7 Wellness Lessons from the World Cup

world cup

Whether you love football (soccer) or not, you would have friend, family member, colleague, employee or boss currently engaged in the football World Cup being held in Brazil. The World Cup happens once every 4 years, is the largest event in the world, involving 32 countries and viewers exceeding 2 billion merely from its TV audience worldwide.

What’s more interesting is the level of emotional involvement from fans all of over world, skipping word, taking unprecedented levels of sick leave and spending more work hours online and on social media searching match results and planning where to watch the next fixture.

I am certainly one of those people though I did take it to the next level – I actually went to Brazil to watch the games. Yes, I was one of the lucky few to obtain tickets to watch Australia play Holland at Porto Allegra and also managed to acquire ‘last minute’ tickets to attend Russia vs Belgium at the fabulous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

It is indeed a rare occurrence for a CEO to have 2 weeks off work to relax, celebrate and enjoy the festivities in Rio de Janeiro and join the Brazilians in the support of their football-mad national matches. However, it has been a life-long dream to attend the World Cup and for much of the time over there, I felt an enormous sense of gratitude for having created a career and a life that could financially allow me to achieve this dream.

Yes, it is possible, even with a career as CEO in healthcare.

Whilst many non-football fans are cynical of the World Cup, its costs to Brazil, a nation that has a wide gap between the rich and the poor as well as the productivity losses during this month of mayhem, I choose to learn a few lessons in wellness on how to turn the occasion into a positive experience in productivity.

1. Opportunity to build relationships

Whether you are football fan or not, now could be a great time for building or cementing relationships whether at work or in your personal life.

In Brazil, I had the opportunity to connect with my younger brother Ashvin, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia whereas I live in Sydney. As such we only meet up a few times a year and this was an opportunity to share and joint aspirational dream with member of my family.

I also managed to connect with my cousin and several other friends from all over the world in Rio and it was a rare opportunity to strengthen those meaningful relationships in my life.

The occasion can also be used to strengthen business relationships, by having more casual, relationship building discussions whilst watching a game. Often rivalries during a game can even build greater friendships afterward, so why not use these games as an opportunity to engage with someone you want to do business with.

The World Cup event can even be extended into the office setting, perhaps by having more dress down days, or allowing for breaks during game hours (especially if you know most of your employees are going to be watching it anyway). This way you could build trust with your team and they’ll be grateful for it afterward.

2. Adapt your schedules accordingly

Depending on which country you live in, match times can be during critical meetings or they can occur while you should be getting your REM sleep. If you are a fanatic and need to stay up to watch the games, then do expect that your productivity may drop during the day.

You should then think about ‘giving up’ other pleasures this month e.g. personal reading time or TV time, in order to make up for the loss in work productivity.

If on the other hand, you are not a fan but you know many of your employees are, then do be aware of when key games are on, (especially if they involve your own country), and try to work around them.

3. Screaming is therapeutic

I don’t recall shouting at the top of my lungs as much as I did at the Australia vs Holland game at Porta Allegre. Although we did end up losing the game, the Socceroos (Australia’s national squad whom I support), played like champions and even took the lead against the mighty Dutch who were fielding a very strong squad, possibly a trophy winning side.

It was extremely liberating to just ‘let go’ of my emotions and discharge my vocal cords for those 2 hours, especially when you are used to working in the corporate healthcare arena. The fact is, screaming is a therapeutic exercise (others may call this cheering), but I highly recommend you let your voice rip every now and again for stress relief, and a football game is definitely a good excuse.

4. Pace Yourself

With all the match-watching parties, interrupted sleep and disordered eating patterns, one can find yourself several kilos heavier and more out of shape watching football instead of playing it.

In my case, being on holidays in Brazil also meant having to try all the meaty, high carb Brazilian food such as the traditional Fejjuada (beans, rice, chips and 5 kinds of meat) as well as consuming traditional Brazilian beer for lunch, which is apparently commonplace.

They key is to not to completely all your mind-body wellness routines in the process. Even if you find it difficult to exercise every day, do try to fit it into the calendar at a different time of the day to when the games are on. Also, you could use the half-time breaks to meditate.

With food, its always handy to prepare in advance and do a big shop at the grocery and obtain a lot of healthy snacks (fruits, unsalted nuts, rice crackers etc.) so you are munching on tonnes of junk food during those tense goal scoring moments.

5. Time for breaks and Holidays

If you can’t beat them, join them! If you know productivity is going to be low on certain days, then why not just allow for some time off or take it off yourself. Once again, your colleagues and employees may appreciate this and you could enjoy a holiday when you know that even your clients and suppliers are probably in the same boat.

If you are working in an environment such as a hospital where it is unrealistic to take prolonged periods of time off, then see if you can shorten shift work during these periods, which may involve negotiating with some of your colleagues.

6. Fine-tune Corporate Wellbeing strategies

As the World Cup occurs from June to July, it is a good time to conduct a mid-year review of your corporate wellness strategy. Assess your wellness and productivity metrics of your organisation or if you have a wellness program for patients, then it is a good time to assess if this program is meeting its goals.

If they haven’t they get to the underlying cause of why this is the case. You could use the World Cup games as an event to engage people in the wellness conversation, find out what’s working in the organisation and what’s not.

Companies spent millions of $$$ to improve employee engagement as the World Cup could be an ideal opportunity to raise that conversation in a positive way using a topic that many of your employees already love.

7. Rediscover your inner child and passions

I well and truly maintain that the true secret of success is this “Know Thyself”. When you really know yourself, what you want in life, what your strengths are, what your core values are, what areas your blind spots are, and find ways to compensate for that, is when you really grow.

Some of this knowledge may sit in your conscious mind, yet 95% of who we are sits in our subconscious mind. For some reason in our past, certain people are able to better access memories from our childhood and understand reasons for how they behave now. I find that those people who are able to ‘discover their inner child’ e.g. laugh at themselves, especially when dealing with their own children, are better able to cope with stress and maintain long term business success without burning out.

This World Cup, especially visiting Brazil and rediscovering my love for football, a sport I have largely ignored for the last decade since moving to Australia from England, has allowed me to rediscover a passion from my childhood that I had left behind. As a result, I feel like I have another outlet to turn to in times of stress as a CEO, and for that I am very grateful.

Whether it is the skill of the game, the social occasion, the drama of players antics e.g. Luis Suarez biting his Italian opponent, with football there can be something for everyone to enjoy. And joy is part of wellbeing and wellbeing is fundamental to long term success in life and business.

What is your biggest lesson from the World Cup so far?

 

 

 

3 Tips on Conscious Evolution from Barbara Marx Hubbard


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Barbara Marx Hubbard is one of the leading figures worldwide in global consciousness. Even Deepak Chopra called her “the voice of conscious evolution of our time”. That’s no small feat.

I was fortunate enough to hear Barbara speak via live video link at the recent UPLIFT festival in Byron Bay. What I love about Barbara is her very enlightened perspective on how to see the world, and how to view the problems and crises that we currently face as great opportunities for positive change.

Apart from being a prolific author, visionary, social innovator and educator, Barbara is the co-founder and chairperson of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. She is also the producer and narrator of the award winning documentary series entitled “Humanity Ascending: A New Way through together”.

Now you might be thinking – what is all this ‘conscious evolution’ business? Well, my interpretation of it is, is that humanity is now starting to think more broadly about how we live. We are starting to realise that we humans are intricately connected to nature, wildlife and everything else on the planet.

More so, we are actually all connected to each other, regardless of race, religion, colour, creed or country. Essentially we are all more alike than we are different, we are all one.

I have observed many things in science, medicine and even spiritually to make me inclined to embrace this philosophy. It also bears no conflict with any of my past thoughts on religion, science and humanity rather it integrates it more completely.

During the interview at UPLIFT, Barbara,who was interviewed in the documentary THRIVE, had three major insights on conscious living.

1.      Global consciousness is shifting

Barbara mentioned that during this time,global consciousness is shifting and we are all evolving as more thoughtful human beings. More and more people are ‘waking up’ to the idea that we are all connected in some way. If we were to damage the forests in the Indonesia, we see repercussions such as pollution all over Asia.

Likewise when there is a famine or war in a country like Somalia, we see economic and immigration problems all over the region. As more people come to the realisation of our connectedness, the more conscious we are about how we treat ourselves, others, and the planet as a whole.

2.      We need both positive and negative situations to evolve

We need both the positive and negative forces in our lives in order for evolution to happen. This has happened in every form of ecosystem and it is also happening to us. You see, as we age and grow, we are all constantly evolving – physically, mentally and for some, even spiritually.

And in order for us to evolve, we need forces, situations and challenges to occur to us, in order for us to develop new skills, knowledge, insights and awareness. When it comes to health, we become more conscious of what we eat, drink and the people we surround ourselves with.

3.      We all have a choice in how we learn and evolve our minds

That perspective puts an entirely different light on any disease, suffering, pain or hurt that we may be currently experiencing. It is also a perspective that begs us to look internally at what we can do for ourselves, before blaming everyone else in the world for what we do OR do not have.

In reality, we may not always have a choice as to the joys or tragedies that we experience, but we have absolute 100% ability to determine how we respond to those experiences. All too often, we play victim to our situation and this can go on for years.

Yet, time and time again, we see greatness in people who have seen death, suffered terminal diseases or disability and choose to live positively and a full life afterward.

Which of these 3 tips of Barbara Marx Hubbard’s do you most resonate with?

Boundaries – A Wonderful Christmas Gift!

In my last post I talked about boundaries and how having weak boundaries can have a negative impact on your life.  Christmas can be a very challenging time if you have weak boundaries.

You can feel put upon, taken for granted, resentful and overwhelmed – these feelings are all indicators that you are doing things you don’t want to do.

Don’t get me wrong sometimes, as an adult, you have to do things because they’re your responsibility – such as looking after your children when they are too young to take care of themselves, taking care of your home and other possessions, putting in 100% effort when you’re at work etc.

But, these feelings of resentment and overwhelm are usually because some outside force is putting pressure on you to do something that you don’t want to do.  That’s a problem because you are not able to tell the truth about what you want.

In the book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life, Henry Cloud and John Townsend tell story of a 30 something woman who wanted to go skiing with her friends during the Christmas break but couldn’t because her mother wouldn’t allow her to go. Her mother put pressure on her to spend Christmas with the family as they always had, and used guilt messages such as ‘How could you be so selfish’, to ensure this young woman would come to the family Christmas celebrations.

People use guilt and shame messages to manipulate you so they get what they want. They get you to  do what they want, not what you want!  And that’s why you feel resentful, overwhelmed, put upon and taken for granted. Did I say confused…..that’s how you can be left feeling when someone uses shame and guilt to manipulate you into doing what you don’t want.

How do you tell the truth?  Especially when the consequence for you involves feeling guilty.

It takes a lot of courage to start standing up for what you want.  But before that, you have to know what you want!

And, if you’ve been manipulated and controlled for a long time, you may not even know what it is that you want.  Awareness is the key.

So here’s a little exercise for you to do over the Christmas break.

Awareness you have this year will impact on the type of Christmas you have next year.

Make two columns – A & B

in column A write down something you do, that you don’t want to do, that you feel you don’t have a choice about.

Then in column B write what you’d prefer instead.

Eg.

Column A Column B
Uncle Fred makes me kiss him I’d prefer to say to Uncle Fred ‘I won’t be kissing you today’
Mum gives me a 2nd helping I’d prefer to say ‘thanks Mum but I’ve had enough already’

Write as many things as you can think of, and see how restricted by other people you really are.

This exercise will help you to start seeing what it is you want rather than what’s being forced on you by others.  To get the most out of this exercise make sure you don’t make column B all about the other person changing!

The reason you’re where you are is because you want the other people to change so you don’t have to do anything different.

That never works!

Write in the comments box below what you find out about yourself…..it benefits all of us to hear what others are struggling with……we don’t feel so alone or quite so peculiar.

Once you know what you want it will be easier for you to start setting your personal boundaries.

Change doesn’t happen overnight so allow yourself the time to become aware of yourself and your motivations.

To help you de-stress during the festive season I’ve included a short Breath meditation. Enjoy!

 

Merry Christmas,

Jenny

Boundaries for a Stress Free Life

When we can set clear personal boundaries we are assured of having mutually respectful, supportive and caring relationships.

Dr Henry Cloud & Dr John Townsend in Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life demonstrates that when we have good boundaries our self-esteem is intact and we are generally happier.

Good boundaries help us set limits on acceptable behaviour from the people around us. Our boundaries show others whether they can put us down, make fun of us, or take advantage of our good nature.

If you feel resentful, uncomfortable or hurt by the way others treat you then it may be time to think about your personal boundaries and how you might be able to make them stronger.

Weak boundaries are one of the reasons you may feel vulnerable and taken for granted, or even abused by others.  Healthy boundaries foster self respect and will show others you deserve to be treated well…..because that’s how you treat yourself.

Strong boundaries will protect you from relationships that are harmful and they will help you avoid people who don’t have your best interests at heart.

A personal boundary is a rule that you say cannot be broken without consequence.

Happy, mentally healthy people have all sorts of personal boundaries (rules) that help protect them from other people’s negative words and actions.

Research shows that people with healthy boundaries have less anxiety, are happier, healthier and generally make better decisions. That’s a good reason to learn about them and to start setting them.

Some personal boundaries are:

  • If you call me names and abuse me then I will not stay in your company
  • I will not sit and listen to someone gossiping about others
  • I will respect others personal space and I will protect my own
  • I will take responsibility for my belongings and if I lend them to you and you abuse them I will not lend them to you again
  • I will not lend people money who clearly cannot look after their own
  • I will say no when I feel it is appropriate

Our boundaries are a guide for our own behaviour.

So, that means that when someone begins to gossip we may say, “I’m going to be leaving now, I don’t talk about others behind their back”……this doesn’t stop the other person doing it if they want to, it just makes it clear that you won’t partake of this activity.

It’s important to remember that at no point is setting a personal boundary an attempt to change someone else’s behaviour, instead, we set boundaries to show what our responsibility is, what we will and won’t do, and to protect ourselves and our belongings.

When we set good boundaries, we feel stronger emotionally because we know we can rely on ourselves to stand up for what we believe in and that’s very important to our self respect and self-esteem.

If you don’t have good boundaries and don’t know how to set them it’s a good idea to get some help  because it can be scary at first……we are taught that it’s not nice to say no and we feel guilty when we do. Also, other people, that have been taking advantage of us for a long time, will put up resistance to our boundaries and if we don’t have support it’s easy to cave in and give up.

So, get support, learn the skills and you will never look back.

How your life experiences can heal you

Occasionally I experiment with my blogs and write about topics close to my heart, rather than the purely factual content. From my experience, I feel that us humans can heal in many ways, sometimes through medical science, surgery and medications, and other times through connection, music and even poetry.

In our ultimately finite lives, I believe we are here to make a difference in the lives of others, but also to make a difference with our own lives.

I believe we should grow and evolve as individuals, whilst living a life that is rich with joy and amazing experiences to suit our own fulfilment.

One such experience was the extravagant ‘Awesomeness Fest’ which I recently attended which hosted some of the best speakers, connections, parties and learning that I have ever gained in a period of a week.

It also helped that this was held in a 5 star resort in the Dominican Republic.

Needless to say, I found it challenging to describe my experience to my friends and family upon my return and so choose to express it in poetry. I hope you find this somehow entertains your day and heals your thoughts, if even for a minute….

I once visited the Land of Awesomeness
Where a million stories were told
Where ideas of hacking humanity were bought
And yet not one person sold

New words like ‘paradisical’ were born
Yet needed no immediate translation
A 40 hour journey from the Land of Oz
Was merely a shortcut to mental emancipation

A costly adventure and more for some
Tested if one’s courage would hold
Yet every peso spent on this lifetime memory
Was well worth its weight in gold

As I embraced the nature of Latin timing
‘Action-o’clock’ had to wait a while
But as gratitude engulfed my peace in greenery
It just allowed me more time to smile

Warm conversations greeted breakfast mornings
While the chorizo and eggs were getting cold
Meditation awakened the spirit of the early bird
While malt spirits guided the night owls home

The Caribbean sun held no one back
From breathwork yoga on the beach
Where two hours sleep after dawn would crack
Never stopped Afesters learn or preach

We knew the likes of Vishen the sage
Would weave his saintly magic
Yet every brilliant speaker’s depart from stage
Also felt just as tragic

Online marketers matched global healers
Who taught us to live in virtual flow
While random punters chanting “I love myself”
Showed a big heart arises from no ego

Extended hugs matched business nous
Revealed the tribe’s energy and intention
Once love fills an entrepreneur’s house
Success thrives beyond imagination

Parties in castles, pools, sand and sea
Rivalled even Rio’s proud Carnevale
When heartbeats pressed against you and me,
Wished secret postponement of the grand finale

The illusion was that we could only connect,
In this wondrous tropical serenity,
Yet the truth be known it was always possible,
When we live in pure authenticity

So let’s take this moment to never forget
What you wish to always remember,
That true greatness comes from the love in your soul,
It’s time, let’s change the world together!

7 Positive tips on How to deal with Negative people

Every person radiates energy and your own personal energy is influenced by those around you. Certain people give off positive energy while others give off negative energy – when you spend time with negative people, your own thoughts and emotions slowly become negative and toxic.  On the flipside, spending time with cheerful, optimistic people can help you laugh, feel upbeat and exuberant.

Have you ever noticed that you attract people with similar energy to your own? They say ‘misery loves company’ and so at any particular point in time, if you are feeling negative you are more likely to attract the same, even though this is not necessarily the best solution for you.

According to personal development guru the late Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This is why we need to actively manage our social circle, as not everyone you meet will be an appropriate match for where you want to get to in your life.

Remember life will always throw us people that challenge us and people that support us, almost always in a 50-50 ratio. Both sides however are always there to test and evolve us.

However, we can raise our vibrations ourselves as we evolve over the long term. Here are a few practical ways in which you can deal with daily situations or people that may be negatively affect your energy field:

1.   Change the topic

Negative people tend to dwell on everything that is wrong with the world and completely ignore the positive aspects of a situation. They can also exaggerate issues and make their predicament seem a lot worse than it actually is.

In such as situation, avoid engaging in the negativity. Make them realise that everyone on the planet is given a half a glass, and it is up to us if we wan’t to look at it as a glass half empty, or a glass half full. Switching the conversation to a more positive tone, highlighting positive aspects or changing the topic altogether can help in the short term.

When the conversation changes, be sure to affirm and respond with enthusiasm whenever the person is being positive. Ultimately, an individual who has a repeatedly negative view on things has an underlying energetic disruption requiring attention.

2.   Meditate

As mentioned earlier, meditation will help you centre your mind so you do not dwell on the negative thoughts or ideas that may have been introduced while spending time with a negative person. It will help restore balance in your energy field; the more often you meditate, the more balanced you will be

3.   Relinquish your ego

Always remember that negative people also serve a purpose in your life – they are meant to evolve you so you can be a better person.

Negative people are often very critical of those around them, and you may find yourself on the receiving end of their criticism. Unwarranted criticism is an indication of the person’s personal issues, they are often more angry of their inner selves, which has nothing to do with you.

Don’t let hurtful comments get under your skin – that is your ego being hurt and not you true inner self. Your inner, authentic self is a soul of beauty and it is untouchable, no matter what happens in the world. Relinquish your true enemy, which is you ego in such circumstances as I did in openly declaring my own personal ‘flaws’.

You’ll be surprised that people don’t really care what your ‘flaws’ are because deep down, theirs are just as real. You will live so much lighter afterward and be able to accomplish anything you want with greater ease and flow.

4.   Practice Gratitude

When the negative person is a loved one, it is important to remind yourself that he or she loves you despite the criticism. Be grateful for things and people you do enjoy having in your life, no matter how insignificant that may seem.

Some people write a Gratitude List, that is a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life, no matter how small it may be, like a supportive friend or even a favourite inspiring quote you just read. Once you add up your list, you will find everything balances off and your energy shifts.

In the follow up book to The Secret, Rhonda Byrnes suggests using a Gratitude Rock. I occasionally use this tip before going to bed, where I hold on to a random rock I picked up near Bondi Beach and think of the one thing I am most grateful for in the day. This exercise reinforces our thoughts to shift to every positive experience in the day and shifts our programming to further manifest our desires.

5.   Suggest action

Since the focus of any argumentative scenario is often on negative aspects of a situation, your role is to play the objective party. Provide workable solutions to the person and later ask whether he or she followed through on the solutions you came up with as this may help the person come to terms with his or her own negativity.

Sometimes you will find that despite solving the problem, the person continues to be despondent. Keep reminding them of their victories, successes and achievements, no matter how small or large they may appear.

6.   Move away

To the extent possible, avoid people that drain your energy. This does not mean that they do not deserve your love, but sometimes you need to have time out to find your own positivity and build immunity toward their negative energy.

As your body’s energy system reaches higher levels of vibration in your personal growth, you can become a source of strength to others. On occasion, it is perfectly acceptable to put that particular relationship on the back burner or let it fade altogether, to enhance your own life.

Do this only after consulting dependable people or seek professional advice.

7.   Rebalance your own energy

If all else fails, rebalancing your own energy with energy techniques can help you eliminate the negative energy you absorb from those around you.

When your spouse, parent or child is a negative person, it can be very difficult to be completely immune of his or her negative energy. As such regular balancing of your chakras and field helps you release the negative emotions you may feel, allowing more positive energy to flow into your life.

How do you deal with negative people in your life?

What is the ‘Placebo Effect’ and has it been misinterpreted?

A ‘mind-body’ phenomenon that I studied in my medical training is the “placebo effect”. In short, it is the effect that occurs when a person receives a fake treatment but experiences a real positive result. In a clinical study, researchers often randomise study (clinical trial) participants in 2 or more groups (also known as ‘arms’). One group is given the drug, while the other is given a placebo (fake drug, usually a sugar pill or fake injection). Researchers then compare the rate of clinical improvement in the group that took the real drug vs. the group that took the sugar pill.

The difference in positive results between the real drug group and the fake drug (placebo) group is determined to be the actual beneficial effect of the drug. In almost every study, some people in the placebo group still get a real beneficial effect, despite only receiving a sugar pill or an injection of water! It is thought that this effect came from the person’s mind, and it is called the placebo effect. During my time as one of the Medical Directors at Pfizer in Australia, I was the appointed medical expert for Viagra. When I was involved in Viagra clinical trials, some studies had approximately 30% who reported improvements in the fake drug arm. This placebo response in 30% of people who took pretty much nothing means that their minds created a real benefit for the study participant. This mentally stimulated response can vary greatly in various studies across different medical conditions but is almost always present in EVERY clinical trial.

Now whilst the medical community has always paid attention to the ‘real effect’ in the real drug arm and dismissed the Placebo Effect as an aberration of some sort, what we should have been doing is ask the question – “Hang on a minute, how did 30% of participants IMPROVE their sexual performance with absolutely NO DRUGS whatsoever?” How did these people heal their erectile dysfunction, just by their mind ‘thinking and feeling’ that they were going to get better?

This is the radical yet proven perspective on how our MINDS (conscious and subconscious thoughts and emotions) feed our energetic system. Our minds can make you ill or help you heal yourself. Similar theories in human biology have connected thoughts, emotions and health. For example,  when you are stressed, your body releases stress hormones like cortisol which can affect all your systems and organs. These stress responses from conflict, anger and anxiety can cause disruptive changes in the functioning of your heart and immune system leading to illness.

Even specific emotions have been indirectly associated with a number of diseases. Studies from the University of Maryland Medical Center have found that unconsciously being defensive, restricting our emotions or feelings of hopelessness can result in medical consequences such as high blood pressure. How a person manages their emotions can also affect how long they survive with a chronic illness. In addition, hostile attitudes may increase your risk for coronary heart disease, obesity (especially around the waist), insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), and abnormal cholesterol (specifically, high triglycerides and low levels of high density lipoprotein or HDL – the good kind of cholesterol).

Have you ever met a hostile person that seemed happy, healthy and performing well at their job? I gather you haven’t and neither have I. We may have a pre-conceived notion that terrorists, wrestlers and even military personnel require aggression to perform well at their function, yet the opposite is true. Being calm and centred is far more effective even in activities requiring physical aggression, ask any genuine master of Kung Fu, which is more focussed on self defence.

If we continue to purely use the western framework of illness which merely considers the physical body (based on biology and chemistry) and ignores the energetic body (based on quantum physics), then we limit ourselves from our overall healing potential and our ability to achieve peak performance. There is an obvious signal on how modern science is beginning to clarify the connection between emotions and illness – the picture becomes clearer and more complete when it is viewed from an energy perspective as well.  Overall, I was now able to connect parallel information from what I learnt in medical school, my experience in medical research as well as my initial literature review on the body’s energy system.

Despite all these learnings, the thing that convinced me the most was my own personal experience with an energy shift and how I felt afterward. Once I had that experience, I needed to know how it works. I also wanted to know what else was out there in terms of methods of shifting energy from all the different cultures around the world. My journey into connecting the bigger picture continued with my understanding how energy methods can actually heal and transform a person’s life. Energy was the connection that helped me understand this mysterious ‘placebo effect’.

Have you ever experienced the ‘placebo effect’ with yourself or someone you know?

Remember your New Year resolutions? 5 tips to focus your goals

Earlier in the year, I wrote a blog about how to set goals for 2013. If your life is anything like mine, some of my goals have changed significantly just in the last 9 months.

To keep me focused on achieving my dreams, I just keep going and adapt accordingly. But I found some tips that work for me, in keeping focus, which is where most people let themselves down in leading a fulfilling life.

Here are my top 5 tips for staying focussed your goals.

1. Check your goals are SMART.

In my 5 year stint in the corporate world, we were told that our goals had to be SMART. That is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound. These goal setting rules are highly valid and you are much more likely to stick with them for the year.

For example, I have a goal for Energesse to help 1 million lives by 2022. Whilst it is a huge goal, it is specific to our service of helping people. It is also very much achievable, has a realistic time frame and can be easily measured. Ensure your goal meets the SMART criteria, and is still inspiring to you.

In terms of timeframes, there are a couple of schools of thought. A goal like “I want to be rich in 6 months” may be an inspiring challenge, however may be less realistic if you’re starting from scratch and not very specific of what ‘rich’ means to you. The clearer you are about your goals, the more your thought energies are focussed and the more likely the universe will help you materialise them in 2013.

2. Balance all 7 areas of your life

At Energesse, we have the Energy Wellness Wheel has divided life into 7 key areas – Spiritual, Mental (mind), Physical (body), Social & Relationships, Financial, Career and Environment. I have set my goals in these seven areas to have a clear vision of how I want my life to be. Since using that framework, I’ve had more complete alignment with my life dreams.

Any area of your life in which you do not set a goal or empower, you will allow other people to empower and have control of over you.

If that’s OK with you, no problem, but if you wish to have full control of your life, then setting a goal in that aspect is the first step to your empowerment and designing the life that you want.

3. Focus short term, adapt long term

I first started with 10 year goals and then broke them down into goals for the next 1 year and then 5 years. Breaking them down like this gives me more focus on a timeframe and set of activities that I wish to be accomplish in 2013.

I then break this down into what I need to achieve in the next 90 days (3 months), which I call a 90 Day Plan. This gives me IMMEDIATE focus and ensures I have ‘baby steps’ that I have to do NOW, to get to that 5 year plan. Remember the Chinese saying “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

90 day plans might seem a little anal and restrictive, but I can tell you from experience that once you set clear defined tasks aligned to your big goals, you are not distracted by unneccessary work and you have more flexibility and FREE TIME to enjoy the other areas of your life.

By doing 90 day plans, I have plenty to energy for the ‘Social and Relationships’ area of my life. I can have fun and connect with my family while still working on my career ambitions.

4. Keep up Repetition and Visualisation

Visualisation and Repetition are INCREDIBLY POWERFUL techniques for achieving your goals. I have visual images aligned to my goals on a powerpoint slide deck, which I try to look at as often as possible, at least once a day.

Others have a ‘Vision Board’ in the bedroom, or create a list of positive, goal related affirmations that stick on the bathroom toilet or office wall.

What you visualise will materialise, as our thought energies attract what we want from the universe. I have plenty of experience of this coming true and there is a lot of anecdotal proof about this.

The images should be inspiring and make you “feel” like you already have what you want when you look at them. I have compiled pictures of the places I want to travel to, the people I want to connect with, activities I want to try and even a bank statement with the bank balance I want to have!

If you are a more auditory person rather than visual, then saying out your goals & affirmations daily can be very effective. I have recorded myself verbalising my goals on the iPhone voice recorder and listen to them on the way to meetings!

5. Be Grateful for what you’ve already achieved

Whilst it is really fulfilling to set inspiring goals and strive toward achieving them, we WILL face enormous challenges and setbacks along the way. This is GUARANTEED! So always be grateful for what you already have.

Challenges are a natural part of living and a test to see how you handle such situations. During these difficult times, it is so important not to focus on the negative, act as a victim or blame others for your bad luck. Sadly, most people are focussed on negativity, we have 60,000 – 70,000 thoughts per day and most are negative!

Though it may be difficult to comprehend the reason for averse situations, difficult personalities or unforseen tragedies, I strongly advise you to find things that you can be grateful for and apply focus to think that.

It will change your perspective and reposition your energetic field quicker to ‘bounce back’ in pursuit of your goals. One technique I adopted include adding to my ‘Gratitude List’ – 10 things I am grateful for every morning (they can be a small as a smile from a colleague). Again, this is on my iPhone to look at when I’m feeling the blues.

Another is holding a ‘Gratitude Rock’ before I go to bed at night and recount the one thing/experience I am most grateful for from that day. Rhonda Byrne’s book – The Magic – is particularly good for Gratitude techniques as well as any Dr John Demartini’s books.

I hope all this information helps you with your continuing journey to your dream life in 2013 and energises your mind, body and spirit toward your true greatness!

Out of curiousity, which goal have you already achieved this year?

How do you know you need an ‘Energy Makeover’?

By Martine Negro and Dr Avnesh Ratnanesan

One of the interesting and challenging aspect of understanding your own energy field is that most of us cannot ‘see’ it. In fact most of us cannot taste, hear or smell it.

Most of time however, we can ‘feel’ it or ‘sense’ a problem, though in many cases, we don’t realise that the root cause of the problem is related to our Energy field.

This is common in Western societies as the concept of human energy fields is not widely taught. In Eastern societies however, the concept of a body’s energy as the cause of health problems is pervasive.

I recently spoke to Martine Negro, our Energy Practitioner at the Divinity Wellness Institute with over 30 years experience in diagnosing and treating energy fields, using modalities such as Acupuncture, Reiki and Emotional Freedom Technique.

Here’s what she had to say about “How to Know if you need an Energy Makeover

Q: Martine, how can you tell if there is a problem with your Energy?

A: There are several ways, for example:

  • You have physical symptoms or illnesses that are not responding to conventional treatments or the treatment is taking too long to work. Perhaps you have been taking medication, herbs or supplements for months with little noticeable change or the symptoms return as soon as you stop the treatment.
  • Occasionally, no physical reason can found for your illness, despite extensive tests and medical consultations.
  • You have bouts of feeling physically tired or mentally exhausted for no obvious reason.
  • You become moody, anxious, angry or depressed very easily.
  • You have a history of trauma (physical or psycho-emotional), either a major one (e.g. accident, death of a loved one, miscarriage, abortion, divorce, betrayal, etc.) or multiple minor stresses (long term irritation, financial or relationship frustrations, etc).
  • You are aware that something is not quite right about yourself but you are not sure what is happening
  • You have difficulty moving through a difficult issue, despite your best efforts and counselling from family, friends and professionals.
  • You dislike a habit or phobia and cannot change it
  • You have a destructive addictive pattern that you are unable to control

Q: Is there a way to test yourself to see if your energy is being affected?

A: Sure, focus on the issue or problem that you currently have – can you sense how your body responds? Do you feel any tension or negative change in your emotional state?

Nothing is “trivial”, energetically speaking. Over time, small prolonged stresses can cause as much damage as a major one that happened once!

Our society and “disease care” system rarely encourages people to be aware and listen to the body’s messages. The Western medicine approach is often geared to be more “re-active” rather than “pro-active”.

In order to to be proactive, you need to pay attention to your Mind-Body system.

 

Q: What typically happens at an ‘Energy Makeover’ consultation with you Martine, or in fact with other similar energy practitioners?

A: During an energetic session, you are invited to tune in into your body and start connecting to your innate inner wisdom which knows exactly the core issue behind the symptom.

As you connect, you will be guided to activate the energy flow through various energetic tools (acupressure, hands on, imagery, deep breathing and so on)

Quantum physics research demonstrates that when you observe something for a period of time…it changes! Observation is a major component of the energetic experience, a highly unique, organic and flowing process simultaneously involving mind, body and energy. As the energy block gets untangled, the brain gets “rewired” in such a way that after one or several sessions, you feel different. You may gain new insights, new perceptions of the situation and also have great new tools to engage yourself actively in your treatment.

So an energetic session is very much a “team-working” exercise between you, the ultimate expert on your body and the practitioner’s expertise in energetics.  We explore and work together to allow the energy to naturally get back into balance, ultimately inviting you to trust your amazing Mind-Body system which is designed to heal.