Life balance, tuning into intuition, and how to change fast: Topics of discussion at the Best You Expo

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Given that personal development is one of my favourite past times, the Best You Expo held at the London Olympia this week was a must-attend event for me.

There was just too much going on for one person to cover it all and it was a shame I couldn’t get to all the talks I wanted to. But I still enjoyed a jam-packed day full of talks covering mindset and psychology, nutrition, energy, change and more. In this blog, I cover the key takeaways and life nuggets I got from the first day out of the two-day event, where the overriding messages were:

  • Focus on balance across your mind, body and soul to achieve optimum health
  • Silence the mind clutter so you can tune into your intuition that can tell you so much about how to heal your body and what you need
  • Change can happen very quickly and limiting beliefs can be cleared in 60 second with the right techniques
  • It’s important to build a healthy relationship with food, and no food group should be excluded
  • Question the stories you tell yourself about the roles you play in life, the rules you’ve created for yourself as a result, and the subsequent routines you carry out each day to make sure they’re serving you rather than causing you issues.
  • Happiness is a habit!

The balanced approach to life

My favourite session was from a psychologist named Louky de Lange of the Health Psychology Academy, probably because her approach is most in line with my current thinking about how you need to take a balanced approach across mind, body and soul.

She outlined ways we can experience stress at different levels. “Stress affects all biological processes in your body, and the solution is to find balance at all three levels for your mind, body and soul.”

Mental stress

Too many things to think about; your agenda at work or with your family is too full; you might have negative ideas or convictions about yourself that you’re not good enough; or you might be overwhelmed by our emotions.

Balancing approach:

Remove clutter so your environment is clear and tidy; get rid of old stuff (all stuff holds energy); and work on positive thinking and breaking down your limiting beliefs.

Physical / body stress

The food we eat can help us or cause stress (she stressed that everyone is unique so what works for one person might not work for another so it’s important to figure out what works for you); or you might be stressed by your environment such as the climate you live in or the setting (city or rural).

Balancing approach:

Louky advocates for taking tests to measure if your body is out of balance or not, and then work on a programme to improve your diet so that it suits your body, your overall health, sleep and concentration. “Food is either pro or anti-inflammatory. She also referred to “genome healing” (which is something I need to look into more to understand).

Soul stress

If you’re not connected to and in alignment with your soul, or you don’t know which path to follow, it can be scary and lonely, said Louky. It’s easy to let beliefs block you from the truth of who you are. She suggested that people who are depressed or panicked or burnt out are struggling and not connected to their true self.

Balancing approach:

Louky said, “You have to work on empowering yourself, and believing you are worthy with your own unique value and that you can make a difference in the life of someone else. You have to trust your intuition. Many people may not be able to feel it, but when things are positive inside you, it flows like a river and you might have lightbulb moments. When your mind is blocked or you have too much negativity and internal fighting with yourself, you cannot hear the intuition.” She suggested meditation, which can be hard when you start, as a way to calm the mind and enable you to tune into this intuition. Louky’s approach is to release experiences that have had an impact on you at any point in time.

How to have vitality, joy and good health throughout your life

Another session of particular interest to me was hosted by Pam Lob, who suffered from a chronic illness – endometriosis – that took her 20 years to work through. She dealt with severe pain in her abdomen, exhaustion and fatigue, taking painkillers that “made me drunk and hungover at the same time”, and a hysterectomy that pushed her into early menopause. Doctors were not able to diagnose her condition, but it took a reflexologist (who she was hesitant to see) to point out what the problem could be, which was then quickly confirmed with tests.

Now 57, Pam says she feels the best she’s felt in her whole life.

The qualified nurse, counsellor and coach with a degree in psychology, opened with some thought provoking statistics, such as the likelihood that over half of us will have a chronic condition by the age of 60; one in six will have dementia by the age of 80 and half of us will have cancer at some point in our lives.

“But this doesn’t have to be our future. We have options to change this.”

Pam’s approach has included finding ways to connect with the body and stopping the mind chatter with things like breath work, Heart IQ (another one for me to look up), and visualisation as a way to tune into our intuition. She walked us through a visualisation mediation during her session that I fully enjoyed.

She believes that “Our bodies can heal themselves and give us what we need. We need to listen to them.”

She also said, “You need to make health your number one priority.”

She’s an advocate for the ph360 personalised health programme, which was also mentioned by Louky, that uses anthropometry – scientific assessment of your body’s measurements – along with family history, lifestyle and environment factors to understand physical functions, hormone secretions, metabolism and lifestyle preferences.

There’s a free report available on their website that can show you what ‘type’ you are. I took the test at the show and have to say that the result seemed a pretty accurate description of me (Activator: active, loveS change, doesn’t enjoy sedentary tasks, social but still likes time on their own, needs to eat frequently(!), independent and competitive, likes hot dry climates, etc.).

It seemed at first to me to be a little like a generalised horoscope, but even in the free report there was quite a lot of detail that was interesting (your optimum daily schedule, seven habits for health, your food, exercise, mind, relationship, environment and talents profile), and the full report claims to drill down in detail into a much more personalised report. Pam said it was when she came across ph360 and made the recommended changes that her fatigue went away for the first time. It’s definitely something I will look more into.

Redox cell signalling: the root of disease?

Finally, Pam discussed the topic of Redox cell signalling (which is something that Dave Asprey has also talked about on his Bulletproof podcast).

She said, “Cellular communication is essential for cell health, but as we age this communication is reduced and instead of healthy cells being regenerated, damage is replicated, resulting in disease and ageing.”

It’s a fascinating area of study, so much so that James Watson, the scientist who discovered the DNA double helix believes that redox signalling is the cause of diabetes and is now dedicating his time to redox research.

Again, Pam is an advocate of supplements that look to address this redox cell signalling imbalance to help the body get back to full signalling strength.

60 seconds to clearing limitations

A very happy and confident coach Adam Mortimer of Achieve Today took to the stage to illustrate just how quickly change can happen. It can take just 60 seconds, which he walked us through during the session.

He explored the topic of subconscious limiting beliefs, which are “an illusion of the mind”, but can control up to 95% of our life.

Rather amusingly, he got us all chanting ‘silk’ five times and then asked us what do cows drink, to which I responded in a completely convinced way ‘milk’! Of course cows drink water not milk, but his point was to illustrate how easily our mind can be conditioned to believe something even if it’s not true.

Adam said that the three beliefs that hold most people back were:

  1. I’m not good enough
  2. I’m not worthy
  3. I don’t deserve it.

He then walked us through a visualisation that could change the way our minds perceive these limiting beliefs (the 60 seconds to change part) and instil us with more confidence. It was similar to Paul McKenna’s NLP-based approach from the ‘Get the Life You Want’ seminar. You pick an object that might represent that feeling (eg: I”m not good enough) – the first object that pops into your mind (for me it was a milk bottle, which might have been to do with the milk anecdote above). Then you picture that object and put it in a small black and white TV and imagine the image getting smaller and smaller, grainier and grainier, until it disappears.

When you think about the scenario again you will most likely feel less emotionally charged about it. For more ideas along these lines, take a look at my blog from that seminar.

His coaching approach looks to set up your intention and find your why (which I’ve also written about before as being essential to creating motivation), a health session for vibrancy, finding and clearing limiting beliefs with lots of tools such as tapping or NLP, working on visualisation, building confidence, and more.

My favourite quote from his session was, “Happiness is a habit”. He buoyantly suggested that you can condition the mind to be happy. It’s a choice you have every day.

Happiness is a habit

Building a healthy relationship with food

Harley Street nutritionalist Rhiannon Lambert shared with us her early approach to food as she sought to be thin as a young aspiring singer, relying on food replacement shakes, being depleted of energy as a result and ending up on antidepressants. Recognising that this was not helping her be happy or healthy, she decided to educate herself, completing a nutrition and health degree and a masters in obesity. Through her early clinic work with clients it quickly became apparent that psychology was just as important as nutrition. “It’s all about how people feel about what they’re eating. And we need tools to help us with behavioural change.”

“We all have voices in our heads. If you listen to the voices, your an develop an unhealthy relationship with food. Instead you have to listen to what you actually want; what would fuel you for the day.”

Don’t restrict any one food group

She doesn’t believe any single approach, such as a plant-based diet, or carb restriction are the way to go. “You need to make the healthiest version for you, with everything in moderation, be mindful and eat without judgement, and observe how you feel in the moment.” She also said, “Scales destroy lives and relationships with food. How can scales measure any change in nutrition or small improvements in health behaviour?”

Rhiannon suggested that instead of looking at food as a black or white situation (‘I’ve eaten one biscuit, I might as well eat them all’, or ‘I’ve been good all week so I can go crazy on the weekend’), you need to merge them into grey. “I might have that biscuit, but I’ll mix it with fruit; I don’t feel like going for a run so I’ll go for a walk instead”.

Her book Re-nourish covers her four R’s as the pillars of health:

  • Respect: Respect your body enough to fuel it with nutrients so it feels incredible. Open yourself up to letting go of judgement and your inner critic.
  • Refuel: Eat to live. You have to give your body food, and not cut out food groups. Ex
    ercising can change the composition of your diet, so you need to make sure you’re eating enough to provide yourself with enough energy.
  • Rehydrate: In the UK, she said, the average is for us to drink one glass of water a day. But that’s crazy given that 60% of bodies are made up of water, and every cell function needs water to process.
  • Recover: There’s nothing wrong with rest, and it’s one of the most important things. But in western world, we’ve lost track of it, or act as if we don’t deserve it. But we need to focus more on self care, and on our mental state of mind as well as the physical.

Other nuggets

I didn’t get to see all of the sessions in full but here are a few other highlights:

  • I loved walking in to ‘wellbeing facilitator’ Su Orosa’s session on our relationship to change to see a room full of people tapping away with the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which I have become such a fan of and have used a lot recently to work through some past experiences and to facilitate change. And I enjoyed her quote, “What we change inwardly will change our outward reality. Only I can change my life”.
  • The founder of UK Health Radio Johann Ilgenfritz who was diagnosed with cancer and given 12 months to live who said that the breakthrough finding for him was that “Cancer cannot survive in an oxygenated alkaline cellular environment” (by German biochemist Dr Warburg back in 1931 who won a nobel prize for this finding). Johann said he overhauled his lifestyle and his diet as a result. And he went from believing that cancer was a cause of the illness to realising that it is only a symptom of a sick body. “Change the cause and you will change the effect.”
  • The ‘Vitality Fairy’ Julie Silver, who is a qualified nutritional therapist and holistic practitioner, had a range of recommendations that she walked us through, including self-massage to feel nutured and bring the spleen back into balance, Qi Gong to activate your energy system, yoga nidra as a way to ‘get you out of your head’, and pointing towards magnesium, schisandra berries and he shou wu to promote energy and heal the body on many levels.
  • Transformational life coach Victoria Midwood’s focus on the three ‘R’s’ that can keep you stuck: your roles, rules and routines. She made us think about the roles we play in our life, and the rules we attach to those roles which then lead to our routines. The rules very often can be conditioned (ie: what you’ve grown up with) and if you don’t do them you can put stress on yourself. These rules are very often unwritten and you don’t tend to question them, but “you can re-write those rules,” she said. If they aren’t working for you it can lead to issues with weight, your health, stress, sleep, “all because we continue ‘getting through’ and not stopping to think about what we actually want to do”. Question those stories and look at how you can change them to make your life better.
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