News!

Hello people,

I have been a little absent from my blogging over the past few months.

I have still been writing and have actually finished two books, one that has been published and one that I am planning to publish in the next couple of months!

The first one is available now and is a collaboration with my friend, Jenny called Drive-Thru Success.

Drive-Thru Success explains the science of success and provides you with the how in the form of practical exercises based on the best personal development programmes and philosophies in the world. Jenny has been a coach for over 30 years and has learned a great deal about what kind of things work and what don’t. It’s not just about success in your career, it’s about feeling like you are living a successful life.

I helped Jenny finish the book and get it into a format for publishing. At the same time, I did the exercises and Jenny coached me. It was such a life-changing experience and I think the more time passes, the more I will realise just how much that process has helped me to become the person I am today and to seize opportunities that come my way.

I am going to be posting quite a few blogs from www.drive-thrusuccess.com/blogs. These will be a lot like the articles and opinion pieces that I used to post on this blog.

So if you are interested in reading about things like feeling like your missing something in your life, wondering how you ended up stuck down the rabbit hole, what anxiety disorders are and what you can do to retrain your brain, and why I believe social media is going to change ‘the thin ideal’, then go on and have a look!

I really appreciate all of the support and feedback we have received from everyone about the book. We had a really fun launch in October last year at Waterstones. It all felt so real and amazing, truly one of the best weeks of my life. Seeing the finished product in our hands was just so wonderful – we managed to catch our reactions, you can click here if you want to see them. I would just like to point out that that is me really excited, I don’t jump up and down or anything lol. Jenny’s reaction is better lol!

The second one is a book about a female secret service agent called Miss Jane.

This came about because I wrote an article for moviescramble called Girls On Film and Why I Want To Be the Hero . I was so taken with Emily Blunt as a female Bond, that I started writing about one! I am now writing the second book and I have to say that it was so much fun writing that book, just pure fantasy! If you are interested in checking that one out, comment below to be added to the mailing list to find out when it is available to buy.

 

This blog was actually the first place I ever shared my writing and it was such a great experience sharing things with people and seeing so many other people out there doing their own writing things. It kept me writing every day sometimes and all these things lead to what you do next!

So big thanks to the WordPress blogging community and anyone who ever liked, commented or shared any of my posts.

V

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reflection

Yoga with Linda

I don’t know about you but I am feeling as if there is a definite change in the air, the nights are slowly beginning to draw in and summer seems to be coming to an end.

I’ve recently been journalling which is an awesome way of letting go of thoughts and making sense of the crazy ideas I hold onto, I would highly recommend it, keeping a journal has helped me reflect and I’ve found that I’ve begun looking at things with love and gratitude.

This week I have been super grateful for my friends and family – those awesome people keep me grounded and sane

Keeping a journal is simple, my journal is just a super tiny notebook I carry everywhere with me, anytime I have a random thought I pop it in there, getting all those little thoughts out definitely makes all the difference to my mood and mindset.

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Human doing yoga

So after a helpful suggestion that I get some professional yoga pictures taken for advertising (eugh – I hate the two of those words in one sentence), the Universe dropped into my lap a wonderful photographer on a similar hippy wavelength called Alan (Instagram – Images by Alan Thomas). We were both very open-minded about the whole thing and decided to just go with it. With the help of my lovely friend, Denise, we found some lovely spots in Ayr, Scotland and even timed it with the best Scottish Summer we have had in years!

Before we took the photos, we both looked online for inspiration and I found some lovely photos, but also went through a period of self-doubt as I looked at all of the pictures of extremely lithe women in fantastic poses and compared myself to them. Thankfully I have now learned to catch these thoughts and can say to myself that there is no perfection – not in life or in yoga. I am enough in the body I have, doing the yoga I am doing. The purpose of the photos is not to look like an image of yogic perfection, but to portray ‘me’ expressing myself as I move my body and breathe. Thanks to Alan, my photographer, who was all about expressing ourselves and having fun, I felt at ease and just did whatever felt good at the time.

The ones at the skatepark were purely for fun. I was really nervous that day because as we drove up we could see a big row of young ‘dudes’ hanging out. Thankfully Alan was cool and went straight up to them and told them we were just going to take some photos. One of them was like straight away, “You want me to do some moves for the photos?” “Skating, yoga, it’s all the same thing man…” was his take on it. Once I got over my nerves, it was great fun and I am really pleased with these photos. I don’t claim to be a ‘true yogi,’ whatever that is. I’m not an expert or a guru, as I said to Alan, “Every few hundred years you get enlightened souls, the rest of us are just humans doing yoga.” It’s taken a lot of work for me to find this self-acceptance, but I am pretty cool with being a human doing yoga.

 

 

 

Unexpected benefits of yoga

I started doing yoga because I was working out a lot, doing circuits and weights and I decided I needed to stretch. When I started I was only flexible in my dodgy, clickety hips and knees (anyone who has been to one of my classes will have heard them) and I could barely bend over. My balance was just as bad and I thought that I would never in a million years be able to put my body into the positions that my teacher could.

Despite struggling with most of the poses, every time I left the class, I felt amazing. For years, I kept going to the class with no idea why I felt so good after it except for the relaxation at the end, still my favourite part of every class. Well I say I had no idea, but my teacher did always tell us what the benefits of all the poses were. To be honest, I probably didn’t believe her at first.

As I did more and more yoga, I began to feel more and more benefits. Of course, firstly, my flexibility increased. I remember how great I felt when I got my heels down in downward dog and when I could hold onto my feet in forward bend. And then there were all of the benefits that I totally didn’t expect.

 

 Strength

I can honestly say that no other form of exercise I have tried has come close to yoga in the way it has increased my strength. As an adult woman, increasing your upper body strength can be challenging, but doing sun salutations every day has given me a strength and definition in my arms, shoulders and back that I thought I would never have. This helps with loads of different workouts and makes things like burpees seem easy.

Crow

Stamina

Not only is my increase in strength why I find my workouts less challenging, but learning how to use my breath has made running, circuits and boxing easier too. We don’t always think of it in that way, but yoga can be a great cardio vascular workout.

 Control

Persistence

My first real goal was to do headstand, and for a full year I tried it every day. I found that pose so difficult for a long time and at one point I never thought I would be able to do it. I didn’t think I would ever have the upper body strength, the balance, or the self-belief to get up there. Eventually I did and I realised something else that yoga was teaching me – that you can do just about anything with enough persistence.

Persistence

Awareness

One of the other unexpected benefits was learning how to really listen to my body and what it is telling me. This is so helpful in looking after your body when doing other kinds of exercises and workouts. I know my body so well now that I know if something is good or bad as soon as I do it and I alter my technique accordingly. This is also hugely beneficial if you are like me and have moments of complete absent-mindedness that end in missing a couple of stairs and spraining your ankle. When you have an injury, being aware of everything that is going on with it and the different kinds of pain you feel in your body means you can decide what things are going to help (always with the advice of a physio).

Awareness

Acceptance

I went to the gym initially to lose weight and become a body size that I thought would make me more attractive. At the time I was severely lacking in confidence. Although I have lost a lot of weight practising yoga, it’s not what my exercise is about anymore. Yoga helped me to think of my body in a different way. Instead of feeling like I was fighting against it, I started to really appreciate it and what it was capable of. Yoga asanas are fun and challenging and the goal is to be able to do them rather than anything to do with how I look. Coupled with meditation, it has helped me to develop self-acceptance. I learned to love and appreciate my wonderful body that is going to be with me until the day I die. I want to look after it for the long-term, and that is what my yoga practice is about – getting to 100 years old and still practising. That and playing with my body!

 

Acceptance

 

Learning to chill the fuck out (I mean relax, mum)

I can suffer from anxiety. Like everyone else, I worry and stress and I can let things go around and round in my head a million times until I literally can’t brathe. Yoga has taught me how to purposely relax and put these thoughts into perspective. Guided meditations have helped me through many sleepless nights and breathing exercises allow me to pause before I panic. When I take time to relax and meditate, I can deal with the stressful things that happen more calmly. I am much more productive and focused in my work and I can actually give the people in my life attention when I am with them.

Relax