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Category: Insights + Inspiration


YOU, THE EARTH & ME

YOU, THE EARTH & ME

Posted January 30, 2012

Before I was a yoga teacher and health coach and even before I worked in beauty PR, I worked in fashion. That feels like such a long time ago, but my wardrobe is evidence of an era gone by. Although heavily reduced down I still have many relics from my more creative, vintage days. I used to trawl markets for quirky, one off vintage pieces and enjoyed reliving different decades aesthetically.   I had more belts, bags, shoes and accessories than a girl needs. Over the years I’ve culled it down. As I evolved as a person – my interests slowly steering towards yoga, nutrition and wellness – so did my style.   I want less, but need more out of what I choose to buy. It needs to multi-task or suit my lifestyle or it needs to represent something greater than just me and my desire to own stuff. Yes. It has to look good as well. But not in the way it used to. Which brings me to three young women, Krystal, Bec and Kristin. They own and run a website called You, the Earth & Me.   You, the Earth & Me is an online store selling eco-friendly products for the earth conscious. But mostly, it’s about creating a level of awareness about what we are purchasing, and what is involved in the creation of the product.   As it does, Facebook connected me and Krystal who reached out to share You, the Earth & Me. When Krystal reached out to offer a reader giveaway I mentioned to her that I’d take a look but hadn’t really done anything like this (review a brand/product) on my blog before… but after browsing the site and talking to the girls I decided I’d like to share this.   Why? Well… although that old fashionista in me has evolved into a different person, you can never really erase every element of who you are or once were! It will always be something I love – fashion, art. I live and breath in a consumerist world and whether I like it or not I too am a consumer. I buy things that make me happy, I buy things because I need them, I buy things because I can. I’m ok with that.   What I can do though is become more aware and make different choices. Krystal says that at You, the Earth & Me, they are trying to “create a degree of curiosity in our customers and for them to then take that awareness into everything they do”.       Christin followed this by indicating that when we purchase “products that are Eco, Ethical, Sustainable and Fairtrade it is sending a message that the days of thoughtless consumerism are becoming a thing of the past. By buying ethical the whole world benefits”.   True, right? If we aren’t going to change WHAT we do, we can at least change HOW…. Let me introduce the girls to you properly….   Krystal is a journalist and yoga teacher and is studying nutrition. Bec is also a yoga teacher and a businesswoman with a passion for green living. Christin is, in her own words, the “least reliable business partner – I’m a bit of a flight risk!” She loves visiting remote communities, meeting the local people and learning about their culture.   Pretty cool ladies me thinks. And even cooler for taking the step to create something with depth and meaning. The products available from You, the Earth & Me range from Yoga Lifestyle, Homewares and Accessories. The products are sourced from all over the globe, however there is a preference and focus on local where possible.   The necklace up for grabs from You, the Earth & Me, is made from natural hand dyed Acai beads from a fair trade organisation in Peru. They were then strung by hand by these three special ladies with lots of meta (love) and feature a silver tassel.     The girls spend a lot of time sourcing products and look for the following criteria before deciding on a product – Fairtrade, Organic, Handmade, Sustainable, Renewable, Recycled and made in Australia. If the item does not have at least one of these components then they will not stock it!   When I asked the girls to explain what eco-friendly meant to them this is what they had to say:   “It often means paying that little bit extra or working a littler harder to find a product, Treating the earth with more awareness and gratitude.” “Caring about the impact you as an individual have on the planet, and trying to reduce this footprint as much as possible.” “Taking ownership for your own actions and choices. If you want the world to be a better place, then there is no better place to start than with yourself.”   For me? It’s about accepting that we need to reduce how much stuff we have in our lives – I am constantly trying to buy and use less – but that when we want or need things (hopefully not too often!) there are more sustainable, friendly options available that can make a positive impact on our environment.    I decided to buy two little bags from the site from a brand called earth, baby rock. Produced locally on the sunshine coast and screen-printed with eco-friendly ink onto hessian fit the bill. They’ve become my new everything bag! Love the simplicity and deconstructed styling.   I asked Krystal to outline a few tips when hunting for eco-friendly products.   “Check the labels on items. If you do not know what any of the ingredients are, then they are most likely not eco-friendly. Also check the packaging as often the product itself is eco but the packaging is not. There are a variety of different plastics out there now that are safe and non-toxic and made from things such as cornstarch, which are great.    Also, there is a difference between something claiming to be organic […] Read more

GRATEFUL MUCH… THANKING YOU!

GRATEFUL MUCH… THANKING YOU!

Posted January 27, 2012

Today is my birthday! Today I warmly welcome my 30s. I’m thrilled. I feel happy and excited. I also feel so content and grateful… very, very grateful. 2011 was a really big year. It was the first year when I finally had clarity and the clouds of confusion from my own Saturn Returns experience shifted and real change came about. 2012 is set to be busy, exciting, challenging and incredibly rewarding. I am now working full-time for myself on my business and pouring myself into my role as a yoga teacher and health coach. Today on my birthday I just needed to take stock of it all and express my gratitude. So many circumstances, individuals, experiences and more have played a role in getting me to this place. I wanted to say thank you to the people who have contributed to this path without ever really knowing it. Chris – my boyfriend, for being ultimately supportive and truly believing I can achieve anything. Patiently letting me write, research and study without ever complaining. But also for throwing necessary questions my way, which only served to make me work harder and believe more. My family – for not questioning me, for seeing my passion and for simply loving me. No strings. My nieces and nephews for teaching me how to love, unconditionally! My friends – you know who you are! For providing me with countless opportunities to grow, for being supportive, for being excited at every step and for pushing me. MTPR – my PR job which I am leaving at the end of February. You showed me the door to yoga and you also accepted the path I am on. How many people can say that about their workplace? My clients, students, random strangers – who have taken it upon themselves to give me such amazing feedback that has left me in tears. Your openess was not lost on me, ever. Not once. The Universe – for listening to my calls for direction, guiding me on my search and then literally dumping a million signs in my lap that I was finally aligning to who I am! Readers – anyone who has ever read my blog, even once. You make me accountable to this blog, you push me to write more, research more and to keep living and breathing what I love. You also kindly overlooked my rushed blogs with spelling mistakes and missing letters. Thanking you! And lastly to me, myself and I – I thank you for finally listening to your inner voice and not your ego wrapped in fear, insecurity and caution. You have taken many steps to get you to a place of true nourishment in your relationships, career and personal life. I’m off to celebrate and enjoy this day – a day I am tremendously grateful for too! I am lucky enough to live the kind of life where I have the freedom and luxury to enjoy a day off, just to celebrate a number! Woohoo! Signing off with an exhale… (and a really big smile!) Pause. Listen. Live. Cx Read more

PHAT FAT!  BREAKING DOWN WHY FATS ARE GOOD FOR YOU

PHAT FAT! BREAKING DOWN WHY FATS ARE GOOD FOR YOU

Posted January 23, 2012

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a client (or a friend) ask me… but what about fat? Shouldn’t I be cutting it out of my diet? I once asked the same question before I was made aware of the simple fact that our body needs fat. For far to long fat has been blamed as the culprit in creating an epidemic of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. In fact. The real baddie is sugar. What I am saying is being talked about widely in the health industry and now starting to filter down into the masses. I have come to realise though that the everyday person still thinks fat is bad yet seems to overlook sugar – nasty piece of work that it is! Instead of finger-pointing and shaming sugar (ok, I will just a little) I want to glorify fat instead. But first, let the shaming begin! In a nut-shell sugar is bad. Avoid it. The following is an excerpt from David Gillespie’s ‘Sweet Poison – Why Sugar Makes Us Fat.’   “In the space of 150 years, we have gone from eating no added sugar to more than 1kg a week. Two decades ago 1 in 14 adult Australians were obese; that figure is now 1 in 5.” Wow. Back in the day sugar was vital for energy and fuel storage. With little naturally occuring sugar other than fruits and berries available we slowly evolved to a state where our bodies disregard the quantity of sugar we were ingesting. This was vital to survival because when we next ate another good quality meal (meat from animals etc) was anyone’s guess. Today, in the scheme of time, is not that far along from this way of living. So, we still don’t have that sugar switch off. We don’t know when to stop!  And, to top it off, we also now have incredibly refined versions of sugar added to almost anything! In fact, we take OUT the good stuff in wholefoods and replace it with sugar and then call it fat-free. Yes. This makes me angry. So much so that I’m dropping the sugar argument right there and moving on to a happier topic. Yummy, delicious, grounding, nourishing FATS. Particularly saturated fat. Oooh, that heart-clogging evil doer! If you were going to be honest with yourself you might admit that nothing is more satisfying that cooking with butter, or eating the creamiest avocado dip, a slice of soft cheese, oily salmon, or a juicy piece of (grass-fed!) lamb. Or actually, maybe you are gagging at the thought because you’ve been conditioned to avoid fats – living a ‘fat-free’ life yet wondering why you are always tired, sick, weak and flat!? Let me help you see things differently. I read a book by Nina Planck who started the farmer’s markets in the UK. She was a fat-free vegetarian. She was overweight, sick, and always lacking in energy. Over time she started injecting good quality fats and animal products back into her life and what happened? She lost weight, naturally became healthier, immune system strengthened, energy increased. You get the picture. I’ve read this and seen this countless times. I am in no way advocating a diet of greasy kebabs and ‘fatty’ foods. There is a difference! I am just encouraging you to see that good fats are vital in our die. Here is why: Fats stabilise our moods and energy levels Fats make up half of all cell membranes – it’s structurally vital! Fats build immunity by fighting harmful microbes, viruses and diseases, especially in the digestive tract Fats supply our bodies with a source of energy throughout the whole day – ever noticed how eggs, or cheese or something oil based makes you feel fuller for longer? We tend to crave more stodgy, carby food for energy which can often lead to get blood sugar fluctuations that can send us on a see-saw! Fats nourish our brain and body and are so important for creating a healthy mind and body Fats eaten with protein is nutritionally sound because fat encourages proper digestion and assimilation, use or conversion of nutrients Fats lower blood levels of lipoprotein which leads to clotting Nina Planck also talks about how ‘fats are like a string of pearls – they go with everything!’ And they do, not by accident, because nutritionally your body gets what it needs when fat is included in the diet Fat in classic wholefoods – raw milk, eggs, meat, fish – are combined with protein. Together they create a complete food. The fat assists in the protein digestion, mineral absorption and creating a soluble environment for the fat-soluble vitamins. So, egg white omelets are a low-quality, incomplete meal because the fat and protein that exist in a whole egg are married together for a reason. So what do you get from food that fat is essential in ensuring your body uses it in the right way? Vitamins – A, D, E K are fat soluble. If your food has these vitamins and you aren’t including any fat then you won’t absorb these vital vitamins. Beta Carotene – Butter with carrots, Collards with olive oil,  Beef with broccoli Omega 3s – Fish with butter Calcium – whole milk, whole milk yoghurt and cheese Carotenoids – found in brightly coloured vegetables – require fat to reach the absorptive intestinal walls If you are vegetarian, butter and eggs are vital to your health. This is difficult if you are a vegan – there will be a considerable lack of Vitamin A (which the body struggles to make from other sources) in your system. Last but not least – if you are eating meat opt for grass-fed animal products. Dairy – raw, whole and locally produces, Fish – preferably not farmed and eggs – pastured. That being said go ahead, feel good about eating high-quality fats and know that by choosing the absolute best quality, you are protecting and nourishing your body. Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live. Cx Read more

7 DAYS AND COUNTING… turning 30!

7 DAYS AND COUNTING… turning 30!

Posted January 20, 2012

In 7 days I turn 30! Nope, I’m not fishing for birthday wishes or presents (all welcome, though!) I’m just reflecting… I never really thought about turning 30. It wasn’t something that prayed on my mind, mostly because I didn’t have a vision of who I wanted to be or what I wanted to achieve by 30. Also, I don’t know what 30 ‘looks’ like anymore. I hear every now and then that I don’t look 30, but I always ask… but, what does that look like? 30 means something different today, but I guess ultimately, all that matters is what does it mean to me… or you! Now that I am almost there I am thinking about 30 and the years that follow very differently to how I did from 19 moving into 20. Mostly, the way I feel is excited. I finally feel like I fit into the giant puzzle that is life. I have always felt a little like a strange shaped puzzle piece that was trying to force it’s place here, there, everywhere… without every really understanding why I couldn’t fit. I don’t mean ‘fitting in’ socially. I more mean, fitting in with the world. I always questioned what my purpose is on this planet and who I really am. I was always trying to ‘find’ myself.   I don’t think I have the answer locked in stone, but that’s what I’ve learnt… that it’s not concrete. It can’t be… it’s life. Maybe I’m not supposed to find myself, but enjoy life as an ever changing creation. The journey, the seeking, the knowledge gains, the sharing, the passion to teach  and the desire to always learn more .. that’s how I fit in. But for now, I do feel like I ‘fit’ a little more. I have a direction and a new way of being as I enter this new decade and I don’t feel lost and ungrounded. I feel directional. If that makes sense. I’ve also realised something else… I wouldn’t be here, with this mind-frame and this purpose – if it wasn’t for my 20s – the tripping up, the confusion, the mistakes, the sadness, the silliness, the excess, the questions! So i’ve decided, for each day between now and my birthday I’m going to journal about something I am grateful for from my 20s. From relationships that helped me realise what a relationship should be, to years of partying that left me burnt out and fragile – leading me to seek a healthier version of Claire to climbing the career ladder which has cultivated skills I know I’ll use forever. I’m going to press pause. Reflect, pay my respects and then…. let out my 20s with a long exhale. And with that next inhale I’m going to feel invigorated and alive by my 30s, because I know it’s going to be so much more rewarding, fruitful, challenging, exciting and full of change! Just how I like it. Happy birthday to me! I’d love to hear how you feel about 30/the 30s… did it scare you, did you embrace, or was it just another number? Signing off with an exhale. pause. listen. live Cx Read more

OLIVE OIL FOR HEALTH – WHY TO EAT IT + WHICH TO CHOOSE

OLIVE OIL FOR HEALTH – WHY TO EAT IT + WHICH TO CHOOSE

Posted January 18, 2012

Today, I was at my parents house and my mum asked me to help her refill the olive oil bottle. We have always bought large 5 litre cans and decant it into smaller bottles – that’s how much my family loves olive oil. My dad is part owner of a olive grove in Syria and recalls stories of harvesting and processing olives for hours over the summer. It got me thinking about this humble oil that I use in such excess that I started to dig around a bit… why is this oil so special? Like the headstand in yoga, some have coined olive oil the queen of the vegetable oils. I know I certainly agree. It has such a beautiful flavour and has the ability to transform the blandest meal! It’s a famous, heart-healthy fat that is long associated with fresh mediterranean cuisine. Olives themselves have been traded amongst civilisations for centuries. So, it’s no surprise that the humble olive tree landed on Australian shores. Sometime in the early 1800, the first olive grove was planted in Sydney – near parramatta. Olive trees were arriving from France, Siciliy and Rio de Jainero – exotic locales bringing what would soon be the nation’s most loved vegetable oil. Just like Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and other European countries, olive oil rapidly became a staple in the Australian diet. And it’s no wonder, it has such a complex and varied flavour, depending on how it’s grown. Have you noticed how sometimes it’s quite fruity and bouncy, other times it’s so mild, smooth and buttery? Or even a little peppery – tickling the back of your throat. Besides being so damn tasty there are many other reasons why you want olive oil in your diet. In fact, your health wants it. Olive oil :  rich in Vitamin E and polyphenols (antioxidants) which prevent heart disease and cancer. lowers blood pressure and reduces inflammation 70% monounsaturated oleic acid which lowers LDL (the bad cholesterol!) Contains 10% Linoleic Acid – the essential Omega-6 fat (we don’t need too much extra of this as the modern diet contains enough omega-6, however, if cooking with soy, corn or safflower oil ditch them for olive oil!) So, olive oil is a good’un, but there are a few things to be mindful of – mainly the way it’s processed and how to cook with it. Olive oil is mostly a monounsaturated fat. Which means it doesn’t tend to oxidise as easily as polyunsaturated vegetable oils (corn + soy) which become highly toxic in our systems when over heated/processed. BUT, olive oil is still delicate and affected by excessive heat and shouldn’t be used in high temperature cooking/baking. Olive oil actually requires little processing and to maintain its flavour and nutritional qualities, the less processing (less heat!) the better. But, of course, some brands do process olives to excess, which offers us around three different grades; plain, virgin and extra-virgin. The lowest grade – plain: Usually labelled olive oil, pure or 100 % pure olive oil. Olives are picked by machine, bruising and damaging the fruit leading to oxidation, raising acidity and producing a poor quality oil Olives are pressed multiple times with heat Chemical extraction creates a milder flavour, yet also affecting the nutritional quality   What is left is too rancid for consumption so the oil is ‘refined’ to make it edible – by refining I mean acid washing, bleaching and deodorising Finally, it’s blended with virgin oil to make it taste better! What’s left? Less Vitamin E, antioxidants and polyphenols Seems like alot of work to get back to it’s original delicious state! Second + third grades – virgin and extra virgin: Hand-picked and cold pressed on the same day! Bottled in dark glass to shield it from oxidizing light Look for organic extra virgin, cold pressed (35°- 55° C, ice pressing is rarer but much better!) to reap health benefits and enjoy great flavour (fruity, grassy falvours indicate high quality!) This makes it really expensive, so at the very least extra virgin and cold pressed is much better Less oxidation in processing which means less rancidity and toxicity for the consumer So, what does oxidizing actually mean? I mentioned earlier that olive oil is a monounsaturated oil. Despite being a little more stable than polys, it still tends to go rancid at really high temperatures. And when I say rancid I don’t just mean ‘off’… I mean carcinogenic and detrimental to health. What causes oxidation?: Light Air Heat Avoid using olive oil when baking vegetables or a roast – it’s not the best choice as the temperatures are too high, resulting in an unstable oil. Coconut oil is a fantastic alternative. Sauteing with olive is perfectly fine, in fact, adding in a little butter (real, unsalted, whole milk butter!) is even better as it creates a more heat stable environment due to the butter’s saturated fats I love to drizzle olive oil on my leafy green or veggie quinoa salads, I drizzle it on poached eggs or even butter bread with it – it makes me feel grounded and nourished. Being a vata (Ayurveda!) I tend to need warming, grounding foods + oils – basically good quality fats – to keep me centered and healthy. Olive oil does just that for me. Olives and their oil are such a cornerstone of the Australian diet these days. It’s a special oil and one, when used correctly, can benefit your health, boost your energy, stabilise your sugars and nourish your body.   Enjoy! Signing off with an exhale. pause. listen. live Cx Read more

THE COMMUNE OF LOVE – NYE around a campfire and how it taught me about community

THE COMMUNE OF LOVE – NYE around a campfire and how it taught me about community

Posted January 04, 2012

Happy New Year! Isn’t it such a fantastic feeling. Literally, just one day rolls over – the same as everyday -Yet, we put so much importance on that little, tiny second when the clock ticks over and time enters a new year. This year I spent the last minutes of 2011 and the first of 2012 around a campfire… singing songs along to the sounds of a guitar. There were friends, good friends – like family. There was good food, there was alot of drinking and even some impromptu creative dance. It was hysterical and moving and exciting and natural. We timed the new year wrong, we did the count down twice, our feet were dirty, hair undone, no make-up and no designer outfits… but it didn’t matter at all because there was community and connection. Following NYE, on the first day of 2012 I found myself and this beautiful little community of friends walk to the top of the cliff. We sat on a grassy clearing overlooking the ocean and the setting sun. In turn we each voiced what we were grateful for in the very moment… there was no awkwardness or giggling or embarrasment. Why? Because the sheer beauty of that moment outshone absolutey everything and the connection – the community – made everything feel safe. There is alot of mayhem around the new year experience (the outfit, the planning, the expectations, the hangover) but if you can view the entrance into the new year as a very special day that deserves acknowledgement in a grounded and nurturing way then it becomes a totally different situation. The light of a new dawn, the hopes for success, the drive to change, to grow, to build… the simple connection with the universe as we all look forward, together and simultaneously. It’s a very cleansing experience. We are allowed the chance to start over and to try again, with the knowledge and understanding of what has been and gone.   For me, my experience on this camping trip represented freedom and gratefulness. Instead of being drawn into the chaos and intensity I was amongst like-minded people enjoying the simplicity, being amongst nature and feeling free to let go of 2011 with love and enter 2012 with excitement.  The biggest lesson I took was that if you tear off the frills, the drama and the ‘must-do’ mentality and instead you fill it with a connected community of beautiful people who are genuine, loving and open then you will invite feelings of joy, comfort, contentedness and even a sense of direction. I felt that no matter what the year holds for me that if I am always surrounded and supported by such a community then what is there to fear or to complain about? Nothing… So with that I hope that at some point during your NYE celebrations and the first fresh days of 2012 that you can create and enjoy a sense of community. Whether it’s small, or big it doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you feel supported and loved and in turn do the same for others. Wishing you love + light in 2012 Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live. Cx    Read more

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU… MAKING CHANGE HAPPEN

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU… MAKING CHANGE HAPPEN

Posted December 30, 2011

I remember in 1996, the new year had just rung in and I was soon to start year nine. I was feeling really discontent with my life – the life of a teenager is rife with confusion and uncertainty – and I was eager to make a change. Not my finest moment, but at the tender age of 14 I decided to ‘change’ myself that year. I made a conscious choice to rebel – against my parents, the rules, school, anything ‘typical’. What ensued was a very naughty year. I did things I am not proud of but that helped shaped my future, especially my awareness of who I really am. My point? Well, the mind is powerful…and change, or growth is always possible. I’m most certainly not saying that we should all go out there and run amok, hurting people we love and being a little S#*t. I’m simply highlighting that when we want to, I mean really want to, we have the power to change our path, find a new course and break boundaries. As the very fresh new year has just arrived it has me thinking about the future and what I want to achieve. I already know that 2012 is going to be a big year. I both know it and I’m determining it to be so. Just like 2010 and 2011 were incredibly formative years for me, 2012 is set to be much the same. I an excited. Terrified. Anxious…but mostly, I am ready. I am ready because, like that decision I made as a skinny 14 year old, today I have decided that I am going to squeeze every last drop of life force out of 2012. I am going to absorb, listen, taste, experience, learn…. as much as I can. I am going to live the life I dream of, be the person I truly am. So, I ask you this. Do you know what you want from 2012? Have you put it out there? Or are you being all wishy-washy… floating out of one year into another? Do you want to focus on becoming a healthy, strong and alive individual. Is it your career that requires attention or your relationships. Or do you simply want to live a more balanced existence. Whatever it is it’s time to get connected to what you want and where you want to go. Because making changes, growing, evolving… it’s what we are meant to do! And, it’s possible. I don’t believe that we are stuck – hardened and immovable. Even rocks change – they erode and change shape. So look at all of the pieces that make you, you. What do you want to change, grow, build for the future? I don’t mean live in the tomorrow – it never comes, there is only today! Just be true to what you want, put it out there, believe in it and then let it come to you. This is my little new years ritual that helps me take stock of it all and transition through without any anxiety… try it (and tweak) for yourself. 1) Silence; meditate, be still, make your breathing louder than the internal dialogue and allow your mind to quieten 2) Write: just write, not direction, not pattern, just empty your mind onto a page – the good the bad the ugly 3) Connect: list the things you want from the material to the spiritual to the fickle – everything! 4) Affirm: Write everything you want as an affirmation, as if it already exists. Such as ‘Money flows to me from  expected and unexpected sources’… not ‘ I wish I had lotsof money’ 4) Read: everyday meditate and read your affirmations until you believe it on all levels… to the bone. Don’t shy away from the new year and the chance to grow and build. No one else can make it happen for you, but you! Wishing you the most exciting New Year. Ring it with people that resonate with your true self. Take a moment to reflect and then committ to living a full, whole, healthy, happy life in exactly the way you want it. Thank you for reading my blog and motivating me to keep writing, sharing and learning. See you in 2012. Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live. C Read more

GRATEFUL MUCH? LEARNING ABOUT LIFE FROM OTHERS…

GRATEFUL MUCH? LEARNING ABOUT LIFE FROM OTHERS…

Posted December 23, 2011

  I am grateful that I have the ability to learn… I am most grateful that I have the chance to learn and grow from others around me… I recently watched an amazing documentary called The Horse Boy. It was such an incredible story about a young Autistic boy whose parents take him on a pilgrimage to meet a tribe of Shamans in Mongolia. Why? Because the Mongolians were the original cowboys – and Shamanism is the national religion. The connection? Well, this boy has a deep connection with animals – horses in particular – and it seems his inconsolable tantrums and social seclusion are dramatically alleviated when he is around a horse…. so, his parents wanted to see if perhaps there was some healing in these Shamans who are connected to the earth, the animals, the spirits… the universe. The movie wasn’t about autism, it was about their journey and the amazing possibilities that faith, love and spirituality can bring about. But, watching this poor little man experience traumatic and often painful experiences over the smallest things really broke my heart. In moments of peace this child was incredibly gifted, charming, joyous… but was burdened with a neurological disorder that often ostracized him from the world around. This child made me realise a few things. First and foremost… I have nothing, ever, to complain about. I see the world. It sees me. I do not feel confused, anxious, lost or distraught for no apparent reason. I am blessed with the opportunity to interact with people and to express myself. All these things, he didn’t have. But, all that aside, I learnt something else… patience and living in the moment, opening yourself up to the experience is where the beauty lies. This child doesn’t know it yet, but his parents are relearning everything, because of him. They are faced with constant challenges and they are continually reevaluating how they see the world, what they think is normal and what they believe is beautiful. This little boy has taught them how to breath and stay calm in testing times, how to lap up his moments of clarity and connection with utter joy, how to love – I mean, truly love – despite his almost devilish four hour tantrums, and how to become better people – more compassionate, empathetic and open-hearted. I know that if these parents had the chance to go back in time and ensure their son wasn’t Autistic that they would refuse. Because life unfolds in the challenges not the continuous wins or smooth sailing days. There is no joy without a fight and it makes it taste so much sweeter. I learnt that this is what life is about. And I am so grateful for the chance to learn from other people. To be truly inspired by their battle, their courage and their journey. The abilty to see beauty in all moments, all people. I am grateful to learn from them. What are you grateful for? Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live Cx   Read more

HOW I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SLOW DOWN UNTIL I HAD TO…

HOW I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SLOW DOWN UNTIL I HAD TO…

Posted December 19, 2011

Has it been one of ‘those’ years? Was 2011 a year you’d rather forget, happy to seal it in your box of memories, buried deep within… Or, was it a year of adventure and excitement? Did you learn alot discover things you never knew? Either way, has this year taken its toll? Have you been wondering why you are so tired? Well, that is normal, my friend. Sometimes the year – whether it’s good, bad or ugly – flies by at such lightning speed that we are often a little bamboozled by how quick the end of the year has come around. And, with that, we are also a little floored by how tired and shot our mind and bodies are. Nothing really much changed over the last month – I mean, work was exceptionally busy, but life was the same. Regular morning yoga practice, seeing clients, lots of studying and of course a million things to do on the weekend. But I was tired, really and truly bone tired. When I stop and think about it, when I looked at what my life entails over the last month and then times that by 12 – it’s no wonder that I was tired. It’s so interesting how, as the year winds down – instead of us doing the same, we ramp it up even more. With social engagements and parties filling up our diaries fast, you’d think that we were scared that the new year will be dry of all social lubrication. It makes me laugh when people insist on meeting up this side of the new year. But I guess, there is this sense of ‘closure’ in doing so. Catching up, reviewing the year, discussing the future makes us feel a sense of completion and wholeness. It also connects us with other human beings and helps detract from the fear that maybe we didn’t achieve what we wanted to, or that maybe the new year – the prospect of new beings – is daunting. And it’s this that has forced me to learn another skill. One that I resist from the core of my being yet one that I need more than anything else. And that is the art of slowing down. Why? Because I believe that we can feel, hear and see the answers to our questions and desires in the silence, the gap between our thoughts, the pause. You’ve probably gathered that I enjoy being busy – I don’t really find much worth in doing nothing. Even when I am home I like to potter about – planting herbs, cooking, studying.  Aware that slowing down is a challenge for me, I set it as a (loose) goal. However, I had a little helping hand. Last week my boyfriend and I took ourselves away from Sydney and to the quiet little coastal town that is Fingal Bay, with the intention of doing  nothing. This spot simply breaths ‘slow’ in everyway. There is no traffic, there are hardly any shops, there are miles of pristine beaches… but to press the point even more, there was rain. There was alot of rain. With no where to run to – no place to go and ‘pretend’ the rain wasn’t there. I just had to be, in the moment. I did things differently. I won’t lie – there is this voice inside of me that is afraid to unravel. Afraid that once I let go that I will lose that discipline, focus and motivation that keeps me going and that I will fall into this self-deprecating, unmotivated, slow way of being… but I now realise, to be ‘on’… I must switch off. To throw a ball in the air, you must start with it in your hand, down below. To see the light, you must experience the dark. Ying and Yang in it’s true form. What did I do? Nothing radical, but to me, an achievement. ·         I slept in (ok, only till 7… but still) ·         I practiced playful yoga – making up sequences and listening to my body, instead of trying  to open and strengthen my body ·         I meditated to the sound of the rain ·         I watched alot of movies – I sat sit and vegged (it’s been a while) ·         I slow cooked – lamb roast for 8 hours ·         I walked – slowly, and without purpose. Just to breath the air and marvel at nature ·         I reminded myself daily that there are no deadlines, there are no schedules ·         I enjoyed the company of my partner, in silence. Enjoying the chance to soak up his energy without filling the space with chatter ·         When the sun was out I ate mangoes on the beach, snoozed under the umbrella and played in the water like a little kid ·         I wrote in bed, I read in bed, I napped in bed ·         I thought alot, about the new year and what I want to bring into my life. So, today I ask you… as the year winds down, as the year exhales – releasing it’s final breath and just before the new year breaths new life… think to yourself. How can I slow down? What do I truly need right now to feel whole, balanced and refreshed. And, in doing so, create the space to invite new experiences, people, adventures… or anything in your life you have been dreaming of. Take it slow, find your grounding and then you can accelerate… Signing off with exhale. Pause. Listen. Live. Cx Read more


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