Rather than worry about what’s to come, I’ve decided to make the most of my spare time by doing the things that help keep me grounded and centred. The first on my list is meditation and I’ve promised myself I’ll do at least 1 hour practise every day.
If ever I feel stuck and need answers, meditation is always my go-to and over the years I’ve realised that the more I practise, the more clear my life path becomes.
Rewind 6 months ago when I was working flat out on a cruise ship. One thing I craved the most was time to myself, I was literally a workhorse giving my energy to guests all day long. It was the most physically demanding thing I’ve ever experienced and time was so precious, it was like gold dust. I remember waking up one morning and thinking right, I’ve had enough, I need to go home, and just like that I booked a flight and was out of there. Thank God. I can not begin to imagine what it’s been like, to be stuck on a cruise ship whilst all this is going on. I can’t help but think someone was watching over me 😇.
So here we are in a situation that’s out of our control and right now, against all odds, I have all the time in the world. I feel truly grateful to be around my family, the only thing that makes me feel safe when things go wrong. So what do I do with all this spare time?
I’ve decided to make a room here at my dads into a beautiful calm space. I have my Tibetan bowls which I love, they remind me of my trip to India, a deeply spiritual time where I met some beautiful souls such as Pegah, check out her page @yes2healthyminds.
Did you know that Tibetan bowls are amazing for relaxation and healing? The vibration gets me every time. I’ve also managed to find my little bag of Palo Santo (thank you god), I love the aroma. It’s one of my favourite essential oils and it’s great for aromatherapy and healing. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned my love for Palo Santo. It has so many amazing benefits and it’s a natural alternative medicine for relieving flu symptoms, common colds, stress, asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression, inflammation, emotional pain and many other conditions. If ever there was a time to invest in Palo Santo it’s now!
It’s also great for clearing energy, be it your bedroom, office, car or even your whole house. If you’re anything like me and can literally walk into a place and feel the mood, Palo Santo may be your go-to. I use it before I start any meditation to clear the energy and boost my mood. I’m fascinated by energy!
Now I have time on my hands, I’m going to dedicate more time to blogging, another love of mine. I hope you find a way to find peace in this surreal time. I’m counting my blessings and feeling grateful for the little things in life, no matter how trying things are ✨.
2019 was one hell of a rollercoaster, some unbelievable highs and some serious lows.
It began with finally selling my flat, which was on the market for well over a year – a must if I was to get serious about my career. So bye to something I worked so hard for, but no regrets! It was just a flat!
After numerous fall throughs and being messed about it finally sold! I was so relieved but extremely depleted, it was definitely time for a break. India was calling. I was ready for some time alone to quieten the chatter in my head and reflect. If you haven’t been to India go! South Goa for me was unbelievably beautiful. I felt at peace the moment I arrived, it was so calm. My only regret was not having enough time to see more of India!
I had slowly started incorporating meditation into my life and wanted to learn more, meditation was the reason for India! I was so enthusiastic and committed that not only did I want a trip focussed around meditation, I wanted to learn how to teach meditation classes. My dad is so right, I never do anything in halves!
I knew very little about meditation but had taught myself the basics and really felt the benefits when I practised. It helped alter my state of mind. I felt much more balanced, relaxed and it cleared my energy, which had been suffocated with a serious amount of heartache over the years. Meditation has helped me on such a deep level, maybe this trip was part of my destiny!
Over the last few years I’ve changed my mindset, the power of manifestation rings so true to me now. Some people are born super confident, if you are that person, high five, you are extremely lucky. For the rest of us, we have to put the work in. Self-belief is so powerful, believe and you will receive.
After returning from India I had the travel bug, I wanted to see more of the world. What followed was a light bulb moment and two months later I was off. Only this time I’d be travelling and working at the same time, on a cruise ship doing holistic therapy. It was a no brainer, earn while I travel and gain more experience in the career I love and choose, not the career that chose me!
After a really intense five week selection process in London, I was told I’d be joining a six star luxury vessel. I was a little apprehensive to say the least. I knew nothing about cruising but later found out some people work years on cruise ships hoping to secure a position on a luxury ship. I soon realised I was very lucky and to top it of the itinerary was unreal! Little did I know, I would travel the world and see the bluest of blue glaciers, otters, sea lions, dolphins, bears, you name it, and not to mention some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!
So off I go a little oblivious to the sacrifices i’d made and the hard work I was about to endure. 7.30am starts and 9.30pm finishes. My body ached from massaging all day. I was booked up and super busy. My life was now two things, work and sleep. Never in my life have I looked forward to bed so much! I was so grateful for our days off, a chance to explore new parts of the world and most importantly time to relax.
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a strange feeling living and working on a cruise ship. You are surrounded by people all day, time to yourself is like gold dust. So if you’re anything like me and need time alone to recharge your batteries, you may find it a little challenging. That being said, it’s an experience I’ll never forget. I learned so much, met some amazing people from all over the world and visited places that literally took my breath away!
2019 has been one hell of year, the year of many changes. Home, career, more education, more training, new friendships, lots of travelling, the list goes on. The biggest lesson I learned was that no matter where you are or who you are with there is no place like home. Home for me is not a place it’s the people, it’s always the people! I missed my friends and family more than I could ever imagine and I had so much guilt for leaving Pika (my dog).
What did completely change in 2019 is my mindset, I have experienced the power of manifestation on so many levels. Our minds are so powerful. They create our reality. Some people are born super confident, if you are that person you are extremely lucky. Going after what you want comes natural to you, but for the rest of us, we really have to put the work in. Self-belief is so powerful, believe and you will receive.
So thank you 2019, what I have learned from you is to always follow your bliss, trust your intuition, and keep you thoughts positive. Why? Because our thoughts influence on our lives. We manifest our experiences by our thoughts. I truly believe that if you follow these principles, you’ll be exactly where you’re supposed to be, and who knows, you may receive little gifts from the universe along the way to show you you’re on the right path.
Let’s face it, we all want to look our best! We’re now in 2018 and the world has gone social media crazy with selfies becoming a normal part of everyday life. We’re more visible now than ever and are no doubt feeling the pressure to look good. Soooooo much money is being spent on beauty products as we constantly search for new ways to achieve that perfect look.
Whether your goal is more youthful skin, perfecting the perfect eyeliner flick, defining or completely changing your features, nothing is impossible.
The beauty industry is evolving rapidly with lots of new natural products like Elemis’ superfood skincare line. New faces are causing a storm on the makeup scene – hello RiRi with Fenty Beauty and not forgetting the ever so popular quick fix resulting in fuller lips and wrinkle-free faces. Booking a treatment in Aesthetics is becoming as common as booking a gel manicure!
In fact, would you believe that according to investment bank Goldman Sachs the global beauty industry, consisting of skin care worth $24 billion, make-up $18 billion, hair-care products $38 and perfumes at $15 billion is growing at up to 7% a year, more than twice the rate of the developed world’s GDP. Yes, I nearly swore! Holy S**t!
So why when we’re investing all our hard-earned money on looking good, are we not looking much deeper and putting some aside to work towards feeling good?
I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs that I would talk to you in more detail about the benefits of body massage and why it’s so important to incorporate regular treatments into our busy lives. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “beauty starts within” and I love this phrase “beauty is not in the face, beauty is a light in the heart” this is so true! Believe me, you’ll be surprised at what goes on inside our body to keep us happy, healthy and alive, it’s fascinating! And let’s face it, if we’re not feeling good internally it vibrates externally. It’s written all over our faces (mine anyway) and all the beauty products in the world ain’t gonna change that.
So, I thought I’d start with a little bit of history about body massage, just a little, I’m all about the modern times. There is evidence that massage therapy was used as a natural healing method in ancient civilisations such as China, Egypt, India, Rome and Greece. Some say it was used as a form of natural healing for injuries, pain, stress and illnesses.
Before I talk through why body massage is so vital to improving our health and wellbeing I wanted to highlight Per Henrik Ling who is the remarkable chap who developed Swedish Body Massage in the 18th Century in Sweden. Hail Per Henrik Ling! He then went on to introduce it to the states in 1858 as “The Swedish Movement Cure”. Per Henrik Ling created his masterpiece by combining his knowledge of gymnastics and his knowledge of physiology together with Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman techniques. In short, he created a full body massage using a mixture of different techniques such as long strokes, kneading, motions, friction, stretching and tapping. Not sure which is my favourite yet!
Swedish Massage is one of the most popular types of massage and is the foundation for all other styles of massage such as sports, deep tissue, aromatherapy etc.
But whats so great about massage treatments and why are they becoming more and more popular? That is the big question! I personally think it is a lot to do with the fast pace of our busy lives and digital burnout. A good majority of us are spending too much time on digital devices, which is slowly but surely frazzling our brains. Whether were on gadgets at work, at home and even more so if you’re a social media addict, too much digital time can play havoc with our health. It can cause a decrease in physical energy, a negative effect on our sleeping pattern and it can also affect our concentration. It’s also worth pointing out that continuous use of phones and laptops are detrimental to our posture. Worth thinking about next time you’re sat in front of your laptop or you constantly have your phone glued to your ear. It’s becoming more and more apparent after consultations with clients that people who spend a high number of hours a day in front of a computer suffer more from aches and pains. They have minimal breaks and all complain of back and shoulder issues.
Whether massages are becoming more popular due to digital burnout, stress, a need to improve posture, to relax or simply to improve our overall sense of well-being, they are vital to our health.
So, I’ll finally leave you with some of the key benefits of body massage, otherwise, I’ll be talking forever on this subject as I could go on and on. Massage treatments are;
Great for improving circulation which increases oxygen flow in the blood
Great for releasing tight muscles by flushing out toxins
Great for restoring movement and keeping our ligaments and tendons supple
Great for reducing physical and emotional stress
They’re also great for relaxation for those who are constantly on the go and find it hard to relax (like me). If that’s not persuaded you to treat yourself to a body massage, I’m lost!
Can you remember the last time you went for a massage? How did you feel before and after? If you do book a treatment make a note of how you’re feeling before. Then after the treatment, when you’ve had time to rebalance and enjoy that surreal moment of feeling light, jot down how you feel again at that point. You’ll be amazed at the results (but make sure you find the right masseuse)!
I’ve come to realize that we can have our makeup done to enhance our features, our hair done to transform our locks and we can buy outfits that are so on point our style is right up there with Kate Moss. I’m sure with all these things we can look a million dollars! But, if we’re not feeling good, something is missing!
When we feel good our eyes sparkle, our skin glows and our vibration is high. Focussing on our health and wellbeing “FEELING GOOD” should be right up there with focussing on looking good!
So, it’s the weekend and I’m having the usual conversation with my friend about whether we should go out or stay in. It’s cold, dark and miserable and it’s only 5.30pm. The conversation as it goes most weekends goes something like this.
“Well we could go out and we should go out as we’re single, but it would be nice to stay in the warmth. I could brush up on my full body massage routine, tailor it to how you’re feeling, tired and stressed, which is standard for a Friday night. Then we could have a healthy dinner and we will both feel amazing tomorrow”. “What do you think”?
As I’m sure you can imagine, my friend had no intention of setting foot outside in the cold after that conversation. I mean, who wouldn’t want an hour and a half full body massage with a facial and an Indian head massage thrown in for good measure.
There’s nothing better than starting the weekend feeling amazing rather than tired and burnt out after drowning your stresses in the bottom of a wine bottle, only to feel worse the next day. That’s my opinion anyway, although believe me it was the opposite not too long ago! I’d wake up most Saturday’s hungover after knocking back copious amounts of vino to take the edge of a tough week.
So, I set up the room, light the vanilla amber and lavender coconut wax blend candles hoping to create a gorgeous scent and a sense of calm. The heating is turned up a notch so the room is cosy and I cover the massage bed with fluffy towels, biscuit and powder blue, my favourite colour combo. Oh, and not forgetting the fur rug thrown over for extra warmth, adding a nice soft fluffy texture against the skin. For me, it’s all in the detail!
The music is on, calm, slow, you know the kind that takes you to a whole different place and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, and then my friend arrives. I treat her like I would a client and go through the important questions of how she’s feeling, if there’s any issues, back problems, shoulder tension etc. and then we agree on what type of treatment she’s looking for and the areas of the body, if any she would like me to focus on. I ask about the type of pressure she likes, whether she’s had massages before and if so the type of massages she’s had (deep tissue, thai etc.). I need to understand what will work for her.
For me, the pressure is one of the most important aspects of a massage. What’s enjoyable for one person is very different to the next. I personally like people standing on my back (no pain no gain), so if I based my treatments on my own preferences, we’d both end up in a whole lot of trouble. I then choose a massage oil depending on how’s she’s feeling and it’s clear she wants a relaxing massage. So, I make a blend of lavender, ylang ylang and bergamot, a blend I created, which to me is the most relaxing scent!
Before we agree to silence, so she can enjoy the atmosphere, the music and get lost in the moment, I do a little pressure test and ask which pressure feels the most comfortable. At least then I know that we’re in tune with each other. Now the focus is pure relaxation and no chats. I really get into the flow and it amazes me how much I actually enjoy giving massages as much as I do receiving them. I find it really therapeutic, particularly whilst I take in the beautiful aromatherapy scents. That’s crazy right! I mean I must love it if I’m happy to give up my weekends and evenings to make someone feel good.
I’m not sure if I enjoy it because it’s so physical, it literally feels like a work-out at times, and I have “a whole load of energy I need to put to good use”, or whether it’s the fact that I know I’m making someone feel good. Actually, it’s definitely both! And that’s the point, the reason I love holistic therapy so much is that I’m finally in a job where I can make people feel better and they can feel instant results! You can literally tell by someone’s face after the treatment how they’re feeling. When they leave smiling, I smile, it’s such good feeling and when they book in for their next appointment, well that’s a result!
I always follow up the next day with a little message. It’s important for me to know how my clients are feeling and to understand the effects of their massage after a good night’s sleep. And that’s the thing, everyone says after having a massage they feel extremely light and that they slept like a baby. There will be the odd occasion where my client may be a little sore but that’s when they’ve asked me to focus on knots with a more intense pressure to help break them down. Worth pointing out that I wouldn’t advise going partying right after a massage as a massage boosts circulation pushing your lymph fluid around the body so you shed excess fluids more quickly. Dehydration alert, hence you need to up your H2O afterwards!
I finish our holistic evening with an Indian Head Massage, they are divine (tried and tested). They are also very good for relieving stress and tension in the head, which is apparent with a number of clients who have highly stressful jobs. I leave my friend to rest for a good 20 minutes and go into the kitchen to make dinner. We chat over our healthy meal about how she felt after the treatment (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want Pizza) and in no time at all she’s literally falling asleep on the couch. She heads off home to bed (peaceful sleep no doubt) and I pour myself a glass of red wine! I had a lovely evening mastering my craft and making someone feel good, and let’s face it, I could never be T Total so there’s no point in kidding myself. Everything in moderation!
In a world that is moving at rapid speed, it’s so important to look after yourself. In my next blog I will be talking about all the benefits of a body massage, but for now, my Sunday roast is calling!