Blog

12 week LIVE online Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Programme – Winter 2020

 

12 week healthy eating wellbeing programme - Jan 20An action-focused Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Programme designed to progress you into looking, feeling and BEing healthier by Spring 2020!

Education. Accountability. Support. Action plan. Fun. Achieve.

 

Dates: On Tuesdays from 7th January – 31st March 2020 @ 20:00 GMT (London time). Half term (18th February) is taken into consideration.

Location: LIVE online webinar (Presentations delivered live online) + Live community forum available for accountability and community support.

Presented by: Claz Gomez – Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Therapist and Accredited Life Coach.

Cost: £54 for the entire programme. Includes online forum support. Individual coaching is available at additional cost. No refunds permitted within 7 days of the start of the programme.

Format of the session: 20-30 min of webinar teaching. 10 min breakdown of weekly activities. 20 min live Q&A with coaching.

Format of the week: Each person will be challenged with a set of tasks or activities to strive toward throughout the week. One of these is to motivate and support each other on the Winter 2020 Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Programme online forum (only nicknamed the HEW crew).


Outline

Week 1: Your Current Lifestyle & History

  • Description: Change behaviour and its impact on our general wellbeing, Personal eating history, Assessment of daily routine, Your weekly diary, Identify ‘red zone’ issues, Your body type.
  • Knowledge: Know thyself and thy history!

Week 2: Goals

  • Description: Establish your SMART goals for long-term effective change.
  • Knowledge: Your Why, Set Better Goals, Behaviour Goals

Week 3: Integrative energy intakeTOC - 8 Wellbeing Keys - White Background

  • Description: Enhance your intake of energy into the ‘healthier’ zone in all 8 areas of wellbeing. Primary focus on nutritional energy.
  • Knowledge: Essential nutrients for the human body, choosing the most appropriate diet for your goals that doesn’t allow you to compromise on the other 7 areas of your wellbeing. Time vs money vs wellbeing.

Week 4: Menu Planning & Healthy Food Preparation Skills

  • Description: What’s in your kitchen? What shouldn’t be in your kitchen? Re-arrange your diary so that you make time to prepare your own meals. Plan for the week.
  • Knowledge: Kitchen clean up, Being prepared, Weekly meal planner, Healthy snacking available from your own cupboards.

Week 5: Self-awareness, Moderation, and Portion Sizes

  • Description: Eat for your body type. 3 strategies to prevent overeating. Self-awareness, body awareness. Tracking your fullness level. Change what isn’t working.
  • Knowledge: Macro breakdown for your body type, Recommended portion size guide, Moderation, Calorie education.

Week 6: Healthy Eating Check-in + Review

  • Description: Use this week to catch up on the lessons and guides, really plan your shopping list and meal prep, ask questions, share where you are stuck, get involved in the community forum, etc.! Repeat often until things become a habit!
  • Goal check in – how are you doing? Struggle? Schedule a meeting/call?

Week 7: Wellbeing Check-in + Review

  • Description: Use this week to review your progress, assess the impact of your changes on the other 7 areas of your wellbeing (e.g. emotional, occupational).
  • Overall wellbeing check & impact assessment. Behaviour change checklist.

Week 8: Metabolism & Physical activity

  • Description: Adding exercise to the picture.
  • Knowledge: Metabolism education (incl. hormones leptin & ghrelin), HIIT + Strength Training

Week 9: Sleep, Stress, + Self-care

  • Description: The difference between self-care and self-comfort, the impact stress has on your body (and goals), and creating a healthy sleep routine.
  • Knowledge: Hydration, Good + Bad Stress, Caffeine effects, Self-Care, Sleep, Recovery, Wellness Pyramid

Week 10: Detoxing, Fasting and Finding what might be right for you

  • Description: Detoxes, gut health, and intermittent fasting…
  • Knowledge: Detoxes, Gut Health, Pre-biotics and pro-biotics, Fasting

Week 11: Movement

  • Description: While strength and cardio work is useful, your most optimal results you will come from NEAT movement and healthy eating as becoming a daily priority.
  • Knowledge: NEAT Movement

Week 12: Living out your sustainable change

  • Description: Your change journey
  • Knowledge: The Change Formula & using it to your advantage moving forward.

 

Bookings now open

with a 25% discount until Christmas Day!

 

hewsum19 booking button

Wellbeing tips for employees working in desk-based office jobs – Pt I

Today, I was at the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce’s Health & Wellbeing event, which was great. I left feeling really inspired by the speakers and the products/services on offer; but most of all it occurred to me that I’ve got so many tips to share about employee wellbeing in an office environment.

 

TOC - 8 Wellbeing Keys - White BackgroundAs a holistic massage therapist, healthy eating & wellbeing adviser, and a professional accredited life coach, I’ll unleash a multitude of tips to improve your wellbeing if you sit at a desk 5 days a week to keep a roof over your head and food on your table. My philosophy on wellbeing is very much centred on the 8 principles, or ‘keys’, featured in this picture: spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual/psychological, occupational, financial, environmental & physical. These make the sense of wellbeing holistic. But what is wellbeing?

 

I’ll be very honest and say that not much of what I’d learned in secondary school stuck. However, since I had the funniest Geography teacher, I happened to retain his teaching more than other subjects. I remember he taught us the difference between quality of life and standard of living. The definition of ‘quality of life’, which is complex when attempting to measure it in a scientific context, circumscribes a measure of the good-ness of multiple aspects of one’s life like (but not limited to) social, emotional, psychological state. Standard of living looks at the economic (financial) circumstances that may influence those aspects. The definition of ‘Wellbeing’ is very similar to that of ‘quality of life’ and could be considered as interchangeable in this day. When someone makes a personal assessment of their own life or of particular aspects of their life using measures of satisfaction, happiness, or other self-assessment scales, then solutions following the assessment are more often classed as ‘wellbeing’ than ‘quality of life’. So whilst wellbeing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.”, I would argue that wellbeing is simply, “the state of one’s being”, which can be self-measured using the 8 wellbeing keys/principles above.

Your wellbeing is part of you, and you bring that everywhere you go… including your workplace. So, here’s some tips to help improve your wellbeing in the office environment!!

 

SPIRITUAL

Spiritual wellbeing is the ability to experience and integrate meaning and purpose in life through a person’s connectedness with self, with God or other higher power, others, elements of creation or creativity.

Prayer / Meditation

Sadly, our workplaces are more often not very supportive of talking about ‘spirit’ or ‘spirituality’. I’m a big believer in prayer. By law, employees in the UK are entitled to work breaks, and I encourage you to read your contract if you don’t know your entitlement. There is no reason why part of that break can’t be allocated personally to prayer or meditation. Meditation, coming from the Latin meditatus means ““to think or reflect upon, consider, design, purpose, intend”.

Affirmation cards

Affirmation cards are a great thing to have in your drawer. You don’t even have to buy them… you can make them yourself! Picking up a card that says “I believe in me” or “I am grateful for…” or “You are enough” or “I won’t let fear hold me back today” when you’re going through a tough moment may uplift your spirits. As well as having them in your drawer, you can opt to make yourself a little vulnerable by handing some to the colleagues in your team so that when they notice that you are someone else is feeling downhearted, they can give you (or the other person) a card of their choice.

Retreat

Schedule a retreat into your diary at least once a year for at least 4 days. Make sure it has a spiritual element to it. I personally love the effects of 7 day silent retreats!

 

SOCIAL

If you’ve ever heard of Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, the 3rd and 4th segments, which span psychological & self-fulfillment needs cover social wellbeing, which is the extent you feel a sense of belonging and social inclusion. A connected person is a supported person in the workplace. Lifestyles, ways of working together, value systems, traditions and beliefs are all important to our social well being and quality of life. We want to know that we are accepted for who we are within our daily workplace relationships.

Team volunteering at a local charity or community

Often, employers believe that it is essential for team-building to spend lots of money on the next team-building fad. I would like to let you know that whilst they may be fun, the context is usually lacking in authenticity and reality. If you want your team to bond, do it over something real, where other people can benefit from that time. There is no better way to bond than over voluntary work at your local charity or community. It may be a foodbank, it may be a tiny charity that need their garden cleared out (or a new one planted and maintained), it may be clearing rubbish or even establishing and promoting an environment-friendly campaign.

Opportunities to chat

I’m sure we’ve all experienced this… endless emails between co-workers who work just a few desks away through to a floor or two up! Would it be such a bad idea if the team ate one lunch-a-month together at a local cafe? After-work drinks are also an idea… but when I mean ‘after work’, I mean: if your normal working day finishes at 5pm, then stop working at 3:30, head to the pub, and pay them until 5pm.

 Employee Assistance Programmes

Whilst I do believe that all employees would benefit from an employee assistance programme, the public and third sector organisations would most benefit from such a programme. The fact that these programmes offer trained counsellors and legal experts on the other end of the phone means that an employee doesn’t have to go through personal or work-related problems alone. Having an employee assistance programme ensures that employees will always have someone independent to talk to confidentially.

 

EMOTIONAL

Not only does our working lives contribute a great deal to our emotional wellbeing, but that’s also the truth the other way round. Our emotional wellbeing contribute a great deal to our working lives – from how we handle pressure (resilience), to how well we perform. When we are not emotionally well, we may lack a sense of purpose and achievement. This then has a knock-on effect on self-esteem and confidence. A negative loop could then result from this. Although related to emotional wellbeing, stress will be covered under psychological/intellectual tips.

Praise & motivation

Anyone who has been through solid management training will know that praise and motivation is essential for the emotional wellbeing of their team. If you are a manager, please find creative ways of giving due recognition to your team and use the myriad of sites available on the internet to build creative motivation into your daily weekly work plan.

Bring the ocean to you

Very few people in the world would say that when they went to the beach, they had such a bad experience that just the thought of the sea provokes negative feelings and/or emotions. It may be too many miles away, but today’s technology can bring the sea to you! Stick your headphones on, open up youTube (if you can), type in ‘ocean sounds’, and pick from hundreds of videos of the ocean, listening to it whilst you close your eyes and imagine you are at the beach. LoungeV Films have a huge range of different nature sounds that you are bound to like one of! Our sense of hearing is extremely powerful… so give your ears a treat.

Find peace… through your nose

I absolutely love the private collection of home fragrances by the ethical Rituals company. I was in their flagship Covent Garden store the other day when a delightful young French sales assistant told me about their wonderful philosophy, which I absolutely connected with. Although it’s a home fragrance, as long as it doesn’t irritate neighbouring co-workers, you could spray one or two shots over your seat/desk. Choose a fragrance that you feel makes you feel positive and peaceful. It’ll be like bringing the spa to your workplace!


So here are the first set of tips for improved wellbeing for employees in a workplace, if the employees sit at a desk for the majority of their work day. There’s loads more tips to come!

12 week online Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Coached Programme

12 week healthy eating wellbeing coaching programme 02

Coaching you into a sustainable healthy lifestyle for life.

Education. Accountability. Support. Action plan. Fun. Achieve.

UPDATE: This programme has been postponed until January 2020.

More information to follow.

 

Dates: On Wednesdays from 5th June – 18th September 2019 @ 21:00 BST (London time). There is a summer break on dates 7th-28th August, resuming back on 4th September.

Location: Online (Presentations delivered live online, and community forum available for accountability).

Presented by: Claz Gomez – Accredited Life Coach and Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Therapist.

Cost: £36 (+processing fees) for the entire programme + online forum support. Individual coaching is available at additional cost. No refunds permitted within 7 days of the start of the programme.

Format of the session: 20-25 min of webinar teaching. 10 min breakdown of weekly activities. 20 min live Q&A with coaching.

Format of the week: Each person will have a set of tasks of activities to strive for throughout the week. One of these is to motivate and support each other on the Summer 2019 Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Coaching Programme online forum.


Outline

Week 1: Your Current Lifestyle & History

  • Description: Change behaviour and its impact on our general wellbeing, Personal eating history, Assessment of daily routine, Your weekly diary, Identify ‘red zone’ issues, Your body type.
  • Knowledge: Know thyself and thy history!

Week 2: Goals

  • Description: Establish your SMART goals for long-term effective change.
  • Knowledge: Your Why, Set Better Goals, Behaviour Goals

Week 3: Integrative energy intakeTOC - 8 Wellbeing Keys - White Background

  • Description: Enhance your intake of energy into the ‘healthier’ zone in all 8 areas of wellbeing. Primary focus on nutritional energy.
  • Knowledge: Essential nutrients for the human body, choosing the most appropriate diet for your goals that doesn’t allow you to compromise on the other 7 areas of your wellbeing. Time vs money vs wellbeing.

Week 4: Menu Planning & Healthy Food Preparation Skills

  • Description: What’s in your kitchen? What shouldn’t be in your kitchen? Re-arrange your diary so that you make time to prepare your own meals. Plan for the week.
  • Knowledge: Kitchen clean up, Being prepared, Weekly meal planner, Healthy snacking available from your own cupboards.

Week 5: Self-awareness, Moderation, and Portion Sizes

  • Description: Eat for your body type. 3 strategies to prevent overeating. Self-awareness, body awareness. Tracking your fullness level. Change what isn’t working.
  • Knowledge: Macro breakdown for your body type, Recommended portion size guide, Moderation, Calorie education.

Week 6: Healthy Eating Check-in + Review

  • Description: Use this week to catch up on the lessons and guides, really plan your shopping list and meal prep, ask questions, share where you are stuck, get involved in the community forum, etc.! Repeat often until things become a habit!
  • Goal check in – how are you doing? Struggle? Schedule a meeting/call?

Week 7: Wellbeing Check-in + Review

  • Description: Use this week to review your progress, assess the impact of your changes on the other 7 areas of your wellbeing (e.g. emotional, occupational).
  • Overall wellbeing check & impact assessment. Behaviour change checklist.

Week 8: Metabolism & Physical activity

  • Description: Adding exercise to the picture.
  • Knowledge: Metabolism education (incl. hormones leptin & ghrelin), HIIT + Strength Training

Week 9: Sleep, Stress, + Self-care

  • Description: The difference between self-care and self-comfort, the impact stress has on your body (and goals), and creating a healthy sleep routine.
  • Knowledge: Hydration, Good + Bad Stress, Caffeine effects, Self-Care, Sleep, Recovery, Wellness Pyramid

Week 10: Detoxing, Fasting and Finding what might be right for you

  • Description: Detoxes, gut health, and intermittent fasting…
  • Knowledge: Detoxes, Gut Health, Pre-biotics and pro-biotics, Fasting

Week 11: Movement

  • Description: While strength and cardio work is useful, your most optimal results you will come from NEAT movement and healthy eating as becoming a daily priority.
  • Knowledge: NEAT Movement

Week 12: Living out your sustainable change

  • Description: Your change journey
  • Knowledge: The Change Formula & using it to your advantage moving forward.

 

Bookings open up on Good Friday

with a 10% discount available over the weekend!

 

hewsum19 booking button

10 reasons why ‘failure’ is actually good FOR us

10 reasons why ‘failure’ is actually GOOD for us.

 

10. Failure builds up our resilience. Resilience is widely recognised as an essential life skill. One that enables us to fulfil our potentials, despite setbacks, difficult circumstances and adversity.

9. Failure gives us an opportunity to reflect and reassess ourselves. Whether that’s about skillset, character, motives, mindset, heartset, or current circumstances. An action plan is then likely to come out of this reflection! A life coach can help you with this.

8. Failure invites us to creative challenge. Rarely is failing an excuse to move or change the goals set for ourselves. This means reassessing the journey toward the goal. We might have to be more creative about it, and think out of the box as to how we’ll reach that goal. Either way, it’s a great opportunity for inspiration to take root and innovation to make an appearance.

7. Failure teaches us about what works and what doesn’t! This valuable knowledge is transferrable into all arenas of our lives. We must use this experiential knowledge wisely.

6. Failure exposes us to the depths of human brokenness – not just our own, but others’ as well. If someone is delighting in our failure, there is a reason for it. What is this reason?

5. Failure calls others to empathy and compassion… for US. Yes, my friend. We are loved… and sometimes, that love is best expressed through someone’s compassion and kindness toward us. Believe it or not, that compassion may just benefit you far more than it benefits the giver. Welcome to the economy of kindness!

4. Failure reminds us to remain humble. Where others would argue that failure helps us develop skills and character, we ought to remember that failure helps us to grow in virtue too. Virtues are keys to our spiritual potential – especially if one is Christian. If ever there was a rocket propellant to maturity, it’s failure!

3. Failure turns us into natural problem-solvers. Thomas Edison famously failed nearly 10,000 times on creating a commercially viable electric lightbulb. He attempted to solve the problem that caused each failure, remembering them all. It took nearly 10,000 problem-solving attempts to reach his success.

2. Failure brings us extraordinary life experiences, borne out of pain. Think about that one for a moment.

1. Failure only exists because the goal to reach has not been abandoned. Every failure strengthens our resolve to reach the goal, the target, and empty ourselves in authentic love. This is the most noble and greatest definition of success – to give everything of ourselves. During the Stations of the Cross I am always struck so deeply on the third, seventh and ninth Stations, when Jesus falls. For Our Lord, the goal of this particular journey was the Cross. Not the Resurrection. For each time He fell, LOVE lifted Him up to continue to the end. He gave it His all. He gave US His all. Love is worth falling for.

 

There is a distinct difference between something (or someone) being good to us, and being good for us. Certainly, it won’t feel that occasions of failure are good to us, but certainly, good comes out of all these the things, that they are ultimately good for us. Although we do benefit, it is still important to keep our eyes fixed on the ultimate goal.

A healthy and holistic approach to preparing for your 40 day fast!

How to make the most out of your LENT

 

So… I’m a newly accredited Coach. I thought I’d put some coaching into practice on fellow Catholics through a series of blogposts on Lent titled ‘How to make the most of your LENT’! This particular post is about fasting preparation – and how to do it in a healthy and holistic way.

 

People fast for all sorts of reasons. On the medical side, we have 24 hour fasts from eating before blood tests. In the approach to the summer season, some of us feel that the best way to trim up is to go cold turkey on food. Some people decide to fast from things like social media because they’ve become concerned about the amount of time they spend on it or the habits developed as a result of using it. Whatever the reason is for the fast, whether those are positive or negative reasons, you are more than likely going to come away from the experience having achieved a list of positive things. The pre-condition to that reward, is of course your perseverance and endurance!

 

Tomorrow we begin Ash Wednesday – a time that Christians all over the world will be fasting for 40 days (excluding Sundays). The intention of this post is to coach you in your approach to a medium-term fast, like Lent. The idea is to help you enter into Lent with a healthy and holistic mindset.

Note: there is a difference between abstaining and fasting, and it’s worth finding a credible source on the internet to explain the difference… in case you’re wondering!

 

These self-coaching questions are not only applicable to fasting from food – they can be applied even to any sort of fasting! But the general consensus, at least among Catholics, is that we fast from food to different degrees throughout Lent. For this reason, there is specific mention of food. If you are in need of spiritual guidance (ex-coaching), then the footnote below contains helpful teachings to assist with particular questions.

 

Preparing your body to fast

  1. In extreme circumstances, the human body can live without food for around 30 days. However, no human can survive without water for 3 days. Taking into account your physical activity levels, what are your minimum dietary requirements for survival?*
  2. What physical conditions do you have that might affect your fast in a negative way?
  3. What are your dietary pitfalls?
  4. Which foods does your body feel light but energised with?
  5. If you eat meals with others, what discussions have you had with those others that makes your preparation beneficial for everybody?
  6. How might your exercise routine change (if at all) during your fasting season? If it did have to change, how are you going to manage that change in your mind?
  7. What will you do to avoid getting hunger pangs and what will you do when one comes along?
  8. What positive words of encouragement will you tell yourself when the struggle is real?

 

Preparing your soul to fast

  1. Why are you fasting?
  2. What do you hope to achieve out of the fasting?
  3. What do you hope to let go of through the fasting?
  4. When fasting in the past, what emotions have you experienced that are not conducive to the fast?
  5. How will you cope with or address discouraging thoughts during the fast?
  6. How will you deal with any temptations?
  7. How will you respond to others if they are (intentionally or unintentionally) tempting you into a moment of relapse?
  8. If you have been unsuccessful in your fasting in the past, what have you learned from that experience?
  9. What have you learned from successful fasting experiences in the past?
  10. What constitutes success for you here?
  11. What potential emotions will you have to gain mastery over during this fasting period?

 

Preparing your spirit to fast

  1. How might you expect to be surprised by God through your fast?
  2. How might you engage spiritually in this task of fasting?
  3. Which sources will you use to support your fast in spirit?
  4. How might this fast help you see your life purpose clearer over the long-term?
  5. How much time will you be devoting in prayer over your fast?
  6. Which techniques are you going to adopt to remain mindful about the fasting season?
  7. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being low and 10 being high), how interiorly free do you feel to pursue this objective? (Repeat this task at the end of the fast asking yourself how interiorly free you feel having pursued it).
  8. How might you bring spiritual generosity into this fast?
  9. How might you bring gratitude into this fast (particularly when things are being trying for you)?
  10. How might you seek support during this time?
  11. How will you strengthen your spiritual resolve to remain faithful?

 

This is the end of the questions! There are 30 questions to coach you into Lent both healthily and holistically! In Part II of this series, we’ll look at another aspect of the Lenten journey. I’m open to your suggestions!

 

Pax!

Claz.

 


* Basic nutrition information is readily available on the NHS… but if you would like healthy eating & wellbeing coaching, I am qualified to give this!


Guidance on physical preparation

 

1. CCC 2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good. Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.

 

Guidance on preparation for the invisible faculties

1. CCC 540 By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.

2. CCC 1430 Jesus’ call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, “sackcloth and ashes,” fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion.

3. Joel 2:12;

4. Matthew 6:16;

10. CCC 1803 The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God. A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.

CCC 1829 Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.

CCC 1719 The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate end of human acts: God calls us to his own beatitude. This vocation is addressed to each individual personally, but also to the Church as a whole, the new people made up of those who have accepted the promise and live from it in faith.

11. CCC 2043 The fourth precept (“You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church”) ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.

Guidance on spiritual preparation

2. CCC 1387 To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament [the Eucharist], the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church. Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest.

4. Acts 13:2;

5. CCC 1434 The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others. 

6. CCC 1993 [On cooperation between God’s grace and man’s freedom] When God touches man’s heart through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man himself is not inactive while receiving that inspiration, since he could reject it; and yet, without God’s grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God’s sight.

7. CCC 2022 The divine initiative in the work of grace precedes, prepares, and elicits the free response of man. Grace responds to the deepest yearnings of human freedom, calls freedom to cooperate with it, and perfects freedom.

8. Isaiah 58:6;

10. Gal 4:6;

11. CCC 1129 The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.51 “Sacramental grace” is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament. The Spirit heals and transforms those who receive him by conforming them to the Son of God. The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature52 by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Savior.

Holistic Mobile Massage in West London

Holistic Massage - surgery ad 1.1Holistic Massage - surgery ad 1.2

Human touch is invaluable. It is an emotional language – and a powerful communicator of affirmation! Massage releases the hormone oxytocin, which encourages connection and stimulates well-being. Touch also increases levels of dopamine and serotonin – neurotransmitters that naturally regulate and balance the effects of negative stress. It also increases white blood cell count – boosting our immunity. Touch of Clarity takes great care of clients and affirms their worth by applying only certified organic massage mediums to the body. I believe that purity of product ought to align beautifully with my clients’ purity of purpose in body, soul and spirit.

Here are just some of the benefits of massage on the body:

  • Relaxes my clients relieving stress held up in their bodies!
  • Breaks down and eliminates waste products such as lactic acid and urea
  • Breaks down fat deposits in tissue
  • Releases tension and breaks down nodules
  • Relieves muscular tension
  • Clears nerve pathways & stimulates peripheral nerve response
  • Tones muscle fibres and restores elasticity
  • Aids desquamation
  • Increases venous return
  • Stimulates vaso-dilation & blood flow
  • Separates adhesions between fibres
  • Breaks down old & realigns new scar tissue
  • Stimulates the healing process

 

An Alternative to ‘New Year, New You!’

There are so many things I’m excited about entering into 2019. I can’t wait to be meeting and working with amazing clientele who are full of potential and I’m totally looking forward to the ways in which my business will be an opportunity for many others. But one thing I want to do differently right now is suggest an alternative to ‘New Year, New You!’ – a notion that serves as a popular up-sell strategy for life coaches around this time of year. The idea of ‘new year, new you’ is to start anew, with a fresh outlook and fresh new ways of doing things, or even a brand new way of ‘being’. Life coaches support clients to come up with new year’s resolutions, targets, and promises which they make both to themselves and where appropriate, to loved ones. We also support them to follow through with the resolution by holding them accountable. Often however, no matter who we are, or what our experiences of the past have been, we can potentially set ourselves unrealistic objectives that we not only become disillusioned by, but even become rebellious toward after a certain time. The thing is, I don’t often find an issue with the resolution itself. More often, it’s the approach to the resolution that is badly managed, and sometimes life coaches can fall into the trap of promoting an unsustainable approach to human behavioural change over the new year period. Here’s a solution to the folly of the ‘New Year, New You’ ideal, which proposes an altogether healthier approach to ‘A Transformed You’. The solution is itself, transformation. The approach: to enact three fundamentally healthy actions that drive and sustain the transformation.

 

Action #1: Don’t ignore your past – use it to your advantage!

Yesterday, Disney’s The Lion King was on the TV, and I was struck by this particular scene. It presents a very healthy life lesson for all of humanity. Our past, no matter what it was like for us, became a promise of increased knowledge and learning at the very moment that it became a reality of a present moment for us. That learning extends as much to ourselves – our intellects and inner world from where our behaviour and responses stem, as to our external world – our environments and circumstances that influence, inform and evoke our behaviour and responses.

As Rafiki the baboon says, “we can either run from the past, or learn from it”. The former does not help us to grow or to transform into freer human beings. People who run from the past tend to use it as an excuse for behaviour that is not conducive to transformation into a more mature being. A refusal to confront the past imprisons them to a moment of the past that shaped their attitude, behaviour and responses, resulting in present decisions formed by experiences that hold them captive. This prevents progress in maturity. It is easy enough to make plans and set goals, but when we are triggered by negative emotion, attitude, or experiences associated with the past, the person who runs from the past will refuse to overcome the barrier. This same barrier will return time and again if it is not addressed.

The person who learns from their past and brings it with them into the present moment from a reconciled position is liberated from the captivity of the past. Their decisions are formed and made with the future in mind. They are able to use their past to know ‘how to’ and ‘how not to’. They have been changed from a deeper place within themselves, that their actions are informed by this knowledge gained from their previous experiences.

The point here is that interior change caused as a result of our past is the safest way of sustaining the journey toward the end goal or resolution. The notion of ‘new year, new you’ tends toward an attitude of ignoring past experiences which configures and informs our current self-knowledge – a vital key to setting and achieving realistic goals. The folly of ‘new year, new you’ is that at the stroke of midnight on 01/01/2019, you didn’t become a whole new person, and your history was not voided as if some man in the cloud with a giant computer deleted your mental and emotional cache! We didn’t just enter into the new year a brand new person, no matter how much we might want that to be so. We bring with us into the new year all our old habits, fears, discouragements, resentments, as well as capacities and capabilities. Don’t forget to include your own ability to bring into 2019 all that was positive and successful from your past! Use your past as an advantage for the decisions you make along this journey of achieving your new year’s resolutions, and you’ll find yourself more encouraged and committed to the change you’re putting into action.

 

Action #2: Accept change as a journey and not as an immediate reaction

The purpose of you setting a resolution is because you want something to change in your life. What I have learned, however, in the many years that I have been journeying with people, is that the last thing many of us human beings want to change, is ourselves. We believe it’s much easier to change our external world – our circumstances, environments, states, the people in our lives – than our understanding, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. As a change management practitioner, it’s my job and joy to bring to light the journey of change in every human being. The journey is often a difficult one, but is ultimately a very liberating one! In fact, the greatest joy of reaching our goals ought not be the goal itself, but how much we have grown and changed along the journey.

We can’t escape change – it’s necessary for our survival and good for our human faculties (by this I mean body, soul and spirit). It happens not only outside ourselves, but the most precious place that change happens is within ourselves. Attitudinal and behavioural change doesn’t happen instantaneously – it is a process that requires self-knowledge (as addressed above) and time (addressed here). Due to many varying factors, we tend to want to speed things up and if possible, skip parts of the process required to achieve the goal. If I were to set a goal of praising God from the top of a mountain, the temptation is to imagine myself singing from the top of the mountain. However, a zoomed-in image of the goal ignores the rest of the picture, and I would then forget or ignore the reality that is the climb that would get me there. Embracing the bigger picture, and gaining knowledge from maps means that I can assess the valleys, mountains, deserts and oceans on the journey in between where I am at now, and that goal. They inform me of what needs to happen for me to get to the top of the mountain and to make decisions on whether that need must be met to achieve the goal. For example, I don’t need a good singing voice to get up to the top of the mountain, but I need a sturdy pair of legs that are fit for climbing, and I will need lots of courage! There’s lots of other things that would need to be added to this list. In essence, it would be folly to commit to the goal without perceiving the journey that will get us there a sustainably changed person without giving up. In other words, it’s not the things around me that ought to change, but my approach to change that takes into account the reality of my humanity.

The point here is that for the change in us to be sustainable, we have to undergo a journey of behavioural change to move us into the future, as painful or difficult that may at first seem. It’s the most foolproof way of tackling barriers and remaining committed to the goal. We need to let go of old ‘vicious’ habits, and form new ‘virtuous’ habits. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, back in 1969, upon observing the process of overcoming grief and bereavement, identified a characteristic pattern of responses that human beings needed to go through to ‘let go’ of the past and begin to embrace and engage with a different future. It is a model that applies as much to objects, circumstances and situations as to ourselves and other people in our lives. If practiced, the increase in the probability of a change being successful is really quite noticeable. Kübler-Ross’ 7 stages of the process of human change are: 1) shock; 2) denial; 3) anger or blame at others; 4) self-blame, bargaining or guilt; 5) depression or confusion; 6) deep acceptance; and 7) problem-solving. A graphical representation of the change curve can be found here. Undergoing this process is the most natural and harmless way of accepting the present moment and forming new habits and connections in our psyche and heart.

 

Action #3: Form new habits for your new beginnings

Once a change has taken root within ourselves, we’ll find that our lives begin to change, in huge and small ways. That’s partly because the change has cost us. A lot. We were so dissatisfied with the way things were, we found the benefit of the change outweighed the cost, and the long-term change is now here to stay. So what must a person do, if say for example, his or her approach to life has changed, but s/he misses the positive aspects of what s/he used to have and s/he discovers a longing in his/her heart for this aspect of his/her past? This re-visit or return to fond memories happens often, and my experiences with other people tend to show that the majority of these are relational (contact with certain persons of value in the heart or any subconscious establishment of a relationship to objects, circumstances, environment or states). A preventative measure to the ‘re-visit’ or ‘return’ lies in 3 important questions:

1)     Do I have an attachment of any kind (most especially emotional attachments as these are the hardest to detach from) to this person/object/circumstance/environment/state?

2)     What boundaries can I set to ensure that I go into the future avoiding old habits associated with this person/object/circumstance/environment/state?

3)     How can my own ability and capacity to live with this person/object/circumstance/environment/state be strengthened and improved?

Answering these questions once the initial change has happened but before one has reached that point of re-visit/return could be very useful to the next part of the process.

 

The pre-condition to transformation

The irony of finding freedom in these actions that focus your capacities on remaining committed to that journey will paradoxically invoke change in the life that is external to you, because the change will ultimately happen in you yourself. There is one pre-condition to this taking full effect. The three actions, to be successful together, require your readiness to change. I encourage starting 2019 and our new year resolution(s), not with ‘New Year, New You’ in mind, but with long-term sustainable transformation in mind. If you like, you can call it: ‘new year for new beginnings’. Only with readiness to change will we find ourselves:

a) letting go of the past’s bad habits, attitudes, behaviours and misunderstandings

b) living the present moment of transition by developing new habits, attitudes, behaviours and understandings.

c) putting a plan in place to ensure the sustainability of the changed ‘me’, having new habits, attitudes, behaviours and understanding embedded in my daily life for the future.

May the changes that are to happen in your life and your readiness for that change bring you to an encounter with the truth of who you are and what your mission in this world is to be for this year. I would love to hear how this has been helpful for you! Likewise, please do share it – especially if you find someone you know is encountering disillusionment and difficulty progressing toward their goal or new year’s resolutions further down the line!

 

Every blessing!

C.

Copyright © 2018 Claz Gomez.

Photo credit to Vlad Bagacian on Unsplash

What our ‘santa lists’ can teach us about ourselves

Santa list - Self Knowledge blog

Sometimes, adults are not so different from children in the regard of needs and wants. Many of us have a ‘list’ – even if it is a subconscious one. It’s our list of logical (and illogical!) wants and perceived needs. It is something that exists in mind in the here and now, as an anticipation of the future. This list brings us face to face with hope. It can also bring us face to face with ourselves. Perhaps this is where I believe that the ‘santa list’ is a great tool for teaching us about a skill that is crucial to self-development, growth, and transformation: self-knowledge.

Let us crystalise just one simple point about self-knowledge in this blog, because it is a huge arena to be discussed, and it touches so many facets of life and change management. If I have produced a list of my desires (my wants) and my perceived needs, I have given that yearning of my own heart a form. I have named my hopes. It’s now something that, even if it doesn’t yet exist, has become real in me. For example, today I might hope for a new pen that actually works. Tomorrow, I can’t say that a pen is insignificant to me, because yesterday, it was a real need or want in me. The association has been made. I have formed an invisible bond with a pen.

There are 3 questions we can ask ourselves about our ‘santa list’ that can teach us a lot about ourselves:

1)  What is on our list and why is it there?

2)  Going through each item, if there was anything I could replace this item with, what would it be? What would that cost me (not just financially)?

3)  Going through each item, what would change in me or in my life if I received this item? What would the benefit of this change be (not just for me but in my wider relationship circles)?

This time before Christmas (called Advent for Christians) is a time of preparation. We can ask for a hundred gifts, but much of the time, we don’t think about the impact such gifts will have on us and our loved ones. We do also sometimes make these lists up out of envy for what others have, and not out of a deeper understand of ‘who I am’ and ‘where I need to go in my life’. If we have done some work on the above questions, what we may discover about ourselves respectively includes:

 

Discovering what I value in my life

Often there are deep deprivations or ‘lack’ experienced in our lives that we feel the need to either cover, replace or fill over with possessions. We know what it felt like to be without. We might make it a point that that will never be allowed to happen again. This makes us susceptible to two specific dangers:

  1. If we fill our lack with material goods, our need for fulfilment is only being plastered-over (unless of course we are speaking here of deficiency needs that are necessary for our survival). We also risk judging incorrectly that a specific ‘need’ will only be met by more of a material good that is in fact not the correct solution. For example, loneliness. Loneliness can’t be solved with huge amounts of money. It may help, but money itself is not the solution. What is the genuine reason for my loneliness? Is it an inability to communicate well with others? Is it self-absorption? Is it a fear of intimacy or vulnerability? These are the questions that a life coach has been trained to ask you, by the way, since they’re there to help you with your solutions!
  2. There is a temptation to fill that emptiness, that lack, with other human beings – in other words, using another person to complete what’s incomplete and to ‘unvoid’ the void that established itself as a hole in our hearts in the first place. Trying to satisfy a need because of a lack of father-figure, for example, with demanding subservience from another (we find this in gang culture and unhealthy domestic relationships) isn’t going to fix the problem of the father figure. As difficult as it will be, we do need to take these painful instances in our past, and resolve to let them shape us into stronger, more loving people. Victimising ourselves and excusing ourselves by blaming others around us for our behaviour and our decisions is ultimately not going to change us. Rather, this will give us leave to continue shirking the share of responsibilities we have in our own decisions well into our adulthood, thus paralysing our emotional and intellectual maturity. * We can learn here, what we value in life from what hasn’t been given us in the past. Do we want this lack to continue controlling us, or can we move on from it? What is it I really need to accept, and overcome?

Discovering how my perceptions are formed

Our past shapes how we approach our needs and wants – and these often spring up from what is subjective than what is objective. Going through our list and thinking about what items could be replaced with something else trains us to think objectively about the need or the want. It also encourages some creative problem-solving! We find great resourcefulness within ourselves, that actually in most cases, these items would no longer seem necessary. Doing this thoughtful piece of work also helps us to see our own giftedness and gifts, the gifts of the people in our lives, the gifts that are everything we already possess. Who knows, perhaps gratitude for the fact that we have enough is the start of a great interior change within us.

Realising what needs to change in us

Looking ahead and perceiving what we hope to get out of acquiring an item on the santa list teaches us about what change really needs to happen in us. When we’ve set our hearts on acquiring a good (that could be material or spiritual!), we know that we will get some sort of benefit from it. Otherwise, why bother? That benefit, is going to change us, because with most benefits in life, there are costs associated with them. In the bigger scheme of things, we have to look at the pros and the cons to establish whether that change going to be ultimately good for us. Is acquiring that item going to increase laziness in me? Is that item going to make me more self-absorbed? Is that item going to consume time that I need to give to others who need my love and support (family, friends, wider community)? Do I want that to happen? Can I resolve to use the item in such a way that certain things about me won’t be compromised? How I can be detached from the item enough that I don’t let it have excessive control over my decisions? This is applicable to our relationship with living beings (like humans and pets) too.

 

We might like to think that it’d be great if that santa list was satisfied immediately – but more often than not, we are not prepared for the change the fulfilment of that list will evoke. That is partly because we have focused on changing what is outside of ourselves, rather than what is inside of ourselves: our attitudes, beliefs, skills, capacities, desires, perceptions. If we prepared interiorly for Christmas as much as we do exteriorly, we will come closer to accepting and admitting that actually, we have enough on the outside. What I can start to change, is what is on the inside. It’s a journey to seeing that I can have a full life on the inside. There is no such thing as a quick fix for changing what’s in the inside. This is going to take time, and investing in ourselves. But I do believe that our ‘santa lists’ are a great tool to help us begin this journey. Self-knowledge is one of the greatest skills we must learn to master in our lifetime, if we are to fulfil our potentials.

 


*In adolescent years, support networks such as family and friendships are crucial ‘rocks’ with which we make our decisions. Yet, as adolescents, unless we have a special need, the majority of us have entered the age of reason, and we are, at least in part, culpable for our decisions. Of course there are exceptions to this principle, in such a way that if your free will has been removed from you at the point of decision, then our culpability is reduced. That is not to say, though, that every decision we make following a poor decision ought to be directed by the past event. This principle is far too complex to speak of here and would be another subject of another blog post.