5 Essential Tools for Major Life Change

I have been a bit quiet recently. But just on the blogging and newsletter front. You see there are huge, huge changes going on in my life right now, so there have been other priorities in my head. I would really like to share these exciting experiences just because I am learning so so much from them and my developments are just a living proof that with the right knowledge and support we can emerge from something potentially crushing simply shining, empowered and hugely excited about life.

Before I start, I would like give myself a little high-five for being so publicly open about my personal life in this post. A few years ago, I was too shy to even register on a forum let alone leave a comment, or write a blog post or anything like that. I’ve not always been this brave, but boy, is life fun when you start pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone! 🙂

Basically my whole life has gone upside down, inside out, side-step, tango, waltz, fox-trot and jitterbug.

Since April I have done the following:

– amicably ended a very lovely 8.5 year relationship

– changed my ‘day job’ (I quit an unfulfilling job in finance and now work part-time in Business Development for an inspiring company that works with personal development and leadership training and I will soon go on to facilitate workshops and coach individuals)

– finished renovating my house in order to put it on the market

– thought long, long, long and hard about where I want to live in this world (I’ll keep you posted on my decision!)

– re-homed my beautiful dog (heart-break city!) as I wont be able to give her the attention and time she needs to thrive after my house is sold

– started doing fun but brave things such as Dj:ing

– expanded my social life in Sweden and UK by about a million % (which takes quite a bit of coordinating actually!)

And at the same time making exciting progress with my company:

qualified as a Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition Consultant

launched my coaching services and seen some amazing results with a fabulous client!

– joined up with 2 lovely girls to plan a fab High Energy workshop in London in November 2011

When writing this it just feels like a list of things, but it when you are actually in it and living it, it really is incredibly intense and challenging. And I am sure that if you have ever done any of these things you will appreciate just how much they can impact your life…let alone when all happening at the same time in the space of a few months!

The most amazing thing I have experienced is that by applying all the things I learned over the years, I have not only managed to survive this incredibly turbulent time, but I feel that I am leaping from it full of love and life and zest for new exciting things.

Here is what has been the key to keeping me sane, happy and healthy:

1. Raw Food
I have been really motivated to keep as high-raw as possible simply because I immediately notice the positive effects. Cooked food does not give me the clear mind and the super high energy that I have needed for this period. Having a clear mind means that I am able to analyse my feelings much better and make sensible decisions. It has also prevented me from comfort eating and numbing any pain with things like refined sugar or heavy comfort food like toast! Working through these feelings is far more progressive and healing I find!

2. Avoiding stimulants
Staying clear of coffee, refined sugar and alcohol has also reduced the risk of feeling any extra anxiety and keeps my blood sugar stable. If I feel I need pepping up then I will either go for a run, or have a little nibble on some raw chocolate instead, which does not shock my body like coffee does. If I need the relaxing effects that alcohol can give, I do some yoga or exercise and make sure I take a few deep deep breaths. I have also been very kind to myself and when I do really feel I need time out, I will take it. Sometimes that means saying no to some people and commitments, but in the long run this ‘selfish act’ is a great investment and actually makes me a nicer person to be around!

Post-exercise bliss :)
Post-exercise bliss 🙂

3. Exercise
This has really been a saviour. Exercise relieves stress tremendously and there is nothing like a good work out to release mood-elevating endorphins. I am also finding it really fun to set myself physical goals and challenges which offers a great respite from the emotional ones I have been experiencing!

I have also found that I have stayed away from comfort eating rubbish food or binging on booze (like I have done in previous years when facing a challenging time) because moderate exercise makes me feel a lot better. And since I know how good working-out makes me feel, it means that I don’t want to feel hungover or sluggish from comfort eating and therefore refrain from eating and drinking naughtiness.

4. Positive supportive and inspiring people
I am so in love with the people that I have in my life these days! I find I tend to stay away from people who deal with their unhappiness by trying to bring others down with negative remarks and energy. At a time when you need to be really brave, you need people who support you. Even if you don’t personally know people like this, reading inspiring books and blogs, or connecting with others on the internet or by attending inspiring events is a true gift!

5. Coaching
I draw on the wisdom I get from my coach and from my own knowledge of coaching. This is such a powerful tool for personal growth and bursting through challenging times. Becoming aware of why we think and act in certain ways is hugely empowering, and mastering the skills of breaking things down into small achievable steps is so useful . Oh, I could go on and on about this, but I wont. But it really has made the difference between crumbling into a heap of despair and rising out the ashes like a glorious, sassy phoenix!

So, dear friend, that is what my life has been the past few months. There are lots of exciting and challenging times ahead, but I am learning so much and am actually feeling pretty bloomin’ spectacular.

I really hope this post inspires you to see any challenging period you experience as an opportunity to grow and do brave things. It really is quite amazing!

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11 thoughts on “5 Essential Tools for Major Life Change

  1. This is such an incredibly inspiring & uplifting post, and rings so so true. Thank you for your generosity and openness in sharing it. Much love and ongoing zesty inspiration for all that you’re doing!!! xxx

  2. Joanna, you are an inspiration…I am doing renovations to sell my house, getting rid of stuff, shedding unfulfilling relationships and moving to Ecuador where I can
    grown food and ride a horse instead of a car all the time! This is all taking time, effort, coordination and collaboration but it will work if I can stay focused. And I do so agree wit you that eating high raw is the best diet for my mind to stay clear and open to all possibilities …thanks for sharing! big hug from!

  3. Thank you so much, Isabelle! And wow! What exciting plans you have. Please do stay in touch…I would love to hear your progress. What an amazing life you are creating for yourself. Big hugs to you too.

    Johanna xx

  4. Hi Johanna! I get your newsletter regularly and I really enjoyed reading this post, thank you! I´m sorry to hear you´ve had such a tough year, but you definitely seem to have come out on the other side happier and stronger than ever! This summer I´ve started my first “real” job as a junior doctor working at Blekingesjukhuset in Karlskrona, after having studied for many many years. These past few weeks have meant a huge personal transformation for me as a person. I´m thoroughly enjoying taking care of patients and get rewarded with smiles and friendly words on a daily basis. But I´m also giving a lot of myself, sometimes bearing witness to huge personal tragedies and people dying, taking on a lot of responsibility and regularly working 60-80 hour weeks. When I´m tired and emotionally drained after being on call it´s sometimes incredibly tempting to just lie down in the couch and binge on junk food to “reward” myself for working so hard, even though I know that taking a walk or run outside through the forest will make me much much happier – and healthier – in the long run. Inspiring posts like this one definitely help me to try to take care of myself and assure my long-term happiness as a balanced, healthy individual. Best, Karin

  5. Hi Karin! Thanks so much for your message. Congratulations on your new job. I can really appreciate how challenging it must be to achieve the balance between helping people and taking care of yourself. I am very happy that you found this post inspiring and hope that it helps you take care of YOU…because you deserve it.

    Take care, and please do keep in touch!

    Johanna xx

    P.S I actually lived in a Karlskrona for a few years, you know! 🙂

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