Elisabeth Grover
07794351958

Month: October 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Living your Values – part 4

Hi Everyone,

Today I am continuing our look at personal values by beginning to put them into context with the rest of your life. There will be a few posts to follow on this subject as it is such a great start to creating a conscious life.

Over the past few weeks, you will hopefully have made the time alone to reflect on the important things in your life. You may have looked at the list of items that resonate with you and the values that they represent. You could be aware of where your values clash and the pressure points that may cause you pain.

You are making a really good start to creating a conscious life.

Today I am going to take you through a really good coaching tool called The Wheel of Life. This can help you to chunk down your life into manageable parts so you can look at each section in time. I look at my Wheel every month and see how the sections are changing positively and negatively, and think about what I can do about this.

Firstly, I’d like you to draw an image of a circle on a piece of paper and draw lines which split it into 10.  You can draw it in Excel or Word if you prefer a more formal look.

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For each slice, I’d like you to name a category. I use the following but you can choose words which resonate with you.

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Personal development
  • Personal finance
  • Business/Career.
  • Spirituality
  • Personal environment – home and work
  • Health and fitness
  • Giving Back/Community/Charity
  • Rest and relaxation.

How does it feel to segment your life in this way?

Are there sections that make your heart soar?

Perhaps there are parts that make it sink? What is it about this part that makes you feel so negatively?

Today’s task:

I would like you to choose a number that represents where you feel you are in each segment of your life,

For example, in the Personal Development section, you would  love to read more personal development books but just don’t have the time. You are passionate about changing and improving yourself so , instead of reading, you watch one 10-minute personal development Youtube video a week whilst writing your emails.

For this, I would mark the Personal Development section as a 5. You have the drive and interest but struggle to do the things you would like to and you are distracted whilst watching  the video. There’s a lot of room for improvement but you’re not in a dreadful situation of a 1 or a 2.

So go through each section and give yourself a mark out of ten. You can take your time over this and do it over the course of a week. That way you really immerse yourself in how you are feeling about each section, and that can help you to create a good starting point.

If you get stuck, email me and I will help you to find the number that resonates.

I won’t be writing to you next Sunday so you will have a couple of weeks to complete this. You can make the wheel as pretty or as functional as you like. If you are a creative soul, you may like to hand-draw and add images so that you want to spend time with the Wheel. This is why it’s such a great tool, it suits everyone. So enjoy your fortnight of looking at your life and I’ll catch up again soon.

Liz x

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Image and further instruction about how to draw the Wheel of Life  in Excel, courtesy of www.homeandlearn.co.uk 

 

 

 

Living your Values – Part 3

Hi Everyone,

It’s been another  stunning Sunday and a week has flown by. Around the fields and woods in my local area of Harpenden, the trees are starting to change. The beautiful colours resonate with me and walking through the woods make me feel joyful and free. Being at one in nature is so calming to my soul. On my walks this week, I have been reflecting about how little time I now spend reading my books, and this seemed like a good starting point for my article today.

I have always been an avid reader, and I would happily devour a number of different types of books a week. When my children were little, they saw books as a big part of my life and I found a way to make ‘addictive reading ‘work around my young family. It’s important to me that my readers are aware that the self-care topics I talk about in my posts are achievable to you with your young family.

Reading gave me a great deal of pleasure, but since setting up my business this year, my reading time has been taken up with writing blog posts, articles and emails, with networking in various groups and creating images for my website. These aspects are amongst other things you need to do when running your own business.

This has led to a clash in my values and causes me some pain. On one hand, I love learning and delving into a good non-fiction to pick up some hints, but on the other, my ambition for my business is pulling me the other way. I feel that tension when I get up and the little pile of books by my bed  that I used to read, look sorrowfully at me while I sit down at the computer and reply to emails or create a new image in Canva.

So I would like you to look at your list today and tell me which ones do not sit comfortably together?

Maybe you are a mum with young children, and you are desperately trying to maintain the sacred sanity of alone-time while balancing the needs of your family. The clash of family duty v solitude could cause difficulties for you and lead to some feelings of conflict.

Perhaps you are used to a level of fitness, but your new baby makes that difficult to achieve. You have to arrange childcare before you go out for your run and that makes it difficult to achieve, especially when you are tired. What can you do to feel better physically that fits in around your baby?

You may be a working mum desperately trying to compartmentalise your life so that you can balance your work, family and still see your friends and have fun. You can see three differing values competing and you may need to look at each one in turn. What is it about our work that you enjoy? Perhaps you want to make a difference, and work brings you that sense of satisfaction that you don’t get anywhere else in your life, but your time is severely limited. Your friends want to spend time with you, and you want to have fun with them, but things have changed for you since the baby came along.

So this is just a taster for you to think about this week. Let me know how you get on and where your conflicts lie. I will share some of my clashes with you in my  post next Sunday. Until then, have a great week and remember to make a little time for yourself.

Liz x

Living your Values – part 2

Hi Everyone,

How are you feeling on this Sunday morning? I’m looking out of my window into the garden and it’s a lovely autumnal day here in Hertfordshire, UK so I’m feeling good! I get up early to do my meditations and morning pages before I start to write my posts and it’s great to watch the sunrise and see what kind of weather is greeting me today.

So….today’s big question…..did you make some time to look at your values and pick your three favourites?

Which ones stood out for you?

Perhaps you struggled to do the exercise from last week? If time is short, you may have felt that it can just be one more thing to do, and there’s plenty of other people and activities competing for your attention. I’d like to reassure you that this is ok and today’s article has been written with you in mind. We will be looking at ways of finding your values and the joy in your life in a quick and easy way.

I feel that it’s important to take the time to yourself to breathe and reflect, even when it’s busy (probably more so when you are busy). When doing this, you are saying to your inner being that you are important and worth it. So if you are a mum with babies or toddlers, you may find five minutes when the children have a nap or perhaps you could get up a little earlier in the morning before they are awake. If it’s the weekend, maybe your partner could take the children out for a short walk leaving you to spend some time alone. Think about the possibilities in your week for some gentle solitude.

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When you find your special five minutes, I would like you to take a notebook and pen and find somewhere quiet in your house to do this exercise. It can be your living room or a corner of your bedroom, wherever feels calming to you. I’d like you to sit here quietly in a comfortable position, either on the floor or in a chair, back straight, and settle into this tranquil place with some nice deep breaths. Nice long inhale and exhale. Watching your thoughts as they float in and out.

Sit here for one minute, watching the breath and just allow yourself to be.

Now take your notebook and pen and write down a list of events from the week previously. Just a quick list which can look a little like.

“Loaded the dishwasher, remembered how much I hate doing it; felt resentful that David never offers to help.”
“Made dinner, Emma refused to eat it. I had spent 45 minutes cooking it; I wanted to cry.”
“We walked to school, Sam wouldn’t keep up; I felt angry and frustrated that we were going to be late again.”
“I talked to Jenna at the school gate, she told me about her latest house renovations; I felt inadequate and jealous.”
“Put Josh down for a nap, and I collapsed in a chair as I felt so exhausted.”

Once you have a few episodes in your week written down on paper, start to look for the hidden gems in there. The small things that made it worthwhile, the things that made you smile. It may have been a challenging week, and you can only find one good thing, and that’s fine too. Life can be difficult when the children take over your life. But look at that one thing.

What was it?

Your top three values may be caring, support and duty at the moment, and it may not feel like you (these three can be exhausting when they are your top three) but it’s only for now, and it’s important to remember that. It will improve.

So back to your gem, what was it? The smell of clean washing as you take it out of the washing machine? The joy of walking to school in the autumnal, watching the beautiful trees as they change colour over time? Perhaps it’s the sound of crisp, crunchy leaves under foot or the warmth of the sun on your face as you walk?

Maybe you met up with a friend and talked about deeper issues in your lives, and this made you feel warm and supported by her. Other women can be a great support to each other in times of stress so it’s worth asking for help if you can.

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It’s important to remember that if you are feeling very low and struggle to find one thing in your week that has brought you joy because you are exhausted and overwhelmed you may feel that it’s a good time to look at seeking further help. There are lots of sources out there to support women who are struggling with their mental health, and I have listed some below.

My point is that there are some hidden gems in there, it’s just sometimes difficult to see them when you are feeling this way. So find yourself a solitary five minutes this week and do this exercise during your alone time. Light a candle to demonstrate to yourself that you are creating a space that’s just for you. Perhaps you have some soft music to play in the background. Just slow it down and start to really value yourself.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments and to checking in with you next week.

Some links if you are struggling with feelings of sadness and overwhelm.

Mind – Perinatal Mental Health and Postnatal Depression

Mothers for Mothers – Postnatal Depression Support

Depression UK – list of useful links

Depression in British Women – an interesting article from The Daily Telegraph

The Mental Health Foundation – women and mental health

Melanie Lambert – an excellent psychotherapist covering the St Albans and Harpenden area

Living Your Values- Part 1

Well hello there, my fellow serenity-seekers! It’s Sunday morning and great to be here with you today. I hope you’re feeling calm and peaceful and are looking forward to taking a little time to work on yourself. Today, I am going to look at personal values.

I am sitting at my desk as I write this note to you. I love this desk as it’s a large, reclaimed wood dining table and has an incredible warmth and wisdom which helps me to clarify my thoughts. I often wonder what it was before it was my desk and I make up little stories in my head about its history and where the old wood came from.

I’m enjoying the warmth of the room and the candles softly flickering in the dark. I can smell the scent of essential oils softly lifting my spirit while I write my daily journal and affirmations. As soon as I empty my head onto the page, I’m ready to start today’s post.

img_4335 I’ve been thinking deeply about the subject this week. It’s taken me a long time to understand the power of living my values fully but now I understand the importance, I fully embrace the need for writing down the values that I live by.

I was first introduced to the concept when I did my coaching diploma 13 years ago, and I met people who were further along the self-development journey than I was. I learnt so much during my time learning the craft of coaching, and I loved working towards my diploma. It was not long after my fourth child was born and I was a little lost as to who I was. This course helped me get back on track, both by teaching me amazing things and by the people I met along the way.  It was here that I started to embrace the idea of how fundamental values are to your life. It opened my eyes and changed how I lived my life.

I was asked to look at the things in my life that mattered to me and to write them down, similar to my post ’50 Happy Things’. Looking at that list, you can see my values as you read my words. Values are your fundamental beliefs. They are your guiding force. Your reason to be.

So take your pen and your journal and find some space in your day to write down a list of 20 things that are imperative to you.

Look around at the space around you, what do you see?

Pictures of a lovely holiday you had this year?

Images of your toddler taking his first steps?

A funny snapshot of your dog?

Maybe, like me,  you have candles on your desk?

Incense filling the air?

Is there a pile of books waiting to be read ?

A radio playing quiet music in the background?

Spend time enveloping yourself in the things that matter and sit with the feelings that these items invoke.

Today’s task:

  1. Find 10 minutes to yourself in a safe space. Light a candle.  Play soft music if it induces a calm atmosphere. Lock yourself away. Feel the peace surrounding you.
  2. Take your journal and in it write a list of 20 things that make you happy.
  3. Reflect on what these items symbolise to you.
  4.  If you need some help with this exercise, I’ll give you an example.

img_4336 In my list, you’ll see candles, essential oils, the crackling sound of a fire, my journal. These things all represent tranquility, inner peace, and serenity. They also represent solitude and reflection. 

Enjoying time with my children on holiday, our precious time together. You’ll notice that family and connection are important to me.

Hearing and being heard – Listening and reflection are way up on my list. Sitting alongside someone on their life’s journey is something that gives me a great deal of pleasure. ‘Holding the space’ for a friend. Allowing them ‘to be’ without me trying to change anything about the situation or offer friendly advice. 

Self-development books/CD’s/Youtube – these tap into my need to be inspired and motivated. I have a thirst for knowledge and could stay up all night listening or reading as the time passes very quickly for me when I’m engrossed in a book.  

I would add art to this list as painting in my art journal and soaking up beautiful images that others have painted (Pinterest is a big favourite) taps into my creativity and imagination.  

And so on. I hope this list has given you a little inspiration for making some time to yourself and committing your values to paper. In my next post, I’ll talk about what to do when you have these principles written down.

If you are stuck and need a little help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the box below or email me. If you would like to share your values, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Maybe you’d like to tell me about your top three values. Are you making time for your art/your reading/your daily walk?

I’m looking forward to feeling inspired by your thoughts and comments. Until next time.

Liz x

My Vegan Diet – Week Three

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all well and having a lovely week so far.

Today’s vlog follows my journey into a vegan diet. So far so good and I’m really benefiting from the changes I’m implementing. This week I have included Huel, a vegan meal substitute into my diet for those busy days, so check it out and keep following me. You are all my accountability partners so thank you for watching!

 

Wish me luck in week four…

#huel #vegan #veganism

My Favourite 50 Happy Things

Hi Everyone,

I thought that I would write a list of my favourite things today. Sometimes it’s nice to drown yourself in a little warmth and  happiness, and I think Sunday is a great day for self-reflection. So here we go…
1. Candles – Scented from Espa or small tealights in Moroccan tealight holders
2. Blankets – soft and cosy to wrap up in during the winter sitting by the fire. Or while I sit in my hammock to read my book
3. Essential oils
4. Books – non-fiction preferably. There’s so much to learn!

img_42995. Tea -Camomile, Nettle or a good English Breakfast with soya milk

6. The sound of the crackling fire. The smell of the smoke and the heat it provides
7. A bath with essential oils and candles in the room. Drying myself off with fluffy white towels afterwards
8. The sound of the birds and the water trickling in the water feature outside Bumble, my therapy room in the garden
9. The warmth of the sun on my skin when I sit outside with my book
10. Light trickling through a gap in something. I love to capture that in my photographs as it’s so fleeting and beautiful
11. The sound of the boy treble – again, it’s fleeting and precious which is why I love it so much
12. The excitement of finding a vegan cheese that tastes like cheese (that’s an anticipatory item!).
13. My dog
14. Anyone’s dog!

img_429715. Smiley people who look happy to see me, even when I’ve never met them
16. Feeling heard by someone and getting my ideas reflected back to me
17. Getting a retweet, a like or a follow. My business is new so I’m very excited to reach out to new people and hear their thoughts
18. Singing in the car at the top of my voice
19. Smiling as I realise that everyone can hear me singing at the top of the voice
20. Helping at my lunch club for elderly people. The pleasure I get from seeing our guests really enjoy a wonderful hot meal is immeasurable
21. Listening to the stories that the older guests tell me. So much history that will one day disappear. We are back to my ever presence themes of impermanence and the preciousness of time.
22. On the other end of the spectrum, seeing young people enjoying the many pleasures and benefits of scouting activities
23. Enjoying a holiday with my children. I love it when we are all together in the same place and laughing with each other
24. Laughing out loud at something amusing – Youtube video’s of dogs doing funny things get me every time

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25. Music – I could do lots of posts on this one.
26. Chopin Nocturnes (especially Nocturne in C sharp minor)
27. Mozart Clarinet Concerto (2nd movement)
28. Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto (2nd movement)
29. Handel’s Messiah (For unto us a child is born)
30. Jessie by Joshua Kadison. The story behind the song moves me every time.
31. Candle in the Wind by Elton John. A song about impermanence and being misunderstood.
33. True Colours by Cyndi Lauper. Seeing the light in someone else
34. Fresh flowers in a lovely glass vase (Lilies are a favourite)
35. A clean living room (aspirational target!)
36. The gentle sound of a ticking clock is very hypnotic to me
37. Starting a new online course – I love learning
38. Finding a new aspirational website and Youtube channel/podcast.
39. Managing to spend time engrossed in the new aspirational website/podcast/youtube video AND getting my work done all in the SAME DAY!
40. My leather journals
41. Sitting by the sea, listening to the sound of the waves and the seagulls above. The smell of the seaweed. The feel of the sand as I walk
42. A large bookshop with a coffee shop inside. When Borders was still open, it was my favourite part of my US trips.
43. The smell of a new book and the crinkle of the spine as I open it. The first paragraph
44. Feeling proud of someone as they achieve something that means a lot to them
45. Listening to people as they tell me their stories. Seeing the emotion in their face as they talk. What they don’t say is as important as what they say
46. Writing my blog in the morning with a hot drink and the sound of radio 3 in the background
47. Looking through images to see which ones fit the blog theme, adding words to my images
48. Walking in the Lake District on a warm, sunny day
49. Sitting on Great Gable with my picnic, admiring the view
50. Writing lists of 50 lovely things that make me happy

I’d love to hear some of yours so drop me a note in the comments below. Some of my ideas may prompt you to think of others. Looking forward to hearing from you. Until next time….

Losing Weight the Vegan Way

Hi

My vlog today is a personal look at diet and losing weight as I have decided that I really need to make some changes to my lifestyle and weight is at the top of the list. Those who have known me over the years will have seen me in various shapes and forms. I have lost 3 stones on three different occasions…..and then piled it back on.

I seem to over-achieve at the ‘piling-back-on’ bit!!

So I’d love you to follow me on my journey to health and fitness and offer me ideas and suggestions whether or not you are a vegan. Recommendations for cheese substitutions are ALWAYS welcome:)

This video was taken a week ago so I am now on Day 15 so far.  I will be posting another next week to update you. So far I’ve lost a couple of pounds….very slow but going in the right direction (positive self-talk) And I’m STILL not hungry so that’s a great sign.

My Favourite Essential Oils – part 3

Hi everyone,

How are you feeling this morning?  Is the sun shining where you are or is it a little cold and damp perhaps? A day to enjoy being outside, or one to snuggle down with your  fluffy blanket and warm socks?

I hope you have managed to have a look around at your favourite comforting things and picked a couple of items to embrace this week. Sometimes we are so busy that we miss the little things that bring us pleasure and my last post was attempting to take you back to the present moment. img_4222

In today’s post I am going to complete my series of three short articles looking at my fifteen favourite essential oils.  I will finish my journey by looking at Patchouli, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Petitgrain and Rosemary.

Patchouli

Patchouli is a thick, heavy oil with a strong scent. It’s not a smell that I use on its own but as part of a mix that I tend to vaporise at home. It adds a certain depth to the scent, and I like the accents it provides. I sometimes use it in a bath with Rose and Ylang Ylang or Lavender depending on how I’m feeling.

Clary Sage

One that I use with women in labour as it is thought to be an excellent uterine toner. Not everyone likes the smell, but it has such useful properties that it’s worth using in some circumstances. Not to be used during pregnancy for the reasons above.

Frankincense

A great oil to use when meditating as it is thought to have spiritually uplifting properties. I use this in my oil burner in the morning when I’m meditating and writing my journal. I enjoy the smell, and it helps me to focus on my day ahead.

Petitgrain

One of my favourites, taken from the orange but doesn’t smell of orange at all. It’s quite a bitter scent, but I love using this to dot around the pages in my journals and on torn-up kitchen roll for my bag and purse.

Rosemary

I use Rosemary in the same way as I use Petitgrain, and the smell is great when combined with Petitgrain too. I have just been using these two oils on my travels when I placed both oils in my suitcase on some old facecloths. When I arrived at my destination and opened the case, the smell was exquisite.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my personal look at essential oils in these three articles. I find oils so versatile, and I like to share that with you so that you can use them in your daily life too.

Looking forward to catching up with you on Sunday when I will be talking about more comforting little friends I enjoy having around. Until then, have a great week!

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My Little Box of Comforting Things

Hi Everyone,

I’ve just read a book that encapsulates everything I am talking about today.  The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking describes a concept in Denmark, hard to translate into English, but the essence reflects a calming sense of cosiness and feeling good.

My post today looks at my top five comfort measures, my go-to box of tricks that get me through the day and night, things that mean something to me and bring me joy.

  1. Candles 

So where do I start? I picked up The Little Book of Hygge and found that the first chapter was written about candles. I thought to myself ‘I’m home!’. Candles represent a warming, comforting light that I can embrace in both summer and winter. I adore both my scented and unscented candles dotted around various areas throughout my home and ‘Bumble’ my clinic room.

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Little tealights in Moroccan tea light holders are my thing at the moment. I had an amazing time when we were in Spain as the theme is very North Africa so I could have spent a fortune (if I could carry them home). The way that the light diffuses through the tiny holes, providing little glimpses of colour around the room is aesthetically beautiful and wonderfully meditative.

My scented candles are a mix between St Eval  (I particularly love their Inspiritus range) and Espa (both energising and soothing are wonderfully calming) but I do pick up some candles when I’m in Hitchin in a little shop called Harvest Moon.

2. My blankets

Blankets on my sofa, my bed, on the walls of Bumble, you may have guessed how much I love them. I find that they create a wonderful feel to my environment. I have a pretty merino wool blanket for the reading chair in my living room which is from Bronte and in my favourite colour of duck egg blue. Those of you who have been to my home will know that it is a shrine to the colour duck egg blue and Bumble is a little shrine to purple. I could write reams on the meaning of colours but that’s another post for another day.

img_4190There are some wonderful blankets made with all kinds of materials so pick a blanket that resonates with you and cuddle up this autumn.

3. Essential Oils

Of course, I couldn’t write a post about comfort without including my old friends, my essential oils. For these purposes, I would use Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Petitgrain, Lavender and Bergamot oils in various ways. I would add a couple of drops to my blanket (not the wool one though) or to my scarf. Maybe I would burn a combination of a couple of drops in a pretty burner beside my reading chair. Check out my previous posts on essential oils for some ideas.

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4. Books

Books are my friend and provide me with a great deal of comfort. Although I have read most of the books on my various bookshelves scattered throughout the house, a few rogue copies are hanging around and I need to pick them up and start reading before I buy anymore!

I love my reading chair with standard lamp and candles for comfort on the coffee table beside me. It’s a perfect retreat where, in the winter, I spend my morning (before the children get up), write my journal and read a few chapters of my favourite book.  Bliss.

img_41915. Tea

I love tea! My kitchen worktop is covered with boxes of different types of tea – both loose and teabags. I start my day with a herbal tea of whatever takes my fancy at the time. I love Pukka and Heath and Heather  for the quality of the herbs and the variety. I  have a few boxes scattered around and  I love to choose according to how I’m feeling at the time.

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Writing this post made me realise that there are other things I love that bring me comfort so I will blog about this topic again in the future. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you with your favourite things. Maybe you could start with the senses and base your ideas around one of them

 

 

  • What do you enjoy looking at? Do you enjoy a lovely view? If so, where would you view be? Art? Photography? Tell me which paintings you enjoy?
  • What scents do you enjoy? The smell of coffee? freshly cut flowers? clean laundry off the washing line?
  • What feels comforting to the touch? A warm, cosy blanket? A silk scarf around your neck?
  • What foods do you enjoy? A hearty stew? A slice of coffee and walnut cake?
  • What’s on your playlist? Are you a classical fan? Or is jazz your thing? Let me know.

Until next time, have a peaceful day and I’ll catch up with you very soon.

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Reflections from The Sanctuary – Vlog

Today’s Vlog post is about caring for your feet. They are often neglected when you are busy, but if you treat them to a little DIY spa treatment, as described in the video, I can guarantee you’ll feel great!

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