2015 was a pretty incredible year which taught me to embrace my own personal change and go after my dreams. This meant shaking off some old beliefs that had stopped me in tracks before and using my new found energy to be curious and explore who I am and what brings me the simplest and purest forms of happiness.
Albert Einstein once said “play is the highest form of research” and how right he was. Playtime last year gave me a real opportunity to learn about my body, it’s strengths, it’s weaknesses, but most importantly how capable it is. My body is where I live everyday, last year was all about learning how I can love it and nurture it as naturally as possible.
Yoga, partner yoga and acro yoga has enabled me to explore how my body moves, but the biggest learning for me is understanding how my body mirrors how I am feeling. If I am content, happy and at ease, I notice my body moves with greater flexibility. Many a time though I have had tight hips from trapped emotions. Through loosening them hot tears have erupted, streaming down my face. I have learned to just let them roll, it is better to feel and experience the emotion then storing it deep within your body.
Your vibe attracts your tribe remember? I was blessed with so many new friendships in 2015. Bonding through movement, through yoga and through becoming better friends with our own bodies. Together we have laughed and cried and at times shared intimate moments with one another that we’ll never experience again. We don’t just move, we talk and we share what’s going on in our lives, reflecting and finding solutions to life’s little problems
“We didn’t know we were making memories, we just thought we were having fun”
I had that inscribed on a friend’s 30th birthday print and it still makes me cry now. I am hugely grateful to have a wonderful groups of girlfriends who I met at playgroup, at school and at university. Sometimes we see each other weekly, sometimes monthly, some I haven’t seen for a whole year. It doesn’t matter, there will always be a huge part of my heart devoted to each and everyone of them.
Probably the most poignant time for me was on the dancefloor at a winter wedding a few days ago. All my closest friends from school were rocking out to R’n’B, Motown, soul and funk, just like the good old days in our favourite haunt the Honey Club in Brighton. Each of us have gone through so many changes but in our hearts we will always be 18.
Love them. I am so lucky to work in a team who cares so deeply about one another. We are fiercely protective of each other and we always know when something is up and make sure that person is supported. When you spend so much of your life working, it’s vital that you feel comfortable to be yourself. I’m grateful that I can be ‘me’ every day and that together we have created a productive, yet comfortable environment where we can all be ourselves.
I have been lucky enough to see much more of the world this year. Sri Lanka, Stockholm, Ibiza, Madrid, Tolon, Cassis and New York. All with my nearest and dearest. Madrid for my 30th birthday with my husband and best friends was incredible. One beautiful city, with a cosy and lazy local Spanish town vibe. My favourite moment was learning to dance Flamenco in a local dance school, located in a quiet street of suburban Madrid. Learning this style of dance has been a life-long dream. We learned the basics from an incredible dancer, in very broken English and Spanish! Flamenco is all about rhythm and feeling emotion, pushing it out through your feet. Sexy, sultry and passionate, our teacher was pure sass, exactly how I expected an authentic flamenco dancer to be. It was an absolute honour to be taught by her.
The Bend Fit Mend studio in Brighton has become my other home. Through practising yoga there I become part of the kindest, gentle-hearted and supportive community I have ever experienced. We come to stretch our bodies for a variety of different reasons and we all have a varying degree of flexibility and strength. It’s never been about competing, we have all always shown love and support to one another. You have to wonder what it is that brought us all together. The answer is Amanda who owns the studio. Her sessions allow as to access new degrees of flexibility and understanding of our bodies that we could never find before. Her warm welcome, love and patience make us feel at ease and confident to put our all into the sessions, enabling us to achieve more than we ever thought we could. Her understanding and simple translation of our own anatomy brings us closer to ourselves in wonderfully restorative haven.
The journey of unbecoming
I’m still learning about me. I’m still learning to be be brave and follow my heart. As we grow up we absorb other people’s and societies beliefs, ways of life, expectations and fears. This can help us create the lives that we dream of and push us to strive for more. Sometimes though, it can make us unhappy, we start to feel as though this isn’t really what we what. I feel in 2015 I became more in tune with my intuition and I’m becoming better at observing the behaviours and expectations that no longer serve me positively.
Last Autumn I made the decision to grow in my role as hypnotherapist and EFT practitioner. Nothing makes me more joyful. Being able to hold a safe space for my clients as I help them to relieve what has been troubling them on such a deep level is something that is very dear to my heart. Seeing the difference in my clients has they facilitate their own healing with my support is a wonder. Observing them set themselves free has been such an honour and I can’t wait to help many more this year.
One of the best decisions of my life. Choosing to eat a plant-based vegan diet was a 10 month long chapter for me and I’m still learning. Overnight I stopped eating meat and dairy and transitioned to the green side. It’s been emotional on many different levels. Changing the way you eat after 29 years is a biggie. In my heart I never once doubted my decision, because my body and mind felt stronger for doing so. I chose to go vegan for my health, for the environment and for animals. When I began my journey it was very much about my bodies wellness but overtime by motivation has become more ethically focused.
I am so thankful for all of the support I have received during the last ten months. For my friends who have asked me asked me how it’s going day to day, to my vegan mentor Linnea who is totally badass and taught me so much about totally embracing this way of life. For friends and family who have been kind enough to source food I can eat when visiting them and trying out new recipes so we can eat together. You’ll probably never know how much that means to me and how much I love you for being so thoughtful and generous to me.