11 Ways to be Unstoppable (in Life and Love)

IMG_0187cDigital (1).jpg

After going through something such as a breakup, health crisis or any life shattering experience, it really makes you think about how you want to live life moving forwards. Like there has to be a better way, right?

This is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

Being ‘unstoppable’ was one of those things I saw in others but never felt like I could attain myself. Truth was, I never felt worthy of it. Until I had enough of watching from the side-lines and made the decision to take ownership of myself, my life and decided that following a ‘prescription’ or template wasn’t going to cut it. 

I’ve spent some time recently thinking about the ways in which I’ve modified my own approach to life after experiencing many ups but also, many downs over the years, and here is what I’ve come up with. There are no ‘rules’ but living by these principles or at least, always being conscious of working towards them (hey, we’re all a work in progress!), has helped me immensely when it comes to ALL areas of my life.

So here goes :)

1) Know what you have to offer and own that 100%. I can’t count the amount of times where I have completely lost sight of my strengths, talents and skills in favour of believing what I had in comparison to others was sub-standard, not as good, exciting or lack lustre. Whilst this isn’t about being cocky, it is about knowing your value and not accepting anything less than that. You have to constantly remind yourself of the reasons why you deserve that incredible relationship, friendship, job or opportunity. 

Keep mastering your crafts in the way only you know how and putting them out there. Be proud and don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. You’ll only end up diluting down the one-of-a-kindness you have within you.

It’s this that is your secret sauce, your secret weapon and makes you totally unique and therefore, unstoppable in your very own way.  

2) Know that setbacks are inevitable. No one really loves a setback. They’re annoying, upsetting, frustrating as hell and can kick us down further than we ever thought we'd fall. I’ve experienced this in love, health and career at various points and in the moment, it’s damn hard to get yourself back up again. But you have to. You have to keep that faith because the best comebacks come as a result as using the setback as fuel. Every single day you have to take a tiny step towards your big, bold comeback by doing just one thing. And trust me, with this attitude you will get there. 

3) Looking to others and comparing what you have/are/do to them is a recipe for insecurity, jealousy and chasing after shiny objects that might not actually be aligned to who you are or what you want. The internet is truly an amazing way to connect with people, get inspired and make real-life friends too, but it also comes with its pitfalls. Not only is social media ripe with people showcasing their happy relationships, expensive wardrobes, jet-setting careers and social life that isn’t always a true portrayal of what’s really going on, but it’s also rampant with bad news, complaining, negativity and smoke screens. 

Whilst it’s not about ignoring that this is how the world has evolved and refusing to embrace that, you have to take responsibility for how much of it you buy into. Comparing at the (pricey!) cost of your self-worth can be the most toxic form of procrastination regardless of whether what you see is real or not quite so. You can totally lose sight of who you are.

There have been times where just scrolling on Instagram or Facebook has left me emotionally depleted, not knowing the cause, and with an overwhelming sense of feeling less than and berating myself for not being where I ‘should’ be in life. Or worse, getting eaten up inside by feelings of envy and jealousy. Gross, but I’m sure you can relate?

That time would have been much better spent creating something for my business, actually doing the things that would get me where I want to be or just doing what makes me happy. This is where there is a benefit to having tunnel vision. Get inspired of course (some of my best outfit ideas come from the ol’ IG!) but don’t get sucked in. 

This can take hold much closer to home too. The same idea applies though. There is no fixed template that you should be following and the fact that someone else has what you want just means you can have it too - if it’s what YOU really want and not what you think you should want. So give yourself the space to figure that out. 

4) Don’t drop your own standards for others. If the person you’re dating or in a relationship with is operating on a moral or emotional level that doesn’t align with yours or who’s behaviour/lifestyle is constantly clanging (or just tinkling!) alarm bells, know when to step away. This isn’t about being high maintenance or refusing to compromise, it’s about knowing your standards and staying true to them.

No matter how much you like or even love someone, a relationship based on mis-matched values in particular, is going to cause you stress, drama and probably, future heartbreak. You don't have time for that - walk away now and you’ll thank yourself later, trust me. 

5) Don’t make decisions when you’re in a state of emotional hot-mess-ness, unrest or panic. Some of my worst decisions in love and professionally in particular (would you like me to share more on these?!), came as knee-jerk reactions that were down to poor health, needing a quick fix or just from a place of lack. They weren’t properly thought through from a calm and logical state of mind.

But this point goes for relationships too. It can be very easy to say or do things in the heat of the moment, respond to that text from your ex or send one to them when something else has just happened to trigger a reaction in you. There were countless times in past relationships where I sent text messages that could rival the length of War and Peace to a boyf/ex boyf in the midst of a reactive emotional crisis and then found myself reading them back the next morning regretting it and attempting to backtrack. OR (mostly!), wishing I’d have just stayed silent, keeping my head firmly held high. 

My golden rule now is to give myself 24 hours before I do anything. You will usually see things differently and if not, at least you’ve given yourself time for your emotions to settle if it still feels like the right thing to do.

6) The quality of your health is the foundation for everything else in your life. Relationships and professional life included. When you feel off-kilter and don’t know where to start, begin with working at balancing the components of your physical, emotional and mental health and see how this ripples out to other areas. 

7) Know it’s never too late. Whether you’re single in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and even beyond, it’s never, ever too late to find love. You have 2 choices; mope around telling yourself you’re past it so what’s the point OR get out there and refuse to look at the people who are happy in relationships at your age as the only way the world works. It isn’t. Just because that’s what you’re choosing to focus on, it doesn’t mean it’s the only way. Focus instead on using the coupled-up people as inspiration of what’s out there for you. Choose to see the amount of people who are also looking for what you want because I assure you, there are plenty out there! 

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself in any or all pieces of your life and there are countless examples of people who are likely older than you who have done just that. Some, multiple times. 

It’s really very simple; stay stuck in your mouldy beliefs or get out there, be the example and make things happen.

8) If you commit to something, firstly make sure it’s 100% what you want. And then, always do your best but don’t deplete yourself. A bit like 5) not reacting in the moment, it can be very easy to say yes to things that in our gut don’t feel quite right. Only say yes to something that feels right on a cellular level. 

Sure, we all have to do things, especially when it comes to work, that aren’t always ideal. But is taking that a temporary measure, providing a financial cushion/giving you skills/allowing you time to get you to where you want to be OR is it going to completely suck your soul dry and lead you further off your path because you’re mentally, physically and emotionally drained?

It’s the same with anything though - how you approach dating (intentional swiping rather than mindless!), your romantic and business relationships and friendships. 

If you do commit, commit with integrity and with an inner promise to do your best and give your all to that commitment. But don’t stretch to the point where you’re over-giving. Giving ‘your all’ doesn’t mean putting yourself to the bottom of the pile to the benefit of someone else, an opportunity or a work role. (And by the way, it’s also ok to say no or step back at a later date if it isn’t right or compromising your health, heart or wellbeing.)

Giving your all means looking after yourself first to do your best, to stay true to your word, to deliver your best. It means showing what your standards for yourself are from the onset.  

9) When you respect yourself and live with that as a purpose, others automatically respect you too. 'Nuff said :)

10) See things for how they really are. We overcomplicate things so much. If someone you’re dating isn’t showing you the same level of respect, isn’t acting on their word or is going hot and cold, don’t try and justify it by telling yourself and others that the situation is ‘complicated’ so you’re hanging in there just to see. When someone likes you, they show you. Take off the rose tinted-s. Dating and relationships come with complications totally, but where signs are being pointed out to you, don’t look too deeply into them, get caught up in the drama or choose to turn a blind eye. Simplify it down to what it really is and what it really means. 

Walking away might feel hurtful, disappointing, like you’re admitting defeat or have failed, but in reality, the exact opposite is happening. You’re taking control, showing ultimate respect for yourself and choosing for yourself instead of playing puppet for someone else.

Move on as there is someone out there who won’t make you ask these questions. 

11) Have fun and find your way to approach life in a way that works for you. We can take life so seriously and yes, it comes with things that need to be taken seriously, for sure. But I always like to approach the ‘self-help’ (urgh, I really hate that term!) aspect of what I do from the perspective that whilst inner work is crucial, happiness, a great relationship and an unstoppable life in general doesn’t have to mean following all of the very ‘prescriptive’ advice that we can be bombarded with. 

If you hate meditating, don’t do it! If eating the way all the health bloggers with banging bodies eat makes you feel like crap, don’t eat that way. If the advice in that 7th self-help book makes you completely cringe, that isn’t the only advice. If totally removing alcohol from your life makes you miserable (if alcohol wasn’t having a detrimental effect on your life or health of course) don’t do it. Enjoy the wine! Find your own moderation.

You are unique and what works for you will be unique. 

The key to the ‘inner work’ being more effective and less laborious, is to find a way that feels good. It’s not about someone else having all the answers. You can look for guidance, advice, help and support in others and try things out as that’s how you’ll learn, grow and discover. But you always have to take full ownership of you. Be your own leading role in your life. Piece together your own formula.

It’s not even the self-help aspect of life either. The more you’re having fun, taking opportunities that excite you, working towards something that really makes you come alive, dating in a way that doesn’t feel like a chore, engaging in relationships where you feel relaxed, happy and where it’s on mutual respectful terms, the better your life will be. You’ll be more resilient, enjoy higher quality relationships and be unstoppable without even trying.

So there you go. These have all helped me immensely and I really hope they can help and inspire you, in your own way too. 

(If you'd like to find out about working with me 1:1, please email me on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com)

Love,

Laura xx

Can you Stay Friends with an Ex?

StockSnap_IFNJIWURN0.jpg

Following on from my last post about why an ex might reach out to you, when it comes to staying friends with exes, it’s murky waters indeed. When you have someone in your life who you feel so close to - physically, emotionally, spiritually perhaps, to just cut ties when you break up can seem impossible, if not unbearable. This is when the friendship conundrum comes in and where things can become incredibly hazy.

So here are a few thoughts to consider when it comes to staying friends with an ex. I really appreciate that all of these are the tougher side of things to think about, and as always, I write everything with compassion because I've been there too and approaching it honestly was what helped me. 

First of all, you need to think about the genuine reason you’re wanting to stay friends. It’s crucial that you get real with yourself on this one. In my own experience and through the many people I’ve coached around this, too often we can use the idea of remaining friends just to keep that person in our life and avoid having to cut ties. 

But think about friendship and what that means for a second. If you’ve broken up, something went wrong there. Can you really create a new immediate dynamic of friendship based on what caused the two of you to part ways romantically? Perhaps it was amicable, but even so, can you really be friends with your ex in the truest sense of what friendship means and detached of those emotions?

When people do get completely honest with themselves (and I know too well how hard this can be), staying friends with their ex isn’t really with the intention of friendship, even if they don't quite realise that. It’s with the underlying hope of maintaining a connection, the relationship being rekindled, having an excuse to stay in touch or a way to keep tabs on what your ex is doing and who with. Those inquisitive questions are innocent and ok because you’re friends, right? 

Especially in the case of where the relationship didn't make you feel loved, alive, heard, respected and happy, is holding onto friendship the life you want to be living? Is that who you want to be? 

You deserve so much more. 

It’s almost like settling for the cheap meal deal version of the relationship where you’re never, ever going to be fully satiated and wind up with a hangover. What if your ex meets someone new? Even in the breakup situations where nothing 'bad' as such has happened, would you really be able to handle that news in the same way as a platonic friend telling you the same thing? 

Something else that often quickly becomes apparent when this situation occurs too is that the void of that person no longer being in our life only illuminates gaps in other areas. Such as other friendships. Your ex might have felt like your all or your companion but a romantic partner should really serve a different purpose and fulfil a different need than what a friendship does. You can totally be friends with your partner in a relationship of course, but have you been relying on them too much for things that it’s perhaps healthier to get from external friendships? 

(One of my all-time favourite psychotherapists and relationship experts Esther Perel talks a great deal about this. )

If there is a lack of human connection and this form of soul nourishment in other parts of your life, it can make letting your ex go seem even more daunting and impossible. But if this is what’s happening, try and see it as something to embrace. When I was in this place and felt powerless, the silver lining was that it gave me something to work on. To do. You might feel completely empty after going through the breakup itself, but having parts of your life open to fill with new people, experiences and learnings is such a gift because you can take action on it - even if it doesn’t seem that way now. 

I’m not saying that you 100% can’t be friends with an ex. I had a conversation with a friend just yesterday who told me that after time apart from her ex, when they next spoke, the dynamic from both sides had completely shifted because they’d each had time to understand why the relationship didn’t work and see that romantically, they weren’t a good fit. Neither had hard feelings towards the other - in fact they respect each other a great deal. But all of those past emotions had been released, let go and they were approaching it on completely new grounding. I also know many people who have formed a type of friendship with their ex after time. 

So, it can of course happen. With the caveat that only after significant time (or enough time) has passed for both of you to have consistent no-contact distance and work on making your own life the best, fulfilled, full and nourished it can be independently of your ex. You both have to have grown in your own way. 

Even then, what can often happen is that both people see that friendship isn’t necessary, possible or healthy. Sometimes, people aren’t supposed to stay in our lives forever and that’s ok. It’s all been for a purpose and is never, ever wasted. 

I know it’s hard - I really do. You know that everything I share is rooted in my own experience. But cutting that tie is so crucial in having the ability to move forwards. Feigning friendship - even with the best, most wholesome intentions when you're feeling so upset by the breakup, is truthfully only setting you up for stagnancy, comparison and continuing to sprinkle salt in the emotional wound.

Give it time, give yourself time to breathe and time to re-discover yourself. 

Try and see it as an opportunity. A chance to fill those gaps and to learn to give yourself what you feel you don’t have. You have everything you need within you, you really do. Please trust me on that :)

I think that's some ex stuff covered for now ;) I'm putting together a new post for you about my personal beliefs I live by when it comes to life and love so can't wait to share that with you soon. 

I really hope you found this post helpful and if you'd like to find out about working with me 1:1, please email me on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com 

Love,

Laura x

Why did my Ex Reach out to me?

IMG_0255c.jpg

I wanted to write a post on this because I’ve recently received a few questions around exes reaching out and how it can completely throw us!

Whilst it’s often incredibly tough to refrain from contacting an ex in the throes of heartbreak, it can also leave us utterly bewildered when we do stop all contact and an ex reaches out to us - particularly when we’re the ones who have been broken up with!

We followed all the ‘rules’, let them be to get on with their lives, got on with ours and then a ‘hey, how are you’ text pops up out of the blue. What gives??!!

First of all, just know that although it can feel mighty satisfying in some ways when this happens, it can also propel us right back into the heartbreak we’ve worked so hard to wade through and leave us confused and upset. Whatever you feel, try not to judge your emotions around it. It’s bound to have some kind of effect on you because regardless of how the breakup happened, there are still going to be feelings involved when any form of contact happens. 

Heartbreak is an emotional rollercoaster and sometimes, we just can’t predict how we’re going to react. What’s important to keep at the forefront of your mind, is that an ex reaching out doesn’t change anything. The breakup happened and your only focus is yourself, your own healing and keeping your sight on the here and now and the future. That text, email or social media message is bound to throw you off-track, of course. But don’t let it deter you from how far you've come. 

I often get asked why exes do reach out and although I don’t have the ability to go inside someone’s mind and get a glimpse of the motivation behind their actions (I wish ha!), what I do know is this; in a weaker moment of their own they’re looking for some form of connection with you. They’re going through their own breakup journey too and even if they're the ones doing the breaking up, that still comes with its triggers and urges. 

It doesn’t make it right and it can be selfish - especially when they’ve explicitly told you they don’t want to see or hear from you. But the contact is a reflection of that piece of them needing some kind of connection or familiarity. Try not to look too much into it as what it definitely doesn’t necessarily mean is that they want to get back together.

It could have been sent after a drink or when they’re craving some kind of validation and need a quick fix or a replay in the now of an old memory. I’m aware that can seem a little harsh or make you feel disposable and I really don’t mean it in that way. Breakups can cause us to do all kinds of odd things that we can’t anticipate and it’s likely not your ex’s intention to make you feel bad. They’re in their own heads and the contact is most probably their way of fulfilling a craving in the moment. This is why it’s important to not read too much into it.

What I would definitely suggest is to avoid continuing the conversation. You don’t have to respond. No response is a response in itself and in many cases, your ex will see that they have overstepped the boundary and that will be all you hear. You need to not see this as a big deal and continue to hold your head high and stay on track. Take time to honour your feelings about it but don’t dwell on them. You’re still doing amazing and nothing can change that! 😀

Remember, we can’t ever change other people’s actions but we can choose how we react or in this case, don’t react.

I hope you found this helpful and if you'd like to work with me 1:1, email on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Love,

Laura xx

Overcoming the Fear of Change

IMG_0741c.jpg

Changing can be scary stuff. Something I’ve learnt from my own experiences and through working with so many clients over the past 3 years, is that we often say we want things to change, that we want to get over someone, that we want to live a different type of life or live in a different way…. yet we resist exactly what it is we need to do to get to that place.

We start to live in a state of contradiction. 

I’ve wanted my life to change in so many ways before. I’ve wanted a different career, to look differently, to feel differently, to improve my health, to be in a different type of romantic relationship, to cultivate a more well-rounded social circle around me. But I was looking to all of the external that I wanted to change first, and neglected to look at what was going to be the actual crucial catalyst to create all of this ‘change’ that I wanted to manifest into my life.

Through working with many people during heartbreak too, and who are wanting to let go of their ex, something that runs consistently through these conversations is that beneath that first emotional layer, they’re desperate to feel better, to let go, to get their ex out of their mind. To be in that place now. Yet they’re still in contact, seeking closure, holding onto belongings, drafting perfectly crafted emails and texts to get the answers they need from their ex to be able to let go. I've been there and done that too. 

I think we all know though, deep down, that this only serves to prolong the letting go process because we’re putting all of our power in the hands of another person. Their response will determine how we feel, what questions we probably want to ask next and it goes on and on. So beyond all of those other emotional layers (we have so many!), we're not actually wanting to let go subconsciously. We're in direct contrast, holding on. 

Usually, because facing up to what letting go will mean is scary. It symbolises closing a chapter of your life in favour of the new and unfamiliar. And one that is filled with 'what ifs'. 

I've been there so many times in different ways. I get it. But the hard truth that can be difficult to swallow is that creating that change for yourself means doing the very thing that feels so against what you know and what’s familiar.

Letting go of an ex doesn’t require answers from them. Truly letting go is reclaiming your power despite still feeling heartbroken and facing the fact that change is going to be tough, unfamiliar and scary, but striding ahead regardless. 

Truly letting go is when you become physically, emotionally and mentally allergic to that old way of being. 

Throughout some health struggles I had, because it went on for so long, it kind of became the norm. Even though I wanted to feel better more than anything, I’d become attached to the identity of it. Whilst I’m not saying that I enjoyed being in that place, it became all I knew. My mind became programmed with the idea that everything I ate would hurt me, that it would be a long road ahead, that I couldn’t go and do what everyone else around me was doing. That it was a battle. Changing that was tough! When it comes to rewiring your subconscious beliefs, it sure ain't a quick fix. 

My pursuit of health had turned into something that was like a military operation and quite frankly, it was boring, sucked all the life out of me and kept me unwell. It was time to let go and do things in a completely different way. Once I decided that that way of operating was making me feel even more miserable and deprived of life, things turned around quickly. Whilst my health didn’t improve overnight, I took the whole thing a lot less seriously. I created a different way of being. I found ways to laugh more. I completely changed my attitude. I took back my own power of my body and mind. Even though this sounds like an easy trade-off, when you’ve been living in fear of your body and health for so long, it isn’t quite as simple. It’s probably being the biggest change I’ve ever created. Yet the most worthwhile. 

Something else I’ve been thinking over a lot more recently too, is why we feel we have to stay the same so much. Why we resist change. Why do we feel we have to stay in the same career forever, live in the same place, hang out with the same people all the time, remain faithful to our daily routines so rigidly?

Whilst I am a firm believer in sticking to your guns if you’re pursuing something or a way of life that might not be easy, but that sets the fire in your heart alive, I also think there’s something to be said for challenging the belief that you only get one shot in life. If we look at the environment around us, we have seasons, flowers grow and die, the weather changes. It’s never a constant. But as humans who are an integral part of our physical environment, we somehow put so much pressure on what will happen if we change something?

What if though, being more open to change and less rigid will keep us happier and healthier? What if it keeps us truly alive instead of just stagnantly existing?

If you want to try something new, that doesn’t mean your life will fall apart. In my opinion and from what I’ve learnt, we’re meant to evolve, to grow. If something doesn’t work out, even if it’s an absolute epic failure (which let’s face it, sometimes it can be!), what’s the worst that could happen? Chances are if the previous situation is one that’s making you miserable, stressing you out, costing you emotionally and physically, what will come of the failed alternative is going to be better and steer you into a healthier direction for yourself. 

Or even if it’s just curiosity that you’re feeling about some kind of change, if it’s potent enough that it keeps playing on your mind, that’s your inner intuition/alarm system telling you to listen up! There are people I’ve coached who have changed careers after 50, people who have completely reinvented themselves and their life after being in a relationship for 15 years, who have decided to travel in their mid-30’s and beyond, who have given up seriously high paying jobs in favour of ones with half the salary yet double the happiness. Who says you can’t try a different type of career or try something for a while and then move onto something else sometime later? Happiness and fulfilment isn't always a constant. What made us happy 5 years ago, might not any more. And that's perfectly ok!

Again, it’s all about reclaiming your power. Relationships, health, job, career, business, friendships, travel…all of it. When you do this, no matter what happens, you will know what to do next. And reclaiming your power doesn’t mean doing it all on your own. You can get support - that’s why people seek the help of coaches, mentors, practitioners, therapists, doctors, friends, family or just outside guidance. But it’s about knowing that living life to the beat of your own drum isn’t only reserved for people like entrepreneurs, ‘hustlers’ and the ‘lucky ones’. Whether you want to make one small change or a radical one, when you 100% want it, nothing bad can happen. 

You just need to want to change more than you want to stay the same. No, you have to be ravenous for it. You have to be prepared to change the way you think and how you do certain things. The uncomfortable comfort you've existed in will need to change. Yes, it will be scary but I can promise you with full conviction, it will be worth it :)

Laura x

If you'd like to reach out about working with me, you can do so here.

Why we Should PLAY More!

IMG_2460.JPG

Adulthood. It’s gets so SERIOUS doesn’t it?! Yes, with growing up comes responsibility and obligations, but we tend to get so bogged down with it all that we cast aside or just plain forget childhood curiosity. PLAYING for the sake of playing! No end goal in mind aside to have an adventure, laugh and delve into the wonder of the imagination. 

From my previous posts, you’ll know that anxiety and stress management is something I have been challenged by for a large proportion of my life. When I think back to the times I’ve been most creative, happy, enjoyed brilliant relationships, ‘successful’ and just ‘on fire’ (in a good way!), it’s been the times when fun was a big part of my world. 

As I child I was chronically shy and anxious. But I remember my childhood being one of happy times because I had a lot of fun! I immersed myself in books and then acted them out in my back garden. Leaping off my slide adorned with my red cardigan as a cape pretending to be Supergirl (how badass was she though?!), walking into the Secret Garden or going on adventures in Narnia meeting Aslan.

When I got slightly older, building dens and swings with my friend in the woods, cycling around the area where we lived for hours on end, setting up ‘shops’, washing cars for extra pocket money, falling into rivers (shallow ones!), spending every moment we could of the summer holidays outside in the sunshine. It was bliss! 

All these things were so much fun and soothed those times where I did fall into my anxiety and chronic shyness. They also made me less anxious because I was just being......myself. 

My imagination was potent and I didn’t lose that ability to tap into it as an adult. I don’t exactly pretend I’m Supergirl any more (who am I kidding?!) but secretly I still think it would be fun ;)

When I reflect over my times as an adult too, my happiest memories are those when I have tons of fun, when I’m out connecting with people, traveling, seeing new places, getting outside, trying new things out, being creative, letting my imagination run wild! It’s my fuel!

I still maintain all the ‘adult’ responsibilities like seeing clients (which I don’t even think of as work!), meeting deadlines, paying bills, doing the more ‘mundane’ day-to-day things, but one thing I’ve committed to introducing into my life is to see every bit of it as an adventure.

After spending many years unhappy (you can read more about my story in my last post), I am well and truly onboard with the idea that LIFE IS TOO SHORT not to let go and have fun!

If we’re going to get scientific, there are many studies out there that have showed that when people incorporate more ‘play’ into their life, they become more productive at work or in their business, wealthier, happier, in better relationships, confident, harness an improved sense of self-worth and are less anxious.

When you have fun and let go, it brings out this inner childlike spirit that doesn’t have any adult ego attached. 

When I’ve made this suggestion of having more fun to my clients, it’s amazing the changes that happen with that alone. Just doing something for the sheer hell of it and not worrying about what people will think or what the end ‘goal’ is. 

I couldn’t really run my business without taking time to play! I wouldn’t have any inspiration to write, create videos, podcasts, work with clients and more importantly, do this in a way that actually makes an impact.  

My natural nature is definitely one where I'm shy at my core, but I’m also really fun and have a dry and sometimes quirky sense of humour! I love to laugh! I’m serious when it’s necessary, I’m highly sensitive and compassionate, but just doing something silly or fun gets me out of my own head where it can be so easy to get comfy, dwell and ruminate. You know what I mean, right?! 

If you are a more serious person, it’s not about trying to change that either. Fun and play can be anything that makes you feel good - where you feel free and like your true self. For one person, play can be about having a random dance party whilst they’re waiting for the train (I’ve done that before!), for another it can be going for a walk and listening to some music. For someone else it can be going and trying a new type of class or event that is completely different to anything else they do in their life. It can be simple, free or cheap and easy to work into your ‘adult’ schedule.  

Everyone’s idea of fun is totally unique and that’s brilliant! The point that I want to convey here, is that you have to give yourself the time and PERMISSION to let loose in a way that feels good and nourishing for you. Don’t be afraid to be silly! Trust me, it makes the world a better place to live in. It’s not a waste of time - it will add more to your life than you can ever imagine.

There is so much negativity on this earth and we can’t be naive to that or ignore it, but there is also so much beauty and good within it. Playing and having fun helps us to really see that and live it. It helps to at least bring in some balance during those personal times when sh** does hit the fan too. 

It also helps us to stop scrolling on our phones, wishing we had the lives of someone we don’t even know and triggering inner and quite frankly, gross feelings of inadequacy. Getting out into the real world and actually living in it, connecting, talking instead of emailing and having experiences…that’s where the true wealth of life resides. Not in competing with something that we don’t even know is authentic. 

Letting go, allows you to be your most authentic self. No one on instagram, your ex or someone you constantly compare yourself to matters in the way they did when you’re in that place. You just don’t have time for it!

This is why I’m so passionate about bringing the element of fun into the way I coach people. The impact it creates is truly transformational and I’ve experienced that myself of course, too. 

It was my 35th birthday yesterday and my main intention was to bring in even more fun and play into my world. A good one, right?! So I’m right here on this journey with you!

I’d love for you to let me know in the comments what that is for you! 

Love,

Laura xx

How I Manage Stress

Picture snapped by http://www.heysaturday.co/

Picture snapped by http://www.heysaturday.co/

Stress. It can sure be a bi*%h!

It’s almost become the norm to describe everyday life as ‘stressful’ but the reality is, pro-longed stress is a pre-curser to health issues, dis-ease, sustained emotional traumas and imbalances and overall it doesn’t make life much fun.

My journey with combating stress began after I realised I’d been living in a perpetual state of it for about 15 years. I wasn’t alone in this; there are so many people who do but who are unaware because it’s just become habitual and a way of life. For me, this impacted my health in a big way and whilst nutrition, supplements and conventional medication got me so far, it wasn’t until I addressed the s-t-r-e-s-s that things really started to shift dramatically.

You can take all the pills and fancy supplements that the swanky health stores have to offer, but they ain’t going to do anything if you’re internally frazzled.

I won’t go into the fine details of what stress does to the body but in a nutshell, it creates an acidic environment, which then offers a nice toxic home for physical and emotional balances to take over. When you relieve stress, it makes the body more alkaline, less toxic and instead, creates a home for thriving health and wellbeing.

Obviously we can’t totally avoid everyday stress, but stress reduction absolutely is manageable. Let me tell you, if I’ve found a way to get this stuff down, you can too! It's a practice though. It isn’t about going for a massage every now and then or the odd yoga class and hoping that temporary feeling of enlightenment will go the distance.  

So, I thought it would be nice to share some of the techniques, practices and modalities I use to relive stress. The combination of these works great for me but its unique to everyone. It’s really about giving things you're drawn to a try and seeing how you go!

Consistency is key, so the first step is committing to busting your stress levels and changing how you go about things on a day-to-day basis.

I promise you, it’s totally worth it!

1) I meditate. Yes, I know everyone and their dog is talking about meditating these days. Perhaps you were hoping for something more original but whilst meditation has become a bit more ‘trendy’ over the past few years, if you do some googling on the concept and the profound changes it creates in the brain, you’ll see it’s much more than just pretty mala beads and memes on instagram ;)

I really got into meditation during my times in LA (I know, I know, the trendiest place to meditate but I assure you, the teachers I practiced with there were the real deal - some of whom I recommend and whose classes I loved are Camilla Sacre Dallerup, Kelsey J Patel and Megan Monahan. The Den and Unplugged were my go-to meditation places.) I now meditate for anywhere between 15 minutes and 1 hour each day, depending on my schedule.

There are no ‘rules’. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. You have to find what styles suit you (which can change also), and there are plenty of apps such as Headspace and videos on YouTube. You can usually find a meditation for anything you’re experiencing. Sometimes I do them for stress relief, sometimes for manifestation, other times for self-love, sometimes for letting go. Whatever I feel I need on that particular day.

Meditation is one of those things that you really start to feel the benefits of without noticing. Your mind gradually becomes clearer and everyday tasks seem to feel less daunting. You become more intuitive and able to reach solutions and decisions from a less frazzled, cloudy headspace. I’ve fallen in love with meditation so much, I now create my own (you can get my bespoke high-energy one for free here) and offer to clients as part of my service!

2) I see an Ayurvedic practitioner. This woman has changed my life! She does Ayurvedic massage on me as well as Reiki. With my treatments it will depend on what I feel I need on the day. Yesterday I had an Indian Head Massage and a back and shoulder massage. Of course, massages are relaxing, which aids stress, but from a physiological standpoint, they also boost your immune system substantially.

I've delved into Ayurveda a great deal over the past year and if you’re unfamiliar with it, it describes itself as the science of life. The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are that the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. I’m deeply fascinated by Ayurveda and looking forward to exploring it more. I’m also learning Reiki 1 in September and excited to then progress to Reiki 2 as this is a service I’d love to offer clients in the future as well as coaching and meditation.

3) I’ve let go of negativity in my life. Your world and environment completely reflects your inner environment so I had to take inventory and clear out what was triggering my stress. Old relationships that I was still subconsciously connected to in some way, old beliefs about myself that I needed to let go of, friendships (that weren’t bad but where I didn’t feel totally myself in them and out of alignment), even physical objects and clutter.

My old flat was completely rammed with old belongings that signified parts of me and my life I needed to shed. My new place is minimal, open and fresh. It makes a biiiig difference!

4) I do Chi Gong. My new yoga. This is actually a recent ritual but I am loving it so far! Chi Gong is a ‘holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training.’ It isn’t really a workout as such - or at least, the one I practice isn’t. It’s more like moving meditation but it makes me feel grounded, calm and I really connect with it far more than yoga. Though I am doing about 20 minutes of restorative yoga at the end of the day too.

5) Sleep. Sleeping, and quality sleeping, is a pure life and beauty tonic! It replenishes your body, allows it to heal, keeps you looking your best and gives you energy. As someone who has experienced insomnia off and on for many years, it’s the one thing I really notice correlates to my stress and cortisol levels.

So, my bedroom is my sanctuary. I keep it airy, uncluttered and peaceful. I don’t have a television or any form of computer/digital device in my bedroom and I completely switch off technology and social media by about 8.30pm. This was tough as scrolling on insta become such a habit oops! Switching off from tech makes SUCH a difference though. I also meditate, read, journal or do gentle yoga before bed which preps me for a better sleep and I drink this or a homemade concoction of ginger, cardamom and fennel tea.

I aim for 8 hours of sleep, which for me is the ideal amount, but it’s still usually a little broken. Overall though, I feel good and well rested!

6) I try new things I’m curious about and that I love! There’s typically a pattern with what triggers my stress so I’ve found that trying completely new things gives me something else to focus my mind on. Recently it’s been cooking, nutrition, astrology, Chi Gong, new types of podcasts and delving deeper into spirituality. Having fun and saying yes to things and those internal nudges that might not seem logical but that I want to do just for the hell of it. I’m also going back to dance classes soon, as love this form of exercise, which totally doesn’t feel like exercise!

7) I’ve given up the ‘rules’ I’d set for myself on what it means to be successful. I’ve always been a high achiever and a big dreamer. Both of which I’m incredibly proud of and have no intention of changing. However, what I have amended is ‘how’ this has to happen and what success actually means to me. I’d found myself comparing myself to EVERYONE when it comes to my life and business. Stress city!

Something I realised, was that I’d bought into expectation, and completely lost sight of who I was at my core. This year has been one of exploration for me. I feel more ‘me’ than ever and that’s why I emphasise that the work I do with clients is rooted from this approach.

I’ve said no to what could have been amazing opportunities but that just didn’t feel right at my core. I’m doing things my way and I’m releasing that pressure. Success to me is doing something I love, being truly fulfilled and feeling free. Happy. Content. Holistically balanced. Yes, there are financial wants and goals in there too, but it’s for a bigger purpose, not just as a symbol.

The foundation of that is to allow me to expand my work to greater depths, to acquire more skills, to live a life that allows me to travel and explore, which inspires and excites me, makes me more creative. This makes me a better coach, mentor, writer and person for the people around me. When you’re deeply fulfilled, it shines out of you and benefits everyone!

So there you have it. The main ‘keys’ that work well for me right now. A few others include walking in nature, good nutrition and hydration, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) as well as the more low-key fun stuff like getting my nails done, having a shopping day every 6 weeks or so and watching comedy! Well, a gal's gotta look good and have a laugh to show up best in this world, right ;)

Seriously though, you don’t have to live in stress. Don’t believe it when people tell you that life is ‘just stressful’ and that’s the way it is. Maybe it can’t be eradicated completely but you can certainly navigate those tougher waters with more ease when you lay a good foundation.

It’s also about being mindful of the words you use. If you constantly tell yourself you’re stressed, this signals to the brain that you are. So try and be aware of what you’re saying and know that it’s not you that’s stressed, it’s something you’re experiencing. You can choose to have a new experience with tools such as the ones I’ve mentioned work for me or any others you lean towards for yourself.  

Ultimately, it’s really about putting yourself first and owning your body and what it houses. I am living proof that stress took it’s toll in a huge way on my body, health and mind. But by taking control and putting myself first, this changed the game and how I operate on a day-to-day basis. Compared to how I used to live, it’s is like night and day. This is why I’m so passionate about helping others to manage their stress. Try some things for yourself and see how you go :)

If you’d like to find about about working with me one-to-one to get bespoke support, you can contact me here.

Love,

Laura

My New Website is Live!

Image Taken by Hey Saturday

Image Taken by Hey Saturday

Hello hello!

Well, this marks my first post for my brand new website! I am SO excited to be unleashing this to you and the world! 

I'm evolving, growing and learning all the time and I'm excited to bring you new heartbreak and breakup content as well as some lifestyle and wellbeing bits and pieces.

I also just want to say thank you so much for your support. It honestly means such a lot to know my words have helped, touched or inspired you in some way.

And so now, I am buzzing about the prospect of focusing more on the blog, relaunching my podcast and bringing some totally fresh new content your way!

Whoop! Here's to the next chapter!

Love,

Laura x

If you're Struggling because your Ex has Moved On, Read This

Pic taken by http://www.heysaturday.co/

I receive many emails and speak to so many people I work with who are so petrified that when their ex moves on, that they will be forgotten, that this other person they're with will FINALLY be the one to change them and get the BEST of them.

I’ve written about this before but I really don’t think it can be said enough.

I’m here to tell you again that 99% of the time, this simply isn’t the case at all.

If you’ve been through a breakup, regardless of who you’re ex is dating, sleeping with or actually in a relationship with now, the very nature of the breakup happening means that something pretty substantial wasn’t right between the two of you.

Oftentimes, we look for the most immediate thing that will dull the pain of heartache. For some that’s food or substances. For others it’s social media, Netflix or TV. Much of the time, it’s people. Sometimes it can be a toxic cocktail of a few.

Some people will look to date and date and date to reduce the overwhelming emotion they’re feeling about the breakup. Partly because they can’t deal with the breakup and to fill the void of not having you in their life any more. Mainly though, because they can’t deal with the root cause of what’s going on with themselves emotionally.

Most of the people I speak who are going through a breakup have experienced a relationship that was full of drama. Ups and downs. Highs and lows. Their ex has displayed narcissistic tendencies, completely blindsided them, consistently treated them badly or acted out of character. All of these things reveal much more going on beneath the surface. The breakup (which let me assure you - needed to happen if this was the case) was merely a signpost to what’s truly going on and getting with someone else quicker than me to a new episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is their attempt at ignoring the signpost and running in the other direction. Getting a high from something and someone else to avoid the true source of their pain.

What you need to know when you're worrying about them being with someone else, is that a person can’t change another person. All might be rosy in the garden of romance now between them and their new boyfriend/girlfriend but those old patterns that you witnessed probably time and time over like groundhog day will gradually start to reappear in this new relationship or dynamic too. It’s currently serving as a quick fix. The new person won’t get the ‘best’ of them and you won’t be ‘missing out’ because they don’t have the power to create that in your ex. Just like you don’t, which is why getting back together isn’t the answer either.

So instead of focusing on your ex and the new guy/girl, even though it will feel like the hardest thing to do, you have to focus on what’s important in this moment. You. If you’re totally consumed by thoughts of your ex, maybe you’re missing the signpost too? Maybe there’s a piece of you that can recognise in yourself what I’ve described above? When I say this I say it with absolute love and compassion, and it doesn't mean that you were to blame. Not at all. But are you looking to getting your ex back as the solution to your pain? I know you might believe that getting back together will be the answer, but it won’t. All that will do is act as a temporary cover up so that you both don’t have to address what’s really going on as individuals.

So the work isn’t in worrying if your ex will suddenly change now that he's with someone else, a ploy to make him/her see what they’re missing or get them back. The work and true reward is in delving deep to the core of yourself and focusing on cultivating your own self-love, self-esteem, boundaries and inner wisdom.

I know that everyone wants a sexy quick fix. But honestly, it’s not the answer. I can assure you though, that what’s on the other side of self-discovery, trusting your intuition and actually trusting yourself, your worth and your abilities to then instil those boundaries and live with authentic intention by them, is far sweeter than getting back into a relationship that was broken. Where the one or two people in it are more willing to ride out over and over something that’s sub-standard than to step away and do the work that will lead to something so much more real and beautiful for each of them.

Whilst your ex isn't willing to do the work right now, you can be. You can come through this happier, wiser, more intentional, assured, confident and at peace with yourself. If you choose to.

It doesn't mean you will suddenly forget your ex and not have these thoughts. That's ok though because you are not your thoughts. What it does mean, is that you will be taking full ownership of your own emotional health and happiness. Those thoughts of your ex will start to fade bit by bit once you start to put yourself at the centre stage of your life.

I want you to, as you deserve so much more. 💖

If you would like personal Skype coaching around this, please do email me on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com. I’d really love to help you. (Please be aware I can’t offer advice for free.)

I also have my audio product on this topic, which you can find here https://gumroad.com/l/CrdFs

Love,

Laura x

PS I'm sharing tons of live video content and behind the scenes of my own life and learnings over on Facebook! You can find me here https://www.facebook.com/laura.yates/

I also have my private group (this one is for girls only) here called Girl Chat with Laura where I share more videos and content geared towards women. Request to join and I will add you!

There is NOTHING Wrong with you!

Hello!

I haven’t posted on here in so long – I've been prepping my rebrand and relaunch (eep!!!) but I felt really called to write this for you in the meantime.

So. What I want to let you know, is that there is nothing wrong with you.

Something I’m not so keen on within the world of self-help, personal development and coaching (which we often turn to when life throws things at us – like a breakup), is that it can create this idea that something is inherently wrong with us, that a part of us is broken, that we need to be fixed. That a solution needs to be created and a huge change take place.

Honestly though, I don’t want you to believe that. There isn’t anything wrong with you.

What you’ve gone through; a breakup, a bad dating situation, a health struggle, redundancy, tough times in your business, is just an experience. It’s not who you are and it’s not interlinked with your self-worth.

The golden key to getting through it, is to separate the two things.

I’ve recently been working with an incredible client who believed that she couldn’t meet a guy because there was something wrong in how she was approaching dating. Or that there were underlying issues.

We wrapped up the coaching yesterday and the main realisation she had -:

“There really isn’t anything wrong with me at all”

I knew this all along, but through the journaling questions I set her, through getting her to live out her everyday experience to the next level, and by allowing her to have fun with this thing that the coaching world can sometimes call a ‘process’ (I’m not really a fan of that word to be honest!), she grew into this realisation week by week.

The transformation she’s experienced has been pretty magical.

She’s happier.

Feels at peace.

Loves her life that she’s worked so hard to create for herself.

Loves herself.

Has noticed how much attention she’s been getting from guys ;)

She’s reassessed the type of people she wants around her.

She’s really looked at what she wants from a relationship - and being unapologetic about that.

She’s learnt to ask better questions.

She’s become more aware of her presence.

She’s become the creator of her life, her reality.

She doesn’t feel like she’s on a time limit. She can relax.

She knows she can approach everything in HER way. Not society’s way. Not her friend’s way. Not her family’s way. Her way.

And the last thing she said to me, with 100% authenticity.…

“I’m an absolute catch!”

Hell, YES girlfriend! Ha!

I do understand a breakup can be a little more complicated. I know more than ever, believe me. But ultimately, the main part of you that gets damaged following heartbreak is your self-esteem, self-worth and a tarnished belief in yourself. It can be easy to believe that this is a part of who you are.

That’s normal – you’re human and breakups are a part of the human experience. However, just because someone has treated you badly, that you’ve gone through some traumatic events and feel completely rejected, these things are still not YOU. They’re part of your experience and your self-worth is just going to take some nurturing. But it's all there within you. It’s not dependent on how someone else treats you. It’s not dependent on what someone does or says to you.

I know this isn’t easy to take on and put into practice, but that’s why doing your mindset work around it and committing to loving yourself every minute of every day and then some, is so important.

As you might have read from previous posts, I’ve been having quite a hard time with my health the past 18 months. At many points, there have been moments when I’ve berated my body for ‘doing this to me’ and labelled myself as ‘unwell’ and unable to do what I used to do.

Whilst I have had to slow down at times, listen to my body and honour what it needs, when I use the same mindset approach that I’ve just explained and realise that these experiences aren’t me – they’re just that; an experience and my body alerting me that something’s up, that something needs to be adjusted, paid attention to, it just enables me to create this peaceful sense of separation.

My health doesn’t define me. I don’t HAVE to be the sick girl. These health challenges are just a part of my human experience right now but that won’t always be the case.

It’s this mindset that has allowed me to, despite my health, take my business to the next level, stop hiding and help people in a bigger way. I use it as fuel. I use it to get curious about my health as opposed to seeing myself as completely flawed.

You can do the same with a breakup too – or whatever you’re going through. Yes, there will be things you can adjust, change and evolve. You know me, I’m ALL about self-growth. This isn’t about letting yourself off the hook if you want to change something about yourself or your life for the better. It’s just that where you are right now – no matter how bad or in pain you might feel, there is nothing wrong with you.

So I want you to know that.

💖xx

I CANNOT WAIT to debut my new website in June and you can also head to my Facebook page where I’m posting loads of videos and extra posts too. Oh! And ladies! I have created a fab community within a closed Facebook group called Girl Chat with Laura where I post advice videos, free challenges and loads of fun bits and pieces too – come join here, I’d love to have you!

Love, Laura xx

One Easy Way to get Confidence & Happiness

I hope you're all doing well!

I haven't posted a blog for a few weeks as I'm busy getting my new website prepared - so lots of exciting things happening there! I'll of course let you know when that happens.

However, I've been Facebook-living over the past couple of weeks and I wanted to send out a recent video, where I talk about how to create happiness, confidence, self-worth and fulfilment (ya know, all the stuff we all want!). The video is pinned to the top of the page.

I really do believe we over-think this one so much - the formula is actually quite simple though but something I've only really put into practice this year - with amazing results.

You can watch the video on my page here and make sure you 'like' my Facebook page to keep up to date with all my live videos :)

My big launch/rebrand is coming very soon and I can't wait to share it with you! I just want to also thank you and send you so much gratitude if you read my blog and have ever emailed me because it honestly means so much. I'm excited to be offering much, much more this year and hopefully helping you in bigger ways....and also having some fun with it :)

Love, Laura x

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

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

Hi everyone! 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....

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

New Podcast Episode - Ellen Huerta of Mend

Wow, nearly the end of January!! How has your year started? I hope you're doing well :)

I just wanted to very quickly let you know that I have a brand new episode of Let's Talk Heartbreak up with the fabulous Ellen Huerta of Mend!

Mend is an app (there's a website too with tons of inspirational articles and interviews) that's essentially like a personal trainer for heartbreak. It's been created to guide people through their breakup where every day you get sent audio trainings, activities to try and thoughts to consider. It's fantastic and I highly recommend it if you're struggling.

Make sure you listen in HERE - Ellen and I chat and offer advice around breakups, dealing with heartbreak and how to create transformation coming out the other side.

I hope you enjoy! 💖

Laura xx

How to Finally Get what you want in 2017

Umm, can you believe that 2017 is nearly here?! Crazy!

This time of year always presents itself as the perfect opportunity for reflection, setting new goals and thinking about what we want to create for the year ahead. That’s all great but how many times do those resolutions fall by the wayside when life takes over?

I haven’t set any New Years resolutions for the past couple of years as what I’m all about now is using any time as opportunity for growth, expansion and reflection. There are many points throughout the year when we can do this but as the end of 2016 is nearly here, let’s really think about how to make 2017 your best year ever. Not because you’ll lose however many pounds, get the job of your dreams, get your ex back, get the other guy/girl, get the relationship, make however amount of money…..the list goes on. Not because of any of those things.

That’s not to say those goals aren’t good ones to have if they’re right for you. But what I’ve discovered (and this year more than ANYTHING) is that all of that external stuff is just a bi-product of what really needs to happen to create lasting change that doesn’t dwindle once February gets here. It’s about inner transformation. Hmm that really does sound a bit self-help, group hug, high five-y doesn’t it??! But hear me out.

So often we think that when we ‘get’ (insert whatever goal you might have here), then our lives will change. Then we’ll feel good enough, worthy enough, sexy enough, pretty enough, clever enough, lovable enough. The thing is, once that 'thing' is achieved it’s already onto the next. Disclaimer: This definitely isn’t a post about it being the journey and not the destination. I’m sure you’ve all already heard that a million and one times before. What I’m talking about is looking in the mirror and really seeing yourself beyond what you look like. Taking a good, honest look at what needs to be dealt with. Usually it’s more ugly than not and it can bring up all kinds of demons and sh** from the past that we’ve putting off getting to grips with in favour of chasing the man, woman, money, attention, accolation etc.

This year has been a crazy one for me in so many ways. I spoke about what’s been going on in a previous post but since arriving in LA about 5 weeks ago, I've amplified my own self-care x 1000. I’ve completely immersed myself in finding new ways to focus and only spending time around people who I feel I can be my true self around. All of this has reminded me of things I've experienced - previous health issues, an eating disorder that took up the majority of my 20’s, bad habits in previous relationships, not feeling good enough, confident enough, strong enough to be myself and really put myself out there in a bigger way to share my message.

It’s not that these things haven’t been dealt with (and some are an ongoing work-in-progress of course!) but more, that I’ve created this attachment to them as part of my story and identity.

Being away from home and in a completely new environment has just given me the time and emotional space to understand that they don’t define me. And look, my experiences are no worse than anyone else’s, but what we go through in life is always completely personal. You can’t compare what’s happened to you as any better or worse than the next person. We can always be grateful for what we have, what we’ve been through and the good fortune that we have had throughout it all and this isn’t about succumbing to becoming a victim - definitely not! But we should never discount how things have affected us either.

The real strength of character and creating lasting change that shifts our entire lives for the better, comes with dealing with that in a way that’s facing it head on. Taking that reflective and deep action on repairing any damage so that we can move on in life. Understand that our identity has NOTHING to do with the things that have ‘happened’ to us. Achieve all of those things that we know are out there for us.

So, here are my ways to make 2017 a game changer!

- Be here, right now.

Again, being ‘in the moment’ is such a cliché but clichés are there for a reason, right?! So much of what holds us back - especially when it comes to heartbreak of some kind is living in the past and being anxious about the future.

Anxiety is really fear of what might happen and getting anxious about the future is just a projection of what we’ve experienced in the past. But the past is over and the future isn’t here yet. So the more we can get into the habit of thinking and feeling in the right now, the more sane, heartfelt and logical our reactions are to people, circumstances and situations and the less we identify with those stories I just spoke about.

Maybe you’re reliving your breakup over and over and/or have convinced yourself you’ll never find love again. Whilst it’s important to honour all of that and how you’re feeling, if you’re staying stuck in the past and fearful over what you can’t ever predict will happen, what good is that doing you? And this isn’t about failing to think or plan ahead. You can just do that a lot more mindfully than what you might be doing now.

- Be the person you want to become - right now.

I do a lot of future visualisation work on myself and with people I coach. That can be really powerful but what I’ve realised this year is that we can spend so long fantasising about who we want to become that it stays just that - a fantasy that never gets realised but always chased.

So why not BE the person you want to be RIGHT NOW? Do you see yourself as that healthy, energised, charismatic, magnetic person? Well go and be him or her NOW! Think about what sort of choices that this ‘you’ would make and make them. How would you eat, what would you wear, where would you hang out, what would you be doing for your job or in your business, how would you spend your free time, who would you spend time around, how disciplined would you be when it comes to your wants and goals, how committed would you be?

Obviously you can't just magically live this new life now but I’m betting you can take much bolder, wildly different steps that what you have been doing? You can change your daily habits to start to create that, 100%. If you can’t get over your ex and that’s holding you back, guess what, that’s in your control. I know that might sound harsh but it is a CHOICE. You can’t get over them because you’re focusing on them whilst dreaming up this amazing new you that you want to become, but you’re not taking any aligned action that that ‘you’ would have taken months ago. Stop dreaming about it and start creating it TODAY - don’t even wait for 2017!

- Treat yourself like a god/goddess

You are the main character in your life not the supporting artist. Treating yourself as such goes way deeper than running yourself a nice bubble bath and lighting candles (although that helps along the way if it’s what you’re into!). It’s more about a combination of treating yourself kindly AND taking responsibility for yourself. So doing things that you might not want to do because of fear of the unknown. Facing things that you might not have been able to face before. Making better, healthier choices for yourself. Prioritising self-care as a non-negotiable.

Making those changes that are going to kick your old identity’s backside out of the park once and for all. Once you can really understand that you ARE an absolute god/goddess right now being exactly who you are, other people will start to see you as such because you start to set a whole new level of standards. That’s the people you date, your friendships, family, colleagues - everyone you come into contact with.

Treating yourself in this way makes you feel gorgeous, fierce, able to be vulnerable, like you have your shi* together, knowing that if you make mistakes that’s ok because you’ve learnt something and confident you’re really growing without the need for any kind of validation from anyone else to prove these things to you.

- F other people

Seriously. If you keep living by other people’s terms and expectations, NOTHING will change in 2017. The fear of what other people think will keep you rooted exactly where you are now. I’ve struggled with this one so much and the crazy thing is, the likelihood of people thinking any of the things that have gone through my head (e.g. having ridiculous anxiety over the tone of an email that I made assumptions about thinking they were mad, unhappy or dissatisfied with something I’d done) are completely false and a complete waste of my time and sanity. If I’d have spent more time DOING all of the things I’m listing in this post, life would have been very different a lot quicker. More often than not, people are too busy concerned with their own agenda that worrying about yours.

And this isn’t about being dismissive or disrespectful towards other people, as we don’t want to be making enemies ;) But just learning to trust your intuition to know if your ex is taking advantage of you not being over them and then walking away from them despite your heart screaming that you love them, can’t let them go and that they’ll change. To know that friendship where you walk away every time feeling depleted is toxic and to therefore graciously cut ties. To know that if someone laughs about your crazy business idea that you’re so passionate about, that’s just their opinion.

Don’t be dealing with any of that - again, you have the choice and the trade-off if you continue as you might be doing now is not achieving what you want next year. Don’t wait for permission.

Transformation and re-invention following heartbreak is what I’ve become insanely passionate about this year as it's changed my life on a scale that I never thought possible. I’m committed to help SO many more people to do this in 2017 with more grace, ease and flow. It’s going to be less of getting over your ex and much, much more about what needs to happen within you internally to create change that you never ever thought possible. Change that will impact your love life, relationships, abundance, wealth, health and so much more.

I’ve been coaching people in this way for the last few months and the results have been amazing. So, if you are interested in booking a session with me, let’s do it! Be warned though - you need to be 150% committed. Contact me here if this is what you want and we’ll chat.

2017 can be a game changer. You just have to commit to it. The good, bad and the ugly. I promise you, it will be worth it ;)

Wishing you all a very merry happy Christmas - being from the UK where we go bonkers for Christmas, it’s really bizarre being here in LA celebrating it in the sunshine, but I most definitely can't complain!

Love,

Laura x

What to Do if your Ex Says they've Changed

Image by Saskia of Hey Saturday

If you’ve been in one of those breakup/get back together/breakup etc etc boomerang relationships (urgh – exhausting isn’t it!), this one is for you.

I think it’s safe to say that one of the most challenging things about going through a breakup is knowing how to react if your ex wants to see you again. Even if they were a first class a**hole, that pull can be so strong and difficult to resist. We know in our head that staying away is the right thing but our heart, emotions and attraction to them can scream otherwise.

It can therefore be very easy to agree to see them because you miss them so much or perhaps you’re seeking some form of closure.

So then the following plays out: You meet or speak and you realise that nothing has really changed. Your ex still won’t commit or give you the answers that you were hoping to glean from the conversation or interaction. You then might feel used or like all the hard work you have put into getting over this breakup has been undone.

This situation can so easily become a cycle.

So, it can be helpful to understand why your ex might have done this.

Well for starters, they probably miss you. But just because they miss you that doesn’t mean the relationship will all of a sudden be hunky dory and it also doesn’t mean they have the emotional capacity to deal with what went wrong in the first place and actually address the issues.

Also, not having you around has probably thrown them off-course! It’s taken away their power and reaching out and getting a reaction from you is almost giving them the validation they need to prove to themselves they can reclaim that power. And so obviously this doesn’t mean they intend to change. It’s all very short-term and backed up with very little substance.

As I said before, it can be very easy to lead with your heart in this situation. So how can you tell if your ex is really being genuine and has changed or whether seeing them again might cause more heartache?

- Look back at the past. Breaking up and getting back together can become a draining pattern and if this relates to you, well, you already have all the proof you need to show you that nothing is going to change this time around. Regardless of what your ex says or promises – it can be allthe right things (and probably will be as they’ll know how to push your buttons!), is that being backed up by solid action?

- Are there signs that your ex has taken any time to work on their own stuff since the breakup? Again, they might say all the right things in regards to this but is there actual evidence to show it?

- They are still vague about what they want. Maybe yes, they’re communicating in some way but are they being 100% clear on what they want moving forwards? If not, they’re probably just trying to keep you around rather than really working on what went wrong.

Here is what I suggest you need to do -:

- Know your limits and boundaries. Taking everything into account and how far you have come, is seeing them really the best thing for you?

- Don’t feel bad about saying no. The best and most dignified way to approach it is to be very clear about your needs right now and why you don’t think it’s a good idea to meet or continue communication. This can be done in a polite and compassionate yet emotionally detached way.

- Don’t focus on all the good memories during these moments. When an ex reaches out, it can trigger all of those amazing memories. Hearing from them feels familiar and comforting but just because you had some great times, that doesn’t mean your ex will change and that the relationship can be fixed.

- Remember that you are the main character in your own life! Keep up the work on putting yourself first and building your own self-esteem. This will also help you cultivate those boundaries and that inner self-knowing. It will help you trust yourself to work out what choices will be best for you regardless of what your heart might say.

I hope you find this helpful and if you have fallen victim to your ex reaching out in the past and prone to believing their words and non-committal behaviour, this is now your chance to intercept it. Just know that you DO deserve far more! There IS a better way forwards. And as always, I have got you on this too :)

Love, Laura x

10 things I've Learnt about Heartbreak

Heartbreak is such a unique experience. We all go through it (or most of us anyway!) but it’s indescribably personal. We can turn to Google and devour every self-help book out there to look for ways to get over heartbreak but sometimes, no matter what we read, it still doesn’t seem to cater to what we’re going through.

So I thought I’d share 10 things that heartbreak has taught me. It’s not so much advice but hopefully, it might resonate with you too. This one was written for Thought Catalog but I thought it might be nice to share here too.......

You can read it here.

A Personal Post on Getting Vulnerable

I intended to write something far more practical today around communication with an ex. Should you text them, shouldn’t you, ways to cope when you get the urge to tell them you miss them etc. But I just feel there are a few other things that I would like to share with you. (That ex contact post will be coming up next though!)

What I wanted to talk to you about today is a little deeper and something that I’ve been experiencing a lot myself this year. I hope you don’t mind that this will be a more personal post. With everything I put out there, I always want to place helping you as my main focus but I imagine that many of you will still be able to relate to this in some way. I really do want it to offer value to you.

Vulnerability. Urgh. Scary isn’t it?! I'm not ashamed to admit that I have been feeling incredibly vulnerable over the past 10 months or so. Behind the scenes of my work, I’ve been struggling with a few health issues that certainly aren’t anything serious in terms of being life threatening and I'm well on my way to full recovery now (whoop!) but that have created pain, burnout, fatigue and more notably to me anyway, an overwhelming sense of disconnect.

What does this have to do with breakups? Well, I’m not going through a breakup but this sure has felt like a breakup of sorts! How I’ve felt in recent months has mimicked how we can feel when a breakup leaves us stripped down emotionally and turned upside down and inside out mentally. Plus of course the physical pain and exhaustion that can manifest through all of that. I literally feel like I’ve broken up with my body, which sounds so weird but that really is how it feels!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, this year has probably being one of the most challenging when it comes to my physical wellbeing. The social life has taken a backseat but luckily, I have still been coaching all my amazing clients and maintained the ability to do this work, which I am SO grateful for. Though over the past 3/4 weeks, I have been very quiet on the blog and social media to facilitate taking a step back, gathering my thoughts on my next steps and to prepare for what’s to come. Because things are definitely on the up in a big way and a LOT of changes are about to take place :)

Anyway, let’s make this less about me ha! What I really want to do is share with you some of the practical and mindful things that have helped me, which might also be of benefit to you if you’re going through a breakup or something in your life which is proving a huge hurdle.

Put your health first

Obviously as health has been the crux of the issue for me, I haven’t really had a choice but to prioritise this one. Why I want to suggest this to you though and emphasise it’s importance (x 100000), is that a lot of my health problems have stemmed from earlier life stresses that I thought I was taking responsibility for. When it came to down to it though, there was still much I was neglecting. This has led to a radical diet overhaul, resting (and I LOVE to exercise so this one is a real killer for me!) and giving my body and mind what it needs. So if you’re going through something right now, put everything into being at your best physically - or at least have a mindfulness about it. Stress is an absolute killer for good health and although it can’t be avoided by any means, it’s our job to nurture out health in any and every way we can so that we’re better able to cope with the stressful times. Good health is different for everyone of course so it’s finding what works for you, eliminating what doesn't and then committing to that.

Attitude and mindset

It’s so easy to ride the positive I-can-manifest-anything-I-want train when things are going hunky dory. It’s actually in the real sh*tter of the moments that we need to focus on the good and be grateful for what we do have even more. Also, to really get clear on what we want in the future and start to visualise and plan the roadmap of how to get there. This year has tested me big time on my overall outlook. And no, I haven’t been prancing around like some positive Polly every day because that just isn’t normal! It’s how we bounce back from those moments and choose to see a different perspective. That's really how we get ourselves through. I’ve been bingeing on the likes of Tony Robbins, Lewis Howes and Brene Brown to help with this as well as doing a lot of journaling.

Know it’s ok to be vulnerable 

Typically I’m a ‘I can do it myself’ type of gal and that’s absolutely fine! Being independent is obviously a great attribute to have but sometimes, asking for help actually shows far more self-awareness and courage than what we realise. Allowing myself to be vulnerable to those around me and ask for help if I’ve needed it has created more compassion in my relationships and much stronger bonds. Whether I've been around people who I know care and who I care about too or spoken to them on the phone, every moment and every conversation has elevated me emotionally and physically. So don’t isolate yourself. It’s ok to be vulnerable and ask for help. We’re not superheroes.

Get excited about what’s to come!

Even if right now, everything feels dismal and like there is no end in sight, in your heart you know that is not true. Waking up day after day still not feeling better has been a tough lesson and what has got me through, is still making plans despite this, for what I want in the future and using this experience to show me how much I have to value every day and what I am capable of. I’ve had the goal all this year to move to LA for 3 months and in less than 1 month, I will be making that happen (OMG!). Obviously I was never going to do this if I was putting myself at risk - there is a balance between pushing yourself in healthy ways that are manageable and helpful and just being reckless. But this goal has given me purpose, passion and something to strive for, which has helped immensely.

Have a goal and purpose

Moving to LA and taking this blog and my business to the next level to help you in more ways (so many exciting new offerings are in the pipeline for you all!) has been my goal, but yours doesn’t have to look anything like that. It can be anything you want it to be. I tend not to do things by halves ha and so for me, packing up my life here in the UK and moving across the world is a pretty big deal! But I know that within that sense of adventure, is where the most amazing shifts happen. Especially after this year, I’m ready to try something completely new in an environment that’s exciting, full of places and people I can’t wait to see and meet but where is also aligned to being able to take care of myself and look after my health in this next phase. Use whatever you're going through as fuel to give yourself something to really go for and don’t be afraid to think BIG!

The LOLs!

Paul Denniston on my recent podcast episode (go listen if you haven't - it's amazing!) even includes laughter in his Grief Yoga classes and workshops and I wholeheartedly believe that laughter is in fact the best medicine (alongside your attitude)! Just laughing with my friends, family and even to myself whilst watching or listening to something funny instantly makes me feel better. It fuels my body and mind. I honestly love nothing more than having a real good laugh, it's the absolute best. :)

I really hope you can see how you can apply these things to whatever you’re going through whether that’s a breakup or a rough time regardless of the situation and circumstance. It really does sound cliché but these challenges, if we choose to let them, can help us shed what we need to to provide a pathway to evolve into our next, more fulfilling stage of life.

I will say that when it comes to relationships too, I have felt a bit of a hypocrite because I've barely dated the past 10 months so who am I to even talk about it and offer advice when I haven’t actively been out there dating or in a relationship?! However, I wanted to write something honest and there are so many big lessons I have learnt this year that have directly impacted my relationship with myself and therefore, my romantic relationships. As a result of them, I am crystal clear on myself, my (new and improved!) boundaries, and the type of relationship I want (not who - I’m totally open to that!). As I’m going into this next phase with all this renewed self-awareness under my belt, I do feel ready and am excited about getting back out there!

Again, I hope you don’t mind the more personal post. Next up we’ll be back to a more practical one ;) As always, thank you so much for reading and inspiring me with your messages. I really can’t wait to share with you all the new things I am going to have coming up for you! And if you would like to get in touch with me about coaching or my online program then please do on contact@laurayatesorg. 💖

Laura xx

What I do when I'm Feeling Down

Image taken by Hey Saturday

Hi all,

I hope you are doing well :)

This post is a little lower key and less advice driven than most but I still hope it helps you. As I want to start mixing my posts up with a combination of advice and lifestyle I thought it might be nice to share a few of my go-to things that I turn to when I’ve either be going through some kind of heartbreak or when I’m just feeling down - because it happens to us all! Yes, even me, a heartbreak coach ;)

Any time I find myself in a slump or going through a rough time, these things always help me to come back to myself and give me the pep up I need to know that everything is going to be ok.

Exercise

Not the most groundbreaking one to start with. Actually, none of these are particularly groundbreaking but they are all what I genuinely do.

I've had a pretty rocky year when it comes to my health (nothing crazy serious but it has definitely impacted my life in a few areas and luckily, I’m on the up now but it’s a process!) Unfortunately, exercise had to take a back burner. I have always defined myself as a gym enthusiast - I've consistently loved working out for both health and aesthetic reasons and not being able to exercise really got me down in the earlier part of the year. So, when I felt a little more energised, I started just walking 5km a day at a gentle pace. I use a free app on my iPhone called ‘Steps’ to er…..track my steps :) Getting outside walking was simple and didn't feel like the 'exercise' I was used to, but had an immense impact on my mindset.

I did this for a couple of months to build up my stamina and now I’m working in some gentle HITT training about 3 times a week and yoga (I have an AMAZING yoga episode coming up on the podcast by the way!). This exercise combo really makes me feel good. You can definitely apply this 'slowly but surely' approach to exercise if you're going through some kind of heartbreak and don't have the energy to launch into something too full on.

When I was going through my last breakup, I worked with a personal trainer and I can safely say that exercise was one of the things that was my emotional and mental life saver. Plus it made me feel more confident in how I looked. So get outside. Walk. Run. Do weights. Dance (I love this one too – spontaneous dance offs are the best!) Do whatever you want. Don’t buy into what you think you ‘should' do. Do what works for you. Just move.

Collagen Eye Masks

I’ve always maintained a keen interest in beauty/skincare but I've really gotten into it again this year. I found these collagen eye masks via Lauryn at The Skinny Confidential and they are the ultimate ride or die after a rough night’s sleep or when you’ve been crying and need something to give a puffy face a much needed pick-me-up. They’re cheap as chips and you can buy them here off amazon.

Chaps, I’m fairly sure you can use these as well ;)

Podcasts 

Usually while walking I’ll put on a podcast. I mix them up between humour, self development, business and of course, dating/relationships ;) Listening to a good podcast never fails to give me the motivation, laughs or inspiration I need if I’ve been feeling down.

Some of my favourites include The Bitch Bible, That’s So Retrograde, The School of Greatness, Tim Ferris, The James Altucher Show, Love, Alexi, OMFG!, Love is Like a Plant, The Great Love Debate and Girlboss Radio.

And of course, my podcast Let’s Talk Heartbreak is one you should listen to too if you’re looking for advice and inspirational stories about heartbreak, breakups, love, dating and relationships ;)

Giving Myself Time to just ‘Be’

So often when we’re experiencing situations, emotions and feelings that are painful, frustrating, stressful, uncomfortable, heart and gut-wrenching, we don’t allow ourselves to just experience them and end up 100 x times more worked up. Just taking some time to sit, breathe and accept what we’re feeling is a huge way to let those feelings move through us. The yoga podcast episode I mentioned earlier REALLY delves into this from an expert’s perspective, so stay tuned for that.

Music

I LOVE listening to music, especially when exercising or when I’m doing bits and pieces around the house. I'm one of those annoying people who are into 'everything'. But I really am. Old, modern, ska, pop, reggae, hip hop, musical theatre, rock - I love it all. I’ve also really gotten into Latin music at the moment. It’s an instant feel good!

Reading

It probably won’t come as any surprise but you’ll usually find me hanging out in the self-help section of bookshops and my kindle library is also highly representative of this. I’m trying to mix up what I read lately as I find a good fiction novel is the ideal form of escapism and gives the creative part of my brain a chance to work it’s muscles. Imagination is an incredible tool at our disposal that we don’t use nearly enough. Tuning into our imagination (outside of using it to conjure up ridiculous ways to get back with/get back at our ex of course) can be a superb way to channel what we’re feeling into something more productive, positive or helpful.

Some book recommendations include A Tap on The Window by Linwood Barclay (I adore a crime thriller), A Wrinkle In Time (a fantastic before-bed book), and How to Build A Girl (hilarious yet poignant). I’m also a fan of anything by Lindsey Kelk. Fun-read chick lit at it’s best. Some self-help ones that have really made a difference to my life and how I view the world or go about things are Attached, The 5 Love Languages, Single is the New Black (by past podcast guest Dr Karin!) The Truth – An Uncomfortable Book about Relationships. The Richest Man in Babylon and Emotional First Aid.

Making time to speak with friends and loved ones

Spending too much time in your own head can be toxic for the body and mind. When you make time to speak to people who you feel good around, who mean a lot to you and who you probably mean a lot to also, it’s a huge pick me up. Even if you don’t feel like it, call someone.

TV Shows

I can’t deny that my Netflix subscription has truly sung for it’s supper this year. Most things I’ve watched have really tapped into that element of escapism I just mentioned, fired up my brain in some way or simply, made me laugh. (Laughing is a big deal when it comes to healing!) I do just make sure I limit my watching time. A few shows I’ve enjoyed are My Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Love, Flaked (though everyone else seemed to think it was pretty terrible!) The Returned (the original was better however), Stranger Things (I’ve jumped on the bandwagon), Orphan Black and I Am Not Your Guru - the Tony Robbins documentary. Onto Narcos next, I’ve heard great things!

Red lipstick

A hugely superficial one but it works nonetheless! My mum was gifted a to-die-for red YSL lipstick at Christmas, which she was forever allowing me to borrow. So this year on my birthday she bought me my own and I love it. There’s something about rocking a red lip that makes you feel amazing. The shade is 16 and it’s called Rouge Pur Couture.

If there’s something be it makeup, clothes, shoes, accessories that make you feel instantly incredible but that you only save for special occasions, wear them anyway! Why not?!

There are many others I could share too but I just thought I would experiment first with a post like this to see if you enjoy it or find it helpful in some way :)

Laura xx

How to Forgive when you Feel you can't

Image taken by Hey Saturday

Forgiveness isn’t an easy thing. Whether it’s someone you loved deeply who committed the ultimate betrayal or maybe even someone you dated who gave you the completely wrong impression about how they felt about you or blindsided you. Maybe it’s a friend or family member you are struggling to forgive. Those ones can cut particularly deep because it's much more complicated than simply disassociating with them.

The thing about forgiveness, is that we can believe if we forgive the person for what they did to us, it lets them off the hook. It means we’re standing our ground, stating a point and refusing to give them the satisfaction of knowing that the s*** they put us through was ok or has been forgotten. Because then they’re free to take advantage once more and we come of looking like the fool yet again.

But at what expense? Forgiveness is something that I have had to work hard at over time and I think so many of you probably struggle with it too.

When I refused to forgive the following things happened -:

  • I felt constantly eaten up by their ‘crime' or bad behaviour
  • I felt bitter
  • I spent way too much time wondering how they could just get on with their lives like nothing happened
  • I looked at others through a microscope, subconsciously pre-empting that the same thing might happen
  • I couldn’t move on

None of these made me feel good, look good (believe me, that tension shows in your face and how you hold yourself!) or gave me any sense of freedom in my life. I felt trapped in pursuit of refusing to forgive and it kept me stuck in the past.

Here is what I have learnt about forgiveness:

It keeps us stuck in pain

'Refusing to forgive someone is like drinking poison, and waiting for the other person to die.’

I’m sure you’ve heard that one but yeah, it’s so true.

Sometimes we refuse to forgive because if we do, what happens then?

It means we have to move on.

We can cling onto the bitterness of forgiveness because it makes us the victim in everything and we don’t have to face up to the real work of getting over whatever we’re going through. As long as there’s someone to blame, we have the right to keep feeling the way we’re feeling. We can keep talking about what he/she did over and over. And over. Is it worth it though? Really? This is why forgiving can actually be incredibly scary but when we do, I can guarantee we're able to release so much of that toxic energy keeping us emotionally captive. Then the real healing can begin.

It’s more about our inability to forgive ourselves than what we realise

Another one that can be a weird idea to get our heads around, but when we’re so eaten up by what someone else has done ‘to’ us, that’s often a reflection of refusing to put ourselves first and take care of who we really need to - us. Instead, we're putting all of our heart, soul and energy into them.

Refusing to forgive is like a desire to want to keep hurting the other person over and over as payback. Ultimately though we’re only hurting ourselves. Maybe there’s a piece inside of you that isn’t allowing forgiveness because you blame yourself for not seeing their behaviour coming or being a pushover or whatever reason. But letting that go will give you the space you need. It will give you the emotional freedom you probably don’t know you’re craving. It’s letting yourself off the hook because you were doing the best you could when whatever happened happened. Now you can forgive yourself, forgive them and learn from this experience, even as tough as that seems.

It’s a good idea to write it out

To forgive someone, you don’t need to make a dramatic declaration to them in person. You just decide it for yourself. A really comforting way to solidify it though is writing a letter to them or yourself expressing your forgiveness. Let it all out and don’t hold back. It makes the decision more official and gets all of those thoughts whirling around your head like the Tasmanian devil on heat out onto somewhere. It can be incredibly therapeutic and an amazing release.

Approach this with love

Ok, you know I love a l-ii-ttt-le bit of woo woo but this is SO important. Forgiving someone is only authentic when you do it with love and compassion towards them and yourself. If you say you’re going to forgive but are still going nuts with an internal toxic cocktail of anger and bitterness in your head, stomach and heart, it won’t work. That isn't forgiveness. Look, we all have our stuff. That person is probably going through their own issues that could have contributed to why they did what they did. But that isn’t any of your business now regardless of what they did to you. That is their responsibility and it doesn’t mean they’ve 'gotten away' with anything. So just choose to let it go, let the attachment to their betrayal go and wish them well. If they are a permanent fixture on your life (like a family member) you don’t have to cut off all contact. You just don’t allow their energy or behaviour to impact you in the same way anymore. You have that control.

If you go in with this compassionate energy, you will feel more at peace AND it will allow in better energy into your life. You have to make room though.

Forgiving isn’t forgetting

It’s simply moving on from the past to make space in the future. We can learn from it, learn how to process pain, learn and understand how we can ever only be in control of ourselves and our own actions and learn to let go of people, people’s actions and situations that aren’t healthy for us.

I hope this helps any of you struggling to forgive someone. Also, just remember that it probably won’t happen like magic. If those old feelings come back again, that’s cool. Instead of indulging in them as the victim just do another 'letting go' ritual. Just come back to why you forgave in the first place and trust yourself (or me!) to know how much better that will eventually make you feel.

I can assure you, learning to forgive is a game changer even if it does take time.

Laura xx