Sometimes the biggest shifts are the most simple of all..

As I sat here feeling rested, alert, healthy and alive, not remotely hungover, exhausted or grumpy that I was already awake again so early on a Saturday morning, it prompted me to reflect the shifts that have occurred for me thus far in 2014.

At the end of last year, I made the decision that I had become stagnant. I realised that I wasn’t learning, my work was not challenging me, I didn’t feel fulfilled and I just generally felt a little flat. Like the tyres on a cool red bicycle, that had streamers, spokie-dokies, a basket for goodies and a really really cool horn, but that had been left propped against the side of a garage… so the streamers weren’t as shiny, there was a little bit of rust on the basket, the red paint was dull, and worst of all, there was no air in the tyres.. how can you ride a bike with no air in the tyres? Well, you can try but it’s just way harder than it needs to be, and you find you need to put in 3x the effort to get anywhere.

Where was the fun in that?

So I began to think about what it was in life that filled me up, the things that I did, experienced, learned etc that put air in my tyres and made me feel like I was moving forward, not only with momentum, but with awesome streamers waving in the wind, tooting my horn, laughing my a*s off and making a generally loud, hilarious and fun racket as I cruised about my day…

Here’s what I did: I made a list of all of the things I love, that give me energy and make me feel connected, and that give me a sense of self.

Bringing this stuff back into your life is a bit of a process, and when you’re not naturally a super patient person (people think I am, but I have to work really really hard at this!) you have to be sensible about what you can do, how soon you can do it, and make a plan about how you are going to get there. (All the stuff I teach and have taught through coaching, so just tapping into that toolkit again basically)

The three main things I put into play were this:

Nutritional Healthcare: I found a course that I could do, that was reasonably priced, had good timeframes and could give me some solid grounding in this subject which I am incredibly passionate about.

NLP: I had enjoyed learning about this as part of my coaching, but had stepped away from it for the past few years. I wanted to learn more, do a practitioners course and use this fabulous communication tool.

Reiki: this was something that I had been thinking about for years (we’re talking 10+ years here!) But I was a little scared to get this ball rolling, because I knew that when I did, I would bring my spiritual and emotional sides to the fore again, and that meant being honest with myself, and really getting my sh*t together once and for all.

So I am 75% of the way through the Nutritional Healthcare course, enjoying working my way through the NLP Course, and I have completed Reiki First Degree, and am set to complete Reiki Second Degree on Tuesday. (After which time I can practice Reiki)

The Reiki is the part that has bought this all together.. I’ve realised how much I segmented my life over the past 20 years. I wanted to ‘stand on my own two feet’ and ‘not have to rely on anyone’ (I had three part time jobs at the age of 12) I wanted to be taken seriously, and even though I have always been an intensely spiritual person, highly attuned to energy, I was so scared that people wouldn’t take me seriously if they knew this part of me, that I first hid that side, and then almost shut it off completely.

So what made me a highly effective and efficient recruiter and coach – logic, humour, attention to detail, an analytical and logical mind etc – didn’t necessarily make me ME.

I was taught through my coach training that in order to be an effective coach, you must first be coachable yourself. Ie you need to be ready, willing and able to evolve and to grow. Because of the things I am learning, and the changes that I have already put into play, I’m excited again about life. I have a new perspective. A new energy. Air in my tyres. A new shiny paint job coming along nicely, not to mention some sparkly streamers that will soon be attached to my bike….

You are not what you do.

You are not the clothes that you wear, the car you drive, the degree (or lack there of) that you have, how much money you have, or how rich your parents are. 

You are defined by the choices you make, HOW you live your life, your ability to grow, to move past and through the tough bits, and more than anything, your ability to find joy and celebrate it in every way that you can.

 

The Cult Of Celebrity/ Looking To Celebs For Lifestyle Advice?

More and more of these lifestyle books/style guides/cookbooks/cum-how-to-guides by celebrities seem to be published year on year, as this infamous ‘cult of celebrity‘ gains yet more traction….

So why do we buy this stuff? How come a book with a famous face or ‘personality’ seems to whizz right to the top of the best seller list? And how does a celebrity (who has a ton of stylists, personal chefs, trainers and image-makers) suddenly become an expert themselves?

What bugs me about this trend is that half the stuff people talk about simply isn’t attainable in day to day life.. we don’t have personal trainers, chefs, interior designers, or unlimited dollars for a wardrobe makeover etc…. so when people read this goop (intentional reference) they are buying more and more into an unattainable ‘ideal’ lifestyle. And perpetuating the cycle of ‘I wish I had/if only I was’ instead of learning to appreciate what we already have.

The key to breaking this trend is firstly, I believe, to become aware of it. To realise that ‘modern life’ has become this hamster wheel of bombardment with images of ‘beauty’, glamour, lifestyle, saturating our daily lives until our visual brains and impressionable souls start to think this is the norm… then continuing this barrage of stimuli that tells us ultimately: ‘if you only looked like this… had these things… you would be happy, you would be valuable – you would be loved’…

As someone who struggled with this system of belief, manifesting as an eating disorder that dictated my life for over 6 years… it bugs me that a so-called ‘celebrity’ can publish a book telling other people how they should live their lives if they want to be happy.

Happiness is within us all. There is no magic formula to fit everyone. One size doesn’t fit all folks…. and you aren’t going to find fulfilment with a new pair of shoes, a flashy car, or a bigger house than your neighbour.

Sure, these things are fun… hell I’m a shoe-girl myself, and I love nice things… but as I grow, and seek out the perspective I need to evolve and be fulfilled and joyful as a human being, I realise that so much of that stuff we’re desperately trying to attain, the things we’re going into debt for to GET, simply don’t cut it.

So if you knew you had the power to change your life…… what would you do?

 

Lifestyle changes/ eating for health..

Reading through this list of heathy eating cafès published in the Herald today (not an exhaustive list by any means but still good selection) it does truly seem like Auckland is cottoning on to healthy, tasty eating…. There does seem to be a bit of a movement of this lately, and it’s been one of my (slow burning) passions for many years so it’s great to see some dialogue and energy behind this. (Am I just noticing this because I’m getting back into it, or is it truly changing?)

Since my health issues in 2012, and subsequent changes in my body since then (read: weight gain due to heavy doses of hormones, ongoing issues with my body dealing with a temp “fix” device pumping yet more hormones into my body each day) I’ve been trying to find the right balance to get myself back to optimum health…

Through the changes in my diet and lifestyle I’ve noticed that I’m not as susceptible to colds/viruses as I once was… or if I start to get sick I can generally knock it before it takes hold. This in itself would be reason enough to make the simple changes I have… but as I’m on a bit of a journey at present, there’s more to come!

Through my years of coaching and working in the recruitment industry I’ve noticed the common theme that everyone is looking for in their life is balance. (namely a career that provides challenge and opportunity to grow, whilst supporting you financially and allowing adequate leisure time and the ability to enjoy new experiences..) this is the holy grail right?

But it all begins with balance.

We can’t expect that our lives will change if we keep doing the same things that we have always done. It’s not rocket science – it’s logic. You need to change the ingredients or the inputs, to achieve a different result.

One if the easiest ways to change your life is to adjust your lifestyle – make some very real decisions about your inputs and ingredients. It can be the food you eat, the alcohol you imbibe, the fresh air and exercise you experience from day to day – or the people you spend your time and energy with/on.

You can’t make massive changes overnight, there’s always a period of adjustment, and that’s OK. Some of the things that have worked for me, which I will keep doing and refining are:
– Cutting down/ cutting out alcohol (seems a no brainer, right?)
– Cutting down/cutting out sugar/ refined and processed food (amazing how your body responds after the initial detox period)
– Increasing exercise (a lot of this is just finding out what works for you, for example gyms are not for me, but for some that’s perfect)
– Increasing organic/ wholefoods and vegetables in my day to day diet (had a huge impact for me personally)

The Herald article talked about healthy eating cafés really working because they haven’t compromised on taste, and this resonates with me… no one in their right mind (??) wants to eat dry, tasteless bird seed.. and you don’t have to. Cooking can be an absolute joy – with inspiring ingredients and unreal flavour and taste experiences.. food that nourishes you. <3

 

Buddha Bowl