Elisabeth Grover

Tag: holistic therapy

Vision Boarding for Beginners

For those who haven’t heard of vision boarding, I’d like to introduce you to this art form. Using vision boards for a few years now, I have found that it can be a simple method of seeing your goals come to life. I really enjoy the process too.

Vision boards can come in different forms and each one is as individual as the person creating it. I like to create a vision board in a book rather than a board so I have a Moleskine A2 watercolour book where I keep a few pages dedicated to my vision.

I create my pages as-and-when things change for me and my goals need to be tweaked. I’ll be doing another board this summer to adapt my goals after a winter of ill health.

Before you start

It’s important to think about your goals before you start. Otherwise, you will spend time creating a nice scrapbook and not much else. In order to create your list of goals, please check my posts entitled Living your Values . This link will take you to the first post so work through that one and then read the following four leading up to the conclusion.

These posts will give you an idea of the direction in which you are heading.



Creating a vision board can be quite reasonable – or you can spend a lot on various pieces of ephemera! If you are on a budget, I would advise you to surf the internet and take images from there to print off. If you have a little more ready cash available, invest in some magazines which resonate with you. 

By this time, you should know the areas you are looking at, so you may want to invest in some travel magazines or perhaps those dedicated to the home or health and fitness.

Perhaps you can buy a handful and then fill in the gaps with some print-off’s from the internet.

Board or book?

You can buy a board from your local art shop quite reasonably choosing the size you want. I think that A2 is a good size as A4 can be quite restrictive.

Perhaps you’d like to put your images on a cork-board instead?

I prefer to visualise in a book so I can use different pages for different themes. I also create mini vision boards in my journals to keep me on track but these are a lot smaller and more compact, printed off from the internet.

Pens, glue, stickers, scissors

Anything you can get your hands on to create an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment while you do your board.

If you are in the UK, you’ll find a shop called The Works is pretty good for stickers and glitter. I personally love Etsy for my stickers but they tend to be a bit more expensive.

You may not be a sticker and glitter type of person and that’s fine too.


Yes, I’ve put time on the equipment list! It’s the summer holidays and time is a little less restrictive. No checking the clock for the 3pm pick-up so you can create some space in which to do some work.

I think this is a great activity to do with your children. They can do their own while you do yours. Of course, there’s wont be goal-orientated but they will have fun sitting at the kitchen table cutting and sticking with Mummy.

But how do I do it?

I gather my equipment together and start by flicking through my magazines and seeing which images catch my eye. I cut them out and put them to the side ready to glue into my book.

Sometimes, I cut out images that may not seem to ‘fit’ with my ideas as I find it interesting to see why that picture resonated with me, Sometimes I don’t find the answer straight away but it’s when I go back to it that I discover what it is about that image that drew me to it.

I have a break for a cup of coffee at this point and relax for a little while before going back to my book.

When I sit down again, I put my images in some semblance of order. I have different pages for different types of goals and sometimes I have pages for values that resonate.

For example, I have a page that says ‘peace’ to me and although that’s not strictly a goal, I like to collaborate all my pictures together into one section so I can go back to it and remind myself what peace means to me.

This can sometimes take longer than the time available to you and that’s ok. Simply put the images in a safe place with the book or board and return to it when you next have some time to spare.

So what’s stopping you?

Pick up some glue and a notebook or board from your local newsagents when you are next in town along with a handful of magazines. Work out your life values when you have some time in the evening.

Grab a pen and a notebook and work your way through the short exercises instead of flopping in front of the telly!

I know you’ll find some nuggets of information from doing these exercises as it really helped me when I had young children at home and no time to myself. So give it a go and let me know how you get on.

I’ll be running some short workshops in the autumn term for mums with very little time who would like to work on their vision board. Or perhaps you’d like to learn a little more about journaling instead?

Why not drop me an email if you are interested in joining me in the Garden Sanctuary for a session of arts and visioning.

You can find me on elisabeth@thegardensanctuary.co.uk.

In the meantime, have a great summer break.









A Day in the Life of a Reflexologist and Doula

Whilst I’ve been recuperating, I have been flicking through lots of content on the internet, blogs and Instagram images and seeing how other people spend their days.

I am really interested in daily life and I enjoy reading blogs documenting the daily life of women. This gave me the inspiration to create my blog post “A Day in the Life of” to give you an idea of the daily practices that help me through.

5am – Yes, an Early Start!

Not sure why I wake up so early but I have never been able to lie in bed once I’m awake, and this time of year is perfect for an early start. I get up straight away, make myself a cup of herbal tea and sit down with my Morning Pages.

For those of you who haven’t read my blog from the beginning, here’s a link to more information about Morning Pages.

I love starting my day with a journal entry and, although most of the time it’s utter rubbish, it helps me to focus on the day ahead if I do a brain dump on my page. I use a large Moleskine blank journal as that gives me creative freedom to write as much or as little as I like. I always fill the page as I think it’s good practice to complete it even if it’s complete unintelligible!

6 am- My Therapy Walk with The Mrs

I have to drag my dog Coco out of bed –  she is really not a morning girl! Colloquially we call her ‘The Mrs’,  something my son named her after we picked her from a local rescue centre. It’s just stuck and seems to suit her.  We like to think it’s because she is The Boss in the family! No wonder she doesn’t come when we call her –  poor dog has so many identities, she can’t work out who she is.

The Mrs and I head out to our local fields at 6am, me with my podcast playing in my ears and Mrs checking out the local squirrel fraternity. One day she may catch one but that hasn’t happened yet. I have an eclectic mix of podcasts on my phone and I pick one according to how I’m feeling at the time.

Our walk is a wonderful time for me to clear my head ready for the day and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

8 am – Back for Breakfast

Our route takes 90 minutes and I feel great when I have completed it, rain or shine. I jump in the shower when I get home and get ready for my day.

My clinic space is a little round room in my garden called Bumble and I make sure that it’s warm and ready for my first client of the day. The underfloor heating is pretty efficient so I can put it on when I go out and Bumble will be lovely and toasty by the time I get back.

About 30 minutes before my client arrives, I light the scented candles so the smell is delicious when they arrive. I am currently using Heartwood Candles as I love to support local businesses and their range of essential oil candles is just what I need.

I bring in the warm fluffy towels and prepare the area for a spa reflexology session. My wooden pedicure bowl is filled with hot water and Arbonne Rescue and Renew Detox Soak sprinkled liberally allowing the scent to radiate around the room.

I lay out my scrub, the oils, and a spare towel to dry my client’s feet and I sit alone in silence, enjoying the feeling of the sun as it shines through the door and the little round skylight above me. My room is very special to me and I decorate it with meaningful items from around the world.

10am –  My Reflexology Client

My client arrives and I welcome her with a cup of herbal tea and a warm smile. I love to hear how my ladies are getting on in their day-to-day lives and to meet new women who have heard about me through social media or through the recommendations of friends.

It gives me great pleasure to treat them to a reflexology treatment as I know how much I enjoy having reflexology too. My ladies are often busy with the many demands placed on them and to give them a little space to themselves is a wonderful gift.

Whilst we are talking, and my client is soaking her feet in the warm water, I take each foot and gently massage it with the body scrub in the Rescue and Renew Range.  I can see her visibly relax as the treatment goes on.

After washing each foot and changing the towel, I lay her back on my reflexology chair and I offer her a soft blanket to keep her warm before I begin my foot massage with my Arbonne Massage Oil.

My clients tell me that they find a deep state of relaxation with my treatments and I love hearing that kind of feedback. It’s difficult to switch off when life is busy and to have the opportunity to leave the world outside my little wooden door is one that is too good to miss.

The ladies who come to me in the evening can often leave me and go straight to bed when they get home. What could be better?

Once I have gently woken her up and offered her a glass of fresh water we talk about how she feels and what I have discovered during her reflexology treatment . After she has gone, I tidy up the space, change the towels and prepare for the next lady to arrive.

12 pm – Lunch and Journal Time

I have been enjoying substituting my regular meals with Huel a vegan protein shake. I make up a Huel shake for breakfast and lunch and I have a vegan dinner in the evening.  I became vegan for a number of reasons, animal welfare, health, sustainability and weight loss and I am thrilled to have lost 3 stones whilst following this plan.

I became vegan for a number of reasons, animal welfare, health, sustainability to name as few and weight loss too.  I am thrilled to have lost 3 stones whilst following this plan.

On a summer day, I will take my shake outside and sit in my hammock, catching up on emails and social media posts. I have my bullet journal by my side and I will reflect on the day ahead whilst jotting down some thoughts.

13 pm – My Doula Work

My next client is a pregnant lady who I am supporting during an exciting time in her life. My doula work gives me a huge amount of pleasure as it brings together different passions in my life in a neat little bundle.

I offer couples two or three antenatal sessions and in these sessions, we look at their feelings towards their pregnancy and birth, ideas about positions for giving birth, alternative comfort measures, positive thinking during pregnancy, and my recommendations for books and websites.

I am passionate about women’s bodies and the power that they have within. I have utmost faith that they can birth their baby and I love to remind themselves of how amazing they truly are.

If I am taking her through my hypnobirthing course, I will arrange to see her with her birth partner as it’s important that her partner is supportive of the relaxation methods she will be using during the birth of her baby. It’s a great thing for them to do together during the latter few weeks of their pregnancy too.

We reflect on her feelings about her birth and what measures we can put in place to help her find her inner strength and deep feminine guidance. I love to help my women find this strength so that she can feel good about her birth experience.

I firmly believe that a couple can have a good experience regardless of how their baby is born. A woman can have an assisted birth with forceps or ventouse and feel that every decision was hers and she felt strong throughout. It’s important to remind couples of this and I really like to be part of this positive process.

15 pm – Painting and Relaxation

My client leaves and I have some time to rest with my journal at hand. I will get my watercolours out and create a small painting, or I’ll do some writing. My bullet journal gives me ultimate flexibility to create the kind of content I like at the time and I recommend it to everyone to give it a go.

I say to people who ask me about my art that it’s the process that matters and not what it looks like at the end. It can be really quite intimidating to look at the lovely images online and it can put you off creating if you aren’t particularly ‘arty’.

What it looks like is really not important as there is something very calming about choosing your colours and putting them onto paper in either swathes of colour, or circles, squares or other shapes. I love it.


17 pm – Walking and Talking

Another walk with The Mrs, this time with my daughter who uses the time to tell me about her day. Walking provides a perfect opportunity to talk about things that matter to her and we enjoy our afternoon strolls whilst The Mrs frollicks in the long grass looking out for a doggy friend or that  ‘Squirrel that Got Away’.

19 pm – Home for Tea and finally……Bed

Home for tea, a lovely easy vegan feast of puy lentils with a tomato and chilli sauce, black olives, tofu and fluffy rice, accompanied by some ciabatta bread dipped in Spanish olive oil. The candles and incense are burning in the background and my salt lamp provides a calming light to accompany my evening meal.

A quick catch up on my favourite boxed set episode or a chapter in my latest book and it’s time for bed at 9.30, ready for that early start.

The Mrs has snuggled up on the sofa after her busy day and is catching up on some rest before I wake her up ready for our next morning walk.


If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, and you’d like to come and see me in The Garden Sanctuary, please book an appointment by clicking here. I’d love to welcome you to my little sanctuary of calm and relaxation (and a nice cup of tea!).



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.

A Little Space

IMG_2542 As a holistic practitioner, I felt that my first blog post ought to be about living my values. You’ll hear me talking about values in my posts as I find that the words that represent values, and what those words mean, really inspire me and make me who I am.

This morning, I wrote about making time for yourself for a feature in my forthcoming newsletter and it prompted me to start here.  It’s hard to give to others when you are tired and feeling over burdened with no space to think. So I thought I would start my blog by taking a picture of me having time to myself in The Garden Sanctuary before my children get up. You can see ‘Bumble’ my therapy space in the background.

A little about my morning ritual. Although my four children are older now, I have been prioritising this space for a long time, even when they were little. The only thing that changes is the venue. Inside V Out. I’m not keen enough to sit outside in the winter even though I would like to! I am a morning person so this is the ideal time for me to mentally create my day. Evening’s may work better for you, or during the day, and that’s great too. As long as you are building that time in and prioritising it daily as you would any other diary event, it doesn’t really matter when it is.

I get up out of bed as soon as I wake and I make myself a large cup of herbal tea. On a lovely day like this, I’ll take it out into the garden to sit and reflect on the day ahead.  I have a lovely little water feature which gently flows in the background so it helps to clear my head before the day begins. I use a journal idea which I have adapted from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way  called The Morning Pages. She advises hand writing three pages of A4 a day which I haven’t been able to achieve ( I am human after all!) so I adapted the idea and cut it down to one page of extra large moleskine journal. That way it’s achievable and I do it daily. I’ll be writing more about this in subsequent blog posts as I think it’s been a real help in getting all my ‘stuff’ out before I start my day.


I have a separate Moleskine book for a list of 20 affirmations that I’m currently working on. When I’m writing, I think about how great I will feel when I am achieving them. One of my affirmations is to be a certain weight again. As I’m writing the affirmation down on paper, I think about what it’s like to wear size 10 jeans and I embrace that wonderful feeling. I do the same with the other 19  affirmations so this does take some time. I don’t do it daily, maybe three times a week but in between those times, I am thinking about the feelings I will get when the affirmations come true.

In the following blog posts, I will talk about journal writing, affirmations and making time for yourself in a busy life as well as posts about alternative health, aromatherapy, mindfulness, creating calm in your day, meditation and visualisation.

Before I go, I will leave you with an image of my mindfulness trainer, Coco the Dog. As soon as I sat down to create this post, she decided to dig up the garden in search of buried treasure (those lovely ants). Yes, it was a good lesson for me as I felt the stress levels rise whilst chasing her unsuccessfully around the garden.

Note to self: In order to do one thing really well, I  can only do one thing at a time.