How to Heal from Past Relationships

Dr Vanessa Dias deals with a prolific but rarely properly handled subject.

Dr Vanessa Dias deals with a prolific but rarely properly handled subject. When we are “released’ into the world, we are not fully aware of how others can affect us for the long term. All relationships impact on us at a cellular level and I believe her suggestion to get to the root of the pain is sound advice. Do not run away from your pain. You need to heal. First accept it, acknowledge the pain and then search remedies in a holistic approach such as through a combination of yoga, crystal healing, meditation, you time and positive self-affirmations.

When I Change, the World Changes

Dare to make a difference by adopting just 5 new attitudes for 24 hours. Experience the power of inner peace and a pure positivity. Release your inner – peaceful – warrior.

I had arrived on my own. The last thing I was feeling was adventurous. The Queen Suite at the Cedar Court Hotel, Harrogate was dotted with prospective listeners, certainly not enough to afford a secure hiding place where I could sneak in unnoticed to listen to:

Dare to Make a Difference

an experiential talk by Jane Kay, Brahma Kumaris

My intentions may have been narrow-minded, to while away some time, but the results were mind blowing.

The genteel speaker’s words were thought-provoking and I rose to her personal challenges (see below). When the rickety music player began emitting some poor quality Hindu music I felt sure that the group meditation at the end would be more of a moment for further reflection and relaxation. I did not expect to see the flood of light emanate from Jane Kay to fill the room… was it some kind of technological trickery or an optical illusion? Perhaps I could explain it away with the fact that I was focusing on the centre of her forehead as instructed thereby de-focussing my peripheral vision. Yes, my logical ego-lead head had managed to explain away the phenomenon, but it was stumped when the room was then filled with a purple haze. True wondrous purple everywhere I looked.

Now I was ready to take the dare to change myself, to change the world. Are you?

1) Retain a sense of peace

Regardless of what situation you are confronted with, you should try to retain an intrinsic sense of internal peace. After all, we only get upset or annoyed when others don’t do things the way that we would… just let go of this need for control. Example: If your child does not tidy his/her room, is it worth you loosing your temper? You and the household will suffer and the room will be untidy again next week. Don’t let things bother you; experience how peace will reign.

The challenge is not to complain or criticise for 24 hours

2) Love everyone and everything

This is a hard one. You may meet people you really do not feel any love for, so here is how you manage this challenge: see everybody as a sunflower. Everyone out there is like me and you. We are all doing what we can to get on in life, we’re all different, but all the same too.  Do not judge, you only see a snapshot of peoples’ lives not the whole picture. Like a dirty river does not tell you about the clear bubbling spring and the beautiful lush green landscapes it  has carved through before you now see it muddied and littered.  Remember: be open-minded, see the sunflowers instead of just a limited snapshot.

sunflowers

3) Be happy all the time

You may already know that this is a challenge. Perhaps if you considered happiness to be more of a choice rather than an accidental emotion you might think differently. If you have a blue balloon to represent your sad emotions and a red balloon to represent your happy emotions and put an equal amount of effort into blowing them up, they would float and last the same, but if you were to put more effort into keeping the blue balloon afloat with negative thoughts the red balloon of happiness would deflate through neglect. Putting more effort into your red happiness balloon will make it soar and your blue balloon of misery will effortlessly shrink and drop. Keep your red balloons full!

red balloons

4) Have pure positive thoughts for others

This may not be as straightforward as the other challenges. Still its message is straightforward: do not be jealous or covet what others have. Do not rob them of their time. Everyone in life has their time to shine. Maybe you have already had yours, maybe it is yet to come. If you see someone else basking in the glorious light of success (whatever form that may be) do not deprive them of this time to be happy and fulfilled, do not wish it were you and think ill of them as a result. Rejoice with them. Be happy for them. Have pure and positive thoughts. Enjoy your time when it comes – and when it does, you will want others to join in with you, not to think you undeserving. Share in the positivity.

glistening shine

5) Pursue a spiritual path, make wisdom part of your life

I do not think this challenge is meant to be religious, well I certainly do not take it that way as I do not follow a religious faith. It is more about expanding your horizons, letting go of doctrines, habits and ways of thinking that may have been thrown upon you by society or your parents. Let go of this imposed resistance. Let go of this stubbornness that is rooted in your egocentric tendencies. Free yourself from prejudicial traditions and habits that are stopping you from experiencing life as you would like to naturally. Follow the instinct from your “second” brain, your gut instinct. Let go of your ego. Let go of resistance. Embrace all the peace, love, happiness, purity and positivity these 5 “dares” will open up to you and become a force to be reckoned with.

Try these five Dares for just 24 hours, then maybe  for couple of days because you notice how good you feel, then make them part of your life – you may be surprised at how it unnerves others as you can no longer be manipulated.

Dare to challenge your world!

 

 

Singing the Praises of Music

We should all take a moment to remember how elated and alive we felt when we last sang or danced. Music plays a vital role in wellbeing, especially mental wellbeing. As Armstrong so eloquently put it in his poem on “The Art of Preserving Health, 1774”:

“There is a charm: a power that sways the breast
Bids every passion, revel or be still,
Inspires with rage or all your cares dissolves,
Can sooth distraction and almost despair –
That power is music
Music exalts each joy, allays each grief,
Expels disease, softens every pain,
Subdues rage or poison or plague.”

At the Health and Healing Festival, I had the privilege of hearing the ladies from Harrogate Rock Choir; they certainly manage to drown out and dispel any thoughts of sadness or negativity, with great choreography and uplifting songs, they will not leave you in anything but a happy state –

Whether you listen to it, sing, play an instrument or even dance to it, music is such a transporter of emotions. Even if you listen to the sad songs it can make you feel better about yourself in a poetic romantic way. You can still find your inner peace with an emotive piece from Bach or one of Adele’s many songs of rejection.

Just see how happy this one lady in the choir is… you can’t take your eyes off her, her joy is mesmerizing and contagious.

Music gives you a surge, like a electric shock to your emotions, its effects get right in there. You have no defence barriers. You don’t want any either, just flow with the emotions of the music. It will change your state of mind. Playing an instrument or singing is an even stronger medium for transporting your emotions as you are physically involved. Releasing your grief through singing (or shouting!) is very “medicinal”. In meditation the vibrations of our vocal actions on our organs have been found to be extremely beneficial and can qualm a lot of anguish and give us relief.

Check out the Rock Choir’s events near you and maybe even join! Or for more ways to be happy and put a skip back in your step, check out my step-by-step guide on how to put a skip back into your step:

A great book for feeling good about yourself and life
How to be Happy by Francesca Hepton

Singing brings out the BEST in us:

 

It can also push us to discover and release our full potential – achieve what we always and so for only dreamed of achieving. Let music be a part of your life and see what positive transformations it can bring into your life and mindset:

How to Get Fit with Reiki & Music
More than just a fitness guide, it’s a way of life

Release your inner champion and child with music!

 

New Wellness Centre in Harrogate

A brand new Wellness Centre at Harrogate Ladies’ College opened in September 2018.

The Wellness Centre will be the hub for a wide range of activities designed to support and encourage all round mental wellbeing.

As well as a fully-staffed Medical Centre the new facility will also offer activities such as mindfulness training meditation and yoga, massage and reflexology, stress prevention and management, and nutritional advice.

The Wellness Centre will be a place for all pupils, staff and parents to go to develop their wellbeing. Parent and baby activities including baby yoga will also be available for members of the local community. A wellness programme will be led by the Director of Wellness, Mr Richard Farnan.

Wellness Centre Harrogate
Harrogate Ladies’ College

Sylvia Brett, Principal of Harrogate Ladies’ College said,

“There are lots of reports in the media about wellness issues in young people and the ‘Heads Together’ campaign launched by Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge aims to dispel the stigma around mental health. Schools must also be pro-active in this area which is why Harrogate Ladies’ College’s major initiative in the coming year is a Wellness Strategy and Wellness Centre.

“Our commitment to wellness and our investment in a new centre reflects our aim to provide opportunities for our whole school community to develop physical, mental and social wellbeing. We are developing our Wellness Strategy in consultation with parents, staff and pupils and this will develop as the centre evolves and the demands of the world change.

“I strongly believe that if pupils have an inner core of wellness they will have strategies for developing their emotional maturity, understand their spiritual place in the universe and have respect for the environment. They will challenge their brains intellectually and be committed to physical health as well as mental wellbeing.

“This is what we want for this, and future generations of pupils at Harrogate Ladies’ College.”

In Safe Hands

If ever you had to choose somewhere to start your journey of finding inner peace, tranquility and sense of purpose then there is one place you should definitely visit in the town of Harrogate where you are sure to be in safe hands. The Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing has a past and a future you […]

If ever you had to choose somewhere to start your journey of finding inner peace, tranquility and sense of purpose then there is one place you should definitely visit in the town of Harrogate where you are sure to be in safe hands.

The Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing has a past and a future you can trust.

Founded in January 1990, it has a longstanding tradition and history as a reputable provider of all things Yoga, Ayurveda and Pilates. When others were still jumping around in legwarmers with bouncy hairsprayed- perms, Anne-Marie had a vision that went beyond the temporary fads of Callanetics and step aerobics, she turned to holistic therapies and wellbeing and she was right. Her staying power is mirrored by the firm role the traditional Indian practices now play in Western society.

Just because the centre has  been advocating the benefits of yoga, massage and other complementary therapies for almost three decades, it does not mean that they sit on their laurels. There are new additions to the team and they have recently refurbished and upgraded their centre. See beautiful photos below:

New relaxing studio
Fabulous new look at the Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing

Since his return from India James Burford has been a driving force in implementing many of the new developments with his usual dedication and passion.
He is a yogi in the true sense of the word and has  over 5 years in India. He was awarded one of only 2 grants given by the Indian commission to commonwealth students to study in India- impressive, right! I’m sure I’ll be adding him to my Wellness Warriors soon!

All under the same roof (and if you think they have missed something from the world of wellness, I am sure if you asked them they probably are offering it…)

  • Ayurvedic Dietary and Lifestyle Consultation
  • Vibration Training
  • Soundwave Therapy
  • Narl 517
  • The Back Revolution
  • Neals Yard Remedies
  • Astrology Readings
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
    Holistic Therapies

  • Angelic and Star Reiki with Crystal Chakra Balance
  • Spirit Body Balance
  • Consultative Aromatherapy Massage
  • Hot Himalayan Salt Stone Massage
  • Ayurvedic Kansa Wand Massage
  • Mandarin Mother to be Massage
  • Well being or Deep Tissue Back Massage
  • Ayurvedic Head Massage
  • Head and Toe Heaven
  • Reflex Foot and Reiki Rebalance
  • Rose Crystal Revitalising Facial Therapy
  • Stress Soother
  • Relax and Renew
  • Skin and Sparkle
  • Pedicure Therapy
  • Mini Mani or Pedi
  • Eye brow or lash tint
  • Eye brow wax
  • Angel Card Reading

I am sure you’ll agree this firmly rooted yet forward thinking centre for wellbeing is well worth a visit.

Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing
Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing

 

Health & Healing Festival

I drew my Angel Card upon entering the Health & Healing Festival held at the formidable Cedar Court Hotel in Harrogate this weekend, and what did I get?

expectancyJPG

expectancy | ikˈspektənsē | noun (plural expectancies) the state of thinking or hoping that something, especially something pleasant, will happen or be the case: they waited with an air of expectancy.

Indeed I was not disappointed. My bubbling excitement and “expectancy” as the intoxicating aromas and positive vibes enveloped me was exceeded! Although a small-scale venue compared to some, when you open up the doors to this precious event in Harrogate, you are rewarded with a wealth of knowledge, dedication, motivation, spiritual uplifting, kindness, guidance, beauty and endless opportunities.

Opportunities to improve your health: Aloe Life – pure, natural, nutritious

The Aloe Vera Company
Forever Living Aloe & Healthcare Products

Opportunities to find inner peace: an inspirational talk by Jane Hay, Brahma Kumaris

Brahma Kumaris
When I change, the World Changes

Opportunities to help you on your journey: The Wiccan Lady

The Wiccan Lady - Decorated Besoms
Take Flight! Witches Broom Sticks to brush away negativity

 

Opportunities to feel elated: The amazing Harrogate Rock Choir

Harrogate Rock Choir
Moving, uplifting and inspirational

 

Opportunities to heal:  The Yorkshire Healing Association

Yorkshire Healing Association
Hands-on healing sessions

Opportunities to look  naturally beautiful: Good for you products by Susie Ma, Tropic

Tropic Skincare
Be part of the #greenbeautyrevolution

I shall of course be delving into each of the exhibitors and speakers over the coming weeks – after I have indulged in playing and experimenting with all the magical goodies and insight I acquired at the festival.

That could take a while!

Floral Town of the North

Our streets are paved with petals.

Standing barefoot on the grass in the middle of the stray in the spring surrounded by a sea of crocuses, you are swept away on a breeze ease, freedom and vitality. Against the backdrop of Georgian buildings, you always feel lucky to live in a town like Harrogate. Its amazing floral arrangement are the perfect example of kintalini in action: creating a balanced, vibrant habitat that feed the mind and soul. Such picturesque surroundings are not haphazard, they are the result of careful deliberations and voluntary work to making our town a beautiful place to live in. Many local groups and shop owners work with Harrogate in Bloom and Harrogate Borough Council to make this possible.

A sea of crocuses on the Stray
A sea of crocuses on the Stray Park in Harrogate

Harrogate Borough Council does not just predicate wellness through a balanced habitat, its actions reflect this in many ways: great schools, tidy town, lots of green areas, clean buildings…. but one of the most obvious and visual ways is its support for the Harrogate in Bloom project.

Many of you may well be aware of the In Bloom competitions around the country. They improve our surrounding aesthetics, give people a sense of wellbeing and increase biodiversity, but its more than just pretty flowers.

It is more than just pretty flowers

The In Bloom criteria are looking for responsibility towards the environment and community participation – two boxes that Harrogate’s team ticks. RHS Britain in Bloom judges stated: ‘Harrogate demonstrated that it is still a flawless green town and now works closely with a range of volunteers to ensure that it’s reputation is maintained.’

harrogate flowers
Flowers everywhere you go

The council’s parks and open spaces staff, and Harrogate in Bloom, have worked with award-winning garden designer Paul Hervey-Brookes, to design and plant areas in public places that will increase biodiversity and create improved habitats for wildlife. The Nectar Bar planting is particularly attractive to bees and other pollinating insects, including moths.

Living in harmony is the key to wellness.

Let’s get together

Sofar Sounds is a growing movement across the world that Harrogate is now embracing. Just further proof of our town’s open-minded and creative nature.

sofar sounds
Intimate music gigs in Harrogate organised through Sofar Sounds

Sofar Sounds invites you to attend music gigs in everyday spaces – like a living room, rooftop, back garden, pub or retail shop. The venue is transformed into a glamorous sparkling setting but circumvents greedy business conglomerates while promoting fresh talent you’d otherwise never get to hear. Each Sofar Sounds gig is small, and typically features three diverse acts, with no headliner.

Check out their website for how it works and enjoy these exclusive, convenient and amazing venues. Sofar spreads the magic of music and all that it can offer to our health and well-being as a driver of relaxation, inspiration and enjoyment.

Join the action yourself! Get relaxed, get balanced, get entertained.

sofar sounds
Some of the gigs sofar!

Wellness Warriors

Who are Harrogate’s Wellness Warriors? Who proactively promotes the health and wellbeing of our town’s residents? You’d be surprised with what I discovered.

1. The prime promoter of wellness and the kintalini way is the town’s own council. It may not be the glamorous or visually inspiring warrior you may have envisaged to top these polls of wellbeing, but Harrogate Borough Council has numerous projects and schemes in place to help us improve our health – both mental and physical – get our children off to a solid start, maintain the balance of country and town, encourage creative stimulus throughout the town in all areas and to keeping our stress levels down!

2. NHS Harrogate and Rural District – another unlikely suspect? With its pioneering NHS Natural Health services incorporating complementary therapies into the “traditional” methods used by GPs and doctors, our NHS reflects the open-mindedness and mindful nature of our local healthcare system. We should be proud of this. We are lucky enough to have choices.

3. OneWellness: A health and wellness provider that aims to help you get well, stay well and live well. It is Yorkshire’s first GP-led health and wellbeing coaching service to physiotherapy, health checks, personal training, workshops and specialist fitness classes.

4. The Acorn Wellness Retreat is a place that encourages individuals to find ways to improve their lifestyle whether it is through engaging in a new activity or simply by allowing themselves time out to reflect.

5. Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing – A wonderful centre offering holistic therapies, treatments and consultations promoting wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle: yoga, Reiki, massages, Ayurvedic practices and much more.

More to come… why not vote for one of your Wellness Warriors to be listed in our top promoters for health and wellbeing in Harrogate: cescahepton@gmail.com.

 

 

Art: the food of the mind and soul

The buzzword “wellness” may conjure up images of meditation and yoga, but there are other perhaps, what one might call more “mainstream” ways of fuelling the spirit and mind. After all, having a healthy mind and spirit is just as important as having a healthy body, because when all our senses and systems are happy and functioning properly that is when we can reach our full potential, that is when we reach a state of kintalini and wellness.

Art, for all its controversial aspects and off-the-wall ideas, is a “mainstream” way of fuelling our mind and spirit. Whether it is in the form of paintings, music, sculpture, poetry, aesthetics, interior design, comics… it all falls under the umbrella of art (it still baffles me when we push children to steer clear of art subjects at school – they are essential to our joie de vivre and sense of liberation and expression. Back to the point in hand. For the purpose of this article we shall celebrate the multitude of art (most of it free) available in Harrogate to fuel your mind and soul and help you on your path to wellness.

(links and individual posts to follow)

Art galleries:

Statues/landmarks:

 

Landscaped gardens:

Music scene:

The world of literature:

 

Dance scene:

Theatre:

 

Please write to me and tell of all the ones I have missed for my follow-up articles!

cescahepton@gmail.com