The ripple effect.

Image credit: Jonathan Borba

Image credit: Jonathan Borba

We know that every action has a consequence, both positive or negative. So as we go out and interact with the world, we should be aware that the actions, words, things we do, create ripples. These ripples can disappear out into the ether via social media, a chat with a friend, a chance encounter at the office. They can grow and develop into stories which last long after the conversation or exchange has ended.

There is a school of thought that suggest we are only ever six people away from someone who knows us - commonly referred to as six degrees of separation. Given there are over 7.7 Bn people currently occupying this little blue dot (source: UN, 2019), that’s a LOT of people.

With this statistic literally blowing my mind right now. I started to ponder on the notion of the ripple effect of positivity. How can what I say, what I do and how I behave encourage more kindness, more generosity of spirit and more awareness of the challenges we face as a society dealing with massive economic, political, climatic and health issues?

Even if every single day I went about my business only sharing positive stories, smiling, opening doors, thinking of others needs before my own, what impact could my single action make? Well, this week I was given first hand evidence that it does indeed have a positive effect. Let me explain. A few months ago I was approached to do some work for a client. I declined to take on the work as I didn’t feel I had the right mix of skills to help them but recommended them to a fellow professional and asked them to keep in touch should they need anything in the future.

Ping.

An email lands in my mailbox from a name I recognise but can’t place. As I start to read I immediately am transported back to a phone conversation with a potential client - this was from Sarah* (name changed to protect confidentiality) and she sounded very different.

Sarah wanted support for dealing with her emotions and thought coaching might be the answer. However, after talking with her, I felt what she really needed was counselling to deal with a long standing grief in her family. This grief had consumed her. It had held her in its grasp for two long painful years and until she could move past this traumatic event, all other aspects of her life felt like they were crumbling.

She told me about her experience over the previous 7 months of attending counselling sessions and how she had faced up to and come through some very difficult conversations in her immediate family which had allowed her to heal. By this point in the message I had tears rolling down my cheeks.

And then she ended her message with this... “When I rang you I was in a very dark place. I needed help but didn’t know what, I just wanted my thoughts to stop. You listened. You didn’t judge. You held space and then pointed me to someone who could help. And now, I’m able to do that same thing for someone else. I want you to know how grateful I am that you didn’t jump in to just book me. You told me what you thought I needed. This action was the start of setting myself free. Thank you.”

Just like that, the ripple I’d set in motion some months earlier came back ashore. It reaffirms my belief in the Universe. In people’s own innate abilities to heal themselves with the right support and that integrity and honestly will always stay at the heart of my practice.

So you see, ripples no matter how small, will always make a difference.

Love and light,

Nat x

Don't stay small.

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Small is quiet. It’s trying to blend in. It’s quietly raising an objection whilst screaming inside. Small was my default. My way to not be boastful, something which is never an attractive quality in a person, right? Small was safe, comfortable, known, tidy, humble, lonely and self limiting of any notion or belief of being more.

The journey to me today wasn’t easy. I desperately wanted for so many years to fit in. I searched for validation externally whilst running away from my gifts. I looked at other women who seemed to effortlessly have their shit together and think to myself, will this ever be me? Can I ever be that way? It was a constant spiral of self limiting beliefs, comparison, anxiety of the classic over achiever and ridiculous perfectionism goals set in me from an early age which ended up being just the right type of volatile cocktail to cause me to meltdown.

It was in my recovery that I realised I just hadn’t let go of this idea of keeping small. Hiding away from what I truly want and the life I feel I can be happy in. It felt too much responsibility to have the answers. I didn’t know what I wanted, just not this. So I had a choice - continue living small or learn new ways to push back and start letting go of shit that quite frankly was not mine to carry.

And I did. Just like that. I started to question myself. Why am I doing this? What is stopping me? How is this behaviour serving me? And it got easier. I opened up and allowed people to help me heal. I unpeeled the layers of protective armoury I had clung to and embraced the surrendering of ego, of expectation and of my critical inner voice. I used to hide behind my camera, always the one taking the photographs, never in any of them. Today I changed that narrative. I asked my son to take a portrait I had in my mind’s eye for Mother’s Day in my favourite place in the world. I want there to be a record of me for when they look back and I’m no longer around. No more small me.

I learned to tell myself new stories. To be brave. To try stuff out and if it didn’t work, try something else out. As each adventure lead me to a new exciting discovery about myself I was able to connect to my spiritual self and for the first time truly hold a mirror up to who I am. Guess what? I kind of like this woman looking back at me with all her scars, her rawness, her openness and vulnerability. She’s quirky and kind, witty and bright, she’s fun to be around and wants to do great things. So who am I to stop her?

If any of this resonates. Maybe you too have been thinking small and just not realising it. Perhaps you can start to ask yourself the question “why do I think like this?” next time you recognise small thinking and try to uncover the beliefs which may be holding you back.

Wherever you are, whatever your journey, you can always change your story.

Love and light,

Nat x

A poem for my sisters

Image: Natasha Shuttleworth    Written for the everywomen in my life.  In you, I see me, and every other strong, graceful woman who wants to heal and be of service.  You are enough now and always will be, to support yourself and others on their path.  Namaste

Image: Natasha Shuttleworth

Written for the everywomen in my life.

In you, I see me, and every other strong, graceful woman who wants to heal and be of service.

You are enough now and always will be, to support yourself and others on their path.

Namaste

S I S T E R S

I see your light,

I feel your strength,

I know your “I might’s” and why you lie awake at night.

I see your compassion,

your need to hold space,

your beauty, resilience, your passion and grace.

I’ve cried the same tears

and felt your life struggles.

Your call to help others face up to their troubles.

I see your energy.

I’ve felt your love and support.

We’ve shared our life lessons and know our thoughts.

So please know this truth.

To bloom where you breathe.

For all that is in you, is ALL that you need.

Copyright: Natasha Shuttleworth

The journey into the light - Spring

Spring is the perfect time of year to look inwards and reflect on how you are feeling.

What are your goals for the year ahead?

Do you feel stuck in rut, have your eating habits slipped or maybe you just want a change up in the current exercise routine. There are many reasons people contact us and most people just want to meet new people and change things up a bit.

We are creatures of habit and tend to fall into predictable patterns - eating, sleeping, exercise all can fall foul of our habits. When we don’t eat well, sleep properly or move enough, we can get sluggish, tired and irritable. We are designed to be on the move, not sit behind desks or in cars, but life for many of us means this on repeat Monday to Friday.

The team have worked hard behind the scenes to create a varied range of wellbeing activities for you to join. If you’ve been wanted to really address some of your health issues this year, maybe we can be a catalyst for change? Most sessions are offered as drop in classes or discounted for block bookings with the introduction of a wellness class pass option. Other sessions are bookable only as a complete 6 week programme as they are designed to progress you through the changes session by session.

Whatever your goal, whatever you reason, please know that you are supported and you are most definitely not alone. Our friendly community are always around and we are happy to answer any of your questions.

We’d love to meet you.

This is the first blog post and the intention in the journal is to share interesting news, interviews with people, research and stories all relating to your wellbeing. We will have guest bloggers contributing shortly along with a dedicated podcast later this year. Very excited for that!

Love and light,

Nat x