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Category: Insights + Inspiration


DRINKING SEASON – 7 TIPS TO MANAGE YOUR HANGOVER

DRINKING SEASON – 7 TIPS TO MANAGE YOUR HANGOVER

Posted December 09, 2011

I’m not really a big drinker. I’ve tried to be.  As a teenager and in my early 20s. I drank until I threw up the contents on my stomach and then some. I drank until I was so dizzy I needed the wall for support. I drank until 12 hours in foetal position the next day, was all I could manage.   Growing up with a middle eastern sensibility, drinking was never really top of mind.  Drinking in middle eastern cultures really isn’t the cornerstone to socialising like it is here in Australia and other Western cultures. I guess that’s why my efforts to be a drinker failed miserably. I wasn’t conditioned for it. I had to admit a long time ago that I’m just not cut out for it.   I do love a delicious glass of vino over dinner (it makes me sleepy!) or a summery cocktail with girlfriends in the afternoon sunshine… but I never crave it, need it or feel compelled to drink on and on and on…  if the atmosphere is right, the music spot on and the company is good then It doesn’t matter whether I drink or not, I’ll have an amazing time.   I don’t hold judgement at all to drinkers – how could I when I am the minority?! – but it surprises me how drinkers judge me (and other non-drinkers). Over the years I’ve come to realise that my lack of alcohol consumption is like a very harsh reflection to others of their drinking habits, so in turn, I get bombarded with “what do you mean, you don’t drink? How do you relax? Don’t you know how to have fun?”… and on it goes.   This may sound surprising, but I’ve often wished I was a drinker – that I loved it, wanted it and enjoyed it like everyone else. Think about it – it’d be a hell of a lot easier to fit in to the norm… but I am just meant to be this way! So, why am I talking about drinking habits? Well, we are about to enter the season of drinking itself. Summer. Actually, Christmas + New Years + Australia Day + Summer…the perfect combination for multiple get-togethers, outdoor bbqs, afternoon cocktails, catch-up dinners, parties and… and… and…Despite lacking the drinking skill it’s actually my favourite time of my year – everyone really seems to embrace and love life, sticking a finger up to the year just gone and opening their arms out to a new one. Either way our main vice? The socially acceptable alcoholic beverage – whatever your poison, it’s there, it’s everywhere!   But, with the high of the silly season… what goes UP must and will come down… comes the low of the hangover.  And seeing as Australians increase their alcohol consumption by at least 3 times it’s no wonder are all riddled with headaches, the general feeling of crappiness, lethargy, bad skin, sluggish system, the tired eyes. Solution, (I am assuming you don’t want to hear me say cut back!) arm yourself with a few little tricks to manage your health and hopefully stay on top of those hangovers. 7 hangover management tips Line your stomach with milk – not just an old wives tale. Don’t be shocked, but your body sees alcohol has poison not the delicious beverage that makes you happy and relaxed. So we need fat (in milk!) in our system which stimulates the release of an enzyme called alcohol de-hydrogenase to soak up the booze from our bodies.  It makes sense why we crave fatty foods when drinking! Milk Thistle really helps the liver detox – a must have herb for a big night out. Helps the liver fight alcohol damage and minimises the length and severity of a hangover – take it a few hours before a night out. Eat up – Avoid the 2am kebab run but eating a good meal before heading out with lots of quality, natural fats (real butter, milk, nuts, avocados, grass fed animal products) will keep you from getting too smashed and prevent the 2am kebab run. Liver enzymes need zinc and B vitamins. Eat liver friendly foods like beetroot, tomato, asparagus, a green juice/smoothie, shot of chlorophyll… to help the liver rid itself of the alcohol. Hydrate. Drink a glass of water for every drink. If that’s not going to happen, down 3-4 glasses when you get home. Rehydrate like there is no tomorrow. It’ll assist toxin release. Detox through the skin. Dry body brush in the morning to help the cleansing process Drink freshly squeeze juice (maybe with some beetroot?) and lots of coconut water to provide the liver with electrolytes So there you have it. 7 tips that don’t cost anything and are really simple to do. If you are keen on getting right into the silly season then at least arm yourself with some intelligent tools. We put that much effort into the preparation for the night out, we can at least do the same for the day after – our bodies and well being is worth it. Enjoy! Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live Cx Read more

FINDING YOUR CENTRE MEDITATION + PRANAYAMA WORKSHOP

FINDING YOUR CENTRE MEDITATION + PRANAYAMA WORKSHOP

Posted December 07, 2011

Stretch. Breath. Be Still… an invitation to our centring end of year workshop. The Details: What: Stretch. Breath. Be still. Meditation Workshop Date: Sunday 18th December Location: Rose Bay Yoga Room Level 1/ 696 New South Head Rd Rose Bay, NSW, 2029 Time: 4:30 – 6:30pm Price: $25  Contact: Amanda Fuzes to book  amanda@rosebayyoga.com.au As the year is drawing to a close, the silly season is about to kick in and the birth of a new year is just around the corner, what better way to find your centre, renew your energy and pause amongst the craziness than with an educational and soul-nourishing workshop. So, I’d like to invite you and your friends + family to come along to our workshop.Together, myself and Frenchy will guide you through gentle stretches, pranayama (breath work), meditation and chanting. Over a blissful 2-hour journey you will gently open your body as I lead you through a series of stretches followed by prepatory breath-work to clear the mind and centre your thoughts. From here you will be invited into a quiet space as Frenchy guides your body, mind and breath into stillness through three different meditation styles.  We will reconnect the body and mind through a revitalising breath technique before closing the practice by experiencing the beautiful vibration of sacred chants. This workshop will allow you the chance to reflect on what has been in 2011, prepare your mind for the seasonal celebrations and encourage openness to what will come in the new year – inviting new beginnings.   If you feel in need of some reconnection, time-out and a little clarity, then this is for you. I also need to mention here that Frenchy’s meditation is so blissful… her yoga nidra sends me to an incredible warm, safe and delicious space. The feedback from current students at Yoga Village is that they love her just as much as I do… so it is a must. Shout out of there are any Qs! Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live Cx *Pictures borrowed from Franziska Mayr facebook page Read more

BAMBOO STICKY RICE

BAMBOO STICKY RICE

Posted November 25, 2011

I have a story to tell. It’s someone elses story but I had the privelege of connecting with the story teller… You know those moments when you think this cannot just be a coincidence? Well, lately that has happened to me alot. I am grateful for these moments because it makes me feel connected to the ‘source’… that I’m being led on a path that crosses with the path of someone else, or something else that is special and needs to be shared. That path led me to a little restaurant called Vientiane in Sydney’s Darlinghurst. Recommended to me by a friend and client who sent me a ‘YOU MUST GO TO THIS RESTAURANT EMAIL’ (yes, in caps!)… she detailed the fresh, seasonal produce, the laotian inspired meals and the black sticky rice pudding! But, she also gushed about Mimi + Suriyafon – the brains behind Vientiane. So… off I went (twice!) to experience some of the most refreshing, nurturing and wholesome food I’ve had in a while. Have you ever ate a meal and felt 100% satisfied yet without feeling full or uncomfortable – just light, energetic and alive? Well… if not, Vientiane is for you. The food is almost indescribable. So i’m going to pepper this paragraph with a food words that hopefully paint a picture for you. Fresh herbs, seasonal vegetables, juicy pork, sweet peppery scents, crunchy carrots, zingy rice paper rolls, diced chicken, sticky rice… What I really want to highlight from the cuisine at Vientiane is the Bamboo Sticky Rice, a unique laotian tradition. Young Bamboo shoots are stuffed with pre-soaked rice, raisins and coconut husks. These carefully crafted version of nature’s tupperware allow the transportation of wholesome, energy + life giving food from place to place. A method used in Laos for many, many years for hunting/gathering trips or simply food to sustain them on their travels. Once they reach their destination the bamboo is placed in the fire, cooking the rice. To eat, simply peel back the bamboo in strips and pick small chunks of rice with your fingers. Eat. Enjoy. Vientiane is the only place in Sydney where you can experience this traditional food. Let me tell you this… I have never, ever tasted rice so delicious – sticky yet light, sweet and pungent, nourishing and so beautifully presented. I feel though, that besides the taste, what makes this so special is the connection to nature and to the laotian tradition. You feel that you are connected to the process in which the sticky rice came to life. It wasn’t processed in a factory, sealed into a bag, transported on a truck, packed onto shelves where it sat there waiting for someone to save it from supermarket confinement. But (it’s a big but) what makes Vientiane more than just a restaurant is the history and knowledge, passed down like a beacon. It goes much deeper than the story of bamboo sticky rice, or even just seeing food as fuel. Although, even if I simply ended this blog here, that would be enough… Mimi – the storyteller I mentioned earlier – is by far one of the most open-hearted and beautiful souls I have met. Her passion and knowledge is an integral piece to the puzzle. Through Mimi we didn’t just experience the food, we got to the heart of Vientiane and we were blown away by the story. Head chef, Suriyafon’s grandmother who lived to 113 years of age is the inspiration behind the restaurant Vientiane. His grandmother was a renown traditional herbal medicine healer in Vientiane, Laos. She advanced Suriyafon’s practice by allowing him to heal some of her more severe cases. Suriyafon was already trained in traditional Chinese medicine. He trained under her guidance for 6 years. Her wish was for Suriyafon to continue to be a healer. Suriyafon believes and understands food should heal and nourish the body, mind and soul. It is with this in mind that he carefully creates dishes from the the purest of ingredients: “Food is a basic of life. Therefore, it should be of the most pure and nutritious nature. Of course, it should also be delicious so the experience is pleasurable as well”. Vientiane is an opportunity to introduce traditional, modern, organic and healthy Lao cuisine to Sydney. Now, doesn’t that excite you? The reality and truth that food is everything, our nourishment and healer, and that we Sydneysiders have been blessed with a beautiful duo who are bringing this concept into our realm is amazing and inspiring. Here is a place that aims to inspire, feeding the body and the soul. Here are two people who believe in something passionately and aim to live (and share it!) in such a way. I strongly urged anyone out there to check out Vientiane for yourself, taste the food, experience it and discover for yourself what real, wholesome, life-giving food can do. And perhaps entertain the notion that true wellness isn’t so difficult to attain – it’s quite simply what we put into our body! Reaching 113 years is proof enough, right? Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live Claire Read more

8 TRAITS OF A CAFFEINE HIT

8 TRAITS OF A CAFFEINE HIT

Posted November 16, 2011

I wasn’t ever allowed coffee or alot of black tea as a child, teenager, or even a young adult. I used to love the smell of coffee as a child – I rememeber being down at the beach early on a Sunday morning, my parents having already been for a swim we would sit under the promenade and they’d sip hot coffee from a flask, made fresh at home. I used to feel a little cheated in my very early 20s that I wasn’t a coffee drinker… it was like some sort of club for the cool kids who could say things like ‘let’s do coffee’. Once I was out of home and away from my dad (who would shake his head and blatantly refuse to share his coffee with me – I now get why!) I started to experiment with coffee drinking, without much luck. I didn’t enjoy the dirty, bitter taste so I left it. It wasn’t until I was 25/6 that I actually tried again and loved it. That lovely warming feeling, the scent of freshly roasted beans filling your nostrils, oh and the buzz! Soon, it became a daily habit. Maybe moreso because of the new culture I was part of than the actual taste and experience, but either way I was in the club. I started on weak lattes because I felt pretty unsettled on a full-strength and then worked my way up. I earned my coffee stripes. It went like that for a while. I even giggled at my boyfriend who preferred a mocha and teased him for not being a ‘real coffee drinker’… until a year or two ago. As I cleaned up my diet  over the years I believe that my ability to ‘mask’ the negative side affects of certain foods, or to ignore the mood changes, became harder. When you are feeding your body alot of poor quality foods it’s hard to define what, exactly, is making you feel off centre. But as your healthier diet crowds out the crap, then it’s super easy to see what it is that your body doesn’t need or want. This is what happended to me and my relationship with coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I still indulge every now and then. A bad run might see me have one a week. A good run – weeks and weeks will go by with no need or desire for coffee. Lately, when I have let my rubber arm get in the way and succumbed to a coffee, I haven’t been able to ignore the obvious (and negative) side affects. Let me paint you a picture. Last Wednesday I was out at a site visit for an event. Right next to the venue was a cute little cafe and it just ‘felt’ appropriate to grab a latte. Sydney is bursting with quaint hole-in-the-wall cafes and it’s one of my favourite things this city has to offer. So, latte in hand (feeling unsure, but realising that life is about balance and I should just enjoy it!) I returned to work. The next 3-4 hours were not fun. I went through waves of nauseasness, uncontrollable sighing, a nervous twitchy feeling, the shakes and an overwhelming feeling of instability and ungroundedness. Pretty heavy just for a Wednesday afternoon!? To make matters worse I was teaching a double that night. It’s quite difficult to zone into a calmer, intuitive space when teaching yoga if you are tripping over your words, people’s mats and your own feet because your body is reeling from one little latte! Then it got me thinking – ok, so every now and then when I’ve enjoyed a coffee on the weekend with my boyfriend it’s been over breakfast or lunch and I’m already in a very calm state. Lately, if I’ve had a coffee during working hours, on a stressful day or when I’m overwhelmed by my workload, then I react very badly to it. It didn’t take long to realise that when my body is already in sympathetic mode – fight or fight response in the nervous system – that a coffee only exacerbates the symptoms and makes the situation worse. Without totally knocking down coffee, because it does have its benefits and I know people are very protective over it, I just wanted to note down some of caffeine’s (not just in coffee) … umm… ‘traits’. This list helped me to feel assured that it’s not just me that caffeine has a vendetta against, but this is what it does, ‘who’ it is… 8 Caffeine Traits 1) Blood pumping – caffeine increases the heart rate and blood pressure 2) Stressed out – caffeine stimulates the secretion of stress hormones leading to an increase in anxiety, irritability, indigestion, insomina, decreased immunity, muscular pain + tension 3) Feeling low – depression can kick in as part of the ‘come-down’ from caffeine. Feeling flat or apathetic can be linked to the decrease in blood flow to the brain (by as much as 30%!) Which in turn negatively affects memory and mental performance 4) Sugar see-saw – caffeine affects diabetics and hypoglycemics as it stimulates a temporary surge in blood sugar, next an over production of insulin and then a sugar crash within hours. The result? Weight gain as insulin tells the body to store excess sugar as fat…we don’t like that! 5) Stomach acid – that nauseating, burning feeling? Well that’s the increase of hydrochloric acid which can lead to an increase in stomach ulcers 6) Nutritional low – caffeine prevents the absorption of vital nutrition and cause the excretion of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and trace minerals through urine 7) Parched – caffeine dehydrates the body, contributing to the aging process of the skin and kidneys, it also slows the ability of the liver to detox 8) Fatigued – adrenal fatigue to be exact. Caffeine can lead to a variety of healthy issues around inflammation and exhaustion A little dark, right? There are plenty of positives to […] Read more

SOFT DRINK + YOUR HEALTH…

SOFT DRINK + YOUR HEALTH…

Posted November 07, 2011

I never, every crave soft drinks, or even sparkling water. I totally attribute this to that fact that it wasn’t ever in my home, growing up. It wasn’t ‘banned’ but it just wasn’t there. Out of sight, out of mind. I would drink it occasionally as a child – at birthday parties, but it was never enough to get me hooked. My parents knew better than to have that crap in our house (sorry, I really, really think it’s crap… not afraid to tip-toe around it incase I hurt anyone’s feelings over their beloved can of soda). But, over the years as I’ve discovered how bad these drinks really are I’ve struggled to bite my tongue and watch friends, colleagues and clients drinking it. I do realise some people are addicted, just like a drug, but similar still, it’s amazing detrimental to your health. And not just because it’s sugary and has a heap of empty calories. I can’t tell you how many times a ‘diet-coke’ drink has said “But there isn’t any sugar in it!” Today I’ve posted up a great image that shows how soda/soft drinks impact on your health – I was lucky enough to get this through my studies with Integrateive Nutrition and think this is such a fantastic, visual way to get the message home. Hopefully this speaks 1000 words that I don’t have to (or that you soft-drinkers don’t want to hear!) But – incase you want to know my opinion here are my top 5 reasons why you should quit drinking soft drink: 1) Empty calories – no nutritional content, just unnecessary calories leading to belly fat! 2) High sugar content – leading to type II diabetes 3) Osteoporosis – I’ve seen the effects on my mother and trust me, you want to avoid this one 4) Addiction – being controlled by a drink and the idea that you can only feel energised, focused and happy by a sugary drink 5) Cancer + heart disease – the big, scary illnesses that I believe are unavoidable. We all have the right to live and die in health, not disease  Via: Term Life Insurance A great alternative? Reach for a delicious, homemade smoothie – check out some of my recipes here. You’ll feel so satisfied with what you have created. Or even try a yummy, refreshing iced tea for summer – just follow these recipes. Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live Cx Read more

YES PLEASE + NO THANKS LIST

YES PLEASE + NO THANKS LIST

Posted October 31, 2011

WIthout delving into the complicated world of nutrition (a nutritionist says this and a dietician says that) I like to keep it simple and focus on whole foods. I’ve come to realise lately though, that just telling my clients to focus on a wholefood diet doesn’t necessarily bring to life what that is, exactly. Some people, it seems, believe that foods such as bread, pasta and the like are whole foods. Don’t laugh, it’s true… and not so funny. Unless someone is there to guide and help, many people spend their whole life eating the food that the TV, giant food chains and fast food outlets tell them too eat. So it’s important that we spend the time learning about what wholefoods really are. The simplest way to think about a wholefood diet is to stop and ask this question – is this food as close to it’s natural state as possible? When you look at bread and the process involved you can quickly see how it’s no where near it’s natural state. The grain is milled, refined and turned into flour. From here the flour is often mixed with salt, sugar and other additives, then a yeast starter gets the process of fermentation within the dough going and then it is baked. No quite a whole food anymore, huh?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking bread. In fact, I love nothing more than a properly fermented, sprouted sourdough (the correct way to process the grain and the kinder option for the body). But the reality is eating bucket loads of any food that is no longer in its whole state adds in extra additives and toxins that the body simply doesn’t need. I wanted to highlight two things in this post. 1) What a whole food diet might look like and 2) the food philosophy that I resonate with, live by and recommend where possible. Now, I am totally open to and accepting of anyone who is vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free etc – this is not about pushing a diet regime, but showing as an overview a beautfiful (flexible!) way of eating that is whole, nourishing, healthy and balanced. Not a diet, but a lifestyle. So check it… I’ve listed the YES foods – which you can see are mostly whole – and of course, the NO foods. YES PLEASE:  Organic, locally grown and seasonal fruit and vegetables Pastured (grass-fed and finished) organic meats, poultry, and eggs Organic full fat dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, and milk Sustainably sourced fish and seafood Extra virgin organic olive oil (use raw for dressings) Fats for cooking: organic butter, ghee, extra virgin organic coconut oil and animal fats (duck fat is beautiful) Soaked grains such as barley, oats, brown rice quinoa (actually a seed) millet Highly nutritient dense foods such as fermented foods, bone broths and good quality fats Organic herbs and spices Soaked and sprouted nuts, seeds and legumes Sweeteners such as raw honey, stevia, organic (real) maple syrup Dried fruit such as figs and dates – soaked and activated Unprocessed superfood supplements – spirulina, cacao, maca Filtered water NO THANKS: Refined sugars and artificial sweeteners Processed juices, cordials and soft drinks Refined grains and cereals – boxed breakfast cereals, white breads and pastas Non-organic, grain fed, poultry, eggs and meat Heavily pasteurized, homogenized, skim or low fat and processed dairy products – all the nutrients and enzymes are gone and the light options are just pumped with sugar! Hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarines and trans fats (evil!) Soy milk (fermented is ok), processed soy products High-fructose corn syrup Skim milk, milk solids and powders Colours, additives, preservatives, thickeners and flavour enhancers (MSG) Heavily fried foods ‘Fake’ condiments and sauces My advise. If you aren’t sure how it grew, where it came from and how it ended up in that box or packet, put it back on the shelf. If you flip it over and read the ingredients and there are way too many words you’ve never heard of, or in fact, too many ingredients… put it back. Enjoying a wholefood diet is exciting. It opens up the door to creative cooking – experiementing with fresh produce and creating foods that really delight and satisfy you. Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live. Cx Read more

I WANT! Unravelling 6 reasons of cravings…

I WANT! Unravelling 6 reasons of cravings…

Posted October 25, 2011

You know cravings as well as I do… we all have them. That sneaky little spark of irrational desire that erupts into our psyche – uninvited and unexpected. They can really throw a curve-ball when you are trying to lead a healthy, balanced life. And let’s be frank – riding the sugar rollercoaster doesn’t offer up much but energy highs, emotional slumps and excess belly weight. Sounds delightful. Other times, it feels good to give in to a craving, when you know what it is, why you are craving and yet you still really just want to have a taste. There is nothing wrong with that – colouring outside of the square is just as important in leading a balanced, healthy life as is eating right and avoiding junk. Sometimes what we crave, thankfully, is healthy for us – right now as the weather warms up all I can think about are Mangoes. Other times as hard as we try to eat well all we can think about are cookies, nutella straight from the jar, cake, croissants… I remember a friend once telling me that she could literally ‘hear’ the candy calling her from her pantry. True story. I did think she was little nuts, but I also understood her anxiety all too well! Sometimes that little voice inside our heads can get quite loud! What we crave can be a little confusing – it is often indicative of the body lacking in certain nutrients even though it doesn’t yell out ‘Kale!’ or ‘Green Beans’… if only it were that specific. Instead, I want to talk about why we have cravings. There our quite a few reasons for cravings – some more obvious, others a little more complex. I find that with myself and my clients as soon as the attention is on the cravings they tend to diminish. The simple act of ‘awareness’ often allows us to step back, look at them objectively, begin to understand and then take control. To help you on the awarenss road, the below are 6 reasons as to why we crave. During my studies we focused alot on the beauty of the human body. This really rang true with me – think about it, our bodies are like a high-tech super computer. It knows when to sleep & wake up, regulate temperature, pass waste, breath, maintain a pulse, create life, sneeze when it’s dusty… and on it goes. So, what makes us think that when we crave something that it isn’t, also, a signal from the body? Well it is! And by understanding those signals we can in turn master our cravings. After all it takes 3 weeks to retrain the body to crave different foods and break old habits. 1) Water – often when you are craving something it could simply be dehydration – which can manifest as mild hunger. So drink up first and then see how you are feeling. 2) Emotions – boredom, stress, lack of inspiration and motivation – essentially feeling a bit crap which leads to emotional eating. Notice how you often reach for a sweet or snack after a stressful day at work, or if the day is dragging on and you are bored? If you can identify yourself in this situaton try and substitute your craving with something healthy or take a break, go for a walk and spend 5 minutes reassessing the situation you are in. 3) Leftovers – this one surprised me at first but I soon came to realise how true it is. Often we crave foods that we have recently eaten, foods from our childhood or from our ancestors.You can out-wit this one by reaching for healthier versions of what you are craving. 4) Seasons –  the fact that I am craving mangoes is more to do with my association with mangoes and summer, rather than the actual taste of the mango. But deeper than that, the body knows what it needs when – so I am craving lighter, crunchy, cool meals and summer fruits to feel balanced and refreshed within the heat of the summer. 5) Hormones – ladies, we’ve all been here. Crave chocolate when you are PMSing/in your cycle? Well, that’s probably the magnesium (muscle relaxant) that your body needs. Our fluctuating hormone levels – guys included – can have the body sending signals all over the place, craving this and that. Search for the healthy option when your taste buds start calling. 6) Nutrients – inadequate nutrients = odd cravings! Tired and lethargic? Well, you’ll often crave caffeine and sugar because the mind and the body are looking for energy. Satiate yourself in a more nutrient dense way and opt for choices that benefit the body in the long-term. Take some time to run through these in your head when you hit the 3pm sugar-rush hour. You might find that you are just bored, thirsty or needing some energy from a nutrient deficient lunch. If so, reach for a banana, or even a carrot and dip and then see how you feel. Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live. Cx Read more

SUMMER LOVE

SUMMER LOVE

Posted October 23, 2011

I don’t need to explain much here, but I just needed to pay homage to summer. I am a summer girl, through and through. Born and bred on the beach – it’s part of my DNA. I am in my element in summer. I love spring with just as much passion, but there is an attitude, an energy to summer that I relish and itch for every year. So, in honour of the beautiful weather here is a short list on what I love about summer: The unexpected scent of jasmine and honeysuckle in the air The southerly breeze blowing off the coast to cool you down after a steamy day Crisp, almost icy water weaving through your hair as you dive into the ocean Mangos – on and in everything Endless evenings Skin – in all shades – on show Fresh seafood and herb salads Homemade ice tea The joy – it’s written on everyones face Afternoon naps after a day at the beach The beach, any beach… A warm and limber yoga practice Morning sunrise walks Summer clothing; tees, thongs, shorts, breezy dresses The smell of coconut oil in the air The feeling that everything is ok when the sun is shining Bikinis! The ocean, the sun and the sky What do you love about summer? Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live Cx Read more

6 EASY WAYS TO GET YOUR SELFISH ON

6 EASY WAYS TO GET YOUR SELFISH ON

Posted October 20, 2011

I bang on about finding balance a lot… mostly because I have directly experienced the benefits for myself by slowly finding my still point amongst the spinning world. I truly believe that part of achieving balance is in the art of selfishness. Now, of course I don’t mean the pointless, nasty kind. I simply mean putting yourself first in order to keep the little pieces of yourself together. Recently I posted up 17 ways to find balance after a recent talk I gave on balance. I tried to make it clear that balance isn’t something you can just sign-up for and hey-presto, there it is. I also tried to clarify that it is a) simple – you just need to tune into who you really are and b) it is forever changing – be prepared to stop, reassess and reevaluate what ‘balance’ means to you at different life stages. Today, however I’m offering up 6 ways to get selfish. I get asked a lot how I became calmer, more focused and centred – mostly by the people that didn’t know what I used to be like!  So in answer to that question below is a list of really simple ways to help you on the road to a little more ‘me-ness’ in your life, which will ultimately lead to balance. They may seem very obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many things on this list we don’t do regularly. And that is the key – regularity, consistency. Just like you shower and brush your teeth daily (hopefully!) we, as human beings, need routine and regime for change to occur. Get cherry-picking from this list, or find other ways that resonate with you. Inject them into your life one by one and do so with awareness. Pay attention to how they make you feel, the changes you experience and try to connect with the experience. Don’t be a martyr… if you are sick, take a day off work. If you are super-strung out, take a mental health day. No one needs you to be a hero! Really it just shows that you don’t love yourself enough. No one else is going to hold back when they need a day-off, leaving you to pick up the slack. So if it’s legit, please, just realise that your body (and your mind!) is singing out loud and clear, so listen up and just press pause.  Journal – if not daily then weekly. Brain dump – get all the junk out of your head and onto paper. I mean, really, truly say all the angry, annoyed, horrible things that even surprise you to hear/think and make peace with the realisation that those thoughts aren’t you! Once that is done, slowly allow your creative brain to start ticking over – you’ll be surprised by the things that come out. Often you’ll find clarity on issues you are facing, or you’ll be enlightened by a new idea. Mostly you’ll just spend time with yourself – your internal self – and start to understand yourself better – you’ll start to make more sense to yourself and realise what you want, or don’t want in your life. Schedule ‘me’ time. Once a week do something in that is totally about you – get your nails done, have a massage, go shopping, do a yoga workshop, read in the park, have an afternoon nap … do it without rhyme or reason and try not to rationalise it or analyse it. React to how you are feeling in the moment and then do exactly what pops into your mind, what you desire. Be free with the experience – everything we do it so controlled and planned, so try and be spontaneous! Just do something simply because you can and you want to – guilt free. Cull. Weed out the people in your life who don’t nourish who you are or where you want to go. A friend of mind refers to them as energy vampires because they suck the life-force out of you. Start to reassess the people you surround yourself with and question if they will encourage your lifestyle changes or impede them. And ask – what do I get out of this relationship?    Say no. Yes, I know you’ve all heard this one before. But, do you practice it? I give a lot of myself to my friends, family and clients. But I know that I need to say No in order to keep giving with love sans bitterness. If you don’t want to do it, or you haven’t enough time, or your body is saying rest, or even if you just need to practice saying no – just say no. Do so with kindness but realise you are in charge of yourself, your life, your actions. It is always a choice. Like this post, I wrote this sitting in the sun in the park by the harbour. I had a choice to do something that didn’t excite me, nor was it a good use of my time. Instead I kindly passed on the offer and enjoyed some alone time studying, reading and writing. It felt so good and no one is any worse off because of it! Disconnect. Turn your phone on silent or leave it at home! The world won’t combust. You can enjoy a short amount of time without distractions and forced conversation. And simply, just to learn how to be you without you + iPhone, iPod, Twitter, Facebook … blah, blah, blah! There are hundreds more ways to bring balance into your life. But we all need to start somewhere … being selfish is a great place to start. I’d love to hear how you get selfish?  Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live Cx Read more


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