Posts tagged student spotlight
'Student Spotlight' 5 simple ways to step into the power of heart

Wow, this is actually the last of my 'Student Spotlight' posts... and today I have something a little different for you. I think you might just love it. 

I'm now on module 36 out of 40 with my Institute of Integrative Nutrition health coaching  course... so close to the end! It has been a crazy journey so far and I feel I've grown so much mentally yet still feel I have such have a long way to go... almost as if my mind has literally opened up to the universe... and keeps expanding! I don't think we ever stop learning, do you?

My fellow student, Sarah-Jane's words speak to me on a deeper level, a place in which I am still searching on a daily basis. 

As well as being a foodie, she is also yogi and adventurer... and it is this side of her life I wanted to share with you today.  

Let me know if her words resonate with you too! 

Now I will hand over to Sarah Jane Perman and her "five simple ways to step into the power of heart" 

I don’t know about you but thinking has always leads to trouble for me.  Spending too much time in my head makes me CRAZY, using unnecessary energy, worrying, rationalising and freaking out about, well, EVERYTHING…!

 As a serial over thinker I’ve made it my mission to get out of my own way, get back into the flow… and live an open-heart life (which to me literally means opening myself to the power of heart).

‘Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less, feel more’. Osho

 I remember when I met my boyfriend (in a nightclub in Ibiza, as you do); it was a whirlwind 5-day romance which crescendo-ed in us deciding that whatever we did next it had to be together.  We were in a full blown space of heart connection, forgetting the rational stuff like the fact that we lived on opposite sides of the world and feeling our way, guided by our intuition, completely open to the possibilities, limitless in our thinking and no doubt super charged by a whole lot of love hormones!  After those blissful, inseparable first days I had to say goodbye and head off to host a yoga retreat in Formentera and I did my utmost to remain in the space of trust and heart and keep the freaking out vibes at bay… but gee wiz it was challenging! 

Over the years of our evolution and the process of forgetting our true nature I feel we have lost our connection to heart intelligence, we get stuck in our rational mind which, in my experience, is far less intelligent than our heart space.  The next few days of retreat were tough, I struggled to stay focused on my students, all I could think was OMG, I wonder what Joe is feeling/thinking.  I hope he isn’t freaking out…I hope he hasn’t had second thoughts… I hope he’s still into me!  One morning at breakfast I was having a moment and revealing my fears to a sweet student and, naturally, I had a quick look (stalk) of his facebook page and saw these words Turn off you head and turn on your heart’.  Phew I thought… things are going to be just fine!

When we are in our heart space, it is an awakened state where we feel expanded and full of joy. This state is 60 times more powerful than when we operate from our brain or mind alone (The Institute of Heart Math, 2013).

Traditional Chinese medicine views the heart as “The Emperor” of our body, and has long recognized how essential it is to remain connected to our heart for consistent well-being and happiness (Chinese Medicine: Rooted in Spirit, 2006).

‘A world founded on heart energy transcends violence, war and fear. Grace, peace and harmony take their place.’ – Deborah Fairfull

Sounds pretty radical right?

Imagine a world of LOVE, JOY, COMMUNITY, total FLOW where whatever you need comes to you in the perfect moment, we have NO FEAR, we can totally TRUST and we are CONNECTED to the present moment like never before.  This is what it means to live ‘AN OPEN HEART LIFE’.  

Do you want some of that… ?  

5 simple-ish steps to help you open and live from the heart:

1)    Trust – stop trying and start allowing.  I’m putting this at the top of the list as I feel this is the real key.  In order to step into the juicy part of life where you allow the Universe (or the energy that surrounds us) to provide we have to TRUST.  I used to think this meant trusting others, like our partners to support us in times of need, but it’s much bigger than that.  We do not need to look outside for trust, we have the power of the Universe within us, all we have to do and step out of the cycle of freaking out and pushing hard to make it all happen… and TRUST.  Trust that the answers are coming, that the perfect person is right around the corner, that you are capable and worthy and INCREDIBLY amazing at everything you do.  Just like a muscle that is tight and working overtime, we too can get stuck in this exhausting pattern of pushing and forcing.  Trust me when I say I have operated form this space for much of my life. Pushing through, striving harder at the gym, at work…even at yoga!   Now is the time to take your foot off the gas and let the energy of the Universe do the work.  There is a whole company of energetic beings waiting to support you… Get a pen and paper and write TRUST and ALLOW in big letters and stick them on your mirror.  I promise it will help.

2)   Practice meditation and mindful movement daily - Yoga (or any mindful movement) and meditation are a fantastic way to get you out of your head and back into your body and a state of FEELING and EXPERIENCING, rather than mindlessly DOING and THINKING.  When we quieten the mind and try to dissipate the busy and unhelpful thoughts and fears, we step into the juicy space of heart.

3)   Get creative – write your way out of your head and into your heart with morning pages and journaling.  By writing we clear the busy-ness of our mind.  Try it first thing when you wake up, simply writing whatever comes up as a natural mental cleanse.  Morning pages followed by meditation are a favourite combo of mine and will help you set a mindful and connected tone for your day.

4)   Be present - In a state of presence, we radiate heart energy and are fully present in the here and now.  Our mind takes us all over the place and makes us feel scattered with worries about the future and the past.  The energy of the present moment is strong, deep and powerful, enabling us to create our life, as we want it to be.  To get present I like to close my eyes and observe my breath, walk in nature planting my bare feet on the earth.  It is in this quiet space of presence that we can connect more easily to the wisdom of our heart.    

5)   Practice acceptance - Anything is possible once you except where you are right now.  By letting go of the feelings of duality (and running from things that are ‘bad’, ‘hard’ and ‘confronting’) and we are able to start embracing the ‘oneness’ and operating from the nonjudgmental energy of heart.

OK… I’m adding a 6th:

6)   Practice love and compassion – ‘The heart is a the thousand-stringed instrument that can only be tuned with love.’ Hafiz

Love is at the heart of every remedy… it activates our heart intelligence and expands our energy.  In order to tap into this feeling of indiscriminate love for all Universe-kind we must be vulnerable and courageous and keep our hearts open in the face of great pain.  We must practice compassion. 

I won’t pretend that this is always an easy process.  Our lives pull us into our heads all too often so it’s up to us to do the work to remain anchored in our hearts.  Start by noticing the subtle changes in your life as you cultivate heart awareness.  I promise its too juicy not to want to stay there permanently. 

‘Let's get loose with compassion, let's drown in the delicious ambience of love.’ Hafiz

And, just in case you were wondering, my beautiful boyfriend managed to stay in his heart and we are still on our open-hearted adventures together to this day. I’m grateful for every minute!

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Sarah-Jane is an open-hearted adventurer, wellness experimentalist, vinyasa yoga teacher and holistic health coach who is inspiring the world to live An Open Heart Life!  Her mission is to help others find their flow, realise their amazing potential and live the life of their dreams… all from a powerful space of heart and love!

"I’d love to help you on your journey… Message me at for a 40 minute FREE heart to heart chat. Or join me on one of my Open Heart Life retreats in Bali, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka and Ibiza"


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I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers  plus me 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 in these places:



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'Student Spotlight' Mango Quinoa Salad

I'm super excited today to present to you my fellow student Vera Szutorisz, not least because her photos are gorgeous!  

What I most love is the way Vera combines both food and travel in such beautiful way, almost like a scrapbook of thoughts and memories...but anyway, that's enough from me, time for me to hand you over to Vera for this weeks Student Spotlight instalment. Enjoy!

" I grew up in Hungary in a big loving family and we ate the best diet in the world: our mum's home cooked food prepared with love. We had a huge garden with all kinds of vegetables, fruits and fruit trees. At the time having fresh produce readily available for us year around seemed very natural for us. Then came University and with my move to another city my preference for quick, frozen, out of the can meals had began. It got worse when I started moving around for the next one and half years, to London, Cape Cod and Sydney, with that I entered the processed- sweet-empty-calorie-corn-flakes-and-pie-loving culture with which I saw no problem at the time but never felt worse in my life during those months. 

Everything changed, however, when we moved to the Far East, South Korea, in 2006. Those folks really know how to eat healthy. They eat tons of greens and fermented veggies: kimchi with every meal and make every soup out of broth. That was the first time I started to take notice how much better I began to feel eating what they were eating. Then one spring Seoul night we had a very inspiring encounter with a Buddhist Monk who talked us about how basing our diet on high vibrational foods, like fruits, vegetables and rice has a direct correlation with how we feel emotionally and energetically after a meal which seemed like an easy explanation why Asians appear to have more energy than us in the West. I found this concept truly fascinating and it made a lot of sense to me and still does. Fast forward to 2009 we moved back to Europe and now we're living in the beautiful Mediterranean, in Spain, and once again I feel like we're living in the garden of Eden just like when I was a little girl surrounded with plenty of fresh organic produce that is available year around. It wasn't that easy and simple as it sounds but this is the gist of my otherwise long story."

Recipe: Mango Quinoa Salad with chickpeas

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked chickpea
  • 1 small mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds


Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well. 

For the dressing: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice, 1 tbsp chopped parsley (you can use fresh coriander or mint leaves too) and alfalfa sprouts for garnishing 

In a small ball combine all the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad just before serving.

¡Que Approveche!


Spotlight Interview

1- What first drew you to study with IIN?

I have always felt a calling to help and provide continuous support for others. Originally I wanted to become a psychologist but ended up getting my degree in social studies. Ever since I can remember I have had a deep desire to understand the big picture of life. Why are we here? What does true purpose really mean? How can we cross the fear zone and live life to the fullest meanwhile helping others and contributing to the evolution of human kind?

What I have learnt is that everything we do in life is a choice. A choice that has an impact on not only our life but on the lives of others since we are all interconnected. It's a choice to be kind and respectful to one another. It's a choice to select our thoughts and reactions in certain situation. It's a choice to be conscious and aware of the impact food has on our mind, body and the Planet.

I wanted to join IIN to learn more in depth how food really affects our lives and the Planet and to find my own path to a balanced way of eating in order to become the healthiest and strongest I can be, not just physically but also emotionally and mentally to be able to carry out 'big' things in life and with that knowledge to empower others to do the same and create a more loving and friendly environment for us and future generations.

 2- How has your life changed since becoming a health coaching student?

I certainly feel more organized and even more accepting towards others and other people's choices. I agree that it's important to meet everyone where they are and not where we are and respect that everyone is different with a different path to health and happiness and what living life to the fullest means to me would be something totally opposite for others. Likewise with food. 'One man's food is another man's poison'. It all comes down to our beautiful differences as Joshua would say: to our bio-individuality. 

3- What do you hope to take away into the world and how do you plan to help others once you graduate?

I'm going to focus on 'women's hormonal health'. Support women to balance their hormones naturally. Help to feel their best and deal with every-day's life stress more graciously. Help to build better and stronger digestion, increased energy level, create balance and harmony in their lives, and live life with more passion and purpose.

4- Being a ‘wellness crusader’ what one thing would you wish to change about the world?

 We all came here to learn and experience different things in life as part of our personal and spiritual growth and I would like if it was universally accepted and respected in our world.

5- What would you choose for your 'final meal on earth’?

 A quinoa salad with beans, nuts and fruits :-)

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Vera is based in Madrid Spain, Budapest Hungary and Seoul South Korea. You can check out her websites Apple and Soul and Happy and Conscious Living as well as follow her on her Facebook page.

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. 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 also find me in these places:

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