Monthly Archives: November 2014

Mel Collie | Would you like an easy way to improve your balance?

Mel Collie | Would you like an easy way to improve your balance?

Balance – when we grow up our balance starts to falter, we become less steady on our feet, less secure about crossing the road, unsure about walking down the stairs, heights scare us, worried when we are in a crowd – fear of being knocked over, missing the step up onto the bus, fear of breaking a bone that will take ages to heal…

Would you like an easy way to get your balance back?

I’ve seen, and tried, many ways to train balance, but many of them involve you standing on a wobbly surface.

Now , since I’ve been on the planet, the ground beneath my feet isnt wobbly, its perfectly sound ,no wobbles in sight, so I wouldn’t choose to put you on a wobbly surface to improve your already unsure balance system.

The thought of doing this can increase fear in the nervous system which means the brain will further tighten certain muscles and increase pain.

Thats not a great start…

The science bit

The inner ear – the vestibular system on the inner ear is responsible for your balance.

It works with your visual system, your eyes, it keeps objects in focus as your head moves. So it makes sense, don’t you think, to use exercises to help your balance improve by usng your eyes and your head movements, simple moves, easily followed. Much easier for you if your balance is already a bit shaky , as these easy moves can be done seated or even lying down, standing by a wall or chair.

The simple bit

Watch and follow along with me to test your balance and improve it.

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk

melcollie@gmail.com

07800797300

mel collie | inner ear balance
would you like to improve your balance easily and quickly

 

Mel Collie |Are your actions in line with who you want to be?

Mel Collie |Are your actions in line with who you want to be?

 

I’ve recently started to train for a challenge, and its made me think about a few things…its made me wonder about actions, excuses and if you are actually stuck in a rut, what are you going to do about it? Expect others to help you out? Blame others for not helping you out? Blame the weather?

When I ran Bootcamp sessions, clients started out with great intentions, then the excuses started to come in…why?because life got in the way..the excuses started to come in.

So,when I started to train for the Three Peaks Challenge, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I was looking for something to challenge me, a fitness and health related challenge, to get me off my bum, away from the TV, out in the fresh air, and to earn money for a charity at the same time.

I researched a few charity websites  and their organised challenges, a couple of them I might do next year, but when I chatted to my other half about them, he mentioned the challenge he had done 3 times, the Three Peaks. I knew nothing about this, and when he explained all about it , and that he would help train me, I decided I would go for it.

Week one looked like this:

Monday: 30 minute weights intensity training

Tuesday: 3 mile walk

Wednesday 5 mile walk

Thursday 6 miles

Friday Interval Training with weights

Saturday 6.8 miles

Sunday Day off, bouldering by the sea.

This week looks like this:

Monday 4 hour walk, 40 minute ice skating, 30 minute interval training.

Tuesday 5 mile walk

Wednesday – 4.5 mile walk

Thursday – Interval Training

Friday – 10 mile walk

Saturday – 10 mile walk

Sunday Day off.

I have got a plan for weeks 3 – 10, but I wont bore you with them, however…Tuesday morning, I found I was knackered after such a long day, the 4 hour walk was around the Eden project here in Cornwall, followed by the ice skating session, which Im rubbish at,, but its such a laugh, and thats important, we don’t laugh enough!

Anyway, Tuesday morning, I could’ve had a lie in, I could’ve made excuses, I could’ve told my self ” ah well, you can train tomorrow, its not important, you’ve done quite a bit already, do more next week”

Great excuses, for some, a bit like calling in sick when you cant be bothered. I recognised those excuses, they are just thoughts..

I got my walking boots on and took myself off for a long walk, a strenuous walk, as humans, we are capable of walking at about 3 miles per hour, I was aiming for 4, with a few steep up hill ascents along the way and some great scenary too, my mindset about half way into the walk was ” take a short cut here, go back early” , tempting, but I ignored it, and went on further, reminding myself of why I started this in the first place, the action I would have to do, everyday, to achieve it, and visualising the outcome.

Excuses are just thoughts.

Thoughts …what are they.. they are just thoughts, there to challenge you, to steer you off course, to help you, to keep you stuck, the trick is to embrace the thoughts, step back and see them for what they are, have no atachment to them, sounds tricky?

Try this :

When you have a thought, like I had the though ” you dont want to do a walk today, you are too tired”

I ask ” is that true?”

If the answer comes back as NO, then I get on with the walk, if the answer comes back as Yes, I challenge it, “Really? is it really true?”

Well, no it isn’t, I’m not exhausted, the human body is designed to move, a lot, all day, every day, we do more harm  by doing less.

When Ive challenged my thought, I then ask myself ” who would I be without that thought?”

…and thats the crux of it all…I would be me, doing what I said I would be doing, training for a challenge for charity, I would be happier, content having achieved what I set out to achieve.

It takes work

It means showing up every day

But whats the alternative?

Staying the same…being happy with average. If thats where you are at and are happy with that, then thats ok.

If you arent, then its down to you to show up and do what you said you were going to do.Do the work. Be the change .

If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Truth is, they arent  🙂

However,when you are following your desire, your passion, questioning your thoughts, doing the work, you find your path, it becomes easy, because taking the alternative of pain, discomfort, frustration, becomes second best.

Arent you better than settling for that?

Mel

x

www.melcollie.com

www.melcollie.co.uk

References: Byron Katie – the Work.

Mel Collie | Bloated?

Mel Collie | Bloated?

Most of us nowadays are stressed and rushing around, eating food on the go, not chewing our food well, feeling bloated and tired, anxious and depressed with obesity on the increase too…. can we help ourselves by starting with the simple things, by looking at how we eat.

When we are constantly day after day stressed and anxious, spinning many plates, eating on the run, doing many things all at once, your sympathetic nervous system (fight and flight) is in dominance , which leads to IBS, digestive issues, skin disorders,sleep issues, anxieties, low calcium absorption, low uptake of minerals in the food you eat, low selenium, increased bacterial infections increase, feelings of overwhelm, reaching for bad food choices.

Stress slows down the digestive system, the parasympathetic(rest and digest)  nervous system never gets a chance, it shuts down, affecting digestion and our ability to rest.

Do you actually schedule a time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, do you really make time for yourself to take time out of your stressful routine when it comes to meal times? or do you grab a sandwich and eat it in the car, walking down the street, or skipping lunch and snacking at your desk in the afternoon?

When you eat your food, chew it well, without the TV on, in a calming and peaceful happy environment, away from the computer/i-pad, away from social media and the noise of the TV and the distraction of the mobile.  This might seem impossible sometimes if the kids are driving you crazy, but, with some patience, meals at the table with no mobiles or tvs on is possible, mobiles and TV’s just  distract you and mean you chew less and dont even notice the food being eaten, which in turn can lead to you feeling more hungry and eating more food.

Just this simple thing can make a massive difference to your digestion, your health and wellness. You will find you sleep better, your good digestive bacteria increases, constipation decreases, increases the chances of your gut healing, helps your mood and decreases anxieties as theres a connection from the brain to the gut.

Also, a benefit to your digestive system is to eat fats – we tend to think fats are bad for us and we will get fat if we eat fats, but ..fat helps your brain, Omega 3 is brilliant, fish for example, or a really good quality fish oil, avocados are a good source of fats too. Omega 6 fats need to be kept lower, we dont need as much Omega 6 as we do Omega 3. So keep the overall eating of nuts to a handful a day, and change from sunflower/rapeseed/canola oil to coconut oil or olive oil or ghee.

When your digestion is your priority, your whole self benefits. The mood hormone, Seratonin, is produced in your gut, 80% of it, but not when your digestion isnt working well.

1. Eat slowly, your mouth helps your gut, digestion starts in the mouth, not the stomach.

2. Enjoy your mood as you eat your food, smile, laugh, eat with people you like to spend time with.

3. Lower grains/bread and dairy consumption, gluten and dairy (milk/cake/biscuits/cheese) can all aggravate the gut absorption of minerals, and increase anxieties and depression.

4. Take time out to eat your meals, slow down, eating is your time, not work time.

Love the good fats. Love your belly without the bloat.

 

Mel Collie

x

www.melcollie.com

www.melcollie.co.uk

Mel Collie | Are you always right?

Mel Collie | Are you always right?

I am one of those types of people that believes their version of life is the right version, I believe that I can be extremely stubborn, my mums like it (love you mum!) so was her mum and so was her mum, so maybe its hereditary!

But…for a while now, through relaxation techniques Ive adopted over the past couple of years , I’ve recognised this is a stressful thing for me, and I dont like it, I dont like the friction it can bring and confrontation that can occur as a result of having to be right.

What if there is no right or wrong?.

Right from the beginning of our life on Earth, we are taught the difference between right and wrong, which helps us to see the right way, and can steer us towards our beliefs and values.

However when we grow up we harbour those feelings of being bad or naughty , and they become our daily habits. We continually judge ourselves when we are being, what we perceive, as bad, telling ourselves off for not sticking to a healthy habit like eating more vegetables and less sugar for example, for not exercising more, for not being good enough, for not keeping up with the neighbours.

When we fail, we feel bad, it can spiral out of control, and lead us to binge eating or purging, hiding away and ignoring our feelings

Feeling shame and not sharing our story

My kind of liberation from the chains of right or wrong, good or bad, came when I read “Conversation with God Book 1 – 3 “by Neale Donald Walsch , and “Dying to be me” by Anita Moorjani

My lessons learned and understood are that we are all equal, all part of a tapestry, all the same.

We all fear the same things, all feel shame and, we all worry what others think of us, when we act out our “should have done that” or” could’ve said that” , or, “it would’ve been like that if only I had…”

All regret, all based on fear, all based on what we perceive as right, wrong, good, bad.

All perceptions. Core beliefs.

I went to sunday school when I was little .It was a common belief that you had the fear of God put into you if you were bad…who was to decide whats good or bad in the first place, is it based on their own principles? Their own core beliefs?

Who says eating a whole bag of Revels is bad? (ok, every day maybe….)
Who says that not drinking 3 litres of water a day is bad?
Who says that having a couple of cups of coffee a day is bad?
Arent we all unique, our own unique cells and fluids of lymph and blood circulating inside of us..we all react differently to the foods we eat and the environment surrounding us.

So, when you look at good and bad, as I was taught at Sunday school, God will punish you if you are bad, does that mean he will punish me for eating all those Revels? (especially the Orange ones, they are my favourite – take note Revel people, and start selling them on their own..:) )

Punished if you dont pray to him every night
Punished if you sin and have sex before you are married ..
Punished if you accidentally tread on an ant
Punished if you swear
Punished if you arent serving God
Punish you if you dont eat fish on a Friday or say grace before eating.

Really?…all these values are expressed and taught so we actually begin to FEAR the very person who is the higher self? Is that what religion is based on…fear?

Do you believe that to be true? If you sin , then God will punish you?
Doesnt that make God a person (kind of) who judges us?
Why would God judge you? – isnt that what he DOESNT want us to do, judge ourselves? Then why would he judge us?

If God has values then aren’t  “we all doomed ” (in a Dads Army type voice!)

In CWG book 3, Neale writes, “God has no values.”
Which makes sense doesn’t it?

For example, if you believe he does have values, then you believe he will say this to you – “You did this, and I wanted you to do that, so now you must be punished.”

Can you imagine that happening to the people that God created.

Thats you and me…

So, your values, as long as they are value-able to you, right here and now, they serve you, then they are value-able.

Do what works
Choose what is right or wrong by what works

Love
Gratitude
Peace

….all work

Killing
Fighting
War
Hatred
Judging each other and ourselves

…dont work

Choose what works.

Choose Love for the self and for others
Gratitude for what you have
Feel the peace that comes with those 2 things

Bliss..:)

Can we do that?

I did, (wasnt easy at times!) and saw changes around me, and even though I do, sometimes, feel a little bit naughty for missing a meditation session or eating those Orange Revels, I care a little less about those guilty feelings as they are let go with love, so yes, I feel love more, I feel less shame, and feel more gratitude for what I do have, definitely live more in peace and theres less anger and fear.

That saying is true, be the change you want to see in the world, it begins with you, your thoughts, your values, your choices that serve you, that are value-able.

Help and serve yourself first, then you are in the best position to help and serve others.

Mel

x

www.melcollie.com

www.melcollie.co.uk

Mel Collie | Anxiety & Stress

Mel Collie | Anxious & Stuck? Breathe…

Mel Collie | Anxious & Stuck? Breathe…

 

Isnt it annoying when someone tells you to just relax…especially when you are stressed, busy, feel anxious, cant seem to find a way out of the circles you rush around in

Whats going on and how can you help yourself?

Lets have a look deep inside your system, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which controls the functions to maintain life. The ANS has 3 systems, two of which I will discuss here , that cannot work at the same time, its one or the other, and as these systems can be out of balance which can affect your stress levels, breathing, mindset, digestion, immune system, inflammation, anxiety..

So lets first look at the PNS:

PNS – that stands for your Parasympathetic Nervous System.
This is your rest and rebuild system. One of its jobs are to be responsible for your digestion and repair of your body and elimination of waste and toxins. To help it, relaxation, de stress, healthy eating, quiet times.

SNS – that stands for your Sympathetic Nervous System
This is also known as your fight or flight system. It prepares your body to fight or flee, run from a threat or danger.

Are they out of balance?

When the SNS is dominant you will probably be feeling anxious, stressed, drinking caffeine and eating processed foods and sugar. Maybe over training at the gym and not recovering or resting. The SNS requres delivery of the blood to the muscles which means that it takes it away from your centre,from the digestion. Thats why they recommend you dont exercise after eating . If this happens, one symptom you may have will be constipation as the digestion will be poor.

SNS dominance can also show up as you waking up feeling as though you havent slept well, sweating at night, feeling anxious, stress from financial issues, over-eating (especially processed foods that fail to nourish you with minerals and vitamins) , lack of sex or passion in your relationship through either your reduced desire (Too busy, too tired?) or you move towards the other end of the scale and have too much sex but with little connection with your partner- or who ever you are with.

We can suffer from many of the all at once cant we..feeling tired, worried about the mortgage, worried about deadlines at work, drinking a lot of coffee to stay awake, reaching for toast and sandwiches and pasta for quick and easy solutions for food, no time for sex, shallow breathing, bad digestion, constant colds and inflammation, feeling anxious…its not hard to see that many of us can be stuck in a dominant Sympathetic Nervous System.

So, what can you do about it?

1. Exercise. But the right kind. Find relaxing exercise like Yoga or Pilates, going for walks in the woods or on the beach, Tai Chi, reduce time in the gym. If you find that training hard is getting you nowhere, no results, try and change your routine for exercise thats not as harsh on your system. You might not like it, but you will begin to see results. This is what they mean when they tell you to listen to your body. Listen, then act. The more your ignore your bodies cries for help, the more it will persist.

2. Breathing . Focus on deep breathing, slowly, from the diaphragm and not from dominating your breathing from the chest

3. Nutrition. Choosing fruits and vegetables over pasta, bread, sugar, ready meals. Eat great fresh food 5 or 6 times a week, have one day off, see what happens. You may need to eat well 7 days a week to move a little more to your PNS system.

4. Meditate. Quieten the mind from the negativity and the chatter in your head which can lead to stress, negativity, taking on too much, reducing your self worth so never saying “No” to work which will increase your workload and stress. Meditation will help you remain calm and focused. Use it like a dentist or doctors appointment – never miss a session, even if its for a minute.

5. Quiet Time – quiet time at the end of the day reading a book, having a bath, turn off the TV (the News can be stressful..) talk to your partner, have a cuddle.

6. Care for yourself. Take care of yourself with regular massage. Find someone local who can offer you a special deal – buy 5 get one free for example, as an incentive to keep you going. The aromatherapy oils , the touch you feel, all help relax and reduce stress in the mind as well as the body, boosts the immune system, increase wellness and vitality through relaxation.

We are all different, what works for one wont work for another.

If you recognise that you are SNS dominant, make a couple of changes, thats all, just start by picking one for 7 days to adopt, if it all seems overwhelming at first, then take time to see what happens, what changes.

Some of us may only require a couple of small changes, others may require more, one size doesnt fit all, you find what works for you.

Enjoy creating your own sunshine.

Mel Collie
x

References: Paul Check – July 2013 newsletter. Paul Check – How to Eat Move & Be Healthy.
Byron Robinson. The Abdominal & Pelvic Brain (free to download and read http://archive.org/stream/abdominalandpel00robigoog#page/n2/mode/2up)
Deepak Chopra – Super Brain
Norman Doidge – The Brain that Changes itself