Category Archives: Potential, purpose and meaning

I know, I know, but, in case you’ve started your Christmas shopping…

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I can already hear the outrage. It’s only the start of November! And yet, some people LIKE to sort Christmas and other holiday shopping early. Some people (including me) are already REALLY looking forward to making 2018 the best yet.

If you’re interested, I’ve put together a few potential gift ideas – maybe treats for yourself, maybe a gift for a loved one.

My book, Sleep Yoga classes, 9 Week Chakra Coaching Programme and any integrative therapy session (ie, you can choose which you’d like to include – some coaching alongside yoga? Crystals? NLP? EFT? Meditation? Recently, I’ve been working with yoga and crystals at the same time – really interesting, powerful work) are a few potential gift ideas.

Click HERE for more information and ideas and get in touch if you have any questions.

I work with individuals and groups in Essex (Witham, Colchester and Frinton on Sea) and worldwide via Skype/Vsee and telephone.

I look forward to working with you (and your loved ones!) the rest of this year, in 2018 and beyond.

love,

Eve

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Billericay Library book signing on Saturday, 25th November

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Am really pleased to be doing a book signing in the town I did a lot of growing up in. If you’re local enough to Billericay, Essex and would like to join us, please come along.

And if you have any friends, relatives, colleagues etc there who might be interested, I’d really appreciate your letting them know about this.

Hope to see you there!

And you can find out more about this and other upcoming events HERE.

love,

Eve

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Feel Better Every Day on Sea – sessions now available in Frinton

Feel Better Every Day on Sea

My main client space remains Witham, with the Feel Better Every Day Consultancy on the high street but, in recent months, I’ve been offering a few sessions a week from Colchester (and am starting teaching a Sleep Yoga class there in January).

As of this week, am delighted to be offering a few sessions a week from Frinton on Sea on Essex’s Sunshine Coast. The Connaught Clinic is just a few moments from the seafront and a short walk from the station.

Connaught Clinic

 Find out more HERE and, of course, let me know if you have any questions or would like to book an initial session with me.

love,

Eve

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What comes after #metoo?

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Alyssa Milano’s suggestion that all women who wanted to show how widespread sexual harassment, sexual assault and abuse are use the #metoo hashtag has gone viral with variations being taken up in other languages.

Some find it empowering, some infuriating. Some simply have used the hashtag (personally, I didn’t go over my stories – I didn’t take all of them to therapy but I did enough work on it to know that, for me, it wouldn’t have been helpful to dredge things up to an even greater extent again this week) while others have pulled no punches in detailing the examples.

Some have seen their perpetrators charged, tried and jailed.

Some have never told a soul until now.

And some men (notably, the wonderful Terry Crews from Brooklyn Nine-Nine) have spoken up about times it’s happened to them. And the fact that it happened to HIM, in front of his WIFE, shows that even with people who stop thinking of women as sex objects and instead like The Rock (click HERE for the brilliant, Rock endorsed advice), size, strength and power doesn’t ensure safety.

When the sky turned an eerie yellow and the sun red on Monday afternoon, I imagined, for a few seconds, that it was the result of so many women’s rage. That our combined anger and rising to say ENOUGH had literally shaken up the world, changing the colour of the sky.

Reading story after story emerge, my emotions rollercoaster in a way they’ve been rollercoastering since 45* announced his candidacy for the Presidency. Sometimes, I feel jaded like nothing can surprise me. Other times, the outrage rises again. Sometimes, this feels empowering. Other times, I feel exhausted by it all.

On the Tube today, seeing  a strange (to me) man glancing at the new report I was reading in the paper, I wanted to ASK him, What do YOU think about all of this? What will YOU do differently, as a man, to help ensure more women and girls are safe if you witness dodgyness? Obviously, I didn’t. I realised also that while I was raging (again) reading it, my face was in normal Tube Face mode and no one would have known about the turbulence I was feeling.

I don’t imagine I’m the only one. So I thought I’d share some thoughts in hopes some of them may help you:

  1. If you’re a man, please pause and bracket your feelings about how the revelations make you feel and ask the women in your life what, if anything, THEY want you to do to support them. The whole ‘What women want’ thing is as ludicrous as trying to define ‘What men want’ as if we were one homogenous group of people who all think and feel the same. Just like you, we’re whole people. My favourite definition of feminism, from Gloria Steinem, is simply this, thinking of women as whole people TOO
  2. If you chose not to #metoo, honour your decision to do what’s right for you. ALWAYS do what feels best for you
  3. If you shared your stories, BE SUPER GENTLE WITH YOURSELF. It’s a brave thing to do. Brene Brown’s work around shame and vulnerability teaches us that when we share our vulnerabilities with people who can hold and support us, we can avoid shame spiralling. The internet is a phenomenal tool for putting us in touch with support we could never have known about before. It can also be used to hurt people. Block people as necessary. Turn off comments if need be. Honour what is right for you
  4. Let your loved ones know what support you need. This isn’t the end of it. More and more high profile cases are coming to light and hard as it can feel to stomach the brutality and injustice, there’s a power in truth coming to light. Again, quoting the glorious Gloria Steinem, ‘The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off’
  5. Keep reminding yourself that you are safe now. You survived. You are so much more that what has been done to you.
  6. Notice what you feel in your body. Pay attention to how you want to move your body, maybe miming fighting back or lashing out many years or even decades later (it may sound silly but so much trauma gets trapped in our bodies, it’s amazing the difference listening, tracking and moving can make – read Peter Levine’s Waking the Tiger and Babette Rothchild for more if you’re interested). You may want to mime punching or kicking or screaming or any of the things you were unable to do as you did whatever you needed to do in the actual moment/s
  7. You may simply want to stamp your feet and scream and shout – let it out of your body. If this feels like too much, a walk or, better yet, a good run or energetic swim or push ups or any thing physical which honours the body’s natural fight/flight instinct.
  8. You may want to take up kick boxing or something similar. Lifting weights, becoming more powerful physically can be healing. Maybe dancing it out is more your style. Go to a class or even draw the curtains and go wild in your living room
  9. Drag out your mini trampoline if you have one and JUMP it out. Stamping feet can feel scary or too silly for some but with a rebounder, you can get similar effects
  10. Write a letter to the perpetrators you couldn’t protect yourself from. This is not to send but to get it all out. Burn it and maybe decide if there IS anything you want to say or do in reality (pressing charges etc). Again, whatever you decide, YOU KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU.
  11. Journal the full spectrum of emotion as and when it feels helpful (if that feels too permanent, use looseleaf paper and burn it safely afterwards or even loo roll and flush it)
  12. Think about a time or imagine a time you felt happy, contented and at ease. Really comfortable in your own skin. It might be a moment from a holiday, from years ago or it might be something completely imaginary – when I was first asked to do this many years ago, I cried because I couldn’t imagine feeling so happily embodied and at ease in my own skin. I started out by imagining myself floating in the sea, far away from people. While I still adore the sea (in real life, too), I’ve built up a comprehensive mental library of happy places to imagine – time giving your brain a break from the horrors of the news / intrusive thoughts not only feels nice but has an impact on our physiology, reducing stress and boosting performance
  13. Woman or man, get whatever support you need and deserve – no one is broken beyond repair. Find a good therapist and/or support group. We can use the rage to heal and make the world a safer place for everyone.

What helps you? Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

* Self-confessed sexual predator and white supremacist President of the US – since Lawrence Fishburne calmly called him 45 on The Daily Show many months ago, I’ve found that this simple number helps take some of the heat out of the pain and disbelief I’ve felt since enough people disregarded his recorded boasts of sexual assault and voted for him anyway

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Happy Evaluate Your Life Day!

 

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When you think about your life, are you happy to ponder and evaluate? Do you feel like you’re judging yourself too harshly? Does the very idea of evaluation feel like you’re about to be found lacking in some way?

Which areas of your life immediately stand out as cause for concern?

I love Kate Northrup’s saying, that what we focus loving attention on heals.

Rather than beating yourself up or obsessing over what’s working, how might you apply some curiosity and compassion to whatever’s going on for you in that area?

How can you use this as an opportunity to see everything, simply, as information?

What are you happiest about?

What areas need tweaking or even overhauls?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

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What makes you WANT to smile?  

 

What makes you want to smile

Sometimes, I catch myself feeling really contented or even joyful. And I realise I’m not smiling and this compounds my happiness.

Like so many people, especially women, I was raised to smile even when I was raging inside. When I was having therapy as a trainee counsellor, my therapist often commented on my propensity to smile or laugh as I recounted something that wasn’t a smiling or laughing matter.

And I remember visiting other parts of the world, especially in my 20s, and seeing unsmiling women and thinking, obviously, I had no idea about their inner experience but it appeared to be freer in some ways.

Faces just expressing whatever they wanted to express rather than the forced ‘women laughing eating salad’ smile that beams out from so many magazines and adverts.

I feel triumphant when I allow my face to do whatever my face wants to do. Even so, I smile a lot (I cry a fair bit, too).

To celebrate today being World Smile Day, you might want to ponder, when can’t you HELP smiling? When are you most likely to grin from ear to ear? To beam at the world?

And when are you faking it? When might it behove you to pause and check in with how you’re actually feeling rather than arranging your face into a pleasing countenance for the alleged benefit of others?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

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This World Heart Day, you might want to ponder what makes your heart sing

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It’s a question I ask all my new clients and it often takes a while to answer.

We’re so used to noticing what brings us down. What makes us feel as if our hearts are breaking.

But what about what makes them soar? When was the last time you noticed your heart singing? Or even lifting just a little?

How do you find answering this question? Do you immediately know and have a list of things that bring joy to your heart and to your life?

Maybe you have an inkling of what used to make you happy but it’s been such a long time, you’ve forgotten?

Take a look at your diary/planner and notice which items lift your heart and which maybe make it sink a little.

Maybe you don’t have anything planned which actually makes it SING. If not, how can you fit something joy enhancing in?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

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How pain can* become a real gain

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I loved seeing Lisa Sanfilippo’s segment on Save Money, Good Health recently. She shared some of her yoga for sleep tools (I did some sleep yoga cpd with her years ago and love this gentle way of working with the mind-body connection to aid sleep without any side effects).

What astonished me was the presenter’s conclusion that asking people with insomnia to do 5 or 10 minutes’ yoga before bed was ‘a big ask’. When my insomnia was terrible (from primary school until my mid twenties), I’d have LOVED to know about yoga but it wasn’t part of my world. Instead, I felt doomed and permanently exhausted and on edge.

At the turn of the millennium, when I was in pain every day, not just a few days a month, I think I’d have wanted to punch (and me practically a pacifist!) anyone who suggested that one day I’d be grateful for the pain.

But the other day, I realised that the pain was a catalyst to my completely overhauling my life. Without it, I wouldn’t have celebrated my 13th Business Birthday this month.

Thanks to the pain, I have created a business that is sustainable throughout my energy cycles. After minor surgery, I was told I’d have to keep having surgery every couple of years until menopause (I was in my 20s) and there was no cure. Volunteering on the (then called) National Endometriosis Society helpline meant I routinely heard far worse stories than my own and I became determined to find ways to deal with it myself.

Feeling let down by the medical profession led me to yoga and quitting caffeine (apart from in chocolate) and alcohol. Cat Cow pose was better than hospital prescribed painkillers. I think modern medicine is wonderful and always recommend people see their GPs but am maybe more aware than many, because I was in so much daily pain and desperate, that there’s an awful lot we can do ourselves.

Thankfully, due to all the major and minor lifestyle changes I’ve made, I generally only have a couple of painful days each month and even they are much better than they were. I’m taking fewer painkillers than ever before and some months, don’t need any at all.

How motivated are you?

Everyone who knew me back then didn’t believe I could quit alcohol (I had drunk too much from my early teens) but, with immediate pain from my abdomen encouraging (yelling at me), I managed to find other ways to deal with my emotions. It was hard – I remember imagining myself taking myself for a walk into the depths of the woods in the snow with a giant bottle of whisky in an effort to stop feeling things. Quitting alcohol was probably the most dramatic change I made. And I needed that pain or I wouldn’t have done it.

Are your symptoms easy enough to continue living with or are you ready to try something different?

Back then, my work’s EAP meant I got some counselling to support me pre-surgery (and pre-diagnosis). I still remember the counsellor asking me what my ovaries (where I felt so much of the pain) might be trying to TELL me. I thought she had lost the plot completely but quickly realised that it was worse when I was bottling up my emotions and not saying what needed to be said. My body, in being so painful, coached me to learn to be a little (progress not perfection) more assertive and expressive.

If there’s a part of your body currently screaming for your attention in the only way it has available for communication (ie PAIN), what might it feel like to tune in? Just for a moment? What have you got to lose? No side effects (other than potential embarrassment but this is just in your imagination – no one else need ever know).

What might your symptoms be trying to tell you?

Louise Hay, who died recently, has left an amazing legacy helping the mind-body connection become more mainstream.

Her books can be a lovely starting point, a bit like a dream dictionary might give you ideas about yours but ultimately, you know yourself and your body best. Even when you’ve been ignoring it.

What clues is it giving you now?

 Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

*please note that while this was the case for me, am not by ANY stretch suggesting that everyone reframe their pain

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Happy International Day of Peace!  

 

InternationalDayofPeace

When I became a freelance journalist in 2004, I’d met many incredible peace activists and thought I’d be sharing their stories with a wider audience.

Am blushing writing this because I realise that 20-something me was imagining myself as a Christiane Amanpour type without the experience.

Still, this was the impetus behind my going freelance in 2004.

Unsurprisingly, I only got a couple of ‘peace’ pieces commissioned but, as a coach and complementary therapist (later adding other therapies), I was being commissioned to write about what I began to see as personal peace and self-care. It was better known as wellbeing.

Over the years, I’ve learned that I’m far better able to focus on the larger world when I’m OK. Otherwise, I don’t have the energy to take any kind of action in the direction of contributing to a more peaceful planet.

Even on a micro level, if I’m not well myself, I’m far crankier than usual. For example, if I then hold a door open for someone and they don’t say thank you, I’m likely to feel irritated. This then has the potential to ripple out and connect with others’ irritation and anger.

With all that’s going on in the world, it might seem futile to attempt to, as Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ and yet, as individuals, we have more impact than we sometimes realise.

Irritation and anger (rage even) have their benefits but when we’re taking good care of ourselves, we can use our emotional storms to make us stronger.

What are your warning signs that you’re contributing to angst rather than peace in the world?

What helps you take better care of yourself and those you care about?

What are your dreams for peace at a global level? If you have children and/or grandchildren, what kind of world do you want to be leaving for them?

How can you infuse more peaceful energy into your day today?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

 

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Last weekend’s library workshop in Witham

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Thanks again to everyone who came to my first library event for 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing and to Witham Library for hosting.

I wanted to share a taste of the tools from the book without (I know, a lot of my weirdness is there in the book) being too weird. So we started with a simple goal setting exercise moving on to some exercises that worked with the mind-body connection to boost confidence in the moment and while thinking about goals.

We also did some meditation and grounded the workshop with some crystal work. It was delightful to meet everyone.

If you’re Essex based (or near enough) and would like to find out more, I’m doing a couple of library workshops at Frinton on 16th October and a yoga and meditation workshop in Colchester on 30th September – click HERE for more information.

love,

Eve

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