Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Tag: Twenty8 HLE

Enough

Enough!

I have not done enough for this blog.

I do not have enough time for a blog.

I am not enough to be writing a blog.

In a time when it is all too much, when I have had enough, I reflect on the words of my beautiful girlfriend Christin:

You do enough.

You are enough.

You have enough.

And breath deeply.

Repeat 3 times.

– Wandress Life

I have spent the past 2 weekends away pursuing what I love in self-care and nutrition. Being surrounded in the loving and supportive company of like-minded people gave me an opportunity to reflect.

At the recent Twenty8 HLE Graduation weekend I was asked to recall my experience of being a HLE student only 6 months before hand and share with the current students where I am up to as graduate and what I want to do from here. I had some big personalities in my HLE intake group, even celebrities in my eyes, and in my mind I did not feel I was enough compared to them. I could not do what they are doing in getting the message out there. What I have come to realise is that I don’t have to be like them, I don’t have to do it all in a short amount of time. I have to be me, believe in me, and be me in my own time. This is my journey, no one elses; you cannot compare someone’s chapter 1 with another persons chapter 20. I am beginning to see in myself what others see in me, and this is a big aha moment for me!

My girlfriend Hen recently posted:

No one else has the same beliefs, knowledge or experience. No one knows exactly what’s going on in your universe. No one can possibly have your perspective.

– My Innate Vitality

At the recent Changing Habits Graduation weekend people I was meeting new people who did not know that was going on for me and the darkness that I have pulled myself out of; I came to realise that not everyone needs to know. All people need to know is that I do have a different perspective, no one else has the same experiences as me, no one else has the same learnings as me, and if I share this perspective with others it may resonate with them for them to what to find out more and create the ripple effect of change just from me being the example.

I am enough!

I have been doing a lot the past months raising a family, working, and completing 3 courses in 2015.

This blog is just over 12 months old; good things take time to grow.

My story needs to be shared with the world.

“You never get over it, but you do get on with it”

– Carren Smith

So let’s get on with it!

 

A journey of healing and self-discovery

This week I am a guest blogger on Changing Habits. So excited and proud to see my first guest blog! The past three years has been a journey, and Changing Habits has been a huge part of my recovery. Check it out here A journey of healing and self-discovery by Sarah West.

Here is my story…

Journey of healing and self-discovery – Sarah West

Like so many of us it took a health crisis for me to awaken to a new way of eating and living. Three years ago in 2012, two weeks after the birth of my first child I developed Postpartum Psychosis. This is an acute mental illness that occurs after having a baby, a loss of contact with reality that includes mania, confusion, strange beliefs, hearing and seeing things, racing thoughts and is a psychiatric emergency. Despite having a background in Psychology and Brain and Mind Sciences, I had never heard of this postpartum mood disorder. Like many I only knew of Postpartum Depression, and I was struggling to comprehend what had happened to me, why did it happen and what triggered it. I was not only struggling to care for a newborn, I was also struggling to work out who I was as a new mother. I was struggling to work out how best to look after myself and heal from the darkness of my mental illness.

In times of unknown I seek out answers, I research and educate myself. In searching for a reason for Postpartum Psychosis happened to me I had a theory that it had something to being deficient in nutrients as the pregnancy had drained what little I had to begin with. I had ignored my body whispering Ketosis Pilaris to me for years, a fatty acid deficiency, which I knew from my university studies that Omega 3 plays a major role in mental health disorders. I have grown up on the Standard Australian Diet, a low-fat diet which I have now realise that is not compatible with a fatty acid deficiency, processed foods with all the chemicals that add toxins to my body, and lacking nourishment for my gut-health. Throughout childhood I was chubby, and as I got older I continued to put on weight, no matter what I seemed to do or try the weight kept creeping on into adulthood. The pregnancy and anti-psychotic medication tipped me to the heaviest weight I had been in my life.

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A year along in my journey of recovery I began to research to seek answers to my questions and as I researched I stumbled across the Changing Habits Website in November 2013. Everything I read made sense, and I began to realise that my nutrition and nourishing my body was key to my recovery and healing. With the expectation that I have nothing to lose I threw myself into Changing Habits. I began to listen to the Up For a Chat podcasts from the beginning which gave me huge support and motivation, many ahas along the way and three vivacious ladies who made me feel that I wasn’t alone on this journey of healing. I heard that Cyndi was doing a workshop in Sydney in March 2014 it was a glimmer of hope for me. I took mum and myself along to the workshop for a day packed with nutrition-focused information. From this workshop I came away feeling that I can change one small habit at a time, I began to work out what my body needed in order for it to heal. Meeting Cyndi at the end of workshop was a highlight, she was so genuine and down to earth, supportive, and happy to chat and listen. I still remember her advice to me was “You need to meet Mel”, as in Mel Kent, the Changing Habits Healthy Living Club Coach.

With the ‘Changing Habits, Changing Lives’ book in hand I devoured every chapter of knowledge and began implementing small changes into our family lifestyle. When weaning our son off bottles, we weaned our family onto full fat milk. I started to scrutinise the back of every pack, scanning the ingredients and reducing the numbers of additives. I began cooking and baking at home making food from scratch, starting with making our own bread. I began to reduce the amount of refined wheat and sugar our family were eating. The more changes I made the better I felt mentally, which gave me the resolve to take on another change, which the weight began to fall off giving me more energy to take on more changes. The biggest change I made was adding in the good fats, this was a huge change of headspace for me after growing up with the notion that fat is bad for your health. Instead of focusing on what I had to take out, I slowly added in the good, nourishing foods which crowded out the not-so-healthy foods that I had grown up with.

I heard that Up for A Chat was holding retreat on the Sunshine Coast, the Awaken the Change Within retreat in November 2014. Along with mum we jetted off to Mooloolaba for three action packed days with Cyndi, Kim from Twenty8 and Carren Smith. At this point of my journey I had released 15kgs since the Day with Cyndi in March and I was touched that Cyndi remembered me, though I did look different! I had many break downs and break throughs over the retreat but it gave me the strength to continue on my journey of healing. I picked up another key to my recovery: self-care. It was up to me to nurture myself physically, mentally and spiritually.

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In May 2015 I attended the MINDD Forum in Cyndi and caught up Cyndi, who once again did not recognise me. I looked different having released another 15kgs, a total of 30kgs in 14 months. In May I also attended the Day with Cyndi 2016 and was able to connect with others who were also on this journey of change. I love how Cyndi is always educating herself and sharing her research with her tribe. From attending the MINDD Forum to the Day with Cyndi workshop, Cyndi was passionately speaking about how we need to get back in the kitchen to feed our families to heal the nation. Being in the kitchen was instrumental in healing myself and I was seeing changes in not just my own health but also my husband and son’s health.

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Over the months I continued to seek out more knowledge and education. In 2015 I began the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Education Program with Kim Morrison, learning the power of essential oils and daily self-care rituals and how important they are in my journey of healing and self-discovery. I also heard that Changing Habits was starting an Education Course too, which I was so keen to be a part of. I got the opportunity in the July 2015 Intake of the Changing Habits Online Nutrition Course. I am empowered being a part of like-minded tribe of incredible souls, sharing knowledge together and working towards changing the world to be a better, more nourished and healthy place for us all.

People would ask ‘How did you lose the weight?” Nourish my body and nurture my mind. “Do you exercise more?” No, if anything I exercise less to reduce the stress on my body and allow it to heal. “Are you doing Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and the like?” No, I am changing my habits and biohacking what is right for my body. “So what do you eat?” I just eat real food. For those who were aware of Changing Habits, “Have you done the 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol?” No, I read the book ‘Changing Habits, Changing Lives’ and imagine what the possibilities are when I do start the protocol! I changed one small thing at a time; there are no quick fixes, no diets, no magic pills, just working towards being the best version of myself. To date, November 2015, I have released 38kgs over two years, I am discovering who I truly am and I am healthier than I have ever been in my life!

Inspiring you to nourish yourself towards healing and self-discovery!

Changing Habits

 

Digital Sabbatical

Yesterday, a Monday, I went to work to attend a work retreat day. Mondays are not my usual work day so I was out of my rhythm, particularly as I am still trying to find my groove again after being on holidays for 2 weeks. By the time I got on the train to work I reached into my bag to send hubby a text only to realise, shock horror, my phone was left at home.

However, I was not in a tizz about not having my phone connected to me for a day. I coped the whole day without worrying about if anyone had tried to call me (mum was the only missed call, nothing urgent), not having the urge to fill a spare moment by checking social media or even taking a photo to remember the moment (the view of the city from the work retreat was spectacular!). The my family coped without knowing the exact moment I was on my way home and didn’t even noticed that I had not sent a text to say I was ok.

I was not always this calm without being connected into technology. The difference was that I had just returned from my holiday which I had made into a 2 week digital sabbatical. I recently had listened to The Slow Home podcast with William Powers and not long before that had seen Brooke from Slow Your Home take a digital sabbatical in July for her family holiday. This had inspired me to disconnect and fully immerse myself to take time out for me and my family.

Do you feel the urge to constantly check your phone? Are you constantly glued to a screen? Do you feel anxious when you are not connected to technology? Just before my holiday I listened to a great conversation on One Minute Mindfulness Show about Digital Twitch. As a family we have the no technology at the dinner table with phones away and TV off, no phones to be gazed at whilst speaking with each other, no phone checking in the bedroom, and overall have slowed down our use of technology that is distracting us from living life. We are modelling to our son a better way to be mindful with technology.

We have had moments where we as parents have not been the best example, particularly when I was working heaps on the computer back in July and August on a couple of education courses. I got the reality check I needed when I was at the Twenty8 HLE graduation in Mooloolaba, watching my son wizz around Underwater World Aquarium pretending to use each of the display signs as a computer, typing away. When asked to stop and look at the fish around him my son remarked ‘I’m busy’. From this I made a conscious effort to be more mindful of how I was using technology around my son.

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Underwater World, Mooloolaba

In preparation for my digital sabbatical I turned off all Facebook notifications on my phone and removed the short cuts to social media from my home screen. I have heard some people even go the length of deleting the app entirely off their phone; I didn’t go this far. The first day of my holiday I picked up my phone out of habit, remembered my promise to myself and consequently put the phone back in my hand bag. The phone suddenly had no purpose in my present moment. I spent the next 2 weeks hardly touching my phone. There were a couple of moments when I was on the in presence of a group on my retreat where the conversation turned to everyone checking their phones. While everyone’s heads were down I was enjoying sitting on the pool deck soaking in the morning sunshine on my back.

Being on holidays and being fully disconnected was bliss. I was enjoying the company of others with much laughter and conversation with new friends at the retreat. I was taking photos for me, not with a view to share them with the world on social media. Even husband found himself checking social media hardly ever. Our second week we stayed high up in the Byron hinterland which was an enforced disconnection as there was extremely limited mobile coverage, no WI-FI and patchy TV reception. I thoroughly enjoyed the simple pleasures of spending time with my family, reading a book and many a time gazing out over the valley enjoying the ever changing vista that surrounded us.

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Vista from Toolond Plantation

Since our holiday I have chosen not to turn the notifications back on Facebook or to return social media back to my home screen. I have dramatically reduced my FOMO (fear of missing out) on social media. I have added a message on my lock screen “Be mindful”, which catches me when I find myself picking up my phone in a spare moment.

Have you thought about how connected you are to technology? Would you give a digital sabbatical a go?

 

 

Missing in Action

Wow, the past few months have flown past and things have been pretty quiet here on the blog, but I can assure you it has been far from quiet for me. So much has been happening. Here is a snippet of the whirlwind:

May – The MINDD Forum and Day with Cyndi were action packed. As a family we enjoyed the Vivid Light Festival in town.

2015-05-26 027 Vivid

Vivid at Customs House, Sydney

June – From the MINDD forum I was in a spin with some new found direction on healing my body, finding a new piece of the puzzle to work on. I found a couple of Integrative doctors and started working on improving my health in a new way. My mind was racing with the new knowledge and how it has impacted on my life, even since high school. What kept me grounded was my focus on Twenty8 HLE and my fortnightly webinars with my Sparklers.

DSC_1023 Rainbow

Double rainbow in June

July – End of July was a very eventful time with the graduation of Twenty8 HLE Program in Mooloolaba Queensland, I commenced the July Intake of Changing Habits Online Education Course plus I also commenced a TAFE course. I have a love of learning, a passion to expand myself and a tendency to keep myself busy. 

2015-08-01 005 HLE

With Kim Morrison at the Twenty8 HLE Graduation Dinner

August – I began to realise that I had a bit too much on my plate and the stress, anxiety and sleepless nights began to creep back into my life. Not good timing considering it was also the time of my son’s birthday and the time of year where I reflect on the journey I have been on with postpartum psychosis and bringing up a lot of emotions for me.

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My son’s birthday cake (sans lollies)

In the craziness of August I won tickets to the Wellness Summit in Melbourne! Wow, this was definitely an experience not to pass on, so my husband and I had a quick weekend away in Melbourne. It was amazing to be surrounded by almost 700 people who are wanting to be the change in their wellbeing.

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A multitude of speakers at the Wellness Summit, Melbourne

To top off August I did my first market stall at my local gym!

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My display of Twenty8 essential oils and skincare at Fitness First Sylvania

September – A hard slog of long nights and strung out days completing the TAFE course; I am so grateful it was only a 9 week course. TAFE consumed all my spare time meaning little time to share my story with you.

Well September is almost at an end and it is time for me to slow down a bit. My mind has been racing a lot trying to work out my health issues, wanting to do so much as a new graduate of Twenty8 HLE, as well as juggling the family, the household and work. My head hurts just looking at what I have been up to lately. So you may be wondering, how did I cope? How did I manage to take on all these bits and pieces?

To be honest I have struggled a lot in the past few months trying to keep it all together. I overstretched and overwhelmed myself attempting to do too many things all at once.  When I overstretch some things suffer; when I am overwhelmed I suffer. Unfortunately these tend to be things that are most important to me like my wellbeing and my relationships with those close to me. Thankfully the universe is looking out for me and has sent in supports to give me strength and keep me moving forward, with friends contacting me just when I need it most (Thanks Christin, Henry, Maria and Stuart!).

There have been two crucial things that have kept me from falling apart recently; self-care and simplicity.

Self-care – my daily rituals of self-care have been my anchor on days when things seem tough. My rituals have been my way of checking in with myself and showing myself some compassion, that I am doing enough, I am enough and I have enough. Twenty8 Peace and Meditation has been my go to a lot lately in my daily rituals as way to calm the chatter in my mind and ground me to the present moment.

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Peace and Meditation

Simplicity – I have simplified and slowed down my life in the past 3 years, resulting a simple rhythm I follow day to day. I have de-cluttered over time, reducing the amount of possessions I have to care for and clean. Each day I have one chore to achieve like Monday is the day I wash the towels, and if that is all I get done for the day, that’s ok. I have slowed down our schedule, not over committing ourselves on the weekends, which allows us opportunities to go with the flow like go on a bush walk to ground ourselves again and disconnect from the world. 

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Recent bushwalk to Karloo Pools

Have you had a lot on lately too? What way some of the ways you cope when you are overstretched and overwhelmed?

 

Changing Habits

Sarah’s Lemon Cake

I baked a scrumptious lemon cake to share for afternoon tea with my Great Uncle. Can you guess the secret ingredient? Twenty8 Lemon Essential Oil.

Essential oils in cooking are a great way to add flavour. It was part of my weekly rituals on the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator Program to create a food recipe unique to you using an essential oil. I am going to share my recipe with you.

Ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 160C fan-forced. Grease deep 19cm square cake pan; line base and sides with baking paper
  2. Beat butter, lemon essential oil and rapadura sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time. If you add to quickly you end up with a sloppy, eggy cake.
  4. Stir in milk and flour, don’t over-mix. Pour into cake pan
  5. Bake cake for about 1 hour
  6. Stand cake in pan for 5 minutes; Serve warm

Enjoy!

Garlic

Did you know that if you rub garlic on your feet that you will taste garlic in 30 minutes? This is a cool fact I learnt in Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator Program (HLE).

A few months ago I noticed a red, raised, rash-like patch the size of 20 cents on my armpit. I had no idea what it could be and it proceeded to get extremely hot, irritated and itchy especially being located in my already hot, sweaty armpit. It only got worse as rashes to began to appear on my other arm pit as well.

At first I thought it might have been an unusual way of detoxing as lymph nodes, which are part of your immune systems that help fight infection and disease, are found in the arm pit area as well as many other areas in your body. Then I saw on a low-tox Facebook group a number of other people were asking about rashes in their arm pits. I was not alone! However, it turned out that most of these people had made a recent switch to natural deodorant like Black Chicken. In my case I had made the switch to a natural deodorant months prior and it didn’t contain bicarb.

Not knowing what I had I asked my Mother-in-law. One look and she said ‘ringworm’. Great I have worms! Actually I had a fungus tinea also known as athletes foot. Ringworm thrives in wet, moist areas, particularly if you sweat a lot, and is highly contagious. Ringworm, like candida, may be caused by my ongoing issues with gut dysbiosis. One Google search mentioned “GAPS Diet along with antifungal herbs, supps would be great help. Fungal infections also are indicators of low immunity. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell, fungus overgrowth wouldn’t clear up until mercury/heavy metals are gone from the body. She says fungus is there to protect you from heavy metals. …B vitamin deficiencies, zinc, magnesium, vitamin A, C, E, D all are immune boosters. When they are low, body won’t function the way it should.” This particularly interesting as healing my gut is a work in progress. After the MINDD Forum listening to Dr Natasha in person I am looking into GAPS and I am currently getting tested by a holistic doctor following up some of ahas about my health, particularly around vitamin deficiencies and heavy metals levels.

I started treating the ringworm with over the counter anti-fungal creams, the heavy duty strength version where they recommend no longer that 2 weeks usage. Not particularly encouraging to use especially when you are applying this to your highly absorbent arm-pit area. I even tried a natural version of a over the counter anti-fungal cream. Creams didn’t really have an effect.

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Twenty8 Lavender

Dr Google wasn’t much help as there as so many ways people recommend to treat ringworm, some even saying its difficult to treat or incurable despite it being so common. I was confused on what to do and reluctant to go to the doctor to get prescription medication. So I turned to my trusty essential oils. Lavender and Tea tree essentials oils have great anti-fungal, anti-microbial properties and these two oils in particular are safe to apply directly to the skin. Not having a pure therapeutic grade tea tree essential oil that I could trust I used my Twenty8 Lavender essential oil. Every first aid kid should contain Lavender.

Over the next few weeks the redness and itchiness subsided and the initial patch began to heal. But other rashes persisted and were starting to drive me bonkers. In my Twenty8 HLE course I started to learn the different properties of essential oils. I thought a synergistic effect of a combination of anti-fungal oils would be more effective than Lavender alone. I started to do a mini-massage on my arm pits with half a teaspoon of sweet almond oil and 1 drop of Twenty8 Immune Boost. This had the desired effect and slowly my arm pits started to recover slightly, but the ringworm still persisted. The tea tree oil I did have on hand I used as an anti-fungal laundry rinse aid by adding a few drops (or perhaps a drizzle) to each load of laundry as ringworm can be extremely contagious and spread easily in a household. Tea Tree essential oil certainly made our clothes, sheets and towels smell amazing!

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Calm Kids by Jennifer Jefferies

I was at the stage of seeking medical advice to combat the ringworm that had plagued me for months now. I had hoped with the advent of the winter months and the cooler weather this would help settle down my skin. I was sick and tired of having itchy, irritated armpits. Whilst reading Calm Kids book (recommended reading in Twenty8 HLE) I read that garlic can be used on older children to treat ringworm.

I decided to try the garlic option as it seemed easy enough. A sliver of raw garlic rubbed directly onto the skin. You may experience a slightly burning sensation if you get the garlic on unaffected skin, but the relief from the itchiness is almost instant. Its the caprylic acid in garlic that is anti-fungal and which is also found in coconut oil, another recommended option to treat ringworm. What I discovered after the fact was that it should have disclaimer on the numerous sites claiming garlic is an effective treatment. After I treated myself with garlic I Googled an explanation as to why I became so ill. A side effect of garlic can be diarrhoea, stomach issues, nausea, gas in some individuals like this and this website mentions. I got all these symptoms in spades along with loss of appetite not surprisingly, and this was most likely caused by the toxins excreted from the fungal die-off.

However, within three applications of raw garlic onto my armpits over three days my ringworm has almost cleared completely. It took over a week to start to feel like my stomach was happy with me again and to be able to eat without wanting to gag. I continue to apply the anti-fungal creams and essential oils now that the ringworm appears to under control.

Have you tried any natural remedies for ringworm? Or a natural treatment for skin conditions?

Moments in May

Things have been a bit quiet lately here on the blog but I can tell you it has been far from quiet for me. I have so many thoughts racing around my head I just need to slow down and write them out and to share them with you all.

So what have I been up to?

I attended my first MINDD Forum on 15-17 May in Sydney. These three days have awakened me to just how much we as a society have caused damage to not just ourselves, but also our future generations. I am still processing all that I learnt from the amazing speakers and researchers at the MINDD Forum so I will pop my take home messages from MINDD into future blog posts. I have learnt so much and have had many aha moments, particularly on my own health. I got a chance to meet Alexx Stuart in person and l loved listening to Alexx talk about Discovery not Deprivation and taste test her delicious turmeric cinnamon custard and berry jelly. Plus I got to reconnect with old friends from Awaken the Change Within Retreat and make new friends! For a fantastic overview listen to the recent Up For a Chat podcast where Kim and Cyndi chat about what they took away from the MINDD Forum. I have already popped the dates for next year’s MINDD Forum in my calendar, can’t wait for Dr Kelly Brogan!

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I visited the Pregnancy, Babies and Children’s Expo in Homebush, Sydney. No I am not pregnant, rather a close girl friend of mine is pregnant and we spent the day together checking out the expo. It was a eye-opener in a very different way, especially as I now have my simple living filters on. Think of the Guilty Mum segment from ABC The Checkout. All the different products shoved under our noses touting as the next best thing we can’t live without as mothers. It was a very different experience compared to when I went three years ago as a mum-to-be. It was great to see a few eco-friendly products and organic personal care ranges popping up, however disappointing on the lack of cloth nappy stalls that were present. When I attended previously there was a great selection of cloth nappies displayed, perfect for new parents to check out what is out there. I found a stainless steel baby bottle range that looked promising until they demonstrated the self-warming feature; a single-use sachet of a chemical substance that heats up once added to water. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t come in contact with my child’s food, I simply don’t want that chemical substance any where near me thank you, not to mention that you can only buy that substance from that particular company only. The highlight of the day was seeing my son smile with delight as his favourite characters Ben and Holly from The Little Kingdom performed on stage. Big people, big people!

I had a ball volunteering at Changing Habits Day with Cyndi in Sydney on 23 May. Read more about my Day with Cyndi here.

From the MINDD Forum’s many aha moments I am following up with a holistic General Practitioner some underlying symptoms, many of which I have had since I was a teenager, which relate back to my theory that the reason I developed Postpartum Psychosis has something to do with nutrient deficiencies. I am waiting on a raft of test results to come back to see if my hunch was right! Keep you posted.

With all this new information coming in I am taking the time to process it all and absorb this knowledge in ways that can improve my health. I also continue to study the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator Program, furthering my education and working on my homework each week.

The universe has been speaking to me a lot late, almost to the point of yelling. Some new opportunities have presented to me and I am releasing my urge to control everything and to just enjoy the process and see where the universe leads me. I am putting plans in place to undertake some TAFE studies in semester 2 this year. I am networking with new opportunities to put myself out there as a Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator, such as being apart of the Member’s Appreciation day at my local gym and working together with a friend from the gym who just so happens to be an new Intimo Representative.

So things have been a tad busy, and it has been enjoyable although slightly tiring. I am grateful for my family supporting me during this time, particularly as I have not been on the ball as much as usual around our home or being as present as I would normally due to either being lost in a myriad of thoughts or a daze of tiredness. I am taking the time to slow down, rest and recharge so that I can better look after myself, so that I then I can better look after my family and those around me. What have you been up to lately?

 

Smell of attraction

I am three weeks into the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator course and loving it. I have found a lovely new tribe welcoming me with open arms, so many beautiful, supportive souls. The modules are easy to manage each week, even while running a home, working and have a toddler running around. I love the short videos of Kim Morrison we get with each module.

Listening to the video this week got me thinking about some research I recall from my university studies. Kim was chatting about how when we inhale an aroma it has an effect on us for example certain smells remind us of our childhood. Kim was telling us how smell can attract other human beings and using essential oils on our body can interact with our pheromones and hormones to create our own unique smell, in comparison to a perfume which smells the same on any body. This got me thinking of the amusing white t-shirt experiment.

For 2 nights men wore a white t-shirt to bed and then returned it to the researchers. The following day a smell test is conducted where women smell 6 of the men’s white t-shirts and asked to rank their preference of odour. The results found that those t-shirts which were ranked as being more ‘pleasant’ are more genetically different from that of the judging woman. This effect is reversed in women who were taking oral contraceptives. This suggests that odour may play a role in our mate preferences. Being dissimilar promotes healthy genetic diversity and a stronger immune system. This research also parallels what happens in mice and rats. Source: MHC genes, body odours, and odour preferences

The ‘Chemistry of Attraction’ was on ABC Catalyst a couple of years ago and referred to the t-shirt experiment. Here is a short video from a documentary in 2000 replicating this experiment.

Makes you realise how powerful the sense of smell is and gives you a greater understanding as to how essential oils and aromatherapy work! Looking forward to more ‘aha’s in the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator program.

Time to get a journal

We have all had a moment in time, usually in childhood, where we write our deepest, darkest secrets in a diary. For most of us though the act of writing our inner thoughts in a diary wanes after a while. For others it morphs into list making as a way to keep life organised. I have always been one for lists, written on odd bits of paper, post it notes both hard copy and virtual, and running to do list in my head. This system of lists had worked until a big gust of wind came along and scattered lists everywhere.

Those winds were Postpartum Psychosis. As I descended into psychosis my list making increased, writing endless notes on bits of paper to remember what I needed to do, when to feed the baby, what questions to ask people about things I wasn’t sure of, list after list. I remember getting an exercise book out one morning as a journal and pouring out the contents of my head to try to get my thoughts to stop racing. I even attempted to get a diary working for me to work out upcoming appointments for our son and me as I was having trouble keeping track of days and time.

As I recovered, with my memory shot to pieces, I struggled to keep track of what things needed doing. If it wasn’t written down, it didn’t get done. I started off using our kitchen whiteboard to jot down what chores needed doing, upcoming appointments, and general tid bits. I progressed to Evernote app and Google calendar, both of which were very handy as I can sync with my husband. The downfall of technology however was it was out of sight, out of mind and not a reliable method of recording quick thoughts as notes.

This all changed August last year when I came across bullet journalling. Back to the old school pen and paper method the original bullet journal concept makes it so easy to be organised. Just jot down tasks on a day to day list, any tasks not done in the month get rolled onto the month to do list, as well a monthly view calendar. Any special topics e.g. Christmas lists, holiday checklists can be created as a separate page and indexed. Everything is in the one place with symbols distinguishing between tasks, events, notes. There is not any particular type of diary you have to buy for it to work, any blank note book will do. The lists can be as big or as small as you like, with no pressure to write in a pre-defined area, and its ok if you skip a day (or two!) So simple!

Here is a video by the creator of Bullet Journal to give you an overview:

Since I started bullet journalling my productivity has sky rocketed. I feel a sense of accomplishment as I tick off things on my to do list. I am motivated to complete tasks that have been hanging around on my monthly lists for too long. I don’t forget the little things to do as I now write them down on the day I think of them; it doesn’t mean I have to get it done that day. I even started a bullet journal at work to help keep organised and on track with all the tasks I am working on. I would be so lost without bullet journalling.

I still use the kitchen whiteboard as a place for meal plan ideas, chore prompting, and the occasional upcoming event. All events are synced into our Google calendars, so my husband and I both know what is coming up for our family. I use Evernote a lot for occasional notes like books to read, photos of receipts, wish list items and other random notes. My go-to master list is now my Gratitude Diary 2015 (from Biome) with the bullet journalling to do lists and notes, as well as my daily gratitudes, all in one convenient location. If I feel like I am getting overwhelmed or lost my rhythm I call a 5 five minute time out where I can brain dump everything into my diary.

2015-03-27 Diary

My gratitude diary (from Biome)

I start the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator Program next Monday and I am so excited to be learning everything there is know about essential oils and self-care from the passionate Kim Morrison. I received the first email this week in preparation for the start of the course and it was titled “Time to get a Journal”. At first I was hesitant to be writing my flowing thoughts into a journal. I now see this as an opportunity to expand my daily journalling practice, and as a way to document my feelings, thoughts and learnings on the Twenty8 HLE course as an investment in myself.

Are you a list maker? Do you write your musings in a journal? Or are your a bullet journal fan?

Investment in myself

As part of my journey in health I am investing in myself and in a months time I will begin the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Education (HLE) Program by the amazing Kim Morrison. The Twenty8 HLE Program is a nationwide training program aimed at improving the health and wellness of the individual, their family and community through the use of essential oils and ritualised aromatherapy practices.

At the Awaken the Change Within retreat 2014 I came away feeling empowered. I love everything about Twenty8 and Kim’s philosophy about self-care and rituals with essential oils. At ATCW retreat I was entranced by Kim’s passion for wholistic wellness, and her ability to talk endlessly about the benefits of essential oils and chemical free living. One of the sessions got me really thinking, invest in my self. Don’t make excuses like “I don’t have the time” or “I don’t have the money”, just make the decision and the universal business will sort out the rest. If you want to change careers, do it. If you want to go back to school and study, do it. If you want to start your own business, do it. I really wanted to be apart of the HLE program so that weekend I signed up on the spot.

In preparation for the start of the HLE program in March 2015, I recently received my parcels of Twenty8 goodness, beautifully wrapped and smelling divine with Immune Boost essential oil.

2015-02-14 001 Parcels

Twenty8 parcels delivered to my door

  • Complete set of essential oil synergy blends
2015-02-14 004 Blends

Twenty8 Synergy Blends

  • Complete Age-Defying Skincare Kit
2015-02-14 003 Skin care

Twenty8 Skincare Kit

  • Complete Body Boost Pack
  • Oil Vaporiser
  • Like Chocolate for Women top selling book

I am so excited to be learning and growing more and to be joining the fantastic Twenty8 team!

 

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