Beautiful, Courageous You


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Beautiful, Courageous You – New Zealand

 

Many lives were impacted, hearts touched and minds renewed at the Beautiful, Courageous You Women’s Event New Zealand!

The day started with Your’s truly 🙂 sharing my powerful journey of healing, restoration and deliverance from depression and anxiety. Then my amazing creative friends took the ladies into healing workshops for the Body, Soul & Spirit.

The Colours of Hope workshop was facilitated by Froyle Neideck from FroyleArt, this session saw creative expression being released and true identity unveiled… plus much more!

The Colours of Nature workshop had the ladies create their own beautiful floral tiara’s. As my friend amazing Dezley from Twig and Grace crowned the ladies & young girls with their floral tiaras there was a transaction in the Spirit – the unseen became a visual expression of joy!

We also held a Wellness session where myself and Anna (expert Nutritionist) presented some basic principles on eating for a healthy mind and how exercise can shift the depressed state!

At each session there was a beautiful exchange from having an orphan mindset to having the mindset of royalty… a revelation of heart ‘I am a daughter of the Most High, the King of Kings’. 👑! Psalm 8:3-5 tells us that we are royalty in God’s eyes: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, . . . what is man that You are mindful of him? . . . You have crowned him with glory and honour.” You are wearing a crown of glory and honour handcrafted by the King. Soak that in! #beautifulcourageousyou


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Healing from Depression…Exciting New Book Release!

Official proof copy has arrived!

My greatest hearts desire is to impact the world with a message of hope. Endowing the reader with a deep reservoir of joy and an absolute personal resolve that whatever life throws at you – you can and will overcome, you will rise again to enjoy the mountaintops of joy and breathe in the atmosphere of hope!

The heartbeat of Beautiful, Courageous You can be summed up in a quote by Helen Keller, born blind and deaf faced great adversities, she writes  I would rather be walking in the dark with a friend than in the light on my own. There is great reward in living in such a way that the focus is not on what you can get but rather on what you can give.
My desire behind the book is very much, coming alongside the reader, as a friend and walking with you until you are in a place of peace, joy and health.

The first chapter is about my journey through grief and severe depression then the following 29 chapters are all about the reader. With my background in Health Science I have covered healing for the body on a very practical level. Topics include; Nutrition, exercise, medication, natural therapies and many more…. Healing the soul covers the mind, will and emotions with some powerful exercises, hints and tips for managing stress and anxiety. Healing the spirit is a thorough and deep understanding of the unseen realm and how we can heal our bodies by addressing issues such as unforgiveness, anger, resentment and judgement etc.

Soon to be released mid June 😊 If you or anyone you know has ever suffered ‪#‎depression‬ or ‪#‎anxiety‬ this is a must read! Register your pre-order at beautifulcourageousyoushop.

Online availability at: www.westbowpress.com ; www.barnesandnoble.com ; www.amazon.com kindle et . and most major book retailer.

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Workout for a Good Mood

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While exercise has the potential to transform your body, increase feel good chemicals and keep you feeling confident and healthy, it also does wonders for your mind to be distracted from your worries and negative ruminating. In the very depths of depression I would spend most of my waking hours trying to reason with my unreasonable thinking. Much like a dog chasing his tail, I never caught up with reason. My real turning point was when I put on my running shoes and ran out along an old dirt road to visit some brown cows.

Exercise is much more than getting fit; rather, it’s meditation in motion.

I love to run with the sun on my skin, birds chirping, smells of the countryside, focused breathing and on the lookout for the odd brown snake on my path. With all my senses being stimulated it is hard to think about anything else. Often on days when I am feeling flat or just unbearably grumpy with my loved ones, my husband will point to my shoes and “suggest,” “You need to go for a run!” From experience, he knows all too well that I am a better wife and mother when I have been out for a run, having left my worries behind and fully engaged in the moment, distracted from whatever had been weighing me down. This works for me, and it will work for you also. After a 30 minute jog, a brisk walk, several laps in the pool or whatever exercise you choose, you’ll often find by the end of a session that you’ve forgotten the negative ponderings whilst being focused only on your body’s movements and the surrounding environment! Now go ahead and leave the screen time, get out and move that amazing body 🙂


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In the Pit of Depression?

joy in the morningThere was a time, not  that long ago, when I cursed the morning sun as each new day brought with it the biting reality of a deep depression. Too tired to get out of bed, tired of breathing and with no inspiration to welcome another day of my wretched life. This is a time, a woman, a life I no longer recognise…. no longer is there a cloudy canopy of depression hovering over my days, the sunlight has broken through the clouds and every day is filled with a joyful anticipation of goodness in my life.

Today I have beauty in my life, joy which remains immovable and an attitude of praise that leaves the world perplexed. Many times people I meet are completely baffled that I would choose to praise God and glorify Him in every circumstance, not just the circumstances I find acceptable.

As you read the following thoughts penned by H. W. Smith, may you be encouraged to praise Him no matter the circumstance, and begin to trust in His tender and wise purposes toward you;

See God in everything, and God will calm and colour all that thou dost see!  It may be that the circumstances of our sorrows will not be removed, their condition will remain unchanged; but if Christ as Lord and Master of our life is brought into our grief and gloom, He will compass us about with songs of deliverance. To see HIM, and to be sure that His wisdom cannot err, His power cannot fail, His love can never change; to know that even His direst dealings with us are for our deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say in the midst of bereavement, sorrow, pain, and loss,“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Lord” (Cowman, 277).

You can read more on healing from depression in my book Beautiful, Courageous, You soon to be released by Westbow Press! Pre order here


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Eat Your Way to a Beautiful Mind

B vitamins are considered “anti-stress” nutrients that help to relieve anxiety and treat depression.

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A Beautiful Mind. Image credit: brainworldmagazine.com

B vitamins are important for nervous system function and the production of energy from food as well as various metabolic processes. Most often B vitamins are considered “anti-stress” nutrients that help to relieve anxiety and treat depression. Of particular interest are Niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid (B9) all of which work with the amino acid tryptophan to produce serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical. We also have Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin), which aids in maintaining the myelin that surrounds nerve cells, enhances mental ability and is crucial for the formation of red blood cells.

Like most vitamins, B group vitamins can’t be made by the body, instead, they must be consumed from food or supplements. Also, seeing as they are water-soluble, these vitamins cannot be stored by the body and therefore have to be consumed regularly in the diet.

You’ll find niacin (B3) in red meat, poultry, pork, fish, eggs, cow’s milk, fortified hot and cold cereals, and peanuts. A wide variety of foods contain pyridoxine (B6,) including potatoes, bananas, beans, seeds, nuts, red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, spinach, and fortified cereals. Good sources of folic acid (B9) include green leafy vegetables, legumes, seeds, liver, poultry, eggs, cereals and citrus fruits. As of September 2009, all flour used in bread making (except for flour to be used in breads listed as “organic”) has been fortified with folic acid. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in fish, red meat, poultry, milk, cheese, and eggs (almost anything of animal origin).

Along with food based vitamin B a good quality supplement may be helpful in providing you with a B boost. Bear in mind however, synthetic vitamins, although beneficial in some cases, lack the natural design of food based vitamins and a vitamin supplement is not intended to replace a well-balanced diet. Despite the proven benefits of vitamin supplementation our bodies require optimum levels of nutrients as they occur naturally in food. In its natural form, such as in plant food, a B vitamin is not only 100 percent safe and non-toxic; it is very unlikely that it will ever be absorbed in excess. There you have it, a shopping list rich in Vitamin B foods sure to enhance a Beautiful Mind!

You can read more on the link between B Vitamins and wellbeing in my book Beautiful, Courageous You – Healing Body, Soul and Spirit soon to be released by Westbow Press. Pre-order your copy here xx


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#BeautifulCourageousYOU… the book soon to be released

Final cover design for Beautiful Courageous You, (BCY) due to be released by Westbow Press in June! Watch this space for updates and beautiful giveaways as we start hosting our online community: Beauty and Courage Network, a place to come and share images that inspire beauty or courage within you, share your images on your social media and the BCY Instagram or Facebook and tag with #beautifulcourageousyou for chance to win… also to simply inspire others with what inspires you!

I am so blessed to have the opportunity to speak into women and young girls lives. Now I pray this writing will grow wings and fly into the hearts of every woman and young girl that needs a lift up out of despair and into the heights of joy unspeakable X

BCY 3D Book large

Cover by Mookoo Designs


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How to keep your Brain Happy

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Exercise counters the depressed brain by boosting the production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a protein that helps neurotransmitters perform their function and also promotes neural growth (neurogenesis). Recent research reveals that individuals with depression actually show lower levels of BDNF in their blood than people without.

So how does BDNF help with depression and how can we get more of it? BDNF can be increased by engaging in regular exercise. Research also suggests intermittent fasting, under guidance, and an enriched cognitive environment also promotes BDNF.

Although the focus here is on exercise, the notion of increasing BDNF requires a little more attention. I believe it is important to understand the significant research behind fasting and increased brain function. Most certainly, consult with a medical professional before you undertake an intermittent fast or calorie restriction.

According to a new study carried out at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, fasting for one or two days each week may significantly boost brain function. Professor Mark Mattson, lead author of the study and professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has likened fasting to exercising your brain muscles.

Mattson explained that according to research, chemicals involved in the growth of brain cells are significantly boosted when food intake is dramatically reduced. (Mattson and Wan).

So, how does BDNF help with depression? An increase in BDNF helps to increase neurogenesis (changing of physical matter in our brain, in particular the hippocampus), and this produces antidepressant effects which may help depressed people emerge from their rut.

Now that you understand that exercise is the primary key to the maintenance of healthy BDNF levels, it is most important to note that stress is the primary cause of low BDNF! What do we do with stress? EXERCISE it out! Remember, no fasting without the Doctor’s approval! Want more information on this topic, watch this space for the release of “Beautiful, Courageous You” due out Feb – March 2016.


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‘Quietly Awake’ for Better Sleep

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So many people I talk with are sleep deprived and seldom get a sound nights sleep, if prolonged, lack of sleep can lead to anxiety, depression and many other poor health factors. For many years I suffered terribly with insomnia nowadays I sleep soundly with minimal waking. Here’s a few tips that work for me and I am sure they will work for you also ;-).

Generally getting to bed before 9pm is ideal, as the quality of sleep is greater; my mum has always said ‘every hour before midnight is equal to two hours sleep’… I use to think this was just her way of having a quite house by early evening but there is a science behind it. The “Sleep Health Foundation” concurs with mum’s advice:

Your best quality of sleep is obtained when your circadian rhythm is at its lowest point (usually between 10 pm – 5 am). Therefore even if you obtain a good amount of sleep (7-9 hours), going to bed late is likely to lead to a large amount of your sleep being highly inefficient. To take advantage of this plan your evening so that you have nothing to do but relax from 9 pm. Then go to bed when you feel the sleep wave: a period where you will feel highly drowsy (for most people this will occur between 9-10 pm).

*http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleep-newzzz/201309/better-sleep-found-exercising-regular-basis-0

In this case, I must admit… mum really does know best!

On the topic of sleep, I cannot over emphasise the need for good quality & quantity of time in slumberland. While pulling an all-nighter completing work, up with sick kids etc. can bring a feeling of temporary euphoria, running on adrenalin the following day, long-term sleep deprivation is detrimental for the mind and body. On the other hand, balanced circadian rhythms can contribute to good mental health.

Throughout depression I tried many sleep enhancement techniques, herbal teas, deep breathing and listening to soft worship. All were very helpful but the most effective was ‘quite awake time’. Where we live, often we lose power, when this happens we have no artificial light, no screens (computer or television) and no loud disruptive noise (with the exception of a toddler tantrum) . In this quite wakefulness, we will read by candlelight or nightlight, play a board game, watch the storm (often why the power is out) and go to bed much earlier than usual. What would result by morning is a deep peace and calm in our home, somehow the combination of being fully caught up on sleep, as well as quite awake time the  previous evening, tilted our moods towards happiness. Give it a go… no screens, no bright lighting before bed and you’ll be counting zzz’s instead of sheep! x


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Apprehended by a Spiritual Force

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Lately it’s been on my heart to share an excerpt from my book, may you be encouraged that no matter how tough life gets there is ALWAYS Hope… always x

Overwhelmed with fear and alone I found myself calling on God, my God the God I had abandoned, the God I didn’t need. All the while I had been trying to do life my way, He was there waiting for me to come running back into His arms, all of my effort and strength was gone all I had left was to surrender to the hope that I once knew. Hope in God was buried deep within my spirit, early years of Sunday school had planted seeds of hope that somehow, someway there was a divine meaning to my life. As I turned my thoughts back to God, I cried out to the unseen, somehow I knew He was in the room with me as a profound peace swept over my being.

My broken heart carried a pain so deep that I could hardly breathe, still in grief from my father’s death, in shock from the promiscuity of *Jake and now I lay waiting, hoping for a miracle… the survival of my twin babies. Somehow that night my hurt collided with the healing power of Jesus, I felt simultaneously weak but strong. The apostle Paul tells of the strength he found in Christ “It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (MSG)

Letting Christ take over is hard for most of us, for me there was no other choice I had reached rock bottom with no options but to surrender my will to His. Often in a sorrowful situation we shout accusations at God and then turn and walk away, I have learned by my past to not shout at God but instead it is best that we stop and listen.

Amid the calamity, a monitor strapped around my stomach, intravenous drip and observations by the nurse every hour, I managed to drift into a peaceful sleep a peace which truly surpassed my understanding. I awoke early to the gentle nudge of the obstetrician on duty, before I could clear the sleep from my eyes he began, “good morning, we are making plans for you to be taken to a larger hospital that specialises in pre-term labour, it is the safest place to be should your twins decide to come early”.  Within the hour I was in the ambulance and being taken to Rockhampton hospital, alone and uncertain of how the following days would unfold the long drive in the ambulance ushered in the opportunity for my thoughts to begin to race and before long my peace had turned to dread.

Immediately upon arrival I was taken for an ultrasound to check on the twins, a cold stone-faced radiologist performed the ultrasound without a word spoken to me. All I recall is thinking “God where are you in all this, it’s all my fault this is my punishment for turning away from you”, why would He want to answer my prayers?  I was convinced that God was angry with me. Finally, the radiologist broke his silence; “we can’t do anything for you, one baby is very sick and will possibly die in the next couple of days and then the other will have a chance of survival, you need to be taken to Brisbane”. His words were like missiles flying off his tongue and straight into my heart, no warmth or empathy just very matter of fact.  The hours went by very slowly that day, as I lay and wait for the next report on when and how I would be leaving, the same incomprehensible peace washed over me.

*name changed for privacy 😉