Relationships

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 other people that we look to as the solution to heartbreak. Sometimes it can be a toxic cocktail of a few things.

Some people will look to date and date and date to numb 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 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. That is where the real change can only take place.

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.

Like many things, it’s harder short-term but the reward is far greater.

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. Not at all. That's ok though because you are not your thoughts and you have the ability to choose what you do with those thoughts and how you react to them.

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

Why did they do that to me? I Just want Answers!!

Photo by Hey Saturday

When someone treats us in a way that creates so many unanswered questions, it can feel impossible to move on.

- I just don’t understand why he did those things?

- Why do I still miss her when she made me feel like that?

- Why do I keep going back to them even though they make me feel like sh**?

- What must have been going through his mind to think that was ok?

- I know there were things wrong but I still wonder if breaking up with her was the right thing?

These are all things I hear from people every day and I totally understand why we create all of this internal anxiety asking ourselves these questions. I know I did.

I spent so much time in a previous relationship asking myself why he would refuse to communicate and then disappear for days on end, why he’d play these crazy emotional mind games 100% knowing how it would make me feel, why I’d often feel like I was being ‘tested’. I also wondered why, when I knew he did all of these things, did I still want to cling to all of that and let go of everything else within my life in pursuit of making this relationship work.

I know a lot of people will resonate with this in their own way. I was on a call with a client last night who had done so much great work on herself since coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship but still questioned why during those vulnerable moments, she missed him.

Like I did, she wanted answers.

The thing is though, no matter how many self help books we devour, articles by psychologists and relationship experts we frantically highlight, and stories we read from other people who have gone through the same thing, the more time we spend analysing and trying to piece together the multitude of layers of someone’s behaviour to be able to conclude a solid reason as to why they did those things, it makes absolutely no difference.

You don’t need to find a reason. They did those things and that’s the only conclusion you need to be able to let your quest for answers go and move forwards.

We always seem to want to get inside the heads of other people but all that does is take the focus away from what’s really important and our most vital responsibility; us. Your ex (or whoever you were seeing that this applies to) did what they did and now your only job is to be ok with the fact that you feel emotionally bruised from it (because that’s inevitable), nurture yourself and take forwards what you learnt from that.

Of course, we’re going to spend time asking questions about why, if someone professed to love us so much, then why did their actions prove quite the contrary? But when we can acknowledge that the answers make absolutely no difference about the fact they did what they did, we can turn our focus inwards and instead, think about what we need to do when it comes to our own self care and emotional wellbeing to be able to build ourselves up after going through this experience.

I totally understand that this is a LOT easier than said than done! But the harsh fact is, if someone treated you in a way that compromised your self-esteem, values and what makes you you, regardless of why they did that, they did and therefore there isn’t a place for them within your lives moving forwards. That should be a non-negotiable. Even if there were moments of almighty amazingness, your job is to still walk away because that isn't enough. Even if they say they will change, your job is to still walk away. Their job is to SHOW you that there is substance behind their words by working out their own answers.

These situations can become incredibly complex as there is usually a lot of emotional game playing, manipulation and even abuse at play. But the answer to getting the answer you want on it all is quite simple - you need to focus on you. You need to take what you learnt from this experience and give yourself all the things you didn’t get from that person. You need to surround yourself with the people who can offer you the unconditional love and support you didn’t get from that person. You need to remind yourself of all the amazing things that make you uniquely you that that person tried to tear down, change or devalue. You need to think about the warning signs you first ignored for the sake of keeping the relationship going, call BS on the excuses you made and you need to implement new standards as of right now.

All of these things will gradually create that sense of finality or closure you need. You have the choice to create that for yourself and I think that’s a good thing to know.

I’m going to do a more in-depth post elaborating more on how exactly to bounce back from a situation such as this one. I hope this helps if you’re someone struggling to move on in pursuit of answers though. You've got this :)

Laura xx

Latest Podcast with Natasha Adamo of Post Male Syndrome

One of the reasons why I LOVE doing the podcast is that I get to connect and speak to such incredible people. Natasha Adamo is absolutely no exception and it was an honour to have her on Let's Talk Heartbreak. Natasha runs the site Post Male Syndrome, which also focuses in on breakups, relationships, self-awareness, heartbreak as well as health, beauty and self-care. Her advice and wisdom is sensational and Natasha and I hash out SO many things that if you're going through heartbreak and/or a breakup, listening to this will really offer comfort and value.

All in all, this episode is full of solid gold gems :)

You can listen in here on iTunes - please don't forget to subscribe and leave a review if you're enjoying Let's Talk Heartbreak. Not only would it mean the world to me but it gets it out and listened to by even more people.

You're gonna love this one! 💞

Laura xx

What to do When you can Never Seem to Find Real Love

I was watching something last night that hit such a chord with me that I had to write about it as soon as possible. I don’t really watch that much TV, but Netflix is my total go-to guilty pleasure when I like to completely switch off. I’m currently watching a show called Crazy Ex Girlfriend, which is my absolute ideal because it’s a musical comedy and I’m all about impromptu moments of bursting into song. (No really, I am ha!)

The general theme of the show is about a girl, Rebecca who moves from New York to West Covina in pursuit of getting an ex boyfriend from when she was 16 to fall in love with her. It’s a far more detailed and sophisticated storyline than how I’ve just described it so I recommend you check it out as not only is it hilarious and clever, it’s highly relatable.

So the reason for this post is an episode I watched last night where Rebecca is having a conversation with her therapist. (Well, she’s having a conversation with her in her dream but that’s not so important here). Rebecca is at her wits end, down and depressed about the fact that she can’t seem to find sustainable, deep and genuine love with a guy. She recognises that she has gone from one car crash relationship to another - always relying on a man to be the source of her validation, worthiness and happiness and doesn’t know how to fix this. (Sound familiar??)

The therapist takes her back throughout her life to pinpoint monumental times on her journey as she’s gotten older and to create a deeper sense of self-discovery. There was a moment where Rebecca was at school, taking part in a play. She ends up hooking up with a fellow student, who is also the director and gets so absorbed in him that when he breaks it off, she reacts on her emotions and walks out of the play, feeling she’s unable to be around him.

Rebecca moved on past this, not recognising its significance as she was so young and teen heartbreak is normal. However, she ends up recreating similar relationship patterns in various circumstances as she gets older and still can’t understand why there is a huge void of romantic love in her life when she’s now an adult, accomplished in her career and should have this relationship stuff nailed.

The therapist helps Rebecca to see that she has always had love in her life though. When she walked out on that play, she not only walked away from someone she thought she loved (well, lusted over) but much more importantly, something she loved in the form of being in the play. This obsession with love and men has been a huge reoccurring theme in Rebecca's life.

The reason why this hit a nerve with me is that when it comes to getting over a breakup, s****y dating experiences or just sheer frustration about ‘never meeting the right guy/girl’, we can get so completely and utterly consumed by this. We walk around with this heavy weight of lack on our shoulders and completely disregard the things that can bring infinite love into our worlds. I can relate to this even right now and I’m not going through a breakup. A major love of mine is music and creative writing, which always brings me so much joy to immerse myself in regardless of the outcome. Yet I so often deprive myself of it in pursuit of something else, which lately, has been my work. Don’t get me wrong, I love that SO much too but I recognise there is a need to switch off and tap into the other part of me that really, defined my younger years and that brought me so much happiness and confidence.

Moving onto you though because that’s what I’m here for ❤️

If you are going through a breakup or feel sad, empty, down or even depressed because you don’t have romantic love in your life right now, I want you to think of something that you love to do. If you can’t think of anything, what was something you used to love to do? We ALL have something. I want you to go and do that again. The more we realise that we have actual control over how much love we can bring into our lives, the more fulfilled, vibrant, happy and healthy we’ll be.

There’s also this amazing shift that happens when you start tapping into those things. Without sounding too otherworldly here, your energy changes and you’ll find that you start to attract the feelings, things and people into your life that you feel you’ve been lacking for so long. When you do something you love, you also don’t get so tangled up and crazy about the outcome because the joy comes from the act of doing it.

A big part of pattern breaking if you struggle in the relationship territory is learning how to undo negative behaviours such as being outcome dependent, trying to assert control and completely losing your head, heart and boundaries in the process. When you allow yourself to do the things you love, your psychological dynamic is completely different during these moments and you can learn to apply that to other areas of your life because you’re not so completely consumed in one thing that feels like such a struggle. Your life has far more elements of light, shade and colour within it.

You also begin to appreciate the people around you who do love you - maybe it isn’t romantic love, but it’s love nonetheless and that’s precious. In the case of Rebecca in the show, she was forced to reflect on her friendships (and someone who she completely overlooked as a romantic love interest). So I also suggest you take some time to remember who these people are for you and engage with them on a deeper level too.

It’s really all about shifting from a place of lack to one of abundance (which I know is phrase that’s thrown about a lot in the world of self-help, but it does work). It’s about taking control of the things that you can control. Go and do stuff you love - or just even like! Focus on the love that you do have in your life right now.

See what happens, how it makes you feel and let me know :)

(And now watch this from Crazy Ex Girlfriend for some major lols.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZx5zfkG6oU

Staying Open to Love After Heartbreak

I’ll admit it, I’ve had love on the brain for the past couple of weeks. Who would have thought?! ;) I’ve just returned from a trip from LA, which most wouldn't exactly associate with being a city of love, but I think just taking some out and seeing things from a different perspective (oh, and visiting the Museum of Broken Relationships - more on that soon!) had me thinking about all things love and life.

I write so much about love not working out that it’s easy to slip into a more cynical mindset without even realising. Actually, that’s not strictly true. I am the eternal optimist when it comes to love and that has certainly been the case since coming through my last big breakup. But I think even I get so focused on the down sides to love sometimes. I’m a pro at helping people or writing about the fallout of a breakup and the whole getting back on your feet part but I’ve realised that I don’t write or talk too much about the other parts! And this has possibly filtered into how I approach love as an individual too - I was recently told that I have ‘romantic angst’! What?! I’ve never even heard that phrase before let alone ever considering it to be something I have. And to be fair, it’s on the somewhat more dramatic side and definitely delivered with a heavy dose of humour….but interesting nonetheless! On reflection, I think it’s probably more accurate to say I’ve leaned a little too heavy on the practical side when it comes to love.

The thing is though, without love what is there? Why do so many love songs, stories, films, plays, poems exist? Well, love is the one thing that’s universal, it’s timeless and it never goes in and out of fashion. It’s constant. Yet it’s so easy to edge away from it, particularly after a bad breakup, heartbreak or totally sh***y experience.

It’s hard to know where the parameters lie between letting yourself get caught up in the love whirlwind and sticking to your boundaries. But it can be done. What you learn by going through a breakup and heartbreak, you don’t have to use as a shield. You can use it as like a kind of inner alert system for sure - it will help you spot and act on red flags sooner, it will give you more self awareness of your own habits that might not have served you so well in past relationships or led to getting your heart broken and it will help you choose people that will be a better fit for you. Using it this way makes it even more easy to be open to love again.

Seriously, when you have your own stuff in check and know what you will and won’t put up with and what you want, it makes the love territory a lot less daunting. Sure, heartbreak can still happen. But that comes with far more adventures, learnings, stories and growth than staying coccooned in fear.

Being in love is the thing that means everything. Yep, it can drive us nuts, cause tears, heartbreak, arguments and make us question everything we believe. It can leave us feeling rejected, kick our egos down and leave us feeling so despondent swiping on Tinder night after night to no avail. But when we fixate on all of that negative stuff in pursuit of protection, we completely deny ourselves the chance of incredible happiness. And our own love stories.

It’s also easy to be scared of being in love or falling in love. We can talk ourselves out of it to protect our heart and ego. But why does it have to be all or nothing? Making a decision to go with the flow (but with our awareness in check!) doesn’t mean making the decision to be with that person for the rest of our lives. I think that’s why we tread so carefully because we see each person as potentially the last we’ll be with. That’s sooooo much pressure and completely strips the fun and spark out of the whole journey!

Relationships often end. Many will stick too. That’s just the way it is. We can never really know for sure. But if your relationship does end, it doesn’t mean you’re inadequate, it doesn’t make it any less valuable and and it certainly doesn’t mean it was a failure.

I say this so often but every relationship - good or bad, and every heartbreak, makes us more well-rounded, more resilient, more aware, more creative and more transformed. Overprotecting ourselves dampens our spirit, curiosity and sense of adventure.

So whether you’re head over heels in love, have that giddy/butterfly feeling at the start of something or single and nervous about what the future holds, take the time to be grateful for it! Lead with curiosity! As long as you have your boundaries in place, listen to your gut feeling/intuition and keep that inner alert switched on there’s no reason to not celebrate the feeling. Whether it lasts a moment or a lifetime, it’s one to be cherished.

I hope this doesn’t come across as too preachy because it’s kind of a note to myself as well as to you all ;)

Laura x

Heartbreak, Dating & Finding Purpose with Social Media Influencer and Comedian Madeleine Byrne

I've just got back from an amazing trip to LA (whole post on that coming soon!) and whilst I was there, I recorded a podcast with social media influencer, comedian and actress Madeleine Byrne.

If you're not familiar with Madeleine, she makes really funny and entertaining videos on instagram, many of which touch on dating, online dating and life in general - stuff we can basically all relate to!

Check out the episode on iTunes here http://apple.co/296DgJJ

....and on Soundcloud here

I loved recording this with Madeleine and we spoke about so many topics - heartbreak, dating, dating in LA, the entertainment industry, being an introvert, being an only child, the importance of friendship and human connection, beauty and loads more.

If you like what you hear, please don’t forget to subscribe and write a review on iTunes! I'd be SO grateful!

Hope you enjoy it!

I have loads of posts coming up for you all over the next few days so stay tuned :)

Laura x

4 Things You Learn When You Stop Thinking About What ‘Could Have Been’

There’s been one guy I dated, which was definitely one of those “could-be” relationship scenarios. I have to say, getting over that and accepting the reality of it really stung in the moment.

I think in most of these could-be relationship situations, there’s usually one person who wants it more than the other. The other person who isn’t quite into it goes along with it regardless because it feels good, and maybe allows them to play out something they know they’ll never really have to commit to. There’s just always that barrier there that stops them from taking it to the next level......

Read the rest of my post over on Elite Daily.....

What to do when you Feel like Giving up on Love

Love can sometimes really suck.

Or, that’s what we tell ourselves because it might well be what we’ve experienced. After going through a hell of a breakup or one bad date after another or being let down by people you’re dating again and again…you know how it goes….it’s hard to stay optimistic.

When it comes to love, we can get jaded. We think that we’ll never have a love again like we did with our ex or give up altogether because he/she is clearly just not out there.

The thing is, when we have all of these dismal views towards love and finding love, it’s all we see. Don’t worry I’m not going to go all woo woo on you all here (well, not too much ;)) but when you choose to see a certain perspective, that is what your world and your life will show you.

Yes, you may have been getting yourself out there online and going on date after date and feel like you’re putting all the ‘work’ in. But believe me, if you’re mind has become programmed to expect the worse then you’re setting yourself up for dating doom from the get-go.

In many ways, we become conditioned to think this way too. I've been guilty of this so many times on a general level. To protect myself from a bad outcome when I don’t feel confident, like I don't have control or to avoid disappointment, it’s almost like I preempt that not so great outcome to 'prepare myself'. I tell myself to not get too excited and then the hurt or disappointment won’t feel like such a crash. I have a friend who does it when it comes to men and dating all.the.time. She tells me it goes well but that she’s ‘told herself to not get excited because these things never seem to work out’. I have another friend who is always suspicious that the men she dates are only after one thing with her. There’s nothing coincidental about the fact that she seems to mostly attract men who only prove what she believes. Why? Because she feels safer lowering her standards and so she ends up dating guys who are nothing but a waste of her time.

Can you see how this perpetual way of thinking never, ever helps us or gets us what we want?

What I’ve learnt through recognising this way of thinking in myself, especially when it comes to dating and love, is that there’s a huge difference between being realistic and keeping a level head, and then just thinking the worst.

And look, this isn’t about going in all gung-ho, not having any of your boundaries in place and completely ignoring any red flags. In so many ways actually, when you are clear on those and can act on them accordingly, then there’s no reason to bring in Debbie Downer or Sad Sam attitudes towards love because you’re far better equipped to filter out the douchebags (of the male and female variety!).

And if you do get blindsided, even when you do have all of those in place, well that happens too. It’s life.

Being jaded about love happens to so many of us at some point and I think if you are feeling like this there are a few things you can do -:

- Take a break. Focus on other stuff that brings you happiness. You might not be happy single but if dating is making you miserable, take a step back and focus on making your own life the most amazing it can be. When you can get excited, happy or enthusiastic about other things outside of love, energetically (sorry for the woo woo again but this is true) you will attract all kinds of different people and opportunities to you. Also, try not to make bold claims about 'giving up', 'accepting it's never going to happen' etc etc either. Again, this puts up subconscious blocks. Put attention on yourself but stay open!

- Talk it out. I had such an amazing conversation with a good friend on the phone the other night. We’re both single, are building our businesses and there’s been a few hurdles for us both recently. BUT, talking, laughing like crazy and offering advice and support and most importantly, getting excited about all the amazing things that have happened and are happening for each of us made us BOTH feel fantastic (thank you for that G ❤). Who you spend time around or speak to is so key, guys. Yes you want your friends/family to be honest with you of course, but if you’re surrounding yourself with people whose attitudes and opinions are bleaker than that film The Mist, then that is what you will feel and get. If you’re able to go on dates in the first place, there is a TON of stuff to be excited about and grateful for.

- Which brings me onto gratitude. I cringe as much as the next person when I see the #blessed hashtag all over social media BUT do not ever underestimate how important gratitude is. You haven’t found love yet but you’re reading this on some kind of techie device which means that you’re at an immediate advantage to so many other people out there. Taking some time to be grateful for who and what you DO have when you feel like your love life is an utter sh** show, can help put things into perspective.

- Just do things that make you feel good, that build your confidence and remind you of all the great things you have going for you or things that you can aim towards. For YOU. Oh, and just don't take it all so seriously! That might seem easy to say, but it's easier to practice than you might think ;)

Finding love is something to get excited about! You might have been dating for years and years and years and haven’t found it yet. You might have gone through one bad breakup too many and still can’t meet the guy/girl. You might have been treated badly in the past. Sorry to be blunt but so what? The experiences you had in the past don’t have to be what you get in your future regardless of how many rough ones there have been!

I help people in dating and coach in this area and I still haven’t found love again either! I’m certainly not immune to all of those thoughts about wanting it though. I feel the same sometimes! But I’ve learnt to be more than ok with not having it yet because I’m SO excited for it when it does happen! I’m 100% honest when I say that I'm excited about it, and I’ve had my share of rough experiences too. Again, so what though? I have other things, people and goals in life that make me happy and keep me focused and I think that’s a big part of figuring this love and life thing out.

So, if you’re telling yourself you’ll never find love and you DO want to find it, it’s simple. You need to change your attitude, see a different perspective and tell yourself a different story.

Laura xx