God and Yoga. Can both be present in our life?

I was hesitant at first to even write this blog post, because I know it’s not going to sit well with some people, but in the last couple weeks I’ve had questions thrown at me about my faith in God and my love for Yoga and how I can possibly have both?! If you aren’t aware, there are many Christians who have a strong belief that Yoga is a dangerous and demonic practice, and you cannot worship a Christian God if you are also worshipping ‘false Gods’ and using your body in poses that are deemed dark and evil.

Does it really have to be one or the other or can both be present in our life?

Well, I personally believe you can have both. Infact, I believe they come hand in hand with one another. While I may be criticized for writing this, as Jesus was ridiculed for the places he went and people he hung out with. I am free to express my views, and if people feel they need to go out of their way to contact me to tell me I’m going to hell for doing Yoga, (Yes, can you believe people actually think it’s ok to tell another person they are going to hell?) they can atleast read my thoughts and views about it.

I do not believe for a second that practicing Yoga has any likes to ‘dancing with the devil’. Yoga to me is soulful, gentle and spiritual – how can something so soft and peaceful be deemed so dark and evil? And before you get started with the facts – I know them all too – I suppose this all comes down to that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and well, this is mine.

I practice crystal healing, smudging, essential oils, moon cycles, and all the energy that flows from those things too, and while many will argue the fact that this is also a demonic practice from dark forces, and that the “source” of this power isn’t Godly. I believe in the good, positive energy and healing they bring.

Most people believe in something bigger than themselves, whether it may be God, Mother Nature or the Universe, or all the above, whatever you feel in your heart and whatever you are connected to that’s perfectly ok because it’s YOUR religion and it’s YOUR life. While I believe in God, I would never judge the next person if they didn’t have the same faith as me, nor would I ever pressure them to join my faith or tell them they are going to hell just because they don’t agree with my opinion! Your relationship with who or what you worship is a very personal thing, just like my relationship with God is very personal to me. My relationship will be different to someone else’s relationship, and my commitment and devotion may be at a different level to others, and that’s ok! It doesn’t mean I’m loved any less by my God.

(I’m going to give myself a little Amen! for that last line)

My faith is the core of how I live my life, where my values lye and the type of person I strive to be, and I practice this everyday. I believe in leading by example, and If the way I live my life inspires or motivates another to do good, then I know God is using me to do his work, and that is so pleasing to my heart.

I have often found it easier to be faithful to yoga than to my religious traditions. I have often found that yoga opens my heart and mind to God in a gentle, renewing way. Sunday mornings in church often left me restless, or feeling spiritually hungry for more. In contrast, my weekly yoga classes leave me feeling renewed, balanced, and wholesome, with a quiet spirit.

I have experienced the love of God in such a strong, powerful and healing way on the mat, that I cannot go along with the notion that a Christian cannot practice yoga. There are times to go deep and there are times to rest and receive. Just like the beautiful warrior pose, both deepening and softening are necessary for a strong and growing walk with God.

In the last 18 months that I have really delved into my yoga practice, I feel my connection to my faith has deepened. I’ve experienced so much magic, that I can only put it down to God and the life he is speaking into my heart.

One of my favourite parts of my yoga practice is meditation and I believe meditation opens us to the voice of God. I like to think that prayer is when I talk to God, and meditation is when God speaks to me. It’s hard to hear what God is trying to say to us when we rarely get quiet enough to listen attentively to the still small voice. Learning to be still allows us to be still and know.

“People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.”                 -Proverbs 21:2

One of my teachers refers to yoga as “the process of noticing.” At its most basic, yoga is a physical discipline involving stretching, strength training and breathing exercises. By practicing the physical aspects of the discipline, we develop an acute awareness of the natural state of our bodies, increased focus and heightened self-control. If we are more aware of the natural state of our bodies, how much more can we be aware of when the Holy Spirit is moving within us?

Why do we pray? Why do we read Scripture? To be more fully connected to God, of course. If the Holy Spirit is dwelling within us, an inward practice is not selfish or demonic—it’s necessary.

Namaste.

X Jes

Goodbye Twenties, Hello Thirties!

Last year, when I turned 29, I had a feeling of panic come over me when I realized that I only had one more year left in my twenties.

Now I’m only days away from hitting the big 30, and looking back on the last 12 months of my twenties all I can think is that one year can bring SO many changes!!

This time last year I had just got home from travelling London and Paris with my best friend, which was one of the best times of my life, and something I will always treasure!

12 months ago I also came to the realization that life was too hectic and I wasn’t soulfully satisfied. I began to change the way I looked at life, and took the path of slow, and intentional living. I feel that the last 12 months have been preparing me for this next decade of life, My thirties!

I have no qualms about leaving my 20’s behind. I enjoyed them – I did some things right, I screwed up plenty of others, and I had a lot of fun in the process, but I won’t miss them. My 20’s, much like everyone else’s, were about growth and self-discovery. Some discoveries made me proud, others, not so much. But it is with this knowledge that I know I can go confidently into my 30’s knowing my true self, and knowing I can pretty much handle any obstical that comes my way!

Thinking about everything I achieved, and didn’t achieve in my 20’s is actually really confronting. By all means my 20’s were not perfect, infact for a while there it was quite messy! I didn’t really know who I was, life was fast trying to keep up with the next thing and trend, & no real sense of direction. I knew what I wanted but I couldn’t quite grab it. There was relationship issues, poor money management, and wrong choices. But with all the mistakes, I have learnt so much, and that is part of life and it has shaped me into the person I am right now.

Goodbye Twenties! 

  • Aaron and I moved in together.
  • We got Jasper and Mya (Our two Siberian Huskies)
  • I met my now best friend Stephanie and watched her become a mother and wife.
  • I changed careers. (Hairdresser to retail assistant, to account manager)
  • Aaron and I went through 3 new cars between us.
  • I had my first car accident.
  • I became an aunty to two neices and a nephew.
  • I won two National Pageants!
  • I travelled Europe and the USA, twice!
  • I got Married and fell pregnant at 29!

Hello Thirties! 

  • Hello to a new decade of life, I look to the future with anticipation.
  • God willing, Aaron and I will buy our first home.
  • We will welcome a baby into the world that we made, and we will be given the responsibility and the privilege of raising her.
  • That’s all that I know about what’s coming, but I know that there is promise of great challenge and incredible joy in that alone.

I can look to my 30’s and be a boss at budgeting and managing finances, know how to nurture my body, mind and soul, know how to love myself and stand up for myself. Know when to be silent, only buy things with intention, invest in people who only invest in me, understand what love really is, and know that very little is needed to enjoy a happy life. And that sounds pretty darn good to me!

Bring on 30! I’m ready!

X Jes

Lemon & Coconut Slice Recipe.

Well this is different! A recipe on the blog you might be thinking?! Well I was invited to a girlfriends place over the weekend for a catch up so I decided to make some of these divine little treats to share with the girls, and everyone loved them! After posting them on my snap chat I had a few people ask me for the recipe, so I thought why not pop it up on my blog for anyone wanting to whip up these tasty sweets!

These are super easy to make, no baking required and did I mention they are super delicious?!

You will need:

  • 1/2 a cup of sweetened condensed milk.
  • 125g butter.
  • 250g milk arrowroot biscuits.
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind.
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut.

Icing

  • 1 3/4 cups of icing sugar.
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • 15g butter.
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut.

Method:

1. Place condensed milk and butter in a saucepan. Stir over gentle heat until the butter has melted. Be sure not to boil or burn!

2. Crush biscuits very finely. (I put a handful of biscuits at a time in a zip lock bag and used a rolling pin to crush them) Add lemon rind and coconut in a mixing bowl and pour in the crushed biscuits.

3. Add warm milk and butter mixture to the biscuit mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

4. Press mixture into a lamington or slice tin. I found lining the tin with baking paper made it easy to remove the slice later on. Refrigerate for 1hr.

5. Icing: Combine the icing sugar, lemon juice and butter in a bowl. Mix well until smooth. Spread over the chilled biscuit base and sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate until icing is set and then it’s ready to slice and serve.

There you have it! An easy, quick and yummy desert that anyone can whip up! If you wanted to make it a little healthier or vegan you could just swap a few of the ingredients around.

To dress it up you could sprinkle dried rose petals or lavender over the top or some candied lemon rind.

Enjoy!

X Jes

My biggest challenge to date.

Anyone who says they love being pregnant must be a freak of nature, because my relationship with my pregnancy has been far from wonderful. Apart from the magical experience leading up to finding out I was pregnant from my previous blog, everything after that has been a real struggle.

In many ways, struggling with pregnancy is a taboo topic. Because the pain of infertility is so real and raw, it seems wildly insensitive to suggest that pregnancy is anything but a blessing. Not to mention carrying a baby feels like your first official job as a mum, and if you’re already not coping with the pregnancy, then you surely are going to fail when the baby comes earth side, right?!

Now don’t get me wrong, of course I’m extremely thankful to be having a child with my Husband, and we are definitely excited, but this whole pregnancy experience has to be my biggest challenge to date. I don’t want to come across as whiney and sooky, but writing out my feelings in my blog helps to clear my head… and maybe find other expecting mums who feel the same as I do.

First off, morning sickness needs to change it’s name to ‘all day and all night sickness’. From 4 weeks pregnant I experienced constant nausea, and for someone who HATES being sick and literally fears throwing up, this was quite the challenge for me. It was mentally and physically exhausting.

Going to work involved carrying a spew bucket around, and napping on my lunch break. Luckily for me I have a very understanding employer who lets me come and go as I need, especially on those days where I just can’t move out of bed.

My sickness also affected my social life. Leaving the house was incredibly difficult for me, and going to a cafe or restaurant was just pure torture with all the smells of food making me want to hurl. I even had to put a holt on my beloved weekly yoga classes, which in turn made me feel even worse.

Along with the all day sickness comes severe exhaustion, which see’s me in bed majority of the time. And I should also mention the restless legs, aching breasts, pounding headaches, dizziness, stomach cramps and twinges and don’t get me started on the weird and wacky dreams. Then there’s the stuff no one warns you about like your nipples changing size and colour, wierd bodily fluids, itchiness…everywhere, gassiness (my husband can attest to this), heartburn, and how about your brain just deciding to switch off, which leaves you doing some pretty stupid stuff like pouring your cereal onto a plate rather than in a bowl, or wondering why the front door won’t unlock with your car key.

Sleep?! What is sleep?! I don’t know why, but during the night I literally have to get up to pee atleast 4-5 times… Crazy! I suppose it’s a way of my body getting used to having broken sleep for when baby arrives. Mix that with weird dreams and restlessness, and you get a walking zombie during the AM.

My hormones are definitely all over the place, my poor husband! I cry at the drop of a hat, or if I have to eat broccoli… Yes, I sobbed like a two year old because I didn’t want to eat broccoli for dinner, when all I wanted was a pizza! I feel myself getting fired up over little things, or just overthinking and being irrational. I’m usually such a quiet and calm person, but I feel like there’s a bomb ticking inside of me and anything will set it off… ANYTHING!

I’m now 16 weeks pregnant, and I can see my body is changing so much. I find I stare at myself in the mirror naked after I shower, just studying how my body looks so different. My veins are bulging from carrying so much extra blood, my hips feel wider and the ‘bump’ that just sticks right out makes me feel like an alien. I just feel swollen and lumpy and I’m not even half way yet… I’m only going to get bigger! I never had the perfect supermodel body prior to getting pregnant, but I have always been quite lean and trim, so It’s hard to get used to seeing my body look different, especially when your favourite jeans dont go up past your thighs now! My usual clothes don’t fit me very well anymore, but I’m still too ‘small’ for Maternity clothes, so getting dressed is becoming a challenge these days. My skin feels dry and blotchy even though I smother myself in oils and moisturizer and the hormones are doing a great job on the pimples popping up all over my face! It’s really hard to feel good about yourself when all of a sudden you feel frumpy and spotty.

Another challenge of pregnancy is the ocean of unknowns. Everytime I have an ultrasound or scan I hold my breath, praying there will still be a heartbeat. I always get so anxious the days leading up to it. We are completely powerless! We can’t control the changes in our body, the sex of the baby, the health of our child, the time he or she will choose to arrive, the details of labor and delivery. It’s terrifying!

We announced our pregnancy to all our friends and family just a week ago, and already I wish I had waited a bit longer. I thought I was ready for the world to know, but I’m not. I know everyone is excited and they all mean well, but I literally cannot deal with all the baby talk, horrible birth stories people feel they need to share, and being asked a thousand questions like if I’m going to breastfeed, or what pram we’re buying. It’s all just too overwhelming and I don’t even have the answers to their questions yet!

My husband and I thought we would go have a look in Baby Bunting a couple of weeks ago (a baby one-stop-shop) to have a look at potentially buying a cot… WOW! I had never felt so out of my comfort zone! We were in and out of the store within 5 minutes, there was just SO much stuff, crying babies and children… I had to get out! We haven’t bought anything for the baby yet, nor even made a start on the nursery. There’s just so much to think about, so much money to be spent, where do you even start?!

I’ve seen many friends and family members go through pregnancy over the years, and they all made it look so wonderfully easy, and exciting! I never recalled hearing about their struggles, or never saw them looking drab, They all looked so good pregnant and happy, but yet I’m still waiting for my pregnancy ‘glow’ to arrive. When does the glow arrive? I want my glow!

Every person is different, so every pregnancy will be different, I understand that. I just never thought I would struggle as much as I am. I keep reassuring myself that it’s ok to not have it all together, I’m allowed to be scared, and I don’t have to have all the baby equipment in the house yet. I’m just taking each day as it comes with whatever challenges, thoughts or feelings that arise, after all this is a brand new experience and as much as it is hard, I want to try and enjoy it, look back on this and be proud of myself.

I’ve learnt that you have to take baby steps, trust that your body knows what it’s doing, and even though I feel overwhelmed, I can still do this! I’ve come this far already, and I’ve overcome my fear of blood tests, I’ve made it past the difficult first trimester, and my baby girl is as healthy as can be, that is all an accomplishment in itself.

I’d love any advice, or to hear if you’ve been on a similar path to me. xx

The Universe will always give you what you need.

I can not preach this any more than I do already. The Universe works in mysterious ways, and whether or not you are spiritually awakened to see her magic before your very own eyes, trust me when I say the Universe always has your back!

I have so many stories that I could share about the many different ways the Universe has worked her magic into my life, but there’s one story I really want to share with you today and that’s my pregnancy. Yes, you read it right, I’m pregnant!

In April 2017, I had just returned from an overseas adventure and went to see a clairvoyant to help clarify a few things going on in my life. Everything that came up in my reading has now come true. During my reading she picked up on my secret elopement marriage that was taking place in October, and also told me of two spirits hovering above me. The two spirits are my unborn children she advised. She told me all about their personalities, and what kind of people they will be. She mentioned that once my husband and I were ready to start a family that it would happen very quickly and easily because the spirits of my children are ready and waiting.

Once October rolled around and my now husband and I got married, I began to focus my thoughts and intentions on starting a family. I would pray, I started preparing my body with the right nutrition and vitamins and even began to create ‘space’ in my life by decluttering and removing things that no longer served me.

November arrived, and one evening I found myself sitting in a Yin Yoga class. During the last pose called Savasana, which is where you lay flat on your back with your eyes closed. This pose is basically like a form of meditation, where you tap into your unconcious thoughts in a semi-meditative state. The pose is held for around five minutes, so not enough time to fall asleep, but enough time to surrender and let your body sink into the ground. During savasana that evening, I had the most vivid dream. A dream that felt so real that tears fell from eyes. This dream just came to me, I didn’t think about it or plan on going there… It just happened!

In my dream, as I was laying on the floor, thick green leafy vines began to wrap themselves around my legs and arms, rooting me to the ground where I felt safe and held. From my stomach a stem started to form, and grew tall reaching for the sky. A huge, magnificent flower bloomed from the stem, and sitting inside the flower was the most beautiful, happy baby I had ever seen in my life. I had never felt so much love or emotion, it was so intense. Looking at this child brang tears to my closed eyes, I was inlove. The petals of the flower began to slowly close over and wrapped up the baby so delicately and safely. The stem then decended straight down into my stomach and the vines began to unravel themselves. In that moment, Savasana was over and it was end of class.

I knew it was a message for me, because I could feel it deep in my soul.

The days following my yoga class I had numerology signs showing up everywhere. 1111, 222 and 444, all indicating my prayers have been heard and everything is in place, that I’m on the right path, and the angels are by my side.

Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant.

I know there would be people who would read this and think I’m delusional or just don’t believe in anything spiritual. But for me, this has been the most magical and incredible thing I’ve ever experienced and my faith has only grown stronger. Being spiritually awakened means you are more intune with your life, soul, spirit and the universe which allows you to see and understand the wonderful plan that’s in place for you.

The universe has a plan for everyone, it’s just up to you whether you choose to tap into that energy, let go of control, surrender and just be guided. Nothing will change if you’re gripping on so tight and want to be in control of every situation, it’s not how it works.

All in all, My husband and I are very excited to meet our daughter in August this year.

I’d love to hear your story or experience of the universe delivering abundance in your life. Leave your comments below.

XX Jes

How yoga saved my life.

Since my late teens I have always been a bit of a yoga enthusiast. I used to dabble in a class here and there, but always struggled to surrender to the poses and switch my brain off for the hour class. I liked yoga, but I never really ‘got it’ and I always felt like I was missing something compared to the other students in the class.

I often struggled with being alone, sitting with feelings and sensations and found it challenging to face myself and the rawness of what I was doing and who I was in that moment.

When my life redirected it’s course 12 months ago, (You can read about this in my first blog post) I shifted into a dark place of feeling lost, anxious, alone and basically just flat line neutral. My doctor advised me to focus on Yoga as she felt it would help me, so I did. It wasn’t until I found myself sitting in a Yin Yoga class a week later that I began to see my yoga practice from a new perspective. All of a sudden I ‘got it’, I felt connected and like I finally understood what was happening. I knew from that moment I had to make Yoga a priority in my life if I wanted to heal myself.

For me there is no question that yoga saved my life. That yoga found me when I couldn’t pretend to save myself any longer. Yoga lets you know it’s not your fault; yoga lets you know that even when you feel alone you are feeling, and that is a start.

Yoga brings you into a deep sense of relaxation physically and that creates more space for you mentally and spiritually. It helped me to realise my body isn’t just what people can see but how I can use it.

My frequent Yin Yoga classes helped me see that the only life over which I have direct control is my own. The person I spend the most time with is myself. I should be kind to myself and love myself in order to be able to love other people to the best of my ability.

Yin Yoga is one of my favourite styles of yoga. Yin Yoga postures are more passive postures, mainly on the floor. It is unique in that you are asked to relax in the posture, and soften the muscle. While yang-like yoga practices are more superficial, Yin offers a much deeper access to the body. Postures are usually held for three to five minutes, even 20 minutes at a time. The time spent in these postures is much like time spent in meditation.

The slow and delicate poses help create more space, it releases tension in a particular area of the body, and it makes you feel as if you are letting go. In life, sometimes we are unable to love or give to our fullest because we hold on to something that no longer serves us or brings us happiness. When you feel confident in how you spend your time and how you treat yourself, your relationships with other people will fall into place, too.

Yoga has taught me to live in the most in-touch, real way possible. Yoga has taught me how to breathe again, feel again, and somehow it has helped me loosen the grips on life and trust the universe a little more. This conscious lifestyle awakened me to what’s really important and what my purpose in this life is.

I go to Yoga classes twice a week, and I practice at home almost every other day. It’s easy to get caught up in day to day life commitments, but by making the effort to go to my classes or roll my yoga mat out when I get home from work, I feel proud and grateful to myself for giving my mind and body the gift of slowing down, rebalancing and grounding itself.

Sometimes I even dedicate my practice to others who may be needing it, like if a friend or someone I know is in a difficult place or unwell, I will dedicate my thoughts, my breath and healing to them.

Yoga for me is kind of on the same page as prayer, I use this time to focus on what’s going on in my life in that particular time, really let go of my grip and surrender. I experience gratitude when I do yoga, and feel overwhelmingly connected to myself and the universe.

It still blows my mind how powerful our mind is during a semi-meditative state.

If you’ve never gone to a yoga class but are interested to start, I would definitely recommend starting with a Yin Yoga class. You don’t need to have experience, you don’t need to be flexible, or to be or look a certain way. There is no judgement, and you just go at your own pace, doing what feels right for your body.

The divine in me bows to the divine in you – Namaste.

I’d love to know if you’ve tried Yin Yoga, or how yoga has helped you!

Xx Jes

Please, Stop asking if I’m pregnant.

This entry is a little off topic to my general posts, but I really feel like I have to put this out there! I think the New Moon in Scorpio is still affecting me with just saying things how it is.

My husband and I got married 8 weeks ago now, and you’d be surprised by the comments I have received in that time about pregnancy and babies.

(Photo: My Husband and I on our wedding day)

“You only got married because you’re pregnant, aren’t you?” Or “You don’t need to say anything, I know you’re pregnant”

*face palm*

I’m sorry to disappoint you all, but you’ve got it all wrong!

Is this just a given these days? You’re expected to have a child immediately after you’re married? Or the reason behind getting married is because you’re already pregnant? I’m not sure If they’re being rude or they’re just too excited for us to have a baby.

A couple’s choice to have a child is a very personal and private thing. You don’t know if we can’t conceive, been having difficulties for years or maybe we just don’t want to have children right now? Whatever our situation, it makes me feel so uncomfortable when I’m asked, and I’m sure there are many other woman who feel the same as I do.

Literally this week alone I’ve had the question put on me by family members and messages from friends on Facebook Congratulating me on my pregnancy because they can tell I’m pregnant from my photos I’ve posted!

Um what?!

I’m sorry if you think you’re seeing a baby bump there, but sometimes girls just get bloated or more times than likely my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I’ve just eaten way too much!

I constantly feel like everyone is looking at my stomach for that baby bump, watching my every move to see if I’m having a wine with my dinner or passing on the deli meats & soft cheeses.

Then there’s the age thing… I’ll be 30 in 5 months and how could I possibly forget that my fertility clock is ticking because I’m reminded ALL the time by family, friends and even strangers!

And don’t get me started on the pressure of grandchildren…

My Niece and I.

(Photo: My Niece and I)

Please keep in mind your seemingly innocent question might cause someone grief, pain, stress or frustration. Sure, for some people those questions may not cause any fraught feelings — but I can tell you, from my own experiences and hearing about many friends’ experiences — it more than likely does.

I think people just need to take a step back, mind their own business and not have expectations or assumptions of when a couple are conceiving. When the time is right, it will be announced. If you’re eager to know, then you’ll just have to wait patiently.

I promise, if or when we are we’ll tell you—when we’re ready.

Xx Jes