Comfort – a grand disillusion 

This may take some time to digest so make yourself comfy and empty your mind.

The pursuit of happiness could just as well be called the pursuit of comfort, we could also throw in security and safety if we wanted to, but let’s keep it simple and maintain our focus on comfort or the illusion of.

It was written somewhere that we often meet our destiny on the path we take to avoid it.

That being the case, why would we avoid our destiny? Others say that one must be brave enough to first hear there calling and then more so to act upon it. One man who recently experienced success in his art was asked how he foresaw this coming of his dream, he simply replied I visualise my destiny, then I’m brave enough to speak it and when the opportunity arises I take it.

It is easy for a critic to be critical of others work, but no one remembers the critic, it’s easy to doubt and it has been written; that those who believe it’s impossible should not get in the way of those making it possible.

The common theme being painted here is simple. If it’s worth doing it’s not going to be easy and the sooner you get to grips with that then the sooner you can move from your current place of inertia and towards your destiny.

Every morning I face a battle with comfort, my bed is comfy, the warmth that a bed offers is tempting, but when I overcome those temptations I rise and go on a daily life adventure to the sea.

Today she was stormy, the sky was full of stars and a rain cloud was moving in. She crashed her waves into the sea front with speed and power and yet as I watched in a meditative state everything slowed down, you could see the rise and fall, you could see the old receding wave join the new approaching wave, you could see the single drops of water flying through the air before it rejoins the sea.

Most people these days give in to the comfort of an ordinary life missing there calling to being extraordinary, everyday a new experience is awaiting those who are willing to put comfort to one side and embrace the uncomfortable. The more you do this, the greater you connect with yourself, others and nature.

The cold sea as it embraces your naked skin sends a surge of energy through you that is almost undefinable and unmatched by comparison, but one of the main lessons is that we are stronger than we think, we can have a greater experience of life than we are currently experiencing and its this that the greats discovered, they simply went against the grain and lived, the effort became effortless, so rather than seeking comfort we arrive at comfort from the complete opposite path; it finds us.

It’s not about disregarding comfort, I wore an all purpose weather jacket to the sea this morning to help with the high winds and rain, but it is about not becoming helplessly dependant on these comforts, it’s at this point of helpless dependence that the real problems occur.

Domesticated animals by there nature are not as strong or wise as there wild oppositites, they have no need to be, but what do they loose by not being as strong or wise? It’s worth noting humans are domesticated animals, we rely on our comforts so much that in the wild most would not survive.

This is not a good place to be in and it’s each persons responsibility to re-wild themselves, that is to encourage yourself to become adaptable to all environments regardless of perceived comfort.

This is important because the human being is a remarkable entity that’s true potential is being wasted. Being a fan of potential and wellbeing the more we connect with nature the greater our potential and wellbeing becomes.

Comfort is not in and of itself a bad thing and I’m not attempting to suggest that it is. I love many creature comforts, however potential, greatness, creativity, wellbeing, vision and I could keep going are found not through the comfort you perceive, but in finding the comfort within the uncomfortable.

When you can truly relax in stressful situations you are powerful, when the situation is off Center and yet you can remain focused and calm you are stepping into your power, when you are faced with an obstacle greater than you and you can approach it with truth and grace then you are getting close to be the greatest and most authentic version of yourself.

I believe we all have an artist within us and that our creativity is stifled by our inability to be at peace with who we are and where we find ourselves, we believe that things would be better and easier if certain factors were changed in our favour, this is our desire for comfort and dreams will not be achieved from this mind space.

Change the perspective and nothing is unachievable.

Go take a 3 minute cold shower then sit down and have a hot chocolate and notice how you feel. You may feel so alive after your cold shower that you don’t want the hot chocolate anymore.

To you all in great health and comfort.

Matt

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Soaked Porridge – Vegan

A couple of years ago I soaked everything and on a lot of occasions would sprout seeds to add to salads and porridge, but as is so often the case I am as falable as the next man and I loose my best practices, which I’m totally ok with its part of the journey and sometimes the benefit is not recognised until you loose it and rediscover it.

Well I was walking home from the woods with my son and some friends and the topic of food came into discussion, after studying all walks of nutrition I generally do not enjoy these conversations because well the world of nutrition is a mine field, your more than likely to agree on some points and disagree on others, nutrition is a very personal journey of discovery, however there are jewels and reminders to be found in such conversations and one such reminder was that of ‘soaking’ your nuts, seeds, grains and dried fruits.

Soaking rehydrates dehydrated food, makes it easier to digest and assimilate and in my opinion  improves the taste and texture of the food.

Ever since I have been soaking my porridge overnight, I use filtered water which transforms into oat milk by the morning, the dried fruit release there sugars into the milk and the cashew nuts become more plump and creamy.

If I had more awareness and time I would even pre soak my grains for either lunch or dinner depending on the days menues. Breakfast is a good start and the rest is room for improvement.

The intention then is set, soak your grains and nuts and explore how this changes some of your favourite dishes.

Happy soaking 

Matt

Wild Passion Flower and Rosemary Tea

The best things in life are free. 

Most mornings me and a friend of mine go for a dip in the Brighton sea no matter the weather, this first free enterprise is transformative enough, but the gifts don’t stop there.

On our walk back from the sea we pass a huge passion fruit bush, we forage both the fruit to simply enjoy as it is and the flower for tea. I was told that Passion flower is great for depression and anxiety, which makes it an ideal tea during the winter when depression is most likely to manifest.

After collecting our passion goodies we then pass a number of Rosemary bushes, some with flowers as pictured and some without, just smelling a sprig of rosemary clears the mind and apparently it’s great for your short term memory.

It never ceases to amaze me how much bountiful goodies we are provided with by nature, the more you forage the more appears and yet you have probably been walking right past these little jewels for years. We have a little giggle because the bush we forage from is next door to a supermarket that sells a bunch for £2, as I said little jewels and gold mines, but maybe that’s just a sign of the times, anyway back to the tea.

We now have our Passion flower and sprig of Rosemary, all we need to do now is leave them to steep in hot water for 5 minutes or so and then viola we have an amazing wild foraged, free beverage that warms the heart and enlivens the soul.

To you all in great health

Matt

The Yoga Health Coach

The Morning Sea Swim 

The alarm rings at 5.35am, the snooze button is the obvious reaction, the desire to cling to comfort for those extra 5 minutes surfaces.

Dressed and ready with a flask of loose leaf tea, I meet my friend Steve and his partner Susan who had prepared the most amazing hot drink consisting of cacao, mushrooms and other delights.

We head on foot to the sea front and enjoy insightful conversation and lighthearted jesting.

To sit upon the pebbles of the seafront before a calm sea in the company of friends is one of life’s treasures, to breath deeply into the experience and pause in the moment of retention and feel the vibration of life all around and within you takes you on a magical journey.

Bending the knees and sinking into the hips, moving towards my discomfort allowing my body and mind to move, to feel the pain and yet to free myself of the pain, creating a freeing feeling from within.

The body warm, the mind calm. The time has come to approach and connect with the sea.

Always excited and apprehensive in equal measure. The sea does not allow you to see the moment the pebbles become sand, nor does it allow you to know the depth you will reach before that transition, she keeps everything Unknown a mystery that lures you into the depths of your very being.

The cold embraces the skin, the concept of the cold encourages tension and resistance to this natural phenomenon. On 3 I dive beneath the sea with my eyes closed and the cold gripping my being I glide through a dark abyss of which I have no power or control over and yet a willingness to accept and connect with.

I rise from under the water to grasp the air and release my fears of the Unknown. 

I return to the breath and begin to embrace the play of the sea, this ability to relax creates an inner fire which warms the whole of my being.

The birds fly over head and the sun begins its accent to the heavens, peacefulness I am, alive I feel.

That magical drink that was made for us was divine, it ran through to the very core of my being.

Grateful I Am.

Matt

The Yoga Health Coach

A Plant Based Child’s Birthday Party Spread

My son Ulysses turned 5 recently and we had fun putting together a plant based spread on a small budget.

The occasion begun with a scene from the time of the dinosaurs, where we created a volcano from red cabbage, lava from carrots, trees from broccoli and twigglets helped make the ground, a homemade hummus dip was made to dunk the vegetables in and all went well, we used a sparkler to help make the volcano erupt and the faces of the little people was worth a thousand pictures.

  
Next there was the dinosaur hunt, we used dinosaur moulds to make dark chocolate dinosaurs, we then hid there plastic counterparts in the garden, each time a child returned a plastic dinosaur they received a chocolate one in return. This game was a winner by a mile.

To add some savoury action to the mix we made vegan pizza slices, this goes without saying, success….

We then headed of to the cinema to watch The Good Dinosaur and yes I’m a fan and here we sold out on ourselves and bought popcorn rather than make it, which is very easy to do, we were simply not sure if we could maintain its freshness all the way from home to the pictures.

On return from the cinema we had vegan Christmas trees and boots jellies, using agar flakes instead of gelatin to make the jellies and yes it was another thumbs up.

  
The piece de resistance was the Vegan White Chocolate and Lemon birthday cake, originally Ulysses asked for an ice cream cake and well I was stumped so we agreed on a white cake instead.

The White chocolate was made from cashew nuts and cacao butter for those who are wondering and the base was a simple mix of oats, dates and salt. The adults and my son loved it, whilst it got mixed reviews from the rest of the guests.

  It was an overal success, it showed us we can keep it simple, creative, nourishing and fun.

To you all in great health

Matt

The Yoga Health Coach