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

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.