Posts tagged wellness
The dreaded question... ‘So what do you do?’

For so many years I struggled with the abundance of ideas and options that flooded my mind...

Which ones should I follow? 

If I honour one does it meaning dropping the others? 

How will I tell people about what I do?

Ahhh, now I need another business card...

Which email address should I send this from?

I’m confused about who I am so I’m pretty sure other people are...

It resulted in confusion and overwhelm and feeling like I was scattering my focus so thinly and not really achieving anything at all. My confidence suffered and I cringed when asked the dreaded question: ‘So what do you do?’

Very recently all that changed when the missing piece of the puzzle fell into place.

An awareness and simplicity came into view and joined up all the dots that had been there all along. The common thread that tied everything together.

I am a coach

I am a writer

I am a designer

I am a firewalking instructor

I own a health food business

BUT above all of this...

“I help connect people to the best version of themselves”

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If you are a multi-passionate person feeling stuck and scattered by ideas and options you want to pursue. You don’t need to ‘pick one’ and drop everything else to achieve success.

Rise up and look at the bigger picture. Join the dots that have been there all along.... what is your core desire that connects the seemingly unconnected?

Focus on that place, serve from that place.

It’s your gateway for your clients to connect with ALL that you are, so that they can become ALL they they can be.


I call this the ‘The golden thread’

A fundamental core belief or set of values, that weaves through the essence of our lives and makes life most meaningful for us. 

It could also be called our mission statement. 

To articulate it in words gives it greater clarity and power. It brings the mission to life, beyond a ‘feeling in our heart’. It allows others to connect to that feeling too. It allows us to feel most connected to our purpose. 

Connection is key. If we can’t articulate it, we don’t have a voice. If we are not able able to put words to those feelings keeps us small, holds us back. We lack direction in life without that clarity.

This Thursday 4th October @ 8pm UK…

I am hosting a FREE WEBINAR to dive deeper into the ‘Golden Thread’, to rid the anxiety and overwhelm around the dreaded question… ‘so, what do you do?’

I would absolutely love you to join me there!

This is for you if you are struggling as a wellness solopreneur with multiple passions. Join me on October 4th @ 8pm UK time, where you will…

>>> Understand why you don’t need to ‘pick one thing’ and drop everything else you are passionate about to achieve success.

>>> Discover how knowing your deepest core values can play the biggest role in connecting with clients.

>>> Learn how to make yourself visible within the 'noise' of the wellness industry AND do it in a way that feels really authentic.

I'll be guiding you through a journey of discovery with a complimentary workbook, so you can shake things up and get started immediately!

P.s For more information on my deep dive ‘visibility package’ for wellness business owners kicking off in a couple of week time >>> CLICK HERE

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'The Dance Of My Life {re-writing my story}

I spent a wonderful weekend at RAW FEST 2018 during which I gave two talks - one on the connection between a plant-based diet and out innate creativity (a topic I am so passionate about and is the focus on my forthcoming book) and secondly on 'sugar-free satisfaction' which is actually where this blog started off back in 2011!

It was a wonderful uplifting festival filled with woodland walks, vegan food, yoga, meditation, inspiring talks, sound baths, spiritual music, campfires and chanting... made all the more special as I was able to share the experience with my boyfriend.

On the last day it rained all day and I made a very fetching 'bin bag ball gown' to keep myself dry which worked a treat ;-)

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For me one of the main highlights and moments of growth, was the creative writing workshop with HART FLOE POET set in a circle on the woodland floor.

In the lead up to this piece, Hart Floe asked us to visualise our perfect life, thinking ahead to a time when we had achieved what we had set out to – what would that life look like? What would we be thinking, feeling, touching, tasting, hearing... Initially, as I began to write tears welled up in my eyes.

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I could only picture myself alone, that has always been the way in these kinds of exercises when I visualise my future.

But I don’t want to be alone, and it overwhelmed me in that moment. I put my pen down and closed my eyes with the intention to quietly meditate on my breathe for the next few minutes until the exercise was over.

My boyfriend sitting by myself side noticed my tears. I felt silly in admitting to him the truth but he reminded me this was my chance to rewrite that story. I knew he was right. Hesitantly, I picked up my pen and with just a minute or so left of the exercise this is what poured onto the page. It felt so good.

I wonder, where in your life might you benefit from rewriting the story that plays out time and time again in your mind?


The Dance Of My Life...

There is a warmth in my heart and a flame in my soul. 

The stories and photos of those that I've helped lay bound in books by my bedside. 

Precious. 

Laughter fills the hallway and I smile, imagining the antics happening as I prepare lunch to share on brightly coloured plates. 

The large doors open onto the veranda and the breeze ruffles my hair. 
I look to the horizon, the azure sky and valleys beyond. 

Filling my lungs with the still quiet moments before the chaos ensues. 
Beautiful chaos, love and laughter. 

The stillness and the chaos create a beautiful symphony. 

The dance of my life.

...the orginial writing

...the orginial writing


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What is your WHY?

That was the question in the final workshop at Love Serve Create with David Taylor this weekend. A weekend of 'creating the extraordinary' with a powerful tribe.

Your 'why' is where you come from, why you show up the way you do on a deeply profound level. It doesn't necessarily relate to your job or career but more simply related to what you consider the most meaningful aspect of your life. So many of us are out of alignment with our 'why', many of us have never even asked ourselves that question or at least not allowed space to consider the answer. 

If you feel as though something is 'missing' that could be it. That's how I walked through my life for a long, long time.

@@When asked 'what do you do?' the common thought process is to consider the what and the how, yet what if we start with our 'why' and then allow the what and how to fall into place?@@ Simon Sinek has a great five minute video on this

What is my WHY? 

As part of David's game we each had a sheet of paper and spent an hour cutting, drawing, sticking, writing and thinking all about our 'why' and how we could best represent that visually. What came up for me was a total surprise since the first 20 minutes for me was spent staring around the room waiting for something to show up in my mind.

It got me thinking deeply yet openly and I'd love to share what came up for me and if you feel called to do so then I'd love to hear your 'why' too!

I want to create immersive environments with nutrition as the gateway for powerful personal experiences. I want to help you connect your body and mind through a sense of curiosity. Why? Because this is how I have evolved, this is the key to my own inner journey, this is what resonates deep within my own soul, this is how I see people step into their greatness and this is how I can most powerfully serve you. 

For my visual manifestation the sun facilitates the growth of the world. The sun is the source and energy radiates from it. The sun creates light and warmth, invites gratitude and 'immerses' the world lighting up it's true beauty. I want to harness the power of the sun.

One of my all time favourite quotes also came to mind as I created the 'artwork' and so it seemed fitting to write this within the centre. This quote says it all. Loving without judgement. Serving without expectation. Creating a powerful experience.

My wellness retreat in Lanzarote is a one-of-a-kind experience to deeply explore this with you and most deeply manifest my 'why'. My mind-body coaching spa sessions are created from this very same space and I'm so honoured and excited to be able to share this with you also. This is why I am also scared and overwhelmed. I dream big, but these big dreams need a voice and only together can we create that voice. 

I look forward to exploring my 'why' more and more in coming weeks, months and years. Who knows what will show up- my mind is wide open! 

Most importantly, in following my why I can support you in following yours.

 

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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The 'business' of wellness.... have our heads taken over our hearts?

I’m not really sure where this blog post is coming from, I have a feeling it’s been brewing for a while. I can however tell you precisely what triggered me to sit down and write these words right here and now.

When I saw the Mail On Sunday ‘You’ Magazine sitting in my mum’s coffee table this morning with a cover image of Natasha Corrett as the ‘Queen of green’, I was eager to delve into reading the article…

However I quickily became a bit shouty which surprised me as I am not typically an opinionated person. I’m usually the type to sit on the sidelines and watch others debate, not because I don’t have my own thoughts, but because I am pretty good at seeing a situation from various angles or playing devils advocate in a given situation regardless of my own views. 

I think it’s more  growing sense of frustration that had triggered this outburst, not so much the article itself. Please understand that I have nothing specifically against Natasha herself (and totally appreciate the media’s habit of skewing perspective) indeed I follow her Instagram account and to be honest, anyone who is helping to change people’s eating habits for the better, in whatever form that may take is a good person in my eyes. That said… 

I hate the way ‘clean eating’ and ‘superfoods’ (I have begun to hate those words but can’t find better ones so bear with me!) have been become a social status, a fashion accessory, a sex symbol, a competition, and a money making opportunity at every turn…

I follow many wellness and foodie accounts on Instagram, and whilst I love the platform for it I am beginning to hate the flawless feminine perfection I feel is it fast becoming associated with. A green juice held by a long dainty hand with perfectly lacquered nails and a carefully positioned bracelet... for example!

I point the finger at no-one in particular, this is simply a growing sense of unease within me. 

So many of the highly successful entrepreneurs of the healthy eating revolution began their crusade off the back of healing their own health issues… for that I have deep admiration and endless respect and always will. 

BUT then it soon seems to shift, a subtle sneaky shift by the lure of the media as it soon becomes a money making game. Tapping into the widening gap in the UK market, tapping into the need and sometimes desperation of so many health conscious people looking for an answer. Any answer. 

There in a lot of vulnerability in the health and wellness arena. A lot of people looking for answers from the outside yet failing to look within for their own truth. Often women, often looking to rebuild their own confidence and sense of self along the way.

As a health & life coach this terrifies and worries me… the message is becoming skewed, with added pressure and ideologies of the elite lifestyle to live up to. An external visual representation of good health does NOT directly indicate an internal emotional level of good health. 

Looking good on the outside does not immediately equate to feeling good on the inside. Of course the two can and do go hand in hand. This is what we should all be striving for and nutritional plays a huge role, arguably the biggest role. YET I feel this is also the realm of huge misdirection of keeping up appearances, of ticking boxes and not asking the WHY, HOW, WHAT of our own personal health journies.

My own health journey has sure evolved and shifted over the last year or so as I have done a lot more inner work and asked deeper questions of myself. I will share this with you more in a separate post once I've better collated my thoughts.

I hate the way ‘clean eating’ has become portrayed as elitest...

The notion that it is expensive is not helped at all by this new wave of media coverage and fashion icon status. Yes I do use various specialist ingredients myself and I buy organic whenever I can… BUT I aim create recipes largely using the basics. Simple, time efficient, plant based recipes using cupboard ingredients with some of the ‘extra special ingredients’ thrown in or at times when I want to get a little creative. When I do use special ingredients, I use them time and time again in different recipes and so there will never be that situation of buying an expensive ingredient and having it sitting forlorn in the cupboard for ever more.

For me, the innate curiosity in exploring your own health journey through the mind/body connection is lost when we look to the outside for a leader or an identity to emulate. We loose ourselves.

I also hate the growing business focus of wellness. Ok, let’s be clear here that I’m totally cool with making money… it makes total sense that our efforts should reap a financial reward. I also appreciate that this is large part my own personal viewpoint since I am simply not a money minded individual, it’s not what makes me tick. I’d like as much as I need to live a comfortable life but nothing more. Other people have different financial priorities and that’s cool too.

My frustration comes when the INTENTION behind the push for health and wellness comes from the head and not the heart. I feels to me as though that is where many enterpreneurs have got caught up along the way as the clean eating phenomenon has hit the UK like a whirlwind these last few years.

As a coach and also a heath food business owner myself, my fundamental drive above and beyond anything else is to help people. Help people to get curious to explore their own unique wellless journey.

I write my Including Cake blog (and have been doing so for 4 years) that does not directly bring me a single penny of income- no advertising or ongoing affiliations. I do it because I love it and want to serve you and because it acts as my own creative outlet that I want to share. 

I run Wholeplus, my food business that I personally execute at every level from the website to the graphics to the marketing to the labelling to the production of the product mix to the packaging and ultimately dispatch of course I could outside much of this and grow the business hugely, but I choose not to as I want full control to ensure the brand stays true to me and my connection with my customers. 

A believe that  a business in health in wellness should be lead from the heart and not the head.

I think deep down this is why the article in the MOS made me a little shouty. There is seemingly so much competition and bitchiness behind the scenes in the wellness lifestyle environment fiercely dominated by women. These two extracts from the article made me particularly sad: 

“it’s clearly a competitive field, and Natasha is jealously protective of her patch. ‘For me, its about being the first to do something’ she says”.

“earlier she had complained about rivals stealing her sweet potato brownie recipe, which happens to be the most read recipe on Deliciously Ella, ‘I was the fist person to do that, now everyones got a sweet potato brownie recipe, so I always have to come up with new ideas”.

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For me the fundamental aim of a proponent of health and wellness is to live a life of passion and through that truly inspire others to take small steps towards a healthier life, wherever they may be at. It is also a huge opportunity to stand together and unite in wellness, recognising there is enough room in the arena for us each to play a part from a business standpoint yet still be there to support each other as a growing unity in the world.

Really... is this too much to ask?

People like Jamie Oliver, whilst maybe being further from my own food philosophy that many of those in the ‘clean eating revolution’ inspires me daily with his pure passion and drive to connect with the people. Real people at every level of society. He shows up in life, rough and ready, full of passion, full of his truth and full of heart.

Ok, I’m done now. If you've read this far I am truly humbled. I feel as though maybe i’ve rambled and maybe I could have put my point across in fewer words, but I needed to vent in this space. My space. I wanted to be honest and open and vulnerable.

I have no idea what reactions this will cause… positive? Negative? Indifference? This is unknown territory for me to verbalise thoughts like this in the public realm and so writing this is a hugely vulnerable experience for me. But it’s how I encourage you so show upon the world. From your heart and your truth. And so I lead by example with mine.

 




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My Lanzarote Wellness Immersion Retreat is here!

Did you see it!  

Did you see it?

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

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

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

#cantstopthinkingaboutfood

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

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

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

 

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

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

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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?


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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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 ;-)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early morning mist across a volcano crater on my birthday

Early morning mist across a volcano crater on my birthday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'd love to hear from you...

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


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

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

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The power of vulnerability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

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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

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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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!)

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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Mantra for Monday no. 132
 

I’ve been enjoying some down time these last couple of weeks.

The sun was in the sky and my work flow had unexpectedly reached a natural lull, so it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the situation.

Except I couldn’t…. not initially anyway.  As much as I wanted to lay back on the grass and simply relax, I found myself getting anxious and then immediately frustrated at myself for feeling that way about a situation many people would be so envious of.

Lack of structure and a feeling of not having ‘earned’ the chance to switch off (yeah I know that’s crazy!) threatened to overwhelm me, and for a few days I struggled to keep that feeling at bay. That was until I decided to simply and consciously go with the flow, embrace it and honour it, allow the ever changing landscape knowing that a few weeks down the line things would become crazy busy once again. A beautiful rhythm.

Though unstructured, these waves of ebb and flow are inherently part of my creating a life away from the 9-5, a life on my own terms and with my own agenda. These waves of ebb and flow- this rhythm of my life- keeps me on my toes, my mind nourished and my creativity full to the brim.

This lull gave me the chance to experiment with being ok to have no agenda when I woke in the morning having little concept of when my next source of income would arise. Instead I got curious in that soft stillness as I lay on a blanket in the park in the middle of the day quietly observing the passers by rushing too and fro in their own little world. 

Sometimes it takes a change in direction, both the ebb and the flow, to truly appreciate the rhythm of life itself and respond like the echo.

 

What is Mantra for Monday?

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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. 130
 

Observing the perfectionist

I actually wrote this post whilst sitting in the back seat of the car as my sister was driving my family and I on a day trip whilst on holiday last week. As I gazed through the window at the countryside whizzing past, my mind wandered free and I wrote these thoughts on my phone as they came to my mind. 

 

In recent months I have begin to more actively cultivate the art of 'curiosity' through observation. I support clients in doing the same.

This morning was a classic example when I went for a run with my brother and sister through the countryside. Out of the three of us, I have always been the one most consistently involved in exercise over the years since childhood. I was also the one who initially took to running when completing my first Tough Mudder obstacle course race a couple of years back. I am also the perfectionist. The competitive one.

I have run much less frequently in recent months, focussing much more heavily on strength training. On the other hand my sister has recently completed a half marathon and my brother competes with a rowing club and as part of that training goes out running with his team. 

I knew from a technical standpoint their cardio fitness would likely out do mine.  I had already reasoned with the perfectionist inside that would be fine.  

That said, as we pounded the roads and trails I found that emotions still bubbled up, the child inside on the verge of having a strop or trying to create an excuse as to why I was a few paces behind (literally only a few paces). A little voice began to get dismissive 'well I just won't go tomorrow then, there's no point'. 

But then I caught myself. I gave the perfectionist inside a mental hug. Thanked her for being there to push me when I needed it, but then reminder her that right now I had no goal or agenda, other than to simply observe the journey and enjoy the ride. 

Immediately that little voice changed tone. The child inside, distracted from her strop, got curious. The curiosity allowed me to relax and enjoy the senses, the sights, smells and the terrain beneath my feet. When we ran up a big hill, I got curious in observing the intense new feelings without feeling frustrated that my pace had slowed to a bare run (I could have walked faster!).

The most interesting thing to come from all of this, is that my performance was no less that it would have been if the inner perfectionist had been allowed to run riot and been screaming at me inside to work harder. Instead nothing outwardly was different, but inwardly everything had changed. 

Get curious. Get powerful. 
 

What is Mantra for Monday?

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Mantra for Monday no. 129
 
image.jpg

This is the first time I have written a blog post and published it directly from my phone. I'm away on holiday, away from my laptop with just this small screen (and my tapping thumb) for connectivity. Trying something new seemed appropriate given my current mindset!

Sitting here in the sunshine after a day of indulgence, I find myself reflecting.  

Regardless of religion or spirituality, Easter marks a new beginning. There is no escaping this.

The clocks have changed, the evenings are lighter and our minds are lifted. Spring has always marked a period of transition and change. Of stretch and growth.

Those ideas and goals incubated over the winter months have their chance to come alive. The universe is here to lift you up and support you as you take those steps out of your cocoon.  

This is your time to chase your dreams.

To flourish and bloom. 

The magical time of new beginnings is upon us and for those who want to take that leap, always know I am hear for you... To believe in you.

Start something new.

 

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. 126
 

You know sometimes a quote brings tears to the corners of your eyes and makes your throat tighten a little as the words filter across you mind... yep, for me this is one of them.

The lyricism, the gentle push out in to the unknown the spirit if engaging us to question everything, yet still offering that safe cocoon if it were all to go wrong.

We play it safe all to often. Scared of letting ourselves and others down, willing to live in the comfort of not pushing boundaries yet constantly quietening that little voice longing for more.  That little voice longing you to throw away preconceived ideas, the worries, tick lists, other people wishes....the would's, could's and should's.

Ask yourself truly, what is the very worst that can happen? Then take that consequence and find a solution.... then look up to the sky and allow the breeze to catch your wings.

You won't fall the universe is always ready to catch you.

What is Mantra for Monday?

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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?


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

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Special offer...End-Of-Year Empowerment Session!

It's at this time of year many of my friends and clients get a little anxious, worried the festive season will 'undo' all their hard work, or catch them off guard so they are unable to resist the seasonal temptations coming from all angles. I know the feeling i've totally been there.

Does this sound like you? 

Do you want to feel empowered and in control this Christmas and gain tips to take you in the New Year and beyond?

Are you curious about coaching but not sure about committing to a programme?

This supercharge intensive session offers you a one-off 2 hour one-to-one personalised coaching session, plus a collection of my ebooks with tips and recipe resources. This is the ultimate kickstart to your health and wellness… why wait until january to plan new years resolutions when you can gain support to take you health into your own hands... RIGHT NOW!

Let’s do this! 

This year I've had some many people emailing me for tips and suggestions I thought i'd put the offer out there for you all and create an intensive session to help empower your own life! No matter where you are in the world this offer is open to you, we can Skype... and if you are local we can also get together face to face!

Limited offer and highly limited spaces... you must get in touch before December 14th to book your session to be taken before Christmas!

Catch me here... hello@includingcake.com

 

 

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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