Body scan to know when to take time-out
featured, Holistic, Lifestyle, Meditation, self-love

The importance to taking time-out.

How important is it to stop and see if you need time-out to re-charge your batteries? We are all human beings and even the fittest and most healthy of us will tire at some point. But most of us are just ordinary people trying to fit in extraordinary amounts of tasks, thoughts and conversations into an increasingly shorter 24 hour period.

By checking in with your body and mind on a regular basis you can become aware of when tiredness isn’t alleviated by a good night sleep.  Checking in can be a mindful practice including a full body scan practice, however it doesn’t need to be a lengthy exercise and can be done in a minute or two.  I have got into the habit now of doing this in 20 seconds two or three times a day to compare how I’m feeling throughout the day.  Be careful not to allow your mind to use the overpowering burdens of your to do list to influence this, try to go beyond this and have all your attention on your physical body to see how it is feeling.  The great thing is that no-one needs to know you’re even doing it!

Going back then, to that point where tiredness isn’t alleviated by a good night sleep – this is the point at which you would ideally do something about it.  Maybe you could book a holiday, take a couple of days off to rest or an afternoon to sit in the garden with a good book; at the very least you could take a long soak in the bath or practice some meditation.

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There are many things you can do to feel refreshed and revived, and most of them will involve not thinking about your to do list.  So anything that takes your mind off this, even if it involves extensive thinking about something else, will give your mind a break.  This is why meditation is so useful, especially if done on a regular basis.  By having something else to think about (if you’re following a guided meditation) or by thinking of nothing at all (which yes, admittedly does take practice) your mind is given a rest from chasing the usual suspects in your to do list – and a mental rest is often just what most of us need!

There are times, however, when this is not enough and you really do need to physically rest your body.  With regular observation of the body and how it’s feeling, you should be able to pick up when physical tiredness is becoming more than just noticeable.  And here you really should be doing something to help yourself – the body needs to rest, it cannot keep going endlessly; it needs to repair itself, to re-build muscles and blood cells and clean the digestive system etc.  All these things happen when you rest and if you don’t allow your body to look after itself it will start to go wrong – pain and illness will become issues and the longer you ignore this the more serious it could be.

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The good news is you can prevent this (or even prevent things from getting worse if they’ve already started) by getting to know your body’s warning signs and doing (even little) things to help it.  By knowing that your knee is more sore today than yesterday, which is more painful than the day before, you can make the decision that running every day is maybe not right for you and to take a day off.  I don’t mean give up but a bit of a rest!

So look after yourself by starting to create a habit of checking in with your body regularly to see how it is genuinely feeling.  You might need to set a reminder on your phone or make it part of your morning or evening bathroom routine but this simple practice might turn out to be one of the most important things you do all day.

If you would like further guidance on mindful body scan practices or guided meditations then please drop me a line through the contact tab above or click here to drop me an email.

Summer Solstice Sunrise from the behind the hedge
Journeys, Lifestyle, Meditation

Summer Solstice 2018

Getting up at 4.15 in the morning to watch the sunrise, even for the Summer Solstice will always be a hard thing for me – I am definitely NOT a morning person.  But this year was much easier because I was doing it for me, it was more about the way I live now.  So I crawled out of bed and pulled on some warm clothes and walked down the road to a point that would give me the best vantage point.

The top of Robins Folly is on top of a hill and my view would be less blocked by full summer trees and hedgerows.  En route I took a video of the pre-dawn sky, the colours were beautiful and the dawn chorus uplifting!

After walking up and down  to find the spot that would give me the best photos I took a couple of early images and then technology got the better of everything – my phone died despite having a sufficient amount of charge.  I restarted it tried to load the camera and then died again and now was completely dead!  My first thought was aaargh – failed by technology but then I realise that maybe I wasn’t meant to share this moment, maybe this is what I needed to do – for me.  Maybe that was the object of getting up at this ridiculous hour, not being here only to share it with others but to give it my full and undivided appreciation.  So I enjoyed the sunrise, on the edge of the field in middle of nowhere, on my own – a proper mindful moment.

I enjoyed the early signs of sunrise seeing, the light coming up through the clouds, peeking over the trees in the distance.  It was quite magical and I felt honoured I felt alive and I stopped to marvel at this beautiful day and what it meant for me. For me, it was all about reflection on how the last half year has been, and for those of you who know me, what a half year has been – giving up my job, starting my business and watching it develop.  A rollercoaster no doubt, but some of the happiest months of my life.

This time of year is a chance to reflect on where you’ve come so far, so I thought about the goals that I’d set at the beginning of the year and I thought about where I’ve come, what’s happened, what hasn’t happened. And I felt grateful for all the wonderful things have happened, that I’ve achieved and for the opportunity to review and refresh as I looked out across the fields of newly growing barley.  I felt grateful for the new life that will come from that barley, the gift of a new day, the gift of beauty and food that mother Earth gives us and real sense of delight in being alive.

I really enjoyed this moment for me and realised that getting up at 4:15 was not about just taking photos for social media, to share with you all, but it was about it was about doing it for me.  And that is what meditation and gratitude is all about – not because someone says it’s a good idea or because you feel you ‘have’ to but because of the sense of self you get when you practice, even for a little while.  And the more aware you are of your own self then the better you can cope with what life throws at you.

Once I’d enjoyed the sunrise I headed home to put some charge in the phone and get some photos from the back of the house where I know the trees are a lot higher but at least I would get some lovely pictures to share

My original thought had been to go back to be, well, that’s what I did last year, (although last year I had to go and do an office job for the day) but as I walked back along the road this morning I decided I wasn’t going to waste the day so I made tea and toast and brought my laptop through to the kitchen where I can enjoy the warmth of sun’s rays and get on with some work.  Then enjoy the rest of day which will be packed with meeting lovely people, getting my new broadband sorted (which will mean I can start uploading guided meditation videos for you and sharing things that I want to share including Facebook live, Instagram live, YouTube live…………..this evening I will share the sunset on the longest day with a friend as we walk again across the fields.

Thank you for sharing this with me I hope you too have enjoyed your summer solstice, the longest day.  Don’t be sad that the days are getting shorter but enjoy what we have now be present to each day. Each season has their own particular beauty – be part of this one – NOW.


Events, Lifestyle, NYRO, Pamper, Reiki, self-love

Holistic Pamper Day – 12th May 2018

Love yourself before Summer

To book appointments please go to the end of this post

So what does that actually mean?  Well, in November last year I held my first open day to showcase the Neal’s Yard Christmas gift collection.  But the day developed into much more than that, I brought together like-minded therapists who were each able to offer the visitors something different.  They gave the visitors a chance to relax,  unwind and pay themselves some much-needed love and attention in the busy run-up to Christmas.  Hence the name of the last day – Love yourself before Christmas.

In May, I’m picking the best of the Neal’s Yard products to help prep the skin and body for showing it off in the summer – so exfoliation, toning and detoxifying are the main themes.

I’m a convert to learning to love yourself.  What I’ve learned, is that if you can love yourself, you can then learn to love everything and everyone around you – which begins to make even the most difficult people and situations easier to cope with.  But sometimes we need a little boost, a little something to make us feel a bit better first – whether that’s a treatment or guidance, a Neal’s Yard blue bottle to take home and pamper yourself with or a chat and a piece of cake – I hope you’ll find something to help your loving journey at this Love yourself before Summer holistic pamper day.

This time our therapists are offering 30 minute taster treatments for just £12:

≈ Revitalising facials with Dee from Anja Aesthetics
≈ Hot stone massages with Maggie
≈ Chakra balancing
≈ Reiki
≈ Tarot
≈ Ready to bare it all foot pamper
A selection of crystals and Neal’s Yard products will be on sale on the day and of course there will be tea and homemade cakes to refresh and ground you after your treatments.
Whilst we don’t charge for the refreshments perhaps you would be kind enough to make a donation to support BEDFORD DAYCARE HOSPICE.
The event is FREE to attend but if you would like a treatment it may be advisable to book in advance by messaging me through the website or contacting me on 07779 088281,
You can also let me know you’re coming by showing me on the Facebook page or the Eventbrite site.
Lifestyle, NYRO

Frankincense love

I love Neal’s Yard products, that much is obvious to anyone I talk to about them and it’s why I became a consultant in the first place.  It’s not because I’m a skincare therapist or beautician but because I have always loved skincare and beauty products.

In recent years I have become more and more concerned about the contents of many high street beauty and skincare products.  When I was a teenager we were concerned about animal testing but these days we’ve also become aware of the chemicals that are used in the most basic of face creams.  I don’t like the idea of putting petro-chemicals on my skin – the fastest absorbing part of our body. But I do want to feel good and look after my skin – oh, and if it happens to smell divine too – I’m sold.

I’m sure over the coming months I will write several blog posts on the different Neal’s Yard products that I love but thought I’d start with one of our largest and most popular ranges.  Why start with one product when you can cover a whole range!!

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I had obviously heard of Frankincense and liked it as an essential oil in a burner and thehydrating crm resin in natural incense but had no idea of its incredible properties.  It wasn’t until I joined NYRO and discovered the jar of Frankincense Hydrating cream in my starter kit that I really began to appreciate it.  That summer I took that small jar of cream on our many camping trips as my one-stop go-to cream for everything – face, body, hands etc.  It smelt beautiful and went a very, very long way – that jar lasted me a good year.  And it had great moisturising properties – otherwise I would not have carried on using it.

After that I was hooked and my collection now includes the cleanser, eau de parfum, facial mist, frankincense and mandarin body lotion and the newest most indulgent addition is the Frankincense Intense Concentrate.  I bought some sample sachets of this new product for sample baglets or to pop in with customer orders and of course, had to try one myself.

Just a side line here without getting scientific or salesy, but I found the explanation on how they discovered the new active ingredient in the Intense range really interesting and inspiring so here is a link if you’re interested in reading it for yourself.

Like most people I have doubted the claims of creams to tighten and firm the skin, or certainly to an extent that was actually noticeable.  However I have a tried a few things over the years that have convinced me there is something in some of the ingredients.  Now I’m an advocate of growing old gracefully, I would never consider surgery and botox injections.  But if there is something out there that is natural and will help tighten up the areas I’m noticing are becoming a little saggy (I really want to put a tearful emoticon in here)……………  Well, I ask for help from the Universe and Mother Nature in others areas of life – why not this one?

So, I tried the new Intense Concentrate sample sachet – (you’ll get two (mint concaybe three) applications) and I noticed a difference within an hour or so.  Yes, REALLY!!  Of course it didn’t last more than a few hours – but nice for a special occasion or when I want a pep-me-up.

I then tried it for a whole week – morning and night – by the way, did I mention how good this little treasure smells?  Slightly spicy, woody, a little background citrus and delicate floral all rolled in to one – how can it have all those notes?  I don’t know, I’m not an expert but I do smell all these and I do love it.  It’s like a serum in texture, quite silky and not at all greasy but also spreads really easily.  I digress – well after a week the tightened, brightened skin was more noticeable and lasted longer than the one off test had done – result!  And although others might not know why I looked different, people did comment on how well I looked at this time – double result!!


However it’s not the cheapest product in the Neal’s Yard arsenal and I hope I’m not saggy enough to need that lift continuously yet.  So I have decided to keep it for when I really need it – those days when I want to feel extra good or confident.  So I might use it as a one off or for a few days leading up to something special, but all products have a shelf life and I don’t want to waste this so I am using it – it will not go to waste.  It doesn’t matter whether others notice it or not – I will know and I will feel special when I use it.