personal care products ingredients that can cause cancer and other illnesses that it’s frightening and confusing, to say the least.

So I decided to look for a botanically based safe option (which by the way, I love). But I didn’t stop there – I then starting investigating which are those ingredients that I should be avoiding in personal care products to make sure every time I buy a new product I’m not making the wrong choice. I can’t always buy natural and organic products to be honest, but I like checking that the products I buy aren’t harmful. One thing I discovered is within my powers is not buying nasty, chemical filled products till I can afford or have access to organic, vegan and botanical based ones (and for me is also a must to avoid products that are tested in animals).

Different sources name different ingredients, but there are some that consistently repeat across my  ‘to avoid’ lists and I’d like to share them with you:

  • Synthetic colours
  • Parabens
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Aluminium
  • Synthetic dyes
  • Petroleum based ingredients: benzene, petrolatum, phthalates and toluene
  • Mineral oil
  • PABA
  • Triclosan
  • Hydroquinone
  • Formaldehyde-donating preservatives
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Sunscreen chemicals
  • DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) and TEA (triethanolamine)

Do you feel a little bit overwhelmed with all this information? I did when I started researching it and my first thought was: “I need to get rid of all my cosmetics and replace them for a safe option!”. The reality is that I would be broke if I tried to suddenly replace all of my beauty care products at once. So my first step was to pick the one or two range products I was most concerned about: skincare and makeup.

I replaced my whole range of facial moisturisers and make up, plus my deodorant, for a brand I knew was botanically based, vegan, result driven and PETA certified. That was a great choice and I have to admit that I feel confident that I’m now using a safe product on my body. Actually, I’m totally in love with the makeup range! Even people at work could see the difference when I did the shift, so I knew that besides putting a healthy product on my skin, the results were visible.

So, if you are not comfortable with the products you are currently using, research some better brands or, if you have time, you could even consider making your own replacement – there are lots of recipes online.

Once you’ve found a replacement that you’re happy with, decide what you might like to replace to start with. One at a time, little by little, you will slowly transform your beauty care routine into a non-toxic, pampering affair. Because – as I keep repeating in every post- you are your most precious asset – look after and treat yourself with love and care and enhance your healthy living from the inside out.

With lots of love,

Laia x

Motivational quote

Sticky

“If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. Your vision pulls you.” – Steve Jobs

 

Clean eating: How to identify toxic foods in your pantry

Sticky
“A healthy outside starts from the inside” – Robert Urich

Today I’d like to talk about clean eating and how to spot toxic foods in your food cupboard. Why? Because we are what we eat. In the same way we look after our body through exercise we also need to look after it internally through what we fuel it with – your body is your most precious asset.

I got introduced to clean eating while being a child (back then, I didn’t know the term was clean eating, though). My mum always made sure we ate a balanced and healthy diet. Actually, few years ago she started researching nutrition and alkaline foods. Now I can say that she has one of the healthiest (and most balanced) lifestyles I’ve ever seen. I truly believe this is one of the reasons why she is doing so well going through her cancer treatment and chemo – her body is responding to the treatment better than most people and I’m 100% sure it’s due to all the prep she did without knowing it before getting sick. Now, as you can imagine, nutrition is a priority for her.

Why clean eating?

Clean eating allows you to take control of what you put into your body to fuel it. High-quality, whole and ideally organic foods replace those covered in toxins, pesticides, engineered or food produced in massive factories.

Clean eating isn’t a diet, it’s a life-style choice. It emphasises the quality of the foods you eat, not how much you eat or when you eat. Actually, long before the days of processed foods, pesticides, hormones and GMOs, people ate food directly from the source with minimal processing. Not so long ago – for example, my grandparents used to have a vegie and trees garden (my dad’s parents) and animals (my mum’s parents). They produced the food the consumed: vegetables, fruits, cheese, meat, etc.

The highly-processed foods that are in the shelves of your local grocery store or supermarket are loaded with calories, added sugars and ingredients that most of us can’t pronounce (and lack many beneficial nutrients). These foods are linked to obesity, low-energy levels and an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and in some cases, cancer. Many of these low-quality foods are also treated with pesticides or contain genetically modified ingredients, both of which carry potential health risks. And don’t forget the significant environmental toll.

Clean eating nurtures your body with healthy and nutritious foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed and hormone-free meats, etc. Consistently eating clean food fills your body with vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein and healthy fats. That means that it improves heart and brain health, assist with weight management, build a stronger immune system and increase energy levels – just to name some of the benefits.

The first thing I noticed when I started eating clean was that my energy levels went up! I always thought I eat healthy but still had lots of foods that weren’t ideal such as pasta, processed meats, coffee, dairy, alcohol, etc. When I decided to try a month of clean eating I knew it was a good choice but had no idea of the amazing change that my body was going to experiment! I felt more energetic, with clear mind, my afternoon tiredness after lunch disappeared, etc. I loved it!

How do you eat clean?

Let’s have a look at a few things you can do to make your transition to clean eating as easy as possible and how to identify what are those foods you need to get rid of your pantry:

  1. Assess your pantry (and fridge) and eliminate all foods that don’t serve your body. When I did my 30 day clean eating for the first time, I started by eliminating most of the packaged food such as chips, crackers, sauces, biscuits, etc., and all processed foods – they can be full of preservatives and chemicals that are not good at all.
  2. Spend most of your time at the supermarket filling your trolley with fruits and vegetables. If you can afford organic foods —especially meat, fruits and vegetables— go for it.
  3. Make sure you know what you are buying. Read food labels, check the ingredient list and avoid any product with ingredients that you’re not familiarised with or can’t pronounce. The fewer the ingredients, the better. Also, check for added sugars listed under carbohydrates.
  4. Cook your own food. For example, pasta sauce normally has lots of added sugar. Why don’t you make your own pasta sauce at home? It’s very easy and in this way you know what you are eating. The same works for your smoothies, bread, etc. – everything really.

I decided to take a further step and eliminated any product that contained dairy, gluten and GMOs from my pantry (and also alcohol and coffee for a full month!). I have to be real – it wasn’t always easy and sometimes I made exceptions: it’s very difficult to eat clean when you go out! However, setting up healthy (and clean) nutrition habits is the best choice I’ve ever made. Now, when I’m off track my body feels it straight away, so I try to be caring and loving to my body and give it what I know it needs.

The result of my 4 weeks detox thorugh eat cleaning was very positive. During my first week I felt tired (normal effect while your body is eliminating toxins) and then I started feeling more energetic, healthier and happier, and I even lost a little bit of weight that wasn’t planned. I loved it so much that told my partner that I was going to carry on eating clean and avoiding certain products such as milk and coffee and reduce my alcohol consumption to a minimum. Now we both make an effort when cooking to make sure we cook whole clean meals full of nutrients with those ingredients that fuel our bodies.

Before I say goodbye, I want to make clear that clean eating is not a strategy for losing weight. It’s a lifestyle choice that can help with the weight lose. However, plenty of foods that are considered clean are high in calories and don’t help shed extra fat so if what you want is to lose weight you need to eat clean and make sure you are eating the food that is right for your goal.

With lots of love,

Laia x

The importance of practicing positive habits

Sticky

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, it’s not an act but a habit” – Aristotle

Hi everyone! Hope you are having an amazing week! Today I’d like to reflect on my daily habits and the importance of practicing positive ones.

I’ve always considered myself a consistent person: if I decide to do something, I’ll do it no matter what. But if I reflect back, actually, I’ve not been as consistent as I’d like with my healthy habits. For example, for years I tied yoga and meditation but as I couldn’t focus during my practice, I easily gave up. Or reading, which I love – life gets busy and I stop it. Or being grateful – days pass by, life gets busy and I just stopped expressing gratitude for all the good things I have in my life.

Let me tell you a story. A year ago I found my current yoga studio and decided to do things differently. First, I did a beginners course and sfterwards I started going to classes once a week. It was really good but you don’t get the huge benefits that yoga practice offers by just attending a class a week. Over six months ago I made the decision to attend yoga classes a minimum of three times a week and try meditation, this time seriously (I had tried it and gave up plenty of times). I made the commitment to read a meditation book, Mindfulness for Women from Vidyamala Burch, and take it as a five week course. During this time I was determined to follow all the exercises and tasks the book gives you as homework. If I couldn’t meditate after the five weeks, then I could say meditation wasn’t for me. I started the book and my daily meditation, just 10 minute guided ones, and after a couple of weeks of consistently meditating every day (plus my yoga classes) I started feeling an amazing change. The inner peace and contentment I felt (and currently feel) was wonderful so I decided to make yoga and meditation a priority in my life and both activities became one of my positive daily habits I’m not willing to give up. The change in my soul and body was amazing: the way how I cope with things, the inner contentment, being less reactive, being more present, etc. My body also changed for the best. It really improved my quality life and it’s the reason why I highly recommend it, event for those (who like me) think that they have a very busy mind to meditate (mine is still very busy!).

Few months after starting meditation I jumped into a new adventure (that came with lots of challenges) as an Independent Consultant with an amazing health and wellness brand. I knew through other consultants that the organisation highly supports personal growth, but I was amazed when I experienced the company’s philosophy to fully support and empower their consultants through personal development as the way to success in their business. They also connected me with the importance of my morning routines and started to learn about the importance of good habits in your daily life.

I guess I already knew it -someone told me time ago- but I never digested it. Now I have consciously (and consistently) incorporated positive daily habits in my life so they can be my autopilot on the path to greatness. If I’m honest, it’s not always easy and I can sometimes go off track as life gets in the way, but my healthy dairy routines have totally enriched my life.

Let me share with you some of my daily habits, some of them very recent:

  • Wake up early to do my Personal Power Hour:
    • 10 minutes of meditation
    • 10 minutes of visualisation, gratitude and positive affirmations
    • Reading at least for 30 minutes in the morning
  • Make my bed. You may think this is silly, however, as Admiral McRaven said: “Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do little things right, you will never do the big things right”. I’m very grateful to my mum who since I was a little kid got me into the habit to make my bed every morning!
  • Smile to people as much as I can
  • Eat healthy and clean
  • Yoga or other kind of exercise: boxing, fitness class or a walk around a park
  • Focus on my goals and take action steps towards them
  • Check on my attitude through the day and make sure it’s excellent
  • Express gratitude during the day and before going to bed
  • Work in progress – Lead my life by four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness:
    • Be impeccable with your words
    • Don’t take anything personally
    • Don’t make assumptions
    • Always do your best
  • Reading as much as I can
  • Practicing mindfulness before going to bed and have a moment of gratitude
  • Journaling

Here is the thing: positive habits lead you to being successful, in your personal and professional life. They will always have a positive impact, and in lots of cases, a life-changing one – which is grand!

In order to implement new positive habits I also had to look into my negative habits to swap them. For example, I had some bad habits such as being hard to let things go, being inpatient and ungrateful, beating myself up, etc. to name just a few. All these bad habits don’t serve me and don’t make any good to my wellbeing. This is the reason why I’m extremely grateful to my partner and every person who has helped me to fit my new positive habits in my busy schedule.

I also have to admit that being consistent with good habits is challenging. Sometimes life gets in the way and I go off track. However, I now try not to beat myself up. Instead, I try to do better and reconnect with my positive habits and vision to break the bad ones.

It’s all a life experience full of growth, which I love. I’m in love with my new inner calm, my new contentment and my continuous growth. Are you willing to share what are those positive habits that change your life for the best every day?

With lots of love,

Laia x

The energy you surround yourself with

Sticky

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn

Today I’d like to share with you a recent experience that reminded me of the importance of who you surround yourself with.

Not long ago I was dealing with high stress levels and a work environment that wasn’t ideal as I felt too much negativity around me. As circumstances changed, things improved and once I moved on (left the job) I started feeling balanced again. Actually, I’ve been feeling better than ever since the year started: I left the corporate world full time, started my healthy living program and my energy levels went up, I started my own venture, I’m about to get married, etc. I’m feeling balanced and content so couldn’t ask for more!

We have also had family visiting us which is always lovely. Yes, it can be challenging as your routines change and you lose your own space for few days but it’s still great, you just need to do a small adjustment for a little while. This time we had a new guest from outside the family that we didn’t know and I was looking forward to it. However, as soon as I met her I could feel like someone was taking all my energy. After the first day I was exhausted and my energy levels considerably dropped. I’m sure she is doing the best she can to adjust to her partner’s family but it didn’t feel right at all. We were all exhausted after few days travelling together and I ended being sick as my body somatise all the negativity around me.

The bad news is that sometimes you can’t choose who you surround yourself with (family, for example), but the great news is that 99% of the time you make the choice! People have a huge impact on your life, therefore, with this in mind, you should think about the people you’re spending time with the same way you think about what you eat and how you’re exercising. This is also part of your healthy living plan.

Some people can be ‘parasites’. They suck out your energy and happiness, they spread their negative vibe around with all the consequences that this has for your own well-being. So… why would you surround yourself of those kind of people? It’s LOTS better to surround yourself by positive and energetic people! Ask yourself: what makes someone a “good” person to spend time with? And what are the benefits of surrounding yourself with these people?

The good people I’m looking for are positive, happy people that enrich my life. They can be family members, friends, co-workers or acquaintances I meet at networking events or at the train. They inspire me to be a better person, motivate me to achieve my goals, empower me to make the changes I need to succeed and cheer on my success. They have this amazing energy you feel attracted to straight away.

Why do I want to surround myself with this kind of people? Because my personal and professional success depends on it – success doesn’t occur in a vacuum and your personal improvement leading up to your success can be driven by the people you surround yourself with. I would actually say that one of the most important decisions we make in life is who we choose to be around.

If you look around, we live in a world that surrounds us with negativity. We get it regularly from media and other sources: co-workers, bosses, friends, family and even strangers – have you ever had someone you don’t know to have a go at you for no reason? No worries, it’s not about you, it’s about them. But they spread their negativity around. Then, it’s very important to learn how to filter out the negativity (I know, it’s not easy but you can do it!).

So, what to do? Walk away from those people in your life who drain you of your energy because they thrive on sharing their own negative vibe. Get as far away from them as you can. Why? Because it impacts your perspective with regard to your own life and -in addition- impacts your mental health.

Instead, why not to decide to invest your time in those relationships that give you joy, energy, empowerment and positive vibes. Like attracts like so if you give off positive vibes and confidence and you are genuine, you’ll attract the same into your life. This will lead you to the people that are right for you.

When you’re surrounded by good people, you’re surrounded by life. You’ll be less stressed and find more joy in your daily life. Make a commitment to start spending more time with the good people in your life and make it count.

“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.” – Karl Marx

With lots of love,

Laia x

What wellness habits work for you in your daily life?

Sticky
“To change your life, change your habits”

We live surrounded by information. Every person we know, social media and other communication channel have some advice to give us: keep active, do exercise, eat healthy, meditate, be positive, and so on. It never ends… it’s like the wonderful world of being a new mum. Everyone that surrounds you will have something to tell you about how to look after your baby or bring up your kids. And I truly know that all of them have the best of intentions, they want to help. But I also know that every person is different and what works for me might not work for you and vice versa.

When we decide to improve certain routines or daily habits (basically, when we decide to improve the way we live our life) we end up listening to too many people and might end up feeling overwhelmed. We sometimes try to do too much and stop enjoying along the process, which I’d say it’s not ideal.

This is how I was feeling a short time ago. Being in a moment of huge change in my life I was feeling excited, so the first thing I did when I decided to push myself to the next level was to surround myself with lots of information related to what I wanted to do next. I read, listen to podcasts, joined meet up groups, etc. In addition, social media now knows what you are interested in so kept putting in front of me lots of Facebook groups, webinars, workshops, etc. Many of which I happily jumped on to without realising what I was getting myself into.

Don’t get me wrong, every single group had something to offer and I loved them, but I ended up spending too much time on social media. I moved from hardly being on Facebook (just for holiday pictures posting and a little bit more) to using social media to empower my new venture. And then… all these other groups. My notifications started growing and I wanted to be on top of everything because I wanted to grow and learn. But at some point I realised it was just too much: every information channel has its own peculiarities and its own way to do things, and when you are like me (the perfectionist type) you want to be on top of everything and try every single technique you are taught.

Let’s be real – it’s impossible! I started feeling overwhelmed and didn’t want to spend so much time doing multiple things without being able to focus in one thing properly. Then, something clicked and I told myself: “let’s focus in doing less things right and make things easier for yourself”. And I started doing it and things started to shift (still work in progress though).

So I decided to focus on my wellness and those healthy habits that are non-negotiable to keep moving forward. My daily routines help me to feel structured and fulfilled knowing that I do the best I can every day. Some of my daily routines are:

  • Surround myself with positive and like-minded people
  • Clean eating
  • Get enough sleep
  • Reading
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Moment of gratitude
  • Journaling
  • Yoga classes
  • Walking 10,000 steps every day (preferably walking in One Tree Hill park)
  • Colouring (slowly going back into it)
  • Checking on my mindset and attitude
  • High intensity exercise once or twice a week in addition to yoga and walking
  • Working hard and smart
  • Petting my cat Oskar
  • Be loving to my partner and friends
  • Hugging
  • Be present
  • Be gentle to your body

Others that I find awesome to incorporate as a wellness daily habits are:

  • Laugh: the mere action of laughing releases endorphins
  • Get some sun
  • Invest 30 minutes doing something you enjoy and find relaxing
  • Talk to someone you love
  • Leave your comfort zone daily
  • Enjoy a sunset or sunrise
  • Make social connections
  • Drink water
  • Smile, etc.

What’s important is that you find what works for you and incorporate it in your daily life. For my sister-in-law cooking is her relaxing activity, for me is reading. What works for you? Let’s keep up the good habits and be gentle to our souls!

With lots of love,

Laia x

The power of your morning routines

Sticky

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it!” – Steve Maraboli

I have recently learned the importance of cultivating your mindset and having a morning routine to be ready for your day (I always say, to smash my day!) 🙂 If you investigate successful people’s mindset they all have something in common: focus and believe. How do you think they achieve this? Most of them use techniques such as meditation and mindfulness, visualisation and emotional intelligence.

I was introduced to meditation through my yoga studio and to mindfulness through my partner, who gave me the best gift I’ve ever had: a book called Mindfulness for women by Vidyamala Burch and Claire Irvin. I was finding very hard to meditate as I have a very busy mind (very very busy!) and always thought I couldn’t do it. A year ago I started going to yoga classes once or twice a week and loved it, however it wasn’t till I read the book mentioned above and started practising mindfulness and meditation every day (plus going to yoga classes 3-4 times a week) that I felt an amazing shift on the way I dealt with things.

Back then I was under a lot of stress due a demanding job and the bad news of a very close family member going through a serious illness. I needed to find the way to relax and find my inner peace and decided to give meditation a serious go through Vidyamala’s book – you can take it as a 4 week course where you do daily and weekly exercises designed to cultivate your body, mind and spirit. If I’m honest, the first couple of weeks I thought “this is bullshit” (forgive me the expression!). However, after a month doing my morning and evening 10 minute meditations and weekly exercises, OMG – I started feeling something I had not felt for long time: inner calm and peace. Even I was still under stress, the way I coped with it was so different. It was awesome! I found a way to calm my inner self and be just happy – another kind of happiness, a balanced one no matter what happened in my life, good or bad. Therefore I decided to keep going and never quit it – it was my medicine 🙂

And then, funny enough, when I decided to start my adventure as an independent consultant, I joined a brand which focuses in its people and they personal growth. I loved the fact that they believed on personal growth to reach business success therefore they invested on it. It was then when I was advised to do my personal power hour every morning. My first reaction was: “well, I already meditate every morning”. But this was going one step further than my regular meditation. My power hour now includes meditation, visualisation, positive affirmations, moment of gratitude and reading. Love the reading part – do you know why? Because reading is one of my hobbies and I had hardly practiced it for the last couple of years. This new morning routine helps me now read couple of books a month with all the knowledge it gives me and all the joy it causes me.

Something I’m currently working on is being emotional present so I can give my full attention to the moment or the person I’m with. It’s not an easy task to do this all the time – we have so many distraction starting by our mobile phones. So every time that I’m experimenting something new such as a trip to a new place, or I’m reading, or just checking my emails, I turn my phone off so I can stay present, connected and focused on whatever I’m doing. As I said, it’s not always easy (still work in progress for me), and even more difficult when you work with your phone. But, it’s a great exercise of self-awareness to put your phone away every time you notice yourself going away from your activity, conversation, etc.

Another area that is new for me is visualisation. The purpose of visualisation is to see the results you want to create, before they happen. Lots of sports people do it and works – You visualise where you want to get, build a plan and take action to get there. It is a powerful tool that when you master it, amazing things happen. However, don’t forget to take action, because it’s here where most people get stuck (another full article is needed to go through this topic).

To bring this article to an end, I encourage you to look into the techniques mentioned above and incorporate them into your daily life. In the same way we work out to have nice bodies, we need to work out for our mind and soul (chose what works for you but do it 🙂 ). I found in meditation, mindfulness and being emotionally present my journey companions – they have improved my life, they have truly done it. And visualisation is now the tool I use you pull everything together and start my day with a clear vision of who I am and where I am going. It’s powerful to do it first thing in the morning so you are ready to “smash” your day. Would you like to try it?

Feel free to comment below and tell us your own experiences. It’s amazing to see how different techniques work for different people in different ways.

With lots of love,

Laia x

Embracing your greatness

Sticky

You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously. – Steve Maraboli

Hi everyone! Today I’m posting live from the Goal Coast, Australia. Yesterday I attended a whole day workshop with Joe Rangel from 2Evlove and I loved it – It was enlightening and inspiring. What an awesome way to end the conference I was attending!

What got me on-board straight away was his philosophy of changing the world one person at a time. He encouraged everyone to share what he taught us to empower others – that’s truly amazing! The same way you recommend a good restaurant or a movie, why not to do the same with personal growth? The information he provided was life changing for many and is worth spreading.

Joe spend the day navigating us through fast action tools to leave our comfort zone and grow, as a person and in our business. The understanding (or lack of it) of the importance of growing as a human been in order to be able to develop your business is just amazing. I wish traditional business would also invests on this.

The power of making a decision was one of the topics covered. I’m not talking here about saying to yourself “I’ve made decision of xxx”, but really MAKING a decision and TAKING ACTION. Having a plan A with no plan B, just going for our plan A no matter what – this kind of decision, the one you’ll action and make it happen. Actually, I’ve recently learned that is the lack of action that holds us back most of the time, including me… Would you agree?

Let me tell you a little story about this. I had never heard people talking about taking action as much as in the last 4 months so it’s something I’m currently working on. Last week I was at home and went to talk to my husband to be (OMG it sounds so weird to use the word husband! 😁) and asked him to do some brainstorming to think of new ideas to promote my business. I told him: “let’s think out of the box together”. He turned to me, gave me his full attention and told me (with lots of love): “Darling, you spend so much time doing your power hour, meditation, reading, writing your goals, etc. Instead of spending so much time on these things, invest your time in taking action.” At that moment my response was: “well, I can’t take action if I don’t know what to do so let’s think”. And we happily discussed few ideas on how to attract new leads. Afterwards, I realised that he was kind of right. I say “kind of” because I still think that is very important to invest time (every day) in daily routines that set you for your day, but equally important is to take action. So… He was right.

Another thing that caught my attention was something along those lines: don’t wait to be perfect to take action, aim to be excellent and learn along the way. I couldn’t agree more! I’m the perfectionist type and I know I need to move away from perfection… So another thing to work on – keep up the learning curve! 😊

Also, I had to accept that I’m not taking the action that I should to attract leads, for example, so more work for me to be done in that space… BUT it was so great to realise that! No excuses. No buts. No blaming. It’s up to you how successful you are in life, personally and professionally. So, what are you waiting for to take action?

We were taken through great information and activities to cover topics such as vulnerability, the statements we use, our self-talk, focus, vision, gratitude, mindfulness, self-believe, etc. It was just brilliant – the way Joe engaged with the audience was outstanding. He showed his vulnerability and allowed others to do the same. We all connect at the same level. It was a joy to see how useful his contribution was to no just one person but 100 people. He didn’t change the world one person at a time. He did 100 people at the a time. How amazing is that?

To finish off, something he said and will stay with me forever was something along these lines: You can write your own book right now. You can’t change the beginning but you CAN change the ending.

So I would like to ask you… What’s your ending going to be? 😁

With lots of love,

Laia

PS. Feel free to be in touch if you’d like to go deeper in any of the topics mentioned above 🙂

Healthy living from the inside out

Sticky

Hi everyone, good morning from the Goal Coast! I came here to attend a Conference but didn’t want to miss my post for today so wrote it on my way here (OMG, what an early flight I took!) 🙂

Today I’d like to share my recent experience cleansing my body. Actually, it’s my first time doing a detox and I couldn’t be happier!

Why did I decide to do a detox?

  • The end of the year (2017) was chaotic! I know, not just for me, for everyone. It’s that time of the year when everyone has company functions, you want to catch up with all your friends before Christmas, etc. Around mid-November I was already feeling super bloated! So I said to myself “I do need to do something!”. At this stage I didn’t have an answer for it…
  • In parallel, I started my new health and wellness venture on the side. Initially I decided to start promoting skin & personal care and makeup, products that I was already using and knew well. We also have a nutrition range but I decided to leave it out of the equation for now as I wanted to focus on those products I already knew (and I knew they are amazing).
  • Mid-December I was feeling worst than ever so following other consultants’ advice (whom were amazed by the results of the 30 Days Healthy Living Program) I decided to give it a go and joined the program starting 1 January.
  • On the 29 December I got sick and spent two days without being able to eat due a gastroenteritis. That was my body telling me something wasn’t rights… and I knew then that I had made the right decision.

So, going into the unknown, I found out that the 30 Days Healthy Living Program & Beyond is not just a 30 day detox, it’s a change in your lifestyle, something that you’ll take with you forever. It’s not a diet (you don’t count calories nor starve yourself), it’s a program where you learn about:

  • Whole foods
  • Clean eating
  • What are toxins and GMOs
  • What are the most allergenic/toxic/addictive ingredients from your diet (refined sugar, dairy, gluten, soy, etc.)
  • How to increase your nutritional intake
  • How to effectively remove toxins from your body
  • How to reintroduce certain foods back into your diet after the 30 day plan is completed to see if you do have intolerances

Putting aside the supplements the program includes (which provide extra nutrients that I cannot get enough of through our diet alone and make my life lots easier – for example through the meal replacement shake for breakfast, or the protein shake for those who like having one when they exercise), all the information provided in the program was just brilliant. It isn’t a lose weight program, it’s a healthy way of living 🙂

Actually, I’d say that most of us know how important is our nutrition but I also think people just don’t have the time or the energy to plan meals and move to a healthier lifestyle. Well, let me tell you something: on my second week of eating clean my energy levels started going up and I felt amazing – so no excuses! 🙂 And as per the time… I’ve always said that we do make time for those things that are a priority for us… and I decided that my health was a priority.

Also, I believe that life put situations in front of us to teach us, and if we don’t learn, life will carry on putting in front of us the same challenges. Some time ago, although I knew how important is what we put IN and ON our body (my mum made sure I was aware of that), it wasn’t till I experienced two close family members being sick (serious illness) that I started reconsidering what I really wanted out of life, including what I put in and on my body. My priorities changed and I started making shifts in my life, including my nutrition and anything I put on my body. I have to confess I used to be one of those people who buys the cheapest moisturiser or face cream at the supermarket – products full of nasty stuff.

Then, I realised it – I had had all the information I needed in front of me, I was just not ready to listen to it and take action. Slowly I started moving into a healthier me, first through natural cosmetics and body care, and finally discovering the world of eating clean – which I’m super excited about and proud of myself.

The results speak by themselves: in 30 days of consistent clean eating, no alcohol, coffee, dairy, gluten and other toxic foods, I’ve been able to cut fat and bloating (see my new me in the right! 🙂 ). It might not seem that noticeable but I definitely see the difference in my tummy (-3cm), waist (-2cm), arms (-1cm), and most importantly, I feel AWESOME & healthier than ever. My energy levels are up, as they have not been for years!

I also complemented the clean eating with yoga classes three times a week, a minimum of 10,000 steps a day (I was well over them most of the days), and introduced one high intensity class a week for the last two weeks.

Living a healthy life from the inside out has become a priority for me. It’s about looking after yourself, from the inside out: your body, your mind. And NUTRITION is key! And no, I didn’t starve myself at all – this is not about counting calories and eating less, it’s about giving your body what fuels it.

The beginning of the year is a good moment to take action and make those changes you know will improve your lifestyle! Look after yourself, you are your most precious treasure 🙂

With lots of love,

Laia x