It’s never too late…

“It’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

I ditched being gluten free to save my social life

Eggs on GF toast

Homemade eggs Florentine on gluten-free toast, courtesy of my lovely man.

“I don’t think I need to be gluten free anymore.”

I announced this to my boyfriend a couple of weeks ago through mouthfuls of avocado smothered gluten-free toast.

Three months prior, my fabulous dietitian Marieke Rodenstein had recommended that I ditch gluten to see if it would help heal the gut issues I had been experiencing. The list of reasons Marieke gave for this suggestion were long and hard to refute (and I was sick of feeling sluggish, bloated and generally not great) so I happily accepted the idea and after leaving her clinic, headed straight to my local organic grocer to stock up on all things gluten free.

After about a week of my new diet I found that my symptoms were starting to lessen and I was feeling much more energetic. I was still getting bouts of nausea and bloating but over the following weeks, these symptoms also started to fade.

For the next couple of months, I continued to adhere to a gluten-free diet and reaped the benefits. I had more energy than I’ve had in years (albeit, my iron levels were also on the way up, which would absolutely have contributed to this) and I no longer had to struggle to button up my jeans over my bloated tummy. In short, I felt great!

So, why did I decide I no longer needed to live out my days sans gluten? At the time, I told myself it was because I was about to embark on Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar program and that I wanted to only eliminate one thing from my diet at a time to really determine the cause of my issues. Sounds reasonable, right? That’s what I convinced myself, too.

It actually wasn’t until a couple of days ago (yep, you can call me Laura “Ye Ol’ Slow On The Uptake” Miller) that I sat in discomfort (and not just from the Mexican wheat-flour burrito I had just devoured) with the realisation that I had been lying to myself. I didn’t revert to eating gluten because of any misguided nutritional belief that if I gave up both gluten and sugar I would never know what was causing me grief. No, I started scoffing the stuff again because I was scared of having yet another food label slapped across my name.

Social functions were already fraught with uncomfortable moments of not realising that the delicious-looking arancini ball actually contained mince meat until it was already in my mouth. Now, they’d be even more stressful as I faced the choice of either accidentally chowing down on something with gluten in it, or dealing with the embarrassing prospect of being handed a Glad wrapped plate of special-needs dried out food, while everyone else swanned around with canapes.

When eating out, not only would I have to scour the menu for that elusive little fella called ‘v’, I’d also have to hunt out his even more rare cousin ‘gf’. My friends would groan as I’d say to the poor waitress, “Yes, I know porridge is made of oats but are they gluten-free oats or just oat oats? I can see that the bacon dish is gluten free but I don’t eat meat.”

Not only would I be Laura: that vegetarian woman, I’d now be Laura: that vegetarian, gluten-free, pain-in-bum, can’t-take-her-anywhere woman. Me, dramatic? Surely not.

Nope, it wasn’t happening. Not on my watch. It turns out my desire not to be a social outcast was far stronger than any urge to rid myself of the physical discomfort I was experiencing – at least it was, until last week.

Last week, when I finally found the courage to dig a bit further into the real reason behind my decision, I was shocked (and if I’m being really honest, I was disappointed) at myself. Here I was, studying to be a naturopath, passionately espousing the importance of listening to your body and finding out which foods make it sing, and I was doing the opposite. The exact opposite.

Isn’t it funny how these contradictions creep into our lives without us noticing! I am endeavouring to be more aware of when this happens so that my reality more closely matches my ideal life. In psychological terms, this is called congruence and achieving it is an important part of being a natural therapist. It’s also kind of critical to living a happy life. Sticking to gluten-free fare for now is the right choice. I feel it within every cell of my body.

So, I’m back on the gluten-free bus. I’m still giving up sugar (more on that soon) but I’ll resume my gluten-free ways and then reassess once the I Quit Sugar program is finished. I’ll take an honest look at how I feel and decide then whether I truly can go back to eating gluten or not.

And this time, the decision will be based on love for myself, not fear.

Laura xx

I’m back!

My 'I'm nervous but excited' face (in case you couldn't tell)

My ‘I’m nervous but excited’ face (in case you couldn’t tell)

Hi! Exactly one year, one month and one day after deciding to take a break from blogging, I’m back. And, in the interest of being totally transparent, can I just say that I’m feeling a bit shy about sharing my thoughts with you all again. You’ll be kind to me as I ease my way back into this world though, won’t you?

You might have noticed that things look a bit different around here than when you last stopped by. I’ve decided to commit what some bloggers affectionately term internet suicide by changing my site’s URL. Why would I undertake such a risky maneuver? Because I’m reckless.  Well maybe I’m a little reckless but it’s mostly because, while This Little Green Pocket will always hold a special place in my heart, I no longer feel like it represents what I want this space to be.

I’m more passionate than ever about the importance of looking at wellbeing from a holistic perspective. I want to delve deeper into all things health and put a microscope on what it takes to feel amazing on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.  And, with each passing semester of my Health Science Naturopathy degree, I learn more and more about what makes our bodies tick. I’m bursting to share my discoveries with you.

On that note, I introduce to you Miller Natural Health. This space will still be home to my beloved blog but, over the coming weeks and months, I will be rolling out some exciting new additions. So, stay tuned for that! (Check out the ‘I Love…’ menu for a sneak peak.)

I’m also taking a different approach to blogging this time around. In the interest of living my message of putting your health above everything else on your to-do list, I’ll be aiming to post a blog about once a week – instead of every day like I was previously. I’m going to let my intuition guide the schedule though so some weeks I might post more, some weeks less, depending on how I’m feeling.

While I don’t tend to place much stock in New Year’s resolutions I do place stock in being clear about how I want to feel, and this year my plan is to surrender. I want to feel at peace that I can’t do everything all at once, perfectly, every time, and relax into knowing that the important stuff will get done. The rest? It will work itself out – it always does.

So, what do you think of think of the site? I’m keen to hear your thoughts, so jump into the comments section or send me an e-mail!

Love,

Laura xo

I’m taking a break from blogging

I need some more time to be still.

I need to get back some space.

I don’t know whether it is the fact I’ve just started a new job, that my study has ramped up, that I’m about to move house or if my mind is just winding down after a busy year but every part of my being is shouting that I need to pull back my commitments a bit. This means taking a break from blogging.

At this stage, I don’t know how long this break will last. It could be one week or one year. All I know is that I need to stop pushing myself to meet the expectations that I imagine (because that’s all that is going on here: I’m imagining things) other people have of me. It has taken me a few days to even build up the courage to write this because I was worried that I’d be judged but I have finally realised that the only one judging me is me. So, it’s time to stop. Judging, that is.

I write about (and wholly believe in) living your truth, and putting your health and wellbeing at the top of your list of priorities. Lately I feel like I have been burning the candle at both ends just to keep up with everything I think I should be doing. I can’t keep the pace and that’s OK.

I want to really get stuck into my studies so that I can learn how to be the best naturopath going ’round and, to do that, I need to create some bigger pockets of space in my life and in my to-do list. I need to live my words and spread the truth that’s it alright to say, “I need a break”.

I need a break.

Thank you, dear readers, for your support and understanding. I’ll be back!

Laura

Judging me, judging you

Don't hide from your shadow.

Don’t hide from your shadow.

I had one of those moments yesterday where I found myself entering into battle with someone I barely know to make it clear that I thought their position on something was wrong, wrong, wrong. I couldn’t believe that they could be so narrow minded, so judgemental, so lacking compassion toward their fellow humans. And then it hit me: I was seeing my shadow self that goes everywhere I do. I too am narrow minded, judgemental and lacking compassion, and that’s OK because the perfect balance of the universe means that I am also open minded, accepting and so very compassionate. Holy wow, did that realisation shake me up!

This is how I reckon it works: our lightness can’t exist without shadows, just like day can’t exist without night. Everything we see in others is a perfect reflection of where we are at. It shows us where in our life we still need to dissolve our fears and beliefs that no longer serve us. It’s a beautiful tool and we should make more use of it.

I made a pact with myself a while ago that whenever I caught myself casting judgement at others, I’d shine the spotlight inward instead and work out what I was reacting so strongly to. We all have shadows. They are the parts of us that we disown and try to hide from the world but I’ve come to realise that in order to get closer to that true deep peace we all crave (well, I know I do), we need to embrace all parts of ourselves, including those that are hard to look at. And boy are they hard to look at.

I felt squeamish as I started dissecting my reaction to this person and I really struggled not to shy away from the icky feelings that came as I worked through it all. What came up for me during this exercise? Fear, mostly. Fear of being too opinionated, of not being open enough and of being a fraud. Once that fun little part of the process was over, I just sat with each of the feelings until I was cool with all of them. I had to eyeball my inner self and hang out in the shadows for a while until they stopped feeling so scary. And they did.

As you most likely already know, I’m a big advocate of using manifestation as a tool to create a life that hums along brilliantly and I also think it’s important to look at things in a positive light. We can’t hide behind glossy affirmations and false smiles though; we have to really feel the support of the higher spirit we speak to and of. Part of this is acknowledging the shade as well as the light, and giving a little nod of acceptance to the pockets of us that we sometimes try to hide.

Laura

Ditching the guilt and getting into alignment

There's a joyful freedom in letting go of the rules.

There’s a joyful freedom in letting go of the rules.

I ate pizza for dinner last night. Did I feel guilty? Nope. Not at all. I simply sat in the moment with my dinner and really enjoyed it, with no guilt. I’m not quite sure when I dropped the diet dogma and started letting my body guide me but I suspect it was around the same time I realised that feeling guilty wasn’t serving me in any way.

Guilt is that insidious feeling that picks up your fears and smacks you in the face with them. It is your ego trying its best to define you by what you eat (or don’t) and how much exercise you do (or don’t), how loveable you think you are (or aren’t), how worthy you measure yourself to be (or not to be). Defining ourselves by something external to us does not, can not and will not ever satisfy us deeply. Instead, we must define ourselves by that inner whisper of our soul that says, “you are the perfect manifestation of everything you were designed to be. Just relax, you’re doing fine.” We can’t begin trying to understand this connection with our rational minds but we feel it intuitively, don’t we? I know I do.

Guilt is not compatible with happiness.

Guilt is not compatible with health.

You know what is? Being kind to yourself and really understanding, at a visceral level, that your body is purely a physical vessel to carry you around in this life. It doesn’t define you in any way and it still won’t, even if you add more muscle tone, reduce the amount of fat in it, or inject it with fillers. You define you, and you get to choose what that means in every single moment. If the you of today wants a slice of pizza, eat it. but do it consciously and without emotional attachment to it.

Let’s just enjoy the here and now, and let the future take care of itself, yeah?

Laura

Manifesting: important life skill or total woo woo?

Look for the magic in life.

Look for the magic in life.

Note: Sorry for the late-in-the-day post!  A 5:30am wakeup call to get on an early flight to Sydney for a business trip isn’t conducive to inspired writing. I want to always give you my best and to do that, I need to be awake. So, from my hotel room in Surry Hills, here goes…

There’s this game that I play whenever I’m about to enter a busy car park. I take a deep breath and press pause on the running dialogue of thoughts, then I visualise a free car park right out the front of where I need to go. If I really let myself sink into the moment and trust in the system, it works. Every time. The times that I think, ‘Ugh, how stupid. As if this will result in there being a free car park!’ I end up spending 20 minutes driving around, trying to find a spot. Coincidence? Sure, it could be, but this technique has worked enough times for me to suspect that something more is going on.

I was first introduced to the idea that thoughts become things (i.e. you create your world in mind) in my teens but I was too caught up in partying and hanging out with my friends to really take the key message in. A few years later, I was chatting with my beauty therapist about how I felt like my life had completely derailed itself and was heading to disaster, and she asked if I knew of The Law of Attraction. If you haven’t heard of it, The Law of Attraction is the fleshed-out, predecessor of The Secret. The way that the information is presented is a bit… well, left of centre… but its premise is solid. If your mind is gunked up with negative thoughts, or even if you just aren’t focussing your thoughts well, your life will reflect that.

You see, manifesting isn’t a blind crusade to only think positive thoughts at all costs. That’s not realistic and pretending like reality doesn’t exist isn’t helpful. The key to manifesting is to rewire your brain which, if it’s anything like mine, will leap headfirst into catastrophising (is that a word? Who even knows!) a situation. What this does is to tune your frequency into the bad vibes and stops you from being able to identify the opportunity in a situation, because there is always opportunity for good in a situation.

For me, manifesting works best when I pre-pave my path; that is, before I enter a situation, be it an important call, a meeting, or driving through peak-hour traffic, I take 30 seconds to visualise how I want the scenario to play out. I’ll just take a couple of deep breaths to clear my mind, then run a mini movie in my mind where the scenario plays out how I want it to. If nothing else, this super speedy exercise puts me into the right frame of mind, and when I’m feeling (and thinking) positive, I respond better to challenges, which results in a better outcome: the desired result is manifested. This is manifesting 101. It really doesn’t have to be all hippy dippy; it’s just about putting the right foundation down to help me to see the good things in life (and there are lots of them).

That’s the thing about manifesting: even if its critics are right and it doesn’t actually work, it makes me feel so very supported as I navigate my way through this crazy ol’ baby called life that I actually don’t think it really matters one way or the other.

If it makes you feel good then go for it! Life is way, way, way too short to be missing out on the juicy stuff because logic tells you it can’t be real.

Go get juicy.

Laura