Steps you can take to love yourself

How To Love Yourself
The more spiritual words I read, the more I realize that the majority of our “problems” come down to how well we love ourselves. The other day, I saw this list on That Kind Of Woman and it reminded me of the list I had posted a while back called “Here is your assignment…” which resonated with many of you. After looking for this list online, I found this article by the author of the list (including forgive yourself and have fun which are not included), Louise L. Hay. I wanted to share this fantastic list with you in hopes that it would open your eyes and nudge you to love yourself that bit more. When you love yourself fully, you’re able to love others that much more as well. What do you think? How are you in the self-love area? Which of these do you need to work on the most? Which is your favorite? What are tips of your own?

(Original image from A Portrait of the English Major as a Young Woman)

Losing Nemo: what’s happening to our oceans

This short film from The Black Fish organization highlights the shocking truth about what is happening to our oceans right this minute. Greenderella posted this video and I had to pass it on. Last year I went to the Philippines and snorkeled for the first time. I will forever remember it as the summer I fell in love with the ocean. It’s like a whole other world… and we’re completely destroying it.

Protecting our oceans is more than just keeping marine ecosystems healthy and alive, it’s about helping ourselves as well. I wrote an article a couple years ago where I mentioned that 70% of the world’s oxygen comes from the ocean.

There are many things one can do to avoid supporting treacherous types of fishing. I, myself, am a vegan, sign petitions/write letters, and do my best to spread the news about what’s going on. You can do this, too! Check out the video to see the figures and find out what you can do to help.

(Original image from The Blackfish webpage)

Meditation: 5 tips for beginners & what it means to me

I’ve written about meditation a few times before, even making it one of my life tips, and I’ve come a long way since I started a couple years ago. I’ve incorporated what I’ve learned and picked up from various sources and tailored it to best fit me.

The most well known image of meditation is completely quieting the mind and sitting in a lotus position. This was nowhere near possible for me my first (or second, third, forth, fifth, tenth, etc.) time meditating and I highly doubt many others can master it on their first few tries either. Only now, after two years of meditation, am I getting close to that image. Having said that, meditation is so much more than that simple image.

Meditation has been proven to give countless benefits and enrich peoples’ lives. It helps add compassion and calm to each day and eliminate or, at the very least, limit stress and anxiety. I wish everyone in the world meditated and that it was taught in schools at a young age. I can only imagine the improvement my life and the world as a whole would have if meditation was a part of the education system worldwide. If you’ve never tried it or have tried and given up (multiple times, like I did), then I urge you to please give it another try. You’ve got nothing to lose, but a whole lot to gain!

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Bournemouth by the sea

These days I spend most of the year studying and living in Bournemouth, England. You may remember, last year I lived in Poole, but this year I’ve moved to Bournemouth so that I could be walking distance from my university campus. These pictures were more-or-less my first impression of Bournemouth back in September 2011. Bournemouth is one of the sunniest and warmest places in the United Kingdom and the beach sees a lot of tourist each year.

On this particular day, I took a bike trip organized by my university along the beach almost all the way to Poole, ending at a particularly nice almost-sunset where I took more photos and used one for a quote a while back.

The beach is kept clean and dotted with beach huts that can be rented out to visitors. Turn away from the beach and you’ll be looking up beautifully vegetated cliffs with all types of plant species I’ve come to be very familiar with thanks to my course. Take a look back out, past the sand, and you’ll get a glimpse of boats sailing among worn away chalk cliffs in the distance.


If you follow my Facebook or Twitter page, you’ll probably have noticed that I tend to post a lot of inspiring and positive articles, images and quotes. Just like the intention of this blog, I post them as much as a reminder to others as to myself.

My last post asked you how you deal with stress and all that life hands us. There are many things one can do to create a balance, but the truth is, I already know the main solution… and that is to trust the process; trust that the Universe knows what it’s doing, because it does.

This is easier said than done. We’re taught from a young age that we must have control and power over everything in our lives, but the moment we lose the tiniest bit of control, it feels like the end of the world. But we never had that control in the first place. There are times that life seems to flow and everything works out one thing right after another, but society has taught us to always want more and never be completely satisfied. So we worry and we doubt. We resist change rather than accepting and working with it. We tell the Universe (or God/your belief) “I got this!” and try and take control which only throws a curveball into what is already so nicely laid out for us.

My theory is that “worry causes reason to worry”. The more we worry, the bigger of a build-up we get of things we have to worry about. I’ve been writing this post off-and-on for a few days now, feeling a bit like a hypocrite. One moment I trust, but if I don’t get an immediate response that things are working out how I want them to, I get anxious and worry. But even if I need that reminder that things will be okay and to just enjoy the moment and trust the Universe; even if it’s a constant cycle from worry to calm and content, at least it’s a cycle and I’m getting somewhere.

The next time you’re worrying, take a deep breath and trust the process.

(Original image from workisnotajob.’s blog page, print can be found here)

When life feels like too much to handle, how do you deal?

I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa

Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and stressed. I feel as though I have to cram too much into my days, like stuffing an already overflowing suitcase. This usually happens to me around assignment deadline time, but this time everything is piling up. I try to meditate twice a day to keep my sanity, but even my meditation sessions seem tense. With university assignments, finding a placement, dissertation; work; family; friends here and far away; my long distance relationship; Four Leaf Clover; staying healthy; sleep; etc… I just don’t seem to be handling it very well at the moment. I wish I could blog at least once a week because it is so fulfilling and allows me to feel in my element, but other “priorities” make it near impossible.

When there is so much stress raining down, it’s harder to keep things in perspective and easier to let those negative thoughts seep in. I’ve had trouble balancing and managing my time for as long as I can remember and university has made that even worse. You always give me great advice, so I’d love to know: how do you do it? How do you create balance in your life and prevent all the negativity from pouring in and clouding your days?

Gorgeous blooms: a flower timelapse

Flowers are absolutely amazing. They are one of the most beautiful things in the world and one of the best gifts from the Earth to us. I am in awe every time I watch this video, I can almost smell the flowers as they open up. I’m so glad I caught Photojojo’s tweet about it on my feed. The video was created by photographer Katka Pruskova by taking over 7,100 photographs in over 730 hours! It contains a range of flowers including amaryllis, lilies, zygocactus, roses, gladiolus, tulips, and gardenias which are all Katka’s or her mother’s flowers. Anyone who knows me knows that I love flowers. I could sit and watch flowers bloom (preferably in a sped up process like this) for hours!

(Original images taken from Katka Pruskova’s Vimeo Flowers Timelapse video)

TinyBuddha: daily inspiration & encouragement

I’ve come a long way since I started my blog over two years ago. Something that came into my life around the time of Four Leaf Clover that has helped immensely on my journey is Tiny Buddha. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon Tiny Buddha, but I’ve been going back ever since and it’s become one of my favorite sites. I try to read every post and find that just about each one resonates with me in some way. It often times feels as though particular articles were written just for me.

Tiny Buddha is a range of articles on different life subjects written by all kinds of people in different situations, each one with a lesson that was learned and worth sharing. I’ve noticed that days or weeks that I don’t find the time to read Tiny Buddha don’t have that extra bit of positivity for me. It’s hard to keep a cheery disposition 24/7, but Tiny Buddha makes it a bit easier. I’ve since shared it with many people and have gotten a variety of responses from enthusiastic to nonchalant. Everyone is different, not everyone is ready to accept certain changes into their lives, and the writing style from an article may not click with the reader. Either way, I felt it was time that I share this wealth of knowledge with you.

A few of my favorite posts include this one here, here, and here. You can also find Tiny Buddha on Facebook and Twitter. I often times share my favorite posts on the Four Leaf Clover pages.

(Original logo from Tiny Buddha webpage)

Release Morgan back into the wild

On the 23rd of June 2010, a young orca named Morgan was found swimming near the Netherlands with deteriorating health. The Dolfinarium Harderwijk got a permit to bring Morgan to a healthy state and release her, but unfortunately she was never released and is currently still held in captivity.

I stumbled upon Morgan’s sad story on the Huffington Post in an article titled “Free Morgan: The Ocean Wants Her Orca Back” and I couldn’t stay silent, I knew I had to share this on FLC, Twitter and Facebook.

This coming 1st of November, a court hearing will be held for Morgan to be released from the smallest captivity tank in the world and into rehabilitation so that she may swim freely once again. Please help this young orca have the possibility of living in freedom by clicking here and sharing Morgan’s story. Thank you!

(Original images from the Free Morgan Foundation website and Facebook page)

It’s been a long time coming since I’ve seen your face

It’s been months and I don’t even know where to begin. Thank you to all of those who stuck around and welcome to all newcomers. So much has happened in my life since I last posted and I hope to share most of it with you. My summer is coming to an end and with it came the enticement I needed to start updating Four Leaf Clover once again. I never left, but in the last few days, I could no longer ignore the enthusiasm and joy I felt when I thought about writing on here.

For months I’ve been wanting to share numerous songs, but I felt like I couldn’t just post a song after having not written for so long. I don’t know whose rules I was following, but I’ve decided to throw them out the window. So here I am with an uplifting and very-fitting-for-the-occasion song from Colorado band OneRepublic. You may remember them from their famous song Apologize.

This song does more than simply have you dancing in your seat. OneRepublic is giving portions of the profit from the Feel Again single to Save The Children’s Every Beat Matters campaign. The song was actually made using the heartbeats of children!

What do you say? Does Feel Again make you smile and sing along? What song always lifts your spirits? And how cool is this music video?!

(Original images from and OneRepublic’s Facebook page)