The Founder of Beautifully Zen

Video

I have recently received a few emails about what it is I do as a therapist, so I thought I would share this short video about my day job from my website. It features some feedback from those I have been gifted to share my treatment room with and gives those of you who that have asked, a feel of what it is I actually do. I am based in the UK in London and Kent.

Namaste
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Lighting A Lamp For Somebody, Will Also Brighten Your Own Path – The Buddha

We often talk of doing something good for someone else, we often think of doing something good for someone else, but more often than not life just ‘gets in the way’.  Lets face it, we feel we have enough of our own problems to cope with.   We feel as if we have very little personal free time to enable us to commit ourselves to doing something outside of our regular ‘remit of life’.   “It’s hard enough fitting in some ‘me time’, let alone adding more commitments to my to-do list to stress me out even more” If we are honest, most of us have had this conversation inside our own heads.  Life can often feel like a constant struggle and we are here to enjoy ourselves, right?

Of course we are, and that’s the exact reason why today I decided, my remit needed to change.   This afternoon I signed up as a regular volunteer for a charity that helps women with cancer.  A charity that educates women that are undergoing radio or chemotherapy how to feel womanly and beautiful, despite their sometimes aggressive treatment.  Qualified therapists (like myself) attend workshops at local hospitals and teach patients skin care routines, product knowledge and make-up techniques to help them feel better about themselves on a physical and emotional level.  My own mother had breast cancer and I unfortunately lost my mum-in-law to cancer, so it’s a subject that’s very close to my heart.

Many scientific studies have demonstrated that acts of kindness towards others result in a strengthened immune system and increased serotonin levels for both the person receiving and the person extending kindness.  Serotonin is the chemical produced in the brain which contributes to feelings of calm and peace, it is commonly known as the happy hormone.  Bottom line is this, when we show unconditional kindness to others, it ultimately brings us happiness in return.  It is truly good for the soul.

I also strongly believe that volunteering to any kind of charity also helps to keep you incredibly grounded, it can act as a reminder of what is actually important in your life and what isn’t.  We tend to think our problems are the worst.  When we are feeling down, or have wandered into a spate of bad luck, in our little world we believe no one is suffering as we are.  That is until we are reminded of the truth.

Take a little time each week to consciously spread a little kindness in your world, no act of kindness is too small or ever wasted.   Take an elderly neighbour a few flowers picked from your garden,  offer a friend a lift even if it’s out of your way or like me,  find a charity you can spend just a few hours a month or just a few days a year offering your skills and time to help someone who truly needs that bubble of kindness in their lives.  Do it unconditionally, and with an open heart and before you know it that bubble of kindness will bounce back to you.

For more details of  Look Good Feel Better please visit their website http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk

The Birth Of Beautifully Zen

Three years ago I launched myself into the scary world of  self employment with one huge enthusiastic leap.  My vision was clear, to create a sacred space for people to relax, destress and re-connect.  A year before,  my husband (then 38) suffered a massive heart attack.  A fluke thrombosis in his coronary artery that saw him in hospital for 11 days with intense one on one nursing care.  It was the most devastating and scary experience I have ever encountered.   An experience that change my direction in life entirely, life really is too short.

So after thirteen stable years of employment with the Metropolitan Police, and my desire to have a job that would help enable my husband to stop working shifts,  I purchased an exceptionally run down beauty business, in a pretty quaint town in Kent.   The sale wiped out every penny I had ever saved, but we were confident with my experience as a therapist and in management (I had trained whilst in the police), coupled with my  my overwhelming desire to make a go of it, we would be o.k.

Three months after acquisition the worst global recession struck the planet.  To add to this stress we discovered the lady I had purchased the business from was far from honest with her ‘accounts’ and the staff we had inherited could only be described as ‘challenging’. Very swiftly reality kicked in, like a blow to the stomach that makes your knees buckle.   Every ounce of success we had envisaged for my business and our new found ‘calmer lifestyle’ suddenly seemed beyond our grasp.

My working week began to average 80 hours and every waking moment was consumed with ideas of how to simply survive.  I wasn’t sleeping as I was stressed to the hilt and every penny earned simply went straight back into the business.   I was the poorest I had ever been, and I was angry that we had been so naive to believe everyone was a ethical and honest as we tried to be.   To add to my frustration I was also totally and utterly exhausted.   Life suddenly wasn’t fun.

Looking back now, I am surprised I didn’t end up at my doctors sobbing into a tatty old hanky pleading for some magic wand to be waved that would miraciously  ‘make everything alright’.

Three years on, and only through my sheer hard work and determination, I have managed to totally turn the business around.  The same business that we estimate was in fact losing thousands when it entered our world.

Is it still challenging?     Yes of course it is, but the light at the end of the tunnel is definately closer.

I have always believed every single challenge sent our way, is sent to teach us a valuable lesson.  My business journey sent me,  into a space I had only explored briefly in my adulthood.  I found myself vulnerable and whole heartedly exposed.   What I failed to acknowledge at the time, was in order for me  regain peace within my soul, I needed to learn to let go of the all familiar human condition of desiring to control every outcome in life.

For a brief two years I completely forgot to connect, I let the importance of my business consume my every atom.  I didn’t have time to meditate, in fact I didn’t have time to do anything.  Time with my husband was few and far between and when we were together we were either too stressed to have a rational conversation or too tired to speak.  My gym visits vanished, I rarely saw my friends as I couldn’t afford to go out and my life simply became a continuous blur of work and sleep.  In short, I completely forgot about me.

The whole experience brought me a barrage of lessons, but most importantly it taught me the value of never forgetting to ‘simply be,’ even when I’m living within the tornado of life, desperately clinging on to anything to help reground myself.

Beautifully Zen was born to share, muse and ramble about all things beautiful and good for the soul.  Beauty is my business, zen is my way.

I hope you may enjoy sharing some time here with me, and most of all I look forward to walking the journey with you.

Elizabeth xx