This weeks blog post is from beautiful Elspeth who has recently graduated from our Health & Lifestyle Educator Program. Elspeth recaps on her journey of how she came to do the HLE Program and what it was like to work through this amazing 6 month program and how it changed her life!

You can discover more about Elspeth on her website Food for Life.

Take care, be kind

Kim xx

Twenty8 Healthy Lifestyle Educator Course by Elspeth Haswell Smith

When I started my journey toward optimal health I knew one aspect of this would be to learn to love myself and my body. This was a pretty scary idea and one I didn’t know would be possible. I also explored what my philosophy on self love and self care meant and my answers were: respect, gratitude and kindness.

During the stages of contemplation of self love, a dear friend of mine recommended I listen to some podcasts, Up For A Chat. Once I started I couldn’t stop and hearing Kim Morrisons Podcast on Twenty8 sparked my curiosity. So I bought her book, and a peace and meditation body boost pack.

At the same time I was also a Domestic Violence Counsellor and after 5 years I came to the conclusion that I had given everything I had to give to the job.  I started viewing the world in a very dark way and continually felt that I was drowning in disempowerment. It was becoming harder to empower myself and those around me. Again, after soul searching, reading and then gaining a deeper understanding of my life, I realised the work I was doing wasn’t getting to the root cause of my issues. Supporting clients to mental health wards only to be turned away or medicated reinforced to me that I had to look at other options. So what did I do!? I put everything I loved together into the work I do now and continually educated myself; those that know me understand my addiction for education, knowledge and deep questions!

Fast forward a few years and when Kim Morrison rang me to inform me of her education course I said Yes! I have now graduated from Kim Morrison’s Healthy Lifestyle Education Course and I LOVED every bit of it!

The course is divided into 3 stages and each has it’s own focal point –

Stage one included 6 modules and I completed one module every week. I learnt all about the history of Aromatherapy, how oils are produced, what to look for in a good quality oil, how to use the oils in my home, how to look after oils, chemical constructs and the science behind using oils. I felt it gave me the knowledge and confidence to use oils more in my home, on my skin and for our family’s health and well-being. It has also added an element to my business that enables me to spread my message on creating food philosophies and healing from chronic ill health.

Stage 2 explored how chemicals affect our bodies, how they are made and what to look for in the products we purchase. It also gave a overarching view on the beauty industry and I was shocked at how unregulated it is, especially how companies can market themselves as ‘natural’ skincare by only having 5% of the product as ‘natural’ ingredients. In addition the level of obescigens and toxicity that we have in our environment. On the brighter side it explored skin disorders and how to support and use aromatherapy oils and create natural skincare products ourselves in our own home.

Stage 3 focussed on self love, eating real food and more generally on self reflection.

Threaded throughout the course was the commitment to creating rituals and igniting the love that I deserve to have for myself. I would like to share some questions and answers that was in Stage 3 homework–

5- My health and self care have been a number one priority for me since June/July 2011. I was very sick during this winter and wasn’t happy. I had continuous cold sores and had bronchitis. I have always experienced dips in depression and constant anxiety. I have been on medication for the past 5 years and this was part of my goal to get off them. My health journey has taken me down many rabbit holes, learning so much and meeting incredible people. I am now incorporating it into my career and everyday life. I feel that sometimes I don’t make it an everyday commitment due to life getting in the way and feeling anxious about everything, however I also need to realize I am human and this is ok!

6 – It means a lot to me to be a Twenty8 role model, within my home it has been so easy to implement and my partner and children just love to see the sparkle it provides our family. The philosophy has also allowed me to reflect on my own philosophy and ground myself more in my own beliefs. I have so many affirmations! Some of my favourites are: ‘to be on the inside what you want to see on the outside’; ‘Love yourself as you love others’; ‘Live life fearlessly without barriers’; ‘There has to be rain to have rainbows!’; ‘Dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening etc.’

7 – My inner critic. Sadly my weight is the one and only number/size that controls me. I will avoid seeing people or going places when I gain weight. When I am happy with my weight I enjoy myself and my body however again avoid going places as I worry I won’t be able to eat anything. I also have a voice of acceptance that I will not be invited into the tribe if I am overweight. My weight has fluctuated from 60 – 90 over the past 15 years…. Truly I am so over it and this is something I am working on at the moment.  Intimacy and romance… to fall in love with myself regardless of size. If it doesn’t have the power to control me it wont have to power to consume me.

Reading this now I have come so far in my journey, this course was a portal/vehicle that supported me on this part of my journey and now I can share that with my family, friends, community and clients. My passion in healing communities is so strong and now I have been able to conquer my own fears I can now support others to heal themselves.

Lastly, words do not describe the tribe you meet and lifelong friendships you form. The love, support, and connections are deep and this is priceless.

I truly believe the gift of Twenty8 HLE should be a priority in everyone’s life, men, women and children.