Good morning all, Erica here with Edition #18 (I can’t believe we are already 18 weeks in!) of WILW. I hope you have been enjoying Peta’s alternating editions as much as I have, because they are as new to me as they are to any other reader. And I hope this finds you cruising through your Hump Day!
This week I am…
Reading: Biology of Belief (Bruce Lipton)
Okay, this is another case of a book I am yet to actually read (as I am still making my way through, and loving, A Short History of Nearly Everything). However, I have it on good authority from my Mum that this book is one of the best she has read regarding health and spirituality (and she has read a few, to say the least). Over the last few weeks Hay House ran a special series of videos with the author, Bruce Lipton, which have also not watched yet, but I did manage to get a free PDF download of the book.
The book, from what I’ve gathered, explains the ability of the mind and our thoughts to heal our physical bodies on a cellular and molecular level. It combines the sciences of cell biology, genetics and quantum physics to explain the seemingly miraculous phenomenon of self-healing and how our thoughts can influence the expression of our genes, which can have huge consequences for our health. Needless to say it is definitely a book I am looking forward to reading.
Listening to: Goddess Groups with Melissa Ambrosini
After attending a live Goddess Group in Melbourne back in March this year I made the decision to subscribe for the Goddess Ground On-Demand with Melissa Ambrosini. For the small fee of $12 per month (the same as a Spotify Premium subscription) you can have access to all of the previous Goddess Group sessions and each new session is added as they take place, such that it is an ever-expanding resource. In each session Melissa begins by guiding the group (and you) through a short meditation before going on to discuss a particular topic relating to health, love or a conscious lifestyle in great detail. They run for between an hour and an hour and a half each. You can either watch the video of the session online or download the audio.
Over the past few weeks I decided to download the audios and put them on my iTunes, so that I could listen to them whilst commuting. Even though I have followed Melissa for several years now and am very familiar with most of her work, I am always left with some new insight or nugget of wisdom after every session that I listen to. If you are a woman (aka Goddess) looking for more resources and information on how to lead a love-filled and abundant life, then I can’t recommend these sessions highly enough. The link to subscribe is in the title above, and once you subscribe you receive instant access to all the existing Goddess Group recordings. And if you are unsure what to expect, head to Youtube and type in Goddess Group and you can watch the first 15 minutes of any recording for free.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the greatest Australian comedy-drama ever made, allow me to introduce you to Offspring. After a two-year absence from our screens, the creators of Offspring decided to return our beloved doctor Nina Proudman and her crazy extended family to our screens. This is one show that I am not ashamed to admit that I am obsessed with, so much so that I even took a friend on a walking tour of Fitzroy based on the Offspring filming locations. If you are looking for a show that always guarantees a good (albeit cringe-worthy) laugh and an incredibly relatable protagonist, then Offspring is for you.
Gratitude keeps coming back up as something that is vital for our health and happiness. I think there is such incredible power in the ability to be grateful for everything in your life, the good things and those that you may perceive as “bad”. I know that things in my life really started to shift when I expressed gratitude for everything, even the things that I didn’t like. Finding the silver lining in “bad” situations is not easy, but it can always be done, you just have to search hard enough.
Allow me to give a simple example: the other I was walking to uni and it was pouring with rain , I was cold and wet and had no umbrella or raincoat with me at the time. I could have chosen to be annoyed, grumpy, upset and sad because I was soaking wet, but instead I started to mentally list all the reasons why I was grateful for that situation. I was grateful for the rain because it meant that somewhere crops of food were being watered that would eventually nourish me. I was grateful to be caught walking in the rain because I had a university to attend and live close enough to it to walk. I was grateful for my awesome RM Williams boots that were keeping my feet dry, even though the rest of me was drenched. I was grateful for being soaked because it meant my shower that night would feel even more divine.
Do you see now? It is that simple. And with practice, like anything, gratitude gets easier and then it becomes effortless.
Eating: Pumpkin Pie (and the smoothie version)
Way back around Christmas time I saved a recipe from my good friend, Katie Tankard, for Pumpkin Pie. Fast-forward six months and I made it… and it was FREAKING DELICIOUS! It was also one of my few creations to get the tick of approval from my housemate who I use as a gauge of the legitimate tastiness of my desserts. Sadly, I don’t have a photo of the pie, but hopefully I’ll make another soon and I’ll be sure to post a photo. In the meantime, here is my version of the recipe:
Pumpkin Pie (GF, DF, SF, Vego)
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup dates, pitted and soaked for 10 mins in boiling water
- 4 eggs (organic and free-range)
- 1.5 cups pumpkin puree (I steamed and then blended pumpkin to make this)
- 3 Tbsp raw honey/rice malt syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 cup coconut cream
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Puree: Cut up pumpkin into cubes and steam until soft. Once cooled, blend in food processor/blender until smooth.
- Base: Preheat oven to 180C. Place almond meal, dates and coconut oil in food processor and blend until fully combined. Press into lined pie/cake dish and bake for 10 minutes, then allow to cool in the fridge.
- Filling: In a large bowl cream together eggs and honey (use electric whisk/beater), then add in remaining ingredients. Add extra arrowroot if needed to thicken. Pour into crust and bake for 50 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then serve warm with a dollop of coconut cream or place in fridge for 3-4 hours before serving cold. Keeps in airtight container, refrigerated for about a week.
Pondering: self-worth and self-image
In the past few years I’ve made a great deal of progress in my health, wellness and spirituality, much of which I have shared on this blog. I feel now that I am more me than I have ever been before, I am genuinely a very happy person and I am pretty close to living my dream life. However, as some of you may know, I was not always this content and in fact I started this blog shortly after I first discovered and starting using positive affirmations to heal my relationship with my body (you can read more on the About Me page). In my last WILW I even wrote about how I have been using affirmations again to promote body positivity. Prior to discovering affirmations, as a young teenager, I went through a relatively dark period in which my self-esteem was almost non-existent and I believed wholeheartedly that I was too ugly to ever be loved. A lot of my negativity was focussed on my appearance and my body, even though in reality I was an active and healthy teenage girl.
I wish I could say that I have moved past all of that now, but a couple of days ago these unresolved feelings came bubbling back up to the surface and I realised just how engrained these beliefs actually are in my life. I even admitted to a friend how these feelings still affect my thoughts on a daily basis and she couldn’t believe that I thought that way about myself. Whilst it is certainly nowhere near as strong as it was when I was younger, I realised that I haven’t actually dealt with and cleared these residual beliefs, and they are still bubbling away in my subconscious mind. As a way of processing this I took some time to do some yoga and then reflected upon everything in my journal (the best form of self-therapy). In doing so I came to another realisation that I had allowed my self-worth to be directly linked to my physical appearance, such that I only felt worthy on days when I was satisfied with how I looked. In short, this correlation between my self-worth and self-image and my ability to choose to let this go now is what I have been pondering and working through this week.
Now before I ramble on about my own insecurities too much longer, I know I am not alone in these experiences. If you can relate to this connection between self-worth and self-image, here are a few ways to deal with it:
- Journalling – as I said, journalling is the best form of self-therapy. It doesn’t have to be positive or happy, just write exactly how you are feeling, allow it to be raw and real. Once you have let it all out and written everything down, then let it go, and don’t re-read it. The journal is there to allow you to feel, express and then move past emotions as they come up.
- Affirmations – after you have allowed yourself to feel whatever it is that you feel, now consciously become aware of the negative thought patterns and replace the most common negative thoughts you have about yourself with positive ones. They can be as simple as “I am worthy/enough/beautiful/healthy”.
- Be realistic – often these judgements or thoughts we have about ourselves and especially our bodies are based upon false perceptions of ourselves; we don’t see ourselves the way we actually are. Take a moment to consider the thoughts you have about yourself and be honest about where they come from and whether they are actually true (answer: they are not!).
- You are not your body – as hard as it is to remember at times, you are so much more than your body or your appearance. You are a whole, living, breathing human being with a pure, beautiful soul, your body is just your vehicle and temple for this lifetime. Just be grateful for it, because without it you would not be here, but do not fall into the trap of thinking you are your body.
Moving: bedroom workouts
My exercise routine is nothing fancy or particularly regimented, because I am big believer in doing what feels good for your body. In the past week for me that has included a few little bedroom workouts, based upon the style of Kayla Itsines’ BBG, but with my own modifications to suit what I am feeling like doing. One night I just did 2 x 7 minute rounds of four exercises, followed by some yoga, and then another night I did 2 x 7 minutes of arms and 2 x 7 minutes of abs to make up my workout (still feeling that one!). As with everything to do with keeping healthy, it needn’t be complicated or expensive. If you have a piece of floor and a bed/chair you can make your own workout that is quick, easy and free. Anything is better than nothing at all!
Aiming to: disconnect to re-connect
The other day, I did something very small that scared me more than I care to admit: I left my phone at home. This was no accident, as I intentionally went out for a walk with only my key in hand. Normally, when I go for walks I like to phone a friend, hit shuffle on my favourite playlist or listen to a podcast, so I am always really connected. Whilst this is a great way to make use of my walking time, I also feel sometimes it has the ability to disconnect me from the present moment. But when I went for a walk, phone-less, I had nothing but my thoughts and the people, places and sounds around me to keep me entertained. I noticed all these little things I had never noticed before, even though I walked a familiar route. I also stopped in my favourite spot in the gardens and meditated, and it was so tranquil and relaxing.
My point is, whilst I am all for technology and believe it greatly adds to our lives in general, there is always a balance and sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is simply disconnect (with technology) to re-connect (with yourself, the world, people, whatever). On a side note, obviously don’t leave your phone at home when it would be unsafe to do so. I only did so because I was walking in well-lit and open parks in the middle of the day. Usually I carry my phone with me as a matter of safety.
Grateful for: my housemates
As my big departure date for Canada draws closer I am starting to really realise just how much I appreciate my four amazing housemates who have become like my big sisters. Even though none of them read this I want to take this moment to express my gratitude for them, in written form. I am so grateful for my four housemates… I am grateful for all of the memories, I am grateful for the unconditional love and support I receive daily, I am grateful for the friendships, I am grateful for all the roast veggie bonanzas, I am grateful for our Offspring date nights, I am grateful for the advice and I am grateful just to have four friendly faces to come home to each day.
What are you loving this week? Let me know in the comments or send me a message via the Contact Me page. I’d love to hear from you.
Love Erica xx