Why self-care is actually a very generous way to share!

Is it just me, or does this winter seem to be dragging on for a particularly long time?  It’s been wonderful to see the days getting longer – I’ve been very grateful for those extra few minutes of daylight when I go to see the horses in the morning and evening – but the stormy weather seems to have plunged us back into grey skies and gloomy days.

Here in the UK we’ve been battered by a series of storms, one after the other, that have really taken their toll.  Flooding, fallen trees, road closures, and travel chaos.  Many people have had to leave their homes as the water has taken over, and now they can only wait to see what damage has been done and when they might be able to get back to some sort of normality.

It’s been challenging to see how our beautiful Earth appears so out of balance.  One half is overwhelmed and flooded, the other is experiencing burnout.  I was intrigued when I noticed that these words could be applied in a physical sense, but also can be used to describe emotional states…

When looking at things from this perspective, I was struck by how this is a reflection of what many people are feeling.  Overwhelm and burnout often seem to be the dis-ease of our time.

Looking at storms outside can also bring up our own feelings of anxiety and insecurity, leaving us feeling on edge, emotional and run-down.  We can find ourselves lying in bed at night listening to the wind howling, unable to sleep for worries about what damage we’ll find in the morning.

So, what can we do? 

I believe that self-care is essential, particularly at times like this.  It’s no coincidence that when the days are dark and storms are raging, we long to find a nice cosy corner to just curl up and hibernate!  Rest is so important.  It gives us the time and space we need to process, and also for our bodies to enter a state of ‘rest and repair’, allowing us to recharge and refresh ourselves, ready to emerge fit and energised in the Spring.

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It’s still good to spend at least some time outside on a regular basis.  Since moving to Wales, I have a much more outdoors lifestyle, working in the fields with the horses, surrounded by all the trees, hedges and creatures of this space.  I’ve realised that it’s made a big difference to how I feel.  I’m fitter and less affected by the shortness of the winter days.  Short spells of being out in the wind, and even the rain, can be invigorating!  This can quickly turn to draining and exhausting though, particularly when trying to battle against the elements and through deep mud – a fantastic metaphor for life in there I’m sure! – which brings me round again to the importance of rest.

Making sure that we’re eating well, is another great support to our wellbeing.  Including fresh vegetables and/or fruit at every meal, in a wide variety of colours, helps to ensure that we’re getting a wide range of vitamins and minerals to support our immune system and keep us healthy.

If you would like some further tips on self-care and creating a life of greater peace and harmony, please click here to receive my free guide and a short series of email prompts to get you started.  (You will be able to unsubscribe at any time if you no longer wish to receive these posts.)

Going back to thinking about the balance – or lack of it – that the Earth is experiencing at this time, how can we as individuals hope to make the slightest bit of difference?

Actually, I believe that we have much more power than we think, or than we give ourselves credit for.

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In fact, there’s a famous quote from Marianne Williamson:

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It’s about understanding that the only thing we can change is ourselves, but that in doing this we send out ripples that impact on those around us, which can spread far and wide.

I once watched a programme in which Professor Brian Cox said that if we rub our hands together, this changes the charge on the electrons on the surface of our skin, and in fact then changes every single electron in the Universe as “no two electrons in an atom can be at the same time in the same state or configuration”.  This is known as the Pauli exclusion principle.

This is all a bit scientific for me, but basically I take it as an affirmation that if I change my energy, the energy of everything around me has to readjust.

This is why I believe that self-care is actually a very generous way to share!

We are all connected: to each other, to Nature and to the Earth itself.  When I am calm and feeling at ease, others around me will sense this and start to come in line with this feeling.  If I am tense and anxious, they will pick up on this too, and start to feel fidgety.

Therefore, when I care for myself, looking after my needs, releasing stress, and coming to a place of greater balance and inner harmony, I share this with those around me.  And the ripples continue to spread, further and further out.

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This sounds simple, and in many ways it is, but it’s not always easy for us.  We often carry beliefs that can hold us stuck in unhelpful patterns of behaviour.  When we’ve felt overwhelmed, facing a situation for which we’ve had no coping strategy in that moment, we can fall into coping mechanisms which might get us out of that tricky situation, but which often prove to be unsupportive in the longer term. That’s perfectly normal but it means that it’s a good idea to regularly check in with ourselves to see where things are going well, or where we’re experiencing stress and discomfort, indicating that something isn’t serving us.

This is where reaching out for help can be so valuable.  Sometimes we need someone to hold a safe space for us, where we can explore our beliefs and see how they could be adjusted in order to be more aligned with Who We Really Are, that is, our amazing, unique expression of Love.  A non-judgemental, objective and supporting hand can assist us greatly in this.

As we enter March now, and – hopefully – the beginnings of Spring, I wish you a fresh new start, with renewed energy and vitality for whatever new adventures lie ahead.

If you have any questions, or comments, I’d love to hear from you!  Please either post below, or contact me on:

Making a Fresh Start

The start of a New Year is a time when we traditionally think about fresh starts.  Perhaps you’re considering:

  • a new diet
  • a new exercise programme
  • a new course of study
  • learning a new language / skill

This year, particularly, might be triggering thoughts of change and new beginnings, given that it is also the start of a new decade and, here in the UK, it’s the year in which we will finally leave Europe and start to see what impact this will have on the country.

All of this can feel very overwhelming, and the new year / decade can seem to stretch out ahead with perhaps too many choices and insufficient information or resources – an intimidating blank canvas where you have no idea where to start or where you might end up.

  • How do you know which choice is the ‘right’ one for you?
  • Where can you find information / support?
  • What do you do if it all goes wrong?

Alternatively, you might feel that you are stuck in a situation with no / very few options, which can feel oppressive and very daunting.

  • What can you do when you feel powerless and that the choices are out of your control?
  • What can you do to improve your situation?

First of all, let me reassure you that you’re not alone in feeling this way.  Social media might make it look as if ‘everyone else’ has their lives sorted, but it’s just not true!

The first important step, I believe, is to stop, take a step back and take a deep breath.  Tell yourself that it’s going to be ok – and it is!  Think of all those times when you’ve overcome challenges in the past.  You’ve faced difficulties before and have made it through every time.  They might not have ended how you’d have chosen, but you survived, and you learnt new strategies and became the person you are today.

Remember, too, that it’s ok to make mistakes.  When we face a new situation, we can’t be expected to have all the answers, or the skills, to handle things perfectly, first time.  Rather than viewing Life as a series of ‘tests’ that we have to pass, why not see it as opportunities to practise, learn and grow.  Be gentle and forgiving with yourself – and keep a sense of humour.  The ability to laugh with (not at 😊 ) ourselves, is such a fabulous thing to cultivate!

To support this, practise an attitude of openness and curiosity, also known as a Beginner’s Mind.  This enables us to keep a fresh perspective and not to get stuck in old patterns or limiting beliefs.  It also helps us not to take things personally, but to look instead at what was behind the words or events that we found upsetting.  We can look, too, at what we’re feeling and explore our responses to develop greater self-awareness, -understanding and -compassion.

Also, remember that 1 January isn’t the only day in the year when you can make a fresh start! 

When you make a choice, it doesn’t have to be forever.  You are free to change your mind.  There is no situation in which you can’t change something.  And if you can’t alter the situation itself, you can always choose to change how you feel about it.

There are no ‘wrong’ choices either.  If you haven’t tried something before, how can you know if it will be a good fit for you?  You can choose to see it as exploring a new path, and if you find that you’re unhappy with the choice you made for some reason, then you can make a new choice.  Of course, this isn’t always easy, particularly when it impacts on other people, but when you can stay open, honest (with yourself and them) and authentic, you will be doing your best, and that is all that is required.

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Remember, too, that your past doesn’t define you. We’ve all made mistakes and done things that in hindsight we’re not proud of, but these don’t have to hold you back. Don’t let guilt or an over-developed sense of responsibility keep you captive (I’ve been there!). Know that each morning brings a new beginning and a new opportunity for you to decide who you want to be and what that will look like. And it’s never too late to start! Sometimes it might be challenging, if the people around you expect you to be the same person you were yesterday. They might be uncomfortable with change, and so prefer you to stay as you were. But you are free to be true to yourself, and to grow and develop as feels right to you. Anyway, Life is full of change, and we need to adapt and go with it in order to thrive. (I’ll be posting more about this dynamic process next month.) I once read a saying that made me smile and so it’s become a kind of motto for me: Just yell ‘plot twist!‘ and move on. 😊

We can only ever have power over, and responsibility for, our own choices and their consequences.  But when we accept this, and when we can hold them ‘lightly’ – by which I mean with authenticity, flexibility, curiosity and humour – then our world really is a brighter place.

If you would like to explore this further, please see my website and / or contact me:

Stress Awareness Month – part 2

When we’re feeling stressed, the first thing to remember is just to Breathe!

Breathing is so important! Obviously it keeps us alive… but more than that, it gives feedback to the body on how stressed or calm we are. 

When we pay attention to our breath, just observing it and noticing how deep/shallow & slow/rapid it is, this will give us information on how our body is feeling .

Also, become aware of any tension in your breathing.

Once we spot any signs of stress or tension, we can start to act on the feedback loop by choosing to take slower, deeper breaths, just as if we were feeling calm and relaxed.

This sends the signal to every cell in your body that it’s ok, we’re safe, and so it begins to let go of the tension and enter a state of greater calm.

This has many wonderful benefits for our health and wellbeing.

For a start, it gives us some space to connect with our inner selves and our needs and priorities.

Another source of stress for many people is comparing themselves to others.
But in reality there is no comparison.

You are unique.
And so are they.

When we make comparisons we are generally hard on ourselves and judge ourselves as being ‘less’ in some way.

Anyway, we don’t know the full story of the other person’s life. We can only see the surface and what they choose to show publicly. We might be unaware of their struggles and fears. 

Equally, when we label another as inferior, this often comes from an inner sense of ‘lack’ in ourselves, leaving us wanting to boost our sense of worth. But maintaining this is stressful.

What we really need to do is go within and connect with the part of us that knows we are worthy, we are valued, we are loved and loveable.

In order to do this, spending some time alone, without external noise and distractions, is important.

So, if you’re experiencing:
– stress and overwhelm 
– anxiety and depression 
– exhaustion and fatigue 
– a lack of energy 
– feelings of being lost or stuck
– chronic ill health that just won’t shift

I can help.

Together we can trace back to the root cause of the issue, in order for you to be able to address it directly. This helps to free the body’s own healing processes to work much more effectively so that you can get back to balance and wellbeing.

Call me today for a no-obligation chat to find out more about how we could work together to enable you to create the life you long for.

“I don’t want to feel this way any more!”

I came across a post on Facebook the other day that shared a wonderful TED Talk given by Susan David (The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage). That, and some conversations I’ve had recently, got me thinking about why I do what I do.

Susan grew up in South Africa during apartheid which affected her deeply. I spent my childhood in Belfast at the height of The Troubles and while I was fortunate not to see some of the worst of the fighting, it was an ever present background that coloured my younger years. Perhaps that’s why I am so passionate about getting in touch with our feelings and learning how to work with them in a positive and creative way.

One of the lasting memories of my time in Northern Ireland is the banner that used to hang across the City Hall which read ‘Belfast Says No!’. That spoke volumes to me of the rigidity of people’s thinking and the lack of openness that was keeping so many trapped in their fear and pain.

And I think this is just as true on an individual level.

In her talk, Susan says that she has come across so many people who say they don’t want to carry on feeling the way they do. They are referring to emotions such as anger, sadness, disappointment and fear. But Susan believes that these are ‘dead people’s goals‘ because only people who have died no longer feel these emotions.

We generally live in a society that pushes for a positive outlook and has little time for what it has come to label ‘negative’ emotions. (See my earlier blog series: ‘Positive thinking – is it always a good thing?’) I think this has forced many people into feeling that they have to play a particular role, and to disconnecting from their true feelings, causing a part of them to ‘die’ inside. From this place we can easily feel lost, overwhelmed and hopeless.

Susan talks about the women who are told that they ‘shouldn’t’ feel angry, or the person who’s been diagnosed with cancer being told to ‘just stay positive’. And of course there are the commonly held beliefs such as ‘boys don’t cry‘. But what does this do to someone who is feeling angry, or who is reeling from hearing that they have a potentially life-limiting illness? And how are boys – and men – supposed to deal with feelings of hurt and loss? This creates a society of individuals who feel unheard, unseen and forced to wear an uncomfortable and ill-fitting mask, just to be accepted.

So what happens to the real feelings? Do they go away?

No, they just get pushed down, go underground, where they grow and fester.

And we can start to use outside things to cover them up – or push them down and keep them buried – eg food, alcohol, busy-ness and other ‘addictions’.

But deep down, our body still knows that all is not well. E-motions are meant to flow. The word itself gives us a clue to the fact that these feelings are energy in motion. They are there for a reason – they are our barometer; our guide to what is working for us and what isn’t; data that we can use to find our way to a life of joy and wellbeing. In an ideal world we would explore these emotions and process the data they offer in order to make the choices that best serve us. But when we push the feelings down, when we haven’t developed the tools to learn from them and grow, then they get stuck, magnify and lead to dis-ease.

I heard, just yesterday, about a friend of a friend, who is living a life of chronic anxiety. Even when there is nothing immediately obvious for her to worry about, it’s as if she has to find something to fret over. She has become so accustomed to this way of being and her body craves the adrenaline and the energy it brings, but her health is suffering and she’s no longer able to cope with many of the things that she used to do, including her work. Even just leaving the house has become an ordeal for her.

I believe that this happens when we don’t face the truth of what we’re feeling. For a while we can get by behind the mask, but as Susan says in her talk, it’s not sustainable. Like one of those stress balls, we might be able to push our feelings down in one place, but they will generally then surface somewhere else.

As I said above, our feelings serve a purpose. Not only do they give us valuable information but they can be our motivation to make things better.

I think that a large part of the problem is that society labels our feelings and conditions us into certain expectations of behaviour and conduct. However emotions are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, they just are. You feel how you feel. It’s what you do with those feelings that’s important. If we could stop beating ourselves up when we feel certain emotions then a large part of their hold over us would be gone. Instead we could choose to look at things from a more objective viewpoint and with the perspective of a beginner’s curiosity.

We need to start by exploring the nature of the feeling. Giving a name to the emotion – being as accurate and un-dramatic as we can – is the first step in developing Emotional Intelligence. When we do this, we know exactly what it is that we’re dealing with which helps us to move on to the next step…

What is going on behind the feeling?

  • Why am I feeling this way?
  • What triggered this feeling?
  • Is there an unmet need here?
  • What resources can I draw on to meet that need?

We can use journaling, somatic dialogue (tuning in to a part of the body and asking it about how it’s feeling and what it might be holding), art, movement and other techniques to explore the many layers of our being in order to tune in to our inner wisdom.

This can be a very empowering process but with that comes responsibility. We need to be conscious in the way that we use this new knowledge about ourselves. The aim is to show up with authenticity, integrity and even vulnerability and to allow and encourage others to do the same. (You might like to explore Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B Rosenberg for further ideas on this.)

If you are someone who has wanted the painful feelings to stop, or you feel that you’re wearing a mask, and you feel ready to explore a different way, then please get in touch. I’m very happy to have a no obligation chat to discuss ways that you can tap in to all the wonderful resources that you hold within yourself.

Some thoughts on my highs and lows of winter horse care!

The last couple of weeks have felt pretty tough here at Equenergy. This is my first year of being a horse carer, having welcomed Dax back in May last year, and Rika in October when we moved to Wales and got our own land. It has been a steep learning curve!

About a week ago, on Friday, we had the first snow of the season and, obviously, the first since our move. Suddenly I was having to feed the horses much more hay, as they were unable to access any grass. We were already running a little low, and had arranged an order for the Sunday anyway, but it quickly became clear that there probably wouldn’t be enough to get us through the remaining day, night and morning before we picked up more supplies.

I went through uncomfortable feelings of guilt at not being better prepared and getting into a situation where the horses might suffer because of my lack of foresight…

This came on top of me already feeling rather low, mostly due to exhaustion, which was the result of a combination of factors:

  • the short days which never seem to have enough daylight to get everything done
  • the relentless-seeming round of daily poo picking; often in wind, rain, mud and semi-darkness at this time of year
  • juggling appointments, working on the house, business stuff (such as updating my website, networking, etc) and caring for the animals
  • still not having any proper internet, phone or TV connection
  • the time it takes to get things done because of the above challenges.

As you might have spotted, reading the above list, another drain on my energy has been the high level of expectation that I place on myself!

At times I’ve felt rather alone and vulnerable, and it was at one of these moments that I received some comments on a post that I’d made on Facebook. From the perspective of this low point they hit a nerve and felt like criticism. I was tempted to hide away and feel sorry for myself, but instead I decided it would be more productive to take a step back and look at the situation with a more objective view.

Doing this I quickly realised that the comments were far from being critical. They were actually just someone who cared deeply about an issue, expressing their thoughts. However their message threw a spotlight on a need in me that I hadn’t been addressing (old insecurities about how people see me and being ‘good enough’), which was bringing up old hurts and leaving me experiencing emotional discomfort. I could see that this provided a great opportunity for me to work on this inner pain in order to release it, taking a further step in setting myself free from the things that hold and restrict me. I explored the sensations I was experiencing and used them to identify where I needed to change my thoughts to be more supportive.

There are a variety of ways that we can do this kind of exploration:

  • journaling
  • mindfulness
  • meditation
  • talking with a friend or a professional coach / therapist
  • I personally used EFT (emotional freedom techniques, or ‘tapping’) as this helps to reduce painful emotions, meaning that I could look at things with greater clarity

I’ve had to remind myself, too, that change is often painful, as it pushes us out of our comfort zone. This is true, even when we were the ones who decided to make the change. Even when we know in our heads what to expect, the raw reality, and the unknown duration of the discomfort, can make it hard to keep going, and to keep trusting that we’ve made the right choices. This is especially true when we’re feeling tired, alone or unsupported.

Often when we’re feeling low, our inner critic goes into overdrive. I had to remind myself that this part of me is just trying to keep me safe, but in actual fact it’s made up of thoughts and beliefs that are untrue, or at least greatly exaggerated, and viewed from a negative bias. But I am able to choose my thoughts and beliefs, which in turn impacts on my perceptions, emotions, behaviours and the outcomes I experience. If I choose to focus on more positive, uplifting, optimistic thoughts, then I will experience more supportive, hopeful feelings, leading to behaviours which are more likely to produce the outcomes that I desire.

Sometimes we can get stuck in a negative cycle, particularly when we’re feeling run down, which is why it’s so important to take care of ourselves, doing our best to get quality rest, eat healthily, spend time outdoors in the fresh air and engage in exercise that we enjoy. It’s also important to reach out for help when we need it. Things can feel too big to face alone, but with another pair of hands / eyes, suddenly they seem much more manageable. Also, we are social creatures. We need to feel connected. When this is missing from our lives, the world can feel like a very big, scary and lonely place. Even if you feel that no-one can help, it’s still worth reaching out, as even doing something as simple as meeting a friend for a cup of coffee can bring a bit of brightness to your day and make things seem much less bleak.

Taking action in this way has also helped me to remember the many ‘highs’ of our new life here in Wales, and having horses with us. It’s so lovely to be able to spend time with them, either connecting through activities, or just being in their presence and feeling their calming, grounding energy. I’ve been seeing some subtle changes in Dax, where he seems to be processing things and being less reactive. He can tend to show some fear aggression, reverting to inappropriate behaviours – such as biting and pushing – when he feels anxious, but having started some clicker play with him, I’ve seen how he’s using his brain to find other ways to approach situations. Doing this in a safe environment seems to be giving him confidence in other areas of his life as well. Occasionally he seems to take a backwards step, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it can take time to change habits that have been held for long periods of time so I just need to remain patient and keep remembering all the good things in him so that he can see these too and step into them more fully.

Another ‘high’ is that Rika is opening up more and more each day. When she first arrived here, everything was so new for her. She’d been taken away from her people, her herd and the environment that was familiar to her. It has taken her a while to find her feet but she now regularly approaches us to say Hello, or for a cuddle or a scratch. She’s such a gentle and graceful creature that it’s a joy to spend this time with her!

I’m also deeply grateful for this amazing space all around us. The landscape is so beautiful and the light changes almost in every moment! We are surrounded by birdsong from early morning to well into the evening and it’s magical to watch the onward march of the seasons.

If you are experiencing painful emotions that feel like they’re taking over your life, and you’d like to explore some constructive ways to address the underlying issues so that you can reconnect with your balance, joy and wellbeing, then please get in touch for a no obligation chat.

PS For those of you wondering about the horses and their hay: I rang our lovely hay man, Gwyn, on the Friday and he happily gave us a couple of bales the next day which easily got us through to Sunday when we collected our order. This reminded me again that worry is unproductive and that when I reach out, help is there, supporting me through the ‘dramas’ of my life and showing me that, in fact, all is well in the end 🙂

‘I don’t know what the problem is, but I’m just not happy…’ (part 2)

Following on from last week, where I looked at physical ways that we can support our wellbeing and happiness, I will now turn to exploring the more emotional and ‘spiritual’ aspects.

Perhaps it would be good to start by explaining that, when I say ‘spiritual’, I don’t mean in any religious sense.  That might play a role, if it is important for you, but I believe that we all have a spiritual part of our being – whether or not we’re religious – that needs care and attention in order for us to be living a whole, balanced – and happy – life.

I believe that it is only by being in harmony with our inner nature, and the Nature all around us, that we can truly experience balance, wellbeing and flow.  For me, being in Nature feeds all the layers and aspects of our being and offers us many lessons on how to better care for our health on all levels.

One of the main attractions of the property that we recently moved to in Wales is the amazing Nature all around us.  I’ve known for some time that I wanted to move out of the city.  I’ve been finding it claustrophobic and stifling, feeling squeezed uncomfortably into a role and space that no longer felt ‘right’ for me.  I longed to find a place where I felt I could breathe; where I could see the sky above, and green, living things all around me.  We looked at a variety of places in our search, all of them more rural than the Bristol suburbs where we’d been living, but not truly ‘countryside’- until we found Rose Cottage!  Here we have woods, fields, trees, natural hedges and even a little stream.  I instantly felt the sense of peace that fills this place, and it was as if the coiled spring that I’d been carrying around inside of me began to unwind and relax.

Spending time outdoors, in Nature, has proven health benefits.  There are the obvious ones of fresh air, exercise and the fact that we need daylight for our bodies to synthesise Vitamin D.  In addition there is something calming and healing about the colours green and blue – the main colours that we see, at least in the UK, when out in nature.

Connecting in with the earth is beneficial, both in terms of a physical connection and also on an emotional / spiritual level.  It is very grounding, especially if we can take our shoes off and feel the earth beneath our feet, tuning into its energy and allowing it to bring us peace and balance.

Since moving here, we haven’t been connected to the internet (if you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that it’s been an ongoing saga with BT…) but I’ve really come to know and appreciate the truth of the saying:

There is something very special about getting away from the world of work, busy-ness and all the normal daily demands.  Sadly we are often so used to this ‘noise’ that we’ve forgotten how to be quiet, and lost touch with our own uniqueness – who we are without all the ‘domestication’ of our every day lives, and also the wonder of our being and all the amazing gifts that we alone can bring to the world.

So many people are experiencing stress and overwhelm in our society.  They might push it down, using work, food, alcohol, smoking, shopping, over-exercise or some other form of addiction in order to dull the pain.  But it doesn’t go away, and often it can fester inside us, leading to physical or mental dis-ease.  Sadly, trying to stop ourselves from feeling the pain in these ways effectively dis-connects us from ourselves, and from our internal guidance system, meaning that we can find ourselves feeling lost and/or making decisions that don’t serve us.  We can end up feeling discontent, unfocused and lonely, knowing that something is missing but not sure how to fill the hole…  This is what leads us to look outside of ourselves for the answer, the thing that will help us to feel fulfilled and ‘complete’, but in reality, nothing outside of ourselves can ever satisfy this need, if we don’t first take care of our inner selves.  This is where it is so important to spend some time in quiet, allowing ourselves the space to reflect, reconnect and tune in to what we really need.  Mindfulness and getting present are great ways to start.  Also practising gratefulness.  I often recommend keeping a gratitude diary, making a note of all the things you find in your day to feel thankful for, or that make you smile.  It can be as simple as a warm cup of delicious coffee, reading a good book or seeing the smile on a child’s face.  Focusing on these things will reset your focus away from negativity.  Where your attention goes, energy flows and will attract more of the same into your life, so feeding the positive is a great way to support your wellbeing.

Basically ‘overwhelm‘ is when we find ourselves in a situation where we feel that we have little or no control, and yet we’re having to juggle a high level of demand.  We feel overloaded; trapped with nowhere to go to escape.

When we make time to get out into Nature, it gives us space – both literally and emotionally – allowing us to take a step back and regain a degree of perspective, in order to reconnect with what is important to us.

I love this quote from Emily McDowell:

To me, this is what it’s all about, and it’s what being in Nature gives us the space to do.  It allows us to strip off the layers of conditioning, the masks we wear to survive in the worlds outside of ourselves, and to reconnect with Who We Really Are.  When we can do this, and appreciate the amazing being that we are, ‘warts and all’, then we can start to explore what it means to be that person, more fully.  How can we tap in to our gifts and begin to truly share them with those around us…?  This will both benefit others, and help us to grow and to feel more fulfilled – more ‘in tune’ with ourselves – that is, more comfortable in our own skin.  The feelings of stress and overwhelm begin to melt away as we step into the niche that was always there for us, waiting for the time that we would stop trying to please others, and instead allow ourselves to be all that we can be.

It’s like Marianne Williamson says:

We are ‘powerful beyond measure’ when we connect with our authentic selves.  The Universe has created you with great care, bringing many elements together over aeons of time, to result in the person that you are.

Stop and think about this for a moment…

Let the miracle of your being really settle into your consciousness…

This doesn’t just apply to others – those who are rich, or famous, or have won the Nobel Prize for something…  it applies to each and every one of us.  Being ‘small’ doesn’t serve ourselves, and it doesn’t serve those around us.  As Marianne says:

“… as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So don’t think of it as selfish to take time for yourself and to listen to your heart and follow where it leads you.  That is what you are here to do.  That is how you fulfil your potential.  That is how you be your best self and give permission to others to be their best selves.

This magical place is supporting me along my journey, and if it resonates for you, I’d love to offer you the opportunity to experience this healing space for yourself.  Together we can create a bespoke package for you to explore Who You Really Are, within this safe and supportive environment.  I work with energy, using techniques such as Reiki and EFT (‘tapping’), and also offer workshops and retreats.  If you would like to know more, please get in touch:

You can also see more on my website: equenergy.com

‘I don’t know what the problem is, but I’m just not happy…’

Sometimes the lack of internet and TV connection here is a blessing!  This week it has inspired me to write this blog…

As we can’t watch any of our favourite programmes at the moment, I’ve been going to the library in Abergavenny to borrow from their collection of DVDs.  One of the movies that I picked up last week was called ‘A Long Way Down‘.  When I chose it, I didn’t read the blurb on the box so had no idea what the story was about and, to be honest, to start with, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue watching it, as it’s about a group of 4 people who happen to go to the top of the same building, on the same night (New Year’s Eve) intent on committing suicide.  They obviously hadn’t planned on doing this in front of anyone else and so there’s a bit of awkwardness and they end up agreeing to form a pact, promising not to kill themselves before the next most popular suicide date, Valentine’s Day.

The film then follows them through all their misadventures together, but what struck me was that one of the characters, JJ, feels like an outsider in their little group because, from his perspective, each of the others has a reason for feeling the way they do – one has been publicly shamed, one has lost her sister and the other has a disabled son and spends all her life caring for him.  JJ on the other hand confesses that he doesn’t know why he is unhappy.  He feels hopeless, and also jealous of the others.  They know what is ‘wrong’ in their lives and so they know what they need in order to ‘fix’ things, however as he doesn’t have an obvious ‘problem’, he has no idea how to improve things, or indeed, if that’s even possible…

This got me thinking…  This seems to be a not uncommon situation in our society.  So many people are unhappy, unfulfilled and dissatisfied, without knowing why.  On the surface their life might appear to be ‘good’, or even ‘perfect’, but to them it is a miserable, and perhaps painful, existence.  The issue is compounded because they don’t feel they can complain about this apparently happy life, particularly when so many others have ‘more obvious’ challenges to deal with.

Just look at examples such as Robin Williams.  On the surface he had an amazing life and his public persona was very upbeat, but behind this he was very unhappy and deeply troubled.

I’m glad that there is now a greater awareness about mental health issues, and much work is being done to reduce any stigma.  It’s great to see well-known personalities speaking out about their experience and letting the world see that outward appearances can be deceptive.  Even the most amazing lifestyle, or having lots of money, doesn’t protect you from feeling unhappy.

I believe that these feelings need to be addressed holistically.  It’s not something that will generally be resolved overnight, or with a simple fix.  It takes time for someone to reach this point, and it will take time for them to find their way back to balance and wellbeing, but every step along the way will bring improvement and valuable learning – about themselves, their needs, values and desires – that will be of great benefit in creating the life that they long for.

So, what do I mean when I say that the issue should be tackled ‘holistically’?  We are many layered beings and for us to function at our best, all of those layers need to be healthy and in balance.  When we feel any form of dis-ease, it means that something is out of balance.  In order to resolve this, we need to look at each area of our lives: physical, emotional and spiritual.

These aren’t discrete layers.  They flow from one to the other and are interdependent.  Any separation is artificial, but for simplicity, and ease of explanation, I’ll look at each in turn:

Physical

Did you know that gut health plays a huge part in our mood, as well as in many other aspects of how we feel and of our self image?

For this reason, it’s important to pay attention to what we eat.  For example, did you know:

It’s not just what we eat, either – it’s also about the whole of our environment.  This includes the products you use, both on yourself, and for cleaning.  Did you know that you absorb things more quickly through your skin, than by digestion?  For this reason I try not to use any harsh chemicals.  I use natural, organic, vegan products where possible.  I’m a consultant for Arbonne and I also buy from sites such as Green PeopleNorwex and Forest Hog.

Next week, I’ll look further at the emotional and spiritual aspects.

 

If this post has struck a chord and you’d like to ask any questions, or have a chat, please get in touch: