NLP – What is it and can it help?

 

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So for a couple of years, I’ve been trying to attend this NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) course as recommended by a couple of my girlfriends.  I have gone through some traumatic emotions and events that have left me questioning myself.  I’m sure it’s not to the severity that others have gone through (and I’m super thankful for this), though it has left me with challenging emotions to process.  Thankfully, my good friends have been utilizing the tools and techniques to get me back into a better state and releasing negative emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, shame and guilt.

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I have to admit, I was really skeptical that these tools would work.  I’ve been taking Tony Robbins and T Harv Eker courses for a while now and couldn’t believe the place that I was brought to when the negative emotions surfaced.  As I was in such a challenging state and feeling like I didn’t have any options, I was willing to try anything to help take the pain away.

After months of my girlfriends helping me via text messages and Facetime sessions, I was finally able to sign up and take the NLP Practitioner Course.  It’s a 4 day intensive course (from morning till night) packed with content, so I was hoping that I would be able to take something away to bring me back into a resourceful state.  Luckily, we had manageable breaks to eat and go to the washroom, super grateful!

The content was great, lots of useful tools and exercises and live examples to show us how NLP applies to our every day life.  My brain kept thinking, how can I let go and trust that this will work?!  The more I kept thinking my negative thoughts, the more I just had to give it a try and give it a go.

We worked in partners and groups to practice with each other.  I have to admit that I felt self conscious doing the exercises, as I felt like I had to ‘know’ everything.  Though one of trainers reminded me that it’s likely our first time doing these exercises, so it’s natural to feel uncomfortable.  It will take practice for the discomfort to go away.

So slowly, I gave the exercises a go without (over) thinking too much.  We made mistakes and fumbled through and eventually got the result that we were looking for.

The one comfort was knowing that other people were going through exactly what I was thinking in my mind.  There were a lot of questions during the day which made me feel better about the thoughts in my own head.  I had the same questions, though stopped myself as I thought they would be silly questions.

In the end, I’m glad that I just let myself go through the exercises and not to overthink the process.  It’s about letting go of my thoughts and expectations and exploring new tools and techniques.  Who knows?  What if it works?  I’ll never know if I don’t give it a try.

The one tool that I came to the training for was to learn the Forgiveness Process.  I have been carrying feelings of sadness and anger, along with shame and have been trying to release these feelings for over a year now.  I have been listening to the audio on my phone and on my computer.  Though after repeating it the process over and over (with the patience of my good friend V), I didn’t feel like I had fully released these feelings that were weighing me down.

These emotions would come up in my day to day and I just felt stuck that I couldn’t get over what I was feeling.  Worse was when my friends would tell me to ‘get over it,’ I just couldn’t do it.  I already felt bad for what I was feeling.  How do you release deep rooted emotions and feelings that have been compounded over time?

The second day that we did Huna as a group, I felt a lighter energy come through me.  I felt my inner self cry as we did the process.  I felt more of the light that I had been searching for and felt the charge on the events that had created so much negative feelings for me, diminish.

I know that it’s not an overnight process and I do feel the sadness and anger that I felt previously, though it’s not as strong.  I have been continuing the Huna process in letting go, being as consistent as I can.  I thought that I needed to say the things that I wanted to say to the person that had wronged me.  Though the trainers showed me how to forgive and say the things that I need to say for me, without the other person being present.

It’s the inner work that I need to continue working on, thank you to the Empowerment Partnership Team for reminding me that I’m getting better every day!

The biggest validation for the weekend?  Trust my gut.  

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Check out their videos and inspiration on Facebook, thank you massively!

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Eating + my emotions

r I’ve been going through a wave of emotions for a while now, not sure what to make of it all.  The funny thing that I’ve realized is that my body takes a toll when I am stressed.  It feels like everything is tightening up, especially my throat and stomach.

It feels like I need to make more time and space for me to be me.  Even if people get mad or don’t like it.

I feel like I don’t want to eat when I’m stressed.  I don’t have the appetite or energy to eat well, so I either eat very little or sometimes, I don’t feel like eating at all.  It’s a really weird feeling and I find it hard to explain to people because I feel like they won’t understand.  I also feel ashamed for not knowing how to get out of my rut.

In these times, I feel like I’m breaking down, physically and mentally.  I would break down in fits of tears and anger when I felt like I was being attacked.  I just didn’t know WHY things were happening the way they were happening.  I felt alone, isolated and like I was the only one going through it.  Though the more I share, I realize that others are also going through similar feelings.

I had lost my job earlier last year and it took a long time (I thought!) for me to process.  I didn’t think it would hit me that hard and the most challenging part was not being able to fully express myself and talk about it.  It was a shock to my system, as I had been given excellent feedback and was working extremely hard in my job.  So I was at a loss when suddenly, it felt like my identity had been taken away from me.  I had also been going through relationship challenges at the same time.  I kept asking questions and searching for answers, but I was left with nothing.

Just empty space.

I felt as though my heart was ripped out of me and in turn, my stomach had also felt like it was non-existent.  It felt so raw to give so much to everyone else and to suddenly have it all ripped apart, made me feel sick inside.  I thought it was my fault and felt like life was working against me.  I stopped feeling energetic, vital and happy.  I stopped feeling the gratitude inside my heart.

I hid into feeling sad and angry and loss all enjoyment for all the things that I used to love, which included eating.  I had enjoyed eating so much previously, and because of all the emotions that I could not process and all the feelings that could not understand, I lost my motivation to eat and I could barely sleep.

I knew rationally, that I had to keep eating, though I just did not feel like it and my palate for food had changed.  I was constantly worried about my weight even though I wasn’t aware of it.  Weird thoughts came running through my brain and I just could not stop them.

I felt like I had to constantly exercise.  Though as I was barely eating much, I would find myself exhausted as someone mentioned that I could be ‘over exercising.’  I had never thought about that before.

I felt like I couldn’t be overweight.

I felt like I had to look a certain way to play the part in Silicon Valley.  The person who had it all.  The person who had a great physique, who was successful and who held it all together.

I felt like a failure inside.  I felt like I didn’t do enough to keep my job or my relationship.

I blamed myself for all the craziness that was happening, not realizing that it wasn’t about me.  I had taken everything so personally that I started spinning in my emotions and felt like I was internally and externally broken.

I lost the faith, love and confidence that I once had in myself.  I could barely recognize myself in the mirror.  I lost the motivation to get out of my ‘home clothes’ and didn’t want to leave my apartment.

I wasn’t working, so I didn’t think that I could afford to buy food in one of the most expensive cities in the world.  I felt pressured by time and every moment mattered.  I needed so badly to pay rent so that I wouldn’t be homeless.  Above all, I felt like no one else really understood what I was going through.

I would walk into the aisles of Whole Foods and aimlessly wander, not knowing if I could afford food for the next week.  It would take me forever to finally decide what to buy as in my head, I was constantly second guessing my decisions.

I kept listening to Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Myself’ song and tried so hard to put those words into practice, though I found myself spinning around and around.  It just felt like I couldn’t do anything right!

There were days where I felt mentally and physically sick.  Feeling like I didn’t have the energy to do anything or see anyone.

Deep down inside, I knew that I had to change for things to get better.

It took a change in my environment to get me to start enjoying food again.  I moved home with my family and started enjoying home-cooking again – food made with love, as my cousin calls it.  I attended family dinners where there was an abundance of food and the joy that came with actually enjoying a meal.  My mom cooked me my favourite meals to encourage me to want to eat again.

I am so grateful that I was forced to take care of myself again.  I can’t even begin to explain how it feels to be in a more ‘resourceful’ state where I can make better quality decisions.  It’s a daily challenge and I’ve now realized that these ups and downs are normal, people just don’t talk about it.

Thank you to those who have been there, you’ve made all the difference in the world.

I’ve been using this healing mantra to calm and it’s been a great reminder to ground myself.  Hope that you also enjoy it too!

Good Stuff Smoothies

I met with Michael, one of the founders of the Good Stuff, over funnily enough, an avocado smoothie a couple of years ago.  I remember his passion for health and wellness which was infectious.  So I was very excited to hear that he had recently opened a store!

The Good Stuff serves smoothies to order in their store and also delivers ready to blend smoothies to your home.

I love sharing my passion for health and wellness in this crazy, busy world where convenience is massively appreciated!  The concept of having everything pre-washed and pre-portioned, delivered to your home helps making the goal of eating and feeling healthy so much easier.

I also love how the fruits and veggies are sourced locally, supporting the local communities around British Columbia.  I also love how they are passionate about food transparency and work with suppliers who share the same vision.

The colourful packaging makes me feel brighter just looking the colourful smoothies.  Great attention to detail!

I was really excited to go behind the scenes to watch the smoothies being made in the kitchen; amazing to see the transparency of how everything is made.  Honoured to be able to go behind the scenes to watch everything come together.

Smoothies are blended two times so that everything is properly blended and the consistency is nice and smooth!

I also loved watching Tonner’s #lumpysmoothie tips on Instagram!  Great tips to keep your smoothies nice and smooth.

They make fresh cashew mylk (spelt ‘mylk’ as it’s not real milk) for the smoothies which got me really excited!  It’s actually easy to make.  Take 1 cup of cashews (soak them in water overnight) to 4 cups of water and then blend until smooth in your Vitamix or blender of choice.

Blend 350 mL of cashew or almond milk with your favourite Good Stuff smoothie and you’re ready to have a nutritious morning drink or snack to keep you going throughout the day!  Also great if you’re busy like me and don’t always have the time to eat all your fruits, smoothies are a great way to get more your nutrients into your body.  I also find that I can absorb and digest the nutrients better when it’s blended up.

This post is sponsored, all of the opinions expressed are solely my own.  If you’d like to try the Good Stuff or know of friends and family who would be interested, use my promo code “CAROLOWE” for a 15% off discount at checkout!

Cheers to health and wellness!  Have a fab rest of your week!

PS: I am pictured above with the Purple Cowboy smoothie, perfect for my hangry moments when I need something healthy to keep me going throughout the day!  Here is my smoothie being freshly prepared!

Thanks to everyone at Good Stuff for making it easier to be healthy and happy!

Community Support

I know this is a really late post, though it’s been really crazy and I haven’t found the time and/or inspiration to blog in the past while (just being really honest).  In the midst of feeling so much pressure of not doing or being enough and being too in my head, I had a really great conversation with a friend who reminded me of the power of community.

She is an Airbnb host and we have always got on really well because of her strength to go ‘deep’ and be as honest with open communication.  Just like the rest of us, we have our own share of challenges.  Though she convinced me to go to the Airbnb Christmas party a few months back and I am so grateful that she did.

We didn’t know a lot of the hosts, so I was grateful that I was able to meet some new friends and share stories along the way.  I opened up to some of the challenges that I was going through and was oddly surprised that others felt the same.  The power of what Airbnb is creating is amazing – through the power of community and connection, I realized that at the very end of the day, we are all human looking for the same sense of connection and belonging.

I had asked myself a few months back, “What if I’m not doing enough to get to where I want to be?” When I shared all the things that I had done to keep moving forward with my life, I was surprised by the feedback.  New friends, who knew nothing about me, affirmed my drive and made me realize that I had tried things that others have not done.  They reminded me of my courage and my openness to new experiences.

Thank you for reminding me of the light – in the midst of all the distractions, I am so grateful for the power of community.

Thank you to Airbnb again for allowing me to come to your Christmas party!  Thank you for the memories and for the photos – means the world to me!  Love the selfie stick (thanks M) for having everyone in one photo!

Have a great rest of your week!

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Releasing

I’ve been trying everything that I can think of to help let my body go of the anger and sadness that I have been experiencing.  I’ve always been a determined believer of trying different things and so I was excited to try some essential oils to help relieve some tension.

Saje’s theme of ‘love yourself first’ really resonated with me.  #spreadwellness

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I was inspired by their essential oils, scents, new packaging and store layout as it’s changed from when I last remembered them!

I first tried their bath salts – their ‘unwind’ and ‘apres sports‘ scents really resonated with me, so decided to give it a go.  I also wanted to just melt in the bath tub to fall asleep and let my body go, so I also added a bath swish (aka bath balm) with extra oils to help make my bath more relaxing.  Loved the little inspiring note that came with the balm (though I didn’t know that it came with the balm, so it was ended up in my bathtub!).

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The extra swish/balm was nice and oily, it felt great with the essential oils floating in the water.  Though I wish that the oils could have been stronger and more aromatic!  I added a few drops of the ‘bloom’ diffuser oils into the bath to help.

My favourite scent was the peppermint oil that was in the apres sports salts, it was slightly sweet and calmed the tension in my shoulders and back.  I even fell asleep for a little while in the bath tub!

What’s your favourite way to relax and unwind?

Fresh Start Cleanse

I’m doing a 3 day Fresh Start cleanse with Suja before Christmas.  For the past few weeks, I’ve essentially felt like I have been on a cleanse because I have been mostly been drinking juices and soups.  I feel like it helps reduce the load on my digestive system whilst getting the nutrients that my body needs.

When everyone was going out and eating really good food, I was cleansing my body to prepare for the new year.  Definitely a mind over body exercise to remind me of my strength.

I did a cleanse a few years back at the Tony Robbins – Life and Wealth Mastery course.  I just felt so much lighter and free after doing the cleanse.  I’m looking forward to feeing the same way with this 3 day cleanse.

For Day 1, I have to admit that I was feeling hungry by mid-day.  I followed Suja’s instructions with drinking some lemon with apple cider vinegar.  Then I started my day with a greens drink  first thing in the morning, followed by a carrot/turmeric drink afterwards.

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My favourite drink was the beet juice for my lunch.  It was nice and sweet, a good pick me up to get through the day.  Though by around 1/2pm, I felt hungry, so I bought one of my  favourite pick me ups – almond drink with vanilla bean for protein at Pressed Juicery.

The remainder of the drinks were green drinks, with a variety of kale, chard, mint tea and a touch of lemon.  The dessert drink was an almond milk with blueberry, vanilla bean, cinnamon and chia seeds.

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During the day, I found myself constantly going to the bathroom because of all the juices/water that I had consumed.  It’s a great feeling to let my digestive system take a breather, though I also found my emotions coming out as I spent an hour crying, not sure why, though the tears just kept flowing and flowing.

After the evening drinks, I felt more full and ready for bed.  It’s recommended to take the last drinks 2/3 hours before you sleep to help with digestion, so I did that, took a nice hot bath with epson salt and fell asleep pretty easily.  I could hear my tummy making noises, though I suppose this is a part of the ‘cleansing’ process.

The next two days were actually easier than I thought.  It was cold, so no doubt my body was shaking from being out in the cold.  Though I found myself changing my focus to think about other things when the thought of yummy holiday food crept into my head.  I had to supplement the juices with some extra veggies as I had to listen to my body.  For the past month, I have been drinking a lot of juices and not really eating, so even though I wanted to drink only the juices, I had to listen to my body and it was asking for some supplements.

Have you tried a cleanse?  If so, what’s worked and not worked for you?

 

A Million Reasons

From Google Play Music

Lyrics

You’re giving me a million reasons to let you go
You’re giving me a million reasons to quit the show
You’re givin’ me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons

If I had a highway, I would run for the hills
If you could find a dry way, I’d forever be still
But you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons

I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all his worn out leather
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one to stay

Head stuck in a cycle, I look off and I stare
It’s like that I’ve stopped breathing, but completely aware
‘Cause you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons

And if you say something that you might even mean
It’s hard to even fathom which parts I should believe
‘Cause you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons

I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all his worn out leather
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one to stay

Baby I’m bleedin’, bleedin’
Stay
Can’t you give me what I’m needin’, needin’
Every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith
But baby, I just need one good one
Good one, good one, good one, good one, good one

When I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all his worn out leather
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one, good one
Tell me that you’ll be the good one, good one
Baby, I just need one good one to stay

Written by Mark Ronson, Hillary Lindsey, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

Trading Expectation for Appreciation

How many of us go through the pain of frustration?  How do you end the suffering?

I’ve been going through stories in my head running and it feels all too consuming.  Stories as to why I’m not where I want to be, why things aren’t working, why it’s taking so long, etc.  It made me realize that these are the stories or beliefs that I’ve held inside my head.

I thought for a while that my feelings were not real or valid.  And it really made me question who I am.  In moments where I’m in a bad state, I doubt every piece of me.  I start stacking the worst possible scenarios and start to go into ‘fight or flight’ or crisis mode.  The decisions that I make in a bad state out of emotion and frustration create more bad energy.  I realize that when I forget to check myself and remember that life happens for us, not against us.

I’ve been reminded to keep my focus on the good – the things that I can change rather than the things that I cannot change.  When I get rejected, I realized that my pattern is to immediately see the bad, instead of seeing the beauty of getting stronger and stronger with each rejection.  I now see ‘no’ as not right now, but it’s not ‘no’ forever.

While watching Tony Robbins‘ Dreamforce video again, I have realized that the story that I’m telling myself is the suffering.  Tony says that when you are angry, you cannot be grateful and fearful at the same time.

The answers are always in your heart.

 

 

Green Pea Happiness

 

I met Penelopea and Pearl at the Women’s Entrepreneur Day a few weeks back and was blown away by their wonderful personalities!

What a treat to try the green pea cookies, sweet and crumbly to brighten up my day!  I topped my ice cream with their chocolate covered cookies and instantly, it made me feel so better.  I felt like a kid in a candy shop again!  What an incredible feeling when things feel so chaotic and crazy.

After talking to the amazing founders, Larissa and Fiona, I learnt more about how they started their business and talked to them about their passions.  They told me about ‘Ask Pearl’ and my ears immediately perked up!  Ask Pearl anything anonymous and she will impart her wisdom within 24 hours.

‘Happeaness comes from within!’ – http://askpearl.strikingly.com/

I know that eating my troubles away temporarily fixes my challenges, though in the moment, it makes me feel good to focus on chewing and the enjoyment of eating.

The cookies are amazing with their unique flavours – Earl Grey, Chocolate Dipped, Sriracha, gluten-free, though it’s their story and their personalities that make the cookies extra special!  I loved their cookie personalities so much that they are on my fridge – as pictured above.

What do you enjoy doing to change your state and take your mind off your troubles?