Thursday, 2 April 2015

Stop For A Minute...

Yesterday, whilst in Glastonbury for a few days we found a delightful place called The Chalice Well Gardens. A sanctuary where people drop their voices, slow their pace, take in the sights and smells, drink the clear spring water, and sit on the many benches to think, meditate and ultimately stop for a while.

We took part in the annual foot cleaning ceremony. It was about being in the now,  cleansing and releasing, and I found it a really spiritual experience. 

It occurred to me that it's actually an unusual thing during an ordinary day to stop and take a moment. Even if you attempt it there's usually a distraction of some kind; kids, noise, colleagues.. 

Does it take for us to be in a beautifully serene , peaceful place that is 'designated' for such behavior, like a church (  I always feel peaceful in churches) or peace gardens, meditation centre, yoga class... where it's seen as the right thing to do? We may make a choice to go to places such as this regularly, just to chill, relax and stop for a moment. That's fabulous and making it a routine works wonders!

My point, I guess, is that taking a minute , or more, out of each and every day can help calm  and clear our heads. It can help us make sense of our day, our lives, of challenges we may be facing. I always find, on a trip away, or holiday, that I re-find my creativity, and I know it's because I've stopped for a while; I've got 'off the bus'! 

So, how about we take a minute during our hectic days, wherever we are. At your desk, on a park bench, in a coffee shop, in the kitchen, on the bus... It doesn't matter. It's about being In The Moment, focussing on the here and now, just for a short while each day.

Block out everything around you, by closing your eyes and going inside. Smile, and relax your shoulders, release the frown on your forehead, let your hands/fingers go limp.  Let thoughts come and go, don't try to block them. Just BE. 

It really can give such clarity and the world seems a much better place. 

Do it today... And every day, because you really are worth it. 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Is your gut your weak point?

We all have one, a part of us that if we're overdoing it, stressed, run down, pushing the boundaries ... starts to shout out and let us know that's it's not happy. It's a warning sign that we need to slow down, take stock, give back, relax, re-energise. 

My weak spot is my digestive system, and chatting to people before writing this post, it seems to be a very common/popular one! It's always been my sensitive area ever since I was little, I really grew up thinking it was very normal to have tummy ache. 

Often it's the throat, maybe because we get used to suppressing things, until we get to a point where the body says enough is enough.

In some people its their back, and this can apparently be related to money

Wherever 'it' is, when it shouts we need to give it our full attention! Ignoring it and hoping it will go away, in my experience just means it will shout louder. 

I'm listening to my gut right now, after ignoring it for a week when we went skiing and eating all sorts of food I don't normally touch with a barge pole, guess what, it's not a happy bunny! So it's back track time. 

Care and attention, lots of TLC, and advise from an amazing lady who has written several books, has a superb website and a following of people all over the world. Can't believe I've only just found her. 

Jini Patel Thompson had gut challenges for over nine years, and eventually took matters into her own hands, rather than relying on medics who gave her steroids etc which didn't work and caused side effects. 

Her symptoms were worse than mine, but even so I've learnt masses from this book and her protocol. I've been devouring the information this week and have put myself onto her elemental diet to give my gut a well earned rest.. 

Just wanted to share this with anyone who may have any kind of gut symptoms (anyone not in this day and age??) IBS, bloating, constipation, food intolerances, cramps, diarrhoea, reflux.... Things we really don't like to talk about. 

The thing is, if we have a healthy gut, it goes a long way to making sure the rest of us is healthy. Most dis-ease starts here, so it's worth investing some time into looking after it. 

Stress exacerbates gut challenges, I think that's why so many of us have IBS etc ; multi tasking, just living such a fast paced life, that is kind of expected of us, oh and having the 'worry gene' . Sometimes I just want to stop the bus and get off for a bit! Anyone else ever feel that way? 

Re energising daily through meditation, mindfulness, energy exercises, yoga, grounding, getting outside, reading, listening, and just being IN THE MOMENT can release that stress, it's certainly helped me. Now to stay on top of my food intake, even when travelling! is well worth a Google. My gut is thanking me for it already. 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Do something you love....

How to change your mindset in a heartbeat... do something you love! 

Just a quick blogpost today, I just wanted to share this as I've found it sooo useful this morning. 

Last night things didn't go so well for me, I won't bore you with the details but suffice to say I woke this morning 'on the wrong path'. You know that feeling when you open your eyes and you remember, and your heart sinks?... Or maybe it's just me. 

Anyway, I missed my dance class because of it, just couldn't get going in time. Then my lunch date postponed- that's the Law Of Attraction profoundly at work. That's when I knew to rescue my day I had to change the path. But how..

I moved swiftly to the kitchen and began getting out ingredients, plotting and planning in my head what I was going up do with them. I became so engrossed that I actually forgot my earlier negativity. My monkey mind disappeared, I focussed on something I LOVE, and my day changed for the better. 

The Power is right, it's ALL about Love... 

Try it now. Change your destiny. You are in charge of it after all. 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Take Just Half An Hour

Don't know about you but mornings in our house can be fractious affairs. Three children needing to get ready, eat breakfast and out for school means fun and games .

 All talking/shouting/asking questions at once like "where's my games kit mum", "where's my book,I need it first period", "there's  no shampoo left", "mum I need £2.50 for my trip".. and it goes on. I've tried changing my name; it didn't work. I've tried hiding; that didn't work either. 

Then there's breakfast to be made, Nat's lunchbox to be prepared, showers to be had, clothes to put on, teeth cleaning...
And all before 8.15 in the morning. 

By the time I've dropped them all off at school (I know they should walk, but realistically this happens three times a month) I feel like I've done a days work, and literally the first time I've taken a conscious breath since waking up. 

I then have to put the house back together before I can actually start my work (the Only downside of working from home). 

That was before I discovered my Daily Power Half Hour. It's Me Time Extraordinaire, and I love it. It sets me up for my day with a positive mindset ,and I can help my children start theirs the same way, it means I can put everything into perspective, it means there is way less shouting! Result. 

All I have to do is get out of bed half an hour early, before 'they' do. Yes I know this is the hard part (and sometimes the urge to roll over gets the better of me, but that 80/20 rule is there for a reason I find), but believe me it's so worth it. 

I snuggle into my fluffy White Company bath robe (the only one worth having I find) and put the hood up. The hood bit is crucial because I can kid myself I've not really fully woken up), and potter down to the lounge. 

Here I dim the lights, put out my yoga mat, and put on some soothing music. If I'm mega organised I'll do this the night before. I light candles and joss sticks to clear the energy in the room and I'm ready to begin. 

For the next half an hour I'll do yoga flow style Energy exercises*,  creating space inside, activating my parasympathetic nervous system- the body's brakes,  loving and being kind to me. I'll also do meditative breathing exercises. It all works. I feel energised. I feel chilled, and this doesn't come natural to me. Now, in this relaxed but vital state I can move mountains; well I can at least be effective and on task in assisting my children where they need it. 

Over breakfast we often have time for a laugh and a joke, I'll treat them to some of my dance moves whilst they cringe, we listen to Lauren's latest playlist, Nat and Lauren will even do some colouring, and when we leave there's no bomb gone off in the kitchen. 

 After drop off, I get fresh air with my mum, walking Millie, still in my chilled state. Then My day can begin... 

If any of the chaotic morning state resonates with you, why not try a Power Half Hour just for you. It's comes highly recommended. 

Have a great day. 

*I learnt Energy Exercises and heaps more besides to create Energy balance within as part of the Energy For Life Wellness Coaching Course, with Caroline Shola Arewa. 
If you'd like to learn how to feel more energised, and use your energy in a great way, daily, contact me for more details. 

Monday, 9 February 2015

Energy- It's Everything

I'm posting today because I'm so grateful I wanted to share it.. I'm giving big thanks for where my life is right now compared to where it was just a few years ago. 

This morning I've taken my children to school, walked Millie, the dog my mum looks after, at the Ings- one of my favourite places in the world, bumped into two lovely friends and chatted, done some washing, researched some recipes, rebounded for half an hour outside in the sunshine (#savemyknees) , and had lunch outside too, with my beautiful black pussy cats. Perfect start to the week! 

It's easy to take it for granted when you can leap (well maybe get) out of bed each morning and do all that you need to do in your day. I'll never take it for granted again, as a few years ago I  couldn't get out of bed, my body, mind and spirit were so fatigued that everything was an effort. My energy had upped and left... 

I was suffering with adrenal fatigue; after years of pushing myself day in, day out, eating badly, drinking abit too much, stressing over everything, running around after my three children, not resting or sleeping properly, and my body decided I needed to listen to the subtle messages it had been giving me, that I'd ignored. 

I had zero energy, and it's taken a change in my thinking, and my lifestyle to get it back to anywhere near normal. Even now I have to be careful to monitor how I use and abuse my energy. Too much abusing it and I have to pull back, rest, and look after me. 

Using energy in the right way is so important- eating good, nutritious food, drinking the right fluids (water/herbal tea) , exercising, getting fresh air, being in the now, dealing with stress in the right way, resting, and sleeping well for 6-8 hours a night. If you have more of this going on in your life than stress, lack of exercise, a poor diet, little or poor quality sleep, living in your head, too much coffee and other stimulants , worrying.... then  you'll have all the energy you need. If not maybe it's time to re-evaluate your life, before you have no choice. 

Just keeping a diary of how you're using and abusing your energy is a great start. It'll highlight the parts you need to change for sure. 

Make those changes now, little by little is my advice. Adrenal and chronic fatigue are rapidly becoming really common modern day 'diseases' because of our fast pace living. It's really ok to stop and smell the roses sometimes. In fact it's a necessity. 

Have a great energised day. 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

RAW Bounty Squares

Wow such great feedback this week from my Sweet Enough Tasting Club.. And especially to the Raw Bounty Squares. 

Bounty has always been my favourite sweet treat, I'm sure I've consumed several hundred in my youth (let's not go there shall we?!) . These days I'm more aware of what's in processed chocolate bars and so avoid where possible;  occasionally I succumb, but that's the 80-20 rule we all live by, right? 

Anyway, after googling and researching how to make them from scratch I finally made my own by adapting several other recipes out there. 

It worked a dream, is very easy to make, and gives a sweet 'hit' minus the chemicals, and refined stuff we need to avoid.

So here you go : 

Recipe :
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
4 Tbsp Raw Honey
2 cups Toasted Dessicated Coconut
2 TbspCoconut Cream
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Method : 
Melt the coconut oil, with the honey gently. 
Stir in the coconut cream and add the vanilla extract. 
Add the coconut and stir  to coat it with the liquid. 
Line a baking tin with baking paper, and pour the coconut mixture in. Level off, and place in the fridge until set. 

Raw Chocolate For The Top
Half a cup of coconut oil
Half a cup of Raw cacao
2 tbsp Raw honey 
Pinch of sea salt 

Method : 
Melt the coconut oil very gently in a Bain Marie and add the honey.
Stir in the salt and raw cacao until completely mixed together. 
Pour over the set coconut mixture and place back in the fridge. 

Cut into squares before devouring! 
Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Saturday, 31 January 2015

What's Your Thing?...

Following on from my last post ' What Will Matter', about finding your purpose, today's post offers a practical task to help you find yours. Our purpose in life always involves where our passion lies, what we enjoy doing more than anything else; what we love! Sounds easy but often we get so bogged down with the minusecia of every day life that we fail to be really aware of what our 'thing' is. 

Last Friday night I had the absolute pleasure of listening to Jillian Michaels, of The Biggest Loser fame, talk on stage for two and a half hours about exercise, motivation, empowerment, diet, lifestyle and finding your 'thing'. What is the one thing you are so fulfilled by doing that you are feel compelled to do it over and over. The thing that makes you feel great , the thing that releases feel good hormones. Do you even know? 

Often we end up in jobs we don't love but won't leave because ... well for lots of reasons, from fear of not finding anything else, because it's expected of you ,  to it just becoming so part of your daily routine that's it's engrained into your very being. How many people spend the majority of their working week doing a job they hate? 

I'm encouraging my children to find something they love and are hugely passionate about, that they love enough to do it every day, day in,day out, and so make it their work. The beauty of this is that it won't ever feel like work because it's your purpose. 

It's about questioning the 'rules'; most people live their lives on the status quo, the norm, but if this isn't serving you it's really ok to break these rules and follow your own path. If you're not being true to you, if what you do currently doesn't fulfil you it's very ok to move on; despite what others may say.

Your health, love and happiness is a choice, as is your destiny.

" Your responsibility is to contribute your best self to the world. Everyone is a miracle and has a reason to be here. Follow your truth". Jillian Michaels. 

So, if you've been telling yourself that 'one day' you will... Instead why not Take Action Now! Wherever you are in your life you are capable of changing, and being in the moment and not somewhere in the future (that, let's face it, probably won't happen if it's a day dream) . 

Living in the now is the way to find your passion, if you're truly present during each day you can appreciate where and what you like to do, and what feels like a chore. Obviously some things just have to be done, but wouldn't it be great to spend the bulk of your time doing something you love . It's that 80-20 rule again! 

So here's a game you can play with yourself to take notice of what you love- the hotter/colder game :

Set an alarm on your phone, to go off every hour on the hour for a whole day. When it goes off, whatever you're doing, STOP and be present and aware of how it makes you feel. Are you enjoying what you're doing, ie hot towards your purpose, or is it a chore ie colder towards your purpose. This is a great way to allow you to cultivate and grow the things that make you feel good. 

I've been playing this game with myself all week, and my two favourite things are 1) being in the kitchen playing about with healthy food, and adapting and creating delicious recipes that help people around me with their health, and 2) being outdoors in the fresh air, running, cycling, walking, just being out there feeling the wind, the sun, the rain, all weathers I'm happy with!! So figured if I go live in Australia, I could have my kitchen outside and I'll be as happy as can be!! 

Seriously though it's an interesting exercise, to open your eyes to how much of your time is spent doing the things you love. 

"If you have a WHY to live for you can cope with any how." Jillian Michaels. 

Have a great 'on purpose' day. 

Friday, 23 January 2015

What Will Matter?

We all know we can't live forever, but my guess is that you'd like to live to a ripe old age, with all your faculties still intact? ... Me too. So on that basis wouldn't it be great to feel that our lives have mattered, and that what we're creating will live on in others when we're no longer on the planet.

Today I was inspired to write this blog post partly by my final assignment for my Energy 4 Life Wellness Coaching course, in which I talked about living on purpose. We're all here for a reason, all part of the great jigsaw of life, and when you find your purpose it's an amazing feeling. I've only found mine within the last few years; all I've done so far has lead me to where I am now and I'm a true believer in everything happens for a reason. 

The other inspiration came from a film I stumbled upon by Steve Kroschel, a very talented film director, who made Dying To Have Known in just 52 days. He travelled around the world talking to patients, nutritionists, scientists and surgeons all who testified to the Gerson Therapy's efficacy in treating and curing people of cancer, and other degenerative diseases. They have scientific proof, and Steve Kroschels reason for making the film was to find out why this information has been suppressed by main stream medics. 

We're left to decide this for ourselves....but it makes for a fascinating film.

What struck a chord with me was a poem that Steve narrates towards the end of the film, it brought tears to my eyes, and I'd like to share some of it here. The power of words is an amazing thing. Words can create all kinds of emotion within us, and this poem did just that for me. It inspired me to take a look at my life, to make sure that I'm living on purpose, and that everything I do does matter. I looked for the author, Michael Josephson , and it/he is  obviously very famous from the Google/Youtube coverage. 

Here's just a part of it.... the bit that mattered most to me. To listen to the whole of it, read by Steve Kroschel you can find the film link here (it's towards the end but he narrates it so well it's worth watching just for this part).
27 May 2011 - Uploaded by aliHAMOU

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built,
not what you got but what you gave,
What will matter is not your success but your significance,
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught,
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched,
empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competmece but your character,
What will matter is not how many you knew,
but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories of those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter of circumstances but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.

Are you living your life on purpose? Are you living a life that matters? 
Food for thought.