The simple things…

On and off in my life I’ve felt this disdain towards people telling me to appreciate “the simple things in life”. Quite often this has been at a point where I’ve felt sorry for myself and like my life sucked, was too hard or there was just no meaning to, well, anything really.

I’m so glad to say I don’t have days like that anymore.

It might still hit me for an hour or two. And now I have a way out. A way to stop myself from spiralling downwards.

Wanna know the big irony? It’s about appreciating the simple things in life! HA! Back at me!!!

So yes, those people had a point. Yes, they actually knew what they were talking about. Funny that. I really do think it’s because I’ve started appreciating the simple things in life that I no longer go that far down the rabbit hole. I’ve been lucky enough to come across a mentor that has taught me to connect back with what is really important. And that one thing is…

Nature.

It’s not “my inner self”, it’s not “who I truly am”, it’s not “my purpose”, “my core” or anything like that. It’s nature.

Nature is simple. It’s always there. It IS what it IS. If it rains, it will rain. No matter what I think about it. No mater what I do about it, nature just is. And that’s the beauty. That’s the learning. Therein lies the answer.

So these days, whenever I feel myself going down that negative spiral again, I stop. I make myself go outside and connect with nature. I don’t care in what way. Sometimes I swim in the ocean. Sometimes I look at the flowers on my lemon tree. Sometimes I watch the moon high in the night sky. Sometimes I sit on the wet morning grass.

And in that moment, I’m fully present and I appreciate the simple things in life. Like the fact that I’m still breathing. That I have all of my senses intact and can fully take in the beautiful show that nature is, even in a suburb in Sydney. There is so much life going on around me. And when I connect in with that, there is just no other way than to appreciate it.

So next time you find yourself feeling down about something, why not give it a go? Go outside and connect with nature in some way, any way.

It works for me. Maybe it will work for you too?

Tree hugs,
Sara

Feel Good Group - Sunflower

Sunflower – a simple thing to appreciate in life!

You are what you eat

I don’t know about you. Personally, when it comes to food, I’m confused and really clear at the same time. Let me explain.

There are all these different “ways” to eat these days: Paleo, AIP (autoimmune protocol), LCHF (low carb high fat), according to your Blood type, Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw… Each of which have their own celebrities, personal trainers, dieticians, “I used it and it worked for me”-advocates swear by them. Each of them being promoted as THE way to lose weight, be healthy, have more energy.

So how come something that works for my PT doesn’t work for me? How come one friend does amazingly well as a vegetarian, and another doesn’t? How come I feel better off gluten, but to my husband it makes no difference if he eats gluten or not? And which way is really the best way for me to eat???

No wonder I’m confused! Maybe you are too?

So here’s what I think. I have finally come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” diet or way to eat. Going down that road is even a bit dangerous.

Going down that road is like saying we all learn new things the same way, equally as fast and remember it equally as well later, that we all have the same physical capabilities of lifting 100kg, that during the same circumstances, we would all react and do exactly the same thing. So if someone comes at us with a sword, we would all turn into John Snow and give them hell…

I think we can all agree that to expect any of the above to be true would be ridiculous? (Especially since John Snow knows nothing, but that’s a different story.)

Then why, oh why, are we told that “if this worked for me, it will work for you too”? Over and over again, with different ways of eating. Why do we expect any diet or way of eating to work the same for every person?

I’m pretty sure we can’t, and we shouldn’t.

So what to do? Experiment, have fun, find out what works for you. This might take some time, and I believe it’s very worth it. Maybe you do feel great on a grain free diet, maybe you don’t. Maybe gluten isn’t your thing, maybe it is. The main thing to find out is: how do YOU feel when eating that food? What makes your body happy? And then adjust accordingly. So what’s the best way for me to eat? That’s the bit I’m still confused about, by the way.

Then there is the bit that I’m really clear about. Namely…

  • Sugar is not good for me (or you) in any way, shape or form
  • Processed foods are not good for us either
  • Sugar “hides” in said processed foods under a myriad of different names, so that it’s trickier for us to recognise it
  • Food companies spend billions of dollars researching what components to put in their products (that we wrongfully call “food”) to make them irresistible, and make us unable to stop eating them
  • These products are not food, they are chemically made and researched in a lab, no chef has ever come near them, there is no cooking involved in making them
  • Any additive that has a number in front of it is not to be considered food, or safe to eat
  • So if it comes in a package, with a contents label, chances are it’s also not to be considered food
  • We are really not made to eat anything that doesn’t appear in the world in its natural form
  • What is pretty much safe to eat: fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses, meat, eggs, seafood – simple, clean, real food
  • And yes, eating organic does make a difference

Very simple rule of thumb – if it came in any form of container with a Contents label, you’re in risky territory. You need to read the label carefully, and if it contains sugar in any of its forms, or something with a number in it, you are best to not eat it.

So my thoughts are: as long as you’re eating natural, unprocessed foods and you feel good, you’re going to be fine. Then you can add on top of that any “diet” that speaks to you and sits well with you ethically.

So how are you eating at the moment? How is that working for you? Is there a specific reason you choose to eat that way? I’d love to know, so feel free to share.

To your health,
Sara

Feel Good Group - You Are What You Eat

You are what you eat

What if your life purpose is just a scam?

That thought stopped me dead in my tracks the other day.

What if there is no big mystery for me to unravel about myself? What if there is no ONE BIG THING that I am here, in this world, to do? What if I don’t have a singular purpose the way I have been told, and chosen to believe?

What if?

At first, I got really upset. This has been such a big part of my life for such a long time. The hunt for my purpose. The looking. The hoping. The failing to find it. The feeling of hopelessness that comes with not knowing. The hope that comes with the thought that “once I find my purpose, my true calling in life, things will fall into place, life will be easier, I will attract what I need to fulfil that purpose. If only I knew what it was…”

Then what I felt was freedom! Happiness! Elation!

If there isn’t this one big thing that I have to find… Then I can relax. I can enjoy the ride. I can be me and be happy. And being me, right here, as I am, can be enough.

How good is that?

What about the possibility that there are several, smaller little meanings to my life? And what about if they can change over time? What about if where it’s at is following my dream, one step at a time, and realising that dream can change.

When I think about it, it’s almost impossible for it no to change!

I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago, living in Sweden, never having been to Australia. My life journey has taken me to some places I never even dreamt of visiting. I’ve seen some stuff man, and some things! And I’ve changed on some levels, and on some levels not.

The way I would have lived my so called purpose 10 years ago would have been vastly different from how I would live it today.

So doesn’t it feel better to relax into the thought that there isn’t this one, elusive purpose out there, waiting for me to find it? Instead, there are these smaller dreams, excitements, happy places that light me up… And my life is about stringing together as many of those as I possibly can.

In that scenario, life is a hunt for the good stuff. Life is about having this experience as a human, and that’s it. There is no other big secret to it. It’s about being here, it’s about enjoying the ride. And that’s a freeing thought to me.

So my life, from this day, will be about following my dreams. And they can be small, they can be big, they can be about me or they can be about the greater good. I will do what feels right, and fun, and good, and important to me. Whether that is my “purpose” or not, who cares?

What do you think? Crazy? Or freeing?

Love,
Sara

Feel Good Group - Your life purpose, a dead end?

The search for your life purpose… A dead end???

 

A physical change can create a change in energy

I’ve been struggling a little bit lately I must admit. I’ve spread myself too thinly and this is catching up with me now. I have this tendency to say yes to things, without fully considering the consequences. Sound familiar?

Mind you, I only ever say yes to things (well these days anyway) that excite me. And even then, too much of a good thing can still be too much.

So I’ve had a look at how I can best manage my own energy going through busy periods like this. And what I have come up with is probably not mind blowing, or even at all new to most of you. And it has really hit home with me this week, so I felt it was worth sharing anyway.

When I’m feeling busy, I’ve noticed that my mind gets really busy too. I start thinking about all the things that I haven’t done, that I need to plan, people I should have called, emails I must reply to, dinners I must cook… And all of these thoughts add to the feeling of busyness, you might even call it overwhelm.

Then there’s the solely mental overwhelm to deal with as well. You know the one. The one that creeps up on you when you might have a little bit extra time on your hands. The one that sets of if you’re not ok with having some time out, some time off, a slower day (which we all need and I’m all for). The mental stress that sets in if and when you feel like you “should be doing more”, for whatever reason.

I see this in myself and I’ve seen it in my friends and clients as well, when I’m not physically busy, I can still make myself mentally busy anyway.

When you don’t know what to do or how to move forward, what do you normally do? Some people sit and wait for inspiration, procrastinating and hoping for direction to turn up. And while waiting for direction, they normally try to figure it out from a head space. “What do I need to do next?”

Some people push themselves even harder, thinking “the more energy I put in, even if it’s going in the wrong direction, something MUST happen, right?” Some people freeze and feel crap and as a result end up doing nothing, sitting at home like a deer caught in the headlights trying to “figure things out”. Some people stress about it, obsess about it, talk about it, try to work it out, and as a result, it feels like a lot is going on, and in reality, nothing really happens.

So if you are physically busy, or mentally busy, or both, feeling overwhelmed does not help. Agreed?

Well, what can you do? I have found this week that PHYSICALLY changing helps. Don’t try and work with that busy mind of yours, this will only add to the burden of the millions of thoughts already running around in there. Instead, DO something different. Forget about your mental abilities and get into your body.

But how?

Surely meditation must be great, as this is what it’s all about, quietening your mind. For a number of reasons, I actually don’t recommend you starting out with meditation, unless you are very skilled at it and quickly can get to a place of peace inside. Why? From what I hear so many people tell me, they never, ever get to that calm, beautiful place inside while meditating. They just sit still and their mind races just as quickly and as much as per normal. So start with something much more simple.

Move.

That’s it. Move your body. Go for a walk. Clean out your wardrobe. Go to the gym. Get your bike out and go for a ride. Weed your garden (added on bonus of connecting with the earth). Swim in the ocean. Walk your dog. Do some yoga at home. And whatever you do, really focus on how this activity feels physically. Notice your breathing, what muscles are being used, are you sweating? And then start noticing things around you. Is the sky blue today? Is the sun out? What are the other people at the gym wearing? Has anything changed in your neighbourhood? Just pay attention.

And you will notice your mind starting to calm down. I have found that when I’m present in my body, it’s really hard to be busy in my mind at the same time. Being physical directs your energy towards something completely different, and it will give you the mental break you’re looking for.

If you’re at work, you can always go for a quick 5 minute walk outside. Find an empty meeting room and do some sit-ups, pushups and star jumps. Or stand up and do some stretches at your desk. Who knows, your colleagues might even join in!

Think about some things to have up your sleeve as your go-to solutions for when you find yourself feeling too busy or overwhelmed. Figure out a few things you know you would love to do ahead of time and write them down somewhere. Then when the mental stress hits, you can look at your list and choose an activity and get yourself back towards a calmer, more centred you.

What will work for you? What will you do to get out of your head and into your body?

Love,
Sara

Feel Good Group - Two women in the sun jumping high above a field of green grass against a backdrop of blue sky. A physical change can create a change in energy

A physical change can create a change in energy!

Find your passions in your childhood

One of my friends reminded me today about living with purpose and passion. She said it’s not about a job description, but rather a theme of desire that weaves through all of your life. It feels good, and still it might not always be easy. She said to look at what I loved as a child before too much of life and people got in the way of what I enjoyed doing.

Reading this sent me back on a journey to my childhood. And this is what I discovered about myself:

I loved being outdoors in nature in any way, shape or form. Especially the dark, magnificent Swedish woods around both of my grandparents places. The smells, the plants, the animals. Every now and then I would even catch a glimpse of a moose! Picking berries and mushrooms, knowing all of them by name and which ones I could eat and not.

I read everything I could get my hands on about animals, I can still see in my minds eye the two most amazing books on my parents bookshelf: Nordic Lexicon of Animals I and II (my own translation). The Puma (cougar) in there… I can still see her face.

I loved working with wood, carving things, always had my knife with me when I went out into the woods and made stuff out of old branches. Collecting feathers. Swimming in and rowing on lakes. Sitting quietly on a big rock in the reeds at the lake, watching dragonflies, butterflies and bees all around me and just forget about time.

Hanging out with my grandfather’s massive Ardennes (Ardennais) horse. Walking the neighbour’s dogs if they let me. Sleeping with my cat. Reading, reading, reading and listening to music.

Waking up in the middle of the night to go outside and talk to the full moon… Planting seeds in my parent’s garden on my own allocated little piece of land and watching them grow. Sun-baking (even though my skin is not really made for it). Picking up beautiful rocks and taking them home.

Spending time by the ocean, collecting shells and then making little “art work piles” of them all throughout my room at home.

Smelling the flowers. Taking the time to lay down on the grass and watch the clouds go by. Collecting tadpoles and watch then grow into frogs. Catch water salamanders in the creek and bring them home.

Watching fires burn in our fire place. Playing tricks on people.

I also remember always naturally standing up for the “weaker” or “less fortunate” around me. Telling bullies off came naturally to me as a child. I just never understood the purpose of picking on anyone.

I was also very secure in myself and knew what I liked and didn’t like, and I wasn’t afraid to share this with the world around me.

What does all of this mean to me right here, right now? For one, I’m reminded (again) of my love of nature and our planet and how important it really is for me to connect with animals and the outdoors often.

The other things is, that in my own way, I have always wanted for myself and the people around me to feel good about themselves, to operate from a place of personal power on the inside.

A very timely reminder for me right now as I move forward with my new business!

What did you love doing as child? How could you bring these things into your grown-up life and live with authenticity, passion and coming from a place of feeling empowered, right here, right now?

While moving forward into 2014, I’ll be connecting back to the little girl who knew herself, and let her light shine through my life once more.

What will you do for you?

Here’s to an awesome year ahead,
Sara

 Feel Good Group - A little girl in red patting a big, brown Ardennes horse on the nose.

Me and my grandfather’s Ardennes horse Tora.