Balancing business and a body breakdown…Bee Sensual

balancing-business-healthI wrote a tamed down version of this for my actual business blog but then decided to post it here first as is, because after all, it’s been a HUGE part of my healing journey and the lessons I’ve learned along the way and continue to.

As you can read from Our Story on my Bee Sensual website, out of the desire for no nasties on my skin, I’ve been creating natural skin care for years (a lot of that time for myself). However, when Harlan and I moved back from Australia mid-July 2011, I decided that as well as starting out a huge new business as beekeepers – pollinating, rearing queens, honey – why not throw in a little extra challenge of starting up a natural skin care business. That’s how I’ve been known to roll at times…self pressure to the max!

In those early months is when my logo was born. I found a wonderful designer to work with who brought it into computer form for me and from there the steps began to be taken:

Website…

Labels…

Product development and testing…

Tears…

Creating and refining final products…

Mistakes…

Big mistakes… (but I’ve learned a lot from them)

Beautiful scents…

Fear…

Excitement…

honey-bee-pohutukawa-nz-natural-skincare

I placed so much pressure on myself, and having been born a perfectionist, everything had to be’ just so’ otherwise I’d pull the whip out and start abusing myself. You can guess what came next…a body breakdown. My body was like, ‘what the…, are you serious, we can’t deal with this constant level of stress…’ And like many people, I took only a little time out (because physically I had no choice), and then I was back in there the moment I saw any signs of improvement…not only determined to get Bee Sensual launched by a certain date, but fighting with my body on its healing journey at the same time.

Anyway, that is a whole story unto itself, but the basic point is that since Bee Sensual has been running I have been on a rollercoaster with my health because I didn’t listen to my body back in 2012. I literally didn’t listen to my gut crying out for a break and some emotional kindness and one thing led to another and I developed a fistula (I’ve done a lot of EFT around releasing the self-blame around that one). I wouldn’t be here writing this blog if I hadn’t stressed myself into a pickle back then 😉

This health journey has been gruelling at times, yet throughout the process I have been learning. More and more. Slowly sometimes, and with my body needing to remind me a number of times before I get the point. And those who know me will tell you that I’m always keen for more learning and research, so I suppose in that regard it’s been a good thing 😉 Bee Sensual has been like a fire burning inside me. Sometimes when I’ve been in my darkest hours I’ve just wanted to throw it all in and douse it with gallons of water so that I don’t have to deal with the pressure of business, other times it has been like a guiding light. Pulling me out of a hole because I had things I had to do and focus on besides myself. And, anyway, the flames looked so pretty and enticing!

business-fire-health

Most importantly, though, through this journey my dream for Bee Sensual has changed and blossomed. It grew out of a dream for natural skin care, using no nasties and the wonderful healing products of bees; ‘sensual’ for the self connection opportunity it would create. Then I began exploring the word ‘sensual’ more and tied in with that ‘mindfulness’ and how necessary it is to simply live in this one moment as often as we can. And I saw Bee Sensual products as a way to remind us to become mindful in that moment we gently apply them…taking in the smells and textures and sensation on the skin.

And from that came the most important of all…gentle self-love.

Realising how much I’ve berated myself in my life and beaten myself up, in younger years seeking perfection and a body that only airbrushed models have, seeking a type of persona that I thought I ‘should’ have. I knew it was vital to change this.

There is a saying:

You cannot truly take care of that which you do not love.

So, if I look at my skin and feel frustrated and disappointed by the wrinkles around my eyes, or I curse the scars from the teenage days of picking pimples, or I want to hide away the too many freckles or mingled discolouration, am I really loving myself? Am I treating myself the way I would a friend?

The answer is a big NO!

So how can I expect to truly take care of myself? How can I expect my body, which is only doing its best (always) with what it’s presented with, to feel energetic, vibrant and healthy? We need to send our bodies love. Let me say that again…it is essential that we send our bodies and ourselves love. By creating stress in our systems around what we see in the mirror, or how we should be acting, we only further deplete our energy and resilience. We’ve got to love what we see first and the rest will flow. We can’t wait for the day we find a magical miracle cream that takes away wrinkles, or an injection that paralyses our skin into non-expression. This may bring a few moments of happiness, but then we will simply find the next thing to hate or berate.

We need to love. Simple. Yet not so simple at all! Self-love seems to be one of those really tricky, confusing concepts that gets thrown at us at some point in our lives. How do I do that? you may ask. Well, I definitely don’t have all the answers (or any for that matter), but I know that through necessity, practice, constant reminders and perseverance, I love myself a lot more than I did when Bee Sensual first began.

blossom-in-business-love

One of my dreams now, is that through our beautiful Bee Sensual products, made with love, those using them will find moments to be still and present and send their precious self some much needed love. Remember this…even if it’s only twice a day when you moisturise, that’s all it takes…it is the simple act of planting the self-love seed that, over time and with regular nourishment, will grow into a beautiful self-love plant that blossoms in ways that you never thought possible!

Love and healing,

Kali

 

 

 

 

 

Showing kindness to your body…

showing-kindness-to-your-body

I recently listened to Ahlea Khadro’s interview with Jessica Ortner on the Hay House World Summit 2015, called Befriend Your Symptoms: a Path to Radical Health and Happiness. 

It’s the first time I’ve heard about her, but she sounds wonderful! Basically what I took out of it is the importance and the value in showing kindness to your body. This ties in perfectly with where I am at on my journey at the moment because I recently started talking to my body! (Thanks to suggestions from a healing practitioner).

It’s so easy when our bodies hurt or play up – menstrual cramps, sore achy knee, crook gut, cold, allergies etc – to feel frustrated and annoyed with that part of our body, or to simply pop a pill that removes the niggle. So easy…I know the frustration well. Maybe we could take these niggles as an opportunity to actually listen to our body and offer it some love and kindness instead? Ahlea believes that in the same way that we feel frustrated, scared and annoyed about various body problems, our body/organs might be feeling the same, and by giving them the opportunity to be heard we can relieve a lot of physical stress and discomfort.

One of the interesting parts of this talk for me was her touching on auto-immune diseases, which Crohn’s is for those who don’t know. Just a few days ago, when I was writing about my tendency to beat myself up, I thought ‘Hang on – if I’m beating myself up mentally, then surely my body is mirroring this and beating itself up!’ Light bulb moment 😉 As you may or may not know, an auto-immune condition is when the body pretty much turns on itself.

auto-immune-crohns

So if my mind turns on itself and on my body, then it makes sense that my body is going to follow suit! I have also met other people who have Crohn’s and they are usually very hard on themselves…interesting thought!

Following on from that to a state of kindness…when talking about mirror work and the idea of being kind to yourself in the mirror, Jessica told about her sister-in-law who created a fun enticing mirror with her daughter that hangs in her bedroom. Every time she leaves her room she says something nice to herself in the mirror! Yes please! Isn’t that the most beautiful thing to instil in a young being? I am so going to adopt that idea for myself (never too late to start something new right?)!

Happy body to you 🙂

Finding gentleness among stress…

finding-gentleness-among-stressThis is a post-script to Are you a victim of mental abuse?

Throughout my journey I have gotten the idea that stress is bad for the body. I’ve seen its effects first-hand, I’ve had people tell me to stress less (much to my frustration, because it’s not that simple)…I understand that it produces too much cortisol, which in turn does all sorts of things to your physical body that lead to body breakdown. Stress is there for the fight or flight response and when we tell our body that we’re in flight mode 24/7, things start do go a little wonky (read Dr Libby Weaver’s Rushing Woman’s Syndrome for more on this).

So I tried to deal with stress. I tried to come up with tools (like walking, EFT, taking time out for myself to read or chill). But the problem for me was that I was’t quite getting to the root of the cause. How stressful is it being abused 24/7? Everyone has a lot on their plate, but when you start telling yourself it’s too much to cope with, you can’t possibly get it done in time, it won’t be good enough, what will other people think, it will be a total failure, I couldn’t possibly do that, I’m no good…and on it goes…I believe that’s when normal life challenges turn into super stressful situations. I believe we can have these time pressures and challenges in our lives, but if we are 100% by our sides all of the way, encouraging, backing ourselves up, believing in ourselves like we would a good friend, then they don’t need to become stressful situations…they can simply be challenges.

Now the trick for me, that I foresee going forward, is keeping up this gentle relationship once everything in my body is running smoothly, when I don’t have a constant reminder to be gentle. It’s easy once everything is going well to forget to take those regular moments to say thank you.

thank-you-body

I believe that because I have shifted some emotional baggage that I’ve been carrying around for way too long, with regular EFT sessions, that continued gentleness will hopefully be a little easier than last time.

I have also now seen and felt, firsthand, the benefits of self-commitment. So now, every month I will make sure that I prioritise and book in an EFT session with a therapist. I will make sure I do Donna Eden’s 5 minute energy routine most days, I will make sure I put wonderful energy into my food and water and gently talk to my body and mind like a would a good friend…not because I have to, but because I want to and it excites me.

It’s easy to put your health and healing in someone else’s hands…the homeopath, the naturopath, the doctor, the surgeon, the acupuncturist, the Chinese healer, the energy healer. Since September 2013 I have been super seeking and seeking and seeking…for miracle answers, for miracle pills, for miracle potions and miracle healers and top surgeons…just to take this fistula away. I have spent oodles of time and money on the above…and I say to myself, these supplements will heal me, these herbs will heal me, that naturopath will have the answer.

And gosh I don’t know where I would be without all of those amazing hand-holders along the way…I am so blessed to be a lot healthier than many people who have a Crohn’s diagnosis or an anal fistula. The problem is I seem to focus on healing happening from an outside source. What’s not so easy is to take the power back, and through tools such as EFT (or anything else that works for you) to make steps towards healing yourself. Bringing the power back into your own body, in this moment, and believing that you also play a vital part in it all.

So that’s where I’m at right now…who knows where this journey will see me in a week’s time or a month’s time, but right now I’m willing to take on the challenge of kindness to self. I’m willing to see what life holds for me when I put down those boxing gloves and say no to being a victim of mental abuse.

 

Love yourself!

Love yourself like your life depends on it, because it does!

– Anita Moorjani

Gently she cradled her in her arms. Belly soft, breathing slowly, rhythmically. “I am here with you,” she whispered. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realise. We are in this to the end, and I will never leave you again.”

She didn’t know she would make this commitment that night, but so it came, whirling around her like a mini cyclone, screeching in her ears til she heard the words, “Love yourself.” And just like that it went quiet and in that stillness she heard a small girl’s voice whispering, chattering, almost inaudibly unless she held her breath.

love-yourself-inner-child“She’s so mean to me. I can’t trust her anymore. She’s always saying horrible things. I wish she’d go away. I hate it sometimes. I’m just trying to be me and all she does is tell me I’m not good enough.”

It stopped and there were sounds of nervous sobbing.

A gush of air escaped from her lungs as she sat down on the floor. It wasn’t a little girl locked in the pantry or outside wanting to be let in. No, this was her own inner child. The one she’d neglected and forgotten about. He heart raced. It was true. All those accusations were true. So how could she expect miracles and a happy life when one half of her was down-trodden and abused? Whispering quiet apologies and promises, she sat there until outside it had gone dark. Still no reply. She stood up and took a deep full breath of air into her lungs and that’s when she felt it. A timid settling inside her, unsure, but hopeful.

And so she promised to never leave her again. To try to never speak those awful words.

Do we get told ‘love yourself’?

Why is it that we are not taught self-love at school? Surely this is number one? I don’t mean the “I’m top of the class in Maths,” or “I’m so good at soccer,” type. That can be ego or arrogance creeping in, and often comes at a cost of true self-love. When you’re not top in Maths for a test, the barrage of abuse cracks around in your head “You idiot, you should have studied harder. I can’t believe it, it was so easy and you just stuffed up.”

No, I’m talking about the gentle, kind self-love. As you realise that the more you abuse yourself in your mind, the more timid a part of you becomes. It is what guides you through the deep and meaningful moments in your life, but when its feels shut down you may struggle to hear it in these times of need.

I’m too fat. Look at my love-handles, ooo yuk! I’ve got rolls – 3 actually and look how they go over the edge of my jeans.

Well look at my face, it’s hideous, I’ve got these blind pimples all over my chin. It’s so gross.

I hate my arms, they’re all flabby. I want nice toned arms like those girls you see in … magazine.

At least you guys have got boobs, mine are non-existent, I don’t even need a bra, so I have to wear falsies to pretend. I’m so jealous.

love-yourselfAs a female I struggle to believe that many of you missed out on these types of conversations, either during lunch breaks at school or in the changing rooms. How was it that no-one told us to cut it out. Hang on, they did actually. I clearly remember my mum saying to me and my friends that we were beautiful and were definitely not fat. ‘Ya, Ya” we thought, of course she’s going to say that. It made no difference, not to me anyway.

It just seemed the accepted thing to do. You heard adults talking about their bodies not playing ball as they aged, and you compared yourself to all those photo-shopped, anorexic models and felt inadequate.

When I walk down that grey stony path of remorse my feet hurt and my heart sits heavy in my chest. All those years of beauty, freshness and youth ‘wasted’ on ungratefulness. I put ‘wasted’ in inverted commas as of course it wasn’t wasted. It was all part of my journey and all part of growing up and learning certain lessons.

One day when your body doesn’t behave quite the way you expect it to every morning when you wake, you start looking seriously down that path and wondering how you could have taken all this for granted. How you could have taken your young lithe body for granted. Its endless energy, all your organs behaving as they should…

Then a quiet reminder: Love yourself! And I am thankful that I found this path of self love in my 30s…better later than never 🙂