Thankful

Today after my morning Yoga, I went for a beautiful walk along a beach. The sun was shining, the sea was a deep blue, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and I could feel the suns heat on my arms and legs. 

I love walking, especially in stunning places; which Australia is filled with. I find it helps me to think through any problems I maybe facing or just to reminisce about life and although reminiscing makes me miss people, places, jobs or even just that time in my life. It makes me realise how much I loved what I was doing at that moment because if didn’t miss it, it means I wasn’t happy or enjoying myself. 

A lot of people say ‘never look back, the past is the past, you only need to look forward’ but I don’t think that’s true. I believe looking back is an amazing tool, it reminds you of mistakes you’ve made before… yes, they maybe embarrassing or sad but to look back and remember them means you hopefully won’t make the same mistake again. Looking back helps you to see how far you have come, how much you have grown and all you have achieved. Reminiscing on happy memories is one of the most wonderful gifts you can give yourself, not only does it keep your mind working, memories are something no one can take away from you. They are yours forever, unique to you and looking back on them just means you are keeping them fresh in your mind. When you remember certain parts of an event it’s because of how you were feeling in that moment, so looking back on happy memories will only make you feel that same emotion again. Sometimes we need a pick me up and you never know you might just find it in the past; maybe a memory where you and your best friend couldn’t stop laughing, you could barely breathe? I’m sure that would bring a smile, maybe even a chuckle. 

It’s not just remembering events, it’s remembering the people too. Whether you are still in contact or not, remembering them allows you to understand what impact they had on your life; was it good or bad? What did you learn from them? I believe everyone comes into your life for a reason, no matter how long they are there. There is always something to be taken from meeting them and the situations you face together. 

Today I walked for over 2 hours, just looking back on school days, university days, my time over the last few years in different jobs and I had a huge smile on my face because I’ve been one lucky girl with the life I have lead so far. And no, I haven’t any regrets because I remember being told a little saying (by a lovely lady I met at university (Naomi Huggins)) which was ‘You should never regret anything because at the time it’s what you wanted’ and that has always stuck with me since she said it to me. 

Today I am just feeling so thankful for the life I have been lucky enough to live and I am so thankful to everyone past and present who has been able to share in it so far, even the people who I may not see eye to eye with because they’ve taught me something just by being there. 

As I was walking along today, reminsing, I decided to stop and look up, out across the water to the horizon. I closed my eyes and took a moment to feel the sun against my skin, listening to the waves and feeling my feet heavy on the sand. I just wanted to take this time to be thankful for my life, to be thankful for my wonderful family and my amazing friends, past and present because without them I wouldn’t of had the amazing memories I have today; which I will cherish for forever. So thank you to you all, you are all amazing. 

Life isn’t about material things, like how many shoes you have or having the best car. It’s about making memories, spreading some joy and love to those around you. No matter how long they will be in your life. It’s about enjoying the here and now and being thankful for all you have. 

Live for the moment but never forget your past…

Lauren 💛

It’s all about the workout

So today I went to my gym class that I regularly attend, aptly named ‘Work out of the Week’ and today was even more inspiring than normal. 

We usually work pretty hard, whether it’s HITT, TABATA, Body Pump etc it’s always full on. However when we walked into the studio this evening, there was a different kind of workout up on the board. One I haven’t seeen before and its structure is rather different from the other types of workouts I’ve done (and thats quite a few)!

So I have absolutely no idea what this workout is called; my instructor just said he had read about it in a book and decided to give it a go. He couldn’t remember the name either. But have no fear I will just explain how it works…(If you do know what it’s called, please comment below! I’d love to know!) 

This is what was up on the board when we came in:

As you can see there are 3 rounds, all with 7/8 exercises. Each round is focused on an area; R1 – Legs R2 – Arms R3- Core and all are working on cardio as well. 

For the first circuit you have 4 minutes for each round and must complete 5 reps of each exercise (or side) to move onto the next one. You continue to do the same round as many times as you can until the 4 minutes is up. 

You then have a 1-1.5 minute rest, then continuing to do the same reps and length of time on the next two round, resting between each. 

For the second circuit the same structure applies however, you now only have to do 3 minutes each round, but completing 6 reps not 5. 

And finally for the third circuit, you have 2 minutes but must complete 7 reps of each. 

Got It? 

As confusing as it may sound, it’s actually really easy to follow and my gosh does it make you sweat! The class was less that 4 hours ago and I’m already aching! 

This was such a great workout. It was really energising having a change of pace and structure. Making your body work harder in a different way, pushing yourself to get as many rounds completed of a certain area. 

I know we were all on the floor by the end, but once I had recovered I felt AMAZING! 

I was energised, worked, hot, sticky and felt like I’d done myself proud. 

I thought I would share this new, quirky workout with you all and I urge you to give it ago! If you do, please comment below what you thought of it! 

Lauren 💛

On the move

So when you are travelling for lengthy periods or on holiday, it’s so hard to keep active and to keep your fitness up. You’ve worked hard for you summer beach body but as your holiday progresses and you are enjoying all the wonderful food and night life, your beach body is rapidly slipping away at lighting speed. 

You’re on holiday…. of course you don’t want to do a full on, sweating your eyebrows off work out. Who would want to?! But if you’re like me and hate it when you start to feel heavier and less toned, there are some easy steps and exercises that I’m going to share with you that I use to help keep myself in shape and feel that little bit fitter. 

  1. Take the stairs! Easiest exercise ever…run, walk, lunge do anything but take the lift.
  2. Pool workouts! If you are at a hotel that runs aqua actitvites do it! You are still in the sunshine but burning a few extra calories before eating them all again that evening. Even if your hotel doesn’t run aqua activities do them yourself! Go for a swim or do some jump squats in the pool (it works you harder in the water too) 3 sets of 15 reps will be done in no time; who cares who’s watching? They’ll all be sunning themselves anyway. 
  3. Portion control! This is crazy important and one I struggle with the most, like lots of people do I suppose. Especially on holiday but there is no point in doing your exercises and then going to an all you can eat Chinese buffet…15 plates later you’ll regret it. I’m not saying don’t have the good stuff, by all means go ahead, enjoy the sweet yummy thing and the cultured food. JUST HAVE LESS! It’s that simple. Hard to do I know but it’s a good thought to keep reminding yourself. 
  4. Drink more WATER! Most of the time you’re thirsty when feeling hungry. Drink at least 2 litres a day! Especially before meal times. 
  5. Plank for 2 minutes! When you get up in the morning wherever you are just hold the plank for 2+ minutes. No gym necessary, just do as long as you can, maybe even try different variations.
  6. Ever heard people saying let’s do ‘Bring Sally up, Bring Sally down‘? Well it’s a great 3.30 track called Flower by Moby. Basically, everytime she sings ‘up’ you go up when she sings ‘down’ down you go. On the breakdown (claps) I like to pulse. You can do this with sit ups, push ups or squats. It’s a great little exercises. Give it ago! 

Hopefully for those who are reading this, you would have found some of these tips helpful. I find doing little exercises everyday, throughout the day and making better choices e.g stairs and halving the cake instead of eating the whole one, really help me to stay in shape when on holiday and it’s a pretty good feeling, knowing you are just as fit at the end of the holiday as when you started it! 

Lauren 💛

Dance Like No One Is Watching 

So yesterday, I was at home, alone. I was feeling a bit grotty, lethargic and had sat for a while watching TV.  I knew time was ticking on and I needed to get motivated to go into town. So I put on my music and start to get ready. I love music. If someone told me I could only have one luxury in this world, I would choose music hands down every time. I love all types of music from classical when I need some calm to drum & bass when I want to jump around my room. 

Anyway yesterday, I was in the mood for some full out singing (well trying) and a good dance about, so after I was ready I put on my musicals playlist (yes, you read correctly, cool I know) on Spotify and I kid you not, I went from 0 – 100 and danced about for a good half an hour. I was turning, tapping, singing, jumping and at one point I looked so ridiculous I actually made myself laugh (something I do all the time) and I danced like no one was watching, in fact I danced like no one else lived on earth and it felt GREAT! 

I love dancing and I do really miss it at the moment but it was great to just do what I wanted, no matter how it looked and feel the music. At the end I was on such a high, I felt so energised and had such a great day. 

Dance is such an amazing art/hobby/sport/activity …whatever you want to call it. It’s amazing. It releases endorphins, just like any other physical activity but moving and singing to your favourite track you haven’t heard in years just helps you to have that euphoric feeling, which as we all know, feels incredible! Not only this, it gets your heart pumping, your metabolism racing and helps with mental functions. Even if you are just jumping around your room, listening to the music and moving in time with it, is working your brain more than you may think! 

So I’ve decided once a day, no matter when it may be, even if it’s through headphones quietly or full out if I’m alone, I’m going to spend three minutes listening to a great track and dance like no one is watching (even if they are) and I urge you to do the same! Trust me, you’ll feel great!

Life is for living, doing what you love and not really giving a dam about what anyone thinks. As long as you feel good, that’s the most important thing. 

Look out for a random boomerang or video on my instagram in the next few days of me jumping around! 

Have a wonderful day, 

Lauren 💛

Unchartered Waters

To say the least, selling most of your belonging, packing the rest in a suitcase, quitting your job and leaving all your wonderful friends and family behind is pretty tough. Let alone having to endure a 17 hour trip to the other side of the world alone. However all these obstacles I conquered, yes it was hard to say goodbye but I was so excited for my Australian Adventure. 

A week and a few days after getting to Oz, I found myself repacking my suitcase, ready to travel 4 hours down the Highway to ‘The Great Southern’ of WA. I had landed myself a job! Not only that, it was a job on a farm. I was so excited I would be getting my 88 days done and I would be able to extend my visa. I was so proud of myself and eager to meet new people, that I never thought about the new challenges I would face, especially as I had never worked on a farm! I thought I had a good idea of what it would be like…I have been to a ‘farm’ to see the animals… you know the ones you go to when you are young. But I have never been to an actual working farm; 4,500 acres, 1,500 cattle, 2000 sheep and A LOT OF MUD! Culture shock! It was a world away from what I know, sharing a cosy 2 bed flat with my beautiful mum in England, 20 mins from the city. The first few days, I just didn’t know what to do or how to feel, everything was rather overwhelming, so I just put my blinkers on and got on with the task in hand. Over the last few years I become very good at putting my guard up and not letting on when I’m out of my comfort zone but inside I was struggling and for the first time since being in Oz I felt quite along way from home. 

I have to say I am one very lucky girl; The family who own the farm are lovely, I couldn’t of asked for a more welcoming bunch to live and work with. Despite there being 6 excitable young children under 8 years old, the hard part for me was getting over the fact that I was on a farm and unfortunately things get dirty. Mud gets everywhere. For those of you that know me, ‘OCD’ may come to mind. Although I know I don’t actually have OCD (well I may have a very mild case), I do like things a certain way and I love things to be extra clean. Basically, I was so far out of my comfort zone I may as well have been on mars. But I know this experience will be so good for me and it will also help me to get over my inclination for things to be immaculate all the time. Even I get on my own nerves sometimes with my ways and I don’t want to be a mum ( in the future, just to clarify!) who won’t let her children get messy or a person who makes people feel like they can’t relax when they come to visit. 

I’ve now been on the farm a month and I feel that I’ve made huge personal progress.  Although I’m still tidy and clean, which I know I always will be, I’m not so bothered if my room isn’t really tidy, or if I get muddy. 

Although I’ve made good progress breaking down one barrier, there is another obstacle I haven’t quite yet conquered and that’s settling into new beds/ places. I suppose it kind of links in with the above, but I really struggle to stay in a new bed/ place. I’m unsure why as I’ve never actually had a bad experience, however I do seem to have become worse as I’ve got older; although I’m not as bad if I’m staying with family or a close friend. But again this is something I need to get over and fast because in 16 weeks time I will be travelling around the east coast of Oz, staying in hostels. I’m not going to lie the thought does send a ripple of panic through my body but again this is going to be good for me. 

So with the hostels peeking over the horizon and my many challenges I’ve had to overcome, I’ve devised a few ‘rituals’ / tips I use to help ground myself, adding peace and calm back to my mind and body. 

  1. Take a step back – With ‘mess’ or when I start to feel overwhelmed, I’ve learnt to take a moment and to step back, reassuring myself everything will be ok. 
  2. Enjoy it! – I tell myself to ‘enjoy the moment’ a lot… take everything in… everything is an experience. Life’s for the living! Things can be cleaned or cleared up later. 
  3. Keep you childhood bear close! – I’m 24 and I still have Honey Bear and I’m not embarrassed by it. He’s a piece of home that I find comforting, he’s been there my whole life and is probably the most well travelled bear on earth! 
  4. Listen to music – I’ve downloaded a Nature Sounds App where you can use different sounds to create a relaxing track. It helps me relax and concentrate; it also gives the room a calm atmosphere. 
  5.  Breathe – Deep Breathing helps a lot whilst I’m constantly reminding myself that this is going to be GOOD FOR ME! 

Hopefully I’ll continue to grow and break down some of my many barriers I’ve built up over the years, I feel happier already in myself for doing so. The few barriers I’ve written about in this blog post are only a couple of the many reasons I came to Oz. I came to Australia to find myself again, to find a better, happier version of me and to push my boundaries. 

To explore the uncharted waters, to go on an adventure, but most importantly to enjoy life and every experience that comes with it! 

Lauren x 

    Just getting started…

    So here I am, after much debate (with my indecisive self) I have decided to start my first ever blog. I have so many experiences and ideas I want to share with you, that at the moment I’m not sure which direction this blog will head in or what I will blog about yet but I’m sure the more I write and as my journey progresses the blog will grow and mould as I do. I’ve never really been one for writing, being dyslexic, it isn’t the easiest of tasks (especially when it’s going on the internet for all to see! Nervous much?!) but a bit of a challenge has never stopped me. I love a challenge! and I’ll never know if I enjoy blogging or what could become of it, unless I give it ago!
    So let me introduce myself,
    My name is Lauren, I’m 24 and I’m currently living in Western Australia. I flew out on a one way ticket by myself to my wonderful cousin Mark and his girlfriend Jenny. I landed in Oz with no plans, just an open mind and my working visa. I gave up my job as a Professional Dancer/ Dance Captain in the U.K and sold nearly all my belongings, ready to start my Oz adventure. I came out here not only to see and find some amazing places and people but also to find myself. I’ve been a bit lost in the last few years back home and my future has seemed unclear. I felt like I needed a clean slate, to start again with a fresh view of the world.

    I’ve now been in WA for 5 weeks and I have to say I feel like I’ve been here at least a year! I’ve accomplished a lot and I feel so at home already that I know I don’t want to leave! In these first 5 weeks I have changed so much within myself. I feel a great sense of calm and I’m very relaxed, a world a way from how I was back in England.
    When I was younger I was really into collecting gemstones, astronomy, star signs and all that was ‘spiritual’ (not in the religious sense). I have always believed that everything in the universe is connected and everything emits different ‘energies’ into the atmosphere around it.  I’m a big believer in fate ‘what will be will be’…maybe even ‘everything happens for a reason’ , although sometimes it’s hard to find that reason. Anyway, I lost my spiritual connection for a while in my teen years but when I met an incredible lady just over a year ago, she unknowingly, slowly reconnected me with that world. As soon as we met I knew we would always be true friends. The first Monday I had in Oz, I took the train down to Fremantle where I met up with this incredible lady…the wonderful Jessica Clarke! We had the best day shopping, eating insanely good food, catching up and I even had the grand tour of the cruise ship Jess works on. However this isn’t the reason I’m tell you this story, even though I did have an amazing day. The reason I’m telling you this story is because that day Jess gave me some lovely belated birthday presents, within them was a Hematite gemstone and a little gold feather (which was to remind me to spread my wings and fly). Jess told me about how she’s really connected with her spiritual side and how good energies give back etc..and this is what has sparked my spiritual side back into full whack. I’ve been nonstop researching stars and gemstones, I’ve even had my palm and tarot cards read, as well as getting back into practicing yoga and meditation. And I have to say how amazing I feel, like I said at the start of my post, I have a great sense of calm inside, as well as feeling connected and grounded. I am the happiest right now than I have been in a very long time and I love it. Although I am still no closer to knowing yet what I want in life, feeling happier inside is a great start.

    I’m sure throughout this blog I’ll be sharing my spiritual journey with you as well as my journey travelling around Australia and maybe even beyond!
    I hope you enjoyed my first blog post, it only took me 5 hours on and off to write! Ha!

    I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful day and I’ll be back with another blog soon!

    Lauren x

    Jessica and I on the ship
    Myself, Mark and Jenny enjoying a drink watching the sunset