Over the last few years more and more people, especially women, are talking about self-care and their self-care regime which is really wonderful. The term ‘self-care’ has become mainstream which it definitely wasn’t when I started life coaching back in 2004. It is such an important thing to prioritise in this crazy, speeded up, modern world. I am a HUGE fan of self-care and have been advocating on its behalf for the last 15 years as a Life Coach and Retreats & Events Manager specialising in personal and spiritual development.
So why am I concerned?
Quite simply because what I witness many people practicing is NOT self-care in its true form. I see so many of my female friends and clients taking on more and more responsibilities and not even realising how over-stretched they are mentally, physically and emotionally. It is almost like being busy has become a badge of honour for them. The term ‘self-care’ is now regularly coined as a way of excusing the fact that they are taking an hour or so for themselves.
When you race from another appointment to your monthly massage, lie down with your body knotted in tension, think about 100 other things while you are being massaged and then race off to the next appointment, you are simply ticking off another thing on your long ‘to do’ list. When you come flying into yoga class late every week, it takes you 10 minutes to slow your breathing down and then you race off as soon as the teacher says ‘namaste’, you are still in your habitual ‘busy-ness’. When you have to consciously remember to schedule in one thing which brings you joy every month you are missing the point of self-care. I did up until a few years ago too. Continue reading “The Myth of Self-Care”
Over the last week or so we have been blessed with the most glorious warm sunny days and cloudless skies which, according to the neighbours, is not normal. Certainly our memory of last February while we were renting in the area was of wet, wet, wet and more wet. So the phrase of the moment between everyone we meet is “Il faut en profiter!” which basically means “make the most of it!” So we are.
Eoin has been hard at work cleaning our roof, chopping down old trees and doing lots of other outdoors jobs. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you will know that I am a passionate organic gardener and that our aim is to grow as much of our own veg as possible here at La Girouette. This beautiful weather has started my green fingers itching as we rapidly approach the start of another growing year and yesterday I completed Phase 2 of Operation GIY (Grow It Yourself) which was to clean out and reorganise the potting shed. As I was taking everything out, cleaning tools, disposing of rubbish, organising my pots and generally seeing what was there, I realised how therapeutic I found this job and how much it mirrored how I approach life. Continue reading “Spring Clean Your Life”
One of the things which we noticed when we first moved to the Dordogne was that, in general, the locals are much less fixated on their mobile phones than has become so normalised in other parts of the world. In restaurants here families actually talk to each other when they are out together! When walking around the local towns and villages, people are looking up and making eye contact with other people. Most upcoming events are promoted through posters and flyers. Rural France and the people who live here are much less ‘on-line’ than we had become used to and when we go back to Ireland or the UK now we really notice the difference. In general, we observe that people there are much more stressed and that their energy is more fragmented. Waiting for a plane home in Stansted airport a few weeks ago I noticed that about 95% of those in the queue were staring at digital devices instead of looking up and interacting with the world around them.
As someone who works on-line about 25 hours a week, living in the Dordogne has made me more aware of how negatively that had been affecting me. When I have been on-line too much I notice my mind being very busy and distracted. I watch how often during the day I check it for social media updates or messages. I witness myself reacting to those messages and often being pulled away from the present moment. I observe how much stress I can experience from words on a screen or when technology does not work for me. On days when I am switched on for too many hours I feel my mental energy being over-stimulated and my physical and emotional energy being un-grounded. If I am online after 9pm I notice that my sleep pattern is disrupted and it is much more difficult for me to sink into deep sleep. Continue reading “Disconnect to Reconnect”
As a Life Coach I know that the first steps to change are to get clear about WHAT we want instead of the current reality, WHY we want it and how it will make us FEEL. So why I am experiencing so much procrastination, avoidance and self-sabotage at the moment?
I have been supporting people on their journey of personal and spiritual growth for 13 years now. I have observed that it is all very well having a dream but what separates the dreamers from the those who actually manifest the dream?
One simple thing…….COURAGE.
For any positive change to manifest in either our inner or our outer worlds, we must accept that life as we know it must be altered somehow. It can be challenging when we move from one way of being to another and we humans tend to make it even more difficult by thinking we have some control over how it all plays out!
For example, last week I asked the Universe for clear guidance about how to handle an addiction which I have lived with for 35 years. As a Life Coach I know that the first steps to change are to get clear about WHAT we want instead of the current reality, WHY we want it and how it will make us FEEL.
What I WANT is to feel really alive in my healthy, energetic body.
Great, that is 100% clear.
WHY I want this is because I want to FEEL more vibrant physically and to age well.
Fantastic, that is also clear.
But do all my habits NOW reflect vibrant health and vitality? Am I doing the same old thing the same old way and expecting a different outcome?
Uh oh! Fail! Mismatch! Unclear signal!! Continue reading “The Courage to Change”
I may not be a true pilgrim (yet!) but the Camino has definitely guided a lot of my life over the last 18 months.
As you will see from this video which we recorded back in October 2016 during our first visit to the Dordogne, one of the things which we fell in love with about the region was the walks.
Since we adopted them a few years ago, our two large dogs, Samson and Delilah have been our motivation to go out for a decent walk every day and we all benefit hugely from the exercise, the fresh air and the countryside.
Much as we loved walking in the countryside in Northern Ireland, we really didn’t enjoy getting soaked and having to walk through saturated fields in welly boots so often! So, during our first visit here, we were delighted to discover that the stunning landscape of the Perigord is full of the most beautiful walks through ancient forest, sleepy hamlets, ridiculously pretty villages and along the riverbanks. Continue reading “My Camino”
9 years together and still deepening in love each day.
Journal extract from Thursday 4 June 2009……
Sitting in Belfast City Airport waiting for a plane to take me to the Hill That Breathes in Italy. What an adventure! I have such a BIG feeling about what this week’s retreat will bring. I am open to positive adventures, new, wonderful relationships and an amazing lover……Bring it on!”
When I read back over my words it is almost as if a part of me new that a few hours later, on top of a hill in Italy, I would be introduced to my new best pal, my lover, my soul mate, my fellow adventurer and life partner.
Today, 4 June 2018, we are celebrating the 3287 days that we have been in each other’s lives and it feels right for me to reflect on the incredible journey which we have been on together since this photo was taken 9 years ago. My love for Eoin Scolard continues to deepen day after day and I simply cannot imagine what my life would be like today without his presence over that period of time. Continue reading “The Healing Power of Conscious Relationships”
I have never been very good at doing things in moderation. I am an all-or-nothing-kind-of-gal! If there are chocolates in the house, they get eaten. If the bottle of wine is opened, it gets drunk. If I fall in love, I jump in with both feet. You get the picture! I have a pretty addictive personality and, up until recently, the only way I could really manage my addictions was with abstinence. When I quit my 30-a-day nicotine habit in my late 30s, I had to just quit completely and I will NEVER touch another cigarette. A few years ago I quit the booze for a couple of years and was sugar-free for a similar length of time. I felt great….super-healthy, clear-headed, vibrant, energised, glowing.
However, since moving to France 4 months ago, I have faced a bit of a challenge and my old ways of managing these addictions doesn’t really work for me anymore. There is a beautiful patisserie in nearly each village, we are surrounded by some of the best vineyards in the world and our local wine shop (chateau) is only 5 mins away from our front door and looks like this –
Personally I just don’t see the point in living here and not allowing myself to enjoy these simple pleasures. They are so much a part of the way of life and I really want to enjoy ALL aspects of my new life here in a healthy, balanced way. Continue reading “In Search of Balance”