Positive Emotions.

During my coaching training we completed modules on positive psychology. Standard psychology = broken people need fixing. Positive psychology = focusing on the positive aspects of human life and how to enhance them. The world definitely has a need for both but 2020 has highlighted to me so far that there is a special need for positive psychology in the general population at the moment. So far this year has been scary to say the least, a lot has happened, a lot IS happening and it is easy to get sucked into a downward spiral of worry and fear. 

Broaden and build theory suggests that emotions are very functional. Where negative emotions serve a purpose by limiting our thoughts and behaviours allowing us to act more decidedly in times of stress, positive emotions broaden and build our conscious awareness. When you are in a bad mood, you are very closed off & stuck in negative thought patterns. When you are in a good mood you are more curious, sociable, creative & healthier. You become better at problem solving and are able to persevere longer at tougher tasks. More importantly right now, your immune system works better!

On a personal level, we should be looking to nourish and increase positive emotions in order to get the above benefits, but also on a company level. For any business, big or small, i fully believe in the importance of looking after the mental health and overall well-being of your employees. In coaching we look at each person as a whole. We understand that in order to feel satisfied, fulfilled and happy, one must have balance in key areas of their life. If one of your team members is not performing well, instead of focusing on their current lack of achievement, have you thought about the possibility of something outside of work that might be affecting their performance? If they feel unfulfilled in life, the negative feelings and thoughts will seep through in to their work life. If they are having trouble at home, or if they are having health issues, the same thing will happen. When our lives feel balanced and fulfilled, we can increase positive emotions and in turn improve our lives even more creating an upward spiral.

A meta analysis study by Lyubomirsky, King & Diener in 2005 on positive emotions shows that positive emotions have the following results within a company – 

  • Lower turnover at work.
  • Better reports of customer service.
  • Better supervision evaluations.
  • Lower emotional exhaustion.
  • Higher job satisfaction.
  • Better organisational citizenship behaviour.
  • Fewer work absences.
  • More social club involvement.
  • More volunteerism.
  • Perceived by others as being friendlier more assertive and more confident,
  • Higher annual salaries,
  • Higher longevity.
  • Lower incidence of drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Faster recovery from illness or injury.
  • More likely to resolve conflict through collaboration.
  • Increased motivation.
  • Better decision making efficiency.

I have just provided you 17 good reasons to work on interventions to help increase positive emotions in yourself and in your employees.

Business hats to one side though, couldn’t we all use a little more of this? I know my anxiety has started to creep up on me the past few weeks and with the current COVID-19 pandemic i know i can’t be the only one. From the fires across Australia devastating the native wildlife, to multiple deaths & tragedies, now countries going in to lock down due to the coronavirus, what a year so far. I think of myself as a very positive and open minded person and i tend not to get worried or sucked in to things that we have no control over, but even so i can’t help but feel overwhelmed at how the year has started. 

So this post is just as much for me as it is for you. Whether you apply this just to yourself, or if you are in a position where you can apply this to your company and employees, let’s look at some interventions to increase positivity and get ourselves into that upwards spiral.

We’ve all heard of ‘name 3 things your grateful for’, right? I want to take it a step further. 

Although studies show that naming 3 things your grateful for each day does in fact increase positivity, they also show that people tend not to stick to the practice after the study has ended. It just doesn’t feel worthwhile enough for people to continue long term. In coaching, we focus on creating long lasting habits so i’m going to suggest gratitude to you, but in a slightly different format. 

At the end of each day, instead of naming 3 things your grateful for, i want you to think about it in a bit more detail. Keep a journal of this and ask yourself questions that focus on the positives such as – 

  • Who supported me today?
  • What were today’s successes?
  • What did i do well today?
  • What did others do well today?
  • What was the highlight of my day?

Keep this up for at least 1 month, it should only take a few minutes each night, you will be surprised at how much you notice. Make sure to leave your journal somewhere you will see it each night so that you don’t forget. It might also be helpful to think of a trigger such as brushing your teeth before bed or getting changed in to your PJ’s, so you know when i get changed in to my PJ’s each night i will take a few minutes to write my journal. This is a great way to integrate it into your routine and form a new habit. 

If you are in a business environment, you could also do this as a team at the end of each work day. Ask your team to reflect on these questions and write them down, either individually or as a group. 

This is such a small step and will only take a few minutes each day, you have read the amazing effects of increasing positive emotions, we could all use a little boost right now i’m sure, so let’s all do this together. Let’s start today!

 

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References – 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/positive-psychology

Practicing Positive Psychology Coaching – Robert Biswas-Diener.

 

 

1 year Cancer free.

It has been exactly 1 year since I got the all clear and what an amazing year it has been. I completed my coaching diploma, started my yoga teacher training course and most importantly I completely transformed in so many ways.

It’s amazing how when you get a life changing diagnosis every other worry you had becomes obsolete. That person in work who annoys you. That project your behind on. Any conflict with your significant other. Money worries. Self limiting beliefs. Everything else just disappears and you suddenly realise how it wasn’t really important in the first place. Suddenly you realise that the only thing that ever mattered was your health.

This is something that has really changed my perspective on the world. In the years leading up to this I suffered with auto-immunity and arthritis so I already knew that if your suffering with a chronic condition and with chronic pain it takes over completely and can be so hard to get into the right headspace to break free from the cage of being trapped within your condition. Being diagnosed with cancer allowed me to break free from that cycle.

From the date of my first surgery, through my diagnosis, getting the all clear, getting the ‘not actually all clear’, to a second surgery and the final all clear it all happened so fast and was such a whirlwind experience. I can’t even begin to put in to words the pain and deep soul felt sobs that happened during that time. Every single second of every day I was praying to God to heal me of this and visualising the outcome that I wanted and thanking him for all of the blessings in my life so far. I realised during this time of uncertainty that the things that would usually bother me suddenly didn’t bother me any more. In work, at home, in general – if something happened that would usually cause me to get stressed out, I just accepted it and moved on, it didn’t matter.

After getting the all clear this shift in perspective really stayed with me and because of this I began a complete transformation into a happier, healthier and more free version of myself. I realised the things that truly matter and let the things go that didn’t. Of course i’m only human and slip back in to worry and anxious thoughts from time to time, don’t we all? But i’m very quick to recognise it now and bring myself back in to a more positive and uplifting mindset. This change in mindset not only helped me achieve freedom from anxiety and my self limiting beliefs, but on a physical level I feel better than I have done in years. I actually forget some days that I have an autoimmune disease at all, i’m too busy loving every minute of life and thanking God that I am healthy enough to live it. I still suffer with chronic pain but I am no longer consumed by it. I still have an autoimmune disease but the autoimmune disease no longer has me.

This past year has been amazing for me and I know that this is just the beginning. I have always wanted to help people become better versions of themselves and help them to improve their mental, physical & spiritual wellbeing. After living and breathing such a transformation myself I now know that the rest of my life will be devoted to helping others achieve the same kind of freedom in any way that they need it. I am here to serve.

What is self care and why do we need reminders?

Self care seems to be becoming a bit of a trend at the moment & this is one trend i am 100% on board with. One thing i have noticed though is that i see a lot of self care hashtags and promotion, but not a lot of information or detail explaining why self care is so important, or why some people struggle with self care.

Self care is something that has to be learned and is not an ‘automatic instinct’ like one might think. Your self care habits are often learned from adults in your family growing up and this can cause quite a lot of issues. If you are coming from an abusive household, self care will be so far down on your list of priorities that it could even be completely non existent. By abusive i don’t just mean physical abuse, i also refer to neglect, mental abuse, emotional abuse, manipulation, narcissistic abuse and all other types. Some people might not even be aware that they have suffered abuse, it can be so subtle and sneaky that many adult children of abusive families will suffer without ever realising why or without ever realising that what happened to them was wrong. This can also happen as an adult in abusive / codependent relationships. When in an abusive relationship often the abused will be trying so hard to keep the other person happy or to meet their partners needs that they will completely forget about their own self care and eventually end up a broken shell of the person they once where.

But lack of self care doesn’t always come from this. There are many people who come from happy households, have loving families & have never been in an abusive relationship, but they also struggle with self care. Maybe their loving parents were working long hours throughout their childhood to support them, but this left little room for support growing up and little time to observe and learn about SC. Maybe they are motivated and want to do well in work and progress their career, so they think that by focusing all of their time and energy on education and work they will improve their lives and get that job position they have always wanted. Maybe they have low self esteem and so SC is not something they actually care about.

To some people this might come so naturally that when they see ‘self care’ posts, or ‘tips on self care’ articles they might wonder, why would anyone need tips on that? But the truth is that it does not come naturally to us all & there are many different reasons why one might struggle with SC.

I myself struggled a lot with SC up until the age of 22/23 when i ended up in counselling and psychotherapy for other reasons. I genuinely didn’t know that SC was an issue for me until i’m sat in the chair face to face with my therapist and she asks me ‘what have you done for yourself this week?’. Well i didn’t know what to say or how to answer her. I didn’t even really know what she was asking me. We talked and talked and she was asking me a lot of questions like ‘when was the last time you pampered yourself, when was the last time you had a massage, when was the last time you had a hot bath and read a book, when was the last time you had your hair done, when was the last time you had a girls night or a movie night, when was the last time you cooked yourself a really nice meal, what’s your daily routine like?’ Most importantly.. and this is the one that changed my life in a massive way was she asked me ‘when was the last time you said no?’

Try this little exercise –

Step 1 – Fold an A4 piece of paper in half length ways. On the left side, make a list of all of the things you have done for others this week. Such as, giving somebody a lift, helping a colleague with a difficult task, collecting something for your partner on your way home, helping get your younger siblings ready and off to school, a few hours overtime to help out at work. Anything at all that you have done for others, add it to your list.

Step 2 – Now on the right side of the paper, i want you to make a list of all of the things you have done for yourself this week. Such as, a hot bubble bath with candles, saying no to working late because you were tired, asking for help with something if you need it, cooking your favourite meal instead of everyone else’s favourite meals, trying out a face mask and soaking your feet, reading a novel.

Step 3 – Now compare both sides of the paper. Are they even? Remember that although it is important to help others when you can & it feels nice to give and to do things for your loved ones. It is is even more important to help yourself & to ask for help if you need it. Let others do things for you sometimes, but most of all do nice things for yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so ensure that your own cup is full before doing things for others so that your not left running on empty. Find a good balance between giving to others & also letting them return the favour and give/help you.

Self care doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes self care can be ‘treating yourself’ but sometimes self care can be the simple daily things that we sometimes forget to do when we are feeling down, such as washing our hair or drinking water.

See below my go to list of self care options/reminders, let me know if you have any other ideas that i can add to the list –

  • Hot bubble bath with salts & essential oils.
  • Epsom salt foot soak.
  • Clay face mask & skin care routine.
  • Say NO to things you do not want.
  • Switch your phone off and stay off social media.
  • Read a good book (not a self help book – get lost in a novel).
  • Buying fresh socks & pyjamas.
  • Have a hot chocolate with cream.
  • Cook your favourite meal.
  • Meal prep.
  • Ask for help !
  • Put some music on, sing, dance & be playful.
  • A walk in nature.
  • Go to bed early. SLEEP is the best medicine.
  • Meditate.
  • Yoga.
  • Talk to someone. A friend, a colleague, a pet, a therapist.
  • Write / journal. There’s nothing better than getting it all off your chest.
  • Floatation therapy. This one is my absolute favourite.
  • A cup of herbal tea. Drink it mindfully.
  • Watch your favourite childhood movie.
  • Pamper yourself at home.
  • Get a massage.
  • Wash your hair, cut your nails, moisturise your body.
  • Put some music on and do your chores / clean. This sounds like a weird one, but for me personally i always feel great when everything is clean and tidy and the chores are finished. However if you are already worn out and drained, the chores can wait.
  • Reassess your priorities.
  • Throw out that ‘to do list’.
  • Go to the gym or exercise at home.
  • Drink water.
  • Breathe. Take a few mindful deep breathes, practice some pranayama.
  • Get a reiki treatment, or even try taking the reiki level one course so you can give yourself reiki.
  • Watch or listen to something funny (The Ricky Gervais Podcast is my go-to).
  • Take yourself for a nice day out / meal / or weekend trip.

There are so many ways to practice self care and a lot of people won’t need a list or reminders. I need them. I often get caught up in work / my career & doing things for others and forget to take time out for me. So this post is for you, whoever needs it, but also a little reminder for me so i can check back regularly and make sure i am ticking a few things off this list. Now take some time out and celebrate you, you deserve it.

 

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Second time lucky.

***08/02/19***

I’m writing this laid up in bed recovering after having my second surgery on my knee last week.

Let’s rewind..

Last year I had a surgery on my right knee to remove a melanoma. It was sent around to several specialists in Ireland and one specialist in Holland and finally they got back to me and said they all agreed they got it all the first time around, no further surgery needed. Massive sigh of relief ! I can’t even begin to explain the emotions felt at hearing you have Cancer and waiting to find out if it has spread or not. Anxiety, fear, dread, grief, panic, to name a few ! The weight that lifted off my shoulders when I got the call from my Dr to say they got it all the first time around was palpable.

Fast-forward to the end of January..

I then got a call from the hospital only two weeks ago to tell me actually no, your Dr shouldn’t have advised you that and we need to see you again ASAP. I argued blind with the nurse on the phone God bless her.. ‘no you’ve made a mistake my Dr told me you got it all’.. ‘I got the all clear back in December’.. ‘are you sure you have the most up to date records’.. ‘can you check and see if you have the results from all 3 specialists there as they confirmed that it was all gone?’. She had to repeat to me several times that she had my most up to date record and then she advised they recently had a board meeting where they discussed my latest results and the hospital decided that further surgery would be necessary. You couldn’t make this shit up!

I was back in the hospital two days later meeting my oncologist surgeon & discussing my treatment plan. He wanted to take a wider margin from the area and send that off for further testing, no risks being taken here.

1 week later I was in the Vincent Private having my second surgery. It all went well but the surgery was a lot bigger this time and a lot more painful so I’ve been laid up in bed for the past week recovering and keeping my leg elevated.

I was advised to pop back in to the dressing clinic yesterday so they could check the wound as I was worried it wasn’t healing as well as last time. The nurse was so careful with it and told me that it does seem inflamed and it was still bleeding slightly (which it shouldn’t be). Due to the scar being right on the inside of my knee she said I need to be very careful to keep my leg straight and put no pressure on it as bending/pressure can cause it not to heal properly. So that’s me in bed for another few days now before I even think of leaving the house.

To say I’m bored shitless is an understatement. I’m usually so active with work, gym, yoga, walks & cycling. Lying in bed for 8 days straight so far is not going down well but I really do need to make sure this heals well so for a change I’m actually listening to the Drs advice.

On the plus side, I’ve been getting lots of reading done & have finally found the time to stitch missing buttons back on dresses & shirts I have had lying around for a while. Little tiny positives right?

My results should be back next week. I’m staying positive and hoping that my Oncologist was just being very thorough by performing a second surgery but until then… fingers crossed & praying.

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A blessing in disguise.

It has been such a tough year for me being unable to train for the most part due to being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (PsA), but at the same time this year has made me so much stronger. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Last year I was training because I hated the way my body looked, I was so critical of myself and so hard on myself, and even though I was shredded to death I just wasn’t happy with my physique. I was obsessed with every little detail of my diet and training, and my life was consumed by it. Don’t get me wrong, i was really enjoying it all, but i was also creating a very toxic place in my own mind from being so hard on myself and never feeling satisfied with my progress.

After rapid onset of my disease in July last year, and very quickly getting to a point where my arthritis was so bad I couldn’t even hold my phone, walk properly, or hold a pen, i somehow managing to pull myself around and manage the pain and come off my medications (i’ll post more about how i did this later). I am finally feeling good and I have been back training for the past 7 weeks consistently, my strength and shape are both coming back quicker than I could have imagined and this time round I am training because I LOVE my body and I am amazed at what it can do.

The gym was my whole life, i had a fitness blog for crying out loud, and God took it away from me for a very long time, but it taught me to train for the right reasons and to be so grateful to be able to exercise.

I used to squat 100k and be upset because I hit a plateau, now after not training for almost a year I’m squatting half of that , and I AM SO GRATEFUL, every 50k squat I’m like fuck yeah my body is amazing to be able to do this considering my disease. Every single rep feels like a blessing, every single workout is a tiny miracle.

I have also realized that a few days off from the gym won’t kill me, and neither will a burger or a cocktail. 1 year of not training properly and being sick, yet my shape still looks tops, am I shredded to the bone? No. But am I happy with my body ? YES ! I am looking to improve my physique again, but I am also very happy with where I am at right now. I’m happy in my own skin.

To some people having a life changing and chronic disease might seem like the end of the world. To me, this is just the beginning.

Thank you, for the lessons.

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To blessed to be stressed.

If you follow my instagram & snapchat you will know already that the past few months i have been really struggling with joint pain. I don’t know where it came from but it started back in July, it came on so suddenly and very quickly spread throughout all of my joints and has continued to get worse and worse.

For the first few weeks i thought i had just very coincidentally injured both of my knees at exactly the same time. I stopped squatting & deadlifting immediately thinking that i maybe had runners knee or something like that and i just carried on with some light stretches and mobility exercises for my knees for a few weeks. I was so confused as to how i could have injured them both in the first place as my squat/deadlift form is always spot on and i couldn’t remember any incident where i might have hurt them both but if i hadn’t injured them then why could i barely walk?

A few weeks in and unable to train legs i was just focusing on my upper body exercises. I didn’t want to go crazy and over train upper body so i was just sticking to my usual exercises and one day in the gym when doing tricep dips i started getting such bad elbow pain. I stopped the exercise straight away as i know tricep dips can be quite notorious for elbow pain. I did think it was a bit weird though as i have been doing tricep dips for years with no pain. Never mind i’d just pick another exercise for a few weeks instead.

Well that was it, from that point on i was like an old woman. I can’t believe how fast something like this can spread but from the first bout of knee pain it only took about 8 weeks until all of my joints were in constant agony. I started having to get the bus in the mornings as i was unable to walk my usual 15km a day, the pain and stiffness in my knees and ankles was so unbearable. Going to the gym i was doing my best to keep the muscles firing and keep my strength but its so disheartening having to use machine weights all the time instead of being able to squat/bench/deadlift etc.

Some days it would be so bad that i couldn’t even hold my phone or a book in front of me as my wrist would be to sore to hold it. Waking up in the morning my joints would be so stiff and painful that i would have to spend 20 minutes just moving about and doing some light stretching before i could even get down the stairs.

It’s so weird because the pain seems to move around the joints and the pain doesn’t always feel the same.  Sometimes it feels like a pulling pain, sometimes it feels like burning, sometimes my hands or fingers will go completely numb, pins and needles, shooting pains, throbbing sensations. Some days is worse than others. On the days where the pain feels a little less i have been trying to get some light workouts in just to keep active and keep the muscles firing but at this stage i’m just fed up of not being able to exercise properly without being in extreme pain.

Anyway the Dr doesn’t seem to have a clue what can be going on. My blood tests came back absolutely fine. I know finding out your bloods are fine should be good news but for me i was  upset as it meant i was no further forward with finding out what is causing this. I was hoping something would come back in the bloods and the Dr would just say ok take this or do this and in a few weeks you’ll be grand. But no such luck. I’m back at the Drs tomorrow and i’m also waiting on an appointment to see a rheumatologist so i’m crossing my fingers that we get somewhere.

This post might come across as me having a bit of a moan but i promise it’s the opposite. The reason i’m writing this is because what is the point in being a blogger if your not going to be honest and share the bad times as well as the good? This past few months have been very tough on me physically, but mentally i am still in top form. I learned a long time ago that there’s no point stressing about things you have no control over. This is one of those things. It is what it is, i just have to take it on the chin and work through it whatever it may be. Luckily i have amazing friends around me who have been keeping me positive and looking after me when i need minding. To blessed to be stressed.

 

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Carb Cravings & Binge Eating – How to stop them.

People often ask me why i am so strict with my eating. The amount of times a week i hear ‘live a little’ or ‘treat yourself’ when i say no to a chocolate bar, or when we have cakes in work and i say no. I know where people are coming from and that they have good intentions but there is a method to my madness, i promise.

I often tell people that from my own personal experiences i have found when it comes to diet it really is all or nothing for me. A few years ago i really struggled with my eating and went through an awful ‘binge and restrict’ cycle for many months before i finally got to the root of it and got back in control. I think it’s pretty self explanatory but for those who don’t know it’s where you binge eat uncontrollably and then feel so guilty afterwards that you seriously restrict your diet to compensate in the following days or exercise excessively to make up for it. Obviously from restricting calories so low and upping the exercise your body is not getting the energy and nutrients it needs and you seriously crave carbs… which is when you find the fastest digesting sugary carbs possible and binge again – repeat repeat repeat! It’s a viscous cycle.

Anyway like i said thankfully i got to the bottom of my food related anxieties. I started to learn as much as i could about nutrition so that i could eat healthily and make sure my body was getting all the nutrients it needed and work my diet efficiently around my lifestyle and training.

Now a lot of this is of course a mental battle. However the main thing that i found helped me to get out of this cycle and stop those insane carb cravings was by eliminating simple/refined sugars from my diet and only consuming natural sugars with a low GI index.

I’m going to keep this as simple as possible. 

There are three main types of carbohydrates –  sugars, starches and fibres. Some carbs are ‘simple’ and some carbs are ‘complex’.

Simple carbs are easily and quickly digested by the body. Because of the structure of simple carbs and because of the way they are digested they cause the blood sugar levels to spike. Your pancreas then releases a hormone called insulin which is what tells your cells to absorb the sugar from your blood. This then causes a dramatic drop in blood sugar levels. Research has shown that when our blood sugar levels drop dramatically we lose our ability to control our desire to eat. Our body will crave the fastest source of carbs we can get and unfortunately the fastest digesting carbs are usually the unhealthy ones such as cakes and sweets.

Complex carbs as you might be able to get from the name have a more complex structure. This means that it takes the body a lot longer to break them down and digest them. Complex carbs usually have a lower GI which means that a lower amount of sugar will get released at a steady pace. This provides you with a longer, steadier and much more effective flow of energy (as opposed to the sugar rush and sugar drop of simple carbs).

Now do you see why i say no to the cakes and sweets? I’m not being boring i’m being smart. I know that if i have that cake my blood sugar will spike and drop. Then i will be craving more unhealthy carbs and go for more simple sugars… binge and restrict. So i choose to say no and keep my blood sugar levels steady. It’s actually a lot easier than you would think. The first week or two is usually the hardest as you are still craving the simple sugars because you have been eating them recently. But it is very surprising how little you will actually crave unhealthy foods/sugars once you have managed to get your blood sugar levels under control. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving it a try for a few weeks.

So how do i do it?

Choose foods low in sugars.

Throw out the refined sugars. Say no to breads, fizzy drinks, biscuits, energy drinks, cakes, sweets, pasta.

Say yes to vegetables, fruit, oats, sweet potato, beans, lentils, muesli.

Make smart choices. For example most rices have a very high GI so i would stay clear of them. However white basmati rice has a GI of 52 which makes it a really good option IN SMALL PORTIONS. Berries have a lot less sugar than bananas. Now i’m not saying don’t eat bananas, as i personally eat one every day, but what i’m saying is if you have already most of your sugars for today then opt for the berries over the banana later on.

Always exercise portion control. Try eating smaller amounts more regularly during the day for a steady release of energy. This will also stop you from getting really hungry between meals and then getting cravings.

Remember that just because something is a ‘natural’ sugar doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want. Fruit is very nutritious but at the end of the day it is still sugar. So again.. portion control. I stick to two portions of fruit a day usually.

You can check out the GI of your food online, there are so many websites but i will include a link for one at the bottom of this article.

Try and keep your overall sugar consumption as low as possible. I personally eat between 20-30g of sugar a day and no higher. THIS INCLUDES NATURAL SUGARS. If you eat 2000 calories a day it is recommended you eat less than 50g of sugar a day.

A good way to keep track of how much sugar your eating as well as overall calories and nutrients is to download an app to input your meals. The one i use is myfitnesspal. Of course this is not necessary all of the time but it is really handy to use at first until you get a general idea of what your foods contain. This will also give you a shocker if your not used to counting calories, it can be a real eye opener when you find out how many calories are in some of your favourite go to foods.

Eat enough fibre. Fibre slows the absorption of sugar and therefore helps regulate blood sugar levels. This is why even though some fruits have a high GI they are still a good option because fruits are very nutrient dense and also full of fibre.

And last but not least. Believe that you can do it! If you fall off the wagon and eat some sugary foods or if you do find yourself in the middle of a binge don’t beat your self up about it. As soon as you realise you have slipped up again just stop what you are doing and take a few conscious breaths. Make note of where you went wrong and start again.. and again.. and again.. until you get it right. Nobody said it was easy, but it is worth it.

If it makes you feel any better i fell off that wagon more times than you could possibly imagine before i finally got it right, i still do from time to time. The power is in the return. Keep trying as many times as it takes and remember YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Love and light.

 

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Escaping the matrix.

CREDENCE
You are in a prison right now, in this very moment; a prison so intelligently designed
that its core feature is to make sure the prisoners don’t know they’re imprisoned. This prison does not look to control you directly through force or strength, but rather indirectly through social and societal pressure. It’s as if we’re born into this world and given the bare minimum of how it operates then told to follow a script. This script goes as follows: go to school, then get a job, then get married, then have children, then retire. Throughout this script we follow each others action and the actions of our parents, ultimately enticing us to get into large sums of debt – buy a new car, buy a nice house, buy name brands, etc. It’s a menagerie of arbitrary miscellanies for the soul, or should I say soulless, purpose of achieving status in a rat race that goes so fast we may as well call it a drop-dead sprint. To those in this trap, these statements seem like the mad ramblings of an angst existentialist, but to someone awakened, it is a brief explanation of the multiple tools and techniques used to keep us prisoners asleep. If you find this hard to believe or understand, I can completely understand, how could anybody know they’re in a prison when there are no bars? How can it be a prison if we’re free to travel and live in any place of our choosing? If you’re reading this, then it is clear that you have started on a path of enlightenment can can see that this world is not functioning the way it should. I have broken chains so well concealed that I didn’t even know they were wrapped around my ankles and I come bearing a key (or a sledgehammer depending on how far indoctrinated into the system you are) for a gran exodus, but we’ll have to dive deep into
the spirit pool. Don’t just read this, take action as well, for without action this may as well be mental masturbation to appease your ego. This is not an attack on a particular person,
religion, or group but rather an expansion to reveal a higher truth of what you know and
believe in. Providence has guided me to bring light to a false truth that keeps “woke” people asleep without them knowing, like a dream that seems so real you mistake it for reality. Beware of serpents that slither into you’re life, for they seek to inject you with a sweet, irresistible venom. This venom keeps you sedated in a daze and, like any drug, you’ll eventually come down, and start to crave for more. These snakes take multifarious forms and can be so deceptive that they fool even themselves into thinking the venom they peddle is for the benefits of others. Once you’ve been bitten, they will haunt you to the ends of the earth to ensure that you are either high on venom or seeking venom. Followers of serpent spiritual leaders are given this venom so they don’t question what is being taught and to feel bad if they begin to doubt what they’re told. If a follower begins to doubt or question what is being taught, they are shut down, instead of encouraged and told ‘Sadly, you are not yet developed enough to really understand what is being said’ or some similar gobbledygook. This is subtle victimization, a key tool used by these snakes, to make you feel like a peon to their spiritual knowledge. It’s hard to imagine that a spiritual “leader” would do something like this as 9 times out of 10 they seem benevolent, but this technique is subtle, so subtle that it bypasses the conscious and goes straight into the subconscious. They present themselves to know/have something you want to know/have and offer you the chance to know/have the same thing. You feel a spiritual ‘high’ as if you’ve gained some kind of insight from this person/group and begin to follow their rhetoric. When this leader is indeed a serpent, you’ll know you’ve been given venom because it will taste irresistibly sweet at first, but becomes disgustingly bitter later on – for example the idea of heaven can be used as venom. The idea of heaven is sweet at first as you imagine living in paradise, joy and abundance. You can almost feel high while imagining having all of your dreams come true and truly believing it can come true, but turns bitter when the idea of hell is taught. There is a bitter contrast between eternal happiness and eternal suffering, keeping you coming back to the church because there is a chance you might just not qualify for heaven and will be doomed to suffer eternally. This is not to say that the churches and religions who preach this rhetoric are inherently evil, but rather the point being that this idea of heaven and hell can be used as a tool to control the followers. The control cycle begins,
because next they tell you that as long as you continue to follow their teaching and
commands, you will surely get into heaven. There is a third part to this venom, and that is it will never give you the same ‘high’ as it did the first time. To continue the example of heaven and hell, the requirements to get into heaven seem impossible for a mere human to follow, so we must always come back to purge ourselves so we don’t loose favor with the eternal judge. We must always come back, over and over, ending up like a rabbit with a carrot on a stick attached to its back, keeping a constant chase for some thing that seems just out of reach. We can expand this to broader concepts such as seeking happiness, peace, joy, abundance, etc. There always seems to be someone who has these things and peddles venom promising that one day you too will receive happiness, peace, joy, abundance, etc. These are all used against you to keep you in a drop dead sprint from the moment you’re born so you constantly seek, but never quite reach, a prison for your mind and soul.
AGREEMENTS
The use of venom and control is part of an agenda, this agenda’s goal is to control the
way you behave by getting followers stuck in a ‘Starseed Trap’. Allow me clarify what I mean by “starseed”: a starseed is an individual, here on the earth plane (in a three dimensional human body), whose soul originated from another planet, star system, galaxy, dimension, or a parallel universe. That is NOT to say you are not human, for you’re reading this with a pair of human eyes, scrolling with your thumbs on a phone screen or computer mouse, using your human brain to interpret these words, and what-not; but rather it IS to say that your soul is of this world but not from it. Generally Starseeds feel separate – as if they don’t l belong here, and often have a longing to return home without knowing where home is. However, deep within, they are connected with Unity Consciousness, a consciousness that reinforces you to act in ways that unite you to nature/God/Source/Jah (personally, I like to call it The Way, The Way is the natural order of life). Over time starseeds awaken to who they are; when fully activated and free from programming, starseeds are powerful light beings, spiritual warriors, and other agents of change. As you can imagine, uncontrolled powerful beings of light living in sovereign integrity can rock the foundations of a corrupt society simply with their lifestyles.
Starseed are susceptible to programmed belief systems and often fall victim to a complete belief system restructuring to ensure this potential is kept locked away. This restructuring takes your natural connection to The Way and turns it all topsy-turvy so you feel like that connection is gone and you need a middle man to connect you to The Way. Once in a control group, starseeds begin to believe that everything they are told is the only truth and all other sources of knowledge should be ignored and rejected. In the Starseed Trap we see all kinds of sickly control tools such as ‘the Dark Mother’, victimization, narcissism, artificial intelligence (A.I.), and transhumanism. These tools are cleverly disguised in reversal programs forcing members into doubt themselves so they continually give their power away to others who they believe know more than they do. When Starseeds enter these kinds of groups they, unconsciously, enter into an “Agreement of Entrapment”. What is an Agreement of Entrapment?
The most powerful universal law is the law of agreement. You must teach yourself to
become aware of all agreements that you make, as all agreements are valid through time and space, on all dimensions. If your body and your soul are not in agreement, then your body will be in disease (dis-at-ease). This disease manifests within your subtle energy bodies first, then manifest into the physical world. The physical world may be full of confusion, disease, and imbalance of free flowing energy if agreements are not kept. All things come first from the invisible, then transmute into this visible world of solid matter. The Way made an agreement with your soul to incarnate in this dimension, this agreement resulted in the manifestation from the invisible world into the visible world, creating your physical body. Manifestation can be achieved by any two independent naturally occurring frequencies that join together in agreement. A resonance occurs as their high and low opposites are reached simultaneously, both frequencies vibrate in unison and the waveform created by the two frequencies will exceed that which either could produce independently. Although this sounds complicated, in reality it’s absurdly simple – it is a merging duality. A new entity is created by the joint
  agreement and intent of both A and B, forming a new entity AB. The formula goes: A + B = AB – it is literally that simple. When one agrees to integrate with another, a pyramid is formed: the first point is A, the second point is B, and the third point is AB. The entity created, AB, will always have an influence from the invisible after it’s created. For example, child is created when mom (A) and dad (B) have sex with the intention of making a child (AB); this baby will be influenced by its own spirit along with the influences of mom and dad. So, you may be wondering why is it addition, instead of multiplication? Wouldn’t A*B equal AB? And wouldn’t A+B=C? Multiplication implies a fusion of two entities to create a new entity, resulting in the destruction of A and B. For example, if you blended fruit (A) and ice (B) together, the fruit and ice will be destroyed but you will get a smoothie (AB) from the fusion. When entities are added together, the original entities are not destroyed, but rather combine to form something new. For example, when you make a sandwich you are adding ingredients together without
destroying them – bread (A) plus ham (B) combine to make a sandwich (AB). Keep in mind that the ‘addition’ is not a literal combination, but rather a similar intention that brings A and B together.
Now lets take a step further – pretend you got a new job at a company. Your intention is
to make money (e.g. a paycheck) and your boss’ intention is to make money (e.g. profits).
Together you have agreed to form a company (A [you] +B [your boss] =AB [the company])
with the soul intention to make money. Although you both have the same intention of
manifesting money, the money itself comes from a single source. Without realizing it, you’ve co-created a siphon of energy and intend to turn this energy into money – recall to what I mentioned earlier about how everything first comes from the invisible then manifests into the visible. You (A) take energy (money) from people, then your (B)
boss takes the energy you gathered and gives back a smaller portion of that energy (your paycheck). The thing is, the siphon of energy (AB) is now an entity of the company as well, as you both agreed to create it through your intentions. That is to say, you and your boss manifested a siphon of ENERGY through your intentions and this manifestation comes out in unforeseen was such as coming home tired every day, needing coffee in the mornings just to get by, getting into fights with co-workers, etc. Recall that it’s not physical money being siphoned, but rather energy (an invisible force) that eventually manifests as money. As you can imagine, the combinations for co-creation are infinite and must be precise so you don’t agree to entrap yourself. This is how starseed traps are manifested, how the matrix is manifested, and why it can be so easy for serpents to hide these traps in plain sight. Starseeds whom do not realize that their energy is being siphoned off become less and less able to see or release themselves from Starseed Traps or connect directly to The Way. Have you ever tried using a flashlight when the batteries were low? You are light, here to illuminate the dark, but when your batteries are low, you too will shine dimly. Starseeds are often trapped through their sense of wanting to heal other people, timelines, and other lifetimes. They often find themselves spending far too much time outside their body, processing parts of consciousness that are not even all theirs to deal with! The need to feel important and to work towards healing the planet and healing the whole, which is admirable, often ends up becoming confusing clutter. Any work done is contained in a kind of stasis field where no growth is possible, and the “work” is presented again and again, over and over, ad infinitum. This repetitive works makes you feel as if your accomplishing something, when in actuality you have yourself stuck in a hamster wheel. A Starseed will believe they are working on their own ascension when they are not and at the same time having their energy siphoned
off. They are in a trap without knowing it, designed to keep them slogging away and feeling great misery as they do so. How many people do you know complain about feeling tired all the time? Have you ever felt a kind of tiredness that sleep can not fix? Like a wet blanket hanging around your shoulders. Ask around, and you’ll be surprised how many people have this feeling without having the ability to put it into words.
SERPENTS 
Female serpents in leadership roles within these groups are operating the ‘Dark Mother’
reversals and harvest the energy of the group through emotional manipulation. Now do not confuse this as an attack on female leadership, for there is a significant difference between a spirited female leader and a Dark Mother. Dark Mothers complain that their role is a self-sacrificing one, a martyrdom, and that they are constantly attacked for the work they do in order to elicit an outpouring of love and support from their group. The Dark Mother’s story is one of victimization and betrayal, pleading “why can’t we all be nice and support one another?”. This is set up to directly activate the victim program in her followers and opens the door for siphoning to occur; the emotional out-pour is gobbled up in a grotesque gluttony. Dark Mothers love, feed on, and perpetuate as much drama as possible so the emotional charge from their followers is maximized. The Dark Mother (A) works with her group (B)
to create a siphon of emotional energy (AB) as the intention is to provide “support” for
one-another.
SIGNS OF A SERPENTS VENOM:
-Feel we acted in a certain way that is not our normal way of behaving, usually in an outburst of emotion.
-Doing or saying things and wondering why, as if we are on auto-pilot.
-Speaking or focusing on something painful but can’t tell where it’s coming from, as if it came from another dimension, lifetime, or timeline.
-Feeling superior to others through our beliefs.
-We can’t free ourselves from a situation/group without guilt.
-Feeling like a victim or that we have been sacrificed, crucified, or are martyrs.
-Heavily defending our life story or our suffering at the hands of ET interference.
EXODUS
The first step to removing ourselves from these traps is by coming back into ourselves
and becoming grounded. The sun will still rise and the earth won’t stop spinning if you stop for a moment and take a breather. The second step is to find your foundation; who you are, why you are here, and what your purpose is – NONE OF THESE CAN BE ANSWERED BY OUTSIDE SOURCES. We have to come into our own power through understanding ourselves, when we understand we become aware of where our energy goes, and through this understanding we begin to control our energy instead of giving it away. When we begin to know ourselves and what is truly in our heart we move on to the third step, to live in integrity. Through living in integrity we find our connection with our inner God Self and The Way. The venom will wear away when we no longer give the serpents any power, energy, or attention. Live in integrity, know that what happens to you happens through providence to further your spiritual growth; never live in fear for auspicious signs are in place. Let’s get out of Babylon, my family, for the way out appears, when you begin to listen to your inner voice and connect with The Way. By working together we can co-create a grand exodus from this matrix and traps we’ve been bamboozled into. I’ve been stuck in this trap multiple times before, it becomes elementary and unmistakable over time. My warrior method involves mastery of the
self before all things, for Starseeds are sovereign beings with immense potential. Once you have mastered and understood yourself, the world stops being a scary matrix of traps and inhumanities, and transmutes into a canvas for you to create anything you can possibly imagine.
“Although this life is nice, we should live in in preparation
for the next one, so I’m writing these revelations
so that when I become an ancestor my reincarnation
can find peace in this world of devastation” – D’Rok
Thankyou so much @ethereal.creations for sharing your knowledge with us, i am truly grateful.
Highest blessings,
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Listen to your body.

I spend a lot of time lifting weights and working out. For a long time I wanted to spend every minute I had spare in the gym working out and I started to neglect all of the other things that contribute towards a good weightlifting session and good overall fitness.

I got to a point where I was working out 6 days a week, not giving my body time to rest and rebuild, not giving my muscles time to recover and not getting good quality sleep. Even though I was only having one rest day a week I hated it I didn’t want a rest today I wanted to be in the gym working on my body. If I knew I only had 90 minutes to spend in the gym I didn’t want to waste time stretching or working on mobility I wanted to spend that full time lifting weights, so I would have a quick 2 minute stretch before each workout and that’s all. My workouts were getting longer and longer and I was doing more and more sessions and less and less of the other stuff.. the ‘boring’ stuff AKA. the IMPORTANT stuff.

That was last year and since then I have learnt so much about myself. I have learnt to really listen to my body and work with it instead of against it. I got so caught up for a while in what other people were doing and started to lose sight of what works for me. It’s easy when you spend so much time on social media to see how these beautiful people are training and you want to look like that so you start to train like that to. Seeing somebody posting their training routines, training splits, how often they train, their macros etc and thinking well if it works for her/him it will work for me. This is so far from the truth and I learnt the hard way.

When I started to realise this for myself and realise how my health was being affected and how unhappy I was I made a lot of big changes to my eating and training. I now weight train 4 days a week and I actually really enjoy my rest days now instead of worrying that I shouldn’t be resting and should be in the gym. I have also reduced my weightlifting sessions to 60 minutes max.

Since cutting back on the weight sessions I have been using the extra time I have to work on my mobility & flexibility. I do yoga at least twice a week which really helps with my flexibility and I also make sure to get a good long stretch in before each workout. I bought a foam roller and some resistance bands and make sure to spend a good amount of time each week rolling out those tight areas and doing mobility exercises at home. I also now know when it’s time to REST. I’m all about pushing my limits and going all out in the gym and working my ass off, but now I know when to listen to my body and skip the gym and go for a walk or yoga instead. Sometimes that is exactly what we need. In the past this would have never been an option for me, now I can easily do this without feeling guilty like I used to.

It’s amazing what our bodies can do when we just listen to them. In my head I thought if I trained less days a week and cut down the amount of exercises I was doing per workout FOR SURE this must mean I would not make progress / lose gains / jump up weights slower and I was so wrong. Since training less days a week and working more on getting enough rest, working on my flexibility and mobility etc I have made sooooo much more progress than I was ever making before. I am making serious progress whilst still being happy with my training, getting a good sleep in and managing to actually have a life outside of the gym. I am getting so much stronger and all of the strength goals I had set myself this year I have smashed and surpassed more than I could have imagined. My cut went really well this time round even with a few diet breaks along the way and I am delighted with the result.

I guess what I am trying to say is just listen to your body. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. We are all unique so we all need to train according to our own needs and who knows your body better than yourself? It’s fantastic to get training tips and ideas off instagram/facebook or off friends but what works for one person might not necessarily be for you so just remember that. Also I hate to say it but a lot of what we see on social media is just not the reality of it, so try not to get to wrapped up in ‘well if she trains like this and she’s in amazing shape then I’m going to train like that too’.

Do your research, experiment a bit, listen to your body & TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

Love and Light x

Self-Care