Inflow Vs Outflow: Why you need to share what you know

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If you are anything like me, you are a chronic listener of podcasts, Ted Talks, self development books and health blogs, constantly taking on new information and integrating it into into your world view. I love learning and there is so much good information now at our finger tips.

Whilst I completely and utterly promote the love of learning and staying up to date with the latest health information and life hacks, I have recently realized that there is a fine balance between inflow and outflow.

Hear me out with this – See I have a beautiful friend who is full, FULL, of health and wellness knowledge. She can answer many questions with insightful, well researched advice. She knows her stuff – but it lives locked away in her head, only accessible when a close friend asks a direct question. I find to be such a shame.

Not everyone needs to blog or create a podcast, but sharing information and creating conversation around wellness is important and so valuable.

I guess my point is this – its all well and good to do the learning but if it isn’t going anywhere, even into your own lifestyle, then what is the point?

Give yourself permission to take up space.

Inflow of information is wonderful – but outflow is essential. Whether this means that the learning you do is put into practice (trying the oil pulling, that morning routine or super smoothie) or by sharing what you know with people who could benefit from it, the outflow renders the inflow useful.

I personally struggle/d (its a work in progress) with the “who am i to …?” concept – That one that says “Who am i to tell people what to do?” “Who do I think I am?” But the honest truth is, who are you not to help others live a happier, healthier life? If you are sitting there with a golden nugget of information that you know could benefit your mum/ cousin/friend/neighbour, then go share it!

Here are 3 easy steps to increasing your OUTFLOW:

  1. Put your learning into practice – Have you listened to or read something recently that spoke to you? Whatever it was – give it a whirl. Just try it out and see how you feel. If you find it added a positive benefit to your life, then most likely others will see that and love your new healthy vibe – this is an advertisement in itself! It also makes it ten times easier to speak about it.  Its much better to speak from experience than to say “this expert somewhere says” … So, test run the yoga class, a certain style of meditation, or bulletproof coffee and then chat about it.
  2. Look around you and start conversations with people you love. We all have that family member that needs to move more or has a problem with their anxiety – if you know something that will help, share it! Its as simple as starting the conversation and offering to try it (trampolining, juicing, breathing exercises etc etc) out together.
  3. Take up space! I recently heard this podcast, on the Melissa Ambrosini show where the guest speaker, Tera Warner, talked about allowing yourself to take up space. This means treating yourself with the respect and confidence that you deserve. If you have something to say, then say it. Shine your light. You don’t need to assume that nobody wants to know or that nobody will take you seriously. Pass on your message with confidence and the knowledge that outflow of information is important. Share in the spirit of service.

Keep learning and growing (I’m sure its the secret to happiness) but do so with service in mind. Your outflow of information can help those around you to live their best lives possible. Whats not to love about that?

 

 

 

 

 

Why are yoga teachers always telling me to “surrender”?

You know this one. You’ve lost something and you are looking for it EVERYWHERE! You can’t understand why you cannot find it. “It’s got to be here somewhere!” you repeat to yourself, but alas, it’s gone. So after hours of searching, you give up. Maybe you even say a little prayer (not like a drop to your knees, dramatic rosary, but a casual “oh please let me find it” type thing)….

and then, it turns up. Out of the blue. In front of your nose. Here the whole time.

Whats going on?

Enter: The power of Surrender. 

In Yoga, I’m always instructing students to “Let Go” – I’m saying, “don’t push, don’t fight, it’s not about tension and pulling yourself down into a forward fold so you can kiss your knees for a second and then ping back up”. No, instead, in yoga, we use gravity and we relax. We let the body return to how it should be. We unlearn. We, yep you guessed it, surrender.

To surrender sounds very dramatic but there is no white flag waving wildly. It also shouldn’t be associated with giving in or quitting. Because it’s not that. Neither is it a sudden disinterest or apathy. It is actually just the coming to the realisation that maybe your controlling and fighting and forcing isn’t working. It’s just another way forward.

When we relinquish control, we are sort of saying that we realise there is a power bigger than us. That we don’t have to do everything alone and that our own strength might not be enough. We start to trust in a bigger plan and a different outcome, knowing that maybe it is better for us.

When that object is lost and you say that little prayer and stop searching like a crazy person, the object, it appears. The control, it rarely works.

Of course, this is not to be confused with laziness – taking action, following your dreams, working hard – all of this is necessary and important. But if you find yourself forcing, try to find the fun in it all again. Relax and let go. The outcome will be even better than you imagined.

Whos seen that wonderfully cheesy film Under the Tuscan Sun? I love the line where the extravagant woman in her fancy hat explains that as a child she would search and search for lady beetles in the garden. Eventually, having found none, she would get tired and fall asleep in the grass… and when she woke up, those pesky Lady beetles would be climbing all over her. It’s really a beautiful analogy.

So, what are you fighting and struggling for? Is there anything you are trying to control the outcome of?

Surrender it up. Let it go. Pray to whatever or whoever you believe in. And watch what you want be found.

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Your life design

When you look at people you admire, (or maybe are jealous of), do you believe they got that life by chance? Did it just fall in their laps? Are they way luckier than you?

Nope. They designed it that way. 

The people that work cool jobs, travel the world, have an amazing group of friends, look really happy all the time, get offered amazing opportunities… they are actively choosing it. All of it.

And you can too.

It’s called taking responsibility. Your happiness is your problem. You get to make life awesome. Actually, YOU are the only one that can.

This is not to say that awful things don’t happen – they do. Some people hurt others, things go wrong, shit happens and maybe it’s unavoidable..  But, what you do next, how you bounce back, the choices you make and your view of the world – that is all up to you.

You can decide to be the most enthusiastic person in the room. You can decide to be your most vibrant self. You can decide to smile and not let anyone dampen that. You can choose to say yes to opportunities and trust that the universe has got your back.

Or, you can be a Debbie downer. Which is easier. That way you can make excuses and be judgemental.. It takes little energy and no courage.

But it’s not going to give you a positive, flourishing life.

So I challenge you, starting today, choose how you want life to look. Choose how you want to feel.

And then be prepared to get it. 

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Cello sound meditation

Life Space holds some incredible events. From yoga and meditation to Ayurveda, life coaching and art, there is never a dull moment. Amongst all of the goodness on offer, I have to admit that one of my person favourites is the cello sound meditation with Birgit.

Last night the goddess like Birgit, gentle and warm, came to Life Space. After an introduction to her work, her background and her education (a mix of orchestra and Chinese medicine) Birgit guided us through breathing exercises and tai chi movements before lying down comfortably. Birgit then played the most ethereal, mystical and organic set of music, combined with this otherworldly singing, that lulled us completely into deep relaxation.

The experience of the listener can vary from person to person, however several common experiences include deep calm, a hum through the body or a feeling of effervescence – bubbles head to toe. This culminates to provide a feeling of rejuventation – like everything that no longer serves you has been swept away. Birgit explains that the wood of the cello symbolises transformation – and transformed is exactly how you feel.

Keep your eye out for more sessions to come as well as privates! image

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“Bloom where you are planted”

I wanted to write this today because I think we all need to hear it sometimes. Its ok to take time. Good things can take time.

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I was recently contacted by my friend who is struggling to decide where she wants to base herself and she made me remember how hard it was to establish a life in France. I don’t know if people knew that – i was probably too proud to show it – but the beginning wasn’t easy. While it was wonderful being with Gab and learning the language and eating the cheese, the fundamentals were missing. The fundamentals like real friends that truly get you, a fulfilling job that gave true financial independence and motivation as well as a cultural understanding that made sense to me and that I could relate to.

Every day was really tricky. I even found it scary to go to the shops. What if someone asked me a question, or as is common in France, complained to me/about me?! What would i do?

On and off, I have been in France for 4 years. I only just now really feel like I have found my true place. I have work and friends that I adore. My days are full and interesting. I understand (for the most part) whats happening, culturally and linguistically. But it did not happen over night.

I don’t even think the foreign country part is the main issue here. I think it just takes time to set up a life that reflects how you want to live and who you are. And while you are setting it up, shit happens. There will be friction or conflict. There always will be – but as your perception shifts and your awareness changes, you become more able to deal with it. The world doesn’t change, but you do.

My friend mentioned to me that she feels a little bored, a little lost. And my advice was this – apply yourself 100% and act like THIS IS IT! When you throw yourself into something with the goal of sticking with it no matter what, things start to happen. Life starts giving you opportunities (which maybe where there before but you just start to notice now). Everything gets a lot more fun.

I was initially so reluctant to throw myself into French life. It took me a while too. I was flitting back and forth between London and Paris, not ready yet to accept that France should be my home. When I finally had a good hard look at myself, I decided I would commit 100% to France for one year. I didn’t need that long. The moment i decided that I WOULD love this place, i did. Opportunities started appearing. True friends started appearing. I could see my world with new, sparkling eyes.

So, if you feel stuck in a rut – no matter where you are – commit to loving it, to being the most enthusiastic person about it, for even just 3 months. Pretend like you are a tourist passing through (arent we all?) and learn and see everything you can. You might just find that the place changes and so do you.

Mini Yoga Retreats in St Germain en Laye

I wanted to tell you about my weekend because it was just so nice.

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I, along with my friend and fellow wellness colleague, cook book author and health coach Annamaria Formentini, held a mini retreat at Life Space.

We called our retreat: Nourish and Flourish to represent a Sunday afternoon of Yoga and healthy eating with snacks from Annamarias newly published book.

Our lovely 10 participants made their way to St Germain en Laye and were introduced to Life Space. We had a great mix of nationalities, ages, genders and backgrounds. A really sweet group. We started with some herbal tea and a little introduction before grabbing our mats and heading for the park.

The weather was utterly lovely. On days where the sun shines, the park becomes a hive of activity – dog walkers, sunbathers, frizbee players and the like. We picked a sweet spot with a great view of Paris to set up our mats. The breeze was just enough to keep us feeling fresh and the sun was shining on our faces – a sensation we have all really been missing here in Paris!

The class was a sweet mix of long holds and gentle flows. It was a Sunday after all. The theme of the class was just to feel really, really good. We had a range of levels and backgrounds in the class, so options were given and everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves. It looked like the passersby were jealous all of the high vibes 😉

After the class, we strolled back to Life Space for “gouter” – afternoon tea. Annamaria had prepared a few surprises for us! We had banana and tahini muffins, a savoury carrot bread and the most surprisingly delicious beetroot chocolate squares. Annamaria answered our food related questions, like how we can happily cut down on sugar and what alternatives to add to our food to make it better for us. I think we all left with some really great tips to try. For me, I’m swapping out my white sugar for coconut sugar (who knew?!) and adding beets to anything chocolate related!

The afternoon flew by – We all left feeling lighter, taller, happier and with a little sun kissed glow on our faces.

I’m already excited for the next one 🙂

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A little tale about bread

On Friday mornings I teach Yoga. Its my favourite start to the day. After class (in pursuit of balance after all) I like to trot over to one of the many Boulangerie’s in town for a cheeky croissant or pain au chocolate. The perks of life in France.

This particular Friday, I popped across to the navy blue shop front, on the street opposite. I eyed off the pain au chocolate – i had made my choice. “Je prends un pain au chocolate SVP”.

The Boulanger, a tough looking Breton, apron wrapped around his waist, confronted me with a “MADAME! Ce n’est pas un pain au chocolat, c’est beaucoup mieux! C’est une chocolatine!” He went on to rant about all the high quality ingredients in this innocent little pastry, about the process to make it, about how it needs to be given the correct name as it is not just a simple chocolate croissant but so much more.

I was shocked! A little insulted, I took my pastry back to the Yoga studio and I had a little whinge to the girls. What was that guys problem?!

Ok, admittedly the chocolatine was really good. Excellent, actually. Damn, how was I going to be proud and not return? My ego was hurt and i wanted to show him!

Worse than this, I complained to a couple more people about my experience, friends and neighbours. Hilariously, each person I picked to complain to, they too were huge fans of this Boulanger’s bread. So much so, that they practically gave me the same spiel! They told me “but, Rebecca, don’t you know that only the best restaurants in St Germain use Cedrics bread?!” and “He goes to the flour mill to choose his own flour and grinds it himself!”, “He is a purist”, “there is no better”… etc etc.

My ego and pride was quickly deflating.

And then, I got it. Cedric the Boulanger, he doesn’t care if I don’t love him, but he does care that I respect his job and that I respect his product. This man is the definition of passionate. He wasn’t there to make friends. He was there to make truly great bread.

And now, ego aside, I respect Cedric completely. What was me vowing to never return, has become respect for the man that cares THAT much about his bread.

To live with such conviction, to let the results speak for themselves and to give your absolute all, regardless of what people think – thats courage. I admire that, and will take the lesson to be a little more like my favourite baker.

(and, Tomorrow is Friday 🙂 Chocolatine day – YES!! )