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!
The Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana) is your 2nd chakra located about 3 inches below the navel at the centre of your lower belly. It’s linked to your creativity, emotional body and sensuality. Its element is water and its energy represents flow and flexibility.
Orange is the colour of the Sacral Chakra and the primary driver of this energy centre is pleasure and passion. It governs the belly body, so your sexual organs, kidneys, bladder and large intestines.
It’s associated with our emotions, and it’s the centre of our feelings. Anything related to creativity, fantasies, relationships and sensual pleasure are the behavioural functions of the sacral chakra.
It plays a key part in our sexuality and our expression of sensual and sexual desires. Think of anything to do with the enjoyment of life through your senses so taste, sound, touch or sight.
Opening your sacral chakra is linked to improving your state of feeling comfortable, healthy and happy. When this chakra is balanced you radiate warmth, playfulness and good humour.
To balance your Sacral Chakra do more of what makes you happy. Again yoga, dancing and simply having fun helps. There’s specific poses in yoga like “sun salutations” for those who wish to control this centre of pleasure and passion. Meditation is also key and once I’ve talked through the 7 chakras, I’ll leave you with a simple meditation exercise.
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!
Always find time to explore. Fresh air and greenery work wonders for the soul. When you look at this picture what do you see, how does it make you feel?
There are so many benefits of being surrounded by nature, it’s essential your psychological health and wellbeing.
If you’re ever near a forest go for a walk or a run. It’s amazing how being surrounded by trees affects your mood. When I visit the Lake District I love running in the forest near my brothers. Not only do I love the exercise, I love the smell of the trees, the beauty surrounding me and not to mention the views when I reach the top, something we’re too busy to notice sometimes! In fact, add to your to-do list “go and find a forest”. (But do try and avoid the rain – it’s tricky in Cumbria)! If you don’t fancy running just walk, it’s just as good. Walking helps you live a healthier life and helps keep off those extra few pounds, particularly if you like Cartmel’s Sticky Toffee pudding like me.
A dog is the perfect outdoor buddy, you get to explore and make the most of the silence. My dog, a crazy cocker spaniel called Pika (short for Pikachu named by my nephew Joe) drags me outside come rain, wind or snow. I don’t have a choice, and at times, as much as I’m not feeling it, I’m always glad she did, there’s a method in her madness! I feel great and so energised afterwards. Not to mention how I feel when I see those huge brown eyes smiling at me with gratitude when we arrive home. She darts through the door and slumps in her bed until she’s ready to go again (standard 15 minutes for a spaniel)! If you don’t have a dog but like the idea of one, check out “Borrow my Doggy”. You get the best of everything without the day to day responsibilities. You know, like try before you buy or the niece and nephew scenario (you can hand them back).
If you’re struggling to think of the last time you stopped, cleared your mind and surrounded yourself in nature, maybe it’s about time you did. It’s so calming and peaceful and most importantly, it’s a great way to escape the everyday hustle and bustle. It’s a moment to STOP, BREATHE & THINK. Most of my biggest life decisions have been made outdoors surrounded by nature, it helps me find clarity. It’s basically a time away from everything to think and reflect and a time we’re at our most creative, so expect those light bulb moments.
If you can, try and picture yourself in a forest, the sun is beaming through the trees and the only noise breaking the silence is the birds. How does that make you feel? MAGIC!