The magical occasion when mom relaxes

Celebrate the magic

As a single mom of 3, I find my power by getting out in nature. Getting myself that nice dose of oxygen is so vital to feeling on top of my game. Add to that some undisrupted “earthing” and I’m truly a happy mommy. I need some quality me-time to recharge my batteries and nature offers me respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Children are precious and being a mom should be celebrated.

Our children are the next generation. The continuation of the species. They are therefore an important aspect valued by our society. So valuable we invest much of our time, money and efforts in raising good and healthy kids. Yet life is not only about the children. There is more to the ultimate meaning of life and your purpose in this existence.

Sacred men and women throughout history have understood the power of nature, using the wilderness (whether forest, beach, or desert) to cultivate an inner spirituality that in turn makes a meaningful impact on the lives of the people around you. It’s in the wilderness, stripped from distractions, that you face yourself and your circumstances in one of the rawest and most vulnerable ways you’ll ever experience. And it’s well worth it.

Moments to relax, harmonize and balance.

Pause for a minute (actually stop reading this article) and think about the last time you incorporated a practice solely for the sake of your spiritual life. You probably can’t remember, now can you ?

Funny isn’t it, how we women tend to undervalue our quality me-time, our reconnection with our inner core. Nurturing your spirituality is in stark contrast to the things our society seems to value. Nevertheless, I recommend you tend to your soul daily, even be it just for a few minutes here and there of mindful awareness of the self. Like power-napping, you can take out a few minutes during your busy day to catch up with yourself. You don’t have to wait for a magical occasion to take care of yourself. Instead I believe in everyday magic. To make many micro moments into a meaningful refills of energy.

Even for those who are career-driven or business-minded, taking a few minutes out behind your desk to power-meditate, is believed to infuse the surrounding area with positive energy.

It’s not always about the kids

Ladies (and gents), it is time you blocked out time in your schedule for yourself. This time won’t create itself; you will need to make it a priority. Unlike physical health, which often takes precedence with exercise and healthy eating, spiritual well-being is a little more elusive and can be put on the back-burner.

Soothing seasonal occupations :

  • Cooking a delicious meal using ayurvedic spices for a balanced, flavourful diet.
  • Relax, cool and harmonize body, mind and spirit with organic herbal teas.
  • Get out pottering around your garden. Plant seeds for the future.

By being a relaxed mom, you are helping preserve healthy habits for generations to come.

Breathe a sigh of relief and get ahead of your day.

Put your spiritual health at the top of your list and spend some time in nature this spring or summer. Retreats are a great way to fill your cup and come back to yourself, especially those where you get to spend time outside in nature.

Where will you go on your next adventure?

This August, I am heading to YogaLand for a 3 Day Signature Meditation and Yoga Retreat. If you’re looking to get away from it all — to slow down, reflect, re-energize, and create a foundation for cultivating purpose in your life — join me and my kiddos in Torhout (Belgium).

The benefits of engaging in this type of retreat are vast. From clarity to purpose, you will walk away feeling refreshed and with a renewed sense of who you are.

— Tremeloo, Belgium (May 2017)

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Hot body

I just love poetry. Especially the deep and ancient stuff. There is this verse from the Quatrains of Omar Khayyam which has always stuck to my mind :

“The Pretty Girl with the rose one compares her;
My Pretty Girl, to the tulip I compare her;
A tulip rather than a rose, why do I compare her?
It is that my pretty girl to the other pretty girl never I compare her.”

There is so much wisdom is those dead poet’s words. Beauty is not a competition. So do not go about comparing yourself to other women. True beauty is a radiance that shines from different perspectives. Self-esteem is one of those pillars. Cherish it.

If you feel beautiful, you will look beautiful.

There is also the notion that beauty comes in the first place from internal nourishment. We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat”. This idea is not just something born in the hippie era. It’s actually a notion which has been around for centuries, and might even have religious backgrounds. The basic idea is that food has an impact on your mental and physical wellbeing.

It is indeed a no-brainer that processed foods will not nourish you fully. And that eating wholefood will give you a happy feeling. After all, once you ingest your food, this food is used to build up the cells which make up your body and structure. The food you eat is integrated fully into your DNA. Be thoughtful of what you put into your mouth.

My chocolate addiction is out of scope for this discussion, but these are reknowned beauty foods :

  • ginger
  • grapefruit & citrus
  • pumpkin
  • powerfoods
  • royal jelly, from the bees

It’s amazing how some foods can help promote good circulation, which is key for helping oxygen and beauty nutrients for great hair and glowing skin.

You become what you eat.

Beauty Foods

How much do you take care of yourself ? Nourishing your body from the outside in. Get in touch with yourself by the love of self-massage. Using oils on your skin will help you re-write your cells and detoxify your lymphs. Massage nourishes your entire body and decreases the effects of aging. The movement on your skin increases circulation and stimulates the internal organs of the body. Finally, it softens your skin and reduces wrinkles (because less stress). And you sleep better.

In oils I strongly recommend Jojoba oil. Other oils which are good too, but depends on your skin type : coconut oil, almond oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil. For glowing facial skin, I recommend you first tone your face with rosewater.

Simple daily routines have powerfully rejuvenating effects on your skin and overall health. 

Are you getting enough zzzzz’s ? Sleeping less than 6 hours a day will have an effect on your appearance. Apart from how much you sleep, the quality of your sleep and how you sleep will impact your beauty too.

To ensure qualitative sleep, make sure your bedroom is dark, silent and stress free. This means no music, no books, no electronics. Keep your bedroom clutter free, tidy and well-aired. This will ensure you to have the most reposing night rest.

Other great habits to improve your beauty while you sleep :

  • keep your hair out of your face to reduce an oily complexion.
  • sleep on your back to avoid scrunching your face into wrinkles – if all else fails, do face yoga (yes it does exist).
  • buy yourself a satin bet set instead of using cotton – if you do sleep on your side or your stomach, and you do scrunch your face in the pillow, at least it’s a smooth pillow which will wrinkle you less.
  • humidify your room and have a glass of water by your bedside. water is your friend when it comes to hydrating your skin.
  • change your bed clothes (sheets, blankets and pillow cases) at least once a week. pillow cases accumulate a build up of oils from your hair and dead skin. you don’t want to be rubbing your face into that.

One way to help you reach Peak Beauty Sleep is to start making routines for yourself: try to wake up and eat your meals at the same time each day and exercise on a regular schedule. Regular rhythms throughout the day will help you be able to sleep more easily as well as achieve deeper REM sleep at night.

Get more beauty from your sleep.

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To bring out your natural beauty you need to live more closer and more in tune with nature. As women, we are at the top of our game when we align ourselves with the moon.

The world around you is full of rhythmic cycles :

  • the 24-hour cycle of the sun as it revolves around the earth
  • each season merging into the next
  • the rhythmic cycle of aging

How do you align yourself with nature’s rhythms ?

  • the cycle of the sun by sleeping at an appropriate hour
  • the shifting seasons by favoring a seasonal diet
  • the phases of our lives

In traditional cultures, women would menstruate together during the dark night of the new moon. During the night of the dark moon, when there is no moon in the sky, women’s energy is at it’s lowest point, which is why we are encouraged to look within and practice introspection, to spend time in quietude, rest, and inward reflection. When the moon is full, women are at their highest point energetically. We are encouraged to be more externally expansive, to get involved socially, and to finish long-term projects. This cyclical sway of energy exists inside each woman to cause her to wax and wane between experiences of self-inquiry and interactions with the external world.

For humanity at large, not to forget our men, the benefits of simple practices like “earthing,” which have been shown to help balance your body with negative ions and neutralize aging free radicals.

Connect with the natural world around you. You’ve got that sparkle !

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Discover how you can be your best self through improved nutrition, lifestyle and mindset. You can benefit from a holistic approach to exercise and movement. Adding yoga to your morning exercise will help you achieve a beautiful posture. Add to that some squats and HIIT training, and you have yourself a schedule for a healthy life. Wind down in the evening with some evening yin yoga poses, to let go of all stress and stimulation from your busy day.

When it comes to movement, balance is the key. You can actually overdo certain types of workouts. So when you’re tracking progress, focus on getting the most tangible, visible results for a toned, fit body — not on total hours spent at the gym.

Remember to stay hydrated. Move that body!

As it turns out, stress, or rather the inability to handle it, can have a physical impact on your well-being – an impact that can affect your appearance and your state of mind. It makes sense to learn how to cope with stress skilfully and learn to develop a peaceful mind. If you have a positive mindset, you will be able to avoid some of the beauty-robbing problems caused by improperly handled stress. Meditation is one of the most effective methods for reducing stress and bringing peace of mind.

The benefits of meditation include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Reduces stress, lessen anxiety
  • Healthier lifestyle, eat better
  • Natural beauty amplifier, reduce wrinkles, positive impact on hair and skin, as well as on your mental health
  • Increased self-awareness, clearer mind, in tune with your emotions and feelings, better self-image
  • Boost happiness, the glass half full and half empty

Having a peaceful mind is the main cause for inner and outer beauty. Meditate your way to beauty!

Taking care of yourself both inside and out will help you feel more confident and best of all, will give you the ability to tap into and be in touch with the true beauty that is already within you.

— The universe (here and now)

 

 

A journey to inner paradise

 

Recently I attended this special meditation session at our local private spa, Time Tremelo. The meditation session was called a “sound bath”. Bathing in the sounds of the singing bowls I found myself flowing in gratitude and remembrance, enlightenment and entry into Nirvana. Meditation was guided by Jozef Drum starting out with quiet contemplation, ancient Tibetan bowls and essential oils, to bring us into a state of inner calm and peace. As I dwelled my inner realms? I harnessed the lunar energy to support my inner journey. Just before drifting completely into my inner voyage, I regretted to have forgotten to bring my crystals along to meditate with. Next time ! 

Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.

The moment Jozef started playing his instruments, his music took me on a journey into the richness of my inner world. When you look inwards, this is when you will find your true self. It’s the observer who watches your whole life. This witness is the most sacred part of yourself. Open up to the magic which lies within the enchanted part of yourself. Only you can open this door.

Allow yourself to be lead on a journey; on a quest to be embraced by nature. You will bask in the energies of the forest, as it gently massages your five senses; unravelling, clearing and then weaving them carefully back together, bringing your mind, body and spirit into a state of peace and calmness. This unity of the senses, initiates the opening of the 6th sense; like a lotus divine, to expand, explore and remember.

Meditation is a journey of healing. It is a time to be creative, intuitive, spontaneous; a time for you to listen to the whispers of your heart and distill from it what is truly important.

Meditation for me is a time to just soak up the healing energies of hidden inner paradise. It is a time to listen to the wisdom of the land and the tales of the trees. It is a time to walk along the many paths within that lead inward toward the secret chamber of my heart; watching the sounds turn into colour at play, breathing in the crisp evening air while it clears my mind.

My imagination runs wild when I close my eyes and drift away on the soft music of the singing bowls. I envision I’m surrounded by nature’s orchestra; from the hum of the cicadas, and the rhythmic gushing of the river, to the rustling of the leaves as the wind embraces the trees.

Allow yourself to be guided through water and fire, to cleanse and purify old thoughts and patterns.

 

Receive healing. Ease away all tension and knots in the body.

During meditation, you will be gifted the following or more:

  • Practical solutions to your life’s difficult challenges;
  • Solutions on how to end vicious cycles;
  • Causes and solutions to break negative habits and obsessions
  • Receive deep healing for your physical and emotional levels
  • Helps you to move away from the past and into the Now!
  • Bring in more of your soul essence so that you can experience wholeness
  • Receive healing energies and blessings of abundance and unconditional love

Collective meditation sessions are usually exclusive to only 10 participants.

You will benefit most from meditation:

  • If you have been feeling exhausted or drained by your daily routine, meditation will recharge you from the inside out;
  • If you desire to connect with other like-minded individuals, receive support and talk freely without being judged;
  • If you have the desire to have a spiritual experience, want to make time for yourself, far from the structure of daily routine;
  • If you have tried conventional healing methods, and would instead like to try spiritual healing;
  • If you believe that taking time out of your daily life should be about nurturing the inner self through relaxation, good company, and quiet contemplation and coming back home feeling rested & rejuvenated;

What you will get from a guided meditation:

  • Calmer mind, more relaxed body;
  • More insight & clarity;
  • Energetic healing of physical & emotional body;
  • Connection with other like-minded individuals.

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Jozef Drum is a certified sound therapy practitioner and meditation teacher at Tuning Frequencies with his accomplice Judith Lamboo. Tuning Frequencies invites you to sink into the sounds of crystal singing bowls, and feel their calming effect at a cellular level.

— Tremelo, Belgium (April 2017)

Earthing : Walking Barefoot

The first time I encountered the idea of walking barefoot in the grass was in the movie Pretty Woman when Richard Gere walked barefoot in a park towards the end of the movie. This was his way of trying to figure out who he was and what he wanted out of life. This was his way of thinking seriously about himself, what he wanted and possibly connecting to himself.

Two years ago I attended Ostara, the yearly women’s festival, where we were encouraged to dance barefoot in the park, to stamp out our frustrations and receive back energy from Mother earth.

Last time I talked about the subject was just a few weeks ago, when I was out on our weekly Friday lunch with my beautiful friend Marta. She was telling me all about her daily meditations out in the woods. She likes to walk barefoot as she enters the forest. This little ritual helps her get in touch with nature before she settles down under a tree for an hour of truly blissful meditation.

When was the last time you walked barefoot in the grass ?

So I decided it was time to test this out for good. I’ve started grounding my feet daily in my back garden, usually about an hour or so before I go to sleep. I love the way the earth feels cool below my feet, how the grass is soft. I am surprised by my own hesitation, scared of getting hurt or stung by some hidden insect.

Humans have been walking barefoot for centuries. Only recently have we all clad our footsies and forgotten what it is like to be in touch with the earth. Feel the earth move beneath our feet. Keep both feet on the ground. Put our foot down. So many collective memories.

Today I took off with my 3 kids to reconnect with Mother Earth. To be honest, my littles looked at me rather puzzled when I asked them to take off their shoes and to walk around barefoot. But they gave it a try, my daughter more hesitant than her older brother. The baby found the entire experience very curious. For him there was more than feeling the grass under his little feet. There were flowers to pick and leaves to eat.

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Keep it simple

I think the best advise I have ever encountered is to keep it simple. Earthing can be done daily by just going out into nature, your garden, the park, wherever and taking your shoes off. That’s the whole point in earthing. It’s being outside in contact with Mother Earth.

Now please explain to me how it is possible to make a commerce out of this, to sell electrical earth mats. As if there is no way you could possibly find 5 minutes to get your feet dirty… outside. Really ? If you bought a mat, really I think you’re missing the point. Please stamp on it as you would if performing a tribal dance. Hopefully you break the stupid mat and you decide to just go outside anyway.

My kids experience

When I asked my children what they thought of having their feet touch the ground, they qualified the experience as :

  • fun
  • tickling
  • cool
  • soft
  • relaxing

 Sole to soul

Feet are the small areas of our bodies that touch the earth and when we touch it sole to soul there is much we can experience and meditate upon. When was the last time you walked barefoot upon the earth and did you feel the earth’s soul through your soles?

— Tremelo, Belgium (April 2017)

Not tonight, too effing tired

Two years ago, I published an article about Goachi’s horny goat weed, an aphrodisiac, love capsules, stimulating vitamins, whatever you want to call it. My article and research were based on a conversation I had with an old school friend of mine. Sarah Cherif is an entrepreneur, like myself, and has her own company in Habit Management. This courageous woman launched herself out there with a product that gets a few giggles going at the least.

What are we supposed to take and when?

See… wait a minute. I have already taken out of the equation who should be taking these and whether you need to take them. What I’m removing from the conversation here are the snide side-remarks, the cold sniggers “imagine having to take that”. I’m leaving it up to the health of everyone out there. After all, nobody frowns when I state that I’m taking extra vitamins or food supplements. Yet one could expect that I would be reprimanded for unhealthy eating. After all, we’re meant to be able to get all we need out of our daily food intake and healthy lifestyle. But it’s okay to be physically unhealthy. Yet when we talk about desires and wanting a deeper connection in the bedroom, we are ridiculed with partaking in “womanly wiles”. Why the stigma?

More questions

What are the components of a good multivitamin? How can you be sure the ones you’re buying are of the best quality? The article and my post on social media was so resonant it was one of the most popular of that year, and it sparked ongoing conversations — since not everyone can go about talking about these issues as openly as in this article.

A confidence

My boyfriend was shocked after a night out with the guys, because one of his mates had resorted to “little blue pills”. My boyfriend had tried to reassure his guy that it was probably a temporary thing. Not to stress about it and make sure it doesn’t become a self fulfilling prophecy. Yet I couldn’t help but point out that his guy friend might actually have a condition of limp dick and it’s not completely in the head. Maybe he could do with some food supplements instead of the chemical alternative? Maybe he should try. And maybe my boyfriend should come to terms that yes, these things do happen after a certain age and there are solutions.

Besides looking for solutions and identifying problems, it might be a good thing to approach our sexual health in the same way as we approach our overall physical health. We take multivitamins in order to not become ill. In just the same way, we might want to take lovers stimulans in order to not experience a dry spell in our relationship.

Streamlined process

Goachi has packaged the little capsules up in beautiful boxes and make it easy and effective to order online. I just did. Can expect my neat and anonymous little package in my letter box any time soon. How exciting! So I’ll do what I always try to do : research, test and report.

And I’ve only just gotten started. Did I mention postnatal depletion? This points to the fact that there’s an epidemic where many women, in particular, don’t feel well. And we all operate with this as status quo. “Of course I don’t feel well, I have 3 kids. Of course I don’t feel well, I have a stressful job. Of course I don’t feel well, I’m going through a divorce.” These are just the realities of being a modern woman: Many of us are raising kids in isolation, without a village of support; many of us are working more than fulltime jobs while still trying to make dinner and be good partners — and flagellating ourselves when we don’t do it all perfectly. These expectations are, in total, unrealistic, but here we are with them. At the very least, we believe that we can use science and technology and herbology to help address that delta and get us to optimal health.

My research over the coming weeks is for those of you who feel like your bodies and metabolisms have slowed down a bit with age; for the new moms and moms-to-be who have been totally depleted by pregnancy; and for those of you who have a lot of fight left — and want to keep it that way. If I remember correctly from my previous experiment, the love capsules also do wonders on backache. A nice side-effect I will put to the test.

— The universe (here and now)