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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8 Holistic Mood Boosting Tips

happiness-quotes“Happiness is not something ready made, it comes from your own actions” – Dalai Lama 

Happiness is something we all seek, an inner warmth that ignites from deep within our soul and radiates out around us.   When we are happy, we see the world as a loving and vibrant place, but when we find ourselves in a space or cycle that brings feelings of discontent, the world suddenly becomes cold and cruel. The fact is we are soley in control of our own happiness, much of how we view our own inner peace and our role within this world is created within our own minds. I wrote a blog post last year ’11 Things To Give Up To Step Closer To Happiness’ which tackles this issue.  But there are also many physical things we can do, which will help boost our mental happy juices.

Start your day with positive thought –  It’s very easy to lay there in bed, mentally grumbling away at the alarm, wishing you could just smuggle a few more moments under a warm cosy duvet.  But occasionally, it’s really helpful to set the alarm just 10 minutes earlier than normal and take this time to really be present.  Spend a few moments  feeling your body waking up, take several deep cleansing breaths, stretch out your arms and legs, and listen to the sounds around you with deep concentration.  Really see the daylight in all it’s beauty and mentally tell yourself, that you that you are going to have a really productive, meaningful and enjoyable day, making sure you radiate kindness and compassion to everyone you meet.  Some times we have to physically take the time out to remind ourselves that our life is very precious, and no matter what is going on around us, we should be thankful that we have it.

Pack your day with serotonin boosting foods –  Without a shadow of a doubt our body can only function properly when we treat it with kindness. I see many clients in my spa who seek various healing treatments due to suffering conditions like depression and anxiety. One of the first questions I always ask them is about their diet. The foods we eat have a direct impact on how much energy and vitality we have. 90% of the happy hormone serotonin, is actually produced in the gut, not the brain as many people think. It is then chiefly metabolised by the liver. So in short, if we aren’t feeding our body with the kind of foods that support the production of this hugely important hormone, how can we expect to always feel balanced and content?  Some of the best serotonin boosting foods are nuts and seeds, Omega 3 fatty acids, avocados, eggs, chickpeas, leafy green vegetables, bananas, apples, butternut squash, spelt, barley, brown rice and dark chocolate.            

 Infuse mood boosting Essential Oils in your house or work place – I’m always burning essential oils in my home, office and treatment room. Smell is the strongest of the senses and is best able to influence brain activity. Olfactory bulbs are part of the limbic system and directly connect to the areas of the brain that process emotion and learning. Inhaling essential oils activates the hypothalamus, the area of the brain which sends messages to other parts of the body. The simple inhalation of certain oils can actually make changes in the body, including activating the immune system, affecting blood pressure and stimulating digestion.  Some of the most effective mood boosting essential oils are lemon, lavender, jasmine, rosemary, cinnamon, grapefruit, ginger, bergamot and peppermint.  Just place a few drops of your chosen oils in a oil burner and mix with some warm water, or if you don’t have one, just fill a bowl with some hot water and add the oils to that.

Keep hydrated – I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep yourself hydrated.  Our bodies are made up of anything from 60%-75% water, every muscle and cell needs fluids to function properly. Even the mildest of dehydration can make you feel lethargic and tired.  A doctor once told me, if you feel thirsty your body is in fact already dehydrated.  Try and sip filtered or fresh spring water throughout your day to help support your body’s need for it.

Try drinking green tea – Green tea contains an amino acid called theanine that may affect secretion of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, including the calming neurotransmitter GABA and the activating neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. It also packed full of antioxidants, so is good for the skin too.

Try adding some mood enhancing crystals to your home – Obviously as an energy worker I am open to the positive effects that crystals can have in our homes and offices. Crystals have an energetic vibration, just as we do, and incorporating that vibration into our living or work space, can often bring us benefits.  I always have points of Rose Quartz ( Rose Quartz has high energy, but its vibration is also calming and soothing. It opens the heart to compassion for self and for others. Rose Quartz also helps balance the emotions, lowering stress and bringing peace), Moonstone (soothes, relieve stress and banishes negativity), Amethyst (heals negativity in the home) and Green Adventurine (a stone of luck, abundance, and positive energy) in various rooms in my house.  I am also a huge lover of Clear Quartz, which is deemed as the master healer of crystals.

Try listening to some music to help balance the Chakra’s – According to ancient Tantric and yogic tradtions, Chakra’s (Sanskrit) are seven energy centres that serve as junction points between the physical body and consciousness. These energy centres help receive, process and express our vital Chi/Ki/life force energy and enable it to flow freely through the physical and spiritual body.  When any one of these Chakras become blocked due to stress, emotions or our life experiences, we may develop physical complaints or illnesses, or we may find ourselves feeling emotionally unbalanced and out of sorts. In certain traditions each Chakra also has a corresponding mantra and sound vibration. There are many different ways to help support these vital energy centres, but one simple way is to listen to some music which resonates with the sound vibration of each centre. One of my favourite pieces of music to do this is by the renowned international spiritual tutor Deepak Chopra.  This CD is uber relaxing, easy to listen to and at the end of the CD Deepak explains a little bit about each Chakra and how they correspond with how we interact with the world around us, both on a physical and emotional level.

Walk in bare feet or lay on the grass – recently I have been reading about the scientific studies around ‘Earthing’.  Earthing is the practice of connecting the body with earth by touching skin to a conductive material such as grass (preferably wet), wet sand, a river, lake or sea.  Apparently when we haven’t directly connected to the earths natural electrical vibration for a period of time, our bodies carry a positive voltage in relation to the earth, which makes it harder for our bodies to tackle free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules within the body, which lack electrons (energy sparks), although our bodies do need free radicals, too many of them can cause disease and are also known to accelerate the ageing process.  So if the human body has a positive charge on it, reconnecting to the earth allows the earths electrons to flow into our system, and in theory, they can neutralise overblown free radical and inflammatory damage. So not only is connecting with nature exceptionally relaxing, which in turn boosts the feelings of well being, there are now scientific studies to support the fact that connecting with our planet, also helps fight disease.  An English medical Doctor by the name of Dr Biffa has written a very honest piece about Earthing and the studies surrounding it.

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