Be here. Now.

How fast do you go through your day?

Your week?

Your month?

Your life?

Staying present isn’t easy.

As a self-confessed post-it addict I have set myself the challenge to release myself from the grip of to-lists.

Over the past year my life has once again gone through significant changes. This year I really, really, really want to stand still and enjoy the moment. I realise now all my intention and goal setting has been inadvertently preventing this.

I am so grateful for my life. I have met the person I want to spend forever with, who brings more to my life than I ever could have hoped for. I have an awesome family who continue to grow more special with time. I have the bestest of friends, a home filled with love and happiness, and two gorgeous furballs who melt my heart. To top it off, I love my day job and I adore this site.

There is always more to want though, right?

I want to lose weight. I want to be fit and healthy. I want to grow my spiritual practice. I want to interview more people. I want to write my book. I want so much more because I know it is within my grasp, and yet all these wants are stifling my days.

When I stopped to listen very carefully I realised that  what I need (not necessarily want) is to stand still.

As I rush through my days, weeks, months, with my never ending to-do lists, I have found that my passion can’t get a look in.

I put on my to-do list to read certain books, but shouldn’t I be drawn to read them rather have them as a tick box? I am determined to write my book but that tick box prevents the spark from lighting me up with excitement. I want to drop two dress sizes and be full of energy and yet I overlook that this year my diet has dramatically improved and that every morning this year I have been committed to my yoga practice. I do look and feel so much better. Tick box after tick box I keep stopping myself from seeing what is right in front of me.

Staying present really isn’t easy. Is it.

I have recently joined new Facebook groups. I couldn’t be more grateful for the people I have met online who continue to inspire me and teach me more. Then suddenly, despite me being happy in my life, I feel I should be doing more. Why isn’t my book written? Why aren’t I speaking at events? Should I be publishing more articles and conducting more interviews? Is anyone actually interested in what I have to say? Then all of a sudden I feel inadequate, a failure and not good enough. Cue massive meltdown, despite me knowing deep, deep down  that I am successful at whatever I put my mind to. Why? Because when I do things I do them with passion and excitement pulsating through me. How can that passion run free when I keep restricting myself to tick boxes? How can I possibly feel joy in what I am doing if I put so much pressure on myself?

I’d like to say I have seen the light and that this week I have finished reading two books, written three chapters of my book, and interviewed enough people for the next month. I can’t tell you that because generally speaking life doesn’t work that way. These things take time.

What I can tell you is that I haven’t written a to-do list this week. I sent out an interview request to another gorgeous soul because it felt the right time. I have not beaten myself up if I haven’t made the gym or didn’t have time to do yoga one morning. I’ve realised my gratitude practice happens naturally so there is no need to force that. I’ve accepted that my worrying has increased since a bereavement last year, but it will take time to work on that.

Perhaps it is these small things which will help reignite my passion. Perhaps not. Whatever happens, the main thing that I realise now a tick box existence isn’t for me anymore, and that is enough for now.

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Let’s talk… Animal Healing with Ollie Neveu

Hands up if you like animals?

There are so many studies citing the benefits of our furry friends. Anyone who has ever had a pet will know how amazing they are and how much they can impact. But, for some people animals have a special kind of magic touch.

Ollie Neveu supports the animals in their purpose by sharing their wisdom through writing, speaking and mentoring. According to her, animals hold us in unconditional love so that we may hold it for ourselves.

Ollie is here to validate your sacred relationship with the natural world. To guide you as you reconnect to animals, and the essence of who you truly are.

Intrigued? Me too.

Meet Ollie Neveu.

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Writer, Artist, Fur Mama

How has your own personal journey influenced your work and life choices?

My work is a reflection of my personal journey. I share my experiences through my work, to help those who find themselves on a similar path to where I have been before. On Valentine’s Day 2012 I suffered from an emotional and physical breakdown. I had ignored my body and my heart for so long, that my body had to take drastic action to get my attention. And it worked. I ended up quitting my job as an accountant, adopted a dog, moved to the country and started uncovering the real me – who had been hidden for so long , I had almost forgot she existed. I reopened my heart to animals and the sacred connection we share. I now partner with animals to share their messages of wisdom to the world, their teachings of unconditional love and their medicine for our wild souls that have been caged by this harsh modern world we live in.

A guiding paw on your path to happiness.

What approach do you take to helping others?  

I try to live life with the most kindness and compassion that I can. Every day I am making choices not to harm. Whether it’s choosing to put delicious vegan food on my plate five times a day, to holding animal healing circles or choosing to buy clothing from companies with ethical supply chains or go second hand – everyday I try to act with as much compassion as I can, that includes towards myself too. Kindness goes a long way to helping ourselves, the animals, the planet and our fellow humankind. There are no others.

Tell us about the key challenges you see facing people today?  

Let’s be honest, humans are a bit of a mess. We claim to be the superior species on the planet, yet we are the only ones to systematically destroy our own habitat. We pride ourselves on our intelligence, yet we fight senseless wars amongst ourselves over imaginary lines in the sand. Our technical mastery has taken us to every corner of the earth and beyond, yet we have not been able to master the one thing we truly seek. Peace.untitled3

I see many highly sensitive, smart and creative millennial women who are ignoring their hearts, in order to tick all the boxes to achieve society’s idea of success. With their soul being confined to fit others expectations, their Insta-worthy life feels more like a gilded cage to them. Behind the scenes their health, relationships and sanity are crumbling. These women know they can’t continue living this inauthentic way, but don’t have the courage to break free.

But I have hope for us. The answers to the peace we are all seeking have been there all along. Under our noses. Eyeing up that sandwich we’re eating. Animals are our furry saviours and will show us the way back to the peaceful existence our souls once knew.

You run an Animal Healing Circle, what does that involve? 

Twice a month on a Wednesday evening (GMT) I facilitate a virtual Animal Healing Circle through the magic of Google Hangouts!! I guide participants through a meditative journey where we connect to the healing energies of the planet and the universe, and channel that out to those animals who need it most. There is a list of the names of ill or injured animals who we direct love and healing to, as well as the collective soul of all animals, and our planet itself. It is an open space for those who want to join in, and leaves participants with a great feeling of peace and connection to animals afterwards. A lot of my work is around sharing the wisdom of animals, and calling on their teachings to help guide us – so I see this Animal Healing Circle as a wonderful way for us to give back to them.

Do you have any animals yourself? If so, tell us more…

I do. I currently am fur mama to a 13 year old cat named Ratty, and an 11 year old rescue greyhound Neve (aka Guru Dog Neve). Neve was really a catalyst for me getting into this work. After suffering from an emotional and physical breakdown in 2012, from ignoring my heart and pursuing someone else’s idea of success for too long – I was left depleted and defeated. The only thing that could bring life into my life during this time was watching Youtube videos of pugs (true story).

Pugs were my gateway drug into the world of dogs. They showed me that dogs are full of joy, cuddly and amazing companions. It was because of pugs that I knew wanted to adopt a dog of my own, to help me experience more joy. Which is how my beautiful rescue greyhound Neve (aka Guru Dog) came into my life.

Neve had been at the shelter for 9 months before we adopted her. She had been taken in with 14 other greyhounds from a retired trainer. The first 7 years of her life were spent locked away in a dirty and stark cage. Her only respite was the hour a day she got to play in the field. She didn’t have a name, but was collectively known as one of the ‘Nasty Girls’ – her and her two sisters had some bitter sibling rivalry. Her mega-bitch attitude was a reflection of the neglectful circumstances she was in – and thankfully once she arrived at the shelter, she was showered in love and her true sweetness shone through.

Neve and I met the day after I quit my job as an accountant. We set off on a new life together, free of our respective cages (hers metal, mine mental) and started learning what it was like to live from our hearts. In 2014 we followed our freshly opened hearts (seemingly on a whim) to move from New Zealand to London (along with the husband and Ratty cat). One month before we moved I had a dream about a book called My Dog My Guru – and so it all began

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to turn scarcity thinking into abundance thinking? 

Oh goodness, I’ve fallen into the scarcity thinking trap many time – which for me manifests in taking everything so seriously. I freak out that there is only one chance, one opportunity, one slice of (vegan gf) cake left, and I go into super serious Type A overachieving mode. Scarcity thinking sees this one opportunity as the ONLY opportunity. Once it is gone, it’s gone (no more cake!). Screw up, game’s over. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are my tips to get out of scarcity and start dwelling in an abundant state of being:

1- Gratitude: Firstly, be grateful for everything amazing that you already have/experienced/do in your life. This energy sends out a signal of abundance rather thank lack to the universe. You’re saying ” yes please – more of this!”

2- Raise your vibration: Start practising meditation daily to lift your vibration, and open yourself up to co-creating to the universe.

3 – Ask for what you want: Ask for a feeling, not a thing. If you’ve done Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map work, what you want is to feel your core desired feelings. If you haven’t done this work, ‘happiness’ or ‘love’ are pretty good ones.

4- Trust: Trust that when you and the universe are co-creating that you will be given exactly what you need. And know that sometimes the universe has a better plan for you. So if one opportunity falls through, know that an even better one is coming.

5 – Laugh: Silliness, play and laughter is the perfect antidote to serious thinking. So go jump in a puddle, play with a furry guru or have a dance party in your living room and let it go.

When we get out of scarcity thinking, co-create with the universe and trust that we shall receive this or something greater – then there is no reason to be serious anymore. And we can start to switch of focus to fun!

What were your highlights of 2015? 

I think my highlights of 2015 was going back home to New Zealand for the first time since I moved away (beach and family!), and realising that I’ve really find a tribe of supportive, strong, like-minded women here in London. Which only took my whole life. I was always a bit of an outsider, never really fitting in and not entirely understood (by my peers or even myself). It wasn’t until I started listening to my heart and reconnecting with my true self that I was able to find my people, and finally feel included (yay!).

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What’s next for you, what are your intentions for 2016?  

My intentions for 2016 are to really step into my destiny with courage and strength. I’m working with clients more – both in supporting their own transformational healing journeys, and healing services for their animal friends. My book will be emerging into the world either later this year or 2017. And we’re packing up, moving out of London and out to the countryside where my heart longs to be.

What does Holistic living mean to you?    

Holistic living to me means making conscious choices throughout the day to listen to my heart, to do what it craves most. To recognise my body, soul and mind as intertwined and interconnected. To let the wild essence of my soul re-emerge and live in tune with nature.

What is your message to cynics, sceptics, and the intrigued?    

There is a wonderful Native American proverb which sums it up nicely for me.

Every animal knows more than you do.

Finally, what are your top five tips for self-love? 

  1. Listen to your heart
  2. Spend time in nature
  3. Say kind words to yourself
  4. Do whatever you want, so long as you’re not hurting anyone, screw the haters.
  5. Help those who are in need (love for others is love for self)

When an animal brings you a feeling of joy, peace or L O V E, they are sharing with you what you have forgotten. It is an invitation to remember who you truly are. I am joy. I am peace. I am stillness. I am love.

Further Links

 

 

The Glow Guides: Ready. Steady. Get Glowing!

I was super excited to hear that the lovely Madeleine Shaw has launched the Glow Guides, an eight-week holistic transformational program, aiming to get users fit in mind, body and spirit.

The Glow Guides will focus you on embracing how you feel, rather than how you look. You will be provided with the tools and knowledge to enable you to maintain a healthy lifestyle long after the eight weeks have ended.

2015_10_30_Glow_Guides15616-1100x825For me, real transformation starts from within so not only does the programme focus on exercise and diet, but it also allows you to take time out to still and strengthen your mind through meditation – which I think makes it totally different from all the other programmes out there.

The app is packed full of yoga videos, strength and cardio workout videos, meal plans, exclusive recipes, audio meditations, a Glow Kit shop, live streaming, direct messaging, events and lots, lots more.

Sounds amazing right?

Move, Munch and Meditate.

The Glow Guides provides you with daily access to your own personal trainer, life coach, and nutritionist. The program is video, audio and PDF based so accessible for all. It includes daily strength and cardio workouts led by renowned personal trainer Shona Vertue, yoga classes and meditations led by Madeleine, seven-day recipe plans and exclusive new recipes. What more could you want?

 

 

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The Glow Guides movement programme is all about breath, strength, stability and agility, with the yoga sessions helping to relieve tension, connect with your inner self and attain that sense of bliss!

Of course if you want to follow the Glow Guides Programme and access ALL meal plans, recipes, videos, meditations and Madeleine’s live streams you will need to purchase the content in the app for a one-time fee of £49.99.

The recipes are super simple and of course delicious, not to mention beautifully photographed, so all you need to do is follow the meal plan and enjoy the glowing benefits. You can also find all the recipes in the Munch section on the app if you want to construct your own meal plan.

The good news is that before committing you can have a look at the free content in the folder called ‘Preview Content’, and if you like what you see then you can buy the 8-week programme and get Glowing!

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I wanted to create a Glow community that is by your side, always – cheering you on, picking you up when you’re tired or frustrated and making sure you don’t give up!

Each week the app will feature:

  • One introductory video outlining key goals for the week
  • Two strength and cardio-based workout videos with detailed PDF movement plans led by Shona Vertue
  • Relaxing and restorative yoga videos led by Madeleine Shaw
  • One daily meditation audio led by Madeleine
  • One complete meal plan for the week, with accompanying recipes, created by Madeleine and all dietician-approved

Glow Guides is currently available for download and purchase in the Apple Store.

Are you ready to get the glow?

 

 

Yoga Camp with Adriene

A Bright & Beautiful New Year Awaits!

Last year a good friend of mine recommended 30 days of Yoga with Adriene I never got round to it. This year I was ready and raring to go to Yoga Camp

Yoga Camp  is a 30 Day home bootcamp for your mind, your body and your soul. Do it in the comfort of your own home, or anywhere you like!

Adriene Mishler leads Yoga With Adriene, a happy and successful online yoga community, which creates free creative content to inspire people of all shapes and sizes to connect to their body daily.

Adriene’s approach to health and wellness is relaxed and FUN! Her fresh offer invites you to build awareness, embrace individuality and connect to something BIG.

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I’m a vegetarian who likes BBQ sauce, bluebonnets, antiques and vintage clothes. I have an affinity for children and animals. I love Rumi and Rodeos.

Whether you’re a yogi or a beginner wanting to start their journey, Adriene’s videos will inspire you to be authentic, do your best and find what feels good.

Yoga Camp is about self discovery and self love. It’s about yoga asana, a tone and healthy body but it is also about checking your thoughts. It is about that “self talk” that is so important to your mental health and physical wellness. It’s about expanding your yoga to all areas that need your attention.

Yoga is really the art of waking up. Getting back to the true you. It can be that simple. Yoga offers up a way for us to see a world that is working for you instead of against you.

Though the goal is to bring you to your mat each day – Yoga Camp is more than just 30 Days of physical practice. Yoga Camp is about cultivating and practicing mental wellness via a gentle introduction to affirmation and mantra. We understand that to truly be HOT as hell, to truly be HAPPY, and to truly be HEALTHY – we need to tend to not just our body but our thoughts too.

Each day is different. Each week is different. Every video an opportunity to check yourself. Check in with your body, check your thoughts, create and connect to the body and the life you have always dreamed of.

Yoga reminds me that everything is connected so we must live, act, dance, breathe with awareness. If the journey really is the reward, then by golly I choose to enJOY the journey.

Are you ready to join her?

More at http://www.yogawithadriene.com
Twitter: @yogawithadriene
Instagram: @adrienelouise
Facebook: Yoga With Adriene

 

 

Dear 2016…

Your friend 2015 was pretty good to me, and I am very grateful for that.

As I find myself moving once again I have been thinking about you and all that you have to bring.

I thought I would make a list for the New Year and ask you kindly for any assistance which you have to offer. That would be ace!

So…

It’s time I accept Pizza is not a food group.  (Definitely need a hand with this #Addicted)

My gym membership is feeling unloved so I need to fix that. (Definitely need a nudge with this one)

I shall listen (and talk) to my body more.

Erm, less alcohol.

I could do with standing still and bringing routine back into my life.

May my days living with Tom be filled with fun, laughter, honesty, kindness and friendship.

I could do with a little guidance writing my book.

I hope to continue to be surrounded by spiritual souls, kind-hearted folk and lots of love.

I will be a really good driver.

More creativity. Make ‘stuff’.

Publish my book.

Spread the light.

Learn more.

Save and cut back on all social spending.

Spending time in the great outdoors is a must.

New adventures.

A holiday.

Good health for all those I hold dear. (Especially my Daddy)

I shall learn the art of saying “No”, without feeling guilty.

I will be the best version of myself.

I will be grateful everyday.

Much love and thanks,

Helene xxx

p.s. Can’t wait to meet you!

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What would you like next year?