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Breaking the wellness ‘rules’

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Truth be told, I’m not much of a rule breaker. In school, I never got a detention. Not one. The most rebellious thing I ever did was creep out to the graveyard at Year 12 camp, and even then I felt guilty for days after. My nickname in primary school was goody-goody. I played it safe, and still tend to a lot of the time.

That being said, you could call me a bit of a ‘rule-breaker’ when it comes to the way I live my life holistically.

When I first stepped onto my wellness path, more than 5 years ago now, I did EVERYTHING by the book – I bought a cold pressed juicer, I got the Thermomix and started making raw cakes (#sugarfree), I took up yoga, downloaded all of the latest meditation apps, and read all of the ‘right’ books. I was a wellness cliche. But I did it all because I was so enticed by this ‘world’ of living my healthiest and happiest life. So naturally, I wanted to do it all ‘by the book’.

What were the people I looked up to doing? And I’m not talking generally, as a guide. I mean, exactly what were they doing so I could copy them? And if one of them says their gratitudes at night, and one writes them first thing in the morning, what the hell does that mean for me? Should I do it both times?

It has taken me until now to feel comfortable in bending these wellness ‘rules’ so that they suit my lifestyle. Because here’s the thing – I don’t ever want living my best, healthiest life to feel like a chore. If things are getting stale, and don’t feel right for ME – guess what? I am going to change it up. Just because it works for some, doesn’t mean it works for all.

Just because I am frothing on oracle cards and essential oils right now, doesn’t mean you have to! If you feel the pull, then amazing! But if you look at it and find it all a bit boring – that is also okay! Part of us being so amazingly intricate and different is that wellness is going to look DIFFERENT to us all. AND THAT IS OKAY.

These ‘rules’ we idealise when we set out on our wellness journeys are not necessarily doing us any favours – and can lead to feelings of guilt, comparisonitis and not feeling good enough, if we don’t keep them in check.

Here are a few of my old favourites…

To live a holistically healthy and well life, you DON’T have to:

Meditate every single day

Heck, there are going to be days you HATE the thought of meditating. And there will also be days you miss it. Or you might not even meditate at all because, CBF. When I started diving deeper into my wellness journey, I thought I needed to spend thousands on transcendental meditation classes, that I needed to sit with my mantra twice a day, and that Heaven forbid if I missed a day my hard work would all be for nothing.

Truth be told, meditation IS wonderful. But the way you meditate is going to be different to the way your bestie does, or the person you look up to. And that is okay. Play with it. Find what works for you – and know it will change over time. Right now, meditation for me is a guided 10 minutes as soon as I wake up. On Saturdays I skip it and always feel bad afterwards, but don’t beat myself up over it. And isn’t that the point? To embrace the stillness with ease and grace rather than guilt and shame?

Abstain from alcohol

This is a biggie, and one I am still coming to realise. Just because I am all about that well-life doesn’t mean a glass of wine with my love, or a mojito on a night out makes me any less spiritual or healthy. This comes down to the intention when you do choose to drink – if it is to have fun with friends, enjoy yourself or unwind after a full week, I say go for it. If there are deeper issues, like a dependency on alcohol to have fun, or a history of addiction – then that is a different story entirely. But just because you enjoy an espresso martini and a dance in a club doesn’t make you any less worthy of living a holistic and healthy life. Remember the FEELINGS around these things, like feeling GUILTY for drinking because you know there are people who don’t – is doing you less service than the alcohol itself. Remind yourself of your intention and you will know every time when you are drinking out of love, or out of fear. LOVE is the aim of the game kids.

Go gluten free

Don’t just go gluten free because everyone else is doing it. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Know WHY the healthy people in your world are choosing to opt out of eating gluten (myself included). Gluten is seriously detrimental not only to our gut health but our mental health too. The ingestion of gluten triggers a response known as ‘zonulin’ in our intestines, which leads not only to leaky gut (been there, done that, twice) but also a myriad of autoimmune conditions. Not a fun time. So no, it isn’t enough to just go gluten free ‘because everyone in the wellness world is doing it’. Educate yourself as to WHY and make your decision from there. Sometimes, I will have a bit of gluten – I never restrict myself – but when I do, I am always left feeling worse for wear.

Swap your fucks for fricks

If you watch my Insta-stories you know I love a good swear word. I use effs and shits like punctuation some days – and some days I don’t – but I rarely censor myself. If you have been a guest at one of my talks or workshops, you would know the same.

The way I see it is words are a form of self-expression. I do not use them offensively – I use swear words to make a point. For emphasis or to really express how I am feeling about certain topics I am particularly passionate about.

I think a lot of the time we have this idea that once we become ‘enlightened’ or on this spiritual path, not only do we need to clean up our diet, but we need to clean out our swear words. If that genuinely feels authentic and good for you, AMAZING. By all means, swap those fucks for fricks. But if you are doing it to try and emulate someone you’re actually not – well, there’s nothing authentic about that. And in holding on to your suppressed expression, you are actually doing yourself more harm than good.

Be well-read

Don’t get me wrong, the personal development section in Dymocks is my most favourite, and I have bookshelves FULL of self help cult classics that I am yet to read – and others that are dog-eared and totally loved.

But I also haven’t read Power of Now. I have tried to read it about 5 times and can’t get through it. I also didn’t enjoy The Universe Has Your Back – I couldn’t finish it.

Does this make me spiritually inept? Or is there something wrong with me when other wellness influencers are referencing books I didn’t actually enjoy?

Hell no! In fact, I find it kind of inauthentic when people claim they have read ALL of the self help books and enjoyed EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. How is that even possible? You aren’t going to like every single flavour of ice-cream (hmmm bad analogy, maybe you are) – and it’s the same thing here. Some authors will resonate with you more than others. Just because people are ALL about Power of Now doesn’t mean it has to be your cup of tea too.

Personally I am more of a Conversations with God kinda gal 😉

Cut people out of your life who aren’t on the same path 

Don’t do this. It isn’t nice. And I see it a lot when people step out on their wellness journeys. There are people in their life that aren’t at the same ‘conscious level’ as them, and so they have a chat and let them know it’s time to no longer associate. Ummm – that’s not nice. And it’s also judgemental.

Here’s the thing – no, not everyone is going to be on your life path with you. And that is okay. Especially when it comes to family. You cannot force ANYONE, in fact you shouldn’t WANT to force anyone, to join you on your path to wellbeing. All you can do is be the example.

And if that doesn’t seem to work, and friendships or relationships naturally fall apart, then that is okay. There needn’t be drama or conflict or “this happened because you aren’t on the same path as me”. Watch the friendships that are meant to stay naturally flourish, and the ones that have served their purpose fall away. It doesn’t need to be any more complex than that.

Turn vegan

Power to you if you are. Or if you are paleo. Or pescetarian. WHATEVER you eat, I actually don’t care so long as you are doing the best you can with what you have. Try not to compare yourself to others and how they eat, and eat for HEALTH and what feels good for you.

It may surprise some of you to learn I have been vegetarian for 13 years now. I don’t proclaim it or shout it from the rooftops, because I just do it for me. It is MY choice. I have even received Instagram messages asking me if I would consider going vegetarian. When I reply and say I have been for over a decade now, I get asked why I don’t talk about it more.

Because what I eat shouldn’t matter to anyone really. I eat what makes my body thrive and feel good. If you thrive off organic, grass fed meat, then who am I to judge you? Just like I don’t expect to be judged when I eat a cheese plate.

Remember we are always doing the best we can with what we have. THAT is enough.

Like yoga 

If you are taking up yoga to do the cool contortion tricks with your body to post on Instagram, then you are in it for ALL the wrong reasons. Yoga is such a wellness ‘thing’ because it is more than just the physical practice – it encompasses mind, body and soul wellbeing. I rarely post any yoga pics because that isn’t what yoga is for me. Again, it is a personal practice.

You might try yoga out and HATE it and wonder what the fuss is all about. If that is the case, no there is nothing wrong with you. You can still be into health and wellbeing and hate yoga, contrary to popular belief. Maybe the gym is more your thing, or swimming. WHATEVER your form of exercise is, there is none more ‘superior’ than the other – so embrace what you enjoy fully and don’t beat yourself up if downward dog makes you want to hurl.

Follow all of the wellness influencers, even when they make you feel shit

There was a time when I was following THOUSANDS of wellness influencers on my Inst – heck, anyone with the word ‘wellness’ in their bio got a big old tick from me. Recently I have scaled it right back, and will continue to do so, depending on what posts I resonate with.

For instance, once I was following ALL of the wellness nutritionists and cooks and was bombarded with recipes I knew I was never going to make. But I was following them because everyone else in the industry was. Once I let that idea go, I created more space for content that really appeals to me – and I know overtime that is going to evolve.

Follow the pages that truly light you up – they might be different to other people and that is okay. YOU have a direct say in the content you engage in – so if it makes you feel shit, even when the page’s intentions are good (I am referring to lots of fitspo accounts here) then unfollow.

By all means my loves, look up to influencers in the wellness space, get inspired, and take action. But also don’t force anything. Find what works for YOU and know it is totally okay however that looks. So long as your mind, body and soul are healthy, thriving and happy, it doesn’t matter so much how you get there.

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A sneak peek into my journal…

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The first week in July felt uncomfortable to me. Don’t get me wrong, each day was beautiful and filled with the usual gratitudes and positivity – but there was a real unease in the energy, and I was totally aware of why too.

Flipping through my journal pages from the first couple of days sums it up nicely:

1 July 2017

July for me feels like slowing down, really going within. Almost like preparing for BIG things. Doing the ground work – and the groundING work!

4 July 2017

May and June were such full months – I am fully embracing the space in July. For me, July is all about practicing patience, slowing down and TRUSTING everything is unfolding as it should – it always does.

5 July 2017

I am learning lots more these days to release control, embrace space and relax with flow. It makes me uncomfortable, but I know it is a big lesson for me. 

6 July 2017

Gosh the theme of July is so blatantly SPACE. And PATIENCE. Each day has been full of tests, forcing me to slow down and just ‘be’. Truth be told, I have been resistant to it. There is this part of me that is rushed and forced. That pushes. I am being urged to embrace the feminine – to surrender. I need to fall into it. It won’t be easy, but it is necessary for my growth. To disconnect, to go within and allow for space. For NOTHING. My soul is craving it right now and the best thing I can do is listen to it. 

7 July 2017

I feel really content and relaxed after a very easy, slow week. It really has taken me to this point to get comfortable slowing down – but I am now. When we take our time with things, we show the Universe that we have surrendered fully, and that we trust it. I don’t NEED to rush through life – no good comes of it. It is actually NICE to fully surrender – to go about my day doing whatever I please, allowing life to happen FOR me. That is a gift in itself. 

12 July 2017

I LOVE JULY! I love moving through my days with ease and not forcing anything – I am being gifted multiple things a day by allowing for the space to receive. PLUS my soul is speaking loud and clear. I am so grateful – I couldn’t stop smiling yesterday because life is so beautiful. 

Talk about a significant change in a short period of time! And it really did take up until now to completely, happily surrender with this month’s ‘theme’ of slowing down. And I am not the only one feeling this big shift in energy. To me, the second half of 2017 is about resting and restoring for a huge 2018. My first half of 2017 was epic and full and non-stop. Truth be told, I had NO time for myself, let alone my fiancé or my family or friends. Yes, that is the nature of owning a business – when the work is there, you take it. You work a month straight because you love what you do, and you have a huge vision.

But then, when the Universe gifts you with space – you must take that space too. Don’t resist it. Realise it has been gifted to you for a REASON! Will my business fall over if I take a bath at midday today because that’s what I want to do? Or if I get no client bookings on a Saturday, is it going to do me HARM to actually embrace the gift of a weekend off, rather than stress about where to fill my client space?

Too often we rush through our lives as if it were a race or a competition. Then when we reach a certain point – the point we would consider to be the ‘finish line’ – we move the markers. The point is an illusion – we never stop.

And it is to our own detriment. We burn ourselves out, start snapping at loved ones, our health suffers and we can’t remember the last time we did something for the FUN of it.

When life gifts you space – take it. Embrace it. And most importantly, resist the urge to FILL it. It has been gifted to you for a reason – get journalling and uncover why.

I’ll leave you with a little reflection I shared with my clients for the month of July – perhaps it will help you too:

PATIENCE

My darlings, July has presented a really strong theme to me, and a few other ‘connected’ women I know – and I wanted to share it here with you all too.

The second half of 2017 feels like a time to go within: to slow down, to ‘hibernate’ and take stock of how far you have come.

It is NOT a time to push, to rush or to race to a certain point. There can be discomfort in this – resisting the urge to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible (don’t I know it) – but we are really being guided to slow down. I keep getting: slow and steady wins the race.

So if you have been feeling out of breath lately, like you aren’t doing enough and that there aren’t enough hours in the day: know that there IS and you ARE. You are enough by simply just being. And that the biggest growth will happen for you when you sit in silence, practice presence and fully accept where you are RIGHT NOW.

Be patient my darlings. Take it easy. Go slow. Trust me xxxxx

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