SPEAK YOUR MIND

How many of us have believed we should remain quiet, instead of consistently fighting for our truly remarkable ability to vocalize our thoughts? While it’s true that listening to others at least some of the time, can transform you into a well-respected person, sometimes echoing your voice into distant territories can change the world. Too many of us believe we are not worthy. But the most timeless route to demonstrate your infinite capabilities, and endlessly interesting thinking, is to open your lips and express something confidently.

Confident people know they have an advantage, because they’re more likely to meet potential friends, travel to out-of-this world places, and have life-changing experiences, than those who are the exact opposite of them. Regardless if you’re afraid to talk or can’t go a minute without talking, I’ve learned some key methods of becoming a more confident human being through countless moments of keeping silent. Read on to start living a more self-confident lifestyle today!

Practice expressing a clear point of view:
Most of us have spoken at least once, but instead mumbled a jumble of incoherent language. Just recall how many times you’ve muttered um or an uh, and weren’t able to define what you’ve wanted when you nervous about something. It’s not a big problem until it often gets in the way of getting what you want. Notice how people might have gotten what they wanted, and you had much less of a say of your own wants, simply because you weren’t able to articulate your desires clearly. Confident people know how important language is, and how it is both a tool to tear down hidden assumptions and a barrier to positive change. Don’t expect people to read your mind. A good tip is to take a public speaking course online or at a local community college. You’ll likely not only learn how to speak clearly, but learn how to speak better in general.

Set clear boundaries for yourself:
This is especially important, particularly if you want to become more confident to discuss what you would like to have. Say a friend has asked you to help clean their house an hour each day for five days. What exactly do you want? In other words, your request isn’t something that you kind of want. You could set a boundary of only vacuuming and cleaning dishes an hour, for three days a week since you’ve had a back injury recently. Imagine how much you would lose if you weren’t willing to simply disagree and come up with a more practical plan. Now say you’re trying to help tutor a student. You could set a clear boundary of only helping them if they choose to read their textbook first. If you didn’t tell the student that, imagine how they might have begged you to solve every problem without trying to help themselves first! Confident people are not only good at getting what they want, they’re good at knowing what they truly want. Try to learn how to set more maintainable goals, using devices such as SMART goals. Knowing how to set goals will help shape what your boundaries, and lay a groundwork into discussing your needs.

Take responsibility for your own needs and wants.
After all, no one is willing to take responsibility for what you need or would like to have, but you. People who aren’t confident blame others, when they could take responsibility for at least some of the issue. They think the world is too overwhelming for them to handle, so they refuse to step in and instead sit in the sidelines. You can’t always wait for someone to help you, so you have to take the initiative to help yourself. Confident people will be afraid at times, but they still do it, because they know that the benefits greatly outweigh the pain and fear. Make an effort to look after your ambitions, desires, and cravings. Instead of putting the blame on someone else, ask yourself ”what can I do to change this?” Start making an effort to take responsibility for your own actions by living a healthy lifestyle and being mindful. If you do that, a strong-willed voice might very well come easily.

Don’t speak to please others. Speak to please yourself:
Have you ever felt like people expected too much from you? Many of us expect others to act a certain way, and conform to a certain label, so that they can meet our expectations. I say to abandon that. The next time you want to speak for something, think of how you alone will benefit. What will you alone gain? What new ideals, or ways of thinking will you reap? It’s always good to do nice things, but you should want to become more confident mainly in order to satisfy yourself. Confident people want to please themselves, while not wanting to step on others people’s feet. Start planning and writing your own bucket list, and think about it for a little while, perhaps while walking briskly or having a shower. Do whatever you can, and edit it if you need to. It will help acknowledge what’s truly important to you, and cause you to want you to make yourself happier.

Conclusion:
The truth is, you’re not going to communicate more confidently around other people just by reading this alone. You’ll need to practice for days, and possibly even months, if you truly want to become assured, assertive, confident, whatever. Although all of this might seem too overwhelming to digest, it will become a lot easier if you learn how to respect yourself first. In fact, taking care of who you are yourself is arguably the most crucial method of not only speaking up for yourself, but becoming a more accomplished and enriched human being. Confident people also surround themselves with confident people, so motivate yourself to hang out with other people. And finally if you can speak, you probably can speak confidently. Put it to good use.

BENEFITS OF HYDRATION

Water accounts for 60 percent of your body (or about 11 gallons or 92 pounds in a 155-pound person) and is essential to every cell. So it’s not to surprising that new research — reported on at a recent British Psychological Society Annual Conference — found that college students who brought water with them into an exam scored higher marks than their counterparts who didn’t have water.

Unfortunately, the researchers didn’t look into whether the students actually drank the water. Nor did they investigate the reasons behind the study findings. But the researchers hypothesized that drinking water could improve students’ thinking and/or help students stay calm and quell their anxiety — both of which could hinder their test performance.

Their thinking makes sense: Other research has suggested that staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp, your mood stable and your motivation intact. You can also think through a problem more easily.

Staying hydrated doesn’t just impact your brain, though. Here are a few ways water benefits your body’s health.

1. Water helps prevent dry mouth.

Water keeps your throat and lips moist and prevents your mouth from feeling dry. Dry mouth can cause bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste–and can even promote cavities.

2. Water promotes cardiovascular health.

Dehydration lowers your blood volume, so your heart must work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells, which makes everyday activities like walking up stairs–as well as exercise–more difficult.

3. Water keeps your body cool.

Your body releases heat by expanding blood vessels close to the skin’s surface (this is why your face gets red during exercise), resulting in more blood flow and more heat dissipated into the air. When you’re dehydrated, however, it takes a higher environmental temperature to trigger blood vessels to widen, so you stay hotter.

4. Water helps muscles and joints work better.

When you’re well hydrated, the water inside and outside the cells of contracting muscles provides adequate nutrients and removes waste efficiently so you perform better. Water is also important for lubricating joints. Contrary to popular belief, muscle cramps do not appear to be related to dehydration, but, instead, to muscle fatigue, according to Sam Cheuvront, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist.

5. Water keeps skin supple.

When a person is severely dehydrated, skin is less elastic. This is different than dry skin, which is usually the result of soap, hot water and exposure to dry air. And, no, unfortunately, drinking lots of water won’t prevent wrinkles.

6. Water helps cleanse your body — inside and out.

Your kidneys need water to filter waste from the blood and excrete it in urine. Keeping hydrated may also help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones. If you are severely dehydrated, your kidneys may stop working, causing toxins to build up in your body.

KRILL OIL

Krill oil is oil from a tiny, shrimp-like animal. Baleen whales, mantas, and whale sharks eat primarily krill. In Norwegian, the word “krill” means “whale food.” People extract the oil from krill, place it in capsules, and use it for medicine. Some brand name krill oil products indicate that they use Antarctic krill. This usually refers to the species of krill called Euphausia superba.

Krill oil is most commonly used for heart disease, high levels of certain blood fats (triglycerides), and high cholesterol, but there is limited scientific research to support these uses.

How does it work?

Krill oil contains fatty acids similar to fish oil. These fats are thought to be beneficial fats that decrease swelling, lower cholesterol, and make blood platelets less sticky. When blood platelets are less sticky they are less likely to form clots.

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Aging skin. Early research suggests that taking capsules containing krill oil, zinc, vitamin D, sea buckthorn berry oil, cacao bean extract, hyaluronic acid, and red clover isoflavones 780 mg three times daily along with applying tazarotene cream 0.1% nightly for about 12 weeks improves wrinkles, moisture, and elasticity in aging skin compared to treatment with tazarotene cream alone. It is not clear if these benefits were due to krill oil or other ingredients in the supplement.
  • High cholesterol. Developing research shows that taking 1-1.5 grams of a specific krill oil product daily reduces total cholesterol and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and increases “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in patients with high cholesterol. Higher doses of 2-3 grams daily also appear to significantly reduce levels of triglyceride, another type of blood fat.
  • High triglycerides, a type of blood fat.Taking a specific krill oil product 0.25-2 grams twice daily for 12 weeks appears to lower triglyceride levels in people with high triglyceride levels. However, the change in triglyceride levels varies among patients. The supplement does not appear to improve total cholesterol, “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
  • Osteoarthritis. Early research shows that taking 300 mg per day of a specific krill oil product reduces pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis.
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Early research shows that taking 2 grams per day of a specific krill oil product might reduce PMS symptoms. Also, taking a specific combination product containing krill oil, B vitamins, soy isoflavones, and rosemary extract daily for 3 months reduces self-reported PMS symptoms. The improvements appear to be greatest for women with more severe symptoms. However, it is unclear if these improvements were due to krill oil or other ingredients in the supplement.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Early research shows that taking 300 mg per day of a specific krill oil product reduces pain and stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Cancer.
  • Depression.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Stroke.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of krill oil for these uses.

WHICH WATER FOR YOU

Many people struggle to know which type of water is the best because the market is full of so many different types. Each one claims to have some wildly impressive additional health benefits. However, which of these claims are true and which ones are simply no more than clever advertisers stretching the truth to sell more products?

This article will help you identify the main types of water available today and tell you what the real health benefits are based on scientific evidence and research data.

By the end of this article you will be better informed and have a good idea of which water you think is best for your specific needs.

Tap water

Tap water is the type of water that comes out of your water faucet. In most countries, it is usually supplied and controlled by a local government authority.

Who is it best for?

Everyone. It is generally safe for things like cooking, cleaning and laundry.

Biggest benefits

Cheap, easy to access for most people and usually a safe source of water.

Risks and issues

Tap water is generally safe to drink but some recent studies raise cause for concern. For instance, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) did a 5-year study looking at the quality of US tap water. The results showed that tap water supplied to all 50 states contained over 500 different contaminants.[1]

There are also some instances where a mineral like fluoride is added to the public water supply. For instance, around 10% of the UK population is supplied with fluoridated tap water to cut tooth decay.[2]

Bottled water

Bottled water is portable purified water that you can easily and conveniently buy whenever you’re thirsty.

Who is it best for?

Everyone. It is a good source of water for drinking.

Biggest benefit

Very convenient way to access clean safe drinking water.

Risks and issues

Some of the large water brands have admitted that their bottled water is nothing more than filtered tap water.

The biggest issue is the environmental cost. The creation of bottled water is insanely wasteful when it takes about 3 litres of water just to produce 1 litre.[3]

Also, plastics are extremely difficult to recycle. This means that your plastic bottle is likely to end up taking space in landfill sites. Or worse, it might end up in the ocean and poison not just the water but wildlife too.

Distilled water

Distilled water is sometimes called demineralized or deionized water. It is water that has everything removed including ions and minerals. It’s the purest form of water that you can get. It literally has nothing in it (good and bad). This means it has no contaminants, bacteria, minerals or nutrients.

Who is it best for?

Its high level of purity makes it the water of choice in places like laboratories and factories. It is also good if you want to drink water that is completely pure.

Biggest benefits

Distilled water has the highest level of purity and is almost sterile.

Risks and issues

There are no harmful risks associated with distilled water because it is so clean. However, some health reports suggest that it might not be best to always drink water that is completely empty of healthy minerals and nutrients.[4]

Hydrogen water

This is water that contains hydrogen molecules that act as powerful antioxidants. The claim is these molecules are capable of helping your body neutralize harmful free radicals that contribute to disease development, reduce inflammation and slow down aging.

Who is it best for?

Those who are very health conscious and happy to pay extra money on something that may have health benefits – but not guaranteed.

Biggest benefits

The hype around hydrogen water is based on a serious of studies conducted on mice. The studies appear to show that this type of water has mild anti-inflammatory effects, particularly on the development of diseases like Parkinson’s.[5]

Risks and issues

Many of the big health claims are still inconclusive when similar studies were performed on human beings. Yet, some of the health claims are presented as fact even though there are no guarantees. Also, all the hype makes this type of water very expensive to buy.

Alkaline water

Alkaline Water is water that is at a pH level of 8 and above, which is higher than the pH of regular water. It has become more popular because research shows that an alkaline diet is generally good for health.[6]

Who is it best for?

Everyone because drinking alkaline water is generally considered to be safe.

Biggest benefits

The human body thrives when it is able to maintain a slightly alkaline pH. Consuming alkaline water may be able to help in this regard. Here’re more benefits of it:[7]

Risks and issues

A report from the World Health Organization cautions against regularly drinking water that has low mineral content.[8] Alkaline water tends to be low on minerals and nutrients.

Boiled water

Boiling your water is generally one of the cheapest and most effective ways to purify your water. This is because putting water in temperatures above 185° F (85° C) will kill most pathogens within a few minutes.

Who is it best for?

Everyone. Boiled water is usually clean, safe and healthy to drink.

Biggest benefits

It is a great way to purify water that is not heavily contaminated.

Risks and issues

Boiling water will not purify water that is contaminated with things like lead, pesticides, nitrates and other chemicals. Also, some people don’t like the “flat taste” that sometimes comes with boiled water.

Which is the best water to drink?

The healthiest type of water is technically hydrogen water because of the potential health benefits of the antioxidants it contains.

However, the truth is that even the healthiest type of water can only ever have minor health benefits. Hydrogen water and any other type of water on this list will not be able to repair an unhealthy diet or lifestyle.

The biggest health benefits from hydration come from drinking water itself regardless of what type of water it is. The truth is that any type of water is good for you so long as it is clean and free of impurities.

The bottom line is that you should consider all the different “healthy” types of water on the market as ‘life enhancers’. Something that can mildly improve a lifestyle and diet that is already very healthy but not fix one that is not.

REHYDRATION

When workouts leave you drenched, or when it’s so hot outside that your clothes cling to your body like Saran wrap, start drinking. If you don’t rehydrate, your body and brain can suffer; mild dehydration can tank your mood, concentration and energy levels.

But not all fluids are created equal—and water isn’t always the best beverage for the job.

“When we drink, fluids are not available to the body immediately but take some time to be absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream,” says Bridget Benelam, a public health researcher with the British Nutrition Foundation. How fast this happens is determined, in part, by what’s in the fluid.

That’s because when you sweat, water isn’t the only thing your body is losing.

Human sweat contains many different metabolites, including lactate, amino acids and fats, as well as sodium. “Drinks containing some carbohydrate in the form of sugars and electrolytes, usually sodium, can be absorbed by the body more quickly than pure water and therefore allow rehydration to happen more rapidly,” Benelam says. Think Gatorade.

On the other hand, even though your body is losing sodium and some other things as you sweat, water alone really will get the job done for the typical sweaty adult, says Lawrence Armstrong, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut. “Virtually no studies have shown benefits of sport drinks or carbohydrate-containing beverages unless you’re exercising continuously for more than 50 or 60 minutes,” he says.

Assuming you eat normally and aren’t on a super-restrictive cleanse or elimination diet, you’re probably not at risk for any sodium or electrolyte shortages, Armstrong explains. The volume of liquid you consume is the important thing. “During exercise, the average person ought to be drinking about a half a quart of water every 30 minutes, or a full quart in an hour, to replace the fluids they’re losing,” he says. (If you’re worried you’re not drinking enough H20, monitor your urine. If it’s dark yellow, you need to drink more.)

But if you’re the type who does exercise vigorously for long periods, “a complex source of nutrients is likely to have a positive impact on fluid retention,” says Ben Desbrow, associate professor of sports nutrition at Griffith University’s School of Allied Health Sciences in Australia. Desbrow’s research has compared different milk-based beverages to water and sports drinks, with a surprising champ.

“Milk is an ideal recovery beverage,” he says. “It is well retained and is a great source of protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals.”

More research backs him up on this. A 2016 studyin the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionfound that milk—full-fat, but especially skim—was more hydrating than water, sports drinks, coffee, tea and several other common beverages. Sports drinks do get the job done—especially if you’ve really been pushing yourself and you’re sweating heavily. But milk outperforms them.

You don’t have to pound a half-gallon of it after a workout. Getting some nutrients along with your H2O is the important thing, Desbrow says. You could drink an 8-ounce glass of milk followed by water. Or, if you’re not interested in dairy, drinking water with a little food will help your body absorb more water in a short period of time.

You can take a different route to rehydration, too. Rather than worry about what you’re drinking, just make sure your beverage is accompanied by a bite to eat, like a granola bar or a sandwich. Another recent study found that the type of beverage you reach for to rehydrate doesn’t really matter if you’re drinking it with food.

TYPES OF PROTEIN

Protein – we’re told that we need it to build muscle, provide energy and fill our stomachs. But, what role does protein really play in our diets? What are the different sources? We reached out to Gordon Zello, Ph.D., professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Saskatchewan, to get answers to our many protein questions.

What is protein?

Dr. Zello: “Proteins are composed of amino acids. These amino acids are placed in a precise order by a genetic code specific to each protein. This makes each protein unique and related to its function in the body. All animals and plants contain protein; therefore, one source of amino acids comes from our diet.

“There are two kinds of amino acids, those that our body can make from others amino acids (dispensable or non-essential) and those that have to come from the food we eat (indispensable or essential).  Protein is a macronutrient, along with carbohydrates and fat, thus besides its many functions it also provides energy to the body. Furthermore, protein is our source of nitrogen that we also require to make essential nitrogen-containing compounds.”

Protein has many functions in the body:

  • Immediate energy (calories)
  • Enzymes
  • Hormones (e.g. insulin)
  • Structural proteins (e.g. muscle, bone, teeth, skin, blood vessels, hair; nails etc.)
  • Immunoproteins (e.g. antibodies)
  • Transport proteins (e.g. albumin, hemoglobin, lipoproteins).
  • Other essential nitrogen-containing compounds made from amino acids are melanin pigments (skin color) thyroid hormones, neurotransmitters (e.g. serotonin, epinephrine), nucleic acids and creatine.

How much protein does a person need in a day?

Dr. Zello: “The amount of protein an adult needs in a day is based on the weight of an individual, as the more you weigh the more protein one will require. For an adult, the requirement is 0.8 grams per kilogram of weight per day. Therefore, someone who weighs 70kg (155lbs) will require 56g of protein per day. It is usually not a problem to consume this much protein as most adults eat on average 80 to 120g of protein per day. If you are a growing infant or child, or a woman who is pregnant or nursing, protein needs increase.”

What are some sources of protein?

Dr. Zello: “All plants and animal products contain protein. Those proteins that provide all the amino acids that we need are called high or good quality proteins. These would include meats, eggs and dairy products. Some proteins have lower quality as they may be missing or have lower amounts of a specific amino acid. For example, legumes are lower in methionine and grains are lower in lysine. This is not usually a problem as we eat more protein then we need in a day.”

Are there different types of protein that help for athletic performance? 

Dr. Zello: “Athletes do not require any different types of proteins as when we eat protein, the protein is broken down to amino acids in our digestive tract to amino acids and are then absorbed in our body. These absorbed amino acids are then used to make proteins and as long as you eat balanced meals you will be getting sufficient amounts of amino acids to meet needs including those of an athlete. As proteins are not stored in our body like fat, the protein that we eat in excess of what we need is broken down and the nitrogen excreted from our bodies.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Zello: “One misconception is that athletes are required to supplement their diet with protein as they are not consuming enough through the food they eat. Part of this misunderstanding is that protein requirements for an athlete may range between 1.2 to 1.7 g/kg per day which is greater than the 0.8 g/kg per day for the non-athlete. However, since we eat more protein than we need to begin with and an athlete will need to eat more calories to perform (expend more calories), the requirement for an athlete will still be met. For example, if an athlete weighing 60kg, consumes 15% of daily calories as protein (rest from carbohydrates and fats), and requires 2700 kcal per day for energy needs, they would be at 1.7 g/kg per day, or the high end of an athlete’s protein needs.”

Protein is an important part of our daily diets and essential for our bodies to function. Animal sources of protein include meat, milk and eggs. Plant sources of protein include soy, peanuts, lentils and chick peas. Both plant and animal protein can be part of a healthy diet.

ELEMIS HYDRATE DUO

ELEMIS

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WELLNESS TIPS TO LEAD A BETTER LIFE

Wellness wooden sign on a beautiful day

We are one.

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Things just seem to happen don’t they? Good and bad, things just ‘happen’. Now obviously we can generate events in both the positive and negative variety by our actions, decisions and the general energy we project out into the universe but I am talking about the other anomalies, the parts of life we aren’t expecting, the bits and pieces that just kind of, fall into our laps. I’ve been thinking about this recently, quite a lot actually and I’m not overly sure what sparked it off. I was just really sitting back and looking at the people I have in my life. The long time servers, the family members, friends old and new. People from all different walks of life that I am incredibly lucky enough to have close to me. People so incredibly important to me I fill with an overwhelming privilege. Its not what I would describe as a person to person thing, all of these people could meet in one place and share common ground. For me, we are one.

So jus the other night I took my daughter to her school parent and options evening to have a chat with her teachers and discuss the options before her as she prepares to head into this new academic chapter. We were accompanied by her best friend who’s parents couldn’t make it so I played the role of guardian so she could talk to who she needed to during the evening. I think it may have been then that this subject really made itself apparent. As we all worked our way around the hallow chatted options and ideas until we hit the photography stall, a subject that my daughter has incredible natural talent for, a lot more so than her old man. We have all the kit indoor and regularly head out to capture the world, but her friend doesn’t have any kit or camera but really wanted to choose this course. Instantly I thought “I’d get her a camera, it means a lot to her and she should be able to do it”. Naturally I’m sure her folks will think and do the same but it was just this feeling of creating an opportunity for someone. Seeking no thanks or reward, just kindness to those you know so they can start on a path. I hope to see the world taking this outlook more someday. Not the stance of I want so I should get because nothing worth having comes without a tonne of work before, during and after. But kindness, what does that cost aside from a fragment of your time?

I would quite literally do anything for those around me. I’m no martyr or saint but I believe kindness, acts of kindness and generosity  just make the world a better place to exist in and if I can make a difference to how those people around me are feeling then I will. You should too. You do get rewarded, it makes you feel good doing something for someone that you know will make them happy. It’s a free but priceless gift. Inner circle or outer, beyond the outer people are still people. Of course you’re not going to have common ground with all of your billions of neighbours but the outlook of kindness carries far. The appreciation to act kindly to others travels well beyond the spoken.

The people in your life should all know you as you. There should be no comments of ‘oh you seem different when you’re with them’ kind of conversations. you as a person should be a constant with no need to  project a false persona and likewise with with people in your life. Each and every one of them should be able to interact and intermingle with everyone else as you should all be sharing the same common energy. Be mindful of those that are kept a distance for no real apparent reason. They are the secret holders with an energy that displaces that of others. For example, I could have the entirity of my inner circle in a room and if I stepped out I know each one could and would share a common ground, a relatable journey. Thats why I love them all. No secrets, no dramas, the closet doors blown right off and skeletons all illuminated with floodlights. I like that my flaws and mistakes are exposed. going through life with secrets keeps you eternally petrified that they could be exposed at any time and in turn change everyones opinion about you. That is no way to live.

Not that you should pay any mind to peoples opinions. Just be you. Being you is good enough for me. There’s no need to have an angle, there’s no need to search for a reason or a ‘thing’ in order for people to like you. It is just that plain simple. People, the people for you will just want to see you happy and likewise that is all you should ever want for them.

Going through all of this over the last couple of years has not only taught me about myself, about how I need to work on, grow and develop myself but also on how much I can do for people. I use the word I but it is a ‘we’.

We can all make such a difference to the people and world around us and it is such an easy thing to do. Just ask someone how they are, never underestimate how powerful that question can be. Sometimes people just need to hear that, they might be the no fuss or thrills type of person but inside they are torn, struggling or just could be a little overwhelmed. I feel I dropped the ball with this just yesterday. I missed a f friends diagnosis of bowel cancer. She is the tiniest, kindest, friendliest and happiest ball of life and now has this hard road in front of her. Now she knows she has my 24/7 support and this has made me take stock of things, just as life changing news seems to do. I work so hard and tirelessly that I completely missed this news so now I’ll ensure that work is done as always but people, my people and more are in the forefront of my mind.

It is a tough balance though, you have to put yourself first but also keep all of those close to you in our thoughts. A much as I want to I can’t look after and protect everyone. I can’t take away my daughters shyness, I can’t take away Nat’s cancer, I can’t stop Jim accelerating his high blood pressure. If I could I would. I’d take every bit of them on, but you cant. All you can do is offer support and love but don’t do it just when bad news comes along. Offer support and love even when the good times are in full flow. That is how those unbreakable bonds are formed and that is how people know you care. Go beyond a Facebook status comment, tat is just a hollow attempt to show others that you are nice. Life isn’t a status, it’s not a location tag or a photo of your new nails conveniently over your Mercedes steering wheel. It is a compulsion, an involuntary act to make sure the people you love ants care about feel your energy and you feel theirs.

Be a tribe. A collection of completely different individuals all sharing the same love. Remove any clashes in that energy. Take everyone in your life, in your close and trusted inner circle; you all stand individually, all on your own pathways and journeys but will forever remain linked and intertwined.

All of us are bonded, we are one.

Lifting weights.

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You have walked into my trap, this isn’t a fifteen minute blast of me sharing how I make my mad gains. Nope this is about shifting those mental weights, the things we let hold us down, the things we allow to hold us back. So instead of being physically strong, removing the bragging rights to your squat or bench max it is time to free yourself of the mental weights we encounter. Now these can be imposed on us or self inflicted but either way the bottom line is we choose to allow them to remain, but probably the most dangerous aspect of these weights we bear is the fact that sometimes we don’t even know they are there. We can live our lives held down without truly knowing because we adjust the wrong way to the influences that are upon us.

I have been pushed a bit from pillar to post in this subject. For the bulk share of my life I existed carrying around weights I didn’t know were there or more accurately I should say I knew were there but accepted them to be something else. Quite simply as ‘part of me’. But as with all things it all bubbles up to the surface sooner or later. Mark my words there, there are no exceptions whatsoever. So I carried these weights, these ‘things’ around for a long long time assuming that was just me and my life until life swung into gear and forced the issue and made me look further into myself, further into my happiness or should I say further into my unhappiness. As I have documented before, unearthing the root cause of my behavioural loop, the year one of the creation and manifestation to something I kind of knew was there but accepted as my ‘normal’ was the beginning of the making of me yet it was something else that forced me into a corner leaving me no option but to  address everything in my life, in my mind.

The avoidance of facing it throughout my life eventually brought everything to a head at a time that was quite honestly very inconvenient for me but that is lifes job. Not ding things when you deem them to be the right time, perfect timing doesn’t exist in that way. Instead perfect timing is doing something when you are meant to, not when you want to. No one really wants to have that close look at themselves as it involves looking at some potentially very ugly parts you. All of this does alter how you see and approach things and for me, now penned in that corner I had to begin to look, I had to begin to delve and I needed begin to resolve. Strangely it wasn’t really this that changed things for me, well it did as it taught me many many things but it was coming through all of that and emerging on the other side that I felt myself change. I had made all the necessary behavioural changes. I had learnt where I was going wrong but more importantly it had unlocked something in my mind. It was like a filter had been added to my entire thought process and outlook. A little bit of an anti-bullshit filter.

Yet this wasn’t me home and dry. I had started to realign myself, during that process my then partner decided to move on with her life but that didn’t stop me. I didn’t just throw the towel in and revert back to my old ways, seeing as it was the attempt to save my relationship that has led me onto this path and just because that relationship didn’t exist anymore didn’t mean the new me didn’t either. I had made a commitment to straighten out the rails and that is what I was going to do. I persevered, I worked, I refined and I focused on one thing; being a better version of myself each and every day and that is something I achieved and something I continue to strive to achieve each day from here on out.

Yet there was a weight that held me down for a long long time and none of my new tricks, skills and lessons seemed to be able to shift it. Single life was something very new to me having effectively been in relationships for twenty years  and on one hand I coasted into the single realm, applying myself into my work and my own self care but on the other hand I never felt like I had truly broken free. Well, I hadn’t. I wasn’t allowed to and held in this state of limbo like I was a safety net that was left in the background as a reassuring glimpse and link to the past. Not the nicest of experiences when someone who was said to have loved you but was quite happy to inflict this mental torment as they skipped along through life seemingly not overly bothered by the fallout. This part of my life truly is the best example I have for describing the weights we carry around as we try and struggle through the endless and countless sleepless nights with my mind racing, running through every possible scenario once every scrap of trust had disintegrated and although relief was felt when it all ended the weight continued to press down on me. Never truly tasting freedom or being able to move on and nothing I did, no matter how busy I became seemed to shift anything at all. I did feel this though, I did feel it pressing down on me each and every day. Regardless of the lack of emotion and attachment I could physically feel my world being compressed.

I won’t lie it takes it toll and although I was long passed joining the dots that I knew were there my life was hindered. Like swimming fully clothed, yes you can do it but it gets exhausting quickly and if you’re not careful you can get into trouble and having that choice to be able to move fully untaken away from me really did affect me but; the day did come. After a very long and gruelling torment the clouds lifted and with a handsome sum having to be paid I was released from my mental shackles and as I have said, when that news came through I actually felt the weight lift off of me.

So sometimes, no matter how in tune we are with ourselves or well being and our situation. Sometimes there are factors quite simply out of our control and we just have to ride the wave until they run their course. This doesn’t mean your whole life has to be on standby. Personally I have made the biggest and most successful moves and decisions ever in my entire life while I was suspended and waiting around. But only waiting for the true end. I refused to let my life be on complete hold because of her and every decision, every goal, every scrap of progress was made for me, by me. The weights we carry round with us can affect us in ways we may not even realise but once made aware of them we can adjust and we can recalculate how to move forwards each day.

That is the key, to accept everything is rarely perfect but we can enjoy happy, healthy and completely fulfilled lives. then, when we actually lift those weights it feels even sweeter. It is a turbo boost to what you have already been doing and whatever was holding you down fades into the distance leaving you only with the lessons and the strengths enduring it created.