anxiety

Calling All Those in Need of a Mindful Retreat...

Calling All Those in Need of a Mindful Retreat...

Mental Retreat:

Sometimes, (okay a lot of the time) life is overwhelming, it leaves us feeling stressed out, burnt out and frankly,  in need of an escape. More often than not, it’s not always possible or practical to just hop on a plane (she says, finding herself in Sydney after just spending the best part of 30 hours on a plane).

Sure, Frou. Sure.

How to Balance Your Energy...

Why do we Stretch?

✖️Stretching helps to increase range of motion and to open the body,
✖️Releasing any tension in the muscles,
✖️Relaxes the mind.

Energy balancing stretching is primarily about embodiment - (Nourishment, Movement, Presence, Sensuality, Nature) and exploring different ways that you can be more “in your body.”

Being in the body, inhabiting it, feeling it, sensing it, knowing it, being curious about it, noticing it, exploring all the sensations of bodily existence, and letting the body speak to you on its own terms.

This last fortnight I've been working with various clients on different ways to address adrenal fatigue. Hormones are imbalanced, the body can suffer from hypoglycemia, a weakened immune system, foggy thinking and quite often depression. In order to overcome adrenal fatigue you need to follow a well thought out recovery exercise programme but the following two stretching exercises are great grounding starting points - put on some relaxing music and try to tune into what feels good when you move in your body.

Legs Up the Wall:

▫️Lie on your back with the edge of your bum touching a wall. 
▫️Feel free to elevate your hips with a pillow if more comfortable. 
▫️Walk your feet up the wall until your legs are fully extended. 
▫️Breathe. 
▫️Try to relax. 
▫️When you notice your mind wandering (it will) try to be an observer of your thoughts. As though you were watching yourself from a distance. Having music helps as you can focus on the beat. No crazy dubstep tunes though please 😬🤔
▫️Stay in this position anywhere from 2-15 minutes.

Beginners Bridge:

▫️Lie on back, bring knees up for 45 degrees.
▫️Push hips up so that your shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line. Keep shins vertical. 
▫️Slowly drop pelvis back down, as low as you comfortably can and then bring hips back up to ceiling.
▫️10 second hold / 10 second relax.
▫️Don't forget to breathe 👀 this exercise is predominantly about the breathing. 
▫️Aim to do this 10 times. 

Why that Travelling Bug Never Really Goes Away.

Words By Frou Williams.

Growing up I never really travelled much, if at all. When you grow up in a family with four children and on a one parent income, holiday's were never really something in our vocabulary. Building forts in the garden, racing on toy tractors and playing cricket with my brothers whilst smashing all the plant pots on the other hand (and often the windows...eek sorry mum)!

When I was old enough to go on my first holiday with friends, we did the typical booze laden, come as you are, 18-30's, girls on tour...complete with printed t-shirts and hot pants. Oh the horror. Those were the days where you could get a 2 week holiday for £199 and we lived off ouzo and pot noodles. #balance ;)

Despite the fact we managed to get our drinks spiked, half the group ended up in hospital and all somehow fell in 'love' and just as quickly had our hearts broken by some holiday rep or another, my take away from this experience was that there was an entire universe of goings on around me that didn't just involve my little world of everything I had ever known. My mind was simply blown.

The world to me, in my early days of travel was a vastly big and scary place. Being away I felt out of my comfort zone, somehow unready for that world and yet strangely excited and liberated all at the same time. That feeling of unease, unsettlement, yearning for something more but also not quite feeling ready has stayed with me for a large part of my adult life, yes, even as I ventured out of the booze Britain holidays and on to what you might consider a more civilised and cultural affair! Well...not always civilised or indeed cultural but yah balance and life and learnings, right?! :p

In my late teens I decided that I would spend my life traveling as often and for as long as I possibly could. Experience, adventure, new beginnings, new sights and new learnings. I've been lucky enough to see a lot of the world and trust me, there are still more than a lifetime of places on my bucket list. Travel has shaped my entire life and the world around me in so many ways. Even as I've been back in the UK for the last two months I am constantly looking and thinking of ways to experience and have an adventure in my own country and in my own backyard. Ah, the to-do list of a never ending student of the world.

An ex once said to me, "Frou you can't do everything you want to do in life, you have to pick a few things and be happy with that" and my response was, "Even if I'm 90 and I'm still ticking off that list then I'll do it. Gin in hand!" To me, travel isn't a case of packing a backpack and off I go, it's a mindset. A mindset of exploration, to uncover, to seek out and delve deeper into the world around you. And to do that you too must explore, uncover, seek out and delve deeper into yourself. To challenge and stretch your beliefs as you encounter people, places and things that throw you off track for one reason or another. It's hard, it's painful and often a long and lonely journey but one that I would never swap for anything else in this world.

 

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”

Take relationships for example, those are often our biggest lesson learners in life. In every heartache we learn, we grow and hopefully we take the lesson with us as we continue throughout our lives. Sometimes, it takes us 5  (okay maybe 10 times, *ahem*) to learn the lesson, along with many tears and confused phone calls to friends around the world but the point is, this is your journey and it will take you however long it takes you. In other words, we shouldn’t view setbacks or as I prefer to call them, direction changers, be it emotional, physical, spiritual or geographical as a break between being there and being here. There's no A to B, in life rarely is it black and white. To me it's more about, bringing the “there” to the “here.”

When change happens, be it positive change such as travel or perhaps seemingly negative change such as heartbreak (trust me, you'll be SO glad that door slammed shut in your face, maybe not today or tomorrow but down the line) it provides a wonderful space for us to reflect and reevaluate on where we are at currently, where we want to go and where we've come from.

Relationships and travel are not too dissimilar - both can make you feel vulnerable, raw and exposed yet in the blink of an eye make you feel euphoric, alive and unstoppable. They both form the emotional evolution that accompanies our physical journeys. Both are simply movement - movement alone or with others, not only across time and space but also encompassing different moods and feelings.

Physically traveling or staying in one place, both give us the option of learning new ways of being present. Present in the moment, present with loved ones and present with self. Not an easy task. All of our experiences be them good or bad are never really good or bad just an opportunity to learn. And although we don’t often recognise it at the time, those experiences continue to exert an influence on our daily lives as we head into the next lesson where we undoubtedly face more challenges, feelings of euphoria and feelings of down right 'sh*t what the hell am I doing' - luckily it's what makes being human so beautiful. Painful and exhausting yes, but beautiful.

Travels is never just about the departure. It marks the beginning. A willingness and openness to find out more about a place and its people and ultimately to discover more about yourself as you go.

There's that saying that goes:

 

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” - Terry Pratchett

 

I know that my life's a journey of discovery, renewal, experimentation and sometimes downright trial and error. Those who know me have come to know that simply as 'me'.  No matter where we are in the world we are continually engaging memories, reigniting passion and reliving experiences which ultimately then creates new experiences. That is why the travelling never really ends even if you do chose to stand still for a while or indefinitely. Travel is a journey of the heart not the destination.

To where ever you may be.

Hugs,

Frou xo

On Letting your Inner Child Run Free...

Words by Frou Williams.

Ahhh 🙏🏼 for the first time in weeks with the hurricane of changes finally able to sit down and get the creative hat on. Letting the inner child free and inviting Peter Pan to play with some nourishing activities for mind, body and inemy* 👌🏼✨🤓🙃

The perfect Monday evening 😎📝🖍✂️🖼 *if you don't know what an inemy is where have you been hiding my friend? 👀 An inemy is what I like to think of as the little scared child in each of us that sometimes (okay, okay a lot) gets pretty loud and tries to run the show out of fear.

Know the one? Yeahhh...the one that tells us we're not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. *yawn* 😴...it's often confused with an enemy because damn does that inner me have some crazy off the charts thoughts!

I do not believe that we should try to quieten, ignore or silence that voice and narrative because it's a part of who we are and it's always going to be there in some shape or form (and that's totally okay too by the way) but when we begin to look at the deeper message and work out what needs to be heard, vocalised and brought to the table it's amazing the shift in mind set that can take place.

A lot of it is plain old nonsense sure, but if we can learn how to wade through the murky unchartered waters of fear then we can learn to tune in and pick up on what our inemy needs us to hear. And for the most part, he or she just wants to be acknowledged.

Exploring your creativity is a wonderful way for your inemy to be expressed and nurtured in a calm and safe space. Creativity comes in many forms and it doesn't need to be in a traditional painting or drawing sense. My creativity is through how I move my body, what I feed her and all those glorious adventures.

So tell me, what's your creative outlet? 🙃✨

How to Find your Kintsugi...

Words by Frou Williams.

Today I'm feeling curious about the 500 year old art of kintsugi, or “golden joinery" a philosophy not of replacement, but in awe, reverence, and restoration. The emphasis in kintsugi is not actually on physical appearance, it is…the beauty and the importance that stays in the one who is left looking. Cryptic message I hear you cry?

Well, let's take a look at general Western consensus on broken objects, things and to an extent in our culture, 'people' (think a never ending conveyor belt of swipe left, swipe right dating apps😉), how these objects and people might have lost their value, tossed aside and paved way for the new but there's something quite charming and refreshing about the concept of kintsugi and believing that never ending consumerism is not actually a spiritually rewarding experience. Karmically speaking, we stink. 😷

 

Whilst the quote might be somewhat ethnocentric and not actually accurate to suggest piecing together broken china with gold. I'm not sure my brew would stay put ☕️💔 BUT, to me, one piece of broken ceramic finds another. The cracks between them symbolise the wound. The work is a metaphor of the struggle of life that makes an individual more wise and beautiful through all the pain and darkness that we ALL face in life.

Meaning, the more work you do on healing yourself from the inside out and creating your own magical weave of gold (sprinkle that shit everywhere) 🙋🏼✨the less we rely on external forces to fill those cracks, holes and sometime craters of space. (Been there my friend 🕳).

And seeing as you can't throw yourself away, why not try a more 'kintsugi' attitude to being and make do and mend? I've got my needle and thread at the ready...Oh my nan would be so proud! 😉👵🏼

Things we Should Teach our Sons and Daughters...

Words by Frou Williams.

Today I read an article based on research from the Children's Society's annual state of the nation review which found that more than a quarter of a million girls in Britain are unhappy with their lives “overall”. 

And when it comes to appearance, the number of 10 to 15 year-old girls who do not feel happy with their looks reached a staggering 700,000 across the UK. This is up 8% from 2013/14 and 21% from 2009/10.

But this isn't just a UK issue. This is worldwide and it goes way deeper than just discussing how important it is for children to enjoy their childhood - which yes of course is essential - it is also critical to acknowledge that times have changed and the definition of 'childhood' is no longer the same as it was 50, 20 or even 10 years ago. 

The proportion of boys aged 10-15 who are unhappy with their lives remained stable at one in nine and being unhappy with their appearance hovered at around 20%. Whilst these statistics are lower than that of girls, both boys and girls experience mental health problems in different ways. Boys aged 10 and 11 are more likely to experience conduct and attention/hyperactivity problems, girls experience anxiety and depression and become increasingly unhappy with their appearance as they get older.

We must encourage younger generations of both sexes to have a better relationship with self through positive body image reinforcement, self esteem and self worth. In order to create that change, we must first be positive role models and be the ones who embody that message ourselves.

So today I am calling out to 5 amazing people who have knowingly and unknowingly reinforced my own beliefs and who I believe are out there truly embodying their message and teaching people all around the world the message of self care, self love and a positive body image.

Emily Rosen

Life in Full Flight - Jenny Orenstein

Rosie O'Halloran

Hollie Azzopardi

Naomi Morrow Coaching

Self love comes from within but together we can create and share a message which inspires and encourages self love from a young age. Let's start a chain of consciousness - if this post resonated with you then please share and nominate up to 5 men and women who have inspired and motivated you in YOUR life and helped you, to be the best version of you that you are today. 

What a wonderful feeling to know that someone out there is smiling or feeling a little bit more positive today and tomorrow because of something YOU said or did. 

Why you Should Always Listen to Your Heart.

Words By Frou Williams.

Australia.

Wow.

What an adventure. What a story!

You've pulled me apart and put me back together in ways I never thought possible. A shinier, more gut friendly Froubie if you will.

If, we as humans think in metaphors and learn through stories then to be a storyteller to one small fragment of this thing we call the World Wide Web, this is my story.

When I left the UK it's fair to say I was running away. I guess you could say I was running away from myself. Absolutely heartbroken over the sudden shock of losing Nandog who alongside my wonderful Rodgie raised me and my darling brothers, I took myself off to one of the furthest possible places in the world where I can hand on my heart say I've experienced some of the best and worst moments of my life, a pendulum of extremes, travelled to some serious bucket list worthy places, laughed until I've almost peed (a little doesn't count right?!), met some of the greatest people and made life long friends, navigated through some of my loneliest and darkest days to date, battled with one gastroenterologist, medical issue and healthcare bill fiasco after another and not to mention completed about 50 gazillion different courses! (Gosh, the girl does love a course 😝)

During what were my most lonely and sheer 'what the hell are you doing' moments, I would often think back to the stories that Nandog would share with me and in particular how at the age of 21, packed up her little life in London, boarded a ship to go and live in the jungle in Borneo with her soon to be husband (my grandad) where they married, she went on to have 3 children and taught in the missions; suddenly my cushy Bondi beach life with regular Skype's back home didn't quite compare! 😉

She believed in the adventure, the sharing of stories and even in her final years went on to live through the telling of my own stories. I've learnt so much about life and myself in these last 15 months and now more than ever as I enter a new chapter, I am loving watching these stories unfold. So as the age old saying goes, "Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving."

Which made me think, no matter what you do in your life, no matter what you create, what career you have... Your greatest creation is always going to be your life's story.

And in this time of 'information overload', people do not need more information. They want a story they can relate to. So with the most cheesy tourist Australian picture I could find, it's time to wave goodbye to one chapter and cheer on the next. 👋🏼👋🏼 We owe it to each other to tell our stories, so together, let's tell them well.

Cheerio for now old Sydney chops 🐨💗🐨

Hugs,

Frou xo