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.
MyTuesday morningwas no ordinary Tuesday. It consisted of red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue. Oh, and gold! It was a rainbow kind of Tuesday and very beautiful it was too.
I’ve been promising myself for ages that I would go and check out Kundalini Yoga, so I jumped out of bed, squeezed into my sweaty betty leggings, downed a pint of water and darted out the door. Note to self “I must slow down”! I’ve heard little snippets about Kundalini Yoga and how it’s extremely uplifting, both spiritually and physically and thought, hey why not! I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to myself that I’m becoming more and more spiritual, so I certainly had to try this as part of my holistic journey. If you’ve read any of my other blogs, I’m sure it’s pretty apparent that I’m obsessed with yoga, soKundalini Yoga sounded like music to my ears.
Well,an experience it certainly was! It’s not your typical Yoga. I should probably mention that if you are one of those people that giggles at everything, it might not be your bag. There’s lots of chanting and a little singing, as well as poses I was unfamiliar with. So, what I’m saying is, you have to be open–minded. I think I say this in every blog I write now!
I love the fact that you’re told to close your eyes throughout the practice, to ensure it’s an internal journey. The aim of Kundalini Yoga is to look within. You’re also told to focus on your third eye whilst remembering to keep your eyes closed and breathe at the same time. For a first timer that’s a lot to take in right!? Anyway, whilst trying to remember those three things and remain relaxed at the same time (shoulders down), I soon got into the swing of things. The feeling of energy surging through my body was surreal and the vibrant colours I could see throughout the class (eyes closed) were simply breathtaking.
The practice consisted of breathing techniques totally new to me, meditation, the chanting of mantras, such as Sat Nam, meaning “truth is my identity” and poses I was unaware of such as the Frog Pose. To give you an idea the Frog Pose is a vigorous pose and it was surprising how energised I felt after it. Visually it looks quite simple but once you start the movement it was much harder than it looks! I like to call myself fit but this was something else………
The frog activates the first, second, and third chakras and moves the energy up to the higher centres. To give you an idea, you can either practice this now or visualize. Stand up and place your heels together with your toes turned out. Then squat down, raising the heels (keeping them together), aligning the knees over the toes, and placing your fingertips on the floor in front of you. Like a frog! Inhale, raising your hips and straightening your legs. Exhale and return to the squatting position. Continue 26 times. Yes, that’s right, 26 times! That was the hard bit. I was goosed and struggled to hit 26 at a speedy pace, but got there either way. I’m sure I looked ridiculous but the fact that everyone has their eyes closed, it really doesn’t matter, and if I’m honest I’m glad as it kind of takes the pressure off a newbie.
Once we had worked through the different poses we finished the practice with meditation, I was left feeling completely zen and smiling – eyes closed.
The power of Kundalini yoga comes from the kundalini, which is also known as Sanskrit (coiled serpent). It is said that there is a huge amount of untapped potential within us, located around the sacrum at the base of our spine. By practising Kundalini yoga, you slowly awaken this gentle serpent and safely open its amazing powers to work up the 7 chakras. In a nutshell, Kundalini Yoga clears blocks in your energy field by using mantras, sound, energy healing, exercises and meditations. It releases any trauma from the energetic body (which surrounds the physical body), the aura and it’s the aura that holds wounds. When our wounds are healed, our radiance can occur and this frequency is what draws in beauty, love, and light. Attracting abundance starts in our energetic body, not our minds.
People who practice Kundalini Yoga see a huge transformation in their day to day lives, they feel more at peace, are much happier and feel much healthier. So, if you want to feel more aware and responsive to your surroundings, Kundalini Yoga is definitely worth a try. I mean who doesn’t want to improve their health and well-being whilst jumping up and down like a frog – eyes closed! On a serious note after just one class, I felt extremely relaxed and more at ease with myself than I have in a long time and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little sore. I am sure I used muscles I didn’t even know existed. Imagine how you’d feel attending one class a week!
If you haven’t tried Kundalini Yoga and you like other styles of yoga, I’d definitely give it ago. My experience was unbelievable, I was literally blown away. My most luxurious relaxing holistic package, the “Mind Body Soul” is the essence of Kundalini yoga, in the sense that I felt physically, emotionally and spiritually uplifted, which is how my clients describe my signature package. Sat Nam!
Did you know that Chakras are the energetic centres in our body and within our auras? They are essential for the flow of life force energy within us.
For anyone new to all this like I was, in simple terms, life force is the energy that exists in all living things. It keeps us alive! Many of us lose sight or never really know what our “life force” is. We get so busy, it’s like we’re living our lives merely trying to survive or focusing on what we think we should be doing rather than what we want to do! This my love, is not living!
How can we succeed if we don’t know who we are? I think we all get to a point at sometime in our lives where we want to understand ourselves in much more depth and it’s worth asking some simple questions.
What makes you different, you are different, we’re all unique right?
What do you love and enjoy?
What are you biggest achievements in life?
Learning how to balance your chakras can have a huge impact on your physical, emotional and spiritual health, which may help you understand exactly “who you are” and will hopefully give you more clarity on those thought-provoking questions above. When our energetic centres are blocked, the flow of energy through the meridians of our body are disturbed, this can lead to all sorts of issues such as depression, fatigue, poor health, and let’s face it, no one likes to feel any of those things.
Today I am going to talk you through a 7-chakra mediation exercise. My aim is to help you to unblock your chakras leaving you with beautiful bright colours of the rainbow. It worked for me and at the same time completely changed my views on life. I’ve always said that to feel good you must go deep and look within. Some of you may be thinking, why on earth did she feel the need to cleanse her chakras and most importantly how did she even know about that? It’s funny really, all I can say is that my holistic journey brought me to this point, it could be fate/destiny who knows.
Anyway, back to the point of this blog. I was randomly given a book, which had been passed onto a girl at college. The book was focussed around crystals and meditation. Hello and thank you, two of my favourite things! Bare in mind this was my first ever experience of meditation and the results for me were undeniable life changing. Pre-warning, if there’s something in your life right now that isn’t quite right, be prepared, you may want to make major life changes. Hello major life overhaul! Oh and just giving you the heads up, this is a fairly lengthy blog, so if I lose you, I get it! My attention span was never my strongest point at school and still isn’t to this day.
I’ve mentioned before in my Yoga blogs that the 7 chakras each have an individual colour which reflects the colours of the rainbow. To feel light, it’s important that we manifest the energies of all seven rays by opening, clearing and energizing the 7 physical chakras.
For some reason, I like to meditate lying down with my back on the floor and my arms relaxed by sides palms facing up. One, it’s really comfortable and two, it helps me to relax straight away. That said, everyone is different and you may find alternative ways you prefer to meditate. For this exercise, you may want to sit with your back well supported in an upright position. Place your hands on your knees holding your knees in your hands in a relaxed manner or you can turn your hands over, resting on your knees palms facing up.
When you are in a comfortable position, take several deep breaths moving you into a meditative state and once you feel relaxed imagine you are a seed, to grow you must send roots deep into the earth, sense the roots beginning to sprout at your tailbone. Before I continue, it’s worth pointing out that for this meditation exercise to work, you have to be fairly imaginative, otherwise you may find this exercise ridiculous. Just wanted to let you know so you can decide if this exercise is for you. If it is, promise it will be worth it, stick with me.
With each breath, imagine them beginning to grow down into the earth, branching and multiplying as they sink into the dark warm soil. Feel the routes going further and further down, until you can imagine that your roots have reached the centre of the earth.
When your routes have grown down into the planet, sense them beginning to draw energy back up through the root system and into your physical body.
Mentally give thanks to the Great Mother Earth for the energy you are receiving from her. When the energy has risen into your tailbone, sense the energy taking the form of the colour red, and feel it filling your pelvis and legs with warmth and energy. Notice any sensations you may have, especially emotions or ideas that may be released as you breathe the colour red into your pelvis. When you feel as though you have filled that area with the colour vibration red, sense it beginning to radiate out from your pelvis, filling your energetic field with its vibration.
Now breathe deeply as you draw the energy from your roots up into your navel area. As the energy moves up from your pelvis it changes colour from red to orange. Breathe the energy into your abdominal area until you feel as though you have saturated that area fully with the colour orange. Allow the energy to radiate outward each time you exhale, filling your energy field with the vibration of orange. Again, be aware of any information that you may receive resonating with this vibration.
Now draw the energy upwards into your solar plexus area. As the energy moves into your ribcage, it changes to a brilliant yellow vibration. Breathe the colour into your solar plexus area, about two inches above your navel. Allow the vibration of the colour yellow to fill every cell in your solar plexus.
Sense yourself as the seed drinking in this nourishing vibration. Allow the energy to radiate out of your solar plexus area to fill your energy field. Notice the feeling that this colour vibration creates in you. When you have fully experienced this vibration, draw the energy from your root into your heart area.
As the energy moves into your heart and chest area, it’s colour changes to a vibrant green ray. Breathe the colour vibration into your chest, and sense it filling your arms and hands, radiating from your palms as loving, healing energy. Allow any resistance to be released, along with any emotions or other experiences that may have been held there. Radiate the colour out from your heart to fill your energy field, until its glowing with the vibration of the colour green.
Now draw the energy upward again, sensing it changing from green to beautiful turquoise or sky blue colour. Sense your throat and neck becoming filled with this vibration of blue, as you draw in more energy with each breath. Allow the vibration to fill your vocal cords releasing any blocked energy. As your throat and neck fill with the vibration of light blue, be aware of any sounds or experiences stored there that might be signalling for a release. When you have fully experienced this vibration, radiate its energy to outward to fill your aura.
Breath in deeply, drawing more energy up from your roots and into your head, filling it with a beautiful indigo vibration, sense a point between, and just above your eyebrows. Sense the energy filling the centre of your head and radiating outward, sending indigo vibrations throughout your energy field. Allow yourself to experience any images or information that may come to you as you breathe the energy through this area.
When you feel as though your energy is resonating with the indigo vibration, draw the energy upward once again until it fills the very top of your head – your crown chakra. Sense the energy becoming a brilliant vibrant colour, creating a sphere of violet flame just above the top of your head. The violet vibration fills your head bringing your consciousness upwards. Allow yourself to recognise any information, emotions, or experiences that may be released by this colour vibration.
When you feel as though you have been saturated with this violet vibration, bring your attention to the very top of your head. Just above your crown there is a tiny sprout of light beginning to emerge. Sense the energy being drawn up through your roots, and through each of your chakras. Sense the energy rising up to feed this root of light that is emerging from the top of your head. Sense it growing larger, and stronger, reaching up towards the brilliant light of the Sun. As it reaches upward, nourished by the energy that is flowing through your body, it begins to draw in the light of the sun, sending this powerful energy down through your energetic systems.
As the light from the sun enters a chakra, it radiates outwards to fill your aura with brilliant light. Draw the light into each chakra, and down into the root system you have created. Now send the light energy back into the Earth with your blessings and thanks.
You are a seed which has sprouted, the roots feeding the plant, and the plant in turn feeding the roots. This double helix energy flows through the body, balancing and energising the chakras, which you have just consciously opened. When you are ready, you may open your eyes and return to the room.
When you were sensing the colour vibrations, were there any particular colours that were difficult for you to sense and experience? This can indicate a chakra which may be blocked. If it is difficult for you to sense a colour, you may want to have something nearby that is the colour you’re struggling with. During the meditation, you can gaze at this object. Or if there’s a chakra colour you struggle to see on your first attempt, you can have the object ready for your next meditation, so you can work towards unblocking any colours that you struggled to see.
I hope you experience as much peace and serenity as I did from this chakra cleansing meditation and most importantly I hope you are lucky enough to experience the 7 colours of the rainbow. Utterly beautiful!
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!
Considering we spend most of our time on our feet, why do we not give them as much attention as we do the rest of our body?
If you’ve read my earlier blogs, you’ll know I am a Complementary Therapist who loves making people feel good. After working like a lunatic and being a stranger to studying and student life for around 16 years, I finally took the plunge and went back to college to follow my dreams. It was challenging, extremely interesting and it opened my eyes to a higher purpose. “Helping people reach optimal health wellbeing in order to live a happier and healthier life”.
So today I thought I would talk about one of my favourite treatments, Reflexology. I’d never heard of Reflexology and it was by far, one of the more fascinating and complex treatments to learn, I’ll explain why.
Reflexology goes as far back as 4,000 B.C. and was practised in China and Egypt, as depicted in the tomb of Ankmahor. It’s based on a theory that there are energy zones running throughout our body with reflex points situated on our feet. The same goes for our hands, face and ears too, but today my focus is our feet. By adding pressure to certain areas of the foot, a therapist will be able to tell if part of your body is out of balance.
The simplest way to explain this is by looking at the diagram above. The right side of the foot corresponds to the right side of the body. The tips of the toes correspond to the head and the liver, pancreas and kidneys are in the arch of the foot, and so on. Now you know what I was talking about when I said Reflexology is complex!
A good therapist will ensure your treatment is relaxing whilst applying precise and steady pressure, working each body system to create a deep sense of wellbeing. If a specific area is out of balance, say for example an area of the body that is linked to the respiratory system such as your lungs, the therapist will spend more time working that specific area of the foot to help improve any issues.
I myself have had a number of Reflexology treatments, I am a true believer that you need to understand and feel the benefits of treatments before discussing them with clients. Reflexology is extremely relaxing, you feel light, very calm, energised and I always have the best nights sleep after a session. My clients are the same, their feedback usually refers to a deep sleep that same evening and most say they’re out like a light and have no issues sleeping right through to morning. Not forgetting how energised they feel when they wake up!
In my last session, the therapist picked up on my current issues of tension in my shoulders, neck and head. I’d had a pretty tense and strenuous week and the most important thing that came out of my treatment was that I need to work on my posture. I could actually feel tingling in my shoulders whilst the therapist worked the shoulder area on each foot.
If you struggle with migraines, backache, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, sinus congestion, circulatory problems and any other conditions it’s worth giving Reflexology a try. It has so many great benefits on both a physical and emotional level and it’s great for anxiety.
In a nutshell, Reflexology encourages the body to self-heal, it helps with relaxation, promotes good health and helps relieve stress and tension. The overall aim of reflexology is to create “homeostasis” meaning organs in our body are working together to achieve optimum health. In more simple terms Reflexology helps you find balance.
Happy feet equals happy people, happy people embrace life, maybe it’s about time we started giving our feet the attention they deserve.