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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
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If the idea of posting a video on Instagram Stories or YouTube breaks you out in a cold sweat, this is for you!

Being visible (i.e. marketing) sounds like it should be easy. Post on social media and pop a blog post out every now and again and you’re sorted right? Wrong. Being visible for your business, especially as a coach, is key to growing a successful business.

What I’ve found in my own work is that getting visible is really scary, especially as someone who often tips to the introvert end of the ambivert spectrum! What I’d do was spend a lot of time on the creation side of things – writing blog posts, creating freebies and courses and very little time on the marketing. I was 20/80 when it really needs to be 80/20 in favour of the visibility work!

Last week I ran a visibility challenge in my Wholehearted Business Mastermind Group and I was so proud of all my ladies for putting themselves out there. What we found between us was that video felt especially scary (such as face to camera on Instagram Stories) but everyone of them gave it ago and totally nailed it!

Now being visible doesn’t have to just include video – it can be anything you do to put yourself in front of more people – and most importantly, the right people for your business.

This can absolutely be blogging, however sharing that blog post is what makes blogging most effective.

Here’s a few ways you can become more visible:
  • Share your blog posts on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram stories and your personal and business Facebook Pages
  • Post regularly on Instagram and Instagram stories
  • Comment on others Instagram posts
  • Post and comment in relevant Facebook Groups in a non spammy way
  • Post in promo threads in relevant Facebook Groups
  • Pitch some guest posts
  • Pitch to be on some podcasts
  • Start your own podcast
  • Go to a local networking event
  • Go to a more central event with good networking opportunities
  • Start a YouTube channel
  • Send out a press release to a local / national / niche publication

There’s many more I could add but I think that’s a good start!

However it’s not so much that there aren’t opportunities to be more visible, what I’ve found in myself and my clients is that it’s us who holds ourselves back and self sabotages. Putting yourself out there, especially as a coach where you are your business, can be really triggering!

What if people don’t like you? What if your mother in law sees you? What if you sound stupid? What if people just think you’re a bit of a wanker?

It’s really worth spending a little bit of time tapping into yourself to see what might be behind your lack of visibility. For me it was the old ‘not good enough’ chestnut.

I still find that I have fits and starts of visibility which is usually linked to my cycle (much more in the mood for it when I’m ovulating!) and I’m ok to go with that. But what really shifted things for me is realising that the only thing different between me and the people I admire in terms of their success is that they just fucking get on with it! They have the balls to go there and sometimes I don’t. That’s ok though, because I am getting better!

Alongside those mindset things that keep us stuck, often a lack of visibility is down to practical things we just need to sort out. I could go days without posting on Instagram because if I have to wait until I’m sat down on an evening to come up with a nice image and write a caption, it aint gonna happen. Since I discovered Planoly, I’m actually way more organised with Instagram.
Likewise for everything else, sometimes a bit of pre planning can go a long way when it comes to your visibility so you’re not sat there waiting come up with an idea worthy of sharing.

I’d love to know what you think of this! How do you feel when it comes to visibility and marketing? Do you find it easier or do you get more resistance?

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The post How to be more visible in your coaching business (and what’s holding you back) appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

When my son Finley was just 1 and a half weeks old we took him into A&E with breathing difficulties and ended up discovering he had a heart defect that needed open heart surgery. The time between finding out and him having his surgery at just 8 weeks old and recovering was the hardest time of my life. There were times I just wanted to check out of my life for a while because it was too much to bear, but in the end we all got through it.

When I think of resilience in personal terms, I think about that experience.

Life will throw all kinds of shit our way, that’s just the nature of being human. But being resilient enough to manage those experiences can have a significant positive impact on our wellbeing.

Apparently (in another Scandi semi untranslatable word like Hygge) Sisu is a Finnish term for determination, grit, bravery, resilience and hardiness. When thinking of the modern world we now have to navigate, I think we could all do with a bit more Sisu!

So what does it mean to be resilient and how can we become more resilient? Funnily enough I used to use this term a lot when I worked in the charity sector, we’d often describe our work with young people as helping them become more emotionally resilient to potential funders.

The actual meaning of resilient is to ‘to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions’ or to be ‘able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed’ – I mean how awesome is that! I love the idea of being able to bounce back quickly!

But what does all that mean for us if we want to be able to withstand the difficult conditions of life?

Well, here are a few things to think about when it comes to your own resilience and how to bounce back from difficult situations with more ease…

Don’t avoid your feelings, process them

To be brave doesn’t mean you don’t feel afraid – bravery can only show up when fear shows up too. Sometimes it can seem easier to avoid our feelings, to numb them out or try and push them away, but that doesn’t make you more resilient in the short or long term. Processing our emotions about a situation will help you ‘bounce back’ more quickly that brushing them under the carpet. In fact, just practising feeling all your emotions more fully and learning how to deal with them in a healthy way will support you to become more resilient.

Have faith

This was a massive one for me when we were going through Finley’s health issues. I had faith in something bigger than me, that everything was going to be ok. I don’t tend to believe in some kind of benevolent force, more I feel the Universe just ‘is’, but I do believe that things don’t happen to us, they happen for us. That believe was enough to help me through the hardest times.

Whatever faith might look like to you – God, Goddess, Universe – or even just having faith in other people as well as yourself – that will get you through. I had faith in the doctors, nurses and surgeons who took care of Finley and that helped me cope.

Self care

I’ve banged on about self care in many, many posts but I’ll say it again, you just can’t run on an empty tank. Self care is an essential element of being resilient. If you aren’t taking care of yourself you’ll be so less able to withstand the tough parts of life. Practicing self care when the going is good helps create habits that support you through the times that are harder.

Ask for help

It can be very easy to think that being resilient is about doing it all yourself, however asking for help is the best thing you can do. No one exists alone and it takes a village to raise a child. Getting used to asking the right people for help will support your own resilience and quite often theirs too because they’ll feel more comfortable asking you for support in turn.

Know how you tick

This is a biggie – when you know how you tick – what you need and what you don’t need, what works for you and what doesn’t, everything falls into place. When you know how you tick, you’ll know if you need time alone to process or time with others to support. You’ll know if you need to get out of the house or stay home, if you need more time or less time. Knowing how you tick makes it far easier to weather the storm and to bounce back afterwards in a healthy way.

Want to know more about how to figure out how you tick? Check out my 4 part video series covering my Wholehearted Method – 4 steps to becoming your most wholehearted self. Sign up below!

What do you think of resilience? When in your life do you think you’ve displayed resilience? How long does it take for you to bounce back?

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The post Becoming more resilient appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

I don’t know about you, but this month seems to have flown over! Thankfully we finally have some sun, it felt more like summer than spring for that week, but now it’s back to more usual spring like weather.

I’ve left this post a bit late, but I guess that makes it an especially good time to reflect on April! As I write this we have the Full Moon in Scorpio which has really kicked my ass to be honest. I’m also on day 28 of my cycle, so you know, fun times…not.

Anyways, I think the good thing about feeling the moon more deeply is being able to release more. I’ve spent most of this morning having a good cry, and it’s just felt like so much stress and tension has lifted. This month at times has been challenging, but as with all challenges I feel like they set you up for something important or useful further down the line.

#1 I got geeky

One of my favourite books this month was reading a Brief History of Time by the late great Stephen Hawking. I’m not going to pretend I understood it all, but what I did understand was mind blowing! Our Universe is one incredible place.

#2 I finally got all my decluttering done

This ones been lingering for a while, I think due to the rubbish weather but the extra sun in April gave me more motivation to get on top of it finally. Instead of the conservatory being a dump, we now have loads of space in there ready for using it for yoga, or a playroom or just a better entrance to the garden than the back door. Having a good declutter has felt so good, I just need to ensure I don’t bring more clutter into the house which is easier said than done with a 3 year old.

#3 I went for my first run in ages

At the start of the month I finally got out and ran! I used to be well into my running but once I’d completed the half marathon after I’d had Finley, I was pretty much done. I do enjoy running shorter distances so my goal this month was to get out at least once. However I haven’t been back out again due to #5 – I was actually wondering if the run could have been the trigger?

#4 I’ve got a new exciting thing in the pipeline!

I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to do next around my wellbeing work. I’ve really enjoyed the Mindset Makeover Course this year (which will soon be available as a self study option) and in talking to lots of women and listening to what everyone’s been saying I have an idea for a long term affordable programme that I’m really excited to share. Watch this space!

#5 My wellbeing

Some of you who have been reading this time last year might have remembered me mentioning some issues I was experiencing with my bladder health. Basically it was like having a UTI but when tested, there was no infection present. It’s been re-occurring for the last two and a half years, but my last flare up was a year ago and unfortunately it’s come back. I had some testing done last year but as it disappeared for so long I didn’t push to get a diagnosis. I am going back to the Docs to ask for a referral and a check up (I do have an idea of a couple of issues it could be due to my symptoms), but I’m hoping this flare up will ease off like the others soon enough.

But what this has reminded me is that my body is not in the happiest of places right now. I’m struggling with some headaches, brain fog and low energy as well as this, and the time has come to do something about it. The first thing I’m going to try are some nutritional shifts like radically reducing coffee (sob), sugar, dairy and gluten for a while and adding in some new foods and supplements. I’ve resisted this for a long time because #nutribollocks and all that, however, all of that rhetoric is totally fucking useless when you’re feeling like shit. I know food can heal and now’s the time to use it in that way. I’ll report back with how I get on!

How has April been for you? What are you looking forward to in May?

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The post 5 Things April appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

Confidence is a funny one isn’t it? Not feeling confident can be one of the biggest things that holds you back from achieving the things you want to – starting or growing a business, applying for a new job, joining a gym even, there’s so many areas of life that confidence comes into play.

Confidence means ‘the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something’ – in this case we’re talking about belief and faith in ourselves, which is easier said than done!

Confidence or lack thereof, was a big problem for me as a child. I was quiet and quite often labeled as shy, generally I didn’t have a lot of self confidence.

Confidence has been one of those things I’ve really had to work at, and I know I’ll probably be working on it for the rest of my life! I have come a long way since my school days and I’d generally say I’m fairly confident now. I can stand in a room full of people and talk – something that believe me would have given me palpitations a few years ago!

But confidence isn’t just the ability to stand in front of people and talk, it’s so much more than that. It’s an inner resilience that knows you can handle what life throws at you, it’s the self believe that you can deal with shit!

So what helped me grow my confidence and what am I doing now to keep on growing it? Here’s a few tips for anyone who feels like need a bit of a confidence boost…

Gently push out your comfort zone

I know this is awful (literally having to make yourself feel uncomfortable!) but pushing out that comfort zone in a kind and measured way will really help you feel more confident. The trick I’ve found with this is to know what you respond to best. If ‘go big or go home’ is your jam then go for it, but I’m guessing if you’re reading this article about confidence that will just feel too much! I like to approach this in a small and steady way, with little out of comfort zone tasks, perhaps one a week. Maybe that’s making a tricky phone call, sending an email to someone you respect, posting on social media, doing your first live chat or first Instagram story with your face on it!

What’s the worst case / best case scenario

Asking myself what the worst case scenario would be if I did something is really helpful to take away the fear. Often the worst thing is that I’ll look like a bit of an idiot! And when you then consider the best case scenario and how much taking a certain action could benefit you, and the chances of the worst case actually happening – you can move forward with a little more confidence.

Look at areas where you already feel confident

Most people will feel more confident in some areas and not in others – ask yourself why you feel more confident there, and not here? What lead to you feeling confident in that area? Can you apply lessons from that situation to the area you feel a lack of confidence?

Keep a brag list

This is a lovely idea I got from my friend Nicola at A Life More Inspired. Keeping a list of all the awesome things you’ve done and achieved, no matter how small they may feel is a great way to grow your inner confidence in your abilities. Make sure you keep checking back and celebrate all those achievements!

Identify your expanders

I came across the concept of expanders in the work of Lacy from Free & Native. Expanders are people who can see you in a way that you can’t see yourself. They know what you’re capable of and show you the way. They invite you to expand yourself and your confidence with it. When I look back over my life I’ve had several expanders who have helped me immensely. My former managers when I worked in the charity and community sector and now my business coach and in real life and online business friends. In the mastermind that I run, I want to take the role as an expander for others.

Fuck it

Sometimes you just have to say fuck it (not fuck it why bother!). This is a bit like the 5 second rule from Mel Robbins – give your brain enough time to engage and it will convince you why you should stay small and safe. When you can just think fuck it and act, then that’s a great way to show yourself what you’re really made of and with that your confidence will grow.

Practice

Overall in my experience what’s really grown my confidence is practice, practice, practice. The first time I had a call with a paying 1-2-1 client I was crapping myself. But now I jump on the phone with people with no anxiety before hand whatsoever – but that took time. Speaking in front of loads of people took time, doing live chats online took time. The more you do something the easier it will become and the more confident you’ll feel.

My Mum friends all say how much more confident they are as a Mum with their second than they were with their first because they’ve had practice and they’ve dealt with all sorts of situations successfully the first time round.

I’d love to know how you feel about confidence – where in life do you feel most confident and the least confident? Can you identify your expanders?

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The post How to cultivate more self confidence appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
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It feels like a good time for a bit of a life check in (this is a lengthy post so grab a cuppa!) spring has finally begun, as I write this it’s a New Moon and the end of Mercury Rx, and I don’t know about you, but this winter has felt tough. I really tried to take my own advice about getting through January and February, but I didn’t see the bad weather lasting well into April! I don’t think I realised quite how much it was impacting me until we got a few days of good weather and I noticed how much better I felt!

So it’s been ages since I’ve written one of these posts, I think the last time I said that it felt a bit like a switch had flipped and I just wasn’t in vulnerable sharing mode, at least the way I was a couple of years ago, I think being connected with becoming a Mum as well.

Plus I feel pretty lucky that I don’t really have any big issues I’ve needed to get off my chest. I’m in a very contented period of life right now, motherhood has become so much easier now that Finley actually sleeps, my relationship with food and my body is the best it’s ever been and everything is just ticking along nicely – which opens up some other stuff which I’ll mention in a moment!

It’s actually quite weird when I think of just how screwed up I was around food, and even quite recently I had still wanted to lose weight. I found the body positivity scene inspiring and also triggering in equal measure, for such a long time it seemed to highlight something I couldn’t quite own for myself, that total love for my body and complete freedom with food. I feel like this is one of the issues with any kind of labels, even positive ones. They create a pressure (even if that pressure is solely internal) to adhere to something and when you don’t you feel like a failure.

But over the last couple of months I’ve felt a real freedom in how I think about my body, I’m a UK size 14 / 16 and my body seems to be very happy at this size and weight, my periods are really regular and after all the issues I had before I had Finley I take that as such a blessing! I’ve also got a wardrobe full of gorgeous clothes I love that fit me. Another thing that’s been sinking in is just how pointless it is to expend so much energy to try and change my body when it’s inevitable that it will change as I get older.

I just don’t have the energy for it anymore basically, all the fucks have ran out! I do still make some effort to eat well and move, but those have nothing to do with weight and everything to do with feeling good. I notice a massive difference when I’m not exercising often and when I start eating less healthy food too often. But mostly I eat whatever I want and it’s great! That fear of gaining weight has disappeared, the last time I weighed myself I was roughly the same as I had been a year earlier, so that’s been reassuring that things are pretty stable.

With all of that in mind it feels like things have come full circle for me. I started this blog 8 years ago, 1 year after I’d started my weight loss journey and I can’t believe how much I’ve changed. I’ve gone from being obsessed with food and exercise to really understanding that health and happiness is so much more than that.

I’ve learned that me desperately trying to lose weight hasn’t so much linked with wanting to be healthy, it was all about wanting to be accepted and wanting to feel good enough. Losing weight and then letting all of that go has been such an important part of my own journey, it’s helped me realise that there’s so much more to life than weight.

This is where being wholehearted has come from for me, living life to the fullest by being the whole you – something I’m still working on!

One of the reasons things are ticking over so nicely (on the whole, nothing is perfect of course) is because I realised that most of the things which became ‘dramas’ where linked to deeper feelings of not being enough. So being able to notice that and where those things were happening has been SO helpful in ways I don’t think I could have imagined. It’s like peeling off layers of old wallpaper to get to the most authentic me underneath.

And now, as things are generally calm and steady, I have the energy to see more of these areas where I’m doing or not doing things because of a lot of subconscious beliefs (I talk about this a lot in the Mindset Makeover Course!)

For example, Instagram has sometimes felt like a shit show for me because it triggers my old ‘being left out of the cool girls gang’ in school thing – the reality is not that, but my old belief is that I’m not one of the ‘cool girls’ and therefore I perpetuate it because I don’t post often or don’t comment.

Another thing I’ve noticed lately is where I’m staying silent, again this is mostly on social media (hello the perfect place to see all your triggers and limiting beliefs in action!) – especially around some political / social stuff. I did a fucking masters degree in community work about social justice and empowerment and I’m just not speaking my true mind about these things!

One way I’ve looked at it is to see the areas of my life where I feel I’m actually not being wholehearted and to just open myself up to thinking about why that might not be the case.

And again, this is where so many of the changes in how I work and blog here have shifted lately as my passions and interests have shifted quite a bit over the last couple of years.

I’m really interested in how we can care for ourselves better on a really holistic level, how we can deepen our self knowledge and how we can be ourselves more. I love how spiritual practices can be so helpful with that. I’m also really enjoying my own creativity these days, and on the business side of things what’s been great for me is seeing how starting this business and doing this work is an extension of my own self care. I spent years feeling like ‘there had to be more than this’ and creating this job and way to make a living for myself has been like magic! Sharing that part of my journey and helping other women create that for themselves is something I absolutely love. 

Almost everything good that I have now came after I got over my food and weight issues, I wouldn’t go back and change things because that’s how I got here, but blimey I’m so glad I’ve been able to let that go.

And here’s the thing about all this mindset type stuff, it never really ends, there’ll always be more layers of old wallpaper to tear off!

Can you look back over the last few years of your life and see a journey in it? What old layers do you feel you need to tear off?

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The post A life update! Being triggered by body positivity, not being wholehearted and more appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
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Hey ladies, today I’m really delighted to be sharing a post from one of my friends and clients the lovely Sam from Samantha Darby Break Free. Sam’s so lovely, and I wanted her to share some of her expertise around body positivity and loving yourself. I hope you enjoy this guest post!

I hope you’re having a positive day filled with smiles! Today I wanted to talk a little about self love. It seems like the term ‘self-love’ or the advice to love ourselves is everywhere at the moment. And whilst I couldn’t agree more that we all need to ramp our self-loving levels up and flex our self-love muscles more, there are some of us who have no idea where to even begin!
So I thought I’d give you a bit of a helping hand and share some of the ways that I learnt to look at my body and myself with a grateful heart and show them more love and positivity.

Accept who you are

This is probably the most amazing thing you can do for yourself, your body and your mind. I spent many, many years wishing I looked like someone else, wanting to have that girls body, a flatter tummy, bigger boobs and a less boy like, square frame. But the fact is I’ll never have someone else’s body, I’ll only ever have mine. My beautiful, strong body that holds my creative mind, my giving heart and my kind soul. My fit and courageous body that can do some pretty kick-ass things like run a marathon and grow a baby! (This still blows my mind!) No one else has your body, it’s yours and it’s awesome!
Love what you like and like what you don’t love

Okay, so my pooch and my little boobs are never going to be my fav part of me but you know what, they are okay and that’s okay with me. My bum and my legs however, I love them! Totally loving every part of your body is a pretty big ask. I mean I love my husband, but I certainly don’t like all of him! (it’s pretty hard to like the part that leaves stuff all every the bedroom floor). So don’t feel pressured into doing that, just start by liking those little bits that bother you and really loving those bits you think are great!

Step away from the scale!!

Scales are for weighing those ingredients to bake that cake. Scales are not a measure of your self worth, your awesomeness or the beauty in your body. Stop weighing yourself girl. Don’t do it! Weigh the flour and the sugar and make that cake.

Don’t compare

Don’t compare yourself or your body with anyone! Everyone is downright gorgeous in their own way. Admire others, but not at the expense of questioning your own fabulousness! Someone else’s beauty is not the absence of your own. There is no comparison if you are being truly you.

Take those compliments

Listen to what others are saying and learn to believe in the compliments you are given. Hell, why not write them down and look at them on those days you struggling to see just how gorgeous you really are. Don’t bat them away, when someone tells you your hair looks nice don’t respond with ‘oh yeah that’s cause I washed it!’ Learn to accept the compliments and hold onto them, they’re said because someone else genuinely thought that about you.

I hope these tips help you give yourself a little bit more loving.

If you want a little extra help to end that diet cycle, you can grab my free guide and mini e course right here >>>

Have a beautiful day gorgeous,

Hugs,
Sam xxx

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The post But how do I love myself? appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
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Dare I say it, but it seems that spring has finally arrived! As I type this, the sun is shining and I even have the windows open.

Something I love about the warmer weather is being able to drink smoothies and iced drinks without half freezing to death. My favourite afternoon spring / summer treat is an iced drink of some kind, so when Pure Chimp sent me their new Turmeric Matcha Green Tea to try I knew I had to try it as an iced latte!

At first I wasn’t too sure how the flavours of turmeric and matcha would go together, however the blend of finest quality green tea, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon make this taste a little like a chai mix with a slight floral green tea hint. As a real fan of chai, I like this a lot!

Not only does it taste great, matcha and turmeric are great healthy ingredients with a range of benefits so this is a nice way to include them in your day and get that gentle energy boost.

One of the great things about making this iced is that it’s just so simple to make – simply blend milk of choice with a teaspoon of the turmeric matcha and 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of liquid sweetener of choice, blend and pour over ice. Delicious!

You can also use the same recipe as a hot version, just warm the milk up first and obviously skip the ice.

Iced Turmeric Matcha Latte
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup / 250ml milk of choice
  2. 1 teaspoon of Pure Chimp Turmeric Matcha Green Tea
  3. 1/2 - 1 tablespoon of sweetener of choice - maple syrup works especially well here
  4. Ice
Instructions
  1. Place the milk, matcha powder and sweetener in a blender and blend.
  2. Pour over the ice and serve
Wholeheartedly Laura http://wholeheartedlylaura.com/
You can purchase the Turmeric Matcha Green Tea from Pure Chimp here

Pure Chimp are offering Wholeheartedly Laura readers 10% off all matcha tea with the code HEART, check it out!

Are you a fan of iced drinks?

*post in collaboration with Pure Chimp 

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

About 3 and a half years ago I was 35 weeks pregnant, happily sitting at my desk working on my business which I’d made my full time gig about 4 months earlier. I had been to the gym that morning, had a lovely Skype session with a client and was generally feeling awesome. However, that Friday night everything changed when I started getting contractions and ended up giving birth the next day.

My precious bundle of joy arrived 5 weeks early. Thankfully my labour and birth we’re fine, but what followed was an absolute shit show – the first week we were in hospital due to his jaundice, the following week A&E followed by an ambulance ride to another hospital when we discovered Finley had a serious life threatening heart defect, and basically the following 9 weeks leading up to when Finley had his open heart surgery were horrific and looking back I can see I had postnatal depression and a form of PTSD. The time I thought I’d have to wind down my business obviously disappeared, and I was right in the middle of writing Grains as Mains and had a number of active clients!

It was the ultimate trial by fire when it comes to balancing motherhood and running my business, one which I didn’t achieve especially well in those first few months, however, it was that extreme experience that has taught me more about myself, how to balance running a business and self care than anything else.

So many women want to create an online business so they can make a living doing something they love that pays the bills (and some) and allows them some balance with their family life and role as a mother. That was exactly what lead me to where I am now, and although I’m not perfect most days I feel like I’ve nailed that motherhood business balance for us. Because that’s my first bit of advice – every child, mother and business is different and you need to figure out what’s going to work for your unique situation.

I can remember when I blogged about Finley starting nursery at 6 months and someone commented about why I was doing that when clearly I could have him at home with me. Well fuck me, if she’d seen what it’s like to try and work with a 6 month old Finley she’d have realised why! I also breastfed Finley right up until he was 2 and a half which is another conversation in itself.

Here’s the thing, my business isn’t just a way I make a living (and FYI I’m the main bread winner in this family so I didn’t / don’t have the option of not working) it’s also the way I express myself and the way that I get to be creative. In so many ways my business is an extension of my own self care because it’s so fulfilling.

With that in mind my biggest issue when Finley was born was that I wanted to work because it was how I got to feel like myself again, my challenge was not burning myself out in the process. I blogged Finley’s birth story and all of his heart defect journey and it was incredibly cathartic – was it ‘work’? This is where the boundaries can get blurred when you run a business that you’re a huge part of.

So I had Finley, still worked in my business but rearranged the deadline for the recipe book and had to cancel and refund some clients. I still blogged though, and even recorded podcasts with Finley asleep in the sling. I also had a community project I had to deliver so I returned to that (which was a couple of hours a week) when he was 4 months old and my Mam looked after him. I found that it wasn’t too bad up until then because most little ones sleep a lot during the day. I should have been sleeping too though!

When Finley was about 4 months I soon found out I couldn’t work and be a present Mum, and that’s been the fact which has guided me ever since – I can’t multi task, Finley isn’t the the kind of baby or child who will happily watch TV or play, he needs that interaction. Whenever I’ve tried to do both it never ends well. I just found that I would get stressed out because I was doing neither motherhood or running a business especially well!

At 6 months he started nursery 2 days a week with 1 day a week with my Mam and from that point onwards things have worked really well for us. At 2 years old he started an extra day at nursery, so we have one extra day off together a week. As I said this is what works for us, I still love the flexibility I have to have Fridays off, finish work early, start late, take a day off whenever etc – but I still know plenty of Mums who run businesses with little to zero childcare too.

I really love this balance, but what I’ve found is that I have to be pretty firm with my own boundaries. I stopped taking on clients in the evenings and save any evening work for delivering webinars or live trainings etc (evenings got much easier once I weaned him off the boob and James could put him to bed)

So to boil that down to some key tips:
  • You, your baby / child and business are unique. Don’t worry if your business motherhood balance looks different to someone else’s.
  • If it fits with your situation, childcare can be the most amazing thing ever. I’ve never regretted Finley being in nursery, he’s a brighter more confident child because of it.
  • Have some boundaries in place and discuss these with your partner so they can support you.
  • Business wise, having a baby or child in the mix is a great way to get super specific on what’s working in your business – you won’t have time for anything that’s just fluff!
  • Remember why you chose this option – why did you want to start a business in the first place? Of course there were days when I missed Finley and felt like a shitty mother for taking him to nursery. Reminding myself why I was doing it this way really helped with the Mum guilt.
  • Maternity leave when they’re really little can be a good opportunity for learning time (as long as it feels good to you) I loved listening to podcasts on walks with Finley in the pram so when I really got back to it I was raring to go.
  • Remember that by running your own business you’re modelling some fantastic behaviour for your children!
  • Your wellbeing comes first – the first few months as a mother especially can be very hard. Screw the business if your wellbeing is being effected – I wish I’d been kinder to myself back then.

This post has ended up being a bit longer than I expected but I hope it helps!

If you’re a Mum running your own business (I salute you!) what does balance look like for you? If you’re thinking of starting your own business to create that family life balance has this post given you some ideas?

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The post Balancing motherhood and running a business appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

Well what a totally random month March has been! It’s felt like we’ve all been held in winter here in the Northern Hemisphere but finally it’s starting to feel like spring has arrived.

Unfortunately the book I mentioned in my 5 things February post has been cancelled as the publisher went into administration #gutted, but it has opened up some more time for me to do other awesome stuff.

I said in February that I’d been going through lots of big shifts and they have been totally worth the discomfort at the time, many of them really impacting how things have been for me this month, which has been brilliant.

#1 Getting decluttered organised and clean!

I started a massive decluttering and cleaning project at home at the end of last month, it’s been so great to get rid of a lot of crap and to get the house really clean. I cleaned the windows, skirting boards and all the grout in the bathroom and changed up some furniture. It reminded me that you don’t have to spend a lot to make a difference, just changing around what we have has had a big impact. And getting everything much cleaner too!

#2 My ‘treat myself’ budget

I mentioned in last months post that I had been re reading a book about money and one of the things she suggests is having a small budget that you spend on whatever you want that makes you feel super abundant. It’s actually been hard to decide what to spend it on now that I’ve got a better handle on my spending, but here’s a few things that have caught my eye:

House Plants from Stupid Egg Interiors – I LOVE house plants and already have quite a few but I’m thinking I might have to treat myself to something from this site.

Candles from Betony and Sage or the Self Care Company – the candles from both these companies look amazing!

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee – I’m focusing on increasing my energy levels this quarter so treating myself to some of these would be a good move

Crystals – I’ve got my eye on some smokey quartz to add to my collection

#3 The 12 week year

I was already planning my year out by approaching things a season at a time but my coach told me about how she approaches each 12 week stretch like a brand new year. That really clicked with me, I love the idea of having 4 opportunities for that fresh start energy each year and being able to be super focused.

#4 Cherry Tree Obsession

I have three cherry trees in my garden which I’ve been watching like a hawk waiting to see them bloom. Obviously they’re blooming late this year but they’ve just started to blossom and it’s just been lovely to see them as spring arrives.

#5 Baking!

With the snow this month I’ve been in the house with Finley and we’ve ended up doing a lot of baking to pass the time – check out the Food highlight on my Instagram profile for a few of those recipes. I’m also planning to make these Easter Brownies and this Gluten Free Carrot Cake from Jamie Oliver which is a family fave!

I have to say I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the next quarter of the year! What have you been up to in March?

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The post 5 Things March appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

If there’s one habit I have that I’d say has been essential to my wellbeing over the last couple of years, it’s journaling.

Whether it’s journaling to plan my week, process my thoughts or set my intentions it’s been so powerful for me because it ‘anchors’ all of my other wellbeing habits. As a result of journaling on a regular basis it helps me catch myself more quickly when I let things slide and it helps me go about life in a much more intentional way.

Recently there’s been a huge trend in Bullet Journaling, I’m sure you’ve seen some of the amazing designs people come up with! I’ve used a bullet journal style before and that was really where I got started. Check out my other posts on bullet journaling for health and wellbeing and bullet journaling for sacred self care.

Bullet journaling can indeed be a good place to start, but when I’ve looked at this with clients and members of my Facebook community, I’ve found that the style of bullet journaling can make it feel a bit inaccessible when you’re just getting started, especially if you’re a bit of a perfectionist!

So how do you start to use journaling as an all round tool to support your life, wellbeing and business? Here’s a few tips from my experiences over the last few years…

Think about what you’d like to get out of it

Before you start, and even if you’ve been journaling for a while it’s helpful to think about what you really want to get out of this practice. Is it for processing your thoughts, for anchoring your habits or planning your week? It can totally be for all of those things and more, it’s just useful to connect with your why, especially when you’re trying to make a habit of it in itself!

Decide what style of journaling you’ll use

In my experiences there’s a couple of main styles that might be helpful – free flowing journaling, mind mapping and bullet journaling. You can use all three of these or just focus on one or two. For example I use free flowing journaling where I just write and write and write to get all my thoughts out when I’m going through a particular issue. I use mind mapping for when I’m planning for my business and I use a bullet journal style for week to week planning. Remember that just because you start a certain way doesn’t mean you can’t change the format of how you journal in future.

Get a journal you love

It’s so much more appealing to have a journal you get exciting to write in! Many bullet journal fans love the Leuchturm1917 journals with dotted paper. I love Kikki K and Paperchase stationery for myself. Go with what you love!

Find a time to fit it into your routine

Decide when you’d like to journal each day. Maybe doing it in the morning is really helpful for you, or perhaps before bed on an evening is best.

Don’t be afraid to do it your way

I honestly think one of the reasons journaling has been so helpful for me is because I do it my way. I’ve looked at how other people journal and picked the bits that resonated for me and that I thought would be useful.

How I journal now is quite different to how I used to do it, I keep tweaking how I do it to keep it effective. The most recent change I’ve made is doing more journaling digitally.

I really resisted the idea of using the computer or my phone for journaling but when I realised I wasn’t sitting down and doing it as regularly as I wanted to I realised that done is better than perfect.

Now I have a journaling routine that looks like this:

Each month I sit down with my own copy of the Wholehearted Journal and work through those journaling questions to give me clarity. Then I print out the habit tracker sheet from the digital version and keep it on my desk. I also plan out my main business tasks for that month in a Google Doc.

Each week I sit down on a Monday morning and plan my week – I adore this weekly ritual! I do this in my paper journal and also draw some tarot cards for feedback and guidance. I come up with a main vision for the week and then I type this into a Google Doc.

Each day, in that same Google Doc with the vision typed at the top, I do my daily journaling which looks like this:

  • Gratitude
  • Joy and self care for today
  • Positive aspects
  • Moon + cycle

Having it on a Google Doc means I can use my phone if I’m having a busy morning with Fin or if I find myself in bed having forgotten to journal before coming upstairs. As much as I have got better using my phone less, having things like this available on it mean I’m 100% more likely to do them – path of least resistance!

Plus I have my habit tracker out on my desk as a reminder and I also have a running to do list for my life and business on a Google Doc, but each day I’ll write out the tasks I’d like to achieve that day on my Kikki K notepad.

That might sound like a lot, but it doesn’t really take much time, especially daily journaling. Plus believe me when I say it’s worth it! I do feel that everyone can benefit from some form of journaling, I just think you need to find a way of doing it that works for you.

If you’re looking to get started with journaling the check out my Wholehearted Journal which comes out each season. I’ve designed it based on my own monthly planning ritual. The feedback on it has been amazing and it’s only $18 / £11 and includes a bunch of other stuff as well!

Check out the Wholehearted Journal here >>>

I’d love to know your thoughts on this, do you journal? Would you like to start?

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