what I know for sure: a fairytale history part 2

what I know for sure: a fairytale history part 2


 
We left off last time with the girl in our story realising that although she was finally free from the grips of a horrible situation, her mind was now keeping her captive through the memories and thoughts and beliefs she had gathered up to this moment. Okay, so she probably wasn’t actually aware of that yet, however she knew that things weren’t quite right. She just knew she had lost a part of herself and had no idea how to get that back. She wanted her innocence back. And so, as if timed perfectly the girl was then thrown into the awkward slippery slide of adolescence and all that those chemical confusions this contains.
By the time she waded her way through to what is considered the beginning of adulthood, she had come no closer in finding her authentic self again, yet had thrown herself into exploring life. She travelled the United States, Asia and Europe with a curiosity akin to that from her earliest years but with a certain distrust of life and oblivious to all the good that could be if she allowed it. She certainly was still locked in the cold and lonely tower of her own creation. On a freezing winter’s day in London she decided she was fed up with the cold and wanted to do something else, something that might give her life more meaning. It was decided that she would move to Cairns, Australia (the hottest place she could find) and study psychology to give her an understanding, a greater insight into herself and other people. As this is something that had always remained pure and untouched within her from childhood: her love of people.
Three years passed in which she studied, lived and loved and lost and experimented and played and worked and grew and then one day, suddenly, she woke up. Not just in the physical sense but actually awoke from the dream of a life lived in the shadow of subconsciousness. She woke up with a feeling that engulfed her entire body that was so indescribably exquisite she could barely begin to understand it. And with that feeling came a rush of realisations that pulsated in waves throughout the weeks and months that followed. Of forgiveness and understanding of the past. Of sweet relief that she didn’t have to carry any of her history around with her. That her past did not make her who she was and that who she is perfect …. perfectly human as we all are. Of deep acceptance and appreciation for everything in life. Of being completely and entirely responsible for life, the understanding that everyone  is able to create anything and everything they could possibly conceive. That thoughts created reality and when you open your eyes life is actually incredibly beautiful. It was as if she had finally come home. No longer alone. No longer a hurt, wounded child protecting herself from people who were acting out because somewhere along their life they also had been hurt. The little girl was now a young woman, and she was free.
She turned 24 in the months following that passed in a state of utter bliss and peace. All the residual angst from a challenging childhood dissipated and was replaced by peace, wisdom and a deep connection with the present moment. The greatest lesson of that time: all that matters is right NOW.
The strong sensations that were carried through the experience eventually became less intense and she realised that there is no beginning or end for the odyssey she was on, she would never reach the point where the journey reached its end within her own life,  everyday she just had to take it moment by moment….and see what happens.
It was perhaps a year later that our central character finally made some sense of what she experienced and how it had left her completely transformed and changed. She read books by Eckhart Tolle, Paulo Coelho, Abraham Hicks and Louise Hay plus many more and came to the intellectual understanding that she had had what psychologist consider a peak experience. Unfortunately our human language is insufficient in being able to express the tremendous range of emotions, sensations and feelings that such an experience evokes. The greatest gift however was the entirely new and fulfilling level of understanding that she was left with. The simple truths that make life so much better.

My point is this….your life experiences, your story is separate to WHO YOU ARE. These are simply external events that you have the opportunity to use to become more aware of what it is you want. It’s the contrasts that give life depth and breadth.
The moral of the story is that we all go through shit. We all have some kind of history of hurt and suffering. But that it serves us. And we can all transform our lives, become conscious and truly awake by letting the story go. It’s what I know for sure…….which I will share with you next time
 
Image source 1 + 2.

mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?


 
I want to talk to you about self image. It just one of those things that strikes me as something we all need to get a bit more real and clear about. We live in a society where aesthetics and beauty are highly valued and aspired towards. And, to be honest, I think why not. I absolutely advocate that we look after ourselves and make an effort to shine in our own individual ways. I’d rather hang out with people who have a distinct sense of style and are conscious of their health and wellbeing than not. But all that effort put into how we look seems to be leaving some rather vacuous. And it’s disappointing. Because I know there’s so much more to people.
Perhaps society isn’t encouraging us enough to build on our self awareness as much as our outer aesthetics. Perhaps people aren’t seeing the immediate benefits of uncovering each of our uniquely enormous fields of untapped potential. But we are society. So it’s our responsibility. So here I am, writing to you with all of my heart, reaching out and encouraging you to please see beyond the mirror, deeper into who you really are and recognise yourself as being a vibrantly distinct and unique individual. You are one of a kind. There’s no one else like you. Please find out all that it is that encompasses you and show me. I want to see you. The real you.
What I see so very often when I work with clients is that their poor self image stems from a lack of self acceptance. Often people are terribly hard on themselves, usually something that they learnt to do along their journey into adulthood. And self acceptance is impossible without a sense of who you are. When people haven’t developed their own sense of self and self acceptance …… it breeds a sense of insecurity. Which leads to self contempt (wildly crippling) which leads to botox, boob jobs and bald men buying sports cars. Apparently. Far too often people reach for a band aid to hide the problem rather than getting to the core of it. No amount of fake tan, designer clothes or beauty products are going to improve to self image.
Only hustling your soul to come back out of hermitude can do that. Firstly, you have to get to know yourself. And accept yourself. Then learn to like yourself. And then even love yourself.
For sure it’s a journey that in some ways never ends as we continuously evolve and change but a well worthwhile one from which you will reap the benefits for the rest of your life.
Being insecure in who you are and how you look tends to give off an unattractive air. It dulls your natural appeal and charisma and squashes what makes you stand out. People can sense these things. And when you feel like a lesser version of yourself, you lower you expectations for yourself and for your life. This affects everything. Life is reflective so you will always get what you put out.
I strongly urge you to take back your power and to improve your sense self and confidence. But how? I hear you ask…. Where do I start?
What sets us apart from other animals is our awareness of experience. The mind is the mechanism by which we observe and encounter these experiences. The mind tells us….this just happened. It is made to recognise and assimilate the information. We can’t stop it from doing that. We think. Yep, it’s what we do. But what we can do is choose what thoughts to have, and even more importantly what thoughts to pay attention to. 90% of our daily thoughts are merely repetitions. The same thoughts we had yesterday, and the day before and the day before that.
Clean out your mental closet by becoming aware of when you berate yourself in any way. Wether you do it to protect yourself from ridicule or because you simply don’t think highly enough of yourself, just become aware of the thought patterns that arise and make a choice that you want to change them. Awareness of the habit and consciously changing your thoughts to something that makes you feel good will create the inner change. Notice the difference between how you feel when you tell yourself something dissenting as opposed to something uplifting. Choose to change the negative thought patterns into positive ones. You know you deserve to treat yourself better.
Stop comparing yourself to other people. I think this is one of the most detrimental habits that we all have ….. to compare ourselves to others. It’s a terribly effective way to tell ourselves that we’re not good enough because we aren’t living up to someone else’s standards. Create your own standards! Let go of what others are doing, saying and what they look like. Figure out what works the best for you.
Give yourself the approval that you would normally seek out from others. Become self-approved. The Daily Love has plentiful articles on this here. Start looking within for answers and trusting that the answers you come up with are the right ones for you right now. This will centre you and bring you an inner peace that permeates the rest of world.
I implore you to examine your idiosyncrasies and discover your authentic self. Because that is the most attractive, beautiful, delicious and inspiring version of yourself that exists.
Image source. 

6 steps to happiness: happy mind, happy body, happy life

6 steps to happiness: happy mind, happy body, happy life

The thing with happiness is it is something that you can work at and develop. Happiness is gratitude and appreciating and loving your life. It’s the joy that comes from all the many moments in your daily life…..the little old lady on the bus who gives you a wobbly smile, the checkout clerk who actually means it when they ask you how your day was, the perfectly luscious spot of grass in the park where you sit in the sunshine to eat your lunch, the hot boy/girl that decides to kiss you at the end of a date….. Happiness is a choice we make every single second of our days, whether we choose to place our attention onto something we cherish, something that makes us feel good or onto something that makes us feel angry, annoyed or uncomfortable.
Here are 6 super easy steps to happiness:
1. healthy living: (activity, exercise, diet nutrition and sleep) being healthy means listening to your body and giving yourself the very best you possibly can all the time.
This means that you do things that you enjoy whether it be knitting, going to gigs, swimming and sunbathing at the beach or screaming your favourite songs at the top of you lungs (as my endearingly sweet gay neighbour does every Saturday morning!)
You move your body!

healthordisease.com

. Bodies are made for movement and they need lots and lots of exercise so make exercise an intrinsic part of your daily life. Walk to places as much as you can. don’t take the car – you’re not only pumping delicious fresh blood and oxygen around your body but also saving the planet! Take the stairs, carry your shopping, chase the birds. Just move!
Eat delicious, nutritious foods. Food is actually fuel – not just a pleasure pod for your tastebuds. Consider the nutritional value of everything you put in your mouth and whether this is actually giving you the sparkle that you want. It’s very, very easy: studies show that certain nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids (fish, leafy greens + nuts) proteins (fish, chicken, eggs. nuts, yoghurt + beans) and complex carbohydrates (whole grains, brown rice, sweet potato + fruit) make you feel happier!
Finally: sleep. Get plenty of sleep every night and don’t shy away from taking a nana nap every now and then. Daytime sleeps can leave you feeling so refreshed and sprightly people will wonder what wonder drugs you’ve been taking!
2. optimism: (positive yet realistic thinking) Happy people choose to see the world through rose coloured glasses. It’s all about perspective and YOU get to choose exactly how you want to see things. It’s the glass half full or half empty conundrum that we all know so well. Optimism is also reflected in “what you think about you bring about”. You experience is a reflection of your thoughts so if you want to be happy you have to think happy too. This is a learned behaviour so start practising.
3. relationships: research indicates that happy people have more and better-quality relationships than those who are unhappy. This also includes the relationship you have with yourself. You need to develop a strong sense of self and feel good about you which means looking after, respecting and loving yourself as much if not more than others. It’s all about feeling connected to yourself and to others. Make the time to develop and strengthern the bonds with your friends and loved ones.
4. clarity: (goals, direction and life purpose) This is across all areas of your life including lifestyle, career and personal development and relationships. getting clear on where you are at and where you want to be gives you a defining line and direction to head towards rather than just floating around waiting for a wisp of wind to catch you and guide you somewhere. Do what interests you the most, what makes your heart sing and what you love. Set clear targets and make specific plans.
5. strengths: (your qualities, talents and attributes) as illustrated in this post here, it is important to identify and utilise your strengths rather than harping on about your weaknesses. Find out what you’re good at and do it …..leave the stuff your not so good at to someone who is. This way everyone has a job!
6. enjoy: life is for living, for experiencing and enjoying – stay present with yourself in each moment and fully love this life! The only moment that exists is the current one right now, as you read this sentence. The previous moment is simply a memory and the next one has not yet occurred so stay HERE, present, exactly where you are and fully enjoy it!
Image source.

detox super series: the juice detox

detox super series: the juice detox

To continue on my detox series which you can read about here and here let me share with you my experiences of my recent exploration into juice cleansing: a foray into the 12 day juice detox.
Juice cleansing promises to not only clean your body’s hardworking system, but to also help you improve your health and since it’s Spring time, why not spring cleanse?!
The juices presented in many variants of the juice diet include wholesome ingredients from a myriad of vegetables and fruits. Fresh juices have the added benefit of being abundantly plentiful in antioxidants, vitamins, natural antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory substances as well as active ingredients that boost immunity and vitality. Some juices also contain enzymes that can improve the digestive process.
Many people in the Western world today have measurable levels of specific toxins in their systems as a result of lifestyle, exposures in the environment, and other factors. These chemical substances include pesticides, PCBs (from plastics), lead, mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals, dioxins, herbicides – the list goes on.
In the healthy person, the body has been genetically wired to self-detoxify with the assistance of the skin, liver, kidneys, intestine and lymphatic system. However, in the face of modern day strains, an additional yearly or seasonal detoxification process can be helpful.
Juice cleansing allow the body to imbibe large quantities of rapidly available nutrients, in many cases more nutrients than the individual obtains through a regular diet. The minerals and nutrients contained in juice can help break down and eliminate old or dying cells, enliven active cells, and speed the process of new cellular growth. Raw juices contain all the following elements:

  1. Vitamin K (especially prevalent in dark leafy green vegetables), which promotes bone strength, the immune system, and healthy blood.
  2. Minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, boron, zinc, and selenium.
  3. Organic sulfur compounds, which help to destroy poisonous chemicals and cleanse the bloodstream and liver.
  4. Polyphenols (the plant molecules which give fruits and vegetables their color) serve as potent antioxidants.
  5. Additional antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, flavanoids, beta carotene and others.
  6. Anti inflammatory agents.
  7. Powerful antibiotic substances.
  8. Living enzymes to improve digestion.
  9. Phytochemicals that help the immune system battle disease.

The juice cleanse that I decided to be a part of was the Organic Low Fruit Cleanse (to keep my sugar intake low) provided by a local Sydney company called Schkinny Maninny, whose unfortunate name directs people to think that juice cleansing is for weight loss when in truth with all the nutrients and calories in the juices you will only lose weight if you have weight to lose.

Our Low Fruit Cleanse is a combination of juices, soups and smoothies made from a combination of vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds with only a little fruit.  The Low Fruit Cleanse contains about 1/4 the fruit of the Standard Cleanse, and consequently less sugar.  This is our most challenging program and it is rich in antioxdants and cleansing vegetable juices.  There is little variation in this cleanse as it based on a Naturopath program designed for people with fructose intolerances.  The soups are lovely and you also get your protein and unsaturated fats from nuts and seeds. 

The menu includes:

  1. Leap Frog – a refreshing green smoothie of spinach, parsley, kiwi, apple and cucumber
  2. Vego Mego – a zesty combination of beetroot, spinach, lemon, celery and ginger
  3. Lentil Luncheon – a spicy legume and tomato based soup
  4. Vego Mego – a zesty combination of beetroot, spinach, lemon, celery and ginger
  5. Coll, Meg and Lee Soup – a creamy soup of cauliflower, leek, sunflower seeds, celery and nutmeg (unfortunately I really dislike cauliflower)
  6. Sleep Well – a relaxing nut smoothie of almonds, brazil nuts and almond milk

How did I go with my adventure into the juice cleansing world? Here are the dirty details!
Day 1. It’s 6.45am and my door buzzer goes off…the delivery man is here! For some reason he can’t seem to get in so I bounce down the 4 levels to meet him. My first delivery arrives complete with 6 x 600ml juices, a tiny pot of sunflower and pumpkin seeds to chew on, epsom salts (I wish I had a bath!!) and a loofah to scrub those toxins away. I’m excited, delighted and surprised by how much juice there is. There’s no way I’m going to get hungry here! Each juice is labeled with a number to order them, I put the 2 evening juices away in the fridge, keep 3 to take to work and settle back into bed for my first green morning Leap Frog juice. It’s delicious! And full of fibre from the cucumber. I’m definitely full at the end. I have my next juice, the Vego Mego at around 10am after which I get a dull throbbing headache. I slowly persevere at work and by 3pm I have had my lunch time juice and am on to my second round of the Vego Mego. The headache is gone but I am oh so sleepy! I close my eyes and put my feet up at my desk for 15 minutes. The rest of the day I feel tired but happy. I LOVE the bed time juice which is  brazil nut and almond milk. Divine!
Day 2 + 3. I bounce out of bed full of energy and excitement and even have a techno dance party in my bedroom at 6am before I get ready for work on Day 3. My body feels great and full of energy. Detox symptoms are minimal, I just get tired easily, nothing more.
Day 4. Euch! This is a tough one. I struggle to wake up and am still tired. I have a metallic taste in my mouth – an indication that my body is eliminating heavy metals. I feel pretty blah all day with cycles of headaches, drowsiness, difficulty focusing + lethargy. I’m also craving solid food, even things I don’t even normally eat! I know that my body is now coming into a state of ketosis and the detox is in full force. Lots of water and early to bed!
Days 5 – 10. It varies throughout each day but I either feel extremely energetic or a little light-headed and sleepy. I have lost most of my appetite and only manage to have 3-4 of the juices out of the 6 each day: the Leap Frog, the 2 Vego Mego and some of the nut milk. I feel amazing, my body feels light and I am happy. Pure optimism permeates my days!
Day 11 + 12. Even though I am excited about eating again (scrambled eggs have featured heavily in my imagination!) I am actually really sad that the detox is ending. I feel like I could keep going like this forever were it not for it complicating my social life! I started to read about Accutane on the Internet and came across an article on https://summitps.org/accutane-isotretinoin/ about the pros and cons of Accutane, and still decided to take it. Accutane is a Dutch pill, which subsequently gives an excellent result. There are not so many contraindications, but there are enough side effects, so you need to be prepared for anything. My skin is glowing and dewy, I feel super healthy, happy and radiant and all my winter blues are gone! Bring on the summer I say!
Image source.

rethink + change your mind in 4 simple steps

rethink + change your mind in 4 simple steps

 
Life, happiness and your experience of it is all about perspective. And the fun thing is that you totally get to choose your point of view, every single day.
Some people call this action to re-frame. Reframing your thoughts. Putting them into a new perspective. Seeing things from a different point of view. The perspective in which YOU’RE the hero and the world is great.
Have you found a few disgruntling beliefs or thoughts adding shadows to your otherwise rainbow coloured world? Here’s how to change them:
 

  1. Catch that thought. Become aware of it and where and why it has cropped up. Don’t judge it. Just become clear on what it is and if you can, why you’re holding on to it. Maybe you read it somewhere. Maybe someone told you it was true once. Maybe you picked it up subconsciously.
  2. Challenge it. What would happen if this belief was no longer true for you? How much sweeter, happier, easier would life be for you?
  3. Replace that thought. With something loving. Something tender and compassionate. With something you would actually like to be true in your life, even if it hasn’t manifested itself yet. And if you can’t think of something “I deeply love and accept myself just the way I am” never fails!
  4. Move forward. Let go of the process once all the steps have been completed. Trust life to use the momentum of change to move you into the new positive beliefs and thoughts that you have created.

 

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