• February 26, 2019
  • Abbie Jones
  • Mind, Yoga

I have always wanted to write.

I have always wanted to connect with others.
Always wanted to help and inspire others to be their best selves.
I see you.
I believe in you.
So here I am.
To share, help and inspire.

I want to share with you my story of how I came to be teaching Yoga, working as a Health & Life Coach and writing a blog. So here goes….

I had very nearly studied nutrition when I left school, looking back I had this one nutrition book by the Dietician for the West Coast Eagles and as a 16 year old I was getting a big clue! All I did was read and re-read this book.

Fast forward many years, and I now had my own experience of following conventional nutrition guidelines, especially that which was prevalent in the 90s. My diet was high in carbohydrates, higher than I cared to admit in processed and packaged foods and super high in sugar, usually via ‘health’ foods.  And I considered my diet to be ‘healthy’.

Over a period of years, I felt increasingly worse, but because it was a slow accumulation you don’t know any different right! By my early 20s I was 5 kg higher than I should have been, and I had to exercise intensely to keep it under control, and it just felt like an uphill battle!

My skin was always breaking out. My sinuses and allergies had been an issue since I was a teen.  I got sick very regularly – 1-2 flus a year not to mention the cold I got every couple of months. I also developed a skin condition which caused red and raised inflammatory patches of skin –collagen was being broken down under the skin which in essence was an early auto-immune issue.

My moods were all over the place, my energy was low, I was always tired – exhausted and I generally felt really average. The worst of this was by this stage my confidence was free-falling. It was a creeping feeling of sadness and emptiness. It makes me feel really emotional just reading this back…

This continued to get worse as I had my children, including putting on plenty of kilos, but by now this was impacting me so much more mentally and emotionally. I was constantly in this up and down roller coaster of feeling really low and lacking confidence combined with worry and anxiety. I felt lonely, frustrated, angry, sad, empty.

To the outside world I should have had a ‘dream life’, beautiful husband and children, we were building our own business and had the freedom to create our own life and success, and so many other reasons! It wasn’t that this wasn’t enough. It’s that there was this niggle. This something else. This lack of alignment. I didn’t know why and what it was, but I knew there was something missing.

By the time I had my third child a few things happened around a similar time; I started doing Pilates – only 10 minutes 3 x week. Within a month I could not believe what I was seeing. I felt so strong, light and flexible, and my body was changing quickly for the better!

I was given a cookbook by a friend at about this time, which was written by a Naturopath. I started cooking from it and I basically just ate way more plants! I also came across Sarah Wilson’s book ‘I Quit Sugar’. Over a period of 18 months these things combined and I can only say that I simply and easily lost weight. And…I didn’t have to exercise anywhere as much as I thought. You know the saying “You can’t exercise a bad diet away” – well I proved that true for myself!

All of my health issues improved slowly but surely. My energy was incredible – I never knew I could feel so good!! So physically I was in great condition, my health was so much better, but although my exercise and diet were having a profoundly positive impact on my mind and emotions, I still felt like I was slowly undoing.

My thoughts and self-talk were getting out of control. A constant barrage of self-doubt, negativity and criticism. I was so punishing of myself, pushing myself hard all the time, trying so hard to keep my head above water, keep working hard, being a ‘good Mum’, being a ‘good wife’, being the ‘good girl’. And listening to all those internalised messages we’ve grown up with and hear in our society “be thankful for what you’ve got”, “pull your socks up and get on with it” – you know them right!? Doing all of the things that make it look like you’ve got it all together! Argh!!!

This flowed on to my emotions. I felt increasingly anxious socially, doubting myself, not trusting myself and then feeling so low and lacking in confidence. I felt empty and a shell of my former self. In fact, I didn’t feel I even knew who that person was anymore. But I hid this the very best I could. I didn’t want to be found out. It felt too vulnerable, weak, my greatest fear was being judged by others. How much judgement would I get if I broke down and shared this…

What was the turning point?

I guess it began with yoga.

Whoa! When I started I could barely handle laying still in relaxation for 5 minutes. I wanted to jump up and take off out of the room! But despite this, I fell in love with Yoga. It certainly wasn’t comfortable but something was drawing me towards it. I kept coming back for more. I had some amazing teachers who were teaching me about life, the teachings of yoga – of discovering your true nature, of oneness with the universe, god whichever you call it. And you know what, no matter how many self-help books I had read, none of them resulted in change. But this was different.

I can only describe the following years as life changing. I met more teachers and guides who helped me. I’m not going to lie to you, this has been hard at times; I had to face myself fully and truthfully. I had to look inside, which wasn’t always comfortable.

What did I learn over this time?

I found out first hand is that our health is about way more than the ‘green smoothie’. Way, way more.

Your health is reflected in your body, mind and heart. Your health is all of these elements woven together. If you want to feel better, look better, think better, move better, be better in your whole self you must approach it from all angles.

I learnt about about self-love, self-compassion and self-judgement. About expectations, boundaries and acceptance. About communicating. About love and kindness – to ourselves and others. About how our thoughts create our reality – they determine how we feel and therefore how we behave. About mindset and mindfulness. About how it is not just what we do, but how we do it and how we think about it. About presence and being here now, not in the past, not in the future.

Not only have I learnt about these things philosophically, but I have integrated them into my life with practice. I have embodied them. What this means is that I have practiced these concepts and then through experiences I truly understand what they mean on the deepest level. Not just with my mind.

I could go on, but those are things I will share with you on my blog!!!

This brings me to now. I have transformed my health on a physical, mental and emotional level. Not fixing myself or changing who I am but peeling back the layers I was carrying, the masks I was wearing. To come back to the true me. This process is nowhere near finished. I make changes, slip back, remember again and try again! This applies to what I eat, how I move, how I live, my relationships, my spiritual practice – everything. I will continue to learn, grow and come home to myself. But I’ve learnt so much along the way, and if I can share any of this with you, if you need any of this in your life, then that’s what I’m here to do.

Thank you for the gift of your presence.

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And if you would like to ‘come home to you’ and finally transform your own Health & Wellbeing, contact me here to find out more about a Health & Life Coaching Series.