Summer Lovin’ – extract from Newsletter July 22

Summer Lovin’ had me a blast, Summer Lovin’ happened so fast. Isn’t it amazing how the wondrous fun times of our lives do pass us by like a whirlwind and the struggles feel like we are watching paint dry as we work our way through the tougher time?

Time is a linear illusion, a sequence of existence of an order of events we have used to create own sense of order, structure and control over the expectations and outcome of life.

Imagine if we could live and let live with the sweet abandonment of life as a child in the Summer. The joyful abundance of life’s beauty and all life’s treasures available to us with little effort or struggle, simply a carefree and miraculous glorious knowing that everything is as fulfilling and uplifting as it can be. Our very gift from God, the gifts of the Universe are filled with Divine possibilities. We just need to believe again, breathe again, open our hearts and minds to the magnitude of infinite possibilities and unconditional love. The bliss of innocence and star studded dreams which ultimately is our truth and birthright.

But let’s get real….life will throw you curve balls, give you real struggles to navigate, possibly challenge you as you have never been challenged before. Therein lies the magic and beauty of it all. The opportunity to evolve, the opportunity to learn, to grow and through it all, find your way back to this very place we are preordained to be.

I have recently returned from chaotic emergency travels as I flew to South Africa to be with my ailing Mom. I had flown to Toronto, for the first time since COVID only to turn around after a few days and head on the journey to South Africa via London.

Driving on the 401 at 5.15am to catch my flight back to Barbados, I started feeling my rental car vibrate and clunk and sure enough I had a flat tyre. My stress levels started to peak as I knew I would potentially miss this flight and not get on the flight back to SA. I had no working phone to make an emergency phonecall and after 20 minutes of no help I realized I really do know what to do here (not sure what took me so long). Pray, call on the Divine and surrender this situation. God would get me there if that was part of His plan for me. Within 2 minutes of my imploring prayer a car pulled up and out jumped the kindest gentleman and changed my tyre. He had a cross on the back of his car and sincerely wished me luck to get to the airport. “God Bless you” he said, “God sent you” I said.

As I arrived at the airport my stress levels still had not quite subsided as my one-hour delay really meant I might not make if. I returned my rental car and rushed to check in, only to be told the flight was closed. This had me in more tears as I begged and pleaded with the agent to get me on the flight. She finally relented not as kindly as my gallant tyre changing gentleman “good luck, the security line up is crazy and they’re not going to hold the flight up for you”. At this point, once again I had to use all the life lessons I have learnt up until now to surrender to choose peace and calm, The Serenity Prayer comes to mind.

“God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”.

I made the flight, I spent wonderful quality time with family in SA, as my sister had made it over from London and my brother from Cape Town. My Mom had time with her three children for the first time in years. We spent the week helping my Dad with my Mom’s care, meaningful moments to be treasured.

And this is what I have learnt and is indelibly stamped in my psyche and I hope it is helpful to some of you.

Surrender to the Divine
Do not resist the winds of Change
Expect Miracles, savour the excitement of this Life
Know it really is all out of our control
Let go, let God.

“Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things are. Joy is what happens when we see that God’s plan is perfect and we’re staring in a perfect show”

Marianne Williamson.

Have a joyful beautiful Summer!

Love
Michelle xo

My wellness philosophy adds a few bubbles and a lot of Joie De Vivre – June 22

The reason I feel so passionate to share the tips and lifestyle I have lived, particularly over the last five years is a real desire to reach more people to unlock their potential to know aging does not mean degenerating. I have gathered a wealth of knowledge over my decades of involvement in the health and fitness industry and these golden nuggets I have acquired through education in various modalities of fitness, and putting in to practice in group training and private personal training. The experimentation and learning about nutrition and ultimately the soulful journey of feeding myself from Spiritual water, a tapping into Creator and the Divine where the ultimate Power for us all exists.

To be able to share my passion and knowledge in our beautiful Singita Wellness space in Barbados as well as our Online Club is really a huge honour and ultimately a dream come true!

At almost 59 years old (next month) to feel the healthiest and most energetic I have ever felt in my life is something I never thought I would be able to attest to. This is so exciting for me to acknowledge and I feel privileged to be able to live this life with such vigour and joyful anticipation of what my future holds, mentally, spiritually and emotionally!

The most liberating thing we can do for ourselves is get rid of excess baggage emotionally. Work on releasing and giving up on those toxic relationships or behaviours, and believe me I know this is no easy task but making the commitment to finding your way back to yourself is truly life changing. Reconnect to your core values, reconnect to your body, your emotions, find your path back to loving yourself, become acquainted with your true self. Be courageous and committed to this path of self discovery and seek help where you may need this, conventional therapy or spiritual or energy coaching and guidance. The power of Prayer and Meditation should never be underestimated. This was a cataclysmic metamorphosis for me, once I could finally claim my life back. I had lived my life for so many years plugging into the demands and lives of others, the once upon a time people pleaser, I am proud to say, can no longer be used to describe me. I own my hopes, my dreams, my vision and surround myself with the people who inspire me and especially those who authentically believe in me. This has been the healthiest choice I have ever made for myself. It literally took years off my life and pounds off my body.

First and foremost, please find the time to move everyday, whether its sport, running, yoga, Pilates or gym workouts. The golden key for me that really unlocked and peaked my physicality is, in my opinion, to really mix things up. Do not choose running on the treadmill for the same 30 minutes three times a week. Please do not only choose Yoga, it is a great stretch and has many other health benefits but when it comes to bone health, we need resistance training. The fundamental components of fitness should never be ignored, Cardiovascular, strength and flexibility all should be part of our fitness program. Our body is so amazing at adapting, choose a variety of classes, a variety of activities. Shock your body, challenge yourself and have fun doing it. This is the reason we have so much variety on our fitness class schedule at Singita Wellness. I would love to share with so many of you the inspiring, fun and motivating way we can all move!!

Please do not calorie count or find the latest fad diet or the next quick fix. We all know we should be consuming copious amounts of pure water, eat your vegetables and fruit as unprocessed and organic as possible and add clean healthy choices of protein. Add those healthy fats, avocadoes, olive oil, oily fish even a bit of butter where necessary. I don’t believe in starving, fasting or depriving our bodies. Keep them fuelled with lots of good stuff!!!
Do your best to mindful and intuitive about your needs. Your body is wise, your body is your true life partner. Become familiar with how it feels to nurture, nourish and fuel yourself. Be kind, be patient and love yourself. Observe how you feel after each meal. Satiated and light, or heavy and bloated? You know your body best. Trust that, not what some other media marketing campaign has made millions of dollars feeding you with their new product.

Always remember:

Copious amounts of pure water
Tons of organic (where possible) fruit and vegetables
Healthy grains, quiona, brown rice, amaranth
Lean organic protein sources, lots of fresh fish
Good fats and oils
Lots of sunshine, don’t forget your sunscreen

Which means all move to Barbados, or spend as much time with me here at Singita Wellness as possible, for your haven of health and wellness!

Most people who know me well know my love of wine, especially rose and sparkling bubbles. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Balance is key and if we cannot have a sense of joie de vivre in this lifetime, well what is it all worth anyway! Celebrate the moments, celebrate this life, celebrate you!

Your superpower is YOU, believe in that, stay on the road to self discovery, of heightened awareness, of disciplined healthy choices but don’t forget to throw some reckless abandonment in for good measure.

CHEERS MY LOVELIES!

BE WELL
LOVE MICHELLE XO

At a certain age, said the wise old Sage – November 2021

At a certain age

Said the wise old sage

We hit a moment of complete and utter truth, a deep sense of knowing who we truly are.  An unapologetic time to get rid of the small nonsense, the petty gossip, the naysayers, the not so well wishers or supporters of our chosen path.  There comes a time when rose coloured glasses are lifted and the only glasses are the love-shades I wear for myself.  My true life journey, (and I have chosen a spiritual one) is one of self growth and healing, to commit to a path of self love.

This does come with some discomfort especially if you have been a people pleaser like myself for over half a century. To be able to set boundaries and surround myself with those people who are aligned with my highest and best takes some conscious effort. A lot of people are born or become quite the opposite of this “pushover” archetype I have been, the opportunistic, narcissistic, controlling or entitled, of whom I’ve attracted my fair share.

This path to our own enlightenment is definitely not an easy one, one layer peeled off painfully at a time as we unveil our glorious selves. A light to shine unabashedly and obviously with the right intentions.  To find the courage in myself, to put my own ego aside and, to develop the love and grounded surety for myself, to fill my own cup to help inspire or empower as many others as we can is in my opinion the most worthwhile journey.

As Marianne Williamson so beautifully wrote.  This quote by the way is what Nelson Mandela’s used in his speech when he walked to freedom with the great hope for the future of my homeland.

“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”

I am so thankful I have my family, friends, colleagues and Singita Wellness members, Barbados and my treasured Online Community, as well as guests who fill my soul everyday with their loving uplifting appreciation for life and everything I put my heart and soul into. Singita Wellness has helped provide for many a safe haven, a nurturing uplifting community.  As we know, movement heals, and at Singita not only do we offer yoga and fitness classes in our tranquil white washed studio. We also offer healing sessions, meditation sessions and spa treatments.

I am happy to acknowledge that the community we are attracting at Singita Wellness are aligned with our highest and best.  I am so thankful that most people walking through our doors are just lovely souls.  We are a peaceful nurturing community and I am proud to have such experienced therapists, instructors and support staff to provide this foundation.

I do now set firmer boundaries, as of course there are times when people cross my path who may not have the best intentions. I am also better at ‘listening to my gut’ and spotting these types, and try to act with integrity, without offending.

As my most inspiring friend and colleague, spiritual healer/coach Patti Wilson has explained to me, “this is wonderful as now you are evolved enough that this is not happening in your inner circle “

Patti explains: “Prior to developing my psychic abilities as a spiritual coach, I was a psychotherapist for over thirty years. We all have the impulse to develop and grow throughout our lives, and that growth is inevitably ignited by conflict with others.  Conflict is our greatest teacher, as it is through examining our differences and our own shortcomings that we feel the pressure to make changes.  It has been my observation that we begin our journeys of growth and change through struggles with intimate others—typically family members, close friends, and love relationships. I call this our “inner circle” of relationships.  Then as we master these changes, we may see the same issues pop up, but involving people that aren’t as important to us, such as neighbors or work colleagues—people no longer in our inner circle.  These conflicts are easier to manage and less upsetting.  We have mastered the new skills and abilities, and are just getting some final practice with people who aren’t so important to us!

Take Michelle’s sharings, for example:  she learned to set boundaries around people-pleasing in her marriage, and now is energetically attracting much easier conflict situations with others in her community, where she continues to affirm her new boundaries.  Having moved to an “outer circle” of relationships, Michelle can celebrate that her hard work with intimate others was all worth it!”

I have had to take off my rose-coloured glasses and look myself squarely and clearly in the face and know if I do not find the love for myself, the self respect, the ability to set clear loving boundaries, I would never reach the vision and dream of the person I intend to evolve into,  and the goals and vision I intend to create business wise.

The path of growth and development is challenging but so worth it.

With love, Michelle x

PS. Patti Wilson, M.A., M.Ed. will be running one of her amazing courses on ‘Finding and Creating the Love Partnership You Desire’. For more information on her work, click here.

The power of love (and we thought it was fitness)! – October 2021

I began my live-streamed fitness journey some 20 months ago as a necessity to keep us working out, moving, staying connected, through lockdowns and the unknown bleakness and panic of a global pandemic. Little did I know it was the beautiful birth of our Singita Online Community, which has been a glorious shining light of inspirational souls who greet me every morning with beaming smiles, ready to take on another challenging workout.  We sweat, we shake, pulse and stretch as they, all in such good humour, share my moments of insanity as I allow my goofiness to take hold and bust out my best bad moves on occasion, all for a little comic relief at the wonder and Joy of it all.

I have not had the pleasure of meeting all of this amazing community in person as my links have been shared, and Membership referrals made through friends, but the real wonder of this all is the fact that true friendships have blossomed and heartfelt connections made and threaded together in a matrix of golden glittering cosmic hope. True encouragement and inspiration. (I’m not dramatic at all…lol)

We all started this journey with a like-minded interest in staying healthy and fit, to ensure we kept our movement momentum going through all the modalities we offer at Singita Barbados and Singita Online, including Ballet Barre, Yoga, Pilates, Bodysculpt, HIIT.

This week I received this lovely picture of MaryAnne (left) and Liz (right) lunching, having recently formed a great friendship. “I never would have thought I would make a friend through Singita Wellness, another reason for you to feel proud” says Liz who I met at my first Health Club I worked at in Oakville, Canada just having returned from South Africa 25 years ago.  I made some amazing friendships in those bygone days and our children all went to school together.  Liz and our fabulous friend Judy have been wonderful fitness enthusiasts over the years. Having moved to Barbados over ten years ago, I lost many of these connections, so it was really heartwarming to have them in my live-streamed classes again.

Fast forward to February 2020 I met Jay, an exuberant, lovely lady from Canada, who joined her first class with me at Singita Barbados, and then lockdown happened.  Jay decided to join us online and has been a wonderful positive addition to our community.  Jay then recommends Singita Online Club to her friend MaryAnne, who also lives in London, Ontario.

Those who know me well know some things never change, I show up on the dot of class times mostly, why would I be the ultimate professional and show up 5 minutes in advance?  I might have a little bit of a spontaneous personality and I love to show up with some sweet surrender and see where Spirit leads me.  Trust me though, not without some conscious connection to my Greater Power above for guidance and inspiration to share with honesty and love for what I was called to do. Needless to say, this allows for a few people embarrassingly staring at a computer screen with other eager participants wondering why I could not possibly show up a few minutes in advance.  But lo and behold we have some chit chatters amongst us and MaryAnne soon discovers Liz lives in the same home town and voila, a friendship is rooted. The most gracious and lovely messages I have received from so many of our Community is honestly the reason I do this and am in awe of the power of Love and Connection.  This message from MaryAnne honestly brought me to tears. “Your kind open energy has been so important to me over these past months. I respect the standard you set for yourself and it motivates me to work towards being a better human.  Thank you!!”

And what more can I say but Thank you I am humbled, honoured and beyond blessed!!!!!

Love Michelle x

Awakening in paradise – June 2021

I wake up most mornings with the tweet of the first bird calling night into day, always darkness and knowing the light will come.  I have practiced the habit of early morning rituals of meditation & prayer for many years now, not without a cup of coffee to jolt me into awakening.

I wake up with immense gratitude for this sweet little Caribbean island I now call home.  The joyful morning noises of the birds and palm trees swaying in the breeze is an absolute wonder to me everyday as I spent many years in bleak Canadian Winters. To wake up in a warm bed and bright skies most days with a commute to work overlooking the ocean is certainly a dream come true.  I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to create Singita Wellness which is a sanctuary for myself and so many others.

But this is not why I write this Blog.  Most of you have seen our social media posts.  We are a lovely team with a passion amongst us to help others enhance their lives through healing, or rejuvenating spa treatments, and inspiring fitness or yoga classes. We invoke a movement, a sense of belonging and appreciation for each other which we do our best to share with all our guests and members. We are authentic, happy, enthusiastic and all human with our own struggles and issues to deal with.

So here I am, talking about mine.  After giving up everything I had worked for and accomplished for myself in Canada I moved to Barbados to emotionally support my partner’s journey and with no work permit was forced to find myself in a situation where I had to completely rely on someone else. In some relationships where equality and mutual respect are present, this surrender can be a beautiful thing but in other less evolved relationships things can go horribly wrong and it did.

I have finally, after all these years of living, come to the realization I can stand on my own two feet and not have to depend on a man or husband to determine my fate. A sad realization and not without huge discomfort and pain to get myself to this point of enlightenment.  It has taken a long hard look at the people pleaser I have been all these years, submitting to the demands of others with little regard for my own opinions, needs and relevant decision making skills. I have attracted controlling people to me, and had to look at the hard cold truth that I need to take responsibility for the place in which I found myself. Why did I choose controlling partners?  In all the healing work and training I have done especially in Theta Healing we take a look at how an even unbearable or seemingly intolerable situation actually serves us in some insidious way. I perhaps didn’t have to face the cold hard truths about myself, a cop out of life to some degree if you will. Comfortably numb perhaps.

I was controlled, emotionally, financially, physically, and this was my “wake up call”, as traumatic as it all was. I am not here to berate another human being as I have evolved enough to know that hurt people, hurt people.  This is about my journey of pulling myself together, making a stand, setting boundaries for myself and a definitive knowing when enough is enough. This can be difficult as we have all heard of psychological controls such as gaslighting or even the sad reality of “Stockholm Syndrome” it is a sad world out there where people have mental illness, whether it be depression, anxiety, bipolar, or personality disorders live with others and the infiltration or coercive ways can lead to a blurred consciousness of the victim for want of a better word.  My own self growth and evolution is in the hope that my journey or struggle can be of help to another.  Love cannot survive under dominance.  We are all created equal and I have been born into the upper echelon of society and with Western world upbringing, education and privilege I had still lost myself.  How many people, particularly women, but not to the exclusion of men, are imprisoned in a controlling relationship. To break free takes courage, resilience, determination, a whole lot of owning up to your own issues and painful healing.  To come to terms with one’s own flaws is not a pretty thing to look at, I thought of myself as such a wonder of light and love, a little Pollyanna if you will, until I delved into my own psychological flaws. We are all imperfectly perfect, and I realised that without removing some of my own limiting beliefs, I would just continue on this Merry go Round of Life, not living my true purpose, my chosen path.

If I had to name the one thing that has helped shift my life into a positive direction it is Theta Healing. I started trying this energy healing modality along with therapy and found what would take weeks with cognitive therapy would literally show instant results.  I am now  accredited with my Advanced DNA Level II certification.  I started “practicing” on family and friends and was truly amazed when reports came back of tangible changes in their lives.  This filtered into helping staff at Singita which has led to combined Theta, Reiki and Sound Healing offered in our studio monthly.  These sessions have been sold out which really indicates the need for such healings particularly during and post Pandemic.  With Theta Healing we learn how to connect to the Divine Source of power and unconditional love, for rapid transformative healing. We clear the mind of limiting negative self beliefs and literally change your DNA, which as we have now learnt from ground-breaking author Dr Joe Dispenza, our genetic makeup does not ultimately determine our fate.  To have the ability to change your genetic destiny is truly exciting to me.  To change these supposed predetermined patterns, we are bridging the gap between science and spirituality with tools to help rewire your mental and emotional circuitry.

We need to pay attention to our patterns and realize the route we chose in order to survive might not be the way to thrive.  We need to make uncomfortable choices until we are free. We need to heal and shift.

So in conclusion to this blog.  I sit in a beautiful house on the west coast of Barbados, a shadow of its former glory with staff gone and lacking the love, life and attention it deserves.

I am still locked in a toxic legal battle, which is wasting precious time & money. The former me would have avoided this conflict at all costs and conveniently disappeared.  The new me knows I deserve what is rightfully mine and controlling coercion and abuse is something that will never get the better of me again.

My rallying call is for you all to rise up and find your strength to live completely freely with or without a loving partner.  I will fight my battle, and whilst doing so, I hope my healing work will enable others to find their strength to stand up for what they deserve, for everyone’s highest and best evolution.

With love, Michelle x

 

 

 

This is what we stand for! – April 2021

Spring has arrived bringing renewed energy, revitalized souls and an optimism for the future. The age of Aquarius has come upon us, not without a little raucous and shaking up to hail in the new. As with any change, upheaval and breaking open is inevitable as the old energies are displaced, bringing a new world order.  Shifting of planets and eras is linked to global shocks and the crisis of civilization which is undoubtedly what we’re currently experiencing during this pandemic. It’s certainly not all bad news, it’s been a glorious opportunity for healing and growth.

The most exciting news to me about the age of Aquarius is that bonds between people will be built on beliefs of equality and spiritual unity. A calling to change and healing as we peel away the protective armour, fears, insecurities, self-doubt and negative emotions and find our way to a more enlightened being. A shift from less ego to more soul can be an arduous task at times as growth and healing can also bring discomfort.

Once we can bring this peace within, everything else falls into place. Ego says “Once everything falls into place, I will find peace” Spirit says, “find peace and everything will fall into place”, an age-old conundrum.

This examination and shift in ourselves through meditation, prayer and personally for me, Theta & Reiki healings, helps us become a beacon of light in our community at large. Singita Wellness for me is a microcosm of our greater community and the hope that the changes and healing I bring through myself and others, impacts on my community.

It has taken some years of wisdom, some tough choices in self-evaluation to define what is most important to me in life. This is what I have learnt, and this is what I know without a doubt.  I will define my life and conduct my business in the highest possible standard of excellence and integrity. This is not always an easy task, especially in business, as we are all human and mistakes happen, however the attention to the seemingly little things to me, add the highest value. My word is my word, I live by the Golden Rule “do unto others as you would have done to you”.  I have a strong faith and strong belief in honesty and ethics.

I am building a business where people trust me, trust Singita Wellness and what our brand stands for. We are aligned with the highest and best of all concerned, employees and clients alike. I was particularly inspired after reading the book “Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks” by August Turuk. A wonderfully provocative, insightful message about the power of purpose and how service can fuel success, where authenticity and passion are key.  The power of trust and selfless leadership can be a magical formula and Turuk demonstrates how monks and people like Warren Buffet are so successful not despite their principals, but because of them.

I am now humbled by the strong foundation in the Singita Wellness team we have built.  Our team is built on strong values, empowering each other, believing in each other. We are ready, set, to go as we at Singita Wellness have survived the Pandemic and look excitedly to a brighter horizon as the world opens up to a glorious new era!!

Love Michelle x

Open your mind to the benefits of meditation – March 2021

I happily find myself writing a blog for Singita Wellness on the benefits of meditation as my weekly guided meditations receive a regular place on the Online Club schedule.

I didn’t have teaching or guiding in mind when I committed to a daily meditation practice, I had my health in mind. I needed to maintain balance and happiness within a life that had memories of traumas and despair. I already knew that energy based practices were the most likely way I would achieve this due to my decade long experience as a Reiki practitioner. The difference this time was that I was committed to continuity and focus; I was going to make sure that every day began sitting in stillness, calming my breath, connecting to myself as an energetic being on the most fundamental level, and making sure that I gave blockages and imbalances fair chance to alert me before life became out of control.

Meditation restored my health and balance, gave me relief from PTSD, gave me a tool to let go of the past and exist in the present, which truly is a much happier place; meditation made me a better friend, daughter, sister and eventually, partner. It has given me a wellness practice for my own benefit and as a business for the benefit of others. Through meditation I live in abundance and even when things go awry, I am never far away from centre. As with all things that give so much, we must take the first step; the first step is a commitment to come to your practice, your silent seat, every day. We commit to holding our health with the highest regard and prioritising that which serves us. With this commitment other healthy choices fall into place with ease, once the system is in balance it would be mania to damage it and meditation enables us to confidently stride away from mania.

Meditation is an ancient practice, its use can be found in writings from all the religions and philosophies throughout time, the practice of meditation is often assimilated to worship and its nature is most often thought of as spiritual.

As I cultivated a teaching style for meditation that I felt would appeal to the majority of my students, I weaved in emphasis on the scientifically proven benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices. I wanted to show that meditation, if committed to, would change the lives of all and any people, regardless of belief. I will turn some lines to that same emphasis in this blog post but as my own reading, learning, experience and practice has continued to develop so has my understanding of what I am actually attempting to convey.

In the most obvious of realisations, it’s all about unifying the spiritual and the scientific, not holding them separately, they are two sides of the same coin, not a gold piece and crypto currency.

It has been said that the practice of meditation began when people first gazed into the flames of the fire they had newly created and, mesmerised, found a stillness and calm take over their beings. A flame focused meditation, or Trataka Sadhana, is a meditation practice that indeed still exists today; the benefits of which include improved mental focus and memory, improvements to eye health, relief from anxiety and depression and balancing of the nervous system and cerebral cortex. All that is needed for this practice is a candle and the decision to sit quietly and gaze with soft focus into the flame. The light stimulates the pineal gland, regulating our biorhythms which gives us the gift of ideal sleep and waking patterns. The pineal gland is associated with the third eye and if we now cross over into discussion with a more energetic or spiritual emphasis, we learn that the third eye is connected to our intuition, our ability to see beyond the physical realm, to an openness of mind which helps us to accept ourselves as connected to the natural world, the spiritual world, that which is not easily recognised by our five readily accepted senses.

The third eye is the place of imagination and in imagination we can find the key to acceptance of that which we are generally encouraged to turn away from; a child playing out a game of imagination has no concept that the place of their imagining is not real, it is as real as anything in that moment and just as valid and as adults we can allow ourselves to return to that understanding. If we imagine we are sat on a deserted beach with the warm air brushing our skin and the blue sky above us, cloudless and vast, our system begins to naturally calm in the same way as if we were ‘actually’ there. If we then imagine that a loved one begins to walk towards us across the sand we look forward to them being close in the same way as when we ‘actually’ see a loved one coming to be with us, in our mind as they reach us and we look into their smiling face our body releases the same chemicals and we receive the same benefit, we can speak to them and say the things we wish to say, we can express love or forgiveness and as if by magic we feel love and peace. This isn’t really magic, it’s so obvious, so simple that we overlook it.

The ability to imagine is one of the things that makes us intrinsically human.

We come up against a problem, we imagine a solution and then we manifest the solution in the physical world by using our memory of experiences to choose the elements needed. We use our memory of sensory experience to create, we know how things feel and combine, we know how they smell or taste, we understand their solidity or fluidity. The sense that begins this process is imagining, third eye sense. In meditation we learn to be with our third eye sense so much that we learn to stop discounting it. Which leads to more acceptance of every part of ourselves, which leads to more equilibrium, more balance within our system and we feel more at peace.

In extensive peer reviewed scientific studies researchers have consistently found that regular meditators experience:

  • Improved sleep
  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Improved cognitive function in areas such as memory, attention span and problem solving
  • Lowered risk of serious disease including heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure disorders and cancer
  • Improved relationships and interactions
  • Increased immune system functioning
  • Improvements in digestion
  • Relief from conditions such as ADHD
  • Hormone balance
  • Lowered levels of stress
  • Pain reduction
  • Increases in energy and vitality
  • Reduction in medical intervention
  • Reduction in detrimental addiction behaviour

There is also much written on more experiential benefits such as the ability to cope with challenging situations and a reduction in reactionary outbursts under stress or imagined stressors.

Further analysis finds that regular mediators exhibit more ideal levels of the chemicals we understand to affect the above list of benefits. Regular meditators experience:

  • Lower levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline
  • Higher levels of chemicals including DHEA, Oxytocin, Dopamine, Serotonin, Melatonin and Endorphins.

I have said in mediation classes that if you don’t wish to align with the spiritual aspect of meditation that you can read the above and have more than enough reasons to factor meditation into your daily routine.

With the weight of scientific findings there is available to us, meditation is as valid as any other healthy lifestyle choice for improving our wellbeing and extending our life and enjoyment of life.

However, as I mentioned in my opening, I have now, with the most obvious epiphany of my journey so far, recognised that there is no need to separate the scientific reasons from the spiritual reasons for meditation. It’s excruciatingly obvious because unity, inclusion, oneness is at the very centre of meditation and mindful teachings; I can’t believe it took me this long to see.

In meditation we begin to drop the veil between what we experience in the ‘real world’ and the truth of our entire selves, intricately entwined with all things.

We experience ourselves as energy and we go to places far away from our physical seat. We become so at rest that our brain waves alter and we enter incredibly creative states, we realise things that no amount of intellectual thought has realised. We enter flow, we enter ease. Imagine how you feel when you meet someone who fully accepts you and understands you just as you are, the relief. Now imagine that that person is you. How obvious is it that in that acceptance of all parts of yourself; physical, energetic, spiritual, vast and minute, your system relaxes into bliss, into equilibrium and everything that you are on every level just works.

The spiritual and scientific benefits of meditation are two sides of the same coin, in full acceptance of yourself as an energetic, conscious being as well as a physical being, you find balance and your system does exactly what your human self was always made to do; it manifests the solutions you need and brings them into creation. Health.

Join me on Wednesday mornings at 10:30am for Guided Meditations and On Demand on the Online Club, log on or join today. In the coming weeks we hope to welcome you back in Studio at Singita Barbados, follow us on our social media for updates!

With Loving Kindness, from Sarah xo

Variety is the key to results – September 2020

Having been in the Health & Wellness business for over 30 years
I have seen so many trends come and go. I have been certified in so many different class types and styles as well as Personal Training. Having learnt from the best, Canadian Body building champions, and amazing fitness instructors and presenters I have had the pleasure of working with over the years has shaped my philosophy. This has evolved over the years through working with so many different body types and genetic predispositions, either in my group classes or private clients training one-on-one. We are all doing this to feel, healthier, fitter, stronger and leaner to hopefully help prevent disease and increase longevity.

I would like to preface this blog with the fact that at 57 years of age and having gone through extreme stress in the last couple of years setting up a start up business as well as struggling through ongoing personal troubles,  I have never felt more energized, fit and healthy. This is what I have learnt and would love to share with you all!

Mix things up, diversify, try different classes, various activities, keep moving, challenge yourself even if only for a few five minute segments throughout the day.  I have created our Singita Online Club specifically to fulfil that need.  Find a way around the boring and mundane to discover the pure joy of movement and what works best for your body, wherever and whenever you can.

Obviously healthy nutritional choices, (which I can talk about at a later date) as well as healing our emotional and spiritual selves is a huge part of this equation.  But here goes, why I teach and share these fitness modalities.

HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

This is something that is not only for the 20 and 30 year olds.  You can modify each exercise and increase your stamina.  High intensity means what it says,spiking the heart rate and giving an anaerobic burst followed by recovery.  This is proven to be the most effective way to burn fat, and improve your cardiovascular level.  HIIT is one of the best classes we can do to stave off forms of dementia!  The sudden bursts of blood flow keeps everything open and flowing smoothly especially to the brain.

Ballet Barre

This to me has been the most inspiring classes I have taught, to see the changes in women’s bodies. The toning in the legs and glutes has been visible in just a few weeks of consistency, got me so excited to share with as many others. This class is pure joy, as most of us remember those days as little ones plieing & the beauty of this elegant movement.  There is a reason those ballerinas have the most perfect legs and glutes.  Pulsing and plieing simultaneously keeping that beautiful postural alignment works wonders!

Bodysculpting

Lift those weights people, you are not going to bulk, this is such a myth !!! Those bodybuilders are on extreme regimes and supplementation to look the way they do.  Resistance training is of profound importance, we need to build lean muscle, or at least maintain it as we naturally start losing muscle after the age of 30..  It’s the muscle in our body that burns calories and supports our skeletal system.  One pound of muscle takes up a third of the space as a pound of fat. This is one of the best choices we can make to prevent osteoporosis and ageing.

Core Conditioning

Our powerhouse, our core has been given a lot of attention over the last decade or more.  Pilates has boomed and we all know this is an area we need to focus on strengthening to help with any sport or daily activities.  The dreaded plank (we know and grow to love) side plank, every variety of planking, most of us recognize we need to include this as part of a well-rounded fitness regime.

Yoga

Yoga almost needs no introduction. This ancient practice has left an indelible mark on modern day society as we are all looking for a way to slow down, destress and increase our sense of well-being. Focusing on your breath and flowing through each yoga posture will aids detoxification, improves digestion and flexibility.

Our Singita Online Club has videos of varying lengths to reflect each of these modalities. No excuses, give it a try!  Keep moving, keep believing, be strong, be beautiful, be you!

 

Deep diving and facing my fears – July 2020

So here I am, about to launch Singita Online Club, and I truly have had to face my own fears and move beyond them.

Nothing like having to watch yourself on video, your inner critic doing it’s best job, to make you feel awash with self-doubting emotion. But here goes – I am just going to dive right in.

Yes for 30 years I have been standing up in front of people delivering fitness classes – but I still always feel that slight butterfly flutter of nerves before each class. The mix of anticipation and excitement of an unknown outcome – anything can unfold during a class. But now thankfully, it is not quite as intense as the nervousness felt when I first began my career as a newly qualified instructor.

My younger days of studying Speech & Drama at University and playing drums in a band I guess have all helped me to conquer my fears of an audience, but they never completely go away, and fear and doubt are always ready to rear their heads up to try and keep you from shining your light. My insecure inner child does her best to step in and shatter any illusions of confidence, illuminating my vulnerabilities and leaving me feeling very exposed.

So this is not that easy for me, this exposure, this level of ‘putting myself out there’. But I know it is what I need to do, not just to grow and carve out a livelihood for myself, but more importantly for me to fulfil my purpose, which my inner work on myself has uncovered – that being to help as many people as I can find the joy in movement and fitness. Wellness has been my life’s work, and I will conquer my fears!

I will take solace in this beautiful quote by Brene Brown “vulnerability is the true measure of courage”.

Spring brings hope for change – June 2020

The innocence and beauty of youth with my precious Grandaughter Orla.

May flowers in Barbados are in all their glory. Wherever you look the bougainvillea is a spectacular array of vibrant colours and the cassia trees and flamboyants are so vivid against the backdrop of arid grass during this dry season. Spring has Sprung in the rest of the world and I am sure you are all enjoying the brighter days, stunning scenery and the wonderful opportunity to walk, run and bike outside. Our beach hours in Barbados are extended and so many people are taking the morning and afternoons to swim and walk our beautiful coastline, our tropical paradise never disappoints.

Yet here we still remain in an uncertain and forever changed world. This last week I struggled, I have to admit. I had a couple of days of doom & gloom, missing my old life, the hugs from family and friends. Walking into Singita doors everyday with beautiful smiles to greet me and seeing the lovely faces of participants in my classes, not always smiling at me, often a grimace or an expletive, I love the feedback and energy whichever way.

We have now created a new online community and it’s wonderful to see their bright smiling faces every morning. I’m sure we’ve all had our days struggling to come to terms with this new way of being. After some extra meditation and prayers and thankfully some more healing work offered through our Spiritual Online course that started last week with Patti Wilson, I finally felt a shift to a deeper acceptance and a renewed energy and felt my optimism and excitement for the future return.

So that lovely saying “Bloom where you are planted’ came to mind, find the beauty in the moment, acceptance for what is, as life unfolds perfectly for you.  Nature never rushes or yearns to be something or somewhere else, an acorn becomes an oak tree, a flower unfolds and blooms in its own glorious divine timing, with a grace and beauty unto itself. And here we are, as we unite in thought and consciousness I am forever grateful for our Singita community and look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Michelle x

When are leaves more than just leaves? – May 2020

During a recent family gathering over Zoom (during Coronovirus lockdown), we were discussing how the slowed down pace has meant we can all get a little more adventurous with our cooking (stocks permitting).

My sister then recounted a story from a couple of days prior, when I had called her up, giddy with excitement about a fresh food delivery I had just received. I promised a photo. She was expecting to see a gourmet dish, and was amused by the picture of a bowl of leaves I sent over (see pic). We all had a good giggle at how a bowl of leaves was my gourmet delight, but in my moment of solitude and with a media backdrop of restriction and lack, this delivery felt to me like the most exquisite treat and life affirming nourishment! It was much more than just a bowl of leaves, it was especially prepared for me and it was a thing of beauty.

During this time of slowed down pace (for most of us anyway), we have the privilege to adjust our perspective, and to value the small things that bring us joy. To focus on the simplicity of what we really need to survive and thrive.

There are many people posting on social media how we will all come out of this in some way changed, and hopefully with lessons learned about how to live a more mindful life. For me, this picture of a bowl of leaves will always bring me back to this feeling that I had on that day, when this for me represented a gift from heaven.

Singita spirit lives on – going virtual to keep you healthy – April 2020

In line with our recent government announcement, Singita is now temporarily closed to the public. I’d like to thank each and everyone of you for your continued patronage & support over this last year.

We have been honoured to have worked with the most amazing team at Singita, and met so many wonderful people from around the globe.  Our hearts are now with you all during this global crisis, we are praying this does not linger and life will return to a new normal soon. Hopefully we will have evolved, grown closer to family & friends, connected more meaningfully.

I am so thankful we can stay connected via email and social media.  I had been planning to expand Singita Barbados to an online global platform, so this has motivated me to embark on this more rapidly. The first step is to bring our studio classes to you LIVE (via Zoom) and  further videos will be shared through our other IG, Facebook & Youtube channels. Instructions and schedule to follow.

I am wishing you all time well spent in meditation, prayer and self reflection, and hopefully we will be opening our doors again soon to you all.

Stay safe and well.
Love, Michelle xo

We are pleased to offer our online classes – FREE to all for the next two weeks (until 11th April 2020).

Our online class schedule is as follows.  These classes will be free to everyone for the next two weeks, please email me back if you’d be interested in participating in any of these classes so I can email you the link ahead of time.

Online classes will run for 45 minutes.

Starting Monday March 30th, our weekly schedule will be as follows. (Atlantic Standard Time).

Monday 9.30am Ballet Barre
Tuesday 9.30am Core Conditioning
Wednesday 9.30am Ballet Barre
Wednesday 10.30am Super Stretch
Thursday 9.30am Full body with HIIT
Friday 9.30am Yoga/Pilates Fusion
Saturday 10.30am Ballet Barre

Zoom.us instructions to follow once I recieve your request email, for linking to the class. Please email Michellejamieson@me.com  to be sent the class links.

Private training for individuals and small groups also available by appointment. Please email Michellejamieson@me.com