Saturday, 16 February 2019

Comparison - The Thief Of Joy

What do the pictures of different fungus have to do with comparisons, or joy I ask?

Firstly, let me ask you this question, which of these fungi are doing the better job?  I’ll answer at the end of the post……..

Then, let me tell you my story……………..

I’m not sure when I first heard this saying, but it has become such a part of my headspace over the last few years that I wanted to share with you why it is so valuable to me.

As a society we are taught to compare from an early age.  For instance, do you remember being at school and told you must do better with your test results? That little Johnny or Suzie got better marks than you, they ran a faster race than you.  How did this make you feel? Did it make you strive harder, or shrink further away from trying any more? For me, it made me feel embarrassed, it made me wish I could disappear, that the floor would open up and swallow me up whole! I particularly remember one teacher who used to sit us in rows according to our test results.  If you were near the door, you were on the ‘way out’ and had the poorest results.

As an adult, I understand what he thought he was trying to do, as a teenager, it was just plain embarrassing, as if we didn’t have enough emotional junk to deal with at the time, he was making us feel less than we were in front of our school mates. Man, if he only knew what he was really doing!

How many times do you see advertising that shows impossibly slim models, female or male, or buffed bodies, magazines are plastered with the ‘beautiful’ stars. We are rammed every day with pictures of what is deemed to be ‘beautiful’ until we see that as a goal to strive for. The perfectly beautiful picture.  Social media seems to be making this worse too, the instagrammers who live through their following, the picture perfect poses that are posted, the perfect food, the perfect pout and it goes on.

I’m not sure about you, but I do feel that most of these are photo shopped, the makeup and preening takes hours to accomplish before the camera is turned on, and they are posed. They are not honest representations of the reality we all live in. Yet we still feel the need to draw comparisons to where we currently are, whether that is at the kitchen table in the morning, no makeup, head in hands, hair yet to be brushed, because we weren’t up at 4am getting ready to get ready to take the ‘instant perfect’ photo! STOP IT!

The truth is that comparison to others does more damage to your own self than it does to drive you further on to achieve greater and better outcomes than you are currently getting.

Comparing our body shapes, our height, our curves seems to be second nature.  For me, I often catch myself saying, ‘if only I was a few inches taller’, or ‘if only I could be as disciplined in my walking as……’  Do you find you are doing this too?

Now that you are feeling the pain of not appearing perfect to the external world, and because you’re comparing yourself to your social media friends, the ‘stars’ or your ‘got it together’ workmates, how can you change this?

Does it have to be this way? Can you change how you are feeling and seeing?

YES, absolutely you can. Be warned though, it takes some persistence, some consistency and some dedication on your behalf.

I know, because it’s what I have done for myself over the last few years. It’s still a work in progress, as society makes it very easy to slip back into old patterns. Recognising those patterns is one of the steps.

Step 1: Ask yourself where you want to be
This is a process of understanding where you actually want to be, not what society is dictating to you. I sat with this step for a while. I thought a lot about my body shape and size. What did I feel comfortable with, not what I looked like to others. Did it give me joy to have some curves? Did it give me joy to have the energy to do the exercise I wanted to do (for me that is going bush walking regularly). What style of clothes did I enjoy wearing? Do I feel good in those clothes?  What are all the positive things about where I want to be.

Write up a list of 25 things that make you feel happy and give you joy, about where you want to be. This is very important. This allows you to step into feeling your emotions when you are at your happiest. What is giving you joy at that time.

Step 2: Mirror work
I found this quite uncomfortable to do when I initially began this process. I can assure you, it is worth every moment of uncomfortableness when you are at a point where you see yourself quite differently than you do now.

Mirror work involves writing up a few sentences about what you love about your body.  For example, you may include a sentence on who you are, your values, such as “I am a loving and generous woman and my family and friends see it every day”. Or it may be something about your body that is beautiful to you, such as “I have gorgeous blue eyes and they are my shining feature”. The joy of this step, is that you get to choose what you love the most about you.  Remember to be impeccable with your word, to ensure you are only saying to yourself, what you would say to your best friend. Be positive, be joyful, be you.

Once you have your list of sentences that give you joy, look into a mirror at least twice a day, and look deeply into your own eyes, repeat the sentences.

Notice that when you first begin doing this, your eyes will shift, they will move up or down, rather than look directly back at you. This is your uncertainty, your insecurities at play. Persist, be consistent and in time, you will notice that you are smiling and looking straight back at yourself, while your inner feeling of love and joy expands. It’s a great experience!

Step 3: Triggers
Establishing something that will remind you on a daily basis of your inner mantras, of your beauty and joy, is a tool that I use every day on my life journey.

I use butterflies.  Why butterflies? It comes back to a book I read, Pam Grout’s E-squared. It’s a manifestation experiment, and I notice now, every day when I see a butterfly, it reminds me that I am unique, that I am manifesting everything that occurs in my day. Having a butterfly sticker on my mirror for my mirror work is my connection.

Finding a trigger is a great thing, as it takes you to the place of remembrance. Use this trigger when you are undertaking your mirror work, then, throughout your day, when you hear your inner voice begin to compare you to others, pull out your trigger, to take you to the place of no judgement.

Step 4: Always Doing Your Best
This is the best advice I ever received, always do your best.  If you believe that you are doing the best you can, given your circumstances, given what you set out to achieve in a day, then you are moving ahead in a positive manner. Only you can know if you are doing the best you can. You doing the best you can is not comparable to anyone else you know, or think you know. Only you can know this.  Only you can achieve your best.

We are all individuals, and as such, we achieve different things on different days and in different ways. No two people are the same, no two women have the same desirable weight, no two men wish to have the same physical goals, whatever it is that you are striving to achieve, it is your goal, and your goal alone. This is why you cannot compare your desired outcome to anyone else. Why your joy is your joy alone.

A good book that I used along the way on my journey to achieving my improved outlook on how I wish to be is The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. One of the agreements is “Always Do Your Best”

Step 5: Be Gentle
Learning to not beat yourself up if you don’t achieve your outcomes on a particular day is an important part of doing your best. If you don’t have a great day, accept that it wasn’t the best day, and that tomorrow you will strive to improve on your performance. By creating a story around why you didn’t achieve an outcome, or what happened to stop your goals being completed, gives emotion to the poor outcome, it gives it life. 

Instead, simply state “I didn’t achieve……., tomorrow I will do my best to improve on that”. FULL STOP. Don’t add anything further to this sentence. That will give it life and you will continually use it to berate yourself and to pull yourself down.


Remember, only you can improve on what you have achieved, only your goals are important to you. The only comparison you can successfully do when you are on a life journey is to compare yourself to you, never to anyone else, they are not you.

Finally, the answer to the fungus question.
Neither fungus is better than the other. All are doing their unique role in the breakdown of the logs, in their own way, for themselves, providing the right nutrition that they need to grow, to live and to ultimately play a role in the relationship they have with the rainforest, the logs and the animals.  Both are the best they can be. You can be too.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Rose Water At Home

Rose Water

Ever wondered if you could do something interesting with the rose petals that you let fall every year? Well, you can!  This year I was prompted to make my own rose water as my roses were all blooming at once and they looked amazing, not so easy to see on this photo below, but there are reds and pinks blooming here.

What can you use rose water for once it's made?  Here's a list of ideas:

  • skin toner (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties)
  • hair rehydrator (final rinse after shampooing)
  • cooking (think Turkish Delight!)
  • ironing (use in a spray bottle, or in the chamber)
  • mood enhancer (uplifting on emotions)
  • bathing
  • linen spray

Rose has been used since ancient times, with rose water first being prepared by the Arab physician Avicenna (AD 980 - 1037), though roses were used in bath water and as food earlier than that too. During the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance era, rose was used as a remedy for depression.  Rose water has similar properties as Rose essential oil, though not as concentrated as the oil.  Some of these properties include:

  • anti-infectious
  • anti-inflammatory (e.g., soothes blotchy skin)
  • astringent
  • cicatrizant (healing of wounds)
  • neurotonic (uplifting)

Overall, rose water can be sprayed onto your skin, used to rinse your hair, as a mouth rinse and in your bath water.

There are many ways to utilise rose water once you have made a batch in your home.  

It is easy to prepare and here are the steps to follow:

  1. Gather your rose petals.  Ensure you use rose petals that have not been sprayed (otherwise you will be adding pesticides to your beauty regime, or to your environment). You can also use dried rose petals if you don't have freshly gathered rose petals.  A good time to collect your rose petals is in the morning, when the aroma is the strongest. 

  2. Rinse in warm water
  3. Place into a pot and cover with just enough distilled, spring or rain water to cover

  4. Gently, on a medium heat, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat (leaving the lid on) to maintain a gentle simmer.  Allow to simmer until the colour has gone from the petals, this can take up to 25 - 30 minutes. 

  5. Leave to cool, I left these overnight. Strain. You can use a sieve or a cheesecloth (muslin).

  6. Bottle. I wish to keep my rose water for a little longer than 2 weeks, so I have added 5 ml of ethanol (95%) to 500ml of rose water. Store in a cool dark place.

    Note the amazing colour of the rose water on the left, these are in clear bottles as I will use them straight away, the remaining 2 litres I have stored in dark bottles.

Enjoy your rose water

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Calm Your Mind To Focus Your Mind

Creating Focus Through Calm

Choosing essential oils to create focus can create a variety of blends, as the essential oils do exhibit a multitude of properties.

For this blog, the essential oils I have chosen to share as a blend, will give you the strength to see the possibilities that are opening up to you, they will allow for you to increase your overall self-worth (from where overwhelm can come), increase your will power and resolve (for without willpower, we become overwhelmed and frantic at all that is required to be done) and it will give rise to inspiration for what is possible for you.

Choosing the three essential oils I have for this blend, will give a balance to the blend, as there is a top note (releases quickly and allows you to tap into your self worth), a middle note (lingers a little longer in your senses and strengthens your will power) and a base note (stays much longer and allows inspiration for all that is possible to become your focus).

The essential oils chosen for this blend of Focus Through Calm are:

Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

  • top note
  • tap into your self worth
  • rescue yourself before you rescue others
  • decongests the confusion you feel
  • calms any apathy and timidity
  • a tonic to your nerves, releasing fear, guilt and anger
  • feeling strong in yourself and your path, allows you the strength to clear the path of those that are obstacles to your journey
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), ct linalool or geraniol

  • middle note
  • energises your will power
  • enables you to tap into your strength
  • grab a hold of your self confidence and overcome obstacles in your way
  • soothe your tired heart of the troubles you have been holding onto
  • dispel the despondency that is overwhelming your mind
Myrrh (Commiphora molmol)

  • base note
  • when your mind clears, you will embrace the inspiration to achieve your dreams, you will become clear on what is possible
  • allows you to see your dreams and vision clearly
  • enables you to manifest your dreams
These three oils together will clear the obstacles that are making your mind cluttered, busy and without focus, they will allow you to clear the obstacles that are blocking you and your mind, and free up the mind to calmly see what is possible for you and your future.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

What Makes A Healthy Meal?

Healthy Eating Broken Down

What is a balanced and healthy meal comprised of?

Broken down, what makes a balanced meal is the incorporation of all the healthy components.  This includes:

  • Lean protein
  • Complex carbohydrates
  • Healthy fats
  • Fibre
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

I suggest you aim for 400 - 600 calories per person for your healthy main meal every day, as well as approximately 300 - 400 calories for your other two meals (though this is dependent on your exercise levels, please contact me for more information about this if you are training).

What does this really mean in practical terms?

To create a meal, you can look at the different components and build it from there.
Lean Protein
The base of your meal, the lean protein. Providing your body with a quality source of protein at each meal will help you feel satisfied longer while supporting muscle growth and metabolism. The right amount is critical, as research has shown about 20 to 40 grams of protein is optimal. Select lean meat options such as 5 ounces (about the size of a smartphone) of free-range beef, cage-free chicken, wild salmon, or other fish. If interested in non-meat protein sources, consider 3 to 4  eggs or egg whites, a cup of Greek-style yogurt, or 2 to 3 ounces of mixed nuts.
Complex Carbohydrates
To obtain a steady source of energy, complex carbohydrates are required. Some healthy options are 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, organic brown rice, or whole-grain pasta. If the typical grains don’t sound appealing to you, your body can still get the same fuel from 1 cup of baked yams or sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, or a corn tortilla. Any of these choices are low-glycemic and shouldn’t cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar that could lead to a crash.
Fibre gives you the 'full' feeling and provides a good source of food for your pro-biotics. Fibre is called a pre-biotic.
Most fruits and vegetables have so few calories and are so densely packed with nutrients, including fibre, that there’s no strict limit to portion size, so adding more can be a great way to raise volume of your meal and help fill you up without over consuming calories. Fill half your plate at each meal with 2 to 3 cups of fruits and vegetables such as apple or orange slices, berries, broccoli, kale, spinach, steamed vegetables, or a mixed green salad. To add some color to your plate, try options such as sliced tomatoes, carrots, or bell peppers. If you’re still feeling hungry after your meal, you can’t go wrong with a second helping of vegetables.
Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are often neglected when planning a meal because of the negative stigma fats carry; however, these fats are important to your body’s health and can make any meal more satisfying. Adding half an avocado or 1 tablespoon of pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame seeds to any salad or plate is an easy way to give your body an adequate source of fatty acids. Incorporating essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for health, is a great benefit too. These can be found in your fish and vegetable oils (ensure they are freshly milled, don't buy preground seeds such as Flaxseed, as the oil goes rancid within 72 hours and you negate the benefits).
Lastly, remember to add flavor in the form of fresh herbs, spices, or condiments, which can provide important antioxidant vitamins and polyphenols. These can include basil, parsley, pepper, cinnamon, and other tasty varieties.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Preparation For A Balanced And Healthy Life

Preparation For Change

Cypress, Rose, Myrrh

When life happens and change is about to occur, the following blend will allow you to transition ahead with inspiration and a passion for the change.


Cypress is a tree that exhibits much strength, especially when you are faced with change. There is an inner peace in the upcoming transition that is to be undertaken, and allows you to leave behind all that is draining you, the emotions or the people that are keeping you in one place.  Cypress allows you to tap into your willpower and to transition into the change with wisdom and a sense of inner peace and a soft power that will move you ahead.


Usually associated with romance and love, in this blend, the Rose is allowing you to tap into your inner vision and freedom, with love for self and your choices.  Rose has the ability to aid in balance in your choices, and the changes that are facing you.  It gives you the motivation to take on the change, while ensuring a peaceful and gentle harmonisation between what is now, and the change.


The three wise men used Myrrh in their offerings and in this blend it allows you to tap into your dreams of what is possible.  Myrrh is inspirational and allows you to be curious about what is possible, as well as to seeing it.  All the while, it keeps you grounded in your dreams, so that you can manifest them.  It is easy to be a dreamer, but Myrrh gives you the grounding to realise those dreams and not to stay in the clouds dreaming.

A blend of these oils will transition you into the future change with inspiration and love, enabling you to manifest the powerful dreams that are inspiring your change.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

No Gym? No Excuse!

To Gym Or Not To Gym?

I first started going to a gym because I felt I had to, when I was in my early 20's. Yes, I was overweight and the prevailing weight loss thoughts in those days was that you could almost outrun your eating! By increasing your exercise, you will lose weight!

Well, that was the beginning of a long and hateful journey with the gym. If you are anything like me, you resent going to it. It means:

  • hard work and much pain tomorrow
  • lots of dirty grubby sweaty clothes to wash
  • being laughed at by all those 'skinny' people
  • early morning starts, or late home after work as you HAVE to go
  • the feeling of being forced to do something you don't want to do
It should feel like this to go to the gym:

But in reality, it feels much more like this!

How I managed to turn this around for me.  

I now have a gym at home (well, I have a treadmill and a weights station) and I dip into and out of it as I please. I even enjoy doing the exercises.  I also walk a lot, and I mean A LOT - up to 4 or 5 times a week, because I want to. There is no longer that feeling that I need to do it.

What changed for me?  Well, after nearly 25 years of feeling that I had to go to the gym to lose weight, I was mentored by a great friend, and discovered that I could lose weight in the kitchen first, and that then increased my motivation to move my body.  The idea of moving my body in a gym was a little off putting for me initially, so I went walking. I'm fortunate to live in an area that has many rainforest walks and I went off into the rainforest for some good old fashioned walking.

I saw much beauty while I was walking (knowing I was completing my gratitude diary daily helped me look beyond what I was doing and towards the beauty that was surrounding me).

I felt so much clearer in the head (yes, I had previously had a lot of brain fog) after my walks.

The walks started as 15 - 30 minute walks and eventually grew to an hour as my energy increased.  Still I wasn't at the gym.  I was happy with that, as I was enjoying moving my body without the stress of going to the gym in my oversized tee-shirts.

After a couple of months of walking, I saw an advert for a weight loss/exercise challenge at the local gym. My mindset had changed enough by this time (as I had already lost some of my weight) and I was confident in my nutrition program, that I decided it was time to tone some of my external 'flab'.

I joined the gym for a 3 month period and went 4 times a week, I still continued with walking, sometimes taking the time to walk to and from the gym, as I wanted to be out in the fresh air still, as well as working on resistance training.

Knowing that resistance training was helping to keep my bones strong, was the key to my mindset on the gym. I was there to tone and build my bones, not to lose weight. That I did as a side effect.

For me, the biggest change was my mindset, I had changed from wanting to improve my weight and appearance for others, to wanting to do it for me. I changed from accepting that I was a big boned girl to truly believing that I was fine boned. I changed from believing dieting was about restriction and deprivation to believing that it was about living life in balance.

The tools I used on my journey are self development books, essential oils, nutrition program and a coach.  You can use these tools very easily for yourself as well.

The first self-development book I read was The Four Agreements.  This is a book that we have now read and analysed within the Book Club group I run (click here to learn more). The changes in how you see where you are, stem from understanding where your beliefs come from. This was a huge change for me and for those that also have read this book.

My essential oil blends worked on my self esteem, on my motivation and on my desires and wishes.  I have created a series of blends for different purposes and am now in the process of publishing these further. I will be sharing recipes on my Facebook page regularly, watch out for them, and for the emotions they are targeting.

The nutrition program I followed is very similar to the Paleo way of thinking, having some days without food, having days with food, eating more protein and less carbohydrates, and ensuring that I was covering my nutritional needs as far as nutrients and vitamins as well as a balance between protein, carbohydrates, fats and fibre. To find out more about it, visit my website, or email me, or send me a message on my Facebook page or through my website.

My coach, well, what more can I say, having someone believe in you, having someone call you on your excuses, having someone in your corner to hear you cry and to give you strength. Priceless. From this coaching experience, I have learnt at the feet of a master, and I now (along with her help as well as many others) provide the same experience for my ladies. To find out more, contact me now.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Achieving Your Goals, Why Don't You?

Goal Setting - Do You Set Them? Do You Achieve Them?

If not, why not?

These are great questions!

Many people set goals every year, and many are determined to achieve them.  However, statistics bear out that very few ever achieve what they set with passion, determination and self-belief.  So why is this?

I have found this wonderful article on why weight loss goals are not easily achieved and wanted to share it with you.  Enjoy the read.


Rise Up for the New Year

By Paul Arciero, Ph.D., FACSM, FTOS

Recently, I came across this statistic: More than 60 percent of people in the United States (or, two out of three people) make New Year’s resolutions, mostly to get healthier (>85 percent), but only 8 percentare successful in achieving their resolutions!
Why is this? How can so many well-intentioned and determined people fail at such a noble, worthwhile and healthy cause? We have an abundance of easily accessible information on how to exercise, eat healthy, and manage our stress, so it’s not a result of not knowing what or how to do it. Or, is it?
In my own experience working with thousands of people of all ages, fitness levels, and health status, the most common complaint I hear on their quest to become healthier is, “I don’t know what to do or how to do it!” In other words, despite the massive amount of health information we have at our fingertips, most of us struggle to make sense of it or are unclear on what steps to take. It’s a case of “(mis)information overload” that has created confusion, frustration, and an epidemic of inaction, leading to an opposite effect of what it was designed to prevent – poor eating habits, physical inactivity, stress, and poor health.
I’ve devoted my life’s work to helping others navigate the wellness landscape in an easy-to-follow path leading to optimal health and performance. For example, I’ve developed an exercise program that is based on my scientifically proven RISE exercise protocol. I also like the name because it reminds me to get up and move! When you add in my “Protein PacingTM,” the scientifically backed eating strategy for weight loss and athletic performance, then the RISE protocol becomes the PRISE ProtocolTM.
PRISE™ is my acronym for Protein PacingTM (P); Resistance (R); Interval (I); Stretching (S); and Endurance (E) for exercise training. By incorporating these four different types of exercise, the PRISE ProtocolTM provides you benefits of each, is simple in concept, and it’s easy to make it part of your daily routine. In fact, when combined with Isagenix products, my research suggests that it can help to optimize your results.
Before you start the PRISE protocol, please follow two important steps: 1) obtain clearance from your healthcare professional to begin participating in an exercise program, and nearly all of them will be thrilled to support you on this mission, and 2) work with a healthcare professional to choose an appropriate exercise intensity to avoid injury while benefiting from the exercise.
The most common mistake people make when they begin an exercise program is exercising at the wrong intensity level. For example, some exercise too vigorously and get injured and don’t enjoy it, while others don’t push hard enough and don’t see any results. In both cases, the end result is that most of them quit! You should work with a healthcare professional to determine a proper exercise intensity while reducing the risk of injury.
Next, I encourage you to also join the IsaBody Challenge®. In fact, statistics show those who’ve joined the Challenge are four times more likely to meet their goals. That’s huge! This is not only due to the sheer motivating power of taking part in the Challenge, but also the incentives and the community that come with it. Be sure to learn more about the 16-week total body transformation challenge and register as soon as possible so that you’ll be ready in the new year.
In the athletic world, we’re accustomed to the phrase, “On your mark, get set, go!” But when it comes to your health, I say your health cannot wait. Many of us wait too long before we ever start a healthy lifestyle regimen. Instead, I say “On your mark, go!” Don’t wait until everything is perfect in your life, which is usually never, and just start your race toward a healthy lifestyle today! With the combination of the PRISE ProtocolTM and the IsaBody Challenge, let’s beat the statistics and start moving toward meeting your health resolutions now.
Protein PacingTM and the PRISE ProtocolTM are currently under trademark registration by Dr. Paul Arciero. Dr. Arciero is a member of the Isagenix Scientific Advisory Board.