Tune in to the power of plants: how to bring wellbeing inside your home

A plethora of bright colours, soothing smells and medicinal properties: nature offers a wealth of benefits to our wellbeing. Taking a walk in the park, immersed in greenery and cleaner air, or an outing among the hills or close to water can soothe frazzled minds and bring us back to a sense of self.

Unfortunately, technology has reduced time spent outside in favour of more screen time. Back in 2019, a study of 16,853 adults across 15 countries in Europe and North America found that more than half of respondents (52%) spent only one hour or less a day in nature – even though 90% of them said they would enjoy spending more time outside.

Our disconnection with nature has been highlighted through studies showing how works of fiction, song lyrics and poetry document our shift away from nature since the 1950s. There is also a term called Nature Deficit Disorder, coined by author and journalist Richard Louv, which posits that our lack of contact with nature is diminishing humans’ use of their senses, along with attention difficulties, obesity, and higher rates of emotional and physical illnesses.

For some, national lockdowns have meant less time spent outside; others, with the countryside on their doorstep or a nice park, have enjoyed more time in the great outdoors – and the benefits of this are well-documented, such as an increased sense of wellbeing, better physical health and improved cognitive functioning. A UK study even found that more exposure to nature increased community cohesion – leading to substantially lower crime rates.

However, some people don’t have a garden or park nearby…the good news is that growing houseplants can give your wellbeing a serious boost, too!

In this article we’ll explore the benefits of growing plants inside your home. (Some of them will surprise you.)

Patients with depression prescribed houseplants

Research has shown that growing indoor potted plants can help reduce stress. Some doctors in Manchester, UK have prescribed houseplants for patients suffering from anxiety and depression, while evidence has shown horticulture therapy to be useful in the management of mental health and also has been posited as being helpful to patients with dementia.

Increase work productivity

Can a plant really help increase productivity among employees? Yes: various studies have shown this to be the case. In one case, having plants in the office resulted in a wellbeing score increase of 15% and 6% higher productivity. Separate research showed that anger and hostility decreased by 44%, and 38% less fatigue in offices with a little greenery; another study found employee productivity rose as much as 15% with the introduction of just a handful of plants into the work environment.

For people working from home during the Covid lockdowns, having plants around might just stave off that mid-afternoon slump.

Speedier recovery from illness

Can plants really help us recover from an illness? Research has shown that people recovering in hospital in a room with blooms had lower blood pressure, and less pain, anxiety, and fatigue than those without flowers in their room. It’s no wonder that we often take flowers to a recovering patient in hospital.

Increase your sense of compassion

Nurturing a plant can increase our sense of empathy and also remind us to take better care of ourselves too. The therapeutic effects of growing plants have been shown in schools with children encouraged to tend to school gardens, resulting in increased compassion and empathy. 

Bring in positive energy

Overall, evidence shows that plants can have a hugely positive effect on our health and wellbeing. Because they’re alive, they’re also believed to bring in positive energy. While this may or may not be true, it’s no secret that since they have so many positive effects on our own mood, our energy levels will probably increase as a result of that. The aesthetic value of plants also improves our environment, which can also increase positivity and offers an improved perception of the world around us.

Flowers simply make you happy…

Doesn’t the sight of a beautiful flower simply make you smile? Flowers are known to improve your mood and increase your positivity levels. Treat yourself to a bunch of flowers for the home or a flowering plant, and get a general sense of wellbeing and joy!

How to grow plants indoors

Growing plants indoors can be a very rewarding hobby. Each plant is individual and will have its preferences, such as being in a sunny spot inside your home, or requiring plant food every so often. If you don’t have a natural gift as a ‘green-fingered grower’, here are some general tips to help you turn your indoors into a green, leafy haven:

1. Pay attention to your houseplants

Get to know your plants; if a houseplant isn’t happy, it will signal that it needs a little tender, loving care. Look for drooping leaves or leaves turning yellow or brown and starting to drop off. Drooping leaves indicate that your plant needs water. A well-watered plant’s leaves look plump and green because they contain a healthy amount of water whereas if a plant is thirst, the leaves will start to feel crisp at the edges.

Be careful that your plant isn’t giving mixed signals. Drooping leaves could also mean you’re your plant is over-exposed to direct sunlight, is diseased or is suffering root rot (from overwatering). Either move the plant to a shadier spot or stop watering it – the quicker you rectify the issue, the more likelihood you have of saving it.

2. Make sure your plant hasn’t outgrown its pot.

The pot you use for indoor plants should be just a little wider (a few inches) than the roots of the plant. Also check online to see if your plant is of the slow- or fast-growing variety. If the species of plant tends to grow quickly, aim for a slightly larger pot – up to four inches larger than one for a slower growing plant.

Most plants should be repotted annually. Spring is usually a good time to do this, as the winter months take their toll on plants and the additional nutrients from new soil will help them thrive throughout the year. If you’re not sure whether to repot your plant, check to see if the roots are growing through the bottom of the pot – that’s a sure sign that it needs a new home.

3. Give them enough sunlight…but not too much

All plants need some sunlight – they thrive by transforming solar radiation into the energy they need for survival. However, some plants will not do well in direct sunlight and will wilt and die in the window; the sun’s strong rays cause them to become dehydrated. The reverse of photosynthesis is photoperiodism, where some plants actually need periods of darkness in order to spurt a growth cycle. Plants that do this include Kalanchoe and Christmas Cacti. There’s a great article on this here.

If this happens and you catch it quick enough, you can reverse the plant’s fate around by pruning any dead leaves and water deep into the roots to nurture them back to health from their foundations. Check each plant’s needs online and place them accordingly within your home.

4. Use the right soil

The soil you use can make or break a houseplant. Often, an ‘all-purpose soil blend’ will do but plants, originating from many different climes, have a preference to which soil you use, and choosing the right one can mean the difference between a plant that thrives in your home and one that limps on through the seasons. It’s useful to get to know the different soil varieties and purchasing one specifically for your type of houseplant.

5. Give them a treat

Most houseplants need some fertilizer if they’re to reach their full potential, so don’t forget to give them an extra treat once in a while. Make sure you add plant food during their growing periods – during the spring and summer – rather than when they’re resting. As a general rule, feed them the extra nutrients every 10-14 days, every second watering. Find out more about watering and feeding houseplants here.

What not to do

If you have trouble keeping indoor plants alive, read the following. We’ve listed some of the common mistakes that people make. Here are some of the things you should avoid doing if you want to keep your plants healthy:

Overwatering

It’s easy to think that you’re doing your plants a favour by watering them every day but you could be killing them. Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes to make with houseplants; it can rot their roots and quickly cause them to wilt.

Leaving them in a same pot

Most of us are guilty of this: never changing a plant’s container and refreshing the soil. This will cause the roots to encircle the plant pot as the plant grows, which will lead to them becoming entangled and restrict the amount of water getting to them. Eventually the roots will dry out altogether.

Don’t give plants the cold shoulder

Try not to leave plants in cold, draughty places such as poorly insulated windows and near doors to the outside that are in regular use; this will quickly kill off your plant.

Too much sunshine

On the other hand, too much sunshine can be detrimental, too. Try not to leave them in a sweltering window in the height of summer. Both too-intense sunlight and exposing them to sunshine for long periods can harm indoor plants. A sign that this is the case is if the leaves develop bleached or darker spots; the soil might also become very hard, too, and bone dry to the touch.

Remember to carry out your own research on the plants you select for your home; each will have specific care instructions to ensure it thrives indoors.

Best indoor plants for health benefits

Rubber plant, bamboo palm, golden pothos (also known as Devil’s ivy – see plants that can be toxic to pets and children, below) and peace lilies are great for cleaning the air.

Jasmine flowers and gardenia are believed to help improve the quality of your sleep.

Mint can help keep out the critters – the pungent smell repels insects.

Boston fern, areca palm – these plants are known to be good humidifiers, so they’re ideal if you suffer from dry skin. Increased water in the air can also help reduce sinus problems and ease cold symptoms.

English ivy – this plant is said to be anti-inflammatory (possibly helping reduce pain), antioxidant, antiviral and anti-arthritic.

Feverfew – these plants have been found to relieve pain. Adding its leaves to tea has traditionally been used as a remedy for headaches.

Are all plants safe for children and pets?

* If you have pets and/or children, choose your indoor plants carefully; some of them can be toxic to little lungs. Start off with a spider plant, which is safe to use in any home.

Plants that could harm the health of your children or pets include English Ivy, Devil’s Ivy (also known as Pothos) and other ivies, some lily varieties and Aloe Vera.

Are you a subject expert in a wellness topic? Publish with Wellness Books! Our team has over 60 combined years of experience in the editing and publishing industry. From proofreading to print management, contact our friendly team for a quote today: info@wellnessbooks.co.uk.

Wellness Books founder Shirley McLellan on writing, publishing and the problem with fairy tales

Wellness Books founder Shirley McLellan talks about working in publishing, what it’s like working with writers, traditional versus self-publishing, and fairy tales…

Read on for tips on writing and to discover what, exactly, happens to your book during the editing process?

How did you get into publishing?

I left university with a degree in English and a clear career path in mind; I’ve always been creative and at the age of 14 proudly pronounced that I wanted to be a writer, to much derision and questioning along the lines of, “but what do you want to do for a living?”. I’m pretty determined, so I didn’t let that stop me from pursuing my dreams. It hasn’t been easy but it feels as if Wellness Books was always meant to be.

My first role post graduation was in publishing at Letts Educational. It was my first publishing job and there was a huge sense of excitement to be in that sort of environment. That was when I first qualified as a proofreader. I was an assistant and although I gained a good understanding of the publishing process, I wanted so much more. I’m very creative and I didn’t understand then that there is a learning process and a clear path to progression within the industry. I took other jobs within the creative industry and found myself working for media companies and design firms, also in junior roles.

Years later, I started working as a journalist – largely on the strength of my proofreading skills. It was sheer chance that I ended up working as a newspaper sub-editor – in publishing and the media, luck and good timing is often involved – and subsequently writing real-life stories for magazines. The newsroom was a tough environment but one which provided me a truly exceptional grounding for my future career as a proofreader.

After several years as a journalist, I started freelance writing and editing. I proofread my first book about seven years ago. It was a YA novel and a really good piece of work. I loved every moment of it, working with a literary consultant and helping writers to create something special.

The wonder of language

I’m interested in language, creative language, the deeper meaning and intent of words. The source of this interest is rather unfortunate: at the root of it is a fascination with the language of racism. I learned about the power of language very early on and it made me wonder about language usage, and about the power contained in a word of kindness, too.

Studying literature and the English language over many years, I remember that we used to pick sentences apart when I was studying, right down to the use of a definite article – ‘the’ – as opposed to the indefinite article – ‘a’ – within a 300-page novel or long piece of text. I was curious about etymology as well. I was also interested in, but not very good at, other languages. I found it all fascinating. I still do.

The editing process

Every project is different but after we’ve received a book and agreed terms – such as whether it needs editing or proofreading, which are, in fact, quite different services – it will go through three read-throughs on average by either myself or Bob or another one of our proofreaders.

As a proofreader you often build a rapport with the writer and discover their unique quirks – everybody has them! – so you might focus on their specific strengths and weaknesses on the second reading of a book.

The final part of the process is a more wide-focus scan that the book is ready for printing; at this point, we scoop up any errors that have slipped through on previous checks and check pagination, etc.

Best and worst parts of the job

Proofreading and editing is a hugely time-intensive job with extremely long hours spent at the computer but it’s very rewarding to see someone’s book progress and to see them ‘mature’ as a writer. Unfortunately, there’s not much understanding about the skills or graft involved with proofreading and editing, and it’s not as highly paid as it should be (doesn’t everybody say that?); however, it’s very gratifying to work with a writer and see that realisation dawn on them.

What I love about my job is that the people I work with are, in the main, wonderful. I think this due to a shared passion for books and facts. It’s fascinating because I work with all sorts of writers, so I’m constantly learning new subjects and gaining new insights.

Publishing itself is a very exciting industry, and full of potential. It’s all about people and I especially love working with talented up-and-coming writers, especially the ones who are dedicated to improving with every book they write.

Any advice for writers?

The best advice I can give to fiction writers is to release your thinking mind. It sounds simplistic but a lot of would-be authors are nervous about getting the craft of writing spot-on, and over-think it. This comes through in the words they use, and within the sentence structure; the writing comes across as stilted. To use an analogy, I’d liken it to a stutter in speech.

Don’t take it too seriously!

If you’re hoping to get published, you need a reasonable command of grammar and spelling must be met but these should be secondary to telling a good yarn. Being too precious about your writing will drain it of its essence and make reading it an uphill struggle.

For me, really good writing has a kind of musicality to it, as well as a decent plot. So, if you’re writing fiction, throw the rule book out of the window and let the words dance across the page: let it flow! Keep writing and worry about the finer points later – or let someone else worry about it.

I’d advise writers to find or rediscover the playfulness in writing, seeking out better words to communicate meaning and putting them together like a jigsaw until a picture starts to emerge.

Non-fiction writers, of course, must be more organised. You need to be methodical about your work and to approach it in an entirely different way. For me, research is key, and where appropriate, you must back up any assertions with strong evidence which stands up to scrutiny. I’d say preparedness is critical to writing a strong non-fiction book.

For both fiction and non-fiction writers, always keep in mind your central theme. Keep reminding yourself of the key point you’re trying to convey, whether you’re trying to impart information or relate a concept; make sure it comes across to your readers.

If you’re a writer, don’t believe in fairy tales!

Be realistic and don’t believe in the fairy tales about life as a writer – it’s a hard grind most of the time, and not many writers make big bucks or even get published. You have to love what you’re doing and focus on nothing else but the joy of your art. There are always exceptions – some people are mainly driven by profit and manage to sell lots of copies but for me the best reads are those written by people who are driven by a plotline which won’t leave them alone or a character’s constant nagging at them to add some colour or move their story along.

How to be a successful writer

If you’re looking for success as a writer, it can be done and I’ve seen people turn it into a full-time career; however, don’t go into it with this expectation. If you’re really serious then make sure you do your homework. Research your readers, other works in your genre, writers you admire, the ins and outs of publishing.

The biggest part of your job will probably be in marketing your book. You might even find yourself spending more time marketing your book than you did in the writing of it. Be prepared for the less ‘glamorous’ parts of the job.

Self-publishing or traditional publishing?

In terms of sales, these days it doesn’t matter so much which route you take; a successful book has a lot to do with marketing – getting it and your face known. In this way, a writer’s success lies in their own hands.

There’s still a feeling that traditional publishing is preferable, and this can be true for various reasons; however, this is less and less the case as long as you choose a reputable self-publishing firm.

The choice comes down to how much editorial control you want to retain over your book. Self-publishing certainly isn’t the impediment to success that it was once believed to be. There are lots of great self-publishing firms out there which take huge care over the books they produce. At Wellness Books, for example, we’re always honest with our writers; if we feel the book needs more work, we’ll tell you. Our editorial process can help writers to get over the finish line. What we don’t do is publish any old rubbish.

How did Wellness Books start?

I was never much for standard office life. Some freelance and temp roles took me to some incredible places and offices around the country, but I never felt comfortable in large groups or trying to navigate the politics of it all. I suffer from depression and it was clear that the cut-throat corporate environment was not for me and that I needed to carve out a career on my own terms.

I’d been freelancing for more than a decade and more recently dabbling in other things, such as a Japanese energy healing art called Reiki, which I’ve found really helpful in terms of my own health issues. I studied Reiki to Master level and have been researching other healing modalities for a few years now, including sound therapy and something called EFT, which is an alternative treatment also known as ‘Tapping’ and also sometimes called ‘psychological acupuncture’.

It’s a far cry from journalism but suddenly everything fell into place when I met Bob Fowke, who runs a well-established publishing company called YouCaxton. We worked together on a few projects and really hit it off – we have similar ideas about honest business practices, etc. Bob was very enthusiastic about my idea to start a publishing company specialising in books about wellbeing. The rest is history, as they say.

Bob’s knowledge of publishing is second to none. Combined with my own knowledge of the industry, experience as an editor and, even more crucially, my battle with mental health and training in holistic therapies, everything seemed to fall into place.

Helping writers help others

I want to help writers publish books that could, in turn, help people to look after their wellbeing.

From a personal standpoint, I’ve found lots of tools that help to reduce my anxiety and ease low moods. Through Reiki, yoga, breathwork and other wellbeing practices I’ve become more contented, less anxious and more joyful, and I’d like to think Wellness Books can help writers disseminate information about some of the tricks and tools I’ve found so useful to my own wellbeing. It’s been a long journey but it feels as if Wellness Books is what I was always meant to do.

Excited about the future

I’m very excited about the future. COVID-19 has made it all the more urgent that we look closely at issues around wellbeing and mental health, and it would be nice to think Wellness Books can help both writers and people who derive benefit from their books on self-development and personal growth.

Contact Shirley or Bob Fowke to discuss publishing with Wellness Books today. Email us at info@wellnessbooks.co.uk.

Pro publisher Bob Fowke talks writing with rhythm, first drafts and publishing a book

Find out more about our publishing pro, Bob Fowke, as he talks publishing past and present, the secret to successful writing and things to bear in mind if you’re thinking about having a book published. Keep reading for some great insights into the book industry!

Our very own Bob Fowke has been in the publishing industry for more than 40 years and has seen it from both sides of the fence: as a writer and as a publisher.

It’s fair to say that Bob knows the publishing trade inside and out; having witnessed some of the biggest changes to occur in the industry in recent history, including publishing’s most shocking buy-outs during the 1990s, digital printing, and the evolution of self-publishing.  

As well as authoring more than 70 titles himself, from children’s books to historical non-fiction, Bob has worked for some of the biggest names in the UK publishing industry, such as Cassell & Co., Collins and Hodder Headline. He also worked in export book marketing for Blackwell’s Library Suppliers. With friends, he founded his own company YouCaxton, a publisher of historical non-fiction titles, in the late 2000s.

In addition to agreeing to be publishing lead with Wellness Books, Bob has many other projects in the pipeline, including Writers’ Lodge, a rural retreat for writers seeking to know more about publishing and, of course, penning more of his own books.

In our interview, Bob opens up about the publishing industry, offering insights into some of the changes and the challenges of being a publisher, advice on self-publishing, and with some great advice for aspiring writers.

How did you get into publishing?

“It all started in the early 1970s. I was a commercial artist and worked as a sci-fi illustrator,” says Bob.  “Then I worked for Blackwell’s Bookshop exporting books all around the world. I travelled to Africa, Tokyo, the Middle East. I fell in love with Turkey. But I was an illustrator and I wanted to write books so I finessed my artistic skills to gain an entry into writing and illustrating children’s books.”

His wanderlust sated by years travelling as a book exporter, that’s exactly what Bob did next. A few years later, he wrote and illustrated his first book in a series Spaceship Earth for Cassell, and went on to produce as many as 50 books during the 1980s and ‘90s while working as an illustrator for publishers such as Hodder Headline.

The time publishing changed forever

This period saw some of the most turbulent years in publishing’s history, marked by buy-outs of some of the stalwarts of UK publishing and the arrival of digital technologies that would change the landscape almost beyond recognition.     

“The bigger companies were eating the minnows. Editorial rooms had changed. Contacts I’d had before were no longer there and books I’d had published by one company were now published under another name. Then there was the emergence of digital printing, print on demand and e-books. Back then, the UK was publishing around 20,000 books annually. Today that figure is about 90,000, and most of those are self-published,” says Bob. “In the early days, it could cost thousands of pounds to print a book; now, you don’t have to make a huge investment in printing – anybody can do it.”

Suddenly, anybody could write and publish a book

The birth of digital printing made it possible for anybody to publish a book; however, this impacted the quality of books being printed and also led to a proliferation of companies offering to help people publish their own books.

Digital disruption in the publishing industry dealt a huge boon to those in the sector who managed to move with the times and a blow to those still clinging to the past. The face of publishing had changed forever, and with the changes came the danger of writers producing poor-quality books and being sold the idea of becoming a best-seller by unscrupulous players in the market.

On becoming a publisher

Having seen the publishing world from multiple perspectives, Bob spied an opportunity. He met business partners Robert Branton and Steve Edwards and formed a new self-publishing company called YouCaxton.

“There were an awful lot of sharks in self-publishing in those early years. That was the danger with self-publishing. It made me angry to think of all the publishers promising writers that they could make a lot of money by publishing a book. What writers needed was a real, honest publishing company that wasn’t prepared to just publish any old crap.”

As both a traditionally published and a self-published author himself, Bob is now a passionate advocate of self-publishing – if it’s done in the right way.

“Of course, there’s a lot to be said for traditional publishing but for new writers especially, it can require a very hard apprenticeship with many rejections,” says Bob.

“Publishing is a fascinating, and complex, process and there’s a danger that self-published authors will miss out on that apprenticeship, and sometimes they’re not ready to be published,” he adds.

One tip for anyone looking to self-publish?

With Wellness Books and all his other ventures, helping writers through the publishing journey is hugely important to Bob. Asked what is the most important thing for budding writers to look for in a publishing company, his response is: “competence and honesty”.

“Look at a company’s website – are they over-egging writers’ expectations? It’s not that easy to make money as an author. Of course, some do, I’ve seen it myself, but it’s important for writers to know the truth. The best books are written by people who write because they love it. You hope it will sell but that’s not the main motivation.”

The key to being a successful author

As a publisher, there’s more to becoming an author than mere money, says Bob. “There’s an intrinsic value in writing a book. For instance, a book that sells just five copies may have more intrinsic value that one that sells a hundred thousand copies. Writers who do well usually do it because they love it; they believe in what they’re doing. You shouldn’t try to write for any other reason than for yourself. Don’t write for the money!”

How does Bob find time to write so much?

“When I’m writing I use pencil and paper – no phone, no internet. I’m a fast writer,” he says.

As the author of 70 titles, is he about to put aside his pen and paper any time soon?

“I’m still growing as a writer and I certainly haven’t finished yet; I have several other books in mind.”

Can he offer any advice to other writers?

“The language you use should have a pleasant flow and a rhythm to it. And avoid cliché. Clichés makes writing ‘dead’; they are due to lazy thinking. There are often lots of clichés in a first draft of a book. Get rid of them in the second draft!”

Best thing about working in publishing?

Bob is unequivocal about the best thing about his job: the people. “I get to meet so many interesting and intelligent people,” he says. “I love working with them on book titles and cover text.”

So, what is Bob’s favourite book?

“There are so many of them…The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s an amazing piece of storytelling, very clever. A very well-written book.”

Wellness Books: trusted publishers for quality wellbeing books. Schedule a chat with Bob or Shirley McLellan today, contact us at info@wellnessbooks.co.uk.

How to keep – and stay – fit in 2021

New years are often filled with thoughts of a fresh start, trying new things and getting fit in the twelve months ahead, and staying healthy in 2021 is more important than ever with Covid-19 still snapping at our heels.

A healthy immune system is key to fighting nasty bugs and viruses, and dose of moderate exercise taken regularly will help to boost this all-important network which helps to keep you well.

What’s more, exercise will not only benefit your body but your mind, too. Exercise is a bit like mindfulness. Whether you’re jogging, enjoying the feeling of blood pulsing through your veins and the wind on your face, or pedalling furiously on an exercise bike aware only of the feeling of your heart pumping and remembering the joy of just being alive, exercising will help you forget your worries and focus on simply ‘being’.

However, many people start their new year on a health kick but find it impossible to follow through with those good intentions. If you struggle to follow a regular exercise regime, keep reading for some suggestions to help you keep – and stay – fit in 2021!

Choose a workout you enjoy

Exercising doesn’t have to be boring or particularly gruelling. With a little creativity there’s an exercise to suit every level of fitness, personal target or budget, and you don’t need to break social distancing regulations to benefit from them either.

Why not find a hill (it doesn’t have to be a mini-Everest) and walk up it – several times if you want to increase the intensity of the workout? (You’ll also benefit from the extra vitamin D due to being outdoors – and bear in mind that vitamin D is also key to a healthy immune system.)

Of if you like to move your feet but don’t fancy pounding the pavements, try a dance workout. There are plenty of them online to suit every style of dance. Just use a search engine to find one that you like.

Perhaps strenuous exercise isn’t an option right now, so why not have a go at Tai Chi? Tai Chi might look like a strange slow-dance but regular practice can help keep your heart healthy, and those funny-looking movements are actually a slowed down sequence of self-defence moves. Tai Chi Chuan is in fact a very effective martial art that has been honed over many centuries. You can get started with the basics of Tai Chi at home online.

For an exercise that’s relaxing and therapeutic, try your hand at yoga, which offers a range of different workouts that will tone your body and soothe your nerves at the same time. Contrary to what you might believe, a yoga session can provide a good cardiovascular workout – it doesn’t have to mean sitting in lotus position for an hour.

Online yoga workouts have proliferated during lockdown restrictions; a popular free resource is Yoga With Adriene, where you can pick and choose from a huge selection of sessions including Yoga at Your Desk, Yoga Poses for Beginners – Where to Start? and Breath: a 30-Day Yoga Journey.

Here are some exercise ideas (all of which can be carried out indoors):

– Boxercise

– Dancercise

– Yoga

– Tai Chi

Step workout (with or without a step!)

If none of these suggestions hit the spot, why not stick on some of your favourite music and simply pump your arms and legs at your own pace? Or put together your own exercise programme of squats and lungs for some cardio exercise combined with some baked bean can weights for toning the arms?

Alternatively, buy yourself a digital tool called a pedometer, which will count the number of steps you walk per day, or you can download a free app for your smartphone such as Fitbit.  Try to increase the number of steps you walk each day, building up your fitness in a gentle way. According to Australian organisation 10,000 Steps, the ideal number of steps to walk per day is approximately 10,000; those considered to have a sedentary lifestyle walk less than 5,000 steps daily; and the hyper-fit types walk 12,500.

Remember to take care while exercising at home. If you’re new to exercise, start off slowly and build up your stamina.

Ask your GP if you’re unsure about how to exercise safely and within your limits, or if you have any underlying health issues seek their advice before you start your new exercise regime.

Exercise at the same time of day

Research has shown that exercising at the same time each day will help you keep on track with your workouts because you’re establishing a routine. So whether you’re a morning bird or you prefer to exercise in the afternoon or after work, pick a time and stick to it – it’s more likely your exercise session will become an exercise regime that will help you to keep fit throughout 2021 and beyond!

Start off slowly

Lots of people start a new fitness regime with the best of intentions but the zeal wears off because they push themselves too far. The biggest turn-off when it comes to exercising is sustaining an injury the first time you work out because you overdid it. Likewise, if your body isn’t used to regular exercise the post-exercise burn could deter you from trying again. Remember that these aches and pains will ease the more you keep working at it.

Be kind to yourself. There’s no rush. View building exercise into your daily routine as more of a marathon than a sprint. Aim for long-term health and lifestyle benefits rather than exercising in order to achieve a short-term weight goal or doing it to prove something to yourself or others. By starting slowly and gradually increasing your body’s tolerance to exercise, you’ll soon find yourself looking forward to that after-workout glow.

Don’t beat yourself up

Although it’s essential to establish a fitness habit, it’s equally important not to be too hard on yourself if you miss a workout. Perceiving yourself as having failed and punishing yourself with negative self-talk is a sure route to throwing in the towel. Simply reset yourself, focus on your next session and don’t let feelings of guilt deter you from your fitness path. Everybody is busy and has competing priorities; missing one session once in a while can’t be helped and it really is not a big deal on the odd occasion.

Thank your body (your body will thank you back)

Pay your body its dues in sweat. Remember that your body works overtime, never sleeping, in order to keep you alive; in other words, it really loves you!

Keeping this in mind as well as the huge range of benefits you gain from being kind to your body, even when you really don’t feel like exercising, will help you move from the sofa to moving around and working up a sweat. It’s time to give some love back to your body by thanking it for everything it does for you. If your mind tries to push back against a healthier way of life, remember that you’re simply rewarding it for its service to you. Pay back your body by choosing a healthier lifestyle in 2021!

Do you love health and wellbeing? If you’re an expert in a wellness topic and want to share your insights in a book, we can help. Contact Wellness Books to find out how we support writers who want to publish a non-fiction book about wellbeing: info@wellnessbooks.co.uk

5 Reasons to be happy RIGHT NOW!

The start of the new year can be tough even under ordinary circumstances. We have just the tonic to the January blues: some of the internet’s best – FREE – wellbeing resources from top experts in the field of wellness, health and new science.

We’ve listed 5 events that can help you de-stress, improve your mood and adopt a don’t-care-less attitude – even though the world has seemingly lost its mind.

Do let us know if you enjoy them!

1. Monthly healing sessions

The wonderful energy medicine expert Dr Sue Morter has extended her free monthly energy healing transmissions into 2021. If you’re new to tools such as energy healing, this might seem a bit strange but each session offers an hour’s worth of discussion about energy, specific breathing techniques to help clear any energy blockages and open up to new energy, and meditation designed to calm the mind and connect you to a powerful healing frequency.

When?

Every month for the next year, usually on the last Wednesday (you can listen at any time).

Where?

Sign up at Dr Sue’s website: https://drsuemorter.com/event/healing-transmission-your-gateway-to-wholeness-2020-12-30-2021-01-27/.

2. Take a relaxing sound bath

If you’re receptive to the cadences of music and sound, then this sound healing session from singer, musician and sounder healer Jeralyn Glass is for you. During the hour, you’ll experience a ‘sound bath’, which will immerse you in the soothing tones of a crystal singing bowl. The energies of sound have been used to heal or create a certain mood or ambience since time began. Try it for yourself with this super-relaxing online event!

When?

Saturday 9 January (don’t worry – if you sign up but miss the event, you’ll be sent a recording).

Where?

Head to https://theshiftnetwork.com/Crystal-Singing-Bowl-Sound-Healing.

3. Joy to the world!

Oh joy! Top energy medicine expert Donna Eden and her daughters Dondi and Titanya Dahlin are challenging people to join their 10-Day Joy Challenge! You’ll learn tricks to help you rediscover life’s joy through simple exercises to rebalance and revitalise your body’s energy stores. Don’t worry if you show up a little late as you can catch up with previous sessions on YouTube at any time.

When?

Now!

Where?

Visit the page on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylm61N2IJgY.

4. Discover the secrets of our ancestors with Gregg Braden

Through Gaia TV, Gregg Braden is hosting an incredible series – and anyone can watch it for free, for a limited period. Called Ancient Civilizations: The Lost Knowledge, best-selling author, speaker and human potential pioneer Gregg and a host of other experts will uncover some of the ancient tools and best-kept secrets of our lost ancestors. This promises to be a fascinating event.

When?

Tune in from 11 January 2021.

Where?

Go to https://www.gaia.com/series/ancient-civilizations.

5. Coping with Covid: join the Mental Wellness Connection event!

The online Mental Wellness Connection brings together health experts in a series of interviews aimed at empowering people to cope with, and hopefully learn to thrive in, the current, extraordinary world we find ourselves in. Topics include diet and its links with mental health, brain performance, energy medicine, PTSD, trauma and healing, the power of nature, and the power of NOW.

When?

The event runs from 25-31 January 2021.

Where?

Go to https://mentalwellness.byhealthmeans.com/.

We’re looking for experts from the UK and beyond who want to publish a book on wellbeing. Speak to our team to find out how to self-publish your book by contacting us at info@wellnessbooks.co.uk.

3 Reasons to be optimistic about 2021

As people plan a subdued celebration over the festive period and new year, it’s easy to forget that there are lots of reasons to be optimistic about what next year holds. If you’re struggling to see the bright side, find out why you should feel good about what’s to come in 2021.

1. We’re on the cusp of a new year…and it’s NOT 2020!

2019: December 31st, midnight. Most of us were cheering in the new year and a new decade with a sense of hope and excitement for the year ahead. Marriages, babies, get-togethers and holidays awaited many people. Not many foresaw the stresses that lay ahead.

Ring in 2020: lockdown, loneliness and living in fear.

While 2021 will have plenty of challenges, 2020 is done. In years to come, the pain of the past 12 months will recede; some will even laugh at what we went through. This long year will be resigned to a dinner table topic while we reminisce about how we all lived through the great epidemic of 2020! Hurrah!

2. You survived

If you’re reading this post, the chances are that you did indeed survive 2020. Well done! There’s some truth to the old adage “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. In fact, science backs this up. Researchers found that there’s a causal relationship between failure and future success; a study of young scientists’ careers showed that failure early on led to greater success in the long term among those who carried on trying. What doesn’t kill us really does make us stronger – and more likely to achieve success in the future.

3. A whole new world awaits

2020 has been a year of transformation and growth. On the one hand, it highlighted the fragility of human life and triggered panic and fear in some people but on the other hand, there’s much to be grateful for.

Many people have rediscovered a love of nature after being forced into lockdown and limited daily walks outside; others have forged stronger relationships with family and friends after being reminded how lucky we are to still have them around; and still more people have used 2020 as a springboard to a whole new perspective on life.

These people have used this year’s trials as an opportunity for growth, acknowledged the brevity of life by paying more heed to the health they have, unearthed new skills and talents during lockdown, and been hit with the realisation that life is one breath-taking rollercoaster ride – and the only thing to do is hang on and enjoy it.

There’s every reason to applaud your resilience in 2020 – it’s the perfect excuse to celebrate yourself and move forward in the knowledge that if you can get through this year, you can get through anything!

Make 2021 the year you publish your wellbeing book! We’re here to help wellness writers self-publish quality books. Contact our friendly team at info@wellnessbooks.co.uk to schedule an initial chat.  

3 Things to look for in a self-publishing firm

If you’ve ever researched how to self-publish a book, you’ll realise what an enormous task self-publishing is – and there are lots of variables, from what the format your book should take, to getting the right design for the front cover, not to mention all the print options that are available.

Read this quick guide to finding the right firm for self-publishing services.

1. Print on demand

Unless you have very deep pockets, print on demand is one of the key things to look for in a self-publisher.

Make sure you’re not left with a box full of unsold books by ensuring your self-publishing firm offers this service. With print on demand, you can print as many or as few books as you need without paying for copies that will simply sit, unsold, in your loft.

On demand book printing is flexible and cost-effective, and most good self-publishing companies will provide this service.

2. Print management

The printing process can be quite tricky and time-consuming; you have to juggle multiple aspects of printing a book, including finding the best print costs, establishing the right format for your book, managing the artwork for the cover, liaising with editors and designers, etc., as well as dealing with stock, and fulfilling orders and delivery.

Find a self-publishing company that handles everything on your behalf, from sorting out an ISBN for your book to taking care of any issues that occur with the printing press, as can happen on occasion.

At Wellness Books, we will manage the entire print process for you, acting as your eyes and ears while we print your book, so that there are no hitches along the way and the finished product is exactly how you would wish it to be.

3. A self-publishing company that cares

Some self-publishing companies are mostly interested in numbers; publishing a book is no more than running paper off a printer and there is little interest in the content of your book or whether it’s a quality product that’s likely to find its audience.

As an indie author, when choosing a company to partner with, it pays to find a self-publisher that specialises within your niche. Use a firm that shares your vision to ensure that the book you’ve envisioned is exactly what is delivered.

Wellness Books is more than just a self-publishing company – we’re on a mission to print high-quality books that make a positive difference. We want to support wellbeing experts in sharing what they know so that, together, we can help people to live their best lives.

What’s more, we’re backed by 30 years of self-publishing experience, expert editors and exceptional contacts within our industry; we’ll guide you through the whole process and our friendly team are on hand to answer your questions.

When you’re ready to share your book with the world, we’re on hand to make it happen! Contact the team today at info@wellnessbooks.co.uk.

Can kinesiology help heal emotional and physical pain?

Muscle testing

This week’s blog, about kinesiology – the study of the body’s movements, which often includes a technique called muscle testing, was written for us by kinesiology expert and founder of Balanced Wellness clinic, Claire Snowdon-Darling.

Keep reading to find out what is kinesiology, how it works, and how this great all-round alternative therapy can help heal physical and emotional issues.

Intro to kinesiology

Kinesiology was discovered by Dr. George Goodheart in the 1960s. He was the first to identify that there were muscles that were not ‘locking’ or working, which meant other muscles became painful and overused. Where traditional therapies focus on the painful muscle, kinesiology identifies the root cause of the problem – the muscles that are not functioning and uses techniques to turn those muscles on.

What is kinesiology?

Kinesiology uses the theory of muscle testing (technique used to assess the strength of a muscle or group of muscles in the body) to discover the underlying causes contributing to various health issues. The causes are usually rooted in one or more of what we call the four “realms” or “The BEES”, which are:

Biochemical – This can include food we are intolerant to, chemical toxicity such as household chemicals, pesticides or pollution, and also vitamins and minerals we are depleted in.

Emotional – These can be old trauma or anxieties that are causing issues in our day-to-day life and creating physical symptoms.

Electrical – The body works by electricity, so we use electrical techniques such as acupuncture points and meridians to rebalance the energy fields of the body.

Structural – Our posture affects our health, and making sure our entire system is working properly eliminates many symptoms. For example, when we are stressed, we can have a malfunctioning ileo-cecal valve (a valve that links the small intestine and large intestine), which structurally interferes with digestion.

How does a kinesiologist work?

Once the root cause is identified, we support you with solutions that include kinesiology techniques to strengthen the muscles, nutritional recommendations, structural work, energy reflexes and emotional coaching to guide you back to your full health potential.

Nutritionally – because of today’s unnatural farming methods and our tendency to eat processed and microwaved foods – most people in the UK are deficient in vital nutrients. During an appointment, it is likely that you will be recommended a programme of supplements to aid your recovery.

Standards in kinesiology

Many studies in kinesiology are carried out by The International College of Applied Kinesiology, to ensure that we are working with tried-and-tested, effective tools.

Why is kinesiology unique?

A skilled kinesiologist uses a toolbox of techniques, because we work with all of the four “realms”. This allows us to offer a broader range of support and to fully support you on your health journey.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of kinesiology sessions varies on the person, their problems and how well they follow any changes recommended to their diet and lifestyle. Generally, people feel a significant improvement within their first one to three appointments. Once optimum health has been attained, regular appointments keep the body balanced and prevent further ill health.

What is Functional Kinesiology and how is it different?

There are many different types of kinesiology. Functional kinesiology takes kinesiology a little further; it was created as a reaction to the global health crisis we are facing.

In functional kinesiology we focus on six pillars of health:

  • Blood sugars stability
  • Adrenal and thyroid stress
  • Hormone balancing
  • The digestive system and gut microbiome
  • The immune system
  • Emotional transformation.

About the contributor:

Claire is an expert in menopause, digestion and emotional transformation and is the visionary founder of Balanced Wellness, where she has worked with thousands of clients since 2007. Through this work, she has developed a series of protocols which have been accredited as a new therapy and are taught through The College Of Functional Kinesiology, of which she is the Head. This training focuses on the six pillars of health: blood sugars, stress, hormones, digestion, immune and emotional transformation. She is also the co-host of the popular podcast Consciously Healthy.

Contact & links:

General information: www.balancedwellness.co.uk

Free health advice: www.iwanttofeelbetter.co.uk

Free emotional support: www.radicalselflove.co.uk

Training information: www.functionalkinesiology.co.uk

Facebook & Instagram: ClaireSnowdon-Darling & @balancedwellnessuk

Tapping: can EFT really benefit our health?

Today’s post has been provided by London-based health coach and EFT Practitioner Karen Lucia.

EFT – also known as Tapping – is a healing technique that can be used to help clear emotional wounds and has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety and promoting a more positive outlook.

Tapping is best learned with the support of a professional EFT practitioner, who will walk you through the steps and offer practices that you can employ by yourself after learning the fundamentals.

Keep reading to find out more about this incredible healing technique and how it can support your wellbeing – plus a simple tapping exercise you can do at home!

As energy healing is getting more and more mainstream interest, EFT is becoming more recognised as an effective therapy – although it is by no means a new modality. Tapping was first discovered in the 1970s but has recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as new scientific research as well as anecdotal evidence emerges that supports this unique holistic practice.

The history of EFT

In the 1970s, psychologist Dr Roger Callahan, who used a range of different techniques in his practice, made a breakthrough while working with a client that had a severe phobia of water.

The client described that when she thought of water, she would get a horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. Because of his studies of acupuncture, Dr Callahan had an insight into what might be happening and asked the client to tap on the end of the stomach meridian – an energetic channel used by acupuncturists –located just below the eye, to see if it would ease the sensation in her belly.

It did, and when they went to the edge of a pool to test if anything had changed in the client’s feelings, the client noticed the fear and anxiety was gone – and it stays like that until this day.

Callahan went on to patent his discoveries and the therapy he developed was called TFT, Thought Field Therapy. TFT transformed his psychology practice completely, and it was highly effective but also overly complex and only accessible to therapists going through intensive training.

One of Callahan’s students was Gary Craig, an engineer and master of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), who simplified Callahan’s technique by adding some key NLP concepts, used fewer tapping points, and made it less complex. And so Emotional Freedom Techniques was born.

Craig was also the first to introduce EFT as a self-help tool and his method remains largely unchanged until today.

Emotional Freedom Techniques

Emotional Freedom Techniques is a method that involves tapping on the acupressure points of the face and upper body, along the meridian lines of Chinese medicine. It is a mind and body tool – an acupressure technique – that turns off or deregulates the stress response (flight or fight) that a person might experience when addressing  issues, feelings, sensations, or thoughts that provoke a fearful reaction. This stress response can present itself as physical pain, anxiety, anger, tension, overeating, etc.

Emotional Freedom Therapy

EFT, as in Emotional Freedom Therapy, is a talking therapy between a practitioner and a client, in which the tapping tool and other EFT techniques are used to work on general and specific issues such as anxiety, stress, confidence, fears, phobia, chronic pain, emotional eating, etc.

​In an EFT session, you tune into the negative patterns that we create around uncomfortable feelings, thoughts or troubling memories. While bringing these emotions or thoughts into consciousness the client taps on specific pressure points, which helps clients to find relief, relaxation and promotes healing around the emotional or physical issues that could be holding them back.

How does EFT work?

When we experience a negative event, thoughts, emotions, and sensations are triggered in the amygdala, which are then sent to the central nervous system (CNS).

The amygdala is a set of neurons in the medial temporal lobe (centre) of the brain and its key roles are:

  • Processing emotions
  • Survival instinct
  • Memory
  • Sexual activity and libido

The CNS is the part of nervous system that consists of the brain and the spinal cord; it controls most functions of the body and the mind, and is:

  • The centre of our thoughts
  • The interpreter of our external environment
  • The origin of control over our body movement

Through tapping, you clear blocks that are stuck in the nervous system, switch off or deregulate the stress response, and restore the energy balance in your body.

Try a practice exercise with me!

A simple EFT practice you can do at home

Tapping is an amazing and easy tool that can help you to take better care of yourself, anytime and anywhere. You do not need extensive knowledge or massive amounts of time to get going; you can simply start small by practising the points while gently addressing your feelings around issues that you are dealing with.

Step 1

Tap on each point about seven times, starting with the side of the hand – known as the karate-chop point. While tapping here, you create a ‘set up statement’ depending on what you want to address, for example, “Even though I feel stressed, I accept myself and how I feel.” Repeat this three times. You do this to expose the problem and set your intention to clear it.

Step 2

After setting up the tapping session, you tap continuously through the rest of the points while repeating any feelings or sensations that come up as you are thinking about or expressing your problem out loud, for example: “I feel so anxious”, “I feel out of control”, “I feel a knot in my stomach”, “I feel tension in my shoulders”, “This situation is so overwhelming”.

Do this for about three rounds, then take a deep breath and see if there is any change in how you are feeling – and acknowledge these changes.

Step 3

Continue with another round of tapping, if necessary, to clear whatever else has come up until you feel some relief and relaxation.

When you begin to feel better, finish with a round of positive tapping, such as: “I know I am strong and will get through this”, as a means of affirmation and to cement the positive work you have done.

Why do we include negative words and feelings while tapping?

A question that I often hear is why we use all the negative words/feelings while we tap, and if that might put more negativity in our minds; after all, the self-help space is usually all about affirmations and positive thinking. But just think of when you need to clean your kitchen: you would have to see the dirt first to know where to clean, right?

Well, it’s the same with EFT: you have to see which negative responses are being triggered to be able to switch them off, deregulate them or calm them down with tapping. This way the feelings and sensations will be released and will not stay stuck in your mind or your body.

You can, however, finish with one round of positive phrases while tapping in your self-practice, as it will leave you feeling powerful!

What can you expect from Tapping?

Honestly? Try not to expect anything specific but trust that you are working to make yourself feel better. When the body starts to shift negative energy, there is a possibility that you will have to yawn, stretch, laugh, move, shake, yell, pee – but often you will just feel a sense of calmness.

Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel a shift or a change straight away. Sometimes you will feel the change later, or you will need to do some more of the work to be able to discover what it is, exactly, that you are feeling as we often bury things deep inside ourselves.

Always approach it in a gentle way and be kind to yourself!

About the contributor

I work as a Health Coach and EFT Practitioner, I’m based in London, and come from a creative background as a professional dancer.

With my passion for movement and fascination with the never-ending possibilities of the human body, my focus eventually shifted to helping women achieve a healthier body and one that they feel good in, so I started working as a strength and conditioning trainer, and studied clinical nutrition.

After a few years, I realised that the people who actually maintained their body transformation after the initial three to six months were the ones with the strongest mindset – or in other words, those who believed the most in the possibility of success.

That’s why I decided to study different techniques that can build and transform the mind, and from there I finally understood that awareness should be the place to start for any lasting modification of someone’s lifestyle. This translates into my work with clients as a style that combines education and coaching.

Contact Karen:

www.karenlucia.com

IG: @karenlucialc

FB: /karenluciacoach

Self-publish your own wellbeing book! Contact Wellness Books to discuss your book project today at info@wellnessbooks.co.uk.

Loving life to the full: Dr Keith Scott-Mumby’s super-charged Supernoetics tool for change

Dr Keith Scott-Mumby

This week’s post is about the true nature of love, and how you can use it to enact change in your life and others. There’s never been a better time to talk about how love can change your world and your perspectives, leading to better relationships, better business and a better quality of life. This post has been provided by Dr Keith Scott-Mumby, otherwise known as “The Alternative Doctor”.

Dr Scott-Mumby is an internationally recognised campaigner for complementary therapies, a pioneer of alternative medicine and an expert in energy medicine. When he’s not writing books, Dr Scott-Mumby is lecturing around the world and sharing his knowledge about how we can live healthier and more productive lives.

Keep reading to find out more about Dr Scott-Mumby’s method for helping people take life by the horns using a ‘magical’ triangle of love, wisdom and responsibility as a catalyst for change – bringing your best self to the world. The post ends with an ancient forgiveness practice which, with regular practice, will help improve your relationships with others.

How Love Works!

The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge.

– Bertrand Russell

Love is (or should be) an action driver, not just a gooey feeling. To love in the heart without acting and demonstrating competence in the physical is weak and irresponsible. Yes, I do mean competence is key. If you meddle in other people’s affairs and make things worse, you won’t get any more Christmas cards from those that got hurt!

I have identified a useful triangle (3 points of engagement) that allows us to turn love from a concept into a vehicle. I call it the Triangle of Wisdom and Responsibility. With it, you can change your life. With others, you can change the world!

Turn love into a vehicle for change with the Supernoetics Triangle of Responsibility

The effective trio is: Love (caring, compassion) – Wisdom (knowledge, guidance) – Responsibility (action, willingness).

Each corner depends on the others and none can be omitted. Love without any sense of what to do or how to help is not much use. It’s almost painful to feel a heavy burden of love and not be able to help.

But smarty-pants knowledge, without a sense of caring and need to act, is not wisdom. Love without wisdom has a tendency to be blind, easily misled and foolish in its actions. On the other hand, wisdom without love could easily become harsh, cold and unfeeling.

Lastly, and obviously, to be loving and wise means you MUST act; you are required to do so by an overarching sense of responsibility. It is a pensum. The world will not be a fit place for YOU, if you don’t help out with the suffering of others.

The Love-Wisdom Axis

I’ve said often that love is not something you give or get, it’s not even something you do. Love is something we are. It’s our nature.

So the highest level of wisdom acknowledges that we ARE love. It allows us to fully embrace life, experience, other people and, yes, setbacks and losses too.

If we love ourselves then we see the importance of this precious state in others.

That means we must intercede and be willing to help. Help, unfortunately, is a tricky activity. It’s easy to find people suspect your motives and may even be negative towards you, for trying. The reason is simple: since the beginning of time, help has often been a failure, a dishonest trick even. People have become cynical.

It has happened to you too, at least to some degree. You may catch yourself being resentful once in a while, when someone with very sincere motives is trying to help you.

So be willing to experience this in others. Don’t react. Help is actually a great expression of love. But it can go wrong, if the wisdom element is lacking. If you don’t know what to do in a given situation, you’ll get it wrong; sometimes disastrously wrong. That’s where Supernoetics teaching comes to the fore; we have a powerful body of tried and tested methods that produce change.

It shortcuts the distracting process of blundering through life looking for answers but never really being sure that what we find will work.

The Responsibility-Love Axis

Love brings with it a responsibility that we call caring. You cannot love and ignore the plight of those you are attached to. If you care, you act. Love cannot be passive; it always engenders action. Even just a hug or a kiss is action!

But it goes further than that, of course. Action has a huge context: how you speak, how you think, how you conduct yourself, how you interact with others. It’s a song, a celebration, a symphony even… or should be.

There is a saying that the Sun should never go down on a quarrel. Having made a lot of goofs in my lifetime, I can tell you that one is powerful. Sooner or later bad feeling is going to have to be solved. If it isn’t, it festers and eventually becomes toxic and will poison your life and that of others around you.

My first wife is a sweet thing. She is one of the finest, most caring nurses I ever knew, as a doctor. But she has her frailties, as we all do. Whenever bad feeling arose, I would sooner or later have to accept the role of Wise Man, apologize and take the blame, or at least create an “explanation” that strengthened her and acknowledged my responsibility (mind you that didn’t stop me being grumpy and offensive for a while, before I knew I would have to solve the situation!)

As the years went by, I began to resent this role of stepping down. Why doesn’t she take a turn at it? That’s what I began to ask myself. Finally, there came a day when I said “Screw it, if she won’t step in and solve the dispute, it can go unhandled.”

It only took a few short years from there till we were divorced!

The Wisdom-Responsibility Axis

Wisdom and responsibility are about the value of knowledge. The typical human conduct is that of floundering around, not knowing how to resolve difficulties, being offensive with the other parties involved and then, often, just shutting down communication, so that nothing further could be done to resolve matters.

How much better it would be if we all knew and used techniques to change unfortunate problems for the better. What we lack is a science of effective change. I use the word “effective” because it isn’t really wisdom and progress if, in every relationship we try, we end up walking out or getting divorced when difficulties arise!

A friend of mine once wisely said, divorce solves nothing. You always have to start again. But you carry the same old baggage to the next relationship, and the next and the next, and so on… Plus your new partner will have his or her unresolved baggage too, ready for a clash.

It doesn’t make sense, does it?

What does work is a willingness to explore, to learn, to create and to forgive. You have probably heard of the magic of ho’oponopono, the ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness (similar forgiveness practices were performed on islands throughout the South Pacific, including Samoa, Tahiti and New Zealand).

It’s redolent with wisdom and responsibility. It’s very simple to do: just say the following words, over and over, and mean what you say

  • I love you.
  • I’m sorry.
  • Please forgive me.
  • Thank you.

You don’t even have to let the person concerned hear your words. You can do it silently, speaking to yourself (but out loud is more powerful). Don’t be skeptical; try it! Don’t forget you can do this for yourself too: say those words to yourself, about yourself! Forgive yourself, for all the many mistakes you made and the hurts you caused. Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world.

About the contributor:

Keith Scott-Mumby graduated in medicine in the UKwith a bachelor’s in medicine and a bachelor’s in surgery(MB ChB). He also has an international MD and PhD. In his 7th decadehe continues to inform and inspire others and is known for his encyclopedic knowledgeand a quirky sense of humor. He lives in France and Las Vegas.

Write your own wellness book, contact the team to discuss your idea at info@wellnessbooks.co.uk.