The brain is a wonderful, weird and miraculous organ.

We still understand so little about it, however we do know that we have the power to work with it and even alter its current structure and function.

We are brought up to believe certain things and very often if we get told something enough or we hear something enough we deem it to be the truth. However what I have found on my journey is that a lot of our thought patterns can keep us stuck. We need to challenge them and get out of our own way. Have you ever said any of the following??

 

1. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME 

This is one of the most common excuses I hear for not doing things and putting a plan in place. A lot of people don’t get travel insurance because things never happen to them or health insurance because they are young or have never been ill. None of these illusions protects you from a freak accidents or illness. When we travel we can get robbed, delayed and ill and none of these things might be our fault. It’s a nice fantasy to think that things won’t happen to us but taking steps ‘just in case’ makes life so much easier if something does happen. You will be supported and protected and take it from me when you are abroad and something happens there is no better feeling than feeling safe especially when the bills rack up.

money, greed, mindset

2. THERE’S NOT ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE 

This is an interesting myth that we have been brought up with leading us to become selfish and panicked accumulating as much as possible as quickly as possible. How much do we need? When do we hit the stage of ENOUGH? We are enough and we have enough as we are. It’s only when we realise this truth can we live a fulfilled life.

mindset, change your thoughts

3. WORKING  LONG HOURS MEANS I’LL BE MORE SUCCESSFUL

The disease of being busy has taken over the world leading us to be brainwashed into thinking that the more hours we give the better we are and the more successful we will become. We now have lots of research that points to less is more especially when it comes to work. We need to balance our life with family and fun and recharge our batteries with great sleep and brain breaks throughout the day at work. Stop, step back and reassess to make real progress.

mindset, no time, health, wellbeing

4. I DON’T HAVE TIME

The famous ‘I don’t have time’ and ‘you don’t realise how busy my life is’ myth. I used to say this all the time but the reality is that we all have the same 24 hours in a day and we will ALWAYS find time for what is important. We find time for what we value and a good exercise here is to write down your top values in life and see if you are living by them. If not maybe it’s time you made time for what truly matters to your heart.

lifestyle, health, wellness

5. I CAN EAT AND DRINK WHAT I WANT AS I’M NEVER ILL 

Well good for you- For now! It’s true many of us can get away with bad lifestyle habits for decades but it does catch up on you. If you have a family dependant on you and people you love I believe it’s our responsibility to try and be as healthy as possible for them ensuring we are around as long as possible. Very often disease is brewing in our bodies for many years before we even notice or get symptoms. Lack of sleep, bad food, too much alcohol and burning the candle at both ends never ends well!

 

So what does selfcare really mean?

Selfcare is something that only you can provide for yourself and is by far the most important ingredient for true wellness.

  • It means showing up for yourself every single day.
  • It means taking the time to work on yourself instead of avoiding yourself.

In 2017, we saw words like selfcare, authenticity and mindfulness often being overused, yet very misunderstood.

Saying and doing are very different things. Having struggled with my own mental health and addictions for 20 years, words like selfcare, authenticity and mindfulness are sacred words upon which the solid foundation of a strong and healthy lifestyle is built.

Real self care is about valuing yourself enough to treat yourself with respect and kindness. It’s about understanding that there are no prizes in life for being a sacrificial lamb, and understanding that when you give to yourself first, you have so much more to give to others, so it’s a true win win. Just think about aeroplanes when they ask you to put on your own mask first before helping others.

I agree that selfcare can be difficult sometimes because it asks us to be present and deal with life as it happens instead of pretending everything is fine. Very often we wear a mask for the outside world when our world inside is crumbling. But it is only through facing the very things that scare us can we have real change and peace in our hearts and minds.

selfcare, mindfulness, thoughts, intentions, authenticity,

Selfcare means finding and following our passion and purpose. It means being strong and aligning with our true values and ethos instead of merging with the masses and losing our way. When we practice authentic selfcare, we work with our mind and transform it to create a better life not only for ourselves but also for those around us.

Selfcare awakens our authentic self and allows us to live out our true calling and not one mapped out for us by others. However its needs ingredients like consistency, awareness, mindfulness, love, kindness, gratitude and daily practice to be transformed into a way of living that continuously delivers miracles to us daily.

When we practice living like this, we experience a shift in perception, which encourages us to be kinder and more loving to both others and ourselves.

LIFE IS A JOURNEY

As individuals we never stop growing, learning and evolving till the day we die. When we do, problems happen. One of the biggest learnings I have had so far is that you can either consciously choose to live life to the fullest, or you can do what I did for years and walk around dead. There are so many people in the world today who are alive but dead.

 

I became stagnant in different areas of my life and stunted my growth. Very often, as human beings, we have a goal in life such as leaving college and getting a good job or getting married and having kids. What can happen when we achieve these things is that we become complacent and dare I say even lazy. We have now hit our target and so we stop trying and sit back to enjoy the ride. I did this for years as I reached goals I thought ‘that’s it fantastic life will now take care of me’ but I learnt the hard way that it simply doesn’t work like that. You get out of life what you put into it and every time you get to a place where you feel comfortable, it’s time to push further and grow more.

 

This is how you stay alive, excited, curious, connected and adventurous. When you live this way, you are happening to life and life is not happening to you. When you become stagnant, life happens to you. This is when you become a victim.

 

I used to be a victim! Nothing was ever my fault. It was always someone else’s. If I didn’t book a big job it was my agents’ fault, my sisters’, boyfriends’ or whoever was lucky enough to be standing to close to me at the time. If I missed work because I was out drinking, it was the fault of the people I was with, not mine.

 

It’s hard to take responsibility, it’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and see aspects of yourself that are not so appetizing.

 

selfcare, mindfulness, thoughts, intentions, authenticity,

Responsibility and selfcare go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Self-respect and selfcare go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other and boundaries and selfcare go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other.

I learned all of this the hard way. I had no self-respect; little or no boundaries and I never took responsibility for my behavior even when it meant I was hurting others.

Addiction will strip you bare. It will chew you up and spit you out. It will lie to you and for the small moment that you think it relieves your pain, it will give you more and multiply it by four each time.

Facing and feeling the issues and problems that life presents to us heal pain. It doesn’t work by turning your cheek and running the other way. I know because I did this for most of my adult life. Avoiding pushes those experiences and feelings down further. You push them down so hard and far you think you are clever and that they are gone forever but one day they will bubble back to the surface and what do you then?

They will present themselves in all sorts of ways through illness, depression, anger and rage. Just think of it like a bottle of coke that you have been shaking for years. Now just imagine when the cap comes off, the mess it makes. Does it not make sense to feel and deal as we go along so that the mess doesn’t get so overwhelming?

Now I’m well aware that life is complex and each one of us has our own journey. Some people are given the tools to cope and some are not. I had none and mental health is certainly not a topic that was ever spoken about when I was young. Mental health issues and addictions bring shame and guilt into a family and that cycle can only be broken when each one of us accepts that no one is perfect and we need more understanding, support and compassion.

Shame, blame and guilt are deeply ingrained in Irish culture, primarily a hangover of the control the Catholic Church had for so long. When you have been reared like this, it’s hard to break the cycle and break free.

Part of practicing selfcare means being genuinely kind and compassionate towards yourself and when guilt has been your comfort zone, the shift to love can take time.

My golden rule is to treat yourself as you would a best friend. Every time you say something mean, ask yourself ‘would I say that to a friend’. Our words have real power and negative self-talk lowers our energy and vibration.

selfcare, mindfulness, thoughts, intentions, authenticity,I also believe mindfulness is one of the most important daily practices and something that is not optional anymore. We need to consciously include mindful moments in our lives because the digital age has now removed the ones we had naturally. We have become wired and tired and need to bring more mindfulness in to help calm and control both our body and mind.

Overall selfcare enables you to find your way among the masses, to find your way home to your true self. After all it’s an inside out world regardless of what the illusion of this world would have you think.

So why should you do this and practice selfcare?

Because you are unique. You are the only you on the whole earth and you are a unique expression of our creator’s love.

So don’t ever expect to be like anyone else. Just be you. Your beautiful bright, bold and unique self.

BOOK NOW FOR TICKETS TO MY FULL 360 EVENTS – A FULL DAY OF WELLBEING

Do you ever wonder why you continue to attract the same types of partners? Or, is the same problem showing up in all your intimate relationships?

Relationships Article Annie 2

So many people claim they are “bad at relationships” but the question they need to ask themselves is, what attempts are they making to tend to them? It’s fair to say I am bad at long distance running because I have never brought awareness to why I keep getting injured at the six-mile stage to change some of the bad habits I have picked up over the years. The same is also true for intimate relationships, until you develop a loving relationship with yourself and pay attention to what is going on beyond the superficial, you will unfortunately continue to repeat these same patterns. Ask yourself, where your “injuries” show up in your intimate relationships and be honest with yourself. To engage in a healthy intimate relationship you must develop self-awareness and a range of skills to prepare you for love and the maintenance of it. The idea that love is an action can be quite startling for some, because it is in stark contrast to the social expectation we have picked up about dating, romance, intimate relationships and marriage our whole lives.

For many years I was the person complaining about my inability to attract a healthy intimate relationship but doing nothing to tend to what was actually going on. It was too painful to look inwards at my own behaviours and much easier to highlight all that was wrong with the guys I was meeting. After a particularly bad break up I decided to reach out and seek support but I discovered it was impossible to find the kind of tailored service I was looking for. Back then there was no such thing as Relationship Coaching. Once I had done all the necessary personal work to heal and attract only healthy intimate love I decided to set up my own relationship coaching practice. I didn’t want others to go through what I did. When I think back to those years, although they were so transformative they were lonely, especially when all around me were people who appeared to “have it all”. At that time, I identified those markers to be; a man, career, baby. For me now, “having it all” thankfully means something entirely different and much more in line with who I am rather than fitting a societal “norm”. Understand yourself, honour your needs and take care of your emotional self rather than waiting for prince or princess charming to come along and take care of all your woes. By far it’s a much surer bet.

It is important to mention that domestic abuse differs from a “bad, unhealthy or disconnected relationship”. In a healthy relationship or even one going badly or ending – neither individual fears the other or is controlled by the other. Domestic abuse doesn’t always have to mean physical violence but it can be part of the abuse.

Contact Women’s Aid if you feel unsafe or confused in your relationship. 1800 341 900 National Freephone Helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Money, every choice you make, every activity you do, every change you contemplate, are in some way connected to your wealth. Yet most people rarely take the time that their financial situation deserves, to plan it effectively. You have income and you have expenditure.

Money Euro Bill Clip Clothes Peg Clothes Line

The basic premise is that your income exceeds your expenditure, leaving you with disposable income. So if you keep your spending below your income, you’ll always have plenty of money left over and you’ll never have to worry about money, never have a row about money, never have money be the root cause of concern or anxiety and never need to feel guilty or otherwise about having too much or too little money. Simple right?

Not exactly. Unless you’re extremely lucky, for most of us, it just doesn’t fall conveniently into place like that. The subject of money does, in fact, get cited in a host of situations from relationship issues, employment choices, lifestyle quality and in numerous ways, your health. Anything that can lead to anxiety, depression, guilt or restrict how well you look after yourself, can be detrimental to your health. And the condition of your finances can most definitely be a major contributor in these areas.

Having too much money, it may surprise you, can also bring its share of negativity. It can be guilt when those around you are short of money. Concern that relationships may not be for the right reasons. The uncomfortable feeling that some may begrudge your wealth or success.

 

So what can you do differently and what can you be more aware of?

The first step in managing and planning your finances with more efficiency, is to establish where you currently are. Most people know what their income presently is, but (as 26 years of reviewing people’s finances has shown me) they are not so sure about their expenditure. They’ll know the main items, the mortgage/rent, the weekly trip to the supermarket, the mobile phone or TV subscription, but there is so much more that never gets included. Think of the last time you took €50 out of an ATM to pay €15 for something. What did the other €35 get spent on? I see people listing things like a car loan but not petrol, tax, insurance, NCT etc. I also see them list “Food” but only total the supermarket. Further questioning may reveal more spent in the butchers, smaller purchases during the week, takeaways etc. To get an accurate picture, an exercise where you keep a detailed list of spending for a month. Every single cent, noted when spent and written or keyed in that evening so it’s not forgotten.

Tips. A few basic actions that most people can do, to improve (or create!) the gap between income and expenditure:

 

  • Examine 3 months’ banks statements and make sure you can account for every single transaction.
  • Compare utility service providers to make sure you are currently getting the best value.
  • Plan your shopping. Make a list and don’t shop while hungry.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to compare before you renew things like car or home insurance.
  • Review premiums being paid on things like mortgage protection and life cover. You DO NOT have to only take them out with your own bank.
  • Know your rights when an item is faulty and do not be fobbed off with “it’s out of warranty” (especially true with large kitchen appliances that break down after 18 months!)

 

Planning. Once you have a better idea of actual income and expenditure, you can plan a little more accurately. Financial planning is primarily aimed at ensuring your current, future and unexpected income remains at least sufficient for you to live on. Everybody’s circumstances are different, so it is important to consider the financial loss that would be suffered in certain eventualities.

One person may not be paid at all if out of work due to illness or injury while another may be paid for a length of time by their employer. Some may have nobody financially dependent on them while others provide for a whole family. In my own case of being diagnosed with cancer quite suddenly, having serious illness cover in place made a massive difference to our financial wellbeing. (Thankfully, I’m over 13 years clear.) Protecting your income against such eventualities and making sure that you will have sufficient income in retirement, deserves relevant attention.

In the same way that your health and wellbeing require planning, consideration and a degree of effort, so too does your wealth require planning, consideration and a degree of effort. Your health and wealth are inextricably linked. Giving each the attention they deserve, will greatly enhance your chances of being a better, all round (dare I say 360 degree!) happy and contented person.

If you would like to contact Dave his website is:

A few years ago, I was at a party and was being introduced to a well-known Irish celebrity. He shook my hand, said, “Nice to meet you Bernie, and by the way I love your bright blue colour”.

Auras

I thanked him and we continued chatting for a while. This was much to the amusement of some of the people standing near me. When he went off to get a drink, one of his friends turned around and asked me what was all that about the bright blue colour? I explained that he had seen the colour in my Aura.

Every living person, animal, plant etc. on this earth is surrounded by what is known as an Aura. It is an electromagnetic energy field that surrounds us all. It is part of our life force. Mystics have known for thousands of years about these subtle bodies of energy and in recent years a special type of photography known as “Kirlian” has proven the existence of these energy radiations.

When you learn how to read someone, at first glance most people will see a soft white light surrounding the other person, and at a deeper level, various colours which usually radiate, vibrate or shimmer, will become evident. According to Aura experts, each colour in the Aura represents different aspects of our emotions, physicality and personalities etc.  These colours will be interpreted differently in each person and a reading will be unique to that individual.

Depending on what is going on in our Life at any given moment in time, different shades /hues/ colours will be visible to those who can read Auras. This is something that some people can do naturally, others can, if they wish, learn how to read Auras. This can be a useful tool in all walks of Life, whether used in business or pleasure, as it can often help us to tune into our loved ones or work colleagues and gauge how they are feeling. It could be described as part of our integral instinct. It can also be useful in warning us against mean or unscrupulous people, or on the other hand it may be useful for you to see how well other people are responding to you.

Auras can also give us signals when we meet someone new, or begin a relationship. What is often described as “Chemistry” between two people can be just a case of whether our Auras react well or indifferently to each other. If we feel at ease with another person, our Auras will gel and can begin to completely merge together as we begin to fall in love with the other person. This is often why, when we lose a loved one or split from someone we loved, we are left with an empty void, that can often be seen, felt or described as a hole in our Aura.

As a healer, tuning into a person’s Aura can often show significant important information as to the state of a person’s well-being, and can occasionally display minor physical ailments. This in turn may enable the healer or therapist to help clear and balance any negativity in the Etheric Aura, the one closest to the physical body.

Copyright © Bernie Hickey Spiritual Journey

Where do we start! The benefits of changing your makeup cosmetics to natural and non-synthetic are endless from Mascara, lipsticks and liners. You name it.

 

Natural Brush

It’s important to consider changing, especially when you think that we put these items on our most delicate skin tissues every day! The eye and lip area, we essentially consume lip colours, can absorb these products’ ingredients into the system. Where synthetics are difficult for our system to breakdown, they can build up or can become irritants and allergens to us. Again we ask ourselves, if there is a pure, clean and beneficial equivalent, why would we not change our habits?!

My preference for the first thing to change would be your foundation. From self-experience and through guiding clients, the change to the skins condition can be positively huge! With using natural and organic skincare in professional treatments and advising homecare for the past ten years, I have seen the benefits to better hydrated, balanced, soothed and all round happier skins. Then, we undo it all with a foundation full of ingredients that go against our skin goals: dehydration, congestion of blackheads and breakouts, sensitivities / redness can creep back in and the battle to balance it with a facial begins again.

So what are the ingredients in natural foundations that we can achieve optimal skin health I hear you say:

Vegetable oils: Apricot Kernel, Avocado oil, Argan kernel oil, Shea Butter, the list goes on. They provide the skin with antioxidants through abundant vitamins, essential fatty acids to give the skin nourishment, flexibility and softness. A plumped skin with vegetable oils is a smooth skin.

A synthetic version: Polymethyl Methacrylate – plastic filler for lubricating and smooth finish. Big problems in cosmetics are plastics, especially these micro plastics which are detrimental to our environment and the food chain. These are washed down the sink and cannot be processed. These plastics are found in fish. We eat fish.

Silica: A mineral derived from plants such as Horsetail. Enhances health of our connective tissue, mattifies / aborbs sebum and sweat, softening.

A synthetic version: Dimethicone – silicon derivative for an occlusive or masking effect; filler effect; barrier; mattifies. The issue is that it locks in moisture, sebum, bacteria, pollutants to the skin and therefore breakouts and congestion are more common, especially those prone to imbalances, e.g. teenagers at puberty.

 

Makeup Natural Flowers

Plant alcohols: These components create essential oils and preserve products. They are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and give a natural scent to the product. You will see this written at the end of the ingredients list, for example: geraniol, linalool, limonene, etc.

A synthetic version: Phenoxyethanol – a synthetic alcohol to preserve, stabilize and scent. It can  irritate / sensitise the skin leaving it feeling and looking tight. Capillaries can weaken and redness may persist on the skin if it is constantly irritating the skin everyday.

Vegetal Hyaluronic Acid: A carbohydrate and humectant (attracts water) that behaves like a sponge attracting water to itself and expanding to hundreds of times its original weight. This has beneficial effects for supporting connective tissue and visibly plumping and hydrating the skin.

A synthetic version: Glycerine – if a synthetic form of glycerine is used, its humectant properties will give a soft feel to the epidermis but it is so strong that it actually leaves the tissues below quite dehydrated and tight (lacking water). If glycerine is in the ingredients list, it’s always good to ask if it is of chemical or vegetal / plant origin. The natural glycerine is very gentle.

My top picks for natural and organic foundations are from Couleur Caramel:

Hydra Jeunesse – Inca Inchi oil, a peruvian oil high in essential fatty acids to soften and nourish the skin. Hyaluronic acid to smooth, plump and hydrate. Gives beautiful radiance and glow.

Compact Foundation – An all in one full coverage product with an apricot powder base to give a lessened dewy look compared to Hydra Jeunesse. It uses Shea Butter, Apricot Wax, and Jojoba giving fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants to the skin while providing long lasting and professional wear. Popular for brides!

Qualified therapists use their extensive knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology to carry out Massage treatments. The massage is the manipulation of the soft body tissue that is used to enhance a person’s health and well- being.

Massage Beach Lady

Most of you will remember when you were younger and perhaps fell or hurt yourself, having your Mother or Father hold you, or rub the injured part of the body, “to make it feel better”. Touch is a huge part of healing in general and Massage is one form of healing as well as being a relaxation and stress relieving treatment.

There are many different types of Massage and each one works in its own unique way. For example:

Aromatherapy: The therapist uses essential oils and it is the oil as well as the massage technique that’s work with the individual to relieve stress, provide relaxation etc.
Sports Massage: Will usually be concentrated on a particular part of the body that is causing a problem.

Holistic Massage: Your therapist will first sit down with you and discuss your Lifestyle in detail, then they will run through a questionnaire to determine if a Massage is suitable for you or not. They will discuss your Lifestyle with you and suggest numerous ways that you can improve or change things to make your Life better, this combined with the Massage will have a more effective outcome.

Massage is suitable for most people but there are certain contraindications when a person should not have a Massage. It is advisable, particularly if you have a Medical condition to first get advice or written permission from your Doctor or discuss this with your Therapist before booking an appointment.

Some Contraindications:

  • Fever.
  • Cardio Vascular conditions.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Contagious diseases.
  • Recent surgery.

Some people are unsure how the treatment is carried out and often have some undue concerns. Before the Massage begins the therapist will leave you to undress in private then you will lay down on a plinth or massage table. During the Massage you will be discreetly covered by towels or a cover and only the part of the body that is being massaged will be exposed as the therapist begins to oil your body and begin the treatment.

The Massage relaxes muscle tissue, which diminishes tightness or tension in the muscle. It improves circulation pushing oxygen into cells and helps to eliminates any toxins or waste from the body. There are several benefits to be gained from having regular Massage treatments. Massage can help to relieve chronic pain and having a therapeutic Massage can enhance your overall sense of wellness.

Massage Towel

Some of the many Benefits:

  • Improves lymphatic drainage.
  • It enhances your joint mobility.
  • Relieves muscle tension and stiffness.
  • By helping you to relax, and unwind.
  • Relieves headaches.
  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Insomnia.
  • Back, and neck pain.
  • And much more.

When Massage relieves stress, it helps the body, as a whole. It will also increase your self-esteem, help you to relax and bring clarity to a troubled mind. It has so many benefits on an emotional and physical level. It is appropriate for adults and children alike and is also suitable for pregnant women. (unless otherwise advised by a doctor)
It is so much more than “Just a massage”, it is a whole life change with wide spread benefits.

Consciously practicing gratitude has been a huge part of my healing journey.

My journey to discovering gratitude was interesting. I was never ungrateful as such, but I did have a tendency to see all the things that were going wrong in my life quite easily and I could probably have listed 10 things or more in 10 seconds that I perceived to be missing from my life when things weren’t going my way.

Consistent and constant gratitude practice means that I find it difficult to focus on any negatives nowadays but like everything it takes work.

If you would like to begin writing a gratitude journal simply follow these steps and build on them as you become more comfortable with the practice.

NUMBER 1: BUY A GRATITUDE JOURNAL

It’s nice to have a dedicated journal for your daily gratitude list. I also love checking back on how many wonderful things happen to me every day that we can easily forget. Any notepad will do.

NUMBER 2: START

Start each day with gratitude by writing down 3 things you are grateful for. These can be anything so for example:

  • I’m grateful I can nourish my body with good food
  • I’m grateful for my beautiful son
  • I’m grateful it’s a beautiful day
  • I’m grateful for my job
  • I’m grateful for all the opportunities I have each day
  • Download sample page here

Gratitude diary, gratitude practise, being grateful, gratitude, gratitude diary, being thankfulTHEN

When you are comfortable with that list take it one step further and explore why you are grateful so for example:

  • I’m grateful for my son because he teaches me to be present and being a parent has taught me about the power and meaning of unconditional love
  • I’m so thankful for the good food available to me that I can choose to nourish my body with as good food helps to keep me health in both body and mind
  • I’m grateful for my job because I love what I do and I feel fulfilled and energized after a good days work.
  • I’m so grateful to wake up in good health everyday and for my family’s health and wellbeing. It is something we all value and cherish.

NUMBER 3 GRATITUDE STONE

gratitude stonesEvery night before I go to sleep I pick up my gratitude stone (choose a stone from a garden, park or beach that has meaning for you. Mine is from Dzogchen Beara which holds a very special place in my heart) and I think of what I am most grateful for each day. I absolutely love this part of my day and it means I always go to sleep with a positive thought and a smile on my face.

Remember if you are practicing gratitude it is very hard to have negative thoughts. Saying thank you mindlessly and really feeling grateful are two very different things so try and really feel it in your body and sit into that feeling. The more you do this the easier it will become and I promise gratitude makes life easier even on tough days!

Try it for 3 weeks and let me know how you get on. I would love to hear from you

Comment below

Shine Bright,

Ali xxx

There is a radically different way to think about health. You may have heard about it, but are you clear on what it truly means, and the transformations it can yield in your mind, body and spirit?

You can fight or you can trust.

It’s really that simple.

In conventional medicine, the body is a faulty machine that needs to be monitored, tinkered with, and saved from itself through chemical and surgical interventions, the avoidance of which could spell disaster. Through the conventional lens, for example, it’s us versus the germs and if we get exposed to one, they get in and try to get us. Our only responsibility is to take antibiotics and symptom-managing over-the-counter drugs while we continue to punch the clock. If we choose not to take antibiotics, well then, infections can spread and even kill! It’s all about FEAR. The unexpected, the devastating, the fatal.

But there’s another story that you can ease into (or snap into in my case).

meme_Transformational

From this perspective, the body responds purposefully to it’s internal and external environment. Acute infectious illness – think coughing, diarrhea, sneezing, runny nose, night sweats – mobilizes cellular debris and can be seen as an effective and sophisticated method of detox when needed. In fact, based on our growing knowledge of the microbiome, some theorize that illness is simply a resonant activation of internal microorganisms when detox and recalibration are needed. We grow from the experience of acute illness in important ways – even if this means simply forcing you to pause and get into bed! In fact, you wouldn’t want to interfere with this, but rather support the body through it.

It’s a frame shift but a profound one.

It’s the difference between using a warring mentality and a peacekeeping one. I have progressed through a type of alternative medicine that in many ways, continues to see the body as a series of cogs and wheels with problems to be fixed by using supplements rather than with meds.

There’s something even more powerful that is possible and it involves honoring the body’s vast realms of unquantified wisdom, the power of belief, and the incredible potential for quantum leaps in self-healing when spirituality is included in the assessment.

Here’s what I had to say on the subject at the Functional Forum in Utah – 2016. Let me know what you think!

I like to refer to it as ‘the practice of being present’ as it truly is a practice and something we have to work on every day. Being present to me means being aware and feeling fully alive. Do you feel present in your life or does life generally feel chaotic?

What I have learned is that it’s not about ticking off a to do list but rather being more present with the things I am doing each day like reading a story to my child or working on one project at a time and not juggling six different things at once. Multitasking might work for some but over time I have found that it’s distracting and leads to many jobs being nearly finished instead of properly finished and done well.

Becoming a mum was the first time I was forced to be present because that’s what children do – they live in the present. They anchor you in the here and now. As James grew I learnt to really live in the here and now whereas before I ran from problems and the thought of being alone with myself was quite terrifying.

presence, mindfulmonday, in the moment, present moment, live, mindfulness

I saw the true beauty of the world through a child’s eyes after James was born and realised just how much we take for granted or miss when we become adults. The first time he saw a bird in the sky and a plane flying it was sheer amazement and I remember when he was a toddler he kept saying mum – wow!! One day as I walked over to him he was looking at ants on the ground and he was simply stunned watching them. His little face looked up at me and I felt really emotional at how powerful the moment was.

However practicing being present caused me to feel very emotional in the beginning as it was so awkward for me to really feel my emotions? When you are present you feel and see things more clearly and when you have been suppressing that aspect of yourself for so long it can almost be like freeing all these emotions that are hyperactive after having been locked away for too long. They can be unruly and unnerving and you need to figure out how to deal with them.

Having struggled with mental health and addiction problems for so long, working on being more present in my life allowed me the space to finally heal. It’s an awareness that I have built up and something I work on daily. Some days I’m better than others but that’s life and I try to take the rough with the smooth, have fun with it and ease off beating myself up for not doing everything right.

For years I strived for perfection (whatever that is) and it’s exhausting and unrealistic. There is no such thing as perfection as we are all so different and our standards and views of the world differ so greatly that its ridiculous to do anything other than work on our own internal happiness and contentment.

Through my daily meditations, gratitude journals, food, fun, fitness and therapy being present has become the single greatest gift I have ever given myself. It’s like slowly discovering life’s elixir. Over the years the more I got the more I wanted and the better my life became.

journal

What I realized is that I had become an obsessive list ticker desperately trying to get through different tasks in an effort to be supermum but in reality I was missing out on actually being a mum or really living. During my recovery from postnatal depression I became emotional because I had finally allowed myself the time and space to simply just be with my son. You almost feel guilty initially as if allowing yourself to do this means you are lazy.

I now realize that we attract what we are into our life. I now look back and realize my run of incredibly bad luck with work, boyfriends and life events was actually caused by me and how I was living. Our life changes when we choose to live differently. Our life changes when we choose to be present.

[bctt tweet=[bctt tweet=”Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment. Deepak Chopra” username=”alicanavan”] username=”alicanavan”]

Here are some simple ideas to help you become more present:

  • Focus on your senses – how does your food taste?  What can you see when out in nature? Tune in to smells and colours!
  • Savour your shower and start the day mindfully. Tune into how the water feels on your body and in turn you will tune into how you feel.
  • Notice the miracles in each day by practising gratitude. Gratitude helps to ground us and bring us into the present. Start to notice the small things like someones smile or a refreshing glass of water.
  • Stop, breathe and become fully aware of the moment.
  • Take a short meditation break.
  • Write in a journal.
  • When in conversation give the person your full attention.
  • Have digital free time with loved ones and for yourself.

How do you practise being present? I would love to hear from you – Share in the comment box below

Shine Bright

Ali xxxx

#mindfulmonday