Thursday, May 31, 2012

Weekly Health Tip: Eat Natural, Whole, Unprocessed Foods

One of the biggest keys to health is not how much you are eating, but what you are
Foods that are natural, whole and unprocessed are as a rule more effectively assimilated by the body and are stored more easily as functional tissue (like muscle, bone,connective tissue and hormones and enzymes) than as body-fat.
They are also more likely to have greater amounts of valuable trace nutrients.

For 100 more tips for health and weight loss check out: 101 Best Tips for WeightLoss

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

White Wizards...

White wizards...they are all around us. Subtley influencing the world and people around them. Through their words, actions, deeds, and energy...and all based on a foundation of loving, non-judgmental compassion.
I was privileged to lead a group workshop last night of just these type of people. Game changers, reloveutionaries... People who are, moment-to-moment, being the change they seek in the world. Who wants to be a white wizard too?

~ Blessings

A Metta Meditation

[Post by Cliff Harvey]

When performing mindfulness meditation you can begin to enhance and develop the faculty of loving, non-judging compassion by using this simple meditation.
It will help you become more comfortable with forgiving and loving even those who have hurt us most deeply.

Start by sitting in stillness and connecting to your breath.

Then begin to visualise those that you love.
With each breath out imagine that you are sending them love and light. You can visualise this as golden or beautiful radiant white light. Repeat the word 'LOVE' to yourself as you imagine this flow of light to those you love.

Then visualise people that you know.
Begin to also include other people, perhaps people that you know but aren't so close to. Continue to imagine a flow of radiant golden or white light coming from your heart and bathing them.

Begin to visualise those you dislike. 
As able begin to include those that you dislike. This includes people that you may distrust, and those that have hurt you.

Continue to send love and light to these people, and when resistance comes up simply let it be and return to the image of the light and the repetition of the word 'LOVE'.

~ Blessings

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Choosing You! A Day of Awesomeness: Vancouver June 3rd

On Sunday the 3rd of June I'm hosting an all day public event.

It's not often that I'm able to provide full day workshops and I hope you'll consider coming, and will forward to people you know that might be interested.

The day is called "Choosing You - Connecting with your life of passion and purpose".
It won't be recorded or webcast as I've tried to create a workshop and an environment that is as much about learning from and with each other than simply listening to a bunch of information broadcast from yours truly!
As such it is an interactive, fluid experience in which you'll be able to evaluate and identify your own value set and ethos so that you can set the goals that really matter and begin to create a life of greater passion and purpose right now. 

We have a cool venue organised at Tides Canada and plenty of room if you want to bring a group. In fact bringing a group of like minded people can only help to encourage an energy and dynamic conducive to some serious intentions, dream setting and purpose finding!

If you're interested in coming all the event details can be found HERE.

Early bird tickets are significantly less expensive than regular tickets will be, so if you're interested, get in quick!

See you in Vancouver!

~ Cliff

Love. Unconditional

[Post by Cliff Harvey]

Unless you love yourself, you can never love another unconditionally.
Unless you love everyone, you can never love anyone completely.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nothing Can Go Wrong Up Here...

[Post by Cliff Harvey]

From 'Done is Better than Perfect' at Life Hacker

As I sat on the stage with joints and muscles aching, running a fever, and with random tangents of what might have otherwise been profound trains of thought rushing in and out of my head; the words of Henry Rollins kept coming back to me: "Nothing can go wrong up here..."

It was Friday night and I was honoured and privileged to be part of the guest panel speaking and answering audience questions at the film screening for Care Canada's 'Walk in Her Shoes Campaign'.
I had arrived in Canada 5 days earlier and just that morning come down with a bad cold.
The easy option would be to give up, to not speak, to cancel and tell everyone that I was too sick.
But as a speaker, (and someone who people pay good money to be inspired and motivated by)....NOTHING can go wrong up here.

I remember when I was weightlifting (and I recount this story in Choosing You!) and I showed up to practice feeling exhausted and on the verge of burnout to training one night.
I said to one of my coaches - gold medallist Nigel Avery - that I didn't think I should train that night, to which he replied "Cliff do you think you're going to feel great every time you compete?..."

And thinking back there never was a time when I felt completely 100% well or injury free when I was competing (an experience shared by many athletes).
So that night I trained and had an excellent session, and the lesson stayed with me. In fact when I lifted at the 2007 IAWA World Championships (and won) I was so sick that I couldn't speak and spent the entire time when not on the platform in my hotel room asleep. If I hadn't lifted I wouldn't have tasted the fruits of victory.

I have mentioned several times on this trip to North America with Strength and Conditioning coaches that 'perfection is the enemy of progress', and what I mean when I say that is that if we only are prepared to do things when we are 100% well, injury free, and with perfect form, we will never do anything.

Sometimes in spite of the pain, discomfort, or the fear that you may disappoint yourself or just have to get up and do it anyway...
...because nothing can go wrong up here...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mom. Love. Home. Heart

God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers. 
 ~ Jewish Proverb

It's Mother's Day, and there's a lot I could write.
But most importantly, from someone who would give anything to have one more day, hour...or just one more hug with my Mum, if you still have your Mum call her, tell her you love her, give her a hug. 

If you are estranged reconcile. 

And if, like me, your Ma has passed on, spend some time today with her in memory and spirit.

If she passed and there were things left unsaid, hurts left unhealed, or bridges that were burnt and left unmended it is never too late to mend them. 
It is never too late to come to peace with your Mum and come back to love unconditional
Come to peace in your heart.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mums out there!
We love you.

~ Cliff

Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. 
William Makepeace Thackeray

PS - I love this track. This one's for you Ma. Save a place for me. 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

How to Live Well ~ By Leo Babauta

[Post by Leo Babauta]

‘Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.’ 
~ Seneca 

I’m not a rich man, nor do I fly around the world and drink champagne with famous people in exotic locales, nor do I own a sports car or SUV or a yacht. And yet, I’m very happy. 
Much happier than seven years ago when I ate fried foods and sweets all time time and felt unhealthy and overweight, when I watched television and was out of shape, when I shopped a lot and was in debt, when I worked a job that paid fairly well and had no time for myself or my loved ones. 

How have I accomplished this? 
With small tricks. 
The truth is, you don’t need a lot to live well — you just need the right mindset. 

Here’s what I’ve learned about living well on little: 

1. You need very little to be happy. 
Some simple plant food, modest shelter, a couple changes of clothes, a good book, a notebook, some meaningful work, and some loved ones. 

2. Want little, and you are not poor. 
You can have a lot of money and possessions, but if you always want more, you are poorer than the guy who has little and wants nothing. 

3. Focus on the present. 
Stop worrying about the future and holding onto the past. How much of your day is spent thinking about things other than where you are and what you’re doing, physically, at this moment? 
How often are we living as opposed to stuck thinking about other things? 
Live now and you live fully. 

4. Be happy with what you have and where you are
Too often we want to be somewhere else, doing something else, with other people than whoever we’re with right now, getting things other than what we already have. But where we are is great! Who we’re with (including just ourselves) is already perfect. What we have is enough. What we’re doing already is amazing. 

5. Be grateful for the small pleasures in life. 
Berries, a square of dark chocolate, tea — simple pleasures that are so much better than rich desserts, sugary drinks, fried foods if you learn to enjoy them fully. A good book borrowed from the library, a walk with a loved one in the park, the fine exertion of a short hard workout, the crazy things your child says, the smile of a stranger, walking barefoot on grass, a moment of quiet as the morning wakens and the world still rests. These little pleasures are living well, without needing much. 

6. Be driven by joy and not fear. People are driven by the fear of missing out, or the fear of change, or the fear of losing something. These are not good reasons to do things. Instead, do things because they give you or others joy. Let your work be driven not because you need to support a lifestyle and are afraid of changing it, but by the joy of doing something creative, meaningful, valuable. 

7. Practice compassion. 
Compassion for others creates loving, rewarding relationships. Compassion for yourself means forgiving yourself for past mistakes, treating yourself well (including eating well and exercising), loving yourself as you are. 

8. Forget about productivity and numbers. 
They matter not at all. If you are driven to do things to reach certain numbers (goals), you have probably lost sight of what’s important. If you are striving to be productive, you are filling your days with things just to be productive, which is a waste of a day. This day is a gift, and shouldn’t be crammed with every possible thing — spend time enjoying it and what you’re doing.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Plant the Seed, Tend Your Garden (AKA 'Keep keeping on')

[Post by Cliff Harvey]

Switching from being based primarily in Canada to basing from my home in Auckland, New Zealand has been somewhat of a slow transition.
Any of us would love to have instant success, instant wealth, instant fame, or instantly be able to change the world for the better in a grandiose way, and whilst this may happen in rare instances, for the most part if we are to achieve the things in life that really matter we need to keep on keeping on.
We need to consistently put in the work to move towards our objectives, and we need to keep on trying...and in some cases keep on failing, until we hit upon the right formula and a time at which all the work we have put in results in that magical 'tipping point' when plans reach fruition.
My best friend, rocker Kent Brooks and I call this 'throwing shit against the wall to see what sticks' other words trying things, delivering ('shipping' as Seth Godin would call it), and ultimately being comfortable with the things that don't work out, because these wrong paths help to highlight the eventual right one.

The value of 'keeping on' was highlighted just this morning while I was sparring at Tu Kaha BJJ.
Attempting a sweep that didn't seem to be quite working, instead of backing off I kept pushing through and after what seemed like an age ended up in the mount. I could have stopped, but instead I just kept on keeping on and eventually, even though I didn't think I had it, I ended up with the desired result.

Coincidentally when I got back into the office after training this morning I had several emails asking me to speak at events. Every single one of these was from a contact that I had met, stayed in touch with and made an effort to continue to be of whatever help I could, even though it seemed unlikely that anything would ever come out of it. However by keeping on keeping on, the networks, friendships and connection that was nurtured has resulted in some exciting new outcomes for later in the year.

Plant the seed, tend your garden. 
Nurture it with care and keep on keeping on. 
Your efforts are never in vain, and will always bear fruit in the end. 

Cliff will be speaking in Canada in May. For information check out:

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Healing vs Curing

[Post by Cliff Harvey]

We often equate the word 'healed' with that of 'cured', but they can be very different in context, and can drastically change our approach to our personal health and wellness.

To be 'healed' is to become sound, or healthy again.
To be 'cured' is to eliminate a disease or condition, or it's symptoms.

Being healthy and sound in body, mind and spirit, is much more important than either eliminating symptoms, or relieving oneself of an 'illness' which is simply a frame of words that we wrap around a symptom profile in order to understand it.

For people like myself who have a supposedly 'incurable' illness, the idea of curing is inconsequential. What is important is to other words to become healthy again.

We can be healthy even if we hold the latency of an illness. In that respect our illnesses an simply become a genetic tendency towards a symptom profile, but one that we need not express when all the epigenetic factors (nutrition, sleep, stress, environment etc.) are conducive to health and wellness.

To seek to be 'cured' casts a negative framing around who we are, and the human condition that we project. To strive towards optimal wellness, health and vitality is a much more powerful state to exist in.