anxiety, mindset, nutrition, Uncategorized, wellness

Secrets from the World’s Top 5 Wellness Retreats

I recently led a 5 Day Self-Love Challenge in my private Facebook Group.

I felt that between my booming business, my energetic children and their social schedules, and my intensive Muay Thai training, my Self Care was lacking a bit!

Life gets like that sometimes, right?

Maintenance (or even achievement in the first place) of peace and balance is tricky and so the things that make us feel good and relaxed, that make us slow down, that make us exhale, that help us clear out our negative energy and revitalise get sacrificed.  We eat on the run, healthy diet choices slip down the priority list and we find ourselves indulging in a glass of wine, rather than a meditation to relax!

This is where luxury Wellness Retreats are cashing in.  They offer us the chance to take charge of our health with imposed self care, dedicated support and the promise of transformed health and connection to inner feelings and a new perspective.

So what can we learn from the world’s top wellness retreats?

I did some research on the leading Wellness Retreats across the world and the types of programmes you can enjoy by booking in.  Read on to discover:

  • The Healthy Ageing Women Retreat in Spain
  • The BodyScience Retreat in St Lucia
  • The Shanti Sleep Retreat in Mauritius
  • The LeFay Detoxification Retreat in Italy
  • And the Ananda Yoga and Meditation Retreat in the Himalayas

Have you ever been on a Retreat?

(Keep reading for 8 Alternatives to a Retreat for improved wellness….)

My sister-in-law just came back from a weekend one right here in New Zealand and she described feeling a million dollars at the end of the weekend.  She connected with like-minded women, she released unprocessed emotion and ate healthily and existed in peace across a weekend of what sounds like pure bliss.

So why aren’t we replicating this “bliss” in our daily lives?

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The reality is that modern day life is fast pace, high stress, highly toxic and monumentally processed.

In consequence, the progression and severity of “lifestyle” diseases is set to continue at an alarming rate. Figures for diabetes, cancers, cardiovascular diseases and more are SOARING and 80% of healthcare spending across the world is acute to take care of us once we have fallen ill.  It is our ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, so to speak.

And yet, only 10% of our wellness across our lifetime can be attributed to the HEALTHCARE we get.

Think about that for a minute.  Everywhere you look there are hospitals, doctors surgeries, people on waiting lists, people in treatment and for the majority the primary focus of their own healthcare is to seek out the advice of the medical profession when acute symptoms arise.

But across the span of our life only 10% of this acute care can be attributed to us being alive and well?

Basically, yes.  It is our genetics (30%) and our behaviour and environment, including nutrition (60%) that plays a bigger part in the outcomes we get.  Our genetics are a set piece, of course, but how we affect our genes with nutrition and our lifestyle can be attributed a whopping 60% to the wellness we experience across the span of our lives.

With that in mind, is a 5-7 day retreat enough to pick up the slack of this monumental responsibility our nutrition and lifestyle plays in keeping us well?

Do we learn enough, recover enough and change our habits enough in 5-7 days to make the investment in our health through a retreat worth it?

What value do you place on your health? 

Image result for Yoga & Meditation at at Ananda in the Himalayas

 

At the Ananda Retreat in the Himalayas you’ll pay an average US$4000 per person to rejuvenate the mind and body across 5 days; increasing clarity, relieving stress and anxiety, and potentially strengthening your immune system.

As you relax in the beautiful setting, your heart rate will slow down, your blood pressure will lower and the focus on breath will flood your system with oxygen.  It is these vital signs that are the first things a doctor checks when we wind up in hospital unwell because they give such a great indication of our body’s state, and combined together can give a picture of the threat to our health.

Do we notice these silent whispers as we go about our busy daily lives?

Our bodies have their own natural balance that is individual to each of us (your blood pressure and heart rate won’t be the same as the person next to you and we all have varying levels of insulin receptivity.)  It is these vital signs that change as we respond to stress, lack of sleep, bad diet, and lack of exercise.

When in optimal balance (maybe the imagined state of the “om” as we sit in focused meditation?) our bodies can fight off illness naturally.  It’s getting out of balance that can lead to serious consequences, including disease and a shorter lifespan. And this is a process that happens over time, not overnight.  Our lifestyle and attitude has a lot to do with this slip of balance.

To go deeper… our Mitochondria, the powerhouses of our bodies, are able to function optimally when we are in balance.  Mitochondria are part of the energy production work of our cells — our muscle cells, our brain cells — everything needs energy to function optimally, so even a minor impairment of mitochondrial function can have dramatic systemic ramifications.

The energy originally comes from the food that we eat: carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Inside our stomach and intestines, enzymes break down our food into small molecules like glucose and pass them to the cells around our bodies. Inside our cells, these molecules pass into our Mitochondria where they extract energy from the molecules so that our cells can use it.

This is done by burning the molecules; reacting them with oxygen. About 95 percent of the oxygen that we breathe goes to our Mitochondria, and when we burn the molecules with oxygen, the energy that is released is trapped in a currency that cells can use (for example, to contract a muscle) and this energy currency is called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

Mitochondria are essential for keeping cells alive. If we deprive the brain or heart of oxygen, like in a stroke or a heart attack, a major cause of damage is that oxygen is no longer going to the Mitochondria. When there’s a lack of oxygen in Mitochondria, they stop working, and the cells die. A growing body of research is implicating mitochondrial dysfunction as a root cause in a wide spectrum of metabolic, lifestyle and degenerative diseases including: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, Cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Fibromyalgia and potentially many more.  These Mitochondria are essential to our human survival at the most basic level, but they are seriously suffering in our modern environment.

So, as our vital signs slip – our oxygen sats drop, for example – our risk factors for chronic diseases increase and accrue.

71% of the diseases that are killing us annually are within our scope of “control” to avoid.  Cardiovascular disease is at the top of this list.  The heart has high energy demands and 35% of the volume of cardiac muscles cells is taken up by mitochondria.

lefay temp

 

At the Lefay Resort & SPA, Lago di Garda, Italy, you can detox your heart out for US$3000… 

 

It’s true, our ancient Mitochondria simply cannot cope with the amount of environmental toxins our bodies face off against on a daily basis – from the food we eat,  the medicines we take, the air we breathe, and the chemicals we apply on our body. The lack of quality nutrients in the modern processed diet also challenges our Mitochondria, reducing their function and increasing Mitochondrial damage.

free-radicals

Unhealthy lifestyle habits, bad diet and ‘toxic load’ show up as raised blood pressure, imbalanced blood sugar and weight gain.  We don’t seem to have the time to notice these clues as we are rushing through life, but is a 5 day Detoxification Retreat enough to cleanse your body of all that challenges it?

One of the best ways to improve Mitochondrial health is through sustained dietary changes.  On a positive note you’ll get a nutritional consultation and prescription of special diet as part of your stay at LeFay.

Nutrition is the foundation and basis of good health.

The appropriate diet for you can assist in the prevention of many common 21st century chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.  We essentially pass what we eat to our Mitochondria, so they can make ATP. Having too many nutrients—too much fat, too many carbohydrates or protein coming in—causes extensive damage to the cell and the Mitochondria itself.

What’s for sure though is that the more we know about our body, the more empowered we are to ACT.

sleepSleep at Shanti Maurice (Mauritius)

Sleep is another really important factor for health, and in 2013 (the last year measured by Gallup), the average American slept 6.8 hours a night—with 40 percent banking less than six hours.  New research reveals that children who fall short by just one hour per night have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes!

To understand how much is enough sleep to allow our bodies to rejuvenate, refresh and function at our best, watch this video.  Sleep influences how we think, eat, concentrate and it affects our mood, hormones and immune system.  Getting adequate sleep limits unhealthy food cravings, improves low mood and fatigue, and helps us to avoid chronic diseases!

So how do we discover what nutrition is right for us?

Image result for BodyScience at BodyHoliday (St Lucia)BodyScience at BodyHoliday, (St Lucia) offers DNA testing, comprehensive body analysis and a tailor-made wellness plan using your unique genetic information.

I am a MASSIVE fan of this type of Personalised Wellness.  For me, the discovery of my ideal macronutrient composition and exercise ratio (between strength and endurance) has been life-changing.  My physique has completely changed and I have reversed auto-immune disease. I am also no longer intolerant to certain foods and at the best weight and health of my life!  I’m also confident I’m supplementing what I need to at the right doses and nothing over and above, or lacking.  My energy has been significantly boosted, my body is able to work at its optimum and even my mind feels healthier.

BodyScience at BodyHoliday will set you back US$6000 for a 5 day trip.  Find out how I maintain the same outcomes for just US$3/day here.

Image result for Healthy Ageing Women at SHA Wellness Clinic (Spain)Finally, we have the Healthy Ageing Women Retreat at the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain. This retreat will set you back US$10k and promises to take away your fear of ageing, as well as provide support to adjust with the changes in your body to preserve youthfulness and vitality. 

But, what makes us age?

In a study of more than 2,000 women, those who had the lowest vitamin D levels showed the greatest signs of biological ageing.

The most reliable measures of a person’s age are telomeres; the lengths of the genetic material that cap the free ends of DNA in a cell.  With age, the telomeres shorten and the DNA becomes more unstable until eventually the cell dies.  The study found that those with the highest vitamin levels had significantly longer telomeres – equivalent to 5 years of normal ageing.

Vitamin D has also been shown to have a positive effect on age-related diseases, like heart disease and cancer.

So what else can extend your life? Exercise has been proven to lengthen telomeres (so I should be alright!) and some cells have the ability to reverse telomere shortening by expressing telomerase.  Telomerase is an enzyme that extends the telomeres of chromosomes. Meditation has been shown to increase telomerase.

So what is it going to be?  An ambulance at the bottom of the cliff to take you to your much needed/deserved wellness retreat or some much needed, really simple lifestyle changes personalised to you?

Here are a few facts to help you make your decision…

  • Doctors don’t have time for us
  • Chronic diseases that we can control are killing us
  • Guessing what diet or exercise plan is right for us costs time, money and a lot of frustration
  • Our bodies metabolise differently depending on our genotype
  • Understanding our genetic blueprint can help us identify how our body will respond to different diets – whether protein will increase muscle tone, whether low carb will affect hormones or blood sugar negatively, for example
  • If we eat to our genetic metabolism we shouldn’t need to diet and struggle with willpower/hunger.  We can target food choices better, improve our eating habits, eat in the right portions and stick consistently to a habit that is going to serve us for a lifetime
  • Getting your diet right can help your body get back into a natural state of balance, improve your immune system (80% of the immune system is in our gut) and avoid chronic disease
  • A few tweaks in mindset can help you give yourself the self care you deserve and time management skills that serve your stress levels and anxiety.

8 Alternatives to a Wellness Retreat

  • Unprocess your diet
    • Go back to wholefoods and if you have to eat processed food, stick to foods with less than 5 ingredients that your grandma would recognize!  This will help prevent the need for detox.
  • Go chemical free
    • Use essential oils to replace chemical cleaners, perfumes and skincare over things our body doesn’t know how to process.  This will support mitochondrial health!  (Don’t forget EMFs)
  • Consider this
    • Our genes naturally have spelling mistakes that predispose us to certain health problems, but our lifestyle and environmental factors pull the trigger.  We can literally avoid activating faulty genes.  It’s called Epigenetics.
  • Hydration
    • Get at least 8 glasses of water a day.  Consider downloading an app that can remind you when to drink and how much.
  • Breathing
    • Many people do not breathe very well, especially people who have suffered chronic stress.  This can have negative health effects.  Go deeper at this blog…
  • Investigate Intermittent fasting
    • Eat food in a 12 hour window – it’s good for our brain and body!
  • Eat lots of colours for phytonutrients
    • Eat at least 4 portions of vegetables a day and make sure they are colourful
  • Consider tracking your blood sugar
    • How our body responds to sugar is significantly important to our long-term health. Blood Sugar levels are integral to weight loss and a factor in over 100 diseases!  It’s important to note the distinction that blood sugar problems are the symptom of T2 diabetes, not the cause.  The cause is insulin resistance that builds over years.
anxiety, gratitude, mindset, Uncategorized, wellness

My Remedy for Anxious Feelings

Now that I am not drowning in anxious feelings every day and have the space in my mind to approach anxiety more rationally, I am able to implement a really cool tool for making anxious feelings go away…

(If you are drowning in anxious feelings, i.e. feeling anxiety every day, this tool likely won’t work for you, but click here for something that will)

Often when we feel anxious there is something completely different that we are feeling underneath, we just haven’t given ourselves the time to feel that original emotion and process it.  We process emotions by experiencing them and choosing whether they require more action to resolve them.  However, how we live today is too fast paced for this sort of consideration!  Everybody is in a rush and busy.

So this emotion instead builds up and will be joined by other repressed emotions until all of a sudden you’re bubbling inside with this emotional boil up that makes you feel like you are going to throw it all up.  This frenetic emotion puts your body into sympathetic overdrive (fight or flight) – it’s on edge waiting to respond to whatever’s got you so on edge!  The blood rushes from your gut to your limbs and your digestion goes to shit, your mind can’t focus and your focus goes into lock down while your whole being commits to survive.  And at this point we often keep going because we still don’t stop and take action to feel the emotions we have repressed (or we numb them temporarily with alcohol, drugs or even sex) and this is where mild anxious feelings downspin into chronic anxiety disorder.

So here is a really simple action you can take.

Ask yourself, what am I really feeling?  And list the things out:

  • fear
  • out of control
  • love
  • overwhelm

The list can be as long or as short as you need.

Now interrogate the reasons for the feelings you have:

  • Too much work on
  • Some worry over something real
  • Uncertainty regarding a situation
  • Fear of loss, rejection, failure, success!

Now we are getting somewhere!  We can work with this.  We can take action.

  • We can spend some time thinking about what we are actually working towards and identify the priority actions to get us there fastest
  • We can figure out how to resolve our worry or make a decision whether it is worth our energy to worry at all (if it isn’t that thing can take a walk)
  • We can utilise gratitude so uncertainty (or any other negative emotion) is replaced
  • We can identify the beliefs driving the fear and whether they actually serve us.  We can always create new beliefs that work better for us.

Ultimately, personal development, goal setting, action planning and inner work will always be powerful in overcoming anxious feelings because they give us the control back.  We can’t get to where we want to go in the passenger seat of the car.  We have to take the steering wheel and drive!

Have you ever been a passenger in a car where the driver is scaring the life out of you?  That’s what is happening in your mind!  Negative thoughts and negative feelings buzzing around are like a white knuckle rollercoaster for your brain and it does what it knows best instinctively – it steers you away from pain – it alerts your nervous system that the shit is about to go down, so prepare to fight or run!  But when we take control of our thoughts and put action into place that restores order our nervous system can’t help but calm.

Breathing will support this process.  Contact me for a really simple anxiety breathing technique I learned that beats anxious feelings every time!  (Please just specify in the comments that it’s the breathing exercise you are seeking.)

Hope this helps!

Much love if you are feeling anxious.  It is an awful thing to battle, but I can help you overcome the battle for good. Click here to learn more

Freedom, gratitude, law of attraction, manifestation, mindset, Money, success, Uncategorized

How Gratitude is Linked to Your Bank Account (and other success!)

Do you ever find yourself saying something like,

“When I hit [fill the blank $/month], then I’ll feel fulfilled?”

Or, something like,

“When I lose that 5 kilos, then I’ll feel better about myself?”

Or,

“When I’m earning better, then I’ll feel grateful and blessed/happy?”

 

I’d like to suggest that you have it the wrong way around….

 

That is exactly where I was.  When I was in financial hardship I was miserable!  I was not grateful for anything I already had, just depressed, frustrated and in complete despair about everything I was lacking.  My energy was rock bottom and in that way it was completely blocking money or any success showing up in my life.  (Read more about the law of attraction in action here.)

We need to create an energy space in which the change we desire is compelled to show up.

So, if we desire more money to land in our bank account, we need to think first about how it would feel to have that money in our bank account! Feel the high of receiving it like we already have it. If we continue to pour out negativity, we will continue to attract more in… Because like attracts like.

I’m not sure I really believed in this stuff the day I decided to listen to my mentor when she suggested I should practice more gratitude.  But I was down for changing my personal energy.  It was sucking the life out of me.  So, even if you don’t believe in the law of attraction, wouldn’t it feel better to completely change your personal energy? Feel lighter, brighter, more positive and less anchored in the worries and the doubts?

Gratitude is the way to start. A feeling of appreciation or thanks. So simple, yet so powerful 💛💛💛

And did you know gratitude grows the more you use it? I am a walking example of that.  And the more gratitude you have, the more you open yourself up for abundance.  And that did totally happen to me.  Nothing changed in my business but me and it started with the practice of gratitude.

Every time my mind started on a negative thought pattern, I started to feel grateful, for whatever -. I even coined this, Gratitudeness 😊

According to the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, “the average person has about 70,000 thoughts each day. Most of these thoughts are very similar and simply repeat over and over in our heads each day.” There’s one big problem with this — the vast majority of these thoughts are negative.

It’s not always a matter of simply telling our minds DON’T THINK THIS NEGATIVE THOUGHT NOW. Because guess what our minds do? They start to think about that negative thought (they just ignore the don’t part). As the famed psychotherapist Carl Jung said “What you resist persists.”

Flexing our Gratitude muscle works to stop negative thoughts in their track and replace them with something positive and moreover, a good feeling, rather than the bad ones that come with thinking negative thoughts.  When we feel low thoughts, our whole energy depletes and it limits our potential, when we feel good thoughts our energy rises and we open ourselves up to opportunity.

So here is an action to try… Next time you feel sadness, loneliness, fear, anger, bitterness or any negative emotion, try and and flip it to Gratitudeness.

I honestly believe this has been a big part in my success the last 18 months because like attracts like. Feel good do good. We are literally magnets with our personal energy fields. And more often than not, we are pointing the magnet in the wrong direction 😲

If you want to know the exact practice I used to practice gratitude every day, reach out to me in the box below and I’ll send it to you, free of charge!  Please write GRATITUDE in the comments

In Your High Vibes & Happiness,

CW x x

Freedom, law of attraction, manifestation, mindset, Money, success, Uncategorized

What is your deepest darkest confession?  The thing that you don’t feel like you can tell anyone about, but the thing that is holding you back in your life? 

At the beginning of January I committed to creating a video every day for 365 days to help others lift their vibration to manifest success.

You can see them at my YouTube Channel here.

I have had a lot of people reaching out to me since I began these videos.  It seems my suggestion that there is something deep down that holds us back is a true one for many, not just a reflection of my own experience.

When I finally began to work on myself, deeply last year, I discovered that my #1 value in life was freedom and everything in my life was the opposite – trapped and controlled because an experience I had 14 years ago had me living my life in a nice safe bubble.  I suffered with crippling anxiety and I learned that it was my brain, my mindset’s clever way to stop me straying out of that safe bubble.

I read a quote today that said, “you will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle” – Shannon L. Alder

And it really spoke to me.  I coached with my own incredible mentor 11 months before I shared my deepest, darkest confession.  I peeled back every single other onion layer before that point and I made big transitions forward.  However, it took 11 months for me to speak out what was deep inside and really putting my life on hold.

Do you have something that sits heavy in your heart?  Your own deepest darkest confession?  Not in the sense that it is something you have done, but in that you don’t feel like you can tell anyone about, or maybe even verbalise it properly, you just know it is holding you back in your life?

How would your life be different if you faced this issue?  Spoke it out?  Discovered it and its impact on you?  Or moreover the impact the world is waiting for you to make exactly because this thing happened to you?

Time is so valuable.  I mentioned that last year I discovered my #1 value was freedom and that everything about my life was the opposite.  Coaching helped me discover myself in a supported, gentle and confidential way.  In this way I discovered my past experiences had created beliefs that were limiting me.  In stripping those beliefs away, and walking forward as a completely different person, taking actions I’d never believed were possible for me before I now have freedom in all areas of my life that are important to me – time freedom to spend with my children, a schedule that is mine, not somebody else’s, more financial freedom, more fun and enjoyment in my life, and perhaps more important than anything else, freedom to serve.

The final piece of my self-discovery has been the connection to my purpose and my ability to live that purpose, that freedom and feel the release of almost everything that was holding me back.  This has completely changed my vibration, my ability to manifest and thus my success.  My past experience, the thing that once broke me is now a gift and the reason I am writing a book, the reason I finally got my coaching business off the ground and the reason I connected with an opportunity that is changing peoples’ lives.

What if your story, your deepest darkest confession, the thing that perhaps brings you despair, is the thing that will bring people hope?

Reach out to me if you are ready for your own journey of self-discovery to begin

In your high vibes & happiness,

CW

manifestation, mindset, success, Uncategorized

A thought (and tip) on limited beliefs!

You are the average of the five people you spend most time with ~ Jim Rohn

This means our community can make or break our success!

We have 70,000 thoughts buzzing around our mind every day and unfortunately, most of them are negative.  So who we hang around, what we listen and what influences our thoughts becomes significant.

  • What is your mental nutrition?
  • Who is lifting you up?
  • Who is inspiring you?
  • Who is pushing you forwards?
  • Who is supporting you?

Because all of us have limiting beliefs and they don’t need any help holding us back!

In fact, if you aren’t experiencing success in a particular area of your life right now I can almost guarantee a limiting belief is at play.

Last year began the process of interrogating my past experiences to understand the ones that had created my limiting beliefs around money, parenting and success.  Because they were all presenting as a crippling lack of belief in myself and this was BEFORE the experience that completely shut me down in fear.

You see, most of our limiting beliefs are created when we are children.  When we are between 2 & 6 years old our brains are like little sponges; we absorb everything and create our beliefs from what we observe innocently in our world.

And the thing is, we cannot change the experiences that happened in the past, we can only ever control what we do going forwards.  We can continue to live trapped by our limiting beliefs and our fears or we can make a decision to grow.

On my Facebook Page I posted today that my Manifestation Challenge is running again to help you choose empowering thoughts over negative ones and help change your focus.

Just think of it like programming – like your brain is just a big computer and you can download the new stuff you want on it, but you have to invest in the programming.

Otherwise every thought, will ping a big emotional charge like fear, which keeps you stuck.

And you know, I was stuck, really stuck 18 months ago.  And then suddenly out of nowhere an opportunity presented itself to move forward.

It was a business opportunity actually.

I couldn’t afford it

I didn’t believe I had it in me to achieve in it

But I couldn’t handle the idea that if I didn’t take it I was going to stay stuck!  That was the only reason I said yes to it!  That and I was kind of inspired by the idea of changing the world…

But the big message is that decision is directly responsible for where I am today because of the community it connected me to and the motivation and inspiration I surrounded myself with that encouraged me to believe in myself.

I upped my average

So, limiting beliefs, your mental nutrition, your community and your new programming.  I really recommend, even if it isn’t my free manifestation challenge, find one new way this week to start reprogramming your thoughts this week.

You can check out my last newsletter too to see some ideas you can try straight away!

In your happiness & high vibes!

CW x xx

Your Success Enabler