Drink your love juice…

IMG_4799It’s good for you!

So, when I had a juice bar, we named it Love Juice. We knew at the time this would bring forward the chuckles and sniggers, but myself and my delicious friend Louise (we’d gone into partnership at this time) had both met through tantra, and really enjoyed playing with the double entendre and our naughty sides, and so Love Juice was born. I also had a long time love of juicing so the name Love Juice did have another meaning too! The signature smoothie (pictured above) was one of our top sellers, and we loved to listen in on the cheeky conversations this drink brought forth!

It’s a purposely designed aphrodisiac blend, and I can think of no better way to seduce your lover/s! If you love Turkish delight, you’ll love this smoothie. To make:

330ml Coconut mylk

handful fresh strawberries and a handful of frozen (frozen thickens it up)

Teaspoon organic maca powder

Tablespoon de-hulled hemp seeds

Cap of rose water

about 6 drops of pine pollen tincture (optional as it’s now always easy to get)

I’m on my 6th yoga class of the week today, and tomorrow makes it 7 in 7 days! Boom! Energy coming back up, heart healing, love spreading and life is pretty good. Wishing you all a joyful weekend – stay juicy! xox


My yoga mat, my island…

7-Comforting-Yoga-Asanas-That-Will-Help-You-Deal-With-VertigoIn the middle of a sea of emotion, what practices do you have?

I was on my yoga mat this morning, the 4th class of the week already, thankful, and I mean really thankful to have this practice in my life. It’s a practice that started less than a year ago and which has now become a devotion to self and to community insofar as it keeps me balanced and well, which inevitably serves both me and therefore by default, the wider circles of my world.

When I first came to practice, dragged along by my insistent friend Lorna, a wise and graceful being, I really had little energy or desire to be there, but so persistent was she, that I went along in a fatalistic, ‘oh well what do I have to lose’ kind of a way. It was the best decision I’ve made in years.

Like anything, it is the practice that is key – not giving up or getting lazy, not getting despondent or demoralised, not comparing yourself to others or over pushing myself (my pattern), and equally not showing off either. I had/have no desire to be the best to anyone other than myself, and that lesson is serving me well. Twelve months later and I am miraculously observing my body doing things it could never have imagined even a relatively short time ago, and the point is not that I do that, but that I have surpassed so many limiting beliefs and that my body, mind and soul feel infinitely better for it. Of course there are days when I can’t be bothered, and on those days, I usually just make myself get in my car or on my bike and go. Those are the days when the breakthroughs represent my breakthroughs in life. Those are the days when I say to myself “well done Steph – you did it”!

Yoga-Poses

This week, my practice has again saved me. It has soothed me, taken me into balance and  brought to the surface all that needs to be felt. I have cried in almost every class, letting the tears fall as my heart speaks, letting my body release it’s burdens, and that’s felt good – really good.

This morning as I rolled out my mat and began the class, the theme of which was ‘space’ and how to create it, I suddenly had a flashback to an old childhood game. I saw myself around 7 years old leaping around my room from one strategically placed pillow, blanket or piece of clothing strewn on the floor to another, remembering how I would pretend these random things were islands, islands surrounded by sharks and wild beasts, but that once on them, nothing could ‘get me’. I believed back then in the ‘monster under the bed’, and not touching the floor was my way of staying safe, somehow these monsters could only dwell in the lower realms, unable to reach the heights – and what a great metaphor that is!

So my mat became my island as if I was transported back in time. This small purple rectangle was my sanctuary, the place where only I could find me, where nothing else mattered and where nothing else could hurt me, and in this sanctuary, my heart found solace once again.

Having regular practices is not something to be sniffed at or taken lightly, they bloody well work! They require effort, devotion, and consistency, and they require your attention and your time, but without them, we will all too often find ourselves drowning in that sea of sharks and wild creatures, monsters and mythical armies.

I am teaching my course tonight, the penultimate session of my 9 Weeks To Transform Your Life group, and our topic happens to be the importance of daily practices and creating great habits. If you want to know more about my work, please email lifealchemytherapies@gmail.com – the next course is available as an online meeting so you can join me from anywhere in the world, all you need is a decent internet connection and a lot of that commitment to show up.

Wishing you all a life full of islands in your storms. I love you xox

yoga-1812695_1280


Mindful Presence

IMG_4761Where turmoil and tenderness meet…

There’s a lot of talk these days about mindfulness; about eating, thinking, speaking and living mindfully, so much so you could even say it’s a bit of a buzz word at present, but what does it really mean? What is mindfulness and is it different to conscious awareness?

For me, mindful somehow has a more gentle ring to it, I feel as though I want to tread gently, to whisper, to smile softly, or to self love more sweetly when I think of mindfulness. When I think of conscious awareness, for me it has more of my Kali energy in there; I want to burn down the barriers to that bliss consciousness, stomp the house down, weep and laugh more, and the self love feels directed, no-nonsense,  and crone like in its energy, but that’s just my interpretation. The dictionary says this:

mindfulness
ˈmʌɪn(d)f(ʊ)lnəs/
noun
“the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

This definition of mindfulness is inclusive of conscious awareness, so I guess it’s not possible to have that mindfulness without awareness as the first port of call then?

For me, becoming mindful has been a lifelong lesson of self mastery, of developing great communication, of inimitable self awareness, of knowing where my ‘stuff’ is, how to not respond to my triggers, and how to see other people’s with compassion. It’s been about recognising the value and importance of my own voice and perspective and this necessitates the recognition of the voice of the ‘other’ and that’s just the external part. The internal part is where it gets really juicy – what do you do when you are triggered and feeling all kinds of emotions flaring up? You breathe deeply, and you walk your f**king talk! That’s what you do.
This morning when massively triggered, I could feel all of my old patterns rising to the surface like the bubbles from a freshly opened bottle of Prosecco. There I was, challenged by another’s perceptions, language and assumptions and truly called into my heart – the only place from which I can respond any more, and the only place that will ever bring peace to a situation of contrast without doubt. A while ago, this place would have taken me into my automatic fight/flight/freeze responses – comfort eat, drink into a fog, destructively self medicate somehow or have the mother of all arguments in my own head, all based upon what I would like to have said had I allowed myself to not be mindful, but to be mindless instead! But guess what, that’s just us poisoning our own systems and does it feel good? Hell no! There is a saying that goes “holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to feel ill” and for me that’s definitely a thing I have learnt. I now ask myself ‘does this reaction feel good in my energetic field? Is it raising my vibration or lowering it? (you will know in your body the answers to these questions) and then if it feels destructive rather than constructive, I change it; mindfully.
So today I chose differently, and in the eye of the storm I got up, juiced a whole ton of green veggies, went for a long walk and got my yoga gear on ready to get on my mat and practice despite my resistance.
iStock_000004774019_Medium

 

Yoga and meditation, nature and self love all make order of my monkey mind, they calm the chitta vritti (mind chatter) and keep me humble, healthy and strong. They remind me that the moment is where it all goes on, and anything else is projection into an imagined future, nostalgia for a long gone past, or an irritating distraction from full presence. I practiced and felt the waves settle, I am practicing again tonight to really calm that sea of turbulence and I will become mindful of my inner and outer worlds no matter what. Anger begets anger, judgement begets judgment, hatred creates more hatred and a lack of self awareness means it’s all the more challenging to recognise any of that s**t!

Add in clean food, a ton of juicing and superfoods (if necessary) and just watch yourself rise straight back up to your true compassionate, wise and tender self. We don’t need to aspire to perfection, only improvement. It’s a measurable thing…we know when we are changing because it feels different – we suddenly realise we have responded differently and this is like strengthening a core muscle – it’s a good feeling to aspire to be a good human.

Make mindful practice part of your daily habits and it will eventually become you rather than you trying to become it! Let me know how you all get on in the comments below xox


Negative Self Talk

13344585_10153482377906481_3030925878515268143_nSpeak no, see no, hear no…

My Morning Motivational Meditations have now become a ‘thing’. Driven by a deep inner need to be outdoors in nature ever since I returned from Bali just over 3 weeks ago,  I began to record myself in communication with what began as a conversation with myself, a part of my own process of grieving the loss of my soul home in Indonesia, but I rapidly found it had become a communication with my wider networks. I found on this walking, talking journey meandering through my thoughts that others were being inspired, began to message me about what I was doing and how much it was helping them, and could I do more please!

I go out without a plan, I start walking, I listen to the river, the birdsong, the wind in the trees and I start speaking, the language of nature surrounding the language of humanity. I tried to record one indoors one day and it just didn’t flow – I’m somehow carried by the potency of this great and natural earthy mystery – it feeds and nourishes me, and that seems to transmit to those who ‘walk’ with me wherever they tune in from. Facebook live – who knew I would grow to love it so much!

Today’s subject was negative self talk – about how we all too often annihilate ourselves every day with a stream of criticism, judgement, comparison, less than, and punishing thoughts. These thoughts are transmitted through our being as if they are as real as being spoken directly to us by another human being. How sad is that? We love to speak about our conditioning and our triggers, to blame others for our pains and struggles, and yet here we are having massively successfully carried the baton of self loathing over from our parents/educators/peers/rivals etc to carry it very willingly ourselves. It’s like hearing “I need a volunteer to step forward and shoot themselves please” and as if we’ve all rushed forth with our hands held high saying “pick me – I’ll do it!”

We are all products of our conditioning – that’s kind of inevitable as when we are children and adolescents we believe what our carers tell us; we believe the messages they give us, we know nothing about ‘projection’ or their own conditioning at this stage, and why would they hurt or lie to us right? They love us don’t they? Well perhaps they do  and here I am reminded of the Christ on the cross saying “forgive them father, for they know not what they do,” and whilst I’m not a religious person, I totally get this. The people who bring us up and tell us what to believe are so often out of awareness of their own wounding and programming, so it gets passed on to us and becomes our epigenetic profile unless we consciously change that back by getting super clear about our own part in this drama.

negative-self-talk-4-300x225

We are around 60% water in our make up. Most of us by now are aware of Dr Masaru Emoto’s Messages In Water research – if not here’s a clip below explaining a little:

When you translate this into what is going on in your own body with the very same imprints – well it’s pretty startling right? We are quite literally changing our vibrations, hurting ourselves, reinforcing every negative message we ever received, and why would we do that? Because we don’t know any different. Our thinking has become habitual, our habits have become ingrained in us to the extent they become us, and that saying “you are what you eat”… well “you are what you think” is also true!

Start today! Change your negative automatic thoughts by catching them, bringing awareness to them and as I advised on my Motivational Meditation Talk today, start new habits born of self love. If you find it hard then just “fake it until you make it!” Thank your body every day for all it does, thank it and send loving messages with intention through every part of your being, and one day, before too long actually, you’ll wake up realising you feel inexplicably different somehow. You’ll realise that you like yourself more, and keep going…because then you’ll come to realise you are loving yourself with a genuine, beautiful, deep and juicy self love and let me tell you, that feels really good!

It’s my belief that self love absolutely must be mastered before we can love another person in a healthy way. Imagine if you spoke to another person the way you speak to yourself; you’d have no friends and likely a lot of enemies! You’d be lonely, shame filled and guilt ridden no doubt, so stop doing that to yourself right now! I can’t tell you enough how crucial this is to your life, your health and your wellbeing. Don’t do it for anyone else’s benefit, do it for you…because you are the one who has to live with yourself daily, and you are magnificent!

 

 


Living A Juicy Life

IMG_4665Juicing with intent!

I’m not a novice when it comes to juicing! I’ve been juicing now for over 18 years, ever since a visit to New York City in 1998 sparked a flame of inspiration that has never left me since my (what turned out to be) life-changing trip.

I’d never had an urge to see New York, preferring the sensual flow of the countryside or the soothing swell of the ocean in so many ways, and yet I found myself captivated by the skyline on a return flight from Los Angeles the previous year. In those days, Twin Towers still stood side by side on that iconic skyline, and gazing from the aeroplane window, I was hooked! One year later I returned with the sole intention of exploring this city, and it didn’t let me down, it did surprise me and it enormously inspired me. I was to return five more times in the following decade, and each time, more of me was met by this city’s magical energy.

New York City in the days pre-Giuliani was a lively, rebellious, arty,  chaotic and wonderful place. A bleeding city of love, lust and passion fuelled by its people and its history. People campaigned, spoke out, dreamed and created, and there was an energy there almost indescribable in words; the energy of life being lived in full throttle.

It was here that I discovered my first serious juice bar, and it was here that my first ever business seed was planted. Sitting in Battery Park on the edge of Manhattan I knew I wanted to do this more than I’ve ever known anything (at the time). My first juice bar was opened in Manchester, UK less than 5 months later, fittingly named Battery Park and it was the first of its kind in my city. I was proud, inspired and living my dream. My partner at the time told me I was a nightmare to live with whilst birthing this baby, so mono focussed that he and my young children temporarily took a back seat as I went through the conception, containment, labour and birth as only a birthing woman knows how – with a determined and resolute inner vision so strong it was inevitable that it would arrive and begin to live with its own sense of character, supported by my loving attention and a sense of ‘oh shit – what do I do now’! I had no business experience, no catering experience, no accounting experience and nothing tangible that would make sense of going for it in a logical way. What I did have was passion, determination, vision and courage and that’s all you need to go for your dreams – seriously it is!

I’ve probably juiced most days since then – something like a total of 7,300 days of juicing and if I average 3 juices a day (a modest estimate) that’s 21,900 juices. That’s one hell of a lot of fruit and vegetables, and one hell of a lot of health giving goodness in my system! To avoid boredom I create new recipes constantly, and perhaps on those figures you can now see why boredom may strike! It’s become my passion and my pleasure to inspire others both with juicing and health, and in learning how to follow your dreams (I also work as a life coach) and make them happen.

Since I set up my original juice bar, I’ve had 4 more (never more than one at a time); one in the south of France, and three in Manchester. Since selling those and moving into a more independent life, free from the restrictions of running a small business (it can be tough in the UK!), I now provide juice cleanses, facilitate and host my own local, national and international workshops on juicing, healing, shamanic practices, and more. I host other international healers and facilitators whom I respect and desire to work with, and on a day to day basis, I offer detox and life coaching, juicing tuition, cleanses, bodywork and much more. I have moved into doing what I love full time without the ties of a shop, feeling the fear and fully embracing change. I love being able to respond to the people who contact me on a one to one basis, which allows me to tailor information or services I provide much more specifically to each individual person, and that’s what I realise I have passion for – connecting people to what serves them best! I love listening well and responding from my heart. Of course there are aspects of my shops that I miss – the random people who came in, the conversations, the healing that took place in an extraordinarily ordinary way, and the benefits of having an easily accessible customer facing business, but I do not miss the relentless stress, hard physical labour, staff management and the book keeping one bit!

I guess sometimes we just need to press pause to hear what our spirits and souls are asking us to realise – thankfully I did that and it’s now become a life habit. How about you – are you listening to the voice of your dreams? If not, what not and how can you change that?

Please visit my website for more information – stay juicy and be love xox


The importance of community

17426165_1185456131580782_1146121918938784515_nWhat is ‘conscious community’?

I’d like to share today about conscious community; what it is, what it isn’t and how it can support your growth. The photograph above was taken in a breath work session in Bali, and shows us being fully vulnerable within community.

I’m recently back from a 2 week stay in Bali, the island that hears my soul longings and caresses my spirit with a familiar and exquisitely sensual touch. It’s a place in which I thrive, in which my heart energy is blasted wide open and stays there, and in which I feel ‘at home’ somehow.

This sense of feeling ‘at home’ is based on my sense of community there (and can come from community anywhere). In Ubud there is a strong sense of conscious community that lives, breathes and sometimes faces its struggles of course, but which nevertheless lives from the heart. Community is built by inclusion, and inclusion must necessitate healthy boundaries too, something of a paradox it may seem but it’s not, boundaries are great and a vital part of the development and maintenance of your self love and self respect.

Namaste, the traditional sanskrit greeting means “I honour you as an aspect of myself” and if that is a truth, then all aspects must be invited to the feast.  You must also therefore really learn to know when you are ‘full’ and have eaten enough at your (metaphorical) table. You must learn to honour and value yourself exactly because without that inner knowing, you cannot recognise your boundaries and therefore your choices will usually be compromised ones, and there is a marked distinction between compromising and being compromised. Go for the first not the latter!

So I would like to share with you what one of my dear friends and teacher Anthony Abbagnano from the Alchemy Of Breath shared this morning when he sent out his mailout about the difference between tribe and community. Enjoy!

“More and more these days we hear the word ‘tribe’ being used as an expression of belonging to a group. Perhaps it’s because of a childhood where I felt like an outsider, when I hear the word tribe I actually feel a little fearful. It triggers me because I used to feel ‘left out’ of the group, in some way not good enough to join. 

I looked up the word in the Apple dictionary, and here is what I found: 

a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader: indigenous Indian tribes | the Celtic tribes of Europe.

Notice the third word – division. When I read this I felt a rush of relief, and validation of the trepidatious sensation when I hear people eagerly use the word. The problem is that when we identify with a group or a following, we tend to forget that we may unconsciously exclude other people. Are we unconsciously creating division instead of the unity we really seek?

Have you ever felt left out, to not good enough to belong? I know from breathing thousands of people, that one of our biggest issues as humans is a limiting core belief that there is no room for us. We may do many things to prove to ourselves and others that we are worthy, but often underneath we still carry a lingering core belief that undermines our confidence, and limits our possibility too. 

This is why I keep choosing the word community. Before we fall into the trap of using a different word to mean the same thing, let’s take a moment to feel into the reality of ‘coming-into-unity’ and what it might mean. What if community is a moment? What if in each moment we have the choice to come into unity, or do the opposite – to choose duality instead?

I know when I used to think of community the first thought that came to mind was a structure or form that would serve as a container for community. It might be land with houses. It might take some other form instead. But I had never considered it as a moment until I started breathing as a practice. Now it seems more familiar to me this way, as I see it happen again and again. After each breath session we do together, whether it’s in a group or on a webinar, the sense of coming-into-unity soars. It never fails to amaze me that as we breathe into our own inner healing, the coming together of our inner bits and pieces, the re-pairing of the broken parts of our past, that this inner journey makes us more available, more authentically present with others too. 

Perhaps if we viewed community as a living organism of the collective consciousness, this would be a good start? I am sure this is what prayer was designed for, to unite us in service of a greater being, and those of you that have breathed know that this starts inside each one of us, and then extends to those around us. I often refer to each cycle of connected breath as a prayer. I see it as a prayer for unity, a focused step towards meeting each other through our individual self-awareness.”

You can find out more about Anthony’s work here and if you would like to attend any of Anthony’s fortnightly online breath work webinars (highly recommended) then please follow the link below:

OUR NEXT BREATHWORK WEBINAR IS SUNDAY 23rd APRIL
10:00 – Hawaii – HAST (UTC -10)
12:00 – Los Angeles – PST (UTC -8)
15:00 – New York – EST (UTC -5)
20:00 – London – GMT (UTC +0)
21:00 – Ibiza – CET (UTC +1)

MONDAY 24th APRIL
07:00 – Sydney – AEDT (UTC +11)

To join this free webinar, simply register here – 
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/6b023260446d2b5bd746f627e8486654

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

No previous experience is necessary to join the session – enjoy!


Alkalise your body!

IMG_1436Get those greens in FAST!

One of my best selling recipes, here for you to try at home – to make:

one whole head organic celery

2 large organic cucumbers

1/3rd of a small fennel

large handful organic spinach

large handful organic kale

1/4 organic lemon (rind on)

one or two large granny smiths or other good juicing apple (if you like to sweeten your juices – if not, just leave the apple out)

Top tip: If you love ginger, try adding a large thumb of it to your juice, and you could also try half a small lime, or a small thumb of turmeric root too! All organic where possible – enjoy!