Posts tagged self development
Why I'm not a vegan activist... and the approach I take instead.

I saw this picture post shared by the Veganuary team on Facebook earlier today. I went to automatically click the 'share' button, but as my finger hovered over the keyboard I took a moment to reflect on what it meant to me.

I knew there was a deeper story there waiting to be explored.

I cast my mind back in time to 2011 and relived those emotions. These were the words that flowed out of my mind into the text space.

Then I pressed 'share'.  

P.s if you want to read more about my transition to veganism, you'll enjoy this mini story!

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I never try to push veganism on people (if I find myself getting too vocally passionate I consciously tone it down!)

That is not because I am not passionate about a plant-based way of living and minimising harm to the environment around us BUT because I know that before I made the switch back in 2011 my ex-boyfriend tried to force his ethical views upon me and it did not work.

It created so many negative feelings of resistance, frustration, rebellion and denial within me compared with the mindset of curiously learning and feeling inspired to change through observing his actions alone and sharing information when asked.

It shut me down instead of opening me up to possibility and change.

I can still feel that resistance and disconnect inside me now when faced with the black and white 'militant vegan' approach. I fear it overwhelms those who are curious to explore more.

We are all on a journey, none of us are perfect and we've all been there at the very beginning. (No judgment on those activists who follow this more approach, if it works for you great, it just doesn't vibe with me personally).

Still, the seed had been planted and I found my own path to plant-based living, via nutritional education and then found the ethical side crept up on me slowly over time.

That is my hope for Including Cake and my work as a coach, to simply inspire people in their own journey of discovery wherever it may lead. No pressure, no judgement, just a willingness to open your mind beyond the conditioning of society. Questioning why we do the things we do and no longer accepting 'because that's just what I have always done' as a valid answer.

BUT... i'll be totally honest, when someone messages me to tell me they've become a 'week day vegan' or have permanently switched out dairy for plant milks, or are consciously evaluating all their nutritional and lifestyle choices... through being inspired by how I show up in the world, I can't help but feel so full of love, happiness and hope inside!

It's not just about saving the world, it's taking the steps to saving yourself and stepping away from the expectations of society.

We can all make so much more difference than we realise.

It may sound cheesy (pun intended!) but it's true, it really is all I want for Christmas!

Take on the Veganuary challenge and give plant-based living a try for 31 days in January and see what shifts for you. This is the perfect introduction without feeling the overwhelm of 'infinity' and also a supportive playground to get creative and explore alongside so many others feeling the same way. I guarantee you'll discover so much more abut yourself than you would have ever imagined.

I'd love to hear your stories... if you are already vegan what most helped you make that transition. What educational approach worked for you? Or, where are you at in your journey and where would you like to be?

P.s reach out to me if you want some support and let's have an open conversation!

With much love on your journey,

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The powerful truths about travel

I recently became a 'traveller'. After spending my 20’s too scared to get on a plane on my own, by the time my early 30’s came around curiosity had got the better of me and I took my first solo trip abroad. It was hugely daunting but ultimately a profound and pivotal moment in my own journey of personal discovery. 

Then last year my New Years intention was to create a year of 'experiences' and what then unfolded was a year of travelling, of culture, of embracing the tiny everyday details of life with fresh eyes.

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My entire experience of life changed profoundly, my comfort zone was blown wide open and my personal growth skyrocketed.

Over the last 12 months or so I have spent time with the Merkaba Community in Portugal, the ISKON community in Spain, the Madhyamaka Kadampa Meditation Centre Buddhist community in York and the Osho Leela Community in Dorset. Each time it has offered me a beautiful insight into alternative perspectives, routines and norms and in many cases really challenged my thinking. 

Living the lives of other communities teaches me so much and allows me to observe my own day-to-day world more powerfully than the nature of travelling on trips and holidays and observing from the peripheries.

Understanding that their way of being is not 'temporary' and that this is what real life is like, makes it all the more real for me. Going back to my 'normal' reminds me that the small (I admit sometimes frustrating) details of everyday life- however permanent, essential, ingrained and routine they may appear, are all within our control to change and shift. Nothing is permanent. The way we live our lives is for the most part based upon nothing more than a series of habits and social conditioning that we always have the choice to step into or away from. 

In moments of frustration at myself, at society, at the rut I may feel stuck in, at the 'shoulds' in my decision making... remembering this is all a choice for everyone of us in each and every moment is both an incredibly powerful and humbling reminder. 

As I began to create this blog post in my mind, I decided to reach out to other professionals in the world of self development, to understand how travelling and time spent with other communities and cultures had also enriched their lives and how their own personal development had evolved more deeply as a result.

What quickly became apparent and intriguing is the patterns that began to show...embracing the unknown, the subtle appreciation of another's culture, a shift in viewpoint, inner trust, a guiding intuition... These fundamental gifts found here through travel can be universal to us all, gifts that money cannot buy and that age, race and gender don't touch.

I'd love to share their beautiful stories with you...

 

Kama Frankling - Photograher

Travel Removes The Blindfold of My Mind. Travel opens my eyes to what is possible. While travelling I am reminded of how confident and capable I am when I need to be. Each moment is unpredictable and unfolds as it unfolds. While travelling I lose the false perception that I have control. There is no choice but to be with what arises as it arises. Travel keeps me in the present moment reminding me that life is only in each moment. Travel reminds me that everything is changing constantly, that each moment in life is precious and to be savoured. Travel gives me fresh eyes to see the world as if seeing it for the first time. Travel is the perfect awareness practice, moments in time so appreciated that they awaken the senses and remind me to live each day without the blinkers of my mind.

www.hatehavingmyphototaken.com  |   facebook.com/Hatehavingmyphototaken

 

Fiona Cooper - Motivational Life Coach

Living and working all over the world has been a privilege which I’m becoming ever more grateful to have had. I have lived in a generation where freedoms were real and where nearly all of the world was open to us. Many of my friends travelled to Kashmir and Afghanistan before they were closed and I have lived and worked in all continents apart from Africa. Being a motivational life coach, I’m fascinated by the way we use language to define ourselves and to create our reality.  Living overseas it has become more and more evident that every nation uses language differently and the words we use are key to how we live our lives and see ourselves. 

In France “bon appetit” is at the beginning of every meal and food is central in the language and culture. In Canada and North America (for the most part), sarcasm and irony are not understood (making our British sense of humour completely lost on most people) – but this leaves an honesty we are perhaps lacking sometimes in the UK – in the States you know where you stand.  New Zealand has a “can do” attitude which I haven’t seen matched elsewhere in the world – they have a phrase “the No 8 wire” which basically means you can fix anything with the right attitude.  Knowing and understanding these nuanced differences has made me all the more aware of our individual differences and the importance we should put on the actual words we choose to express ourselves particularly when we’re using words to define ourselves (something we do the whole time).  What words are you using to define your world?  Are there any words you might want to change?

Fiona Cooper is a Motivational Life Coach helping busy parents build the life of their dreams.  Her website is ficooper.com and she has a group on facebook called Dream Weave Achievers.

 

Kat Gal - Holistic Life Coach & Health Writer

To me the ultimate act of self-love is freedom: allowing myself to experience freedom, allowing myself the freedom to be my true self, the freedom to follow my heart and my intuition, the freedom to follow my dreams, the freedom to walk my own journey, the freedom to change direction whenever I want to or need to, the freedom to be present moment, the freedom to let go of all expectations, the freedom to let go of comparisons, the freedom to be vulnerable and authentic, the freedom to trust the process, the freedom to take risks, the freedom to feel alive, the freedom to be free, and the freedom to just simply be. Freedom has always been one of my highest values, and as a nomad I have valued my freedom for years. Self-love was something I had to learn and develop as an adult, and I am still learning every single day. When I realized that freedom and self-love ultimately meant the same thing for me, it was a life-changing a ‘aha’ moment.

Traveling allows me to practice freedom and self-love. Being at a new place, especially when traveling solo, I arrive with a clean slate with a childlike curiosity, with the opportunity to discover the world and in the process get to know myself. Returning to a familiar place - perhaps home or a place I know well – or being with familiar people allows me to practice this same freedom and self-love in an environment where society (and my past self) has already hung multitudes of labels on me. My travel experiences help this process greatly. Besides travel, ecstatic dance, writing, running, nature walk and family constellations are the most helpful tools to experience freedom and self-love as result.

facebook.com/arawtransformation  |   website: https://becomeahealthcoachblog.wordpress.com  |  Freelance writing: http://katgalwriting.weebly.com

 

Shelly Najjar - Bucket list and travel blogger

I am bolder because of my travel experience. Much of my fear comes from The Unknown, in life or when traveling... and there are plenty of unknowns in travel. It’s probably good that my first introduction to it was when I was very small, before I knew to be afraid. We continued traveling as a family as I was growing up. It showed me that traveling was safe and that The Unknown holds great opportunity. From my parents’ example, I learned how to be flexible and to deal with situations as they come up. At home, I’m not what anyone would consider a flexible person, and that’s often because I’m trying to control everything. However, when I travel, I can be my “travel self”: the person who approaches challenging situations with the mindset of “That’s just part of traveling. I can figure this out.” I’m finding that the more I travel (both independently, and with friends), the more my “travel self” is becoming my “home self” - I’m more flexible and less afraid, and I have the grace and confidence to face the things that make me nervous.

www.thegoallist.com   |   facebook.com/thegoallist   |   IG: @thegoallist   |   TW: @goallisttweets

 

Francesca Gentille - Certified Clinical Sexologist

I used to think I would travel when I had more time, money, health, lost weight, or the right partner. At 55, I was done waiting. I made a commitment to myself to do it. I bought a roundtrip ticket to Italy for 5 weeks. Now at 60, walking with a cane, waiting for a hip replacement I'm still rockin traveling, teaching, & enjoying my friends in Italy & Malta.  Traveling has taught me that when I can combine vision and action, I can do anything. “Until one is committed, there is  hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too." Goethe.

www.francescagentille.com   |    www.facebook.com/francesca.gentille   |   @Francescadiva

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Silvia Martin - Breakup Coach

Wherever you go, there you are. Traveling makes you expand that comfort zone. It exposes you to all types of situations, some pleasant, some not so pleasant. We travel to learn, we travel for an adventure. We also travel, in many cases, to escape. We think that, maybe, under a different weather, a different language, different foods… we will be able to leave “that” behind once and for all. It hardly ever happens this way. 

Traveling has the capacity to expose us to exactly what we don’t want to face. It’s nearly ironic how we always end up having to face the very own fears we are trying to run away from. It is as if life was saying to us “look darling, I am not going to leave you alone until you are able to overcome it!” 

Being able to get through “that” thing we are running from is, in my opinion, the biggest benefit of traveling. Once you are done, you are ready to board towards your next destination. 

www.shizencoaching.com   |   IG: @shizencoaching   |   FB: facebook.com/shizencoaching   |    TW: @shizenduende

 

Ann Skinner - Coach and Creator of The Contributionist

One thing that travel has taught me is that if you want to go, just go. 25 years ago I decided I wanted to go backpacking but I had next to no money to my name. Still, I picked a date and got enough money to buy a ticket and to see me through the first month. I ended up travelling in some form or another for the next 18 months. It taught me a valuable lesson that has been proven time and time again; there is no need to plan and schedule beyond the basics as the best experiences have nearly always been the unplanned, unforeseen ones.

Travel has taught me to jump in the deep end and trust my gut and to be ready to expect nothing but the unexpected. You don't have to have it all figured out before you leave, nor do you need to have a whole load of cash in order to live a champagne and oyster lifestyle! In fact, the best currency in the world has been my smile, which I found has been freely available to me on most days.

My smile has given me more than money could ever buy and was the catalyst for many of my adventures and the start of numerous short- and longterm friendships, including a very generous champagne loving oyster farmer who kept me and my partner happily fed and watered for 6 weeks without needing anything in return beyond the pleasure of our company.

www.thecontributionevolution.com   |   FB:facebook.com/thecontributionist  |   FB group: thecontributionevolution   |   IG: @thecontributionist  |   TW: @Contributionist

 

Tess Vergara - Money and Fulfillment Coach

Recently, a client shared that one obstacle that keeps him from moving forward with his business was not having a decent place where he can conduct client meetings. He realizes this is keeping him stuck as he needs to see clients in order to get out of the place he is in right now.

I smiled and shared how for the past 2 years I'd been living a digital nomad lifestyle. My clients still love me even when I show up with no make-up, wind-blown hair wearing beach wear instead of one might expect from a business coach.

I make no apologies for coaching right on the beach with the crashing of the waves in the background.

I also shared with my client one story where, while in Santorini, Greece, I remember feeling so torn to stay in and do client calls from the hotel but at last minute took a huge risk and went with my instinct against my rational mind.

Carried up by a donkey right on the edge of the cliff of Oia, breathless and thirsty after literally crawling in scorching heat, I arrived at the peak just in perfect time to find a quiet spot away from the crowd to where there was a strong phone signal. It was so freeing and exciting to connect with my intuition that way that allowed me to meet my need for adventure as well as deliver on my commitment. A story that emboldened me to follow my path to freedom.

www.openheartmindcoaching.com   |   FB: facebook.com/OpenHeartMindCoaching   |   Unlocking the Heart of Money Facebook Group   |   LinkedIn: @openheartmindcoaching

 

Gloria Coppola -  Lifestyle Consultant Clarity Coach & SoulPurpose Sage

We stand at the gateway and often don't walk through, doubting, fearing or unsure of what is expected if we do! When we make the decision to take the chance, to listen, our lives will forever change and a gateway of wisdom will be shown to you.

Travel has influenced my mindset, my insights and allowed me to explore unknown parts of my self.  One of the most impactful experiences was a trip to Egypt that would forever shift my perception of life....and death!  I Arrived in Egypt approximately two months after the tragic and unexpected death of my spouse while I was still in a deep and dark depression.

I recall standing on the  hotel viranda as the sun set, thinking how did I get here? The pyramids were surreal and I had no idea what I was about to experience.

Had I tapped into the great mystery?

Was I experiencing an altered reality? A dimensional shift?

A subconscious paradigm? A dream? 

Was I walking between two worlds?

Whatever this was, I was able to walk with my ancestors. To hear them guide me with words of wisdom. My loved ones would embrace me and I would be at peace.

Travel elevates me! Inspires me! Teaches me and taps into my soul more deeply than any book or workshop ~ It's a living history, an envelopment of spirit beyond words ~ it is transcending.

www.GloriaCoppola.com/blog   |   FB: facebook.com/soulFULLpurpose


Let us know what comes up for you as you read these stories and reflect on your own. Have you travelled or would you like to?  

Can you relate to the experiences of your own life adventures even if you haven't travelled... sometimes the biggest adventures of our lives are to be found in our own cities, neighbourhoods, homes and hearts.

Much love,

 

I hope you found this post inspiring...

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A conversation with 2017...

Good morning 2017.... may I take this chance to welcome you in to my life? Let's sit down with a mug of tea and have a quick chat shall we?

You see, I have big dreams for this year and I guess I just wanna check you're cool with supporting me in that.

Yes, I know I've got to put the work in myself and not just talk the talk, I know I can't just play it safe, and yes I understand your 'lessons' may come in many different guises. Don't worry I hear you. I get it.

I guess I just want you to know that I am ready to give you everything I have. Like no other year gone before. I feel a deep connection with you and just knowing that you have got my back would really, really help, you know?

What's that you say... 'Please don't worry'?   I try not to but it's hard sometimes as everything is so unknown and it's scary to take that leap... Sorry what?  I do accept 'what is', and i'm learning to 'let go of what was', but it's the faith that sometimes gets tough. 

Would you like more tea? No sorry, I wasn't trying to sweeten you up (promise) ;-)

Ahhhh ok so I get it. I get it. You've made your point. 

Wow... this is deep. To be honest I hadn't expected this level of honesty in our first conversation, I only met you a few hours ago after all! 

@@So, you can only give to me by degree of what I am willing to give to you. @@

So, if I trust you 100% then you have got my back 100%.

It's simple?? ...yeah right! 2017 it looks like you're a bit of a character already, but I think I like you. Though I am not sure I could handle you for the longer term.... a year maybe... ha

Ok i'm in dude. I'm glad we had this time together to talk. 

Now, let's go out into the world and do this thing!!

(Oh and please just make sure you put your mug in the dishwasher when you've finished your tea).

 

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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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YOU are NOT your thoughts.... my journey with overwhelm
 

Over the last year, the 'mindset' side of Including Cake has really come into it's own as an equal to the recipe exploration that was once the only purpose and content of this blog a few years back.  Including Cake is now about so much more then recipes and nutrition... it's a discussion and exploration about mind & body. Learning to become our best selves.

This shines a powerful light on my own journey, and is my space for journalling, often spontaneously, and more deeply understanding and accepting myself whatever I have to offer in that moment. It also comes from a place of pure love and vulnerability. I know there are many more people out there who connect with what I say and I want to share my thoughts not only for my own development but also to reach others and offer a space for love, support and exploration.

I watched this video amidst my morning Facebook scrolling and really connected with it and for so many of you here in my tribe, I know you will identify with the feelings in the video, like I did.

I'll openly admit that whilst I'm very grateful for having never had a full blown panic attack and don't give any specific label to the way I sometimes feel (I also note in writing these words a little voice inside tells me to be cautious not to be seen as a fraud without a 'real' mental illness), I do often wake up with feelings of anxiety bubbling away for absolutely no apparent reason- all the more so since I have been stepping outside of my comfort zone in big ways. At those times, the idea of a simple task like making a phone call or walking down road to post a letter seems irrationally huge and overwhelming.

I also have a tendency of riding adrenaline highs and lows... something I'm working to curb (and actually doing a pretty good job at these last few months) using my tools below. I'll often have a few days or even a number of weeks feeling totally 'high' on life, waking up in the morning with that Christmas Eve feeling of anticipation and having so much energy that I feel like I could run the world. The downside to that feeling is that somewhere along the line it will be followed by a 'crash', where the day is practically written off and my confidence levels drop through the floor.

These days thankfully, it usually only lasts a day before I'm back on a good even keel, whereas previously it dragged out a bit longer. But even just a day at such a confidence low is enough to make a significant impact on progressing my business ventures (cue inner critic 'fraud talk' again) and the extremes can be mentally exhausting and so finding a balance to bring the highs and lows in a notch either end is key for me. I'm on it! 

I think the key for us all along this journey of exploring life to its fullest potential is of course creating a network of positivity and support but also building our own personal 'toolkit' for noticing, catching and dissipating these feelings as they arise. For me, this also now means they don't pop up so frequently in the first place. Some of my personal tools are practicing mindfulness, decluttering, deep belly breathing, writing (often turning into drafts of these posts), yoga, drumming, drinking tea slowly, running/walking outside. 

Sometimes I have to force myself to do one of these things knowing that I'll feel better afterwards, because in the moment the overwhelm is trying to prevent me from taking action as if some kind of weird self-sabotage. Sometimes if these tools don't work so well, it's simply a case of sitting with the thought or feeling without trying to resist, question or understand it and knowing that it will pass all the more quickly if I practice self acceptance in that moment.

These feelings ALWAYS pass. 

Remember YOU are NOT your thoughts.

Know that I am always HERE for you on your journey too. 

Much Love. xx

 

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Yoga Connects!

After 36 hours of digital detox with my phone turned off...

15+ hours of yoga practice 

15 hours of volunteering 

A gong bath

Inspiring talks 

A an epic soul revival dance party 

And a yoga rave

...I return home with a weekend of experiences with some of the most passionate and compassionate people this world has to offer.

I had the privilege of working at the incredible Yoga Connects Festival. Spending time in the company and teaching of some of the yoga greats such as Celeste Periera and Dylan Werner, yet also had the grounding reminder that yoga is not about perfection of the skills to perform gravity defying hand balances.... but an ever evolving inner practice of tuning in your true nature. Of loving yourself in this moment.

Practicing yoga in a group space holds an incredible energy. It intensifies, magnifies and reflects our individual energy. I felt this when I was one of a handful in the sunshine on the bus deck at Merkaba, and I felt this again when I was one of many- sometimes 100+ at the yoga classes this weekend.

I also attended a gong bath, I would have loved to have attended more to go even deeper, but there was so much else I wanted to experience and so it was not to be.  This going bath was a particularly reflective experience for me. I had just finished an intense early morning shift of volunteering at the registration desk and my shift also over ran a little meaning I rushed to where the gong bath was being held, tiptoeing my way through the room to find a small space in a sea of yoga mats already filling the room.

I settled down as the teacher began with slow soft words to lead into the session. My mind was full and it wouldn't give up easy! I had a feeling I'd find it hard to get out of my head and into my heart space and relax but this then gave rise to an altogether different experience. With the sounds of the gong in the background creating ripples and crescendoes of sound reverberating around the room, my mind filled with thoughts, questions and scenarios... Random scatterings of thoughts that each powerfully caught my attention for a few moments... But almost as soon as I got caught up in them, I realised I was doing so and simply let them go.

I just let them drift off.

I told myself if it was important then it would come back to me later when I could do something about it, but that right now there was nothing I could do to help those thoughts and there was little point in them hanging around. It worked like magic. Throughout the 1.5 hour gong bath, my mind filled constantly but also gave me endless practice in letting go... again and again and again.

At the end of the session as I wiggled my fingers and toes, opened my eyes and slowly sat up as the leader brought the session to a close, I realised I remembered not a single thought that had crossed my mind so powerfully just a few moments before.

The epic teachers whose classes I attended... including (top right anti-clockwise) Jake & Chetana- acro yoga, Dylan Werner - yoga therapeutics, Luis Valentine- Jivamukti, 47 Soul- awesome musicians, Celeste Periera- Vinyasa flow, Charlotte Welfare- Boom Shanti, Brett Moran- yogi and inspiring speaker.

The epic teachers whose classes I attended... including (top right anti-clockwise) Jake & Chetana- acro yoga, Dylan Werner - yoga therapeutics, Luis Valentine- Jivamukti, 47 Soul- awesome musicians, Celeste Periera- Vinyasa flow, Charlotte Welfare- Boom Shanti, Brett Moran- yogi and inspiring speaker.

Guru is the Sanskrit word for teacher.

Yoga means unity.

We are all own own most powerful teachers when we open our hearts and let the world in to show us the way and allow ourselves to listen to and trust our own inner voice.

When we come together as one energy. Individuals with a common aim, united in physical space, sharing a common bond and a common love. We are one... We are a unity. We are spiritual beings in a physical body.

Hundreds of us sat back to back, bodies pressed together with a partner at the end of the yoga rave at midnight on Saturday, after a full on day of the festival under a huge tent canopy, energy and rhythm still coursing through our souls, coming down from the drug free euphoric high that only love can create. We sat in meditative silence which then closed with my favourite poem..

We are each beacons of light.

This weekend we let out light shine out to the world. I have no doubt it reached beyond the fields of Stanford Hall. I have no doubt it reached beyond the boundaries of the United Kingdom. This weekend we came together from all over the country and the world for one common aim. To share yoga, to share passion, to share learning and ultimately to share deep inner the love that is innate to us all. 

From the book 'Love' by Leo Buscaglia which I have recently been reading, we do not 'fall' in love but we 'grow' in love. It is a constant, consistent practice in much the same way that yoga is also a constant, consistent practice for both body and mind.

This weekend the people of Yoga Connects came together to grow deeper in love.

P.s If you like to join in next year.... keep an eye on their website for 2017 super early bird tickets coming soon!


 

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My time at the Buddhist Meditation Centre

Finally I have written a blog post about my experience... just three weeks later!  

Every time I had sat down to do so I'd be distracted away from distilling my throughs into words. Then I had a story to finish that i'd be invited to contribute to a book which involved me digging deep and re-living a lot of emotions. It is only now I have the energy to focus in what this experience taught me.

So, as you may recall in my last post, that in January my focus for the year was to explore 'experience'. That was the word I gave myself. I wasn't sure how it would manifest at that point but I knew there would likely be some travel involved as I'd already booked a flight for April to see my sister in Thailand and volunteer as a yoga centre.

March rolled around and I felt the urgent need to 'expand'. That is probably the best word I can use to describe it!  I found Madhyamaka Buddhist Mediation centre a few hours drive from me near York that takes on volunteers in return for bed and food. It sounded perfect. So with just a few days notice at the beginning of March, and no idea what to expect, I went to live there for a week.

A little bit of everything captured!

A little bit of everything captured!

It was incredible! It's hard to put into words how it felt. I loved living as part of their community, hearing their personal stories, spiritual debates around the dinner table, going to meditation sessions 2 to 3 times a day in the beautiful ornate meditation rooms. There were a few other UK guests and also volunteers from around Europe whilst I was there and we all hung out together sharing cultures, language, jokes... it was such an enriching experience.

It was also the small things that made a huge impact, like the huge sash windows with the beautiful sunshine streaming through in every room as I worked on my laptop. The beautiful grounds and rolling hills of the countryside. I was so lucky to have such a sunny week, but even it it hadn't been I would have still been amazing to appreciate nature in all it's true glory.

I was working in the reception/shop a lot and designing flyers for them at the same time which was lovely as I was able to use my skills (I also run a design business on the side). All in all, I gained so much from the whole experience and would love to go back again sometime... watch this space! ;-) 

Spontaneous handstands in the fields with a fellow volunteer!

Spontaneous handstands in the fields with a fellow volunteer!

All together...Volunteers and guests on my final evening!

All together...Volunteers and guests on my final evening!

The most interesting thing for me, was that as someone who has always struggled to meditate in the traditional sense of sitting quietly. Doing that in a room full of others (whether it was 5 people or 50) felt so different. Even though my mind was wandering all over the place, it didn't matter so much, I was able to relax into it as I felt as though there was such an intense focussed energy in the room form the others, their 'beingness' infused and supported my own. 

The biggest thing for me at the moment is the realisation that I need to live from the heart not my head. I have spent most of the last 32.5 years getting caught up in my mind and letting my head and it's little inner chatter dictate my life, whereas now in those moments when I'm living from the heart everything just flows. Life is easy and uncomplicated.

I am so much more aware of the dynamic between the head and the heart than ever before and this is what I feel is my duty to explore in myself and enhance in my own life and therefore in time to come support clients exploring the same. Nutrition still forms a huge part of this as I feel nutrition is the gateway to your optimum self in terms of supporting clarity of mind and body.

Whilst I was at the meditation centre, I was privileged to be able to take part in a two hour meditation session as part of the monthly ‘Sunday Out’ program.

In a room packed full of 60+ people, all with open minds and a willingness to explore, the energy of the space was amazing. We were led into a number of guided meditations, but one visualisation in particular stood out for me, and after the session I found a quiet space to record some notes to later remind myself of the teachings. 

It was only this week I found the recording on my phone and listened back to it, it gave me the incentive I needed to put this post together and so I've typed it almost word for word as I had originally recorded it…

Sunday Out Meditation:

He (the monk) talks about clearing our mind and being more in tune with who we really are. He used the analogy of your back garden and your front garden… if you have limited time, which one do you choose to maintain? Often we may choose to maintain our front garden as that’s the one that people see, so we create a show for those who pass by our house to give the impression of a beautiful, proud space. 

But actually we let the back garden go to ruins behind the scenes. If over time this is left uncared for, the roots may grow and undermine the foundation of the house, the ivy may grow up the walls and begin to pull the bricks apart. Yet we keep this show up for the side that people can see our front garden, and hide our back garden away from the rest of the world.  

He likened this to the external side and the internal side of ourselves he asked: Which one is more impotent to you personally, the part that those can see- the tip of the iceberg or the internal side that no-one sees but is super important to our wellbeing. The balance to where we put our energy is imbalanced.

He also mentioned that when we first meet someone we might typically ask their name, where they’re from and what they do. In those three questions we think we have them figured out but actually we hardly know them at all. This is likened to the inner work and the outer work. It is our inner world that we need to put more effort in to, for a rich and fulfilled life.

The 'inner world' fascinates me as this is the realm which has the capacity to be so life changing. We are born with everything we already need in life, but get distracted and overwhelmed but the glamour of our external world and those around us. Everything we need is already inside, we simply need to learn how to better tap into it!  Isn't that incredible?


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Rest is best and harmony heals

Yesterday I went to a meditation workshop held by Sandy Newbigging, the focus was the concepts held within his new book ‘Body Calm’ which struck a chord with me because that’s exactly what I’m working on in my own life right now… Calming my body and optimising my mind-body connection!

I scribbled lots of notes in my notebook as the day went on and so wanted to extract some of the key points here, in part so that I can reflect on them and better utilise them in my own life and work, but also so that you may be able to benefit from his teaching too. The notes below are more like a series of bullet pointed concepts, some ideas to sit with and mull over. Hopefully one or two may help create curiosity and mind shifts for you in your own life.

I had already bought his new book Body Calm as a previous event a few weeks ago, and so for the purpose of this blog post I got a cheesy selfie… yay! :-)

 
 

Our bodies are not against us- they our teachers sending us messages. Once we acknowledge this, it is a hugely power and powerful mindset!

‘Rest is best and harmony heals’. Stress is the result of there being disharmony within your mind body soul and life. Central to Body Calm is the invitation to rest in your conscious awareness.

Body Calm begins with mind calm, and mind calm begins with knowing who you really are. Your ‘Self’. The mind is temporary and constantly changing, if we focus on this we run into problems. Our awareness is the unchanging part. Our Self

Problems come when we are ‘feeling our thinking’, external factors don’t cause a negative feelings. Our own relationship to those feelings does.

Peace is not the absence of emotion- peace can exist with any emotion through our awareness of Self. Here co-existence of peace and emotion is always possible regardless of the emotion we are experiencing. When we are suffering, we have dropped ‘into’ the emotion and have left the state of ‘observing’ the emotion. 

I personally love that point above! The awareness (Self) is only ever in the NOW, all thoughts of past and future can never be present. 

You have the initial reaction then typically you have the ‘dwelling’- it’s the dwelling that causes the stress and the suffering and that’s what we want to reduce. Regardless of the gravity of the emotion itself, when it’s happening in the now it doesn’t cause stress, it simply is ‘happening’. 

GAAW0 = gently alert awareness wide open. This is the fundamental concept of Sandy’s meditation technique to engage the Self, we can do this with eyes open or closed, gazing forwards yet being aware of the greater environment.

Virtues are like ‘iclouds’ above our heads. When we engage in GAAWO, we are aware of the conflict and emotion and so are in a position to be able to download the virtue we need more of e.g feeling frustration offers us the virtue of patience and we need to actively Choose to bring this in (or another virtue need more of in that scenario).

We often live through a series of thoughts, not in the present and not ‘fully and completely’. Fully and completely is Sandy’s definition of life. Life happens on a spectrum of all possibilities. We tend to want to hang out on the positive end of the spectrum, yet that is not living a full human experience, we need to be able to willing and able to live life right across the spectrum.

Stress is not the cause because stress is caused by something- it is not the source. Inner conflict is the cause- that requires two opposing forces, the attachment and the resistance. We get caught in the middle of the push-pull dynamic, we resist what’s happening because we attached to something that we want to be happening instead. Stress is not caused by your circumstances, it is caused by resistance to the circumstances. When we keep focusing on it, it persists.

I AM not my EMOTIONS. I simply HAVE emotions. 

I AM is permanent and unchanging- the Self, yet EMOTIONS are transitory and when we reflect back we can always think of a time in our lives that we haven’t felt that emotion.

Emotions = energy, and we need energy to create and heal. To optimise our life. The more emotions we have the better.

Emotion = energy in motion!

I love this symbol of energy in motion, from the whole workshop this was the concept that spoke to me most profoundly, I often find myself bouncing from the highs to the lows, full of overwhelm and anxiety. Resisting that overwhelming is not embracing and trusting it for it’s power to create and heal and allow me to travel that journey of becoming my highest self. It’s the resistance that hinders this progress, the resistance that creates the struggle and the stress. not the energy itself. Game changer!

We are born with only two fears-falling and loud noises. Everything else is learned, labelled and conditioned. As humans we tend to apply labels to everything. But we could benefit more from understanding what this emotion feels like within our body, how it manifests, that it is a transient messenger… before simply labelling it and putting it aside. 

When you feel an emotion, recognise it and respond as a welcoming sign of growth and healing. “Hello energy, thank you for passing through, feel free to hang out as long as you need to.”

Life is happening to invite us to wake up consciousness- nothing comes along to hurt you but to wake you up and help you grow. Knowing this ultimately means that what your experience is less important than your relationship with it.

With the right attitude, you can use all that happens to you as an invitation to step up, wake up, and fully show up.

 
 

i'd love to hear your thoughts on these concepts, how you feel about your own relationship between your body and mind, and your awareness of the inner 'Self'? If you are super curious… Get in touch and let's arrange some time to chat about it!

 

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!

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

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"Don't die with your music still inside you"

This is a beautiful quote by the late Wayne Dyer, who's movie The Shift I watched again last night.

His quotes that live on and resonate with so many often have a musical poetry to them. I like to think that when we are are living in our element we all intuitively 'sing' from the heart and it is our duty to ourselves and the world to find that place that make our heart and mind truly sing.

Use this life to make sure your voice is heard...

Last weekend I discovered a hidden talent. It took me totally by surprise and its power blew me away. In an act of spontaneity I joined a friend for a weekend festival of spiritual music… didjeridoo, drumming, singing, chanting and everything in between. When we arrived, at first I sat back and enjoy the sounds, marvelled at the skill and the passion of those that played, shying away when I was offered a turn. 

As the day wore on my innate curiosity got the better of me.

I wanted to experience what it’s like to really play a didjeridoo, I wanted to get over my frustration of not being able to circular breathe. That lead onto the drums, something I’ve never even picked up before in my life. The deep resonant base grounded me and spoke deep within. So, with the djembe awkwardly propped up between my legs I gave it a go, my palms beating a simple rhythm. Within minutes I was playing along with the group, it was a crazy, unexpected and beautiful experience. An intuitive jam session that had no rules or reasons, just soul centred notes that came together in the moment, the rise and fall of the rhythm and the beat.

Music is life and life is music. I understood.

In those moments as I was paying the drum I felt a deeper connection than I had maybe ever felt before.

My next step?  To continue that feeling, that sense of connection, of rhythm, of one-ness… of song.

How exactly that materialises is yet to be seen. I'll keep you posted... but at this point I want to give a little shout out to a few members of the amazing tribe I spent my weekend with.

Paul Osborne for letting me ride with him and showing me the way. Drummer and master digj maker. FIND HIM HERE.

Andrea Furlan, master didj maker and performer for teaching me the didj and loaning me one of his beautiful instruments so I can continue my journey. FIND HIM HERE.

Pete Berni who hosted the festival and created the space for a beautiful experience. The 'Summer Retreat' is an annual festival held in Northampton UK… YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE HERE and keep an eye on details for next year.


My wellness immersion retreat in Lanzarote will focus on bringing together all those many strands that make you, YOU. A cocoon of self exploration, the chance to nurture your inner voice and find your true you, reconnect with your song and find the playful and curious soul within.

Join me on November 28th for an incredible week long adventure of personal growth. Email me for a chat to find out more about the retreat or simply for a space to talk and get a little closer to your music. hello@includingcake.com

 

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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Hand balancing... a parallel for life

Recently I've taken up head stands and hand balancing. Right now I'm really rubbish, I can't hold myself away from the wall for more than a second at a time but I'm persevering. 

Why?

Because I love the way it makes me feel. I love the notion of being upside down turning the word on its head, experiencing things from a different point of view. I also love the simplicity of the experience, my form in alignment, of progress and of feeling my body grow stronger as one. 

As I was upside down this morning, I thought of something. A parallel for life.

When I hit the sweet spot in my balance, with the alignment of my body stacked correctly within the centre of gravity. Then hand balancing seems timeless and effortless. The effort only comes from constantly bringing myself back to neutral, the constantly needing to realign myself with that sweet spot when I travel too far forward or backwards from the mark.

It all comes down to incredible subtleties of movement that can serve to keep me aligned or throw me off course. A slight shift in weight, the spread of my fingers and contact with the floor, a deeper focus in my mind, a soft gaze, a braced yet relaxed form.

The more I practice, the more effortless it becomes and the more time I can spend in my sweet spot. 

This is what we should all be aiming for in life... maximising time in the sweet spot. The pockets in our lives that feel amazingly effortless, that flow with grace, almost to good to be true such that our minds question it and we tell ourselves it can't be that simple. But it is that simple and with the courage to let go of expectation and with daily practice we can spend more and more time there.


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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Trust is worth the risk
 

I've been doing a lot of inner work recently, allowing thoughts and feelings to bubble up to the surface and learning to trust my intuition and create the life I truly want to lead.

I love this three minute video, not just for the strength, power, purity of the movements (though I admit that I do have a thing for that too!!)  but also the powerful words spoken... these are my favourite extracts...

Trust is worth the risk

We expend so much time watching and calculating, trying to reading signals in people before anything to change suddenly. Preparing to be disappointed.

We talk about trust as something we ‘build’, as if it’s a structure or thing, but in that building there seems to be something about letting go.  But it allows us to stop thinking, to stop worrying that someone won’t catch us if we fall. It allows us to relax a part of our minds that we can focus on what’s right in front of us and stop worrying what’s going on when we are not there. 

That’s why it’s such a tragedy when it’s broken. 

Trust is not one way but many ways. Trust is your relationship to the unknown, it’s a slow and steady practice of learning about the capacity of the world.

For me, it's also a practice of leaning about the capacity of yourself.

Can you cultivate more trust with yourself or the people around you in your life today?


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Walking into meditation
 

I took some time this afternoon to sit in the sunshine and read Headspace by Andy Puddicombe. Just before I planned to pack up for the day I read the section entitled ‘Walking Meditation’ and so put into play the exercise he set out within. Here is the online version of the exercise in case of interest. In essence, as you begin to walk, simply notice how the body feels. Begin observing what you see going on around you then turn your attention to sounds and smells. Gently shift your attention to the sensation of movement in the body and create awareness around each of your senses.

“As I walked the three minute journey across the field and back to my house I paid attention to the senses and their interaction with the world around me.

My rucksack on my back, comfortable for once without my drink bottle digging into the base of my spine as usually happens when I pack it in a rush. 

My arms swinging loosely by my side, my right arm much more so than my left which was obstructed by the blanket I had tucked under my left backpack strap.

Mindful of my feet as my little toes tried their best to wriggle out from the side of my cheap £4 Primark sandals, something I would usually have irritated me but in this instance made me smile. 

As I crossed the halfway point of the field, the texture of the grass changed. Where it had been cut the loose dried grass gathered between the soles of my feet and my sandals and I shook them lightly as I walked. 

I noticed I sped up as I passed a group of people being loud and trying to leapfrog each other, I’m not sure why the hurry was necessary. 

As I left the field and onto the tarmac, the sounds changed as did the softness of my step. I was under the cover of trees and the temperature plummeted dramatically as I was out at the sunlight. Knowing I was only a few moments away from my back door I didn’t put my zip top up on but appreciated the change in temperature and the goosebumps on my skin.

At this point I smiled to myself, I began thinking that maybe i’d write this up as a blog post when I arrived home and my thoughts changed tense, as if recounting my journey that had not yet been. Catching my mind wandering, I pulled it back, and for a few final moments appreciated the backs of the houses that I knew so well from the front yet rarely saw in reverse." 

Mindfulness of the journey, one which can be cultivated by us all at any opportunity.

When will you next take a walk into mindfulness?

 

Small side note: this photo wasn't of my actual journey today- my phone had died by that point and so this was one taken on a walk a few days ago- just so you know ;-)


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Inspirational Interview... "How I gained 15kg of lightness"

Today I have an interview for you coming from a perspective that absolutely fascinates me!

Today I'm talking about weight loss... but not as you know it!

David Taylor, the transformation coach behind Coaching Unlimited blew away my perspective on habits, goals, identity and most of all the power to change.  I first met David in person just over a week ago when he ran a coaching intensive called 'Be The Miracle'. He shared many of his own stories during the course of the weekend, and this one in particular simply wouldn't leave my mind... I had to know more, so I shot him an email and we set up an interview.

This audio interview is well worth a listen (all 35 minutes of it I promise!) not just from a perspective of weight loss but to shed light on those aspects of the human mind that we all succumb too and the thought processes in which we can all apply the same principles to any aspect of our lives... Those habits and mindsets that sabotage us regardless of the best intentions!

I have provided some bullet point 'show notes' below which highlight top things we cover if you want to jump about or go back again and listen...(I had to!)

p.s It's the first time I have interviewed anyone- so please bare with me :-)

Show Notes:

2.42  It’s never about the weight. I didn’t lose weight. I let go of fears. Fear of missing out. The fear if we don’t have something (i.e cake or seconds) we are missing out in some way. By letting go of that fear it was so much easier to eat less-  complete control. There was no eating for emotional reasons. 

5.50 How you do anything is how you do everything. 

7.25  We can never get enough of what you do not really need. The fear of not feeling ‘full’.  I’d fill up with food until I was stuffed but I could never get enough of what I didn’t really need. Other people might binge watch TV, obsessively play commuter games etc. By letting go of this fear you can totally change your relationship to food.  

11.25 Create a sense of ‘moving towards’. Create an identity of the person you want to be. The person in the mirror and your identity need to be aligned- as humans we strive for this. Move towards the identity you have created. How would that person eat? Exercise? Think?  Consciously I didn’t ‘stop’ anything. I moved towards…

11.50 Identity had always been consistent but it was the behaviours that were inconsistent. The trigger to change happened when the reality became too great and awareness of that reality kicked in. From there- what are the one of two little things that could make a difference- not needing the dessert, not having seconds. Once those decisions were made it became an instant change.

18.11 I did not set a goal, I set an identity. This take away the overwhelm. It take away the potential for judgement, failure or disappointment.

20.54 Gaining lightness rather than losing weight. Losing is about missing out, negative language, scarcity etc. Gaining is about moving forward in alignment with your identity.

22.58 Focus on the things you can have rather than the things you can’t. Art Berg- quadriplegic. "Before I had my accident there were 10,000 things I could do with my life. After I had my accident there were still 9,000 things I could do with my life that I would never have time for. I could focus on them or I could focus on the 1000 things I could no longer do". If you focus on the 1000 then scarcity, fear and restriction will show up all the time. It does not serve you.

29.00 Create appreciation for food. Eat the same just less. When I was eating from a space of fear of missing out then I was eating to ‘fill up’ with things I didn’t really need. But now I am really enjoying what I eat. I have slowed down and can appreciate the fullness in a deeper way.

30.35 Find out what is a 10 for you and fill up on that. It’s not about the weight. The fear of missing out shows up everywhere. Find out what the true thing is for you and fill up with that and you’ll find yourself being full really quickly. What are the drivers behind your eating/relationships/sex life/career?  They can all become dysfunctional if you are driven by the fears. Recognise those fears.

 

I'd really love to hear what you think... please please let me know in the comments below! 


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Stop DOING to start BEING!
 
(photo of last night's sunset from the poolside)

(photo of last night's sunset from the poolside)

Earlier this afternoon as I was sitting on the sun lounger basking in the warmth after sharing a beautiful lunch with my AirBnB the hosts at the table on the veranda, I realised I was still caught up in the 'doing'. I was thinking about all the books I 'had' to read before the end of my holiday, fingers itching to write lists of to-dos's, and wondering what the time was to see how much of the day had already gone.

Those feelings confused me. Typically when I'm away on holiday it's the one time I find that I am able to switch off, able to just go with the flow and enjoy the day without any expectation or apprehension of not having done enough. I wondered why the subtle anxiety still bubbled beneath the surface and why my thoughts were different this time around.

Then I realised. I might be on holiday, I may be in a new location, I maybe sitting in the sun yet or the first time I still have my laptop, my iPad and my phone right at hand all connected into Wi-Fi ready to ping me notifications at a moments notice, ready for me eager hands to tap buttons.

Just because I've changed location, doesn't mean my mind has.... 

I realised that in order for that mind shift to happen, from doing to being, I needed to be more disciplined. I needed to create a mental space for that change to occur. I needed to put away the phone and the laptop when I didn't need to use them and switch all off onto airplane mode. Yes it is a working holiday but it's also a test to create a balance between work and play. It's a chance for me to sit and think and read and write... all those creative and crucially important parts of my business that I all too often push down the priority list as life gets hectic. 

This was my 'soul' purpose and my 'sole' purpose for this holiday...

My coaching practice centres around BEING rather than DOING, my life is about walking the talk, about experimenting with myself and exploring my life and questioning the mental constraints we build so that I can help others more powerfully explore their own journey. 

None of those things can happen in a constant state of doing. Allowing time as I sat there on the lounger to simply 'be' IS my work!

This is for you too. Your life happens in the BEING, not the DOING. I don't mean that you 'do' nothing, we all have busy lives, and our lives involve 'doing' lots of things on a daily basis. But find space within those moments, and the small pauses in between... find space to find who you are and what makes you come alive. Focus on being.

blog being pic.jpg

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Pushing the comfort zone

One of the biggest components to growth and self development is the continual stretching your comfort zone.

Often this in small ways on a daily or weekly basis, mental reasonings that may have no obvious manifestation to the outside world. Small wins that would mean nothing to anyone else.

Every so often we might decide to spice things up a little, fast track our growth and take on a bigger challenge. Remind ourselves what it's like to feel scared, to get that sicky feeling in the pit of our stomach, sweaty palms, tears that prick at the corners of our eyes..

That was me this morning. 

Yet I feel almost embarrassed to tell you about it, as for many it would simply be part of common routine, a means to an end and certainly not something given and emotional energy.

For someone who has parachuted from 12,000 ft, run a Tough Mudder obstacle course and quit her steady career to leap into the unknown, what I am about to tell you pales in comparison.

I boarded a flight on my own. To a holiday destination alone.

I have never travelled alone, but it's been something I've wanted to so for such a long time. My younger brother and sister have both enjoyed solo travels and each time I am quietly envious if their 'bravery' vowing to plan my own trip.

But I'd been all talk and it had never happened... That was until a couple of months ago when I booked my plane ticket to Lanzarote and 10 nights stay through AirBnB. The idea being that this was a semi working holiday- a chance to read, write and think deeply... All the things so important to my coaching practice yet all to often relegated down in the list of priorities amongst the demands of everyday life and other work engagements.

This trip was to set the precedent for future explorations.

This was it there was no going back.

As I type this I am in the air somewhere over France. A chance to reflect. I realised that in the moment I boarded the plane and found my seat, my nerves had simply vanished. Literally in that moment. Any worries of touching down in a foreign country, finding a taxi to take me the short drive to my villa, meeting my host family, finding vegan food abroad... Simply weren't there.

A calm sense of what will be will be settle into me, there was nothing more I needed to do.  

In that moment I also realise that my nerves had all related to preparation logistics... 

...Will I pack the right things, will the wifi at the villa be strong enough for my laptop, will the weight of my hand luggage get through security, will I wake up on time for my crazy early flight, what if I get stuck in traffic on the way, or have problems with my boarding pass matching my passport name, have I got all my paperwork...

All the worries were those that could have impacted me actually leaving the UK... There were literally no worries beyond that. How strange. I also noticed that most of these concerns could have been avoided with better planning (if I'd been so inclined) such as booking a flight at more social hours, buying a lighter cabin bag so as not to worry about weight, ask my host even more questions,  print and prepare all documents further in advance allowing time for changes if necessary. 

I still have no idea what I'll find when I get there, but unknown intrigues me rather than tightens my chest, that's a happy feeling of anticipation. The growth begins again....


(note: I've just arrived and am sitting in my new home for the next 10 days... listening to the sounds of nature, dipping my toe in the pool and wondering if i'll ever want to return!)

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

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Mantra for Monday no. 131
 

This is such a powerful truth for me. 

There are so many ways to manifest 'power'...

  • knowledge is power
  • strength is power
  • confidence is power
  • winning is power
  • trying is power
  • failing is power

Power is a personal understanding and deeper mental association. Regardless of your take on things one thing remains true... we ALL have power within us BUT so many of us fail so see it, to believe in it and to use it.

I have been reading a lot of coaching books and articles on the subject of self development through the eyes of both coach and client. One of my coaching 'idols' is Rich Litvin who said in an workshop he was taking:

"A powerful coach is a place to come from and not to. It’s not out there, it’s in here!"

Wow... those were powerful words for me. They made me think back to the quote above and I realised those words were not just applicable to me as a coach but to everybody around me making their own way in this world.

We always look to the outside world for answers and validation, often causing inner conflict and self doubt in the process. Our intuition is always right there ready to serve us, if only we'd listen. That's our start point and our place to come from. The power lives inside you all along.

What is Mantra for Monday?

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Mantra for Monday no. 128
 

You've probably heard me say before how hard I find meditating. Sitting still with no fixed focus is hard.

I have found some ways to overcome this... by running... I talked about that here.

I even signed up for The Mindful In may Challenge last year... I really tried hard! 

A friend recently reminded of Andy Puddicombe and his Headspace app which I had downloaded a long-time ago but didn't dedicate time to consistently. Over the last week Ii have been more focussed in building it into my daily routine. I like his soft gentle words, and the ways he creates and environment the allows you to wander off and to simply return. 

Mediation is all about noticing and observing, not giving ourselves a hard time when our minds wonder in amongst the 'clouds' but simply to notice that is happening and pull back from them to watch the clouds whilst still appreciating the blue sky.

Now i'm not trying to stop the thoughts from entering my mind, but simply noticing them like a child with a sense of curiosity. A subtle change in perspective maybe, but it may make all the difference,

What is Mantra for Monday?

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Mantra for Monday no. 127
 

I have been working around the theme of ‘permission' recently. It's come up time and time again in my coaching sessions with clients and has given rise to such rich discoveries for both of us.

Permission is such a powerful concept and something very much undervalued in our everyday life. The idea of giving permission permeates every aspect of our lives, it is instilled from childhood and reinforced by society.

Permission is imbued with a deep sense of authority, as if it always has to be sought from someone outside of and above ourselves. That's not the case. Understanding and giving yourself permission to think and feel in ways that stay true to you is a huge step in the journey to finding ourselves and in nurturing and healing our minds.

The notion that it’s ok be wrong, to be ourselves and at times be selfish is so often seen as an unacceptable mindset. Yet in giving ourselves permission in this way, we allow ourselves to manifest most powerfully in the world, which then serves those around us more powerfully as a result.

By giving yourself permission you remove the guilt, the fear of failure and the sense of expectation. In giving permission you remove the negative associations yet intensify your energy on the positive experiences.

We allow ourselves to explore dream and discover with an enlightened curiosity, through going permission, there is no failure but only lessons to be learned and shared.

Dream and give yourself permission to envision a 'You' that you choose to be.

What is Mantra for Monday?

 

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Mantra for Monday no. 125

It's been a long time since I've written you a Mantra for Monday or Silent Sinday for that matter. I missed those posts and want them back...

I have decided though that the silent Sundays have probably had their day. I love the power of a photo, but don't always have the chance to take beautiful ones I feel worthy to share each week, and instead they can serve as the backdrop to my 'mantras'.

Long live the Mantra for Monday!  I'm aiming to bring these week as a regular weekly feature... watch this space.

I came across this verse by  extracted on Instagram and each one of these words resonated to the heart of me.  I hope you enjoy them too. 

After note (because lots of people were asking where they came from!) I found these words on the Instagram account by @roadtoeverywhere and because there was a John Steinbeck book in the background (East of Eden) I assumed they had been extracted from him. But I haven't been able to track them down on google... so maybe there were written by Carina herself, the lady behind the account.  I asked but I still don't know for sure. Whoever write this words... they remain beautiful! 

 

What is Mantra for Monday?

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