The top Life Coaches and personal development gurus do this…


I’ve been loving that Super Soul with Oprah is now a Podcast! Listening to the best in the business share their experiences and wisdom while going about my day is one of my favourite things to do. 

Listening to Tony Robbins, Life Coach extraordinare, and Iyanla Vanzant, creator of The TV show Fix My Life and incredible speaker, they both focused on the same practice at the core of spiritual growth and living in alignment with your true purpose…connecting with your heart (your intuition, God, the universe). One of my mentors, Sonia Tully, has taught me a very similar practice that I use all the time to get guidance and I love it because it’s quick, easy and so clear. 

Tony describes choosing something in your life that you’re struggling with at a level of 7 out of 10. Closing your eyes and putting your hand on your heart and bringing to mind 3 separate experiences you are grateful for e.g. The birth of your child, achieving a goal or a special time with friends. Then once you’ve got yourself into the state (vibration) of gratitude you ask your heart what to do about the problem you are facing and listen for the guidance. 

Iyanla talks about being in the God space in prayer, feeling completely connected and at one with creation. She emphasises that your intuition is key to the choices you make and is how we receive guidance from God. Oprah says if you’re out of alignment with your higher purpose God hits you first with a pebble, then if you don’t listen the rock gets bigger and bigger until it’s a boulder. This is a metaphor for the intuitive nudges we get that we ignore, for example if you bring on a new business partner you may have some misgivings but ignore them. Then a few things start to go wrong in your business, but you soldier on. Eventually the business may fail and you go bankrupt (the boulder!). This is not a punishment from God or the universe, it’s purely because that situation or relationship, in the form it’s in, it’s untenable for you and out of alignment with your deepest desires. So eventually it has to break down completely if you don’t listen and act on the red flags. 

Sonia, my mentor, teaches a beautiful tool called ‘My heads says….and my heart says….’ Choose something your worried about or struggling with, then speak out loud ‘my head says….’ and say all the thoughts and stuff your head is saying to you e.g. I’m not sure I can do this, am I good enough? What will they say? Etc. Then take a deep breath, put your hand on your heart and tune in – then say ‘my heart says…’ and allow the words to come naturally. Can you feel the difference in energy of your head and your heart? What do they both feel like? 

I love that there is so much emphasis on how essential it is to connect to your heart and your intuition. That is the space we create from and heal in. 

Sending love ❤️ 

Image credit: upliftconnect.com 

How do you connect to your intuition? 

My first experience of actively connecting with my intuition was using a very practical tool – oracle cards. I started using Angel oracle cards created by Doreen Virtue; there are so many different card decks out there for you to choose from. I loved this tool because I could hold the cards in my hands, there was a guidebook with instructions & explanations. It was practical rather than conceptual. I would pull cards to answer all kind of questions and use the guidebook, in conjunction with my intuition, to interpret the message. There are even apps you can download onto your phone now.  

How you start to interpret messages is by reading words on the cards, looking up each card in the guideboook and asking yourself what the images mean to you. Bring your awareness to your thoughts, feelings, ideas and visualisations to piece together the guidance that comes through. There is lots to learn about card readings, I completed an Angel Tarot Card Reader training which was fab, but you certainly don’t need to have heaps of training to use this tool to connect to your intuition.

At first it can feel very uncomfortable trying to figure out ‘what’s my intuition & what’s my mind or my imagination’? Which is why it’s recommended to start by asking questions or seeking guidance on subjects that not too heavily emotionally laden. For example – what do you suggest I focus on today? Rather than will my current relationship last? 

The gut feeling. We’ve all used the phrase – I have a gut feeling about this; meaning I have a feeling in my body, specifically in the tummy area, that is giving me information on this subject that I can’t verify externally. This is most often your intuition. I like to use my ‘gut feeling’ to help me with a yes or no answer. I pose my yes or no question and bring my attention to the sensation to my tummy. For me a yes feels like a lifting and lightening of the energy around my middle, whereas a no is more of a sinking, lowering feeling in my tummy. Test it out with questions you know the answer to and see what a yes and no feels like to you in your body. For example my name is….say the wrong name to get a no & the right name to get a yes. 

Another tool I use almost everyday is a little more subtle and may take a bit more practice, so don’t feel disheartened if it doesn’t feel clear straight away. Before I go sleep at night, when I’m in bed with my eyes closed, I thank my intellect for all the hard work it’s done during the day and suggest it has a break. I feel like my prefrontal cortex (the front part of my brain) is almost moving back a little into my skull – I’m sure it isn’t, it’s more my visualisation. Giving my intellect the back seat allows space for my higher self, my intuition, my angels and guides to come in. If you’re not comfortable with the words angels or guides just think of it as your inner guidance system. 

You might feel a shift in energy, more subtle and peaceful, like a safe space. From here I communicate with my thoughts and ‘listen’ for answers. There are a number of different ways we can perceive intuitive guidance; clairaudience is the ‘hearing’ of guidance. This usually doesn’t mean an external sound, like the sound of others talking, but rather an internal perception of words. It is similar to thoughts but it has a very different quality to it. I find thoughts usually have lots and lots of words, they run quite fast and feel almost energetically jaggedy. Whereas my intuitive guidance has few words, is very clear and comes in quickly and has an energetic quality like clear glass. So if thoughts feel like the opaque glass you have in bathrooms, guidance feels like completely clear glass. I know that sounds pretty abstract! Give it a try and see how it feels to you, remembering not to put too much pressure on yourself and start with simple, unemotional requests. 

Let me know how you get on! 😘

Following your inner guidance + taking aligned action = manifesting your dreams


There have been times in my life when I was super good at being very structured and disciplined. I had my time mapped out each day and was taking heaps of action to build my business, stay healthy etc. etc. I was doing all the RIGHT things. But I wasn’t moving very quickly, or successfully, to the realisation of my dreams and goals. There have been other times when I was deeply connected to my spirit and my intuition but wasn’t taking much action at all, and again little forward motion. I have learnt that balancing being present and listening to my inner guidance, artfully combined with following that guidance by taking specific actions, is the sweet spot. In this place synchronicities flood in, what I need to reach goal after goal is magically available and the journey is fun and energising.

When I was living mostly from my intellect, or ego, I was very busy and got lots done, but the progress was slow and laboured. I had somewhere along the line of growing up, figuring out how to fit in with life and the people around me, disconnected from my intuition. Meaning that I could take as much action as I liked but the flow and ease wasn’t there. This was exhausting and I actually ended up being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The causes of autoimmune illness are never that simple, but it was certainly a contributing factor.

Being so disconnected from my intuition meant I was giving 110% but often times in the wrong directions and to the wrong people or projects. The result was I was keeping myself stuck on a kind of never-ending merry-go-round. Finally my body had had enough and shut down; so many of our intuitive messages come through the body, it never lies. My brain was focused and determined on the path I was on, but my body knew better and thankfully stepped in to call a huge time-out.

While I was tapped out of the majority of ‘life occasions’ by my illness I had time to reflect and I started to study and learn how to re-connect with myself, my spirit and my own inner guidance system. This system is the most incredible and well informed way to make our choices and live our lives. The knowing we can access from our higher selves goes way beyond what the limited intellect can figure out. This is where miracles come from, and impossibly perfect timing and magical synchronicity. Not that I am not extremely grateful to my intellect, it is excellent when put to good use in service of my true purpose. However is not great at running the show, as it is by its very nature limited to our 5 senses. The sixth sense, that we all (without exception) have access to is where the magic happens.

Now that I’ve created a good balance of tuning into my intuition and taking action that is aligned with my dreams I am guided to find the information I need, or connect with the person who can help me or go to the event that speaks directly to what I’m struggling with. For example I was invited to a business presentation a few weeks ago, initially I decided no as it was last minute, I had other plans and rearranging them would be a mission. Also I was pretty nervous about going for a number of reasons, but when I tuned in I felt it was the right move. So I reorganised my calendar and put my big girl panties on and went. While I was there I talked to one person who had 100% experienced what I’m going through right now in my personal life, and she was able to support me so I didn’t feel like a terrible, crazy person. Another friend who I haven’t seen for yonks completely validated a brand new business idea I had and shared numerous resources which have helped me immeasurably! It really did feel magical – like the universe was giving me gift after gift in the space of just a few hours. 

Combine your sixth sense, your intuition or your inner guidance system with aligned actions and you have a divine recipe for a beautifully fulfilling and successful life. I am not saying life will be all beers and skittles if you follow this recipe, life will still throw us curve balls and as humans we are messy by nature. However the tools you gain by learning to connect to your own, personal Google Maps of life and taking inspired action will support you through the wonders and the depths of this life has in store for you.

Country music and Bhakti yoga 


I went to a wonderful concert recently, performed by the cast of the Nashville TV series. It was at the beautiful setting of the Royal Albert Hall in London. And I cried the whole way through! 

Country music is, I find, especially emotional and passionate. The performers were incredible, loving and heartfelt. They connected with my heart and literally broke it open with their words and intention. Once the tears started to flow there was no stopping them. I realised it wasn’t just the music that was making me cry, it was the catalyst for me to release my emotions. 

It reminded me very much of my stay in India where I lived in an ashram and joined in with a 7 day Bhakti yoga celebration; Bhakti yoga is the practice of chanting as a way of connecting to the divine. We were in Vrindavan, which is the birthplace of the Hindu God Krishna, Krishna is the lover God! He had many women, gopis, who were in love with him and folllowed him around. So for days we listened to stories and chanted together culminating in the final day when an ecstatic, love fest, dance party broke out! The high vibration energy and the love between us all was palpable – we were connected to each other and to the divine and it was an incredible dance and flow of beauty and love – as you can see in the photo. 

Listening to the Nashville concert had a similar effect of joining everyone in the room by the heart. I realised, as the tears were running down my face, that I’ve kept my heart on lock down for a long time now. My heart was badly broken and with the best intentions of protecting it I unconsciously put it carefully in a safe place, on lock down. As the music played and my emotions flooded to the surface I could feel my heart cracking open and allowing in the love and the pain. It felt good and scary and exhausting, a huge relief. 

It felt so much better to experience the emotions, not that it was comfortable, than to shut them down. Feeling is being alive. My whole body shifted, my shoulders relaxed and I could move more freely. The audience stood up and danced for the last few songs, it’s no accident that music and dancing are intrinsically connected. When the emotion is coming up moving your body helps it move through you and out, hence ‘e-motion’. Dancing is an awesome way to do this, moving your hips and shoulders, often the places in the body emotion and tension gets stuck. One of my yoga teachers told me that if I’m feeling uninspired with my home practice, to turn on some tunes and just move my body in any way that feels good – I do this all the time and I love it! Try it… 😘

At home retreat – Step 2 – self care

I was very much a shower on the run girl – squeezing in a quick rinse to clean the essentials while my head was full of the lists of things I had to do that day. Maybe once in a couple of months I’d treat myself to a bath and even then I’d get bored and hot and jump out pretty quick.

During this time of recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome combined with healing my heart I have learned to approach life at a completely different pace. I learned to slow down, and at times stop completely, because I had no other option, my body decided for me. One of the aspects that has been crucial in my healing journey, and a huge part of my ‘at home retreat’ is self care. Self care is very closely connected to self love in that it’s a the physical choices we make to take care of ourselves.

Taking the time for myself and treating myself everyday to a simple, leisurely bath has been my number 1 self care ritual during my retreat and I have continued since. It is a small way I show myself that I’m important and that I love myself, as well as it being healing in a practical way.

My self care, bath time ritual involves:

Daily…

  • Run your bath and set the scene – light a candle or two, lower the lights and I love to have a big glass of water (or drink of your choice).
  • I love to have something to do while I’m enjoying my bath e.g. watch my favourite show on the iPad, listen to a meditation audio, watch a spiritual video or listen to music.
  • I put a good amount of Epsom Salt into my bath nearly everyday – there are so many benefits to Epsom Salts such as relieving aches and pains, very detoxifying and cleansing for your energy and aura – its the best!
  • Add essential oils or flower essences – depending on whether you’re bathing to relax or to wash before starting your day you can choose essential oils to help you. I love lavender to relax and sage to cleanse, citrus oils are good for lifting energy.
  • Once comfortably in your bath I recommend using healthy, non toxic products to wash with – I use Arbonne products as they’re vegan, contain no nasties and work brilliantly. Use a specific face wash for your skin needs, I love the SeaSource Detox Body Wash for everywhere else and of course hair care. (Note if you put lots of Epsom Salt into your bath it can leave your hair a bit crispy – you can always rinse it in the shower afterwards).
  • Give yourself at least 20 mins to soak in the bath with the salts to get the full benefits while you enjoy your music or video and when its time to get out do so gently, I always take time to rest a little after a bath before rushing to get dressed or get on with the next task.

Once or twice a week…

  • Exfoliate your whole body twice a week – I use a natural exfoliating mitt and the Arbonne SeaSouce Detox Salt Scrub for my body and the FC5 Exfoliating New Cell Scrub for my face – which can double as a face mask too. Every now and then I use a more deeply cleansing or nourishing face mask.
  • Don’t forget your feet and hands! It’s easy to focus on your face and forget about the parts of your body that do the most work – feet and hands. Once a week I like to treat my feet and hands to a revitalising salt scrub all of their own – they feel so soft and lovely afterwards.

There are so many aspects of this bath ritual that are healing both spiritually and physically; giving time and energy to yourself is so important, it sets the standard for how others treat you too. Switching off from your daily tasks by enjoying a TV show or doing a relaxing meditation while in the bath creates space in your mind to find peace, creativity and is like a re-set button. The essential oils, Epsom Salts and Arbonne products are nourishing your senses and physical body with minerals, cell renewing properties and removing toxins.

Now it’s your turn – enjoy!

 

At home retreat – guide to creating your own retreat in your own home

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Last week I was feeling stuck and frustrated – you know when you’ve tried so many things to feel better and kick start yourself back to health/ease (insert your own word) and none of it has really worked. So I thought RETREAT! What better?! A break away from it all focusing on health and wellbeing and myself – how wonderful!

I did some research online and then the reality started to dawn…last minute retreats which are good quality are expensive, I have two fur babies who need to be fed and loved, I don’t really want the hassle of packing and travelling and, and, and, and…

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Who would want to leave these adorable fluffy souls for a whole week!?

Anyway I came up with a solution – an at home retreat. Over the next few days I will go through the steps I came up with to create my ‘at home retreat’ which is simple, cost effective and can be worked around your normal life.

The main steps to creating my healing, nurturing retreat involve getting healthy meals delivered (yes it is possible, it doesn’t break the bank and it’s amazing – almost like having your own private chef!), moving your body, healing treatments, self love at home treatments, TV/internet fasting and time to play, sleep, cry and whatever you need my lovely.

Extra benefits you would not get from an away retreat are spending time with my cats, Raff & Max, setting up new and healthy habits at home which can be continued and an unexpected outcome is it’s a perfect time for space clearing – home, body, life – whatever needs some throwing out to make space for shiny newness.

Step 1 coming tomorrow…

 

Healing yin yoga and hip openers

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It was a day of things going a little awry and then synchronistically working out perfectly.

I was planning on going to my morning Sivananda yoga class at the ashram in Putney, as I trained in this very soothing, classical style in India. I didn’t sleep well at last night so was waking and sleeping till late in the morning and missed my class. Not to be thwarted I decided to go along to a later class a local studio I haven’t been to before, a Yin class. I thought Yin, a very slow style of yoga where the poses are held for long periods of time, would suit me perfectly as I am recovering from chronic fatigue and so have been doing very little exercise recently.

The poses were a range of steady holding and gently flowing, it was physically harder than I expected to hold still for so long! I was very impressed by the teacher’s knowledge both in the realm of the spiritual and physical. The piece of information which stuck in my mind most and turned on a light bulb of understanding was her explanation of the iliopsoas.

She explained the iliopsoas is the only muscle that is attached to both the lower limbs and the torso (the spine) making its way down through the pelvis, it is actually the deepest muscle in the human body. In yoga it is known as the ‘muscle of the soul’ as it holds emotional as well as physical tension. When we are relaxed in life and feel able to express ourselves our hips tend to be more open, when we are in flight or fight response (stress) our hips become tighter and movement is reduced. This is why when practicing hip openers in yoga, especially in a yin yoga class (where we held a low lunge for at least 5 minutes!), often emotions and hidden frustrations come bubbling up to the surface.

This was my experience exactly, I knew that my right hip was especially tight, and I attributed it to difficult emotions connected to close male relationships in my life (right side of the body represents yang/ masculine energy). While holding the stretch on the right side the wave of emotions was overwhelming so much so that I feared I might cry out if I didn’t release the pose and take a break.

I loved the teacher’s beautiful, soulful and anatomically correct explanation of why the emotions are caught up in the hip area. I breathed through the emotions, through the discomfort in an effort to let go as much as I could. Often in a deep hip opener I can feel the resistance building in my body almost like very small convulsion and if I stay with it and breathe through it my body releases the blocked energy and I can relax and let go a little deeper.

This class, this teacher, this pose and this explanation were exactly what I need to heal and nourish myself today. And the bonus prize was the studio are offering a £25 unlimited pass for 2 weeks for newbies – so much to be grateful for in the flow of synchronicity.