Self Love, Gratitude and My Morning Routine

As you might have already read, on my trip home from Venice this past October was definitely a time for me to reflect on my life in more ways than one (click here if you missed this post). Many people have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day, however all of these reminders of love really wanted me to write something to help some in regards to having a more positive attitude during this time of year. Whether you’re married, single, in a relationship, in a complicated relationship or whatever your status is, we all crave happiness and love in our lives. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life so far, is that no matter what, you need to love yourself first, practice gratitude and have a true understanding of what makes you happy. If you miss these vital steps, you can lose yourself in a relationship, or worse off, never find that place of true contentment.

On New Year’s Eve, I performed a very powerful intention setting ceremony which was very sacred to me. I wrote out my intentions for this year on a piece of paper and at midnight I rolled it up with some sage leaves and smudged my apartment and all my crystals with it, putting my intentions into the universe. One of my intentions for this year is to fully practice self love.

My Path to Self Love

I’ll be totally honest, I have huge self image issues. I’ve struggled with this for years now. You won’t find a photo of me on my Instagram, I prefer to take photos of the beautiful places I visit than to be in any of my photos. It’s something I’m working on, on a daily basis. I feel I’ve made huge strides with this since practicing self love and daily gratitude, but it’s a work in progress. Being grateful has a huge impact on your path to finding self love and acceptance. I want to clarify, self love is not being selfish. It’s coming to an awareness of what you truly have to offer, who you are as an individual and you are fully aware of all your faults and failures, after all, you are just “human”. Self love is about being the best you and standing up for your truth. It involves understanding your body’s presence, limitations and need for nourishment, exercise, rest and rejuvenation. You need to strive to practice self love daily.

My morning routine is my way I make this a daily practice and priority.

My Morning Routine

Every morning I wake up at 5:30am. I make my way to my living room, sit on my yoga mat and meditate for ten to fifteen minutes. Immediately after my meditation, I write in my journal. I always start off with “Today I am grateful for…”, and from there I let my gratitude and thoughts for the morning flow. After journalling I do thirty to forty-five minutes of yoga to completely “wake up” my body and get ready for the day. I recently started a ketogenic diet again (I love how I feel on a keto diet overall, more in a new post soon), so after yoga and a shower I make myself a keto latte (steamed unsweetened coconut milk with a couple shots of espresso), sit at my dining room table and organize my day ahead of me. My morning routine helps me with stress levels, making sure I’m starting the day with intent and focus, and keeps me grounded.

Self love is so important. Creating this mindset along with gratitude is key for being a successful person in all aspects of your life. Find your rituals that speak to you. This could be going for a walk, doing a cross fit class, setting time in the evening for a relaxing bath, reading a book or sitting in silent meditation. These are examples of practicing self love you can do on a daily basis. It’s about finding a self love routine that helps you accept, forgive and focus on you.

How do you practice self love and gratitude? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.

Love and light,

Ariane

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Why another trip in Italy changed me…

Coming home from my last trip in October felt very different from the rest.

Ok, I might have said that with every trip I’ve come back from recently, but this time it was different… I didn’t feel like I was coming back “home”.

Home can be different for everyone. For most people, home could be to build a life and strive to build a home for their families, etc. Home is where most people’s families, children, pets, lives are. Home is a very powerful concept. For me, leaving Italy this past trip was hard, I felt like I was already home. I was going back to a life that was just a means to an end. Driving back to my apartment once back in Vancouver, it just seemed “off”. Especially coming home to another yearly rent increase sitting in my stack of mail.

Life in Vancouver has really changed let’s be honest. It’s expensive AF and it seems less and less is being done about it. As someone who lives off of one income (proud of it), if things continually keep going the way they are, I can’t afford to live in this beautiful city anymore. I won’t be able to live comfortably (live without stressing about paying rent that’s astronomical, etc). So it was time to make some shifts and look within.

So flashback to me sitting in the Venice airport, I honestly did not want to get on my flight. I was dreading leaving this place I found so much peace and sense of home in the craziness that is Italy. As I was wallowing in my sorrows that boarding time was approaching and how any thoughts of making a run for it just wasn’t plausible, a woman beside me pulled out a journal and started to write “Today I’m grateful for the amazing trip I’ve just experienced”. I literally wanted to cry. The Universe had just given me a huge wake up call in more ways than one in that moment. I started chatting to the girl beside me about how I couldn’t help to have read what she wrote and how it really touched me in that moment. She explained she was going through a messy divorce and had gone through a miscarriage a few months prior and this trip was her healing gift to herself. Since her miscarriage, she had been recommended to do a “gratitude journal” to help her through it. She said it saved her life. It helped her be strong when her husband left and start rebuilding a life that she was proud to live. Next surprising thing which helped her, yoga. Yoga everyday. She said it helped keep her mind clear and able to focus on what’s happening and be present.

It was so amazing chatting to her. I believe the Universe puts situations and people into our lives at the exact moment we need to learn, hear or heal. This was that instance for me. On my flight out of Venice, I made a promise to myself to start a personal wellness challenge on the first of November. First step was to start a gratitude journal. Second step was to implement yoga everyday.

Now I’ve done yoga before and love it, but can yoga everyday really make a difference? Yes, yes it can. It does give you clarity and helps your physical body as well. Since doing yoga pretty well everyday, sometimes twice a day, I can honestly say hand on heart, that I’m so much less stressed, I’ve lost weight and feel physically stronger than going to the gym. I look forward to yoga and cherish my time on the mat.

But it was a few days ago that it really all fell into place. I woke up at 3:30am with what I wanted my long term goals to be. I spent a few days researching and thinking, then getting a bit discouraged. I wanted these ideas to work. So a few days later I journaled about being grateful for my experience in Venice and how I wanted to manifest my dreams. I very specifically wrote out what my long term plans are and what my intentions in regards to manifesting abundance moving forward. Then I headed off to my Yin class. After yoga I listened to a podcast (Rachel Brathen, love her) about manifesting abundance and putting trust in the Universe. I also wanted to work on focusing on living my life out of a place of love, not on what I have had to overcome (death, loss, etc), so I purchased a beautiful large piece of Rose Quartz and some Jade that afternoon. Later that night, right before I was about to go to sleep, someone had shared a quote for that day, it read “The Universe is saying to you today: Trust that your desired results will be manifested into fruition in your life and all is going to Divine right order. Stay balanced, grounded and focused. Love yourself more”. Ummmmm… Okay! So accurate for that day it was scary and the acknowledgement that I was working towards the right goals was amazing.

So here it is…

I’m now on a journey to become a yoga teacher, I also want to host healing wellness retreats around the world and eventually purchase an agriturismo property in Italy where I can have a yoga studio on the property in a restored barn to host workshops,  retreats and weddings. That’s it. I don’t know if it will happen in five years or fifteen. But I’ve got the clarity and the goal. I’ve got something I’m now consciously working towards.

Pivotal moments happen in our lives, we just need to open our hearts and minds to the prospect of the blessings they can bring.

This blog will change a bit, I’m excited to continue writing about the amazing places I got to see and experience this past trip (Paris, Venice, Montenegro, more of the Greek Islands and Croatia) and continue to give advice on countries I visit in my travels along the way in the future, but I’ll also focus more on my journey as well.

I hope you’ll continue reading and stay tuned for expressions of interest for a few wellness retreats starting in 2019 and 2020.

With love and light,

Ariane

PS – Did you enjoy reading this blog post? Please consider joining my Wanderlust Journey Community as a Patron supporter. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee per month (my community membership tiers start at $2 per month), you can help support me create more content! Click here for more details.