Posts tagged mindfulness
The magic of Raw Fest

For the last few days I spent a magical weekend amongst magical people in a magical forest by the sea.  

A long weekend to embrace nature, to embrace so many beautiful open hearted souls, to embrace the deeper vegan lifestyle, and most of all to embrace the beauty of our reality. 

I volunteered at Raw Fest. Set by the sea in The New Forest at Pylewell Park, Raw Fest Retreat & Festival encourages you to unplug from the bustle of city life and drop into the nature that surrounds you. A safe haven for all walks of life to gather, learn about clean living and healing technology, and to uplift our souls through a variety of creative arts.

"A decompression party from your everyday busy life."

Getting stuck in as part of passionate, dedicated team was enriching in itself, but the environment  created by the organisers... a truly immersive space to simply BE was incredible. Nowhere before have I felt so accepted to be me, pure and unedited. 

I didn't see my own reflection for over two days (not alone do anything with my hair or makeup!) and when it got chilly in the evenings or early mornings, because I had brought inadequate layers I simply walked around wrapped in my big red dressing gown. No questions asked. 

Everyone in every walk of life was true accepted, embraced and celebrated. 

There were inspiring talks, music, dancing, campfires, food, yoga, meditation, foraging and nature walks. Yet still plenty of moments in between to just sit and soak up the vibe, to think, hug and converse with strangers, who were no longer strangers at all.

On Saturday night the sky was beautifully clear and so when I went back to my tent to sleep I pivoted my sleeping bag to that it stuck out the tent door opening and lay snuggling down in my sleeping bag looking up at the stars. As my eyes adjusted, layer upon layer of stars appeared. The sky was filled with stars as far as I could see. So beautiful and eternal I could have gazed forever.

I went to the festival with a couple of friends, yet many many more, and we camped for three nights. I took lots of fruit, snack bars (recipe coming very soon!) and my Wholeplus Hotpots but also enjoyed plenty of the delicious meals, smoothies and juices on offer. Amrutha were incredible... not just with their amazing vegan food (check out their Facebook Page and find them popping up all over London) but their genuine passion and sweet and pure philosophy on life. On Monday morning as we were packing everything away they conjured up an awesome complimentary breakfast with all the leftovers... just the way I like to work in the kitchen too.

I also had the privilege of being on the 'juicing station'... whipping up a concoction for all members of the volunteer team. There were wasps around me constantly.... I have a big fear of wasps so this was a huge deal for me to overcome! I felt a little proud.

On that final Monday morning I woke up early, before 7am, and the campsite was quiet and still. Not wanting to wake anyone I decided to postpone packing, got wrapped up in my dressing gown against the morning chill and took a quiet walk around the lake running down to the eastuary. 

These were the thoughts that came to my mind, spontaneous and unedited. 

My heart was full with gratitude.  

I felt truly alive.

All the photography for the event was captured by Adrian at Tbilisi Portraits, I have been given full permission to share them with you all here... a little snapshot of some of the magic. Thank you Adrian for capturing it so perfectly.

p.s see me in the last photo after the ceremonal gong bath to close the event late Sunday evening, I'm wrapped up my dressing gown having not seen my own face (erm, or showered) for nearly three days!

For me, this weekend embodied the essence of what I want to offer you at my own immersive wellness retreat. Join me in November in Lanzarote for some deeply soul centred enrichment.

Intrigued to know more? Join the Facebook retreat event here or drop me a email and let's talk about the retreat, about life, about 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 meditation… Finding a pause in the day

This is a spontaneous post, I quite like it when it happens. When I say ‘spontaneous’ I mean I’ve literally just got in from a run, have barely caught my breath and am still sweaty ready to jump in the shower …But I’m sitting here writing this while the energy is fresh in my mind. 

I’m going away on holiday tomorrow and so it’s one it was one of those ‘lots-of-bits-and-pieces-to-get done-before-I’m-shutting-down-for-a-week’ kind of days.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. The sky was blue, the sun was out and the crisp winter stillness enveloped everything. Here I was in my bedroom sat by my laptop tapping away, every so often glancing out of the window thinking, I really should be out there… but I’m in here!

Morning soon turned to afternoon and I knew if I didn’t be something about it that the day would slip away without me having really experienced the world.

I haven’t run in quite a long time, I went for a couple of short runs over Christmas and have really wanted to get back into it a little more as for me it's such an amazing form of active meditation.

I'm still finding it hard to get into the meditation in the traditional sense- being in a quiet space, sitting still, eyes closed.... But that’s ok! I figured there is no right way to meditate as long as it is right for me in helping me unwind and gain perspective and mindfulness in my life.

So today, before the sun set, I went out for a run. That was a meditative state in itself, but while running I noticed a couple of things which prompted me to sit down and write to you.

Meditation is simply finding that pause in the day. It can be literally a few seconds, maybe a few times a day that consciously involves you applying the brakes and coming to a mental standstill before moving forward again.

As I was running I came through a gap in the hedge from the fields into a large park area with the path around the edge. On this particular part of my run I could see no one around me, when I woodpecker flew down landed a few metres from my feet. It had me captivated, and for those five or six seconds as it was in my sight is nothing else in the world mattered. In those five or six seconds it occurred to me no one else in this world was experiencing this moment right then, and that felt such a privilege, to be 'allowed' to experience that moment and share the woodpecker's life. That’s all it took and then my mind re-booted and onwards I ran.

Five minutes later, as I came to the edge of the park, a tiny single feather floated down in front of my path and again it captured my attention so all consumingly that I could do nothing but pause and appreciate the moment, the l silent flutter of the feather in the stillness of the cold winter air. I smiled inside and my heart felt warm and fulfilled as I continued on my way.

I think for me, meditation is finding reason to pause within my day. For me, meditation involves movement. When my body is engaged in slow controlled or simple repetitive movement, my mind can be left alone to find the quiet and stillness it deserves. 

Tell me, What is meditation for you?

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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Take 'Time out' for tea!

Until about three years ago I never drank tea. Ever.

Yet now I can't keep away from the stuff…the herbal varieties that is... still don't like the regular stuf! ;-) Typically I have my litre of lemon water in the morning (ok, I know that's not really a 'tea' then I fill the rest of my day with plain water and either mint or sometimes ginger tea. Mint blends are my absolute favourite. How times change hey!

In September Pukka Herbs released some new tea flavours, and I asked if I could review them for my blog since I'm such a huge fan of their teas… "Three Mint' is my daily go to blend when I don't brew loose peppermint tea leaves.

I was sent a little selection and here they are:

Out of them all I think I enjoyed the detox tea most, though womankind and chamomile, vanilla and honey (I appreciate not truly vegan) are perfect for a hint of sweetness to satisfy a craving. I will be totally honest though and say I still most love the mint blend...for me I think I simply prefer the refreshing teas in comparison with the sweet or fruity teas, pooh I have just spied one named 'Refresh' on ther website.... I have never seen this available in the shops and now I really want to try it!!

I've actually been in meaning to write a longer tea inspired post for sometime as I feel the benefits of tea go way beyond what is actually in your mug, and now felt like the perfect opportunity. Ironically since Three Mint is my favourite blend I actually ran out a couple of days before I tool these photos so you can't see that variety in the shots, ha ha.

A tea for everyone!

So many of my coaching clients seek to make that transition away from fruit juices and fizzy drinks yet are discouraged by the idea of drinking copious amounts of plain water. Herbal teas to the rescue! There are so many flavours and varieties, I challenge anyone to not find a few they absolutely love! Please don't give up when you've tried a couple and are convinced... try a fruity one,  a sweeter one, and a refreshing one and see what best suits you. 

Also remember what I said at the beginning of this post? Until a few years ago I absolutely hated all teas (hot chocolate was my hot beverage of choice!!), yet when I transition to a plant-based lifestyle my taste buds changed over the following months and I began to like things that are used to hate. As you start cleaning up your diet and reducing refined foods and sugars your tastebuds adapt to a new level of sweetness and you'll also find that you truly appreciate the tastes of food in a totally new way. Seriously herbal tea could well become your new best friend.

A few benefits of tea:

So, why should you drink tea. Can it actually do anything for your health?

1. Faster metabolism - white, green and black teas can help boost you in this department. I choose green tea with a squeeze of lemon (A great start to your morning).

2. Better digestion - mint tea, fennel tea, ginger tea... and many more all help to assist digestion and reduce bloating, I love all of these flavours, perfect after dinner

3. Brighter, healthier skin- Tea contains antioxidants, which act as free radical scavengers; these can help prevent aging spots and maintain your skin's bright, youthful glow.  Personally I think being well hydrated with herbal teas (non caffeinated) which are much more interesting than plain water is the best boost for skin health

4. Better blood sugar regulation - By lowering the stress hormone cortisol, tea helps to improve blood sugar regulation. I also think mindfulness of eta drinking also plays a role (more on that in a moment)

5. Weight control - In addition to the metabolic benefits, many people find drinking tea helps curb their appetite and reduce mindless snacking between meals, thus making it easier to manage their weight.  I also suggests to clients that when a craving strikes, have a mug of teas and then see how you feel- sometimes that simple distraction is enough to takeaway the need.


The act of tea drinking goes way beyond the actual contents of your mug, it's an entire mind-body experience in itself. Holding a large, warm, heavy mug full of hot tea creates a little cocoon of mindfulness. It slows your breathing, hydrates and nourishes your soul.

Every morning as I sip my lemon water in the early hours upon waking and every evening as I have my last mint tea of the night I try and take five minutes to simply be at one with my tea (I'm by no means perfect and it doesn't always happen but it's what I aim for!) I enjoy feeling the steam hit my face as I bring the mug up to my mouth and simply enjoy the heat and the flavour whilst paying attention to the stillness of the moment... ok this might have gone a bit hippyish but for someone who struggles to meditate, to relax, to take time out… for me this is an experience I can really get on board with and I encourage everyone to simply take five minutes time out for tea whenever they can and to really embrace the experience.

If you like you can even have a special mug, mine is the dotty one in the photo it's a big chunky mug that takes nearly 500ml of tiny cups for me!!

For me, mindfulness truly is the most important part of my tea drinking rituals, whether it be tea bags, looseleaf, fresh lemon juice or mint leaves, sitting in a coffee shop drinking tea, out on the hills drinking tea from a flask on a cold winters day… There is always time for tea!

What does tea mean for you?

Do you take 'time out for tea' and what's your favourite flavour?

Is a mug of tea complete without a (healthy) cookie to compliment it? 

Is a mug of tea complete without a (healthy) cookie to compliment it? 

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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