FUN FACT: I’ve worked my whole life on addressing my control-freak tendencies, but for as far as I’ve come in releasing my Kung Fu grip there is always another life lesson for me in the art of letting shit go.
Even though I practice regular “clearing” it is amazing to me how much stuff I still manage to cling to… from trinkets and knick-knacks gathering dust to outdated beliefs that seek to hold me down.
Today, I encourage you to take a step forward with me in releasing, in allowing, in letting go. What is one area of your life where you can Relax and Let Life Flow?
Behind every harsh self-criticism is a tender soul who just wants to feel supported. You, Dear One, have heard more than your fair share of criticism throughout your life, and it’s time you put a stop to it. Instead of being your own worst critic, become your own biggest ally. Abandon the nit-picking and instead offer yourself the grace you’d gladly give to your very best friend!
I want you to realize that you are no longer bound to impossible standards of perfection, no matter what that nagging voice from the past may say. You, Dear One, were created as whole and beautiful and strong and perfect already. Own it! Heaven looks at you daily and smiles like a proud parent. Release the reigns that you have been holding so tightly to and allow yourself to be free, make mistakes, and simply do the best that you can. After all, self discovery begins when self criticism ends.
Sometimes you come across a person who exudes such compassion, kindness, peacefulness and genuine love for others that it makes you pause and wonder: How did they get to this place?
Such is the case with my friend Rachel. She and I connected online through an exercise challenge; she lives in Wales, I am in the US. The energy and support within this online group was AMAZING. Truly supportive and really beautiful! The challenge ended, but several (hundred) of us, mostly women, wanted to remain connected so Rachel soon formed a spin-off group that kept the conversations and support going.
I quickly learned that this remarkable woman was spiritually gifted, intuitive, and an expert at meditation. YES! That vibe is my jam!
I wanted to learn more, and asked her if she’d be willing to share her story. I had no idea that the pain and trauma of her past was so similar to that of myself and of so many other women. I am incredibly humbled that she chose to share her very personal journey me, and allow me to share it with you. If together we can help one more woman find her voice, find her courage, and find comfort- it’s a win.
The Blessings Butterfly interviews: Rachel John
TBB: What’s the name of Your Business/Company/Product/Project?
RJ: The business is Soul BEing, an umbrella for all tools you need to become whole and reactivate your true being. Mindful Coaching, Meditation, Mindfulness, Chakra Balancing / Energy Healing, Akashic Records Readings, Spiritual Development
TBB: What is your role there?
RJ: I am all roles, creator, strategist, manager, accountant
TBB: What were you doing before this?
RJ: I was a General Manager in a large chain international restaurant running a £1,000,000+ store, Coaching, Training, Marketing, Selling, Mentoring, the list goes on. Before that I had always worked in Sales of the Service industry most notably my time with Virgin Atlantic Airlines as crew.
TBB: In what ways is your Business making a difference, or how do you hope that it will?
RJ: I know, that right now, my Coaching and blend of skills is helping women reclaim their power, voice and independence. It is allowing them to make conscious decisions which positively affect their lives without fear. As Brene Browne would say, “They’re daring greatly” , moving forward in life with courage and love and a new found zest that was absent previously.
I also have a collaboration coming up, which begins November 14th, that I’m very excited about. I’m working with a charitable organisation called Recovery Mummy that helps women suffering from post partum depression and psychosis cope with life after having their babies.
I’ll be running an ongoing Mindfulness Course for parents and children which I know will ease the stress and anxiety the families may be experiencing.
TBB: What do you love the most about what you do?
RJ: I love seeing a clients face light up and their joyous reaction when they realize a truth about themselves or they create their own solutions. It’s such a pleasure for me to help people re-discover their own inner power and wisdom and when they suddenly wake up and appreciate their own power and recognize that it was always there to begin with, it’s a wonderful thing to behold.
TBB: So what inspired you to start this unique practice? How did you get to this place?
RJ: When I was younger, I was raped.At the time I told one person who happened to bump into me while I was sobbing in the local train station. I didn’t tell my mother as it was her birthday a few days after and I didn’t want to upset her. I kept it in, squashed it and boxed it up, threw away the key. I became an expert avoider. I was crying inside.
A few years later I lost my home, my flat mate had a nervous breakdown, the fledgling company I worked for screwed me over financially, I took them to a tribunal court, I won the case, they didn’t turn up and disappeared, I lost my job and my money. I was destitute.
I started again. I always tried to remain positive so when I found a job in my hometown of Cardiff, I returned to live with my Mum. I thought this is my time to reset, save some money and get back to where I was and eventually go back to my adopted town, Brighton.
However, the Universe had other plans for me. I had a beautiful daughter and went from full time to part time, I found a great house and while still getting myself together financially so I could only rent I was overjoyed with our little haven. I planned on going to University to retrain as a Psychologist, then my new company offered me my own restaurant. I was unsure, my gut was saying no, go to uni but I took the position lured by the money carrot and the promise of security and extra responsibility. Two weeks before I was due to start in my own restaurant I snapped my Achilles’ tendon but I carried on regardless, a second blatant refusal to pay attention to my intuition. It was a stressful place and a difficult transition but I Managed to turn the ailing store around.
After only a short couple of years my gut was yelling at me to study again, retrain, go find your niche so I took a long overdue sabbatical to plan my route. While I was off work a male manager took over my store, I had no reason to think that was a problem. One day my area manager contacted me and asked, ‘even though I was off work would I like to go to the annual managers party’, which was a festival style few days in the grounds of the owner of the company’s house. Again I ignored my gut to say no, and agreed after I was persuaded ‘what a great time I’d be missing and all your friends will be there, we’ll miss you’.
On the first night of the festival I was sexually assaulted by the manager who was supposedly looking after my store. Everybody had been given a one man tent, sleeping bag, blanket, water, and a sign to post outside your tent. I was so exhausted that night I said goodbye to my close friends and left the festival field early to go back to my tent and sleep. I hitched a ride on a tractor with two other women and a guy, walked across our field, took my wellies off, crawled into my tent, zipped up and fell asleep fully clothed.
I woke up I don’t know how much later to find a hand down the back of my jeans, inside my pants, this man, this ‘colleague’ in my space. I screamed at him to get out, I was in shock, totally freaked out. The next morning I told one person again, not sure what I was staying. She said he was disgusting, and that was that.
I later found out from another colleague that he had lied about the store handover I’d given him, he had failed my store audit, and completely denigrated my character behind my back. Nobody wanted to tell me as they were worried about how I’d react and how it would affect the party. So I was violated in every way.
Again I kept quiet. I moved to a different store, returned to part time hours and to Assistant Manager and started studying Hypnotherapy. I loved the course and boxed up all my past hurt.
Unfortunately for me, my General Manager went on maternity leave and the coward that assaulted me was put in her place. At first I coped but bit by bit, he undermined my position by slowly delegating my work until I had nothing of relevance left. He used my part time status as an excuse then tried to have me removed by the area manager by telling him I was unhappy.
After standing in the tiny managers’ office watching these two grown men argue about who had initiated the move, I’d had enough. I moved restaurant once again to only end up working with his partner. By this time it was too late for me to regain composure. I suffered a panic attack and things went from bad to worse. I became depressed, the following grievance procedure I processed against him in work dragged on and on. The next two years were like a blur as I suffered depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia and cried incessantly.
It’s from here that I carried on studying Coaching, Meditation, Mindfulness, Mindset, my Spiritual development and pulled myself back from the dark edges of life. I re-found my inner strength and wisdom! This is why I started my business and this is why I wanted to help women that have suffered without support, not realizing that everything they need is already there inside of them.
TBB: WOW, Rachel! You have indeed been through the fire. I am so sorry for the years of pain, struggle andsilence that you suffered. It is easy to see how much of a transformation you have made in your life by finding your voice (and what a powerful example for your daughter too!)
RJ: Studying Hypnotherapy, practicing and gaining my teaching qualification in Mindfulness and Meditation, counseling, coaching, my Spirituality and my resolve have got me where I am today, two years on. Strong and independent. That’s why I want you to be powerful too.
TBB: Can you tell me about any of your current projects?
RJ: I’m currently working on combining all of my ‘woo woo’ skills with my Mindful Coaching to create a phenomenally powerful and more holistic way to coach. I’ve always tended to look at the whole picture and introduced a little alternative into my coaching but now I’m being guided to totally immerse myself in this work and my clients are loving it.
I’m reading the Akashic Records, (which is a way to connect with your whole timeline or soul line as I like to call it), plus reading a clients Chakras and using these channels as tools to blend together for the fullest picture of the issues the client needs to work through.
They’re having real breakthrough transformations, smashing through old, outdated habits and patterns of thinking and living.
I am currently running a discounted offer for my Akashic Readings to just my group, but would like to extend this to your readers.
It’s an initial taster session at $43, the session incorporates Chakra healing/balancing with the Akashics for a 360 reading into the most important areas of your life. Value for October only, follow on packages are available.
TBB: Is there anything else you’d like to share, or advice that you can offer to anyone feeling “stuck”?
RJ: If you’re feeling stuck look for support. Don’t suffer in silence, reach out for help, for in vulnerability there is strength. When you take action the universe conspires to assist you wherever it can. You are never alone. Someone somewhere will be in exactly the same position as you. Ask yourself how would you help your friend if they were in the same position as you, then go do it for yourself. Failing that call me 😉
TBB: Fantastic! Thank You! How can people get in touch with you to get help with meditation, counseling, energy healing, etc.?
TBB: Thank you. You are a strong, beautiful human and I’m honored to share this. Blessings upon blessings, dear one.
RJ: thank you xx
BIO ~ Rachel is a qualified Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher, an Holistic Transformation Coach and a skilled Akashic Records Guide who uses Chakra Balancing, Energy Healing and Mediumship to help her clients rediscover their authentic selves.
She is passionate about helping people bring happiness and balance back into their lives, regain their lost independence, rekindle their creative spark and reignite their zest for life.
Rachel believes that with her compelling combination of practical guidance and spiritual support she guides her clients through an holistic journey of self discovery that ultimately balances the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves culminating in mindful harmony.
By making the decision to choose LOVE over fear and being brave enough to take inspired action her clients are taking their first steps to a more fulfilled life of understanding.
She is a Life Coach, a Soul Intention Seeker, a Spiritual Catalyst and Pioneer for Empowerment.
~ BECOME WHO YOU WERE BORN TO BE ~ MAKE THE JOURNEY JOYFUL
Lazy days of summer are coming to an end (okay I am honestly NOT great at being lazy) and you feel the energy around you shifting. What is one positive, healthy thing you can challenge yourself with over the next 30 days?
If you need a teensy bit of inspiration & encouragement, you can join me on my September 30 Day Challenge! Here’s what I’m challenging myself to do for my health & well-being:
10 minute walk
Adjusting my diet
Daily gratitude journal
Here’s the details:
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. ~Lao Tzu
10 Minute Walk: My goal is to begin every day with gentle walk around my neighborhood. I am going to commit to walking for at least 10 minutes each day for 30 days. During my walks, I can improve my mood, set a clear intention for the day ahead, pray for my neighbors, or simply be open to creative inspiration. I do exercise my body already with cardio and strength training 2-3 days a week, and yoga and stretching daily; adding in this 10 minute daily cardio is easy and gentle. Just 10 minutes! Moving my body feels good once I get started, so it’s time to stop making the first step such a hard one to take.
Adjusting my diet: I enjoy food and I love cooking, so it is not a huge part of the challenge to eat most of my meals at home. Overall, I have a pretty health-conscious diet that i follow. It’s not overly regimented, and I am thankful that I have very few diet restrictions to navigate. However, I am noticing more discomfort in my body, and I know it’s time to clean up my act. I am going to eliminate some of the foods that are responsible for bloating, inflammation, and weight gain. Some of the foods that I am taking a break from this month* include sugar, dairy, alcohol, and grains. I will also be adding more fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and clean protein. [*FULL DISCLOSURE: I will totally “cheat” and eat all the beignets and have a few drinks too while I’m in New Orleans over the weekend] I LOVE my body, and I’m going to listen to her!
Daily Gratitude Journal: I am definitely grateful for all that I have and all that I get to experience each day. I love my life and I want to continue to appreciate every day that I am here! One thing that I know about myself, though, is that when I am going through a challenging time it can be easy to overlook the many blessings around me. Being intentional and focusing on the positive brings me back to a place of feeling grounded, secure, and at peace. I cannot control everything around me, but I can always control how I choose to respond. Each day for 30 days, I will note at least 1 thing that I am grateful for specific to that day.
Would you like to join me on this 30 day journey? Enter your contact information in the form below and we can keep in touch! You’ve Got This.
For the past couple of years, I have been wanting- no, longing to- create a series of fitness videos for people living in bigger bodies, with a crazy twist: I don’t want you to lose a bunch of weight (unless that is something YOU want for yourself). Instead, I wanted to simply love, support, and encourage people just like me to love the body that they are already living in, and provide them with some easy action-steps to help guide them to a healthier lifestyle.
I had this radical notion that I could begin to deeply, truly LOVE myself exactly as I am instead of constantly feeling shitty about the way I look & thinking that “If I just lose this extra weight, I’ll be happier”. NOPE! Life is too short, and I decided that I don’t want to waste any more time trying to get my body to look like it did when I was wearing size single-digit before treating myself like the beautiful, strong, wonderful and valuable woman that I already am. Talk about a game-changer! It’s what led me to create my very own body-positive holistic health & wellness program for bigger bodies, The Cocoon – Empowered Transformation.
The truth is, and trust me when I tell you that the bazillion dollar health & fitness industry doesn’t want me to tell you this: You can achieve good health and still live in a plus-size body. I’m certainly not saying that you shouldn’t take good care of yourself; no, I’m saying that you don’t have to fit into standards set by the beauty industry in order to be healthy, beautiful, and utterly amazing. YES! You can adopt a healthier lifestyle AND you can start loving the body you have right now. What a crazy concept, hey? Here are my five top tips to get you started:
Develop a more positive mindset. Instead of constantly tearing yourself down, criticizing, and comparing, retrain your brain to shift the focus on to what is good about you, and on what you are doing right. Find the positive spin. Speak to yourself with love and kindness daily, and especially in times of great stress and challenge. Talk to and about yourself as you would your best friend. Believe in yourself!
Move your body every day. Be intentional about creating more movement for your body every day. Do at least 10 minutes of physical activity each and every day. 1, 2 or 3 times a week, add in some fun physical activity for 20, 30, or 60 minutes. Build up slowly, and try different things to see what you enjoy the most.
Food is not optional, so make it great. Whether you choose to eat as a carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore, the food we eat should nourish our bodies and delight our taste buds. Always opt for organic, non-GMO certified foods whenever possible. Choose the freshest fruits & veggies you can find. Cut way back on sugar, but not on healthy fats. Cook your own meals whenever possible and develop some mad skills!
Hydrate! There are so many benefits to your body from drinking plenty of water each day. Improved organ function, fresher breath, eliminating toxins, reducing headaches, clearer, more supple skin, and more. Start with drinking a glass in the morning before you get out of bed and aim to drink 8 more throughout the day. If you don’t already love the taste of fresh pure water, infuse itwith fruit or herbs. Drink up, Buttercup!
Throw out that damn scale. Seriously, just ditch it. Don’t be owned by a number whether it is on a scale, a pair of jeans, a bank account or a birthday cake. You are WAY more valuable than any of those. In fact, you are priceless. (See Tip #1!)
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In doing so, I realized that empowerment comes from within AND from outside- by continually investing in positive, affirming relationships with ourselves and our closest friends. Here’s to all of you encouragers out there! You are awesome!
I’ve always been a natural cheerleader- minus the gymnastic skills and ability to do those Russian splits.
Upbeat personality? Check.
Big… um, lungs? Check.
Contagious enthusiasm, team spirit, and a passing love of sports? Check, check, and check!
Failed to make the high school drill team, cheer & song squads? Sadly, yes, check.
I KNOW. I was devastated! And I definitely had a broken heart & a bitter taste in my mouth for a while after the tryouts ended. I was sure that I just wasn’t pretty or popular enough to break through the high school cliques, and that hurt. Still, I was truly happy for (most of) the girls who did make the team, and I always supported my friends on the squads during pep rallies and I cheered loudly from the stands at the games. GO MONSOONS!
I may never have been given the pom-poms in high school, but that didn’t mean that I was going to stop being cheerful.
Throughout my life I’ve found that being encouraging and cheering others on feels really good and natural to me. It’s not even a conscious act, I just do it. But what about when I am the one who needs a boost? Who is there to cheer for me when I’m feeling down and discouraged?
I’ve carefully cultivated my own personal “cheer squad” over the years of mutually supportive souls who value connection, authenticity, and spreading joy. It’s a small, close-knit super-squad of women and men who have my back, and who I am happy to support in their times of need as well. I know that 24/7 these are the people I can call, email, text, and for a very select few- just show up with my mascara running and a bottle of wine, and they will be there to help me pick up the pieces when it all goes to shit.
This past week has been one with more emotional challenges than I felt prepared to handle, and my tender soul is feeling all sorts of vulnerable and deflated. Rather than try to put on a brave face and hide what I’m feeling (my boyfriend lovingly points out that I am actually terrible at hiding my feelings- he’s correct) I am going to reach out to some of my cheer squad for a little support and perspective. I’m shutting down the voice that says “Nobody cares, don’t be a burden” because I know that is simply not true. Even encouragers need a little love and positive energy sometimes. We are not immune to times of sadness or feeling blue.
This is the mantra I use to meditate on in times like this: It is OK for me to ask for help. It is safe for me to open up to you.
If you are an encourager like me, I invite you to practice this mantra when you need a little boost. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your cheer squad, too. You will be amazed at what a blessing it can be!