FITNESS-FRIDAY: Posture makes muscles prosper

SpecialBlog Guest

A few days ago, while doing my resistance training, I came across this dedicated dude. He was trying to make the most out of his workouts and putting in every bit of strength left in him to achieve what he desires. After observing him for a good week, I saw something which I couldn’t ignore. So, I went up to him and suggested – your posture and breathing technique is not good and it could lead to injuries.

During exercise, proper posture and breathing may sound like simple things to remember. But often, injuries like muscle strains and off balance can occur when you fail to maintain good posture or inadvertently hold your breath during exertion. It is very important to maintain a good breathing cycle and a proper posture to attain the maximum benefit out of your workout.

Good posture supports the body to function effectively and will minimize muscle strain and injury. During exercise, whether you are sitting or standing, your body will potentially be in several different positions. If you add weights, such as dumbbells used for strength training, or increase your exercise intensity to an energetic level remember to maintain proper form and posture. If you are negligent on your posture or form, you can easily sustain an injury and be sidelined. Take time to learn proper body alignment and be mindful about how your body is feeling. Pain could be a warning of incorrect form or posture.

While doing resistance training, it is very important to maintain your breathing cycle. Holding your breath during a workout can have significant consequences. Breathing provides you that extra energy or oxygen to your body to perform that vital exercise or repetition of squats or deadlifts. When you minimize the number of breathes you take you are unknowingly reducing the oxygen supply into your body and that can result into depletion of your ability to be efficient. Unconsciously holding your breath can be due to the level of concentration needed when learning a new task or technique. Understand that deep consistent breathing helps to provide your body the oxygen it craves. Be aware of your breathing, notice if you are prone to holding your breath and try to make necessary adjustments to lift that extra rep.

Developing and maintaining optimal posture and proper exercise mechanics is of utmost importance to ensure health, safety and fitness. Working out with any dysfunction in your body can lead to pain, frustration, injuries, and inefficient use of energy for fitness training. Posture defines our performance in any activity we perform on daily basis. Whether it’s running, walking or sitting, it’s very important to maintain a good posture. Good stance will reduce the wear and tear of joints resulting into no joint pain or other conditions. It also minimizes the stress on ligaments which reduces the probability of injury.

While doing any resistance training, keep these vital points in mind regarding correct posture:

  • Keep your neck in line with your spine
  • Keep your back straight
  • Keep your knees relaxed and don not lock them
  • Keep your shoulders back, relaxed and down.

So, irrespective of whether you are an avid fitness enthusiast or just getting started with your fitness journey, don’t forget to maintain a proper posture and breathing cycle to maximize the results and also to prevent yourself from any injuries.

 

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FITNESS-FRIDAY: Are You Doing These Mistakes?

SpecialBlog Guest

It takes a lot of courage and grit to make up your mind to take the bold step of changing the way you look and put your first step into the gym. The journey seems to be very long when you start calculating your BMI (Body Mass Index) on a regular basis. There are people who train their body or undertake body transformation programme only when they have some special occasions to attend. I wish they never run out of special occasions, so they never have to show their back to the gym. These are the lucky or not so lucky people who want to shed some pounds, but my point of discussion for today’s topic is for those people who have been working out since years and yet not gaining the shape they desire for.

People have been complaining that they have acquired enough strength to lift the iron but they fail miserably when it comes to flaunting their biceps. Probably one of the reasons for quitting. But, Lady or dude, if you’ve been working for more and more muscles but haven’t seen any gains, then these could be the possible reasons which are in the way of you and big muscles.

ERROR 1: You don’t eat enough.

Big muscles and the right food have a strong correlation between them. It is very important to fuel your body with the right amount nutrients.  That includes fat, carbs, protein etc. If you don’t eat enough then your body can’t use the calories for repair and growth. You cannot build a house without a strong foundation. Calculate your calorie percentage, the way you plan your body mass index. Plan your meals.

ERROR 2: You don’t take enough rest or sleep.

Less sleep is one of the main reasons for sore muscles. You need to recharge your body with the adequate amount of sleep for the complete recovery and growth of muscles. It has been advised and a proven fact that what you do in the gym doesn’t change if you don’t change what happens outside of it. Eight hours of sleep is a must.

ERROR 3: Your workout lacks diversity.

If you are doing the same routine over and over again, then there’s a good chance you’ll hit a plateau. It is very important to bring different variations in your routine. Try different angles, exercises and loads to give the shock to your muscles. Don’t allow your mind to convince your muscles with the same set of repetitions.

ERROR 4: Not lifting heavy weights.

Building muscles are equivalent to adding intensity to your workout. You cannot expect your biceps to grow only by lifting 20 pounds’ dumbbell. No matter how consistent you are, if you are not challenging yourself in your routine, you cannot build muscles. Push your grit for those 2 extra repetitions.

ERROR 5: You’re not drinking enough water.

Drinking an adequate amount of water is easy, and there’s no excuse why you cannot do it. Water is an elixir of life and it is very important for you to keep your body rehydrated all the time. Just take a bottle wherever you go and keep sipping out of it throughout the day. You cannot train your muscles if you are not properly hydrated.

ERROR 6: You’re not training your legs.

There’s nothing much to argue on this point. Leg training is hard, but essential for a well-developed physique. Squats are the building blocks of your upper body muscles. It also increases your bench strength. DO NOT SKIP THE LEG DAY.

Make few simple tweaks to your routine to start building muscle and melting fat. Good luck with reaching your goals. Hustle Hard.

 

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Can We Make ‘Dating’ Cool Again?

I already had my quota of dates. Many of them a result of meeting someone on online forums or mobile dating apps (horrible experience so far!). Online dating can be an easier way to make contact with someone nowadays but it certainly has its cons. In fact, I think online dating has become the supersonic version of speed dating. In less than 3 minutes you are asked at least one of the following questions:

  • do you have kids?
  • what’s you job?
  • do you have WhatsApp?

At some point I gave up on online dating. And it doesn’t really have to do with the platform per se: you can develop a deep and interesting connection online. However, what I seem to notice on dating apps is that people automatically engage in some sort of “fast dating script” which makes them look like robots and not at all like human beings.

And what can I say about people’s profiles? If we pay attention to what people write in their profiles we soon conclude that people try to “pre-select” their options in the silliest and more superficial way we can imagine. Here is some of the criteria often used by men:

  • must know how to take care of herself
  • must have a good sense of humour
  • must like to go to the gym, and
  • must like to go out as well as to stay at home watching Netflix

We can also find more about them in their ‘personal’ description, a ‘glimpse’ of their soul and life. You can usually find lines such as:

  • tall and cheeky with a big heart
  • the kid on the photo is not mine
  • here for a good time
  • looking for someone who is fun
  • love confident strong women

And when there is a match, the conversation is also usually the same, like if there is some sort of shared script:

  • hi, how are you?
  • swhat do you do?
  • can we chat on Whatstapp?

Maybe this was entertaining when I was 20 years old, but now I am fed up of reading the same script every time. Conversations run dry after 10 minutes because there is nothing substantial to make a connection. It’s like you either go through a script at the speed of light and you book the guy for a coffee, or the game is over. And more often than not, if you decide to go for a coffee as a result of your speedy and empty chat, you will probably never have a second date.

I think there should be something called ‘slow dating’. I don’t mean that we should go back in time and write long letters to each other, but I think we should at least stop to consider if we are actually making the right decision in matters of dating. Of course that if you want to live in the Dating Rollercoaster Planet and jump from failure to failure, that’s absolutely fine; but why rush everything to just meet a guy and find out later that he doesn’t want anything else than collect another girl’s mobile number?

If there’s something I have learnt about potential dating partners is that if you give too much right away then 1) you will have no time to properly meet the other person, and 2) there will be nothing left to stimulate the other person’s curiosity about you. And another thing I have learnt is that sometimes we are so afraid of being alone and never finding love again that we put ourselves in the fast lane and then end up eating ice-cream from the bucket, because things didn’t go well again.

3 Important Lessons That Every Single Person Must Know

As part of a plan to learn how to relax myself more, I decided yesterday to go to the movies and watch a film whose trailer spoke to me deeply.

 

I’m talking about the french movie “Let the sunshine in“, which is about a woman who seeks love after a divorce. Her story is not much different from mine – no, I never ended up married, but her attitude towards love is the same I used to have.

Seeing my whole love history in that big screen made me realise how pathetic I was before I honestly commit to myself; before I stop accepting bones instead of looking forward to the whole chicken. Just like the character in the movie, I would try to grab with both hands any person who would show a little bit of interest. And the worst part is that I would fall in love with them instantly.

At the very end of the movie, my eyes were filled with water. There’s a great dialogue between Gérard Depardieu and the main character. His message is powerful and a must to every woman or man who like me has a tendency to get lost in a love fantasy that only brings hurt. Hence, based on the movie, here are 3 important lessons that every single person must know:

Focus On Yourself

If you are desperately seeking out for a new love and, in worst case scenario, if you are a relationship addict like I was, you are probably forgetting to pay attention to yourself and your self-care needs. When we are seeking a love outside of us, we often are so “out there” that we lose the center of ourselves. The love you are looking for, that great, fantastic love story, will only happen when you are centred and confident in your own life. So pay attention to your likes and dislikes, allow yourself to know you better and become the person you would like to be. The best relationships are a result of the union between two people who are wholes – not halves.

Only Settle For Someone Who Is Ideal For You

Yes, we don’t really choose who we fell for, I know. But I also know that people who constantly seek a new love can easily jump into situations too quick and then accept behaviours and attitudes from others that compromise their own sense of self-dignity. Plus, a relationship can make you feel good or comfortable sometimes, but is it ideal for you? Is it really what you have been looking for? Is that person truly compatible with who you are and who you look for a partner?

Accept & Enjoy Your Time As A Single Person

I wish I had known this before: there is no better time than the time you are single (except when you are in a happy and respectful relationship, of course). This is actually NOT the time to seek for a new love but to find yourself and get to know what you want to be manifested in your love life. For some of us, who live for the fantasy of finding that special person to share a life with, this time can be scary and even depressive, but it’s a time for healing your attitude towards love. Being single does not mean that you have to be actively seeking someone to be in a relationship with – that thought and false belief only rushes you into bad decisions.

 

 

FITNESS-FRIDAY: Foods You Definitely Must Avoid If You Want to Get in Shape

SpecialBlog Guest

Black coffee and hours of pondering didn’t fetch me a conclusion as to what should be my next fitness blog topic. Even the internet which is flooded with content these days, could not rescue me from this dilemma. According to statistics, 15% and 23% of the internet population searched for what to eat before they hit the gym, and what to eat post gym respectively. Out of all these, the thing which gained my attention was that only 7% were actually worried about what not to eat pre-or post-workout. Let’s cut the cake and go a little further and talk about what not to eat at all, to attain maximum results while they are sweating it out.

Regardless of whether you work out to lose weight, build muscles, enhance health or compete in sports, what you eat before, during and after a workout plays a major role in attaining results. Ideally, you should fuel the body properly to achieve the best performance, without feeling weak, sluggish or nauseous. What you eat should assist you in enhancing your workout. It will assist you in gaining more power, more muscles, less fat or whatever your personal goals are. So, I’m listing down few of the choices you should keep yourself away from:

White bread

They are high on GI (Glycemic Index). It is an index which measures blood sugar level. So, the next time you’re up in the store and thinking of picking up the white loaf. Just stop then and there and pick up the brown loaf. You get the same thing but with the better nutrients.

Alcohol

This is one thing most people won’t compromise on when they want to kick start their weekend on a high note. But the bad news is that regular consumption of alcohol is unhealthy for your body, as it puts more stress on your body. Thus, asking for more antioxidants. The antioxidants which are used to help muscle recovery are instead used in metabolizing the alcohol. So even if you are not able to curb your craving don’t exceed your consumption for more than 2 drinks. (Rum or Vodka)

Dry fruits

Most of them suggests that it is one the best evening snacks, but I would like to disagree with the fact that it provides all the required nutrients. Dried or dehydrated fruit contain Sulphur and added sugar and the removal of water from it allows us to overeat. You consume a lot of calories by eating dried fruits as compared to eating a fresh apple or any fruit. The amount of water percentage determines that how your body digests the fruit. So, next time pick an apple over dried fruits.

Processed Cheese

Processed cheese contains more calories as compared to unprocessed cheese. It also contains emulsifiers, which help keep the fatty and non-fatty ingredients mixed together.

Packaged salad

Again high on calories and can turn your healthy meal into a fat bomb.

Ice cream

When your objective is to stay healthy and trim, you cannot choose this as an option in the diet chart. This is very high on calories and fat. Processed sugar which is used in making Ice cream can be harmful for your health.

Fried foods

The tinge of oil and a twinkle of cheese might enhance the taste of your cuisine, but will not help in reducing your fat midsection. The oil is high in saturated oils.

So, guys, these are the things, that I invariably keep out of my diet cart. Make sure you do the same if you are willing to lead a healthy life. Hustle up!

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The 4 Stages of Self-Love

I have recently found Dr. Ross Rosenberg’s work around codependents and emotional manipulators. I am currently reading his book “The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us” and it has been an incredible journey to the roots of my own codependency symptoms.

Codependents have a “complete willingness to give love, respect and care to their relationship partners, without the hope or the possibility of receiving the same in return”. More often than not, codependents choose emotional manipulators as partners and rarely empower themselves to put an end in a relationship that makes them very unhappy and miserable.

There are many important things to say about codependency and emotional manipulation, but for now I would like to share the most important idea I got from one of Dr. Ross’ youtube videos: the cure for codependency is self-love. As Dr. Ross notes several times in the video, it might seem cliche, but the process of codependency recovery is about realising the power and importance of loving ourselves. And how do we do that? It is easier said than done, so I thought it would be nice to share Dr Ross’ four-stage approach with you.

Stage 1

Setting Boundaries 

When you finally decide to put a stop in all the abuse you have subjected yourself to, you will notice that the efforts to change how you react and deal with “pushy” and manipulative individuals will inevitably bring some level of conflict into your life. People were used to receive everything from you and when you stop giving them the benefits of having a relationship with you, they will start to complain. As a result, you may have to deal with some nasty reactions and in most cases the situation and climate between you and others can become really negative. Some people will try to persuade you to come back to your “old self” with arguments such as “you are not being nice”, which will easily make you feel pressured to return to your old habits and behaviours. Whatever happens, please stick to your new boundaries and rules.

Stage 2

Maintaining Boundaries in an Hostile Environment 

This is when you have to persist in face of doubt and hazardous situations. In this stage, some people will keep taunting and persuading you to give up on yourself. Others will be simply sad or surprised, but they will support you anyway. And others will simply walk away, because you stopped fuelling their egos and that was the main reason why they used to stick around you. Either way, the most important is that you keep focused in your own needs and the reason behind your wish of having a healthier relationship with yourself and others.

Stage 3

Building New Relationships 

After realising who loves you and who only brings you toxicity, it will be time to look for healthier relationships. You will finally look for mutuality, commitment, and interdependence. You will no longer accept to be in a relationship in which you give all of you and receive barely nothing in return. You will apply your new set of rules and lessons when developing a new relationship.

Stage 4

Reinforcing or Strengthening New Relationships

Once your new relationships are established, you want to keep taking care of them. This is when you explore healthy ways to keep bonding with others while still preserving your own needs and expectations at the same time. You will want to invest in others and request others to invest in you in a similar fashion.

3 Habits That Will Transform Your Life

Yesterday I started working on my eating and exercising habits. I feel it is time to commit more seriously to myself and ‘run’ those extra miles that I have been avoiding. Plus, I’m craving some sort of life transformation, and is there any better moment than now?

So I did a quick search, because there is no need to reinvent the wheel, and I found a couple of habits that are said to be part of the routine of multiple entrepreneurs. I think the most important thing about these habits is not exactly what you will get from them individually but the transformative energy you will generate while pursuing them.

Wake up earlier

Through all these years, I have never been able to wake up ‘that’ early (#5amclub). I do try it often but I always fail – the temptation to hit the snooze button is bigger than my expectations from the previous day. However, I have been able to wake up around 6am, so I will use that time reference to start with.

Workout regularly

Every time I set my mind to workout every day it doesn’t work. In the beginning, the idea sounds great but sooner or later it becomes too overwhelming. Since I’m at a beginner stage again, I will limit myself to walk at least 5 times a week and then review my workout goals later so I can start adding strength exercises to my routine. I will also write my workout commitments on my calendar, as if they were a work-related commitment.

Meditate

Meditation is really important and I can confirm all the good benefits you can get from doing it. I do need to practise either meditation or any other contemplative practise in order to be calmer and less reactive, so my aim is to start meditating for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening.

 

Addiction Recovery: The Critical Day 3

Last year, I went public here about my food addiction.

Since then I recovered at least twice from it and relapsed three times. Right now, I’m recovering from my third relapse and it’s Day 4. In a nutshell, uncertainty and the fail of another “almost relationship” led me here – well, actually, my ancient unhealthy mechanisms to deal with emotional pain drove me here.

In each relapse and recovery I learn something more. When looking back, this time I noticed that Day 3 is a very critical day and it’s usually the day I jeopardise all my recovery efforts. Day 3 is the day my body starts to kick out all the toxins. The result is an intense and paralysing headache, body aches, light sensitivity and nausea. And what do I (usually) do about pain? I eat (crap).

So yesterday my food cravings went up 200%. I could only think of gummy bears, Big Macs, french fries loaded with ketchup, chocolate cookies, donuts, and so on. I wanted to put everything in my mouth and spend the rest of the evening eating, so I would be distracted from the physical pain I was going through.

But suddenly I remembered the time I spent on the retreat doing my coaching certification. For one week, we did raw food fusion at every single meal. On the third day, I got the same reactions I was having yesterday: a paralysing headache, body aches, light sensitivity and nausea. It then struck me: the physical pain was part of the recovery process and in order to continue I had to be with it. If I gave up to the sweet taste of a whole box of donuts, I wouldn’t be able to reach the following step on my recovery journey and I would be back to stage zero.

Hence, instead of numbing the physical sickness with food, I did what I had done before when I was at the retreat: I laid down, I took the fetal position, closed my eyes and tried to fell asleep. In the next day, I was totally fine and the intense cravings were completely gone. This is exactly how I feel today – I have been thinking way less about food and my body feels much healthier on the inside, so I’m glad I managed to go beyond the Critical Day 3.

Finding and Giving Space to Your Own Voice

I have done a lot of work on myself to express my inner voice over the years. It has been a long way, from a super shy and introverted teenager to a young adult who is now brave enough to teach in a cinema room or reach out to people who are often perceived by others as “VIP” or powerful.

Earlier on, I knew I had to find my voice and speak up no matter what, if I really wanted my ideas and passions to fly away from my writer’s desk. I think I can say I have done a reasonable good job on putting myself out there whenever there’s the need to. With baby steps, I have overcame the fear of failure and social rejection. I go out there and I just allow myself to be whoever I am, with all the good, bad and ugly things that are part of me. Maybe that’s why some clients are signing up to work with me on the same problem I used to have. They want to find and give space to their own voice in the world and within themselves.

And maybe you face the same struggle. Maybe you are also afraid of looking silly, of doing mistakes or saying all the wrong things you can imagine when talking to someone you barely know. You know you have to overcome these barriers if you want to feel confident and safe out there, just as my clients and I did. So what’s stopping you?

I can’t say I know exactly what’s stopping you, but I can share with you what was stopping me at the time. Here is a short list of reasons I can recall from the top of my head:

  • I thought I was not an interesting person
  • I thought I had nothing to say that people would like to hear
  • I thought people would find me weird as soon as I started talking to them

Of course I don’t feel expansive and confident all the time – no one is! -, but I find myself much more at ease whenever I need to speak to 200 students, express my opinion in public or attend a business party. The acute anxiety and stress peaks are no longer as harsh as they used to be, and believe me I would be paralysed. So what helped me in those scenarios? Three particular thoughts that refute the thoughts I wrote above:

  • Everyone is interesting and therefore so am I
  • I’m not the one deciding whether people are or are not interested in what I say, that’s up to them
  • Everyone is weird and everyone is great, so why fear?

We spend much time in our heads, that’s our biggest problem. And we tend to think the whole world gravitates around us. Does it? The freckle you think someone will spot on you will probably go unnoticed, because just like you everyone else is too much in their own heads to acknowledge that maybe, maybe that one person in front of them is actually feeling the same way they are – anxious, awkward, stupid. So why prolong the suffering?

My final pieces of advice:

  • find your voice and give it space
  • be open, be yourself, be brave
  • focus on the process, be in the moment, forget about the outcomes

Healing Tiredness With The Four Elements

More often than not, whenever I sit on a bus I grab my smartphone and I go on Pinterest. So after reading this article here on screen time, I plead guilty. Nonetheless, I found something very interesting while I was searching for “tired” – and yes, lately I have been constantly tired and experiencing “brain fog” a lot.

What I found was one those images with a bunch of words in it which altogether make us have an ‘a-Ha!’ moment. It basically mentioned how the soil, water, air, and heat could “heal” and empower us. From there, I associated the saying with the four elements and I realised how it actually looked like a very clever way or system to reboot ourselves – especially when we are feeling tired.

The image said the following:

“Place your hands into soil to feel grounded. Wade in water to feel emotionally healed. Fill your lungs with fresh air to feel mentally clear. Raise your face to the heat of the sun and connect with that fire to heal your own immense power.” (Victoria Erickson)

Wasn’t this lady intelligent?

The soil is the Earth. Water is water and air is air, of course. Heat is the Fire. The four elements, right there. And the most interesting thing – or at least I find it so – is that I have noticed each of these benefits in myself. Let me offer you a couple of examples:

Earth

One of the best memories I have when I was a kid is being at my grandfather’s garden and sitting directly on the ground next to my cousin. We would play with the reddish soil around us and contemplate the big world from that lovely seat that nature provided us with. The feelings I recall from that experience are safety and security.

Water

In the last 9 months I spent in Portugal, I started to realise the great impact that diving in the sea had on my mood and energy. Since then, I am always waiting for summertime and the chance to immerse myself in the sea (plus, I love the salty taste afterwards).

Air

Another thing that deeply changes my mood and disposition is seeing myself in an open space – the greener, the better. Last week I went for a walk in the fields around our university and afterwards I felt so much at ease with myself and my whole life!

Fire

Ok, I’m a suspicious person to talk about this one, because I come from the land of the sun (Portugal) and I’m pretty much like a lizard – whenever the sun is out, I love being outside feeling it on my skin. And I love being tanned (who doesn’t, right?). But the great thing about being exposed to sunlight is the feeling of being somehow “recharged” or “reenergised”.

 

 

What about you? Have you experienced any of these “healing” properties of the four elements? I would love to hear your thoughts!

 

The 3 Signs That Tell You Whether You Are In The Right Path

In a previous post, I talked about life purpose and how you can reconnect with your own. What I shared with you was based on many insights that I got from reading once again the book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. Since then, I have been focused on working on my life purpose and how to unlock the mission that underlies that same purpose.

So today I want to share with you three signs that will tell you whether you are following the right path or whether you are in the right track to accomplish your life purpose.

Immense Joy

Whatever area you are focusing on, your heart and mind are connected and you feel an immense joy within you. You smile when you either talk about what you are doing or what your vision is all about. Your body expands from inside out and you may even feel like you have a kind of glow all over your, a glow that protects and nourishes you in such a way that no matter what happens the next step is always revealed  to you.

Everything Flows

Joy and all the other positive emotions you feel open not only the way, but also the doors and windows that are necessary in order to help you accomplishing your mission. Of course, we are talking about one baby step at a time, as nothing happens over night, but there is this huge sense of flow: one thing connecting with another and one opportunity leading to many others. All flows.

You Become an Inspiration to Others

Feeling that you are being blessed and accomplishing each milestone of your big mission empowers you and that reflects on how other people perceive you. If you carry a special glow around you, people with the same mindset will feel attracted to you and will also see you as an example, as an inspiration, a light that shows them that they also can connect their heart and mind, just like you are doing. They will feel inspired by the idea that they can also light up themselves.

The 2 Psychological Barriers That Prevent You From Changing

We are gladly waiting for Spring time to come. I think this post is actually somehow influenced by the energy that Spring brings with it, an energy that propels us to clean ourselves from Winter’s excesses and renew or change all that has been weighing us down and stopping us from being our best selves.

From the coaching work I’ve done with incredible people and reflecting upon my own experience as a human being, I have noticed that there as essentially two issues that we need to “clean”, “get rid of” or make ourselves aware of, in order to make all the changes we need to happen. These are:

  • conscious or unconscious fear of change, and
  • uninspiring goals

I talk about each of these barriers to change in more depth in the video below. Hopefully you will get some useful tips as well to unblock your path to change.

 

Honey Oats: Another delicious breakfast!

Breakfast is by far my favourite meal! And today I opted for something a little bit different from what I have been having (egg on toast).

Here are the ingredients you need:

  • rolled oats
  • honey
  • cinnamon
  • chia seeds
  • strawberries

How to do it:

  • place the oats in a  bowl and add some water (until they are covered)
  • microwave your oats for 2.5 minutes (mine is set to its highest power level)
  • remove your bowl from the microwave and drizzle your oats with honey
  • sprinkle some cinnamon over the honey
  • cut a couple of strawberries (I cut them in a round shape, but you can be as much creative as you want!) and place them in the blow
  • add some chia seeds to decorate

And eat it all with great pleasure! 😉

How To Reconnect With Your Life Purpose

If you are already in my e-mail list, you may know by now that I have been through a great process of change and heading to different decisions in life. I am writing a new book at the moment, in which I share my story around burnout and how these last three years made me realise that it’s about time for me to spread my wings and fly towards happiness. I mean true happiness. So I am truly committed to change the direction of my career and leave academia for a while to pursue something that feeds my soul in a deeper way.

And one of the things that helped me to embark on this journey of reconnection with what many call “life purpose” was to go back in time, literally; I asked myself what were my dreams when I was a kid and I let myself be immersed in memories of my childhood. I went back as further as the age 5 or 6, an age in which I would tell people that I wanted to be a teacher.

At the age of 14, I then had the wish of becoming a journalist who is always travelling and reporting from remote places around the world. At the age 17, I wanted to become a nutritionist. At the age of 25, I became someone who had a master’s degree in Psychology but who couldn’t really be a psychologist. And at the age of 29, I am now a professional coach, who is focused on working side by side with inspiring people and help them open even more roads, doors or even windows so they can shine even brighter.

When I look at life through the eyes of the 5 year old child that is inside me, I know what my life purpose is

Looking back, I just have to say that life happens and what goes around comes around. I didn’t trained to be a teacher, but I became one. I didn’t trained to be a journalist, but I keep writing and extending my soul through my fingers. I spent three years depressed for being able to enrol in a nutrition course, but I have now three degrees in Psychology and I know more about how food impacts our minds, souls and bodies than many nutrition students that I have met in this journey. I am not also legally qualified to be a psychologist, because I refuse to be part of an organisation which makes me trade money for acting within my own profession, but I studied social norms and groups so much that I am comfortable to step aside from all the status and prestige that one can have from being a Doctor.

And when I look at life through the eyes of the 5 year old child that is inside me, I know what my life purpose is. My life purpose is not being a doctor, a psychologist, or a nutritionist. When I look back to all the dreams I had, they were all about improving myself and helping others change towards their best selves. So when I am 5 years old again, I’m in that exact moment in time that separates me from living a sad life or live the life that I came to live.

And how did I arrive into this moment? I travelled in time and I recalled every dream that I forced myself to let go because there were always far more people to stop me than to encourage me. I grew up, I screwed up, I got lost, but I have never stopped being to others the type of person that I needed when I was just 5 years old. Today I am not just being that person to others. I am being who I am at my very best for myself and that’s why I am sailing away and embracing the beautiful unknown gift of life. Once more.