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"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." ~ Nelson Mandela.


If I am not there for Me, who will be?

Life is so ironic – and we’ve just got to see the funny side. Because if we don’t, we would weep…!

One of the ongoing issues that affects women, and something that I coach women business owners to do - is to stand up for themselves, and to value themselves and not to accept less than what they’re worth.

I was busy working on a women’s program (managed by a male client), when I had to put this into practice and stand UP for MySelf.

Firstly, when the client argued about paying my rate and undercut me substantially. And secondly, when I didn’t receive payment after I had delivered the program.

Even though I was upset about this – I followed up in the nicest way possible. I didn’t want to lose my equanimity. I wasn’t looking to start a fight. I was friendly, but firm.

And then suddenly – I was the Bad Guy!
Even though the money was owed to me for a job I had successfully delivered – I was made to feel bad for asking for it?? The client became defensive and our relationship headed downhill. But at the very least, I got paid!

What a huge disappointment! I was doing the work that I loved – and it was bringing benefit to all. I had great feedback from the ladies who attended, and was excited to continue the program.

I am still trying to find the fine line between being bullied and being a pushover, and standing UP for MySelf successfully in the workplace.

But in hindsight (and a lesson for next time) I should not have engaged in a relationship with someone who did not value me from the outset.

I know it’s fear that keeps us in abusive relationships – and I’ve been in my fair share of those both personally and professionally.

So I’m doing my best to value MySelf more and to walk my talk, no matter how scary it may seem.

Because if I am not there for me – who will be? ♥

It’s Treat YourSelf Tuesday! Stand UP for Wonderful You! (Today - and every other day) ☺
Here’s to showing UP for ourselves, to Rocking our Happiness and to Getting our Glow ON! With Love and Fortitude, 

Fresh and Nutritious Gets our Glow On!


At the time I didn’t realise how lucky I was, but now in hindsight, I am so grateful to have grown up in a time and place where we ate fresh, nutritious, wholesome, REAL food! Growing up eating real food, (as opposed to the processed/ packaged/genetically modified/ nutritionally-deficient stuff), definitely gave me a head start on health during my formative years.

I was born in the mid-sixties in Cape Town, and one of my earliest food memories is of going to the fruit and veggie market with my Mum and loading up the car with bags and trays of brightly coloured fresh fruit and veggies.
And twice a week the fruit and veggie man would come to our street with his horse and cart, which was loaded with produce fresh from the farm.
 
Everything we ate in those days was fresh, not frozen and locally produced – Cape Town didn’t yet have a supermarket.

We bought fresh meat from the local butcher (no hormone and antiobiotic-fed animals in those days); fresh fish from the local fishermen who would sell their catch straight from the sea, and fresh milk and cream were delivered daily from the dairy.

Growing up with a health-conscious Mum also gave me a great advantage in the nutrition stakes. Biscuits, cakes, fizzy drinks, crisps, ice cream and choccies were only an occasional treat.
Many of my school-friends were indulged a lot more than I was, and this lead to a lot of nagging and complaining from me! 
When Nik-Naks (bright orange, cheesy maize snacks) were first launched in South Africa, some of my friends would get them in their school lunchbox. How I nagged for those!
My Mum’s answer to this was to slice carrots into matchsticks.
“Just pretend they’re Nik-Naks”, she said.
But it wasn’t quite the same!

And what really got to me was one of the school mums who would give each of her children a tuck bag of chocs, sweets and crisps as they got into the car, after school.
I knew the children were adopted – and I wanted to be adopted! 

I thought being adopted was the luckiest thing ever! Your parents actually came to choose you out of all the other children, and you got a big bag of treats every day after school!

But unfortunately, those two children became very overweight teenagers and one had really bad, pimply skin. I didn’t think they were so lucky after that.

One of my favourite things as a child was visiting my friend’s house for their Saturday night movie show.  We were each given a box of Quality Street chocolates. That for me was the height of luxury! My own box of chocolates to enjoy while watching a movie! And it wasn’t even my birthday.

As it turned out, my friend’s mum became increasingly obese and unhealthy and passed away when he was a teenager. Not so lucky either.


And then we got our first supermarket in Cape Town. And soon after that 1970’s instant, packaged food arrived at the tip of Africa.

My Mum was having none of it!
She’d grown up in wartime Britain, with poor nutrition and believed in the benefits of a nutritious diet to boost and maintain good health.

But while my health-conscious Mum was reading “Let’s eat right to keep fit” by nutritionist and health advocate, Adelle Davis and feeding us sprouts and courgette patties, I was nagging her for frozen burgers and instant pudding and specifically, Bird’s Angel Delight.
I’d tasted it at friends’ homes (Please Mum! So-and-So’s mother buys it. )
And we could even make it ourselves! Just add milk and beat it with the mixer and easy-peasy, there it was – a creamy, frothy, sweet, yummy pudding – I agreed it was heavenly, just like the packaging said!

 
"Angel Delight. Ask any kid." I definitely agreed! ☺

And as I got older, I indulged in terrible eating habits. Even though I’ve always loved and eaten good, real food, I also have a weakness for junk and sugar.
Some days I’d eat nothing but chocolate. And lots of it. I’m a chocoholic for sure!
And don’t get me started on cereal – I could easily crunch my way through a box of Rice Krispies for supper, or any of the sugar and salt-laden breakfast ‘foods’ that pass themselves off as healthy.

When we’re young, we think we’re invincible.
I wasn’t too bothered with what was going on on the inside. It was all about what I looked like on the outside.

But as I got into my 40s, I began listening to my body as it was crying out for some healthy attention!
Luckily I’ve always known about good nutrition, if not always practised it.
“As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself.“ ~ Adelle Davis
Nowdays I do make nutrition a priority. And I enJOY it!
I love my juices, soups, salads, veggies, seeds, nuts and fresh fish and chicken.  

And there’s no doubt that when you feel healthier, you feel happier!

It’s true that when we put the Good Stuff in, we get the Good Stuff out – we feel more energised and vibrant, and we’re able to cope better with Life and to do so much more.

But that’s not to say I don’t still love chocolates and pastries. And I do still enJOY them – but not in vast quantities, and not every day.

You can definitely feel the difference in your body and your mood when you eat REAL nutritious food! It’s like high-performance fuel for your engine.
When you drink a glass of water, or a freshly-squeezed juice you can actually feel it right away!
You can feel the Good Stuff zinging through your cells!

A large Green Juice to go - giving me some zing while I get my shopping done!
So here’s to eating and drinking more of the Good Stuff – to Rocking our Health and Happiness and Getting our Glow On!

Below are links to articles, advice and recipes for healthy eating and nutrition from some of my favourite wellness experts :


Heal Your Life:

Jess Ainscough The Wellness Warrior:

Steph Rice Fitness

With Love,





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SMILE, tune into the Good Stuff and Spread the Glow! ☺

How often do you smile to YourSelf?
Do you smile at strangers?
I’ve always been a smiley person. (I realise that I’m smiling as I’m writing this)

Smiling tunes us into the Good Stuff – it releases natural feel-good chemicals into our bodies - an instant shot of Happy, Healthy Goodness boosting every cell.
So the more we smile, the better we feel – isn’t that fab?!

Since I’ve been running on the promenade for the last few years, I’ve had fun playing a little game with myself and make it a point to smile and greet everyone I pass!
Some return the smiles and greetings. And some don’t
Over this time, I’ve started recognising some of the ‘regulars’ like myself, who are out on the promenade every day.
I still smile and greet the people who don’t greet me - and I have a little smile to myself when they don’t.
I don’t know whether they pretend not to see me, or maybe they’re so preoccupied they don’t notice.

But there are some people who just refuse to smile! Doesn’t stop me though.

About a year ago I noticed a new ‘regular’ on the promenade – a little old Chinese lady, who must be in her late 70’s at least. She’s fit and trim and she goes out for a brisk walk every day.
The first time I ran past her, I smiled and wished her Good Morning. She didn’t respond.
I kept going and smiled and greeted her every day. After a few weeks she smiled back! That made my day!

The next day she smiled and waved!
And the time after that she smiled, waved and giggled!
What a breakthrough! I was delighted.
Now we smile and greet each other every day – I always ask how she’s doing, although she doesn’t speak a word of English. And she giggles back and says something in Chinese. I love our friendly exchange!

A warm, friendly smile breaks down barriers and speaks every language.
But it’s not always acceptable in all cultures (especially between the sexes), as I discovered  on a camel trek in the Negev desert with the Bedouins.
We were told by our guide that as women, we were NOT to smile or to look the Bedouin men in the eye if we were talking to them.
I battled with this as it’s my natural instinct to smile and be friendly. But I didn’t want to get myself into trouble.

We each had a guide to look after us and our camels, and I wrapped a scarf around my face to hide my smile - although I’m sure it could be seen in my eyes.

That’s the thing about a genuine smile. It’s more than just moving your lips and showing your teeth. You see that a lot in photos – especially when people are posing for the camera, but the smile doesn’t reach their eyes.
I love smiling eyes. And you’ll notice that not many people have them.

A smile that comes from your heart is a genuine expression of Love, kindness, JOY and connection to each other.

The day that I left my ex-partner and drove away from our home to my new flat was one of the hardest and saddest days of my life. I remember it clearly.
I stopped at a traffic light and sat there with tears rolling down my face.  I noticed a guy in the lane next to me smiling at me. I didn’t return his smile.
“Please give me a smile”, he said.
“I can’t”, I replied. “I’ve just left my partner”.
So he showed me how it was done by pulling up the corners of his mouth with his hands. Bingo! That worked!

I smiled at him and giggled a little, through my tears.
He smiled back, clapped his hands and told me that had made his day!

I smiled some more – grateful for kindness and connection from a stranger – encouraging me at the difficult start of a new chapter in my life. 
"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
You never know how much your smile can UPlift somebody else. And smiling always make You feel good.
So smile to YourSelf, smile with the world and you’ll put a smile in your Soul and Get Your Glow On!

© Keren Su www.nationalgeographic.com

This gorgeous pic of a baby harp seal, taken by wildlife photographer Keren Su, never fails to put a smile on my face. And it’s made people smile all around the world. That really is Spreading the Glow!

With Love,

  

Create an Inspiring Vision for Your Wonderful Life!


 

Do you have your own inspiring vision of living your healthiest, happiest, most creatively fulfilling, productive and JOYful Life?

At this time of year there’s a lot of talk about making New Year’s resolutions and setting goals for the coming year.

Instead of setting the same old goals that don’t really inspire us, i.e. “must lose weight”, or “get out of debt”, or “make more money” – it’s a lot more FUN and more compelling to be driven and lead by an inspiring vision for Your Wonderful Life.

Have FUN playing an imagination game.


Visualise YourSelf living happily, healthily, creatively and JOYfully.

What does that look like to You?
What does that feel like?

Imagine it in JOYful detail:

1) What would I LOVE to do?
2) Who would I LOVE to do it with (describe the type of people you’d LOVE to live/work/play with)
3) What would I LOVE to have?
4) What would I LOVE to be?
5) How would I LOVE to express my creativity?
5) How would I LOVE to use my talents and gifts to be of service?

And then begin to put your intention into ACTION.
7) What can I STOP DOING right NOW that will bring me closer to my vision?
8) What can I START DOING right NOW that will bring me closer to my vision?

Have FUN designing the life that You WANT.
And then set your goals to create it.
Be inspired
to live your healthiest, happiest most JOYful Life – because You CAN!


And then set your intention to Rock your Happiness, tune into the Good Stuff and Get Your Glow On!

With Love, 





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