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Ten years ago, I hated who I was.
My flat chest, and my limply straight, cocoa locks. My protruding hips, along with the number in the back of my jeans. My caramel colored skin, and the curved arch of my nose. The sound of my voice. My shy exterior.
I could go on for days… the same way my legs do. Most women would kill for pins like mine, yet I still found a way to hate my tall, gangly figure.
You see, self-loathing doesn’t keep favorites. He seeps into so many minds you’d think were impenetrable.
Back then, I didn’t know how to fix myself. I didn’t know how to click my fingers and make those not-good-enough feelings disappear. All I could see was a sea of Goddesses for miles, glowing on the pages of magazines, through the TV screen, and as I drifted down the street. I desperately wanted to look, to feel, to act, and to be like all of them. Anyone but myself.
And you know what saved me, from the brink of despair?
Finally learning to love the shit out of myself, every damn day.
Waking up and telling myself I was beautiful, even when I felt anything but.
Deciding to quit looking for love in the arms of anyone but myself.
Pushing past the feelings of wanting to go under the knife, and cut and sew my troubles up.
Forcing myself out of my comfort zone, even when my knees were trembling, and my voice shaking.
Going out of my way to do shit that scared me every damn day.
Self-love is not this airy fairy bullshit that people make it out to be. Not to me it’s not.
Self-love called me home to my heart.
And yes, you do need it. So much more than you know.
Of course, you can wake up and carry on as usual without it.
Of course, you can be in a relationship and love someone else without it.
Of course, you can achieve great things, help a tonne of people, and be successful without it.
But will you know the difference between someone loving you and hurting you?
Will you know when to stay and when to walk away?
Will you know to whisper those positive, affirming words to yourself, instead of those toxic, damaging ones you’ve known for so long?
And will you know if you’re doing it for you, instead of trying to bend or break yourself to fit in, or please someone else?
If self-love is something you never choose to master; something you never quite manage to embody in this lifetime – I’m sure you’ll be okay.
I’m sure you’ll live an okay life, maybe even a good one. But never a peaceful one.
You know those Goddesses I was talking about? The ones who seem to glow from the inside out?
You might think it’s Maybelline, but I know different. Maybe she wasn’t born with it either. Maybe she just woke up one day and decided she was tired of hating herself. Maybe she wanted better. Maybe she finally understood she was deserving of better. So she went and did the hard work. Because that’s what learning to love yourself is – it’s work. It’s painful, exhilarating, overwhelming, and liberating. I should write painful twice, and if you’ve been there and made your way out to the light, you’ll get it.
So quit shitting on self-love. Quit dismissing the mecca-like journey we are all on. I don’t need you to tell me what self-love really means because I’ve fucking lived through it.
I’ve lived on both sides; I know which one I prefer, and the one I’m petrified of lapsing back into.
Don’t be so quick to call bullshit on self-love. Not until you’ve found it, learned it, and devoured it. Not until you’ve appreciated it for what it truly is: freedom.
Love & light,
Shani
xxx
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What's inside?
How to bring positive vibes into your life
How to change the way you see yourself
Discover your own Goddess ritual
How to practice gratitude
Love who you are, from the inside out
How to find your soul sisters
And learn that you are enough
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Ever since I knew what the contraceptive pill was, and the potential side effects it could have on my body, I vowed to never take it. Condoms would suffice, and prevent me from getting pregnant — at least, that’s what I thought, until I had my first experience of a condom breaking while me and my partner were having sex.
I also had no idea, until I then went and researched it, that condoms are only about 85% effective — meaning they fail 15 out of 100 times. A visit to the nurse was even more shocking, when she informed me that condoms fail a THIRD of the time due to human error. They should really be teaching us these stats in school.
Having been scared off condoms for life, I felt as a woman I’d been pushed into a corner, and the only sensible option was to start taking the pill. I was in a healthy, long term relationship, and I was (and still am) far from being ready to bring a child into this world; and the doctor strongly suggested that the pill was the best method of contraception for me. So, begrudgingly, that’s what I did, because, what else could I do? And I hated every minute of it. I was terrified for the first 6 months that I was going to get a blood clot. This slightly irrational fear stemmed from witnessing my totally healthy friend start taking the combined pill, and then getting a blood clot in her brain and having a stroke — luckily she was okay and no permanent damage was done.
What I despised most about swallowing that tiny tablet each morning was the not knowing. I felt like something now had control over my body, and I had no idea what might be happening on the inside, or the long term effects and consequences this could have for me. Birth control pills can include side effects like cystic acne, anxiety or moodiness, breast tenderness, weight gain, or difficulty getting pregnant after stopping the pill. The combined pill can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, such as blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, strokes, and even a heart attack.
I’m aware that many women choose to take the pill for reasons other than birth control (like regulating their periods, or combating acne), but for those of us who do use it to prevent unwanted pregnancies, it can seem like our only option. Invasive options like the implant or injections seem even more unappealing. I’m from the UK, where the pill is also free — so it ends up being most women’s first choice. But can it even be described as a choice?
In September 2017, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across an advert for a new natural contraception app called Natural Cycles. I’m a believer in avoiding taking any sort of drugs or chemicals unless it’s necessary, so the foundations of this business model aligned with my principles, and really spoke to me. I’ll be the first one to admit, I was skeptical about trusting an app to track my fertility and stop me from getting pregnant, but perhaps that’s because all the other messages we receive convince us that this airy fairy approach is only what hippies believe, and can’t possibly work? But I went with my heart and decided to give it a go.
Natural Cycles is the only certified contraceptive app on the market today, and is certified in Europe (but not in the U.S as yet). It states on its website that the app is 99% safe when used under perfect conditions, and between 6 and 8 women out of 100 (on average) get pregnant each year from using it. Natural Cycles has a Pearl Index of 7, which means an efficiency of 93%, and extensive studies concluded that the app is about as effective as the pill when used correctly. For it to work properly, it requires that the user has a regular menstruation cycle and follows instructions closely.
The way the app works is you sign up (I paid for a yearly subscription which was £40) and get sent a two decimal basal thermometer (not a normal fever thermometer), along with a small welcome pack. Each morning, you use that thermometer to measure your temperature (roughly the same time) before you get out of bed, and record that in the app. There’s also a handy option to measure, switch the thermometer off and go back to sleep, and then record the reading when you get up.
From the measurements, the app is able to detect whether you are fertile or not, and at what point of your cycle you’re currently at. Fertile days are “red days” in the app signaling that you need to use protection if you’re having sex, while non fertile days are “green days”, and you can have unprotected sex without getting pregnant (although you still need to think about protecting yourself from STIs if applicable to your situation). Your partner can also download the app and view your cycle, which I’ve found really helpful because he then knows to use a condom without me saying anything, plus he gets a heads up of when I’m on my period.
At the start, the app doesn’t have a lot of data to go on, so you will experience a lot of red days, which is the app erring on the side of caution. But as time goes on, you’ll find you have more and more green days. I’ve been using the app for 9 months and I only have around 11 red days each cycle now. The app also conveniently allows you to enter a deviating temperature on days when you’re sick, hungover, or you’ve slept more or less than usual, and won’t take these measurements into consideration when calculating your cycle stats. More than anything, I feel so much happier knowing I’m not putting a chemical into my body, and messing with my natural cycle.
Natural cycles has been great for me because I have regular periods, I’m in a long term relationship, and I have a schedule that allows me to check my temperature at the same time each morning (you do get the weekends off though!). Realistically, it’s probably not suitable for women in college who might be consuming alcohol on a regular basis, anyone who works shifts and has a disrupted sleeping pattern, or anyone needing to protect themselves from STIs.
The app recently came under a lot of speculation after 37 women allegedly became unintentionally pregnant while using it, and has now been reported to Swedish authorities, according to Swedish news outlet SVT. However, it has come into question whether those women were following the directions and advice of the app completely, and what method they were using to protect themselves on fertile days. For example, many people still choose to use the withdrawal method on fertile days, which has around a 1 in 5 chance of a woman getting pregnant.
That being said, the app is not perfect. A few months ago, I did have a pregnancy scare while using it. This was because I was unknowingly sick, which caused my temperature to be unusually high around the time my period was due, which coincidentally ended up being a couple of days late. The app then decided to give me a wonderful surprise at 6am as I unsuspectingly entered my temperature in as usual — “Important: Are you pregnant?”
To say I didn’t need my morning coffee to wake me up that day is an understatement. I was horrified. I thought, how could I have been so stupid to have trusted a piece of technology to prevent me getting pregnant? After a couple of tense days praying my temperature would drop and my period would arrive, thankfully it finally did. Aside from that minor drama though, I couldn’t speak to the benefits of this technology enough!
With Natural Cycles, I’ve also been able to learn so much about my body and my cycle that I never knew before. For example, my temperature shoots down right before I get my period. Estrogen is the hormone that makes your temperature decrease, and this is when you will be fertile; while progesterone is the hormone that makes your temperature rise. I can see when my next period is due for months in advance on the app (this is a rough estimate of course), and I can see when planned fertile (red) and non-fertile (green) days are expected, too. You can also add notes about experiencing any PMS, which the app will then remind you of the same time next cycle, and offer tips to help ease symptoms.
This advance in technology isn’t just about birth control, it’s allowing us as women to understand our bodies on a much more intimate level, and tune in to our sacred cycle. I’m so thankful for the knowledge I’ve gained over these past 9 months, and for actually feeling like I have a real choice now when it comes to my body. I will never be going back on the pill!
Love & light,
Shani
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Has the thought of getting cosmetic surgery ever crossed your mind?
Have you ever wanted to go up a few cup sizes, shrink your nose, or make your lips a little fuller?
If you’re nodding your head as you read this, don’t worry — you are most certainly not alone. Like most girls and women, I’ve had those thoughts plague me too.
Did you know that Americans spent more than $16 billion on cosmetic plastic surgery in 2016? Breast augmentation surgeries continue to be the most popular, and have increased by a staggering 41% between 2000 and 2017, with over 300,000 procedures across the U.S. last year. As a world, we are evolving and advancing at such a fast rate, so why does our relationship with our appearance and our bodies seem to be deteriorating so rapidly in contrast?
Last year I was watching a bit of harmless, trashy daytime TV back home in the UK, and this advert appeared, which the naive part of me initially thought was for a girls summer vacation. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was sadly mistaken, and it was in fact an advert for breast implants, being shown at 1.30pm in the day on a mainstream broadcasting channel.
The ad shows a very non-diverse selection of typically attractive models, all with breast implants, in bikinis and bathing suits lounging around by the pool in a luxury villa, dancing, laughing, and seemingly having a fabulous time. It essentially implies that you too can live a beautiful life like these women — if your cup size measures up.
To say my blood was boiling after witnessing this is an understatement. Any number of young girls could have been confronted, persuaded, and brainwashed by that 60 second commercial. Are we genuinely claiming to be surprised when we hear that two-thirds of girls aged 12 and 14 surveyed in Britain want cosmetic surgery, most wanting fat removed from their stomach and hips, or breast implants? The cosmetic surgery industry is a raging money making machine, and is preying on young women’s insecurities to consistently boost their top line, year after year. And no one seems to be batting an eyelid.
There are even makeover apps and online plastic surgery games aimed at children as young as nine, like Plastic Surgery Princess, Little Skin Doctor and Pimp My Face. These apps encourage young children to play around at altering their face or body, mimicking a cosmetic surgery procedure, preparing them for when they reach puberty and are flooded with even more messages telling them the way they look simply isn’t good enough.
The act of mutilating our body has become normalized. The more people do it, the more other girls and women think it’s normal and see it as an easy fix to all of their insecurities and unhappiness. People openly talk about the work they’ve had done, particularly celebrities in the public eye, and reality TV show stars. Getting a boob job has become the equivalent to popping to the shops and buying a push up bra, though it’s far from that in reality.
The truth is, any kind of surgery is extreme, and only ever used to be carried out as a last resort — until a bunch of people lacking any kind of moral conscience decided to cash in on it. Regardless of how safe and easy these businesses paint it to be, surgery imposes serious risks and health implications. So why are millions of us worldwide, willingly going under the knife each year?
Celebrity figures like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner are having a staggering impact on teenage girls and young women growing up today. They are constantly plastered on the internet, on TV, and on our social media channels — it’s almost impossible to escape with a morsel of our self-esteem intact. These women are worshiped, they have accumulated a fortune, and they seem to be living a dream life. This signals to impressionable girls looking up to them, that the only way to be attractive, worthy, and confident is if they too look like human barbie dolls, with watermelon sized breasts, plumped lips, and a fake ass.
Kim K recently posted an ad on her Instagram account, promoting lollipops from the Flat Tummy Co, which act as appetite suppressants. She has since taken it down, largely thanks to tweets like this one from incredible women like Jameela Jamil who are using their platform to help empower women and make them feel confident and comfortable in their bodies, regardless of the number in the back of their jeans. Yet, that doesn’t change the fact that millions of women would have seen that post. I wonder how many of them would’ve glanced down at their stomachs and thought, “I’ll never be beautiful unless I can get a flat tummy.”
It breaks my heart seeing girls as young as 12 thinking they need to fix their bodies, so they can emulate the women they look up to, and be deemed more attractive by their peers and society. When did we start believing that being 90% plastic is desirable? More desirable than the natural features and curves we were blessed with, which make us utterly unique in this world?
There is now an epidemic of low self-esteem among young girls and women, and we have been convinced that going under the knife is the answer to all of our problems. These unattainable images that are constantly thrust in our faces are riddling us with self-doubt and not-good-enough feelings.
The truth is, we are not addressing the real reasons why we’re unhappy with the way we look. Aside from the toxic images and messages we’re bombarded with on a daily basis, most of our deep-rooted insecurities stem from something that happened in our past, that we still haven’t dealt with. Maybe all the kids in school told you your nose was really big, maybe some guy called you flat chested, or maybe someone fat shamed you. If you find yourself feeling like your body doesn’t measure up and you want to “fix” it through surgery, chances are you’re still carrying around those past traumas with you, and they are the real cause of your unhappiness.
Ask yourself, why do you really want surgery? Do you want to feel more attractive, or more confident? If the answer is yes, you need to take the time to do the inner work on yourself that’s ultimately going to help you master those qualities in the long run. Surgery is NEVER going to make you happy. You think it will, but then you get those new breasts, and temporarily you feel amazing — until you realize that all of your problems are still there. Every last one of them. Nothing you can buy is ever going to bring you true happiness.
There was a time when I wanted cosmetic surgery too — I thought my A-cup breasts were too small, I thought my Indian arched nose was too big and wonky, and I thought the bags under my eyes were aging me before my time and stopping me from getting a boyfriend, and that no one would ever love me and I’d end up alone with 10 cats (#dramaqueen). Looking back now, I realize much of these feelings of worthlessness stemmed from being bullied as a teenager, the scars of which stayed with me for over a decade.
Eventually it dawned on me that the real reason I wanted cosmetic surgery was because I had zero self-confidence, I didn’t love myself, and I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. So, instead of opting for a quick fix, and throwing money at my problems, I took the time to do the hard work on myself, and rebuild my confidence and self-love. It was a painful process, yes, but all the pain and struggle was worth it. Because my body is my own. It’s the one that I was gifted. And I didn’t allow myself to be manipulated into thinking I need a different one, a better one, or a more “beautiful” one. I realized I am good enough, and I will carry that with me forever.
Who told you you’re not good enough? Who told you your body needed fixing? And why did you decide to believe them? Hear me when I say this: you ARE so much more than good enough. You don’t need to bend, mold, or shape-shift yourself into someone or something else. You don’t need the approval or validation of others. Who you are is beautiful, and as long as you believe that, nothing else matters.
I want you to know it’s possible to get to the point where you love your body, and you look in the mirror and you adore the reflection staring back at you.
Wherever you are on your self-love journey right now, please remember this. Carry it with you, and allow it to be a reminder for you anytime those insecurities or doubts flare up.
Take back control of your body today.
Love & light,
Shani
xxx
GET THE 7 DAY SELF-LOVE SANCTUARY
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What's inside?
How to bring positive vibes into your life
How to change the way you see yourself
Discover your own Goddess ritual
How to practice gratitude
Love who you are, from the inside out
How to find your soul sisters
And learn that you are enough
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It wasn’t until I sat down and carefully analysed my time that I realised I was wasting so much of it watching shitty TV, drinking with work colleagues, sleeping in, and shopping for clothes that I absolutely did not need!
You might think you don’t have time, but when you’re getting really honest with yourself - is that the truth?
Most of us have to do things we’d rather not do each day, like study for exams, go to work at our mind-numbing 9-5, and clean the house.
But the truth is, you’ve still got plenty of time to do things that you love.
Maybe that’s taking a yoga class, sketching, baking, gardening, volunteering, hiking, swimming, or journaling - whatever it is that you enjoy doing, do it.
If you’re yet to find your true passion, that’s okay - it takes us all different times to find it. In the meantime, try as many new things as you can.
Notice how you feel while you’re doing each one, and how you feel afterwards. Not just how your mind feels, but how your heart feels and how your body feels too.
It’s only a matter of time before you figure out what illuminates your soul. And don’t worry if it’s nothing world changing - all that matters is how it makes you feel.
Once you’ve found it, do your very best to do it every single day. Even just for 10 minutes - I know you can find 10 minutes in your day, no matter how busy you are.
It won’t be long before you notice how much happier, fulfilled and energised you feel - even if you’re waking up earlier so that you can fit your passion project in!
Here’s the secret - In order to create a life you love, you have to actively start filling it with more love. There’s no magic fix. It’s about taking charge of your one life, and doing all that you can each day to make it beautiful, no matter what commitments or responsibilities you have.
There are always going to be things you need to do, people to take care of, and unexpected curve balls that life throws your way. There will never be the perfect moment staring you in the face to start doing more of what you love - you must create those moments.
What can you do today to invite more love into your world?
What you put in, is what you get out...
So many people ask me how I did it.
How I managed to create a career in writing for myself.
How I managed to write and publish three books in just one year.
How I’ve turned my whole life around from dull to dream like.
And you know what? There’s no secret.
I’m no exception. It’s just honest hard work.
It’s waking up at 5 a.m. even when you don’t want to, and working regardless of whether you feel inspired or not.
It’s turning down invites to go out brunching or drinking.
It’s learning to stick with something you love before it starts making you money - because it’s what you love, and you trust that in time, the money will come.
It’s appreciating one new follower on social media instead of wishing you had hundreds of thousands, because each of those followers is an actual person who is interested in who you are and what you have to say.
It’s sacrificing what you want in the moment, for what you want in the long run.
There’s no such thing as an overnight success, despite what you’ve been told. Anyone who’s anywhere has put in the work, the time, and most importantly, the love and passion it takes.
When you put your whole heart into something, you create an incredibly powerful force of energy which cannot be matched by anything else in this world.
And the universe feels it, and takes notice. The power to create a beautiful life you love is within you - it always has been, and always will be.
How are you showing up for yourself everyday?
Are you doing your best? Could you be doing more?
What you put in and what you give in this life is what you will receive.
So give it everything you’ve got, because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Love & light,
Shani
xxx
P.S Get your free passion pathway to discover what you love in the 15 Day Light Up Your Life Challenge, which you can download free below!
WHAT'S INSIDE?
Create your own self-care ritual,
Get the confidence code,
Top tips to deal with haters,
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How to find your soul sisters,
A monthly cycle planner,
Dream journaling
+ Plenty more surprises!
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Image: Matthew Kane - Unsplash
I’m talking to you - yes YOU - even if you have zero plans to start your own business.
When I say boss, what I really mean is a woman who is one hundred percent in charge of her own life.
You’re not afraid to work hard to get what you want in this life, and you’re coming for everything they said you couldn’t have.
You’re a true warrior, you fight for what you want, and for others when they lack the courage to do the same.
You’re going to leave your mark on this world in your own special way, and you’re going to have one helluva time while doing so!
If this resonates at all with you, then you my queen are hands down a #girlboss.
Take charge
No one is coming to save you. You are the creator of your life today, tomorrow, and every day after that.
It’s time to step up, and take charge of your destiny. It might be your career, your finances, or even your love life - whatever it is that you hope to transform this year, take ownership of it right now.
You’ve got this.
Go after what you want
You have just as good of a chance of making all your dreams come true as anybody else does. Believe that.
Believe in yourself. Believe that things get better, because they do.
Decide what you want most from your life, and go fiercely towards it. You don’t get to do this life thing again, so make it count this time around.
Give everything your all
How you do one thing is how you do everything.
Make a conscious effort to do even the most menial, boring tasks with as much enthusiasm and love as you can muster.
You might not realise it, but you’ll carry that love and passion through to everything else you do, and although it can’t be seen, it can be felt by everyone around you.
Make bold decisions
Don’t be afraid to take risks and make your own decisions. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?
You make a mistake, you fail, you fall down… but nothing will be stopping you from picking yourself back up and carrying on.
And anyway - quit thinking about what might go wrong, and start thinking about everything that could go right. Fortune will always favour the brave.
Learn something new each day
We’re so lucky to live in a time when almost everything we need to know or learn is just a click away. Are you making the most of this? Are you bettering yourself each day?
Because your outer life and the success you create is a product of who you are on the inside. You can’t transform your reality until you transform yourself.
So read, grow, learn, practice, and master. Figure out what you don’t know, whatever you need to know to take yourself where you wanna go.
Find a mentor
Reach out to someone you admire or someone who’s in a position you dream of being one day. Study them, learn from them, ask as many questions as you can, and listen carefully to the answers you get.
Surround yourself with people who inspire you, support you, and encourage you to dream bigger.
Be sure to have fun along the way!
Look - this life is not supposed to be a constant uphill battle - it’s meant to be fun, so start enjoying it, okay?
Make time to do things you enjoy, things that bring a smile to your face, and lighten your heart. Even when nothing seems to be going your way, make a point of looking for all the good, and you’ll find it.
Don’t take yourself too seriously, laugh, and follow what feels good.
Love & light,
Shani
xxx
P.S Take back control of your destiny, and become the BOSS of your life in the 15 Day Light Up Your Life Challenge, which you can download for free below!
WHAT'S INSIDE?
Create your own self-care ritual,
Get the confidence code,
Top tips to deal with haters,
Your very own passion planner,
How to find your soul sisters,
A monthly cycle planner,
Dream journaling
+ Plenty more surprises!
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In this life, you will come across certain people will judge you, no matter what you do. Especially once you find your voice and start using it.
Some people are afraid to be themselves or put themselves out there, and instead all they do is comment and criticise from the sidelines where it’s cosy and safe.
What you’ve gotta remember is, people will judge you whether you live your life as you want or not - so you might as well be your sparkling self!
You’ll usually find that the response you get is mainly positive, because when you say or do things from the heart, people can feel it and it’s inspiring to watch someone baring their soul for the world to see.
It’d be such a shame to let a few negative comments throw you off track and keep you from being who you truly are and sharing your unique gifts.
And anyway, why are you taking those spiteful jibes seriously? The haters can only affect you if you decide to believe what they say is true.
You can’t allow others to dictate your life, because as soon as you do, you’re letting them win. You’re signing your power over to them, and you’re dimming your light. And you were born to illuminate the skies, shining brightly wherever you go.
Learn to fight hate with love and compassion. This is easier said than done but mastering this skill will be so valuable for the rest of your life.
Hate cannot beat hate, it only causes more anger, and bitterness. Think about what that person must be going through on the inside to behave in such a hateful, hurtful way.
Now, who do you feel sorry for - yourself, or them? You never know what anybody else is truly going through, so it makes a huge difference to be kind and loving to everyone you encounter.
It’s time you stopped caring what other people think of you. As long as you are being honest with yourself, and being true to who you are, nothing else matters.
Start living your life for you, because when you get to the end of it, you’ll wish you hadn’t let other people hold you back from living fully and fiercely.
Prioritise your happiness over your haters’ happiness. They’re only angry and frustrated because they wish they could be more like you, and have the courage to show their true selves to the world.
Screw the haters - this is your life. Make yourself proud.
Love & light,
Shani
xxx
P.S Find out how to stop caring about others opinions, and be your beautiful self in the 15 Day Light Up Your Life Challenge, which you can download free below!
WHAT'S INSIDE?
Create your own self-care ritual,
Get the confidence code,
Top tips to deal with haters,
Your very own passion planner,
How to find your soul sisters,
A monthly cycle planner,
Dream journaling
+ Plenty more surprises!
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Our menstrual cycle is like the four seasons of the year. There will be times you want to hibernate, nap during the day, and eat comforting foods like you do in the winter. There will be other times when you feel light, carefree, and bounding with energy, similar to how you feel in the summer months.
Learn to recognise the different seasons of your cycle, and work in flow with them instead of against them. This links to listening to your body and giving it what it needs at the right time.
Check in with yourself regularly, and notice how you feel. How high or low your energy levels are, whether you feel calm or overwhelmed, what your appetite is like, and how sociable or introverted you feel.
There are some great apps like Natural Cycles and Clue, which allow you to track your cycle each day, and note the difference in your mood, energy, skin, and appetite; and form patterns which help you to get to know your body on a deeper level.
In time, you’ll be able to roughly predict your best days, along with the ones where you feel like doing nothing but stay in bed and eat chocolate! This will help you plan your time accordingly, and work in harmony with your body instead of fighting against it.
As women, we also have other traits we’re blessed with that men lack - our intuition, our caring and nurturing nature, and our softness.
I think some of us have gotten caught up trying to ditch our femininity and embrace a masculine energy in order to be taken seriously in the workplace, to protect ourselves, and be treated equally. But you don’t have to be a man to be successful or secure. In fact, embracing your sacred feminine energy will add extra layers to you that men aren’t lucky enough to have.
Try to work with your feminine power, embracing all that you’ve been blessed with at birth.
Love & light,
Shani
xxx
P.S Get your very own 1 month cycle planner in the 15 Day Light Up Your Life Challenge, which you can download free below!
WHAT'S INSIDE?
Create your own self-care ritual,
Get the confidence code,
Top tips to deal with haters,
Your very own passion planner,
How to find your soul sisters,
A monthly cycle planner,
Dream journaling
+ Plenty more surprises!
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Image: Larm Rmah - Unsplash
Don’t be afraid to embrace your sexuality - it’s nothing to be fearful of, or ashamed of. It’s completely natural, and it’s a part of who you are.
Many of us are taught as young girls not to dress a certain way otherwise we’ll give guys the wrong idea. Or that sex exists to please men, and we are simply accomplices in that. Or that if we sleep with too many people, we’ll be labelled easy, slutty, and not ‘girlfriend’ material - whatever the hell that means.
But those are lies fed to us by our parents who don’t know any better, and warped men who want to control the way we behave, and place the blame firmly at our door when it comes to any kind of sexual assault.
They want you to keep you in your place, and they’re scared of you realising the truth, because the truth will make them powerless over you.
Like all women, I’ve been catcalled while walking down the street, minding my own business. I’ve been harassed in my place of work, by men who have been in positions of power and protection. I’ve been grabbed in clubs by guys who think they have a right to my body. I’ve been whistled at while wearing a frilly mini dress, and while running in leggings and an old t-shirt too. I’ve crossed the road to avoid certain situations. I’ve gotten dressed in the mornings, analysing whether I’ve got too much skin on show, which will inevitably result in unwanted comments and creepy stares.
It really doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, or what you’re doing - there will always be people who think that they have a right to you and your body, and will try to make you think you’ve done something to invite that into your life.
But I promise you, you haven’t. Not ever.
Today is the day you say HELL NO to being controlled, and start wearing what makes YOU happy, realise that sex is about YOUR pleasure just as much as his, and know that ‘girlfriend’ material applies to YOU, to her, and to me - no exceptions.
You can be both sexy and innocent. You can flaunt your body and you can cover it up when you please. It is yours, and yours alone.
It does not exist for the pleasure of others.
Nobody can take or control your sexual power, unless you allow them to.
Repeat out loud: My sexual power belongs to me, and it is nothing to be afraid of.
Love & light,
Shani
xxx
WHAT'S INSIDE?
Create your own self-care ritual,
Get the confidence code,
Top tips to deal with haters,
Your very own passion planner,
How to find your soul sisters,
A monthly cycle planner,
Dream journaling
+ Plenty more surprises!
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Image: Brooke Cagle - Unsplash
You cannot find real love until you wholly love yourself. You might’ve heard that a hundred times already and let it fly over your head, but it’s the truth.
If you don’t love yourself, it means you don’t accept who you are, and other people will pick up on that because it will be written all over your face, and in the way you think, speak, and act.
People who fully accept and love themselves are happy, comfortable, confident, and filled with love - and those qualities are really attractive. I mean, wouldn’t you rather date someone like that, instead of someone who is miserable, timid, and afraid to be themselves?
It took me years before I finally figured this out. I would constantly look around and see my friends dating and getting boyfriends, and I’d wonder, what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I find an amazing man? But I still had a helluva lot of work to do on myself before someone else could walk into my life, and before I could hand on heart say, "I love myself."
I began to explore my passions, throw myself into my work, and do some honest soul searching and self-development. I knew I wasn’t as confident or happy as I wanted to be, so I began to do things everyday to push myself out of my comfort zone, and bring more joy and excitement into my life.
And d’you know what? It finally dawned on me that no man (no matter how dreamy he was) could complete my life and magically make everything better - that was all on me.
Finding self love really was the BEST thing I ever did.
It makes me so sad to see so many people desperate for a relationship, and failing to embrace and enjoy being single. The single life is amazing in its own right, and we don’t give it the credit it deserves. You’ll never have the freedom you do when you’re single, so learn to love it ladies!
Of course it’s okay to want to find a partner, and it’s all kinds of amazing when you find that special person that’s meant for you, but you’re fabulous on your own! You don’t need anybody to make your life incredible or complete it because it already is, you just need to open your eyes to it.
I think a lot of us feel pressure to be in a relationship from a fairly young age, whether it’s our family or friends or society making us feel that way. We are made to believe we need to be in a relationship by a certain age, to be married by another age, and that we need to have kids shortly after, and play happy families; but there’s so much more to life than that.
It’s okay to not follow a specific time frame when it comes to falling in love. It’s not a science and to a large extent it’s completely out of our control.
If you’re 35 and you still haven’t met someone you want to build a life with, that’s okay. If you decide you don’t want to have kids, that’s okay too. If you get married or you don’t, it doesn’t really matter - these are all choices that are completely up to you.
Don’t allow anyone to make you feel like you need to be at a certain point in your life by a certain age. There are no rules when it comes to love.
You are not defined by your relationship status.
Don’t rush into something to please others, and end up settling for less than you deserve. Always remember your worth, and never allow someone to treat you poorly. Know your self worth ladies.
There are kind, honest, loving people out there who dream of meeting someone as incredible as you one day - believe that they are out there, and you will find them when you’re meant to.
You just have to put your trust and faith into the universe :)
There are so many ways to practice self love - if you're looking for tips you can check out one of my previous self love articles by clicking here.
Love & light,
Shani
xxx
P.S Date yourself, and get to know and love yourself a whole lot better in the 15 Day Light Up Your Life Challenge, which you can download free below!
WHAT'S INSIDE?
Create your own self-care ritual,
Get the confidence code,
Top tips to deal with haters,
Your very own passion planner,
How to find your soul sisters,
A monthly cycle planner,
Dream journaling
+ Plenty more surprises!
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Image: Elijah Henderson - Unsplash
It took me the longest time to figure out that the people I was surrounding myself with were having a huge impact on me and the woman I could become. They were stifling me, keeping me down at their level, and leaving me feeling 50 shades of blurrggghhhh.
Do you know anyone like that?
You probably do.
The thing about friendships is - they are supposed to serve you in some way. They are a two way street, and both of you have to be giving and receiving, because the exchange of energy must be kept in balance.
Our friends should inspire us, challenge us, cheer for us, support us, be kind to us, be honest with us, and love us. When you spend time with them, you shouldn’t come away feeling drained or in a negative headspace, you should feel happy, uplifted, and giddy.
Who in your life right now makes you feel like this, and more importantly, who doesn’t?
I believe people come into our lives for a very good reason - either as a lesson or a blessing. It won’t take you too long to figure out which of the two applies to all of the people in your life right now.
The trouble with the friendships we keep is the longer we’ve known someone, the harder we find it to cut ties and remove them from our life. We feel guilty, we feel selfish, and we feel like this somehow makes us a bad person.
But I promise you it doesn’t - not at all. The truth is, holding onto those toxic relationships is not only holding you back from living your best life, but it’s also holding the other person back from stepping up and becoming better. You’re not doing anyone any favours.
As women especially, we struggle with allowing ourselves to be selfish, because we learn to take on a selfless role and be nurturers and givers from a young age. But like I’ve already mentioned, it’s okay to be selfish sometimes.
It’s okay to step back from a relationship and think about what you’re gaining from it. If you’re always giving giving giving, and you’re not getting a whole lot back in return, it’s okay to be frustrated and saddened by that, and it’s okay to put an end to it and look for relationships that are much more in sync with your energy and commitment level.
The people we keep around us have such a significant influence on how we think, how we feel, and what we do.
If you want to start your own business, you need to start surrounding yourself with other women who are out there hustling and striving for more, just like you are. If you want to get into shape, start eating healthier and making exercise a part of your daily routine, you need to be with people who are making the same healthy choices, otherwise you’ll find it hard to get out of your old habits.
Seek out women who inspire you and make you think in bigger and better ways. Women who are supportive of your dreams, and always there by your side cheering you on in everything you do.
Find your tribe of soul sisters who get it, who get you, and encourage you to live your best life every single day. Because life is simply too damn short to spend it with people who dull your sparkle.
Girls Support Girls
For some strange reason, as girls we grow up to view each other as the root of all our problems.
If our boyfriend cheats on us with another women, we blame her. At work, we wrongly think there’s only room for one woman at the top, so we’re in battle with all our female colleagues from day one.
And when the press decide to shame other women based on their fashion choices or any fluctuations in weight, some of us choose to join in because we think it makes us feel better about ourselves (and as you know by now, it doesn’t).
It breaks my heart hearing or seeing girls and women tearing each other down, bitching, gossiping, and being pit against one another. Why do we keep involving ourselves in a battle that we never even chose to be a part of?
Just imagine what we could do if we put that toxic energy into our own passions and projects.
Just imagine if instead we lifted each other up, cheered one another on, and spread the LOVE.
Just imagine what a different world this would be.
You see ladies, we can't ever be guaranteed that all the men in this world are going to show us the respect and equality we all deserve, because some of them will always hold backwards views, see us as objects and second class citizens.
But what we can do as women is promise to show each other the respect and love we all deserve and hope to receive.
There are already enough people trying to silence and oppress us ladies, even in the most forward-thinking of countries - so let’s not turn on each other.
Let’s choose to be better to each other today. Let’s join hands, have each other’s backs, and show this world what we’ve got together.
Love & light,
Shani
xxx
P.S Figure out who your true Soul Sisters are in the 15 Day Light Up Your Life Challenge, which you can download free below!
WHAT'S INSIDE?
Create your own self-care ritual,
Get the confidence code,
Top tips to deal with haters,
Your very own passion planner,
How to find your soul sisters,
A monthly cycle planner,
Dream journaling
+ Plenty more surprises!
Read Full Article

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