Archive for Soul food

Tell yourself something good

Have you heard the story of the grandfather in the supermarket with the screaming toddler?

All the way around the shop he was quietly saying:

“There there William, everything will be alright” “You’re doing great” “We’re nearly finished”.

His voice was soothing and calm as he moved from aisle to aisle. His grandson wailing and flailing as he went!

When another customer complimented him on his gentle approach, the elderly man said “My name is William, not his.”

There are times in our lives when you just have tell yourself something good and write another script.

Wellness Stock Photo by Sash Photography http://wellnessstockshop.com

You may be stuck, out of sorts or falling back into old habits that don’t serve you.

You may be saying “this is just the way I’ve always eaten” or “change is so hard” or “I’m not doing so well with this”.

Regardless.

You get to choose your next move. Your next script. Your next thought. Your next meal.

Will you stop or move?

Will you stay the same or grow?

There’s one thing I know and that’s movement always helps. Even if that movement looks like curling up with a good book to rest and repair.

You owe it to yourself to find a way.

Just like William, tell yourself something good.

Because you are making progress. Even if it’s a tiny step.

It’s time to celebrate the small stuff and keep reaching for your goals.

Change a habit. Change your life

Two unexpected things happened when I attended Kara-Leah Grantʼs Habit Hacking workshop.

First I arrived sure of the habit I wanted to take on and walked out doing something completely different! And second I had no idea of the ripples changing this one thing would have in my life.

“The thing you want to change often arises out of the soul,” explains Kara-Leah. “Itʼs like following the breadcrumbs without knowing where it will lead. But deep within you there is a knowing.”

“And when you change just one thing itʼs like you pull a thread and the whole tapestry is revealed!”Kara_Leah_Grant_PRO (Small)

Since the early ’00s, yoga has been a core practice in Kara-Leahʼs life.

“Yoga was like coming home for me. There was a deep inner knowing. But I was semi regular with it. Iʼd do a little Ashtanga here and a little Bikram there. I donʼt remember a home practice.

“When I experienced psychosis, I was doing yoga in the psych ward. I knew it was my path to wellness.”

Living in a remote part of NZ Kara-Leah started practicing yoga at home as there was no teacher in the area. A year or so later, living in Queenstown, the yoga teacher asked her to take over the class as she was going on maternity leave.

“Teaching required me to step up my daily practice. I was committed to my students. I had to be on my mat.

“Thatʼs when I started to realise the yoga of yoga was overcoming the resistance. Sometimes it was like wading through molasses to get to the mat!

“Itʼs the dissolution of the ego, and it doesnʼt want to dissolve.”

Completing her teaching training took Kara-Leah deeper into her own practice.

“I started a kundalini practice where I chose to do a particular kriya (action) for 40 days. The 40-day practice became a way of giving my yoga some kind of anchor. Although I did other practices, that was my absolute.

“I developed a really good understanding of overcoming obstacles and resistance.”

Kara-Leahʼs book Forty Days of Yoga has inspired many to get to their mats and cultivate a daily yoga practice. Even if itʼs just for seven minutes.

“In essence the core of habit hacking is a yogic way of life. Itʼs a very liberating process that anyone can use for any habit they want to change.

“The big thing with habit hacking is weʼre holding one thing constant. And that which opposes it also has to change. So the resistance, the thought, the belief pattern that gets in the way of the habit has to change.”

For Kara Leah’s Habit Hacking workshops and yoga events around NZ see her events calendar

 

You may also like “One habit worth cultivating“.

One habit worth cultivating

It was never meant to be this one. In fact I hadn’t considered it until it came tumbling out of mouth while on Kara-Leah Grant’s Habit Hacking Workshop.

“I’m going to get up early for 40 days in a row!” I blurted out.

Deep down I was over it. Staying in bed was feeding that part of me I really didn’t like. The small part. The part that told me stuff that wasn’t true. Like, “you’re not a morning person.” “you’ll never get up early to write” and sometimes the depressing “why bother”.

But here I was facing 40 days of reinventing my normal. Rewriting my storytaking the plunge (Small)

 

Here are 6 things I learnt about getting up early.

1. It’s my time. Mine. Zero sharing. Zero having to be anything for anybody. I can write, roll out my yoga mat, read, or just sit and greet the dawn with a cuppa. By. Myself.

2. I’ve freed up space in my brain. There’s no “I wish I’d …” or “Will I or won’t I.” I’m up and that’s it. That equals more creative space, more inner calm.

3. Self care in any measure begets more self care. I’ve done something tender and kind for myself. It feels good. It sets a good foundation for looking after myself throughout the day.

4. It may create change in others. In other words, there may be speedbumps in your closest relationships. Why? Because when you make a commitment to something new, something empowering, your loved ones will feel a shift. And as positive as it is, that shift can kick up stuff.

5. I can. Yes I can write that book, blog, article. Yes I can cultivate a daily yoga practice. Yes I can go for an early morning walk. Yes I can reframe my overwhelm that there’s never enough time because I’ve graced myself with more. Caveat: This is distinct from just doing more. It’s more like wise management.

6. Rituals help. Weaving some simple actions around this practice has helped it feel like a daily treat. Something natural. I roll out my yoga mat the night before. My favourite blanket is on the couch. When I rise I light a candle. And yes there’s a silent cup of tea.

By day 40 I felt capable and more confident. Who knew that would be the outcome of getting up early?

So what’s next? Today is day 10 of 40 days of yoga. Wish me luck!

 

1 life hack you don't want to miss

If there was a way you could boost your energy, enhance your creativity and level out your emotions would you be interested?

This is an activity that strikes a cord with me. You see – I’ve been resisting it for years.20150624_090903 (1)

With the depths of winter well and truly on us, now is a good time to be talking about rest. Or more specifically napping.

Throughout history many of our greatest minds were nappers. Leonardo, Salvador, Einstein … Winston Churchill believed all you needed was “20 minutes of blessed oblivion to renew all your vital sources.”

Doesn’t that sound divine?

Resisting that after lunch urge to close your eyes and head for oblivion is yet another way we don’t listen to our bodies. It’s another way we override what we really need.

Some cultures have got this sorted. They retire. They rest. Organisations are also getting in on it, providing workers with places to lie down. They know the benefit of listening to those primal circadian rhythms.

In her TED talk neurobiologist Sarah McKay says our desire to close our eyes is programmed into our biological clocks. And when we do, the science is there to back up the benefits. We’re more productive and creative after a nap. We’re nicer.

Let’s take it one step further

And surrender. That’s not giving in or anything weak. In fact it’s one of the strongest things you’ll ever do. It cultivates a passive energy that has it’s own kind of strength.

Think of it as melting into the love that you are. Consciously connecting with your light as you slide towards that blessed oblivion. It doesn’t take a course, or hours of meditating. You don’t need a book to show you how. Just relax. Love. And feel the calm space around you.

Now that’s a power nap.

Before you snuggle up I want to leave you with the words from Nap Queen herself – Sark.

“All at once you sail away into a nap, where tangled nerves are untied, and where time stops. Guilt and expectations are not welcome in napland. You can always find a reason. Find more reasons to let naps take you.”

Wishing you that certain kind of quiet

Sweet dreams

Kate xx

 

Are you setting yourself up?

Tell me.

Is there something that makes you feel good that you’re just not doing?

I’m talking about that thing that recalibrates you, centers you.stepping into new territory (Small)

Maybe it’s an early morning walk, 10 minutes meditation or a practice of gratitude.

Perhaps it’s as simple as drinking lots of water.

I could list a few things that come and go for me. They so easily drop off the end of the endless list. Or just plain get forgotten as life speeds past.

But lately I’ve started to do yoga again.

{Shoulders soften}

It makes me stand still.

{Deep breath}

I feel grounded and connected to my body.

It’s easy not to have the time. But the price of not doing it is really too high.

Without it there’s no pause for me. No loosening up energy and joints.

And here’s the thing. It’s part of a set up. One act of self care begets another.

I eat cleaner. Stand straighter. I face the world stronger.

It’s in these moments of mindfullness that inspirations pop in. Problems are solved. Our next step is revealed.

No matter how simple, our small but important practices help our energy spiral upwards.

They make space for self care aka self love.

Is there something you’re not doing?

Do that. SAM_2296 (Small)

A Gift of Words

This year, rather than choosing one word to be my guiding light for the year ahead, I’m choosing four.

Or rather they’ve chosen me.

They’ve taken up residence in my heart. And true to their metaphor they’re shining bright.IMG_20150127_074838030 (Small)

I’m going to take you on a journey.

A Christmas journey.

Down country roads lined with summer grasses. Through winding valleys where the sun beats down making the whole world smell like summers when you were a kid.

Past the two-classroom school, past where the old shop used to be, there’s a church.

The Church of the Good Shepherd. A stained glass window tells it’s story. Farming families live here. The coast is close by.

Christmas brings me back every couple of years to sing shoulder-to-shoulder with folk I grew up with. To say “Hi” to my childhood mate buried outside.

This Christmas day we learnt about four candles. Four words.

These candles are lit in the month leading up to Christmas. They are the candles of Advent.

HOPE
The first candle is the candle of hope. This candle is lit in the darkest corner of the church. There is always hope. We must never lose this! Express your longing for peace, wellbeing and healing, and keep this candle burning in your darkest places.

Have hope.

PEACE
The second candle is the candle of peace. Take a moment and feel your shoulders soften in the presence of peace. It can seem elusive in a world gone mad. Even when disharmony reigns there is always a way to peace.

Seek peace.

JOY
With hope and peace in our hearts we can make joy. So often joy is stifled under the weight of obligation. The ‘shoulds’ the ‘have tos’. A measure of success is how joyful you feel. Not how clean your house is, or how rich you are. Joy is all around us in the laughter of children, the colours of sunset, music and togetherness. Sometimes it comes easily like a wellspring from deep within us. But it’s also a choice. An attitude. One that needs exercising.

Make joy.

LOVE
The fourth candle is that of love. When in doubt. Love more. When in pain. Love more. By practising love we can make our lives more fulfilling, peaceful and loving.

Learn from love.IMG_20150127_075801829 (Small)

With all of mine to you. Have the best year yet.

Love Kate

PS Sprinkle these words on your day … your year.

Discover how to renew your health with plant-based food

Changing the way you eat could seem harder than it actually is in practice.

That’s why I’ve created Vegan Cuisine. A gathering place for the curious, the converted and those of you ready to dive into a plant-powered lifestyle.

Welcome!

I’m Kate Broughton, lifestyle coach + plant-based educator.IMG_0635 (Small)

If you’re ready to make changes to your life, big or small I’m here to guide you.

So you can be confident taking on new habits, new ways of eating and living.

I help you put your desires into action.

Click here to find out more …

Seven Steps To A Frazzle-Free Xmas

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Is your calender a mass of end-of-year parties, pot lucks and prize-givings? And your to-do list looks like it’s on steroids!

Itʼs a hard time of year to keep your tinsel on straight.

But with a bit of planning and good self care, you can side step the mayhem and sail smoothly and happily towards the end of the year.

Here are 7 things that will save you crying into your truffles.

ONE.

Say no. You donʼt have to go to everything youʼre invited to.

Be mindful of your energy. Itʼs not as limitless as your second glass of Pinot Gris will have you think.

Endless parties and out-of-the-ordinary amounts of food, wine and late nights can deplete your energy and add to your physical and emotional stress. This in turn compromises your immune system and by the time you roll out your beach towel youʼre fighting a cold or another inopportune infection.

If an invitation doesnʼt invoke a “hell yes!” then donʼt go.

Trust your intuition on this one.

TWO.

Master a BIG salad and take it everywhere. Many casual summer events require you to take food. Keep it simple and perfect one recipe that you love. If thereʼs no other plant-based dishes on the table your salad will save you and keep you far away from the sausage rolls.

Try this one with new potatoes, cucumber and spicy chickpeas

Or these striking quinoa lettuce cups

THREE.

Keep it green. Starting the day with alkalising green juices and smoothies is the perfect antidote to the seasonʼs over indulgences. It gets you off to a healthy start and lays a good foundation for the rest of the day.

Make double so you can keep your energy humming through the three oʼclock energy lag.

FOUR.

Shop locally. I love this option. Supporting the small businesses and artisans around you creates the goodwill Xmas is all about. And youʼre bound to come away with more interesting gifts. The frenetic energy of towns and cities at this time of year affects us all. Thereʼs a collective overload happening everywhere and it’s possible youʼre picking up on more than your own stress.

Avoid the crowds, corporations and bad Christmas music. Shop close to home.9FGrYgOMQOetXBZZs3uA__MG_0328 (Small)

FIVE.

Keep meals light and plant-based. In all honesty the meals of old used to leave me feeling like a cement mixer. No offence to the pavlova Mum but the lashings of cream + sugar were the final kicker.

Woo your friends and family with the best the season has to offer: new potatoes, asaragus, avocados, vine-ripened tomatoes, baby zucchini.

And when in doubt make these chocolate truffles.

SIX.

If you are frazzled you can bet your kids are more so. Let’s face it they’re already tired. It’s the end of a big long year for them whatever age.

Add parties, more sugar than usual, late nights, long car trips, high excitement and people they’re not used to and well, it’s hard for them to cope.

Factor in time just for them and fill up their emotional tank. Stuff in some early nights and keep food as real as you can.

And if they do melt down stay connected and stick to your parenting values. This is not the time for outdated advice from Aunt Margaret. Do it your way.

SEVEN.

Be grateful. Most of us get to celebrate with those we love. Weʼre lucky. So incredibly lucky. We have food, shelter and more than we need. We can freely sing praises and rejoice. We can be generous, help others and make memories.

Most of all. Be grateful for who you are. Because youʼre amazing.

Christmas blessings

Love Kate  xx

Why Connecting Children With Nature Matters

Pause for a minute and think of your favourite memories of childhood play.

Were you hurtling down a hill on cardboard?

Digging a hole to China?

Or making a hut at the end of the garden?

Whatever your version, Iʼm guessing you were outside.SAM_1926 (Small)

Mine was under an old totara tree. The branches came all the way to the ground. We made a path of stones to lead you in.

It was secret.

And quiet.

And smelt of earth.

Inside were imaginary rooms and the creek was right outside. Iʼm guessing Mum knew where we were. But I canʼt be sure.

It sounds like a typical kiwi childhood. Lots of mud, risk and freedom.

But childhood experiences are shifting

Todayʼs youngsters are spending far less time outdoors than any previous generation. Their schedules are busier, activities more organised and any free time competes with the ever present lure of indoor entertainment.

Then thereʼs the fear.

Parents go through more emotional gymnastics letting kids out beyond the garden gate than it seems their parents did.

Modern day parents have been described as ʻmarinated in fearʼ.

Stranger danger, faster cars and the perils of the natural world itself are keeping our kids safely indoors.

And itʼs rubbing off.

A Massey University study found that children are picking up on their parents’ fears and are reluctant to be alone or venture out. When asked about their adventures the children in the study talked about video games.

More than just childhood memories are at stake

Richard Louv bestselling author of The Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle coined the phrase nature-deficit disorder sparking an international movement and national debate across North America.

Louv suggests the disconnection of children with nature correlates with increasing social, mental and physical health problems.

Thereʼs growing evidence linking a lack of time outdoors to childhood obesity, vitamin D deficiency and rising rates of depression.

Kids who do play outside are more adaptable, less likely to get sick and get along with each other better.

Itʼs no surprise ʻnature prescriptionsʼ are being written by paediatricians to help children cope with a range of issues from difficulty concentrating to autism.

The simple act of mucking around outside was a hot topic at last yearʼs NZ Nature Education Network conference The Natural Phenomena.

Unstructured. Creative. Social. Mucking around comes with an inbuilt need to assess risk and adapt to changing circumstances.

Keynote speaker Griffin Longley, CEO of Nature Play, Western Australia, reported in one generation our parks are empty and our kids are more likely to be ‘playing’ on technology, blurring the lines of entertainment and play.

Take note how many kids you see meandering home from school. Or at the local park engaged in make-it-up-as-you-go type play.

“Every child needs to feel safe,” says Griffin, “and brave to thrive.” That may seem like a dichotomy but it comes back to our view of risk.

Distinguishing a hazard from a risk is important. Remove the hazard and tackling something risky builds bravery, discernment and a sense of accomplishment at any age.

Nature has a system that already works. And kids learn through trial and error.

So with more people on the planet living in urbanised environments how do we reconnect children with the outdoors?

It begins at our doorstep underneath the bare feet of our youngest tamariki.

Getting kids outside is a conscious action led by parents and educators.

A bug under a log provides wonder and excitement that canʼt be felt elsewhere.

Encourage children to feel part of nature at a young age. Help them watch clouds, feel grass under their feet, dig a hole in the back yard.

It neednʼt take a lot of resources. Itʼs a way of thinking about life.

For conference details and resources see www.natureeducationnetwork.co.n20140913-Natural Phenomena-157-90 (Small)