Keeping Warm with Chair Yoga | Wesley Mission

“If I’m still going to yoga classes at 81 years of age, know that it was you Heroes who inspired me.”

Our most dedicated students are not those who can do the headstands and splits. In fact, they’re the ones who show up with a smile every week, even if their arthritis is flaring up, even if it means catching the bus in in 5degrees cold and nursing a frozen shoulder, a bunked knee, a toe injury, a sore back… you name it, we’ve heard it from this community of elderly. 

Teaching yoga and bringing the Gospel to this community of seniors is not about how “good” you can be. It’s learning about grace and courage. To others and to yourself.

To us, this is the richest reward. This warms our heart, mind, soul and body.

Oh how much we love you brave souls and learn from you. 

And of course, thank you always, Wesley Mission for providing us this safe space to serve, to share our stories and to grow. 
Serving in His name ✝️


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FAITH, COURAGE & PERSISTENCE | Must Haves in Serving & Business

I’m so honoured to be invited by Fideliz Cruz to be featured on her lifestyle channel recently. 

FAITH, COURAGE & PERSISTENCE.
THE MUST HAVES IN SERVING & BUILDING A BUSINESS

Have you seen my interview with Fideliz Cruz? Watch the full episode here:

Here are my tips when serving and building your business:

1) Grace – allowing grace and remembering that we are all made uniquely different – when working with someone that works differently from you, and when you’re faced with a difficult or challenging situation, allow grace and trust in God’s plan.

2) Faith – trust that He [God] has a plan for you. you might not understand when you come across obstacles but keep going with courage.

3) Persistence – “You can not know whether it’s God’s plan or whether you’ve not done enough if you don’t persist. If you’ve persisted and its still not working you know that you can still trust in the plan. But if you didn’t persist and you didn’t give it your 100% you wonder whether it was me or what it was…”

Traditional Chinese Medicine for Migraine | Cupping & Acupuncture

I just wanted to share my migraine treatment journey. For those who have been following my blog, you will have no doubt read about my migraine issues and my treatment journey.

For the past 2 years, I have been seeing a neurologist. I’ve been on strong pain relief medication. I’ve also been on migraine preventative medication, which I hated the side effects of and has since stopped. 

I am now trialling a Traditional Chinese Medicinal treatment, which encompasses massage, cupping, acupuncture and Chinese herbs. 

Firstly, there have been some new findings based on the cupping treatment. Interestingly, the findings align with my yoga therapy findings. 

And that is my kidney area or “hormonal function” is malfunctioning. TCM based this off the cupping markings and yoga therapy is based of the fact that my backbends are stuck around the same area. Obviously there are other diagnostic questions that lead to this hypothesis, such as my menstruation cycle, whether I had migraines during my pregnancy etc. 

So the latest is that I should consider seeing an endocrinologist to rule out any hormonal dysfunctions that may be triggering these migraines. 

So far, since starting the TCM treatment, I haven’t had any major migraine attacks. Praise God for finding me some relief through this. At the same time though, it’s as if my body is washing out all the toxins from inside, my immune systems seems to be undergoing some cleansing. I’ve been struck with the flu and feeling a little weak lately. On saying that, I’m pleased with the TCM treatment. It has only been 2 months. I hear that after 6 months, the body should start settling into ‘balanced’ health. 

Here are some progress pics of my cupping!

First time – notice the stagnation (deep red) in the lower back, kidney area. 

Second time – 2 weeks after 1st treatment: improvement 

Third time – 5 weeks after 1st treatment:  significant improvement

Photo source below : CuppingTherapy.org


[UPDATE : I’ve brought my TCM’s recommendation to see an endocrinologist to my Western GP. He isn’t in agreement with it but is happy to put a referral through to a gynaecologist. His basis was that ‘hormonal issues’ is too generic a diagnosis. Everything that controls are body has to do with hormones so he didn’t buy into my TCM’s prognosis. The conclusion? I have an appointment with my neurologist coming up and my GP has asked me to get a second opinion from him. After all, my GP says, “THEY are the migraine specialists!”  Let’s see… ]

[SECOND UPDATE : And after seeing my neurologist and bringing to him my TCM’s findings, he was grateful that I was seeing a practitioner who had genuine interest in the root cause and lateral thinking. At the same time, the suggestion of migraine being a “hormonal” and hence treating this dysfunction with “hormone” therapy is not new. It is also well-documented. Research suggests that hormone therapy yields the same results in the long run. I.e. No long term cure. There have been extensive studies carried out in this area. Essentially, my neurologist was not in agreement with going down this angle. However, he was very pleased to hear that my body seems to be in agreement with the acupuncture. Now, that [sic acupuncture], has seen a lot of proven success for migraine sufferers and I’m glad you are one of them. Keep that going and hopefully, it will provide good relief for a couple of years until the body gets used to it (and migraines return again, as can happen sometimes). And we can assess then. I guess by then, I might be more comfortable with finally trying the Botox treatment that was originally recommended. 

That’s it, folks! I hope this gave you some well-rounded information or at least, you may relate to this!] 

Juice Detox Clears Vision. But really? 

BACKGROUND

If you follow me on social media, you will know about my debilitating migraine condition.  In the past 3-4 months, they have worsened and I’ve now been put on preventative medication by my neurologist. 

I have now been on the medication for a month. Have things drastically improved? No. On saying that, I haven’t given it a long enough time to give it a fair assessment. The caveat is that the success rate is 65% and that I had to give it 3 months. So I remain hopeful.

Meanwhile, I have really taken a step back to examin my current lifestyle and what has changed in the past 3-4 months. 

Apart from the demands of every day mummy/wifey duties and my growing ministry to manage, I cannot isolate any changes in life that could have worsened the migraine condition. Either that, or it could be the summation of small things such as dining out more and dropping my gym workouts and just that extra bit of stress with life. 

I wondered if going back to some clean eating may decrease the frequency of the migraine attacks. 

Without much of a clue on where to start, I decided to experiment with the cliché – the 3-day Juice Detox. 

What I had hoped for was some weight loss and to minimise the belly bloating. I was also hoping to see some improvement in migraine frequency and relief from migraine symptoms. 

In the end, I took it on for 4 days. Yes, 4 days without solids.

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IN SUMMARY, HERE ARE THE ‘Why’s

  1. My BODY felt like the detox, not my mind. 
  2. I wanted to try something different to see if my migraines would get relief.
  3. My belly had been so bloated and I’d put on a couple of kilos from poor eating and sleeping habits in the past few months. I needed something to kick me out of those patterns. 
  4. I needed to replenish and nourish my body. How can I pour an empty glass? My body is the temple which houses the Holy Spirit. I want this to be a healthy temple (not just from the outside)!


AND THE RESULTS?

  1. Not much of any weight loss – 0.5kg of water weight, to be precise
  2. Belly bloating was relieved (only after 3 days though. The first day, I was even more bloated than before but it’s normal)
  3. Nope, did not lose fat. (Who am I kidding? But then again, that wasn’t really the point of the exercise.)
  4. Second day was the hardest. “Halfway is always hard.” Think marathon, workout, entrepreneurship.. But I used it as a time for prayer when my mind became weak.
  5. Skin is clear and supple.
  6. Slept well.
  7. Woke up refreshed.
  8. Concentration improved.
  9. A little fatigued during the afternoons but that’s just expected off as I’m consuming less calories than the body is used to.
  10. Sharper vision. Now this one is a surprise. No wonder the Chinese use this as a measure of health in Traditional Chinese Medicine (detox results in clearer vision).
  11. Last but not least, perhaps I knew I was going to be lethargic and I didn’t schedule much these 4 days, but it could also be the impact of feeling nourishment. My nerves are calm and I have had a very calm 4 days (contrary to what I had imagined.. “Hangry”…) 

Overall, it was a good experience. It wasn’t that hard to get through. I actually quite enjoyed it. I feel better and rejuvenated. 

A thought on saying this, the day after it ended, I got a medium-level migraine attack. So, I don’t think this juice detox did much for my migraines. 

WHAT WOULD I DO DIFFERENTLY?

(Assuming I would do it again..)

The only thing I might do differently next time is buy it from the likes of Urban Remedy. It’s hard work making them all yourself and by the time you buy all the ingredients, it works out to be around the same cost. 

WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?

Hmmmm… Tricky one. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the results of the detox. Perhaps when my vision gets a little blurred (which it can, from my migraines), I may consider a 2-day one. I’m actually a strong believer of balance and moderation in life. So I’m not sure that depriving my body of solids for 3-4 days is healthy, per se. 

In the right time and for the right reasons, I might consider doing it again. 

But the short answer is, no – probably not again unless God calls for it. Maybe something for Lent?

Throw Away Your Health Goals, please!

Have you ever:
1. said to someone, “I’m on a diet”?
2. typed this into Google “how to lose weight in 5 days..”

Google Search -Lose Weight

3. have you looked at Before and After photos and thought, “yeah, I want to try that workout.”?
4. have you wished you enjoyed working out or was more athletic like that girl back in high school?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of them, then we have something in common and in this post I want to share with you something that changed my life.  I talk about it a lot in themes of my blog but probably not enough.

It’s literally throwing away setting ‘health goals’. It’s veering away from ‘I can do it’ with willpower.  It’s replacing this model of being a ‘goal-kicking achiever’ to being ‘willing’.  And then? No, ‘and then..’.   Yup, that’s it.  Just being ‘willing’.

This was how I started my talk at a recent workshop – Vision Casting & Life Strategies run by Fideliz Cruz.

I vividly recall the look in the audiences faces as I introduced this new concept of not having to ‘rely on your own willpower’  (not ALONE anyways) and replacing this concept with ‘faith’ and ‘willingness’.  There were confused faces, skeptical faces and raised eyebrows.  Until I showed them this….and then people were interested in what changed my life.

WillingnessOverWillpower

The left was when I was pregnant (I tried to find photos of post-pregnancy but I couldn’t find any. Surprise! And frankly it doesn’t make a difference because I looked practically the same) and the right was when my first born was 1 years old.

I was filled with willpower to lose my 25 kilos.  And I did it.  You see, I eat willpower for breakfast.  In fact, it’s my biggest enemy.  Because of this false sense of security, aka willpower, I have suffered from bulimia, anorexia, depression, anxiety and ended up in hospital many times in my life.  But at least twice for suicidal attempts.

My experience has told me that ‘willpower’ and kicking ‘health goals’ doesn’t sit quite right.  I’m sure some can relate, and others are like, “I kinda prefer to have your willpower.” And perhaps you sit on the other end of the spectrum, where you dream of your goals and never seem to be able to achieve them.

This is where I fault the system.  Relying on willpower sucks.

Willingness, on the other hand, is powerful.  It’s not judgemental.  It’s kinder.  It fits well for those who kick goals and those who don’t do so well with goals.  Either ways, we’re trying.  You can’t fail if you’re still trying, right?

Now, of course the questions is then, willingness to ‘what?’   I can’t answer that question for you but it must be something that is greater than your own being.  It must be sustainable.   Mothers can relate to this easily.  You are willing to sacrifice your needs for your children.

For me, it’s surrendering my willpower to control, to change things, to do things in My plan, My time,  My will ….to God.  You saw it coming, didn’t you?

Yup, here I am preaching again.  And get this.  I do it not because there is any specific gain.  It’s not a goal I’m kicking.   I preach because my life has changed since I’ve really picked up the cross and followed Jesus.  And I passionately feel it to share with you.

I’ve realised that He loves me in whatever shape, size or form I am.  He loves me no matter how many goals I kick or not.  There is no scoreboard.  In fact, because He loves me so much, it doesn’t matter if I put on a kilo or two every now and then.  He teaches me about balance and learning to love my body so that I am WILLING to treat my body with love and care.  Bring on a juice detox and do it with joy! Bring on a degustation and eat it with joy!  If you turn your eyes on Him, you’ll KNOW how important it is to stay healthy.

With this new lifestyle, I’m so thankful that my Vision is clear and my Lifestyle Strategy is rooted in a good place.  Everything I do, I turn my eyes to God and really trust in His health plan for me.  Not my own.

Today, if you’re wondering whether you could explore something different for your health goals, take time to ponder this verse from the Bible:

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,”  ~ Romans 17:14

Further to this, a genuine feeling of emptiness can sometimes be real and needs attention, too. Read more here.

 

Fideliz Cruz Vision Casting & Life Strategies Workshop – July 2016

Thank you for having me at this workshop, Fideliz Cruz.

Not only was it such an honour to speak at this event, it was such a pamper for me to hear from other speakers.  It was definitely a rich day and well spent.

For those of you keen on networking, watch this space for the upcoming workshops.  Ladies walk out of this workshop rejuvenated and relaxed!  It’s not even about investing in your time on a Saturday.  It’s a ‘I-want-to-make-sure-I-can-make-it’ kind of event.

Topics covered include: Fashion, Skincare & Beauty, Health, Finance, Business and Lifestyle to name a few.

Follow my blog and social media channels to get updated.


 

Silk Is Best at Nevillee

I love silk. I love it because I love the soft touch and how it glides in the skin. I also love it because I’m Chinese and fascinated by the cultural history and products of my culture. I also love it because it I’ve visited silk factories in China and seen their manufacturing process. I’ve got a sweet spot for this exotic material.  

Silk is also a material high in protein. Sounds new age and I’m not sure about scientific research on this as I haven’t done much of it yet, but accordingly to the Chinese, using silk products that have skin contact can have keep the skin supple and young. This isn’t just limited to skin care products but bedsheets, garments and even eye shades! 

I don’t own massive amounts of silk products but I certainly have one of each of the aforementioned. Yes, quilt cover and bedsheets, cocoon face masks, qipao (traditional Chinese dress from the 50’s) and eye shades too! 

You can see why I got extremely excited when my friend, founder of Nevillee, relaunched her brand with silk camisole and shorts. 

I couldn’t wait to put my order in on her VIP pre-launch and was privileged to get my very own silk camisole with my initials monogrammed together with a matching pair of silk shorts. 

Her tagline is “simplicity is a luxury”. I couldn’t agree more. Her pieces are both. Simple and luxurious. Her launch range isn’t wide but I highly recommend it as a commodity piece. Perfect elegance.

Check it out here and don’t forget the monogram service adds a special touch for gifts. The perfect gift idea!

Vision Casting & Life Strategies Workshop | July 2016

It’s midyear and it’s winter.  Do you feel sluggish?  Do you feel your new year’s resolutions will need to take a backseat (again)?  Need a booster to lift up your mind, body and spirit?

Don’t miss out on this workshop.  High in demand and with proven success from previous attendees, Fideliz Cruz is holding her one next month!  Seating is limited and early bird tickets end this week.  Don’t miss your chance to hear from experts in their area and mingle with like-minded women.  Get your tickets here.

I have the honour and pleasure to be speaking alongside 4 other experts covering topics on Finances & Money, Career, Health and Beauty and living life with purpose at an upcoming event.  See the list of speakers here.

Screenshot 2016-06-26 23.13.16.png

EVENT DETAILS
Date: Saturday, 23rd July 2016
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (AEST) Add to Calendar
Place: The Little Space – co-working space, meeting space and event space – Bondi Junction, Sydney. – 384 Oxford Street #3, Bondi Junction, NSW 2022 – View Map
Cost: $40 for early birds (ticket sales end midnight 2nd July)
$60 general admission

Confessions of a Life-Coachee

I’ve successfully completed my first life-coaching program and I’m so grateful to Jesus for dragging me onto this path when I wasn’t ready.  After the first session of this program, I already knew  I was called into it.  Fideliz Cruz, my dearest sister-in-Christ, is God-send.  Through her, the Lord gave me answers to questions that I didn’t want to ask.  He gave answers to unanswered questions.  It’s my pleasure and obligation to share this journey with you here.

Whenever I told people that I was getting life coached, they would literally raise their eyebrows.  Some with perplexed looks, others with skepticism and a small number who flat out thinks it’s a joke.

If you’re a life coach, please don’t take offence as you read on. For the record, you people are gifted, chosen and totally worth the investment.  However, I think the general perception of this increasingly popular career seems to met with ‘skepticism’ and ‘hesitation’.  Admittedly, I speak from experience.

If you ask me why, I think it’s because humans are inherently arrogant or self-righteous, to say the least. They are unwilling to hand over their arrogance and accept that they need an external, skilled person to help them tunnel their vision towards their REAL goals.

From my own surveying, it seems that the older the generation, the deeper the frown and skepticism when asked if he/she would invest in a life coach.

Baby boomers seem to be the most dismissive of such expertise (although they all seem to act like a life coach of some sort themselves.) The Gen X’s are working too hard to even bother.  Gen Y’s are probably the most receptive and open-minded to being coached.  The Millenials are just all Life Coaching each other.

I’m a Gen Y. But a frugal one.  Although I would fit into a life coach’s typical target audience,  it’s not easy to sell me ANYTHING.  Life coaching would be far down the list of things I would dream to invest in.  But it was God’s path for me.   The way Fideliz intercepted my life and how I bit the bullet into life coaching is Divine intervention.  I’ll save that story for if and when you and I to meet face to face.

The impacts of my life coaching program are HUGE.  Not little.  HUGE. And real.

Here were the 3 goals that Fideliz help me come up with and baby, did I score!

GOAL ONE – “Building a ministry that glorifies God, blessing me with an overwhelming sense of fulfilment”

From the first session where I wasn’t sure where I wanted to take Holy Yoga or where Holy Yoga was going to take me, I came out of the program having a solid goal, direction and upcoming business plan.  I’m so excited about this wellness centre that I even came up with a Mission Statement, “Feeding the mind, body and soul with God’s love through wellness and fitness services for spiritual women.

GOAL TWO – “Finding peace & comfort in my relationships & my success, empowering me to live in security & acceptance.”

I didn’t realise how much my daily personal relationships were shaping my goals, my vision and the way I act and react.  Having Fideliz guide me through those relationships, I had a new perspective and developed new techniques to manage relationship blockages in my life.  Most importantly, Fideliz gave me spiritual guidance and pointed back to Scripture (Ecclesiastes 3) on the seasons of life – when to nurture, when to let go.   On managing relationships, I learnt a beautiful technique – ‘nice girl’ vs ‘mean girl’ dialogue.  This technique required me to dig deep into problematic voices  I hear from certain relationships (aka ‘mean girl’ voice) and meeting those voices with my ‘nice girl’ voice.  I literally created a table like this one below:

MEAN GIRL KIND GIRL
[ACCUSATION] You were such a rebel.  You’re like an animal, can’t be tamed. That’s not true.  I accept that this is how it made you feel but I would love of us to walk around this stumbling block and move forward together, not allowing this to impact our future relationship.
[GUILT]  You didn’t reach out and care for your friends (even though you already know it’s a one-way situation) You tried your best, Jo.  There is a time of peace. [Ecclesiastes 3]
[HURTFUL] I wished you enjoyed being a stay-at-home mum.  I guess I’ll have to come to terms with not marrying that type of woman. I am good enough.  God has created a unique me.  I would make for a lousy someone else.  He wants me to be me and use my gifts to serve.  My gift may not be the ‘stay at home mum’ but I am certainly gifted in areas that I will serve in His Glory.

Lastly, I didn’t realise that I’d been carrying my resentment from years ago.  Fideliz gave me the courage and compassion to face those emotions.  Some of which were to grieve over losses of dreams that I would never be able to live.  Grieving was hard but it was required to find  closure and move on in positive light.   I came to realise that grieving is not limited to the loss of loved ones but even ones dreams.

GOAL THREE – “Floating around adventurously, dancing in freedom, happiness & love”

From there, Fids was gifted in helping me realise that my current life and lifestyle wasn’t so far off from the drivers of my dreams.  The reasons for my dreams and the emotional elements of my ‘shattered dream’ could still and is actually being fulfilled on a daily basis.  It was just that I need to stitch together my fragmented and disillusioned puzzles of my ‘dream’ and make them come true in other ways.  What manifested what a ‘self-love’ manual where I put down the ‘goals of my dreams’ into every day, practical examples.  Before I knew it, I was loving life already.  More so than ever before. I’m unstoppable now!

And here’s how this self-love manual manifested itself…something like this.  The WHEN is not real but you get the point!

— WHAT — 
— FREQUENCY— 
— WHEN —
Practice Holy Yoga
3 times a week
Mon, Wed, Fri
1 full day “me-time”
Weekly
Mon
Date night with hubby
Weekly
Tue
Family day
Weekly
Sat
Personal Growth & Development time
Monthly
1st Tue of every month
Girls night out dinner
Monthly
Last Thu of every month
Pamper Treatment
Monthly
Last Sat of every month
Travel getaway
Yearly
Eat healthy & feel good
Constant
So, why a life-coach?  Because they are trained.  Fideliz made a good point. She’s not God.  She does not have the answers.  God does and most of the time, we do.  Her job is not to answer the questions but to bring out the answers inside us or help us find the answers ourselves.  I describe it as the loose puzzle pieces or gold coins that are trapped inside a transparent glass piggy bank.  You know it’s there, you may even see them.  To access them, you need someone to smash the piggy bank for you and put the puzzle pieces together.  That driving force of the hammer IS the LIFE COACH.
Whether you are struggling to find purpose in life or whether you’re a go-getter with goals stuck on your vision board already, this is my recommendation.  Next time you meet a life coach you can connect with, give it your time and thought on investing in yourself.  Not investing in them.  Investing in yourself.  Because the returns of the breaking that piggy bank is worth it.

Small Changes, Big Effects | Being Grateful on a New Level

2015-09-29-1443535575-2767534-photo1430165558479de3cf8cf1478One of my Holy Yoga sisters shared this article on our Facebook group.  The author, Julie Cantrell, is one of the best-selling authors for the NY Times and also Holy Yogi!

On most days, I feel like the author of this article before she made the shift in perspective.  How liberating is it that just a small change in perspective brings so much joy and gratitude.  All this undeserving, unmerited grace I am given by our Father above and yet all these complaints about life.  Disgraceful…. But I’m not going to beat myself up because I know it’s all about the learning and the journey.

I am just thankful that I GET to have this new perspective… Thank you, Lord, for everything you let me GET to do.

The best 3 minute read  this year – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-cantrell/this-threeletter-word-wil_b_8123488.html

So, I made a change.

I replaced one four-letter word with a three-letter word, and everything came back to good. That’s all it took. The shift of one teensy-weensy little word. And voila! My once shriveling soul was smiling again. And still is.

Now, instead of saying, I HAVE to do x, y, z… I say I GET to do x, y, z.