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Why losing doesn’t mean failing

I’ve just returned from a mini-retreat to Jeffrey’s Bay, a little surf town up the East Coast of South Africa. We head up that way every winter for the good surf, except this year, being 7 months pregnant, I was really just waddling around, eating everyone else’s food and instagramming.

Jbay

Perfect Jeffrey’s Bay

With the World Cup Soccer on at the moment, we made sure to stay in a spot with DSTV and a cosy fire place to keep us warm at night (www.3pepperstreet.com if you’re ever heading up that way).

The opening game was Brazil vs Croatia and of course who could forget Brazil’s own goal scored in the 11th minute of the match! What a shocker! Over the next few days we landed up watching a few games here and there – I’m not much of a TV sports fan, but it was kind of exciting to watch, soccer isn’t nearly as difficult for me to understand as rugby is so I managed to keep up.

I can’t remember the exact match we were watching one evening, but being the only 2 girls on the trip, myself and my friend Jolandi were starting to get into this particular match. We would get amped and cheer whenever a goal was scored, paying absolutely no attention to which team was actually scoring. Of course, the boys thought we were mad – “what so you just cheer no matter who scores a goal then?” Yes, yes we do!

The thing is, in sport, life, love, work, school, basically everything – there will always be a “loser”.

Someone always gets the raw end of the deal, disappointment will be felt.

Whether you’re playing against another team, or you’re stacking the odds up against yourself to achieve a goal – at the end of the day it’s all just an experiment.

If you lose – try not to think of it as a failure, but rather a little bit of extra life experience that you’ve gained in order to take the next step and be more knowledgeable, aware and in tune the next time around.

Maybe your path changes completely. Or maybe, just maybe, this time you could… it’s up to you to fill in the blank!

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Everything is connected.

As we research smaller and smaller units of matter, it has become clear to some that there is perhaps no final unit waiting to be discovered but a fundamental unity to everything. ~ Physicist David Bohm

Everything is connected and YOU are the source.

Everything is connected and YOU are the source.

Everything is connected. This has been the message I’ve been receiving all week long and I’m starting to believe that it’s true in more ways than we know.

Yesterday I sat down at a meeting with a lovely client of mine and as we discussed different concepts for her website and how we were going to collaborate all our efforts as a design team, she kept repeating;

“There needs to be something that binds this all together. Even if it’s our little secret and it’s not an obvious feature, everything needs to be connected”.

Everything is connected. And everything matters.

From the way we get out of bed in the morning, to that first deep breath that we breathe into our lungs, to the way we stir our cup of coffee. It all sets the tone for the day ahead.

Will it be a good day or will it be a bad day? Everything is connected.

So what about those not so good mornings when you get out of bed and can’t find your slippers and have to walk barefoot on the freezing cold floor to the kitchen and then stub your toe on the corner cupboard and swear out loud. When the last drop of milk is off and you can’t make your cup of coffee and your first appointment is quickly rushing in on you and you still need to shower, put on make-up, eat breakfast and get the kids ready.

How do you turn something like that around?

Keep reminding yourself that everything is connected.

Take a moment to pause (yes you do have time) and reflect. Look within. Where there is inner turmoil there is outer chaos.

Yes, sometimes – you will just have a shitty day. You can’t control external circumstances but you can control your reaction to them.

So today I leave you with this very powerful thought:

Everything is connected and YOU are the source.

You are the power supply and it’s up to you to vibrate at your highest frequency and cause a ripple of change… or just buzz along and go with the flow.

What will you decide?

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How 10 minutes of yoga can change your life forever

Confession: I’ve never actually attended a yoga class in my life. Let me explain…

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Gisele Bundchen practicing yoga

I’ve been a pilates girl for the last 3 and a half years. I even got to a point where I enjoyed it so much that I decided I should become a pilates teacher and I went and studied a pilates matwork course.

I didn’t land up continuing down that path but I did learn a great deal about my body and anatomy in the process and I use that info every day, from the way I sit in my car while driving to the way I relax on the couch while watching a movie.

When I found out I was pregnant 30 weeks ago (only 10 weeks to go now!), I decided that I was going to make pilates a part of my daily practice so I could stay fit and strong throughout my pregnancy. But as the weeks went on and my tummy grew bigger, I started to skip a couple days here and there until eventually, I found myself waking up a little later everyday and totally neglecting my practice.

By 26 weeks pregnant the thought of dragging myself out of bed to do any form of exercize seemed like the biggest effort in the world. It was around this time that I also started to experience mild lower back pain and shooting pains down the back of my legs on waking in the morning.

I knew that this had a lot to do with the fact that I had become lazy and unfit and that my body was starting to feel the effects of the extra baby weight as well as all the pregnancy hormones rushing through my system loosening my ligaments and preparing my body for childbirth.

On climbing out of bed one morning the pain shot down my leg so badly that it scared me. Right then I knew that if I wanted any chance of having a natural birth I would need to up my game in the fitness department. I felt extremely disappointed in myself for letting my pilates practice get away from me so badly.

I had basically forgotten my pilates exercizes by this stage so I decided to turn to YouTube and search for a pilates class online that I could follow every morning. I also decided that 45 minutes of pilates every morning was waaay to hectic and that I would start out with 10 minutes and build up from there.

So I typed into YouTube “10 minute pregnancy pilates workout” and I was presented with an array of awesome videos to choose from. (Don’t you just love the internet?!) In and amongst those pilates videos were a couple “pregnancy yoga” workouts which sparked my interest. I had never really done yoga myself but I knew it had very similar movements to pilates and well, it seemed to work for Gisele Bundchen, so I decided to give it a try.

After scanning through a couple videos I landed on one that appealed to me – hot pregnant mama giving a 10 minute yoga class in her home studio, lets do this!

For me pilates has always been a mind and body practice, and I think that’s why I enjoy it so much. It’s not just sweat, jump, punch, stretch, it’s more mindful in the way that you need to be aware of your breath and what your muscles are actually doing.

This yoga workout was very similar in that regard, yet it added another element – spirit.

Mind, body and spirit. Yes!

This is what was missing from the private pilates classes I had been giving myself. And that is why it had begun to feel like a chore that I had to do each morning. And that is why I had let it slide.

Taking my bump for a walk

Taking my bump for a walk

The simple actions of closing my eyes, bringing my hands into prayer pose, taking a few deep breaths in and out, then taking one hand to my heart and the other hand to my baby and setting my intentions for the 10 minute practice ahead took me into a totally different zone.

This felt more like “me time” than “workout time”. I felt more of a connection and respect to the little dude / dudette growing inside me and I felt instantly energized for the day ahead and all that came with it (and I hadn’t even done any exercize yet!)

The yoga workout itself was very similar to the pilates that I was used to but with a bit more flow and stretching incorporated.

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. ~ Amit Ray

I now look forward to the 10 minutes of “me time” that I’ve set aside and it’s become as normal for me to do my yoga practice as it has for me to turn on the kettle and make my morning cup of chai. It’s totally changed the way I go about each day.

I feel a sense of clarity, purity and a connection to the world around me. I feel healthy and alive.

Who knew that just 10 minutes of yoga every morning would make such a difference in my working productivity levels (mind), my pregnancy aches and pains (body) and the way I actually feel (spirit) about my body.

If you’re currently a pregnant mama, below is one of my favourite yoga YouTube videos and I encourage you to give it a go! If you’re not a pregnant mama, then go and do a search for “10 minute beginner yoga workouts” and you’ll be presented with hundreds of results. Or better yet if you have the extra time in your schedule, join a class!

And if you’re a yogi yourself and have any advice, videos or experiences of your own that you’d like to share, feel free to leave them in the comments area below. We’d love to hear from you!

Namaste.

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How to start feeling good again after a weekend of overindulging

Whether you indulged on massive amounts of sugary milk chocolate or you kept it healthier and stuffed your face with dark chocolate this Easter, if you’re human, you probably over ate this weekend!

Even though we enjoyed it in the moment, we land up punishing ourselves for days afterwards with feelings of guilt and shame.

So today I want to help you emerge from the weekend overload and take these few little steps to start feeling good again.

Step 1: Become present

Realize that the ‘you’ that existed over the weekend doesn’t exist anymore, so you can stop feeling guilty for that person because that person only exists in your memories. The ‘you’ right now, is ‘a new you’, with new thoughts, new cells and a new future to look forward to.

Step 2: Choose a feeling

How do you want to feel this week? And don’t say skinny – that’s not a feeling, that’s an adjective! Do you want to feel alive, rejuvenated, energized? Make an effort to find a word that really speaks to you, then write it down on a few pieces of paper, take a photo of it and make it your computer / phone background pic, make it visible to you as often as possible.

Step 3: Go grocery shopping!

Here comes the fun part. Okay so I usually hate grocery shopping… Think it’s got something to do with my childhood, my Mom is obsessed with going to Pick ‘n Pay EVERYDAY and as a child we would get fetched from school and then go straight to Pick ‘n Pay where she would bump into everyone she knew, talk to every staff member who worked there and they would be like “oh cute, look how much your kids have grown, are you enjoying helping mommy shop girls?” And then they’d give me a pat on the head. Terrible life I know, I’m working through this with my therapist. So anyway back to the grocery shopping…

So I’ve found a way to really enjoy grocery shopping. With your word in mind, get ready to go shopping. Choose an outfit that makes you feel the way you want to feel this week.

Tracksuit pants and an old t-shirt ain’t good enough – who knows who you might meet while shopping…

Who knows who you might meet while shopping?

Put on a hint of makeup, spray on some perfume and go grocery shopping with your word in mind. When you’re walking down the isles deciding on what food to buy, walk with a certain sexiness about you – feel confidence through every cell in your being and choose foods that will make you feel good when you eat them. And if you’re feeling brave, walk down the sweet isle (really quickly) and be like “Whatevs, processed rubbish to clog up my system, who needs it”. But get out of there quickly!

So by this stage the new you should’ve chosen your feeling good word for the week and stocked your fridge and cupboards with healthy and delicious ingredients that will make you feel that way when you eat them. Keep up this (somewhat crazy) behaviour for at least 5 days in a row and I promise you, you’ll be feeling good about yourself in no time.

Hope you enjoyed todays post, I thought we could all do with a little crazy in our lives for a change.

And remember:

Nothing is permanent in this world, not even our troubles – Charlie Chaplin
(It’s a tweetable)

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