I was delighted to be invited by East Lothian Business Gateway to be on the panel of East Lothian entrepreneurs. At the “Talking Business” event, we shared the good and also the challenges of running your own business with the audience. Members of the audiences also got the opportunity to ask questions on our experiences as East Lothian businesses.
Create your own skincare is proving popular as consumers are trying to ditch using so many plastic bottles and jars. We can start reducing our plastic waste by making your own natural skincare course. The other added benefit is that you know what ingredients go into the skincare products. There is also no need to add any harsh chemicals or preservatives which is kinder to your skin.
Create your own skincare Podcast
I featured in this podcast where I spoke about how to create your own natural skincare can lead to a more toxic-free lifestyle. https://fortryingoutloud.com/episodes/ -Episode 16 Essential Oils, Homemade Skincare and Tips to lead a more Toxic Free and Fertility Friendly Life – (from 21mins into the podcast to 60mins)
Learn to make your own natural Aromatherapy Skincare
I am teaching a course on Saturday 22nd February 2020 where you will learn to make 6 skincare products. We will make
- Intensive Hair Repair Conditioner
- Anti-ageing Aromatherapy Face Night Cream
- Aromatherapy Body Scrub
- Aromatherapy Skin Repair Body Butter
- Foot Bath Himalayan Salt and Seaweed Soak
- Refreshing Foot Gel
After the class, you take home your own 6 personalised skincare products. You can create your own spa experience by pampering yourself with your own natural Aromatherapy products. It will inspire you to keep making your own eco-beauty skincare products.
More information about the Make Your Own Natural Skincare course
- Cost: £75 (includes all plant-based products, Aromatherapy oils and homemade nutritious lunch)
- Dates: Saturday 22nd February 2020
- Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
- Venue: 26 Eskview Road, Musselburgh EH21 6NZ
Limited to 6 spaces.
If you wish to e: mail me for more information, click on Contact
If you wish to book a space on the course, click on Make Skin Care Products Class: Sat 22nd Feb 2020
Credit card payments accepted.
If you wish to organise a 1-day Make your own Natural Skin Care Products, click on Contact. I can create a tailored course where you can enjoy the experience with your friends.
I am delighted to win a Natural Beauty Award – ‘Best Buy’ for my Vegan Body Butter. I love making and creating natural skin care products so ‘over the moon’ to win an ethical award for my Body Butter.
Green Parent Natural Beauty Award 2019
My Vegan Body Butter will feature in the Green Parent Natural Beauty Bible 2019.
Vegan Body Butter
The main features of the Handmade Whipped Vegan Body Butter are
- 100% natural ingredients – nut allergy-free (no Almond oil used), petrochemicals free, no mineral or no palm oils used to make the Vegan Body Butter.
- Ideal Vegan Beauty gift as no beeswax or animal products are used to make the Vegan Body Butter or nor it is tested on animals.
- Organic Shea Butter & Organic Cocoa Butter are blended with Sunflower oil & Olive oil so the Vegan Body Butter will melt in contact with the skin.
- Suitable as a Body Moisturiser and as a Hand Cream as the handmade whipped Vegan Body Butter will deeply nourish and moisturise your skin especially dry or sun damaged or sore or rough skin.
- NO Coconut oil used as the smell can be overpowering. NO Wheatgerm oil used so suitable for gluten intolerant/celiac people.
Reviews on Amazon for the Vegan Body Butter
My Vegan Body Butter is sold via Amazon. The price per 100g tin is £9.50. Free delivery for Amazon Prime Customers.
5.0 out of 5 stars. Lovely product. It’s a lovely product, delicately scented and well-packaged in its tin. It’s fairly solid, so needs a bit of working to soften it up before using it. At least it will last a long time! Thoroughly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars. Smells well nice & all natural. Smells well nice & all natural, not fake all natural but literally all natural. I was fed up of my coconut oil smell & wanted something that smelt nice.
Wish to Buy the award-winning Body Butter – click on the link here – https://www.me-time-therapy.co.uk/product/handmade-vegan-body-butter/
The Mindfulness Training class has come to an end. We spend some time reflecting on changes that the participants have observed since starting the 8-week class.
How has the 8-week Mindfulness course changed your life?
- Feeling happier and calmer. Feeling less fearful about the future.
- Noticing more sensations/feelings in my body when I start becoming anxious. I now pause and let the anxious thoughts pass by.
- Enjoying my food by slowing down and recognising when I am feeling full.
- Feeling less guilty when I take time out now for myself to sit to do a Meditation or go for a Mindful walk.
- Walking slower when out with my dogs and taking in the beauty of nature.
- Better sleep patterns. Focusing on my breath to get me to sleep and also if I awake in the night. No longer lie awake at 5am worrying about the day ahead.
- I am being kinder to myself and more aware of the ‘tone of my voice’ when I make a mistake at work.
- By completing 1 task at a time, I am getting more done at work and less flustered.
5-star reviews on the 8-week Mindfulness course.
Geraldine runs a well planned and interesting 8 weeks of Mindfulness. It gave me the most peaceful 2 hours in the week which passed very quickly. Geraldine explains everything really well and the course is supported with really good audios and notes. I can thoroughly recommend this course.
Lynne. East Lothian.
Geraldine is a wonderful teacher! Taking part in her 8-week Mindfulness classes has taught me great deal about how to handle my emotions better and learn to be more mindful during the hectic stresses of everyday life. It has really helped to reduce my stress levels and think a little more when stressful situations do occur. She is compassionate, kind and easy to talk to. Geraldine’s classes are a wonderful escape during a chaotic week and I highly recommend to all who are struggling with stress and feel they need to re-charge and have some “Me-time”.
Geraldine’s Mindfulness classes focus not only on being mindful towards others but also towards yourself. One of her sessions focuses around being kind and loving to yourself, which can really resonate when you are the kind of person who does everything for those around you but can often forget that you sometimes need to put yourself first!
I also really enjoy how, unlike many online apps, this mindfulness class is interactive and allows you to go on a journey of mindfulness exploration and learning with others who you can share this experience with and in addition meet some lovely, like-minded people. Overall, a fantastic experience!
Mindfulness Training Continuation
All participants are now invited to Mindfulness Retreat Days that I teach at the Restoration Yard, Dalkeith Country Park throughout the year. Each Mindfulness Retreat Day has a different theme based around the Mindfulness Meditations learnt in the 8-week class. The last Mindfulness Retreat Day was based on Self- Compassion and Kindness. The Mindfulness Retreat Day allows participants to have a Wellness/Self-care Day, a day to rest and be peaceful.
The next Mindfulness Retreat Day is on Sunday 17th November. The participants joining the 8-week Mindfulness class for Beginners in September can attend.
5***** Google review on Mindfulness class and Mindfulness Retreat Day.
I got so much out of the 8-week mindfulness course with Geraldine, and have since attended a couple of her Mindfulness Retreat days. Would highly recommend the course, it gave access to really useful resources and guided meditations which I use to this day.
I attended the 8-week mindfulness course (twice). Due to personal circumstances I missed 3 of the first classes but as the remaining 5 had been so useful, I decided to attend a second course to get the full benefit Geraldine’s compassionate and gentle guidance makes the process incredibly easy to follow and the recordings of each meditation sent out after each class allow the student to practice the teachings. Geraldine also offers wellness days, where the mindful practice can be explored in more depth. I have found these relaxing, informative and very useful This course has enabled me to navigate my way through some difficult times recently and I find I use the practice every day in one way or another. If you are thinking of doing this class – stop thinking – just do it. You will never look back.
Fiona. East Lothian
Final Mindfulness Meditation as a group
We finish the Mindfulness class with a Meditation that I have created that incorporates what the participants have learnt during their Mindfulness training. I compare it to the ‘Show Dance’ On Strictly Come Dancing as the dancers create a dance around the steps they have learnt on their ‘Strictly journey’. So my final words to the group are ‘Keep Meditating’.
In Week 7, we look at offering Self Compassion to ourselves by using the 5-minute Self-compassion Break. It was devised by Kirsten Neff and Chris Germer. The Self -Compassion Break is an exercise that we can practice informally thorough out the day (pressing the pause button) for e.g. maybe in moments of feeling under stress, overwhelmed by ‘our to do list’ or anxious about our health or health of a loved one. We can pause for 5 minutes and be with the discomfort or distress and show kindness towards ourselves. It involves treating ourselves with the same kindness and warmth that we would show to a good friend.
The Self Compassion Break
The Self-Compassion Break is broken down into three main elements: Mindfulness, common humanity, and kindness. Three phrases have been created around these elements.
- For the Mindfulness element, we will say silently to ourselves ‘This is a moment of difficulty or ‘This is a moment of suffering’
- For the common humanity element, we will say ‘Difficulties are part of everybody’s life’
- For the kindness element, we will say ‘May I be kind to myself in this moment’. To also help with this, we can place a hand over our hearts or belly region to soothe and comfort ourselves.
Feedback from the 5minute Self-Compassion Break
Doing this Meditation has made me feel a lot better within myself. I notice that a lot of people often think about themselves only after putting everyone else first. Geraldine really helped show me that regardless of the situation you are faced with, it is important to always remember we need to be kind to ourselves. I have noticed that by practicing the Self-Compassion Break meditation, it reminds me to be actively conscious about being compassionate towards myself. This meditation is really fantastic and has made me feel less stressed and even more generous. It really has improved my confidence and personal happiness in my day-to-day life.
If you wish to check out how compassionate you are to yourself, then here is a link to Kirsten Neff’s ‘Test how self-compassionate you are?’ https://self-compassion.org/test-how-self-compassionate-you-are/
In this week’s Mindfulness class, we also do the R.A.I.N. practice which is associated with the Mindfulness Teacher, Tara Brach.
R.A.I.N. stands for
- Recognising (a difficult emotion is present)
- Allowing (this difficulty to be here and give it attention & space)
- Investigating (where we feel this emotion in our bodies)
- Non-identifying (understanding that this emotion is passing through and not permanent)
For me, I use the R.A.I.N. practice when an unpleasant emotion/feeling is with me for a couple of days. I see the unpleasant emotion/feeling like a child wanting attention. By doing the 20-minute RA.I.N. practice, I am giving attention to the emotion. By spending time with it, the emotion then passes on like a cloud in the sky.
Learning about the R.A.I.N practice was very interesting. Understanding each of the different components has really helped the way I look at different situations. It has also has taught me to reflect on the way I treat myself and becoming aware of my negative beliefs about myself.
Geraldine is a kind, patience and understanding teacher. I have really enjoyed learning about R.A.I.N practice meditation. Her sessions have taught me that when negative situations arise you just need a little R.A.I.N to help get through it. Recognition has let me understand what is happening. Sometimes it is best to just Allow the emotion to be here and give it space. By Investigating the emotion with a gentle approach and also feeling where I am holding the emotion has given me some clarity . This has allowed me to move into the last stage of Non-identifying. The emotion no longer feels so big and knowing that like everything in life it is passing through and not permanent.
Loving-Kindness Mindfulness Meditation
The Loving-Kindness Meditation this week is including ourselves and offering goodwill wishes to ourselves. By starting the Meditation by offering goodwill wishes to a friend or pet it helps to open the ‘Meta Muscle’. We then offer loving-kindness to both our friend and ourselves at the same time. This then makes it easier to offer Loving Kindness to ourselves.
During the Loving Kindness Meditation, we keep repeating phrases silently to help us offer loving kindness. The phrases that I work with are
- May you/we/I be safe
- May you/we/I be happy
- May you/we/I be healthy
- May you/we/I live with ease
I also ask the participants to observe the ‘tone of their voice’ especially when saying the phrases to themselves. Are they saying the phrases in a kind gentle voice or in a harsh, judgemental voice? This also helps them observe how they speak to themselves throughout the day when they make a simple mistake.
The benefit of the Loving Kindness exercise
By offering Loving Kindness to ourselves, it is opening the door into Self-Compassion which we explore next week in the class. Some participants who have a harsh ‘Inner Critic’ struggle to receive kindness from others and from themselves. By practising the Loving Kindness meditation, they can start to notice within their bodies how kindness feels. If they feel resistance to offer love and kindness to themselves, they come back to being aware of their breath.
Feedback from Loving Kindness for self & other
This week’s Loving kindness for yourself and others was really insightful. Geraldine was able to help me understand how something as simple as the way you talk to yourself can really improve your everyday way of dealing with life events. Keeping track of how you treat yourself is sometimes quite the challenge. However, with the Mindfulness Meditations that Geraldine has taught us, it has really helped me to actively watch how I treat and speak to myself. It is extraordinary how actively remembering to be loving and kind with yourself can be really useful when a situation doesn’t go to plan. I have absolutely loved this exercise. Geraldine is very patient, and she really helps you to understand why remembering to treat yourself and others with love and kindness can go a long way. Spreading love and kindness can be something one forgets to do in times of tension and stress. It is amazing what a difference it can make and how much lighter you feel afterwards!
The Observer/Undercurrent Model
We revisit the Observer/Undercurrent Meditation and this time, we focus on the Observer. It is the Observer that we train in Mindfulness. I ask the participants to notice their ‘attitude’ to what arises in their undercurrent (thoughts). Do they have a preference or dislike in what is arising? What is their attitude now when they notice they have become distracted? Do they gently guide themselves back to their Mindfulness support in a kind way or a harsh way?
Observing our mind
As we are half-way through the Week 8 class, we are now ready to start observing our mind. When we start noticing that thoughts arise by themselves, we observe that we have no control over which thoughts arise. Our thoughts are self- displaying and if we do not engage with a thought, it will pass on and become self- liberating. The Mindfulness Association use a model called the ‘The Observer and the Undercurrent’. By using this metaphor, we can sit on the river bank as an Observer and observe/watch our thoughts pass by. When we engage with thought and become lost into thinking, we (Observer) fall into the river. When this happens, we bring ourselves back to sitting on the river bank (to be in the present moment) and watch our thoughts pass by.
Loving Kindness for other
We introduce a Loving Kindness practice at this stage of our Mindfulness training. The participants are becoming aware of negative inner chatter towards themselves and speaking to themselves in a harsh, critical voice. We can struggle to offer kindness to ourselves. The Loving Kindness practice is offering goodwill wishes to a friend or pet that we have an easy relationship with. As we do the practice, the participants are asked to notice how that feels in their bodies. Next week we expand the practice by offering loving kindness to ourselves.
Mindfulness Breathing space incorporating a smell
We re-visit the 3-minute Breathing Space but this time I introduce a smell when we are focusing on breathing in and out of the body. Coming from an Aromatherapy background, I have noticed when you ask someone to smell an Aromatherapy oil, they breathe in deeply. This is the favourite Meditation in the class and at Retreat Days so I am sharing it with you.
Feedback from Breathing space Meditation with smell
Breathing space with smell was an interesting twist to Geraldine’s Breathing Space meditation. I found that having a smell to use as something to focus on allowed me to focus better on my breathing. I found that using smell was a good way to bring myself back whenever I got lost into thinking. This meditation is a lovely way to take a short break in tense situations. It really allows you to bring yourself into a relaxing state that will leave you feeling a little more refreshed and at ease.
This week, I introduce the group to Breath Meditation i.e. using the ‘feeling of their breath’ coming and going in their body. The participants bring their awareness to the ‘feeling of their breath’ when the notice they get lost into distraction. I also ask them to notice where their mind goes when they become aware of being distracted. They can label ‘past’ ‘daydreaming’ or ‘future’ and they can start to see the habits of their own minds.
An important message is that we are ‘being Mindful’ when we notice we get lost into distraction. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up when our minds drift off during a Mindfulness Meditation. The ‘noticing’ is an important aspect of our Mindfulness Training. The participants are also starting to be aware of how they respond to themselves when they notice they are distracted i.e. in a kind voice or harsh voice. They can also bring this in their daily life and also at work when they get distracted.
Feedback from 20-Minute Breathing Mindfulness Meditation
The Mindfulness Meditations are fantastic and they are allowing me to break the habit of my wandering thinking. Geraldine has taught me how to use my breathing to help to bring me back to the present moment. I am noticing that my mind has a tendency to become distracted by future problems. This is teaching me to recognise my habitual patterns about trying to predict future outcomes. After participating in the Breathing meditations, I experienced myself feeling less stressed and more positive.
Being halfway through the course, I am noticing a significant change in the way I think and I definitely feel more mindful. This allows me to feel more relaxed in my day to day living.
Over the course of these 4 weeks, I have really enjoyed being a part of a group. I like how we are supporting and encouraging each other. We are also sharing our experiences our Mindfulness Meditation practice at home and also being Mindful in our daily life.
Mindful Movement and Mindful Walking
As an alternative to a Body Scan, we can do Mindful Movement or go for a Mindful walk. This is also helping us to connect with ourselves and checking in on how are bodies are feeling.
When we go for a Mindful walk, we can intentionally slow down and become aware of our surroundings. It feels good to stop and smell the flowers. This photo is of me smelling Orange Blossom in Seville. We can use our Mindfulness practices even on holiday.
This week the group will be introduced to a 20-minute Sound Meditation. It also introduces them to the Mindfulness Association way of doing a 20-minute Mindfulness Meditation. The Meditation is broken down into
- Settling the Mind (from Week 1)
- Grounding ( similar to Body Scan in Week 2)
- Resting the Mind
- Introducing a Mindfulness Support – this week Sound
When we come to the stage of our Resting our Minds, we realise that very quickly our untrained minds wander off. It might wander off into fretting about an event happening later that day, daydreaming or analysing. This is why we introduce a Mindfulness support either sound or breath. It is an anchor to come back to when we notice that our minds have drifted away from the present moment.
In Week 3, we start with Sound as our Mindfulness support and in Week 4 we introduce Breath as our support.
Why Sound as a Mindfulness Support?
- We can’t control sound – we do not know the next sound arising (similar pattern to our thoughts)
- We are normally surrounded by sound
- We assume we have to meditate in a quiet space
Feedback from a group participant. 20-Minute Sound Meditation:
Geraldine introduced Sound Meditation and the use of everyday noise as a focal point to use for Mindfulness Meditations. Being aware of sounds around me and allowing them to be part of my meditation session is a good way to let sounds that can be disturbing become less frustrating. It was very enlightening to hear Geraldine tell us that meditations do not always require a quiet space. The noises around me can actually be a good thing. Sound can help keep bringing me back to the present moment when my mind would wander off.
3-minute Breathing Space
The 3-minute Breathing Space was developed by Mark Williams, Zindel Segal and John Teasdale on their MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) program at Oxford University. https://mbctapp.oxfordmindfulness.org/.
A 3-minute Breathing Space can be carried out throughout the day especially at work when you are beginning to feel anxious or overwhelmed. It is allowing us to pause for 3 minutes, to check in on how we are feeling and then bringing our attention to our breath.
Feedback from a group participant. 3-minute Breathing Space:
Geraldine’s 3-minute breathing space Meditation is absolutely fantastic. It is a functional and very practical exercise to do when I am feeling overwhelmed by my ‘to -do list’. I find it ideal to fit into my day when I do not have the luxury of being able to do a full de-stress meditation. Having those few minutes where I can slow down and focus on my breathing really does help me when I am feeling anxious and stressed. It allows me space where I can focus on my breathing and enjoy a few minutes of brief relaxation. This is especially helpful in my workplace when I need a few minutes to pause in the midst of a frantic day.
Seated Body Scan – 15 minutes
Feedback from previous participants in the group enjoyed the benefits of the Body Scan. They asked if I could create a shorter, seated version that they could do during their lunch break. You can also use sound around you at work to bring your attention back to a task. This is especially helpful if you keep getting distracted. The 3-minute Breathing Space is also beneficial throughout the working day.
Feedback from a group participant. 15minute Seated Body Scan
After learning about the seated Body Scan, I found it much more manageable to keep up with on a regular basis. Practising the Body Scan in this way allowed me to experience all the benefits of the Body Scan. Allowing myself to sit down for 15 minutes and put my focus on my body allowed me to move my attention away from my busy mind at work. By paying attention to the physical sensations in my body is a great way to bring myself into my body. It takes me ‘out of my head’ and away from getting caught up in my worries of the working day.
The Body Scan Meditation
In the Week 2 Mindfulness class, the participants get to lie down on the floor and I guide them through a 30 minute Body scan. The aim of the Body Scan is for participants to train their minds by focusing their attention on body sensations. The normal pattern of their mind is jumping from one thing to the next (butterfly mind). The body is always here and in the present moment. It means we can come back to the sensations in our body when our mind wanders away from the present moment.
Why is the Body scan beneficial and how can it help with pain?
This formal Mindfulness Mediation provides an opportunity for us to experience our body as it is without trying to change it. It also allows us to notice tension we weren’t aware of such as a tight muscle in our shoulder or tension in our jaws. It is best to do this it in a place in which we feel comfortable, secure and without interruptions.
The Body Scan was developed by Jon Kabbit-Zinn (https://www.mindfulnesscds.com/) to help participants deal with pain and tension in their bodies. By using our breath, we can soften and soothe areas of tension we are experiencing in the body. The aim of systematically scanning our bodies is to stay with the experience of our body in the present moment. By resisting and being annoyed by the pain can increase the pain. This can also increase the distress associated with it. According to research, by simply noticing the pain we’re experiencing without trying to change it, we may actually feel some relief.
Body scan Meditation: Feedback from a group participant.
Learning the Body scan Meditation was a relaxing and peaceful experience. It felt wonderful to have a moment where I was able to disconnect from thinking and focus only on the sensations of my body. The 30-minute Mindfulness Meditation really helped to alleviate the tension and stress that I had been feeling throughout the day.
Mindfulness in Daily Life
Mindfulness in Daily life helps us to break out of the pattern of being in the automatic pilot by becoming aware of what we are doing in the present moment. It might be paying attention when doing the dishes rather than letting our mind wander off fretting about the day ahead.
When we notice that we have drifted away from the present moment, we can:
- bring our attention to our posture, whether sitting, standing, lying down or walking
- Feel our feet on the ground
- Being aware of physical sensations within the body
- Bring our awareness back to breathing In and Out of the body
- Bring our attention back to the task that you are presently doing e.g having a shower, cooking
Mindfulness in Daily Life: Feedback from a group participant.
Mindfulness in Daily Life: Geraldine taught us how to implement the practice of Mindfulness into our everyday lives. This included being Mindful when doing simple tasks and also slowing down to notice nature. For example, she explained that simple things such as brushing our teeth in the morning or washing up dishes are ideal times where we can practice Mindfulness. I saw this rainbow on walking home from the Mindfulness class in Musselburgh.