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Glow with the Flow – Inner Power

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Inner Power - Bergamot and FlowI am so looking forward to reading about inner power, what it means to different people and what it’s taken for them to find some sense of it. 

For me it’s a little bit like ‘engaging my core muscles’ in that I find it tricky to know when I’ve found it and it makes my toes scrunch up a bit when I try it!

But try I do, a lot! I was recently potting up some bulbs in the garden to cheer things up a bit. It was a little chilly, everything was wet and if I’m honest I didn’t really want to go out there. But I did, and once I was in the swing of it I was fine. And then the sun came out. I read so often about getting outside into the fresh air and how good it is for you (which of course it is, we all know this to be true!) but I was in a bit of a funk thinking ‘yeah, I suppose it is’ but couldn’t really pinpoint that feeling. But when the sun came out that day I felt like the only human on the planet that the sun rays were falling on. It was really quite magical. An orchestra played in my mind, probably hallelujah or something. But it did feel quite evangelical – I can’t explain why, I mean I’d had the sun on me before (but not only on me like this! hehe)

And that is what I think inner power might feel like – I want to tap into that and harness it. I felt like nothing could touch me in that moment, that nothing would hurt me and that everything in my world was good – oh what a beautiful feeling!

I do get glimmers like that in other ways too – I have recently put out a market research survey to my customers and some of the comments I have had have been truly humbling and so wonderful to read. When I see the difference what I have created with Bergamot and Flow can make to other people, I do feel a sense of inner power. That I can help people feel calm, relaxed, get good sleep and feel grounded and safe, makes me feel renewed fire and passion to keep doing this and build on it.

I am so looking forward to reading more about what inner power means to these brilliant contributors, some familiar faces and some new friends too. Let us know what it means to you too!

Jack – Yoga with LaRue

Meg – Floragami

Lesley – Lillyque Polymer

Teri – Holistically Teri

Andy Thornton

Sarah – Rewild Your Soul

Louise – Yellowhouse48

Please welcome back Jack! A regular on this blog now and always with such wonderful words! Check out the links at the bottom of his piece to follow him and get started with his yoga classes and app!

Hello friends.

When I suggested this theme, ‘Inner Power’, to Sam I thought I’d have lots of ideas when it came to writing it. I can confirm, that has not been the case. How often do we find ourselves with good intentions and yet no gumption or fire in our bellies to actually instigate and complete the task. However, I am taking this task by the horns today and setting to writing this blog post.

‘Inner power’ to me doesn’t conjure up images of fire breathing dragons or warriors from the latest war / superhero film. ‘Inner power’ is our soft yet strong foundations. The inner knowing that we are fine and content just as we are, regardless of what others may expect from us or comment about us.

I would say that I didn’t find my inner power until the last year or so. When I first realised this, I took some time to feel the sadness that arose. From my stronger perspective now, living almost 29/30 years and not being overly content with oneself can be quite distressing and upsetting. However, we must embrace our previous selves and acknowledge that we’re always growing. I believe I’ll be growing, learning, and adapting until the day I go back to the spirit world. Nevertheless, one must champion oneself and ignite that inner power now and for the future. For the inner child / teenager / young adult who couldn’t or wasn’t able to.

So, HOW can we do this? If you’ve read blogs of mine beforehand, you’ll know that I love gratitude and positive affirmations for their transformative impact upon our lives. The amazing thing about gratitude and positive affirmations is that they rewire our brains through a process called neuroplasticity, changing how we think and perceive the world. Neuroplasticity is an amazing process whereby we create new neural pathways in our brains. Isn’t that amazing? That’s a good enough example for ‘Inner Power’, as far as I’m concerned. I find it astounding how my brain can change the way it talks to itself just by changing what I focus on and what I repeat to myself daily.

If you find yourself rolling your eyes, please humour me and try repeating the following mantras to yourself 5 times. AND don’t just say them quickly and move on with your day. Really focus on the words and how they make you feel. You may find that you don’t believe them. Saying ‘I am magnificent’ may be quite triggering for you. If so, please speak to a professional where able. However, due to the process of neuroplasticity, it is irrelevant whether we currently believe what we’re saying to ourselves. The repetition will cement the beliefs into our subconscious and then the conscious mind.

Try these 5 positive affirmations below 5x:

  1. I have everything I need at my disposal.
  2. I am magnificent.
  3. I am powerful when I love myself.
  4. I love my unique talents.
  5. I have so many beautiful qualities to offer to the world.

Let’s look into gratitude now. Dr Joe Dispenza conducted a study into 120 participants. He discovered that by focusing on gratitude, happiness, and joy for 10 minutes, 3x a day, the participants managed to improve their immunity markers quite substantially. Isn’t that also amazing? By focusing on 3-5 good things that have happened throughout the day, at different times, we can substantially improve not only our physical health, but also our mental health. Again, by repeating this process of expressing gratitude we can rewire our brains through neuroplasticity. See some examples of what I’m grateful for today as I write this:

  1. Sleeping well last night so I feel better today.
  2. Going out for dinner with a friend tonight.
  3. A lovely morning walk with a friend and her 2 dogs.
  4. Writing about my life and passions for my job.
  5. My dog showing me unconditional love without limit.

One thing I’ve started recently, in addition to writing in my gratitude journal of an evening, is finding a gratitude buddy. 2 friends and I message our group chat in the evenings with 3 things we’re grateful for from that day. You can honestly choose whatever brings you joy and gives you that feeling of inner warmth, inner love, inner power. That inner hum of being content with yourself and the world. For example, while some of my gratitude examples can be profound, ‘the safety of my home’, ‘my health and family’s health.’, they sometimes can also be, ‘the Kardashians TV show’ as it provides me with an hour of complete mental shut-off and I love seeing how dramatic they can make their, seemingly, perfect lives. So be bold and be grateful for whatever brings you joy.

Instagram – @yogawithlarue

https://www.sudor.fit/gym/La-Rue-Yoga/

 

Please welcome Meg! You may well have seen my social media posts about this wonderful lady and her incredible paper flowers – mind-blowing! I simply love this story, so inspiring. Go and check out the Floragami links below, you’ll be hooked like I am in no time!

Blossoming from Within: The Journey of Finding Inner Power through Paper Flowers

Amidst a series of daunting years, beginning with the unexpected death of my mum in 2017, followed by the physical setback of fracturing my lower back in 2018, the relocation of my family from Australia to the UK later that same year, the frightening arrival of the pandemic in 2020, and culminating in the breakdown of my marriage in 2021, I found myself in desperate need of solace and renewal. I had nothing left, I was an empty husk.

It was in 2023 whilst studying massage that I stumbled across a book called “The Fine Art of Paper Flowers” by Tiffany Turner. It was the book that set me on the path to happiness, confidence and re building myself. Paper had been a medium that I turned to in different formats over the years and so working with it felt familiar and comforting. I understood its properties and magic began to unfold between my fingers in the form of flowers. I’d rediscovered the profound joy of making art with paper, which had long been a source of nourishment at different times in my life.

With each crease and fold, I began to remeber the power of my own hands – to shape, to mould, to create beauty out of the simplest of materials. It was a reminder that even in the most challenging times, there is a capacity within us to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

What started as a hobby rapidly evolved into an all-consuming passion and culminated in the establishment of my flourishing (pun intended!) business, aptly named “Floragami.” It couldn’t have come at a better time, I was dealing with the effects of peri-menopause and both my darling boys were leaving home, my youngest, only 14, returning to Australia to live with his dad. I needed a purpose and I needed a focus, I needed to be busy and distracted!

A year on and I now share my love for paper flowers with others through Floragami workshops. These workshops are designed to bring people together, offering a few hours of creative rejuvenation and joy. The shared experience of crafting brings a profound sense of tranquility and accomplishment. Teaching others to create something they thought was impossible brings a sense of achievement not only to myself but to my clients themselves when they realise what they have made. It’s a delight watching the stresses of the day melt away as stamens and petals are cut and shaped, and new friendships are formed.

As I worked harder to establish the business, I uncovered layers of myself that had never been given the opportunity to shine. Running workshops bought a surge of confidence, a reminder of what I was capable of. Sharing my passion with others and being able to make a living at the same time from something I loved doing was more than I had ever thought possible.

I think the most important lesson for me came not from the act of paper flower making itself, but from the process of letting go. Letting go of my mum, my marriage, my children and my younger self. The flowers in my garden that I study and re-create in paper are symbols of impermanence, they are a constant reminder to cherish the present and be thankful for the here and now.

Through this past year I have realised that empowerment is not about external validation, but rather a quiet acceptance of oneself and the courage to try.

In the delicate art of paper flower making, I found a sanctuary, a place where my mind could wonder and my heart could heal. I have found courage, confidence, new friends and I have found happiness again. And so, as I continue to fold, to shape, to create, knowing that with each paper flower, I am not only making something beautiful, I am nurturing myself, and with that comes inner strength and power!

Instagram – @floragami.paperflower

Email – floragami.paperflowers@gmail.com

Please welcome Lesley! We met at local small business events and Lesley’s enthusiasm for her fellow business owners is wonderful! Her jewellery creations are innovative and fun too – please do go and have a look at her amazing makes!

I have decided the older I get, I prefer choosing my own company, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I need less, although being alone has its benefits for sure, I am just prioritising me for me.

The focusing and harnessing of your own inner power and strengths is for me a win-win, I’ve surrounded myself with what pleases the mind and soul, replacing loud, music and outside distractions with solitude, and maybe a fragrance, candle or two pleasing my senses for an uplift. 

I have had a few minor health issues (at my age I guess that’s a given) I discovered a naturopath online who has taught me so much about how to get the best out of yourself and try to avoid burnout of which, as a full-time NHS health worker and creator of a small business, is essential I would say. 

As for my business, who even knew I had an artistic streak, not me for sure! As a kid who played with Play-Doh, and my best was clear from even remotely looking like anything fathomable!

My business wasn’t started due to lockdown, like so many were – it was born from needing something else in my life, and it has more than filled a gap. It has set me challenges, goals, and made me feel contentment.

I have discovered that the need to create, for me, has become like a drug and having time away for too long upsets my spirit and well-being.  My holidays have changed now. I can’t take my clay obviously, so I take watercolour paints and the kind of novels that take no amount of brain power to read, but I can get lost in the characters.
I was born near the seaside and I’ve moved back to the seaside. A different coast maybe so, But I consider it an all-round, everything, a place to exercise, fresh air, mindfulness, and added to that the items of interest often pockets, bulging, with shells, glass, driftwood, and the odd fossil, it’s actually amazing how geeky I have become in my late 50s!! I highly recommend it, though it is after all history and without that none of us would even be here would we?

The sheer fact that I create pieces of jewellery that people love and want to buy gives me a great sense of inner strength and determination. I have had customers say that my pieces give them empowerment and wellbeing (occasionally the word obsessed being used!) I’m very flattered naturally and this is so good for my mindset.  

Instagram – @lillyquepolymer

Lillyquepolymer – Etsy UK

Please welcome back Teri – this lovely lady contributed to the Overwhelm blog and has some wonderful insights for us this time too. Such a gentle soul, I’m so happy she is back! 

When Sam put a call out for people to write a blog post about inner power, I got so excited for so many reasons.

Truthfully, the best thing that ever happened to me was finding my own inner power, so that now I can run my own spiritual business and help other people find their inner power too. I know I couldn’t have ever gotten to where I am without being able to find my own strength to make the choices and changes I did, and I am proud of my business and the way I build other people up.

The truth is, everyone has their own inner power, it’s about being able to find it and believe it.

Embracing reiki and meditation really helped me find my inner power. I know what you’re thinking… to most people, there is nothing about either reiki or meditation that suggest ‘power’, at least not in the traditional sense. They are peaceful, relaxing practises, and when people say ‘inner power’, most people’s minds goes to fiery comebacks, standing up loudly for yourself, being the loudest, most confident one in the room. As an Aries sun (for all my astrology fans out there), I can relate. I used to relish in a good verbal comeback, a great one-liner that put people (mostly who deserved it) in their own place. I used to find arguments oddly comforting because the fire and heated situation was something I was comfortable in, ‘winning’ (does anyone ever really win an argument?) made me feel like I was on top of the world! But the truth is, I’ve found more power in peace of mind than I ever have in flame-fuelled, fiery comebacks and confrontations.

I’ve never been very good at controlling my mind. I suffer badly with anxiety, and I can get easily overwhelmed, and my emotions run wild. I could go from upbeat to anger in a matter of seconds, and not usually about anything worth the stress. In truth, my anxiety ruled my life and left me feeling very helpless and out-of-control, like I was on a rollercoaster ride that just wouldn’t stop. Reiki and meditation have taught me how to be at one within myself, mind, body and spirit. Learning to slow down and embrace my own mind, silence and stillness was one of the most scary, but most empowering things, I ever learnt to do. Through these practises, I understand more about my mindset, and by letting myself feel and work through my emotions rather than trying to avoid and evade them, I am more powerful than ever.

Reiki allows me to truly tune into and check in my chakras, to see where I’m feeling balanced or out-of-alignment, and being a practitioner I can then use reiki to get myself back to where I need to be. It’s why I absolutely love sharing reiki with others. I always feel so humbled that people want to share their energy with me through that medium and I always ensure I do my best to help them do whatever they set out to do with the treatment. For some, it’s switching off and just relaxing. For others, it’s unblocking particularly troubled areas within their chakras. With meditation, I am able to use my mind to delve deeper into why I react/behave/think a certain way, and I endeavour to share my meditations with the world through my website/in-person and online groups. I try and make the process linear, and the creation of my 3 Cs program has really allowed me to help people align themselves and grow using guided meditation and journaling.

In short, what I’m trying to say is that these modalities helped me find my inner power, and the single greatest thing I receive in my business is watching other people find their inner power as they work with me too. There is nothing that brings me more joy than watching people share their meditation experience and say ‘I can finally __________’ or ‘I actually understand ____________’. Or when someone has a reiki treatment and says “Oh wow, I saw______, felt______ and now I feel ______________.” All of the feedback I receive just spurs me on to want to reach as many people as possible, because I believe everyone can truly access their inner power, sometimes you just need a little push to reveal it within yourself. Once you do, the possibilities are endless.

Instagram – @holisticallyteri

https://holisticallyteri.co.uk

 

Hello again to this fabulous human – this is my very own Andy, my husband! Recently retired but with a wealth of knowledge from many years helping people in many guises, he always has such useful and insightful words to share. As soon as I read the title of this one it made me smile – he always comes up with such an interesting slant or perspective!

Inner Power – Don’t Give It Away

The idea of inner power is, for me, an interesting one. For a long time now, by which I mean well over 20 years, I have adhered to the idea of, and the power of, choice in our lives. What this means in practice is the recognition that while I may not be able to influence everything that happens to me on any given day, I can make my own choices about how I deal with that.

For me this idea of having a choice in life is the essence of the inner power that everybody possesses and there is no more profound an example of that than in a quote from the Austrian psychologist Viktor Frankl. Frankl lived through the holocaust and was sent into the concentration camps with other members of his family; only he and one other member of the family survived. In 1946 he wrote a book called Man’s Search for Meaning in which there is this paragraph:

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

      Frankl. V. Man’s Search for Meaning, Rider Books, 2004, p.75

So while the world around us is full of things that we cannot control, and we know that we are going to face uncertainty and unexpected things pretty well every day. We have within us this amazing power, the power to decide how we respond, and it’s a power we will always have available to us – unless we give it away.

When people give away their power they become the victims of circumstance and dependent upon something or somebody external to themselves to define how, when, and to what extent they can be happy. If you listen to people around you (and this is especially true in many workplaces) you will hear the language of the powerless, the people who say things like:

’This place makes me mad…’

‘If only…. Then I’d be OK…’

‘You’ve/they’ve/he/she/it makes me feel…’

And let’s be fair, we’re all only fallible human beings. I’d be lying if I didn’t fall into the victim space sometimes too.

The trouble is that when we’ve done this, given away our power by giving away our ability to choose, then we are at the mercy of everything around us. So now it is up to other people to make us feel better.

But if we can see that in everything we do we have that ultimate choice, the ‘last of the human freedoms’, then we are in control. We are no longer victims of circumstance but people with complete power over the way we think, feel and respond. And that’s a pretty awesome thing. Seeing our lives as full of choices that we, and only we, are fully empowered to make is a truly liberating thing to do. It’s not necessarily easy because it also means taking full responsibility for yourself and what you are thinking and feeling. It’s no longer anyone else’s fault that you are going to a job you don’t like on a wet Monday morning in February; that’s a choice you have made. But then again, if you are the one making the choice then it seems pretty illogical to choose to be miserable, or upset, or frustrated.

Start listening to your own inner voice. What disempowering language can you hear, and in what situations? How often are you giving away your own inner power? And then listen for the disempowering language you hear from other people around you. Only when you become aware that this is a power you can give away without realising can you avoid this ultimate form of self sabotage, and stop yourself getting pulled into someone else’s disempowering orbit.

To close with another quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’
Actually, who are you not to be?….”

                                    Marianne Williamson

You are powerful beyond measure. We all are.

Please welcome Sarah! Sarah Vaughan is a Holistic Eco-therapist, based in rural East Kent. Founder of Rewild your Soul, she can often be found out in nature running groups and retreats, giving holistic treatments to her clients, or barefoot in her garden talking to her quails!

The energy of the world is feeling incredibly heavy at the moment, isn’t it? And this “moment of heaviness” has been going on for quite some time now, hasn’t it? How are you feeling? How are you holding up in these times? It can feel really tough to find joy when things are not so bright, and indeed it can feel a bit inappropriate. I spent a long time considering whether the theme of this blog post, Inner Power, was acceptable when there is so much darkness and sadness in the world.

But then I realised, that is why this post is absolutely necessary, because collective sadness and despair leads to more sadness and despair. We need moments of joy and happiness to remind us of all the good in the world – because there is so much goodness, kindness and wonder in this world, it just doesn’t “sell” like bad news, so it’s not shown to us.

When we try to focus on the good stuff with joy and with gratitude, the energy in and around us shifts and we begin to see the world differently. Our bodies are designed for happiness and pleasure and so, as a result, our biochemistry begins to change, and this is a much better position to be in to find solutions to problems big and small. It can be positively life changing.

“What is she talking about?” you may well be asking. Let me explain some more.

I was recently involved in a brilliant 5-day online project with a lovely lady called Lucy AitkinRead, who is passionate about living life and running a business based around pleasure and joy, rather than stress and pressure.

You may notice that your brain chips in here with something like, “you can’t do that!” It’s ok, that’s what society has taught your brain to think for a very long time, that is your brain’s safe zone. But the truth is, you absolutely can do that, and you will feel so much better for it!

Over the five days, which are still all accessible on Lucy’s Instagram page @lucy_disco, if you want to try it for yourself, we explored lots of different ways that we can reintroduce pleasure into our lives. Then we talked about how this would boost our endorphins, change our biochemistry, and positively affect our everyday lives and the lives of those around us. Joy is contagious!

So, what are endorphins?

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that are released in the brain by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus gland. As I expected, in this modern world of doom and gloom, all of the definitions on the internet began with a focus on the production of endorphins due to pain, because these incredible little chemical messengers also help alleviate pain when you are hurt.

But I scrolled down further, and in secret whispers, the internet revealed that endorphins are also released through pleasurable activities including eating delicious food, exercising, listening to music and yes, sex! That sounds like a much more enjoyable way to access endorphins to me.

Ultimately endorphins are there to help us feel happy, joyful and well. In Lucy’s Pleasure Powered Challenge, she spoke a lot about a book called “The Endorphin Effect,” by William Bloom, a meditation teacher, which completely changed her life and helped her to focus much more on pleasure and joy. The impact of living a life of more pleasure has radiated outwards to improve her family life, her business and her overall wellbeing.

Our bodies are designed to be happy and receive pleasure. You don’t need to earn it or wait until someone tells you that you deserve it. It’s always there, waiting for you. And when it begins in you, the energy can flow from you and help others to experience more pleasure and joy too.

In the book, William Bloom tells a story about a man who is lost in the wilderness, he is hungry and weak, and a lion is about to eat him. The man lays his head on the ground and see’s a tiny mouse running by him. The mouse stops and looks up to a plant that has one big, juicy, bright red, delicious strawberry growing on it. The man focuses his gaze on the strawberry…. And here the story ends.

We don’t know what happens next, but the moral of the story is that however dire things may be, there’s always something that can bring a tiny bit of joy to your heart. There’s always a strawberry somewhere that can stimulate an endorphin release. As a Holistic Eco-therapist, I often find my strawberries out in nature, but they can be literally anywhere.

And so, to finish this post I have a task for you today, which is something we did in the Pleasure Powered Challenge. I want you to identify and write down your strawberries. These are things that bring you joy and pleasure. They can be people, places, pets/ animals, foods, smells, songs, spiritual teachers, hobbies, or something else. Write as many as you can.

Then try to spend some time each day finding and enjoying some of your strawberries. It doesn’t have to take very long, just 15 seconds of enjoying and soaking in one of your “strawberries” is enough to store that memory and create an endorphin building block. And the magical thing is that after this, just thinking about that strawberry can start to release those endorphins back into our bodies! The more strawberries we enjoy, the better we will feel, amazing right?

I’m not being paid to promote this work, it’s just something I’ve been doing recently that has really helped me to access my own inner power and to take control of my happiness, even when the world feels quite overwhelming. I hope that it helps you to find your strawberries too.

Instagram @rewild_your_soul

www.rewild-your-soul.com

Please welcome Louise! Louise is a medium and tarot card reader from Norfolk and is building her business alongside great mentors. I don’t know much about tarot so this is a really interesting read!

When I hear the phrase ‘inner power’ I’m immediately drawn to the The Hermit card. The Rider Waite Tarot deck represents the hermit energy as a cloaked man looking into a lighted lantern, the light within the lantern represents the light and power within us. The Hermit card is from the major arcana, and whenever a major arcana card is drawn there is the opportunity for Soul, or Spiritual, growth.

The Hermit describes the importance of spending time in solitude, closing yourself off to external influences to allow yourself to ‘view’ and understand your own reactions. Often people believe they need to meditate to allow this degree of introspection but any activity that allows you to reflect on your feelings and reactions is more than adequate. Personally, I prefer to walk – down streets, through woods, by the sea, wherever – I find the outdoors and nature to be a very healing environment. Yoga, running, gardening, taking a bath, baking, cleaning, listening to music, creating, being active or resting in any way can all be forms of solitude, find something that works for you.

When you’re alone with yourself, look for the pain. We experience life on the inside of ourselves. Every event that happens to us is perceived and processed through our thoughts, emotions, and previous experiences. Whatever hurts you is where you need to investigate; how did it make you feel, what word or action triggered the pain, when in the past did you feel that?

The ability to override our triggers gives us the strength and confidence to find the best outcome for ourselves in any challenging situation. If you feel stronger you are less fearful and if you are less fearful you are able to live in the moment, to find what makes you tick, to find what brings you joy.

The Hermit card shows us that our inner power is self-knowledge. It is here inside of ourselves, where our lanterns burn most brightly that our answers are illuminated. He shows us that our greatest strength is our ability to effect change and create our best lives through self-knowledge and spiritual growth.

Instagram – @yellowhouse48

And there it is! I don’t know about you but I’m feeling pretty good after reading all of those! And my toes didn’t scrunch up once! I hope this has inspired you to think of all the ways you do, and could try to, access your own inner power and strength – please do share your thoughts with me, I would love to hear them!

Until next time, love and light as always!

Sam xx

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Sam Thornton

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