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Yet again, it comes back to Connection

Breakthrough to bold

Last Saturday, the amazing Vicki Hodgson and I ran our first Breakthrough to Bold Workshop and it was sensational!

There is nothing more inspiring than spending an afternoon with a group of people who want to learn and grow.  Not only inspiring, but also heart warming that everyone in the room supported each other, shared openly and made sure they had a damn good time.

We are always 100% responsible for our experience, why not make it a great one? This group certainly did!

One of the things I love about workshops is we never know who is going to attend and what value or little gem they will add to the group. This particular session was full of gold and I want to honour our very first group for that.

One of our participants asked a question around disconnection, why in this overly connected world are we so disconnected from each other?

Great question! And there is one answer that springs to the surface above all others and that is FEAR!

Fear of being seen

Fear of being judged

Fear of not being enough

Fear of getting hurt

Fear of being rejected

Fear of not belonging

and so the list goes on…….

The human spirit longs for true and authentic connection but like most things that are valuable, there is either hard work or risk associated with it.

Because we are now able to access so much low quality connection, I am seeing more and more people becoming confused on why they have this lingering sense of discontent and loneliness. I mean, it looks like they are connected, it feels like they have tons of people around them yet there is a void.

From the moment we wake up, we can surround ourselves with low quality connection. The TV goes on and those friendly faces from the morning show appear, you know the ones that you have been spending an hour with every morning for the last five years.

Over your morning cup of tea, you check your social media for your next dose of connection, FB, Insta, Snapchat and so on.  You see your friends from far and wide, you write some comments and like some things and send a bit of love out into the world.

Yet maybe, you have not yet genuinely connected with the person sitting across the breakfast table from you. Yes, there has been a “good morning” and a quick kiss on the cheek, but is that real connection?

Have you looked into their eyes?

Have you hugged them for more than ten seconds?

Have you taken the time to really listen to what they are saying to you?

You leave the house to walk to the bus stop and see your neighbour. No time to stop, they can just have a wave but don’t break your stride, you have to go!

You arrive at work and as always, there is a lot to do.  It is one of your colleagues birthday’s today and a lunch at the local cafe has been organised.  You consider going for a moment but really, you just want to get everything crossed off the task list before you leave at the end of the day.

You get the picture……

Real, authentic connection, open hearted connection takes time and energy.

On top of that, it requires vulnerability.

Back in the village, we would gather at the well and talk while the water was collected. We would take care of each others children and our front doors were always open. We would come together as a community and build houses for each other over the course of a few days. We would have multigenerational gatherings and (I wrote blog on this a few months ago) sing and dance together.

But this is not the world we live in anymore.

The water comes from the tap and the front door is locked.

I lovingly challenge you to take some time out of your day and have a moment of heart felt connection with another human.  Maybe it will be with the lady at the shop or your partner. Maybe it will be with a friend you haven’t chatted to in a while.

Maybe it will be with yourself…

These are the moments that will change the direction of your life.

Love Kate-3

 

Mindvalley – Unlocking learning

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God, I love the world wide web!!

With it, I have been able to become an explorer, a researcher, a business owner and to make friends with people I may never actually lay eyes on! When you think about it, it’s pretty bloody amazing what the web has allowed us to do!

During one of my explorations recently, I came across an amazing new educational platform called Mindvalley University.

Mindvalley Uni has both an online cirriculum as well as live events and its all about transforming “learning from an institutionalised, linear means to an end, to a complete and conscious lifelong adventure that has no end”

Making learning FUN, well I like the sound of that!

By the time I left high school, I had very much lost my passion for learning.  Luckily, I was still a curious cat so as I moved through my 20’s I slowly developed a love of learning again.

I know that I am not unique in that experience.

Unfortunately, we have a school system that kills a lot of creativity and can turn learning into a laborious and boring pursuit.  Particularly if you don’t learn how that school teaches. This is a great tragedy in my opinion.

But back to Mindvalley….

Mindvalley holds and bi-annual event called A-Fest and it sounds super cool!

As their website explains, “These events gather an extraordinary community of change-makers and visionaries who are driven by epic ideas to impact the world – entrepreneurs, experts, artists, leaders, innovators, visionaries and more. At A-Fest you will receive powerful training, profound mind shifts, bio-hacking techniques, deep connections, incredible adventures and unique opportunities to multiply your impact and give back to humanity, so that you can play an even bigger game and significantly expand your ability to accomplish bold things”

Reading that gets me excited! I have just added it to my goal list of events I need to attend.

The reason I share this is because I recently saw a video of Tom Chi speaking at A-Fest in Mexico in 2016.  Tom is the inventor and co founder of Google X an he has been an astrophysical researcher right through to a Fortune 500 consultant.

This man is smart! And he is going to change the world.

Tom spoke on how we are all connected. Not in a mythical or religious way but in a hardcore scientific way.  There is data that shows the interconnectedness of us all and how NO ONE is indispensable.

What a beautiful and powerful thought!

This video was amazing and instead of trying to explain it, I have shared the video so you can check it out.  Now, make a cuppa, it’s not a quick one but its oh, so worth a watch.

 

 

Love Kate-3

 

The Universe only knows YES!

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Last year I employed a new coach. Her name is Alex Tripod.

I met Alex at a workshop and she was fierce! She held her space strongly and was very comfortable telling the group how things should be run. Alex was very visible in the room – both visually and energetically.

I admired her for this! In fact, as I watched her over the course of the three days, I thought “I could learn some excellent skills around presence, power and visibility from this lady!”.

Alex is a manifesting coach and during our time together she taught me many great lessons and skills, and really held the space for me to step up and shine. Because of her, I started this blog, as well as the Facebook Friday series. I actually started to let the world see me!

I didn’t realise just how invisible I had been! I was playing small so I could feel safe….

But life is not about safety, it’s about growth and expansion.

Anyway, over the weekend I was with my nieces and I found myself sharing some of Alex’s wisdom with them. The key piece that I wanted them to grasp is The Universe only knows YES!

This one belief was a game changer for me! And I didn’t really grasp it until I was 40. Imagine the impact it could have on the lives of my two fifteen year olds nieces!

I had always understood the power of my thoughts and my beliefs but I hadn’t considered that the Universe will support me in whatever I choose to focus on.

Prior to this I hadn’t seen it as a collaboration. Not just a collaboration, but the fact the Universe is so willing to support me to create the life I focus on that it will ONLY say YES to me.

The way this works is very simple. The Universe says YES to whatever you put out there.

“People are always so kind” – the Universe, “YES” and shows me more kind people.

“People are always so cruel” – the Universe, “YES” and validates my belief with more examples of cruel people.

“Things always work out for me” – the Universe, “YES” and there is my car park at the front of the shopping centre.

“It is so difficult to succeed” – The Universe, “YES”, and provides me with more blocks just so I can be right.

Whatever we believe to be the true, the Universe will support it and bring us more evidence of it. We are constantly creating our own reality in our minds and then finding it in the outside world.

There are infinite possibilities and as we put our focus on one, the others disappear and our reality is formed.

The Universe wants us to have whatever we want to have, and what we want to have is whatever we focus on the most.

So where are you putting your focus?

On what you desire or what you want to avoid?

On what is working well for you or on what is broken and no longer useful?

On what is right for you or what is wrong for you?

Never forget how powerful you are and even more importantly never forget that the Universe is constantly working to prove you right.

Something to think about……

Love Kate-3

 

 

What if we are all equal?

 

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There is an Australian and an American sitting on a bench in the park. The Ranger of that park approaches the two men and says: “You on the left, you Aussie, you are alright. You can stay on the bench if you would like to but you, on the right, you have to go. Because you are American, you are worth less and therefore are not allowed to enjoy the same privileges as the man on the left. Get out of my park now”.

There is a man and a woman on a bus. The bus is getting full and people are starting to get hot. The bus driver gets up from his seat, walks down the aisle and points at the woman. “You” he says as he points, “You have to get off this bus. You are taking up a seat that a man could be sitting in and I won’t tolerate that. Leave now by your own doing, or I will drag you off this bus myself”.

There is an adult and a child walking down the road. They are both enjoying the day but get stopped by the mayor of the town. The mayor tells the child: “I am sick of all the problems you children cause, you make a mess, you don’t respect the rules and to be honest, you really do nothing to contribute to our town. As of today, I want you out of my town. You are no longer welcome here”.

There is a gay man and a lesbian in a bar. They happen to be sitting next to one another, both in their own thoughts enjoying a drink. The barman keeps staring at the gay man with a look of aggression in his eyes, he is telling himself a story and it is getting bigger and bigger by the minute. He eventually walks over and says to the man “Leave – I don’t like your sort in here. I think you are disgusting and I never should have served you in the first place”.

There is a dog and a cat in a garden, exploring and smelling the space. The lady who owns that garden comes out of her house and starts shouting at the dog: “Get out of my garden, you filthy animal! You are not welcome here, you make trouble and you are smelly, shoo will you”. She chases the dog out of the gate while continuing to yell abuse at it.

Equality, it’s an interesting conversation….

I wonder what would happen to the world if we were all REALLY equal?

Because currently we are not. These examples may seem harsh or unrealistic but somewhere in the world right now this is happening. People are being judged and discriminated against for their nationality, gender, sexual orientation and so on. People in wars are being saved (or not saved) because of the country they come from. Animals are being treated with regard to profit rather than spirit, and there is a lot of suffering in world because of it.

From the reading I have done around this topic, we have definitely come along way, a very long way!

Especially in regards of gender discrimination. Fiona Paps wrote a great article for the British Council listing the many changes around equality that women across the world have experienced over the last 80 years. I mean, 80 years ago this was a brand new concept!! Times have definitely changed in this area. Everything from women being allowed to vote, to the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern giving birth while in office just last month. And she is unmarried!!

For the animals – especially in the food production industry – there have also been great improvements. Many consumers are no longer okay with animals being treated poorly and living in squalid conditions. Animal Equality in the UK is working hard to get Britain to become Foie Gras free over the next couple of years and the rise of Veganism is feedback that animal equality is definitely on the table. Again, there is still SUCH a long way to go but I am hopeful.

My question for you is: how can we speed up this process of equality?

What would the world be like if we were all equal right now?

Something to think about….

 

Love Kate-3

 

 

 

Breakthrough to Bold

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I remember a time when I just wouldn’t make a decision for fear of getting it wrong.

I was going through a series of challenges: my marriage was in a terrible state, my health wasn’t great and I was confused about what direction to take. I felt almost paralysed and I was incredibly frustrated at life – and at myself!

I was also very scared.

Scared because I didn’t want to get it wrong, scared because what happens if what I choose to do make things worse, and scared because I had not yet learnt to back myself fully.

I knew I should have been taking some action, ANY action, but instead I was looping around the same bad habits over and over again. The rut I was making was deep!

I was stuck.

Then one day, I was reading an article about Oprah. I love Oprah, she is such an empowered and courageous woman, and she was quoted as saying “Nothing happens until you decide. Make a decision and watch your life move forward”.

Make a decision, just one, and see what happens…….

And in that moment I decided, enough was enough. I had to choose me, and so began the journey into creating a life that excites and inspires me.

My breakthrough moment had occurred.

I remember the first few months of that journey was incredibly turbulent: a sense of true power – then crashing down into total despair. Tears and fears were abundant, and it required a whole lot of trust in myself.

That was fourteen years ago.

One of the greatest learnings from that period of my life is that I need to create continual references on breaking through and stepping up. I realised that conditioning myself to make the big decisions, even in the face of fear would greatly serve me.

When I say “big decisions”, I mean those that are specific to each of us. The commonality though, is fear. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway, making the choice, stepping up, breaking through, and most importantly, in that moment having complete trust in yourself.

Since that time I have done many things that scare the bejesus out of me. I have travelled alone, jumped out of a plane, had some tough and frank conversations with people I no longer wanted in my life, walked on hot coals, swam with sharks, had colonic irrigations, shaved my mum’s head when she was dying of cancer, asked someone I don’t know on the street to buy me something (random I know!), enforced my boundaries even when I knew I would be punished for it, given my first speech to a crowd of 150 people, started a new career and loved unconditionally.

Breakthroughs are really simple, though often not easy. It all starts with you loving yourself. All the very best with your journey my lovely friend.

My gorgeous colleague Vicki Hodgson and I are conducting two workshops in Perth Western Australia called Breakthrough to Bold. If this blog resonates with you and you would like to start creating your own evidence of breaking through then come and join us for a fabulous afternoon. Click HERE to buy tickets 

Love Kate-3

 

You are 100% responsible

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This last week a prospective coaching client asked me what is one powerful belief I live my life by.

Firstly, I must say, what an outstanding question to ask someone who you are considering employing to coach and guide you!

My answer: we are 100% responsible for exactly where we are right now in our life.

Just let that one land….

If you don’t like where you are, own the fact that you created where you are.

If you love where you are, celebrate the fact that you created where you are.

It really is that simple! Even if it’s somewhat painful for some of you to hear, including for the beautiful lady who asked me the question.

This is by far one of the most valuable principles of life, in my experience. If you are committed to success of any variety then I would predict you are most probably already living by this principle.

You are 100% responsible for your life: the amount of joy in it, the amount of abundance in it, the amount of successful relationships in it and how healthy, wealthy and wise you are.

The buck stops with YOU! Yep, YOU!

Jack Canfield, the highly successful author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series says, “Most of us have been conditioned to blame something outside of ourselves for the parts of our life we don’t like. We blame our parents, our bosses, our co-workers, our spouse, the weather, the economy, the government, our astrological chart, our lack of money – anyone or anything we can pin the blame on. We never want to look at where the real problem is – ourselves”

Blame is a fast track to mediocrity.

Firstly, because if you are not responsible for your life, then how can you be empowered to change your life?  By choosing blame, you are actually choosing slavery. You enslave yourself to the belief that you have no control over your life and therefore you accept the status quo.

Wayne Dyer, one of my favourite spiritual teachers said “Blame is a waste a time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you”.

That means nothing will change!!

Secondly, failures and things going wrong are a key part of success but if you don’t own those failings or things going wrong then you miss the opportunity to learn and grow. If you aren’t learning and growing, then you are not moving towards success but staying in the same pool of mediocrity that pisses you off each day!

I get that things go wrong in life and plans get messed up but remember, you ALWAYS have control over how you choose to respond (I wrote a blog on this very topic), the meaning you choose to give that event and what you do with the learning.

This principle isn’t about creating the “perfect” life where nothing ever goes wrong, this principle is about being empowered. When we take 100% responsibility for our choices, our results, our actions and our responses we are able to create a life that is truly fulfilling.

We become the Captains of our own ship and we can sail into the sunset of our choosing.

Love Kate-3

 

 

Braving the Wilderness

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Have you ever read a book that leads you to aha moment after aha moment? A book that is so clear and feels so incredibly right that you just want to ring up the author and invite her over for a cuppa and a damn good chat? Well, Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown is that book for me.

I was in Cairns and I saw that my friend had a copy. Being a book fiend, I asked her if I could flick through it and she suggested I read it as she had just finished it. She had found the book very insightful and – knowing that I was a Brene Brown fan – thought I would enjoy it too.

Enjoy it? I LOVED it! If this book was a chocolate cake I would have devoured it in one sitting!!

Brene Brown PhD, LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston. She has dedicated her working life to studying those emotions that make many of us feel uncomfortable – like courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. She did a TED Talk on vulnerability in 2010 and it has been viewed almost 35 million times. This puts it in the top five most watched TED talks ever. This lady understands human emotions on the level of mastery!

Braving the Wilderness is about belonging, in fact it’s about true belonging and yes, there is a distinction. Brene’s definition of true belonging is:

“True belonging is the spiritual practise of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are, it requires you to be who you are”.

Wow! True belonging requires you to be who you are! How powerful is that?

In the world where there is constant comparison and many people feeling inadequate, the idea of just being our authentic selves seems like a bold suggestion. Brene’s analogy of that as being in the wilderness is incredibly beautiful.

I mean the wilderness IS beautiful, it can just be damn scary though – especially when you are on your own out there. The wilderness can feel dangerous, there are bears (or in this country snakes and spiders) but the reality is the beauty of the wilderness always wins if we are prepared to just “be” in it.

When I reflect back on the times I have been in the great outdoors, far away from the city lights and enjoying the silence that space like that offers, I feel a profound level of connection. This connection, I had always thought, was connection to something higher, God or the Universe, yet as I read this book, I came to realise that the connection was to myself (who is a part of God and the Universe anyway).

The wilderness is really where freedom lives.

Just like when I have been in the “wilderness” of standing in my beliefs in the face of criticism or ridicule. The times where I have left the relationship that was hurting me even though I was scared. This wilderness can seem far more terrifying yet, like the outdoors wilderness, this is where freedom lives. Freedom to be me and therefore truly and deeply belong to myself and to the greater world simultaneously.

The thing about true belonging though is it is a combination of being in the wilderness, being you – even if it means you are alone out there, as well showing up, participating, sharing yourself and allowing yourself to be seen by the world around you.

My experience is that we don’t really see each other anymore. People fleetingly glance in another person’s eyes but do they truly see them? I don’t think so.

In fact there was a show on SBS called Look Me In The Eye that was about two people in an estranged relationship coming together. All they did was look into each other’s eyes for five minutes and then make the decision of whether or not they wanted to heal the relationship. Most of them did!

People are hard to hate close up, so move in!

Brene talks about the four elements of True Belonging, and this is the first element.

This is exactly what the SBS show was about. It is extremely difficult to look into the eyes of someone you hate/dislike/have anger towards, for five minutes and there not be a shift. We are kinaesthetic beings, we feel other people’s pain if we connect to them.

I am not going to share the other three elements. I want you to read the book. I hope that everyone reads the book, not only so you have a greater understanding of what the human spirit is craving but to appreciate your wholeness, even when you are out there in the wilderness all alone.

 

 

 

Reclaiming your voice

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It seems like one of those easy things, speaking up.

I mean, all you have to do is open your mouth and let the words flow out. Yet for some reason, this is an incredibly challenging task for many people.

Why?

Well, there is a whole plethora of reasons but speaking from personal experience, I was encouraged to be a “good girl” growing up. This often meant not speaking up, not disagreeing with what the people around me said and often it meant going with the flow even if I didn’t want to.

By the time I was 18 years old, I was heavily conditioned to be a people-pleaser. One of the greatest challenges of being a people-pleaser is to speak loudly and clearly. To use the word NO at will used to be particularly difficult for me.

I spent my 20’s and 30’s rewiring myself around this, finding my voice and really connecting with who I am and what I want. Learning to say no has been one of the greatest skills I have ever acquired!

As Oprah Winfrey says “No is a complete sentence”. I love that statement!

Working with my coaching clients and generally observing others, the five main reasons that I have identified about why people don’t speak up are because:

1.Your identity is very tied up with being the “go-to person”: if you are the solver of everyone else’s challenges, you take on things even when you don’t want to. It is who you are, so it becomes challenging to say no. Often what happens is this person eventually wakes up and says “why am doing all this stuff when I don’t really want to be?”

2. Saying YES is easier than saying NO: many of us have been conditioned to please other people. What that often means is you “go with the flow”, even if the flow isn’t where you want to go. Saying no can often prompt feelings of guilt, fear and even shame.

3.You want to avoid conflict: there are few people on the planet who relish conflict, then there are those who would do ANYTHING to avoid it! I mean, nice people don’t fight with others! Conflict can seem very scary and often is unpredictable. If we lack confidence or are not self-assured, then speaking up can seem too challenging if the possible result is conflict.

4. Your Inner Critic has a VERY loud voice: a person who has conditioned themselves not to speak up has got a very vocal inner critic on the inside.  This critic continually questions, judges and cautions you on speaking up and allowing your voice to be heard: “That will sound stupid, don’t speak up”, “Don’t say that, you might get in trouble or upset them”, “what happens if what I say is wrong?”.

5. Your belief is that your opinions don’t matter anyway: what is the point of speaking up anyway, no one will listen! When your self-worth has been crushed, you can feel worthless or you believe you have nothing of value to offer, it becomes incredibly challenging to speak up and share your voice.

You may have identified yourself in some or many of the list above. Yet what is most important is how do you move forward and truly start sharing your voice with the world around you?

Here are my five tips to develop the practice of authentically speaking up and sharing your voice:

1.Notice your inner critic and challenge it: what is the voice in your head actually saying to you? How truthful is what it is saying? So often we don’t even challenge the voice of the inner critic – we merely accept it as the truth. Our inner critic lives very closely to fear, it really just wants to keep us safe and small. Start to challenge it: “Is that really real?”, “will they really stop loving/caring for/wanting to be near me if I speak up?”, “how do I know what will happen if I share my thoughts?”, “what is the worst thing that can happen if I speak up?”.

2. Connect with your body: Our bodies NEVER lie!! That feeling in your stomach that is screaming at you to speak up right now is your intuition – your gut instinct. Every time we ignore our body’s signals we are betraying ourselves. The wisdom that our body holds is so much more connected than the story our mind is telling us. Your heart knows the truth and it longs to be heard. By speaking up, you are releasing that energy and this is the very best thing you can do for your overall health.

3. Treat this like a science experiment: Become the Mad Scientist in your world.  Observe yourself, try different things and see what happens. Learn from the experiments you conduct, draw conclusions, make changes and try again. Test different things! By framing speaking up as an experiment or a science project, the energy around it shifts. It no longer feels so life and death, it becomes freer and more fun. Trust me, no one is going to die by you speaking your truth. If they do, please let me know and I will amend this blog immediately.

4. Find a teacher/coach/mentor: If speaking up really is something that strikes fear in to your heart then actively seek someone out who is skilled in this area. They can help you learn new strategies around finding your voice, creating healthy boundaries, becoming friends with the word no and developing the courage to speak from your heart. The quickest way to learn a new skill is model someone who is already excelling in this area.

5. Have a love affair with yourself: The more self-love you have, the more confident you are in your own skin. The more confident you are in your own skin, the more comfortable you are to speak up and stand in your truth. The more you speak up and stand in your truth, the more it becomes second nature. Before you know it, it is no longer such a momentous task!

By speaking up – authentically and courageously – you will further deepen the relationship you have with yourself. Every time you do it, it is like giving yourself a beautiful and loving hug. All of sudden, you will notice that you aren’t seeking love from those external forces (for example, your partner, family or job) because you are filling your own tank up by honouring yourself through your voice.

Keep in mind, speaking your truth doesn’t have to be a bombshell or some life-changing words. It could be as simple as speaking up about which restaurant you would like to eat dinner at, or telling your friends that you are going home early because you are very tired from the week at work.

In fact, these sorts of small examples are where we build the muscle so that when it comes time to speak up on the big issues, we are already practised at saying what is in our heart.

Remember, your voice is always there within you. You know it longs to be heard, in fact you can feel it in your body when you deny its expression.

Speak up, speak loudly, be free.

 

 

Hard core withdrawals from the good stuff…

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I have just had nine glorious days of love, connection and a whole lot of hugging, and jeez man, that stuff is the business!

We all need to be hugging more!!

I have recently gotten home from a Tony Robbins event called Date with Destiny.  It’s a six day event and it really is a life-changing one, not only for the participants but for everyone who is involved in it. The energy of that environment, I believe, really does change people on a cellular level!

There were just under 1700 participants and about another 250 trainers, coaches, leaders and crew which actually makes for a relatively intimate environment – crazy I know!

This time I was there in the capacity of crew member. Being a crew member means that we help: we help move chairs, we help participants get registered, we usher people, greet people, we clean the main room, we run microphones, we dance a lot, but most importantly (I believe) we hug!

I’ve realised that it’s the hugging I love most of all! I am naturally very tactile but so often in life I am moving quickly or trying to get stuff done so I don’t stop and take the time to hug the person in front of me.

This is actually a great tragedy! Our world desperately needs more hugging.

Being back in that beautiful environment, I am reminded of the importance of hugging and just how good it makes me and the people around me feel.

Not only does it feel amazing, it is doing good in my body at the same time.

Just this week, The Evening Standard published an article about the health benefits of hugging.

The article explained that hugs are an amazing provider of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone”.  Oxytoxin has been recognised as being of great benefit for several mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts on the brain’s emotional centre, promoting feelings of contentment, trust, intimacy and bonding. Now that’s the good stuff I am talking about!

Another huge bonus of our friend oxytocin is that it causes us to feel more relaxed, decreasing tension as well as levels of cortisol – the body’s stress hormone. Cortisol plays a key role in increasing blood pressure and heart disease so if we have less cortisol in our system, we are winning!

Not only are the hugs increasing our oxytocin but they give our serotonin levels a boost as well as dopamine. Both of these hormones play a key role in our emotions and how we feel. Again, the more the better!

Date with Destiny really is a marathon event! As crew, we are there for nine days. We spend three days preparing and then on our day four, the participants arrive and the games begin. A normal Date with Destiny day is somewhere between 14 to 18 hours, and normally towards that higher end of that scale. Based on that, it would be easy to expect a whole lot of illness from burning the candle at both ends. I am definitely a “nine hours sleep” a night sort of girl so this event is particularly gruelling in regards to sleep deprivation.

Interestingly enough though, I don’t get sick. Even though my body is exhausted and I feel like I am running on empty over the last few days, I keep going and I keep going with a smile on my face.

It’s because of the hugs!!

In a 2015 study involving 404 healthy adults, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University examined the effects of perceived social support and getting hugs on the participants’ susceptibility to developing the common cold after being exposed to the virus.

People who perceived greater social support were less likely to come down with a cold, and the researchers calculated that the stress-buffering effects of hugging explained 32 percent of that beneficial effect.

That is huge!

Interestingly, even those in the group who did get a cold had less severe symptoms. This was directly attributed to more frequent hugging and perceived social support that the hugging gave them.

If you want to feel better about life, if you want to be healthier and if you want more connection in your world, start hugging others. Do it frequently, with presence and enjoy it!

It appears to me that hugging is just another vehicle that our Creator/Universe/ God/Source Energy gave to us to live an even happier and healthier life.

Time to get using it!!