Easter Eggstravaganza Competition

Easter spring competition by Kalie Jade

The sun is finally shining and it’s the last day at work ahead of a long Easter weekend, now seems like the perfect time to spread some joy with a fun competition, or two. 

And as they say, you have to be in it to win it. Make sure you’re following me on Facebook and Instagram to win some fantastic prizes including tickets to Kent Mind Body Spirit Festival, free healing, a free psychic reading and animal communication reading.

Look out for multiple chances to win during the Easter break, keep checking my Facebook page, Instagram stories and posts, each day there will be a separate fun competition. Who said Easter egg hunts were just for children…? Have a great Easter holiday, see you very soon.

Easter egg hunt competition with Kalie Jade

Greenwich Yoga and Vegan Festival

As an almost vegan, I was thrilled to discover an exciting festival so close to home, volunteering to run a workshop was a no-brainer.

The Greenwich Yoga and Vegan Festival, organised by yogific, offered an array of stalls, classes, talks and delicious food to an audience of aspiring vegans, existing vegans and yogis. The event itself exists as a platform to raise awareness of yoga and veganisim with
a timetable packed full of inspiring activities, and I was blessed to be one of them.

When I arrived to set up my sound bath I was surprised to see a queue already forming outside the Jaipur room, 9.30am on a Saturday morning is a rather early start. When we finally opened the doors at 10.05 eager participants began to stream through the doorway, and they just didn’t stop. My morning sound bath session was so popular that we eventually had to turn people away, so much for just a few early risers!

I am extremely thankful to everyone that came along to experience Sound Therapy, there were lots of new enthusiasts. Running a class at this inspirational yoga and vegan festival  was a fantastic experience, one I will hold on to for some time. I would highly recommend visiting a yogific festival in your area.

Living with Fibromyalgia

Lady suffering with depression and fibromyalgia

I’ve just recovered from my last flare up and finally feel back to normal, whatever that means. Perhaps normal is being able to hold this pen without a struggle, producing handwriting that is neat and not childlike.

The strange part is, I can barely remember what it felt like during the last couple of weeks. We move on so quickly, in this life, nothing is sacred. We take tablets to allow our bodies to shift whatever infection we currently fight, and yet we do not often stop to question why, why we became so unwell in the first place, what was going on in our minds or in our lives. I must force myself to remember otherwise people will never know how it feels.

For me it starts with soreness. One random part of the body becomes tender, often on the same side, the first indication of what’s to come. Sometimes it passes, but other times is stays and escalates. As it progresses, for me it moves around the body with increasing levels of pain, discomfort and fatigue until it takes over. And when this happens everything becomes difficult. Small daily tasks become big challenges, being able to concentrate on anything…

When we become sick our bodies are communicating, telling us to rest. The natural healing process kicks in: we take time off work, sleep more, temporarily switch off from our responsibilities, but how do you cope when you cannot even do this? When even watching mindless television becomes arduous. Trapped inside an aching body, your biggest task is to find a comfortable position, but of course there are none.

I recently looked back on something I wrote down last year when I was attempting to document the effects of this condition. It’s very powerful to read but also to look at given that my handwriting is completely different, very scruffy. I remember how hard it was to physically write down my thoughts:

Thursday 6th September 2016

“I find myself needing to write, once again to express how I’m currently feeling. In comparison to last week I am much better, although I am in so much discomfort I want to cry, or fall asleep quickly so that I can wake up feeling normal again.

“It really hurts walking up the stairs to bed, as if I’ve had a hard day at the gym, when in reality the only exercise I’m able to do is walk around the park, not even a full circuit.”

Date unknown

“I want to tell you how I’m feeling but I barely have the strength to write. I ask my partner to pass me my notebook, it takes a little while but eventually I manage to write, like a child messy and quick, my letters don’t join. I need to get the words out while my arm lets me.

I lay on the sofa with tears streaming down my face, it’s too much effort to wipe them away. I flop from one position to another, desperately trying to find comfort, but I do not.

My leg is sore, it hurts when it touches the sofa or someone presses on it. My chest is tight again, so my breaths are big and deep, I never seem to take in enough air.

I was so hot that I had to change into shorts, how can I now be freezing cold, on a hot summer’s evening? My arms ache, other parts are becoming sore too. I move onto my other side.

I need water but I dread trying to stand, I’m not sure my feet will hold me up but I must try, no one likes to be a burden. I’ll bring the water closer.

All I want to do is relax and yet I can’t, why is that? No ability to focus on anything productive and yet no ability to simply relax. The tiredness is overwhelming but if I go to bed at 8pm will it disturb my sleep?

I’ve thrown the blanket off me now as I fidget around the sofa. I’m boiling hot again. I wish someone would carry me to bed.”


I can picture myself writing those pieces, I know exactly where I was at each time. And yet the description feels so alien, like a character in a story, surely that wasn’t me? Today is a good day, I’ve managed everything so far without a rest. Fibromyalgia, the invisible illness.

I wish people could witness the other side of the condition, they only see you at your best. A friend recently said to me that I appear to be sick a lot, I tried to explain that it’s part of the Fibromyalgia, that’s why you don’t always get to see me. I don’t want to be known as someone who is constantly ill, I rarely suffer from colds or viruses. I just want people to understand, there are good days and bad days.

In fact something dawned on me last weekend when I was away in Norfolk walking through a beautiful country park. I realised how it felt to be normal, whatever that means. That day, for me normality meant going out for a long walk without the fear of not having enough energy, secretly wanting to head back to the car whilst everyone else enjoys themselves. For the first time I was able to enjoy the walk fully, to appreciate the beauty all around. I took a photograph to capture the moment, to remind me in the future. I wish I could bottle up that feeling and carry it with me through the bad days.

I’m not angry about this condition, even though there is little information or cure, I am grateful for all that it has taught me. It makes me proud of my achievements, it shows me when I need to slow down and rest, it has even forced me to read books again, when I have the time.

Most of all, from writing this I want to reach out to those who are also suffering and to raise awareness of the mysterious condition that is Fibromyalgia. I hope this gives an insight into that friend you barely see, the one who is secretly trying to stay positive, just to get through each day. I want to demonstrate to sufferers that it can get better, despite the difficult days.

I recently set up a crowdfunding page to raise funds and reduce suffering through self-development and Sound Therapy. I aim to provide a number of free healing sessions via sound baths in different locations and workshops based on anxiety and depression, offering tools and support to cope with poor physical and mental health. This process has led me to research my condition further, it is very comforting to know there many others  having a similar experience.

So what is Fibromyalgia?

It is a largely misunderstood and frequently unknown medical condition characterised by chronic pain and tenderness. Secondary symptoms include severe fatigue, problems with memory known as ‘fibro-fog’ and broken sleep, which often result in mental health issues (such as anxiety and depression) and an inability to complete normal daily tasks. Additional symptoms can include numbness, tingling, sensitivity to light, noise and temperature and restless leg syndrome. Each case is very unique and varies from person to person.

How can I help?

There is currently an online petition to increase visibility of Fibromyalgia within Parliament with the intention of it becoming a fully recognised disability. If you feel inspired to help please start by visiting Change.org and signing the petition.

Please also take a moment to watch the video on my crowdfunding campaign and share as widely as possible. All donations are very welcome no matter how small and will be put to good use to help others in 2018.

Looking for support? Fibromyalgia Awareness UK support sufferers and raise awareness of the condition through groups and events.

Together we can reduce the suffering ❤ 

A journey with sound – Naomi’s story

Singing bowls and tibetan bell for sound therapy

I’m fairly new to all things spiritual, so when Kalie shared a post looking for case studies for sound healing, I took up the offer with no idea what to expect, but I knew it would be a safe space to try something new. Plus I had the time to commit to regular sessions, I’m open to new experiences and I like to help people to follow their dreams, so I signed myself up.

I went to Kalie’s on four separate occasions for different sound healing treatments. The sessions took place at Kalie’s dedicated spiritual room, beginning with a warm welcome. Each session started with me setting my intention and drinking some water – if anything Kalie is good at getting me to double my weekly water intake in one day – already I was healthier and that was before the sound healing had even started! It was also very positive for me to be able to focus on myself and my own intentions for a short period of time and not worry about what I was doing for everyone else.

At each session we focussed on a different instrument. The first session was drums; and I really resonated with these. I found the deep sounds extremely calming and oddly addictive. I lay on the massage table with my eyes closed as Kalie moved up and down with the various drums. By the end of the session I was much more relaxed and peaceful – which for someone who is always on the go is quite impressive!

The second session was using tuning forks; which were placed at varying distances from each ear (we were going to start with tuning forks in week one but they mysteriously could not be found which we interpreted as a sign from the spirit world to begin with the drums). The tuning forks were very good for helping me to switch off and I found myself once again extremely relaxed and feeling quite spaced out.

In the third session singing bowls of various sizes were played around me. Kalie activated them so that various deep tunes emanated into the room and deep into my body. I definitely found the deeper sounds more relaxing than the higher ones, I’ve even since been looking up apps around singing bowls as potential ways for a quick fix from time to time as sadly I can’t have Kalie follow me around everywhere.

The final session was an actual sound bath. For this I laid on the floor and Kalie used a mixture of the drums, singing bowls, tinctures and other instruments. This session was really interesting because you didn’t really know what was coming next. At the beginning of this session I was somewhat stressed as I had booked three different meetings all over London on the same day – so it did take me a little bit longer to relax – but even so Kalie worked her magic and by the time she had finished I was completely chilled and at ease.

Overall I found the experience of Sound Therapy very enlightening, it has had a sustained impact on my life. Having the regular sessions was helpful as it meant I knew I had time blocked out for myself and to concentrate on my own mind and body to receive some healing. I know I need to continue this in the future.

 

 

Lovefit Festival

July 2017 saw the arrival of the UK’s premier food, fitness and music festival. I was privileged to offer two of my unique self-development workshops within the beautiful forest at St Clere’s Estate in Kent.

Fitness enthusiasts powered through the mud to enjoy a range of classes provided by top teachers and well known brands across the industry; from Yoga and SUP to HIIT and Spin, even Mr Motivator made an appearance.

On Saturday morning among the tall trees I offered Meditation and Drumming to the early risers which was an absolute dream in such a beautiful location. On Sunday afternoon I introduced sound baths to a whole new audience, just when everyone needed a spot of total relaxation after a weekend of high intensity workshops.

Lovefit 2017 was a brilliant success, I would highly recommend giving this festival a try next year when it is expected to become even bigger and better. Check out a summary of pictures below, visit my Facebook page for more pictures.

A Journey with Sound: James’ Story

Man relaxing in a park

About six months ago I was feeling very sluggish in life, lacking the energy I used to have. As well as this I was getting stressed and usually over the smallest of things that really didn’t matter. But what was causing me the most frustration was that I had a lot of things I wanted to get on and do but didn’t know where to start.

I’ve meditated in the past but it tended to be when I was in a state of relaxation anyway and found it very difficult to do when stressed. I had also tried spiritual healing which was fantastic but this time there wasn’t one particular issue that was the obvious cause, rather just a lot of little things so I didn’t see the point of trying to be ‘healed’ if I didn’t have something that needed healing.

When Kalie told me about her Sound Healing I wasn’t really sure what it could do for me but it sounded interesting and something different so I wanted to give it a try.

Before the first session started I had to write down what I wanted to get from it and all I could think of was to relax mainly and re-energise if possible. As she started banging the drums I lay there continuing to think and trying to get my brain to stop. Eventually the sound from the drums drowned out my thoughts, and with it I started to relax and feel the vibrations rather than just hear the sound. The vibrations started to get stronger and felt like a soft tingling throughout my body almost like a gentle massage.

I left the first session feeling more relaxed than I had done in a long time and actually realised how long it had been since I felt relaxed and calm. The drums had helped to quieten my mind and for the next week I was able to start listening to meditation music and continue to relax, something that I hadn’t done in quite a while.

Through the next five sessions Kalie used different types of instruments for healing, all of which helped me to relax and with that feel more and more energised, culminating in the final session being a mix of all different instruments.

For me the drums were my preferred sound as they were able to quieten my mind, which was the biggest issue I had in order to relax, plus the vibrations from them both during and after resonated throughout my body increasing the feeling of relaxation like a gentle massage.

Afterwards, in my relaxed state, I was able to see the cause of my stress and sluggishness was because of so many little things that on their own really didn’t have a detrimental effect but combining them together had left me stressed and low on energy plus feeling overwhelmed by it all. I was trying to tackle them all at the same time whilst having little energy and ended up unable to do anything.

So thank you Kalie for this wonderful experience, of not just helping me to relax and re-energise but also to see that if I don’t resolve and clear out little issues when they arise then eventually they can build up to be something big that is not only draining and stressful but also overwhelming as I’m not sure what the cause is (as there’s many), and so can’t clearly see how to resolve it or where to start.

James

 

 

 

From Coco Pops to Cacao – turning veggie

Avocado in a bowl

I used to eat coco pops for breakfast. That still amazes me.

I’ve made a lot of changes to my diet in the last three years, which has inspired a whole new outlook on what I put into my body. It’s interesting to look at the old you, although sometimes, I barely recognise myself.

It all started with a trip to Cape Town in December 2013. I set off with the notion that it would be a life-changing experience; I hadn’t travelled to somewhere so exotic since I was a child. I didn’t know how or why but I’d heard that it was a spiritual place. I think I envisioned myself revelling in the stunning scenery, bonding with nature, enjoying safari trips and making peace with life itself. Unfortunately this was not how my time was due to be spent.

We didn’t go on safari, and I can’t say I remember much in the way of pure relaxation, but I do remember it being a beautiful place. There’s something about Cape Town that made me feel instantly at home, namely the creative expression at local markets where I found myself building a collection of unusual instruments. Of course the universe always had a greater plan for these.

We made the most of the sunshine and swimming pool on arrival, naturally my hula-hoop also made an appearance. But it wasn’t long until I started to feel exhausted, and that was just from going out to breakfast. We would then head back to the house to get changed and venture out again for tea and coffee mid morning, which completely wore me out. It was at this point that I realised, I simply couldn’t cope

I distinctly remember crawling up the stairs and falling onto the bed crying. I had absolutely no energy and it was really getting to me. We had arrived right at the peak of summer so the heat was having a big impact on me, but I used to live in Spain so this shouldn’t have been such a problem.

As my energy levels continued to decrease, and the trip became harder and harder, we decided to seek some help. We searched for the local health shop where I was introduced to Bio-Energetic Stress Testing (BEST). BEST measures electrical conductivity through pressure on acupuncture points on the hands and feet. It tests for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, food and environmental sensitivities. It also tests all the major organs and glands for an overall picture of health, just what I needed at the time.

I yawned my way through the two and a half hour session and was given some startling results. Apparently I had a parasite attacking my liver, I was allergic to sugar (internally) and still suffering the effects of candida from food poisoning. Less shockingly I was intolerant to wheat, gluten and a few other things. I was put on a strict anti- candida diet, ordered to eliminate sugar from my diet and prescribed a course of herbal tablets, all a little overwhelming for someone who was already on the verge of tears.

I panicked. How on earth was I going to give up sugar? I knew it was something I needed to work on, due to becoming rapidly addicted. I had been fighting tiredness with chocolate bars for some time. It helped to overcome the energy dips during office hours, at least temporarily. It was a lot to take in but, nevertheless, it was the first step.

It’s not the kind of news you want to hear whilst on holiday. Particularly when you have to watch everyone else drinking milkshakes and hot chocolates (my favourite holiday treats) the following day. Somehow I stopped ordering treats, and drank mostly alcohol free drinks.

I decided to seek further advice from a couple that ran a local spa. Both vegan and experienced practitioners, I thought perhaps they could shed some light on the diagnosis. During a very long consultation they opened my eyes to a whole new way of being. They heavily encouraged switching to a vegan diet, consuming only organic food and drink, revealed surprising truths about following a traditional balanced diet, and suggested further reading that backed up their belief system.

Once again I left feeling rather overwhelmed, possibly even brainwashed by ‘vegans’, but something inside me clicked and there was a realisation that what they were saying made sense. I decided the best way forward was to take everything on board and decipher the parts that resonated with me. I continued to eat meat during the trip – as stated on the anti candida diet – but did my best to dramatically reduce the sugar intake, and introduce new healthier food options. Flashback to my first shredded carrot and avocado on rice crackers for breakfast, when I thought my life was officially over. And so the journey began.

It wasn’t until I returned to the UK that I made the drastic switch. I was so frustrated with tiredness and depression I just had to get better. I did some more research and started seeking inspiration from Instagram. I completely identified with ‘Deliciously Ella’s story’, of course it made sense to heal yourself through diet, it’s no secret that what you put in is what you get out. Your body is a temple, so I’ve heard.

I can’t remember exactly how it happened, perhaps it was a new year’s resolution, but all at once I gave up wheat, gluten, meat, dairy and sugar. And I actually did it. Once you stop eating sugar you stop craving it, eventually. I can’t quite say the same for the smell of bacon. I did miss meat, but without it you become so adventurous. I started to really enjoy cooking, the creativity and spontaneity of it. I may have also become a little obsessed with taking photos of finished plates – some things will never change. My family didn’t get it, but that’s ok because we all evolve at a different rate.

I succeeded for six months without any slip-ups, and then through no fault of my own, there was an incident with half a chicken kebab and some Haribos. Since that day I’ve not quite managed to be as strict with my diet. Wheat and dairy have made appearances, alongside the occasional stress-induced chocolate splurge. But I have mostly stuck to the routine.

It can be hard to find free-from options when eating out in restaurants and attending parties but you can only do your best. I’ve found that from strictly cutting out so many things, my body is more able to deal with the smaller amounts of ‘bad foods’ now. When you overload on these your body will always suffer, but it can handle the odd supermarket sandwich or sprinkle of cheese on pasta. The key in getting started is to read labels; anything with numerous ingredients should be avoided. Just keep it simple.

Add plenty of super foods and smoothies to your diet. Green juice works wonders for mental and physical energy, but be careful not to replace food with juice. I often have a juice or smoothie in the morning before going out for a walk, then eat breakfast when I get back home.

We must remember to be patient with ourselves and stop comparing to our role models on social media. I’m sure they have slip-ups too, but we only present the best version of ourselves to the external world. Balance the good with the bad. Tomorrow is always a new day.

As I start the New Year phasing out festive foods, I remain committed to this new way of being. As someone who has identified to being somewhere between vegetarian and vegan for three years – I still eat eggs, tuna and honey for now to cope with the Fibromyalgia – I believe it was the best decision I’ve ever made, I only wish I’d done it sooner. Overall my body feels healthier and less bloated, and my mind feels so much more motivated without the constant influence of junk food.

It can be daunting at the start of the journey when researching diets and others’ beliefs, but remember to listen to your body and do what feels right for you. Some people like to give up everything at once, others prefer cutting out one thing at a time. Setting smaller targets may be more sustainable in the long run.

You wouldn’t believe that I used to be infatuated, borderline obsessed with chicken (ask any of my old school friends). But we all make changes in our own time. The first step is recognising that something needs to change, from here on the world is your oyster.

I now understand the reasons behind adopting a meat-free diet. Vegans are not new age hippies trying to brainwash you, nor are they just about saving the animals, eating a plant-based diet is essential for looking after your own health, eliminating illness and feeling the optimum of yourself.  But even more so, it’s important to conquer the ongoing battle with sugar cravings, that little devil on your shoulder forcing you to eat chocolate to get through each day.

So if you’re currently wondering why you signed up to Veganuary, my advice to you is stick at it for a bit longer. With so many meat-free substitutes around, there really is nothing left to miss. And with over half a million people now following a vegan diet in Britain, times really are changing. What have you got to lose?