Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell 2013 - thanks for all you taught me

Farewell 2013 - what a year you've been.   A year of ups and downs as they always are, and happily way more ups than downs.

I could reflect back on all that I've done, that has happened, recounting the highs and lows but instead, and as testament to a wiser me, I'd rather take a different approach by asking questions:  what have you been most proud of achieving, what has brought you joy, what have you learned to take you forward into 2014?

What have you been most proud of achieving?  It might be a big goal that took your focus for much of the year, or perhaps the way in which you dealt with a situation, or getting through a challenging period.  Or maybe something that to others may seem insignificant or small but to you means a lot.  It may be something that was planned or that happened unexpectedly. 

For me it has to be the completion of my first 100 mile endurance run.  It wasn't pretty, in fact the last 8hrs were a miserable experience but without a doubt it was one of the most challenging things I have ever done and I learned a huge amount from it.  The buckle I earned is one of my prized posessions that I wear with pride, often not on show, but sitting quietly hidden on my waist reminding me of the challenges I overcame and the self belief and conviction I know I am capable of if I want something enough.

I am also proud of the fledgeling community I am building with Re-emerging - bringing like minded people together, united in their quest to make positive change to their lives and supporting others as they do so.   

What has brought you joy?   Whilst the first question focused on perhaps bigger things, this one is the opportunity to look at the smaller things that perhaps get taken for granted, or overlooked.  Take a moment to reflect on those 'champagne' moments that made your heart sing, when for those moments you didn't want life to be any different, that everything was just as it should be.

I found joy in the natural world around me.
Taking time to observe nature - wildlife and plantlife, environments, skies and the weather.  From the distant shores of Maui, Hawaii where I was blessed to spend a few weeks in January watching whales from the local beach, to the mesmerising beauty of the Teton mountains in Colorado, to the more local beauty of the North Downs (a blissful birthday run) and the nature to be found in my very own back garden.  Having earned my membership of the 100 Marathon Club it has been lovely to ease back and run the races that appeal to me most - mainly being out on the trail or in warmer climates.

And on running, joyful moments were of course the celebration of my 100th marathon where friends made me a celebrity for the day - a day I will always cherish - such fun and  shared with so many.  
Whilst the solitude of trail running brings me much joy, I also find joy in sharing my running with others, I grinned the whole way round the London Marathon meeting so many friends and family along the route, and shared fun running weekends with friends, and more local club runs with Harrier friends.

Joyful moments with people - with those already in my life, and also new people.   Being able, through my work, to guide people to aha moments of learning and self discovery.  I treasure my family, friends and clients for the connection we share.

And finally, what have you learned to take you forward into 2014?   Perhaps the learning came from a painful or negative experience, from trauma or loss.  Or maybe from the achievement of a challenging goal.

I learned the power of belief.
At Rocky Raccoon 100 miler it was belief that got me round.  Sure I had a certain base level of fitness but I saw those fitter and faster fail to finish.   I never once thought I wouldn't make it.  It was non-negotiable.  I willed my legs and body to keep going and they did despite extreme fatigue, nausea and lack of calories in the previous 24 hrs.  The memories of misery soon faded to euphoria and a massive amount of self belief.  If I could apply that level of belief to every area of my life there is nothing I cannot achieve.  My belt buckle is a reminder of that self belief - I know I have it, I just have to remind myself of how to access it and apply it!

On a similar thread I learned about commitment and desire.

I crewed my partner on a 145 mile race along the Grand Union Canal - unusually for him his heart wasn't in it, and never had been.  At 82 miles, suffering from macerated feet and nausea he had a fleeting thought that he didn't want the race enough.  At that moment his body started shutting down with fatigue, cramping, shivering, unable to move forward in a straight line.  He staggered another mile or so until I was able to meet him, the moment at which he decided to quit his symptoms subsided.  He just didn't want it enough to overcome the physical and mental challenges of the next 60 odd miles.  My partner continues to be an inspiration for setting goals and having the courage and conviction to achieve them.

I learned too about the beauty of connection and networking.
I led on a community project for the first six months of the year. I knew it would be hard work and that whilst I would gain invaluable experience I always felt I would gain something far greater through the connections I would make.  Little did I know it would be the catalyst of significant change for my daughter through the connections I and subsequently she made.  As I look to expand my life in a new area of Kent next year I know that making connections and networking will be key to my happiness and success there. 

Clearing 'stuff', whatever that 'stuff' is, has been another area of learning for me.  I understand how my joy and happiness has little to do with physical possessions, and also how letting go of the other 'stuff' - stale relationships, worries, unnecessary commitments, all those things in my life that no longer serve me usefully - is so liberating. I am committed to pursuing this direction of simplification and liberation over the coming months and hope that if you too are so inclined we will share our journeys together, liberating and connecting at the same time!  What's not to like! 

And finally, a lesson I have been sharing with clients for many years I finally started to take heed of and learn for myself.   That of self care.
Through taking on too much, I came close to meltdown earlier in the year.  Exhausted, eating rubbish, lost my mojo for running, no sense of direction.  I have learned to identify those signs and to act on them quickly so as not to reach that point again.  Taking time out for yourself isn't being selfish. It is necessary.  What use are we to others if we are run down, exhausted - how does that best serve them, or ourselves well?  Self care for me means eating and drinking well, cutting out processed foods, caffeine and sugar; eating vegetables, good fats and where possible organic.  It also means resting and recharging, doing things that are good for my soul on a regular basis.  My inspiration and knowledge has come from many sources and I am truly grateful for those people in my life who have shared their knowledge and insight so I may learn this lifelong lesson.

I wonder what has brought you joy, what you are proud of achieving and what lessons you have learned.  Sharing and connecting has been an underlying theme, and my wish for all of us in 2014 is that these connections and that sharing of knowledge and experience and support grows and grows.

Thank you for being part of my life in 2013 and I look forward to sharing so much more in 2014

With love and joy

Rachel x

Connect with me on facebook at Re-emerging Therapies!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A complaint free world - imagine that!

Its funny how sometimes things will pop up at exactly the right moment.  I've had a book sitting on my book case for a couple of years.  Given or perhaps lent (I can't remember now) by a friend who was clearing out her self development books before moving abroad.  It was one I'd never really given much attention to - in truth I thought it was a book about how to complain!  Oh how I now see the irony in that!  Having completed my 31 Day Clear The Clutter Challenge (which did take my focus off the Blogging Challenge - still to be completed!) in which it was brilliant to see the clutter clearing love and interest spread, this book fell into my hands as I was looking to see what else I could clear.  I realised, opening up the cover and reading just the first page, that I had been overlooking a little gem!

A Complaint Free World, by Will Bowen, is essentially using the law of attraction to reduce and ultimately eradicate complaining and unhelpful negative thinking, and instead focus on a positive attitude, gratitude for what we have got, and attracting more of this into our lives.  Using a purple wristband as a reminder to be complaint free the book takes us through the stages of learning how to be complaint free.

Unconscious Incompetence is where we don't actually realise how negative we are being, complaining, bitching, gossiping about others and about ourselves.  We are unaware that this negativity is attracting more negativity into our lives.  This is the state where many people sit all their lives, never realising that things could be different.

The next stage is the real uncomfortable stage - the state of Conscious Incompetence - so here we are becoming aware of just how much we complain, bitch and whine.  And we may be shocked at this.  It is also a stage in which we notice just how negative those around us are being, yet if we complain and moan about their negativity are we not being negative ourselves?  In Illusions, Richard Bach wrote a simple and profound truth - 'like attracts like'.   We are all energy beings and energy that does not vibrate at the same frequency does not harmonise.  Our thoughts are energy, and we will attract those things that harmonise with our thought patterns.   Complaining and moaning regularly is actually sending out messages that this is what we want in our lives.  And funnily enough, that is what you will get.

Conscious Competence is the next state - where you might have cracked wearing your purple wristband for 21 days without moving it to the other arm, yet still needing a reminder, still working away at it, catching yourself just before you verbalise a complaint or a gripe.  By now you may notice your relationships with others have changed, moved on, and you are attracting far more positivity into your life than you ever imagined.

And finally you reach Unconscious Competence where being complaint free is well, your way of life.  You create the life you desire.  You create the relationships you desire. You choose your words wisely.

I'm at the uncomfortable state of Conscious Incompetence right now.  

My purple wristband is on its way.  I'm being aware of just how much negativity I voice in my life, yet had you asked me before I'd read this book I'd have said Oh I don't complain that much, I'm pretty positive. 

The actions are there to be taken, choices to be made. My partner and I run a lot of marathons, many around a lake in Milton Keynes with the 'Enigma family' - at any one event I will know 75% of the runners there - they are very sociable events.  Yet the nature of the course is that of laps - endless relentless laps and if someone is running at a similar pace but just 5 minutes ahead or behind you, you may not see them all day.  I find even on lap 1 I am already thinking oh no, another 6 to go and focusing on how much further I still have to run, instead of just enjoying all that my running gives me.  Last weekend I chose to not run the marathon but instead to run the course backwards for a few laps, giving me the opportunity to high five and encourage all my friends, turning back and running alongside those friends who were struggling or perhaps just to enjoy a mile of two of chat and comradeship.  I loved it.   I have nothing to prove with my marathon running, or at least not round that lake, so why not quit the griping of how much I hate the relentless laps, and find a way to enjoy them and my friends instead.  

If you're interested in living in a Complaint Free World check out www.acomplaintfreeworld.org and join me in my quest to move towards Unconscious Competence.  I have a small stock of bracelets to share so do please let me know and we can share the journey together!


Rachel x

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Speaking your truth

"Once you start to speak, people will yell at you.

They will interrupt you, put you down, suggest it’s personal and the world won’t end.

And the speaking will get easier and easier.

And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had.

And you will lose friends and lovers and realize you won’t even miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you.

And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party.

And at last, you’ll know with surpassing certainty that one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth.

And that is not speaking.”

~ Audre Lorde
 As I work and spend time on developing my business, my fear is that no one listen.  No one will take benefit.  No-one will resonate.  
And then in my Facebook newsfeed pops this posting from a facebook acquaintance, one whom I don't even really recall how we connected.  The message resonated.  And in a marvellous moment of brilliant clarity just as this ray of sunshine breaks through the darkness of the storm across the pure white sands I realised that even if just one person benefits from my work, my passion, my purpose then that makes it all worthwhile. 
 Thank you Facebook friend for posting.  


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Discipline is the magic power that makes you unstoppable!

So I was all set to write Day 6 - I got as far as reading Day 6 and it made me laugh - Natalie Sissons - are you in my head?   Your post called This is the only battle worth fighting for was exactly what I needed to hear!

Yet here we are 11 days on and only now am I posting!  

So the question today is What are my three priorities for the next 30 days that will move me closer towards living life on my own terms?

Well the first one has to be creating discipline

Discipline to finish this 30 day challenge by the time I get home from my holiday on October 8th.  That allows me a little slack, for the days when I am crewing my partner and will be in the wilderness (and awake) for 30 plus hours but without internet, for the days when we have long drives, for the days when the internet in the hotel fails and for the days in the lead up to the trip when I am working 12 hours plus to enable me to go!  This discipline will stand me in good stead for the discipline of writing my bestseller!   The discipline will also involve me engaging with the participants on Spring Nutrition Yummy Mummy Programme on which I am a guest expert!  

I know I can exercise discipline, this morning I didn't fancy getting out of bed and going for a run, but I knew I had missed an opportunity for track training last night and that tomorrow would be tricky to fit a run in.  So I went out.  It was hard to get going but I had a great run and I was pleased, feeling virtuous for the rest of the day I have eaten well, and been productive in my work.  DISCIPLINE DISCIPLINE DISCIPLINE

Secondly I am going to read and engage in E-Squared - Nine energy experiments - I really need to work on my relationship with money and I've been recommended this book by several trusted sources!  By taking part in the nine experiments I'll have some more great content for my blog, not to mention reaping the rewards of working with the universe rather than against it!

My third priority is to find out how to put a sign up box on my website and to link this blog to it.    I need to start capturing email addresses to create my client database.  Technical know how is another sticking point - its one of those brick walls that is in my way to prove how much I want this!

Thanks Natalie for pushing me on that little bit further today!  Tomorrow will be my first discipline challenge in finding time to post but I WILL do it!

Til next time (tomorrow!)

Rachel x

30 day challenge

Friday, August 30, 2013

Its such a perfect day - I'm glad I spent it with you....

Ok,  so I've not been quite so disciplined about sticking to the 30 day blogging challenge as perhaps I thought I would be.    I can't claim to have been TOO busy to do it, though there has been a bit going on and so my thoughts turn to commitment and how much do I want this.  I want it.  That much I know but do I want it enough.  Being self employed brings all sorts of fears - mainly around money so this exercise has highlighted that I need to do some work around my fears and beliefs around money.  

My partner recently ran a 100 mile race in Berlin.  He trained hard, he lost about 20lbs in weight, he made sacrifices.  He ran his finest race to date.  On his laptop screen reads the quote The important thing is this: to be ready at any moment to sacrifice what you are for what you could become.  I didn't really get it until after he had completed his race, read his blog and really understood how important the race had been to him. He has crossed the threshold from being a 'get rounder' to a 'ultra athlete'. He had sacrificed what he was in order to become a respectd athlete. It got me thinking about discipline, commitment and focus.  I know I have the ability to focus and to achieve things I really desire. I ran my first 100 mile race earlier this year and the last 40 miles were like a death march, quitting never entered my head even though I was struggling with nausea, tiredness, blisters and cramping.  I wanted that buckle and I would at that moment pushed myself to the point of collapse to earn it.  So what's different?  I'll keep pondering that one!

Anyway, lets get back on track - this 30 day blog challenge, like my 100 mile endurance run is a long slow affair, I may have missed the checkpoint cut offs but I AM going to finish and reap the rewards!

So day 5 - My Perfect Day  - what does it look like, feel like, smell like?

I wake up early, dawn is breaking, the birds are singing and a new day is beginning.  I wake up with my partner and after an exchange of affection we get up, straight into our running gear.  We head out onto the trails, the air is fresh, the wildlife startled as we are the first humans about this morning.  The dew sparkles in the morning sun.  All is still.  We run for an hour or so, hard but effortless at the same time, runs like that make me believe a sub 24hr 100 miler is possible!

Back home I shower, get changed and enjoy a breakfast of fresh fruit, nuts and seeds.  I then settle down to work in my clean uncluttered den.  Answering emails, catching up with clients and comments on social media, writing my blog, taking bookings, preparing workshops, writing another page or two of my soon to be best selling book on clearing clutter.  I may have private 1:1 clients to see, some over skype, some who come to my clinic in the garden house.  I work for about 5 hrs or so. 

Absorbed in my work I don't notice the time pass until lunch time - I realise I am hungry and prepare myself a salad of ripe avocado, salad leaves, seeds and dressing.  I catch up with my partner over lunch. 

After lunch I take a walk along the cliff top, enjoying the fresh breeze and sunshine.  This invigorates me.  I may spend the afternoon lazing about, catching up with my daughter, family or friends, spending time in the garden, doing photography, maybe clearing some more unwanted clutter from my life.   My partner and I chat and plan about up and coming trips and races we have booked. 

We eat dinner quite early, freshly cooked fish, vegetables, salad and fruit. And then settle down to a few more hours of work - catching up with clients, social media, writing, being creative, planning. 

We reconvene for a catch up of the day's events, maybe meet friends for a drink, or enjoy the late summer sunset.  About 10.30 I snuggle into clean fresh sheets for a restful and refreshing nights sleep in the knowledge that all is well, all is progressing as it should, reflecting on issues that have arisen and the learnings I have taken from them. 

I wonder what your perfect day would look like?   And how much of that can you already be doing, or taking steps towards doing it?  Certainly I can snuggle into clean fresh sheets every night if I wish, I can get up and out for a run first thing and I can eat good nourishing food.  What simple changes can you make to your life to take you a step or two nearer to everyday being your perfect day!

Until next time

Rachel x

30 day challenge

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Home is where the heart is...

Home and a sense of belonging is important to me.

Yet I also love adventure and travel. But I'm not so sure my heart is in a suitcase!

Taking part in Natalie Sisson's The Suitcase Entrepreneur 30 Day Blogging Challenge, today's question posed is 'what is your definition of location independence'?

The great part of taking part in such a challenge, being part of a community of like minded people, is the inspiration and ideas from everyone else's blogs. Not only is this a good exercise in getting me writing regularly, but also, and perhaps more crucially, getting comfortable with connecting not comparing. With such a plethora of blogs to dip into, each with their own style, themes and content I find myself comparing less and connecting more.

For me location independence simply is the ability to earn a living wherever I choose to be and in whatever time zone I happen to be in. It means being able to adapt my routine to wherever I may be, and stick to it. It means having the technological know-how (or the support of someone who does) to continue working. It means having the ability to build a community, to do the work I love forever. It means being able to work for the rest of my life, because my work is who I am and gives me the pleasure that I never want to stop. Currently my work is incredibly location and time dependent - as a remedial massage therapist and training facilitator my hours are set, my work is face to face (or hands to body). I left full time employment to have a more flexible lifestyle and to a degree that has worked, but with success comes a full diary to commit to, and suddenly I find myself in a position of turning down opportunities for adventures because of a multitude of diary bookings made six months ago.

It means being able to belong at home, to have a solid foundation, albeit a much simplified version of what I have now, yet to be able to spend a few months in the mountains, by the ocean, in the forests, perhaps even in the heart of a city (well for a week or two!). It means being able to have my running adventures and time to recuperate afterwards.

(picture courtesy of Glamping of Lewis - I think I found my next destination!)

It's a thought provoking question - how many of us immediately focus on the travelling nomadic lifestyle, yet with some deeper thought and inner questioning I think it questions us too about how strong our need is to have roots, a base, a solid foundation.  And for me that is stronger than perhaps I initially thought.

Thanks for the opportunity to clarify that.   

What would be your definition of location independence?


30 Day Blog Challenge Day 3 - What’s your definition of freedom in business and adventure in life?

I run. I run a lot.  Running is my freedom, its my adventure.Sometimes when I'm wondering why I can't be arsed to do the training to run faster, I realise that I don't connect my 'training' to 'adventure'. 

I'm a trail runner.  If I can bear the logistics I love running a trail race from A to B.  In an area I don't know.  Armed with a map, a set of directions, an eye on trail markings I'm at my happiest. 

This year I completed my first 100 mile endurance run.  It was a good introduction to the distance though being 5 loops of a 20 mile forest trail not the true adventure I seek.  I was excited to discover that my successful completion has qualified me to enter Western States 100 miler.  This is the pinnacle of endurance running - a 100.2 mile foot race from Squaw Valley California to Auburn, California through canyons, over high country and a waist high river crossing of the Middle Fork of the American River.  This is my adventure. 

Freedom in business would give me the income, time and flexibility to have these adventures.  And there are many more, not just Western States but Leadville, Salt Flats, Badwater, Grand Union Canal, the list goes on... And its not just running adventures, hiking, cycling, road trips.  Never quite knowing what you're going to find, enjoying the journey as much as the destination.

Imagine if I had the freedom in buiness to do these things!  I'd soon have to find a way of connecting training to adventure, and I think I've just realised how to do that!

Thanks Natalie of The Suitcase Entrepreneur,  I'm another step closer

30 day challenge