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

 

💖Beginning of my Blog💖 – February 2020

This Singita Wellness journey manifested in physical form just 15 short months ago & is now a beautiful haven of activity here on the West coast of Barbados.

My vision was to create a wellness community where anyone walking in our doors could find their needs met in health & wellness, physically & spiritually.

Now into our second year I am humbled & so grateful for the growth of our wellness community, we continue to have so many amazing people walk through our doors.

I am sharing the news that I will now share more of my journey (this not being easy for me). As we all know the more we expose ourselves the more we open ourselves up for criticism. But as another wise woman reminded me if I am committed to helping others I need to put ego & fear aside & choose LOVE. 💖

Blessings to you all.

Michelle x .