Amanae : The Course that Never Ends

Amanae : The Course that Never Ends

“Honestly, I don’t know any training course for a profession that asks for this level of commitment, motivation, guts and balls to show up for yourself and love and compassion for the inner darkness and light like Amanae”

Cas Gebbink – Amanae Practitioner, Netherlands

So yeah, it would have been great to know THAT before I embarked on what I now call ‘the course that never ends’!!

Wayyyyyy back in April 2013 I sent an email to a therapy school expressing my interest in dipping my toe in the water and learning more about Amanae.  10 years before that email was sent I was introduced to the therapy through a friend and immediately knew that some very important seeds had been planted. During and after the session (Step 1) I had a very clear sense that this work was extremely important, deeply touching and somehow, an essential part of what I was supposed to be doing.

So technically speaking, I began ‘learning amanae’ 13 years ago…

Fast forward again to 2013 and I started talking to the head of the school Eric Lipin to explain that whilst it would clearly be IMPOSSIBLE for me to complete the whole training (14 trips to Belgium and back, substantial investment not to mention flight expenses and blah blah blahhhh), I did feel a call to at least start the modules.

The opportunity to join the a one day workshop and the heart opening module presented itself in November 2013 and with the incredible, unwavering support of my favourite human being Leo and a surprise gift from a wonderful friend I signed up (Step 2).

At that first gathering I met some incredible people – open minded, open hearted, wild, honest and brave. All approaching the work of amanae with everything they had. I realised then that I would find a way to finish all the modules. (Step 3).

Over the following 4 years, learning and receiving amanae I would: learn some profound truths about myself; be reminded of some particular patterns that maybe I will work on forever; see sides of myself that I used to love crumble away; access memories so old they may not even have been from this life; be reminded that everything changes and nothing is constant; feel the fear and do it anyway; try to hide under a towel; contemplate leaving mid module and sacking off the whole course; feel like I wasn’t learning anything; cry so much that I thought the tears would never end; sing songs that I never knew I knew; laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh; be angry, fiercely fiercely angry and enraged; kick the shit out of Erics kick cushion; feel sick and broken for weeks; try so badly to control everything that I exhausted myself (see patterns that I maybe will work on forever); feel high as a kite; spout the hippiest sounding phrases I have ever uttered and not care one jot; learn that reaching out is always worth it; make deep deep connections with incredible people; be vulnerable, honest, brave and scared and feel the most profound love for myself and those around me and so many more things.

I would write pages and pages in my journal and feel the world so differently after each module. And I would feel my work as a bodyworker change dramatically.

And now, here I am having just completed the last module (a series of beautifully deep chest and heart opening techniques). And ohhhh so many happenings from start to end. I received my certificate of attendance together with my amanae brother Kim, with whom I have attended all the modules and who, amongst being an amazing husband to the equally awesome Charlotte, becoming an amazing father to Leyati and teaching me all kinds of useful chi tricks, has built and is now running a holistic centre just outside Gent:)

And at the moment we received our certificates I had A BIG FAT realisation that the END is not actually the END.  Whilst the completer / finisher in me is still spitting chips about this but I am ignoring her for a greater truth…

That there really is never an end…

We keep learning, unlearning, relearning, we keep trying to make better mistakes, we keep evolving, we keep unfolding, we keep opening and we do it because we can’t not do it.

Much love,

Cat Moyle

Holistic Body Worker and Wellbeing Adviser on the Island of Malta
+356 9964 6166

For those interested in an amanae session, read this and get in touch.

For those interested in diving deeper, I am offering a workshop with my teacher (and now good friend) Eric this summer and there is one space left as of May 11th 2017.

Check out the details here…  and get in touch if you feel called.

How to be the Illest – Ninja Skills for Sick Days

Unless your name is hypochondria (and if it is, it’s probably about time you had a chat with your namegivers) you will probably face illness with the same grumpy face I was sporting earlier this month.

That’s me… Ill + Grumpy!

And any notion that being ill is remotely a good thing took me a good month (of relentless off- on illness ffs) to get to.  Especially for a self employed healthy health advisor / bodyworker / person to whom questions about how to achieve optimal health are posed… !

Being ill wasn’t good for my pocket / my street cred / my general happiness / my relationship (because of the impact on my general happiness) or my finely tuned schedule of infinite plans, so I resisted and grumped for as long as possible before settling on these gems…

1. Rest is Best

I, of course, cancelled my client sessions (no one wants someone else’s germs and massaging with a runny nose is not considered a desirable skill in a massage therapist. Meantime, I tried stoically to get on with the laundry/admin/accounts/VAT dept negotiations/social media updates/license law analysis/research into venues for upcoming workshops etc etc etc. In short, I tried to use the time to do all the non hands-on work associated with being a hands-on therapist. And in doing so…

I blatantly ignored the advice I share with others about resting when you are ill. Which made me iller (not the good kind of iller)… 

Why is rest best?

Because your body is busy channeling its energy resources into the department of your immune system and does not always have spare capacity for excessive movement, mental stress, extended screen-time etc etc.

“Give your immune system the management support it needs and ease off the other tasks till it’s done”.

And in resting, we surrender to what is happening, rather than trying to fight which will just tense us up, restrict us and not allow the flu to flow merrily on its way…

But bear in mind the following (not contradictory, rather complementary) suggestion…

2. Pop that placebo several times a day

There’s a whole bunch of research into what makes a super strong immune system and most of it suggests its a wildly complicated combination of factors from genetics to stress levels, from good or poor digestion to blood pressure, from diet to hydration levels, from chemical exposure to how we breathe. It’s strikes me that there is no magic formula so why not throw everything at it… including healthy thoughts.

Bruce Liptons Biology of Belief work dives deeply into this subject, more anecdotal evidence from Grandmothers refusing to believe they are ill and refusing to let their offspring even feign illness.  So whilst I’m not saying you should be in denial…I am saying…

“plug some positivity into that vagus nerve… meditate on feeling well, send healthy images into your body, believe you are better”.

3. Fuel up wisely my friend

Ok so you might not have enough energy to make anything more than cheese sandwiches and cups of tea with biscuits. And you might feel like cake and chocolate and angel delight. But, like I said, we need to keep the body focused on the job at hand and handling sugar peaks n troughs, caffeine overdose and too much dairy mary (or any foods to which you might be sensitive) is going to divert the bodies energy from repairing your inflamed sinuses/sore throat/throbbing head/fractured fibula/snotty brain/insert symptom here/.

Similarly the body needs as much nutritional power as possible and it might struggle to find sufficient vitamin c (essential in illness) in a jam tart.

Use your one burst of energy to chop veg and stick them in a broth to make a big pot of soup that will last you a few days. Get as many goddamn greens in there as you can stand and don’t boil them to death.

“Let Hippocrate’s wisdom be your mantra…”

And make sure you hydrate properly too.

4. Learn to receive

Oh yeah, that old chestnut again. For the care-takers in the crowd you know what I’m saying here… let yourself be looked after. Don’t be the miserable martyr. Ask for a cup of tea on a tray in bed please. Request that someone else sort out the ironing thank you.

“and for sure when help is offered. ACCEPT IT”

I harp on a lot about the circle. By this I mean the circle of support we are all part of in some way. Remember the last ten times you allowed someone to lean on you? Well now it’s your turn. Remember how good it is to feel supportive to someone? Allow someone the gift of supporting you.

5. Let the music move you…

If you didn’t get the hippity hoppity references in this post yet, remind me to post more about music to help your education… but someway through one of my sicky sick days a tune came on the radio that conjoured up a hundred happy memories and I found myself with enough energy to get up out of the bed, potter down to make the soup in point 3 and even have a little barefoot shuffle about, moving fluid, muscles, tissues and cells, gently about my body, so just as the puddle doesn’t spawn life… the gently moving river has a world of wildlife in it’s waves.

“Be the river… not the puddle…”

But don’t forget to honour the start of this post…

I hope you have found this useful. If you have any suggestions to add to this small selection, feel free to share them in the comments below or with me directly.

Thank you for your attention.

With love Cat Moyle

Holistic Body Worker and Wellbeing Adviser on the Island of Malta
+356 9964 6166

What to do when the energy gets funky – contains video post

What to do when the energy gets funky – contains video post

One of the wonderful things about the transformational bodywork I’m practicing is that it allows those of you who come for a session to work deeply. Deeply into the physical body, deeply into the emotional body.

We touch on that ever-so-difficult-thing-to-define, energy. We work to get the energy going, flowing, moving as it likes. Some people experience this as heat (or cold), vibrations (and shaking), sounds or words and a host of other physical sensation in their cells.

Sometimes after a session, people feel more sensitive to the world around them and as a result can find it harder to be in certain company than before or have more (or less) tolerance for certain situations. More on why that might be another time…

This happened to a guy who came for an amanae session recently and so he said “I think I need some help handling that, I feel like I need to protect myself better”. As often happens, in the weeks that followed, a flurry of similar requests came in and so it got me thinking about the topic of ‘protection’ from others energy.

So, this post is in response to a client who asked for some advice on ‘protecting’ his energy, or rather how to handle the energy when it gets a bit funky…. I talk about why I don’t think we need protecting, the nature of energy and include the tricks I use to keep my energy clear so I don’t wobble (as much as I used to).

First of all I talk a little bit about Amanae

Then the tips I share (after I talk about the nature of energy, why I think we don’t need protection and why I think we need to get comfortable with change) are:

Meditation – quieting down my mind so I can listen to my body (the ultimate energy antenna) and make conscious, not habitual, choices. That means I can leave the party early if I’m not in the mood. I can say no to coffee with the person I feel uncomfortable around. I can leave the relationship that feels tiring. Meditation, for me, is about getting so quiet you can hear yourself. It’s also a solitary activity, I find it a helpful way of getting used to the idea of being completely alone so the thought of leaving a friendship/relationship isn’t so unsettling anymore.

Good food – avoiding foods that make too much ‘noise’ in the body, allergens, stimulants (coffee/tea), strong foods that create gas/indigestion, alcohol etc etc. Whilst I love food, I have found that some foods are more ‘friendly’ to my vessel than others. That doesn’t mean I wont ever eat blue cheese for pleasure again, just that it’s probably best avoided right before a socially demanding day.

Water in the body –bodies needs lot of water. I can’t think/see/function straight if I’m thirsty. I get confused and tired and that’s not helpful for my energy levels or my focus.

Water on the body – my end of work routine involves a long long (till the hot water runs out) shower. You’ll see water pop up again in the second list. I think my end of day shower is partly about being ‘alone’, partly about the metaphysical ‘washing off of the day’, partly pavlovian (I have done it for so many years now I automatically associate it with moving from work mode to a different state of being), and partly because of the cleansing power of the water (see the second list)

Sounds – the long end of work shower is often accompanied with some noise making (sometimes singing, sometimes yelling, sometimes ‘toning’ or saying ohhhmmmmmmm at the top of my voice, sometimes speaking out words, sometimes hissing). There is something about the vibrations that happen when I make sound that feel like I’m cleaning things from the inside out, shaking out the vocal chords and muscles of the throat, chest and face. It feels pretty relaxing and releasing.

Exercise – in my case, yoga and more recently running, which reminds me of the ground, makes me feel like I’m fully ‘in my body’. A feeling some people describe as grounded.

Things that are reported to clean the energy field

Smudging/incense smoke – waft this around you, around the room
Salt/salt water – swim in it, wash in it
Crystals – if thats your thing

The ‘Is this Mine’ practice

When you feel something that doesn’t feel good energetically, if you feel heavy in someone’s company or start to feel scared or angry or other emotions when you are not sure why… close your eyes, get quiet and ask yourself

“Is this mine?”

If, when you ask the question, you feel a change, you feel lighter, you can’t connect with it clearly it’s probably not yours.

If, however you as the question and you suddenly feel heavier, or like you hear a strong yes in your cells, or it becomes clear to you what the ‘thing’ is. Then it’s probably yours to work with.

Hope that helps, get in touch with any questions or if you need advice.

With love Cat Moyle

Holistic Body Worker and Wellbeing Adviser on the Island of Malta
+356 9964 6166

Why I let the Do-Nothing Demon Win this Winter

Why I let the Do-Nothing Demon Win this Winter

Those of you that know me well know I am a Demon Do-Er. I have at least three to do lists on the go at any one time, in fact I have just discovered bullet journalling and feel like I am in to-do list heaven…

Even my new years resolutions were a series of tasks, until 2016 when I switched it up for a ‘To Be’ resolution.

So for my time-off during late December/early January, excited by all the space, I planned to have a super-active time. I intended to:

Ramp up my meditation time from 20 minutes to an hour (daily)

Indulge myself in at least an hour of yoga (daily)

Plan and write a new website

Read books

Go for looooooong walks

Experiment with cooking vegan recipes

Write several blog posts

Develop and implement a new marketing strategy for Pause // Play // Escapes 

Start running again

Work on an amanae community website with a friend in Brazil

Spend lots of time with family and friends

To learn a new computer program

To Instagram daily

Help my brother and his family move house

and so on and so on…

And whilst this makes me look like a Type – A, super achiever, massively motivated minnie, it hides a little heap of issues that I felt the need to share, in case it resonates… it’s not just a list of issues though, I find some peace at the end so don’t be too glum!

Issue number 1…

My optimism about how much I can get done, knows no bounds. This is, on the whole, a great thing and means I am super positive about starting new projects or ‘getting involved’ in things that excite me (such as writing a website for the growing amanae community)…

The flip side of this optimism is that it’s not always realistic, and regularly, when faced with a to-do list like this and a limited timeframe, I have an ‘oh shit it’s not going to get finished in time’ moment.

Which leads me to issue number 2…

I am sometimes driven by a belief that I’m not doing enough, that I should be doing more. It’s a deeply subconscious thing, I have been working on it for years and I’m making good progress, but I’m aware that this is one way in which it rears its head… I usually don’t notice it until I am mid ‘oh shit it’s not going to get finished in time’.

Which usually leads me to issue number 3…

Busting my proverbials till the shit does get done in time (don’t want to let anyone down now) and then falling into an overworked heap in the corner. And to add to that, on the way to this heap, I sometimes indulge in

Issue number 4…

Shouting at my partner for not (in my perception) working at the same intensity (or in the same way) to either help me with my stuff or to do all the things I’m not doing ‘cos I have (once again) over committed myself.

So it was in this four issue high heap that I found myself when I landed in England on 21st December ready to rinse and repeat with my shiny new to-do list.

And then, my body said a big fat NO.

It wanted me to rest, not move yogically (or otherwise)
It wanted me to sleep
It did not want to think logically
It did not want to write eloquent words (although it did want to read them)
It wanted to connect with family and friends not eternity and the ether
It wanted fresh air and wilderness not screen-time
It wanted to be warm and cosy
It did not want challenge
It did not want a to do list and pressure
It was not interested in ticks for done things and red circles for not-done-things

And so… bit by bit, like tearing off a plaster, millimeter by millimeter, I let the to do list go.

How to undo the to do list…

I ate cake, I drank red wine and endless endless tea without thinking about the sugar, alcohol and caffeine content.
I went for gentle walks, not huge hikes or runs.
I meditated on cooking, not the universe.
I slept in, for hours, and spent days in pyjamas.
I read my book, rather than write on the computer.
I allowed myself to explore ideas expansively rather than being focused on achievement/completion.
I talked and didn’t keep an eye on the time or my phone.
I cancelled appointments and generally did less.

So what happened?

I found I discovered more about the people around me and my relationship to them.
I found my inner critic quieten down IMMENSELY
I rediscovered the joy of cooking and found some great new vegan recipes (I have been running on the same menu for about 4 years now!)
I realised how much alone time I need
I realised how much rest I need at this time of year (#hibernationforthenation)
I felt more in-sync with the season
I slowed the fuck down

And so when I came back to my to-do list, I found many of the things I had #BuJo’d were no longer important.

When I sat down to start working at the computer again, I found action came easily and calmly (and more efficiently) #worklesstoworkmore

I realised that there is no joy in rushing

I realise to do lists feed my inner critic with material!

I realised I am more creative, more loving, more open and feel freer when I take some of the structure and pressure of the to-do list away.

And now the big one… I am learning (again and again) to trust forces other than my own to make things happen. Not saying I’m putting my feet up, rolling a fat one and letting the universe sort out my entire destiny for me, that’s not my bag this time round.  Just that I am learning (again and again) that sometimes there are smarter ways to crack the nut than with the Moyle shaped Sledgehammer… #lifelessons #prioritisewhatisimportant

So what changed?

So I’ve decided my massage/amanae/reiki/reflexology couch will only be available Monday to Thursday from now on, giving me Fridays to do all the other stuff involved in running a business (rather than squeezing these onto the end of a long day or sneaking them into my weekends)

And I’ve decided that if that means I earn less, so be it.

And I’ve decided that if I can’t do it well, I won’t do it quickly.

And I’ve decided to cook more (that shiz is amazing for the mind) when I can…

Because this stuff is important!!

Hope this was helpful in some way for those of you with equally busy lives!

Hugs to you

Cat Moyle

Holistic Body Worker and Wellbeing Adviser on the Island of Malta

Resolution Revolution – Stop the Start


This January I’m starting a Revolution….

*cue uplifting music*

It’s a resolution revolution….

*turn up the volume*

Join me!

*pull the giant party popper*

Radicalise your New Year by setting a new kind of New Years Resolution…

One that follows 3 simple rules…

Rule 1) Stop the Start

I invite you to Ditch the “Do”, Stop the “Start” Cut out the “Commence”, Bin the “Begin”

And make a resolution, with NO go getting action words in it.

I speak from a whole year of experience… Lets go back in time

*cue wibbly screen and sepia montage…*

Here is an example of this kind of new years resolution list I would set myself

  • Learn Italian
  • Travel the world
  • Teach myself acupressure
  • Run a marathon
  • Start singing lessons and perform in public
  • Find and buy a house
  • Do voluntary work

(inspired by 2013’s list)

Easy right? Bear in mind I work full time and I moved house twice in the year I wrote that list, I might as well have added on “develop cure for cancer, solve world peace issue, find Holy Grail”

And so I get to the end of the year feeling like I have failed because I didn’t manage all of those things and then I try rolling them forward to the next year (and add in a few more for good measure) then I repeat the impossible cycle again. YAY!

Rule 2) Acknowledge what you have already achieved/where you are right now

I get it. Resolutions are aspirational and whilst that’s no bad thing, they might sometimes be counter productive, creating stress when they were supposed to inspire achievement… So why not start with a list of all the things you achieved in the past 12 months… Celebrate all that you already are and then use that to see how you might continue that journey rather than start all over again…

I’m not saying don’t goal set, there is a whole heap of evidence to show how intention and focus are important tools for happiness and success. What I am saying is:

“Be mindful about how you approach the whole resolution project”

Spend time thinking about what you really want…

At the start of 2016 I changed my approach. And I set this as my resolution.

“To be the truest, most honest, most open version of myself”

…and I stuck it to my fridge where I would see it every day as a reminder.

I wanted my resolution to feel more internal than external, about being not doing, about something genuinely important and, hopefully, sustainable because of that.

And here is what happened…

It seeped into my every day.

I made more honest choices based on what I wanted.

I didn’t feel achievement anxiety every time I looked at it as it was always intended to be a work in progress.

I had more honest conversations in the kitchen (yep those hard ones) inspired by the resolution literally staring me in the face.

I stopped doing somethings that were not bringing me joy sometimes just by looking at the picture on the fridge.

I became more selfish and subsequently was able to give more.

I didn’t do LESS things, I just did those things DIFFERENTLY

And I didn’t end the year feeling like I had failed.

Rule 3) Don’t rush it.

Given that time is a completely artificial construct, that the ‘new year; really started the day after the winter solstice (21st December) and that January is not always the best time energetically for new beginnings… See this post for more info on that… Don’t rush it.

If you want it to be sustainable, take your time coming to it, it is often unsustainable to go all in for Jan 1st when 31st December 2107 is a loooonnnng looooong way away.

Give yourself time and space to dive into what you really really want from this year ahead.

So if your resolution is to run a marathon maybe think about its broader aim… to make healthy choices, to see what your body can achieve, to move more… I know it sounds super cheesy but think about the journey you need to take, not the destination.

I don’t think I set my 2016 intention until about February… and as the end of 2016 is now upon us, I can honestly say I feel like I have really achieved something important (that I will keep working on in 2017)

And now I know I won’t start on January 1st 2017 with an impossible list that makes me stressed just looking at it…

So here is my 2017 Resolution…


She will receive some more flourishes and sparkles in the coming weeks and I will share my progress with her over the coming months. But I love her already 🙂

So I want to hear… What are your resolution top tips?

Which ones did you sustain all year? What are your plans for 2017??

Big Hugs

Cat Moyle

Holistic Body Worker and Wellbeing Adviser on the Island of Malta

Top 12 Tips for a Healthier Life: Part 12 – Rest is Best

Top 12 Tips for a Healthier Life: Part 12 – Rest is Best

It has been nearly 2 years since the first post in this series… I’d love for you to believe that that’s been 2 years of constant research and writing but that would be a lie…Whilst the notion for the series and the outline didn’t take long to write, the many things of life means it took a while to come to full fruition. Nevertheless, here we are… we made it to the final tip…

So, thank you (if you have been here since the start) for staying through the series. I hope it has been helpful in some way to you, I would love to hear which bits you liked the most (there is a recap at the end) in the comments.

And so the grand finale. After all that reading, absorbing and digesting, it’s time for…

A well earned Rest

“But I’ve got so much to do”, you cry.  And I hear you and I totally sympathise but rest really is essential for your wellbeing, sanity and for the good of those around you. And here are some reasons why.

Rest and Repair

We need to rest our body so that it can repair itself. This includes:

Not moving – The athletes and runners out there will know that a few days of rest is advocated before a competition or long run

Not eating – our digestive system needs rest too so the body can focus on repairing and not digesting. Try a 12 hour fast overnight (i.e. if you finish your evening meal at 8pm, don’t eat again till at least 8am, but do drink water)

Not working – you know that feeling of not being able to slow your mind down? What a pain that is. And it comes when we don’t rest our mind enough from tasks and action. I wrote a whole post on the benefits of meditation and one on disconnection from the online world. Check them out for more details on why not working your mind is important.

Rest when you are rushed

Know you need to wind down but are pushed for time? The practice of Yogic Sleep (Nidra) is reported to give you the same benefits as a two hour kip in a fraction of the time. My amazing friend Richard Lister, who is so awesome he has come up with the notion of Radical Rest, has generously shared one of his yoga nidra recordings with me to share with you.

Here you go, click on it and get 2 hours rest in 25 minutes and then pop over to Rich’s awesome website and tell him what you thought of it 🙂

Get to bed

So now you have wound down properly… let’s talk about sleep.

8 hours (or at least 7) sleep can help with:

  • Increased memory
  • Longer life
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Increased creativity
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Decreased fat and increased muscle mass with exercise
  • Lower stress
  • Decreased dependence on stimulants like caffeine
  • Decreased risk of getting into accidents
  • Decreased risk of depression

Seriously… all that from a proper night’s sleep. With our busy lives seemingly getting busier and our health suffering as a result, it’s time to fall back in love with sleep.

Trouble getting to sleep? Check out this post I wrote a while ago

Feeling sleepy – go for it, get under those covers and snooze it out.

Give yourself a restful weekend

We believe so firmly in rest that in the long weekend retreats I co-run in Malta and Gozo, we don’t wake you up at 6am, we let you sleep in and we insist on you getting at least an hour of bodywork as part of your stay. We do some yoga with you and then we don’t rush you off the mat after. Inspired by this research, we want you to repair properly…

Go on, give yourself permission to rest…

Good night 🙂


Cat Moyle

Holistic Body Worker and Wellbeing Adviser on the Island of Malta

So here’s the full 12 part series on how to have a healthier life… from the start

  1. Part 1 – Move Your Body
  2. Part 2 – Drink Good Water
  3. Part 3 – Eat Good Food
  4. Part 4 – Give your Brain a Break
  5. Part 5 – Breathe (Better)
  6. Part 6 – Disconnect
  7. Part 7 – Be Alone
  8. Part 8 – Express Yourself
  9. Part 9 – Be Selfish
  10. Part 10 – Get Outside
  11. Part 11 – Don’t Work Too Hard
  12. Part 12 – Rest Well

Top 12 Tips for a Healthier Life: Part 11 – Don’t Work Too Hard

Top 12 Tips for a Healthier Life: Part 11 – Don’t Work Too Hard

You’ve probably all seen that cheery list, the 5 regrets of the dying by now or at least some version of it.

This post concerns itself with number 2 on that list, but not perhaps for the reasons you might think…

“I wish I hadn’t worked so hard”

The newspaper article and the subjects of Bronnie Ware’s book bemoan the time spent on the work treadmill as precious time NOT spent with the ones you love and NOT spent doing the things you love.

So, if you feel like a slave to the wage, check out these questions to help you figure out whether and how to change it up…

Is it you, what you do?

If you are spending your working days doing something that holds no interest for you, doesn’t inspire you, doesn’t tap into your unique skills or even make you smile sometimes… it will drain you. The concept of vertical coherence in psychology (lining up the time and energy you spend on stuff with your core values and passions) is proven to make you happier and healthier.

OK so not all of us get to be artists, authors, environmental activists or save the world altruists, some of us have mouths to feed and we all have bills to pay so lets be realistic (while we work toward the dream).

Good questions to ask:
Is there something you can do to drop a task that drains you, or take one on that fills you up?
Can you start later to fit in the gym class you love or finish earlier to go to read your book on a bench?
Can you fit in a mentoring meeting at lunchtime?
Is it a good time to ask for a payrise to fund that course you want to start…

Take one step closer to your version of vertical coherence…

Are you being efficient?

Are you always at work, working too many hours and taking work home at weekends? This might be a hard truth to hear, but this could be a sign you are not being very efficient or focused. It’s so hard to take that on when we are stressed out but you might need a rethink…

Good questions to ask:
Can you reset your tasks with your boss or to ask for help (not a weakness, actually a strength)
Can you ask for some advice on how to work better/smarter?

The Four Hour Working Week has some useful tips and my favourite ‘business book’ ever is called Rework

Taking a break is a perfect way to get some perspective.  Maybe that means calling in sick and resting your brain for a bit so you can see things a little more clearly.

What need are you feeding?

If you are working a lot then there must be a need it is meeting… Take some time to ask yourself…

What does your job give you? Is it good money? What do you do with that money? Do you work hard to earn the money just to take more luxurious rest? Can you rest and relax without the shiny things your fulsome salary buys? Can you find the chill within?

Is there something deeper going on?

Ok here are some tough questions to ask yourself… Are you working all the hours god sends because you can’t say no? Are you not being clear with yourself and those around you when you have done enough? Are you battling with perfectionism? Are you a workaholic?

If you feel like you might answer yes to some of these, first of all know you are not alone. And if you are ready to dive deeper (and get help doing that if you need it) then it might be helpful to better understand yourself and your choices .. sometimes the question we need to ask ourselves is:

Do you feel like you are enough?

Most of us feel like our work defines us to some extent, it is important to have purpose, it allows us to feel we are contributing and meets an important psychological and sociological need in us. But too much work, or the wrong kind of work can stifles our creativity, can lead to stress and can (as the book says) make us feel like we are spending too much time and energy in the wrong place.

Getting some space allows ideas to come in, allows us to look up and around and see the better solution, allows us to be healthier, happier and more whole.

Lack of space blinkers us, it closes us up to other avenues, it can lead to the midlife crisis, the sudden realisation at 40 that becoming the CEO of an insurance company no longer sets our hearts on fire…

So allow a little space as you go along and make sure, where you can, that your work choices are conscious and mindful ones.

Cat Moyle
Holistic Body Worker and Wellbeing Adviser on the Island of Malta

Thank you to “Death to Stock Photo” for the Image 🙂

Top 12 Tips for a Healthier Life: Part 10 – Get Outside

Top 12 Tips for a Healthier Life: Part 10 – Get Outside

Well I’ve been working on this post for a while and then good old National Geographic only went and produced a, frankly, much-better-than-mine piece on the importance of nature and outside time on wellness of the mind, body and soul.

It eloquently gathered together all the evidence on why being in nature is so good for:

  • Your physical health
  • Your mental health
  • Your recovery from illness
  • Your niceness as a person
  • Your anger levels
  • Your concentration
  • Your memory

And concluded that this is, in part because at a profound cellular level, nestled deep within our DNA we are comforted by surroundings that mirror those in which our ancestors would have evolved.

But, you should read the full article and then get outside and see for yourself how brilliant nature is. And if you can’t get out, check out one of these on full screen until you can as apparently it’s almost as effective as the real thing in calming you down #noexcuses

Cat Moyle
Holistic Body Worker and Wellbeing Adviser on the Island of Malta

Life Lessons: The Brightside of Brexit 2 (the world without, the world within)

Life Lessons: The Brightside of Brexit 2 (the world without, the world within)
“A week is a long time in politics”

Or so they say. I guess they coined that phrase after living something akin to 7 days or so post Brexit in the UK. And whilst I could bore you with the twists and turns of Tory backstabbing, schmoozing and scrabbling and Labour panic, spineless squirming and silliness, you can find that a hundred times over in your newspaper of choice. So instead, I’m keeping one eye on it, but turning in, to the internal, human, emotional story within. What happens to one woman as she observes the drama unfold, fold and unfold again and what useful things might we learn from going into our own turmoil…

  1. Polarity – There is one thing that has really struck me since my last post and my continued attempts to understand both sides of the story by diving into the spectrum of media from the remain and leave camps. And that is this tendency to polarise the arguments, the key players and even the predictions of what’s next. It’s like we (the media, our politicians included) can’t cope with presenting anything that might be incomplete, unsure, neutral and so on. In some cases these ‘extreme’ viewpoints are extremely funny and helpful light relief from the heaviness some of us feel following the decision to chuck Europe for not being attentive enough. In other cases the polarised presentation of ‘facts’ (see the next point) isn’t helpful for those of us trying to seek out unity from the broken remains. “Far more unites us that divides us” said the late (and seemingly wise) politician Jo Cox and I think we reap the benefits of that when the divide between my view and yours is bridged… It’s not all good, it’s not all bad, they are not completely evil or completely angelic, it’s not all disaster or all perfection… this is worth remembering when we seek unity in the world and ourselves.
  2. Loss of the truth – When was the last time you heard someone say in the public political eye say “I don’t know”. How about “we don’t know what we are going to do yet”, “I don’t have all the answers”, “We are working hard to figure it out together” The truth (which is that no-one really knows how to navigate massively unpredictable events) gets lost in the need people have to pretend they know it all. The facts get lost in the spin to make us feel comfortable with the fact that (potentially) it’s a mess and we might be getting it wrong (or alternatively the perfect outcome is right round the corner). The leave and remain campaigns both lacked many real facts (even though helpful facts existed, they weren’t necessarily widely shared), instead leaning on the emotional stories became the preferred way to sway opinion. I yearn for the truth, with the truth I can trust you more than “I know it all”, with your honesty I feel like we are in it together. With facts, you will educate me to understand how hard the choices you are making might be. The truth is important in politics as in life. The truth is empowering to all of us.
  3. Choose your news – I have been wallowing deep in the sloppy slimy mud of newspaper news, BBC news, twitter feed news, Facebook “news” and so on for about a month now (having stopped engaging in any news for the past 5 years save for a few moments here and there). It’s freakin addictive, the hunt for knowledge, the desire to “know exactly what is going on” at any moment. It feeds itself. It’s all “read a full article here”, “tune back in later for a full report”, “more to follow”, “hour long special this evening at 9” It draws you in and whilst I do NOT advocate ignorance, knowledge is power and I don’t want to disconnect from that ‘reality’ of world in which I exist, I am weaning myself off this kind of news again so I can balance my input with stories of rescued animals, gratitude for the good things in life, tales of wallets returned to owners, refugees being educated by volunteers, charities cleaning the oceans, music being made in celebration of all that is wonderful. Again it’s not all good, all bad, all disaster or all perfection…it’s a mixture like life.
  4. Everything changes – And here we are days down the line from the shock of Brexit, the Tory party uniting again under a female prime minister, Bernie claiming his support for Ms Clinton, a man shot by the police as we are reminded of the hideous inequality that exists in the world, a failed coup in Turkey and it’s complex fallout and an enraged man driving a truck through a crowd in Nice. There is anger, pain, frustration, unity, friction, hope, revolution, evolution, a constant fight for rights, there are breakthroughs and set backs and every day, everything changes. Every minute, every breathe, things change. Never a dull moment eh?!

Cat Moyle
Holistic Body Worker and Wellbeing Adviser on the Island of Malta

In search of the Brightside of Brexit

In search of the Brightside of Brexit

Why Brexit is causing me so much pain and why might it be a good thing (on some levels)?

So my first BIG caveat is, I know it’s not fair to blame all the (my) worlds ills on one event (Eventism?) or group of people (Etonianism/Idiotism?). And I consider myself a compassionate and broad thinking woman of the world but I have literally had to stop reading the papers/online news (again) for fear I flood my floor with tears. Why is it causing so much pain? What’s it all for? Is there any silver lining?

Here is my attempt to explain how I feel about the whole thing in an attempt to aid any of you out there that might be in a similar (independent) state and to try and draw some useful conclusions from this whole sorry mess.

  1. Shock – My jaw literally dropped to the floor the moment I heard the UK had voted out of Europe. I totally assumed that only a small group of grumpy old folk who miss how things used to be (change is painful I get it) / angry Britain First extremists who just want everything to be white (we’ll come to you later) / confused folk who weren’t sure what would be best so just guessed (and honestly seeing the state of the leave and remain campaigns I don’t blame you either) thought Leave would be a wise choice. But apparently the groundswell of anti-europe (or anti immigration, or anti regulation sized bananas or anti bureaucracy for the sake of it) sentiment was swellier than I gave it credit. So, initially my tears come from sheer shock and a reaction to having my world view massively challenged. As the shock subsides (and no I’m definitely not in ‘get on with it’ mode yet) it is leaving me feeling more than a little empty, which hurts. I thought we were all on the same team 🙁
  2. Grief – right now a large volume of my tears are at the loss of what I held dear to my heart about Britishness. That it’s a strange island onto whose shores a myriad of cultures have swept, a fleeting glance back at my family tree shows I am descendent from German, Flemish, Welsh and probably a bit of mediterranean at the very least. I know I am not alone, all you Britain Firsters could take a little look into your DNA before your profess you are pure breed and not a mongrel mix. In my heart, I believed that British people are warm hearted (despite our embarrassingly empirical history), overly apologetic, eccentric and sometimes odd (too much interbreeding back in the day), and in equal measure open minded and forward thinking. You have to love a country and peoples that are literally fortifiable with cups of tea (or so I thought).  I am proud that places like London (in particular) lead the way in evolving tolerant, open minded, multi-cultural societies where stuff works and people get on and oh yes, amazing things happen as a result. The fields of Glastonbury festival (where I found myself when the news broke) seem equally compassionate and celebratory about all that makes humans amazing: co-operation; collaboration; music; art; play; caring for nature; having caring natures and giving warm hugs amongst a thousand other good things. But it seems over those cups of tea, misinformation, narrow-mindedness and anti-progressive thoughts are shared and nurtured until they make a movement. I moved from soft floaty happiness to deep cutting grief as I deeply feel the loss of something important (real or imagined). Grief takes many forms so I think I’m in the processing part, able to articulate but still deeply deeply sad and a little bereft.
  3. Sadness (here comes the empathy bit) – I feel a compassionate sadness for the souls of the people that voted to leave if (as we are lead to believe) they did so because they felt so disaffected by European politics today, so angry that (in their eyes) global (or at least european) politics is detracting from local politics, from the purpose of their parish or the protection that they feel their neighbourhood offers. Too focused on their back yard that they can’t see the sea of need beyond. So affected by the impact they think immigration has on them that they voted “leave” in a muted shout to the immigrants (that simultaneously steal all their jobs whilst claiming all their benefits) to also “leave please”. So disturbed by the way the world is changing so rapidly that they can’t keep up. So angry that they are not being served by how things are. So convinced that Farage and co (or any politician) will make it all better for them. Kiss their wounds and turn the world to suit their view. Their frustration makes me feel sad. Surely this isn’t how it’s supposed to be for them or us? Politics is supposed to serve our basic needs, what do the leavers feel they aren’t getting? why are they so unhappy with the current set up that they essentially just volunteered to fling us all out of a plane in the vain hope that their parachute had been packed properly? Did anyone tell them that in life you have to make some compromises, that you get some good shit along with some shit shit. That any relationship (with your mum, your dog, your crazy second cousin, that Polish lass down the chip shop, the immigrant who runs the cab firm, that nice lady doctor that looks after your gran requires some give and some take.  That selfishness (and the greed that stems from it) will not ultimately serve you or those you love. That micro relationships are the same as macro ones. That the relationship between the UK and Europe has pros and cons and that it’s no different to the relationship with that old school mate who is a great laugh and there for you in a crisis but never pays for a round.

OK so now it’s time to own my shit.

  1. I am frustrated, I am frustrated I didn’t get my liberal, universal, peace and love and yes I know, middle class way. I claim sadness for the leave voters frustration but I feel it too. Do any of us know what modern day politics is supposed to achieve? Is there any clarity in politics any more? Is everyone just making shit up in a lazily convincing way and then blaming others when it doesn’t work out the way they guessed it might when they were blagging their way through PMQs? I am massively disappointed in politics, which I thought for many years could be the answer to many of the worlds ills (and in my ideal mind I guess I believe it could still play an important role but not with the way it’s currently run) but it’s just full of people with the same fucked up mentalities that the rest of us have, trying to figure shit out as they go along and not be too much of a selfish cunt. Unfortunately some of the very people attracted to politics appear to be attracted to it for self-serving narcissistic purposes. Oops maybe it’s not the right solution after all.  Maybe the whole system is broken (and this is evidence of that) and a more cyclic, yin, feminine, grey as opposed to black and white approach is needed. More discussion and debate rather than “I know it all, I am an expert, i will lead you to…. oh…. oops, I quit” I’m frustrated I don’t have the answers and that hurts.
  2. I’m scared (the honest bit), truth be told, and a lot of my tears come from the massive fear of what will happen next. Will all of Europe hate the UK? Will this lead to more division in the world? more hatred? I am scared that we will go through some terrible tidal wave of “us vs them” with arbitrary lines drawn around who’s in and who’s out. I know it’s just latent tribalism at work but I’m scared of whoever is holding the BIG spiky weapons.
  3. I’m angry at myself (here comes the big spiritual/philosophical bit)- that in some way I am those people, I am connected to the David Camerons, the Boris Johnsons, the Britain First guy that killed Jo Cox, the great grandma who is scared to go out of her front door anymore, the naive Niall Bevan supporter who believes that £100m/£350m will be ploughed back into our ailing NHS, the vote leave campaigner who wholeheartedly believes “local” is key, the confused one who wasn’t sure what it would all mean but took a punt on Boris n Nigel (sorry they bailed out on you when it got a bit tricky love). I am all those people with all their fears and anxieties in smaller and sometimes more manageable measure and I am responsible in some small way for their choices and I am definitely responsible for my reaction to their choices and that makes me angry (which obvs makes me cry some more)
  4. I am just (having poured everything into this article) beginning to feel a small glimmer of hope. I believe (eternal fucking optimist that I am) that sometimes painful things happen to clear some sticky stuff out of the collective psyche, that the universe ebbs and flows and that good shit and bad shit happens, and that this will all make sense sometime in the the future. I feel hopeful that perhaps now we feel a greater understanding of the connection between the decisions of government and the real lives of people. A greater responsibility to be informed, to challenge when we don’t and to be honest about what drives our choices. And in turn I feel that this could encourage politicians to begin facing up to the real responsibility of their career choices.
  5. I hope the discussions and online open public debates emerging these days will lead to a greater understanding of one anothers needs, fears, feelings and thoughts… I feel that we might learn how we are all responsible for one another and that we have to work together to find a way out of the mess for which we are collectively responsible.

With love


PS – I have stopped crying but unless you want a second flood, please god don’t let Gove or May get in.

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