Being present – the greatest gift of all

At the moment we are all living in a different world one that we could never have imagined at the beginning of the year. For some work continues though the office commute has now gone and been replaced by a walk downstairs or to the home office, some juggle their work day alongside home schooling and others head out to work as ‘normal’ to supermarkets, hospitals and in the various other front line support roles.

One thing’s for sure there is nothing ‘normal’ at the moment. It’s a different ‘normal’ and one that brings with it highs and lows, times of sheer joy and happiness ( like playing online bingo with the family) and moments of sadness and longing ( for the hugs you so miss from family and friends).

During this ‘home stay’ period my daily meditation practice has been a real life line helping to keep me balanced and my resilience levels topped up. A few minutes every day to just sit and be with myself and to allow my thoughts to settle and sometimes feel like they fly away.

It’s also the reason I decided – well it felt like I was being given a divine message during one of my meditation sits – to just go and share this with everyone! So I came up with a plan a free 6 week meditation campaign called ‘Rewire for health’ made up of twice weekly live guided meditation sessions and some teaching nuggets from me so you could learn along with me picking the recordings you felt more helpful or just trying your own.

Despite technical challenges like wifi issues, broken routers and all that jazz I can hardly believe that it’s now in it’s fifth week!

There are now over 16 different recorded guided meditations of different lengths to pick and choose from plus teachings to give you a bit of the science etc.

It’s going to be available on my Youtube channel (until the end of the Summer). It’s FREE for you to use as I wanted to make sure that money would not exclude anyone – meditation is a life skill I wish I’d learnt at school! Luckily nowadays it is happening for kids (along with mindfulness lessons) these are vital life skills for mental clarity, physical ease and emotional resilience something that we need heaps of right now and in our modern day, fast paced world where we’ve forgotten the importance of going slow.

It’s never too late though.

You just need to make a start.

No BS about there isn’t enough time in the day – you need maybe 3 minutes to begin. That’s it. 3 minutes every morning ( ideal time before the brain gets’ all busy) for a week and then stick with that or slowly increase – at your own pace – just make sure you commit and within 4 – 6 weeks your brain will have already begun to rewire itself into a more calmer you (watch the videos to find out more about that!)

As my favourite green guru Yoda says

‘Try not. Do or do not. There is no try!’

So be like Yoda.

Trust me you will not regret it.

As the gift of being in the present moment is the greatest gift you could possible give yourself.

Please share this information on with your family, friends or even work colleagues as this meditation stuff has a wonderful way of rippling out into our families, communities and work. Let’s help as many people around us whatever their age to tap into this ‘inner’ resource and connect to a place of inner calm and transformation that lies within us all.

If you’d prefer more help and support feel free to get in touch here I’m happy to create a bespoke training package for you including personalised recorded guided meditations.

Stay well and keep calm



20 ways to kick start & transform your day ( Part 1)

In these times when most of us are at home we might need a little support to get the day started. Try playing around with some of these ideas. Having healthy habits ( especially in the morning) is one of the key things successful people say makes the biggest difference to their success! It’s certainly worked for me so see how you get on?

A while back, I came across a series of articles about how influential people began their day. It turns out they all had a routine which became their foundations for success.

From jumping into a private plunge pool to committing to a daily run, they all adopted various activities to set them up for the day – and it inspired me to gather my own selection of morning rituals.

This came at a time when I was actively looking at ways of putting metta loving kindness into practice. If you haven’t come across the concept, it involves directing loving kindness towards ourselves first, which will then ripple out to others.

As a result, my morning rituals focus on this idea – that unselfish self-care will have the happy by-product of benefiting the world around me.

As with all my practices, I do like a bit of variety, because I’m easily bored! Instead of a set routine, I choose from the following ideas and I’ve found each and every one to be genuinely beneficial.

  1. Waking wiggle

On waking, I have a wriggle and stretch, noticing how my body is feeling. Any areas feeling a little bit out of whack? Anything needing a bit more TLC? How can I ease into those areas today.

2. Steady breaths

I always take a few deep breaths in and out through the nose, with a sigh on the out breath, always noticing how my body responds. It’s important not to rush this –  just take it steady.

3. Start smiling

A great start to the day is to smile and say something I’m thankful for in my life. Not sure where to start? I have pictures of family and friends around my home and crystals hanging in my window, which bounce spheres of rainbows around the room as the sun rises. It’s a magical thing to see and always raises a smile.

4. Air is energy

Opening the windows to get some fresh air circulating around your home is a simple but effective way of bringing fresh air and new energy into your home.

5. Morning mantras

Mantras – yogic words or sounds repeated to aid concentration in meditation – can help greatly and if you are you feeling stuck in any area of your life, feel stressed or find yourself in a negative mindset here are a couple of examples for you.

This one helps to remove obstacles, while this has a beautifully calming effect.

Want to find love? Improve your financial position? Can’t sing? Try listening to these sounds with awareness while sitting in meditation –  or have them playing in the background while you’re working.

Set a regular daily practice and notice any changes to how you feel about the situation. You might get some insights, or maybe just feel clearer.

6. Altar area

In traditional Thai homes, a small altar area is commonplace – and it’s a beautiful way of making a dedicated space in which to sit and meditate. Try making an offering with words of dedication, perhaps lighting a candle or incense.

Need help to set up a meditation practice? Join my FREE 6 week ‘Rewire for health’ meditation campaign. Subscribe HERE

7. Stick your tongue out

It may be prosaic but the Ayurvedic practice of tongue scraping is simple and effective. Find out more here.

8. Morning zing

All the teen magazines used to say models did this – but it turns out it really is a healthy way to start the day. Try freshly-squeezed lemon juice in hot water to cleanse and refresh.

9. Vinegar vigour

As an alternative, take apple cider vinegar with hot water and sometimes honey. Read more here.

10. Fun up your exercise

Fitness doesn’t have to be a routine. If it makes you smile, you might even do it more often! My favourites are hoola hooping, rebounding (mini trampoline), vibration plate or yoga. I just mix it up, depending on my mood. Need reasons to start? Check out this inspiration.

As I said, I don’t do ALL of these every morning (I’d have to get up very early!) but I do select from them and have found them all to be beneficial to my wellbeing.

  • What about your list?
  • Which things can you include?
  • When will you start?
  • How will you track your progress?

In the past, I’ve used a weekly dry wipe board to make a note of what I get up to, so I can see when I’m getting distracted and not keeping to my regime.

Sometimes I take a day off but some things – taking cold showers, for example – have stayed. It took a while to get my body acclimatised but now I love them. They also mean I plunge straight into the sea when I’m on holiday.

It takes over 40 days to create a habit so choose which one(s) you’d like to play with and gradually see how you feel. Some you might do daily, others every now and again.

I’d love to hear how you get on – and if you need support, just get in touch – it’s what I do!

Wishing you a blooming marvellous Spring!


P.S. The next top 10 will follow in the next post!)

Party time at The Loft!

Next month it will be 5 years since myself and Sally Duffin from Nutrition in York moved into Oxford Street!

I’m celebrating this milestone on Friday 19th July with a Rise & Shine yoga session 8 -9.30am. There will be some nibbles and brews for anyone joining us – BOOK your place to avoid disappointment!

There may be the odd party tune! This will be a jolly nice way to start the weekend the more the merrier 🙂

P.S. This photo is from the 2nd year birthday party and our special workshop!

Transform your life!

  • Is there something you’ve been putting off?
  • Perhaps an idea or a goal you’ve been dreaming of?
  • Not sure how to get going on it?

Don’t worry – I’m here to help guide you along the way!

Plus there’s no better time to harness the energy around us at this pivotal time in the year with the Summer Solstice.

Learn how to use meditation, movement, massage and mindfulness to set yourself up for a successful summer and most importantly equip yourself for any potential future challenging times.

We all need a little support along our journey – perhaps I can help you achieve your personal goals?

In the past I’ve helped people to increase their flexibility and range of motion, learn to ’empty’ their busy minds, build their emotional resilience at times of stress and grief, recover from fatigue, improve their confidence or to just take time out to develop their sense of wellbeing.

While a one off session is fine to make significant changes it requires us to immerse ourselves in taking time out regularly. In our high tech world we expect instant solutions and quick wins however regular commitment, consistent effort and focus really has a deeper impact on our mindset and body helping us to create healthy habits for our body and mind.

This is why I created the Calm Works Wellbeing Program and the monthly Loyalty scheme as they do just that.

Get in touch for a free no obligation chat and let’s see if I can help you and if we are a good match.

Wishing you calmness

Joe 🙂

Mid year MOT!

Time to slow down and check in with your self care

Well you made it to midway! June is the halfway point in the year and it’s when we enjoy the longest, brightest days. It’s a time of flourishing and growth in nature – and we have more energy too. 

The perfect time to make the most of the sunshine and mull over how you are feeling in yourself. 

Do you feel vibrant, full of energy and flexible in body and mind? 

Or are you feeling tight, sluggish and chaotic? 

Let’s reflect on how you’ve done in the first half of the year, how far you’ve come in fulfilling your personal dreams, goals and wishes (choose which words resonate the most with you) and how your wellbeing sits with all this.

Take a few moments to work through the following exercise and discover how you could improve your sense of well-being throughout the rest of the year.  All you need is a pen and paper and an open mind.

1. What does well-being and being well mean to you right now?

2. What well-being activities have you taken part in so far this year?

Tip: If you are a keen photographer, look over your snaps. If you are a Facebook fan, have a peek at your timeline – but don’t get too distracted!

3. Are these activities benefiting your sense of well-being or making you feel drained?

4. Going forward, how can you support yourself more at home, work & play?

  • Do you need to give something up?
  • Should you do less of a certain thing?
  • Are you maintaining consistency?
  • Could you start something new?

Your answers, ideas and musings will help to prioritise your well-being foundations.

Celebrating your successes no matter how small!

Making it real

The next step is the crucial bit.

  1. Write down your well-being foundations in your diary, on your calendar, in your phone or in a notebook and plan when you will take action. Perhaps choose a bright colour so it really stands out (this will also help when you review this year, as it draws to a close).

Tip: Writing things down adds weight to them becoming a reality. Talking about them takes you a step closer too. You might find that some of your friends are keen to join in with some of your planned well-being activities. Even better!

  1. Start small and stay consistent for the next month (or more) until your new actions become a habit.
  2. To stay motivated, check your wellbeing foundations daily, weekly and/or monthly (you choose) and update your progress.
  3. Remember to celebrate what goes well for you and if you have any challenges, don’t be too harsh on yourself.

Instead, be gentle and consider the following;

  • Where do you need support?
  • Do you need to break your goal down to make it more manageable?
  • Is the original goal still supporting you? (perhaps it isn’t important to you any more).

Explore this by yourself or with friends and if you’re struggling, remember to keep it simple and perhaps choose just ONE thing to do every day to nourish your well-being.

If you need extra help, get in touch and let me know at

I can talk you through some options.