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The Power of Small: Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better

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Something I’ve noticed so much with myself and with clients I work with, is the power of small. I know, it sounds very unsexy because we all want huge transformation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about exponential change and transformation, but despite being able to take huge action on something we want to change, you can’t quite hack your emotions in the same way. Sometimes you can’t physically hack your body in this way either.

I’ve experienced so much frustration with my health over the last year. For months I was trying to take these big leaps – working out hard to prove to myself I ‘could’, attempting to eat things, which I knew I’d become intolerant to because I wanted to feel ‘normal’. The intention was good but what happened was feeling utterly exhausted and ruined the day after working out and feeling unwell due to eating foods my body couldn’t tolerate.

When you’re going through a breakup, you want to feel better and back to your old self. Whilst you will get that in the long-term, you have to take small, incremental steps to get there. You can’t just leap forwards to ‘better’ or ‘normal’. (Um, if you can, please tell me how!)

If you find yourself self-sabotaging in this way, then I have a few tips for you that should help.

Say we’re measuring how you feel on a scale of 1 – 10 (sorry – I hate to use scales as much as I do spreadsheets but this is the best way I can illustrate this!) with 1 being the worst you could possibly feel and 10 being vibrant, exhilarated, full of energy and the best you could feel, where would you sit?

Ok, so whatever that number is, what would it take to get you to a 0.5 above that? What small things could you introduce into your day, self-care practice if you have one (which I strongly recommend!) or mindset? What would need to happen?

Next I want you to write down these things and how they would make you feel by doing them. How would things change for you? I know that a 0.5 isn’t hugely measurable but what’s important, is that your brain can comprehend feeling this way because it isn’t 10,000 miles from where you are now. Jumping from a 3 to a 7 – yeah that sounds awesome but your subconscious brain is just going to call BS on it. It won’t believe it’s possible because so much would have to change in such a short space of time. Your emotions need to adjust. You know you’ll get to that 7 in time because I bet you’ve got there before from a 3. You can already trust that. But taking a small step up the scale isn’t going to make you self-sabotage in the same way that leaping to that 7 could.

I recently had a session with a client who did this and his 0.5 up the scale was coming home from work, opening the windows to let some fresh air in and tidying up the house instead of coming home from work and sleeping. Doesn’t sound radical but for him that meant his doing the everyday things that represented his ‘normal’ and feeling content. Removing the stagnant atmosphere in the house.

The actions aren’t hugely exhilarating but they’re far more appealing to him than what he’s doing right now. They remind him of the person he wants to be again and by doing these small things, he can feel like he’s becoming that person instead of just waiting for it.

The idea, is that you do this consistently to keep moving up the scale and what you’ll probably find is that you can start to take bigger leaps. I’ve done this with my health and it’s really worked. Instead of going all gung-ho with my workouts, I’ve started with yoga, walking and some resistance work. I don’t break a sweat or feel like I’ve had an immense workout but I feel better because I can keep some level of consistency. I’m sticking to foods I know work for me and trying new things every so often to see how I react. Emotionally I do the same thing because that side of me got a good kicking too throughout the whole experience.

If you’re going through heartbreak, you can do this too of course (as my client I’ve mentioned did). It works really well. What would that 0.5 look like? What would it feel like? What would you do to get there? Go from a 3 to a 3.5 and in the next few days after you’ve gotten used to that, what would you need to do to get to a 4? And so on.

See how you go with this – I really hope you find it helpful!

I’ve been fairly quiet on the blog for the past month! At LY HQ there’s been so much good stuff going on. My new website with all my new coaching programs around bouncing back, transformation and creating a drama free life (because we all want that, right?!) will be going live in a few short weeks and I’m putting together some events and private workshops, which will be listed on there too. I’m buzzing about being able to help you all in a MUCH bigger way as I’ll be honest – it’s my mission. My why.

As for the Let’s Talk Heartbreak podcast, I’m going to be relaunching and rebranding that too come the summer. Breakups will still be something I cover but it will be much more focused on the idea of bouncing back and transformation with broader subjects. Will keep you all posted!

On a personal level I’ve just moved into a new place and I couldn’t be more excited! There’s something about this time of year that feels so fresh – out with the old, in with the new as they say 🙂

As always, please reach out to me if you need to or to find out about how to work with me on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com

Love,

Laura x

What to do when you Feel Stuck

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Hi everyone! Apologies for the delay in the lack of posts recently but after getting back from LA I’ve been taking some time out to get readjusted back into UK life, to work on my new coaching programmes, website and think about where I want to take the Let’s Talk Heartbreak podcast. Lots of newness! I’ll share more later in this post on that.

I’m a big believer in being raw and open on here, and something that has come up personally for me, and definitely over the past year, is getting to a point of not knowing what to do and figuring out how to navigate yourself through that. I’m sure many of you have felt this way too – whether it’s as a result of going through a breakup, heartbreak, health, work, how you feel about yourself or an accumulation of all of those things.

So today I want to share a few ways to cope in those moments.

Firstly, when we go through life, it’s easy to take on the belief that unless things are flowing, going well and that we’re generally feeling happy and upbeat that when the harder stuff hits us, that is when things get ‘bad’.

Something that really helps me is to not attach any weight to whether I feel ‘happy’ or ‘sad’. Obviously the aim is to feel good and happy the majority of the time but the shitty-feeling emotions and feelings that we experience are actually, just as valid. They’re just as important, if not even more so at times.

Something that really hit home with me was this quote -:

‘You are not your feelings’

It might initially sound a bit hippie/hocus pocus but I really believe it carries so much meaning. They say that what you need to know or hear, the universe (or whatever you want to call the greater power that’s out there if you believe in that, like I do), will hammer it home to you in the most weirdest and wonderful of ways. For me, this quote has come up so many times over the past couple of months. And it’s so true. Just because we feel sad, upset, in despair or down, that doesn’t mean that everything is ‘bad’ or that it’s a reflection of us as a person. It’s just a feeling.

What is does tell though, us is that the feeling is a signpost. It’s an alert to show us that something is off, isn’t in alignment and a calling I suppose, to get introspective and explore that side of things more.

I’ve already shared that I’ve broadened my coaching to beyond breakups and heartbreak now but it has taken me a long time to give myself permission to do that and actually embody it. I’ve struggled to write posts on here and on my social media because part of me has felt that anyone reading my blog (and I’m so thankful for every one of you that does!) only wants the breakup advice content. The thing about breakups though, is that they’re usually a signpost. Of course, breakups are bloody awful but when I work with people, the crux of the struggle when they really can’t get over an ex goes way beyond the ex. Usually, it has nothing to do with the ex at all when we cut back those layers.

Even though I’ve known this and had a calling to talk about so much more – and even things that are way off relationship territory – including more lightweight fun stuff like health, style, entrepreneurship and motivation/mindset, I’ve felt so stuck because I thought this is what people didn’t want to hear. But actually, on closer inspection, that bad feeling of stagnancy revealed to me that I was totally out of alignment.

That feeling consumed me for a while and to be honest, very recently too. But as I’ve learnt to lean in more to that discomfort instead of trying to find ways to ‘cure’ it, it told me exactly what I needed to do to get myself out of that. As I’m learning to stop ‘doing’ and start ‘being’, I’m getting answers. Start creating content that’s more about what I want to create and feel called to create because that is what will resonate most with the people who need to hear it. And it will mean my work, coaching and what I put out there is 100 times more authentic, fun for me to create and of value to others. I will still talk about heartbreak, dating and relationships of course and will still be coaching people through it if they need that aspect of it, but it won’t be my sole focus because I have a lot more to give.

So I want you to think about what this feeling of not knowing what to do is telling you? What’s the deeper message?

Some ways I suggest you do that is firstly, to get serious about your health. Let me tell you that you can’t pull yourself out of anything emotionally if your health is suffering in some way. It’s times like this, you have to pull out your internal big guns and take responsibility for the foundations – which your health essentially is. Feeling stagnant and dis-attached is often a reflection of what’s going on physically. So find ways to move every day that feel fun to you and not like a chore, eat well, sleep well and explore ways to shift your internal energy. Notice what feels good in your body and what causes you to crash when it comes to food and drink. Find ways to relax.

I’m serious, prioritise this.

I know this health one is something that everyone and his father says – it isn’t revolutionary in the slightest. But I promise that when you put attention on bringing your physical body and emotions into balance, things become clearer, you get the answers you need and life seems brighter.

The next thing is to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. I had a conversation with my mentor the other day who is such a blessing to me, and it shifted so much in me that was feeling overwhelmed and stuck. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a coach, but someone who you trust, who will be compassionate and who will hear where you’re coming from without judgement. We can easily tend to bottle things up so much, build them up and go crazy trying to find solutions that often end up in knee jerk, short-term solutions that don’t work. But an outside perspective can offer that sigh of relief to know that we’re supported and that everything is going to be ok.

And let me tell you, whatever you’re going through, it is going to be ok 🙂

Journaling is also another one that I understand is harped on about so much but for me, many of my clients and evidently, millions of people out there in the world who have their shit figured out, it works. Instead of playing Chinese Whispers in your head, let it all out on paper. When I’m off my journaling game I feel more anxious, stressed out, frustrated and can’t find solutions as fluidly or easily. At least give it a go for a consistent amount of time because like most things that create the best reward, you have to do it every day.

The next tip is knowing everything that you’ve been through in your life so far, what would you tell your 5-year younger self to do if they were feeling this exact way now? After all that you’ve learnt, what would you say to him/her? Are there patterns or habits that are being repeated that need to be put to bed once and for all? Be really honest. You’ll be surprised at how much wisdom you have that you weren’t even aware of. I bet you’ll have more answers than what you thought.

Finally I want to say again that feeling the way you do right now is ok. When we go through these times of not knowing what to do, it often means we’re on the edge of some kind of change. Transformation. It doesn’t have to be radical. Maybe it is. And that’s exciting! Try and refrain from thinking a quick fix or magic wand solution will patch up what you’re feeling. I promise if you take this time to be your own emotional investigator, how you will come out the other side of this will be so much more fulfilling, rewarding and beautiful.

Lots of love,

Laura xx

PS My shiny new website, blog (with alllll the things!) and coaching packages are all in the mix so I’ll let you all know when those are out as soon as they’re released! I’m still available for coaching of course so please drop me an email on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com if you want to find out how to work with me one on one 💖

Dreading Valentine’s Day? Here’s what to do….

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Image from http://www.refinery29.com/2016/02/102130/best-valentines-day-single-friends-memes

Ahh Valentine’s Day. To be honest, what you tend to see on social media and online when it comes to V Day these days is one of eye rolling and skepticism as opposed to love, hearts and flowers. This can be reassuring if you’re in a place of heartbreak or even single and hating it – there’s nothing like community to make you feel less alone. And I do agree that the commercial side of Valentine’s Day hypes it up to become something way beyond than what was intended.

Which is a day of love.

And yes, that might be with the emphasis on love with a significant other. But why not use today as an opportunity to commit to embracing love of all kinds?

So if you’re heartbroken today on Valentine’s Day, here are some words of encouragement, support and advice from me to you.

Focus on Abundance

Just because you don’t have romantic love in your life right now, you can choose to see and honour the love you do have. Family, friends, co-workers – use today as a chance to SHOW love rather than dwelling on the fact that you’re not getting love in the way you might want.

You get what you embody so giving love to other people means that you will become a magnet to receive that back in all forms. It’s like putting out the signal to the universe (or whatever you believe is out there), that you’re ready to receive love. Who knows who or what will show up! Every day is a new opportunity to meet someone, to create an interaction on Tinder that could lead to something amazing, even just to have a flirt (such a confidence boost and way to put a spring in your step!).

But spotting all these chances and acting on them means being open to them. Being open to them means you have to experience them. You have to experience love. You can do that by showing love in some way to everyone around you. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, committal or radical – a compliment, a hug, telling a friend you appreciate them by text, calling someone in your family to see how they are and telling them you love them, smiling at a stranger. Make today your personal mission to show love to people around you.

To ‘Get’ you Have to Believe

If you know that a relationship or even just to have a more colourful dating life is what you want, good for you. It’s human nature to seek a companion and something we all want at one point or another in life. You are worthy of that and 100% can get it. But you have to believe it.

Similar to the idea of you get what you embody, you can only get what you believe is true. There’s a lot of talk about manifestation and imagining the perfect person and relationship in your head as a way to get it. That’s lovely but it will only remain in the la la land of your dreams until you actually believe it. If you’re imagining it but your subconscious is saying ‘erm, that’s lovely but thinking that could happen to me is complete BS!’ you’re only setting yourself up for a mighty fall.

So I want you to see today as that signpost. A signpost that if you want someone to share a day like today with, you have to believe that person is out there – right now, for you. Maybe you’re not ready for another person if you’re not over your ex but you can still believe that something else – something better and more aligned for you is out there, when the time is right. And if you don’t believe that, then what needs to change? Do you need to dig deeper? Do you need to spend more time alone since your last breakup and finally let go of your ex? Do you need to find a way to raise your self-esteem? Do you need to put new boundaries into place, act on those signs when the guy/girl you’re dating does something that doesn’t sit well with you. Do you need to spend more time on enjoying your life rather than focusing on who you don’t have in it?

Be Prepared!

Continuing on from the above two pieces, someone could show up in your life ANY TIME NOW. Are you prepared?? Or have you got so disillusioned that you’ve stopped prioritising dressing to feel good every day, making an effort with your hair, doing some exercise to feel good about your body and fuelling it with nutritious food? Is your life one you’d be proud to tell your future partner or someone you’re dating about?

If any of the things you do when you feel good about yourself and life have fallen by the wayside, use today as a chance to put that right and get back on track! The more ready you are for someone special to enter into your life, the wider the path you offer them to find you. Sounds a bit out there, but I urge you to put your faith in this one!

If you’re heartbroken right now, I’m sending my love to you – and I’m cheerleading for you! I’d also love for you to use today as a reminder of how far you’ve come in this. Through everything you’re still here! You’ve got this!

Remember, today is just another day. It can mean exactly what you want it to mean. Don’t feel like it’s you against love – it’s the complete opposite.

Love,
Laura x

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