Self-Love + Yoga/Meditation Routine

self hug

I have been learning at lot recently on how to love myself.  I wrote another post a couple of years ago about this topic, but I have come so far.  My idea of self-love then was what I now think of as self-acceptance.  Self-acceptance is good, but we can take it further.  We can actually LOVE ourselves, be proud of who we are, and speak to ourselves as if we were our oldest and dearest friend.

But how?  This is not something we typically learn about in school or church, and I never even thought about it until I met someone who oozed gratitude and self-love.  I’d never met someone like that before and I wanted her happiness and shininess for myself!  She, along with other friends and internet articles, taught me to start with my thought life.  Our inner voice is the one we hear constantly, every single day of our lives.  We need to make sure this voice is the most loving, kind and patient voice we hear.  We can and should take control of our inner thoughts/self talk.

These are actual examples of things I used to say to myself.

“Oh, gross, is that how I really look?”

“Sometimes you just suck.”

“Guess we haven’t learned that lesson yet, have we?”

“I’m a horrible mother.”

“I’m not as smart as anyone here.”

“Maybe I should just stop singing/taking pictures, I’m never going to be as good as _____.”

After I started learning about self-love, I realised how these negative thoughts were affecting me.  They were bringing me down, obviously!  Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be like this.  I started being patient with myself when I make mistakes.  Actively praising myself for good things I’ve done.  Speaking to myself like I would to a friend.  Now I try to say things like,

“It’s gonna be okay.”

“It’s okay to make mistakes.”

“You’re doing the best you can.”

“Even if I could have done that better, I love myself.”

“No one is perfect.  You’re doing a great job.”

“I have great ideas!  I love the ideas I come up with!”

“I’m awesome.”

Negative thought patterns can die hard.  I still think negatively towards myself sometimes – but now I notice it, rebuke it, and replace it with a positive thought.  It’s a habit that takes time to change – gotta stay on it.

I started doing yoga with an app and youtube videos these last couple of months and I’ve been loving it.  After a while I came up with a routine where I combine different poses with affirmations and prayers.  I want to share it with you and recommend that you come up with your own poses and affirmations.  If you are not physically able to do yoga(or just would rather not), speak the words out loud to yourself.  It is a wonderful way to start each day.

This is my YOGA/MEDITATION Morning Routine (5-10 minutes)

  1. I start out by doing the first part of a sun salutation.  I raise my arms over my head and back down again, repeating these words: “I am grateful for this day, for the sun, for the light, for my life.  Thank you God for this day, for the sun, for the light, for my life.” I repeat these words over and over, adding whatever else comes to mind, until my armpits feel good and stretched.
  2. Going into the forward fold, I say these words: “I let go of all I cannot control.  I cast my cares upon the Lord for He cares for me.  I let all of my stress and worries go.”  I remember to breathe, and feel the stretch.  I hold this position and repeat these words as long as I feel needed.
  3. Downward dog: “I am strong, powerful and beautiful, inside and out.”  I say these words, out loud, convincingly, and repeat them over and over until I truly believe them.
  4. Lying on my front and pushing up to stretch the back, I smile and say, “I love myself. I love my life.  I love Jesus.”  Repeating these words and holding this pose for as long as needed, adding in other words and prayers that come to mind.
  5. I then go into child’s pose.  I say, “I am a child of God.  Thank you that I am a child of God.  I love my children.  Thank you for my children.  I love my husband.  Thank you for my husband.”
  6. Table pose: “I am doing a good job.  I am doing a good job as a wife, mother and as Lindsay.”
  7. Cat and Cow: I take this time to listen to God and to myself, breathing and being quiet, enjoying the stretch.
  8. From here I work my way back – to child’s pose, then downward dog, forward fold and reaching my arms over my head, saying the same things I said before.
  9. At the end I stretch my arms wide, forming a “t” with my body.  I smile, say anything else that needs to be said, and give myself a big hug, ending with “I love myself!”

There is power in speaking AND in hearing these words.  Make sure to say everything out loud, convincingly!  Smile while you stretch, even if it doesn’t come naturally.

I am on a wonderful journey of self-love.  I think I am an awesome person with great ideas.  I feel confident in who I am and in the decisions I make.  Do you know how amazing that feels?  Pretty darn amazing.  It’s like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and my happiness level has gone up a notch or two.

relationship with self

Imagine the world we would have if we all loved ourselves.  When we love ourselves, we are more joyful.  We shine.  We are able to love and forgive others more.  We are confident.  We are healing ourselves.

Give yourself a hug!  You rock!

may 27 (3 of 4)

If you want to learn more here is a great article: “21 Tips to Release Self-Neglect and Love Yourself in Action”

Do you love yourself?  Do you want to love yourself more?

self love yoga routine polaroid

Lindsay Land Shop: BIRTHDAY SALE!

Everyone!

On June 15th I’m turning 31.  And to celebrate I’m having a week long sale in my Etsy Shop!  Everything will be 31% off from TODAY (June 12th) until SATURDAY June 18th.  Don’t miss out!

You can get my lovely book of nature photographs, All Things Bright and Beautiful:

all things bright and beautiful book sale

A 2017 Calendar of photos from the Yukon:

Yukon calendar SALE

Or a set of five notecards:

bright and beautiful notecard set SALE

black and white card set SALE

Head on over to Lindsay Land Shop to order!  I would so appreciate your support!  It’s like getting a gift for me and yourself at the same time😉

birthday sale collage 2

pumpkin cookies (2 of 2)

Lindsay’s Top Ten Cookie Recipes

I LOVE COOKIES!  I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies from a mix at least three times a week when I was growing up.  I had that technique DOWN.  I prefer making cookies from scratch now, and am always trying new recipes.  Here are my ten favourites.  Pour a glass of milk and enjoy.

  1. Peanut Butter Banana Oat Chocolate Chip (Do not contain gluten, refined sugar, eggs or butter)

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 2.02.31 PM

I’m not sure which website this recipe came from, but I wrote it down in my recipe book and it’s probably our family’s favourite – not only because the cookies are healthy, but because they really are so, so good.  I don’t make them all the time because it uses quite a bit of peanut butter, which is expensive in Brazil.

Ingredients:

2-3 mashed bananas (depending on size)

1 c. natural peanut butter

1/4 c. liquid honey

2 1/3 c. quick cooking oats

3/4 t. salt

add ins: raisins, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, cinnamon

Combine ingredients together in mixing bowl.  Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes at 325 degrees F.

2. Chocolate Macaroons (no bake, does not contain flour or eggs)

CHOCOLATE-MACAROONS

Photo from Google Images.

This is my grandmother’s recipe for this classic chocolate oat-coconut cookie.  My mother and I both made this recipe all throughout my childhood.  They have a lot of sugar in them but they really are amazing.  Often when I try a new recipe I will modify it to see if I can make it healthier somehow.  I wouldn’t advise that with this recipe.  It’s perfect as it is.

Ingredients and Instructions:

Combine together in large pot over low heat:

2 c. white sugar

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. butter or margarine

Bring above ingredients to a boil and add 1 tsp vanilla.  Allow to boil gently for 1-2 minutes.

Add in 6 T cocoa

1 c. fine coconut

3 c. quick cooking oats

pinch of salt

Mix together and drop by teaspoon onto tray or waxed paper.  Allow to cool.

3. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (do not contain flour or butter)

In case you don’t like or have any bananas, this is another great simple peanut butter cookie recipe.  Click here to be taken to the recipe at Ambitious Kitchen!

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 1.46.46 PM

4. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s like pumpkin pie met chocolate chip cookie and had a baby.  Soft, moist and delicious.   Click here to be taken to the recipe at Averie Cooks.

pumpkin cookies (1 of 2)

5. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lentil Blondies (vegan, healthy, gluten free)

Yes, lentils. Don’t knock it til you try it okay?  A great way to get some nutrition into your dessert!  Click here to be taken to the recipe at Ambitious Kitchen.

08-IMG_1315

Photo courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen.

6. Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is very good as well, using an oat flour base – you just need a food processor/blender to blend up your oats(or buy oat flour if you don’t have a blender).  Also, this recipe doesn’t make very many cookies.  I think I quadrupled it to get a normal batch(18 or so) cookies.  Click here to be taken to the recipe at Chocolate Covered Katie.

may 17 (2 of 8)

A picture of happiness. Am I right?

7. Chewy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

For those days you need a little extra chocolate! Click here to view the recipe at Ambitious Kitchen.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 2.07.25 PM

8. Mary’s Classic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from my AMAZING friend Mary in university and they are the classic, no fail oatmeal cookie.  I can’t count how many times I have made these.

mary cookies (1 of 1)

Ingredients and Instructions:

Mix together:

3/4 c. margarine or butter

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. white sugar

1 egg

2 T. water

1 c. flour(I use whole wheat)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

3 c. rolled oats

1 c. chocolate chips

Drop by spoonful onto cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.  Do not overbake!

9. Unbelievably Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies (for when you’re out of oats!)  These ones are made with coconut oil and honey.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 2.01.30 PM

Click here to be taken to the recipe at Deliciously Yum

10. Centennial Squares or Hello Dollies(not healthy AT ALL but so amazingly good)

This is another Hay family favourite that my Mom made a lot at Christmas.  It’s a great recipe for something a little fancier, without being difficult.

Hello+Dolly+3

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Ingredients:

1/4 c. butter

1 c. Graham Cracker crumbs

1 c. shredded coconut

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 c. chopped walnuts

1 can condensed milk

Instructions:

Melt butter in microwave or over stovetop.  Mix in crumbs and pat down mixture on bottom of an 8×8 pan(I recommend lining with waxed paper).  Sprinkle coconut, chips, and nuts evenly over crust and pour condensed milk over top.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.  Cool, store in fridge.


There you go people!  If you try any of these recipes take a picture and tag me on instagram @lindsaycmuller!

What’s your favourite cookie?

cookie polaroid

You may also enjoy:

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 2.31.43 PM

three brazilian recipes pol

The 100 Strangers Project: Alexandra

alexandra may 19 (1 of 3)

Beautiful.

Alexandra is the ninth “stranger” I have photographed.  Our little session took place a couple of weeks ago while I was waiting for my bus to go meet a friend.  I was waiting for my bus when I saw her sitting on a bench.  I immediately knew that I wanted to take her picture, but I was nervous.  I was by myself with no one to encourage me but my own inner voice, and we were in a crowded bus station.  I first considered the safety aspect of it(I have had two cameras stolen in the past) and then the comfort level for her – I probably wouldn’t want to have my photograph taken in a public place full of people I didn’t know.  But I knew I would regret it if I didn’t at least ask.  So after quite a few moments of walking around building up courage, I approached her.  I said, in Portuguese, “Hi, how are you?  I just wanted to tell you that you have beautiful eyes!  I’m a photographer, and I’m doing a personal project of photographing people I don’t know.  I noticed you and I would like to take your photo, if you want!”  At first she was taken aback – I think she was pleased about it but also very shy about having her photo taken.  She hmmed and hawed about it for a while.  I kept telling her she didn’t have to, there was no pressure, but in the end she agreed.  Three quick snaps and we were done.  I am so glad I did it, because I absolutely love the photo.  For being nervous she did a great job of looking confident and relaxed.  I felt empowered afterwards and proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone.  I am loving this project!  I can’t wait for the next stranger!

Make sure to check out my other “strangers” here!

Guest Post: Starting Over, Again by Jamie Searle Romanelli

Today I’m sharing an honest and courageous guest post by my good friend and fellow expat, Jamie, about her experience with culture shock upon moving from England to Brazil. I admire her transparency about the challenges she has faced, and I’m sure anyone who has lived abroad will be able to relate. I know you will enjoy this beautifully written essay.

jamie-8

A photo I took of Jamie last year for her translating business.

“There are no foreign lands, it is the traveller only who is foreign.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

Two years and three months ago, I made the decision to move to Brasil. It was a decision which was quickly made, recklessly even, for I gave very little thought to the true magnitude of the immense transition which lay before me. As is often the case when life-changing decisions are made so swiftly, mine was motivated by love. I fell hard and fast, in a way I hadn’t known before, and for once (being a cautious, studious type who usually researches everything to infinity before acting) I decided to trust my gut. I remember my now-husband asking me back then whether I felt I could live long-term in a country which wasn’t my native one. At that time, I had been ‘on the road’ with my translation work for the majority of the preceding year, in London, Berlin, then Buenos Aires. I had been flirting with the location independent lifestyle, which certainly has many benefits, but after a year of moving from one housesit to the next almost every couple of weeks, I was already longing to feel a little more settled. Having always loved the idea of living abroad, and feeling a swift connection to Brasil, I assured him that it would be (and I quote): ”No problem at all.” I knew I would miss people; my family, my friends. But I felt sure I wouldn’t feel homesick for England.

Oh, how naive I was.

Read the rest of Jamie’s amazing post here on her blog, Portuguese and Papagaios

You may also enjoy:

floripa friends   polaroid1

debby face samples (2 of 2)

The Most Important Thing #13: Debby

The Most Important Thing is back!  I’m excited to continue with this project, which is to take photos of people I love and to discover what they believe is the most important thing in life.  This is Debby, a wonderful friend I’ve made since moving to Brazil.  Debby is so special.  She is the type of person that gives you all of her attention when talking to you.  She is gentle, kind, and funny.  I recently took some photos for her professional website which you can visit here.  This was one of the photos from that session and I really like it.  As you can see she is beautiful inside and out!

debby face samples (2 of 2)

Age: 31
Occupation: Therapist
Nationality: Brazilian
Belief System: I don’t think I have just one “system” – the ego creates a lot of them!  But I’m trying to let them just be there (in my mind) while I connect with my inner source – my soul, which provides the best way I can see and live reality.

What do you believe is the most important thing in life?

To be open to it.  What it means to me, to accept everything that happens to us – to just exist, without judging if something is good or bad.  Things just are.  And flow, discovering and sensing every feeling, experiencing every taste that life provides us.  In the end, I believe everything is a manifestation of love.  Just to enjoy while we are here!😉

debby samples (15 of 23)

debby samples (18 of 23)

Thank you Debby!

Make sure to check out what others think is the Most Important Thing!

yukon calendar collage

Grand Opening of Lindsay Land Shop!

lindsay land shop logo etsy

Everyone, I’m so excited to share this with you!  I have created a couple of lovely photography products that are finally ready for market.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 3.43.51 PM

My first photography book is a collection of bright and beautiful things I’ve been privileged to see and photograph across three continents.

Screenshot 2016-02-11 at 20.32.01

There are three sizes and options available.  Prices include tax.  Shipping costs not included.

1) Softcover 8×6″: $32.00 CAD

2) Hardcover 8×6″: $45.00 CAD

3) Hardcover 11×8.5″: $55.00 CAD

Sample pages:

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.51.07 PM

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.08.51 PM

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.05.26 PM

Click here to buy it from my Etsy Shop.

2017 Yukon Calendar

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 9.48.52 PM

yukon calendar collage

Two sizes available.  Prices include tax.  Shipping costs not included.

1) 11 x 8.5″: $32.00 CAD

2) 14 x 11″: $52.00 CAD

Click here to buy it from my Etsy Shop.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.18.06 PM