Elisabeth Grover

Author: thegard4 (page 2 of 4)

Three Life Tools for the Journey

My last post described my story and I wanted to follow it up with another looking at the tools that have got me through.  Before I was affected by sepsis, I was an active person running my own business and coming to terms with the post-sepsis fatigue has been quite challenging for me.

Creative Journaling

I have enjoyed painting for many years but lately, it has been difficult to find time whilst establishing my business. My enforced rest has given me an opportunity to revisit my love and start creating again.

Initially, I could only do a little at a time from my bed but as time went on, I found it useful to stand while I painted. This helped me to start getting upright again and move gently but it also gave me immense pleasure to create.

I started small with little Moleskine watercolour books where I used watercolours to paint shapes of different sizes and colours. I was never going to win any art prizes with my work but, in a similar vein to the plethora of adult colouring books on the market, I found it mindful and calming.

I enjoyed watching the watercolours blend together and create patterns and I enjoyed looking at them the next day as the images changed.

Painting is something that we can all do if we let go of our expectations of creating a piece of art. It’s the process of creating can therapeutic, the gathering of supplies together – my paints, brushes, pens – and letting ideas flow.

This led to creating my own planners, also known as Bullet Journaling.

Bullet Journaling

There are times when I really wish I lived in the States! Whenever I mention bullet journaling to friends over here, they look blankly at me.

On a very basic level, a bullet journal is a planner that you create yourself.  The original idea came from a product designer named Ryder Carroll in New York and you can see the original work here.

I have always loved buying planners and trying them out for size, but they never quite fit my needs, the monthly calendar is in the wrong place or there isn’t anywhere to write my goals where I can see them. As I’m not doing much at the moment, I can adapt the calendar to my needs with this system.  I create the spread according to whatever is going on at the time and I buy the planner that fits in with this. I place a few drops of essential oils onto a kitchen towel and lie it between the sheets of paper so that I have a lovely scent when I open my journal.

I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at others bullet journals too. Although the original design is beautiful in its simplicity, there are some amazingly creative versions out there and I feel inspired when I look at the work. My favourites are:

Little Coffee Fox

Boho Berry

Page Flutter

Christina 77 Star

Alexandra Plans

Tiny Ray of Sunshine

and they can all be found on Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube.

I will be following this post up with one dedicated to bullet journaling for those planner-addicts who would like some more information.


I’ve always found an immense amount of pleasure in walking in nature. My goal during recovery was to make a trip to the local bluebell woods and I was thrilled to have made it in time to see the little blue flowers pop their head above ground. I am very lucky to live between two small wooded areas so I can choose which bluebell wood to go to. They both give me immense pleasure to walk through and enjoy the magic that is springtime.

The great thing about walking is that it really clears my head. Being outside in the fresh air surrounded by the wonders of nature is such an antidote to life. I used to go out very early in the morning with my dog Coco and walk for miles.  I would take the opportunity to catch up on my podcast episodes (Sprogcast ,The Cord and Dearest Doula ) interspersed with a little classical music.

Nowadays I take short walks with Coco and my family or I take a wander around town but these walks are just as good in a different way. I know that it will take time but that’s fine, I’ll go with it.

Onwards and Upwards

So that’s my story so far. I’ve found my inner strength during these weeks and I’ve reminded myself of the simple tools that are companions in my life no matter what happens.



My Journey to the Dark Side.

It’s interesting to me when I look back at the previous post talking about the dark times, little did I know that I was going to be thrown into my own little abyss later that night when I was admitted to hospital with sepsis, a little known but lethal condition causing 44,000 deaths per year. This is more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined but not everyone knows what it is. 

Sepsis is a life threatening condition where the body’s immune system goes into overdrive as a reaction to an infection. 

My Journey

Unbeknownst to me,  I had developed a kidney stone which blocked my ureter causing urine to stagnate and the kidney to swell. The kidney infection travelled to my bloodstream causing septicaemia and my body started to attack itself in a condition called sepsis.  I felt utterly dreadful – unbearable pain, shivering, high temperature, vomiting, terrible colour and no urine output.

I was shocked at how quickly it took hold and very soon I was unable to maintain my blood pressure and needed extra support to stay alive. It was an uncertain time for my family and difficult for my children to see me in such a condition. A central line was inserted into my jugular vein in order to administer life-saving antibiotics, an arterial line in order to measure blood gases and a peripheral drip to give me fluids to raise my blood pressure. When the body has shut down, it’s very difficult to find veins so all of these procedures were deeply traumatic.

A catheter was inserted to measure my limited urine output and oxygen to help me breathe. The care I received in the High Dependency Unit was exemplary and I am very grateful for the support of the staff and the medical team. I was in the Luton and Dunstable Hospital for just over 2 weeks before being discharged home.


I am now two months down the line after a long stay and I’m getting there but very slowly. It takes longer than normal to do my day-to-day activities and I have a brain fog that hasn’t lifted.  I am listening to my body and taking it easy, building up my walks daily so I can get back to the healthy person I was before all of this happened.

I wanted to write this short post, firstly to raise awareness for Sepsis and to thank the Sepsis Trust for their fantastic literature which has really helped me in these early days. Sepsis can happen to anyone of any age and I wanted to take the opportunity to raise awareness of this condition. It can start in a number of ways from a urine infection to a chest infection, in the early days post-partum or through a cut that doesn’t heal.

Could it be Sepsis?

I’d like to raise awareness of this condition so that others can seek help as soon as possible. I can’t stress enough how quickly it can take hold and prompt treatment is vital.

The symptoms can be memorised by using the following:

Slurred speech

Extreme shivering or muscle pain

Passing no urine in a day

Severe breathlessness

I feel like I’m going to die’ (feeling of doom)

Skin mottled or discoloured.

One of the things that have surprised me is the lack of education and post sepsis care when I was discharged. I know that leaflets cost money and professionals are very busy, but some signposting about sepsis, and what to expect on discharge would have been very helpful to me. I found the Sepsis Trust by searching the internet and I was very glad I did.  

The Sepsis Trust leaflets are clear and easy to understand and it’s been great to read so you can prepare yourself for post-sepsis recovery which can take up to 18 months.

So that’s my story so far. I will be following up this post with some reflections on my journey and the life tools that got me through but I thought I’d start with a short introduction to explain why I have been off the scene for a while. I’m looking forward to writing again and sharing my thoughts with you. 



Support During The Dark Times

Sometimes life can throw us curveballs and it can be difficult to navigate through these difficult times. It can seem like the pain will never subside and day after day you wake up with that horrible, dark sadness.

I listened to a podcast on my dog walk this morning and the presenter was talking about depression in relation to a cancer diagnosis. His openness prompted me to write a short piece today with a slight slant on how reflexology may be able to help.


The more open we are about our struggles, the better, and deeper, our conversations. This depth of dialogue can have far-reaching effects for those involved.

I am immensely proud of the people I talk to who are open and frank about their difficulties as I know it can be hard to open up and be present with that level of pain.

I find sitting with someone and holding the space for them while they make sense of the world around them can be very helpful. I’m not a therapist so I don’t employ any ‘techniques’ but I do enjoy listening and really hearing what someone is saying to me in these moments.

Cancer Support

In my reflexology journey, I have seen clients at the beginning of their journey with a cancer diagnosis and treatment plan, and moving towards the end when the care I offer becomes palliative and supportive.

Some of those who have been given the all clear find life difficult to cope with after such a difficult journey.

My therapy can help people in their dark times and a listening ear is invaluable in supporting these people and their families. Although it is hard to measure the efficacy of complementary therapies, and therefore research is problematic,  there is strong anecdotal evidence that reflexology can help with symptom relief.

Sometimes clients can feel that a treatment is helping without knowing what part is providing the relief. It’s like an inner knowing and that can be very powerful to the client.


Talking with my clients about their thoughts and feelings before offering a treatment can help promote a positive mental state. Feelings of being supported, and walking the road together for a period of time, can help relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety and overwhelm.

This article by Mental Health Daily  looks at the systems of the body that reflexology can help with when someone if suffering from low mood and/or anxiety.  Similar to studying the efficacy of reflexology in cancer care,  it is difficult to measure the efficacy with treating depression but this research study has shown that statistically, it made a difference

Life’s Challenges

Although these two issues may not affect you or your family, I’d like you to think back to times when life was challenging for you and what helped in your darker moments.

I know that having friends who will just listen and be present with me was immensely powerful. I also enjoyed walking alone with my thoughts, taking in the energy of the trees and being mindful of my surroundings really helped me. Looking up at the tree tops and listening to the birds, the crackling of the fire and the smell of scented candles.

Simple things.

I’d love to hear from you with your thoughts and ideas about what helps you to find that peaceful place in your heart so drop me a line in the comments below.








A Doula’s Life

Recently, I’ve been reflecting on my life as a birth doula and answering some interesting questions from friends and colleagues about my role.

The conversations I have had have made me think about the crossover between my doula life and my personal one and how I can use the knowledge from one and implement it in my daily life.

Research has shown that hiring a doula can have a positive effect on a woman’s experience of birth and in today’s article, I thought it would be good to write down the top five things that I have been reflecting on from my doula world.

  1. Relax and take your time

We rush from one thing to another in our busy lives, not focusing on one thing at a time but spreading ourselves thinly. We fail to stop and really take notice of the world around us.

I have found that if a labouring woman is left to herself, without intervention and well-meaning cheerleading from her observers, it can be an amazing process to watch. She trusts that the process will take some time and her body will perform and it’s all ok. It’s nature, and she goes with it.

Dim the lights and let it be.

Being present at a birth has helped me to rethink my ways of being in the world and slowing down a little to focus on one thing at a time. I take long walks with my dog first thing in the morning and I embrace the light and the rising sun and listen to the sounds of the birds. I allow time to flow like my labouring mother. No agenda. No rush.

2. Listen to your body

The labouring woman listens and trusts that her body will find it’s own rhythm and space. In an active birth, she will often finds a place to stand or squat  for each surge and she breaths her way through the sensations. She trusts that her body will do the work and she focuses inward

The benefits of an active birth

If we are busy rushing around, we don’t have time to listen to our body. There are so many sights and sounds, conflicting demands on our time and the whispers are being drowned out by the assault on our senses.

It’s time to do things differently.

3. A Divine Plan

I am often amazed by the woman’s body and how it works. I love watching nature take its course and it makes me feel that there is a wonderful divine plan at work. Watching this process unfold is incredible and I always feel privileged to be part of a woman’s birth story.

I think about this grand design when I am walking the dog and I look at the trees and the sky and enjoy my time in nature. Whether you believe that there is a great divine plan and who it is created by – God, The  Universe, Nature – you don’t have to have a name for it to enjoy it.

4.  Surround yourself with support

Women book doula’s for a number of reasons. They may have had a difficult first birth and feel that they would like more support this time around. They may be first-time mums and feel that they are bombarded with negativity from others and are looking for a more balanced and positive view of the birthing world.

 having a companion fully present in the moment, can be tremendously beneficial to her mental health and confidence. 

Since starting my business, I have found amazing support from others in the small business world. There’s a wonderful community of women who are there for each other and willing to listen to the business issue of the day or help with suggestions. Sometimes just knowing that they are there and that they have my best interests at heart can feel great.

This makes me think about how a doula can support a birthing woman by walking alongside her during her transition from woman to mother.

Listening, watching and being.

5. The use of alternative therapies

I have been interested in the use of alternative therapies for many years and got a lot of benefit from treatments in the past, but it’s only recently when treating my pregnancy ladies that I have seen first hand how helpful they can be.

The benefits of maternity reflexology are plentiful.

I help my clients relax and feel strong and empowered during their pregnancy with reflexology and positive birthing classes in my garden space. Towards the end of their pregnancy, I can encourage a natural labour with a treatment especially deigned for induction, if the baby is ready.

I love using aromatherapy oils during labour by placing a few drops on a tissue on the radiator to scent the room or added to a carrier oil for a massage or reflexology session.

There are some oils that are helpful during pregnancy and some that you should avoid. 

I use a reiki self-healing ritual in the morning to clear my energy before the day and sometimes at night after my bath. Alternative therapies can have a subtle effect and can really help you in day to day life.

Best job in the world!

I love my role in promoting a positive birth experience for a woman and her partner and I relish adapting when I learn from doula-ing for use in my life.

I now listen to myself a lot more and when I’m tired, I rest. When I’m hungry I eat healthy foods or a smoothie. I surround myself with happy, supportive women and I allow nature to take its course instead of trying to rush things.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my top five take-aways and it’s made you think about ideas to implement in your daily routine. I would love to hear about five values or activities that you take from your work into your life so comment in the box below.

Contact me

If you would like to chat about how I can help to support you during your birth or pregnancy, please drop me a line elisabeth@thegardensanctuary.co.uk and we’ll arrange to chat.

If you’re interested in booking a reflexology or reiki session with me, please book an appointment by clicking this link.


Reiki at The Garden Sanctuary

In last week’s blog post I looked at reflexology, what it is and how it can help. This week’s post follows that theme, looking at the therapies that I offer in The Garden Sanctuary. Today’s post looks at the healing power of reiki.

What is reiki?

Our lives are full of energy on a subtle level and the things we do involve some kind of energetic exchange. We can ‘feel’ energy when we walk into a room and the couple in there have been arguing, or when we are attracted to someone. It’s very subtle but we know it’s there and we can feel it.

Reiki is simply a form of energy. The word Reiki is Japanese for ‘Life Force Energy’ and when this is blocked, we can suffer from physically and emotional difficulties. Every time we fill our minds with negative emotions and harsh thoughts and feelings, our life force depletes which can make us feel unwell, tired and listless.

By channeling reiki, practitioners can help this energy flow freely again and offers a way in helping clients to deal with a number of issues.

What does a reiki treatment look like?

Reiki can be offered with hands on or off the body. I tend to use a combination of both as there are areas that lend themselves to touch and those that feel better if the hands are held slightly away the body.

Lying or sitting for your treatment,  the practitioner will intuit where to place their hands. I tend to start from the head and work my way down to your feet. My treatments end in a short reflexology treatment to help restore balance to the body.

You may feel a great deal of warmth as the practitioner lays their hands beside you and you may feel tingling and sensations in other parts of your body. Having said that, you may also feel nothing at all and that doesn’t mean that it’s not working or you aren’t getting the benefits of the energy.

Reiki at The Garden Sanctuary

I love offering my clients reiki combined with a gentle reflexology massage. It can really help you to relax and clear your head. We start by talking about the issues on your mind, whether they be physical or emotional. You have had an opportunity to think about these issues when you downloaded the medical form from this website.

We start the treatment by talking about the issues on your mind. You have had an opportunity to think about these issues when you downloaded the medical form from this website. 

I ask you to fill it in beforehand so that you have time to reflect and focus on the issues at hand. If you decide to skim through the form and fill in minimal details, that’s fine too. The form is merely a tool for you to use as you wish.

Once we have looked at your medical form, I ask you to lie on my soft reiki bed and I help you to get comfortable lying face down. I start at the top and work my way down the body, from head to feet, hands a little away from your body in some parts and hands on in others.

You roll over and I continue, head to feet ending in a reflexology massage. You will have time to awaken at the end of the session and offered a glass of water.

It’s a lovely treatment to indulge in monthly as it helps you to feel clean and clear. I always find that a reiki treatment gives me a clarity of mind and energy to take forward into my week.

Click here to book an appointment with me. 

Further reading:

I love Penelope Quest’s books – click here to find out more.

Her FAQ’s offer practical advice too – click here to find out more.

If you want to delve even deeper, check out The International Centre for Reiki Training click here to find out more.



Reflexology at The Garden Sanctuary

I’m conscious that I haven’t written a blog post about reflexology yet! Hence why today’s article is for those who would like a little more information about one of the treatments I can provide.

So, what is reflexology?

 Reflexology is a therapeutic method of massaging feet. By applying pressure and stimulating the reflexes/pressure points on the feet, reflexology can open up neural pathways, boost the immune system and increase circulation. The techniques of reflexology can be performed on the hand and the face in situations where a session on the feet is not practical.

Reflexologists work from maps of reflexes that are located on the hands and feet. These reflexes are thought to connect directly through the nervous system and affect the corresponding body parts, organs and glands. Through the application of gentle pressure and massage techniques the reflexologist manipulates the reflexes at the respective foot or hand location.

Through controlled pressure on the relevant reflexes, it becomes clear which points are tender. This highlights the area of the body that is out of balance. It is the intention of the reflexologist to treat this point and so help bring a person back to a state of balanced health and wellbeing.

Reflexology promotes healing by stimulating the nerves in the body and encouraging the flow of blood. In the process, reflexology not only suppresses the sensation of pain, but relieves the source of the discomfort as well.


It can bring about a state of deep relaxation and stimulate the body’s own healing processes. As a result, it is believed reflexology can be just as effective at preventing illness and promoting good health as it is at relieving symptoms of illness, injury or stress.


The most recent Labour Force Survey found that there were 488,000 of stress-related illnesses in 2015/16, with a total of 11.7 million working days lost to stress-related illness which is pretty shocking. The occupations with the highest rate of stress connected time off were health professionals (in particular nurses), teaching, healers and educators and caring personal services (in particular social services).

How you cope with stress in your life determines which, if any, diseases you are susceptible to. Individuals have their own unique set of coping mechanisms and their own unique predisposition to disease. When reflexology relieves your stress, it also reduces your vulnerability to disease.

Reduced stress improves blood and lymph flow, as well as nerve supply, which facilitates rejuvenation and revitalization of the cells, thereby strengthening the healing process.

Reflexology does not claim to be a ‘cure-all’ but many people have found they have been helped by reflexology. Surveys carried out have shown benefits to those presenting with symptoms of stress, insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome. It is a very relaxing therapy which may reduce tension and lead to an improved sense of well-being. This can only be of benefit to society today and the pressures and anxieties that are continually present in our cultures and the way we choose to lead our modern day lifestyles.

How to book an appointment

If you would like to contact me about booking a reflexology appointment, please drop me an email for info (elisabeth@thegardensanctuary.co.uk) or book using my appointments page.

The Power of Silence

I’m delighted to introduce you to our special guest and Mindfulness teacher Ruth Farenga who has written about a subject that is close to my heart, the power of silence. I have really enjoyed reading her reflective piece and I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below.  

Ruth is Mindfulness teacher and Founder of Mindful Pathway – providing Mindfulness courses for the public in St Albans at the Albany Centre and onsite courses for businesses in the UK.

As I peer into my teacup, I contemplate what silence is. Is it rich or nothingness? Is it the absence of words or total sound around us? Thich Nhat Hahn describes real silence as the cessation of talking of both the mouth and the mind. It is an opportunity to truly stop without the clutter or noise of society.

As an only child, I disliked silence. I experienced the loneliness of long summers with few people to play with – the absence of company to entertain. It was dull and I was bored. Indeed, in my twenties, I always felt the need for company. If I had nothing to do for an evening, I would go through a list of 5-10 people to call or fill the time with a series of records, not enjoying the potential quiet time.

I needed to fill the void.

So how do we experience silence? In the 19th Century, Thoreau retreated from society for two years into the woods of New England – to discover the depths of solitude, inform deep states of consciousness and his subsequent writing.

But such extreme measures may not be possible, or even needed.

First steps

My first experience was a silent Mindfulness day in Oxford in 2012. I had taken the 8 week Mindfulness course and the silent day was an opportunity to ‘deepen our practice’, whatever that meant, but I was both curious and apprehensive. There were 30 of us in the room and we had signed up for jobs to assist with the flow of the day and sat down.

I was not fully prepared for the rollercoaster of emotions that day. The teaching was tender and gentle. We explored sitting meditations, mindful walking and movement. It was a day of paradoxical feelings – as it progressed, I felt more and more lonely but yet rested at the same time. I felt a relief to not having to talk to anyone, but at the same time, I felt shunned at not being acknowledged by my fellow participants. The lunchtime brought a new wave of isolation as mealtime conjured up expectations for me as a social experience. Meanwhile, I studied the variety on my plate with a new mindful affection.

At the end of the day, we were asked to reflect on our day. For many, including me, it was a rush of emotions and we spoke through tears to explain how we felt. Loneliness, peace, agitation, being sidelined, awareness, sadness, pain, happiness – the lot. I was relieved that the others felt the depth of emotion as I thought I was the only one.

It was the start of a fruitful relationship with silence.

On Retreat

I’ve now experienced and taught many Mindfulness days and retreats but perhaps the most memorable so far was a 5 night silent retreat at the secular Buddhist retreat centre, Gaia House in Devon. It felt like a challenge I was ready for.

Again, waves of emotion came, not as extreme as in the past but still notable. The first 2 days were the most difficult. What hit me most was, despite all that I’ve learnt, I was playing a narrative – ‘by now I should be able to maintain a still mind’. Our teacher talked in depth about how expectation and striving for something can limit us. We can’t go on retreat to expect a still mind because ‘it knows’! The hidden agenda of the ego will trip us up and, therefore, we need to be without agenda, to allow and welcome whatever may come.

By the second half of the retreat, I had, to a large extent, allowed the experience to be what it is. The edges of ‘suffering’ had softened. Despite our lack of words, I developed warmth for my fellow ‘retreatants’ and respected how many don’t make eye contact. They no longer needed to fill my void. It is true that being in silence with other people can create an intimacy. There was often a dance of movement and communication in the corridors, we didn’t need to speak, we could show compassion without speaking or even looking at each other.

Taking silence into everyday life

Last Christmas (2016), the Pope advised us amid the rush of daily life to make time for silence. His example is to use a nativity scene but for the non-religious, other ways can be found to take a pause from the hustle and bustle. It could be a tree that you visit, a view or a simple meditation that allows you some silence.

Silence is very personal. It can cause us to stare inwardly, introspectively, and ‘suffer’ as if obsessed about how silence affects us personally. However, silence and stillness is something you can always access, yet you need to allow it in, to become its friend. To start listening to yourself and to appreciate its depth and richness by spending time in dedicated silence with others. This is a journey that is worth embarking on.

It turns out that this only child learned to appreciate (and need) silence, the space, the depth and the openness it brings.

Peace, Solitude and Silence – My Life Companions.

Hi Everyone,

I had an inspiring meeting with a group of wonderful like-minded women this week which helped me to think about the important things in my life.  I am going to be combining  the insights that I received from that meeting, with an exciting  vision-board workshop today in order to reflect upon my life’s values.

Creating space for the important things is a must but it can be difficult to commit to giving them the space that they require. I often find that I am reacting to things rather than taking a few steps back and looking at the bigger picture.

I’m sure that some of you feel the same as me.

Writing the series about living your values has really helped me to ‘practice what I preach’ and focus on what is important to me. I thought I would share three of my top values with you.


I couldn’t write a piece about my values without including peace but what does this actually mean to me?

“Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.”

~ Unknown

Such a lovely quote and one that resonates a great deal. It can be difficult to implement but it’s really healing to your spirit when you get to a point when other people don’t affect you so much.

Another one I love is:

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart”

~ Unknown

This one clarifies the issue a little more. Life is messy and noisy and it’s great to feel that inner peace is achievable in the maelstrom.

I find this quote motivating as it means that inner peace is more achievable. Not everyone has a cave to hide in with blankets and candles!


As an only child growing up in middle-of-nowhere Cumbria, I have always found value in solitude. The world can be such a busy, noisy place, much suited to the extrovert but it’s a long way from my comfort zone.

As I’ve grown older, I find that solitude has become more and more important to me.  The joy of being alone and in a quiet space is wonderful.

The quieter you become, the more you can hear”

~ Ram Dass

I can appreciate that it’s difficult to find alone-time when you have a baby or a young family, looking for your full attention.

My advice is that you set an intention at the beginning of the day and then plan your day around that intention. Sometimes, those times appear but you are so busy that you miss them.

By being more present in your life, you may find those wonderful gems of silence and solitude.

You may want retreat to the bathroom when your partner gets home at night. Perhaps you can burn some aromatherapy candles (I stock the beautiful Heartwood Candles in The Sanctuary) and put a few dops of oils in your bath. See my post on aromatherapy oils for some favourites.

Dim the lights and float in the warm, healing water while you let the thoughts run through your head. Don’t judge your thoughts, just label them and let them flow. Bliss…..


The three values go hand in hand and I love the feelings that these three words invoke.

I find so many answers in those wonderful silent moments. I get up at 5am so that I can find a space in my house where there is no noise except the ticking clock and the creaking sounds in the house.

Although I have described peace as something that can be found in the busyness of daily life, a great quote for those with young people in the house, I prefer the peace and calm that I find in silence and solitude.

“Time and silence are the most luxurious things today”

~Tom Ford

I hope you have enjoyed this post and it has given you something to reflect upon this Sunday morning. I thought it may be valuable for me to offer you an insight into the books that I read, ones that I find really valuable in my life’s journey.

This week’s book is:

Quiet by Susan Cain

I love her website too so check out the other pages. Her TED talk is a must!

I’d love to hear about your top three values so come and join me on Facebook to continue the conversation. I’ll put a post up there about the My Three Lovely Life Companions so check it out and I’ll see you next Sunday

Liz x



Living your Values – Conclusion

Our final post of this series so I’m just checking in with you at the end of the process.

Have you created your Wheel of Life?

Is it computer generated or hand drawn?

I love to paint so I’m going to create a circular image and watercolour the slices. I will make it large enough to be able to put it on my desk as a visual reminder of all the parts of my life that I am thinking about.

Have you used my examples of ‘Life Slices’
have you adapted and used your own?

Which one have you worked on this week?

I have been working on my financial side and filing all my receipts in an app. I’ve also been spending lots of money on planners as I LOVE this time of year with all the 2017 planners in stock. I’m a sucker for a plan!

I’d love to hear about your plans and what you are working on.

Life Values

Looking back at part 2 of Living Your Values, when we looked at three of your top life values, can you see anything resonating?

Week two may have been too early in the process to discover the important values but now you are a few weeks into the process, what theme is standing out for you?


Need More Help?

I have really enjoyed taking you through this basic coaching process over the past few weeks. If you would like some more help to find a peaceful way in a noisy world, please drop me an email.

I’d be very happy to help with some gentle coaching techniques and reflexology or reiki to help you find your way.

If you haven’t already subscribed to ‘Reflections from The Garden Sanctuary’, a monthly email with hints and tips for creating a peaceful and calm life, please follow the link below.


I’ll see you all next Sunday with another ‘Reflections from the Sanctuary’ blog post. Until then, have a great week.

Liz x


Living your Values – part 5

Hi Everyone,

Over the past few weeks of living our values and looking at what matters most to you. Last time we looked at your Wheel of Life as a whole, this week we will drill down into a specific section.

It’s exciting personal development work and well worth spending some time on.

If you aren’t familiar with the Wheel, please click here.

Drilling down to the parts of your life that aren’t working for you can be very challenging as it makes you think about painful times, but it’s where the magic happens when you can see small but incremental changes.

Just One Section

If you have been following my blog, you will have looked at a part of your life that doesn’t work for you at the moment.

Given it a score out of ten.

Ask yourself:

Why have I scored that a four?

I’d like you to clarify what makes it that number (in this case, a four).

An example:

My family section is a four because:

  • My toddler isn’t sleeping, and I’m exhausted
  • My parents live at the other end of the country;  my partner works long hours and no-one is around to help me
  • I am working part-time, and my nursery isn’t very flexible with pick-up hours. I rush back from work and feel very stressed
  • I don’t have any time alone.  I arrive home from work, get my son ready for bed and  then flop on the sofa.

Think of five reasons why you have given yourself that number and you have now clarified the issues that cause you pain. It may feel that you are completely stuck and can’t see a way out with lots of things to change (or things you can’t change) but let’s see what we can do.

Take one issue, such as childcare:

How can we move from a four to a five?

  • Can you look around at different childcare options?
  • Childminder with longer opening hours?
  • Nanny share?
  • Maybe swap childcare with a friend on the odd occasion?

The purpose behind this exercise is for you to think about the options on the table. Most of these won’t work, and you may discount them from the offset, but it’s helpful to start thinking in terms of options rather than being stuck.

Feeling stuck can be very disempowering


So, this week, I would like you to work through a couple of issues in one section of the wheel, giving them a score and looking at your ‘why?’

Next Week

We will complete this short series about living your values with an overall view of what has worked over the past few weeks. This post will take a look at what values are important to you and how you can increase your levels of daily calm.

More Help

In The Garden Sanctuary, I  offer my clients personal coaching sessions and combine it with a calming reflexology or reiki session. My sessions can help you to create peace and calm in your body whilst you work on your mind. This has many beneficial effects and can help with your stress.

My monthly hints and tips newsletter can help motivate you to make changes at your own speed so click here if you would like to join my mailing list.

There are also some Sanctuary special offers for my readers – great if you live in the local Harpenden area.




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