Category Archives: Self-development

The Inner Hippie Club – Chapter 1 – Early Childhood

This is the raw, uncut and unedited version of Chapter 1 of The Inner Hippie Club, which will be published in the very near future. You can read the full chapter if you join the Inner Hippie Club as a founding member by CLICKING HERE. Right now it’s still free for one month before the doors officially open on Monday, 27July.

Read more about the Inner Hippie Club at www.innerhippieclub.com.

The Inner Hippie Club – Chapter 1 – Early childhood

There’s nothing really special about my earliest childhood. It was a happy and carefree one, growing up with my grandparents looking after me whilst my parents were at work. Growing up in a small German city in the early 1970s in an environment that was still heavily marked by the memories of war but also a sense of upbeat rebuilding, all at the same time. People were just starting to really get on their feet again and there was a general feel of optimism and security in the air.

My earliest memories of my grandparents’ flat where I spent so much of my time are of an old, quaint, charming place. My grandparents being financially comfortable but not rich by any means, it was filled with old furniture and artefacts dating right back to the early 1950s. The house was a simple workers’ house in the harbour area of the city. It was located on the main road with trams driving past, traffic, the noise of the harbour and the almost constant smell of the big silos opposite that seemed to pervade every single breath you took. Yet when you entered the flat, it was like stepping into another world. The place was a multi-family house and my grandparents had the flat on the ground floor. On the rights side of the corridor was the front door that led into the flat itself. On the left side of the corridor was the entrance into the communal washing area, a true blast from the past with its zinc washing tubs and manual mangle right next to some modern washing machines. The whole house smelled of old wax and cleaning agents mixed with the heavy smell of cabbage and roast dinners from all the different households. These were the days when people still used to cook a full breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.

The flat itself was like a step back in time. Linoleum floors, a black Bakelite telephone hanging on the wall in the hallway, the bedrooms and the living room stuffed full with amazing 1950s and 1960s furniture, the crockery the pots and pans, everything in the house was from the 50s and 60s. It’s not surprising really I have always had such soft spot for this era. The wallpapers were those beautiful 1950s patterns. There was no central heating just the big wood burner in the living room. The kitchen was the heart piece of the whole place where life was lived. I can still see my grandmother with her apron standing in front of the huge coal range that she used to cook on. It’s the type of range that you would kill for nowadays. It took up the best part of one wall in the kitchen and it was always stoked and warm, giving its heat to the rest of the flat. There nearly always was the smell of something delicious cooking whenever you entered place. There was this massive dining table and benches and chairs where everybody used to sit around as a family, eating dinner, playing games, doing work. I still see grandad now sitting at the table drinking his milky coffee from the saucer instead of the cup, sitting there in this grey flannel pants and braces. The archetypical grandad you would see in a picture book. And there was grandma still doing the household chores…………………..

To read the full Chapter, join the Inner Hippie Club as a founding member by CLICKING HERE

Read more about the Inner Hippie Club at www.innerhippieclub.com.

Have you got an inner Hippie that’s screaming to be let out?

Have you ever woken up feeling totally empty? Dreading even getting out of bed because there’s just nothing to look forward to in the day? The prospect of another day drearily dredging your way through a job you stopped enjoying years ago but you kept anyway because the bills need paying?

Then you’re not alone! I know exactly how you felt, or feel! I was there one, in that same dismal place. On the outside, I was totally successful in my business and life in general, on the inside there was nothing left of me because I had given it all to just keeping going, to pay for everything and have food on the table.

Yet despite having achieved financial freedom and security, I had forgotten how to enjoy myself in between. It was all work, no play. And if there was any occasional play, I was way too tired from working so hard to enjoy any of it.

 It all ended in burn-out. And at my lowest, I decided that things couldn’t go on like the way they were. And that’s when I decided to do something about it. I started reading self-help books, researched online and even went to a Buddhist monastery to learn mindfulness.

I successfully pulled myself out of the doldrums and whilst doing so developed a method for reclaiming your joy and your Inner Hippie. It’s based on five pillars ─ time for fun, time for rest, time for gratitude, time for nature and time for reflection. Practice all of these regularly and the improvement is almost instant and impressive.

And the best part is that it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. Just 10 minutes each day is enough. Although you’ll probably soon find yourself much longer at it because you’re enjoying yourself too much doing it!

I found that integrating meditation, mindfulness, joyful activities ─ such as arts, craft, reading, poetry, singing and dancing (and whatever else gives you joy) ─ a regular gratitude practice, moments of reflection and connecting with nature is a powerful mix that elevates your mood instantly. Enough to then deal even with the unpleasant aspects of life and depressing jobs without this negativity taking over your life.

Now, I’ve been asked a lot: “What exactly is an Inner Hippie?” Let me tell you: Your Inner Hippie is that part deep inside of you that was a carefree teenager ready for their first Rock concert or disco, that young person who went on their first holiday with friends and laughed out loud for two weeks until their belly ached, that young adult who was ready to take on the world with excitement and enthusiasm.

And the best part is that this Inner Hippie is still there! And it’s wanting to be let out again! Yes, it’s never too late to feel young at heart again and enjoy that carefree feeling! Even if we’re stuck in an adult rut. If we release our Inner Hippie, that rut will suddenly become bearable and disappear entirely in the end. Because we’ve suddenly discovered what makes us truly happy and we go after our real goals and purpose in life, which is so much more fulfilling than just running with the crowd!

Today, I am launching the beta testing phase of my Inner Hippie Club ─ something I’ve been wanting for so long but it’s taken me a while to get to this point. I’m extremely proud of what I’ve achieved and am looking forward so much to this next period in my life ─ one step further toward living my life fully aligned with my true purpose in life ─ to help others find their happiness again in a tough world!

If these words have inspired you in any way, I invite you to join me as a beta tester in the Inner Hippie Club. It’s entirely free of charge and all I ask in return is your valuable feedback and testimonials so that I can create the best possible experience for everyone.

To join, simply follow this link to the signup form and leave your email:

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h7i6p4

You can read more about the Inner Hippie Club at https://www.innerhippieclub.com

And if you fancy staying in touch without joining the Inner Hippie Club, you can come to my free Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/innerhippierookies to hang out and chill.

Whatever you choose, have a lovely day and don’t forget to let your Inner Hippie play a little today!

Brightest blessings,

Silke xx

Will you be my beta tester for the Inner Hippie Club?

I am so excited to announce that the beta test phase for my brand new Inner Hippie Club is starting on Monday, 29 July 2020. For one month, you can be amongst the first ever Inner Hippies to test and help me create this brand new and exciting community, which will be opening its doors for the very first time on 27 July 2020.

I am looking for women who are willing to go all in and help me create a great community for all with their input, feedback and ideas. Find out what the Inner Hippie club is all about at https://silkeharvey.com

So if you want to be a pioneering Inner Hippie, please fill out the beta tester application form at https://forms.gle/RjGKfspEGWBWsDCB9

Or private message me if you have any questions at all or want me to send you the application form link directly.

Thanks so much for your help, I’m so looking forward to makeing this a really great experience!

Bright blessings,

Silke xx

The reasons behind “The Inner Hippie Club”

Today I want to share with you a little bit about why I decided to write my book. And about all the fears that have been holding me back up to now.

All of my life, I’ve been wanting to write a book. Why have I been waiting until now? You may ask. The answer is actually quite simple. Fear. Fear of failure and fear of not being good enough.

Years ago I always used to think that my fear of failure and my fear of not being good enough is something very unique to me. When I used to look around, I saw other people doing exceedingly well, showing up and having a lot of success in their careers, yet there was me lagging behind. And even though I was successful in many ways in my life, I did not have the wealth and financial profit to show for it, like some of my peers.

For many, many years, I made the big mistake of confusing success with money. I was convinced that in order to be successful, you had to earn a lot of money, and that ultimately wealth was something that you measured your success by.

It took me a very long time to realise how far from the truth this is. When I started working through all my fears and problems, after I had my burnout several years ago, I started to realise that I was not alone. I noticed that even some of my friends and acquaintances who appear to be doing so well were feeling exactly like me underneath. They had fears and doubts about their own abilities and about their own success.

Now, that started to make me think. How come there are so many successful people, who on the face of it have everything that you could desire and have achieved great things, and yet they are feeling exactly like me? Not good enough? There must be something in it. There must be a reason.

I started to explore further and further, and the more I got into the topic, and the deeper I got into my spirituality, I realised another important fact – that success cannot be measured measured by money alone. There is so much more to success.

Success is when you manage to overcome a fear. When you stand up in front of a crowd and talk, even though deep down you are dying with fright. When you choose to ignore your stage fright, and you go out there and show yourself. That is being successful. Successful is simply getting up in the morning when you are feeling terrible. Successful is when you have managed to raise a family, and have a great career, and you are managing all these many chores and you are still surviving. There are so many different types of success in this world!

I decided at that point to work on my fear. I started practising gratitude. I started counting all my little blessings. And my large blessings. I sat down and really thought about every single thing I have achieved in my life, and everything I have gotten now and decided to feel deep gratitude for all of it. And the more I wrote down, the more I thought about it, the longer the list got of things I was feeling grateful for.

That was one of the main turning points in my life – when I realised how many blessings I have in my life. With so many blessings, how can I not be successful? My life has been a complete success up to now and the money has nothing to do with it. That I know now.

I also realised that once I started feeling grateful for all my life and all the things in it, I started getting much happier. My happiness levels increased almost instantly. And every day my burden became a little lighter. Even my job, which I didn’t like very much at the time, started feeling not quite so daunting each morning when I got up.

By focusing increasingly on all the positive things in my life, the few negative things started to lose their hold over me. They no longer had as much power. They no longer had the power to make me feel miserable when things went wrong or things didn’t go just as I had planned.

It is a beautiful thing to recover your joy in life. Coming from a place that was not very good, that was quite dark, I managed to find the light again. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.

And I am also eternally grateful that I found my inner hippie again. You may ask what your inner hippie is exactly. Your in a hippie is the wild teenager. The young adult who used to go out and enjoy themselves. The young person who wanted nothing but having fun in life, who had no cares in the world, and no concerns because the responsibilities of the world were not yet on them. The teenager who ran free in the fields. The 18 year old who went to their first rock concert. The young person who went on holiday with their friends and laughed and laughed and laughed for almost two weeks without ever once thinking about problems.

THAT is your inner hippie!

And once you strip away the heaviness of our modern world, the heaviness of our responsibilities, and start releasing this inner hippie back into the world, once you start reconnecting with your wild side and the things that you enjoy in life, that’s when the magic starts.

My book, The Inner Hippie Club is about this very process. I am going to take you on on my personal journey. I’m going to invite each and every one of you, dear readers, to be part of my journey.

Because if I have managed to turn my life around, you can do this, too!

When I managed to find my inner joy again, and to release my inner hippie, I was nobody special. I was not a guru. I was not a super spiritual being. I was simply a woman in her mid 40s, who had had enough of feeling small, unappreciated and unhappy and who wanted to feel like a teenager again.

And this is what I want for you as well, dear reader! I want you to come on this journey with me. I want you to find your inner joy again. And I want you to reclaim your inner hippy because you are a beautiful being and you deserve to have happiness in life! You deserve to have fun and joy and laughter! And you deserve to live life on your own terms!

Let me assure you, if you have made it this far in life, and you have raised a family, you have created a home, you have built up a career for yourself – you are amazing! You have done so well!

And I want for you to have the happiness you deserve to go with that. So you can enjoy and appreciate all the success that you have already had in your life. I want you to feel like the successful person you really are, the beautiful person you really are. I want you to see yourself through the eyes of your families and your friends who all love you, to see how special you are.

So, I am inviting you to follow me on my writing journey. Each week, I will be releasing new pieces of writing from my book. And once the book is complete, you will be the first person to find out about it.

It will be so exciting! Because I know that I have so much to give to you. And I want to give all this knowledge to you, as a gift from my heart. I want you to learn what I have learned. And together, we will form the Inner Hippie Club, a circle of women who are wild at heart and free in spirit.

If you’re inner hippie is crying to be let out, come and join me on this exciting journey! I’ll promise you it will be an exhilerating ride!

Read my blog and stay in touch:
Blog: https://silkeharvey.com/blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/silkeharveypage
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/silke.harvey
Email: silke@silkeharvey.com

Glimpse behind the scenes of writing “The Inner Hippie Club”

I recently decided to write my first book. This has been a dream of mine for many years. But until now. I have always been too scared to get started.

There have been a lot of things going on in my life. A lot of changes are taking place right now. Like for so many other people, my working environment has changed entirely, probably for the foreseeable future. So I have had to reinvent myself to keep going.

During this process of reinvention, soul searching, meditating, talking with the Universe and Spirit, I finally picked up the courage to start on my book.

This book will be called “The Inner Hippie Club”. It ties in directly with a new and exciting project I am cooking up right now. The Inner Hippie Club will be launched within the next few weeks. And I will let you know a lot about it.

I decided that finally it is time to put down in words all my thoughts and feelings. The book will be about my life journey, my ups and my downs, my successes and my losses.

I want to share my story with the world. Because I am convinced that a lot of women in my position can benefit greatly from the insights I have gained over the years.

I have gained a lot of knowledge and wisdom about life and how to still have fun and enjoy yourself and be your inner hippie. Even when times are tough, there is always room for laughter in our lives.

The first thing I needed to think about was how to write my book. One thing I knew for certain was that I did not want to sit for hours in front of the computer typing. That just reminds me too much of my job as a translator.

Sitting in front of a computer simply puts me in the wrong frame of mind. It gives me a feeling of being at work, in the office. I knew I wanted this book writing experience to be something enjoyable, something special.

So I decided to talk my book instead. There is some great transcription software out there these days, and I decided to install an app on my phone. So here I am right now, talking to you.

Talking my story also feels just so much more personal and vulnerable. I know that when I talk, the words come straight from the heart.

When I started to write my book, I really didn’t expect it to be so easy. Most of my life I was scared that the words would not come. That I would be awkward and shy when putting down my thoughts. And that’s my writing style would be awkward.

But once I started on this new project, the words simply started to flow. I can sit here in my loft cave, my little private sacred space that I created for myself, and talk for hours. And the words just come. I don’t even have to think much about it.

In a way, writing my book is turning into therapy for myself. As I am speaking the words out loud, heavy weights are being lifted of my soul. I am reliving the stories. I’m going through all the motions. But by confronting them and talking about them, they are losing their hold over me.

Writing my book is turning into the most freeing experience of my life, and I look forward to sharing my story with you and walking the path with you in the Inner Hippie Club.

Blessed be xx

Commitment to be a writer

The reason for writing this blog today is a very personal one. I’m making a commitment to myself to be a writer. No ifs and buts, no excuses, just a “sit down and get on with it” kind of commitment.

It’s always been my dream to write a book. I’ve been fascinated by books since early childhood and I’ve devoured thousands over my lifetime. And I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of actually writing a book myself.

So what has stopped me until now, you migth ask? The answer is really quite simple ─ fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of being unsuccessful, and a thousand other little fears in between. Writing a book has always seemed such an enourmous undertaking that I felt too intimidated to begin.

But this has changed. Thanks  to years of self-healing work I finallly burst the fear bubble. So what if I’m not a Shakespeake? So what if my style is not as eloquent as Hemmingway? I don’t have to be a literary genius to put my thoughts to paper! I just have to be unapologetically me! The rest will follow!

Years of working as a translator, and therefore writing for other people, has certainly given me a solid grounding in the art of writing. So the practical basis is most definitely  in place. And my recent increase in social media activities and blogging have flexed my creative writing muscles for the first time.

So when I saw a course on how to write a little while ago I decided that this is it! Let’s get some inspiration and get going! I have no idea yet what exactly I’m going to write. But it’ll something very personal that will also inspire others. Something so personal that it will feel intimidating to write and at the same time totally freeing. Something that will help those who read it feel the same level of freedom! The thought is exhilerating!

It’s time to get going. I will keep you all updated about my progress. I have a feeling it will be a swift one. Once I decide to do something, I’m an action-taker. I get things done. That’s my nature. So come along for the ride with me. It will be fun and scary at the same time but totally awesome!

Ostara Blessings

Ostara Blessings

Yesterday, I celebrated Ostara with my coven. Usually, we would meet in a beautiful spot under the open sky and honour the Goddess and God in joint celebration.

This year, of course, this has been impossible. As all of life on Earth has been confined to quarters, we met up online instead. Not really the same, but the best we could do under these exceptional circumstances.

As part of this online celebration, I wrote the following words. I now want to share them with you because I feel that they may give you some comfort in these trying times:

“On a very personal level, for me, Ostara is the rite of new beginnings. After the long slumber of winter, Mother Earth and humankind are emerging from their hiding places.

It is time to go out there, feel the fresh wind on your face, watch nature blossom and feel the hope of a new dawn.

Now is the time to put plans, hatched during the long, dark hours of winter, into action. Now is the time to seed, plant, sow and nurture. This is the time for planting.

But it is not just time to get the proverbial plants into the ground in your garden or window box, now is the time to sow the seeds of your plans for the year ahead.

Start that project you have been thinking about all winter, or finish the one you left off on at the end of last year.

Hibernation time is finally over and it is time to “spring” (pun intended) into action.

This year, Ostara has a particularly special meaning for me. With the terrible global events going on right now and with most of humanity being cooped up in their homes, their hiding places, it feels hard to see how we can jump into action.

Right now, it rather more feels like our long winter sleep has just been forcefully extended by another few months.

But the exact opposite is true. By temporarily removing humankind from the bigger picture, Mother Earth is finally getting the breather that She needs to emerge into full bloom herself.

With factories around the world shut, hardly any traffic, virtually no planes and generally no-one around to pollute this planet, the Earth is starting to heal. And She is healing fast.

The ozone hole is already showing signs of improvement. The air is fresh and clean over some of the most polluted cities on Earth. Rivers are starting to run clear for the first time in decades.

So this is a real time of spring, emergence and new beginning for our beloved Gaia, or Mother Earth.

This alone makes this period of enforced rest much more bearable. Nature shows us that there is always hope, no matter how tough the situation. That there is always light as well as dark. Good and bad. Yin and Yang. It is the fundamental rule of the Universe and life itself.

For me, this spring, this Ostara, is a sign of hope for all humanity. Hope, that these drastic times will be a wake-up call for all humans on Earth. Hope that once this is all over, we will collectively turn around and say that there is another way. That we can change the world for the better. That we must tread more gently on this Earth. That we can look after the most vulnerable in our societies. That a true sense of community will spring forth from being forced apart.

I pray to Gaia, the Universe, the mighty Metatron and all of my ancestors and spirit guides that this is the dawn of the Golden Age of Aquarius as it has been foretold by so many.

It would be a blessing to know that a new hope, a new and better world is on the horizon for all of us and to be honoured enough to witness it.

I’ll leave you with a poem that I wrote today when thinking about what this year’s Ostara means to me:

Hush ─ can you hear it?
Hear the deafening silence?
The silence of life itself come to a halt.

Listen ─ the sound of life.
Distant yet right here within.
Blood pulsing in rhythm wit Gaia Herself.

See ─ the colours of hope.
Flooding the liquid horizon.
With hues of pinks and blues and gold.

Feel ─ the tide is rising.
Life regaining its rightful place.
Abundance abounding all around.

Hope ─ the world is changing.
Can you feel it?
New lands just beyond the horizon.

Brightest of Ostara blessings to all of you, dear readers.

Blessed be,

Silke xx

Follow your dreams

Have you ever had a dream? Something you’re so passionate about that you think about it all the time, even waking up at night, and just can’t get it out of your head? Then you must follow it!

I have my very own, personal dream. It all started last year, when my husband and I decided to buy a holiday home in Bulgaria. It was a rather spontaneous decision. We had been looking for property in Ireland, but then this beautiful place in a country we knew nothing about flashed up for sale on Google and we fell in love. Four weeks later, we were the proud owners of our own place in the sun.

I went over to Bulgaria to complete the sales documents. It was quite an adventure, taking the train to get to our place instead of hiring a car with not a single word of Bulgarian to my name in a country that unlike many other places doesn’t speak English very much. That was the first time I started to really appreciate Google Translate!

After a short stay last summer, we got rather fascinated by this country that was just a white space on our own personal maps. We started investigating it online and found a rich, colourful and intriguing culture, lots of castles, Roman remains and plenty of old-world charm. And the food and weather are pretty decent, too. The perfect getaway from rainy old England.

Then, one day last summer, I was sitting and wondering what our place would be like as a retreat centre. It was just a fleeting, silly thought in the beginning, but somehow it started to burrow itself into my brain and just wouldn’t let go. This little voice at the back of my mind just wouldn’t give me any peace. I knew that our house wasn’t really the right place for a project like that. The access isn’t right, there are neighbours on three sides and the village is very original and rustic but not really retreat or tourist material.

So I started, just for fun as I kept telling myself, to look for other properties and soon hit on the perfect match. Totally on its own, away from neighbours, only an hour’s drive from the Black Sea, Bulgaria’s main tourist region. I emailed a general enquiry ─ still for fun, as I kept convincing myself ─ and the estate agent confirmed that the place was available for a ridiculously low price and on top of that for monthly hire purchase.

It took about three seconds and a skipped heartbeat to put in the offer. I had never seen the place, but the photos showed me that it’s entirely perfect for building my dream. A huge piece of land, water supply, even electricity to get started and its own access road ─ it’s all there, ready to be transformed into the retreat centre that I carry in my head.

So for the last year, we’ve been raising cash by selling off surplus stuff and paying off this wonderful new place. And this May, we’ll finally be off to Bulgaria for three months, sorting out our existing and new place, finalising all the paperwork and starting to plan my eco retreat project in earnest.

At first glance, it still looks like a utopian fantasy. Where does the money come from? How can I get the legalities sorted without knowing much Bulgarian, a language that is turning out to be much harder to learn than I anticipated? But I strongly believe in the law of attraction and positive energy. Things will work out just fine if you only believe strongly enough that they will. And since I started this project, things have been falling into place one by one. I’ve been talking about this plan of mine a lot to many people and in return had several great ideas presented to me. There is crowdfunding for the money. Volunteering and workaways for the labour. Alternative building methods that won’t break the bank and use recycled materials, thus being the eco-friendly alternatives I am looking for. Ideas and new connections just seem to be flooding in.

I now have upped my plans from the original restoration of the house to an eco village made from Cal-Earth-style huts. Look it up ─ Cal Earth Institute ─ it’s an amazing organisation that builds huts in disaster regions on this planet from the simplest of materials, but highly effective. Ten lovely huts with all the mod-cons placed around a large meeting place with camp fire in the middle. Eating house and yoga and dance structure to the side. All self-sustaining and uses as few resources as possible. Gentle use of our Mother Earth. Great vegetarian and vegan food to die for. A beautifully landscaped garden with labyrinth and lots of hiding places to relax and bliss out in nature. And nature is so colourful and abundant during the Bulgarian summers! Going by the pictures, which were taking in the depth of winter, I can just imagine how green it’ll all be!

I can see it now and it’s all a real picture in my head already. This summer will be simply amazing. Once I actually hold the keys to this magical place, my dream will start taking on a shape and form, a reality all of its own. And I can already see the first retreat in my head when it all launches in 2021. Some people try to tell me that this is all still just a pipe dream, a fantasy. But I know deep within my heart that it’s not. I have asked the Universe for help and guidance and it has literally paved the way for me. And with enough determination, ingenuity, spit and elbow grease, this dream will become real. In a year from now, I’ll be sitting here planning the every minute detail of the first ever retreat to make sure it’s perfect. I know because I believe. If you have a dream, I hope this story has inspired you to go out there and grab it and work towards it. There is nothing more satisfying, trust me! If you want to stay in the loop and find out more about my Bulgarian eco retreat project, sign up to my blog below and also like my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/silkeharveypage. If you’re interested in participating in this exciting project or know of someone who might, email me at silke@silkeharvey.com. I’d love to hear from you.

New Year, New You and the January Blues

New Year, New You and the January Blues

Do you make New Year resolutions every year only to find that half-way through long and dreary January you’ve abandoned most of them? You’re not alone. It’s been proven time and time again that New Year resolutions don’t work. Here’s why.

Every first of January it’s the same old story ─ all over the world people make New Year resolutions. We promise ourselves to lose weight, hit the gym, give up drinking, quit smoking, eat vegan, go gluten free, stop drinking milk… The list is endless. So why is it then, that half-way through January most of us have abandoned all of our good intentions and carry on as before?

The reason is simple: most of the time, we set the stakes too high. If we’ve been overweight for years, we won’t suddenly lose thirty pounds by the end of January only because we’ve gone full-on into the next diet or hit the gym running. We’ve committed to doing things that don’t come naturally to us and that often don’t really interest us, truth be known. Do we really feel like getting up at 6 am just to make more time for a hard gym session? Probably not. Unless we’re fit and healthy already, hitting the gym will leave us feeling sweaty, tired and rather horrible ─ not exactly a great way to head off to work! And not very encouraging either if we’re not really into exercising. Dieting in January is also very hard indeed. After indulging over the holidays, a feeling of sudden depravation can set in. Plus our human bodies are genetically designed to hibernate. In other words, they store more energy in winter when it’s cold and dark, making it twice as hard to lose those pounds. January is often damp, cold and miserable. Not exactly a great motivator and mood lifter. The odds are really against us, in other words, and failure to stick to our resolutions makes us feel even more horrible than the cold weather.

Especially women tend to put themselves under a lot of pressure to perform every January, on top of their many existing pressures already. And yet this is so unnecessary. So, instead of making and breaking new years’ resolutions, why don’t we simply nurture ourselves all year round? Take time out every day to just be. Go for a walk, read a chapter of a good book. Listen to music. Dance. Paint. Sing. Do whatever makes us totally happy. Even if it’s for just half an hour, ten minutes even.

Whenever I have a busy day, I use the time I spend walking my dog for mindful meditation. I leave my phone at home, go to the local park, field or beach and focus all of my attention on engaging with my dog, looking at the sky, the clouds, the sea, the trees. That’s the trick to mindful meditation. We can do it anywhere and at any time. We just need to focus entirely on what we’re doing at the time and let any thoughts about other things drift by. Acknowledge them and switch our attention back to the present moment. No worrying about dinner, the job or any other stressful event. Just be.

In those moments when we allow our brain to relax, we get a lot of clarity, focus and inspiration. These are the moments our dreams and plans come to life. That’s why those little breathers are so utterly important to our wellbeing. Even once a day for just ten minutes if life is really busy. In the lunch break at work, when the kids are sitting quietly or have gone out, on the train during the daily commute. There are endless possibilities to fit a little time out into the day. If we start getting into this simple yet powerful habit, all other areas of our lives will fall into place and we’ll find our true happiness and joy in our lives. And once we’re at this point, we don’t need any New Year resolutions any more because we live our best life every single day.

If you want to find out more about how to find joy in your life, follow me on Facebook and Instagram, listen to my upcoming podcast “Time for Joy” or send me an email.

Brightest blessings,

Silke xx

Taking time out over the busy holiday period

As I’m writing this it’s only five days left to Christmas Eve. A scary thought ─ where exactly did this year go? I guess we all know this feeling. We hustle, we bustle, we do, we make, we break, we cope. Somehow we always seem to cope, no matter how much we have to deal with all the time. The only thing is that by just coping all the time, life is racing past us at an ever increasing speed and we don’t get to slow down enough to enjoy the ride. And before we know it, another year has disappeared without us even knowing exactly where it went.

The lead-up to the holiday period in December is particularly busy for most people all over the world. Especially for women. We want to create a perfect time for our families and friends. So we hustle even more to get all those extra chores done, like Christmas shopping, baking, cooking, taking the kids to additional activities, such as their school nativity play or choir singing. Even people who don’t celebrate Christmas tend to get sucked into the whirlwind of endless parties and festivities around them.

This added stress can take us to breaking point quicker than we think. Because it also comes at a time of the year when all of nature slows down and goes into its winter sleep in the northern half of the planet and is at its hottest, and therefore also slows down to cope with the heat, in the southern half. And this pattern also applies to humans. It’s therefore particularly important to look after ourselves during this dark / hot part of the year. We need to plan in more breaks and rest to recover from rushing around. Grabbing a cuppa and a good book and snuggling under a cosy blanket is such a lovely way to spend a short and dark day! Likewise, just chilling by the pool or seaside and letting the world go by is another day well spent! We need these breaks to recover our senses, clear our heads from the daily chaos and make space for our true feelings and desires to surface.

In my “Time for Joy” pgrogramme and one-on-one coaching sessions, I remind people time and time again of the importance of those little breaks. Without them we lose our personality, the very essence of ourselves. Much too often, we are so occupied with looking after and appeasing everyone else that we completely forget about No.1. The thing is, if we forget to look after ourselves we won’t have the strength left to look after others properly anyway, plus we end up deeply unhappy and unfulfilled because we push our own feelings, desires and loves to the back of our minds. And one day we wake up realising that life is passing us by, we haven’t done a fraction of the things that make our heart sing and we’re full of regret of those lost moments and opportunities. Deeply unhappy and dissatisfied with life at this point, we try to fill the gap inside ourselves with hustling even more. After all, it’s impossible to think about being unhappy if you keep busy! Or we throw ourselves head-first into addictions such as compulsive shopping, drinking, smoking or even worse. The whole thing is a downward spiral that becomes increasingly difficult to break free from the longer it continues. Yet the simple act of regularly taking time out could change all of this.

I regularly get asked how it’s at all possible to take time out if our lives are so busy already? The answer, in my opinion, is quite simple. Do you watch mindless TV at night to chill out? Turn it off and go for a bath, or meditate or do both. Do you have a lunch break at work? Go for a short walk, even if it’s only down the road in an industrial estate, and think of nothing but the wind, trees and other impressions on route. Do you sit on a train every morning commuting to work? Take this time to meditate or simply let your mind wander whilst looking out of the window. Time out can be as little as ten minutes to be effective if you do it regularly, but at least once a day. And no matter how busy we are, we can always find ten minutes. Myself, I always practice mindfulness when I walk my dog. Her walkies are inevitable so they are a fixed part of my daily schedule, they cannot be avoided. So I make use of this time. I leave my phone at home or turned off in my coat pocket and focus all of my attention on my dog and the nature around us. I admire the sea and beach, the woods and fields that we walk in. I play games with my dog. That way I clear my mind, get lots of time to think and clear my head for creative ideas and my dog adores it, too. A win-win all around.

Making time therefore takes a degree of creativity, thus increasing our creative thinking in itself. In the beginning this may all feel very overwhelming. I totally get that. I’ve been there myself. I’ve overcome burnout. Everything I’ve written comes from my own experiences in the past. But because I’ve been there, I also know that it’s entirely possible to turn things around. The start is always the hardest. So go easy on yourself and choose something that is easy for you to do. Even if it means meditating in bed just before going to sleep or just after waking up. Once you start, the improvement will come with surprising speed. And once you’re on a roll, you’ll wonder what ever stopped you from being your real self in the past.

I also get asked a lot how to meditate correctly. Lots of people have problems with meditation even though they know it’s extremely beneficial. The answer is that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Meditation is highly personal and whatever works for you is right for you. As simple as that. In my opinion, the problem is that we have been conditioned to believe that in order to meditate the “proper way”, we need to sit with our legs tied into knots in some position that for most people in the western world is highly uncomfortable, and sometimes downright dangerous if they have certain health conditions, and clear our minds of each and every thought until we’re nothing but divine vessels. Whilst this all sounds romantic, and may be possible for people who have practiced this kind of thing from a very young age, for most of us it’s a utopian ideal that we’ll never be able to achieve. This kind of high expectation sets us up for failure. In truth, meditation isn’t at all about any of these things. Meditation is about sitting quietly and observing your thoughts, then letting them go without judging them. It’s about walking in nature, thus quieting the mind by focusing on the beauty around us. Meditation can even be practiced whilst exercising. In fact, certain practices, such as Chakra Dancing, Yoga, Pilates, etc., are specifically designed to encourage moving meditation. By focusing entirely on the chakras and body during movement, they clear the mind and are thus another form of mindful meditation. Most people find it easiest to meditate with the help of guided meditations. They provide relaxing music and give the mind something to focus on.

I love recording guided meditations because they are so beneficial and relaxing. Each month, I post a guided meditation in my free Facebook Group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1000petalswellness, for my lovely group members to enjoy. So if you haven’t joined yet, come on over to the group. All over the holidays, from 24 December to 1 January, I will also be going live every night in the Facebook Group for a casual get-together and short meditation with my great group. I want to provide an opportunity for everyone to take some time out from the Christmas hustle and relax. I also want everyone to know that there is a safe and nurturing place to go each day to just be, hang out, talk, or simply listen and forget the business for a little while. Having a good laugh is optional but highly encouraged!!! You can even hang out in your PJs and bring yourself a cuppa. So come on over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/1000petalswellness, I’d love to see you there!

For all of you who can’t make it, please look after yourselves over the coming days and weeks and remember to take some time out for yourselves. You deserve it! Self-care is not a luxury but an essential part of life! I look forward to being with you all again in the new year. My next blog will come out just after the holidays and I will also be launching my own regular podcast in January for all those peeps who prefer listening to audio rather than reading. In the meantime, take care and go safely into a new year and decade which I hope will bring all of us peace, health and happiness.

Bright blessings x