Reclaim Your Power!

sunshineI am running my third yoga workshop this weekend based on our natural energy centres, the chakras. This time we are focusing on our solar plexus which is in our stomach. The energy of the solar plexus is feeling a sense of power around who we are, what our unique gifts and talents are, having clear intentions of what we want to create in our lives and then surrendering, trusting that it will all work out just fine. If the energy is low in this area we can feel fear, doubts and others can have power over us. Compliments are brushed aside and gratitude for things we have done is dismissed. We can feel ineffectual and stuck.

If the energy is too high and our sense of self is so heightened that we feel more important than others then we can find ourselves being controlling, dominating and trying to force ourselves through life.

When our energy is balanced in this area we feel in control of our lives, we are creating what we want and we have a strong sense of who we are. We feel empowered and courageous. We acknowledge that everyone else has their own strengths and purpose in life, we respect that and in that state we can speak our truth to people with out any fear of judgement, rejection or need for control.

Deepak Chopra relates this chakra to the law of intention. That is that everything is energy and where we place our focus change occurs. For intentions to be powerful and materialise in our lives there also needs to be surrender. It's important to be very clear what your intentions are and then to let go. To trust that they will happen in their own way. When you try to force something to happen you risk pushing it further away.

When your energy is flowing through your solar plexus you have this graceful power where you know what you want in your life, you have a strong sense of self but rather than forcing things you glide effortlessly through life dealing with what ever it throws at you.

Here are a few things you can do to connect with your solar plexus:

Make a list of:

3 of your biggest achievements 3 things you are proud of yourself for 3 things you admire about yourself 3 things some you know loves about you 3 things someone you work with admires in you

Close eyes and go back to a really happy positive time, remember what you felt, saw, heard? – Then list 3 things you were saying to yourself.

Look into the future; imagine you have achieved all you want to and what you are seeing, hearing, feeling in this moment. Write down your intentions and desires & 3 things you will be saying to yourself once you have achieved them.

Take time to reflect over these words. They are all part of who you are.

Write your intention clearly somewhere, maybe on a post it note that will catch your eye through out the day.

Then surrender. Trust it's out there, you have sent the energy of your desire into the universe and trust the outcome, what ever it is.

Surrendering doesn't mean sitting back and doing nothing though, every day take at least one action towards your intention but with a sense of freedom around it, no pressure or force. Enjoy the process, enjoy each step.

We are all completely unique, like snowflakes. We all have different dreams, different gifts, different lives ahead of us. When we get caught up in comparing ourselves with others we minimise ourselves, we are simply living by someone else's dream and in that way can only ever be like them. We have our own path to live though.

Take time to connect with who you are, all your amazing qualities and know that you have a place in this world. A place to shine and to experience life at it's fullest exactly how you want it to be, not by someone else's standard.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend!


5 Easy Healthy Habits

ginger (1) During my year long journey of intention I explored breaking habits. Habits form about 95% of our behaviour which means a lot of what we do is done unconsciously, with out thought. Our health and well being is often left to chance unless we have consciously created healthy habits.

For example you eat you lunch and then start to wonder which chocolate bar to have today? Or upon arriving home from work you pour your usual glass of wine to relax you. Or you light up your 6th cigarette for the day with out thinking.

These are just habits. Things we do with out having to even think about it.

If you find a habit is not working for you any more the first step is to bring your awareness to it. Upon doing it ask yourself;

  • what you are getting from it? how is it serving you?
  • if you are committed to living a healthy life, then how is it holding you back from this?
  • and finally what could you replace it with?

It takes 21 days to build a new habit or neural pathway. So to begin with creating a new habit will require will power, creativity and determination but after 3 weeks it will be a lot easier. To take the pressure off yourself simply say "I'll just do this for 21 days" rather than forever.

Following are 5 easy healthy habits I have created that I find serve me well;

1) Upon waking I drink a mug of ginger tea. It's great for digestion, it's anti-inflammatory so good for the healing process, it gets rid of congestion, it's warming and it  improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. Sometimes I also like warm lemon juice although I find it makes my teeth hurt, I think it's all the acid.

2) I meditate and practice yoga after my mug of ginger tea. Some days for 2 hours and some just for 20 minutes, all depending on how much time I have. Even just going into child's pose, doing a couple of sun salutations and then lying with my legs up the wall for 10 mins sets me up for the day ahead.

3) I use a lot of tumeric in my cooking, like ginger it's so good for you. It calms your digestion, is anti inflammatory, antioxidant, it protects the liver, reduces blood cholesterol levels, protects against Alzheimers disease, cancer and heart disease. I regularly make lentil and carrot soup with this in and lots of veggie curries.

4) Seeds. Seeds are great to snack on, put in soups, salads and on porridge. They are slow release energy so great for balancing blood sugar, are filled with healthy fat, are high energy, contain many minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and phosphorus needed for bone development, immunity and energy production. A little trick I have for making them tasty for snacks is to sauté them in a little bit of soy sauce and chilli.

5) Oatcakes. Nairns make sweet and savoury oatcakes. The sweet biscuits come in different flavours like ginger, chocolate and mixed berry. They are so good if you like to have something sweet in the afternoon but are cutting down on chocolate.

So those are my easy habits. Two slightly harder ones that have served me well have been to cut down alcohol consumption and caffeine to a bare minimum. The benefits have been huge;  balancing my blood sugar, sleeping well, less headaches, my digestion system is good, my energy is maintained through out the day, I can think clearly and consciously. It also stops me from craving unhealthy foods.

It's the start of Spring, there is lots of fresh energy around right now bringing in new good things to us. So why not use this time to create a new healthy habit? Just for 21 days.....




How To Strengthen Your Willpower

Happy New Year! I hope you had lovely time over Christmas and the New Year celebrations. I know it's often not the best of times; we are reminded of who is not with us any more, what has not worked out so well over the past year and any kind of other lack can feel like it's put in the spotlight.

The past couple of years have created lots of upheaval and unplanned change for many of us. Through these times though we have grown and have had the opportunity to connect with who we really are and to discover what is important to us. 2013 is a year for love and abundance. Many of us have read about the law of attraction and manifestation over the years, now is the time to use it fully and have the power to create what we want in our lives. Love and abundance are part of the energetic shift that was going on in December, which many people spoke about being the end of the world because the Mayan calender ended. This of course wasn't the case but just an opening for new energy to come down to our planet. It's up to us what we do with it, we can ignore it and carry on as usual or we can choose to utilise it.

Use this brilliant time to be loving to yourself and every being you come in contact with. Use it to set your intentions for the year and to spend time thinking about what you'd like to create in your life. Be aware of not being attached to your dreams, set your desires free and trust what ever happens will be for your highest good.

Around this time of year people think about things they want to give up or begin, i.e. New Year Resolutions! I read in The Metro this week that a study shows that 4 out of 10 people will break any resolutions they set with in 2 weeks! Half of them blame lack of willpower for this.

I regard willpower as one of the most important muscles we have. If you work on strengthening it you will be able to achieve anything you put your mind to. Following are my top 5 tips to strengthen your willpower!

  1. What ever habit you want to start doing do it for 21 days and it will then become easier. It takes 21 days to create new neural pathways and thus create a habit.
  2. Give yourself choice. Spend time to think about what is most important to you in your life, what you are committed to and then when ever you are being tempted ask yourself does it fit in with that? It is in alignment with what you want for your life? If not then you have a choice, you can either do it anyway and accept that you have or you can stick to what is important for you. For example I am committed to being an inspiring yoga teacher for my students, there are some days when I may not be in the mood to practice or perhaps just want to pig out on  unhealthy food. So when faced with temptation I have a choice. More often than not I will choose yoga and a healthy diet but every now and then I choose the latter, and just enjoy it for what it is.
  3. Take any negatives out of your language. If you tell yourself "I will not eat chocolate today" your mind does not hear the not! Have you found the nights you go out saying "I'm not going to drink tonight" are the nights you end up with a bad hangover the next morning? Instead tell yourself how you would like to be instead, eg "I fill my body with healthy energising foods" or "I am clear headed, refreshed and revitalised".
  4. Freedom is one of my highest values so any kind of discipline used to send me running for the hills. However I have since learnt that discipline is actually the path to true freedom. For example, one aspect of freedom to me is to be able to travel how ever if I am not disciplined with my money and health I won't be able to do that. Following a discipline such as yoga, martial arts, tai chi, meditation will help you to strengthen your willpower, which then gives you the freedom to do what you want in your life.
  5. What ever it is you want to do, just start it. Often the biggest set back is getting started but once you have and you build momentum it will become easier.


Something else I find helpful to keep my intentions in mind is to stick post it notes every where! "I am healthy and full of energy", "I look after myself", "I live every day abundantly", "I am love and courage", "I eat and drink only what is good for me" .....and so on.


Just to let you know I am running some special offers this month to help you kick start your New Year, click here to see them all.


Love and abundance to you all xx

Learn To Switch Off

I was listening to an interview on Hay House Radio the other day with John Gray, the author of the best selling book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. He was talking about stress and how men and women deal with it differently. He was talking about a test where men and women had the blood flow to their brain measured whilst sitting on the sofa after a day's work. Women had more brain activity showing than men. When asked what the women were thinking about they generally said something like  "all the things I should be doing other than sitting here". The men mostly said "nothing".

Unfortunately it's just in our make up that women find it harder to switch off. Gray was saying that once the sun has gone down and the work day is over, when nothing more can be done until the next day men can often just relax more easily. Women on the other hand will keep thinking about it all.

So what can we do to help ourselves switch off. Men if you are still reading, take some notes so you can help the women in your life!

1) Brain dump. We all love a list! Before you finish work for the day write down everything that needs to be done the next day and prioritise the things you need to do first. That way you are left with a sense of being organised for the morning, it stops you from leaving in a rush and needing to think about it when you would rather be to be switching off.

2) Plan something completely different to do in the evening, that is preferably relaxing as well. Maybe some yoga, pilates, art class or a meditation group. Something that will help you to think about something completely different.

3) Cut down on alcohol. I know some of you will be disagreeing with me right now as a glass of wine feels like it actually helps you to switch off. But does it really? Do you drink wine and then just talk about what you are stressed about all night anyway? The high sugar content in alcohol can lead to insomnia, or a very disturbed sleep, which will make you feel worse in the morning. Lack of clear head the next day could then make your day even harder work and it then becomes a never ending cycle.

4) Try reading instead of watching TV. Some times its very easy just to stare at a TV but not actually pay any attention, getting lost in thoughts elsewhere. However when you are really stuck into a good book your mind can be totally transported in to another world and time can just fly by.

5) Turn your computer/ smart phone off. The constant need to check emails and social media sites is totally addictive and we can find it hard not to reply to messages immediately. If they are work messages they can wait until the morning, be firm with yourself, you deserve a life too. Life balance is important for your health, and sanity!

6) Already mentioned above but worth a point all of it's own too, exercise. Exercise what ever form works for you helps to get you out of your mind into your body. Of course I will promote yoga as it really does help you to connect with your body and breath which naturally helps you to relax. However I also love Zumba, focusing on what steps to take next and the fun dance music will not leave any space for thoughts about your day.

Just for the next week look at you diary and plan something different for the evenings, something that will help you to switch off for a few hours. Then pay attention to any shifts in how you feel this creates.

Words to Watch Out For!

  Our human mind is very quick to make us feel bad about ourselves if we are not careful. You would think we would only nurture and say kind things to ourselves but sadly this is not always the case. We can have a tendency to knock ourselves when we are down. Simply being aware of this and watching out for a few sneaky words that creep in and made us feel bad can change all this though.

Following are a few words and phrases to watch out for;

IF; “If only it had been different”, “If only I hadn’t done X” If only keeps us stuck in the past. “What if X happens” is where our mind is running of into the future worrying about the “what if’s”when they haven’t even happened yet and may never do. It’s a really waste of our energy, right now is where we create our future so instead focus on what you can do in the moment to steer you in the right direction.

Should/Ought; When I am coaching someone as soon as I hear the word should, I hear alarm bells. Anytime you feel like you “should” do something it’s usually when you are trying to live by someone else’s values. What your friends would do or your parents think you ought to. It will always condemn you as to do something that is important to someone else but not yourself will never feel right, your motivation to succeed won’t really be there and you could be setting yourself up for failure. Instead look to what you really want, how you feel is right to behave and follow that. Only you know what is best for you and it doesn’t have to be the same as those around you.

Enough; “ I'm not good enough”, “I am not slim enough”, “I am not good looking enough”, “I don’t have enough”. Compared to what? The word enough leaves you feeling in a world of lack. Instead focus on what you do have, what you are grateful for and all your great qualities you have to offer.

Always/Never; “I always”, “I never”, these two sayings provide such an easy justification to keep behaving the way you are and to condemn others. It’s not true and we are not that consistent.

Can’t; This little word cuts of possibility, anytime you find yourself using the phrase “I can’t” ask instead “How can I?”.

Therefore/which means; Our human minds automatically search for the meaning of any event, and often when we are not given the meaning we make it up. However it is not always the truth! EG “He didn’t call which means I did something wrong/ he doesn’t like me/ there is something wrong with me”. “I did not help that old lady across the road therefore I am a bad person” “I got cross with my child therefore I am a bad mother”. Be careful of the assumptions you make they are not always accurate and we are very quick to make an event mean something bad about ourselves.

When X happens then I will be X; “When I get my pay rise then I will be happy”, “When I get on holiday then I will relax”. How about if you were to be happy or relaxed right now? Don’t put off your feelings to a later date, it may never happen. Pay attention to the things you say to yourself and make sure they support you rather than setting yourself up to feel bad.