My Year in Review: Part 1

2013

At the start of this year myself and some friends decided we’d embrace 2013 as the ‘Year of Doing’ and we set out to accomplish things we’ve always wanted. Some friends moved job, some moved house, some moved country, some got married and some went back to college.

I had spend the 2nd half of 2012 reading and researching wellness concepts, things like juicing, veganism, yoga, crystals and organic beauty and decided there was a hell of a lot of things I wanted to accomplish in 2013. So I decided to put together the following timetable so I’d be able to fit everything in (organisational freak alert!):

Month

Give Up

Take Up

January

Alcohol

Yoga

February

Running

March

Meat and Fish

Reading books

April

Sugar

Meditation

May

Toxic Beauty Products

Getting up early

June

Social media

Meditation: Take 2

July

TV

Journaling

August

Caffeine

Juicing

September

Listening to the ‘Negative DJ’

Hot Yoga

October

Dairy

Embracing my ‘woo woo’ side: Chakra’s, crystals etc.

November

Toxic house cleaner

Clean Water

December

So here’s a very quick run through of how the first few months went:

January

Give Up: Alcohol

General Verdict: When I think back on it this was a very big deal to me at the time. I was unbelievably self conscious about doing this and telling people I was ‘off the booze’, but on reflection no one really cared except me! This was the first time I have denied myself anything for an extended period of time and I have to say, as strange as it sounds, it was actually kind of liberating. I felt so proud of myself for actually sticking to something and I also really enjoyed the non-hungover weekends and additional cha-ching in my purse.

The funny thing is that since this month I have completely reevaluated alcohol altogether and feel 100% times better for it too.

Success: 5/5

yoga3

Take Up: Yoga

General Verdict: I’ve always enjoyed yoga. Whenever I leave a class I feel renewed and refreshed in both body and mind. The only thing is that classes around here are bloody expensive, therefore I’ve never really been able to truly embrace my yogi side (‘hummmmmm…’). That was until I came across Yogaglo online (more about that here). Now I practice yoga in my living room  2/3 times a week and LOVE it. I love how I’m now able to do poses with my body I used to gawf at in amazement.

Success: 5/5

February

running

Take Up: Running

General Verdict: As per this blog post, I used to love running but nothing I could do this month, nothing, turned the hobby back on for me. I tried fun runs, running with friends, running alone, running with music, without music, on treadmills, along the sea but I just didn’t enjoy the activity. I found it boring and even tortuous at times (dramatic much?!). I decided to take this one on the chin and accept that sometimes our passions change and nothing we can do can reignite that flame. Therefore, once this month was finished, my running activity hobbled along for a few weeks before whimpering out of sight, never to be seen again for the rest of the year.

Success: 1/5 (the 1 point is for the 5 KM I ran a handful of Saturday mornings in Marley Park)

March

Give up: Meat and Fish

General Verdict: Like my January  attempt, this was another ‘challenge’ I had built up to be bigger in my head then it actually turned out to be. The problems is I come from a home where a meal isn’t considered to be a ‘proper’ meal unless there’s a piece of meat somewhere on the plate. The other thing is that before this month I didn’t know a whole lot about cooking with lentils or beans and therefore over the course of this month I existed solely on vegetables and salads (and one horrendous attempt to eat home cooked Tofu)… a happy, healthy girl I was not. More on that here.

A funny thing has happened since this month though, I’ve actually gone off the taste of chicken and red meat. I don’t like labels but now I consider myself to be 90% vegetarian. And very happy and healthy while at it! Saying that, if my body wants red meat I’ll adhere to it (and that’s why I gobbled up a rather yummy steak last month!), for me it’s all about doing what my body wants, not dictating to it.

Success: 5/5

Reading

Take Up: Reading

General Verdict: I’ve always enjoyed reading but this was a habit that was pushed aside once I was introduced to the bloody Apple App Store. I loved this month and it’s reignited my love of reading ever since. I’ve had the pleasure of reading some really great books over the course of the year (‘The Husbands Secret’ and ‘Gone Girl’ spring to mind). Myself and my friends have even started a Book Club which encourages us to keep up the reading. Nice work people!

Success: 4/5 (minus 1 for reverting to the iPad when in between books)

sugarlips

April

Give up: Sugar

General Verdict: What an interesting month this was (more on this month here). I’m no nutritionist so I won’t preach too much, but by GOD when I started educating myself on the effects sugar has on our systems and the levels of sugar in our everyday foods (22% RDA in a glass of orange juice?!!) I was gob smacked and a lot of what I’ve learnt this month I hope to never forget.

Today I still eat the occasional food with refined sugar but I’m now tonnes more aware of what I’m eating and am chuffed to say I haven’t had an evil soft drink since April.

Success: 4/5

meditation

Take Up: Meditation

General Verdict: Gulp. This one ain’t such a rosy story. I really, really struggled with this one. Firstly, I did everything in my power NOT to meditate, meditation- procrastination was the theme of the month. Then, if I did manage to force myself to sit with my eyes closed and a timer set for 10/15 minutes, I found it to be almost physically painful. More on that here.

Success: 1/5 (the ‘one’ is for the amount of YouTube clips and books I read about ‘how to mediate’… I just haven’t actually done it yet!)

My Wellness Cloud Bookshelf- Part 1

Books

I thought I would give you a lil lookie at the books I feel are guiding me on this here Wellness Journey on the off chance you will be inspired to pick one of them up.

Eat Pray Love: This is a funny one, I remember reading it a few years ago and only really enjoying or actually bothering to read the first section, where the author is prancing around Italy eating and drinking all she can get her hands on. I then kind of skipped over the section when she was in India on the 5 month long Ashram visit, feeling that I didn’t quite understand what she was discussing and then pretty much totally left out the last section on her trip to Bali, Indonesia and her search for God.

Then last month, after my month long struggle with meditation this book kind of fell off my bookshelf and I thought I’d give it another shot.

The universe works in really funny ways because this time around I kind of skipped through the first section as I wasn’t overly interested in all the food descriptions from Italy and found her tales of the Ashram, meditation, Gurus, shaktipat and the elusive tiny blue dot of energy to be absolutely fascinating. So much so that it reignited a new found passion and understanding of meditation in me and now I practice it twice a day (for only 10 minutes at a time but it’s still better than nothing!). I also love the way Elizabeth Gilbert writes, I found myself rereading whole paragraphs as her descriptions and imagery is so beautiful and profound.

The Power Of Now: Ehhhhh I have no idea why this book is even in the photo. I tried to read this a few times but each time I try to I can’t seem to get past chapter 2. It’s by the hugely famous Eckhart Tolle and he guides the reader through a journey to celebrate and live in the now instead of always reliving the past or planning the future (but you probably got that from the title!). I just found it to be a bit too ‘out there’ for me at the moment but I know I will get there some day.

Spirit Junkie: This is another one I bought months ago and again didn’t really connect with it initially. Then about 2 months ago I was sick from work and suddenly I was hit with the urge to read it. I ended up gobbling the majority of it up in one day!

This book introduces us to the ‘ego’ (or as I call it our ‘negative DJ’s’) that asshole who sits in our head and spends their time telling us how silly/ ugly/ useless/ unimportant/ unloved/ unpopular/ fat/ spotty/ stupid we are or reminds us of past failures and shows us scary images of us in the future.

This book helps the reader shine a light on this ‘Negative DJ’ and gives you the tools to deal with them in a positive and constructive way.

I really enjoyed Gabrielle’s book and now feel I have the knowledge and power to recognise when my ‘Negative DJ’ is talking and how to quieten her down.

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In summary I think when it comes to these types of books there’s no point in pushing yourself into reading them, if you are supposed to read them it will be an easy and enjoyable experience, if not, it won’t. Simples. Without wanting to sound too ‘new agey’ I’d recommend having a look around the spiritual/ self help sections of your book shop and library and seeing if anything in particular ‘talks’ to you as that’s the book for you in this moment in time.

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