I love life: a continuum of thriving, radiant living. With wisdom and compassion I inspire others to live their best ever life, to embrace personal, social, environmental, and economical challenges.
How about you? What can you do NOW, today to make tomorrow an even greater day?
I am a leading experienced holistic psychotherapist and practitioner with 29 years experience in mental and addiction healthcare. My approach is compassionate observation of clients body/thinking feeling sensations and impulses as they emerge in the present moment.
Helping clients reclaim lost vitality due to stress caused by overthinking, sleep deprivation and disconnection from self and others.
Thriving is the ability to directly experience the truth of our lives with a minimum of agitation, distraction, fear of uncertainty and doubt. The most essential pillar o fnow and zen meditation is conscious awareness —equilibrium is stability of mind. Our essential being/energy no longer balanced, restored and renewed.
The mind-state we cultivate is tranquil, relaxed, open. We are comfortable with uncertainty, we can live and let live, in the flow of experience. Engaged in “what is” no longer needing to “fix” the past or “control” the future. We are the sum total of our experiences.
Former Magazine Editor (Mode, Australia) Film/Video Producer and Author. Elizabeth’s introduction into insight meditation practice includes an initiation with Lama Yeshe, Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Buddhist Centre, Scotland in 1992. Further training in Vipassana Theravada Meditation forms the foundation for Now and zen meditation.
Meditation a two prong approach: disciplines and action, a way of self-transformation through self-observation on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind.
It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion. The scientific laws that operate one’s thoughts, feelings, judgements and sensations become clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood. Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.
In the practice of holistic therapy we are acknowledging the need to treat the whole person: realigning the mind and body connection, reducing stress caused by anxiety depression and addiction .
We restore and realign when we rebalance our breath for example the same amount of attention and intention on the inhale and exhale. The absence of these qualities creates suffering. Learning to slow down the frequency of over thinking, expectations, negativity and reactivity.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” expresses the essence of holism, a term coined by the great South African general and statesman Jan Smuts in 1926.
“You are your deepest desire.
As your desire is, so is your intention.
As your intention, so is your will.
As is your will so is your deed.
As you deed is, so is your destiny.”
~ Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.5
Meditative techniques, such as yoga nidra are powerful practices that focus on tracking more linear time in the ‘no-time’ brain state of alpha, and provide opportunities to consciously explore subtler realms of existence.
Meditation can make you less stressed, more focussed, motivated and productive. Meditation gives your body energy by helping it detach at a level deeper than sleep and increases the strength and thickness of the corpus callosum: a thick band of nerve fibres, between the cerebral cortex lobes into left and right hemispheres that connects the left and right sides of the brain hemispheres engendering connection, communication and collaboration between both hemispheres.
The corpus callosum stimulates motor, sensory, and cognitive information is based between the right and left hemisphere of the brain. The Left brain loves the past, and is the executive mind-state (self mastery/emotional intelligence) continuously informing our past in the present. Language, critical thinking, analytical, numerical. The right (now) brain is intuitive and instinctive in the present moment: inspirational, creative,connectedness, optima problem solving/solution focussed.
Over time meditation increases consciousness. Meditation equates a 90 minute power nap. You become more awake and aware. Consequently are able to hold more things in your awareness because there is less need to be “constantly on” as you are aware that you now switch off, detach and let go.
Different types of meditation affect your body and mind differently. Now and zen meditation trains the mind to look within. Learning how to consciously live consciously – moment to moment awareness. Both spheres of your brain realigned to connect in unity. Now and Zen meditation integrates the two brain hemispheres the brain: present moment awareness to strengthen the prefrontal cortex’s capacity to self regulate. build resilience, and restorative disciplines that reduce stress, and increase performance.
Stress escalates by over-thinking – everything! Awareness of what is happening in the moment disrupts the negativity emanating from the inner critic. Pausing, breathing, pacing reduces stress that occurs in the moment. To relieve escalating stress I recommend consciously reconnecting to the present moment- pausing and awareness breathing. When you meditate, your body produces feel-good hormones: Serotonin and Dopamine, that slow down the ageing process.
Learn how to trust the process: be in flow. Cause and effect is a defining principle of existence, central to universality. When I fearful, I am disconnecting from my essential being and can easily spiral into negativity, isolation and disconnection.
With regular now and meditation practice we learn how to comfortable in “the space” or “gap” and thrive from consciously living consciously.
The stages of shifts in consciousness – aspiring to consciously live consciously is a departure from auto-pilot body, shame-body thinking, feeling reactivity. You will come to trust the renewal process when experience feelings of confidence, esteem and self compassion signalling you are enough.
By specifically identifying and re-programming limiting core beliefs, we look to remove self-imposed limitations to our current reality and re-align with self-affirming beliefs that allow for a more fulfilling experience of life. A change in core beliefs causes a paradigm shift in perception of reality.
Now – Zen meditation will naturally create awareness, how to consciously create a meaningful life experience, inspired and motivated.
Equanimity is experienced whenever we realign the mind and body in the right now, if you are doing too much, over thinking etc…you are not present. And you are running on adrenaline false sense of feeling high.
Instruction on Meditation
I automatically meditate upon awakening, consciously easing into the present moment and set an intentionto for the day – to thrive, be happy and love life.
Setting an intention can be assimple as: i will do do my best, be my best…this grounds my personal integrity.
Meditation for me, is a way of life that needs constant attending to – like needing to be aware of when I nned to charge my smartphone. My energy, hormones etc fluctuate throughout the day.
My awareness exponentially grows more and more as I progress into a 30 years on… mediation practice.
You will automatically be the judge of your meditation on how well you are doing during the day (happiness is a byproduct of a healthy mind and body) – one day sometime soon you will suddenly realise that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be.and you will be happy.
Don’t over think your breath. Just let it be. Breathe without thinking about whether you are doing it right or wrong. This exercise will help you destress your mind and body: Oxygenating the left and right brain hemispheres. Cover your left nostril with your right ring finger, inhale for a few moments and then reverse: cover your right nostril with your left ring finger do this whenever you feel a rush of stress hormones as it will relax you, and renew your energy levels.
When I connect to something painful, I want it to flow, to be released. I don’t to project this onto others, nor do I wish to suppress strong emotions such as anger, fear and pain because I know feelings pass, when we let them.
Inhale hope – Exhale fear. When I breathe in, I am opening my heart. Allowing the pain space to experience what it is, rather than automatically expressing pain which escalates into anger.
Thriving is starting each day full of energy and vitality, and ending each day with a body scan to de- stress emotional tension, sleep well and awaken feeling energised and aware. Also imagine how amazing it would be to have the power to heal yourself, prevent illness, and feel connected to the universal energy around you. Addiction is characterised as a disconnection from oneself, family, community and work place, masking the depth of destructive mental states: constant cravings, obsession, compulsivity, anger, chaos, shame, insecurity, pride and jealousy.
The thoroughness of holistic therapeutic approach to understanding the mind: authenticity, autonomy, empathy, and compassion is available when a person is willing to transform woundedness to wisdom. Sadly many suffer in silence because of negative psycho-social stigmas attached to mental and addiction healthcare problems. Mindfulness Leadership is hoping to further illuminate the neurobiology of emotions and the pathways to mental healthcare.
Change is constant:
The neuroscience of emotions: affect, feelings and emotion are all used interchangeably by psychotherapists, mind/body energy practitioners. , the way holistic therapists usually define and think about emotion.In contrast, the neuroscientific understanding of emotion refers specifically to subcortical, often body- based experiences and not the conscious awareness of a feeling.
Often, though not necessarily, the body-based experience serves as a platform or scaffolding upon which the subsequent consciously experienced feeling or affect is built. Conscious awareness and self healing-responsibility is growing in our society, inspired by training our mind to look within is now an accepted pathway to total health.
That we need more balance in our lives, and more emphasis on our own well-being, as well as the well-being of our families, workplaces, communities – and our planet is a given in conscious living. Part of the solution, for many, involves a look inward- becoming an observer of our daily lives.
Meditation guide us to determine how to restore our constitution. Providing safe, natural alternatives to conventional medicines and treatments. Practical advice. Easy to- follow instructions, and strategies tailored to your mind/body type.
Stress/relaxation management, meditation breathing exercises, medicinal herbs, cleansing and lifestyle changes to guide you in achieving total physical and spiritual healing.
Learning positive ways to retrain the brain to pause, slow down or switch off begins with learning how breath. Stress = shallow breathing. It takes practice to breath differently. Moreover, withdrawing from seeking intensity, self-destructive instant gratification impacts quality of lifestyle. From disrupted sleep patterns, to poor diet/nutrition this collective stress is enough to cause long term health problems.
The average unwell 21st century professional has adrenal fatigue, high blood pressure, sleep deprivation and mind – gut blockages. High- anxiety triggers fight or flight stress hormones to flood the body, negatively disrupting balance and harmony. This cascade of conflicting thoughts and feelings, hormone surges etc happens in seconds – fuelled by flight or fight stress hormones.
Our sympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight” system that takes over when we’re stressed, when you see your boss’s name in your inbox late at night, your body reacts like there’s a lion on the loose.Behind the wide range of both physical and mental reactions to stress are a number of hormones that are in charge of adding fuel to the fire.
Your body is constantly changing as it mirrors and exchanges its atoms and molecules with the rest of the universe. Trillion cells in the mind/ body are constantly “talking to each other” as they keep your heart beating, food digesting, toxins eliminating to protect the body from infection and or disease, and carry out the countless other functions that keep you thriving. Neuro-scientific studies show that nothing holds more power over the body than the mind.
Physical sensations: Body, thinking feeling behaviours are chemical reactions: neuropeptides that travel throughout your body and hook onto receptor sites of cells and neurons. Your brain takes in the information, converts it into chemicals, and lets your whole body know if there’s a threat (fight, or flight) or something to celebrate.
We are living in a state of accelerated change and stress-related illness is on the rise. Addiction and mental healthcare issues are often embedded with trauma. An addict historically had to “hit rock bottom” before seeking help with their addiction. That “rock bottom” was raised in the 80’s when cocaine and alcohol addiction resulted in people bottoming out much younger.
Today very young children are showing signs of digital dependency, food addictions, whilst teenagers are choosing not to just experiment with recreational drugs now they are getting addicted.
In may instances of traumatic childhood experiences addiction is more than a coping mechanism, it is a way of surviving trauma which is a stimuli response to a traumatic experience, event, or an incident that threatens one’s own life or the bodily integrity of another in close proximity or relationship to you. In order to qualify as a traumatic event, the element of threat or harm to life or body must be present. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs diagrams the map for raising healthy children.
Absent parenting- divorce single parenting, social deprivation are all contributing factors to children’s vulnerability.
Trauma or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: a life threatening event to one’s life or physical integrity, such as accidents, surgery, sexual abuse, war, mass violence, police brutality, bullying, domestic violence, being raised in an addictive family. Trauma can have also been determined to be positively correlated to long-term exposure to extreme poverty emotional, and verbal abuse.
Trauma can be grouped into four key components based upon the individual’s response to the traumatic event. The four components include:
- Hyper-arousal. Individuals experience increased heartbeat and breathing, agitation, interruptions in sleeping or eating patterns, tension, etc.
- Constriction. Often when we experience and react to a life-threatening situation, hyper-arousal is likely to occur which is usually accompanied by constriction in our body and distorting our perceptions.
- Dissociation. Dissociation is one of the most common and subtle symptoms of trauma as it allows the sufferer to separate themselves mentally from the painful and traumatic experience.
- Freezing. When fight and flight responses are thwarted, we instinctively move towards a fixed or immobility response as a last ditch effort to avoid further pain or distress.
Following a traumatic experience, we all respond and react in different ways, at different times. After experiencing trauma, people may go through a wide range of normal responses. Reactions to trauma can extend beyond the person directly experiencing the event to those who have witnessed or heard about the trauma, or been involved with those immediately affected. Many reactions to trauma can be triggered by memories of the event, persons, places, or things associated with the trauma. However, some reactions to trauma may appear completely unrelated to the traumatic event or experience.
- Body aches and pains
- Extreme feelings of panic or anxiety
- Interruptions in sleeping and eating patterns
- Increased drug or alcohol consumption
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Feelings of nausea
- Chronic fear
- Bursts of anger or rage
- Flashes and or recurrent visual images of the event that feel real
- Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
- Loss of interest in activities and life itself
- Minimisation or denial of feelings or significance of event
- Avoidance of people or places that may trigger a memory of the traumatic event
- Emotional numbing
- Suicidal thoughts or ideations
- Cognition issues
Unfortunately, some people will experience a trauma event at some point in their lives, and as a result, some will experience debilitating symptoms that interfere with daily functioning. Many people who have suffered a traumatic event or suffered from long-term exposure may repeatedly re-experience the ordeal in the form of flashback episodes, memories, nightmares, or frightening thoughts, especially when they are exposed to events or objects that remind them of the trauma. Untreated trauma or PTSD can cause psychological distress the sufferer is living in a hyper-aroused state.
People suffering from the latent effects of Trauma or PTSD may have a co-occurring mental health issue such as one or more of the following:
- Anxiety Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Substance Abuse
- Co-occurring Disorders
When considering traumatic events and individual responses to those events, it is important to not only recognise the importance of immediate intervention to mitigate symptoms but also help those suffering from trauma and PTSD develop strategies to manage symptoms, limiting the possibility of symptom re-emergence.
This is possible through the practice of mindfulness meditation, developing your “mindfulness leadership muscle” will actualise a life changing skills-set – everything you need to know love and happiness in the immediacy of daily life. May you be happy, healthy. love your thoughts and be comfortable with uncertainty.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. Mindfulness Leadership addresses anxiety and stress. Feeling overwhelmed? Trying to normalise off-the-scale anxiety and stress is challenging, to manage without support. Stress impacts the immune system and disrupts the bodies nettle healing responses. You may eat organic food, meditate like a monk, believe you are a mystic without a monastery, perform totemic tai chi/yoga such is the power of conditioned thinking.
However, until one learns to train the mind to look with, managing stress-realted burnout will be unsustainable. Evidence based neuroscience (MR.I Scans) informs us of the biofeedback changes within the brains complex circuitry systems that occur when a person is meditating.
Awareness is the conscious knowledge of experience—both physical and mental. This is in contrast to the automatic, subconscious responses discussed above.
Attention is he ability to remain aware of internal and external stimuli occurring in the present moment. Mindful individuals are able to bring their attention back to their original target of focus whenever their mind begins to drift away. Intention is similar to sustained attention, mindful individuals are also able to continue to return to present moment, remembering their daily intention, i.e to focus in the present, rather than the past or the future. Acceptance involves experiencing thoughts, feelings, interactions and other stimulus without judging them as being bad or good, desirable or undesirable, petty or important, etc. Instead, the thoughts and observations are accepted as they are, without distorting or suppressing them.
Mindfulness Leadership rejuvenates the mind/ body ability to self-heal. Reduce stress. Prevent illness from developing. Clients receive training in how to reconnect – addiction manifests as disconnection – be fully engaged in one’s life. Resilient. Compassionate, empowered authentic, connected and in community.
At the heart of addiction is unresolved painful emotional states. Mindfulness Leadership is a holistically integrated whole-person health initiative designed to inspire, and exponentially generate resilience, self-esteem, empathy and compassion.
In essence, mindfulness leadership can over time and practice teach us how to be more resilient. Mindfulness transforms overthinking into reflective order. The natural effect is reducing stress, and engendering self mastery.
Elizabeth’s personal mindfulness practice began in 1990 through an initiation with Lama Yeshe @ Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Buddhist Centre, Scotland.
Faculty member at the Jansen Newman – Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Psychotherapies specific to Addictive Disorders.
She is a former Faculty member @ JNI – Sydney. Former VP National Association Drug & Alcohol Counsellors. (NSW) Clinician. Outpatient Director of Services. Inpatient Primary Therapist Retreat Facilitator.Former Magazine Editor (Mode, Australia) Film/Video Producer (NYC & LA)
The Cosmic Mudra enhances connection, communication and collaboration. There is no particular time duration needed, you can practice by sitting, standing or lying on bed whenever and wherever you have time to increases memory power and sharpens the brain, and enhance concentration. Perfect mudra for awareness.
“When all your desires are distilled
You will cast two votes
To love more and to be happy.” -Hafiz
THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks
Every form of genuine awareness is liberating. Each moment we release entanglement liberates us from cravings and attachment. selfless. Remember too that every practice of awareness can create a shadow when we mistakenly cling to it. A misuse of space can easily lead us to become spaced-out and unfocused. A misuse of absorption can lead to denial, the ignoring of other experiences, and a misuse of ordinary awareness can create a false sense of “self” as a witness. These shadows are the subtlety of attachment. See them for what they are and let them go is accessing the lenses of awareness to serve your wise attention.
The more you experience the power of wise attention, the more your trust in the ground of awareness itself will grow. You will learn to relax and let go. In any moment of being caught, awareness will step in, a presence without judging or resisting. Close-in or vast, near or far, awareness illuminates the ungraspable nature of the universe. It returns the heart and mind to its birthright, naturally luminous and free.
May you be free from worry and indecision.
May you be happy.
NYC 1988, I volunteered @ the Manhattan Centre for Living. A life changing health initiative founded by Marianne Williamson & Louise Hay for AIDS and cancer survivors. Connecting with others in healing communities is wonderfully confronting, challenging and life-changing. Cultivating compassion and fearlessness in the face of uncertainty in the presence of people who personified dignity, grace, and humility in the shadows of death and dying.
When a close, long term recovery friend, Lorna Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer her smile lit-up the universe when I gifted her a bold red Chanel Lipstick, and a bright pink scarf to wear when she went onto lose her hair, confidence and esteem to the ravages of chemotherapy.
In 1988 I met Louise Hay, author and so much of “You can heal your life.” Feeling negative, promotes a downward spiral into victimisation, Addiction is isolation, disconnection and alienation from our family, peers and community. Recovery is being in community. Surrendering the negativity on a daily basis is rejecting whatever gets in the way of feeling love, happiness and gratitude. So Hum – I am one with the Universe.
Positive mental states…we breathe approximately 20,000 time a day. Learning how to breathe in a way that fully opens up the torso is fabulous for an instant vitality burst. Whenever you observe feeling increasingly stressed you can in the present moment you can change how you feel and think. The technique to cease ruminating on the past, or projecting into the future is by focussing on your breath. Remember it takes time, patience and practice to breathe efficiently.
For those of us who live consciously conscious – our faces reflect our inner calmness, acceptance and happiness. I once shut down a discussion about “what is beauty?” by saying the happiest, most beautiful people I know are deeply spiritual, intelligent, compassionate positive people.
Harvard Medical School (2013) study revealed people who meditate daily are happier, live longer, maintain healthy relationships, and have longer telomeres – shortened telomeres are linked to accelerated ageing.
Now and Zen: Daily decompress with a 15-minute guided meditation. I have guided meditations or podcasts on all my digital devices. Perfect for longer distance train or bus travel.
I begin each day with breath work insight meditation in my favourite ego-surrendering salutation-yoga posture: Child Pose. The mind graciously bowing down to the heart. Easing into the stillness anchors me in setting my daily intention. The benefits are that throughout the day I can bring my mind back to my intention…helps keep me centred, focussed and present.
Raise awareness, inspire change by regularly checking in with where you are holding onto stress in the body. Frowning. Tightened lips etc are instantly distressed by breathing. good breath practice is regularly checking in with YOU…. breathing in deeper, counting up to 10 and down again…for 10 to 15 minutes to revitalise the mind and body.
Allow your breath to find its own rhythm.. slower, easier, visualise sending your breath to that area on your inhalation. Imagine a knot loosening as you exhale. Repeat this cycle with each inhalation and exhalation. Do a body scan for 10 to 15 minutes. Find a comfortable seat or lie down. Close your eyes and breathe, hold the breath for a few seconds, release, and repeat. First, focus your attention on your feet. Notice any tension, pain, or stress. Take deep, slow breaths helps you you focus your awareness on any area of your body that feels tight, and or stressed. As if you are scanning your body with light, move your attention slowly upward.
Bring your awareness to how each part of your body feels as you continue to slow your breathing, from the top of head, the back and sides of your head, your neck and shoulders – particularly when we are sitting at the computer, or in the car/train or plane for long periods of time…I was taught at a very young age the importance of good posture.
Robust digestion: compassionate nutrition means we have a healthy relationship with food, from planning, prepping to making whatever it is we are eating look gorgeous. I love beauty, grace and elegance. We eat with our eyes, my nature is that whatever I am doing: “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”
There are so many ways too reduce stress. Proven to bring instant relief is a mind/ body realignment technique that returns me to a state of happiness in the moment. Pause. Breathe. Straighten my back. Open my torso and instantly be connected, restored and renewed.
Want to look and feel younger, stronger and have abundant energy. Change your breathing. Stress ages our bodies, as does pollution, too much sun, smoking, sugar processed foods and an absence of insight mediation.
Our breath instantly detoxifies us. Releases any tightness and toxins which left unattended to impacts the quality of sleep, and our bodies natural ability to self-regulate. Breathing increases the flow of energy.
We can go without food for 40 days – and without water for three days. When our breath is impacted by sudden onset illness or an accident we have a few minute window in which to get help and even less if we are flying and the plane loses air pressure. Which is why it is always recommend putting on your oxygen mask first, then help your loved ones…
Meditation and mindfulness breath work focus upon the activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which brings us into a safe. comfortable calm relaxed state and soothes the overly stimulated sympathetic nervous system fight or flight mechanisms.
Just remember you can do this. You can heal your life. One breath at a time. One day at time. It is a universal truth that when we are happy we attract happiness into our lives. I create my reality. Love life and it loves you back.