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Living yoga off the mat with Lauren Penning

Living yoga off the mat with Lauren Penning

Posted November 03, 2015

This blog series is a reflection on how incredible yogis are living yoga off the mat – taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga into their world. I’m honoured to have Lauren here on my blog, sharing from the heart how she lives Yoga off the mat. I’ve mentioned Lauren Penning from The Life Pod on more than one occasion. Particularly I’ve shared the beautiful work that Lauren does with mamas-to-be as a Prenatal Yoga Teacher, a Calm Birth Practitioner and a Doula. In fact, she was all three to me. When it comes to Yoga, Lauren certainly embodies the spirit, energy and philosophy of this practice with such grace, authenticity, honesty and love. She has such a beautiful and giving heart and I know that comes from her consistent (and dedicated) yoga practice – on and OFF the mat. Lauren has a tenderness to her. A gentle way. And it’s like being wrapped in a warm blanket. She is present. She is open hearted. She is real. And she is always willing to do the work, to open more and to support others on the same pathway. This woman held space for me during my pregnancy – held my fears, my hopes, my joy. She was there when my baby girl was born. She literally held me and carried me through labour. She cut Soleil’s umbilical cord. To say this woman is dear to me is an understatement. Everything she has taught me I still carry and tune into every single day.  I hope her words resonate with you and guide you towards oneness, just as it has done for her. Love + light, Claire xx Finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… sacred. A space to cultivate deep trust in my intuition. It’s my way of letting go of the busyness, my plans, deadlines, and responsibilities. My yoga practice is an opportunity for transformation, to release the tension that my body has absorbed, to soften the holding around my heart and to allow beautiful source energy to move freely through me. It is both sweet and intensely challenging. To me, yoga means… coming home, surrendering, being in the present with an open heart and a space to listen to my inner world. My experience off the mat has… been varied! I have practiced all sorts of physical yoga with many wonderful teachers over the years and my experiences have led me to the absolute knowing that we all find the right practice ‘on the mat’ at the right time in our lives. Over the years I have struggled with intensity in my body, with my ego and with my heart. It has been a bittersweet journey, as it is for so many of us, and it has been my absolute savior at the same time. I love moving my body and I love the feeling of freedom that yoga brings. My experience of the mat has taught me to trust in what is. That the present moment will always hold me and reveal what is needed. The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was… Yoga is the doorway into oneness. That was my greatest epiphany! That yoga, whether it’s moving, breathing, walking, swimming, meditating, being, feeling, opening, …all of it was my way into connection with God, Goddess, Source, Love, Joy and Union, with everything, everyone, ALL. This profoundly changed the way I both practice and teach. Over the years I’ve come to understand that everyone has a very different way into this connection and union and that we all need to have permission to find our own rhythm, our own individual path & journey. Sometimes this is on the yoga mat, however ultimately our yoga is in our everyday, with our kids, with our family, friends, partners, within our businesses, our community and deep within our selves. I absolutely love that everyday is different and that my body and my mind desires something particular in each moment. As a yoga teacher, birth educator and shamanic midwife in training, I feel so blessed to hold space for my students to fully be themselves and to find their unique way, to bravely drop out of the ego mind and listen to what they need to heal. Trusting the connection within and being guided by their own inner knowing. Yoga is so very beyond the physical and I am so thankful to have a deep understanding of how healing this practice is. To simply be held and given permission to be ourselves is the greatest gift, and what we all so desperately need to shine as brightly as we can. Quick Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? Be kind, be understanding, non judgmental and present – with myself and all other beings. Why are these important to you?  Because they all help to cultivate JOY and we all need to be more in that vibration, leading us back to our true nature and not further into madness and chaos. Kindness, understanding, compassion and presence will guide us back home, will lean us into love and help us all to see clearly, remembering who we are, earth angels x What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why?  Truthfulness and self study. ‘Live your truth…discover what you are moved by and lean into it as lovingly as you can, and then repeat. This has become increasingly important to me over the years…age is a wonderful thing and gives you incredible perspective. Life is precious and there is only one me! I want to live my life as fully and as truthfully as I can, with passion, joy, energy and trust in myself. Another principle that I love and am beginning to trust in profoundly through my work as a shamanic midwife is ‘healer heal thyself’. We all have the wisdom to heal, it is within each of us, not in something outside of ourselves. If we can create […] Read more

Living Yoga Off the Mat with Krys Hansen

Living Yoga Off the Mat with Krys Hansen

Posted July 20, 2015

Meet Krys Hansen This lady is a gem. On her beautiful website, Modern Yogi Mama, it says that Krys is “just a yogi on an island who wants to change the world. A mum, a partner, a business woman & a friend.  A qualified yoga & meditation instructor, author, marketing whizz, online designer, veggie mama, lover of a surfing yogi & deliverer of truthbombs on yoga & life”. But I’d say she is so much more than ALL of that. She is a BIG hearted, deeply loving, attentive and soulful woman. Since becoming a mum Krys has allowed me to ‘lean’ on her for emotional support… and she has held me up so beautifully and with so much love. When I think of Krys I feel how much she embodies ‘yoga’ … not the asana practice or the physical form, but the divinity of it. I hope you fall in love with her and as much as I have. Finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… Less about the body than it used to be. I came to yoga as an escape from a relationship break up and as I worked through that emotional energy, my practice became about the body, the asanas. That was until I was pregnant and could no longer practice as I used to and all those lessons I thought I had learnt about yoga finally had time to sink in. My practice became more about prana, or energy. Meditation and awareness of how I move within this life and all its interactions is now where I place the emphasis of my yoga practice, and I tend to enjoy the asana side of yoga in a softer, more playful way. To me, yoga means… A balance of understanding the temporary nature of life while also trying to live a good existence in the now. It is the union of spiritual and practical life… being an example for others while maintaining the mindset of a beginner. My experience off the mat has… Cleansing and empowering. If our mats soaked up the energy we released during our yoga practice, they would weigh a ton! The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was… I don’t have to be perfect, and I never will be. That was a massive shift for me as I am a driven and determined type A. Once I fully realised that fact I found freedom in poses I had never been able to relax in as my body softened. By not mentally and emotionally pushing myself, I gave my body the space it needed to let go. That was the second epiphany… my mind and emotions rule my body, and I need to clear them before I feel release on a physical level. Quick Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? Everyone has their own ‘stuff’ weighing on them, but not everyone has the tools to know how to process that ‘stuff’, which is why they need compassion. Why are these important to you? I feel there is too much competition, comparison, and judgment between people… and it’s being played out in an almost unconscious level. I don’t want that in my life and I hope I can inspire others to be more compassionate. What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why? All the yamas and niyamas have affected how I live my life, but I think Ahimsa has been the biggest life changer. Nonviolence. It has inspired me to live a kinder life through the way I eat, consume, my mode of transport, wastage, and words. Just knowing that I am leading a gentler existence makes me feel more peaceful, as I honestly believe the energy you put out comes back. What does ‘Living Your Yoga’ mean to you? Living with principle, but not rigidly. Yoga is about balance and flexibility, so even though I have an idea of how I want to ‘be’ in this life, I also give myself, and others around me, permission to fall and be imperfect. It is these lessons I want to pass onto my son and any future children. Connect with Krys | Website | Facebook | Instagram I’m just a yogi on an island who wants to change the world. I’m a mum, a partner, a business woman and a friend. I’m Krys Hansen. A qualified yoga and meditation instructor, author, marketing whizz, online designer, veggie mama, lover of a surfing yogi and deliverer of truthbombs on yoga and life. I work with women to create a soulful practice they can balance with being mothers, as well as a creator of meditation tools for fertility and creativity. Read more

Living Yoga Off the Mat with Angel Singmin

Living Yoga Off the Mat with Angel Singmin

Posted November 14, 2014

This blog series is a reflection of how incredible yogis are living yoga off the mat – taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga into their world. Every time I have the pleasure of catching up with Angel I always feel a little more blessed. Yes, she does embody her namesake – she is a magical, fairy-like and open hearted being. But she’s also insanely bright, creative and inspiring. Just check out her bio below. This lady marries yoga, movement, dance, play, business prowess and more – all wrapped up in love and passion! Angel is the co-creator of the Future Sound of Yoga – a concept pioneered in 2010 with Matt Singmin, fusing together their mutual passion for yoga, dance and music. Angel has toured extensively around Australia, performing at both music festivals (Peats Ridge Festival, Playground Weekender, Splendour in the Grass, Subsonic) and the major yoga festivals (Wanderlust, Byron Spirit, Bodhi, the Phoenix Weekend, Bondi Yoga Festival, Sydney Spirit Festival). On the international stage, she was featured at the Bali Spirit Festival, the Hawaii Spirit Festival and the Hong Kong Asia Yoga Conference, as well as Londons popular Life Centre Studio. Angel’s passion for the art of movement began as a child and teenager studying ballet. And today, as well as regular Future Sound of Yoga events, Angel also teaches yoga across Sydney to people from all walks of life through Dandelion Yoga – the corporate yoga business that she founded in 2007. She also teaches at BodyMindLife Bondi Beach. I’m so excited to introduce her to you today and I know you’ll love a sneak peak into how she lives yoga on and off the mat! Finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… It happens both on and off the mat – There is the physical flowing practice which I love, which I see as a moving meditation, linking the asana and the breath together. Then there is practicing mindfulness off the mat too… To me, yoga means… finding a deeper connection to all that is.. to yourself, to your surroundings and with the people around you. My experience off the mat has… been interesting. The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was….. gradual – experiencing a moment by moment shift.. and understanding that yoga is a lifelong practice.. over time.. things change.. and that is the learning.. nothing ever stays the same. What you see on your mat is a reflection of life.. each time you step on the mat, its a different practice – it feels different, things get easier, then there are new challenges.. and this was the learning. To not become attached to the goal of a practice, instead to try and accept what is, as it unfolds.. The biggest memory was in the early days of my practice in 2001, when I was studying Iyengar – I walked in to my first class and found it all so alien. e.g. Holding downward dog for what felt like an eternity, being introduced to pranayama, using props to stretch muscles.. At the time, I couldn’t comprehend it but now I will always be grateful for that class as it shed so much light on what was possible – an invitation to allow you to open your mind to what’s possible. Quick Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? The importance of slowing down.. Its something I talk about when I teach – making time for yourself, whether its a walk in nature, a short meditation or having a cup of tea and reading a good book.. its important to nurture yourself and to re-ignite your spirit. Also making decisions that honour my truth, and being comfortable with that. Why are these important to you? I believe these things help me feel more grounded and centred. Creating a sense of balance is crucial to your mental and physical health and wellbeing What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why? I would choose Ahimsa which is one of the yamas, or the 8 limbs of yoga. Ahimsa is the practice of non-violence, which includes physical, mental, and emotional violence towards others and the self. This applies to all beings including animals – I’ve always been a huge animal lover and a strong believer of animal rights, signing petitions to help save animals who are at danger. I eat a plant based diet and have been a vegetarian for over 20 years. I also opt for animal cruelty free products and try to be conscious about any purchases that I make. What does ‘Living Your Yoga’ mean to you? Being open, aware and remaining authentic. Connect with Angel | Website | Instagram Read more

Living Yoga Off The Mat with Shona Vertue

Living Yoga Off The Mat with Shona Vertue

Posted October 28, 2014

This blog series is a reflection of how incredible yogis are living yoga off the mat – taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga into their world. Having 10 years of practical Yoga experience and a dedicated background in Elite Gymnastics and Dance under her belt, Shona is known for her attention to detail and passionate enthusiasm towards health and fitness. Extensive training in Strength and Conditioning, Chinese Massage and an ongoing BOS in Nutrition have gifted Shona with an eclectic and holistic approach to health and fitness, which is clearly evident in her classes and training sessions. With over seven years industry experience teaching Yoga in several independent studios in Sydney, Australia, and co-facilitating health retreats around the world in places as diverse as Thailand, Taiwan and Samoa, Shona successfully and simultaneously managed her own Personal Training business where she instilled a strong foundation of knowledge and experience in her clients. She sees her mission in life to broadcast the message, as widely as possible, that the key to happiness comes from enjoyment and commitment. She ascribes to the words of American author and businessman, Herman Cain, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you’ll be successful” This is a lifestyle philosophy that she enthusiastically practices and preaches. Finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… 24 hours a day 7 days a week – it tests me, challenges me, uplifts me in every moment of my waking life. My asana practice is a chance for my soul to dance, for my mind to clear and my body to regenerate, lengthen and strengthen. To me, yoga means… coming home, wherever I am in the world. My experience off the mat has… been way more challenging than any asana could ever be on the mat! But just as it is rewarding when you finally get your feet off in crow, or float your way into a stable handstand – connecting with yoga off the mat and finding peace in the storm of life, is one of the most rewarding aspects of a yoga practice. The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was… (tell me what it was, what you learnt, how it changed you) Ah! So many! I think I have a shift or awakening in just about every Jivamukti Class I take! But I’ll go with the first one my intuition brought to me – I used to practice in Sydney with Kelli Angela Prieur (one of my favourite yogis) – she would always talk about surrender (and funnily enough had it tattooed on her arm), at the time I was obsessed with asana and wished she would just hurry up with starting the vinyasa already so I could get ‘my yoga on’. Her stories on surrendering and it’s relevance to life never failed to speak to me, however, it wasn’t until some 7 years later, sitting on a towel because I couldn’t afford a yoga mat, in a cold and dirty flat in London, feeling alone and sorry for myself that her lessons on ‘surrendering’ would hit me hard. Suddenly I realised that I was swimming upstream, I was focusing on all the negative around me, I was impatient and fearful of the unknown, I didn’t trust myself so how could I trust the universe, but it was then that I saw Kelli’s beautiful face and a wonderful reminder to surrender, and trust. I have absolutely never ever looked back – now surrendering is one of my favourite practices – it is now no longer a challenge and it makes life so much easier – when things aren’t going right, there is a reason – surrender and allow what is supposed to unfold, unfold – it has allowed for the most magical life in London. Quick Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? Non-judgement towards myself and others – this is a hard one when we’re all so addicted to facebook and instagram, comparing our lives, trying to out-happy one another. Everyone at their core however, is just another being trying to release suffering and experience joy just like you and me. Why are these important to you? It makes life so much easier. Easy like Sunday morning. What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why? Satya is powerful and has always been a struggle for me. I’ve spent a great deal of my life trying to gain the acceptance of others – my parents at first, then my peers, then boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, you name it. I would often lose my identity or truth in order to appeal to what I believe they needed. I searched for acceptance and love from others because deeply, I didn’t feel as though I deserved it, I couldn’t love myself, so I would have to be what others ‘wanted’ in order to be loved. This got me into a lot of sticky situations, I’ve hurt myself and others because of it. Honour the truth of who you are because it IS truly beautiful. Really it is. You are beautiful. What does ‘Living Your Yoga’ mean to you? All of the above? 🙂 I think this changes as the lessons change – for me right now, and I’m going on my intuition here, it means: Falling in love with myself – when I love myself, I take care of my body, my mind, and I am more capable of taking care of others. Connect with Shona | Website | Instagram Read more

Interview Series: Living Yoga off the Mat with Rowena Jayne

Interview Series: Living Yoga off the Mat with Rowena Jayne

Posted August 01, 2014

This blog series is a reflection of how incredible yogis are taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga off the mat and into their world. Rowena Jayne is a leading international Yoga Instructor, Advanced Raw Food Chef and Wellness Presenter. She is a qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist and has studied Ayurvedic Medicine, Remedial Massage, Raw food Nutrition, Usui reiki and various other modalities. Anyone who has crossed paths with Rowena can’t help but be infected by her bubbly personality and her great passion for health and wellness. Rowena continues to be inspired by the amazing potential we individually have. It is her personal mission to uplift YOU and make an outstanding contribution to the enhancement and transformation to YOUR LIFE through yoga, real food and healthy living. Finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… The best part of my day! It is the best time to really go deep and connect to myself, listen to my body and soul and what it is trying to tell me. The yoga asanas are a direct reflection of US.. the postures mirror our current state of mind and physical health. Yoga is a diagnostic tool , then the postures are the therapy. So yoga practice is my daily dose of medicine and self love! To me, yoga means…. Union of EVERYTHING.. when we do yoga, we become yoga. We begin to create a synergy with our mind, body, heart, soul. We create a better relationship with ourselves.. That relationship spreads and we begin to create better relationships with everthing and everybody. We see the connection we all have to each other, to nature. we begin to live more in harmony. Yoga is the tool to reach self awareness, self realisation. Our true human potential often lays dormant. When we create unity, harmony and oneness – we begin to see this potential. We begin to change our outer world, to meet our new inner world. To me yoga is life.. it exists everywhere, not just in asana. My experience of the mat has… changed my life forever. It has taught me I am a human being worthy of joy, love, health and the best quality of life possible.. It has taught me that all I have to do is turn up. Show up, trust the process and the rest will take place in divine timing. The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was….. (tell me what it was, what you learnt, how it changed you). There are so many, numerous revelations, numerous realisations and epiphanies of truth of my being. One huge shift was one of reactiveness. Learning not to be reactive. To stop and breathe.. How interrelated the breath is to our emotions. When we are angry, our breathing changes, when we are fearful it changes, when we are calm it changes.. so if the body and mind are connected.. then if we alter our breath and consciously breathe, then we can begin to shift the thought patterns and emotions that follow. Yoga improves and develops the five qualities of the mind. Faith is one such quality. When we breathe instead of react… we are indeed expressing the quality of faith.. when we have faith in ourselves. We can remain calm, things don’t have to steal our peace. We can be ok no matter what is taking place in our lives and move through it! Quick Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? So many lessons. Its an evolution, so like the ebb and flow of the universe, the tides, the moon rising and then the sun setting, then rising, the change of the seasons.. we are the microcosm of the macrocosm.. so the lessons I find relate to what is poignant to my current situation. If I have to pin it down. I carry the lesson that my body is a temple. If I treat it as one, I enjoy living in it! When I do yoga, I clean my temple, I sweep it will love, purify the negative thoughts, toxins etc then throughout the rest of my day I feel a joy at the home in which my soul has chosen to live for this lifetime. I want to respect it. I want to nurture it more and more. I want to be Grateful for it is the embodiment of me and of the intelligence of our creator.  I carry the lesson also that many people are unhappy. That everything is a ripple effect. When I do yoga, I feel GREAT.. I feel alive, happy, excited. I carry the lesson that others, who are suffering (where I used to be!) can be led and inspired by me. I have the potential to help them. When others are upset, angry, fearful and attack you, I am able to remember that they are just unhappy and I can stoop to a level of reactiveness and retaliation and defensiveness, or DO YOGA.. and embody yoga and do my best to bring a little bit of joy into their lives. Why are these important to you? Because if we don’t take care of ourselves, we literally CANNOT live our truest highest potential. When we feel horrible, we project that unhappiness and treat others in this manner. We don’t feel confident, we lack self realisation, we allow the mind to become destructive. The ego to rule. On the flip side, when we carry these lessons the yoga teaches us. we turn our lives around. As we do, others witness this and want to know the secret, want to follow. We create a better world for us all to live in. We witness miracles and the BEST side of human beings! We feel inspired, motivated and so grateful to be alive. We grow, we live.. we truly live! What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why? I guess the integration of all the principles really I have translated. There is no segregation. Like an onion, we peel away […] Read more

THE FREEDOM BLOG TOUR WITH EMMA SEIBOLD

THE FREEDOM BLOG TOUR WITH EMMA SEIBOLD

Posted January 23, 2014

This post is part of  ‘The Freedom Blog Tour’. To celebrate round two of The Freedom Project, commencing February 9th, I’ve asked a handful of my favourite people to share their insights on FREEDOM. These posts are designed to demonstrate how freedom is such a personal and unique experience for every single one of us. My ecourse is designed to help you clear out the emotional junkyard so you can step into the life of freedom you so deserve. ++ Free to be by Emma Seibold I have actually been thinking about freedom a lot lately. As I go on this amazing journey of motherhood and Barre Body (both came about at the same time), I am constantly guided by the strong desire to be free. To be free from a 9 to 5 job. To be free to live my dreams. To be free financially. To be free to enjoy myself in my work. To be free to travel. To be free to exercise. To be free to lunch. To be free to meditate. To be free to learn and grow. To be free to live and love passionately. To be free from stress (still working on this…) To be free to be there for Xavier when he wakes up. To be free (and not too tired) to play with Xavier. To be free to take Xavier (and more babies to come) to and from school when he gets older. And the list goes on. I started Barre Body because I didn’t want to go back to “work”. I wanted to be able to balance being a mum with doing work that challenges and excites me. I wanted to be able to run my own show. I wanted to earn enough money so that I had “enough” to live and enjoy myself. Now that I’ve achieved that, I want to embrace and luxuriate in my freedom so that the “freedom” of having my own business doesn’t tie me up in admin and “must-dos” (always a danger). Years ago, I read “The Four Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss and I loved the concept. He talks about his four point strategy for reducing his hours to 4 hours per week and the one that appealed to me most was “liberate”  – as in to try to liberate yourself from an office and I just loved the idea of that. How different my life could be by no longer having to go to a workplace? I had dreams of yoga, meditation, healthy home-made lunches, a gorgeous home office, a business that I loved and… lo and behold, that is exactly the life that I am free to live now. My advice to you? If you have a dream, passion or idea that you want to bring to fruition in the pursuit of freedom, be brave and go for it! The universe has a magical way of rearranging itself to give you exactly what you need/want when you need it (and there is plenty to go around for everyone!). If you believe in the law of attraction, as I do, like attracts like, and by being brave and taking the plunge, you will invite and attract things, people and ideas into your life that will help make your dream happen. Connect with Emma Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Web ++ To experience surrender + unrestrained life for yourself head over HERE to join The Freedom Project – a powerful, life-changing ecourse that will completely transform your life! For a limited time you can receive, for FREE, week one of this ecourse – complete with video lesson, workbook, meditation and recorded webinar. Just follow this link to sign-up! love + light, Claire x Read more

A NEW COURAGE – GUEST POST BY AMELIA HILL

A NEW COURAGE – GUEST POST BY AMELIA HILL

Posted December 10, 2013

I don’t know real courage. I know I am strong. I know I am resilient. I know how to dig deep when called too… you know, grit my teeth and muster up that inner ‘gumption’ to plough forward. But I don’t believe I’ve ever been called to face up to a test so strong that I have had to really tap into true courage – that awe-inspiring, mind-blowing type that has you admiring the human spirit and all it can handle. I’d like to introduce you to someone I know is living from a space of courage day in-day out. The Amazing Amelia Hill. I first came across Amelia when I noticed her ‘liking’ lots of my Instgram posts. Now, I’m not one to normally stalk and get lost in the world of Instgram (I’m not very ‘good’ at using it properly) but something led me to click on her name… I’m so glad I did, because now I know what real courage looks like. Amelia Hill is living an extraordinary life. As a once sought-after fashion and interiors stylist, writer and fashion designer with her own clothing label, Amelia has, for the last five years, been confined to just one room due to a severe form of Environmental Illness/ Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Now, Amelia is on a Mission, not only to heal her life … but save it too. Misdiagnosed for 20 years, Amelia shares her amazing story to raise awareness for a condition which is often misunderstood, while her gutsy determination, unstoppable optimism and insightful spin has captured the attention of people all over the Globe. Let me tell you more about Amelia. She is currently living with a severe form of Environmental Illness ( EI) Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Electro hypersensitivity (EHS). This means horrible, disabling ‘allergic’ reactions to a large number of everyday, seemingly harmless substances / chemicals… foods, ink(books/newspaper/magazines), furnishings & building materials (furniture/flooring/paints/varnishes/bedding/fabrics), fragrance, products(cleaners/personal care),  car exhaust, natural gas, pesticides..the tiniest trace of chemical residue and even electronics, including computers. Amelia has spent the last 5 years house-bound/room-bound, separated from the outside world.  “I am separated from my beloved family & friends, my greatest passions, my favourite possessions, every dream I ever dreamed for my future, the blue skies above my head.. The entire world. The last 2 years Ive been in a sealed room stripped bare of all possible triggers. This means just a tiled floor and a fold-out bed. I survive on just 6 foods on a mono-rotation diet, and in June I had dental surgery in our kitchen. Fun times. My mum is my full-time carer.” I’m sure you can see now why this woman IS courage. It is in her very name. She is surviving, every single day. I can only imagine the emotional and mental battle, let alone the physical. I am in complete awe of Amelia and hold her in my prayers often. It’s now time for Amelia. Read her words, dive into her courage… it’ll change the way you see your world and powerfully reframe your perspective on life. This very article was hand written by Amelia (pen + paper – which she is also having trouble tolerating) and then typed up by her also amazing mother. This was no small feat. I hope you appreciate it as much as I do! Connect with Amelia Facebook | Twitter | Instagram A NEW COURAGE by Amelia hill Sure, abseiling from a towering cliff face of mammoth proportions, or dancing across screaming hot coals, requires more courage than you can summon in a nanosecond. A declaration of courage in response to heart-pounding adrenalin, is a fancy trick handy in many prickly situations. When you’re certain of what lies ahead, when you can see it clearly, when you know what you’re up against, you can strap on your bravery like bullet proof armour infused with super-human powers or psych yourself up in preparation for the task ahead. But, not all moments are measured in weekend adventures or as impressive acts of gusto. Some moments, you never see coming. So unexpected, so cataclysmic, these moments throw you for six. Overwhelm. Floor You. Leave you in a tail spin. You have no time to prepare yourself for battle and there is no rule book or extreme sport instructor to guide you through. A shock health diagnosis, a personal crisis, a relationship breakdown, a sudden death, a natural disaster, the most impossible of decisions, your worst nightmare, your greatest fear materialised. In my case, confined to just one room for 5 years, navigating the heart-wrenching circumstance of serious illness. Unable to travel to get medical care, separated from all the joys that made my life what it was… family & friends, books, music, delicious foods, career opportunities, hugs.  It’s in moments like these, moments that require us to require more of ourselves than we have ever known before. It’s in these times, an entirely new definition of courage dawns. When you least expect it, but need it the most, this courage will appear. Tether it you cannot, but support your weight and the hefty burdens you carry it can & will. In your silence, it will approach you. In your humility, it will wrap you in its love. Dig deep, hold strong … it will awaken within you. Unlike the quick-fix adrenalin pumping breathlessly through the thrill-seeker’s veins, this courage is never fleeting or short lived. This courage will sustain you. This courage will hold your hand. Like the voice of a reassuring friend coaxing you down from the ledge, this courage knows everything your heart needs to hear. ‘You can do this’ …  ‘I believe in you’ … ‘ Everything’s going to be OK’ It will turn hopelessness into possibility and paralysing fear into resourceful pro-action. It will lift your spirits, your attitude, your resolve. It will stand with you as you question everything you know to be true and walk with […] Read more

7 WAYS TO BREAK-UP WITH YOUR TOXIC JOB

7 WAYS TO BREAK-UP WITH YOUR TOXIC JOB

Posted September 23, 2013

I’m so thrilled to share with you this follow-up guest post from Kacey Crawford. Not so long ago Kacey wrote a post here called “Is your job making you sick?” And yep, it was HUGELY popular, to say the least. Kacey is now here to offer up some advice to those that were screaming YES upon reading that very first post.And she knows what she’s talking about – as an inspired Career + Life Coach, Kacey is all over it! In Kacey’s words: If you’re ready to ditch the job that’s dictating your social conversations and robbing you of health and happiness, then this is your much-needed what next. 1. Clarify your reasons for moving on. This step serves several important purposes. First, identifying what’s made you unhappy means you can look out for (and avoid) it in future job choices. For instance, if it’s unreasonable working hours, excessive workload or unrealistic deadlines that are stressing you out, you’ll want to target organisations that offer flexible work and employee wellbeing perks – and steer clear of high-pressure or commission-based jobs. This exercise will also help alleviate any guilt or disloyalty that may surface when it comes time to bid farewell. While the job itself may suck, you could be leaving behind a great group of colleagues, clients or a boss who is powerless to improve things for you. Seeing your reasons written down will reaffirm why you’re making this choice and help you stand your ground. And finally, this step will ensure you have a polished, diplomatic response to the inevitable interview question about why you’re moving on. 2. Get the practical stuff sorted. First cab off the rank is to brush up your resume, then put your referees on notice that you’ll be job-seeking soon. Check they’re still happy to vouch for you and help them understand what you’ve been doing so they can talk about you with confidence. I’ve written a handy guide on resume writing, interview skills and cover letters that you can get right here, and it includes handy tips on how to get the most from your referees. Sign up for email alerts on the major job-seeking search engines. Update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your most recent experience, not forgetting any qualifications, training or achievements that should be included. And if you’re on a performance-based bonus or incentive scheme at work, check when your payment is due and know what the eligibility rules are. You don’t want to rule yourself out of the running with an ill-timed resignation. Now is also the time to reconnect with your mentors and contacts and start networking. 3. Start to dial it down so you can recharge. While it’s important not to check out of your job entirely before you leave (I’m a big believer in not burning bridges), you also need to preserve your energy for your job search – and the learning curve involved with starting a new role. In a perfect world you’d have at least two weeks between leaving your role and starting the next one, but we all know that often doesn’t happen. Stay professional, maintain your integrity and aim to wrap up any substantial pieces of existing work, but now isn’t the time to be taking on anything new. 4. Put a transition plan in place. If you have clients, manage people or work in a specialist/technical role, it’s important that you start thinking about how you’ll hand over your responsibilities once you leave. Depending on the severity of your situation it can be hard to think this way, but it’s a simple and often overlooked way of upholding your professional image – not to mention just plain old good karma. Use this time to tie up loose ends, bed down any processes or important information that’s living inside your head, and do an email and hard drive clean out (which may provide helpful fodder for your resume too). 5. Decide how you’ll leave. For most people, financial responsibilities will require you to give the proper period of notice and wait it out to maintain salary continuity between roles. If you can afford to take leave without pay – and only you can be the judge of that – or exhaust the rest of your annual leave as part of your notice period (which some organisations allow), then go for it. You may even want to take a career break if your organisation offers them – but consider what impact this will have on your benefits and entitlements, including access to paid parental leave. Now is also a good time to decide if you’ll raise any issues or grievances in your exit interview. It’s a personal choice as to whether you do this, but remember to keep your comments professional and gracious. Think about whether your feedback is likely to have an impact and what the future repercussions could be for you personally (especially if you work in a small industry). Think self-preservation as opposed to short-term gratification. 6. Get some clear direction. When you’re seriously unhappy at work, your desperation to escape can easily lead you to bounce unintentionally from one dissatisfying role to another. Use this opportunity to get clear on exactly what you want to do next (given that you’ve now discovered what you don’t want). If you’ve been thinking about a career change or starting up a business, then now could be the perfect time. Most people contemplating career change will start by thinking “what could I do”, which leads them down a narrow path that includes only their skills and experience. Try a different approach: imagine the lifestyle you want and then identify careers that will allow you to have it. What specific types of roles and organisations match your vision? How can you make sure you target them in your job search? What types of questions might you need to ask in job interviews to ensure your next job really stacks up? Remember your next role […] Read more

THE PROVEN SCIENCE BEHIND REIKI

THE PROVEN SCIENCE BEHIND REIKI

Posted August 27, 2013

I am an ‘energy’ junkie. I love the power in harnessing that energy for health and healing. I have a few ‘secret weapons’ that help me dive deep, peel off layers, rebalance, reconnect and revitalise. Amongst my arsenal is Reiki. This year I finally got my Level 1 Reiki Certification through my good friend and Reiki Healer, Franziska Mayr (I call her Frenchy!). Today, I’m so excited to share with you a guest post from Frenchy on the amazing science behind the magic of Reiki. I hope you enjoy this post as I much as I did. Enjoy! Claire x  ___________________________________________________________________________________ Though my first encounter with the ancient Healing art of Reiki in Japan back in 1996 was powerful and life changing, I felt a great need to intellectually understand how it worked. How did it relieve physical pain, aid in fighting addiction, reduce stress and anxiety and rebalance someone to their natural state of health and well-being? How could someone achieve such incredible results by not even touching the body? Luckily, I wasn’t the only one  intrigued and this research I’m about to take you through has shed some light on how so many incredible results are achieved with Reiki. Independent research by Dr. Robert Becker and Dr. John Zimmerman  investigated what happens whilst people practice therapies like Reiki.  They found that not only do the brain wave patterns of practitioner and receiver become synchronised in the alpha state, characteristic of deep relaxation and meditation, but they pulse in unison with the earth’s magnetic field, known as the Schumann Resonance.  During these moments, the bio-magnetic field of the practitioners’ hands is at least 1000 times greater than normal, and not as a result of internal body current.  The linking of energy fields between practitioner and earth allows the practitioner to draw on the ‘infinite energy source’ or ‘universal energy field’ via the Schumann Resonance.  Everything is connected in a ‘living web of interdependence’.  This supports the subjective experience of ‘oneness’ and ‘expanded consciousness’ related by those who regularly receive Reiki. Zimmerman (1990) in the USA and Seto (1992) in Japan further investigate the large pulsating bio-magnetic field that is emitted from the hands of energy practitioners whilst they work.  They discovered that the pulses are in the same frequencies as brain waves, and sweep up and down from 0.3 – 30 Hz, focusing mostly in 7 – 8 Hz, alpha state.  Independent medical research has shown that this range of frequencies will stimulate healing in the body, with specific frequencies being suitable for different tissues.  For example, 2 Hz encourages nerve regeneration, 7Hz bone growth, 10Hz ligament mending, and 15 Hz capillary formation.   ‘Brain waves’ are not confined to the brain but travel throughout the body via the perineural system, the sheaths of connective tissue surrounding all nerves.  During treatment, these waves begin as relatively weak pulses in the thalamus of the practitioner’s brain, and gather cumulative strength as they flow to the peripheral nerves of the body including the hands.  The same effect is mirrored in the person receiving treatment, and that regulates injury repair and system rebalance.  This highlights one of the special features of Reiki  – that both practitioner and client receive the benefits of a treatment, which makes it very efficient. It is interesting to note that his study has been carried out on world-wide array of cross-cultural subjects, and no matter what their belief systems or customs, or how opposed to each other their customs were, all tested the same.  Part of Reiki’s growing popularity is that it does not impose a set of beliefs, and can therefore be used by people of any background and faith, or none at all.   Reiki, or energy is universal. We are one and the same with that energy, which means by harnessing it we are tapping into our own healing powers. Thanks for reading, Frenchy xx Stay connected with Frenchy here: Website: Prana Lounge For daily inspiration head to her facebook page: Mind Over Matter As a side note if anyone is interested in studying Reiki or experiencing an energy healing session for yourself I can’t recommend Frenchy enough. We’ve had some pretty amazing experiences together which have left a long lasting and positive impact on my life. Read more


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