From Stress to Peace

During this global pandemic it’s easy for us to get caught up in the distress, overwhelm and anxiety of what is happening to people and economies of all countries – and especially those who are our nearest and dearest. You may worry about your own health and well being – that is normal. I will always be an advocate of taking care of your mind, body and spirit. These 3 parts are all interconnected and need to be nurtured and looked after. When your mind is whirling away doing whatever you can to relax your body and stay grounded. Every time you feel yourself slipping into an anxious state acknowledge your feelings – they are valid. On my twice weekly group call, I shared 7 ways you can practice daily, which may help you to feel more grounded and relaxed especially during this often overwhelming time. 1.  Close your eyes, still your mind. Take a deep breath in through your nose and slowly count to 3, hold your breath for the count of 3 and exhale from your mouth slowly. Repeat this for 3 rounds. How do you feel now? 2.  Get outside however you can. Most of us are allowed outside for one hour of exercise a day. Even if it means going out in the evening, take that hour and consciously take notice and look at the beauty of nature all around you. Time time to feel the air on your skin, is it cold, warm? What signs of spring can you see? Colours, fragrances. Can you hear bird sound? Notice how spring continues to unfurl. Feel your body soften as you slow down. 3.  When you get out of bed in the morning, imagine stepping into or pulling up a big, gorgeous bubble around you – a protective shield. You can imagine it to be any colour your like. Set an intention for this bubble to keep all negative energies away from ‘getting to you’ – from other people (energy vampires), upsetting Covid-19 stories in the news and anything else you would like to be protected from. I always imagine that those negative energies just ‘ping’ off me, like arrows failing to hit a target. 4.  One of my guides, Gabrielle Bernstein has a beautiful de-stress and empowering tool. I’ve been using this for years. Touch your index finger against your thumb and then each finger your thumb in turn and say “peace, begins, with, me.” You can choose another positive feeling – and say “joy, begins, with, me”. Practice this until you feel at peace. 5.  Take time each day to do something that takes you out of stress and into peace. What do you love to do for you? What will you give yourself permission to do? Have a bubble bath? Yoga? Read a book? Write a letter to a friend or loved one? 6.  Create or double down on daily spiritual practice. Take time each day to still you mind during meditation, burn incense, defuse essential oil, listen to devotional music. Read an inspiring book – even if that means dipping in and reading random passages and pages. 7.  Each day, say to yourself and/or write down what you are grateful for we can easily overlook our blessings. The roof over our head, food in our cupboards, the courageous NHS and all front line workers… technology to keep in touch with family and friends. The increased community spirit and volunteers behind the scenes who make life so much better for all of us. We will get through this time. We are all in this together. It’s normal for you to feel stressed and that is ok – it’s also ok to move into peace and calm. I’m here for you.

Hey you! Love Bubble!

When I arrived at a London train station recently, there were a mass of people all going this way and that.  It was a warm day and I seemed to be surrounded by middle aged business men in suits jostling their way to the exit machines, looking hot, stressed and pre-occupied. I felt the need to watch my step so I didn’t get knocked over.  And then I noticed one of the men had a wedding ring on his finger and my feelings changed.  I stopped seeing this man as a hot, sweaty body – and instead wondered how his wife/husband saw him. In my mind, I transformed him into a beautiful love-bubble and I looked around with a smile on my face and saw all these people as just big love-bubbles.  Suddenly, I was in a safe space and I transformed how I saw the station and its passengers. Many amazing things happened in my evening – and I’m sure each were little miracles.  I chose to feel love and the miracles came. Now it’s your turn to see the love-bubbles! And call in your miracles. Have a great week! With love and love bubbles Ali x

Stop The Clocks, It’s Time To ‘Be’ – Join Me?

November was a very busy month for me, how about you?  Sometimes when we realise that we’ve been working too hard, it’s too late – we’re already depleted of energy, feeling drained.   It’s like the red warning light on the fuel gauge has been on for too long in your car and you know you’re running on vapours.  The offer of a long weekend in the South of France was a blessing although I wondered if I really had time to be away.  Does that sound too familiar?   There are always reasons not to do go away – lack of time, money, work (except I love what I do!) and all the other things to ‘do’, not to mention the Christmas shopping….  One of my friends booked her ticket to stay with our friend Julia and asked when I was going to book mine…. mmm…. a gentle reminder, it’s time. As women, traditionally we tend to put our own needs last and a gentle reminder is welcome when we forget.   So I booked my ticket a return flight to the South of France for £39!  Bargain!   And at the start of December, my coaching friend Hilary and I set off to meet our friend Julia who owns a Chateau Ventenac and our long weekend began.  We left the cold, rain and drizzle at Luton Airport for the sunnier, more carefree climes of Beziers Airport one hour and 20 minutes away! Isn’t it amazing how we can be running at 100 miles an hour and have a gazillion things to ‘do’ urgently and yet when the distance separates us from the ‘stuff’ to do, we can feel distance from the stresses?  Maybe that’s just me?   I could literally feel the pressures and stresses melt off me, and fall away.  I began to relax, slow down, and went from ‘doing’ to ‘being’ very quickly.  Sitting on Julia’s terrace without a coat in December, gazing across the Canal du Midi, across the miles and miles of vineyards and nestling on the horizon the Pyrannes mountains sat amongst the fluffy clouds.  It was purrrrrfect!  I couldn’t have felt more at home, more relaxed and more at peace… heaven. When was the last time you really stopped what you were doing and took some ‘me time’?  Stopped what you were doing and went somewhere different?  Even though you felt under pressure, chose to chill out?  Being with my two good friends gave me the chance to unwind, catch up on their news and share some of my news too.  We laughed, dreamed, wandered, contributed, sat by a crackling open fire and even watched X Factor with a glass of something red and giggly! Since being back, I’ve been more productive, had more fun, slept better and it feels like I’ve been on a long holiday!  It is truly wonderful.  So a few days out really can make a huge difference… When are you going to give yourself some time out?  Do it!  Go on!   Whilst I was at Chateau Ventenac I reflected on 2011 and made some decisions about 2012.  Have you begun considering what you’d like to achieve in 2012?  Exciting isn’t it? Whilst I was away, I really wished I could share the gorgeous landscape, the beautiful chateau and the time out with my wonderful clients, I know that you too could do with some time to recharge and reflect.  So, I mentioned this to Julia who runs her Chateau as a retreat/workshop business, if I could book a week in October 2012 – and guess what?  It’s happening!  I can’t wait to share more about this with you and I’ll be posting some information about it on this website soon, so keep checking back! 🙂  It would be great to share this time with you, making some life transformations and relaxing too.  If you’d like to see more of Chateau Ventenac please stop by Julia’s website http://www.chateauventenac.com.