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We’re proud to once again have teamed up with (RED) to fight AIDS. In 2019, for every purchase of a Wanderlust ticket, £1.08 of the retail price goes to The Global Fund to fight AIDS with (RED). That donation is enough to provide over five days of life-saving HIV medication. Together we can #endAIDS.
When you buy a ticket to a Wanderlust event, you are directly supporting the fight to end AIDS. The stories that follow showcase a few of the incredible people and programs that are impacted thanks to (RED)-supported Global Fund grants. All stories are courtesy of (RED), and used with permission.
Nurses and Health Workers Nurse Nana, Ghana
Meet Nurse Nana - YouTube
“My favorite part is to help people out of their sickness, out of their pain”, says Nana, Senior Nursing Officer at Adabraka clinic, and a hero on the ground in Ghana. Nana works to council HIV+ women on how to stay healthy through pregnancy and keep their babies HIV-free through delivery and breastfeeding.
Nurses and community health workers are the backbone of the fight against AIDS, leading the charge to prevent and combat the stigma and structures that make fighting this disease such a challenge.
Nana has been a nurse for ten years, working to keep her community healthy and prevent the spread of HIV. Her strength, passion and conviction are evident in her work. “I see people outside they call me ‘Auntie Nurse’, I look back and they hold up their toddler and say; ‘this is my son’, their babies are negative. That’s all, that’s my joy.” Though there is greater public acceptance of people living with HIV in Ghana than there was previously, there remains high levels of stigma and discrimination against them. “It is possible to end mother to child transmission, but there should be more education and HIV shouldn’t be shrouded in secrecy, and fear and all that”, says Nana, “It starts with us to speak.”
Women and Girls
Rise Clubs, South Africa
Photo courtesy of (RED)
Despite gains in treatment coverage, significant challenges in South Africa remain in the fight against AIDS. South Africa is home to 7.2M people living with HIV, the highest number worldwide. More than half of this population are female, as women and girls are disproportionately impacted by HIV and account for 200 new infections daily.
Rise Young Women’s Clubs are part of the flagship program of Soul City, a recipient of (RED) supported Global Fund grants. The Clubs were launched as a response to high rates of HIV among adolescent girls and young women living in informal settlements in South Africa.
The peer-led clubs aim to build resilience among young women and link them to essential health services such as HIV testing and counseling, antiretroviral therapy, contraception and other sexual reproductive health services. Members are also equipped with skills to deal with socio-economic factors that increase young women’s vulnerability to HIV—such as intergenerational and transactional sex. The clubs also link young women to educational and economic opportunities and provide a structure for young women to support each other in navigating the socio- cultural drivers of risky sexual behavior in their communities.
Leonard and Peleg, Zambia
Photo courtesy of (RED)
Meet Leonard and Peleg, two young men from Zambia, who are not letting HIV stand in the way of their dreams. “Every day I have to add value to my life, that’s one of my goals” says Leonard, a law student and HIV peer educator. Peleg, a medical student, fellow peer educator and Leonard’s best friend has similar aspirations. Peleg says he wants to “make a major impact in the medical community,” and perhaps set up a hospital of his own.
Leonard and Peleg serve crucial roles as peer educators. They’re working to ensure HIV+ teens stay healthy and protect themselves, so that the virus ends with them. As medication helps HIV become a manageable disease, HIV educators face a new challenge: getting people to adhere to their medication. “There is that temptation that one has, of wanting to quit taking the medication, so that’s the thing I always emphasis, don’t stop taking medication. Because the moment you do that, the immunity drops,” warns Leonard.
Leonard and Peleg see themselves in the young people they advise. They are a source of knowledge and support for kids living with HIV. “We’re in a better place to advise them,” says Peleg. “We are helping the kids to live proper, normal lives regardless of their HIV status.” Leonard and Peleg have big plans for their future, and for a healthy, AIDS-free Zambia.
Men and Boys
Ndumiso Madubela, South Africa
Photo courtesy of (RED)
While it’s priority to address the inequalities that put women and girls at increased risk of HIV, we must also work with men and boys to end this epidemic. Men in sub-Saharan Africa are 20% less likely than women and girls to know their HIV status, and they are 27 percent less likely to access treatment. Enabling men and boys to get tested and start and stay on treatment can ultimately lead to a decline in HIV infections among women and girls, and help to disable harmful gender norms that contribute to the epidemic.
With support from The Global Fund and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, Ndumiso Madubela oversees the Men’s Dialogues, a program focused on providing men in high-disease burden areas in Cape Town with access to stronger health education and intervention programs. The aim is to help young men understand the consequences risky sexual behavior and to take control of their actions. One of Ndumiso’s biggest challenges is that many men who are at a high-risk of contracting HIV don’t perceive themselves to be. By providing at risk men with knowledge about HIV/ AIDS, giving them a safe space to discuss social and gender norms, and providing access to testing, Ndumiso is helping to create change to empower a generation of respect and equality.
Deborah Agbemafo, Ghana Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission
Photo courtesy of (RED)
Preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV is a crucial piece to ending AIDS as an epidemic by 2030. PMCT efforts must scale up to ensure that expectant and breastfeeding mothers have access to HIV and that those living with HIV adhere to treatment. Of the 1.4 million women living with HIV who need PMTCT treatment, over 90% of these women are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Deborah is a patient at TEMA General Hospital in Ghana, which receives support from (RED)- funded Global Fund grants. When Deborah was pregnant with her first child in 2009, she went to TEMA for her routine maternity exam, which included an HIV test. When Deborah found out she was HIV+, the staff at TEMA not only counseled her through her diagnosis, but also provided care and treatment to ensure her baby was born HIV-free.
Yogi, Surfer and Blissologist Eoin Finn is the founder of Blissology Yoga.
Blissology Yoga allows the wisdom of our innermost heart to guide our relationships with our bodies, our communities, and nature.
Eoin is passionate about bringing spirituality down to earth and reclaiming quiet time in nature as the greatest spiritual portal and our best source of health and happiness. As an ocean activist, he started the Blissology EcoKarma project, raising aid and awareness through yoga for the world’s imperiled coral reefs.
He’s been featured in Oprah, InStyle, Vogue, the New York Times and the Yoga Journal. Learn more at blissology.com.
Eoin Finn is coming to Wanderlust 108 Brisbane and Sydney this year. Take a look at what he will bring to the events, his tips on creating the life you want and his go-to mantra!
What will you bring to the 108?
Deep, authentic human connection. Sometimes we will connect in a joyous, extroverted way, celebrating the greatness we see in each other. Other times we will connect in a quiet, wordless way in a language only the heart can understand.
What do you hope that Wanderlusters will take away from your practice?
I hope they feel restored with hope. It is easy to lose faith in humanity when we read the news and feel powerless. But after the 108s, I want each of us to know without doubt that we are not alone and we can trust in the power of love. There are so many like-minded people who care about bringing more joy and kindness into the world. The ripple effect will be massive.
Top 5 in your cheat sheet to creating the life you want?
Gratitude: It’s the fastest and easiest way to raise our vibrations.
Nature Appreciation Moments: This means we take at least 5-10 minutes and go offline on our smartphones but completely open up our ‘heartphones’ to the beauty of nature. We let the beauty of natural light up the beauty of our own hearts.
Replace tightness with lightness: We have stories in our bodies from all of our thought loops. These show up as tension and energy blocks. Yoga, movement and somatic awareness help to regulate our bodies toward peace. We have more control over our vibrations than we think. We just have to tune the instrument of the body.
Get clear and Manifest: I repeat this to myself “Don’t be stressed, know you are blessed, do your best and manifest.” I get quiet and pray for guidance and this makes all the difference.
Be Kind: Leonard Cohen said, “I forgot how to feel so I learned how to touch.” I love this. What I’ve learned is that by bringing kindness into the lives of others, you don’t just become kinder, you become kindness itself. This is Bliss!
What Mantra or quote inspires, captures or defines where you are on your journey?
Every day I repeat this mantra to myself “Nothing to prove, Everything to Share.”This means that I have to be in touch with what lights me up. I need to get clear on what my soul medicine is and make an offering of it to others.I do it with fearless commitment. Rejection is inevitable as not everyone will love what you do but it doesn’t matter when you are motivated by sharing your unique gift in your own way.The instant I start playing the game of greater than or less than and compare myself to others or I am motivated by people’s approval, it’s over. My power disappears. When I tune in to what I love and offer it out as a gift to elevate humanity, I seem to channel a power that is way greater than me. This makes life a joy beyond all words.
Finish this sentence: FIND YOUR…
You need to clearly define and own your purpose for being here on the planet in this precious human life.
If you don’t know your life mission, you will bob around in life like a cork in the ocean. When you know it, you will surf your way through life joyously!
It’s a big part of our Blissology Teacher Training courses. Everyone needs to define their life mission.
That’s important because when you find yourself doubting yourself reminding yourself of your life mission will make not just confident but fill you will power and stoke. When taking on projects, it is important to check-in and make sure you are bringing your life mission out in all that you do.
Mine is to be a “Conduit for Love.” It brings me so much joy to bring this mission out in all my offerings. This is the key to feeling blissed and blessed in all we do!
You you can flow with Eoin at Wanderlust 108 Brisbane on Saturday 19 October or Sydney on Saturday 26 October (or both!).
Visit the Sydney and Brisbane 108 events page to buy your ticket today.
Have you ever sung out loud, full on harmonizing with Motown during Savasana? I hadn’t either, until the last day of Wanderlust Snowshoe 2019. They say Savasana is “supposed” to be completely still and silent in a meditative state, but when Justine Malick is finishing up a soulful hips practice, DJ Drez is playing Easyby the Commodores, and you fully understand the lyrics for the first time in your life there’s no stopping it. It didn’t matter what I was supposed to be doing. Singing was what my heart and soul needed in that moment. And it was OK. At Wanderlust the boundaries are pushed, curved, and stretched to create space for individuals to do and be exactly what they need to in each moment. And my, did I need it.
At the age of 29 I was content, having checked off all the major milestones I’d laid out for myself: college, job, husband, kids, house, savings accounts, and retirement plans. Then life stepped in, as it is known to, and within one calendar year I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, I had a miscarriage, and I lost my dog. I think that’s what is referred to as a wake-up call, right? I was forced to confront my mortality and evaluate the quality of the life I’d been living. It turned out I was not content at all. I was just complacent. I started asking myself “who am I, what brings me joy, and what is worth fighting for?” Changes were made. That string of events set me on a wholly unexpected, yet incredibly fulfilling journey of healing and finding my way back to myself—finding my true north. Enter Wanderlust.
At Wanderlust the boundaries are pushed, curved, and stretched to create space for individuals to do and be exactly what they need to in each moment.
From the first moments of my full-day immersion with Glowmaven Latham Thomas, creating a safe space with 20 other women whom I’d never met, I knew I had made the right choice clearing my calendar months in advance to attend the festival on the weekend of my 32nd birthday. At the end of that day, by those same women, I had been heard, held, supported, and loved. I felt the same sense of safety in every interaction I had with attendees, instructors, vendors, volunteers, and staff throughout my whole weekend at Snowshoe and again two weeks later again at Wanderlust Stratton.
Among thousands of people, I felt no pressure to fit in. I practiced alongside children and seniors, people of all and no genders, every beautiful hue of skin, hair, and eyes, witches, mermaids, gypsies, and stars; all learning from each other how to navigate this human experience. I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom which allowed me to delve deep into my soul and explore.
Photo courtesy of the author, @elyse_c
I was introduced to an incredible array of food, drink, music, and wares. I ate Kitchari for the first time and drank vegan protein shakes that tasted like chocolate milk. I purchased a goddess jumpsuit that will stand out perfectly in my small hometown and fell in love with a handmade mala from all the way across the world. I danced with fire and moved my spine like water. I balanced several feet in the air on a 1 inch line and felt the power of a mountain beneath my bare feet. I meditated in diamond sound baths and let my body move freely to Chicago House beats at a silent disco. Each new opportunity I took advantage of delivered gifts I could not have imagined, pulling me out of my self-made niche and enriching my life.
What I found most powerful about the Wanderlust festival experience was that were no preachers on soapboxes, or mystics promising to share the secrets of the universe. We were all there as seekers with our eyes and ears wide open. The presenters I had the opportunity to spend time shared vulnerably about their passions and beliefs, using their personal stories to form connection. More facilitator than teacher, each focused selflessly on the experience they were creating for the participants. Instead of giving answers, they asked questions. Instead of instructing, they offered tools to help move through the most stubborn blocks. They created space in which the hard work could be safely done, then stepped aside to let us do it.
Photo courtesy of the author @elyse_c
During the two festivals that I attended this season I took about 50 pages of notes. There’s no need to go back and study any of them though, because what felt worth writing at the time were universal truths I had needed to be reminded of, and poignant questions I already knew the answers to. The act of writing was simply a way to honor the power of each gem and let it forge a warm home in my heart. There they will linger, like embers from last night’s bonfire left to glow through the night until tended back into a blaze which heats the breakfast griddle.
Photo courtesy of the author @elyse_c
Part of me dreaded leaving the mountains and the beautiful things I found on them, but as I drew nearer to my familial roots it became ever more apparent how much I was bringing home with me. The real magic of Wanderlust is not the actual location or the stuff, but rather learning how to create the feeling of Wanderlust wherever you may be. I don’t need vendors outside my back door to feed me new healthy options every day. I can walk to the local market on a Saturday, pick up a new vegetable, and ask the farmer who grew it what I could make. I don’t need to drive eight hours to have a conversation with someone about their challenges and how they make the best of it. I can walk next door and say hello to my neighbor.
Diversity exists in all places, to varying degrees, you need simply seek it out. Prioritize fostering personal growth through immersion and openness. I’m home now, but it doesn’t feel quite the same because I am not. My heart is open and I’m lovingly stoking the embers of memories and friendships I’ll forever cherish, building a fire of passion and progress. I don’t know any better way to cultivate one’s best self. If you, too, are willing to seek, you will find your true north with Wanderlust.
Elyse Palmer is a writer, yogi, and mother living in Pennsylvania. Read her blog or follow her on Instagram for more.
Get your Ujjayi on during the 10-Day Wellest Challenge! It’s completely *FREE* through August 7. Sign-ups are open now → wlfe.st/10DYC
As T.K.V Desikachar states, “The quality of our breath is extremely important because it expresses our inner feelings.”
If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you’ve probably heard something along the lines of, “take deep Ujjayi breaths” or “let your breath sound like an ocean wave.”
Ujjayi Pranayama is a type of breath work that is commonly used in various styles of yoga but is rarely explained thoroughly enough for practitioners to truly understand.
It is an ancient yogic breathing technique that is used as a powerful tool to advance your yoga practice. When done correctly, it calms the mind and inspires deep inward exploration. Like all elements of yoga, it requires practice, patience, and an open mind and heart.
Ujjayi Pranayama, The Victorious Breath
Pronounced: ooh-JAH-yee prah-nah-YAH-mah
Ujjayi: Sanskrit prefix “ud” and the root “ji”, combined together as, “ujji”, which means “one who is victorious.” Ujjayi breath is translated as the “victorious breath.”
Pranayama: Sanskrit “prana” meaning “life force” or “vital energy” and “ayama” which is to “control” or “extend.” Therefore, pranayama is to “control the breath.”
Benefits: Ujjayi Pranayama is both energizing and relaxing as it sends fresh oxygen throughout the body. When practiced correctly it will create internal heat and give you an uplifting boost of energy. It’s also used to increase the flow of prana (life force energy) in the physical body. This form of pranayama (breathwork) creates friction in the throat which causes the breath to sound like ocean waves crashing on the beach.
Why is the breath being audible so important? It serves as a focal point during your practice, settling the fluctuations of the mind and bringing more awareness to the internal body, mind, and spirit. Thus, Ujjayi increases concentration while reminding one to surrender and find ease throughout the practice.
Ujjayi breath can be practiced both on and oﬀ the mat. Next time you’re feeling stressed or uneasy, practice your Ujjayi breath for a few minutes to calm both the physical and emotional bodies.
Sit in a comfortable seat and close the eyes for a few slow deep breaths. Take a few moments to deepen the breath and find an even length inhalation and exhalation.
Bring your awareness to where the breath goes as it enters the body. Ujjayi breath is a diaphragmatic breath, filling the belly and then lungs on the inhale. Practice filling the belly, then lungs, taking a brief pause at the top of the inhale, and emptying the lungs and then slightly contracting the belly to release air from the belly. Notice the slight pause again at the bottom of the exhale.
Maintaining this diaphragmatic breathing, begin deep breaths in through the nose and exhale out the mouth, as you imagine you were fogging up a mirror with your breath. Your exhale should make the sound “haaaaah.” Practice this a few times.
Continue this breath, but this time, seal the lips and create the same “haaaaah” sound with the mouth closed. You should notice the slight constriction in the back of the throat, which narrows the passage of air for longer and slower breath cycles.
Keep the mouth sealed as you breathe in and out cultivating an oceanic sounding breath, in and out through the nose. This is Ujjayi Pranayama!
Length of Practice: Ujjayi Pranayama can be used throughout the duration of your yoga asana practice. Begin the warming breath in your meditation at the beginning of class. As you move from pose to pose, keep the awareness on the even breath cycles to keep the mind clear. When it comes time to rest in Savasana, return to normal breathing in and out the nose.
Speed of Practice: The length of inhalations and exhalations should be even in length and speed. Ujjayi breath is a slower form of pranayama due to the constriction in the back of the throat. Try to keep the breath on a continuous cycle of five-seven counts in and five-seven counts out.
Recommended Asana: Explore various poses and styles of yoga using Ujjayi pranayama. All yogis are diﬀerent and each time we step on our mat is an opportunity to explore our breath and body. Always honor your body while practicing. Ujjayi pranayama can be practiced during all poses until Savasana.
Fun Facts: Ujjayi Pranayama is often referred to as the “Darth Vader breath,” due to the sound it makes.
The breath is a direct response to how you feel and think. When you’re nervous, scared, stressed, or sad, the breath will reflect this by being shallow, shaky, and uneven. When you’re calm, happy, and balanced, the breath will mimic these feelings.
Zuzu Perkal is an artist, photographer, yoga instructor, blogger, and pizza lover. Born in San Diego and currently living in Austin, Texas, she lives for creativity and connection. In 2010, after studying Creative Advertising at the University of Texas from one of the nation’s top rated portfolio schools she chose the path of travel, exploration, art, and inspiration; wild and free. Fall down the rabbit hole… ihavepinkhair.com and @zuzubee.
Melissa Gayle Fuller is this year’s summer festival photographer. For more information on Wanderlust Festivals, click here.
“I’d rather be in the mountains thinking of God, than in church thinking about the mountains.” — John Muir
Meet photographer Melissa Gayle Fuller, expert on living the life of your dreams and following your heart. Spending most of her time on the open road capturing radiant and colorful moments, people, and landscapes, Melissa has always felt most at home with nature, rolling down windows, and leaving doors wide open.
“I think that the sounds and feel of free-flowing wind and air are really tied to my nature in a deep, inextricable way,” she says. Looking at Melissa’s photography, it’s clear she enjoys a life on the go. But she couldn’t always call the road her office—before she was traveling, Melissa was working in the Art Department at Pixar Animation Studios. After six years of steady employment, she decided to take the leap and make travel her work.
“When I worked at the studio, I would fantasize from my desk about what it would feel like if someone cut a giant square in the roof and rolled it back like a sardine can,” Melissa says. “I knew my river of growth water had run dry, and it was time to get into the world again.”
Going Off an Instinct
Like many “wanderlust-ed,” she was exhilarated by the notion of being her own guide and having the freedom to follow a creative vision wherever it might take her. The artist began capturing moments through imagery as a child, explaining that she first used a camera at ten years old on a trip to Disneyland.
“It was a Minnie Mouse one, with flash cubes you had to throw away after use,” she reminisces. Melissa began to explore film photography in high school, and discovered what she describes as a “pure passion.” Following that passion, she found the trajectory of what has since become a career. She tasted her first combination of work and wanderlust in college, when enrolled in Semester At Sea: A program in which you travel to 10 countries in 100 days.
“I was rushing around in each country trying to hone my skills, looking for places to develop my negatives,” Melissa explains. “Then I’d review them with the photography teacher between ports.” Melissa’s passion for adventure is acutely illustrated within the subjects and composition of her art. Her photographs have an organic feel and an expansive understanding of space, as though they are not contained by the frame.
“Making a photograph kind of just happens sometimes, and other times you have to set up the composition,” she says. “My job as a storyteller thrives on making relationships with people who don’t just do what I do and that is the sweetest part of exploring for a living.”
Melissa has a knack for capturing those fleeting moments you wish you could hold onto forever. She tells us, “I have found that just being prepared with a camera is the best way to get the types of images you want to create. I bring along some sort of camera with me on every backpacking trip.”
On taking the steps to let her heart be her guide, she says “I have made the decision [to let my heart decide] several times in my life. Once, my good friend Angela Petrellea caught me marveling at how fast time was marching on and she stopped me by saying very slowly, ‘Girl, life is long. It is short—but it’s long.’ Something about that gave me permission to stop worrying and understand that you can fall in and out of different modes of life.”
Life on the Road
Listening to Melissa, it’s clear that combining work with travel has allowed her to expand her life in new, unforeseen ways. She explains that one of her favorite parts of traveling is experiencing the foods that various cultures have to offer.
“I don’t always choose what people would call ‘healthy food’ when I travel, as I am really fixated on eating in a local fashion,” says Melissa. “I try and eat fresh all of the time. I want ingredients to have as little processing as possible wherever I go. Sometimes that involves decadence: Local beer, eating too much cheese or fresh baked bread. Ask local people what is good and fresh—you would be surprised how people light up when they hear what you are looking for and help to point you in the right way.”
As for activity, Melissa is always on the move. She spends her off-hours practicing yoga, hiking, surfing, running, biking, snowboarding, scuba-diving, stating that she likes to be versatile in her physical activity.
“I try and do one active thing every single day and be versatile in all of the activities I do,” she explains. “It helps to be adaptable and seek the activity that will get you out there.”
In terms of advice, she urges other travel-hungry folks to “get outside and go to places where you are forced to lose service.”
“Wherever you are, be all there,” she says. “Feel all of your senses when you are outside. Take a walk at lunch and just feel the sun on your skin. Take your laptop outside and see how that changes your perspective. Roll your windows down and keep them down. There are ways to include the outdoors in everything you do that aren’t major. Find those cracks in the matrix and get out!”
Jillian Billard is a poet, yoga teacher, cellist and avid wanderer. A native New Yorker, she is often caught daydreaming of sprawling green fields and mountains. She trained and received her ashtanga yoga teacher’s certification in Goa, India and works at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in Brooklyn. You can often find her with her head buried in a book, doused in lavender. Follow her on her (very newly developed) Instagram page for class schedules and updates at @jillboyoga.
Days in the sun, pushing yourself to new heights in workshops and wellness classes, and dancing to amazing live music into the wee hours of the morning with friends—festivals are a blast, but they can really wear you out. Just as your body rallies and supports you in each new endeavor, fuel and nourish your body every step of the way. Hydration and nutrition are key; superfoods can help your body prep for strenuous activity, fight off inflammation, and get rid of toxins.
What are Superfoods?
When it comes to nutrition, not all foods are created equal. Powerful nutrient-rich foods can provide energy and endurance, faster recovery after intense activity, decrease inflammation, even assess your body’s needs and adapt accordingly. Protein grows and repairs muscle fibers. Minerals like magnesium support agility and relaxation. Antioxidants like cacao, matcha, and acai work as super-defenders to support cellular health and ward off inflammation, fatigue and tissue damage. Naturally occurring sugars like honey, maple syrup, goji berries and other superfruits retain trace vitamins and minerals. And adaptogens like maca from the Peruvian Andes can assess the body’s needs and help bring it into balance, regulating energy and hormonal responses to stress.
But making good choices while having the time of your life at a festival—running between sessions, staying up late and getting up early—that can be a challenge. Fortunately, a little pre-planning can go a long way. Navitas Organics (the company name is the Latin word for “energy”) is known for simple, nutrient-dense superfoods packed with the highest-quality organic ingredients. Toss a few wellness shots, plant-based protein mixes, daily wellness boosts, and emergency snacks into your festival bag to help you bypass the mid-afternoon slump and still sing beneath the stars every night. Whatever the festival has in store, you’ll be ready!
Begin the day strong.
Each dawn is sacred. Embrace all the day has to offer by fueling up with plant-based protein. Organic Essential Superfood Blends pack 14 superfoods, six probiotics, and 12 grams of protein, and are delicious mixed with water or into a smoothie to power up before the first workshop of the morning. Try Vanilla and Greens mixed with a nut beverage, or add Cacao and Greens to your morning latte.
Quell the Pre-Lunch Stomach Rumblings
The morning started early, but lunch is still hours away. Grab-and-go snacks like Navitas Chocolate Cacao power snacks are made of dates, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, dark chocolate, and a superfood blend that includes cacao and maca powder. The mineral- and superfood-rich bites are perfect for a quick, indulgent nosh on the go (because hangry and namaste don’t mix). The stay-fresh pack keeps the bites delicious after the first opening, and even as the temperature climbs, the cubes of chocolatey goodness resist the temptation to melt into a squishy mess.
Everybody struggles with the after-lunch crash. Stir a packet of Focus Daily Superfood Boost into water, juice, or smoothie for 100mg of balanced caffeine (for reference, a 16-oz latte has 150mg of caffeine). Superfoods matcha, yerba mate, lion’s mane mushroom, and ashwagandha awaken the mind while antioxidants and adaptogen superfood maca helps the body energize and cope with stress while promoting a sense of well-being, to help you find your balance and your focus.
For more relaxation and less caffeine, the Focus Wellness Shot delivers 20mg CBD oil, plus superfood matcha and stomach-settling ginger along with coffee fruit extract for 50mg of caffeine (about the same caffeine content as eight ounces of black tea).
Calm Before the Storm
You’ve got jitters before meeting your favorite instructor. Or you’re done for the day and looking to relax before the music starts. The 2.5-oz Calm Wellness Shot is calling your name. The acai lemonade shot contains organic acai powder, magnesium, plus 20mg of cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocompound from the Hemp plant that can help nourish the mind and body to promote health and wellness. Acai helps counteract environmental stresses, and magnesium mellows your mood so you can be fully present in whatever you’re doing. Tune in and enjoy that sunset, my friend.
Another early morning after a late night! Enjoy the Restore Wellness Shot with anti-inflammatory turmeric and immunity-boosting, rejuvenating citrus. Or help your body detox with Detox Daily Superfood Boost. This organic, gluten-free, vegan superfood powder supports gut health with 10 billion CFUs probiotics and four key enzymes, along with eight premium superfoods. Mix it with water or try it with yogurt.
With a little pre-planning and mindful eating, you can breeze through your next festival nourished and renewed from the inside out. And if you see someone struggling mid-afternoon, be sure to show some love and share.
Over my years working as a Transformational Coach and Counsellor I can consistently say that the most common fundamental issue that causes human beings the most pain, struggle and challenges in life and within themselves is the belief that we are not enough as we are.
I AM NOT ENOUGH.
This belief causes so many problems. For everyone.
It causes us to constantly be living in a way that we must be anything other than ourselves, that we have to get something more than what we already have and it drives us to live in a way that we are regularly rejecting and not accepting who we already are right now. In the hope that somewhere ‘out there’ someday I will find the one thing I need to finally enable me to feel at peace and worthwhile in who I am in this world.
This is a problem. And is having a massive impact on people’s mental health, wellbeing, emotional health and overall sense of self and worth in life. And so, where did it come from and why are so many people struggling with it. In my experience, there are two main contributors:
We learn this kind of programming from our pasts. Either from our parents, teachers, friends, guardians – we have been told, inherited or passed down beliefs from others and then translate it as our own beliefs about ourselves.
We also learn it from living in a society that is feeding us language constantly that we need to better ourselves all the time, look better, feel better, make more money, be more successful, have more, buy more…. The list is endless…. All with the promise that at the end we will somehow, someday feel and believe that we will finally be enough.
But here is the thing. And this is the most important thing you will hear this year.
These are beliefs. They are NOT WHO WE ARE. And beliefs can change.
Recently when I gave birth to my second child, my son, on one of the many days of his early life when I was simply sitting staring at him all day long with adoration and love, I saw so clearly that this little being was born into this world so perfect as he is. He already knew he was enough because he already was. He was not trying to better himself or search for something else out there to make him feel good enough. He already knew that he was.
Every single one of us in this entire planet was born in the exact same way. We all came in to our lives and this world in this way. We are no different.
And so, the most common and important truth for each of us to learn from today onwards is this.
– You are already enough. Right now. As you are.
– Even if nothing else changes about you or in your life. You are already enough.
– Your behaviour is what you do. It is not who you are.
– Your thoughts are what you think. It is not who you are.
– Your feelings are what you feel. It is not who you are.
– No matter what you do, feel, think – who you are is already enough.
And so, if you were to let that in and let that be your new belief about yourself, how would that change how you live your day today? What would you do differently or what would you do less of? We can actually call off the search – because we are already enough as we are right now. And by knowing this we can relax. And then we can make choices about our life and what we want to do with it from a more grounded, conscious, loving place. We can do things in our life, not because we feel we need to prove that we are enough, but because we want to.
Here are some powerful exercises to help you start living from this I am already enough place more in your life:
1. Guided Meditation:
– Sit in a comfortable position with your back up straight and lower back supported.
– Close your eyes and take two deep slow breaths into your body through your nose and exhale out through your mouth.
– Then allow your breath to regulate in a slow natural rhythm.
– Now say to yourself the mantra “I AM ALREADY ENOUGH AS I AM”. As you say the words slowly to yourself breathe in the feelings that come.
– What does it feel like to feel already enough as you are?
– As you continue to repeat the mantra slowly with intention, consciously breathe in the feeling of being already enough as you are into your heart, your abdomen and filling your whole body.
*Continue this meditation for a minimum of 15-20min every single day.
This is powerful! It is like working a new muscle at the gym and needs to be consistent to get it strong. Not only are we creating a new belief system in the mind but a new vibration of emotion and feeling in the body. It is powerful and deeply healing.
2. Journaling Exercise:
In your journals I invite you to do this exercise. As yourself this question:
– If I were to believe that I am already enough as I am then what would I do differently in my day or my life?
– Is there anything you would stop doing?
– Is there anything you would do more of?
– Is there anything you would allow yourself to do that you are not allowing yourself to now?
Spend 10-20min writing in your journal the answers that come to you around these questions. You may be really surprised by what you hear and see.
3. Walking Meditation:
I invite you to go for a walk. But this time as you are walking you will be walking with a specific focus and intention.
– Go for a 20min walk somewhere quite and in nature if possible. But if that is not possible then even your walk to the tube or work would do. With every single step you take I want you to be saying the mantra to yourself “I am already enough as I am” and with every step you take I want you to be breathing in the feeling that comes with the mantra into your whole body.
– Walk as if you already know that you are enough.
– How does it change the way your body is carried by knowing you are enough?
– How do you hold your head?
– How do you interact with the people around you when you know you are already enough?
– Walk slowly, with presence, intention and feel the mantra into your whole body.
Practice this walking meditation regularly. It can be really fun and also very powerful and healing as you start to experience yourself in a very new way.
Nicky Clinch is a Transformational Coach, Spiritual Mentor, Entrepreneur and Founder of the Warrior Woman movement. It is her purpose in life to empower women to become their most authentic and aligned selves, knowing that everything they need is already within them. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and Website.
Being a mother of two whilst working in the wellness & healing industry, one of the most common things I hear over and over again as the constant we are all striving for in life, is balance.
The place we want to get to so that we can feel more aligned.
The place that we are striving for so that we can feel happier, more grounded, more centered and just quite simply better.
And yet, we talk about balance as if it is this far off luxury holiday destination that if we could just get to one day, then we could finally unpack our bags, slip our feet in the sand and relax into full holiday mode and just BE. But the real problem with this is that ‘balance’ is depicted as a kind of nirvana, way off in the distance that we have to ‘get to’ – rather than something that is available to every single one of us on any given day.
A teacher of mine once said that balance would be something I’d recognise the moment I swung right past it on my way to the other side, and this always made me laugh! Because certainly in my case it has been true.
And so instead of treating balance as something we always seem to want but never quite get enough of, here are some new ways of thinking about it that may be super helpful.
Balance is not a fixed destination.
It never has been and it never will be. There is no magic answer, no perfect action, no delicious green drink that will finally get us there so we can live happily ever after. The one constant in life that we can absolutely rely on is that life will keep changing and alongside that so do we. Every single day we feel different from the next – our emotional needs change daily, often multiple times a day and so do our physical, mental and spiritual needs.
On top of that the outside world around us changes constantly.
And so, what is needed to have balance will be different all the time. And it is unique and authentic to each one of us every moment of every day.
Some days a piece of double chocolate cake may be the very thing to send you off balance if you are already feeling scattered, off centre and emotional. And yet other times, on the other days, for a different person, who has been too rigid with food and needs to let go more, it may be just the thing that is medicine for that day.
Balance is not a fixed state.
And it is not something that we have to find. It is something that is available to any of us, all the time, every day, always.
It is something that we need to dance with in life, paying attention to when we have come out of balance (swinging right past it) and getting clear on what is needed to bring ourselves back. And the moment we try to hold on tight to it we’ve already lost it because we’ve gotten tight and controlled.
And so here are 5 powerful tools to bring in to your daily life to help you have a more empowering and effective relationship to living more aligned and balanced in every single way:
1. Daily Checking In or Self-Enquiry:
Get into a practice of checking in with yourself every single day. This is often called a practice of self-enquiry. I like to do this through daily journaling but being a mum of two children I don’t always have the time – so I can check in with myself in my mind also.
Ask yourself these questions and then really and truly listen carefully for the answer. The more you practice this, the better you will get at it as you will learn about yourself more, learn to trust yourself more and learn to know yourself more. All extremely empowering ways to living more aligned with our truth.
How am I doing today? How do I feel (Physically, emotionally & mentally?)
What do I need today to take care of myself? – Do I need a nap, rest, a walk, exercise, food, friendship, connection, play time?
What can I commit to – to make sure I am taking care of my needs today?
2. Self-Care Tools or Anchors:
These are the tools you know you can keep coming back to every single day at any given time, to bring you back to a more grounded, anchored and centered place. To find them ask yourself these questions:
What makes me feel grounded in my life? Meditation, cooking, sharing with friends, walking, exercise, journaling, praying.
Whatever it is to find these things out for yourself and then choose your top 5. These will now be your bag of tools that you can keep returning back to use as your anchors to restore you to a more aligned and balanced place.
3. Taking Action:
Once we gain the awareness above we then need to love ourselves enough to take action in taking care of ourselves. This is key – nothing changes if nothing changes! And so, can you commit to taking one action every single day, aligned with what you need, to take care of yourself and your needs. It can be small of big actions, but real change occurs from many small simple daily steps of actions taken from a loving more aware place.
4. Self-Love, Compassion and Acceptance:
Part of living more aligned and balanced is learning how to be more flexible, WITH OURSELVES! That means being loving, compassionate and accepting with ourselves always. Even if we don’t manage to do what we needed to do. Even if we have gotten way off balance. If we can be loving, compassionate and accepting of ourselves unconditionally, well then we are already more than halfway there to feeling, living and being more aligned and balanced in ourselves and our lives.
Nicky Clinch is a Transformational Coach, Spiritual Mentor, Entrepreneur and Founder of the Warrior Woman movement. It is her purpose in life to empower women to become their most authentic and aligned selves, knowing that everything they need is already within them. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and Website.
The more uncertain things seem to be, the more secure I will feel, because uncertainty is my path to freedom.
As much as we might try to avoid uncertainty, we know deep down that it is an impossible task. We have seen that the fortunes of the rich can be lost overnight and that health and strength will only last for so long. Whilst bricks and mortar are stronger and more permanent than straw, we also know they are no more eternal than ourselves.
Let’s acknowledge too, that we view the uncertainties of our life through the lens of the larger global situation, characterised by volatile political situations, simmering social unrest, unconventional administrations, and increasingly frequent natural disasters. (Not to mention that we are hurtling through the void of space on a huge stone into unknown reaches of the Universe at 1.3 million miles per hour!)
Yet, if uncertainty and change are rules within the game of life, we need to engage with both with skill if we want to remain positive, productive, and happy whilst the dice roll.
There are two key skills here: Self-Leadership and Self-Compassion. Let’s give those a brush-up.
Start with a Positive Attitude
Remind yourself that your track record for getting through tough days is 100% to date – you will also get through this one.
Acceptance of change and the uncertain future is the first step. Resistance to the inevitable sets you up to waste your energy and directs you towards unhappiness and resentment. Your own acceptance of the shifting sands will have its own rhythm so be gentle with yourself as you adjust, and notice if you are sinking into denial or resistance.
Change is a vital part of the natural cycle of creation and dissolution – everything in our world belongs to this death-birth cycle. When larger changes are afoot, become curious about the bigger picture and take some quiet time to sit with these questions:
What am I ready to let go of?
What am I being called into?
Who am I becoming?
Work Within Your Sphere of Influence
Make a list of factors in your sphere of influence and those out of your control.
Consider what you can do to:
1. Increase your sphere of influence,
2. Make the most of the influence you already have.
One practical way to do this is to start reaching out to your established network and growing new connections through social and business events, or digitally via LinkedIN.
Invest in Your Skills
Uncertainty and change at work will sometimes precede a shift in job or role for you. So, update your c.v. proactively to highlight your current skills and experience. If there are training and development opportunities at work, take advantage of them now.
Be Mindful of News Consumption
Research has shown strong links between news consumption and increased stress and anxiety so if you are going through a tough period personally or professionally, consider how you would like to stay informed. Choose your sources carefully and don’t be afraid of trying a news-fast for 7 days to see how that affects your overall sense of wellbeing.
Take it One Step at a Time
You don’t need to know how everything will play out. The only thing to focus on is this question: What is my next right move? Everything else will flow forward from that clarity.
Trust Your Gut
Gut instinct is a time-honoured method of survival and decision making. Whilst, your intuitive knowing can be hijacked by assumptions and emotional biases, if you are able to filter those out and listen quietly to your own inner-guidance, your gut will validate your next right move.
Invest in Your Anchors
Even when there is a lot of change in certain aspects of your life, there will be others that have not shifted. These might be your family, your hobbies, your exercise routine, etc. Focus energy on the things that are remaining the same to give you a sense of grounding, calm, and continuity.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool of embodiment, self-compassion, and stress resilience. The human brain is optimised to experience change and uncertainty as threat, leading the brain to abandon its higher thought-processing and shift into instinctive survival mode. Following simple practices and learning how to navigate the complexities of over-thinking, anxious thoughts, and the negativity bias will, in time, allow you to navigate uncertainty with style.
Invest in relaxation practices
If Mindfulness is not your cup of tea, make sure that you are offering yourself sufficient restorative activities in your day and week. Now might be a good time to take that walk in the park, book that massage, give yoga a try, or gift yourself an early night.
When everything is in a state of flux, it is important to slow down decision making so that you can be sure you are responding as your best self and not just reacting impulsively in the moment. At the very least sleep on it. There is always tomorrow.
Help & Support Others
One of the best ways to increase our own mood, happiness, and sense of purpose is to reach out and support others. Start the conversation and see where you can be of service.
Befriend The Inner Critic
We all have to some degree an active inner critic commentating on our efforts through life. One of the key skills of self-compassion and mindfulness is to learn how to accept that voice whilst also balancing it with a kinder internal dialogue.
Notice if Your Coping is Healthy
Sometimes in periods of stress and anxiety we turn to substances that numb the intensity of our feelings. Keep an eye on your alcohol intake and use of other substances. If you feel like these are getting out of balance, seek professional help early.
Feel the Feelings
Contrary to the hype, your feelings are not bigger than you. Find some time and private space to really drop into the felt experience of your ever-changing emotional world. Move lingering or challenging emotions into expression by talking with a friend, or doodling what you feel each morning. If it feels like too much, seek support.
Talk About It
Seek support and information from those you trust. Many have a tendency to isolate themselves when stressed. If that is you, break the pattern and reach out to others. There is also a moment in life when we will all benefit from speaking to a professional. Take recommendations and find a coach, therapist, or counsellor that you resonate with. Strengthen your support team.
Not everyone likes affirmations but if this one resonates with you, try reading it to yourself each morning, or create your own:
Just for today I will practice acceptance and embrace uncertainty.
Enjoy the ride, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!
In the last months of my career as a Barrister there were signs telling me that something was off in my life. My relationship with my boyfriend was no longer bringing me joy, inspiration, or fun. (If I am honest, there was a voice in my head for quite a while telling me to jump ship on that one, long before I had the courage to do so). In addition, my scalp felt like it was pushing the hair on my head out with boiling daggers (a very bizarre and unpleasant feeling) and I was feeling less and less inspired by the content of my work, even though I still found the skills I was using, challenging and fun.
I probably could have gone on like that for a long time but as history now has it, in quick succession, I left my partner and my job and embarked on a new chapter of discovery and transformation. I learned one or two things along the way, and now 10 years on, feel inspired to share some of them here, in case they may be useful on your journey.
Acknowledge Where You Are
Back in 2008 as a successful Barrister, it was hard for me to acknowledge that I was unhappy. I had so many ways of spinning it to my friends, colleagues, and even myself – to convince myself all was well. Yet when I was alone and quiet, I knew that something was off in my life. If this is you right now, breathe deep, and allow yourself to feel the imbalance, as this is important data. Where do you feel it? In your body, heart, emotions, anxious thoughts, or is it a full-body / full-being experience? Really notice what your symptoms are and where they are showing up.
When misaligned, the body gives direct sensations as feedback to direct you towards new thoughts, actions, and behaviours. Become familiar with your symptoms of imbalance so you can allow them to propel you forward, and so you will feel the contrast when you find greater balance.
Gather your Allies
Having a network around you that supports your shift is highly desirable, if not essential. Allies can be a team of friends, family members, and/or professional helpers. I was exceptionally lucky to find champions in my new partner, teacher, and a few key friends who knew what I was capable of, and could hold me in my new energy, rather than tethering me to my old identity. They could see who I was becoming and were not attached to an old idea of me.
This was much more challenging for some other key players in my life who were more invested than me in my identity as Barrister – so choose your allies carefully and don’t expect everyone who you would hope to be there for you, to be able to. They perform a different function, stress-testing your resolve, and don’t worry, they will come around later.
Assess the practicalities optimistically
When looking at the pre-leap practicalities with a harshly rational eye they often do not stack up well, but leap anyway. You are likely quite comfortable right now with finances and your future trajectory relatively predictable and safe, yet you are also probably paying a price in terms of waning wellbeing, creativity, and inspiration. Do not under-estimate your courage and your ability to make things work when you need to. You cannot foresee all the opportunities that will flow to you when you make this change, so scan the horizon optimistically, and expect to be tested but also delightfully surprised.
Make Peace with Your Decision
There are going to be many days ahead when you question what you did and why you did it, so now is the opportunity to get really clear on your intention and vision for your new life. This will be invaluable down the line to return to when the doubts creep in, or the going gets tough. Remember you are choosing the road less travelled, and whilst the rewards are great here, the price of passage in terms of uncomfortable personal growth and increased self-awareness can be high.
Now is the time to complete the following sentences in your notes:
I am leaving my current situation because:
My intention is to create:
In my vision of my future self I am:
In my vision of my future self I feel:
Leap and the Net will Appear
You will never feel that you have enough money in the bank, a good enough plan, a clear enough map, sufficient support, or courage, but at some point, you need to just leap anyway.
Like the monkey travelling through the jungle on the vine, you have to let go of the last vine before grabbing hold of the next. In that moment between vines, the monkey is in freefall: suspended mid-air – the monkey is flying.
Just like the monkey, you don’t have wings – but don’t let anyone convince you for a second that you cannot fly. You were born to soar joyfully through this life, and the helpers are all around.
Leap and the net will appear.