Writing | Summer 2018 In Review | Catherine Moore

Blakeney, August 2018 - Moore & Moore Living

Blakeney, August 2018 - Moore & Moore Living

I often find that taking time to pause and reflect at the end of each season really helpful with the transition into the next. It helps to maintain clarity, wider context overview, gratitude and committed action to those all important yearly goals set out at the beginning of the year.

I have adapted the recommended format by James Clear (www.jamesclear.com). I would like to mention Jonathan Foust who inspired me to write using this format after reading his. Jonthan Foust and his wife Tara Brach are a huge inspiration to me in their aproach to life and work.

The review explores 3 questions and you can make it as detailed or simple as you like. I would recommend spending no more than 30mins on the whole thing but that’s just me. Find what way works best for you and how to like to reflect. So let’s jump in!

Question 1

What went well this summer?

Slowing Down and Living in the Countryside

Intentionally creating space to slow down and immersing myself in the garden, the woods and the expansive life that surrounds us living in a national trust park. Our house is everything we could have hoped for to experience as our first home together as a family (Jonathan, Basil and I). It’s deeply touching to have your own front and back door, stairs, the flexibility of having the back door open all day after many years of city life where space is limited. I am deeply grateful for this space that we get to cultivate and take care of. It’s been a challenge to slow down. The woods and forest are so healing for me to spend time in as I comfort my grief process and take care of myself generally.

Health and Wellbeing

This has been my main focus this summer. Anyone who has grieved before will know how deeply physical it is. I am jogging up to x3 per week and still working towards joining the park run crew here at Blickling on Saturdays. At present we watch from the breakfast table and take our coffee back to bed. Both are competing values and so I keep working at it and to get healthy generally. I commit to regular massages. My body is a temple and all that jazz.

More Health Tweaks

  • Improved nutrition - eating more plant based foods.

  • Alcohol - reducing alcohol to special social occasions. Not sure even then that the hangovers are worth it.

  • Sleep - bed early and usually asleep by 10am. I prefer this so I can get up early. The early hours are a sacred space for me to either exercise or greet the day with sitting meditation.

  • Reduced caffeine - I have been drinking decaf drinks since end of May. No energy spikes and I feel calmer.

  • Simplifying - Creating diary space to breath more, grow and enjoy our own fruit and vegetables, marvel in the sunshine, not over stretching with commitments, letting go expectations to do lots of creative work based writing and connecting authentically and wholeheartedly. I also turned down facilitating training in London in Sept because I would over stretched myself. This was a tough but important decision.

  • Wishing Others Well - Daily practice of offering silent wishes of good will and care and gratitude towards others. Being kind costs nothing but goes a long way. I have really made the effort to hold the gate open for riders as they pass the house (and have a lovely sniff of the horses :)) or a door in the car park for others. I have reached out and congratulated others on their work and developments. Doing this with an open heart and letting go of any unnecessary comparisons. We are all on our own path.

  • Connect With The Homeless - I make time time each month to stop and have a chat with homeless people on the street, stroke their pets (I met a wonderful ferret) and give £10 in food or money.

  • Savouring - My relationship with light, the orchestral sounds of dawn/dusk with the windows/doors open, cleaning our windows in prep for Autumn so to capture it in it’s fullest, daily check-in time with Jonathan/family and good cup of tea.

  • Travel - Had a staycation and enjoyed exploring the North Norfolk coast.

  • Serving - Nurturing the business as it evolves at a pace that feels healthy. Offering our practice space freely every fortnight to the Norwich OCD Peer Support (NOPS) Group (https://www.ocdaction.org.uk/support-group/norwich-ocd-peer-support-nops-group)

Other Creative Exploration

As Oprah says, “ We only get in life what we have the courage to ask for”. I love this because for me, it can be just about getting started with things especially when it comes to writing, photography, putting the business out there, taking risks to reach out or send that important email and also knowing when to say no and knowing it is not the right time. Here’s some of things I’ve done this summer.

  • Writing - Started to write more openly and freely from my own voice for the business rather that feeling the need to hold back in case I sound a bit other there. I am embracing all of it in the service of myself and the business to grow authentically. Feedback has been really helpful.

  • Pacing - totally taking the pressure peddle off the need to be anywhere other that where we are and at the same time to work towards a flexible timeline.

  • Absorbing - Staying open to exploring new reading and podcasts.

  • Photography - Finding our voice gradually as a business with image exploration. Also just playing with the camera.

  • Connecting - Reaching out and connecting with others that I really admire in their field which has been really inspiring and helpful. People are really so helpful. Making new friends.

  • Contributions & Training - I had the honour of working along side world class therapists as conference committee member as part of the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science (ACBS) World Conference held in Canada. I did the work remotely and contributed to the review of workshop submissions. To see my name amongst some people I hugely admire in the field is just amazing. Next year it is in Dublin (yes!) I went to the British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) annual summer Conference in Glasgow and attended some really great workshops and symposia. I also signed Jonathan up to IDEO training which felt very exciting to encourage him to nurture his gifts.

Question 2

What’s Didn’t Go So Well?

  • Holidays - I had sporadic days off here and there. I want to try and work at having block time off going forward.

  • Marketing - I am still trying to talk less like a clinician when it comes to the lifestyle stream of the business. Sometimes I can talk using jargon which reduces my opportunity to connect with our wider growing community. I am really working on this as I get really helpful feedback along the way.

  • Driving - Had planned to take my driving test this summer. I never made time for it. I will keep driving with Jonathan in the meantime. It doesn’t feel so important right now.

  • Writing - That book I keep talking about and developing MML products, talks and events. I decided to hold back, take my time, let others help, enjoy and involve others in the process.

Questions 3

What Am I Working Towards?

  • Embracing the life that is here fully with an open mind and heart no matter what

  • Daily immersion in nature

  • Daily immersion in the creative process

  • Daily quality time with Jonathan and Basil

  • Cultivating intimacy and authenticity in my relationships

  • Continue to work towards balanced living

  • Continue to solidify the business model

  • Authentic Service

  • Writing that book

  • Creating talks and events

  • Collaborating with others with similar values and interests

  • Creating products

  • Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

The Bottom Line

I am truly blessed. I will continue to greet each day with fresh eyes and an open heart and bring loving kindness, care, creativity and integrity to all I do. I hope if you are reading this far then this might be useful and helpful for you in your life. I would love to hear how you found reading this and what was most helpful about it. What would also be great is to hear how you got on with your own review if this has inspired you!

With Metta

Catherine

Denai Moore Interview on Compassion, Mental Health And Making The Music That She Wants | Moore & Moore Living

Summer blog feature - denai moore

Summer blog feature - denai moore

Images - Denai Moore 

Denai Moore is one of the most exciting artists that sits within a flourishing British Music Community. Scrolling through the prestigious artists list of independent record label Because Music, you can totally see why she is there. It has been such a joy to watch her growth since her 'Gone' days back 2013. I first came across her when living in Hackney and I knew that she was one of those artists that will be in my playlist for years to come. Denai's compelling sounds have been played on Radio 1, 2, and 6Music. She also has a stunning debut EP, has appeared on Jools Holland, has collaboration with SBTRKT, and the list just goes on. Her recent album 'We Are In Bloom' is a refreshing relationship with the vulnerability of growing up, self-image and exploring who she is on a deeper level. 

We sat together in the sunshine in East London with our green genie juices. We talked openly and authentically, as fellow travellers on this earth, about the importance of establishing and maintaining assertive boundaries in the service self-compassion, mental wellbeing, creativity and meaningful living. At 24yrs old, Denai's self-awareness and willingness to talk about the difficult things in life through her music demonstrates deep courage. She has her feet firmly on the ground and her heart gently open. It is so evident in her commitment to supporting her friends, learning together and sharing as part of  larger music and vegan communities. Here's what she had to say on the day!

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Catherine Moore How is life and what are you feeling grateful for today?

Denai Moore Excited to explore different parts of myself. The biggest thing for me in music, or with anything, [is] the ability to push myself in that field and explore new sounds or anything. Umm, I guess I am feeling grateful about the community of support I have, people I work with and the love I have around me and the people that kind of see me. It's great, I think the  internet is an amazing way to connect with people that wouldn't have been able to connect with in any other way.

 

Denai also runs a modern vegan JAMAICAN food pop-up - follow her @deestable for events  

Denai also runs a modern vegan JAMAICAN food pop-up - follow her @deestable for events  

CM For those who don't know you can you give me a bit of background of the key musical moments that have shaped where you are at today?

DM I'd say the massive pivotal thing for me was seeing Lauren Hill unplugged. It was the first time that I saw someone perform in the most human way possible. She cried on stage and forgot new lyrics and played a random new song that she wanted to play. I quite like it because performances before I had seen it were, not perfect, but so rehearsed and I love that side of performance too but seeing her like that made me realise I can be whoever I wanted to be in this format. 

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CM You are very much shaping your own path in terms of being a genre free artist, you produce, you have a huge input to your visual and how you gig etc. What do you value about having your voice and taking risks?

DM The thing about being creating is self validation, and there is something really amazing to really look at yourself, and making music is the only place where I have really faced myself. I confront what I want to talk about and it is very insular so it's very therapeutic. Being genre free for me was about stepping out of the gaze of other people and really understanding the importance of making the music that I want to make, as opposed to attaching myself to different genres or feeling the pressure to create something that other people may want me to make or hear me as. This is something that I have always done. It's just my way of kind like to dismiss the boxes I tend to be put in. 

IMAGE  @13THSTREETPROMO

IMAGE  @13THSTREETPROMO

CM What drives you to be the best version of yourself?

DM A moment of me being excited and exploring something new. I think it's something that always keeps me inspired. It's always the pursuit of the ideas in your head, it's very child like. It's something you think of and go for it without the means of ambition, maybe, it's the feeling and expression that makes you feel good. So, I think that's what drives me to make music for sure. 

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CM Connected Lifestyle Design is all about being mindfully present so we can live with greater compassion and life purpose on a deeper level. Embracing the universality of human suffering helps us to bring a compassionate resilience and courage to how we creatively take risks and embrace uncertainty of our individual values. We believe everyone has the right to learn how to cultivate and maintain their own connected lifestyle, rather than getting caught up in the 'hamster wheel' of society's values to do more and be more. What's your thoughts on that?

DM I think it is important that people continually self-assess - if that makes sense. I don't know, I think a lot of people are disconnected from the idea because people don't like confrontation but then what is confrontation when it is coming  from yourself? Can you easily pick out the parts of you that you don't like? Lots of that comes up when making music and you have an ongoing conversation with yourself about it, how it feels and about what's going on in your life for example,  mental health, or a mental block. People are really afraid to confront that in themselves and don't talk about it with friends or family and become so insular that they are too afraid to talk about it.  

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CM Loving one's self is a ongoing process as we journey though life. What has helped you deal with your own internal critic and to learn how to bring a loving compassionate approach to your individual quirks and differences?

RM I think it is important to experience the entire human spectrum. There's a strong obsession with happiness that is unrealistic and just no human. It's about understanding that there are many things we are meant to experience and we shouldn't demonise certain parts of ourselves to conform with what is socially acceptable, I guess. I definitely don't have any guilt in cancelling things if I don't feel mentally here for sessions. I think that is so important to remember to protect the head space more that anything. 

So without further a do, here is the lady herself in action in Berlin as part of the COLORS SHOW. I hope you have enjoyed reading this and if you can spare a few seconds to give some comments as feedback that will bring joy to my heart. It also means that we can tailor any suggestions for our future blog features. Thank you in advance and feel free to have a wander around the website and explore other resources at your leisure. Catherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deliciously Ella Interview on Self-Care Values & Authentic Living | Moore & Moore Living

Ella, Matt & Austin Mills

Ella, Matt & Austin Mills

Spring Blog Guest Feature | Moore & Moore Living

Images @deliciouslyella

Ella Mills is the co-founder and co-CEO of Deliciously Ella with her husband Matt Mills.  Deliciously Ella began as a plant-based ingredients blog and quickly grew to become a leading healthy food and lifestyle brand. Their products can be found in their MaE deli in Marylebone and stores across the UK including Waitrose, Selfridges, Ocado, Sainsburys, Whole Foods and lots of independent stores. The book 'Deliciously Ella Everyday' was the fastest selling debut cookbook in the UK and translated in 16 languages. We are all excitedly awaiting the latest book on pre-order due to launch in August this year.

Deliciously Ella’s story is testament to how vulnerability can be the birthplace of so much growth and creativity. They are continuous source of inspiration to us at Moore & Moore Living and we are over the moon to have Ella feature as our first quarterly blog guest.

Due for release August 2018

Due for release August 2018

In the past, physical and mental health difficulties have been a significant part of Ella’s journey. Her story reminds us of our potential as human beings to move through adversity and suffering and live a values rich life. It’s pretty incredible, really, to imagine that, after a long period of ill health, she set out on a personal mission to better support herself by creating new plant-based recipes and sharing them on Instagram.  It’s even more amazing that this would go on to have such a positive global impact as a leading international food and lifestyle success. Their deep commitment to their authentic values based lifestyle nourishes them and their thousands of customers and social media followers.

 

Austin @mr_austin_mills pictured here with Ella is a global icon too with 21.3k followers on Instagram. Oh, the cuteness!

Austin @mr_austin_mills pictured here with Ella is a global icon too with 21.3k followers on Instagram. Oh, the cuteness!

Deliciously Ella is designed to improve the health and lifestyle of their growing community in an enjoyable and sustainable way (and still get your 5 a day!). Their authentic, compassionate and interactive engagement with their community generates confidence in their approachable, nutritious and delicious food (without all the fuss and fear).

Read on for this fascinating interview for insights in the lovely phenomenon which is Deliciously Ella:

 

A seasonal delight packed with flavour and goodness

A seasonal delight packed with flavour and goodness

MML: How have your self-care values helped you in your life journey so far, particularly at your lowest moments, including when you suffered with physical health problems and depression, and when embracing the uncertainty which came with taking important business risks?            

EM: It's taken me a long time to put self-care into my day to day routine and it’s not something I always prioritise as much as I probably should, but I’ve been blown away by how much it helps. Ultimately self-esteem, a sense of calm and belief in ourselves are pivotal to success in any area of your life so finding time for tools that support those pursuits is incredibly important. I really notice the difference in the days I take better care of myself – I’m more energetic, sharper, more positive and all round happier.

 

Creating a sense of calm

Creating a sense of calm

MML: The idea of designing a lifestyle that we don’t need a holiday from is very appealing. What helps to sustain you?

EM: Yoga is the thing that helps me most. I try to practise most mornings before work; some days I love it and feel like I’m flying, other days feel slower and clumsier but every time it creates a sense of physical and emotional space and openness that does wonders for me – it feels like a mental reset each morning. Going to bed early is my other favourite thing to do and I find that makes a huge difference to me, I like going to bed around 10 and getting up at 6 so that I have a nice chunk of quiet time before the world wakes up and pings 100 emails at me every minute!

 

Daily yoga

Daily yoga

MML: What advice would you give anyone wanting to cultivate and sustain an authentic and meaningful social media-based community?

EM: Find an area to cover that you’re comfortable sharing on a day to day basis. Personally, I love sharing food; cooking is a passion for me and something I do pretty much every day, and I love sharing my experiments with everyone. I wouldn’t feel as comfortable having our accounts based around my personal life, however, I’m happy to share elements and open up about what’s going on but on a 24/7 basis I would find it too much and quite honestly it would make me feel too exposed, so subconsciously I’ve created my own boundaries that means what I share is consistent and useful for our audience and for me.

 

Our favourite, red velvet cake

Our favourite, red velvet cake

MML: As the DE experience and community network expands, what drives you and Matt to be the leading healthy food and lifestyle brand in the UK?

EM: I just feel that there’s so much to be done in terms of getting people excited about fruit and veg so that we can all genuinely enjoy getting our five a day, and there’s so much space on supermarket shelves for products made of a few simple, natural kitchen cupboard ingredients!

 

Pea and courgette pasta with a creamy spinach sauce

Pea and courgette pasta with a creamy spinach sauce

MML: What’s important to you about working in partnership with your husband?

EM: I love being part of a team and sharing what we do fully with someone else – that support really builds confidence. I definitely lack confidence at points and working in this way has been a game changer for me. We build each other up in the tough moments and feel equal joy at points of celebration, which is really special.

 

Teamwork makes the dream work ;)

Teamwork makes the dream work ;)

Cultivating and sustaining balanced self-care in life is an ongoing learning process that at times can be overwhelming and confusing for us all. Ella's story is living proof of our human potential and that adverse life experiences are an opportunity to grow and move though life with purpose and meaningful connection. If this is something you would like to get a little help on where to begin and further explore then sign up to our website newsletter on the homepage for irregular goodness and news on our latest gatherings. We look forward to connecting.