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Category: Insights + Inspiration


WHAT IS IYENGAR YOGA + HOW IT CAN BENEFIT YOU

WHAT IS IYENGAR YOGA + HOW IT CAN BENEFIT YOU

Posted June 12, 2012

Although I now mostly practice Ashtanga, my love affair with yoga began a few years back with Iyengar. A class and experience that profoundly affected me. You can read all about my very first class here. I tried yoga in my early 20s, I believe it was a flowing hatha vinyasa style. And although now I love this style of yoga it really didn’t resonate with me at all. The combination of a weak, tight body, lack of self-awareness and a disconnection from my body meant that my attempts at yoga never really cut through. But, Iyengar is a unique style and experience. And that coupled with a little more ‘openess’ had me hooked from day one.Iyengar is a very popular style of yoga created by B.K.S Iyengar, who, after sustaining an injury decided to find a way to make yoga accessible and therapeutic. I love Iyengar because of the detail and the focus it requires. It forces me to fully connect with my body, creating such a deep level of self-awareness. Iyengar doesn’t focus on ‘flow’ or vinyasa, but it is what I would describe an intellectual practice. Some people find the detail in Iyengar yoga to be distracting, however for me it really helps to shut off everything else in my mind as I move into the present (body and breath). This allows me to focus on where i am in space, what I am doing in the posture and how to move deeper. The practice of Iyengar focuses on a few main aspects: 1) Correct body alignment – in an anatomical way 2) Props – using blocks, chairs, blankets and belts to help you adjust or support the body in different postures – to work within a range of motion that is safe and effective, but also to show you what the body needs to do within the asana 3) Therapy – using asana, the postures and pranayama, the breath to eliminate physical and energetic ailments (including stress!) 4) Sequencing – correct sequences that encourage the practice of postures in an order that creates a strong effects on the body and nervous system. E.g. a headstand always comes before shoulder stand 5) Timing – postures are held for a longer period of time to let the effects of the pose penetrate deeper within the body and mind – sense of awareness, strength, flexibility, stamina, understanding. Downward Facing Dog – Iyengar yoga wall A typical class will see the teacher focus on a particular set of asanas – Standing Poses, Twists and Forward Bends, Backbends, Restorative etc. However, in each class there will always feature a long-held headstand (sirsasana) and long-held shoulderstand (sarvangasana) at the end. The kind and queen of the asanas and two poses revered in Iyengar (all yoga in fact!) Unlike Ashtanga, where ladies not practice during their menstrual cycle, in Iyengar you can still attend but your teacher will set you up for a restorative sequence using blankets, bolsters and props to settle into soothing postures for 5-10 minutes each. This leaves you feeling so blissed out and calm. One of my favourite books is B.K.S Iyengar. It is a brilliant book. And as expected, incredibly detailed. Whether you are a teacher, new practitioner, or intrigued yogi from a different style this book is a must! If you are injured, recovering from pregnancy, find hot/flow styles of yoga make you feel anxious, need some grounding, like to experiment, or are totally new to yoga I strongly recommend trying Iyengar. I especially think starting out with Iyengar before transitioning is the most brilliant set-up for a fantastic yoga practice. After sustaining a hamstring injury and back injury I have started to incorporate Iyengar back into my yoga regime. Nothing else teaches you structure, alignment, understanding like Iyengar does. All yoga creates awareness, but Iyengar does so on a deep level, very quickly! If you are intrigued and want to give Iyengar a shot check out Iyengar Yoga Australia. Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live. Cx Read more

HOW TO TURN INJURIES INTO A BEAUTIFUL THING

HOW TO TURN INJURIES INTO A BEAUTIFUL THING

Posted May 30, 2012

My beautiful partner, Chris, has unfortunately torn his hamstring. Been there, done that! I have also been is the anxious place he is in – knowing that for a short period of time he has to hold back from doing the things that brings him happiness. Having been injured more than once during my yoga practice, I’ve learnt many things that I am now grateful for. Firstly, each injury has made me a better teacher. I now teach from a deeper understanding of the body and its anatomy and a deeper respect for its limitations. Each injury has also taught me that my ego is constantly at play. Always trying to override my best intentions and always tricking me into doing, thinking, being in someway that doesn’t benefit me. This ego has made me, unknowingly, push myself past my limit, driving me to obsess over a pose and ignore clear signals my body has been sending. This ego is no friend of mine. An enemy of sorts, but the reality is I couldn’t live without. Because without it, I wouldn’t be learning and growing. Chris asked me today – “What am I going to do? How am I going to do this?’ By ‘this’ I know he meant not go insane, lose my motivation and end up blobbing on the couch. Our solution? Let’s find a new way. I remember when I injured my hamstring last year I had to hold back in every single yoga pose. Asanas that I could normally practice with ease felt raw and new, like unchartered territory. But it was the holding back that helped me really switch in to my body and be honest with where I was at. I also had to come at poses from a different angle – truly redefining what structure and alignment meant for myself. When faced with anything, injury or other, we have to learn how to slow down, give yourself space and time to accept, become aware, to heal and also override the fear of not ‘doing or being’ in a way we believe defines us. Because it doesn’t. We are not our yoga practice. We are not our football game. We are the way we respond to our yoga, our football. We are the way we absorb and learn from those practices. Not the doing and being within it. Together, Chris and I are coming up with a game plan – a new way of ‘being’ whilst he steps back from the old way. And in that I know he will learn more than he did before. I know he’ll come back to his game with respect, drive, motivation and mostly awareness. 1) Grieve for a moment then pull your socks up, accept and move forward 2) Review the situation 3) Let go of what you ‘usually’ do and embrace a new pattern, even if it’s just for a short time 4) Do something, anything to fill your time that’s safe and works with you and your injury 5) Enjoy the opportunity to take a step back and slow down, you’ll be surprised by what comes out of it 6) Stay focused on your goal, but give yourself time – accepting that your ‘goal post’ might change along the wayHow have you been ‘injured’ – physically or emotionally – that has made you reassess and review. Did you find beauty in it? Signing off with an exhale.Pause. Listen. Live. Cx Read more

HOW TO BECOME A MORNING PERSON

HOW TO BECOME A MORNING PERSON

Posted May 21, 2012

As I sit here writing this post at 7:30am, I realise how grateful I am to naturally be a morning person. By this point I’ve already meditated, drank tea in bed journaling, done a few morning stretches and made a smoothie to sip on whilst working. I feel alert, I feel ready for the day and I know that come 9:30pm my body will sound its sleepy time call and I’ll curl up until 5:30am the next day. I know that having minimal trouble getting out of bed, even on sleepy days, is a blessing considering the kind of ‘schedule’ our world is in. But also because I’ve found myself on the yogi path, early mornings come hand in hand! I get asked all the time by clients, friends and even strangers how to become a morning person. I understand that for those of you with a strong pull towards night owl behaviour that after a certain age (when you are young and partying being a night owl works in your favour) sleeping in just gets in the way of soaking up your day. There are a few easy ways to start morphing into a morning person. It is possible, but for some of you who have been in a long habit of sleeping very late and rising late, this will be hard to break. I will stress though, that being a morning person isn’t just important for functioning in this world, but mostly, the benefits of rising early are health and wellness related. The philosophy for jump-starting the day with an early rise comes from Ayurveda. The focus is on creating morning rituals that align the body with nature and its rhythms, to bring you into balance and to foster self-disciple and confidence. Personally I need routine and especially a morning one. It helps me to feel grounded and stable. Two things that are vital to my overall wellness. When I feel earthed I find feelings of stress, anxiety and insecurity don’t torment me as much as they do when I’m flighty and un-anchored. Try adopting just one or two of the following practices for a decent period of time – try a month. Give it some time to form and solidify into a new habit. You might come to find that your experience of each day radically changes. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you view mornings in a new light! 1) Have an intention There is no point saying you want to become a morning person if you don’t have a clear intention as to why you are creating this shift. Is it because of your current life schedule? Do you feel frazzled in the morning as you madly get ready for work? Do you want to get a puppy that will need morning walks? Whatever your reason, write it down/journal it and be clear. Set the intention and put it out there 2) Look at your sleeping pattern How many hours do you currently get and think you need? Most of us need between 7-8 for the body to restore. If you are currently sleeping from 12am – 8am then over the next few weeks ease yourself into a new pattern. For a few days try 11:30 – 7:30am. The next few days go to bed another 30-45mins earlier and wake earlier, respectively. Hopefully by the end of a 2-3 weeks you would have shifted your pattern slightly. Eventually you want to aim to be in bed by 10pm at the latest and rising at 6am. Vata energy, according to Ayurveda, fills the pre-dawn hours of the morning. Vata is known for movement so this is the perfect time of the day to wake the body and mind. I can vouch for this. If I rise by 6 at the latest I am alert and focused. Anything after 7 and I start to feel heavy and groggy (Kapha period which is a slower and heavier energy). 3) Use tricks to trick yourself away For some of us once our alarm goes off it’s a no-brainer. No thinking, just doing. We rise and the routine commences. For others, a few little tricks can help fool yourself awake. Put your alarm on loud and far away from you – annoying, but it’ll get you out of bed. Stop thinking… the moment you kick into rationalising your way ‘out’ of waking up, then you are in danger zone. Just sit straight up and get on with it Switch the light of straight away – this helps to reset your circadian rhythm and makes you a little more alert Brush your teeth and wash your face with cool water straight away – it’s hard to go back to bed once you’ve done these two, but also cooling the face and eyes is an Ayurvedic practice that helps balance the doshas and reduces the warm, pitta energy Make the bed – less inviting that way Turn on some music 4) Use your time wisely The key to not undoing your hard-work when changing your sleeping pattern is to fill the free time you create in the morning. How do you want to enjoy the time you have in the morning? If you have nothing to ‘do’ then sleeping in will just seem like the obvious solution. Perhaps you could try: Meditating for 20 minutes, enjoy the silence before the world wakes up Do a few breathing exercises Journal in bed, write down your dreams, goals for the day or what you are grateful for Stretching helps to open the body and prepare the mind – a series of gentle yoga stretches is a perfect, unless you already have your own regular daily practice Go for a sunrise walk – experience nature’s rhythms first hand 5) Eat a nourishing breakfast From 6am – 10am is the Kapha period, a time when it’s best to exercise and move to counteract the heavier energy of Kapha. It’s important to ‘eliminate’ before eating, so activate […] Read more

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO BE ‘BAD’?

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO BE ‘BAD’?

Posted March 28, 2012

It’s not easy being bad. I don’t mean being a ‘baddie’… in the sense of doing bad things to people. When I say bad, I am referencing doing things outside of the ‘should/shouldn’t’ list. I should answer that email by today. I should vacuum the floor. I should see my parents every week. I should go to work even though I’m sick, exhausted and need to rest. I should just pretend everything is ok. I should stay at home and work even though I just want to read my book at the beach. Should. Should. Should. Think about your life? We often live according to others. We don’t say or do certain things because we care what other people might think. We live by routine (which I see the merit in too!). So many of us feel guilty for taking a sick day, so instead we work through a flu, or we don’t tell people when something has upset us because we don’t want to ‘rock’ the boat. So many boundaries, rules, restrictions. And sometimes I think we spend so much time trying to put out ‘perfect’ to the world (hello facebook, twitter, instagram!) that we are lacking in authenticity, freedom and spontaneity and connectedness to what we really need in that moment. Have you ever just called in sick because you needed a day alone? Have you ever told your friend that, honestly, you can’t catch up today just because you want to do nothing and not talk crap? Have you ever deleted a bunch of new emails in your inbox, just so? Or turned your phone off for a day? Or not instagrammed even though people are expecting to see what pretty pictures you’ve taken? Have you ever not gone to the gym/yoga in the morning and just slept in, without guilt? Have you ever done the exact opposite to what you normally do and been surprised by how much fun it was? Like drinking, when you don’t normally and actually enjoying yourself? Or not drinking and having a great night? Have you ever not gone to a friend’s not-so-important birthday party (after 30 doesn’t a huge bash become a bit ridiculous?) because you’d rather see a friend for dinner than pretend to have a good night and blow lots of cash? I’m not writing this encouraging us all to become super selfish, ignoring the needs of our friends, work, family, partners. Far from it. I’m asking, do you often put all those people well before your own needs and have you become a little disconnected with what you really want/need in the moment? Can we all just break a few of the tiny little rules we’ve imposed on ourself and just stop. For a moment. And like it. Accept it. Enjoy it. Relish in it. Can you be bad? Just a little bit? Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live Cx Read more

IT IS WHAT IS… ACCEPTING THE MOMENT

IT IS WHAT IS… ACCEPTING THE MOMENT

Posted March 05, 2012

It’s all in the reaction. I’ve noticed through the years of reading, studying and talking with others that often the bad days in our lives are actually more about the way we react and less about the actual reality of that news, experience or situation. Let me explain.  I’ll use yoga as an example here, because this is how I first opened my eyes to this concept. Imagine you are in a pose. It hurts. Alot. Mostly, it hurts in places that you’ve never felt before. So your mind starts to turn. “This is uncomfortable. No, this really hurts. Why is the teacher making me hold this. I wish she’d just shut up and let me out of this pose. Maybe if I move my leg here it’ll feel better. Nope. Still bad. Oh god. I can’t bare it” And on it goes. You can see in that moment there is alot of chatter. Alot of back-chat, even, to the experience, the situation. There is resistance. Resistance is key. How much do we resist the things in our lives that are unchangeable, unavoidable… the things that just are? Do we accept and find the silver lining, or make the most of it? Yes, often we do. But mostly, we resist. Now I don’t mean we should lay down and just take it… no, that would be defeatist. I mean, do we ever truly just soften, let go and move in to the situation. Why do I ask this question? Well, because if you go back to that moment, in that painful yoga pose, imagine the situation and how different it would be if you just stopped. Stopped the fidgeting, the internal abuse, the resistance. And maybe just found a little stillness. Breath into the moment, focusing simply on that breath. The inhale and the exhale.  Do you imagine, then, that the moment would be a little less anger-fuelled?  I think so. I try and live by a little concept that I appropriated from Eckhart Tolle. In every moment, conversation, situation that brings about a feeling of anxiety, confusion, tension… I ask myself these three questions. 1) Can I leave this moment? Yes? Then as skillfully as possible, I make that happen. If no… onto the next question then! 2) Can I change this moment? Yes? Well then I change it!  But if no… the next is a question with an answer I already know. 3) Can I accept this moment? There can only be yes. Because if I choose to not accept, If I choose to react with resistance, with annoyance, with frustration, I then invite the suffering and further deepen the annoyance and frustration.   So it has to be yes. I have to take a moment, take a breath and ask myself – did that person really upset me? Well yes, but I can’t change it. I’ve now left that situation. So let it go and accept it. This is what I mean about reactions and the fact that our reactions make a mountain out of a molehill. I am not saying you need to rise above your human emotions, feelings, responses. We live in this world, we are part of this world and are susceptible to all the trimmings – good, bad and ugly. But, just because we are part of it doesn’t mean that we have to be a slave to every emotion. We are not our emotions and nor do we have to be governed by them. I find it quite liberating to realise that I am much more in control of how situations and experiences will pan out for myself. I don’t want to live a frustrating, angry, unhappy life. And I certainly don’t like it when something comes along to challenge my attempt at happiness, contentment, balance. But I realise now, that they do come along to show me that happiness is all in my hands. It’s all possible, no matter what I have (material or otherwise) that I believe will bring me happiness.  Do you find that some things are often ‘worse’ because of your reaction or resistance? Or have you practised the art of acceptance? Wishing you a week of living in the moment and accepting, open-heartedly, all that comes your way.  Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live Cx   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

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  [email protected] 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

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

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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