What is resilience?
For a long while I suspected that I had a bit of a problem with wheat. If I’d had cereal for breakfast and then a sandwich for lunch I’d notice that my stomach would feel quite uncomfortable, bloated and made some low grumbling noises in the afternoon. It was obviously not happy! Continue reading
And another one opens. I’m sure you know the old adage well. It’s so true. I find it especially helpful to remember when I’m going through a hard time or when something has come to an end. Continue reading
The Key to Transformation
I strongly believe that if we allow our fears to stop us doing something then we are ‘stunting’ our growth as individuals. If we don’t take that leap into the unknown then we miss out on so much and might not get the chance to experience an even more fulfilling life waiting out there for us. Continue reading
I don’t know about you but if I had an important event looming that I wanted to look good for I’d up my exercise regime and work out fast and furious. The result?? Not what I’d expect – in fact, sometimes the scales would even show an extra pound or two! Continue reading
Are you remaining true to it? Have your decisions and actions been in line with your word? Or, has your chosen word fallen by the wayside?
This is a chance for you to review where you are at and how things are going.
Earlier this year, I shared my chosen word for the year: courage. There are things I’d been wanting to do for some time, things that had been brewing and bubbling under the surface that I’d not been ready to acknowledge or couldn’t find the courage and energy to take forwards. Then came the point when I could no longer ignore the deep inner sense and increasing conviction that I felt inside my stomach, chest, and throat compelling me to take action. Much as I loved my career, I knew I wanted to work more on my passion for health and wellbeing, I wanted to spend more time with my family and I wanted a summer break. So, I put the word out and publicly committed to making a change.
The first thing I did was resign from my full-time job. I felt I needed to let it go in order to achieve my goals. Yet, just four hours after I handed in my notice, all the things I dreamed of became my new reality. I was applauded for taking a courageous step and offered the opportunity to work part-time, which means I now no longer feel torn. I can enjoy the balance and fulfillment I craved, and dedicate more time to my role as a health and wellness advocate.
It feels wonderful! I have no regrets. Sure, I feel a little scared at times but overall, I feel liberated and optimistic for the future.
My lesson going forward is that whilst we don’t know what the future will bring, if something feels right to us, things’ll be ok.
Since taking that first step, daunting yet exciting opportunities have come my way: Alex and I are writing a book (watch this space!); I was asked to be a wellness expert and contributor to a local female empowerment group, and I am now the owner of a wellness practice. Once upon a time, all of this would only have been dreams: I wouldn’t have been open to or had the courage to seriously consider taking on such initiatives. But now I do have the courage to move forward and I’m ready to embrace the opportunities and tackle whatever challenges they bring.
What’s holding you back?
Now, let’s talk about you: If you’re not living in alignment with your word for 2017, now’s the chance to ask yourself why not and what is holding you back? Remember you chose your word or it chose you so something about it resonated with you. If you are not following through, what is holding you back?
Is it fear? If so, of what? Are you afraid of failure or perhaps of success and what it might lead to? How can you mitigate that fear? What will help you with that? Are there things you don’t know how to do? If that’s what’s holding you back, then get help. I did: the financial aspects of running a business strike terror in me so I’ve asked a friend who has the right skillset to come into the business with me. I’m not going to allow fear to hold me back.
Or, perhaps this isn’t what you really want. Are you hiding behind excuses: “I’ve been too busy”, ‘So and so happened and I just couldn’t find the time…”? What does this tell you? Maybe you don’t really want this.
Let me ask you, how would you feel if you don’t move forwards? Check in emotionally and physically. Will you regret it if you don’t? Or, is the issue that you don’t feel worthy or good enough?
All of these emotions are natural and fine to feel. It’s part of the journey. Believe me, I felt all of these along the way – and still do now. If it’s not really important to you that’s fine but check in and ask yourself, what do I want this year to be about? Do I want to recommit to my word or do I want to commit to something else? Then take some action. Action brings you closer to your goals and desires and gives you a great psychological boost.
How to move forward
Perhaps you know what you want to do but you don’t know where to start. Here are some ideas to help you take action:
- Make some commitment to your word or goal. Write it down on paper. Say it publicly or say it to a friend.
- Listen to how the decision feels in your body and the sensations it evokes. If there is fear think about what you can do to mitigate it. Perhaps it is enlisting the help of a friend to do something with you.
- Hold yourself accountable. Perhaps share your inspirations with a friend who will support you, be it by joining the gym with you, encouraging you to take relevant courses or use their own skill set to take you forward
- Identify one thing today that you could do right now to move closer to your aim, followed by a goal for the week ahead, and then the month ahead. You get the picture.
I’d love to hear how your year is going and how you’ve found working with your 2017 chosen word. What have been your achievements? What are the challenges you are facing and need help with? Remember there is no such thing as failures just lessons learned on the way.
Please share your thoughts with me!
This week we’ve had the Spring Equinox, the annual celestial alignment between the Earth and the sun, which usually takes place on or around 21st March. It is accompanied by a change in the seasons from winter to spring in the Northern hemisphere.
The Spring Equinox occurs when the Earth is in the right place with respect to the sun. At this point in the Earth’s roughly 365-day journey, both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres receive almost the same amount of daylight (12 hours), meaning there are almost equal amounts of daytime and nighttime in both halves of the Earth. Hence, the word, equinox, which means “equal night” in Latin.
The Spring Equinox marks the start of longer days for the Northern Hemisphere (and shorter days for the Southern Hemisphere). It has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth with the spring festivals of Easter and Passover celebrated at this time.
It’s a perfect time to think about the balance and the ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ in our own lives. The basis of this Chinese philosophy is that all life is ruled by the interplay of these 2 dynamic forces: yin is negative, yang is positive. Seemingly opposite or contrary forces (such as night and day, darkness and light, masculine and feminine), one cannot exist without the other. The whole is greater than the parts.
The table below gives some characteristics of Yin and Yang:
The yin yang symbol (see below) is a wonderful expression of the interplay between the two forces. The black colour represents the yin and the white colour represents the yang. There is a black dot that looks like an eye of the white fish. Similarly, there is a white dot as if an eye of the black fish. If you were to walk through the diameter of the circle, you would not experience pure black or pure white. There is always some black and some white. This reflects that the yin and yang are rooted in one another. You find yin in yang, and yang in yin reflecting the reality of life: there are seeds of sadness in happiness and opportunities in every risk.
The roundedness of the symbol gives the sense of continual movement and interaction of the two energies. Yin can turn into yang and yang turns into yin, causing a new state of yin-yang relationship to establish. The aim is to balance them as far as possible for without balance there is discord and disharmony in our worlds.
A challenge for us in life is to balance the yin and yang in things we do. The better we are in finding the equilibrium, the more effective we can be.
I’d like you to think about:
- The yin and yang aspects of your life. Are your mood and energy more aligned to yin or yang at this point in time?
- Where you have been focusing your time and efforts. Have you been focussed on work rather than family, fitness or self-care?
- The aspects of your life you have been neglecting. Do you need to reconsider your priorities to stay balanced?
If you have been giving to others you need to take the time to receive for yourself. There are many ways to find your way back to balance. Here is a handful of suggestions below:
- To counteract the long time spent sitting at your desk during the week, go out and enjoy a run or hike, sit outside or sign up for a fitness or yoga class
- We all need a respite from social interactions. Take time out to just ‘be’. Immerse yourself in a good book, meditate or enjoy an hour in a flotation tank
- Whenever possible, ditch your smart clothes for casual attire. Spend a day with no makeup, relaxed and free in tracksuit bottoms!
- If you’re feeling grumpy or dissatisfied, take a moment to reflect on all the good things you have in life and what you have to be grateful for
- Whenever possible, take a break from your hectic routine. Plan regular holidays or long weekends to relax and do things you enjoy
- If you find you’ve been eating unhealthily, try to balance the junk with nutrient-dense food such as healthy vegetables, a salad, or one of my go-to recipes here
The chart below may help you see where you can make choices to rebalance your diet:
|Yin Foods: “Yoga Foods”
Makes you light and happy
Can make you spacey and scattered
|Yang Foods: “Weight-lifter Foods”
Makes you grounded and focused
Can make you aggressive and forceful
|Fruits||Chicken and eggs and meat|
Whole grains (brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats
Dark leafy greens
Vegetables: squash, carrots, onions, broccoli, mushrooms
Beans and legumes
So, I’d love to hear your thoughts around the areas you are going to focus on to rebalance, ready to shrug off that winter blanket and leap into spring with vitality and energy.
So, what a week I’ve just had. I learnt an important lesson and that is to take action and go after what you want in life. Even though it can be incredibly hard, ‘pluck up the courage’ to go for it. Don’t settle for second best and even if it seems like it might not be possible still go for it. I chose the word COURAGE to be my word for this year (see my blog post here if you have yet to pick yours!) as I knew there were some hard decisions to be made, actions to be taken and it was time to put them off no longer. Continue reading
I don’t know about you but setting New Year Resolutions can be setting yourself up for disappointment and a feeling of failure when you don’t stick to them. Continue reading
It’s hard to believe that we are coming up to the end of another year. I know I say it every year but does anyone else think this year has gone faster than ever? I don’t know about you but it’s at this time of year with a new year fast approaching that I start to back over the course of the last 12 months and think about what I’ve achieved – and perhaps more strikingly what I haven’t. Continue reading