I’m not sure if you remember? Around three months ago I sent out a quick video blog, talking about the changes I’d decided to make this year and the surprising, yet positive way it had begun to impact on other areas of my life. I was so amazed that at the time I wanted to share it with everyone.
Last year from the outside everything looked great. I had a beautiful clinic, my business was growing steadily, I had two healthy children, a loving and supportive husband, but internally I felt terrible!
I actually didn’t realise how bad I felt, until one day at work, as I was about to perform a procedure I’d carried out hundreds of times, I thought, I can’t do this anymore! My whole body started to shake and I wanted to sprint home there and then, pull the duvet over my head and cry!
The best way I can describe it was like an intense flight or flight moment, only this time there was no tiger chasing me!
The whole experience came completely out of the blue and unexpected.
Luckily at the time, I was with one of my long-term clients, who I now class as a friend. She helped calm me down and as she left, I somehow got through the rest of my day.
With a full diary of clients booked in for the foreseeable future, I made an appointment with my GP. He advised it was anxiety through stress and offered me medication. I didn’t take it (but more on that later). He also decided to run a thyroid function test, which came back negative.
The multiple break ins to my work premises didn’t help, so at the end of November, I made the tough decision to not renew my lease and temporarily return to my workroom at home. It was coming up to Christmas, so I knew I had two weeks to breathe and gather my thoughts.
Over the Christmas holiday I reflected lots. I realised that my work life balance was completely zero! I’d taken only a few weeks maternity leave after my second child Ava was born, at the same time renovating and moving in to my new clinic.
Three years on, I was struggling to meet the demands of my growing business and the demands of my growing children. I’d actually refused to allow myself to take time off in my mind, from my business and relax for over seven years!
The evenings were spent running to and from kids clubs, whilst simultaneously booking appointments, answering messages and writing blogs.
The days I did have off, were spent catching up on household duties. In a moment of madness, thinking I could take on the world, I’d also decided to start a new hobby, revisiting my stage performing days. This involved huge rehearsal commitments on late nights and weekends. Was it any wonder I was at breaking point?
For those who’ve never experienced what burn out feels like, all I can say is it’s an awful scary place.
Your confidence disappears overnight and you feel a shadow of your former self. Your nerves are so fraught that normal things such as handling a coffee cup or pouring a drink feel like a big deal. Feeling so fragile and broken you begin to isolate yourself from social situations. Physically you can also feel light headed and unsteady and your mind constantly goes into overdrive.
Instead of logically being able to see what’s happening (your mind saying please give me complete rest) you begin to panic that there may be something seriously wrong. You spend your time searching for miracle cures that will help you feel normal again, when in fact all you’re doing is perpetuating the cycle and symptoms further!
Knowing change was needed, at the turn of 2016 I made the following a priority
- Commitment to Self care – this was first and foremost, no negotiation
- Boundary setting with my work schedule and time
- Being content with working from home for now and servicing the needs of my regular clients.
- Taking off my menu, treatments that felt out of alignment with who I am.
So Lets Talk Self-Care
One hour was all I was looking for a day, but I just couldn’t find it. I suddenly realised that the only option was mornings, before the kids woke up for school. Not being a morning person this was a big change in itself.
It was wintertime and I would set my alarm early, get my kit on and go straight into my garden and do 30 minutes of exercise. This would involve either a HITT or yoga session. I would then take 5 minutes to sit in silence and the remaining time to journal, write affirmations and set some goals.
About 3 weeks in I began to feel something shift. The funny thing is, i wasn’t looking for it, but I started to feel stronger mentally. My work became even busier, doing the kind of work and clients I love. New clients still wanted to book, which I now felt able to handle.
People kept telling me how refreshed I looked. My new routine was also subtly directing me to healthier choices, without me realising it. I naturally wanted to reduce my alcohol intake to practically zero and started going to bed earlier so I could make the most of my mornings.
I also began to notice strong signs of divine timing, strange coincidences, almost as if the universe was rearranging things, so opportunity for healing and growth could flow. I’ve always been quite intuitive and somewhat spiritual, but it felt stronger than before. I’ve always read around these subjects for what must be over 10 years, but I found myself being pulled in that direction more.
This Brings Me To The Following
I’ve always enjoyed yoga as I could instantly feel its benefits on my body and mind. During my darkness, I had a strong desire to delve deeper and enhance my practice.
I struggled locally to find a class that gave me the after feelings I craved, so I decided to learn more from someone I’ve looked up to and admired for a long time. A lady called Tara Stiles who is based in New York City.
After many years of yoga practice and teaching, Tara decided to create her own style of yoga called Strala.
This was done in conjunction with her partner Mike Taylor. Mike studied mind body medicine at Harvard and complimentary medicine at Oxford. He is also a martial arts expert, practicing tai chi and qi gong for the past 30 years.
Tara was referred to in the New York Times as a yoga rebel and the coolest yoga guide of her time. Since its creation Strala has attracted people from all around the globe, who have felt the amazing benefits. She now teaches other people how to guide Strala around the world and is the personal instructor to Deepak Chopra.
Divine Timing Orchestrated my Visit
Out of the blue in June, my mom offered to take the kids on holiday abroad. They’ve never been away from me for more than a couple of days, so I was a bit apprehensive. My intuition told me to check Tara’s website to see what dates she was running her intense training courses. Low and behold the course dates fell on the exact dates that my mom had offered to take the kids – unreal or what?
I asked for a sign and straight away an angel song came on the radio. As I walked into the supermarket, Eurythmics there must be an angel was playing. Then an angel shop requested me on Instagram (all in the space of 3 hours).
I took the signs as a positive and made a quick decision to let the kids go and booked my flight to New York. I planned to travel and stay alone. With everything booked there was no backing out!
I was so nervous the very first day in class, but afterwards, I had never felt so certain that I was exactly where I was meant to be at that moment in time.
Strala helped me gain a whole new perspective on things, revealing so many revelations that I believed accelerated my healing and recovery. I cried on the way home with overwhelm, it was so life changing!
I was so proud the day I received my training certificate. The certificate means I can guide and help others, should I choose to.
Relating back to the work I do with skin, I truly feel that the skin, body and mind should be seen and treated as a whole entity. It’s impossible to look and feel as amazing as we can, if inside we’re imbalanced, our energy is stuck and we’re unable to fizzle out built up tension and stress.
Strala is described as a way of being, moving and healing that helps people connect with how they feel, move how it feels good and handle challenges with ease. It expands your limits, cracks you open, so you reveal your true radiant and inspiring self.
Strala is different because it activates the body’s relaxation response. A chemical needed for overall health, healing and wellbeing. This doesn’t happen in common yoga or exercise systems, which stimulate cortisol production (not good if you’re already stressed) In other forms of yoga this often happens by forcing, or pushing yourself into poses which feel uncomfortable, like you often see on social media.
When we’re bathed in stress hormones we’re less able to see options available to us, less creative and intuitive. We’re more likely to gain weight, have poor skin, and suffer injury, or a variety of stress related disorders.
When we spend most of our time living within the relaxation response, we get happy, creative and intuitive, it feels amazing!
In short :
Your body. Becomes strong, lean and smoking hot! This is what it looks like when you make friends with your body and respond to what you need
Your Mind. Is elevated, connected, calm, switched on, you’re in the flow.
Your Life. Gets fun, fearless, fabulous and radiant.
What i’ve discovered is everything starts with you and the relationship you have with yourself. When you make you a priority and dedicate time for self care your life begins to transform.
Going forward I plan to share the amazing things I’ve learnt along my journey to help others who are struggling.
Those struggling with anxiety, feeling stuck and unable to move forward. Or those that simply want to look and feel as good as they possibly can.
skin, health, wellbeing – It’s all connected!