For over 15 years I have lived to serve others. I have served my community in Natural Therapies as a practitioner a teacher and a mentor to enquiring minds. I have served as a Yoga teacher and educator working towards empowerment for the individual on a community level. I have served my family as a wife and mother of three young children. Most of my adult life has been spent in the service of others.
For the people who are called to serve others there is a great deal of self worth wrapped up in this process. There is instant gratification in the work that we do – we know that on a daily basis we have changed even if it is just in a small measure the lives of those we serve for the better.
I often get asked ‘how do you do it all?’ How do I run a household, run a successful small business, see clients, teach Yoga, run workshops, make Malas, and facilitate retreats??? The answer is in finding balance. Some days it all comes crashing down, some days I epically fail and you know what - it's ok to drop the ball form time to time. No one has died on my watch, my children are thriving and for all intents and purposes we are ‘succeeding’ at life or whatever that means in the modern world.
Part of the ability to find balance it also the ability to wear many hats, to walk away from toxic situations that no longer serve you, be authentic and assertive in your interactions with others and most importantly be able to remain empathetic to the needs of those around you, maintain distance and not drop into sympathy. We will talk about these in further detail but its critical to acknowledge that balance, peace and empowerment are learnt and desired skills. Not everyone was born knowing how to access these aspects of themselves but everyone can learn to cultivate a deeper understanding and a useful tool kit of these qualities to lead a life that is both rewarding, joyful and vibrant.
Beginning your life of service..
But what does it really mean… ‘To serve’? Are we talking about a modern form of self-induced slavery? Are we talking about a life so heavily sacrificed that it was a life not fully lived? Are we assuming that a life of service is something less than a full life? These are all of the questions and more that I am going to address here and for the most part some of these can be very true in their assumptions particularly for those of us who serve without awareness of self and are leading an unbalanced and un- empowered life not of service but in service.
To be clear, when I say life of Service I am actually talking about any vocation that calls you to serve others. Whilst I am calling on my experiences as a practitioner, teacher, mentor and mother this skill set is highly transferable to anyone in any vocation. A life of service requires you essentially to give your time sometimes paid or unpaid for the fulfilment of others. It is a very humble and noble calling in life and we certainly do not enter into it seeking fame and most definitely not fortune. While ever you are giving to the needs of others there is rarely enough of your own empowerment to ask to take what you need in return. We feel guilt about how much ‘time’ we can allocate to each individual, we pay rent, we drive distances and perform ‘out of the box’ tasks for those in need usually without any expectation of remuneration in return. And at first it's all fine, what you give out comes back right? When you put in the groundwork at some stage you reap the rewards? Right? Yes and no…..
We begin a life of service out of a deeper need to help others, to heal our own wounds and to actively feel rewarded and validated on a daily basis. What we don’t realise is that this life of service whilst meeting all of those needs and more can also be exhausting, soul sacrificing work that requires us to take on the role of a martyr if you aren’t conscious of your time and actions. We easily fall into giving into everybody else’s needs and wants out of shear exhaustion and because peace at any price seems easier than having to assert or articulate ourselves. The trap here is that we push aside who we are to be for everything that everybody else needs. Which at the time seems noble, valid and fulfilling. That is until you emotionally burn out, your jug runs empty and or you aren’t needed anymore. What happens then? What happens to you? Some how, some where along the way you lost yourself in your service and without the ability to be able to serve you literally have nothing left.
Whilst all of this sounds very doom and gloom its actually not and its not that hard to change the outcome of what is a truly rewarding vocation. You have all of the information you need to equip yourself so that this does not happen to you but ultimately it will come down to the choices you make on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, in the fast paced world that we live in taking a holiday once a year is definitely not enough. We work longer hours, we take our work home with us and find it difficult to switch off the integration of work and home life. It's challenging to just ‘be’ home or just ‘be’ with the kids or friends. And whilst I admire the supreme multi-tasker in us all and absolutely utilise her on a daily basis there has to be down time. Making room for you to just be you is one of the most important aspects of finding balance.
Let's start back at the very beginning. When did the need to help others arise for you? Perhaps you were the small child playing nursemaid to any sick or injured person or animal. Or maybe you were the adolescent who thought joining in on fundraising activities and helping out community groups was a great way to spend your time. Or perhaps it was later in life that you decided to extend yourself beyond yourself and ‘give’ back. Whatever your reason, whatever your journey or your story it really doesn’t matter. We have all arrived at the same point and are now left standing here thinking ‘what’s next’. You have been serving your community, your tribe for a little while now and whilst its is endlessly rewarding and enjoyable its downright exhausting so ‘what now’?
It was once said to me by a very wise friend – “Lina, your life is all about balance, you need to focus on finding and creating it because when you are out of balance it all goes very downhill for you very quickly.” Even though I am quite sensitive I don’t think that this is just true for me. I think that this statement applies to every single person on this planet but in particular – those in a life of service. If your tank is empty you cannot drive your car. You have to fill it up and once you do you can drive for 100’s kilometres and take amazing adventures. If you do not put oil in the engine eventually it will seize and then no matter how much petrol you put in the tank the car will never go again. Finding balance and ‘filling your tank’ is a multifaceted business.
A beautiful Naturopath friend of mine always says ‘ the mother wolf must first feed herself before she can feed her cubs’. I often requote her because I think that this is a truly lovely analogy. Without the ability to know how to truly nourish yourself on a physical, emotional and spiritual plane then you are not fully equipped to aid others. An act of self-love is never selfish but a necessary part of your being and your growth as an individual. For years I have been having conversations with students about creating space for themselves in their day and I always get met with the same response – I just don’t have the time. What I have to say to that is that none of us actually have the time – you can’t make time but you can certainly make space. We have so many tools at our disposal now that there is really no excuse to not be able to streamline your day to a certain degree. How many hours a day to you spend watching TV, on Facebook, surfing the internet, playing games on your phone, engaging in salacious gossip or even just transitioning from one task to the next? Every single one of us has some ‘time fat’ that can be trimmed off somewhere and if you truly think that you don’t then you are in the more need of help than the rest of us.
The next question is how do I ‘find’ the time and make the space? The first thing that I suggest to people is just for a couple of days conduct your own time in motion study. You don’t need a fancy spread sheet or to create more work for yourself. All that you need to do is keep a notepad handy or use the notepad app on your smartphone and write a list of the activities you are doing that day at what time and how long they have taken you. The purpose being that at the end of the couple of days or week you can see exactly where your time is spent in the day and you will start to get a clearer picture of where you are wasting some of it. Once you can identify these areas and times you can start put into place some smarter solutions for this time and energy.
Now that I have made space – what do I do with it?
So we have made some space, reorganised our activities and perhaps even ditched some of our old habits now we can begin the process of reallocating the time to activities that help to refill our cup. For example, obviously since I teach Yoga, Yoga is a heart activity that brings me immense pleasure and deep relaxation. So, for me to give up an hour of mind-numbing TV in the evening to go to a Yoga class is a no brainer.
I would ask that you try writing yourself a list of all of the things that you LOVE doing. Perhaps you like reading books or taking a walk on the beach, gentle exercise, taking a nap or an all inclusive sweat your but off boot camp. If creating an art piece or cooking a delicious dessert for loved ones makes your heart happy then add it to the list. Now the best part is adding these activities to the ‘space’ that you have created. It is often said that you need time for yourself every day and it should be no less than at least 15mins, so find an activity that you can do for yourself every day and we are well on track.
I like to make time first thing in the morning for myself – I get up before my children are our of bed and practice Yoga, take a walk, surf or just breathe and be knowing that if I achieve nothing else in the day I haven’t forgotten to nurture myself. It also has to become habitual to nurture yourself and if it is first thing in the morning then it is much less likely that other activities will be scheduled in conflict. It also means that you haven’t left yourself with the scraps of yourself. What I mean by this is that if you leave ‘your’ time to last thing at night every night you get the tired, cranky unmotivated version of yourself who is easily persuaded into just going to bed or veg’ing out in from of the TV. We easily fall into the trap of our old patterns, self disrespect and before you know it you have allowed the cup to get empty again. This is also where the conundrum lies, for it is when you are tired and cranky that your mental faculties are low and your vitality fading that you need to prioritise your self-love time. If you don’t do it nobody else will and at the end of the day you are the one who suffers. Nobody else has to live in your body, walk though your life or suffer though any of your difficulties. This task falls on your shoulders; it is your responsibility to prioritise your self first.
It is important that I mention here that I am not advocating that you all dump your life's responsibilities and families and run away to join a hill tribe because you feel a soul calling to do so. I am asking you to take small steps every day to nurture yourself and perhaps book that hill tribe visit but return to the life you have created for yourself revitalised and refreshed.
If money is an issue for you, your daily self love can include oodles of free activities like walking, running, swimming in the ocean, bird watching, sketching in scrapbooks, singing or dancing in the lounge room to the radio. Many local Councils support the active and healthy lifestyle and hold free weekly community class in a variety of sports and activities. Your local library will stock Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi DVD’s, books on meditation and also often hold free or low cost workshops. Perhaps you can even find someone who is willing to barter or trade with you for an activity or class that you are interested in. Reach out to your community and allow them to support you.
Even with your new found daily routine of self love we still get ourselves into ruts. Deep dark ditches of despair that we can't quite seem to extract ourselves from because yes we lead a life of service to others and from time to time listening to the complaints of the world gets wearing. Being expected to fix everything and everyone all the time is downright exhausting and no matter how much daily time you manage to schedule for yourself you just can’t get that jug to refill. It is at this time you are probably on the verge of a major burnout. One of two things will happen. You will either change what you are doing or start suffering from depression. I know that this all sounds awful but its actually a wonderful opportunity for growth and introspection and there are plenty of things that you can do about it.
Firstly, you need to reassess your vocation – is it the work, do you not feel called to it anymore? Is it your circumstances, are your colleagues creating challenges for you? What aspect specifically are you struggling with and is there a creative solution? It is important to remember that life is fluid and ever changing often when we feel stuck it is only our approach to the situation that is stuck, there is always room for movement.
Once you have identified what the issue is you can now take steps to rectify the situation. Perhaps you just need a break from the daily hum drum.
Through a life of humble service we can only hope to achieve our greatest heartfelt expansions....
In your service .. Lina x
What a whirlwind of a year right? I don't think that there is anyone who hasn't been through a massive change or transition this year - ourselves included!
We just wanted to thank you all for an amazing start to our business dream and for your warmth, confidence and support. We couldn't have wished for a more incredible community to be part of. We are overwhelmed with the commitment and dedication you have all shown for your own health and betterment.
This year has brought with it some huge changes to our family, huge changes to our business and even a facelift for this clinic. We are still fine tuning our clinic space and if you haven't been in to see us in the past week or so we have some new treatment room space for Lina to expand her Ayurvedic offerings come January! We also have some other exciting things happening in 2019 so stay tuned...
From all the team at Pure Health Therapies we wish you and yours the most relaxing and joyful Christmas season and can't wait to see you all back on the treatment table in the New Year.
We are closed 25th-27th Dec and New Years Day
With loving vitality,
Nathan, Lina and the team!
So you have arrived at a place in your life you were not sure you would ever get to. Or perhaps you hoped you would never get to? At some stage we all have to face the fact that our bodies are not invincible and that the small things we do every day incrementally take their toll.
Like servicing your car and using the right petrol to keep it running efficiently, the body, much the same requires premium products to maintain its integrity. If you were to put diesel into a petrol car the engine would seize. Similarly, if you put toxins into the body eventually somewhere where there is weakness, will fail to function optimally. The difficult part with the body however is that it is such an incredibly resilient machine that you can literally put small amounts of poison into it on a daily basis for decades and not start to see the effects until there is a significant problem. This is itself problematic on so many levels. The most common thing we hear from people in the clinic is "i eat pretty well" and then generally in the following sentence "my disease just came out of no where".
In both Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine disease rarely 'appears' out of nowhere. There is a very clear map of the body and how the disease came to be manifest. There are always symptoms that are seemingly unrelated that have been occurring for years and been dismissed as 'normal for my body'. While there is a 'normal' range most of us do not know what this is and most of us ignore too many symptoms that truly are just the warning signs of imbalance and disease beginning to manifest.
Years of study are dedicated to diagnostic tools for detecting and correcting imbalance before it manifests as serious illness. Preventative medicine is what we do best and if given the opportunity to we can assist to return the body to balance and give you the tools to maintain that balance in your daily life.
Nothing breaks our heart more than seeing someone be struck down by illness 'out of nowhere'. No one expects that it will be them and because of this we buy into expensive private health insurance policies 'just in case', we try the latest fads in diets, fight the machines at the gym and yo-yo from one extreme to the next going for long periods off the wagon and then extreme periods on again. This approach is actual more harmful than you think. Finding a lifestyle choice that is for every day, every month or every year that is attainable, realistic and sustainable is key. Not just until you fit into that dress or clear up your skin or look good for such and such. What if you could find a new level of vitality every day, joy and gratitude in your living and sustained health and wellbeing? Is that not something that you would explore? What if there were no more meal replacement shakes, bootcamps, or juice fasting? What if, simply by eating whats right for your body type, regular maintenance of the body though Acupuncture, Massage and other treatments you could live the best, healthiest life possible?
Small baby steps every day, nothing radical, nothing extreme, just finding pleasurable balance....
Do you have niggling aches pains or discomfort? Digestive issues? Bloated? Headaches? Regular colds and flu? Your body is trying to tell you something... become a master listener and do something about it and feel well. Small baby steps...
With loving vitality,
Lina and Nathan
In recent weeks we have seen some highs and lows in our beautiful clinic and as we build momentum its important to keep it all in perspective. Where the attention goes, energy flows and without focus and direction we all lose our way and tend to get lost from time to time. It is part of the human condition. Rigid approaches and routines create rebellion and fatigue, you have to make sure that you celebrate the victories and continue to create joy in your living. For without, there is no point really is there? The trick is to not completely throw the baby out with the bath water.
The biggest hurdle that clients face when trying to change their diet and lifestyle is the change itself. So many appear and want the magic answer or magic pill that is going to make all of their health issues disappear without any participation or work. Well, here it is... There is no magic cure/trick/pill.
If you want to make sustained change then you have to show up every day to your life and do the work. Its that simple.
Asking to lose weight but wanting to do everything EXCEPT stop eating the things that are putting on the weight is not going to work. We as individuals must take responsibility for our own wellbeing and make the changes.
On a positive note though - what a wonderful position most of us are lucky enough to be in where we have a few things that 'bug' us but nothing life threatening or serious just yet. Why wait until illness presents to make the changes for a life full of vitality and wellness?
For example, many years ago a client of ours was approached by a relative informing them that there was a genetic factor that may predispose them to cancer. The relative went on to impress on the client how important it was that the client go for testing, have regular invasive check ups (some of which have been shown to increase the risk of cancer themselves) and put herself through a lot of unnecessary pain, burden and worry. After much soul searching, the client decided two things... the first was that the information would not help her in any way as she already lived the life she would be living whether she had the gene or not. She lead a holistic lifestyle filled with yoga, nutrition, adequate rest, exercise.. there is nothing she would do differently. She wouldn't adopt a radical 'healing' diet because she was already living these aspects to the best of her ability. She was already receiving regular therapeutic treatments to keep her body balanced and as a whole continued to work on herself, her body and mind on a daily basis. Secondly, it actually had nothing to to with her... after consulting many holistic specialists she came to the conclusion that even though it was the fate of those who had come before her, it was not her path and she would spend the rest of her life (long before disease did or did not present itself) striving for health and balance regardless of what a test may or may not say. Now this approach may seem like hard work to some of you but let me tell you, it is much easier to live the life your body and mind need than to try and heal a body after a lifetime of abuse and neglect. It is far better to feel great every day and live in alignment than to muddle your way through only to get to the other end and be told... I'm sorry but you have 3 months to live and there is nothing we can do.
Show up and do the work.... It doesn't guarantee that you will never get sick but it does guarantee that if you do you will have the best chance of returning to health. How many people have you witnessed receive a dire diagnosis radically change their diet and lifestyle to try and give their body the best chances to heal. It is because we know - we know that the healing occurs only when our body is supported and nourished. We instinctively know that the food we place in our bodies is either healing or harmful. We seek healers and yogis, meditation and detoxification... so why only once we are ill? Why not now??
The second biggest factor in clients not being able to sustain change is that so much of it is actually unrealistic or unsustainable! No carbs, low fat, liquid only, juice cleanse, high protein, raw, portion controlled... the list is exhaustive and while in the short run occasionally reaps results, they are not sustainable long term and in fact are not lifestyle choices but fads to achieve a certain 'goal' and once that 'goal' is reached (to fit that dress, look good for that event, meet that new man) it all falls by the wayside and so too does our health and wellbeing.
Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine both strive to empower individuals to take control of their own health and wellbeing. Under the guidance of a qualified practitioner individuals are given the tools to take back the yoyo dieting, seasonal fluctuations and lows associated with the constant state of flux that is life. The aim of these therapies is not to get you on a merry-go-round you can't get off of. In fact the opposite is true - we want you to get off the merry-go-round. Health is a balance and it is ever changing, when life throws you a curve ball we will be here to help but in the meantime you deserve the tools to be able to manage it yourself with knowledge of your body, simple remedies and the information you need to eat right for your body seasonally.
What if we told you that with 3 simple tools you could eliminate up to 70% of disease manifestation - just 3 things that you can do on a daily basis that will help to boost your immune system, detox your body and prevent further damage from an unbalanced lifestyle... would it be worth it? Could you do those 3 things every day for the rest of your life?
The simple real truth is this... small steps, every day, show up, do the work and you will improve your life far beyond what you could have ever expected.
Keep it real - you can spend your whole life trying to accumulate wealth at the expense of your mental, emotional and physical health and at the end of it all you can try and 'buy' back some of that health. It rarely works. You can't outsource your health and wellbeing, you need to work with someone to maintain it and gain the information you need to manage it yourself. Find a system, a practitioner, a modality that resonates with you, research it with your eyes wide open then commit to it. Really do it. Every day for the rest of your days, show up and do the work.
With loving vitality,
Lina and Nathan
Lina and Nathan are passionate about health and wellbeing. They are inspired by daily life and grateful for the simplicity of breath. For what else is there but life and breath. Sharing their knowledge is important to them as information gathered and not shared is wasted and they are of a firm believe that nothing in this life should be wasted.