What’s your arms only rope climb equivalent?

 

SimoneBiles

Fitness is a funny thing. We might get injured or distracted. Things we’d previously worked up to and got to the point of doing with, if not ease, then less struggle, suddenly feel impossible again.

This might be lifting a particular weight, a speed you’ve not matched, a yoga pose you’ve not done for a while… Just as getting stronger, fitter, more flexible and powerful has a positive impact on our confidence and mood, getting out of the habit can have a detrimental effect.

I often wonder how Simone Biles is doing.

After her phenomenal performances at last year’s Olympics, the image that stayed with me was of her daily workout’s inclusion of climbing a rope ladder using only her arms.

She made it look – like her gymnastics – like FUN.

You can see her brief pre-Olympic interview with Ellen DeGeneres, including some gymnastics clips and the infamous rope climb HERE.

‘It’s very easy,’ she tells Ellen as if she means it. ‘I do one rope a day like that.’

Every so often, when psyching myself up to cycle to the pool, I wonder. Does she still do it? What would happen if she had a week off?

I’m not an athlete (although, when I had a whole lane to myself at the Olympic pool in Stratford when it opened to the public, I did imagine – for a few seconds – being an Olympic swimmer).

Even so, I notice that if I don’t cycle for a few days, I feel the effort more when I do again. My 3 or 4 swims each week (sometimes I only manage two) are almost always for an hour but I notice that when I’m more on top of things and going more often, I’ll swim faster. Some of them – many of them – are pretty leisurely. I’m no Olympian but I love being in the water.

Injury means that for almost a year, my yoga practice has been lighter on the upper body work. I crave certain poses but know I’d be foolish to try them again before I fully heal (I have delayed the healing by not being so patient in the past). I’m also aware that I might not be able to do them again and that saddens me.

And this is another key, when recovering after injury or getting back into any kind of training: Being friendly to our bodies and appreciating what they can do today. Not beating ourselves up remembering through rose tinted glasses how we could do more in the past.

What do you do quite effortlessly? How often do you test yourself to keep it going?

What’s your arms only rope climb equivalent?

How’s your self-talk when you’re in that zone?

What are you building up to?

What helps you be kinder to yourself when illness, injury or other obstacles mean you can’t reach your fitness goals?

I am regularly awed at how quickly I start to feel like an amoeba if I don’t swim enough and then, it’s like magic how much better it makes me feel when I get back into the pool and sea.

Do you notice an impact on your mood when you’re working out well and when, for whatever reason, you’re not?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

 

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How privileged do you feel?

 JamesBaldwin

 We hear a lot, these days, about white privilege, male privilege, heteronormative privilege, cis privilege and more. Often, it’s said with snark. People get defensive. We compete over who has less and how it’s not our fault if we have more. No one connects. And nothing changes.

The events in Charlottesville this weekend, where so many neo Nazis went to spread hate in a university town and someone was killed and many more injured, can’t be ignored. It was obvious, with a US President endorsed by the KKK, that this would embolden such hateful attitudes but no less shocking or horrific. Things have to change.

Through staying connected on Facebook and other social media (and with some, in real life), I can see that people who have very different politics feel similarly to me in other areas. Everyone feels that they are doing their best for their loved ones. As far as I can make out, everyone on the planet wants the same things.

Thinking about privilege, even though it’s often used in that sneering way, can be helpful as long as we don’t get sucked into victim mode. This isn’t at ALL to suggest that oppressed minorities should get over it, more that those of us, recognising the privileges we DO have, can make a positive difference by owning it rather than complaining when someone points out that, in some way, we might have had it easier than them.

And that even the most historically oppressed have privilege in other areas (eg beauty). One of my favourite explorations of privilege comes from Anna Guest-Jelley’s book, Curvy Yoga. She writes, ‘Those whom society has decided to favour (read: white, thin, fit, able-bodied, make, heterosexual, middle-class-at-a-minimum) move through the world with greater ease than the rest of us… that’s what privilege means: Some people move through our world with more ease due to certain traits society deems “better”.’

She goes on to talk about ‘thin-privilege’ and ‘beauty privilege’, ‘age privilege’ and others I’d not considered and while her point is about ensuring as many students as possible feel welcome in yoga classes, by pausing to think about our own privilege – with compassion and curiosity – we can hopefully find more empathy for our fellow humans.

I’m really struggling with the notion of people I consider to be racist who, rather than attempting reparation for the horrors of slavery and colonialism, seem to be trying to turn back the clock to resuscitate it. As James Baldwin wrote, ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’

I saw an American on the news last night talking about how his country has been built on genocide (of the native Americans) and slavery and how countries like Germany have reminders of their part in horrors of the past.

They’ve been willing to face their part in the past and vow never again. It’s naïve to think that certain countries are all sorted when there’s unrest all over but, psychologically speaking, it’s a saner approach to acknowledge the facts of history.

How does it feel to consider, no matter how oppressed or invisible you may feel in some areas, you have privilege in others?

My parents were recently laughing at 6 year old me when we were at a friends’ house. They told these friends about how I chose to take a ‘slave’ role in infant school because I hadn’t wanted to be a slave owner / perpetrator. One of the friends immediately said, ‘But you could have set the slaves free.’

This hadn’t occurred to 6 year old me. Now in my 40s, I can see that there’ve been a whole range of ways in which I’ve self-sabotaged because I’ve felt guilty about some of what has come easily and ashamed of what I’ve struggled with.

Do you disempower yourself because you recognise that it’s not fair that your life is easier than others’? 

For example, by taking better care of personal finances, someone can do more good in terms of donating more and making a difference than if they underearn and overspend because they feel helpless about the inequalities across the globe.

By speaking up and offering support to someone who is being targeted with any kind of hate speech, someone can do more than slinking off feeling ashamed of their fellow man/white person.

How might you use your privilege for the benefit of others rather than shame spiralling because (let’s face it, none of us did anything to DESERVE where or who we were born to) of guilt or fear?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

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Talking about the importance of underwater handstands in Psychologies (September 2017)

PsychologiesSept17coverFun PsychologiesSept17FunfeatureLizzieEnfield

 

Delighted to be able to share the importance of underwater handstands for emotional wellbeing in Psychologies magazine. Thanks Lizzie Enfield :)

As in, it’s the FUN bit that’s important. Whatever that might mean for you.

What helps you connect with that inner playful child of yours?

How might you allow yourself to have more fun today?

Feel free to share below.

love,

Eve

 

 

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Avoiding overwhelm no matter what’s going on globally (Rapport July 2017)

RapporGlobalEventsJuly17

When I pitched and wrote this, I had a sneaking suspicion that it might still be topical when it ran. You can read the piece here – Rapport Resourcefulness Global Events 24

Thanks again, Marilyn Devonish, Mandy Muckalt and Linda Aspey.

What helps you when you feel overwhelmed by the news?

Feel free to share below.

love,

Eve

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365 Ways to Feel Better featured in this month’s Top Sante and Spirit & Destiny

365 Ways to Feel Better has been featured in Spirit & Destiny (September 2017) and Top Sante (September 2017) – both out now.

The Spirit & Destiny piece includes some of my favourite yoga poses for sleep.

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The Top Sante piece includes some of my and others’ self-care tips.

TopSanteCoverSept17

TS3Sept17TS2Sept17

What is your favourite yoga pose for sleep?

love,

Eve

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Book signing and yoga and meditation workshop at the Tree Room, Colchester

TreeRoomSigningPoster30917

Am delighted to not only be doing a book signing (free) with yoga and meditation workshop (£5) at Colchester’s beautiful Tree Room (click HERE for more information), but to be offering some sessions from Colchester (initially Monday evenings) alongside my Witham practice.

 If you’d like to join us for the book signing, I look forward to seeing you then.

Spaces are limited for the yoga and meditation workshop so please get in touch (click HERE) to check availability and book your space today.

It’s for all levels and beginners are especially welcome.

And if you’d like to find out about booking a session with me, for integrative clinical supervision, counselling, therapeutic coaching, EFT, NLP, yoga, meditation, working with crystals and more, click HERE.

I hope to see you there!

love,

Eve

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On Phoenix FM talking to Karin Ridges about 365 Ways to Feel Better and becoming a vegan

Talking about my book and going vegan PhoenixFM

In spite of efforts to not post TOO many updates about becoming a vegan (and missing Wotsits) on social media, I’ve had a lot of support for my change in lifestyle on facebook etc. When my former BBC Essex Loud Woman and presenter of  Phoenix FM’s House of Fun asked me to talk to her about the early days, I was delighted. HERE‘s our interview in case you’d like to listen.

I really hope that my key message (that everyone knows what’s right for themselves) comes across. This feels good for me but y’all know your bodies best.

Which foods help you feel best?

Feel free to share below.

love,

Eve

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