Viewing posts categorised under: Health

The-Being-Not-Having Christmas Gift Guide

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Do you really need any more stuff?

Christmas is not far away and so, if you're like us, you're starting to get sucked into the marketing hype that accompanies this season for giving. The new luxury however is, believe it or not – time. More time, having time and giving time. This could include time to yourself, time to share or time to learn. In this age of material excess, where specialist businesses have grown up with the sole purpose of de-cluttering, we’re starting to realise that people don’t necessarily need any more ‘things’. What does tend to make our hearts sing, is a chance to make memories, expand our learning, and enjoy just being. It’s no surprise that companies such as Etzy or hardtofind.com, specialise in gifts with a personal message, where bespoke treats have become the latest buzzword. Attributes such as authenticity, sustainability and tradition are strong contenders in the search for contentment or even happiness. Here are some suggestions that hopefully will inspire you to treat the ones you love with something they might value and that won’t end up in the cupboard, the Vinnies collection or even the bin.  

Get Creative

 

Christmas Cookies made with love

  Take the time to make gifts. Homemade candles, a card, a renovated piece of old furniture, or a pot of brandy butter all make beautiful, personalised treats. They never fail to delight, with the ultimate compliment combining time and thought that went into their creation.

Enjoy the Ride

Experiences are always well received. They need not be expensive either. A simple cooking class or a specially planned picnic can surprise someone, especially if they get to do it with you!

A Helping Hand

Services that make life easier often make the perfect gift. A cleaner for a month or maybe someone to come and sort out the garden. Imagine how nice it would be to have a credit on the services of a handyman?  

private yoga session

 

Stay Well

The gift of health is a nurturing way of showing someone you really care. Send them an hour’s massage, or perhaps a mindfulness course? Maybe you have a friend who might appreciate a life coach session or even the expertise of a naturopath?

The Gift that Gives

You can never go wrong with a charitable contribution. Try giving the gift of saving a life or helping our planet. For animal lovers, there are countless organisations that allow you to support endangered species or contribute to animal welfare. These gift ideas all share something in common,  "it's the thought that counts" - the old saying has never been more pertinent than right now. Just decide on your budget, the time you are prepared to spend and those you love will be delighted with something that reflects personal thought and consideration.

Thank you!

    Santa finally got it right!

All is Well in My World

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The passing of Louise Hay was indeed a sad day for us all at PS. Even though she died of natural causes and had reached a ripe age of 90, she represents a great loss and will be missed by millions, all over world.

Louise has been proclaimed to be founder of the self-help movement as a pioneer in initiating the connection between mind and body as well as bringing spirituality into the mainstream. In 1976, she published Heal Your Body, at a time when self-help was almost unknown. It was an instant success and steered Louise who was 50 at the time, into a thriving, lifelong career. Along came the phenomenal bestseller You Can Heal Your Life, which sold more than 50 million copies and reached the New York Times bestseller list for 13 consecutive weeks. By that time, her affirmations and intuitive self-healing had been proven to be successful. Louise herself had been diagnosed with cancer and by using herself as a guinea pig she replaced traditional drugs and medicine with her affirmations, visualisation, nutritional cleansing, and psychotherapy. Louise healed herself within six months. By revealing how mental patterns can cause physical illness Louise taught us to use visualisation, affirmations, and positive thoughts to help reverse ailments and illness. Through Louise’s healing techniques millions have learned how to create healthier, more positive, pain-free and fulfilled lives. As well as not-for-profit - The Hay Foundation, Louise created Hay House, a publishing company that will continue her legacy of self-discovery, spirituality, and healing. Louise will be remembered for her wealth of illuminating quotes and sound teachings that are more relevant than ever, in today’s world of spiritual chaos, and growing mental and physical disease. She has been pivotal in growing the spiritual groundswell, gaining momentum around the world.

RIP Louise Hay.

We thank you for shining your light.

We’ve all heard of Emotional Intelligence, so what is Emotional Wellbeing?

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  When faced with corporate burnout and her own threatened state of wellbeing, Neroli Jones, founder of PS embarked on a journey of personal discovery. She identified four key quadrants that underpin  our wellbeing – and realised that it is  not until these are in balance, that we can expect to feel a complete sense of  health.  These pillars, she names  - the Physical, Mental, Purposeful and Emotional.

"I call this our Wellbeing Compass"

 
When our Wellbeing Compass is in balance, we can navigate successfully through the pathway of life's highs and lows with ease, effortlessly. On the other hand, when it is not balanced, that is when the problems start. Until now emotional wellbeing has been quite overlooked, with much of what we see in the news focused on mental health. The emotional impact on our lives has traditionally been sidelined or neglected altogether. If mental health is that of the mind, emotional health is that of our feelings and the related aspects of that – our relationships with others and with ourselves. A few years ago, when Neroli was caught in an unexpected downward spiral, her health alerted her to a crisis point before she had worked out that apart from addressing the obvious physical imbalance, it was the emotional side of things that really needed attention. Being a high achiever, placing unrealistic demands on her body, she'd turned to pushing herself harder in an attempt to improve her fitness and physical health. This, in fact proved not to be the answer and had she listened to her body in the first instance, the crisis might have been easily avoided. It was not until  Neroli acknowledged her body's cry for attention that she could flip the paradigm and  start to give it the love it so desperately yearned for.   So, baby steps of self-kindness were taken to get her  health back on track; wellbeing became   her utmost priority. We are not programmed to be kind to ourselves and it is often seen to be a form of self indulgence, but this illuminating journey helped to navigate her pathway to wellbeing, big breakthroughs and quantum leaps. Learning to love ourselves where we are right now, not where we could be / should be / are expected to be – but right here.

Emotions are simply feelings with a judgement attached. Once we understand this, the rest falls into place.

Emotional wellbeing is about truth – the truth of now. It’s about self-acceptance without judgement and it’s about love. More often than not, we feed ourselves a diet of toxic lies. Our relationship with ourselves is the most profoundly complex relationship we will ever navigate and yet we spend most of our time developing or managing relationships with others, outside ourselves. Emotional wellbeing focuses on your relationship with you…. ask yourself regularly – how does this (person, event, conversation, activity – whatever) make me feel? Do I want more of that or less of that? How you feel    tells you everything. You actually do know what you need, you do know what makes you happy, but you do need to invest the time to listen. That's called emotional wellbeing. To understand  your personal wellbeing and discover how  balanced  you are, go to  the Paradigm Switch compass tool and spend a few minutes to reveal where you need to focus  on improvement.  You might be quite surprised at the results.  The PS Compass will point to   the quadrant that needs most work, so you  then can  be directed to the best suited therapies.  

Seasonal Power-foods you need to know about

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    Have you noticed how Gardening has gained a big resurgence? Known for it’s anti-stress benefits and meditational qualities, growing your own power-foods have become the latest re-discovered natural therapy. Cleverly coined Green Therapy we are witnessing Healing parks, therapeutic gardens and community patches springing up everywhere, as fast as they can grow. From Ivanka Trump (yes!) to Oprah, the world is moving back towards homegrown. source There’s no doubt that eating locally grown fruit and vegetables – garden-to-table style is much healthier from a nutritious point of view as well as for the environment. Produce such as broccoli, green beans, kale, red peppers, tomatoes, apricots and peaches are susceptible to nutrient loss when harvested and transported from longer distances, while fresh foods tend to have a higher nutrient value, if grown and harvested locally and given more time to ripen. As we head into the cooler months, here are some tasty, seasonal vegetables that belong to the ‘power-food’ category; they don’t require a horticultural degree to nurture and the added Green Therapy will provide extra health benefits.

Eggplant

purple anti-oxidant power-food

Cram-packed with vitamins and minerals, eggplants are rich sources of phenolic compounds that function as antioxidants. Generally, plants use these compounds to protect themselves against oxidative stress from the elements, as well as from infection by bacteria and fungi. The eggplant contains a particular phenolic compound, which is one of the most potent free radical scavengers providing anti-mutagenic benefits (anti-cancer), anti-microbial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and anti-viral activities.

Tip:   Add roasted eggplant slices to pizza, pasta and salads

Parsnip

the perfect power-food snack

One of the greatest attributes of the humble parsnip is its ability to suppress the release of ghrelin, which is a “hunger” hormone. This makes it the perfect snack if you’re looking to lose weight. Parsnips also contain substantial amounts of soluble fibre – which has been associated with assisting with digestive disorders, reducing cholesterol and lowering the chance for developing diabetes. If heart health is of concern, the high levels of potassium and folate make the parsnip one of the most effective vegetables in promoting a healthy cardiovascular system, helping to reduce blood pressure and stress on the heart.

Tip:   Roast sliced parsnips and toss with a little sea salt, for snacking 

Leek

power-food for your arteries

Leeks belong to the Allium family along with garlic and onions all possessing disease-fighting properties known long before it was possible to identify their exact antibacterial properties. Today leeks are recognised as a source of Allicin - a antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal compound which helps in the prevention of clotting in the blood vessels, thus, decreasing the overall risk of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular diseases, and stroke. In addition, leeks are known to ward off antibiotic-resistant superbugs, with this compound that may also neutralise dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound. It’s a good idea to eat plenty of leeks if you’re pregnant or trying to fall pregnant, since the perfect concentration of Folic acid in leeks is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division and can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.

Tip:   Add lightly sautéed sliced baby leeks to mashed potato for added taste and a nutritious punch.

The Essential Ingredient Happy People Share

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“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”    Helen Keller

  If you look around at the people you admire, the ones that inspire you, that make you feel good, and the ones who have that contagious energy you just wish you could catch…. What is it they have in common? Chances are, you’ll find that they have a reason to get up in the morning. In other words they are motivated by an innate purpose or sense of moving forward to achieving something they feel passionate about. Being happy can take on a number of disguises – it deceives us into thinking we’ll get happy if we:

Get a new car

Go on holiday

Find a partner

Go shopping

Eat our favourite food

Go to the gym

Go partying with friends

  These are all enjoyable but temporary happiness moments. More often than not, once the holiday is over, we are faced again with having to find another happiness distraction. And so the cycle spins around and around. Continuous research findings have shown that a lasting sense of happiness or contentment comes with being useful. If we are being useful to ourselves, friends, family, the planet or even our pets, our sense of identity or pride is lifted, thus inducing a feeling of achievement and satisfaction. You just need to look at a new mother to witness a purpose surge of happiness. According to Volunteering Australia, 96% of volunteers said it made them happier people. It’s also worth noting that volunteers are healthier and sleep better. They experience a ‘helpers’ high’ akin to an emotional and physical sense of wellbeing. Financial security, a sense of purpose in life, and good personal relationships are said to make up the "golden triangle" or 3 pillars of happiness according to one of Australia's largest wellbeing surveys. Unfortunately, the toughest one to harness is to find your purpose, which essentially underpins the other two happiness pillars. Finding your purpose can be both challenging and elusive, often taking many years to discover.

The Answer is always Inside Yourself

Spiritual teacher and Hindu Priest, Dandapani gave up a promising career in engineering, to train with a guru in a cloistered monastery for 10 years. It wasn’t until he settled in New York City, before he could pinpoint the key that unlocks our authentic purpose, lodged deep within each one of us. The challenge of course, is to allow it to surface. “We are all too busy distracting ourselves to let our true sense of why we are here become apparent.” Dandapani tells us. “How can we hear what’s within if we don’t listen? You can’t meditate however unless you are taught how to concentrate or focus and that takes practice. Purpose is hard to find for many of us and there’s no easy shortcut to find it.” One tool that will help you to measure how in touch you are with your purpose is by completing our Paradigm Compass test, which you will find by clicking here. We invite you to talk this simple exercise that allows you to assess how far you are from finding your true purpose, and then will direct you to the most appropriate help, if necessary.  

Tips for a Healthy Christmas you didn’t learn at School

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We asked our talented team at PSU HQ to come up with their personal tips to make sure Christmas runs smoother, happier and healthier.

Neroli Jones, CEO breaks it down to collaborate and sing …

carol singing kidsDon’t stress… it’s just one day. We keep it simple, everyone pitches in and contributes and that way we all get to enjoy ourselves. Who doesn’t love a Christmas carol?! You’re likely to get pointed looks if you sing Noel in September, but the whole month of December is a month to go for it. Singing has to be one of the best stress busters ever, so belt out a falalala while you’re stuck in traffic and see if it doesn’t make you smile…  

Shelley Seddon, our synergy manager focuses on some year in review and personal observations …

During Christmas Lunch we have a (hopefully) fun “Year in Review” discussion. Everyone is emailed questions in advance so they have a chance to really think about their answers.

Topics include:

What was your favourite movie, book, TV show this year?

Best travel story.

Highlight of the year

What do you hope to accomplish next year?

What are you most looking forward to in the New Year?

  dinner conversation Family/holiday conversations can sometimes be awkward or dominated by a few people. I have found that if you give people time to prepare, it gets everyone involved, including children who can sometimes feel left out or embarrassed by being put on the spot. It’s a great way to actually connect with people instead of just making small talk.  

Hannah-Florence Macgregor, video producer advises us on how to keep our bodies healthy this season …

drinking-water-clipart-how-to-drink-more-water-VFoGP2-clipart

Drink more water

    Drink lots of water especially in these hot months. 3-4 litres a day, will keep you hydrated and balance out the excessive sugars and other indulgences we enjoy during the festive season. If you feel like going one step further, add little Apple Cider vinegar to alkalize the water and detox while you hydrate.  

 

Anna Barr, Director of Awareness focuses on staying calm…

Christmas listBe organized!

Don’t leave wrapping presents, decorating, baking and so on, all to the last minute. Do whatever you can in the weeks leading up to the big day, so you manage to actually enjoy the festivities without worrying about the menu or conjuring up a missing gift. I make lists on my phone so I can’t forget them!    For an instant recharge, escape to a quiet spot for 5 minutes and take a few deep breaths.  

Helen Kingsmill, Ground Control, has discovered a real crowd pleaser…

Here’s a handy recipe that is a whizz to make and sooo healthy and fresh!
Christmas party recipe

Christmas party recipe

Prawns with blended Xmas mango dip

Fresh, green Aussie king prawns 2 x plump Christmas season mangoes Generous handful of fresh basil leaves Garlic and chilli infused oil (for marinating prawns) Spritz of lemon juice   Shell the green prawns leaving tail intact and marinate in the garlic/chilli oil Peel mangoes and whizz in a food processor with basil and lemon juice. Cook the prawns on the barbeque, brushing with oil – they cook in a flash so don’t look away! Serve warm, with mango dip, then stand back so you don’t get injured in the crush for more!

games at ChristmasJohn Whaley, Architect of Order, suggests a time for reconnection without distraction …

I always love to play a board game or cards at Christmas. Whilst this can be a source of tension for over competitive family members (!), generally it is a great ice-breaker and activity for getting everyone together in one place and having a laugh… Another tip is to have a no electronic devices policy (phones, iPads, computers) on Christmas Day, allowing us to feel present and bringing some togetherness into the day.  

Nadia Superina, Mission Control, shares her diet tricks…

*Eat a healthy breakfast with loads of fruit/veggies and healthy fats. Either a big smoothie or eggs with avocado. This means that even if you have a fabulously unhealthy lunch and dinner, you’re charged with one healthy meal. Plus, fats will make you feel fuller so you’ll eat less of the bad stuff.
*Stick to three meals and avoid snacking. All the snacks add up and you’d be amazed how they pile on the weight.
*Drink lots of water between meals. NOT with meals. Water dilutes stomach acid, which needs to be strong to digest meals (particularly loaded with carbs and protein). Drinking between meals will help you feel full as well as prevent snacking.
Christmas-Tree-Fruit-Platter

merry fruity Christmas

Merry, healthy Christmas to all!

 

Why Yoga Teachers are Always Happy

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BE A WARRIOR NOT A WORRIER

As I walked into the yoga class and planted myself firmly cross-legged on my mat, I was given my mantra of the day

“ Set your intention for today as Acceptance”

Of yourself         Of others         Of your body

People annoy us and challenge us daily, we frustrate ourselves, we criticise what’s wrong with us - and the world, we self-judge and judge others, often without any background knowledge. We moan, we stress, we worry and we ruminate over things out of our control. All this can be eliminated with one clear mantra – Acceptance. If we smile and accept what is, we cannot be ruffled, we can protect ourselves from the outside stressors and build a sturdy Zen fence all around our happy inner beings.   Paradigm Switch yoga teacher, Jo Kirkpatrick shares similar guidance: “The 8 limbs of yoga are over 2000 years old and guide us on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life without suffering. According to Patangali, when you master being content with what you have, supreme happiness results. so much yogaTwo key elements in the philosophy of yoga include consistent practice and non-attachment. Those who practice the 8 limbs of Yoga, reap the rewards of life, free from misery. It is important to note that as with anything in life, good things only manifest as the result of hard work and discipline.”

Yoga is a life-long practice with new possibilities available, every time we enter a class.

  The oldest yoga teacher turned 98 this year, and looks like the happiest person alive. Tao is said to be full of joy and light, "Yoga is the essence of the dawn of life and it sparkles inwardly she says, “The greatest pleasure is to see someone suddenly realize there was nothing they could not do.” Yoga can be for everyone with the latest research from Roy Morgan showing one in 10 Australians (14+) now do Yoga. The number of women practicing yoga has doubled in the past 8 years, making yoga the fastest-growing sport or activity in the country. Despite being one of the lowest paid jobs, the yoga teacher ranked 10 in America in the most-sought-after careers list.

So what is it yoga yoga teachersteachers share in terms of job satisfaction?

It seems that yoga gives us the possibilities of accomplishing something seemingly impossible. The thrill arises from creating a space for healing, to be able to share the practice, watching transformation occur. This is fundamental to yoga. It’s all about giving - guiding students toward becoming the best version of themselves. Namaste :)    

Weight Gain? Is Sugar to Blame?

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Guest blogger, Melanie White, PS weight management expert, tells us there's more to weight loss  than simply cutting out the sugar.

    Lately, it's sugar that has been demonised, as far as diet is concerned. It causes us to gain weight, it creates cravings and it affects our energy and moods. It also sets us up for chronic diseases. All these facts are scientifically proven. Why Sugar is now the Bad Guy There are numerous medical studies about the adverse effects of sugar on our health. And in addition, sugar has taken two big hits in the media over the past year.sugar
  1. The World Health Organisation announced it would reduce the recommended maximum sugar intake to just 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for an adult (down from 10 teaspoons). http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/sugar-guideline/en/
  2. In October 2016, the sugar industry was exposed for trying to shift the blame for heart disease away from sugar and over to fat, in 1965 - despite medical evidence at the time, that excess sugar consumption increases health risks. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-12/how-big-sugar-enlisted-harvard-scientists-to-influence-how-we-eat-in-1965
 

So, when it comes to weight gain – is sugar really to blame?

With all the negative press surrounding sugar, some of us are quitting sugar altogether, swapping sugar for 'natural' substitutes or pledging to cut out sweet foods for good. From what we know about sugar, surely this has to be a positive, as far as our health goes. However, the question remains – when it comes to weight gain - is sugar really to blame? As a health and wellness coach who specialises in helping people change their eating habits, I have come to realise that something bigger, than just sugar - is at play. Over the past 5 years, 95% of my clients have come to me seeking help to get over sugar. They typically show  the signs and symptoms of insulin imbalance, including excess weight and 'love handles' (due to too much sugar); They suffer from sugar cravings, and struggle to manage their intake. But while those clients definitely needed to reduce their sugar intake, we discovered that in every case, sugar was not the only contributor to their extra kilos. There are two distinct problems that can make it hard to quit - your beliefs, and your hormone levels. If you can rewire your beliefs, you will start to act differently, and find it easier to reduce, moderate or quit sugar for good. Once you reset your hormones, your physical cravings will diminish and you will find it much easier to make better choices.  

We Know Sugar Is Unhealthy – But Saying No is Tough

lolliesWhether you have trouble with excessive intake of sugar, salt, alcohol, coffee or lack of exercise, the problem often lies in your beliefs - your own personal rules - about those foods. Regardless of how many labels you’ve read, how many sugar alternatives you know about, or how many diet plans you follow, it more often than not goes out the window, as something sweet blindsides you on a Friday afternoon, following  a stressful week. Let's face it - if we truly believed sugar was poison, we simply wouldn't eat it. But on the flip side, if sugar has always been presented as a treat or a reward,  avoiding it presents a challenge.

True Story

Two years ago, a client came to me wanting to lose weight. She loved sweet pastries, even calling them a 'special treat.' The thought of going without pastries simply made them even more desirable. So, I asked her to do an experiment - instead of having a restrictive, guilty mindset around pastries, I suggested she could buy a small pastry and enjoy it wholeheartedly and without guilt, the next time she had the urge, to see what would happen. She came to our next session feeling very disappointed. She explained that, as she entered the pastry shop, she realised that she didn’t actually want the pastry anymore. All the mystique and compulsion around this special and forbidden treat was gone – because she was allowing herself to have it. Sugar addiction can be likened to having an affair. It's secretive, forbidden, naughty and guilt-inducing. But once they're out in the open, affairs often fizzle out because the excitement and intrigue is gone. Hormonal imbalances are another likely contributor to weight gain. Anybody who has elevated levels of the hormones insulin, leptin, ghrelin and/or cortisol, might struggle with persistent cravings for sugar and/or sweet foods.  
sugar- naughty or nice?

sugar- naughty or nice?

Sure indicators and symptoms of hormonal imbalance include ‘love handles’, a ‘stress belly’, poor sleep, insatiable cravings for chocolate, and a desire for constant snacking. However, most diets don’t address these hormonal issues, so no matter how many calories or points you count and stick to, the cravings remain. And if that isn’t enough, it’s also frustrating to learn that it is those hormonal issues that can prevent you from losing body fat. As a weight-loss expert, I strongly recommend you look at your relationship with sugar and any possible hormonal imbalances first, before you consider just quitting sugar, as a silver bullet to down-sizing.

As we all know, it can be super hard to break up with something so sweet!

Negative Thinking is an Addiction

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According to the National Science Foundation we think between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. Of these it is estimated that 95% are the same thoughts that run through our minds everyday. When you consider that our reality creates our mindset, it’s hardly surprising to learn that when we begin to think negatively, our world will eventually deteriorate, reflecting those thoughts. This is how we become addicted to negative thinking. Einstein quote thinking Think about it. It might seem as though we are just reacting to life events, but what is actually happening is that the negative thoughts in the first place are in fact facilitating most of those events. Be aware - it is not the other way round. So, if you want to change your life, you need to change your thinking. Can Albert Einstein be wrong? Every conscious thought is recorded by our subconscious mind. It never questions or disputes the validity of a thought. It literally takes our word for it. For example if we think “I’m never going to have any money” that fact is accurately and literally recorded. Your subconscious mind then communicates directly with the quantum energy field which then manifests your reality. The more negatively we think, the more this will be reflected in our everyday lives and experiences. It might be in an unexpected way, but the negativity will be there. This is the law of attraction, and it works regardless of if we understand how it works or not. Try these effective tools to dispel negative thinking:

  • Flip the mindset. Negative thinking is simply thinking about what you do not want, while positive thinking is thinking about what you do.  If you focus on a positive outcome, that is what the subconscious will record and pass it on to a reality.
  • Take responsibility Take responsibility for all your thoughts, and notice that you are not your thoughts. Try to separate your reactions from a life event and be aware of how you choose to react rather than repeating past, learnt behaviours. It will empower you from your negative thinking.
  • EFT Tapping can dispel  moods and feelings, making way for positive thoughts.
  • Make some endorphins The ‘happy’ hormones produced with the increased oxygen flow from exercise, will naturally alter your mindset.
  • Watch your words Avoid saying ‘but’ – “I love my work, but…..” or making false excuses – “I can’t stay because…”
  • Ask positive open-ended questions How can this get better? Where could this lead to? Don’t restrict yourself with answers, just put the thought out there.
Our minds are an amazing engine, capable of endless possibilities, the only thing that draws us back, is ourselves. Only you are the administrator of your destiny. holding the world"Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny." Frank Outlaw

Lighten your Life with Energy Intelligence

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By Barbara Callan, International Intuitive Consultant for Paradigm Switch. Our guest blogger for the month. Have you ever felt totally exhausted after what should have been a perfectly pleasant coffee morning with a friend? Or perhaps you dropped into your neighbour’s for the mail and rushed home feeling flat? Energy levels fluctuate for each person, every day. We all pick up on the energy around us, so if you spend time with someone positive or excited your energy levels will automatically lift, while someone with a bout of the blues might deplete you. coffee morningThe trick is to learn and to manage your own energy to keep yourself balanced and effective all day. We are all energetic creatures Anyone who does martial arts will tell you that you will feel the energy of your opponent’s move before the move arrives. This of course requires discipline and training and we are not all at this level of awareness. So what can we do at the level that we operate, in our own lives? Firstly we must become familiar with our own energy so that we know what it feels like to be us. If we know what our energy feels like then we know what works for us; it becomes an 'energetic match'. The opposite also, is true. Note, the match can sometimes be subtle or sometimes be loud. Finding the match is the clue. We all know people who drain our energy but with our compassionate hearts it often becomes easy to say “yes of course I’ll have a coffee with you,” only to find that our listening and counselling muscle is overstretched! We can often be caught unawares of an energy mismatch only too late - when we are left exhausted and relieved to say goodbye. How can we manage our energy? Firstly we must be aware of any feeling of exhaustion or energy drop when we leave someone’s company. This indicates a deficit; We have been giving out our energy, but receiving less in return. Once we identify where our energy is draining, we will gain an idea of who to hang out with less! Try saying this to yourself “How does this feel for me?” and put yourself first. By being consciously aware of staying in the observer space, we protect ourselves from their energy, thus preserving ours. In this manner, we can leave our friend with a feeling that our energy remains balanced. Being energy aware when we are with loved ones and family can be especially challenging as we often have emotional charges both positive and negative, triggered by those that we have an attachment to. Notice these are often our greatest opportunities for learning and practicing the observer skill. waterfallChoose your space. Places can drain us of energy as the land also emits an energy. Do you recall an experience of visiting an area and feeling uncomfortable, for no obvious explanation.? You intuitively know areas where you can quite categorically say “I could never live there”. The reason being, there is too much of an energy mismatch between the energy of the land in that area, and your own personal energy. A sense of relief is often experienced as we leave that area, and return to a familiar place, that ‘feels more like us’. Being by the sea can be balancing while topping up our energy. The presence of negative ions by the ocean or running water (even the shower) has the power to enhance our mood, putting us in a good space. The head feels clearer and we feel more optimistic. We can also find negative ions around trees. That is why being out in nature - the sea or the forest, is a great way to increase our energy bringing ourselves back into balance. Conversely, living in the city can be exhausting, as we are surrounded by so many people pumping out their differing energies. Try to be aware of when your energy experiences possible ‘overload’ in crowded, shared spaces. crowded-mallShopping malls can turn into a dazed experience. You’ve been overloaded, your brain has a tough time focusing - is it a wonder you return to your car often, without the items you set out to buy? Food has the power to drop energy levels. Some foods take more energy to digest and leave us with feeling sleepy, while eating easily digestible food makes us feel light and energised. Think a plate of sushi versus a Sunday roast! Notice how your body reacts and understand how it affects your energy levels. Say Grace! Believe it or not, saying a prayer or showing gratitude for your food before eating, energises your meal positively. Pausing and thinking about what we are grateful for will change the energy of the food. The work of Masaru Emoto proves this where he showed images showing the effect words have on water. Thoughts influence energy levels which is why mindfulness has gained popularity in recent years. By focusing on gratitude, love and the positives, we lift our energy. Awareness is key - do more of what uplifts you and keeps you in that good space.