Tuesday 17 February 2015

Self Love Take 2: Lent and setting intentions

I hope you all had a lovely self love day on Saturday and some of what I said sunk in. Here I am writing this post, which has been playing in the back of my mind since Saturday, and I'm dying with the flu. Yes, I looked after myself over the weekend. There were salads, juices, tea, soup and bed rest. Sometimes, the body decides that despite all of that, it's just not enough and so here I am, typing up part of the blog before I can take photos because, frankly, the thoughts of doing the entire post as well as grappling with the time I've given myself, is doing my head in and I want to take care of myself.

This post has had serious editing changes in the last day and a half. What started as a post for a raspberry pancakes recipe turned into a much needed stop and think out loud, type out loud situation. The pancake recipe will arrive soon but I've decided not to push on past where I'm at and instead explore the thoughts whizzing around in my head that have been there for weeks. The thoughts that have been telling me to slow the f*>k down, to think about waves, sunsets and rest. So that's what I'm gonna do.

Those of you who read my blogs know that I don't claim to be some super smiley, happy, yoga bendy hippy. Not that there is anything wrong with any of those labels but was I'm saying is that I am just me and some days, that involves not being my full self, not having the complete fill of energy and exuberance that I would love to have each and every day. I was delighted to look at Instagram today and see a beautifully simple photograph by Tara's bakerhands of a mess of bowls and spoons in the sink. Her post was about doing your best and reminding ourselves that not everything is perfect and picturesque. I try and show this in my photos too. More and more on my blog and my life, my intention is to be authentic, just me, as I am that day in that moment. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but the intention is set.

Photo courtesy of Tara Jensen at Bakerhands. Follow the link above to her beautiful page.
For years, I've had this other intention of having a healthy life where yoga, its bends, curves, postures and breaths align with my life and become an integral part. At different periods of my life, this has happened and I've felt amazing, like something just clicked. Then yoga became something I 'should' do, something I would drag around with me in my head. Now I find yoga sprouting up out of the earth like an inquisitive little seedling in my life and I want to nurture it rather than let it grow out of control or to try and control the hell out of it.

I'm not in the least bit religious but as kids Lent was a big part of our year for three reasons.
1. You could give up something that was unhealthy
2. you could eat as many pancakes as you liked before starting Lent and
3. Easter and all its magic followed.
This year for Lent, I've decided on a few definitive things.

1. I'm going vegan for Lent. I've been mainly vegetarian for January and February and with the exception of eggs (raised locally and organically by my awesome friend Deirdre from work), I want to try being vegan for Lent as a way to get ready for the growing season in the months ahead.

2. Although I'm giving up other animal products, I don't want Lent to just be about removing things from my life so I'm adding yoga. 30 days of yoga in fact with Yoga with Adriene. She's very chilled out but challenging and best part is she says awesome and jokes a lot in her classes. This way I feel like I'm giving up unnecessary stress and it feels good.

3. I am setting an intention for the rest of Lent to take a look at my life and remove the unwanted, unnecessary stresses, like a cleaning for the heart and the head. These last two months of organizing and then finally moving house have been fantastic and I haven't got enough words to describe how happy I am in my little house. I'm tired though, really tired and now that I've conquered the bills and the swap overs,  it's time for some well deserved rest.

In all my rambling for this post, I guess what I'm outlining is that with self love and taking care of myself, it's necessary not just to remove the stuff that doesn't work for me but to place it with some good stuff. Right now that includes good food, good yoga, good intentions and good rest.

If you were looking for a pancake recipe today, I did make them for the awesome Éadaoin but when she came over, between sickness, chats and declining light, we just decided to eat our weight in them rather than take photos and post on time. Cheeky of me I know but I will post it some other time and there will still be a recipe on Saturday.

This lent, take some time to warm your soul. Don't just punish yourself by removing something you actually love. My focus is going to be me time, rest and getting ready for the energy that Spring has in store for us. What's yours?


  1. Today I'll do day 22 of yoga with Adriene! I've loved it! You've set some beautiful intentions! Thanks for sharing such a thoughtful post.

    1. Thanks Clare! I'm doing my best to keep up with the yoga. With the flu, I've missed some days but I'm being kind and taking it each day as it comes. It's a lovely way to start the morning. Thanks for reading!