Monday to Fri-YAY With a Spring in Your Step – Be Present, Live in the Moment

Great to see you 🙂

Welcome to the second post of the Monday to Fri-YAY With a Spring in Your Step series.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

A couple of months ago, I drove 34 miles to work, heating on, tunes blazing… I got to my destination and I had no idea how I got there. Never mind I told myself, at least you got here on time.

I turned my computer on and just like any other day, my first patient came in, then the next and the next. I stopped for lunch and again before I realised, thirty minutes were over and back to work I went. A few hours later, the day was over.

I got back in my car and drove home with the occasional beep from an angry driver in traffic pushing me out of the trance I had been in all day.

Guys and Gals, I can’t recall anything else from that day… colours, smells, sounds, physical sensations, facial expressions… Nothing. This was not an isolated incident. This my friends was a typical day, 365 days a year.

Imagine coasting through life not remembering very much. Days turn to weeks and weeks to months and before you know it years have passed and you have no idea where the time has gone. I am sure this is something you have experienced at least once in your life.

It’s a scary feeling and that is why I am going to give you a couple of tips to help you be more present through the week so that those amazing minutes, hours, weeks, months and years don’t keep passing you by. Your life is so precious.

  • Check in with yourself – how do I feel today? What do I need right now? What are my thoughts currently? What can I see, smell, feel and hear?- Tap into those senses – Do this at lunch or when you are stopped at a red light (keep those eyes open though so you’re ready to go when it turns green :)). Perhaps even setting a reminder on your phone may be helpful.This is not just important for making you more aware of the needs your body and mind, it also breaks distractive thought patterns and draws you back to right now… before you know it you realise that your fearful thoughts may not be a true representation of what is likely to happen. It takes practice but the more you do it the more aware you become of yourself, your needs and what makes you content. Try using apps like Headspace which provide guided meditations. It helps if mindfulness/meditation is new to you. I try to fit in a 5-10 minute guided meditation twice a day and guys and gals, it really helps to keep me grounded.

Ps: Turn your phone off. This is YOUR time. Do whatever makes you feel happy – take a walk, listen to music, yoga, read a book… anything.

  • Celebrate all your victories, particularly the small ones – sometimes we ignore all the small yet amazing things we do or happen to us because we are waiting on that big life changing victory to gain our attention. Those small victories that you are achieving right now are the building blocks and should be celebrated. We celebrate when a child crawls, walks then runs so why shouldn’t we celebrate things like getting to work on time, finishing that project, getting the grocery shopping done? Getting to work on time stops you stressing so your day runs smoothly, finishing your project will eventually get your dream job, getting the shopping means you’ll have great meals to nourish your body. Sounds great when you put it like that right?
  • It is ok not to know everything right now – worrying about the future can distract you from being present and living in the moment. The more we try to have all our future plans sorted now, the more consumed with our thoughts we become and with that come feelings of inadequacy or failure if we don’t have the answers straight away. Let future you worry about that. Present you has enough to deal with already and you are doing great. We will dig deeper into worry in a future post on how to be worry free. So pop back to Lifevolution for that post.

Mindfulness is a long journey to a greater understanding of self and appreciation of the world around you. Mindfulness lends you THE precious gift to see the most beautiful things amidst challenging circumstances.  Don’t let those beautiful moments pass you by guys and gals. You have worked so hard to get here and I am proud of you so whatever you are up to this week, take a few moments to stop and enjoy where you are!! You are amazing!

Remember to live purposefully and be the best version of yourself!

Manuela xoxo

The Code to Unlock Your Passion and Purpose

Hello Guys and Gals! Great to see you again! 🙂

“When we do what we love, that is a passion. When what we do serves others, that is purpose” – Jay Shetty

Ask yourself these questions… really dig deep and be honest with yourself.

What are my values? What is/are my passion(s)? What is my purpose?

Some of you will instantly and confidently have answers to the above however, a few of you will struggle with this. That’s ok. I too have struggled with these questions.

Have no fear… I am here to help you get closer to your truth! This post is designed to challenge some of your thoughts and present a few things from a different perspective… one perhaps that you have not yet considered.

Firstly, I would like to address the idea that we need to “find” our purpose. I have spent many years searching for my purpose and getting extremely frustrated that I have not “found” it. It felt like the more I focused on “finding”, the further away I was from it. In my first post (The Girl Behind the Blog), I shouted out from the rooftops to you guys and gals that I had “finally found my purpose” and I’m very proud of that but, I’m rephrasing that slightly in this post to say that I am finally in synch with my purpose. Even I still use the words “find/found” but think of it this way… perhaps we should not be trying to find something that we already have. You can’t find something that is not lost. The more finding we try to do, the further away from synchrony with ourselves we are. Bear with me…

I know you’re probably thinking “If I already have my purpose then why don’t I know what it is? If it is right there why can’t I see it”? Here is the mind blowing thing! Something you have heard time and time again but never connected to purpose and passion.

….A deeper understanding of self is key.

A deeper understanding of self will reveal your passion and purpose. Knowing yourself goes deeper than knowing your eye colour, height, weight, blood pressure, IQ etc. It is about knowing what your heart truly desires and what your values are.

Tip 1 – Take some time out everyday to really focus on yourself. Filling your time with lots of activities or work can take away from the time you need to get to know yourself on a deeper level. Even if the activities are things you really enjoy, it is still important to take time out for quiet reflection.

One way to dig deeper is to look at your everyday actions… the people you spend time with, your role models, your hobbies, books, podcasts, TV shows. These things will enable you to identify what is important to you and through that, your passions will start to become clear. Tread carefully though when it comes to things you tell yourself that you should be doing (e.g. I should have done this by now, I should be a doctor, I should be volunteering) because this is where your rational mind pops in and tries to tell you what it perceives to be the “right” thing to do based on an array of factors. Sometimes these perceptions are not our own but rather things we have picked up from what we may consider to be societal norms. Whilst these are admirable pursuits, if your heart is not in it then there is no passion, no true satisfaction. You’re not calibrated to your purpose and thus likely to feel more disconnected from it.

Tip 2 – Take time out when making decisions about passions and purpose to ask yourself what it means to you. It sounds almost too simple but if you get that positive physical and psychological reaction then you know that this is something that makes you happy. Something that you are passionate about and aligns with your values. (Definition of passion – “a strong and barely controllable emotion” – Oxford Dictionary)

Another idea I would love you guys and gals to challenge is that we have only one purpose. Once you’ve found it, it’s all gravy.  

We are always developing as people, challenging ourselves and reaching new heights so it makes sense that your purpose today CAN DEVELOP TOO. Your goals 10 years ago are probably not the same today. Your purpose today will not necessarily be the same tomorrow but it is already there. It is at a different stage because you are at a different stage in your life. It is ok for your purpose to change.

Lastly, calibrating with your purpose may take you out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, the things we are passionate about require us to take huge leaps. Our passions may require us to decide perhaps to move to a different city, get a new job, form new relationships with people or even end past relationships. It is easy to stick with what we know because it is safe however, that keeps us from being the best versions of ourselves and living purposefully. You have got to take those risks because if you feel passionate about it and it makes you happy, then it will be the best decision you will ever make. It won’t always be easy but until you try, you will never know.

My keys takeaways are:

  1. Get to know yourself and be self-aware (pay attention to what you’re doing, what you’d like to do rather than what you think you should be doing) to synch with your passions and purpose.
  2. Don’t worry about living your future purpose today. Focus on today’s purpose.
  3. Don’t be afraid to jump out of the safe zone from time to time.

Remember to live purposefully and be the best version of yourself

Manuela xoxo

Monday to Fri-YAY With a Spring in Your Step!

Welcome back 🙂 It is always great to see you!

Join me this week for the launch of Monday to Fri-Yay with a spring in your step. This starts a series of weekly tips to help you make the most of your week.

Guys and Gals, I don’t know about you but the mid-week slump sucks. Do you want to stop wishing the days away, crawling through Wednesday and silently bitter that it’s not Friday already? Keep reading for some really awesome tips.

….. Morning Routines 🙂

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I am neither a morning nor evening person. I’m sort of in between but I’ll give you a few tips to start your day right.

Tip 1 – Stick to your morning routine – its hard at first but you’ll love it after 30 days of sticking to it, I promise.

Tip 2 – Reduce decision making tasks in the morning by preparing the night before. Decide on what you are going to wear, eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Decision making in the morning uses brainpower and will slow you down for the day. I’m personally transforming my life to live minimally so I have 7 white and black t-shirts and jeans I wear to reduce the time I take choosing the perfect outfit. The bonus is I wear a uniform to work so no worries there. I also decide on breakfasts, lunches and dinners on Sunday every week so I do not have to stress about food. It also keeps me eating healthy and minimises waste.

Tip 3Get up with enough time so that you have plenty of time to relax before you head out to work/school. This does not mean getting up at 3am… unless that works for you. We’ve all heard about successful people getting up at crazy o’clock but that does not work for everybody. Get up at a time that’s right for you as long as you have plenty of time to relax before you start your hectic day. The morning is not for all the things you forgot to do last night. Rushing to do a billion tasks will leave you stressed and tired before you have even had the chance to start the day. It’s OK to chill in the morning.

Tip 4 – Make your bed. You’ve already achieved one thing for the day. This is a fabulous catalyst to getting the rest of your tasks done for the rest of the day. Bonus… your room is ready for you to relax in when you get home. Messy room = stress. A big no no!

Tip 5 – Drink a glass of water. You need to rehydrate. Your body has been without water for several hours. Drinking water will also get your metabolism going.

Tip 6 – Do a short exercise session – 15-30 minutes will do perfectly. It does not have to be strenuous… just a few exercises to get your body moving and ready for the day.  

Tip 7 – Meditation helps you relax and focus your mind on the day ahead. Get rid of any worries or stress you have and start your day right.

Tip 8 – Read a book/ listen to a podcast – do anything that feeds your mind and challenges/grows your mindset. 10 minutes a day is fine. I usually listen to a podcast in the car on my way to work. Please check out a link to my favourite podcasts in the resources tab.  

Tip 8 – Have a nutritious breakfast – a bowl of coco pops is not enough guys. You’ll be hungry in an hour and be tempted to snack on sugary snacks to boost your energy till lunch. Only… eating too much sugar will leave you feeling drained for the rest of the day.

A typical breakfast for me consists of:

Option 1: Granola, flax and chia seeds, strawberries, blueberries and dairy free coconut yoghurt

Option 2: Dairy free scrambled eggs, bacon and avocado/baked beans

Option 3: Toast with lactose free butter and honey

Option 4: Porridge oats with golden/maple syrup

Option 5: Sausage and egg McMuffins with avocado minus the English muffins.

Tip 9 – Set out your goals for the day before you head off– what do you want your day to look like? Visualising what your day looks like by writing in a journal will leave you feeling organised and ready to face the day. You’ll also feel a sense of achievement at the end of a busy day. There is no better feeling than getting things done.

Tip 10 – Remind yourself that you are in control of your day. Challenges may arise but you can control how you respond to these situations.

Tip 11 – Most importantly remember to be kind to yourself.

Remember to live purposefully and be the best version of yourself.

Manuela xoxo

Life Does Not Have to Be PERFECT to Be Bea-YOU-tiful!

Welcome back! I’m super excited to have you here!

“Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it” – Confuscius

What is perfect? What is normal? Who defines perfect and normal?

I know life can be a little tricky! Some days may feel like The Best Day Ever and the next you are swamped with work, school assignments, loads of laundry, difficulties in your relationships, loss or just generally not feeling great about yourself. Every time something doesn’t go to plan you wish on your lucky stars that things could change so that your life could be perfect. No dramas, just perfect. But what if I were to tell your life is beautiful and has always been that way. You just stopped believing that somewhere along the way.

I believe perfectionism and the idea of normal are not innate. We are not born thinking we are imperfect or out of the ordinary. Perfectionist tendencies can stem from observation of adults exhibiting perfectionism, from demands placed on children by people around them and even possibly from conditional love. I think babies are the purest form of human being and it is the experiences they face growing up which form their core beliefs. The challenging this is that as children grow, the demands to be perfect can get stronger and continue into adult life leading to feelings of inadequacy, lack of confidence, low self esteem and a general lack of love for self.  

The main core belief we cling to is that life has to be perfect for us to be happy… for things to be beautiful all round. We say things like:

  1. If I was smarter, prettier, stronger, thinner then I would be perfect.
  2. If I had more money, things would be perfect and life would be great.
  3. If I eat better, exercise more then I will be perfect and I’ll love the new me.

Or… we start to question whether we are normal:

  • I always drink tequila at parties. Nobody else does. Is that normal?
  • I cover my fries in ketchup, Tom likes to dip his. Does this mean what I’m doing is not normal. Is it ok?

Guys and gals I am so happy to tell you…perfection does not exist! We’ve all been chasing the perfect life for years and never found it because it was never out there for us to find.

Your life right now may feel imperfect and that is because that is exactly where you are supposed to be right now. You’re not ordinary. You are extraordinary and that is absolutely fine!

There are so many beautiful things in your life right now. In fact, let us do a little challenge with a great reward. I will do it with you.

My Beautiful Life 30 day Challenge

I Manuela, challenge You to record a video every day about things that are beautiful in your life right now. You can start with as many as you like. Do this for 30 days. On the last day, watch all the videos you’ve recorded and I promise you, you’ll be amazed at how much beauty and joy there is in your life…. even with all the challenges you are facing. If you’re not a fan of the camera/tech then writing it down works too 🙂

We live in the past, ignore the present (so we don’t notice the small victories) and we worry about the future. Sadly, we do not have the super power to see the future so it is draining worrying about things you have little control over right now. Whilst we worry about the future, wishing the time away till things are perfect, the good times keep coming but we just don’t notice them as much as the challenging times.

I am here to tell you all today that “Life does not have to be perfect to be bea-YOU-tiful”. You have plenty of really awesome things happening for you right now. Just take a minute to take it all in an enjoy every moment.

The grass always seems greener on the other side, but it is not. Your grass is YOUR shade of green and that is beautiful.

Remember to live purposefully and be the best version of you!

Manuela xoxo

The Girl Behind the Blog

IT’S GREAT TO SEE YOU HERE!

My name is Manuela and I’m the gal behind Lifevolution. I’m a qualified physiotherapist, have a degree in neuroscience and psychology and a certification in nutrition.

Yes, it is extremely ambitious, but I want to change the way people live their lives, one person at a time. I want you to live your life happier and with purpose.

For several years, I have struggled with my health and have been desperately seeking for my true purpose in life. I have had many sleepless nights and of course the incessant daydreaming about running away to the Caribbean where I would spend my days eating bbqs on the beach, dancing till the sun goes down and drinking rum. I know… maybe not the most sensible idea i have ever had. There a days where I have felt bored, unfulfilled and lacking direction. Don’t get me wrong I am grateful for everything I have. I have a great husband, family, home and a job that enables me to make a positive change to people’s lives but, something was missing.

On my quest to improve my life and specifically my health, I did what a lot of people do and took several prescriptions from my doctor hoping that a “magic pill” would get me ticking perfectly… just as I had successfully done in the past. Guess what… it didn’t work this time.

Disclaimer – This post is in no way suggesting that you should stop taking medication prescribed by your doctor. Please keep taking medications as recommended by your doctor until they advise otherwise.

I started looking into alternative ways that I could get my health back on track. I did a lot of research on how to achieve optimal health and this is when I came across the idea of being holistic with self-care. Look after your physical body as well as your mind because one affects the other. In my case I was taking medication to help my physical symptoms but they were not getting better because I was not looking after my mind as well. I was stressed and my physical body was beginning to suffer. I felt tired all the time despite a good sleep routine and because of that, I ate a lot of rubbish to get that buzz I was so desperately seeking. I started to have a lot of abdominal problems which affected my mood and made me feel worse physically. The cycle went on and on.

I thought enough is enough. Something must change. I started to implement my plan to holistically take care of the whole of ME. I won’t go into too much detail about the changes I have made in this post because there are several posts to come with detailed tips for you.

I am sooo excited to tell you that I have finally found my purpose!!! I know right … finally!! – My purpose is to support and encourage you on your journey to be the best version of yourself physically and mentally. You are going to read and hear the phrase “be the best version of yourself” a lot on Lifevolution because that’s OUR goal. I will be honest and say it’s tough and requires a lot of dedication but it is totally worth it.  I am honoured to share everything I have learnt so far with you so you can be healthier and happy. There is so much I am still learning but I am looking forward to it and really excited to learn from you too.My only request is that you share what you have learnt from this blog with your family, friends and even strangers you meet on the bus on your way to work. Share this with everybody. Let this be the catalyst that’ll help every person live a happier life.

PS: Don’t forget to have a look at the other pages on the site. Lots of exciting content to come 🙂

Remember to live purposefully and be the best version of you.

Manuela xoxo