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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

Christmas can take its toll on our immune system as a lot of us eat more and move less.

If you are tired of cooking and entertaining I have the perfect recipe using shitake mushroom that’s not only quick and easy but nutritious and delicious too.

Shitake Mushroom’s are known not only for their great taste but they’re packed with B vitamins and have the power to fight cancer cells, cardiovascular disease and infections. They have anti bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. During the winter months they are one of the few foods that provide vitamin D and they also help to boost energy and brain function.

As we move into January our food becomes even more important as many of us struggle with low mood and feel a bit of a crash post Christmas. It’s important to remember that January is a month for selfcare and not crazy resolutions. It’s still the middle of winter, which is the gestation period for both nature and us. It’s a month for inward reflection as we prepare for the year ahead.

To do this we need nourishing food, nourishing thoughts and nourishing rest. Pop in some movement and air and you will be ready for Spring where you will emerge stronger ready for the year ahead.

Try this simple recipe, which is great for all the family and it will help you to ease into the new-year with comfort and calm.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

3 Cloves garlic

Large handful of shitake mushroom’s (see video)

1 Lemon

Handful of Basil

Fresh Parmesan

Salt/Black pepper

Barilla Spaghetti

DIRECTIONS

Boil water and put in pasta with some salt

  • Heat the pan and add oil and garlic
  • Add chopped shitake mushrooms and cook until softened (5-8 mins depending on mushrooms)
  • Add in ½ a lemon zest
  • Squeeze in ½ juice of lemon
  • Save a cup of water from the pasta
  • Add pasta and then parmesan and stir through
  • If it’s a little dry add some of the water
  • Plate and serve with fresh black pepper and parmesan shavings

Barilla calling on students to unlock their inner TriHero

triheroes, shitake mushroom, barilla, recipes, schools, exercise, selfcare, shitake mushrooms, sport, pastaPrimary and secondary schools are being encouraged to register for TriHeroes, a schools triathlon programme which brings together the lifelong activities of swimming, cycling and running to inspire, motivate and challenge children to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle.

The TriHeroes programme, delivered by Triathlon Ireland and supported by Barilla, a family owned Italian food company and advocate for a healthy lifestyle, helps teachers introduce triathlon activities in a safe and positive environment.

Delivered by Triathlon Ireland’s development team, the programme is typically run over six 90-minute training sessions with students taking part in a mini triathlon at the end of the programme giving students a taste of this hugely popular sport and exposing them to three sports that could see them excel in the Leaving Cert and later life.

Primary and secondary schools can find out more about the TriHeroes programme at www.triathlonireland.com and register their interest at schools@triathlonireland.com.

A gourmet selection of recipes, perfect for budding triathletes and prepared with seasonal ingredients for vegetarians, as well as meat and fish lovers is available at www.barilla.co.uk.

Sponsored by 

Things can get hectic in the run up to Christmas so along with Barilla I have put together some healthy and nutritious quick and easy dishes.

I have been working with Barilla the past few months to help promote their TriHeroes campaign. There are so many reasons why this campaign is of interest to me. As I work in the area of mental health awareness and health coaching its so important to understand the real benefits of sport. When I was in school a lot of us dropped out of gym class and ate bad food. This affects your performance academically, mentally and physically.

RESEARCH

Recent Sport Ireland research has shown that students who play sport achieve, on average, higher points in the Leaving Cert than those that do not. It also highlighted that swimming; cycling and running are the most likely sports to be continued into adult life.

The workload is school can be overwhelming and very often exercise can be dropped early on. This schools triathlon programme gives students the chance to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle and have fun. 

DIRECTIONS AND STEPS FOR PASTA DISH

PESTO PASTA WITH CHICKEN, BROCCOLI AND GREEN PEAS

SERVES 2

  • Enough pasta for 2 people (I used Barilla pasta which really grips the sauce)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • ¾ broccoli florets
  • 1 avocado
  • 125ml single cream
  • 3 generous Tbsp. Barilla basil pesto
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Copped basil to serve

DIRECTIONS

Boil water and put in pasta with some salt

  • Pour oil into a hot pan and then add garlic and onions until they are softened.
  • The add chicken cooking slowly and when half cooked
  • Add in Broccoli
  • Add in peas just a couple of minutes towards the end
  • Pour in the cooked pasta and
  • Spoon in 3 large spoons of pesto
  • Stir well and serve with a half sliced avocado and garnish with chopped fresh basil

Barilla calling on students to unlock their inner TriHero

Primary and secondary schools are being encouraged to register for TriHeroes, a schools triathlon programme which brings together the lifelong activities of swimming, cycling and running to inspire, motivate and challenge children to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle.

The TriHeroes programme, delivered by Triathlon Ireland and supported by Barilla, a family owned Italian food company and advocate for a healthy lifestyle, helps teachers introduce triathlon activities in a safe and positive environment.

Delivered by Triathlon Ireland’s development team, the programme is typically run over six 90-minute training sessions with students taking part in a mini triathlon at the end of the programme giving students a taste of this hugely popular sport and exposing them to three sports that could see them excel in the Leaving Cert and later life.

Primary and secondary schools can find out more about the TriHeroes programme at www.triathlonireland.com and register their interest at schools@triathlonireland.com.

A gourmet selection of recipes, perfect for budding triathletes and prepared with seasonal ingredients for vegetarians, as well as meat and fish lovers is available at www.barilla.co.uk.

Welcome to #MummyMondays where I will be teaming up with The Stork Box to bring you some great articles over the next few weeks on preparing for a new baby but first let me introduce you to this dynamic duo sisters Sophie Cafolla and Dr Vicky O’Dwyer

The Stork Box is a new and exciting Irish company specializing in products for Mum and Baby, including a prepacked maternity hospital bag, helping parents get ready for their new arrival and a range of Gift Boxes, which friends and family can ship directly to the recipient. Brought to you by sister duo, both of whom are Mums themselves, Sophie Cafolla, a sponsorship and marketing consultant and Dr Vicky O’Dwyer, a Doctor who has worked in Obstetrics and Gynecology for the last 11 years. I met with the girls to find out their story and what led them to create The Stork Box….

“This got us thinking about our own experiences” according to Sophie, “When I was preparing my bag I didn’t start to do it until I was about 34 weeks pregnant, I was working, tired and totally overwhelmed by the number of things I needed to get. I couldn’t find anywhere that sold all the essentials together, or even better, somewhere online that you could order in one go and have it shipped to you. So we thought, why not create a box which contains the essentials for both Mum and Baby! With Vicky’s professional knowledge and both of our personal experiences it seemed like a good fit!”

The duo wanted to create a service that takes the time and stress out of preparing your maternity hospital bag, while also providing the very best products to help make the hospital stay as comfortable as possible for expectant parents. Vicky admitted they have added a few extra touches to really treat new Mums too. “We have included a Social and Personal magazine in the Mum bag as well as a Just Eat gift voucher, I know I would of loved to have ordered a meal online one of the first few days I was home, we were far too tired and consumed by our new arrival to cook!”.

Value is also important to The Stork Box; both the Mum bags and Baby bags are discounted, the Mum bag contents are worth €80 however the bag is sold at €65, and the Luxury Mum bag contents have a value of €125 but is sold at €100 and the Baby bag is worth €135 but sold at €120.

The Baby Bag has everything to make baby happy and comfortable in their first few days.
•    5 x Short Sleeved Baby Vests
•    5 x Long Sleeved Baby Grows
•    5 x Bibs
•    1 Hat
•    1 Set of Mitts
•    1 Cellular Cotton Blanket
•    Pampers Nappies (Pack of 24)
•    Cotton Wool Balls (100)
•    Mamia Newborn sensitive wipes (pack of 56)
•    Sudocrem Care & Protect (40gm)
€120

The storkbox,hospital bag,pregnancy,parenting,new baby,

In addition to the Maternity Box, the Stork range includes 3 Gift Boxes, the Newborn Stork Box, the Night Night Stork Box which plays on the bath, bottle, bed routine, a favourite of many Mums and the Playtime Stork Box. Each box contains a bonus gift for Mum, a unique selling point of the brand, “it is important not to forget about Mum!” says Sophie

The Mum bag, €65.00 (retail value €80), includes;
•    Phyto Shampoo (50ml)
•    Phyto Conditioner (50ml)
•    Uriage Shower Gel (200ml)
•    Deodorant (35ml)
•    Elave Daily Lip Balm (15ml)
•    Karite Hand Cream (30ml)
•    Uriage Thermal Water Spray (50ml)
•    Sample of Nia’s Just Balm – suitable for Mum & Baby (5ml)
•    Hair Bobble & Hair Clips
•    Mini Brush
•    2 Tooth Brushes – for Mum & Dad
•    Toothpaste (25ml)
•    Monochrome Notebook and Pen
•    Maternity Pads (10 pack)
•    Sample of Lanolin Nipple Cream
•    1 set of Disposable Breast Pads
•    Sample of Lansinoh’s Breastmilk Storage Bags
•    Social & Personal Magazine
•    Just Eat gift voucher €10

The Luxury Mum bag, €100 (retail value €125), includes everything from the Mum bag plus;
•    Payot Hand Cream (50ml) instead of Karite hand cream
•    Cleanse Off Mitt
•    Mustela Bust firming serum (75ml)
•    Mustela Stretch Marks Recovery Serum (75ml)

The storkbox,hospital bag,pregnancy,parenting,new baby,If that wasn’t enough to start with, Sophie has also developed her own baby clothing range, Mini Style Addict, which is included in The Stork Box Baby bag. Inspired by her daughter Sienna, the range includes baby vests and baby grows. The Mini Style Addict clothes are gender neutral, with a nod to the monochrome trend, a key look in baby and toddler fashion at the moment.

The girls stated they are committed to providing a service that grows with their audience; “we research, we invest our time and use our knowledge to find the best and most appropriate products for Mum and Baby. We have more exciting products coming to the range soon so be sure to keep an eye out!”. Keep an eye out for more to come from these two!

Check out Their website for more info

Some days just run like clockwork, things fall magically into place and you feel aligned and connected.

But then there are days you feel out of sync and have a run of bad luck and on these days it can be hard to stay positive and get back of track but fear not as I have some tips to share.

Anyone who follows me knows I’m a huge fan of living a positive lifestyle. That does not mean avoidance and seeing the world through rose tinted glasses. It means that I feel, deal, heal and get real.

I believe that tough times make us stronger and ultimately no one gets through life without some struggle or hardship, no matter who you are. We will all experience grief, failure, disappointment, heartache and much more at some stage throughout our lives but its how you bounce back from these times and what you learn from the experience that determines the person you will become in the future.

  1. THIS TOO SHALL PASS

Sometimes when we are in the middle of a crisis its hard to see a way out but things change every second, every minute of every day so I always find it comforting to think that no matter how bad you are feeling it will pass and things will get better.

 

  1. BREATHE

Our breath is one of our most powerful tools especially when we don’t know what to do. It calms the nervous system, lowers our blood pressure and according to yogis and ayurvedic medicine practitioners our breath is the carrier or prana, which means energy! So help to move that energy around your body by breathing better.

 

  1. BE KIND TO YOURSELF

No one needs help taking out the stick to beat ourselves with. Being unkind to ourselves is an all too familiar habit for a lot of people these days and does nothing but create a negative behavior pattern and lowers our energy and vibration. So use my golden rule: if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend then don’t say it to yourself.

[bctt tweet=”So use my golden rule: if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend then don’t say it to yourself.” username=”alicanavan”]

 

  1. PRACTISE GRATITUDE

Without a doubt, gratitude is my superpower that keeps me sane. It helps to ground me and no matter how bad things are gratitude helps me to see the miracles even when they are hidden. Start your day each day with gratitude by saying ‘Thank You” upon waking. Then choose 3 things you are grateful for and why and really feel into that energy of appreciation. When you consciously start your day in that energy, anything is possible.

[bctt tweet=”Without a doubt, gratitude is my superpower that keeps me sane.” username=”alicanavan”]

 

  1. KEEP GOING

No matter how much you want to give up you must keep going. Never throw in the towel no matter how much you feel like it. Life is a journey and what goes down must come up and vice versa. When you stop trying you become stagnant and life starts to happen to you as opposed to you happening to life. When this happens the victim mentality can creep in. 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. So my message is just keep going and know that every morning is a chance to start again.

[bctt tweet=”No matter how much you want to give up you must keep going” username=”alicanavan”]

 

Mindfulness really is a hot topic of conversation at the moment which is why I have teamed up with Sports Philosophy for #mindfulmarch.

A lot of people might think that mindfulness is just another buzzword that will pass, however, mindfulness is actually a very important movement for our current age of distraction and disconnection.

Where we are in society is very noisy and busy. People are sick and stressed and there is a real need for people to have some quiet time in order to live a more balanced and integrative lifestyle.

Giving yourself that essential space even for just a few minutes each day allows you see the world through a different lens. The benefits range from lower stress, increased empathy, emotional maturity, better digestion, better relationships with yourself and others, increased confidence, concentration, productivity and the list goes on!

 

MINDFULMARCH, MINDFULNESS, PRESENCE, CONNECTION, SELFCARE, MEDITATION, SPORTS PHILOSOPY, ETHICAL SPORTSWEAR, MINDFUL TIPS

Magenta Prism Laser Sports Bra £52.00 Magenta Prism Leggings £85.00

 

Sports Philosophy is an ethical luxury active wear brand offering beautiful performance clothing for the stylishly fit men and women. Every piece is made with carefully sourced Italian fabrics and designed to enhance your workout, all whilst making you look good.

 

The label is also deeply passionate about doing good too and the creator of the brand, Stella, sees the world through a similar lens to me. They help to fight child labour, through their own charity, the Freedom for Children Foundation, which you can read more about here

 

MINDFULMARCH, MINDFULNESS, PRESENCE, CONNECTION, SELFCARE, MEDITATION, SPORTS PHILOSOPY, ETHICAL SPORTSWEAR, MINDFUL TIPS

Black Prism Laser Sports Bra £52.00 and leggings £85

 

Each week in March we will be bringing you a simple but effective tip on how to include mindfulness into your every day life. The theme is reconnection so we will be looking at reconnecting with our food, our breath, and the world around you and of courses ourselves.

 

You will have seen week one above so here’s week 2 where I encourage you to reconnect with what we put into our body and why mindful eating is so important.

 

 

In week 3 we will look at reconnecting to nature and in week 4 we will look at reconnecting with you through the act of appreciation and gratitude. Keep an eye on my social media for updates

Till then

Shine Bright

Ali xxx

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Having an attitude of gratitude is a daily habit that has literally changed my life. It’s a key player on my wellness team and got promoted to team captain early in its career. It works hard in the winter because lets face it that when I need it most.

The thing about gratitude is that it’s fun and easy to include in our daily lives. It gives us something tangible to work with that effects real change quite quickly and it works. Psychologist and best-selling author Shawn Achor has made a career out of studying the science of happiness and it just so happens he’s one of my favourite authors too having penned books like ‘Before Happiness’ and ‘The happiness advantage’ that make me smile before I even open their covers.

Having suffered from depression for most of my life I always placed my happiness on external factors like work, money and success but real happiness is an inside job and one that needs to be worked on daily and taken seriously. I never realized that I could choose to be happier as I always thought that you were either a happy or a sad person. I had written myself off and labeled myself until I discovered the world of positive psychology and neuroplasticity (rewiring the brain). The fact that the brain can rewire itself through experiences is a relatively new discovery but a very exciting one. It basically means that you can alter the structure and function of your brain through mental training. Working with many different therapies like CBT cognitive behavioural therapy and including some mindfulness, meditation and gratitude in my day I soon discovered that it’s possible to rewire your brain at any stage in your life. The thing is though just like exercising your muscles during exercise you do have to use it or you will lose it. So you need to be consistent with your happiness habits.

Gratitude, winter wellness, daily habits, feelgood, selfcare

(READ ABOUT GRATITUDE IN MY BOOK – MINDING MUM)

[bctt tweet=”Saying thank you mindlessly and practising gratitude mindfully are two completely different things: the latter will set you free” username=”alicanavan”]

Just think of gratitude as your psychological hot water bottle to get you through winter and its great fun for the family too. The health benefits include better sleep, less illness, better mood, increased empathy, improved self esteem and it has even been shown to have anti-aging benefits too! Every evening I ask my six-year-old son James to go through his day and pick the one thing he is most grateful for. This is my favourite part of the day as not only do I get an insight into his world but it’s also an important habit that encourages him to see the good things that happen each day. When I pick him up from school I always hear the negative stories about who is in trouble or what went wrong but this way I get to hear about the good things that happen too. It can be a fun game at dinner and a great way to start the morning too.


Psychologist and author of ‘Hardwiring Happiness’ Rick Hanson says “the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones”. I have found that working with my brain and on my happiness has brought contentment and an energy of appreciation into my life in a more natural way. Keeping a gratitude journal has also helped me to keep my life in perspective and see beyond the seemingly bad stuff. So why not give yourself a mindful break and try keeping a gratitude journal this winter.

MY TOP 5 TIPS:

  1. BUY A DEDICATED GRATITUDE JOURNAL– Having a thankful or gratitude journal makes the practice special and it’s a lovely way to read back on the good things in your life on bad days. My mantra: On days you feel blue have a read back through!
  2. GO FOR QUALITY RATHER THAN QUANTITY– Choose 3 things you are grateful for and then expand and write why in a journal. This way you get to create a deep energy of appreciation within
  3. GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL– research has shown that focusing on whom you are grateful for rather than what you are grateful for can have a bigger impact
  4. INCREASING AWARENESS – The key to personal growth is awareness and keeping a gratitude journal helps you to learn more about yourself
  5. ENJOY IT – Its for your eyes only so be personal and be true

09. MM_Gratitude_v2

AC_days_KeepGoing2

So today is the 1st of November, most of the leaves have fallen off the trees, the weather is changing and the evenings are becoming shorter. We are also starting to see and hear Christmas creeping in to our daily lives already!!! When Christmas creeps in we tend to shift our minds away from our goals and self-care, which inevitably means that stress, pressure and bad habits start creeping in.

What I really love about autumn is that it’s a visible sign of change. It’s Mother Nature’s way of showing us not to fear change and that everything must die to make way for the new possibilities and opportunities. Just look at the stunning autumn colours, the yellows and burnt orange before they turn brown and fall to the ground. Every stage of their life and every stage of our life and our journey’s are beautiful and we need to realize that and enjoy every moment of every day.

 

Just imagine if leaves could talk and on one particular oak tree all the leaves were enjoying their lives. Like babies they were born in Springtime, fresh and full of life and then they moved into the wonderful summer months where they grew, matured and developed into older leaves. As they came towards the end of the summer they started to feel tired, but most of them were welcoming the change that was on its way and they were ready for it, as they needed the rest. But there were some leaves on the tree that spent their entire short lives never being content and happy and when the other leaves asked why they would always reply that they wanted to be bigger, greener and better that they were at that moment.

 

They always hoped that those things would come to them and they were sure that when they did it would make them feel happier and more content. Every day they were irritable, distracted and unfocused. They felt a void in the little leaf veins that they simply couldn’t fill. As the autumn time approached and they saw themselves turn from green to yellow and orange they became very upset and panicked because they had never felt green enough and now they would never be green again. By the time they realized this it was too late.

 

So don’t be like an old oak leaf and wait to be happy. The time to be happy is right now. The oak leaf was perfect all along and the only person that couldn’t see that was the leaf itself.

 

There is still 1/5 of the year left so a HUGE 20% of a full year to fulfill your goals, dreams and to get back on track and stay focused. So think back to January of this year:

 

  • What hopes and dreams did you have for 2014? List them now. What have you ticked off?

 

  • What could you realistically still achieve if you put your mind to it?

 

Whether you would like to work on yourself, your career, your family life or anything else for that matter NOW is a great time to start. Maybe it’s something as simple as getting up when your alarm goes off every day or eating a healthier breakfast.

 

Every second of every minute of every day is a chance to start again. Life is not about being perfect it’s about just being you. So join me for “Keep going” month in November.

 

The first thing I want to you to do is start every day the right way. Create a morning routine that energizes and prepares you positively for the day ahead. Follow me on FACEBOOK where I will be posting daily inspirations and videos including my morning routine and life lessons that have helped me to get to where I am today which is a very happy, grateful and lucky lady. I feel blessed to be on this path. We all have it in us and we are all capable of much more that we imagine.

 

I’m not saying it’s easy but I am saying it’s worth it!!

 

Ali xxxx

AC_MindfulMonday_Final1

As children growing up we can become what we hear and quite often we hear negative things about ourselves that we own and then they become a part of us.

As a young model I got a lot of positive comments but if one photographer or casting director said something negative that is what I would hold onto. I remember a very well known photographer telling me I had man hands that were unnatural and then a designer who told me was body was completely out of proportion and my legs were actually quite short for my height and I seemed to have an abnormally long torso! Of course every time I went to a casting I would try to hide my hands and if tops were too short on my upper body I would think to myself “well Alison that’s because your body is disproportionate”

At 37 this evokes so many emotions for my younger self but primarily sadness that I carried around such nonsense for so long but what it also shows is how people can be very irresponsible with their words and as the saying goes “be sure to taste your words before you spit them out”.

Words can stay with you forever and anyone who has been in a relationship of any kind and experienced emotional abuse will know exactly what I mean by this.

So for this, my first ‘MINDFUL MONDAY’ lets all try and be kinder and nicer with our words about each other and ourselves. Our words have both meaning and strength.

This week write a list of 10 things you like about yourself. They can be big things or small and they don’t necessarily have to be about your looks so for example:

  • I love my smile
  • I love my legs
  • I like my hair
  • I love my sense of humor
  • I like my musical talents
  • I’m a great dancer
  • I’m artistic
  • I can say NO when I need too
  • I’m honest
  • I’m a great mum!! (yes say it loud and proud)

Have fun with your list and have on your journey of becoming the most complete and best version of YOU!

Ali xxxx