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Do you want to flat line?



“If there are no ups and downs in your life, it means you are dead.”

A few years ago I was doing a trek in Nepal, and on the first day we were walking along the valley floor and the guide pointed upwards and said, “That’s where we are staying tonight.”  My heart sank, to see the height of the hill/mountain we had to climb.  But there was no alternative and we had chosen this particular route so that we could see the sunrise from the ‘top of the world,’ the next morning.   And what an experience that was, with hundreds of others from all parts of the world, joined with one common exciting purpose.  So the contrast was amazing! Yes it would have been easier to just walk along a flat path, but we would never have had that fantastic experience.

Life is also like that.  How do we get the contrast of light and shadow, of good times and ‘bad,’ if we only ever have one basic experience?  Life would become monotonous.  The rich tapestry of special moments wouldn’t be treasured, if we didn’t have some challenges to gives us the contrast.  Maybe even some pride in ourselves when we have overcome something that perhaps we didn’t know we could do.  It takes acceptance of both the good points we have and the points we would rather hide, to make us who we are and what we have to offer the world.

Enjoy staying alive with both the ups and downs in your life!   Robyn

Do You Think You Are Acting with Integrity?



 “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”  Oprah Winfrey, Talk show host, producer & philanthropist.

This is an interesting one.  I have talked about our beliefs and conditioning.  Our integrity will depend on the perception we have of our life, based on our conditioning & beliefs.  The Oxford Dictionary states that integrity is entirety, soundness, honesty, incorruptibility.  Where do our values show up in this equation?  Have we been brought up to value honesty?  Are we more likely to show integrity with things that we value?  This then comes back to, are we showing integrity just because it can be seen; to be shown to be linked to situations of value!

When I teach my Chakra Dance classes I have a script that talks about the connection to our Soul and the work there is about tapping into that deeper part of us and hearing what it has to say. Integrity in that sense is keeping a connection to that part of us, and when we don’t, Shamanic cultures believe that this is why anxiety, depression and addictions can arise. Basically there is conflict between our inner and outer lives.

How do we feel when we don’t act with integrity…with our value of honesty & incorruptibility?  Are we honest with ourselves?  Do we say one thing but then do something else?  Sometimes this is a hard one to sift out…the truth from our perceptions of how things are. We’ve all probably heard, ‘To thine own self be true’, only we know if we are doing that…what we are feeling in our bodies will tell us, if we tune in.  Life will feel more in alignment if we are being true with both ourselves and with those around us.

Enjoy living in integrity whether it is seen or not!

What Causes Your Stress?



As I deliver my presentations about Stress, I am continually reminded that the world in general thinks of stress as something that is happening to them from their outside circumstances. Their boss, their family, the juggling of life. And after the circumstances of this year there are more of us than ever feeling the effects!

However stress is actually the response in your body to all sorts of things including your thoughts, beliefs and reactions to both the external and internal stressors. We don’t all respond in the same way to similar incidents. Most times this is initiated when we are children. We develop a way of handling life’s traumas so that we don’t ruffle other’s feathers. This is to make sure that we are loved, that we are secure and that we get our needs met.  This is on the baseline on Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs.’ We can’t move to the next levels until we feel loved, safe and secure.

A couple of years ago I read, “Childhood Disrupted, How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How You Heal,” by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. In her book she talks about the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) questionnaire and the research that had been done from different specialties, all showing huge correlations between the stress we have been subjected to as a child and the illnesses we present with up to 40 years and beyond later.  Two thirds of the 26,000 in one study said, yes, to at least one of the questions. The 10 questions in the ACE don’t all relate to the major traumas that we would expect. It can be low grade chipping away at our self-esteem. We develop ways of responding that we think work for us as a child and we continue to use them into adulthood. These experiences filter all of life’s experiences from then on.

But whatever the experience then, or the experiences now, our bodies all respond in the same way when we perceive the situation to be ‘stressful.’ We go into the ‘fight, flight, freeze or appease’ mode that everyone talks about. We need the physiological response of stress to just get out of bed each morning. What we don’t need is the 21st century ‘status stress,’ winding up some functions and shutting others down. If we’re going out to fight a grissly bear we don’t need our immune, reproductive or digestive systems. That is OK if we are going to come back to the cave and settle back to normal. It is not OK if the continuous stress disrupts the normal workings of our body, leading to disease.

What I have also learnt recently is that we all have particular biological drivers that are unique but similar to others. If I choose to do the right exercise but at the wrong time as suits my chronobiology, it won’t be as effective, because my body is stressed. It needs to be doing something else at that time, like eating or resting. Have you been on a diet that works with all your friends but not you? That could be because the food you have chosen suits their biology but stresses yours. Am I striking a chord?

We are complex beings but the paradox is, there can be simple things that make a big difference.

As a 7 year old I remember throwing a fit at a teacher I adored. Showing strong emotion in our house was not approved of, so I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I carried this for 40 years until I had the opportunity to meet this teacher again. I felt compelled to apologise and of course you know what she said, “I don’t remember anything about that, and if I you had acted in that way I would have thought, a normal little 7 year old behaviour. And what’s more I thought you and your friend Barbara were great kids to have in the classroom.” I learned that day, not everyone is brought up with the same beliefs about life. And now that I’m an adult I can change my beliefs. I don’t have to stick to what my parents said, my teachers may have said, the media says! Research and science shows that our brains are ‘plastic,’ they are mouldable, they can change.

What beliefs are driving your stress and behaviour, that you could choose to change today?

” A Spoon Full of Sugar Makes the World Go Round!”



“Show kindness through your face, your eyes, your smile and through the warmth of your greetings. Don’t only give your care but, but give your heart as well.”   Mother Teresa

 

Everywhere we are reading that “these are unprecedented times.” Mother Teresa’s life was a constant inspiration of leadership in the times of need that she faced, as she showed physically what she spoke of. A few years ago I had a trip to India & we were taken into one of the children’s homes she visited & worked in. By our standards that home was primitive, but those children looked well looked after & judging by the smiles on the faces of the carers they were getting the warmth & love they needed. I know there are some sceptical people out there who would say that was all a show for us to give them dollars so they can continue. But I’m choosing to be kind & believe that the children are top of their priority list. Getting money to provide the care is part of that.

 

The Dalai Lama talks of that state of kindness, as compassion, and the times of the people he leads in a foreign country are far from the comfortable situations that most of us are in. When I saw them each evening walking around their place of worship in their national costume, I felt a certain level of peace about them that I don’t feel in most of the western world.

 

Even our own Prime Minister here in New Zealand kept reminding us to be kind to our fellow travellers as we went through the wave of Covid. We are all so different and we handle the stresses of life differently. We all need to connect with others in the human race, but for some it is about their biology. They can become ill if they can’t connect with others daily. Others have the biology that thrives on the peace and quiet and probably couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about for those who had to rely on the computer for their daily fix of companionship. Being kind to one another is about understanding that because we are biologically different we all have different needs. No one else on this planet is exactly like us.

 

Enjoy showing compassion and kindness to everyone you come in contact with!

“Every Little Cell in My Body is Happy!”



“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, worn or consumed.  Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.”  Denis Waitley

Happiness is part of who we all are. Some of us have lost that sense of where it comes from along the journey of life, so we start searching outside ourselves to find what we think is in a new car, a job with more income, a nice home, a vacation – especially at the moment when where we thought we might be travelling to, has been taken away. And there’s the rub! That is what happens when we focus on those things that relate to other people or circumstances that we thought was bringing us happiness, or could do in the future. We have no control of it being taken away or reduced by other people.

Things that we can do to raise our vibration, and therefore improve our internal happiness levels, can be things like having a gratitude practice. Rather than keeping us stuck where we are, being grateful for what we have, is like thanking the universe for seeing to our needs no matter how small. I’m not sure about you, but if I give someone a gift & they genuinely appear to appreciate it, I’m happy to repeat that process next time I feel the need. So in a way that person is being rewarded for showing gratitude when I remember them. There has been research done that shows how appreciation can lower our blood pressure and heart rate and even improve our cholesterol levels, whether we are one receiving the thanks or giving them. The heart rhythm becomes even, and what they call coherent. This feels good to every system in our bodies – a great way to feel happy.

So don’t make the mistake that this author alludes to when he says, “Plenty of people miss their share of happiness. Not because they never found it – but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.” William Feather 1889-1981, Publisher and Author

Enjoy feeling happy regardless of your outside environment!

A Good Year to Look Forward



“We are all here for some special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.”   Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma wrote a book called, “The Monk who sold his Ferrari.” He shares a story of a superstar lawyer whose out-of-balance lifestyle – all work, money, struggle and ego – leads him to a near fatal heart attack.  This near-death experience triggers a spiritual awakening, where he embarks on an adventure to an ancient enlightened culture, and discovers a powerful system to release the potential of his mind, body and soul. A good read if you are into these sorts of books.

The “longer I get in the tooth,” as they say, the more I believe this quote to be true. I am grateful for the career I have had as a physiotherapist where I get to walk alongside people in their physical rehabilitation. But there came a point in time where I wanted to open up my opportunities to help people, to help them explore the part their mind and spirit has to play in how they heal physically. The Chinese have known this for centuries. In fact their belief that we are just a small part of the macrocosm of the world, leads us to look at how the weather, our emotions, the food we eat has a bearing on how we heal. The Aruyvedic System has a similar viewpoint, but I am not as familiar with their perception of health as such.

Quantum physics has now been able to back-up the ‘science’ of these two wisdoms and take it another step forward. Every thought we have, every belief, every action we take influences our future. So rather than looking backwards and allowing any of the ‘negatives’ to hold us back, we can change our mindset, change our reactions to life and therefore change our future. We now know that the brain can be altered, it is not fixed. So here we can look back on the wisdoms these two cultures have given us, accept the findings of the quantum physicists of the now, and look forward to having the future become what we believe our soul wants us to become.

Enjoy moving forward with purpose!  

What Thoughts Can You Have to Change Your Present Circumstances?



“It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli & omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.”  Jacob Sensophy

In this day and age it can be very easy to get caught up in the day to day rat race.  All of your physical senses are constantly being bombarded by television, advertisements, work, friends, family, etc.  It can be very consuming and very quickly you may forget to “stop and smell the roses.”  Real happiness can only come when you slow down just enough to be present and really enjoy and savour the moment.  You can’t truly appreciate and be grateful for what is in your life if you don’t slow down and give thanks for what lies before you.  This moment, right here right now, is calling for your attention.

Yesterday I saw a short part of an advertising video. The speaker was talking about a Japanese custom that he had read about & because of that, had started implementing. It was to do with money. When he buys something he closes his eyes & really appreciates that he has the money to buy whatever it is – a cup of coffee or groceries. Times are tough out there at the moment for a lot of people, so to appreciate that you have enough to buy those small but important things, is connecting with the universal energy. Why would the universe want to reward you with more if you don’t appreciate what you do have?  He has found, that what has started coming in since he has started this practice, has really stepped up in amounts.

Take a few minutes right now to be present and give thanks for the blessings in your life.  Allow happiness to bubble up inside of you!

Enjoy appreciating every moment!

What Are You Learning About Yourself From Life’s Experiences?



“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.”

I have just been to Auckland for the weekend to teach cosmetic acupuncture. So with a 2 hour flight each way I decided I was going to read one of the books in my electronic collection. I selected one called “The Surrender Experiment,” by Michael Singer. This is a fascinating read for anyone who is open to the concept of getting out of your own way & letting the universe deliver the experiences you need. He started off believing that all he wanted to do was meditate his way to enlightenment, and he only did enough work to keep a vegetarian hippie alive in his van living in the middle of nowhere. But life had other ideas and he started to realise that there was no point in fighting what was coming his way, even though his inner talk would have a field day if he let it. Stepping out of the resistance, allowed him to see how much better the outcomes were and that the right people turned up to help him whenever he needed it, as he was asked to do all sorts of things he would never have done, left to his own devices.

He learnt that his life was to be in ‘service.’ A lot of us may shun this word and not want to go near the idea of service because of the old concept of servants having to do someone else’s bidding. What he found was, the more he quietened down the resistant voice & allowed things to happen, the more his life got more and more exciting. He had to learn things along the way that he would never have done had he stayed resolutely meditating his way through the day. Now I know that most of you don’t do that! But most of us do get caught up in the petty life dramas that turn up. Sometimes we will look back and see the lesson, but often we don’t consider what it is that we could be learning in the midst of it, and we don’t ask for the help we need to come out the other side having learnt things about ourselves, so that we’re continuing to grow whatever our age. This is definitely one of my lessons that I need to keep working on.

Enjoy learning to surrender to your experiences and learn from them!

Honesty – “To Be or Not To Be” That is the Question!



“Honesty doesn’t have to be brutal, but it has to be honest.”  Simon Sinek

I remember when I was doing my coaching training. We had to do an exercise where we told each of the others in the class something that we didn’t like about them. Now sometimes we think we would give our eye teeth, as the saying goes, to tell someone what we thought of them. However in an exercise like this it can be quite difficult, much easier on the whole to say something pleasant or positive. One of the young guys in my group said he didn’t like how I was always honest. Now that came as a bit of a shock to me as I had always prided myself on my honesty.

In my manual of that course there was a section on communication styles. Lo & behold there was a name for the type of honesty I was portraying, Truth Mongering! As I read the description I realised this was definitely one of my styles. Always feeling I had to tell the truth and call a spade a spade. As I said earlier I prided myself on my honesty. And yes I can still feel the need to let nothing go unchallenged, I’m direct, forthright and can be argumentative to make sure the facts are clear. So this quote is definitely for me this week, to remind me how being brutally honest can upset people.

I talked last week about the epigenetics training I am doing – in fact I gave up some lovely weather to sit at my computer and learn more. Once we know the ‘Healthtype’ of person we are, and we are able to recognise other people by their shape and traits, we can learn to moderate our style to connect better with the person we are communicating with in this moment. An amazing skill to learn, because so much of life is about relationships and communication.

Do you think you have any of the traits I have mentioned? Take a moment and think about how you communicate and whether there is a need to make a tweak so that your message is understood and received. It is important to master your ability to communicate or connect with other human beings.

Enjoy communicating with honesty but without brutality!

Health For Life Matters



I was brought up in a household ahead of its time, if I consider the food we were allowed or not allowed to eat. I know some of the sugar stuff was driven by a father who was a dentist – not that he did the whipping into line. We weren’t allowed to eat jam or drink cordial were the 2 main things I remember. So I had a fairly healthy childhood, with just the usual colds & coughs that kids get.

When my children were little I tried to follow my mother’s example, but they seemed to have more than their fair share of bugs going around, so I made an appointment to see a naturopath and that’s where my journey into being more aware of how we can choose to be healthy or not, really started. I sprinkled kelp on their savoury food instead of salt. I blended good oils with butter to avoid using margarine. We had lots of fresh salads rather than the stewed vegetables, my husband had been brought up on. But none of that prevented him from him going down with the big ‘C’ word.

As we were going through his journey of surgeries & treatments, we were introduced to the idea of eating according to your blood type & then another book came out Living According to you blood type. Luckily we were both the same blood group, so it meant only 1 lot of food to be prepared. It was interesting to learn that because we are in the ‘O’ group this meant being aware that we need our protein and don’t handle being a vegetarian that well. We also need cardiovascular exercise whereas those in the other major group…’A’ are happy to do yoga, and we respond to stress differently.

So 5 months ago when I was introduce to the concept of an epigenetic lifestyle, my ears pricked up. This has taken the differences in our human life to a whole new level. What is Epigenetics I hear you ask? You know that we are all born with genes that control the colour of our eyes and hair, but there are some that are can be influenced by our environment and our lifestyle, and they get switched on & off. We want to encourage the ‘good’ ones to stay switched on and keep the ‘bad’ ones off. As research has shown us more and more about how to do that, this science of controlling how our genes are behaving by choosing to eat well, have our exercise and good amounts of sleep, has become a very personalized way of looking after our health.

They have been able to show that there are 6 different types who respond to the world in predictable ways because of their epigenetic type. Each type has a different time scale of when they are best to sleep, eat, work, exercise and socialise. When you talk to people who know what group they are in, it is fascinating how that has changed everything for them….. how their lives flow better when they can do everything at an optimal time for them. I jumped into the opportunity to do an introductory course about this. I loved it so much, I’m about to spend the next 7 months digging deeper so that I can learn how to support others keen to follow their epigenetic type, to a life of flow.

Of course my life coaching sits alongside this well, especially as my style is all about authentically supporting my clients as they journey through the changes they want to make. My decision to spread my attention to health in a way that feels so right, is just another step along the path that started as an awareness as a child. Does this topic interest you at all? Contact me if you want to find out more.

Enjoy growing as you move through life!

Are You Preparing for Tomorrow?



“The best preparation for tomorrow is to do your best today.”

When I first started down the personal development track this was one of the first things I learned – that whatever we are doing right now is creating our tomorrow. And to be honest it’s not even just about what we’re doing, it’s also about what we are thinking. Our thoughts create the things, the doing, the being. One of my original coaches was told as a teenager that everything is created twice. This was a huge concept back in the 70s and 80s. Her mentor explained the future of things is created once in the mind and then in reality. In looking at this quote that preparation could be as ‘simple’ as preparing your mind with positive thoughts. This will certainly improve the experiences you are having in your life.

If we only look at this quote as a physical preparation you could fall into the trap of feeling that everything has to be done today. I can regularly fall into this trap and end up overwhelmed by the daunting list of ‘to-dos’ in front of me. However for some, the trap is always putting things off until tomorrow. We could call this procrastination. I can fall into this trap as well in an effort to let go of the overwhelm. As my Dad used to say, “There is moderation in everything.” Finding that sweet spot can be the challenge of life. What if your best today was to let go of the struggle of life and just relax. If I did that I might turn up to work tomorrow feeling more at peace with everything going on around me and be more pleasant to be around.

Enjoy living in the ‘sweet spot’!