Saturday, December 28, 2013

A grateful heart

Top Five Things I LOVED This Wk: (Our 70th one!)

1. A domestic afternoon making zucchini slice and roast lamb, cleaning, tea drinking and eating hot spelt banana date muffins from the oven -happening right now!
2. The golf course near our house resembling a ski slope with all the hail. Take me back to Japan!
3. A quiet Saturday afternoon spent watching Sex and the City on my laptop in the bath while the house shook from the storm. It just wouldn’t be a Top 5 without me in the bath!
4. Sitting in our garden sketching and painting happily in the sun.
5. Lying in bed in the dark listening to frogs “ribbit” like metronomes.

Emma the Naturopath xx

“I believe everything happens for a reason.
People change so you can learn to let go.
You believe lies so that you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself.
Things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right.
And sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”
–Marilyn Monroe

Can you relate?

Effort with grace

My yoga teacher has repeatedly told us “effort with grace” during nearly every class. I never fully understood the phrase until I was on my Bali retreat in June and I had my ‘Ah-huh!” moment.

Effort with grace (to me) means putting positive intention and action into achieving your goals but to also have the flexibility to accept whatever outcome prevails.

I met a very sweet lady on the retreat. She listed all the things she DIDN’T want to do as our driver took us around all the windy bends on the way up the mountain. “I don’t want to do backbends. I don’t want to do handstands or headstands. I’m not good at balancing and I don’t want to use my knees too much”.

“I want to do THIS!” I exclaimed with great enthusiasm as I presented her with a picture I’d brought along of a variation of dancer pose, natarajasana.  “Why would you want to do THAT!?” she asked as her eyes nearly popped out of her head. “I want a challenge!” I replied.

As I spoke with my teacher one night over dinner I realised that I was the definition of too much EFFORT as I was constantly striving to overachieve and my new friend was demonstrating too much GRACE, as she was too flippant with her intentions.

Over the course of the week my friend really expanded herself to new situations, expanding both physically and emotionally. On the last day of the retreat she did the most beautiful assisted back bend and we all stood around her cheering. “My daughter will never believe this!” she said as one of the girls snapped a photo.

Whereas I learnt the lesson of coming to my mat each day and just checking in with myself. “How do I feel today –physically and emotionally?” because every day’s different. This taught me to let go my ego and any expectations I had on myself. A big lesson in grace.

Effort with grace rings so true in any situation in life. I tell my clients about it when they become “too healthy” –when someone wants to be so incredibly healthy that their mindset and diet become quite restricted and they can’t even enjoy a piece of chocolate cake once in a while in the fear of what the sugar is doing to them. This negative impact of the stress on their body creates more damage than what the sugar would do.

It’s applicable for a uni student who wants top grades but studies all day and night without having a break and then burns out. Or a parent who is putting everyone else first but neglects themself and becomes sick. It’s a fine balance.

In other words, go with the flow J

Top Five Things I LOVED This Wk:

1. The intricate sketches of buffalos, mountains and deer on the Nepalese paper money that my friend brought back for me from his travels. They make handy bookmarks.
2. Texts that go for about six scrolls. They make my day too Mrs Oldfield xx
3. Unpacking stock and looking at the tiny box it came in and thinking how much 5 year old me would love to make it into a little house or something for my dolls.
4. Insights that James from Bleubird Vintage has learnt about marriage. Especially the last one. I’m going to print it out and put it on my fridge.
5. The labyrinth of an antique shop that I finally got around to discovering. Moose heads, hundreds of pairs of animal themed salt and pepper shakers, wooden dressing tables with mirrors, fox stoles, record players, fringed lampshades, even a suit of armour! I was trying not to hyperventilate. I’m not sure if it was from sheer excitement or the volumes of dust that I inhaled…

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. My herbalist wrote just one word on my prescription pad the last time I saw her: PAINT. “You’re very logical and analytical Emma. I think you should paint”.

I’ve never been a painter. I didn’t know where to begin! So I bought a sketchpad, a few brushes and a set of acrylics. They sat on my dining table and I’d look at them gingerly every time I walked past…

And then I just began.

I’ve slowly begun to view my world with a new perspective. Instead of seeing the dandelions growing between my courtyard pavers as weeds that I needed to pull out, I started admiring their detailed leaves as potential painting subjects. I started painting pictures of shells that had sat on my bookshelf for years.

I realised how much I had neglected my creative side. Painting gave me an outlet to express myself. I find it therapeutic to sit in my garden and just mix colours and exhale. My project this week is to paint on some smooth river stones I collected today. I’m looking forward to it.

Get your creative juices flowing this week!


I am so surprised yet touched by all the people who have been telling me how much they are into my Top 5. It’s a really special thing to be commended for something you love doing.

I guess it all started when my husband and I started living together a little over a year ago. We would each say our Top Three things that happened that day over the dinner table or as we got into bed. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and especially in our industry where we deal with a fair bit of sickness (he works at a private hospital). Sometimes it’s something as simple as a delicious lunch or a sunrise or maybe it’ll be a patient who started getting great results.

As our friends on the other side of the world are about to celebrate Thanksgiving, I feel the urge to share with you my thoughts on gratitude. To me, gratitude is an act of acknowledgement and appreciation. It allows us to feel content, to live in the present moment and to savour what is happening in our world. I truly believe that each time we say ‘thank you’ to the universe, it sends a little more of that good stuff our way.

There is always SOMETHING to be grateful for, even if it is learning a challenging lesson.

What are you grateful for today?

Top Five Things I LOVED This Wk:

1. Standing in the kitchen eating pickles from the jar. My after work ritual.
2. Being utterly exhausted by the end of the week, but it was SO productive. Finally ticked things off of my to-do list… that have been there for three years!
3. The smell of a decadent flourless chocolate cake permeating through the whole house.
4. Buying new basil seedling after I caught Billy –the Persian cat from next door pooping in my pot plant. I thought we were friends but friends don’t poop in each other’s basil.
5. Booking flights to Hawaii for 8 weeks’ time!!

Emma the Naturopath xx

“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates.

At the first gate, ask yourself, ‘Is it true?’

At the second gate ask,
‘Is it necessary?’

At the third gate ask,
‘Is it kind?’ ”

-Sufi saying


So I was reading the Meet Me At Mikes blog yesterday and saw a cool little list she wrote about what’s going on in her world at the moment. She is an incessant list write like me… At the end of the post she left a blank list for her readers to have a go at filling out. So I did.

Making: love. Oh, and a website!
Cooking: flourless chocolate cake
Drinking: Real Foods coconut water
Reading: Five Love Languages
Wanting: a BioChef juicer (are you listening Santa?)
Looking: at storm fronts on the horizon
Playing: Scrabble at the dinner table
Deciding: to just go with the flow and trust life
Wishing: for a sunny Christmas day
Enjoying: yoga every damn day
Waiting: impatiently for Hawaii on Jan 28th!!
Liking: my latest antique finds
Wondering: where I left my nametag 3 weeks ago
Loving: roast lamb on Sundays (no longer a vego after over 2 yrs!)
Pondering: the theory of detachment
Considering: studying medicine
Watching: my waistline with all this chocolate cake
Hoping: for a memorable 2014
Marvelling: at white lilies blooming in glass bottles around my house
Needing: more time spent without shoes
Smelling: gardenias
Wearing: Spell muscle tees
Following: Bleubird Vintage blog
Noticing: our impact on the planet
Knowing: that every little thing is gonna be alright
Thinking: about dinner at breakfast time
Feeling: inspired by creative souls
Admiring: new mums
Buying: more and more paints
Getting: closer to 29… Two months today!
Bookmarking: my reads with foreign currency, old photos and boarding passes
Opening: my mind and my heart
Giggling: competitions with Vanessa at work
Feeling: excited to see my parents again this weekend after many years

Thanks for letting me share.

Emma the Naturopath xx

Essential Health
0266 514 533
Boulevard Arcade, Coffs Mall (opp. Blush)


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

You're Prettiest When You Smile

"Failure is not having the courage to try, nothing more and nothing less. The only thing standing between most people and their dreams is the fear of failure. Yet failure is essential to success in any endeavor. Failure tests us and allows us to grow. It offers us lessons and guides us along the path to enlightenment. The teachers of the East say that every arrow that hits the bull's eye is the result of one hundred misses. Never fear failure."

"Embrace failure?" I asked in disbelief.

"The universe favours the brave. When you resolve, once and for all, to lift your life to its highest level, the strength of your soul will guide you. Yogi Ramen believed that everyone's destiny was laid out for them at birth. It was up to each individual to develop the courage to walk this way."

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari -Robin Sharma 

I read this aloud to my husband in bed last night. Then I gave my thoughts on the passage.

"Yeah, that's solid" he replied, then was quiet for a moment. I figured he was deep in thought, pondering the meaning of life...

All of a sudden I heard snoring...

I hope your response was a little more provoking.

Top 5 Things I LOVED This Wk:

1. The relief when you realise that you’re not a terrible mother because the plant you thought you murdered was just in seasonal hibernation.
2. Studying the massive world map we have stuck to our bathroom wall when I brush my teeth each day. I found a place called Lake Disappointment in Western Australia this week. Gee, can’t wait to go there... If you’re reading this WA Tourism, you might want to reconsider the name.
3. The Halloween conversation I had with my husband...
Him: Should I go and get some lollies?
Me: No! It’ll give them diabetes!
Him: Well do we have some carrots in the fridge?
Me: Yes but they’re too expensive to give away. They’re organic! (Followed by a lecture about not living in America).
4. San Pellegrino sparkling water with coconut kefir, mint leaves, raspberries and lime -in a glass jar, because I’m so trendy.
5. The quizzical look I received from the lady checking bags at the door at Big W. Hello specimen jars filled with my clients’ urine that I was taking home for testing. Awkward...

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. “When you follow your bliss the universe will open doors where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell.

Take a step forward in the direction of your dreams this week and watch what happens.

Sup neighbor!

I love our little arcade! You can find a florist/cafe, hair dresser, beauty studio, bamboo clothing store, handmade children's clothing and the list goes on! 

Now we can add to the mix.... A YOGA STUDIO!!!

Mega babe Jasmine List who is known for teaching calming and heart-centered vinyasa flow classes is opening a studio 2 doors down from us!!

To keep up to date with the opening date and timetable head on over to One Conscious Breath Yoga.


Top Five Things I LOVED This Wk:

1. How much better gardenias s
mell when you’ve grown them yourself. I’ve decided that early Spring is my favourite season.
2. A rainy afternoon involving a Kora Organics facial, burning a lemongrass candle and drinking Red Sparrow peach tea in bed.
3. Scatterings of bright red and pale purple flowers on the ground from nearby jacaranda and Illawarra Flame trees as I walked to my car after clinic.
4. Post-workout brekkie: leftover veggie and brown rice soup with a handful of rocket, a soft boiled egg and, dollop of Greek yoghurt, some pink salt and a squeeze of lemon.
5. Playing Scrabble ‘our’ way: double point score for a dirty word.

Emma the Naturopath xx

PS. When I was little, dad would play Bob Marley, Lionel Ritchie, Simon and Garfunkle and Don McLean when he was driving. (Back when musicians were story tellers)... He would whistle and sing loudly as I sat in the back seat and read the lyrics on the inside of the album cover. 

'Is This Love' became mine and Brett's wedding song and after the week that’s passed, I’m going to leave my trust in Bob Marley’s words of wisdom again:

"Don't worry about a thing, 
Cause every little thing is gonna be all right. 
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing, 
Cause every little thing gonna be all right." 

Remain calm because the blessing will appear.

I’m seeing a lot of people staggering through the shop door lately looking utterly exhausted. Y’know that surviving, not thriving feeling? We need to make it a priority to nourish ourselves! I want to share some practical tips that you can start doing TODAY!

1. Learn to say “no”. I read this great quote the other week that said “Don’t say yes to others if it means saying no to yourself”. When you’re feeling stressed the last thing you need to do is take on more things. Try saying “I’d love to but I’ve already got a lot on my plate at the moment”.

2. Never underestimate the value of taking ten deep slow breaths. Create snippets of peacefulness to do this: as soon as you wake up, when you’re in the shower, in the car on the way to work, before you start to eat your lunch, etc.

3. Eat calming foods! A bowl of porridge (cooked on the stove) for brekkie, snack on a banana, a handful of cashews and almonds, turkey with veggies and brown rice for dinner and a cup of chamomile tea before bed.

A healthy bowel means clear skin, a happy digestive system and an abundance of energy! So let’s chat about constipation!

You are bound to get constipation (pun intended!) if you: are a stress head, eat too many refined foods like white bread (or white death as my husband calls it), don’t drink enough water, have poor bowel tone, take certain medications or are a bit of a couch potato.

So nip the problem in the butt (ha!) by: drinking plenty of filtered water, learning how to manage stress in a healthy way, exercise/stretch daily, maybe talk to a colonic hydrotherapist, get reflexology, or chat to your naturopath about probiotics, magnesium or digestive enzymes.

Food as medicine ways to get you regular:
*Be conscious of eating lots of fresh raw foods every day
*Sip on apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in water 15 minutes before a meal
*Stew apples, pears and rhubarb with cinnamon and add to porridge or yoghurt
*Snack on organic prunes
*Swap white rice for brown or quinoa
*Add chia seeds or fresh LSA to smoothies, porridge, bliss balls, salads
*Juice up some beetroot, carrot, apple, celery, lemon and ginger
*Enjoy a cup of dandelion or licorice tea

Emma the Naturopath xx

Essential Health

0266 514 533
Boulevard Arcade (opp. Blush), Coffs Mall
Facebook: Essential Health Coffs