8 Nourishing Ways to Celebrate Self Love on Valentine’s day

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Going back as far as primary school when THE big question was how many cards did you get, Valentine’s day has always been a day loaded with meaning. Right? It was important, somehow a statement about you! My birthday is 2 days after so back then I think I would suggest that a few cards had gotten lost in the post and turned up late!! It took on more importance in the teenage years, even more an indication of your loveability, beauty and popularity! And to top it all, as someone who didn’t get married until I was 41, I spent alot of my late 20’s and 30’s in that Bridget Jones space on Valentine’s day, you know the single one. I’d always get asked about ‘the boyfriend’, in fact can you believe, I was actually asked in an interview(by a man) why I wasn’t married as I was a very pretty young woman!!!! People would say things like you’re high maintenance, too fussy, a career woman and you know, I think that at some subconscious level I did buy into that story, the story there was something wrong with me.

I now know how wrong I was and the only way to stop buying into the stories is to do your own inner work and connect with who you truly are from the inside out. As I have gone on this journey this day has now taken on an equally important aspect for me that I think applies to everyone, that of self love. Yes Valentine’s Day is an occasion when couples celebrate romantic love. However, I think it is also important to make it a day for self-love too. After all, didn’t Whitney Houston once sing, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all“?

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I believe we all have to cultivate self-love, whether you are single or attached. It’s nice to be able to share the day with a loved one but I think you should also allocate a bit of time nurturing your own soul. Part of my own self love journey was enquiring what a romantic relationship would give me that I didn’t have and then being curious about what ways I already had this in my life .The obvious answer was love and then I realised I had that in abundance and in so many different forms. I then thought, well that’s good to know and if it turns up in the shape of a life partner, great, if not I’m still all good. Ironically when I got to this place of acceptance , it wasn’t long after that I met the one! Funny that.

So personally I feel that it is far more helpful to think of February 14 as a great day for self-love and invite you to join in! Make it a day for you to go inwards and cultivate self love, single or married. Loving yourself completely and unconditionally is when your true beauty radiates out into the world. While complete self-love is a life time work and every day affair, February 14 can be a day to remind us all about its importance! There is another upside- no need to fork out for expensive, overpriced flowers and meals. Believe me the more you nurture yourself, the more love you have to give to others! It could well be a day that you do less and be more too!

And so, just for Valentine’s Day, it helps to have some nice nurturing activities planned. Do things that lift you up in the body, mind and spirit! Here’s my top 8 suggestions…

1.Make a Gratitude List.
No matter your relationship status. Remind yourself of all of the good in your life by making a gratitude list. Choose 20 things you love about your life just as it is and reflect on how they fulfill you. Write about why each of the people, places, and things you’ve selected make you feel happy and whole.

2.Create a set of loving affirmations for yourself .Here are some examples:
I choose to love myself and appreciate my inner beauty.I cherish my mind, body and soul.
I choose to always be myself and let that be enough
I am loved and I am loveable.

3.Light some candles, make your room cosy, put on some music and meditate. Spoil yourself with your favourite film or meal.

4.Read a meaningful self-help book such as The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. or Good Vibes Good Life by Vex King

5. Spend the day in aromatherapy. Work on releasing emotions and uplifting your spirit.

6. Pack a picnic, go outdoors and connect with nature .

7.Listen to a podcast of your choice, try Ferne Cotton’s Happy Place. It’s real

8. Dress to Impress… Yourself.
When you look your best, you’re sure to feel your best! This Valentine’s Day, wear an outfit that makes you feel confident. Be brave and pull out that dress that makes you feel like the stunner you are, dust off those heels you love, but never wear, and top it all off with your favourite accessories.

” Its not your job to like me, its mine” Bryan Katie

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

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The Essential Life Mantra

Life is tough for everyone at the moment in so many different ways. We are having a common experience and also a personal experience. One of the things this pandemic has made us all aware of, simultaneously, is the suffering and challenges in “living” life. The fact is, with or without a pandemic, there is always someone going through a tough time or facing a tough day. Tough might be an understatement but you get my drift.

Life does not always go swimmingly or according to plan. Sometimes it just does not pan out the way you hoped at all. I don’t mean to be a pessimist but, in life, there is inevitable suffering. There are amazing highs and the equal and opposite lows. I’m sure you all can relate to personal setbacks, loss, heartbreak, illness or pain you or your loved ones have or are going through. So if there is one mantra I would love everyone in this world to embrace and perhaps even believe, it is this…


“You have everything you need within you”


“Me? ” ……. “Yes, you!” Deep within us all is a well, a well where you can lower the bucket and scoop up what you need to create the life you want or to cope with whatever life throws at you. A well full of strength, courage, compassion, trust, love, ability to face the world. It is true that sometimes you have to lower the bucket quite far to access it. This is because life will life. At times it seems it’s not there, that the source has dried up, It might not be easy to access it, but it is there. You see we get cut off sometimes from our true essence and source by layers of fear and ego.

The answers are within you. Turn and look inwards, tune into your deep intuition, wisdom and knowing. There you will find all the guidance, belief and confidence you need to take you forwards in life. Let go of the need to look outside for the answers, they are not your answers. “Really they might know better”, I hear you say. “No” because they are not you, nor living your life. You don’t need anyone’s validation or approval, you can find it in you. Sure, look to others as sources of inspiration to fill the well but do not let it be a comparison to prove that you are not enough or to beat yourself up with. You are enough. And when you do let go and trust in yourself, it is surprising that within your grasp is calm, peace and serenity.


You can get access your intuition, your gut feeling and learn to recognise its power. In the tuning in and in the silence through reflection, meditation, journalling, listening, feeling, you can get in touch with how you really feel. You can hear your heart and soul speak about your heartfelt wants and desires. You can even find the answers to most of your problems or challenges in life.

Use this mantra as if it is your inner self giving you some important life advice –

“Everything you need is already within you”

And in the wise words of life guru, Winnie the Pooh, believe that…

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If you are ready to turn inwards and would like a partner by your side as you tap into that inner well or resource and start shining inside and out then, please get in touch Contact. I offer complimentary consults to see if I am the right coach to take you on the journey.

Lotions, Potions and Emotions

 


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Isn’t it funny how life pans out and you come full circle to know something that you have always known, just in a different way? What am I on about, you might ask? Let me explain. Aged 16, making my “A” level choices, I recall a conversation with my careers teacher: “I want to be a beautician” I proudly claimed to which he replied: “Sharon, girls who go to the Academy do not become beauticians!”. I knew he had missed the point (clearly, as it is now a multi billion pound industry) but I couldn’t explain what I meant so I went off on a different path. Fast forward almost 40years & I have figured it out! I wanted to run a beauty business with a difference – inner and outer beauty. At InShineOut we focus on the inside helping people feel happy, confident, fulfilled, thriving from the inside out. We believe happiness is an inside job! And now I’ve found the outside piece! I have become an independent ambassador for Tropic skincare, one of the U.K’s fastest growing natural skincare companies. What we put on our skin matters. The products are pure, honest and effective, good your skin and the environment.

Why do I believe you need both? The highs and lows of my life have taught me this. At the lowest points in my life (and there have been a few) I would do my best to get made up, dress up and show up. I would take time to care for myself on the outside with skincare, make up and how I dressed. I thought at least if I tried to take care of myself on the outside, I’d feel better on the inside.

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To an extent this works and that’s how I came across Tropic. I started using the products as a customer when I was diagnosed with cancer. It gave me something to focus on during treatment when everything else felt like it was out on my control. I desperately did not want to look like that cancer patient that everyone would stare at. The products were so natural and improved my skin so much.They felt and smelt great, reminding me of the Tropics and sandy white beaches! But I also know that if you do not go inwards and get to know yourself, who you are, what and who matters to you, what makes you happy and above all how to be happy in your own skin, then no amount of skincare or makeup, natural or not, will give you that feeling. You need to pay attention to your emotions and triggers and deal with “the good, the bad and the ugly” And you should not wait for a crisis to get to know yourself. It is important to go inward and pay attention to how you feel, our emotions are messages about what we need. They are such powerful things and can raise you up or tear you down at any moment. According to Brene Brown “we cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions we also numb the positive emotions” So many people appear to have it all but are very unhappy inside. Others appear to have very little but are extremely happy. I have a passion and it is life. I want to help people figure out how to live their one and only life in a way that counts for them, shining on the inside and out. To do this you have to examine your thinking and your thoughts, your choices, conscious and unconscious, understand and manage your emotions. You must figure out what makes your heart sing. We all have a desire to belong, feel valued, love and be loved.

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I believe this starts with the relationship with yourself. “You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for you worthiness” Another Brene Brown quote. Self-care is the route to feeling whole, healthy, happy and the best you. It is your right and responsibility to take care of your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s a priority not a luxury and starts with you. I help you step out of the busyness of your life, to look beyond the “to do list” and connect to your inner self, not just sometimes but as a way of being. Life throws curve balls so it is not a guarantee that life will be easier, but I guarantee it will be worth it and maybe even enjoyable! You need to get out of the trap of being “busy”. It’s an avoidance strategy, wasting your valuable time or at worst just being lazy.  But most of all it stops you feeling like you are living. I’m looking forward to sharing more of our inner and outer beauty lessons to help you thrive no matter what your circumstances -spa sessions for the body, mind and soul to help you be the best you for yourself and others. “In a society that tells us to put yourself last self love and self acceptance is almost revolutionary”

Be your best you

If you want to hear more then please contact at [email protected] or visit www.InShineOut.com

The moon and the stars

aimforthemoonFrom time to time, I find myself thinking about starting a blog to share thoughts on the greatest teacher ever, life, and how to use these life lessons to guide us and propel us to even greater things. But then a little voice in my head (I’m sure you all know the one I mean) asks “who would want to listen to you?”. This makes me decide to keep quiet and not bother. I’ve decided to silence that voice so this week I am writing my first blog! Someone might listen and at least I won’t be playing safe and staying silent. Bear with me as I step out of my comfort zone, right now another of those voices has piped up, telling me that whatever I write will be rubbish!

Why now and what prompted me to do it? This week, children in Northern Ireland having been receiving the results of their transfer test ( like the 11+ test) which has a massive impact on the next phase of their lives. I found myself moved on 2 counts. Firstly impressed by a local school who chose to help the kids prepare for 1 of life’s lessons bbc

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-35449405

Sometimes things don’t turn out as you hoped and you get disappointed but you got to stay in the game and know this does not make you a lesser person. Use it to learn and grow. As hard as it may seem, one day this major event will not be as important as you will have grown and blossomed through so many other life lessons – your first heartbreak, getting your first job, moving away from home and the list goes on. So feel disappointed if it doesn’t work out but know that you are not a disappointment, fail at things but know that you are not a failure. You are enough and will continue to be enough as you journey your way through life.

The second lesson is having been disappointed, do you take the “easy” option so that you don’t get disappointed again. There are some kids who are not sure if their score is quite enough for their first choice school, it might be. So they have to decide –  do I go for it or do I put down my second choice to avoid another disappointment? My life lessons have taught me nothing hurts more, in the long run, than not having gone for things in life. Going for it and it not working out, at least you grow and learn so much along the way. So “always shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”. Don’t stay safe just to avoid disappointment or rejection, instead learn how to bounce back,  dress yourself down and get back in the game. Eventually one day you will reach the moon.

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So where are you staying safe & aiming low when you really want to aim for the moon? Shoot.