Guest post, Inspiration/Motivation, Lifestyle, Well-being

Soul searching: focus on the inside, and the rest will fall into place

Hey there Self-Love Advocates, how’s your week going?

One of my closest friends Ell’aye was lovely enough to take time out of her Summer of soul-searching and baking to write her latest blog post for SLA. The perfect summers day read for any students and wellness enthusiasts out there… Enjoy!

Let me give you a little information about myself before I get into things – I’m a 19 year old law student who’s trying to figure out what I want…and whether that involves getting rich or die trying, or following my soul and finding my true self.

I am a very positive person, Millie will tell you! Visualisation is the key to manifesting the life you want, and success comes from hard work. But what happens when your out of sorts with your soul? I thought they said that being young was easy? Well have I got news for you, that those mysterious people were very mistaken.

Almost 12 months ago I decided to endeavour on a journey to study law. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting recently, and looking back over the past year I’m starting to feel differently to say the least. What I’ve learnt being a University student, albeit not from an academic perspective is immense.

Originally being accepted into a grammar sixth form but having a huge distaste for it and deciding to stay with the state, I left sixth form with fantastic results and was on my way to the University of Kent. Ranked eighth in the country for Law by the Times, I guess I had a lot to live up to and heavy competition. However, at sixth form I had a such a focused mindset – I was all about getting to the next step. I never see anything in its deepest depths, and just looked superficially at the surface of my life. To me, sixth form meant just getting the grades to get to Uni. I guess I wasn’t really ‘into it’ or paid any mind to the depths of my courses. I wanted results and I wanted out, onto the next step, get a degree, get a training contract, make the money – that was me. Motivated by Joran Belfort in the Wolf of Wall Street, one of my go to quotes is ‘money can’t buy you happiness but I’d rather cry in a Porsche than on a bus!’

Upon arrival to University I felt so scared. Would I make new friends? Would I even like my course? Would I be good enough? Looking back, I was nowhere near prepared for the level of hard work that was coming, nor was I prepared to realise that actually, all of this hard work will provide a platform for me, a knowledge that will better me, another string to my bow. This was all because I looked at everything I had ever done like a process, to take me somewhere else, somewhere better. Don’t get me wrong, I showed thanks, one of the strongest beliefs derived from the law of attraction. However, rarely did absorb the present too much, through fear of getting stuck in aimless routine. I never looked into what was good for my soul, what was good for the right now, I wasn’t listening to my body. I was looking at my life and thinking of the best way to be a successful and independent woman. I guess I narrowed down a tick sheet list consisting of law, business, medicine, and chose law with my eyes half closed and wound up there in September 15’ hoping it would work out amongst the other 400 people on my course.

One year on and I have to say everything has changed. Thank the heavens I have not been one of those students who gets to Uni and thinks ‘what on earth am I doing this for?’ After a week I was settled, and met two amazing friends and in honestly, they have helped the process so much. I am so, so thankful. Don’t get me wrong, at least once a week during the academic year I’ve sat back and watched from the third floor of the library and said what am I doing this for? But that’s true of every law student 358 pages into a Public law text book – believe me! Hand on heart, I’ve ended up in the right place, even if my attitude was kind of roll of the dice to begin with. Which brings me to say that perhaps, just maybe, just going with it isn’t so bad. Sometimes in life you don’t always have to know what you want, or even how your going to get there. I’m starting to figure out that I need to work on today, absorb my surroundings to its depths and then I’ll be best set for tomorrow.

The first part of the year for me was a disaster. I went from the top of the tree at sixth form, best grades, head girl, popular with the staff, to being one of 400, with writing that needed improvement to say the least and I was in an environment where everyone is in competition for a training contract at the end of it. During the year I woke up and realised. In order to be successful, I have to delve inside myself. I have to want it because I’m passionate. So what did I do? I sat back and thought to myself ‘look at how far you’ve come. You’re half way there, but slacking, a lazy attitude, that isn’t going to get you anywhere.’ It all seemed like a breeze up until now, then I realised the hard work had started. But I was thankful that in order to succeed I had to put my heart into it and give it my all and I guess in that moment in time I began to find myself. So I cracked on, I got stuck in to the nitty-gritty of the legal world and worked hard for the remaining 5 months of my course telling myself that next year I would be emotionally fixed, and  over the summer I would may some well needed attention to my soul so that come next year I would be ready to be ‘into it’. I would ultimately be more prepared.

From that moment on everything began to change for me. I looked around at my surroundings and thought what an amazing opportunity I have sat in front of me – I’ve made it to a place where I can be the person I’ve always wanted to be. I got great exam results, the intense 9 hour revision sessions in the library paid off. Then I knew that actually my mindset and my goals were all in place, and I was doing well. It was my heart that needed some TLC. So here’s what I did…

I went to see a medium and she told me some things I  didn’t particularly want to hear about my private life, but none the less it gave me a wake up call and forced me into making some tough decisions. Those decisions were very hard, and caused me a lot of emotional pain. I guess beforehand I was afraid of feeling that pain and because of that I didn’t actually solve the problem. I knew I needed to solve it by doing what I knew was right but because I didn’t want the water shed of emotions that came along with it, I was living with a heavy heart. It had to happen, and so I acted on upon it and let my emotions be what they wanted to be. I absorbed all my emotions and felt every ounce of what my soul was making me feel. Then what? I went into a state of emotional healing.

For months I felt out of sorts with my soul, I would have vivid dreams about emerald earrings and rings I was wearing, whilst dancing with a man I loved, I was so happy in them, my heart felt at peace. So I brought an Emerald. I began to listen to my soul. I took the time to understand that in my dream I was so happy and content, and I felt so content when I woke up that I knew in life I needed to get an emerald to listen to my calling, or the message I was receiving in my dream. And if that doesn’t make sense, well I guess I brought that emerald ring and wear it on my finger to feel the happiness I experienced in the dream, and every time I look at it I am reminded of my lovely dream.

I began to read mindfulness books and my priorities changed on my wish board – I focused less on the big house and the nice range rover, and more on the emotional aspects of my life that are lacking and need fulfilling. I printed off images that make me feel happy, displays of love and travel. Images that show fullness of the soul, because no amount of money can every fulfil your soul. I then went on to read ‘Tender is the night’ by F Scott Fitzgerald. That speaks for itself – if you’ve read it you’ll know the moral of the story. From there I read On becoming a person by Carl Rogers. Its a therapists book – not that I need any kind of therapy, I just wanted to feed my soul some goodness and try to become a better well-rounded person for myself and for the people around me, those present and the ones who are yet to wind up. I learnt a lot from that book, such as:

• In any human relationship, it never helps to try and be someone or something that your not – it does not help in the long run to maintain a facade.

• You are more effective when you listen acceptably to yourself and can be yourself – know what you feel at any given moment and accept it (this one helped me a lot when it came to accepting my emotional healing).

• It is of great value to understand another person for who and what they are, without judging and feeling the need to say that’s right or that’s stupid (something that I feel every person needs to work on – naturally we all have differing opinions on morals and what we feel is acceptable and unacceptable in human behaviour).

• It is enriching to open channels whereby others can communicate their feelings, creating a climate where people feel comfortable – this is a helping relationship (making people feel comfortable, this is something I feel I’m naturally good at if I do say so myself!).

• It is highly rewarding to accept another person – not everyone has to think and feel the same way you do (this will help to avoid disagreements and create more harmonious relationships).

• The more you are open to the realities in yourself and the other person, the less you find yourself wanting to rush in and fix things – (let the person be themselves and you be you peacefully).

• Trust your experience, when it feels right to you it is right, pay no mind to anyone else opinion (I love this one).

• Evaluation by others is not a guide for me, listen and take account of them but never measure a judgement off of someone else opinion.

• Experience is the highest authority – (nobody’s ideas are as authoritative as my experience)

• The facts are friendly, no matter how negative they may seem they will always be friendly as they lead you forward and allow for personal growth (don’t fear the facts! Everything is here to help you in some positive aspect to move on and grow).

• What is personal is most general – what you think is personal to you emotionally, commonly those feelings are shared in general amongst others (i.e. I was not alone in my fears through first year, exam worries and general problems, many people have the same fears. This helped me to feel less isolated).

• Life, at it’s best is a flowing changing process which is never fixed, so let the flow of the experience carry you.  last

I love the last one so much because you should go with the experience and be carried by what you learn from it. Don’t pretend, don’t cover up emotions, just be you while trying to be the best person you can be every day and life will treat you well.

Over the past year, the most poignant thing I’ve learnt is that when the inside is right, the outside will fall into place.

I started my degree with a lot of personal issues that effected my soul, which caused me to doubt my journey and my calling in life. The road has been gruelling, realising half way through that I needed to fix myself. Juggling my course, with a part time job, but I didn’t give up – never give up. On the 21st May my summer began, and this summer I opted out of holidaying with friends, I chose not to invest time in other people and I’ve done whats right for me. For once I have time to follow my heart and not the clocks and the calendars. I booked five weeks off of work and decided to bake, which I find so therapeutic. I’ve learnt how to make kick ass curries, and read so many amazing books that I know I wont be tested on, including past life books, regression and the journey of the soul. I have the house to myself and I’m flicking through cook books listening to Myles Davis! It’s bliss. I’ve done something for me that needed to happen for a long time. I’ve even invested in some crystals and am take part in daily meditation to keep my mind balanced and unblock my Chakras! Quite the Buddhist now it would seem.

This time round I cant wait for second year! I’m so ready to get down into the depths of the pages of my text books. I still want that training contract, and of course, I still want the money. But this time I want it for the right reasons.

You can follow Ell’aye on Instagram.