Movement is medicine. The power of the mind body connection.

I have had a busy few weeks. We recently moved home, and I have just returned from the most incredible weekend yoga retreat in Marrakech with the wonderful Lisa Valentine.

I am currently sitting here feeling incredibly blessed and grateful.

However, I hadn’t been feeling like that. it wasn’t that I wasn’t grateful, it’s just that the emotion overpowering every other emotion was of one of unworthiness. The little voice in my head on repeat was ‘I don’t deserve to live in a house like this.’ ‘I don’t deserve to be on an overseas retreat!’ ‘What was I thinking?’

And it’s pretty exhausting living in that place.

But thank fully something has shifted. So, what has changed?

A weekend with Lisa Valentine.

I have witnessed many times the transformation that happens on Lisa’s retreats, having cooked on her UK retreats for several years now. but this was the first time I was fully immersed in the magic.

Lisa is someone who lives and breathes yoga. Quite simply she says, ‘yoga saved my life.’ Yoga is so much more than a simple movement practice. It is difficult to put into words quite how much Lisa brings to each practice with her deep knowledge and continued learning of yoga.

However, movement is clearly a huge part of it and when you spend a weekend with Lisa, you start to fully understand that movement really is medicine.

We all know how much better we feel when we take time to exercise, and that will look very different to everyone.  Exercise is a huge part of my weekly routine because it makes me feel so good.

However, I have also long been fascinated by David Hamilton’s work on the mind body connection, and I think sometimes we really underestimate the power movement has on our wellbeing beyond the improvements in our physical health.

I often encourage people to try yoga for relaxation.  Stress has such a negative impact on our health, and breathwork and yoga are powerful because they literally change our physiology and calm down our nervous system.

I also share the powerful Heart Math techniques which change the rhythm of the heart and bring the heart and brain back into coherence. Please do read my previous blog about this powerful practice.

However. yoga is also an extremely powerful way to help us to connect with ourselves and access the light within us, and this weekend was a powerful reminder of this for me!

Yoga can help us access the softer, gentler side of ourselves, but it can also enable us to access the strong and capable side of ourselves, depending on the form of yoga we practice in that moment.

Many of us are starting to understand how unresolved negative thoughts, emotions, and trauma can get trapped in our bodies and make us ill.

However, mind body practices work both ways. How we hold or move our bodies, will send very clear messages to the brain, and can be a powerful tool for helping is to build both self- compassion and self- confidence.

David Hamilton has written many books, but I took his ‘ I Heart me’ book away to read on my return flight.

As a health coach I help people to create tiny lifestyle habits to improve their health and wellbeing, but this will only ever be successful if the intention behind it is one of self-care; if it is coming from a place of worthiness, of knowing that you are carving time out for yourself because ‘You are worth it!’

Over these past few weeks, and this wonderful weekend retreat I have heard many people kindly say to me ‘You deserve it’ However, no matter how many times I heard it, I was telling myself a the very opposite message in my head.

I was also struggling to believe how I could ever coach anyone again!

Thank fully, on that return flight I also listened to a brilliant podcast from Light Watkins.

He remined me about how we are on all on a continual journey of growth and transformation, and that there is no final destination. My job is not to be a perfect example of health and wellbeing, but to be someone who is committed to lifelong learning and growth, to help inspire others to do the same, to provide the support and accountability to make that happen and to celebrate with them along the way…

He is also a powerful reminder of the power of ACTION. He makes a continued commitment to show up for himself and to inspire others to do the same. He committed several years …  ago to write a daily inspiring email and in honouring that commitment, created a very clear purpose in his life.

Making any commitment to do something that is meaningful to us has the power to create a huge transformation and it reminds me so beautifully of one of our wonderful nurture Club members.

Emma Hayes made a huge commitment to do wild swimming every day for a whole month over Oct/ Nov in memory of her daughter’s friend who died tragically last year, and it has been just the most heartwarming thing to witness.  Not only is she inspiring friends far and wide to experience the joy of cold water swimming, she is continuing to raise vital funds for Birmingham Children’s hospital.

However, what I am also particularly thrilled to witness is the fire that has been lit in her soul through her heart felt commitment to this challenge.  What I also sincerely hope is that she is finally starting to see the beautiful soul we have all seen for a long time but was covered up with layers of self- doubt and self -criticism.

I think we all struggle at times to find that purpose in life, and finding a sense of purpose can be so powerful for our sense of wellbeing. I think mine has always been to help people achieve health and wellbeing and what that looks like has shifted over the years, moving from a passion for food and nutrition, to helping people to reduce or manage stress. I have learnt so much along the years thanks to the many teachers I have had in my life and the brilliant ‘Feel Better live more’ podcast, but still I have struggled on and off with is to ‘feel good about myself.’ So, in my 50th year, it’s time to make a commitment. A commitment to change that for good, and to help others to the same! When we are operating from a place of unworthiness, of being ‘not enough’, life is difficult and exhausting. However, when we operate from being ‘enough just as we are’ and ‘worthy’, life becomes lighter and joyful again…

There are many tools we can use but one that I want to help people to do is to help them commit to is one tiny ACTION, one tiny habit that sends a very clear message to our brain that we are enough, and we deserve it! Because we do! We all do!!!

It is very hard to think our way out of unworthiness. However, we can use our bodies and our intentional ACTIONS to send those clear messages to the brain.

I am going to commit to a short daily movement practice that makes me feel strong and capable and worthy whether that be a short yoga practice, a power pose, or dancing round the kitchen… I am going to start my day with a clear intention to stand up tall and embody being enough and worthy just as I am.

I would really encourage you to set a clear intention to do the same. It won’t be easy. Change is hard, but if you’ll like me to support you along the way, it would be an absolute privilege.

We’ve got this!








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