Posts tagged lanzarote
I am who I am meant to be...

I found this photo taken of me by accident when scrolling through my client's (also a friend) Lanzarote retreat album from last year... so this was taken almost exactly a year ago today. 

I am not sure what it is about this photo that I love so much. 

Maybe the fact she caught me unaware, or the fact I was in the midst of living my bliss so wholeheartedly, the fact I was surrounded by the energy of the beautiful island and beautiful people, the fact that I look confident and reflective, the fact I am rocking my hippy pants, the fact that I have my beloved camera slung round my neck... or maybe the fact there is a touch of 'Lara Croft' about me, ha ha.

Maybe a bit of everything rolled into one. 

 

“I am me. I’m who I’m meant to be. I am my past, my present and who I want to be. I’m not anyone, I am all three. I am a work in progress, a destiny. I am who I choose to be. I am me.”

 

What photo captured of yourself do you love and why?

 

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Let go and surrender...

This time next week I will have woken up to greet the first full day of my retreat, embraced warm hugs with my wonderful group of wholehearted people ready to embrace the universe and themselves, having just taken part in our first poolside ashtanga yoga class in the sunshine and now be finishing a hearty wholesome breakfast together to prepare for exploring the island.

There were many thoughts tripping over themselves in my head as I lay in bed this morning, I could feel bubbles of anxiety welling up with me and knew to diffuse things that I needed to try and put them down on paper, which turned into this blog post! 

The preparation for Lanzarote of the last five month has pushed me to the edge of my comfort zone. So many times I've had to lean in to that point just beyond, a place where it gets uncomfortable. The place that has had me in desperate tears and an anxious knot in my stomach on multiple occasions. The place that has had me breaking down in frustration (always at myself) in the presence of my ever patient coach, who reflects my greatness back to me when I don't believe in it myself.

Yet over these last couple of weeks as all the technicalities have fallen into place, a different mindset crept over me. One that feels all together unfamiliar and actually hugely liberating. 

It's the feeling of surrender, of trusting the universe, of knowing there is only so much I can plan for and that in actual fact the beauty is in the unknown, the organic growth and coming together of a group of beautiful people in a beautiful setting. 

My default nature, particularly in the past and one I'm now very aware of, is a rigid militant approach to life. I have always felt the need to 'prove' myself, to be doing doing doing, always be busy, to write lists and stick post-its it's everywhere, make sure I have an option for every possible eventuality... 

But this is not where the beauty of life lies...

With a rigid, militant approach we are blinkered to what the universe may throw in our path, opportunities may come up and we simply won't see them. Over the last five months I've begun to change and shift within. I have been listening to my heart more than my head, it speaks softly and quietly but oh so much more powerfully and deeply.

Tuning into my heart is a huge work in progress for me, decades of my head over-ruling it won't be changed over night. But I'm learning, I'm learning to surrender.

Lanzarote has so much more to teach me. I'm ready. 
 

Have a amazingly beautiful week... I'll check in with excitement from Lanzarote soon. I can't wait to share my adventures with you!

 

Curious to work together? Get in touch for a complimentary chat and we'll see where your are at and where you want to go!

 Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here you might like to check out my 'About' tab up top. To buy healthy nibbles you can also find me over at my sister site Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

 

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My Lanzarote Wellness Immersion Retreat is here!

Did you see it!  

Did you see it?

My Lanzarote Wellness Immersion Retreat is here. Yay! Whoop whoop!

It has it's own dedicated page with all the details. I am so excited to share it and so please forgive me if it pops up in conversations quite a lot in coming weeks.... literally everything in my head is geared toward it at the moment.

True story... when I was in Lanzarote last week and my co-host Daniel and I had just secured the villa. I was dancing around his kitchen exclaiming 'yay, now I can develop loads of awesome recipes for the retreat' at which he laughed at me and said 'Jo we need to actually fill the spaces first'. Oh yeah, I guess there is that! 

#cantstopthinkingaboutfood

I won't go on about it too much now as you can read all about it here but I just want to leave you with my little poster I have just been crafting. It was exactly one week ago today I was standing by the that poolside of the villa in the photo! :-)

Please, please get in touch if you are curious to know more and want to chat about it, or just chat about anything heath and wellness related... i'm always here for you!

P.s if you are not already on my newsletter list... but want to be kept in the know about the retreat or future news and events, please sign up here (you'll also get my cool recipe ebook as a little gift!)

 

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here you might like to check out my 'About' tab up top. To buy healthy nibbles you can also find me over at my sister site Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Exciting news... Lazarote...and two recipes!

Hellllloooooo.... it's been a while!

Forgive me...

I have recipes....

I can explain....

I have been back in Lanzarote and I can finally share with you the details as to why! I am creating a retreat holiday... yes an actual real life retreat experience!

An immersion of total wellness for spiritual, mental and physical development.

The energy and excitement is coursing through me..... ahhhh I can't wait.

Ok, time to calm down a little. More details to come in the next few days as I pull everything together but for now you can join the Facebook event so you don't miss anything. There are only 10 spaces!

Beautiful early morning walk at Playa Famara

Beautiful early morning walk at Playa Famara

lanz 3.jpg

For now, here's a little round up of my short trip. I made a lot of meals for everyone- my chickpea-cauli quiche was an absolute winner with and I experimented with a few new ones too. Namely a roasted veg ratatouille and tofu chard scramble (a twist on the classic) I've added the recipes below.

Note: Everything in this post is shot with my iPhone as with the hand baggage allowance I couldn't fit my DSLR this time. :-(

Oooh and I tweaked the chocolate banana brownie bread since it went down so well last time. I added walnut to the mixture and slightly undercooked it (to make it more dense and dessert like) then baked it in a round cake pan to slice up as wedges, then I served it hot topped it with a berry/prune sauce and some fresh mulberries and extra walnuts.

Winner!

Mulberries are incredible!

I'd never eaten them before and I think they are now my new favourite fruit! Pity we don't have them fresh in England. Though I made the mistake of picking some fresh ones from a bush on the way back to the airport, but they stained my hands so badly I rocked up to the airport looking like i'd massacred someone… not the best look to get through security! Luckily I spied a washroom near the entrance. :-)

Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille  (based on this recipe by 86Lemons.com)

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 3 fist sizes aubergines (these were quite small home grown ones)

  • 4 tomatoes (or 1 can chopped tomatoes)

  • 3 courgettes

  • 1 red onion

  • 2 red peppers

  • 5 cloves garlic- chopped roughly

  • 1 scant tsp salt

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 2-3 tbs olive oil

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley- chopped (or basil)

  • NOTE: I had intended to add two cans of chickpeas but at the last moment realised we didn't have any to hand!

Method:

Chop the veg into bite sizes chunks and coat with the oil and salt. Place in an even layer in a large roasting pan (or two) along wit the garlic pieces.

Roast for approx 20 mins at 180C until golden.

Meanwhile blitz the tomatoes in a food processor until just a little chunky. (I had planned to roast them first but had no room in the pan). Add to a large sauce pan, if you are using chickpeas you;d add them now and heat through for 5 minutes or so. Add the roasted veg and cook for a couple of minutes until everything is piping hot. Serve with a generous sprinkle of fresh parsley or basil.

I served this with a side of garlic and onion dressed pasta, but it would also work well with rice, potatoes or quinoa.


Alongside the tofu scramble I also served my sweet potato cakes (though I used carrot as well as sweet potato) and also avocado toasts dressed with lemon juice and salt.

Recipe: Tofu Chard Scramble

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 500g block firm tofu (no need to press unless there is a lot of liquid)

  • approx 3 packed cups chard (or other greens)

  • 4 crushed garlic cloves

  • 1 small white onion

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (you could use any spices of choice)

  • 1 tbs tamari soy sauce

  • 1 tbs tahini

  • 1/4 cup hot water

  • generous shake of nutritional yeast (optional)

  • salt to taste (if needed)

Method:

In a large frying pan or wok, saute the garlic and onion in a little oil for approx 5 minutes until softening. Add the chard (if using spinach add it a little later) and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes until the stems are softening. 

Meanwhile mix all the spices with the tahini and water to form a paste. Using your hands, crumble the tofu in rough chunks into the pan and add the seasoned paste. Toss well to ensure an even coating. Add a little extra oil or water if necessary and cook for 5-6 minutes until the tofu is fully cooked through.

Serve immediately.

...mulberries on my breakfast too! Simply couldn't resist!

...mulberries on my breakfast too! Simply couldn't resist!

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Lanzarote... living another life (and acro-massage!)

Finally.... I have stopped still for long enough to write this post for you, all about my holiday in Lanzarote. I arrived home over a week ago now and have been wanting to write to you ever since but life just got crazy (hmmmm, that wasn't the plan!)  Though it's been good crazy so i'm not complaining at all really.

If you read this post, you'll see how much of a leap beyond my comfort zone going away on holiday on my own took. I still feel a little shy admitting that to you, as for many that would be no big deal. But for me it was. I overcame my fears and i'm incredibly proud I did so. It turned out to be an amazing experience.

villa 3.jpg

There were no indulgences, no crazy activities, not tourist trips, no treks on camel back, no nights out drinking or dancing. No 'classic' holiday experiences whatsoever...

Instead... there was a lot of reading, self reflection, deep conversation, spending time in nature, yoga, acro-massage (see below), listening to the wind in the palm trees and simply spending time in the company of interesting people who inspired me to question my life in so many new ways.

Early morning mist across a volcano crater on my birthday

Early morning mist across a volcano crater on my birthday

When I first made the decision to take a holiday on my own. AirBnb quickly became my obvious choice simply because I had heard so many good things about the site from friends. This is not in any way a sales pitch for AirBnb (though if you are interested to book your own trip there is a discount code below) but the service was amazing all the way through and I will be using it again for sure.

The key thing for me, above and beyond the location itself (so many choices... where to start!) was to find a host that I felt I a connection with through reading their description. In hindsight this is the best thing I could have done and it made my holiday so much richer for having taken the time to find 'me' people. This was especially true for me since I had planned to spend a lot of time at the villa instead of it being just a base to explore away from.

Daniel and his family made me feel part of their 'tribe' right from the outset, inviting me to join in family excursions and simply mucking in with them as they lived day to day. This 'living as' was actually what made my holiday so special as it offered me a deep shift in perspective to reflect on so many aspects of my own life that I wouldn't have had if I had simply been living a superficial 'holiday life'.

I have talked many times before about how my own personal weakness is the ability to slow down, to relax and meditate, all things which were so powerfully demonstrated for me whilst I was there and which I had the opportunity to step into and experience for myself. I had so many powerful conversations on these topics and there were so many mutual interests in nutritional (they ate a plant based diet), mindfulness, living beyond the 9-5 and so much more. The fact they don't have a TV was also heaven for me!

I ate all my meals with the family and I was reminded how important the ritual of sitting down and being present with the food, being open to discussions and connecting around the table really is. I, like most people rush around so much that sitting down as a family or as a group, or even simply sitting down quietly away from TV or other distraction is often overlooked and undervalued. I'll admit that I haven't been perfect since I've been back as I have been travelling a lot these last few days, but those rituals and mind-body connections around mealtimes is something I want to build on and infuse in my daily routine.

Morning rituals consisted of ashtanga yoga on the veranda, It was so hard!  I'm used to fairly generic yoga classes that cater for all levels and so can usually do it all. Yet with Daniel, so many of the moves I simply couldn't do- my back is very unbendy!!  That said I loved the challenge of trying.

I was also very fortunate that he is trained in acro-massage, a unique experience in mindfulness and massage using simple movements working with gravity to open and activate the body.  I'll admit I didn't have to do much, he did all the work. It's hardcore!

On my last day we filmed it so that I could remember the experience and share it back home since it was like nothing i'd ever experienced before. I'd love to know what you think! Please excuse the background noises of little Shakti as the door back into the house had shut, so she was stuck out on the veranda with us- much to her displeasure ;-)

It was also my birthday whilst I was away and for the first time ever there was no sense of obligation to 'do' anything. Nobody asking me 'what do you have planned for your birthday' and therefore no pressure or expectation....

Just embracing that open-minded feeling of BEing over DOing was hugely empowering and impactful for me and so my birthday was a profound time for reflection because of it.

I did make the wonderful chocolate brownie bread which was kind of my birthday treat (albeit a few days early) and I booked my self a full body massage as a treat on the final day of the trip to top off my experience! :-)

I also have another breakfast recipe to share with you in the next couple of days, an concept that Daniel inspired me with whilst I was there. If you love porridge this will be a game-changer! Here's where I sat and ate said breakfast on the veranda every morning...

IMG_0085.JPG

I have since had a couple of questions from followers on Instagram and Facebook asking for veggie restaurant recommendations. As I didn't eat out, I put that question to my host Daniel and these were his top recommendations for a 'healthy Lanzarote experience' for eating and buying your own health foods. 

Mancha Blanca:  Domingo - Sunday  9.0 – 1.30   frutas, verduras y quesos de las islas, canarian fruits, vegetables and cheeses

“Hesperides restaurante vegetariano con un excelente herbolario – vegetarian
restaurant with well stocked healthfood shop in Casa León 928 594 012
abierto lunes a viernes 9.30 – 20.00 h, sábado 9.30 – 24.00, domingo 9.30 – 17.00 

Tias:  “Tienda Verde”  Herbolario Health-food shop. Fresh vegetables 928 834 239

Also mentioned above that I have an AirBnb discount code which if you decide to go ahead will give you £33 off your first trip. To give you an idea of what value that gives you- you could get a full 3 nights accommodation in many places around the world!  The code is: jhodson9

I'd love to hear from you...

Have you ever travelled on your own? Do you have any 'silly' fears you'd love to overcome? 


Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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The power of vulnerability

So many happy things have been going on over these last couple of weeks I feel like I need more days in the week to get my thoughts in writing and share EVERYTHING!

I am now back from my trip to Lanzarote and will be putting together a blog post to tell you all about that in the next couple of days, but then just as soon as I got back home I was off again to attend a coaching weekend in Leeds called Be The Miracle with David Taylor. So first, I want to tell you all about that whilst it is fresh in my mind and i'm all fired up!

There were so many learning points I can't even begin to list them, but one thing that created a huge mind shift for me was the realisation that allowing yourself to be truly vulnerable within your relationships creates great strength and not weakness... the opposite of what I would have previously assumed. 

This is a game changing concept for me and something that I will embrace in every area of my life. 

The coaching weekend was an amazing immersive experience for challenge and growth in a room filled with incredible people each with their own story to tell. In fact the power of sharing your story is key to your journey.

"You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside and hustle for your worthiness" - Brene Brown

Everybody has their own story. Sharing from the heart not only liberates ourselves but also liberates others and enables them to share their story with the world in return. The words on the poster I am holding below are so beautifully powerful for me.

"Courage. To speak ones mind by telling all one's heart. Be that"

(L-R) Me, Jaina (one of Erica clients who I shared my hotel room with) and her guide dog Laura, David Taylor, my coach Erica.

(L-R) Me, Jaina (one of Erica clients who I shared my hotel room with) and her guide dog Laura, David Taylor, my coach Erica.

I want to help you 'be that' in a world where telling all one's heart may be a scary venture into the unknown.

  There were many emotions and tears as stories were shared over the course of the two days as we opened our souls to 'being' our true selves and learning to serve others in doing the same. 'BEing' over 'DOing' was another mind shift for me and was demonstrated so powerfully time and time again.  I talked a little more about this in my post as I was flying across the sea.

At the end of the weekend we sat quietly with out eyes closed and our hands in our laps silently reflecting on the impact of the two days. As we sat, David read out one of my favourite quotes of all time, very rarely seen or heard in full verse. I will leave you with those words.  I know I will be shining my light bigger and brighter than ever before!

"...as we let out own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same".


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