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

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

The Departure Gate

 

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I love airports. They are the perfect cross-section of humanity.

Everyone is here. From the FIFO worker on his way home, right through to the family who is going on the much anticipated holiday. Work and pleasure, happiness and sadness, lone travellers and huge packs of them.

I am sitting here at Sydney International Airport about to board a flight to Nadi in Fiji and am taking in the people, the movement and the stories. I am continually intrigued about people; they genuinely fascinate me – and airports are a melting pot of stories, journeys and reasons. I love how so many different things have brought all of us here to this moment in time – where my path crosses other peoples’ paths and I get a glimpse into their world. A glimpse I might never see if I didn’t choose this chair, in this airport, on my way to that place.

The man sitting a few seats down from me in the coffee shop has been telling his neighbour that he is heading home to New Zealand to bury his Mum. He hadn’t spoken to her for several years after a family disagreement and I can hear the regret and pain in his voice.

“I had this feeling that something was wrong but I have been ignoring it for the last few months. Anyway, after much discussion, my wife convinced me to check in with everyone at home. I didn’t want to, but sometimes it’s just easier to let the missus win. So the feeling was right. My Mum had a brain tumour – an aggressive one – and it was killing her fast. Dad asked me to come back and see her – you know, fix things up before she dies. I honestly thought I had more time and I really believed I would make it home in time to hug her and say sorry. I have spent the last few weeks imagining the moment where I say sorry. I was such a prick to her the last time we spoke. I am gutted, just so gutted, that I didn’t get back in time”.

I thought I was going to start crying listening to this!

I wasn’t part of the conversation so it would have been incredibly inappropriate for me to start sobbing just a metre away from him but jeez..!

This is a gut-wrenching reason to be at the airport! Where has that family gone who was laughing about their trip to Disneyland??

It took all of my resolve to just listen and manage my own emotions. The pain emanating from this man was palpable – he oozed sadness and my heart just ached for him. Being the empathetic creature that I am, I had to get up and walk away. I couldn’t be so close to this man anymore because I was barely holding it together. I moved to the departure lounge from where my flight was soon leaving and started to write this. I am not even really sure what my point is other than don’t have regrets!

Life is too short to have regrets, yet life is also funnily enough too long to have regrets.

I love airports. They are the perfect cross-section of humanity.

 

 

Love your Inner child and your life will change

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There is a photo on my desk that I look at every single time I sit down to work. The photo is of me which most probably sounds pretty arrogant…….

“Jeez, why would she feel the need to look at a photo of herself?” I can hear you saying.

Well, let me clarify, it’s a photo of four year old me and I stole it from my Dad’s house. To be honest I doubt he has even noticed, I mean I didn’t notice the photo for years. Quite the metaphor really!

I wonder how many times I walked past it without even a sideways glance? It has been in a frame, in various positions across several houses for the last 37 years. My Mum was an avid photographer and my childhood was captured in no less than 46 albums, me aged 0 to 18. Looking at the photo I can see why my Mum chose this particular one to elevate to frame status.

This picture absolutely captures me as a happy, carefree child. I have a cheeky grin and I can clearly see my playful nature in my eyes and smile. I am dressed as a good child of the ’70s should be: red, blue and white striped tee shirt under blue overalls – completely fitting of the decade!

When I did finally notice it, it was only because I had started doing consistent and focused work with my Inner Child. As Tony Robbins says “Where focus goes, energy flows”. I was now noticing the little girl not only in myself, but in the environment around me.

Just like the photo, I had not been seeing her at all, and yet she was dying to be understood, nurtured and loved.

I stole this photo because when it finally made its way into my awareness it was the perfect visual I needed of my inner child. I realised that it was this little girl I had been talking with, nurturing and developing a relationship with. I love that I can now look into her eyes through this picture each and every day.

Inner Child work is a vital component of personal growth and development because it reconnects us with the distressed element of ourselves, the little child. This is really about the fact that the majority of what we are contending with in our adult lives comes from our childhood – or more specifically our young childhood below ten years of age.

When we reconnect with these wounded parts of ourselves, we can begin to discover the root of many of our beliefs, fears, insecurities and sabotaging behavioural patterns.

This is where the true healing happens! By giving your inner child the love and connection he or she so desperately wants, you will start to very quickly and powerfully resolve adult problems.

As Raul Lopez Jnr, author, speaker and founder of Live Again Co says: “Heal the boy and the man will appear”. Torn from and then abandoned by his father at age 7, Raul spent the next 17 years on a rollercoaster of drugs, gangs, imprisonment and much more until he decided enough was enough. Reflecting back, he realised that he had work to do with the little boy inside himself who was still struggling to understand why he wasn’t enough.

Raul made poor choice after poor choice in pursuit of healing the ache inside of himself, and nothing was working. After beginning his journey of self-exploration and discovery in his 20s he realised that for things to truly change, he had to heal the little boy inside himself.

We don’t even realise that we are dealing with a wounded little kid most of the time. Yet the more connected we are to our inner child, the more developed and mature we are as adults. There is a powerful and definite relationship between these two parts of ourselves. It can be very surprising what comes up through inner child work – stuff that we did not have conscious awareness of, beliefs that were formed completely out of context, and “gap filling” which is our little child mind making up the story because we don’t understand the bigger picture.

This work is not about dealing with symptoms and using band aids. This is about getting back to the very core of where your beliefs, fears and behavioural patterns started – your childhood.

This is true healing in every sense of the word!

As I sit at my desk each day, I now always take a moment to check in with that little four year old girl. I ask her how she is doing and is there anything that she needs. This is such a simple action but it has produced profound results for me.

If you have never done any inner child work there are tons of resources around. You can work with a coach like me, access tons of information through books and the web, or attend a workshop.

At the very minimum, find a photo of yourself and pop it up somewhere that you will see every day. This act alone will promote the development of one of the most important relationships in your life.

 

 

Givers need to know when to stop giving

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We all know that one person.

The person who happily rocks up to the party and doesn’t bring a thing EVER.

The person who will call and offload all their problems to you but is never available in your moment of need.

The person who always wants to be picked up (even expects it) but never does the picking up.

TAKERS!!

Or as I like to call them: The “One Way Street Human Being”.

In my experience, Takers come in three flavours:

The first flavour is that of the Scarcity Taker. The Scarcity Taker simply believes that there isn’t enough to go around. They feel the need to take and hoard whatever they can get their hands on because they believe there is a finite supply on the planet. They will let you buy lunch because then they get to save their money (even if you have bought lunch the last five times). They might need their money for something else so they are not going to offer it or spend it if they don’t have to.

The Scarcity Takers don’t ever view this as unfair or rude – they see it as sensible. They think there isn’t enough to go around so why spend when they don’t have to? You offered to buy the lunch, so they get to squirrel their cash away for another day. This is a win/win situation for them, but not for you.

The second type of Taker is the Entitled Taker. The Entitled Taker genuinely believes that they have the right to take more than others. They will happily go to the pub with a group of people and let everyone else buy the wine for the table. Of course their glass will never be empty! There is wine on the table and they are entitled to drink as much as they want. The Entitled Taker does not even consider that there is anything wrong with this – they are entitled for God sake!

The Entitled Taker often appears cocky and arrogant in their taking. There is no apology for their lack of contribution. They boldly grab at what they want (often without asking) and then will fire back strongly if anyone challenges them.

The third kind of Taker is the Selfish Taker. The Selfish Taker genuinely struggles to think of anyone else’s needs. It is all about them! The Selfish Taker normally has a highly inflated sense of importance (which stems from poor self esteem) and therefore their needs and desires trump everyone else’s. Selfish Takers tend to have the quickest turnover of people in their lives because their overt self-focus gets boring very quickly.

The Selfish Taker wants it their way every time. If it doesn’t go their way, they like to punish whoever was involved. They will fight back when challenged because they cannot see any other point of view and will normally be outraged at the suggestion that they are taking.

The fascinating thing about Takers is they attract Givers. Like night and day, man and woman, black and white, yin and yang – a taker needs a giver.

Givers needs takers too. The Giver gets to feel important and valuable because they are meeting their need for contribution (underneath that they are really meeting their need for love, connection and significance) so for a while this is a symbiotic relationship.

But there ALWAYS comes a point.

The Giver realises that they are being used and the Taker starts to morph into a parasitic being – sucking the Giver dry with an ever growing thirst for more and more.

This is normally where the story gets interesting!

The Giver becomes agitated! Yet often they don’t want to speak up because confrontation is the last thing they want. The Giver has collected hundreds of examples of where they gave and the other person took. They are genuinely baffled at why the Taker cannot see this. The Taker should KNOW what they are doing; they should realise just how much the Giver is giving – it’s obvious isn’t it??

NO, IT IS NOT! You are dealing with a Taker.

It’s time for you to put your big girl (or big boy) undies on and make some decisions! This doesn’t mean ending the friendship, although that is often what happens. It means drawing some lines in the sand, getting clear on your boundaries, and most of all it means finding a voice and speaking up.

Saying “No”.

Saying “It’s your turn”.

Saying “If you want to keep drinking the wine from the table, please go and buy some to add to it – otherwise stop drinking our wine”.

I can hear the collective intake of breath from all the Givers as they read that: “I can’t say that!! That is so rude!”. But so is bagging them to everyone who will listen because you don’t have the courage to speak up! So is not valuing yourself enough to speak your truth!

Every day we are teaching people how to treat us. The statements above are teaching the Taker that what they are doing is not okay. You have now made them accountable. By making them accountable they will think about their actions next time this situation occurs. You might have to call them on it five times, but you are speaking your truth and will feel SO much better for it in the long run.

One of my favourite sayings that beautifully sums this up goes:

“Givers need to know when to stop giving because takers don’t know when to stop taking”.

Never stop giving – it is definitely one of the most beautiful traits in human beings. Just make sure you are giving and not being used.

Get your Nude on

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When Was The Last Time You Were Naked In Public?

I imagine this question strikes fear into many of your hearts! So many of us aren’t even comfortable being naked in the privacy of our own homes – like in front of our loved ones or a full length mirror.

On Sunday I was in Sydney to take part in the 5th annual “Sydney Skinny”. The Sydney Skinny is a nude race (well more of a splash around than a race!) which is swum in Middle Harbour and raises money for the Charlie Teo Foundation, a brain cancer research charity.

This is the second year I have participated and I must say that there is a lot to be said for getting your kit off and swimming in one of the most beautiful harbours in the world.

It’s liberating.

It’s empowering.

But most profoundly, it’s equalising.

Last year when I swam I was a little daunted at the thought of being naked in front of so many people. I remember as we were walking down to the beach that my heart was beating a bit faster than normal, and I am pretty sure I had a mild “deer in the headlights” look going on!

Within minutes of being in the Harbour and feeling the water on my body (as well as seeing so many people laughing and having fun), all of my fears and concerns were quite literally washed away.

I just focused on how freeing and liberating it felt, and made sure that I took in the spectacular views. I had such a sense of gratitude with that first race – gratitude that I said yes to the opportunity, and that I could support Charlie Teo (he is such a lovely man!) in his life-changing work. Getting to make these wild memories with one of my best friends was also another huge bonus for me.

Back to equalising though. It became apparent very quickly on that first swim that we were all just a bunch of people of all different shapes, sizes, colours, backgrounds, religions, cultures and ages who are doing their best and having some fun.

All the fears I had about being naked in front of strangers stemmed from me comparing myself to what the “ideal” woman looks like and how I am not that woman. I have a bum and thighs and my boobs are on the small side. I have got stretch marks from my teenager growth spurt and the beginnings of bunions on my feet. The media has made it clear that the “ideal” woman has a very different body to the one I have, and as much I have grown through my body image issues there is nothing like the thought of getting naked with a thousand other people to be triggered!

My realisation was that all my discomfort, suffering and fear came from judgment – judgment that I am not the “ideal” shape and that I have blemishes on my body, for example. The fact is though, this vessel has carried me through 42 years of life…of course there are a few dings here and there!

On the beach with all the naked swimmers around me it became clear that there is no “ideal” man or woman. The media has done us such a great disservice and sold us such a terrible story. That story is that we are not enough and that perfection is the only beautiful thing. But what is perfection anyway?? The media’s story prevents us from celebrating the amazing bodies that we have been given, and it further heightens our need to compare.

We are all unique and most importantly – beautiful – in our own way. Instead of comparing ourselves, we should be celebrating ourselves. It is our differences that make us special, not our sameness.

As Osho, the Indian spiritual guru says:

“Whoever told you that the bamboo is more beautiful than the oak, or the oak more valuable than the bamboo?

Do you think the oak wishes it had a hollow trunk like this bamboo?

Does the bamboo feel jealous of the oak because it is bigger and its leaves change colour in the fall?

The very idea of the two trees comparing themselves to each other seems ridiculous, but we humans seem to find this habit very hard to break.”

Returning this year to the Sydney Skinny was even more enjoyable than the first time. This time around I didn’t judge myself and as a result I didn’t feel judged. I was just so excited about getting in the water again and it was the most beautiful day! My friends and I relaxed happily on the beach post-race and even got in to swim the course a second time.

The nudity wasn’t even an issue.

The whole event is really just a celebration of life, connection, humanity and everyone being uniquely themselves. As I lay in bed at the end of the day I thanked my body for all the amazing work she does day in and day out – she deserves so much praise for all that she does – and this weekend reminded me of that.

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Juicy January

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Today is Day 14 of my Juicy January Juice Fast: the final day of a two week “Temple Cleanse” as I like to call it.

The old Temple (my body) has had a thrashing since I landed in France in September last year for a family holiday. It was a total food and wine fest (as it should be in France) and when I arrived back in Australia, well, the silly season had sort of begun already! All of the October and November birthdays had to be celebrated and that rolled straight into Christmas party season: there goes 2017! I had been treating my Temple like a nightclub for the last three months and it was time to give it some love.

For the last five years I have done a juice cleanse every January. I find that it sets me up for the year – both mentally and physically.

Mentally – by reaffirming my health and vitality beliefs (because of how amazing I feel afterwards) and by resetting all those sneaky little eating habits that creep in so insidiously. It requires a fair bit of discipline and focus to drink nothing but juice for 14 days and by creating the evidence that I can do it I feel supported in so many other areas of my life. I see juicing as the ultimate gift I can give my body and mind: it is a profound act of self-love.

Physically – because everything works better!! Those little aches and pains disappear, my digestive system works seamlessly, the holiday layer of fat disappears, my skin and eyes are clear and bright, and the list goes on.

One of my favourite benefits of juicing is how much better I sleep and the vivid and colourful dreams that I have. I read once that the cleaner our body is the closer we are able to move towards the Divine and this feels so true when I am having such meaningful and bright dreams.

I appreciate that juicing isn’t for everyone but if you are looking to do something new for your mind and body, then this might be it.

I had my first juice experience back in 2013 in Fiji at an event called Life Mastery. For eight days we drank juice and took part in activities that support wholeness, wellness, health and wealth. Alongside the juicing I had colonic irrigations (a first for me) and went to the day spa every second day. To say those eight days were life changing would be an understatement!

When I came home I got myself a juicer and started to include juicing in my everyday routine. My friends and family noticed a profound difference in me and things in my life were shifting as a result of me feeling so well.

A few months later my very dear friend Bron invited me to go and see a movie about juicing with her. Of course I said yes!

Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead 2  is the second part of the story of an Australian man, Joe Cross, and his life-changing journey with juice. Joe healed his body from chronic illness and totally changed the relationship he had with himself through juicing. He was so hardcore that he did 60 days of just juice and documented his journey. The results he achieved with his health and wellness were dramatic and far-reaching and prompted him to change the direction of his life to become an advocate for juicing.

After the film we got back in the car and I said to Bron “Well, it would be crazy not to do a juice fast after watching that movie!” so we scheduled it in and since then I have juiced every six or so months.

As well as Joe Cross, there is another man I deeply admire in the world of juicing – his name is Jason Vale.

Jason has also changed his health and vitality dramatically through juicing and has become one of the leaders in the field. He had several chronic auto immune disorders including eczema and colitis and was on a brutal regime of medication to manage these aliments.

When Jason discovered juicing his life changed as his health improved, and because of that he has dedicated his life to spreading the word. He made a film called Super Juice Me which documents the journey of eight chronically ill people on a 28 day juice fast at his retreat in Portugal, Juicy Oasis. It is a phenomenal film showing just how quickly our bodies can heal when we give them the right conditions to do so.

I firmly believe that our bodies want to be well. Their natural state is that of abundant health yet because of poor nutrition, pollution, and poor drinking water (not to mention our compromised mental and emotional health) we create an environment for “dis-ease” – also known as disease. If you can create an optimal environment for your body to be well, it will heal itself as it is hardwired to do.

For me, juicing is a key part of creating that environment. Perhaps it might be for you too?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being versus Doing

being-and-doing

 

 

I believe that one of my greatest strengths is that I am good at getting things done.

I am definitely a doer – I love a good list, and I have a paper diary where I can track all sorts of things from tasks to be done to the days that I exercise. Being a doer has certainly helped me achieve some of my greatest accomplishments.

The thing about being a DOER though, is I often forget to BE, and the BEING is really how I want to be feeling while I am DOING all those things.  I get caught up in crossing things off my list and the end game, and can often forget to appreciate the process (the BEING). I sometimes forget to enjoy the ride in pursuit of just getting it done! The BEING though, is a key piece to feeling truly fulfilled.

Wayne Dyer, who I believe was one of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time, said “I am human being, not a human doing”

I love this quotation because it reminds me that one of the most important jobs here on earth is to BE; not just to DO. The DOING is greatly cheapened if we don’t appreciate, enjoy and celebrate the BEING. This includes appreciating the person we are (with or without the task being achieved, the goal being nailed, or the list being completed) and valuing the learning, embracing the growth, and finding joy and happiness in each day.

Our greatest education often comes from the journey (not the destination), and DOING is actually all about arriving. It’s about our identity and us seeing ourselves as our accomplishments and achievements rather than our character, personality, spiritual self or how we energetically “show up”.

Our society praises the DOING far more than the BEING so it is easy to forget to focus on it.  By simply asking yourself, “How do I want to feel today?” will bring you back into the BEING very quickly.  If you achieve great things each day yet are miserable, what is the point?

So many of the teachers I admire – from Oprah Winfrey, Caroline Myss, Brene Brown (and of course Wayne Dyer) – have all spoken passionately about honouring the BEING. Honouring the BEING is definitely a daily practise.

The rest of Wayne Dyer’s quotation says: “Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you are doing things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t do it, you aren’t”.

I love that man…he is so bloody smart!! The world certainly lost a phenomenal teacher when Wayne Dyer passed away.

Like so many paradoxes, day and night, black and white, yin and yang, BEING and DOING work together.  It’s all about having a healthy balance and ensuring that both of these states are being valued and practised.