As per my last ‘business’ type post, I have been working on the old Sparkle wellbeing programme (for those who’ve lost theirs..!) to see if I can update it somehow.
I have come to two conclusions so far.
First, most of it is happily already on the system somewhere so I just need to gather it together, point people to it better and augment some sections, so I am working on that already.
Second, I remembered how much I used to love being out and about doing stuff around the ‘Sparkle’ time in my business! I ran health workshops for NHS and primary care trusts, taught evening courses for local colleges, gave talks to charities, offered retreats at my home in Lytham, even ran aromatherapy, Feng Shui, colour therapy and non-toxic skincare ‘parties’ for want of a better word. I did some corporate work but, secretly, I most loved just being in a room with a few people nattering about my favourite subjects and us all having a go with stuff! It made me Sparkle doing it. It was a nice memory, actually.
It also reminded me how much I miss touch therapy – for those of you who weren’t with me back then, I used to be a relaxation and remedial massage therapist and facialist! Not your usual beauty sort of facials (although I was trained in that as my first clinic was in a gym and they insisted I could sort out blackheads and wax, ugh!), but I invented a signature facial using acupressure, reiki, hypnotherapy, neck and shoulder release etc as well as anointing people with beautiful relaxing aromatherapy and pure cold-pressed oils!
I used to do that and the nutrition work side by side and it was a lovely mix – for me and patients in-clinic, or so they used to tell me anyway!
I think the days of me being a remedial massage therapist are well and truly over – just not got the upper body strength or stamina you need now (I am 50, y’know!). As a five foot woman dealing with strapping footballers, rugby players and generally people much bigger than me, it was always tough, as you can imagine. Nice, but tough ;).
So, given the fact that I now feel in control of my life and my illness is not (!), it is time for me to start peeping out from behind my computer screen and start doing some of this stuff again, I’ve decided!
I am going to continue doing all my usual work with tests, advice, TGF etc, of course, as I love that too, but I will now use the time I spent getting well and then writing the Healing Plan about it to do some more ‘sparkly’ stuff. I could spend more time on functional medicine for chronic illness, but if there is one thing I’ve learned through my own illness, it is how important our mental state is to getting better, to keeping well and not getting ill in the first place! Besides, the TGF work, the Gluten Plan and all the other plans are already in place and I’ll continue to develop all that.
Also, a question from someone the other day really got me thinking. They asked: what is it that you love, what gives you joy? I went blank. So, true to form, I went home and made a list.
Apart from the obvious: cat, relationships, environment, work (notice Minnie comes first!), I noticed that a lot of it was to do with my senses. I have always been a sensitive type of person – I respond to colour, sound, smell, touch and taste really strongly. Of course, when I was poorly, it was my senses that went into hyperdrive and I became ‘sensitive to everything’ in a bad way. When I am well, it is those that give me the most joy. The trauma had in fact robbed me of all the joyful things in life. But they are now on their way back
I think highly-sensitive people are always that much more aware of their environment and the smells, people, sounds and colours within it. Knowing that, I have decided to embrace being a sensitive person instead of worrying about it and use my senses to bring my Sparkle back a bit!
New Sparkly Side of the Business
Essentially, I saw this picture…
and decided to use the words to springboard a new ‘sparkly’ side of the business. For now, I am taking three positive words to work on:
Why those? Because that’s what I am focusing on for my needs, and that’s what I think will benefit a lot of you, too. It’s preventative and mind-body medicine; lifestyle medicine, really.
Calm – because I need to continue to tell my hyper-sensitive body it is safe. The best way to do that is use amygdala-calming techniques, of which there are many such as meditation, massage and hypnotherapy. By concentrating on ‘calm’ things, it benefits me and you!
Confidence – because having a long-term illness robs you of it and I need to bolster mine, as do many of you. Doing workshops, talks etc benefits me, but it also benefits you. I’m all for self-esteem boosting!
Joy – because that’s what I want more of in my life, and so do you! Joy is the opposite emotion to fear so we want more of that.
You can, in fact, blame this on Julie – as usual. She said I now needed ‘pleasure-training‘. Eh? Well, the body and mind becomes so used to expecting illness and pain, you almost have to re-learn how to feel pleasure again, how to expect it. So, she set me a task of getting more pleasure in my life. Oh dear. What a shame. I’ve been to the theatre, out to pubs, visited family and friends, watched funny videos etc.
But, as you know, I love working, so this has spilled out into my work life as you can see: I have built pleasure-training into it with this new angle – for both me and you.
What will I be doing then?
I’ve not fleshed it out fully yet, but I have some irons in the fire, of course! I’ll tell you about them as I get them ready, but here’s a flavour:
For Calm: I am restarting my signature facials – if I can remember how to do it! New couch, stool and trolley arrived, old notes out, P ready as guinea pig…! This will help give me some face to face work that has a positive and joyful feel to it. Giving the facials is a joy and people tell me they are joyful to receive as much as they are able when they are walking out sticky-up-haired and blissed-out!
To go alongside that, I’ll be doing more on non-toxic toiletries because, of course, I am not going to use horrid allergen-packed chemical stuff on any of my people, let alone put it on my hands! I’m reviewing ranges I rate, including some TGF ones, and I may even have some made for me. Why should other people have all the facial fun?!
For now, and because I am asked all the time for recommendations, I’ve started a new Pure Beauty area on the shop with links and my top tips etc. I’ll evolve it over time.
For Confidence: I’m training in Colour Analysis. Why? Just because I’ve always wanted to and it is a wonderful way of boosting confidence. I had my colours ‘done’ in my early 20s and I remember what a massive difference it made to me – and I went on to get every job I went for. Anyway, I swore I would do it and offer it one day, maybe in my dotage!
I am 50 now and no longer ill, so I fancy an overhaul myself – should I go native and dress in Cornish floaty dresses or sailor shirts?! What colours suit me now I’m all sparkly-haired?! I’m doing some easy online training for now as it will help me, but also you, I hope. I may do some webinars or even bring some workshops around the country as well as local stuff for you if I can get my confidence up!!
For Joy: I am starting a Happiness Club. Local in Cornwall for now, but I’m hoping that visitors to this beautiful area will join in and I may even record them for you if they are good enough. The idea is that people are invited to meet up with existing friends or come and make new ones, have a natter and a joyful ‘experience’ of some kind which I will be curating. That might be flower arranging, a book reading, writing, trying to play an instrument, meditation, a Qi Gong session, doing some art or craft , a dance lesson, stroking kittens even. I have tons of ideas.
This, of course, is really an excuse for me to get out and meet people, make some friends and try some joyful things myself. I am just not old enough for the clubs round here so I thought I’d invent one instead.
I’ve started a page here about the Sparkle Club or whatever I end up calling it. Please join in if you are local or ask people you know to come along if they are nearby! I’m just trying to find the right venue and get the first few organised. Might not work, but it will be fun finding out!
OK, so that should give you a flavour of what I am up to and where the focus is now I have all the healing and writing time spare! I’ll keep you updated as I go along.
I feel Sparklier thinking about it – what fun