New Beginnings – 2017

It is the start of a new year….a time of new beginnings.

Early morning, especially this week, is a good time to reflect on…what has been…what may lie ahead…as well as to give thought to what you personally want to achieve for yourself in 2017.  Perfect time too to christen/start using your new diary/planner and journal!


Autumnal Reflections (and Review)

“If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before”. ~ Mitchell Burgess

Autumnal Reflections (and Review)

Autumn is a good time to reflect on how the year has been for you so far.  I’d like to share with you the following simple but powerful and mindful exercise, I’ve devised for my own use.

Find time during the day or one evening to set aside an hour. You will see that I have allocated timings to each aspect of the exercise – this serves as a guide, feel free to adjust (for example you might want to spend much longer than 6 minutes on breathing/visualising).

Grab a notepad, pen, make yourself a cup of tea, and find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed for the next hour or so.

Autumnal Reflections (and Review)

Get yourself comfortable in your chair. Close your eyes, relax your shoulders and take several slow, deep breathes in and out.

6 minutes

On each out breath imagine that you are releasing all the tension, negative and self-critical thoughts, that have been stored in your mind and body for the day, week, current month or last year. Visualise these tensions and thoughts as murky grey smog, and as they are released into the air they change and become clear bubbles which slowly evaporate into nothingness.

As you breathe in, imagine, bright golden yellow sunshine entering your toes and creeping upward to the crown of your head, flooding your body with warmth, positivity and vitality.

15 minutes

You should now be feeling a lot calmer and relaxed. Close your eyes again and reflect on the following:

How has the year been so far for you?

* Did you managed to achieve all the things you wanted to?
* How have you grown and in what ways?
* What experiences caused you pain or stress?
* What made you happy/sad?
* What lessons did you learn?
* Were you surrounded by supportive and loving people?
* Did you make time for you (self-care)?

15 minutes

Open your eyes and in your notebook, write freely, anything that comes to your mind, let it all out on paper. Close your notebook.

10 minutes

Sit back in your chair, close your eyes and relax. Breathe evenly, reflecting on what you wrote in your notebook. After approximately 7 minutes, open your eyes.

7 minutes

Open your notebook and write a list of all (or some of the things) that you have been grateful for and appreciated this year so far.

7 minutes

Close your notebook, put your hands together as in prayer and give thanks for BEING. Also, give thanks for all that you experienced this year (the good and the bad) – to your Higher Power (be this God, Goddess, Spirit, the Divine, Jesus, Angels, Budhah, Allah or the Universe, etc).

Stand up, have a good stretch and then and give yourself a big loving and comforting hug.

Now go and make yourself a cup of tea/coffee or pour yourself a glass of your preferred tipple – you deserve it!

The rest of the year

Do feel free to adapt this exercise to suit your needs and lifestyle. To enhance the experience you might want to have some music playing, on a low setting, in the background, light a candle (if it is safe to do so) or burn some incense. You might also find it useful to do the exercise with adaptations once a month to ensure you are on track with your objectives or to help you rejuvenate and refocus.

I hope you’ll give this exercise a go, let me know in the comments section below.  Also, feel free to share with your friends and family!

Sweet Dreams and Tena Lady

It is good to see that what was previously taboo, is slowly but surely coming out of the closet and being talked about more openly.  Although, many women (and men) feel embarrassed about it and suffer in silence, not realising that their peers or even their partners may also be experiencing the same thing too.

What am I talking about?  Bladder weakness (urinary incontinence).  According to TENA (owned by SCA and according to their website, the worldwide leader in the management of incontinence), one in four women over the age of 18, will experience bladder weakness at some stage in their lives.  Pregnancy, childbirth, obesity and menopause being just some of the causes for it.

Recent research from TENA has found that one in six women regularly have their sleep disrupted by night time visits to the loo and so they have created the Sweet Dreams Kit, saying that nothing should hold us back from getting a great night’s sleep – especially not bladder weakness.

I was invited to trial the kit which, according to the PR company would include “a range of cosy and relaxing items such as a personalised robe, relaxing lavender bath bomb and even a positive mantra bag”.


Positive mantra bag

The wording on the front of the bag isn’t a mantra as such, but, the bag itself is really nice, spacious and well constructed.


Bath bomb

One of my favourite ways of relaxing after a long intensively busy day is a nice long soak in the bath.  Lavender aids relaxation and I’ve always loved the smell of it, so this handmade bath bomb (which also contains pure cocoa and shea butter) is a winner.  It’s quite large so there is enough for approx 6 baths.

Relaxing tea

Mmm, lovely.   Infused with lavender, hops, vanilla and camomile all renowned for their calming properties and very much conducive to sedation and relaxation.  Perfect night cap.

Sleep spray

I’ve already mentioned my love of lavender and it’s calming, restorative properties.  I’ve already tried out this spray – spritzed some onto my pillow and started to self-reiki, but easily fell asleep in a short space of time.


Personalised robe

Wearing this comfortable 100% cotton, waffle weaved, kimono style robe, would for me, invoke experiences of spa treatments (unfortunately, there must have been a mix somewhere along the line, as the name on the robe is not mine).

TENA Lady Maxi Night Duo Pack

I personally don’t need the TENA Lady Maxi Night pads, but did use them for a few months shortly after my hysterectomy, a few years ago, when it was thought I had developed an overactive bladder, but which turned out to be a vesicovaginal fistula (hole between bladder and the vagina that led to continuous leakage of urine from bladder into the vaginal vault). They are described on TENAs website as “the only bladder weakness product specifically designed for night-time protection. With all the comfort you’d expect from TENA, plus extra absorbency and extra protection, it will give you extra confidence all night long”.    Sweet dreams!

Disclaimer: I was given these products to trial in exchange for my honest review/opinion. This review is my own personal opinion of the products and company, and given in good faith.  The photos were taken by me.