Thursday, 10 May 2018

What Does Mental Fitness Mean to Me?

What does mental fitness mean to me? Well six months before this picture was taken I was talking daily to Christian about ending my life,  was unable to sleep, only forced down food because I was paying a coach for nutrition advice & I didn't want to let her down (a bizzare way of thinking), I felt caught in a fog of hopelessness and everything seemed sad. I was convinced Charlie no longer needed me and that although my death would devastate my children perhaps it was meant to be a part of their life journeys.
NO. Suicide should never have to be a part of anyone's journey.
So during that time my mental fitness was at an all time low and in that place the Joy Project joy triggers barely cease to exist. Same as eating healthily isn't going to help your physical fitness on the day of the heart attack - gratitude isn't going to make you feel better when you are at rock bottom.
BUT I can look back at my life now and see that my lowest times came after just "pushing through" for waaay too long. There were all the mini signs...waking with anxiety, days I'd fly off the handle for no reason or wake feeling de motivated and cry...but I'd brush them off (or for years push those feelings away with my eating disorder behaviours) and keep going until CRASH I hit overwhelm with such force that I can't bear to exist because I feel like such a failure.
Following the Joy Project as a way of life stops me from letting it slide, it feeds the good inside me & quietens my inner critic. It makes me self aware and reminds me to be a friend to me which is in the end the Joy Trigger that saved my life because I had to show myself the glimmer of kindness to be able to pick up the phone & ask for help.
So while I exercise, drink water and eat my veg I will always be practicing mindfulness, gratitude, kindness to others & myself in order to live a good life and hopefully never re visit that darkest of places again.
And that is why I want to share this stuff with as many people as possible because I know first hand how powerful it is.
#thejoyproject #joytriggers #itsoknottobeok #rainbowsfollowstorms #mentalfitness #speaker #writingabook

Saturday, 14 April 2018

You Are So Much More Than...

Sunday 15th April

It's been seven months since I've posted here & this week I'll write a post filling in the blanks (think exhaustion, extreme postnatal anxiety, stress and generally feeling horrendous).
I'm thankfully back in the land of the "feeling good" most of the time and as always the crap times lead to much nicer ones just hard to remember that when your in them.

Anyway saw this picture in my phone and had the urge to write a short blog ...
Lately I've been getting a lot of compliments about how I look since having a baby almost a year ago. It is of course lovely to be complimented but it has also made me realise how easy it would be to fall back into thinking that my value & worth as a human is based upon my looks.

This picture is from a recent mental fitness talk I gave to students but applies to us all no matter what age we are.

You are not your body, career, achievements, failures, bank balance, relationships. You are not the car you drive, the number on a scales, the clothes you wear or the amount of likes/followers you have on social media.

You are enough right now and all that truly matters is inside you already and it has no reflection.

Follow me & my Joy Project

Instagram: @hannahlillybella

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Plugging Back In (Results of my Social Media Detox)

Thursday 12th October
It's a week since I've logged into my facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts, plan was to stay off for two weeks but I've decided to log back on today.
Well, surprisingly not because I was unable to cope such was my addiction(which I expected to be the case), but instead because I felt a little lonely without it.
There were definitely positives -paying more attention to my kids, hearing what they are saying without the distraction of scrolling/blogging/posting from my phone was probably the biggest.
Also it's no secret that I haven't been feeling great lately (GP says anxiety caused from chronic exhaustion) and I had noticed that sometimes I'd feel my failings were magnified by the apparent success of others to look and feel good on Instagram! But what I didn't expect was missing the feeling of connection. Something I didn't even realise I get from my social media.
Could be viewed by some as a negative result, that the main connection to others for some of us is through technology rather than face to face contact, I think that's what I would have thought before switching off for a week. But life is busy, I don't go out to work, and for me sometimes rather lonely. Free time isn't as frequent as it used to be and if I'm honest sometimes I'm too tired to get myself out for a rushed coffee and those moments when I can sit down and see what's going on with my friends, post my Joy Project bits & pieces...they make me feel less alone.

Moving forward what I'll take from this is to be more selective about when I'm on my phone. Not when my kids need my attention, not required to be checked on ad breaks or during a movie, not first thing when I wake up and to keep reminding myself that comparing ourselves to others is a pointless and depressing habit. One much more worthwhile
Now...get me logged in.

@hannahlillybella Instagram

Saturday, 7 October 2017

You Can't Run on Empty Forever

Saturday 7th October

Short post to admit that I recently found myself absolutely exhausted and with my joy reserves well and truly empty.
A whole load of external stressors and events led me here, and currently I'm trying to work out how to get back to where I want to be...some sleep is high priority having become accustomed to broken nights , although Charlie now sleeps through my body keeps pumping out adrenaline and fuelling me with nervous energy. This I have discovered is not a mix that creates well being.
Right now I feel pretty positive but other times am consumed by a fog of depression. Not at all pleasant and often accompanied by guilt, sadness, despair & complete and utter overwhelm.
With hindsight(oh why doesn't hindsight switch places with foresight) it had been brewing for ages but I just kept pushing through, as so many of us do. Hitting rock bottom over and over again.

Last week I reached out and contacted my public health nurse. How often do we hear "just talk to someone"? It's advice I give others, but oh my god it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I felt like such a failure to be struggling, which in itself was a sign that I desperately needed some help. I'd love to say that everything was solved after we had a chat.  It wasn't, but it was an act of self kindness to allow myself to share how I'd been feeling and to believe I can move forward from this.

Anyway I'm currently taking a short break from everything, part of me would rather not publish this because it would be easier to just pretend it never happened but it wouldn't be an honest blog then would it!
Plan is to return with a FREE 5 day Joy Project Intensive- date to be confirmed- I'll be taking part too that's for sure. Simply email JOY to if you'd like to join me.

By the way if you happen to have met me over the last couple of weeks and I was smiling and chatty it most likely wasn't a mask, sometimes I really did feel smily and chatty...during the worst moments I try not to leave the house.

If you are reading this and feeling unbearable, please, please let someone know. Anyone. Reach out. Hold on to hope. I want you to know that if you can just hang on it will get better, maybe not straight away, it might even get worse for a bit. But it will get better and you will look back on these moments and be so glad you survived them.


Instagram: @hannahlillybella

Monday, 25 September 2017

Crazy Rollercoaster of Life

Monday 25th September

I've experienced so many emotions since Charlie was born 5 months ago.
The only constant has been intense love.

Along with it has been sadness, happiness, frustration, excitement, doubt, joy, despair, hope, anxiety, calm, self loathing & exhaustion. Is exhaustion an emotion? Probably not but I can say for sure it has been the cause of some of my lowest the end bringing me to the horrible pit that is rock bottom but as I know from before (a previous journey there led me to my life changing mindset experiment) things can only get better because you know that they HAVE to.
Anyway there is loads I want to write/speak (keep getting told to get vlogging) about but having got a full nights sleep last night - Charlie went 13 hours!!!!- I am eager to get another one so for now I've just skimmed over.

* Fill up Your Cup First- You cannot look after others if you don't look after yourself. This goes for EVERYONE but right now especially to all the new Mum's...

*Be kind to everyone.

*Looks are deceiving so again kind to everyone. I've often been told I look great on the days I feel the worse.

*Accept help- eeeek this might mean asking for it(I hate asking but have found it a surprisingly pleasant e experience when I do!)

*Each and everyone of us has mental health that needs to be looked after and everyone has shit days. Some shitter than others but for all the talk about mental health we are never going to end the stigma if we all only show the shiny, perfect versions of our lives whether on social media or in person.

*Shit passes. It really does, sometimes it requires simply hanging on in there...but do hang in there. Find someone who will listen (or read your texts -when I'm down I often don't want to talk) without judgement - I'm very lucky to have Christian who after 22 years knows how to ground me & my sister in law gets the brunt of my craaazy texts for which I'm very grateful.

*We all have basic needs that we require to feel good. Food, shelter, sleep, health, love.
When one or more of these are missing our mental health suffers. Look after yourself & others. Meet those basic needs.

* Check out the Joy triggers on my facebook page I'm the first to admit sometimes you just won't want to follow them, but when you do they are life changing.

*Move. Get outside of your house & your head. Fresh air is a joy trigger that never fails to benefit me.

*If you ever doubt whether you deserve to be do...hang on in there.

*Again shit passes. Oh yes I said that already but it does and when it does the beautiful, spine tingling joy pours in.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

What a Week

Monday 21st August 2017

What a week!! Firstly no one was hurt. Beyond grateful. Would love to say that gratitude was enough to stop me getting stressed...not quite...definitely helped though with events that began last Monday with Christian & car upside down in the middle of the road and ended this morning with me embarrassed & in tears on the phone to the legal secretary when she told me the fridge and washing machine weren't included in the house sale- hardly the end of the world but having just received a call from insurance company saying claim was denied I was a little fragile to say the least!!

 In between the two Mondays was a rollercoaster of extreme gratitude that we weren't planning Christian's funeral,  a virus, sleepless baby feeding nights, stress & tears about having no car followed by guilt knowing it could have been worse, stress & tears at delay getting house keys, panic at volume of possessions to pack, moments of sheer calm when I totally trusted the universe to be giving us these experiences for a reason and that all would be well, anxiety at all the "what if" car crash thoughts bouncing around my mind, grateful again and so on!!

And you know what? I DO trust the Universe and believe that everything is happening for a reason, that if we look  there is always a lesson in the moments where everything is going wrong and if you look back on the seemingly negative times in life they always brought you somewhere better if you learnt from them and sometimes even if you didn't.
Maybe I didn't react immediately to the stressy situations in a joyful & calm manner but right now I'm ready and have learnt some valuable lessons (pay attention to the small print)and am filled with gratitude for the reminder of how quickly life can change in an instant, of how much I love Christian & the kids, of the kindness of people I know and the kindness of people I don't know. While we might be down a car a fridge and a washing machine right now they can be replaced. The really special stuff that my life is jam packed with can't be so it's onwards and upwards feeling good. 

Who knows what is around the next corner...kind of exciting isn't it?

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Enough is Enough. Time to Shine Again.

Tuesday 1st August 2017

Eating glitter might be a bit extreme but I REALLY need to get shining again.
Perhaps it's post pregnancy stuff, being inside too much, tiredness, at the beck and call of Charlie 24/7, stress of moving...I don't actually care what the cause is but lately my anxiety has been growing & my confidence diminishing.
Waking up with a stressed out head and seeing flaws in myself all day.
And on the occasions that I do leave the house not wanting to be seen.
Well I've decided ENOUGH is ENOUGH. I cannot be that person, I refuse to be. She is not good for me to be around never mind my kids. I will not waste my life like that. Negativity seeps into everything it comes in contact with but so does JOY.
Throwing myself back into practicing what I preach.. we chatted about what we're grateful for on the walk to Summer camp-going to start writing it down again-and about what we do that fills us with excitement. Back at home blasted songs I love on the stereo had a dance around the kitchen.
I am going to start treating myself better. Why is it so easy to spend money on your kids but not yourself?
Telling the Universe I need a shopping trip & head to toe pamper...come on Law of Attraction 🤣...time to get back to being my friend, to fun & being excited about life. Time to get my sparkle on! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Sunday, 30 July 2017

I'm no Expert!

Sunday 30th July

Ok. It's been too long...I've been neglecting this blog. Yes,partly because I felt rough for most of my pregnancy and have now got a 13 week old baby(And all the crazy hormones/exhaustion/mood swings associated with that) who spends a great deal of  his time attached to me, partly because I've been posting on Instagram and a new weekly blog for the wishwall foundation (will add in link when on my laptop rather than trying to do on this phone). But if I'm honest - and that was always the point of this- part of me didn't want people to read all of the past  blogs on this website because some of them make me cringe now, some of them seem like someone else. Then this week two things happened

#1 a friend mentioned she loved(and missed) reading my blogs, that she rarely read them in the order or at the time they were written but that she often got a boost from them.
#2 As I struggled to describe myself for my Twitter profile realised we're all complex and ever evolving(also read a post from Emna Gannon that was a double reminder..another link I'll add in) Wasn't the very point of this blog and my experiment back in Jan 2015 to try & change? To live a better life and be a better person.
All that matters is that I'm authentic, maybe I don't feel the same now as I did 2 years/6 months ago.
These blogs were never meant to be about being an "expert" in fact the ones that make me cringe are maybe the ones I wrote trying to be because I'd been told by other "experts" that was what you have to do if you want to get a publisher, build a following/platform etc..

The blogs were about therapy for me, getting some of the nonsense in my head out and trying to make sense of it. I'd be lying if I didn't say I get a buzz out of hearing it has been a positive read for others but it can only have a positive effect on me if I'm true to who I am in the moment that I write it. If I'm suddenly this expert in JOY does that mean I can't tell you when it's all gone to pot, when I'm feeling miserable, anxious and freaking out about myjeans not fitting? If it thank you.
So the plan is to again make this a place to just share honestly the highs and lows of my life as I try to fill it with joy, be less stressed and anxious about the stuff that doesn't matter and be a good person.

Whoop whoop I feel really excited to be back but must stop now and try to sleep, it's midnight & baby Charlie is snoring on my lap...
"Sleep when baby sleeps" is the one piece of advice I regret not following as often as I could!
By the way if you are reading this on a phone and happen to want to go waaaay back to the 2015 early stuff I think(*sorry not so good at the tech stuff) you need to click on web version.
*speaking of tech stuff would love to update how this site looks but haven't a notion of where to start any advice greatly appreciated.

Joy Project facebook page is  and over on Instagram @hannahlillybella

Monday, 15 May 2017

Difficult Roads Often Lead to Beautiful Destinations

11th May 2017
Our beautiful baby Charlie was born at 00.14 on 28th April a bundle of pure joy...more pictures and updates on my facebook page you can follow me there and/or over on Instagram @hannahlillybella 
So happy that since his birth the inspiration to begin writing again has struck and here is my latest blog.

Join me and the Joy Project community at
Difficult Roads Often Lead to Beautiful Destinations

In November 2014 my son who was six at the time & I went to a local fireworks display. As he squeezed my hand and excitedly squealed with joy at the shower of lights in the sky I stood with my hood pulled tightly around my face so he and everyone else wouldn't be able to see that I was crying.
My mind was throwing at me a constant stream of abuse how "I was a terrible mother, an ugly, fat, horrible, selfish & worthless human so wrapped up in my own pity party that I couldn't even fake excitement at the fireworks for my son"
I remembered a conversation I'd had with a friend about all my plans for the future & how we'd have a celebration party with fireworks when I began working as a motivational speaker & wrote my book - and told myself what a stupid fool I was to ever think I could do such things.
My beautiful daughter was with her Dad watching from the car park because she had been feeling unwell - something else I criticised myself for not being able to show her the care she deserved because I was consumed by my own self loathing.
Many nights after that one I would scream into my pillow so no one could hear me, it felt like there would never be an escape from the way I was feeling. It was a living hell and I couldn't bear it, I didn't want to escape life but escape myself and could see no way out. I truly believed that Christian and the kids would be better off without me.
What changed?
I showed myself a first kindness by allowing myself to be a flawed human being (none of us are perfect that's the beauty of being human) & a chance to make things better.
By following daily joy triggers gratitude, love, kindness, daily doses of fresh air, writing about how I felt, self care, I continued on my journey & day by day the road became less difficult. As I became a friend to me & allowed myself to see and feel all the joy & love that existed in my life.
Because that's the thing, all the amazing good that is in my life now existed back then but I didn't allow myself to feel or see it.
Now two weeks after the birth of Charlie and two and a half years since the night of the fireworks I can't believe how content I am and I am so grateful for each and every moment of my life and the beautiful people in it.
Now I have times when I doubt myself, feel anxious or find myself trying to control everything (day 3 after he was born I wandered about the house crying, in pain & feeling unnatractive!!)but deep breaths, trust & gratitude always bring me back to now.
We never know whats coming around the corner but the storms - from the small daily stresses to the devastating life changers- all have a rainbow waiting to appear when we are ready to see it. 💗🌈💗

Time to Surrender & Trust

Written on January 10th 2017 on my facebook page 

Taking a break from social media for a while, this post explains why....

I'm taking a leap of faith & handing over all my worries, stresses to the Universe and leaving thoughts of what I "should" be doing behind & for the first time in my life accepting I can't control everything. Part of this involves saying goodbye to social media for a while.
Control is an illusion but I've always been someone who clings onto that illusion to hold everything together & try and solve every single problem that comes my way-if possible without ever asking for help.
It was a symptom of my eating disorder & something I'd like to say I'd let go of along with that's been a tricky habit to lose.
The other night as I found myself on the verge of a panic attack worrying about the future, freaking out about the mountain of bills we were struggling to pay, trying to push through the exhaustion & various ailments this pregnancy has come with to keep up with all commitments I'd made & take up all the opportunities that come my way to reach more people, to write, to talk...the list goes on.
Then it hit me all this stress & worry was coming from me trying to control everything and that this was an opportunity to try & let that go.
I believe in the Law of Attraction (most of the time!) But what better test than to hand it all over, to ask for help at the time I least want to, at the time when my brain is screaming "everything will go wrong!"
So in some ways it's another experiment, seeing if letting go & trusting "everything will be ok" really works.
My instinct(which lives in my 💖 not my brain) says it will & that brings me to why I'm saying goodbye to social media...lately I find it harder to listen to my intuition when I'm scrolling & it seems to feed the voice of insecurity & doubt inside me. So here's the plan from now I'm ceasing everything-all blogs, talks, joy project - except my runclubs until my maternity begins & then I'm going to have a baby!! Not sure when I'll be back but I am sure it's the right albeit scary thing to do.
Thank you so much to everyone who has been on this journey with me, for your support, messages & love.
Here's to JOY hunting. 💖
#lettinggo #joyhunting #selfcare #25weekspregnant #everythingwillbeok#LOA

Join me and the Joy Project community at

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

I'm Back! Thanks For Waiting!

Join me and the Joy Project community at

Tuesday 20th December 2016

I'm back at the keyboard and it feels absolutely amazing.
To cut a very long story short I am currently 22 weeks pregnant and since August have been completely incapacitated with Hyperemis a really severe and quite horrible form of sickness.
Maybe I'll blog about it sometime but at the moment it feels better to look ahead.
gratitude, self love and joy hunting went out the window as did my ability to work and for a while it felt as if my personality and who I am had vanished. Anxiety about leaving the house intensified and I began having panic attacks at night. 24 hours a day of nausea and vomiting will do that to you.

But I'm back!! With a renewed energy and sense of purpose, albeit the renewed energy requires a great deal of sleep, I'm out of breath walking up the stairs and not working brought with it it's own stresses especially financially but one day at a time in fact one moment at a time I feel blessed.

Today I even wrote a short blog for The Huffington Post you can access it here

The plan for this blog is to keep going with honest posts about my life hunting for joy and trying to keep it, dealing with pregnancy (when your a geriatric - yes over 35 and you are geriatric!) just life in general.
Lot's of exciting things planned for 2017 not only a new baby but like I said one moment at a time.

Thank you so much for being with me on this blogging journey since 2015 it has been such a positive outlet for me and made even more amazing that people read it.

Hannah xxx

Friday, 19 August 2016

Overcome With Gratitude

Join me and the Joy Project community at

Friday 19th August

This is a short post simply to say thank's day five of The Joy Project and I have found myself feeling overcome with gratitude, for everything. For the life I've lived that has brought me here, for the struggles, for the celebrations, for the people in my life and for the fact that I know now more than ever, that the Universe wants to support us. That everything we can imagine and more already exists and is waiting for us, to let go of control, to trust that we are supported, to walk through the fear, see that we are good enough -that we deserve it- and to let all the joy in.

I have had days I saw none of that, when it seemed as if there was only darkness and I'm grateful for those days but now I know that the light was always there I had just drawn the blinds and shut it out.

Those dark days are what caused me to choose something better, create and begin my mind set experiment in 2015 and it was that experience that made me follow my dreams to speak and coach and it also led to the creation of The Joy Project so that people all over the world could join me in awakening joy and watching the positive ripple spread out.

If you would love to be a part of spreading that ripple and have a go at choosing joy join the community and me, free here.

Thank you. x

Friday, 12 August 2016

Live a Joy Filled Life

Join me and the Joy Project community at
Do you wake up each morning excited to start a new day and fall asleep each night fulfilled and grateful? How you feel each day now, is that the way you want to feel for the rest of your life? Are you attracting what you want? Do you have enough joy?

I don't know anyone who can answer yes to all of those questions every day (including me) but I do know that there are ways to answer yes much more often than not and that is why I created The Joy Project. Inspired by an experiment I created and that transformed my life in 2015. More below on what it's all about and you can join the community click here 
The Joy Project:
Start Date: Monday 15th August (but people can continue joining the invitation is open and ongoing)

What is it?
A 3 month online mind set experience with the goal of creating and sharing joy! 

What does it cost? 
Nothing. Not a cent! 

How much time will I need to invest in it? 
Not much,this is about creating new & positive habits so consistency is key you won't need to take hours out of your day or have loads of homework.

Who can join?
Everyone that wants to, anywhere in the world. 

What can I expect to happen? 
Well the positive possibilities are endless, doing this same project myself last year completely transformed my life and I achieved things I never would have thought possible. But even if you only followed one of these rules for example gratitude and practised it daily you'd be guaranteed it having a positive impact on your life.
When we feel good it rubs off on everyone around us so the joy ripple grows and grows.
In the end it comes down to creating a life that you will be proud to have lived, and living in a way that brings out the very best in you, and having a positive impact on this world and the people in it.

Why are you doing it again? 
It is so exciting to start it now from such a good place - when I began last year I'd had a tough time- and I'm so pleased, excited and grateful to be sharing the experience with others this time around. Consistency is key, I'll always be on a journey of personal development  and still have plenty of goals that I want to achieve too.

Do I have to be on face book to be a part of it?
The private joy project face book community will be where I am supporting and motivating those involved, everyone can be as interactive or not as they want - join here
you can of course follow the rules yourself at home(they are below) and also sign up for a monthly Joy Project newsletter

If you'd like to hear more about my personal story  you can watch the video interview from this morning and also feel free to contact me via email or message me on face book

Joy Triggers

1.     Gratitude -Begin a gratitude list and add 3 things each morning and night that you are grateful for. Seeing and saying thank you for all the good in your life now opens the door for more to come in.

2.     Kindness- Be kind to others. Take all opportunities, each day, to show kindness. This could be opening a door, letting a car out in traffic or paying a compliment. Or not gossiping or complaining about someone.

3.     Joy Exchange – Avoid negative conversations and say goodbye to habits like gossiping, blaming and complaining. Ask will these thoughts, words or actions have a positive effect on you or others if the answer is no “let them go” -walk away, or find the joy instead.

4.     Fresh airSpend at least fifteen minutes outside every day (not on your smartphone) – There is something about getting outside that gets you into the moment. A walk, jog or even standing outside your back door and looking up at the sky! This can do wonders on a stressful day.

5.     Love -Start a list of things that you love and add to it each day – similar to a gratitude list, things that feel good to think about…perhaps they are in your life now or things you want to bring in. Mine includes sparkles, sunshine, blue skies, alien perfume, Audi A6’s, airports and laughter.

6.     Kindness - to YOU. Pay yourself a compliment when you look in the mirror, smile at your reflection. Try to stop criticising or putting yourself down. This is about learning to be your friend.

7.     Giving Without expecting to receive. Give time, love, a tip in the coffee shop, donate to charity – it’s up to you.

8.     Visualise The Life You Love - Before you sleep at night (or any time you won’t be interrupted) create in your mind the life you want to live and how you want to feel. This is the time for dreaming big, no limits – remember how as a child you knew everything was possible? Everything is possible but first you need to see it…create a vision that makes you excited.

9.     Your Personal Joy Trigger – Something personal to you that makes you feel good instantly. For me it’s playing a favourite song first thing in the morning (or anytime an instant mood lift is required!) It could be a photograph, a memory, something that instantly fills you with positive energy.

10. Don’t Pressure Yourself to be Perfect – It’s OK if some days don’t go to plan. Life always throws unexpected things into the mix and we are all human. But now you know that when you are ready you can choose to get back on the JOY TRACK!!!

Hannah Lilly x

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Hit With Fear & Doubt - What Then?

Tuesday 9th August

To join me in The Joy Project  community go to
If you have any questions email or go to twitter or message me on face book at Hannah Lilly Motivation

Lately I seem to switch between super productive, everything is possible mode and its polar opposite procrastination, fear and doubt.
The last few days have been the latter and so I've turned to the blog because writing has always been a positive way for me to get to the root of things or even just get it off my chest.

Perhaps I've been unwittingly putting pressure on myself with the creation of the joy project, and an expectation of what it will be, what people will think about it and pressure on myself to be the perfect example of all following it can bring.

Because that is the thing, there is no perfect yet its still a trap I find myself falling into and then on the mornings that I wake with anxiety in my chest it seems worse because I'm thinking "What are you anxious for? Why do you feel this way? How can you possibly create a project with the aim to bring more joy to others if your feeling like crap?" pressure, pressure, pressure.

I was trying to write a blog for The Huffing Post about it but the words wouldn't come, reading back over my last blog post it seemed like a sales pitch(though that could be me being hard on myself!) as if I was trying to convince people to be a part of it. 
From the moment I began blogging and my own experiment in 2014 it was never about trying to convince people, or saying "this is the right way and the only way" 
It worked for me and for other people who've worked with me but its about everyone finding and doing what feels good for them. Its wonderful to hear people say something I shared has helped them or that I'm an inspiration(though it does still feel strange) but if I put all my self worth in that then what happens if someone says it is a pile of rubbish!
Of course I want it to go well, I'm human and it would be fantastic if everyone involved loved the experience but I can't control any of that and creating the Joy Project and asking others to join me wasn't a part of my plan for the year.

 It came in a sudden idea simply because I had been having a few weeks of feeling down and overwhelmed. I forced myself to write down a list of my achievements on an A3 sheet and stick it to my wall on another I wrote down everything I wanted from life. Seeing what had happened since I began my experiment in print in front of me was amazing and it just made me think, how it wouldn't be a bad idea for me to repeat it myself. No sooner had I made that decision than I thought how great it would be to share the process with others and the Joy Project was born. 

Sometimes I think I'll never have a bad day again and then one lands in my lap. My eating disorder is truly gone, yes recovery is possible but I see now that for me the eating disorder and behaviour was a symptom of the way I felt, a way to distract myself from the anxiety that as a child I didn't know how to cope with and once the behaviour is gone I was still left needing to know how to deal with all the feelings I'd distracted myself from for years.

Self kindness, gratitude, fresh air, kindness to others, visualising the life I wanted and learning more about the law of attraction - these things all helped me do that and I believe that the more I continue practising them and the more I continue on my journey of self discovery the more good will come into my life.

Self kindness is probably the one I have the most difficulty with especially lately with allowing myself to share how I'm feeling.  I've been working on creating retreats and workshops but the fear can hit when I have an off day because I think "if I share how I'm feeling no one will come!" 

But I'm working on it and I know that the biggest step in self kindness is allowing ourselves to be who we are with all our wonderful flaws and imperfections.

 For me the positives in my life since 2014 - although I have still had periods of time that I haven't felt great- far outweigh the negatives. I have felt love, joy, excitement and gratitude more in the last 18 months than in the 35 years of my life before and its because of The Joy Project that I now know how good it feels to turn a shitty day into one that ends with me smiling, to know that I'm enough regardless of how my body looks or whatever is going on in my life. And I also know that on the days I choose to forget all that I can when I'm ready choose to remember again!

This Cherokee Legend sums up the Joy Project without over complicating it ...its about trying each day to make choices that feed the good inside of us and in our lives and knowing that even on the days we don't we can start again.

To join The Joy Project  community go to
If you have any questions email or go to twitter or message me on face book at Hannah Lilly Motivation

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Why Am I Creating The Joy Project?

Sunday 24th July

The Joy Project is happening and word is spreading  - official start date 15th August - tomorrow I will be on Midlands 103 at 10.30 am then will be on the Californian airwaves at 3 pm Pacific time - 11 pm here in Ireland. This is just the beginning as I've been busy the last few days contacting radio stations and newspapers.
To join The Joy Project  community go to
If you have any questions email or go to twitter or message me on face book at Hannah Lilly Motivation

I have an almost equal mix of excitement and fear, its that moment when you've started something and think " oh my goodness what have I started, will this live up to I crazy?" which is why I decided to take a moment away from getting things organised to write a blog about why I'm doing it again.

The idea first came to me a few weeks ago because I was feeling a bit stuck in my own situation, felt I was beginning to focus more on what I hadn't achieved than what I had and was starting to get a bit caught up in anxiety and stress about money and trying to make career decisions. So I decided to write a list of all I had done and all the good that had come into my life particularly since I began the experiment and also a list of my goals - the list included the ones so big that perhaps you would think I was crazy if I told you(if your dreaming you may as well dream big!) But it was one in particular that made me feel emotional and its been coming to my mind ever since.

* To make a positive difference to the world.

All that really matters is that in that moment before I die I know that I have done my best to be a good person. To be kind, loving and grateful, To live with empathy and forgiveness. I want my children to live in a world filled with love that means being a person filled with love.

Yes there are many ways to do that and I dream of doing it on a large scale but it has to start now. I hope I live for a lot more years but being the best person I can be starts right now, right here in this moment and that is what the experiment did it brought out the best person in me.

All those simple things like gratitude and kindness, giving up blaming and complaining they bring out the best in everyone and the positive energy ripples out.

When I looked at the list of all that had poured into my life since I began it was one of those light bulb moments and I knew that I had to ask other people to join me.
Who knows what will happen but it will be good. It can't be anything other than good because when people come together and choose to bring more joy into their lives its a powerful thing.

In the chaos that the world seems to be in now it is easy to feel overwhelmed and to be consumed by negativity. Hate and negativity are the easy stand on the side of love takes courage and some effort but now more than ever we need to be the change we want to see in the world ad that happens by starting small. By one person at a time being a little bit kinder, a little bit more grateful every day.

When I started the first time in Feb 2015 I was coming from a very different place months of anxiety, the realisation of an eating disorder, exhausted by the negative thoughts in my head I had been contemplating ending my life so I know how powerful this can be. It got me from there to here and that is phenomenal. Now I am beyond grateful for my life, I can look in the mirror and smile at the reflection I see, I have learnt ways to be in the moment and experience the joy that is in my life and I've turned dreams into reality. But like everyone there are still times that I get caught up in daily stresses and need to get back to basics.

For 3 months starting on 15th August we will follow 10 daily rules, none of which require anything except for you and a willingness to give it a go. I will post updates and motivation through twitter, Instagram and the private face book group which I am setting up today.
I'm trying to not pressure myself or the Joy Project to be perfect that is not what it's about. Its about being the change we want to see in the world and I really hope you'll join me.
This is for everyone its about creating a community of people with one common goal to bring more joy into their lives and the lives of others.

To join me and The Joy Project  community go to
If you have any questions email or go to twitter or message me on face book at Hannah Lilly Motivation

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Four Lessons That Change Life For The Better

To join me and The Joy Project  community go to
If you have any questions email or go to twitter or message me on face book at Hannah Lilly Motivation

Thursday 30th June

This week I really had to follow the "we can't control what happens to us only our reaction" into action.

Lesson: "You cannot control events, circumstances or other people but you can choose to control your reaction."

In fact I had only just posted on face book saying just that when my technological differences between myself and my laptop occurred, meaning it froze on an unsuccessful update and I couldn't get jobs I was really fixed on doing done and resulted in me aged 36 having a bit of a temper tantrum. Mildly embarrassed about it I reminded myself that even when you choose an unpleasant reaction we can still choose again to change it and I calmed down. The week continued on this way with everything seeming to break around me including the charger for standby laptop(first world problems when not one but two laptops aren't working) kettle, radio aerial on the car, my iPod, quite possibly a filling on my tooth(dentist appointment made) and a puncture.

Lesson: "You might know what's good for you but the Universe may know better."

I ended up taking a sort of impromptu break that included a bit of lounging around, day time t.v, meditation and the space to think about something I'd been hitting a wall on with regards to my new personal training and nutrition packages. That bit of space ended up meaning I found clarity and a few days later came to the decision that personal training and nutrition are no longer something I'm meant to be doing. The laptop breaking turned out to be a positive a case  of even when everything feels like it's going wrong it's right. The universe might have a different plan than we do but it's always for the best.

It took me a few days to fully accept that this time but when I did yesterday and just really focused on being in the moment with my brilliant run clubs not only did I feel amazing, sleep so well but I woke refreshed with absolutely no toothache! Result. And because I was so aware of the lesson in this when I received my first official "rejection" email from a publisher about my book I didn't feel sad for a moment but excited instead.

Lesson: "Gratitude is a powerful source of joy."

Today included gratitude for many things including our new kettle having boiled water for coffee in a saucepan for the last few days, a replacement charger meaning I can get back to writing, this morning almost crying when I said goodbye and thank you to my son Leon's teacher (it's the first day of Summer Holidays here tomorrow) because I was so grateful that he got such a kind, gentle teacher who celebrated his eccentricities such as telling her "Ruth, that was a really boring day to be honest" to "I'm done with that for now(on making his fathers day card) and will continue on tomorrow" to "thanks Ruth that was the best day of my life!" and it was so good to hear him say to me this morning " I wish I could turn back time to spend a few more days with Ruth".
Sometimes gratitude fills you up so full with love it almost feels like you could burst.

Lesson:  "Comparison is the thief of joy" and "You are AMAZING!"

Then something else that felt so good was hearing back from some past members of my beginners run club who really wanted to join the new group but afraid that they wouldn't be able for it and make a show of themselves.
This links in with something else that I've been thinking about a lot which is the hard time we give ourselves and the damage of comparing ourselves to others.
It's probably the number one thing that stops us taking on new challenges, doing something new - whether that's taking up a fitness regime or going to a Spanish class.
That voice in our head that tells us everyone else will be better, faster, prettier, have a better body/face/hair/make up, cleverer and so on and the anxious fearful feeling that tends to accompany those thoughts.
But the thing is none of it matters, none of what anyone else is doing matters, the ways someone else looks, speaks, does...doesn't matter. You are an important person and you are meant to do what brings you joy and happiness- lots of the time that joy and happiness is on the other side of fear but when you can take a deep breath and step through it feels so GOOD!

What felt good for me was being a part of them turning how they felt around getting to be excited about it.