‘In your element’

I was in my garden last Sunday, feeling really good about developing my allotment area in my beautiful garden, planting asparagus and rhubarb and picking radish for my salad! Easily pleased hey?

My allotment is MY fantastic way of switching off completely, getting physical exercise and connecting with the natural environment around me.

I know when I have been outside tending my plants and vegetables I have a buzz about me, I feel really good. It helps me relax; it’s something I do just for me. When we are ‘in your element’, there is a release of the happy chemicals which are good for us and gives us this feel-good factor.

The dictionary describes in your element as: ‘to be happy because you are doing what you like or can do best’.

Interestingly this week, there was an article in the papers confirming a study that Allotment Gardening ‘is good for your mental health’. A study found that just 30 minutes a week can improve mood and self-esteem as well as physical fitness.

Dr Carly Wood, a sports and exercise scientist at Essex University, said: “Participants who attend an allotment for a short period just once per week can experience a similar magnitude of improvements in self-esteem and mood as participants who attend more regularly for longer periods of time.”

Just 30 minutes a week spent pottering on the vegetable patch can boost feelings of both self-esteem and mood by dissolving tension, depression, anger, and confusion, the study found.

Yikes! I hear some of you say, I hate gardening!

So my question to you is, when you’re ‘in your element’, you’re like what? And doing what? Find something that helps you feels really good and is physically and mentally good for you too.

Happy Saturday folks, I’m off into my garden!

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Creating calm from chaos…

Learning to relax can help to switch off the stress response, reduce pain, improve sleep patterns and reduce fatigue. It enables a person to think more clearly.

Evidence indicates that our brains are structurally shaped according to how they are used. So, if you are always running from one meeting to another, checking e-mails, voice-messages, making snap decisions, always on the run, the brain will be shaped for task-focused way of doing things. When you then have to take a broader perspective on things, this is much harder to do. You are doing tasks which your brain is not trained to do.

Just ten minutes relaxation a day where you do nothing is proven to have health benefits: helps lower pulse rate, blood pressure and reducing anxiety.

Relaxation exercises forces you to sit and do nothing, without any distractions. It forces you to confront your thoughts, which may be preventing you from relaxing and switching off.

Relaxing is not sitting around being un-productive, it is not unsociable nor uncaring: quite the opposite. When you fit, well and relaxed you are more able to take and deal with things, people problems etc, more productively and effectively.

This slowing down, the valuing of silence the shifting the state from doing to being will have an impact on a person and their performance at home and work. Relaxation enables a person to access a calm state of mind. It helps people appreciate, enjoy and have more control over their daily lives, thinking clearer with improved decision making and judgement, thereby enjoying a greater sense of satisfaction with life.

Remember we are human beings not human doing, we want to be happy, not do happy…

Complete Harmony…helping people feel really good about themselves

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Stress management…

A story told to me recently…

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’… She fooled them all …. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. To 20 oz.

She replied , “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night… Pick them up tomorrow.”

So how do you manage your stress?..

Contact Rachel for more details about improving your wellbeing

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And why do I do that? Nature v nurture – how much are we born with our personality and to what extent are we influenced by our upbringing?

Journalists back in May 2014 wrote the following:
“Angelina Jolie believes a child’s personality is already defined at birth-remaining unaltered by the circumstances of their upbringing-and says she has more in common with her adopted son Maddox than with her own genetic children.
The actress and mother of six said motherhood had taught her that children are “…who they are when they are born… “and in the absence of a serious trauma will grow up to be their own person.
Three of Jolie’s children are adopted and she said she was surprised she had more in common with adopted son Maddox than with her own genetic children.
“You think you’d be more similar to the children that you have a genetic link with, but I’m not. Maybe one of them, but then I’m very similar to Maddox.”

Angelina Jolie often plays ‘1’ – type characters in films: her strength is very ‘1’- like, engendering respect through purpose and principle, without fuss or frills.

This observation by Angelina is completely understandable in the context of the Enneagram personality types. The premise of the Enneagram is that we are born with a particular type, it is not genetically predisposed, it stays our core driver throughout our lives. Understanding the personality types described has been absolutely transformational for families who have always known that there were stronger connections and easier interactions between some family members and not others.

Whilst this may previously have brought a great deal of heartache and pain, the Enneagram dissolves all of this in the understanding that the differences are not personal, but personality. Giving children access to this information releases their feeling of being less loved if they are simply operating from a different personality type to others within the family.

Those who are striving to improve the quality of their lives, their work, their relationships, have a deep need to first understand themselves. The Enneagram helps people to understand their own motivations and learn to work to their own strengths, encouraging the same in others.

This fascinating subject we currently deliver through a 2-day workshop programme, receiving fantastic feedback about it power and profound impact.
Our fresh, modern illustrated book called Personality Portraits – The Enneagram Encountered, published through Enneagram Insights Publishing, is now available to purchase. For further details please contact Rachel.

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RMT – rhythmic movement training…what is it?

Rhythmic Movement Training is a drug free approach to help physical, emotional, behavioural and cognitive challenges. It is a specialised movement programme for children and adults to develop their visual, auditory, motor, tactile and balance senses. The RMT movements replicate the natural rhythmic type movements that infants make which are necessary to integrate the primitive reflexes.

The Infant Reflexes are responsible for developing and maturing the ‘wiring’ system in the brain that should take place starting in utero and up to 4 years, ready for going into the learning environment to learn with enjoyment, adventure and with ease.

This programme is movement based and natural. It can bring about profound and life-long results.

Who can benefit?

RMT is valuable to anyone who would like to improve any skill or area of their life. It can help those who are struggling, not performing or achieving their highest potential in education, business, sport or the performing arts. It is extremely beneficial to anyone with specific learning difficulties whether they be physical, emotional, social and behavioural or has been assessed with any developmental delays.

How do I know whether RMT can help?

Simple physical checks can be done to assess any retained reflexes. If the person cannot do the co-ordinated rhythmic movements easily by themselves, this clearly shows the different areas of the brain may not be linked up sufficiently. Some people do finds ways of compensating for their difficulties in life but it will require them to put a lot more effort into achieving the success they want and deserve.

see http://www.completeharmony.co.uk for more information

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Beliefs….the importance of creating powerful empowering beliefs

The power of feedback and creation of negative beliefs


Buddhist abbot Ajahn Brahm gave the example of a monastery wall he built in Australia. The wall had two “bad” bricks sticking out at an angle. He was embarrassed about the appearance of the wall until a visitor pointed out that only two bricks were deficient out of 1,000.

The morale of this story:

Whenever we give feedback it is always important to put deficiencies into context. Talk about the 998 good bricks, as well as the two bad ones, otherwise they may feel you are attacking their entire wall.

When feedback is levied at a person’s identity rather than behaviour, this can create or reinforce limiting beliefs. Henry Ford, once said ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right!’ He was making reference to the fact that what’s going on in our heads has an effect on the way we behave.

A belief is a thought in your mind that causes the power of your subconscious mind to effect your thinking habits. During childhood adults – usually parents and teachers – give us information and because we have no frame of reference or experience against which we can validate this information, we tend to believe it as being true. If they are negative, we can carry this negativity into our adult life and allow it to affect the way we think and limit what we believe we can achieve. A large number of our thoughts are negative and as many are repeated, this only serves to reinforce the negativity.

These are known as limiting beliefs, which can be changed relatively easily and once changed can have major benefits to our mental health. Limiting beliefs arise from filtering information as there is so much information reaching our brain. For much of what we do we operate on autopilot like getting out of bed. Whilst these traits are often required for efficient working, they can create powerful limiting beliefs that are not useful or appropriate. We delegate, generalize and distort massive amounts of information. These internal processes function automatically in the subconscious. In road accidents, investigators find that, were witnesses are highly stressed, they produce wildly different accounts of the same event. If you hold a negative belief what can you do? The first step is to recognize it, because only then can you begin to change. Often people fear failure or success, fear of the unknown, I don’t deserve it, I’m not good enough, It’s going to take a long time.

Beliefs are like software, it’s no good if the computer’s great, if you’re running on the wrong software, you won’t get the right results. The right beliefs lead to the right action. You are what you think.

“I praise loudly. I blame softly.” Catherine the Great

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Focus and direction…where is your journey headed?

In my experience of working with people, a key skill many people struggle with, is time management.

This struggle can create a feeling of overwhelm, which means they are likely to be working extremely hard whilst feeling exhausted. Many people are invariable on the back foot, reacting to what life throws at them, rather than being proactive and taking control.

This reactive approach to life creates stress and an out of control feeling and therefore life can feeling unfulfilling. A proactive approach to life takes discipline and practice. This proactive approach to life and work is build on the need to set goals, forward focus and strategy.

If we don’t have this proactive approach, it can feel like a depressing muddle, running around, working extremely hard, but achieving little – life can feel like a treadmill.

If we aren’t sure where we are headed, we can run around in circles, exhausting ourselves. Take the football team comprising of 5-year olds. How many of us have watched a group of 5 year olds playing football? When the ball is hit, the children are like bees around a honey pot. They forget to pass the ball. Whereas if they worked like a team and aimed for the net, they are more likely to score the goal.

We need to focus on what we want to achieve today, this week, this month, this year this lifetime, so we can direct our energies to the important things, our priorities. Only when we know our priorities, can we truly manage our time effectively, whether that be for work or our personal life.

I often see in a work environment, businesses who are half way through the financial year and still haven’t set clear goals and objectives for the business and their staff. How can people focus on the important things if they are not clear where they should be focusing their attention and energies? It is little wonder targets and objectives fall short of the mark.

Many people do manage to get the important things done in work, but it takes its toll on their personal life, they ‘miss out’ on the rest of life. Remember most people in their twilight years do not say ” I’m glad I spend that extra hour a day in the office!…” Most people don’t regret the things they’ve done, but the things they haven’t, the missed opportunities.

So have you set the journey, do you know where you are headed and do you have a route plan for success?


See http://www.completeharmony.co.uk for further details around personal coaching and development and http://www.thewellbeingprogramme.com for further details about business coaching and development, management training and staff wellbeing.






So we need to have our life goals to set the destination, set the SAT NAV, so we can plan our own journey of life…ensuring we enjoy the journey each step of the way. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal, so it is about enjoying the steps along the way.




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