Making Time For Nothing New!

It's been a little while since my last post in this series, if you missed the previous editions you can have a quick catch up here. Now today's title might seem a little odd but recently I've very specifically been making time for absolutely nothing new! Just let me explain what I mean ...

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

It's very easy these days to get caught up in a world driven by new ideas, constant hits of new and enticing content and the temptation to consume, consume, consume on each and every corner. Not only that but I also find that when you write a blog you can often feel the pressure to constantly be showcasing the newest thing and I know I've certainly fallen for that pressure in the past. Feeling I must write posts with lots of shiny new products and gadgets in it to stay on top of the game and demonstrate I'm aware of the newest trend - not that I usually am anyway! 

Now that can not only get incredibly expensive, it is also by no means a demonstration of any real meaning or connection to anything worthwhile. Plus it all gets a little stressful on the bank balance and the bulging cupboards or bookshelves hiding under the weight of all these shiny new but not exactly all that loved 'stuff.' 

Recently for me though it has been the overwhelming stream of content in my brain that I have decided to turn away from to try and find a better focus. Whilst making time for new things is amazing, making time to actually finish that book, or sit in the quiet for a moment and gather your thoughts in to one place, is incredibly important and I feel ultimately more rewarding.

So whilst I won't pretend I haven't still been getting excited by new ideas and don't still have a list as long as my arm of things I can't wait to try, share and do here on this blog and in my life in general, I've very much been focusing on finishing the task in hand first. Switching off when it all gets too much, being more careful about what I consume both in the physical sense and when it comes to what I'm allowing into my brain! When it comes to work I'm trying to live up to my post about the benefits of single-tasking and I'm also applying that in life as well.

 

THREE TOP TIPS TO MAKE TIME FOR NOTHING NEW!

1. Be Conscious Of What You Consume.

Here I'm really talking about two things - the physical clutter and items that we are purchasing, usually unnecessarily, and then cramming into our space when we don't really need to, as well as the online content clutter that we are overwhelming our minds with on a daily basis. I've addressed the physical before in this post about decluttering and the pain of so called 'retail therapy!'

I've seen and heard a lot in the blogosphere recently about being more intentional with who you follow and the content you are choosing to consume and I think this can be applied to all of us, blogger or otherwise. We all need to think about both how much content we let in as well as exactly what that content contains and whether or not it is helpful to us. So take some time to have a clear out of what you are exposing yourself to across social channels and other online activity. To get you started I'll turn here to some really useful tips laid out in this post: Be More Intentional With What You Consume by Jen Carrington.

2. Finish That Current Task, Project, Book etc FIRST!

You know all those half written emails, unfinished projects and other little jobs that you started but never quite finished? Those are the open ended details that can really drag us down. They keep us awake at night worrying because we know that we should have tied up some of those loose ends ages ago. Procrastinating and distractions drag us away from finishing things time and again. But at some point we have to tackle the issue. Intrigued to know why many of us find it hard to finish what we started? Take a read of this: Why You Can Never Finish Anything And How To Finally Change It via FastCompany

It can also affect our personal lives too, leading us to feel guilty about all those things we said we wanted to do, started, but never completed. When you do get some time to yourself and you want to spend it wisely, don't always turn to doing something new. Think about the things that you've already begun and find a way to focus back in on those. Go on, take that quiet time and go and finally finish that book or three that you first started reading months ago. 

3. Embrace 'La Dolce Far Niente' - The Art Of Doing Nothing!

If you've ever read the book or watched the movie 'Eat, Pray, Love' then you'll likely be aware of this Italian turn of phrase. Elizabeth Gilbert is sitting in an Italian barber shop describing her guilt at having spent her first few weeks in Italy learning little Italian and eating. Yet the Italians have this beautiful phrase for the pure sweetness of doing nothing - La Dolce Far Niente. 

Whilst I hear you all roar that wouldn't it be nice if you only had the time to do nothing, there are still a few ways that you can squeeze in a little cultivation of this idea even in the busiest of days. Turning off the TV that so mindlessly robs us of our time, sitting still for a moment and connecting to yourself and disconnecting for a moment from the noise of daily life, on and offline. Just being, not doing however brief can really bring you peace and is something you should definitely give a try every now and again.

 

So this month I'm focusing on embracing what I already have, finishing what I've already started and taking a short moment now and again to sit in the silence and just be without picking up a magazine, a new book, my laptop, phone and all of those other distractions. Do you have any unfinished business to which you could refocus your energy and time this month? What old things can you revisit and make time for, for the rest of the month of June?

Louise

 


Beauty And Wellbeing Tips For Busy Skin With Skincare Specialist Kerry Payne

WORKING IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY PLUS TOP SKINCARE TIPS FOR HECTIC LIFESTYLES

You may remember way back in November I attended the first Thirty Plus Blogs event at OMNIYA Health and Beauty Mediclinic in Knightsbridge. Well today I'm very excited to share with you an interview with one of their top practitioners Kerry Payne, an Advanced Skincare Specialist with over 12 years expert experience in her field. Today Kerry is sharing with us a little about her career and how she got started as well as some useful and practical tips for looking after tired skin as part of a busy working lifestyle. So without further ado ...

Photo Credit: Omniya

Photo Credit: Omniya

Hi Kerry. Please could you tell me a little more about your role as a skincare specialist and what a typical day involves?

My role as an advanced skincare specialist at OMNIYA changes every day. I always arrive 30 minutes before my shift starts so that I can go through my notes on the clients I'm seeing that day; each client has a totally bespoke treatment plan, so it’s important I’m fully up to speed on all their treatments and any issues. I see a wide variety of skin conditions and concerns, so I make sure I’m always researching new treatments and ingredients - I want my clients to feel totally confident when they see me that I’ll get them the very best results.

I love chatting with my clients and as well as looking after their skin, it can sometimes become a bit of a therapy session as well! My most popular treatment is a bespoke facial, so I work with the client to find out what they're looking for and how we can best achieve this, normally with a combination of facials, peels, LED treatment, micro needling and home care products. I work really closely with the other expert practitioners, so if there's anything I think can help the client (perhaps seeing the hormone specialists, a consult with the clinical nutritionist or a chat with our cosmetic doctor) I will always refer them. It makes the client’s life so much easier when everything is all under one roof.

In-between seeing clients we have a lot of walk-ins to the clinic, so I do skin consultations and help customers with their skincare choices. We have a great variety of products available including ZO Skin Health By Dr Zein Obagi, SkinCeuticals, AQ Solutions, TA65, Environ, as well as traditional French pharmacy brands.

Photo Credit: Omniya

Photo Credit: Omniya

What led you to this kind of work and what kind of training is involved?

I grew up in a family that loved health and beauty and a lot of my family members actually worked in the industry, so although I had the usual worries about what I was going to do when I was in my final years of school, it was the natural route. I’ve always loved skincare and when my sister suggested I try beauty therapy, I realised it was exactly what I’d been looking for. I can be quite competitive, when I do something I want to be the best at it! That's why I chose one of the most prestigious beauty therapy courses that allowed me to work in the UAE and America, as well as the UK.

What is it that you love most about the work you do and what motivates you on a daily basis?

My job is all about the people, so I love making clients happy and helping them to improve their skin concerns. When people are suffering from acne or other skin issues it can have a real knock on their confidence and self esteem. If I can help people feel good about themselves then I’m happy. Hopefully the fact that I have a lot of regular clients means I’m doing exactly that.

Photo Credit: Omniya

Photo Credit: Omniya

What are the biggest challenges people face when it comes to looking after their skin in today’s busy, hectic working world?

I believe the biggest challenge for most people is the lack of time they have to look after themselves. I try and create home-care regimes that fit in with their busy lifestyles and deliver results they need. The world of skincare can be a confusing one as well. I try to be as knowledgeable as possible about ingredients and formulations, so I can advise clients without them having to spend time decoding all the marketing-speak!

Do you have any simple, practical tips that readers could implement right away to help look after their skin - especially when faced with very busy lifestyles?

I believe the most important thing is to get your basic skincare routine down. Follow the below every day and then you can add in more targeted treatment products as and when you need them:

1. Find a good cleanser that’s suited to your skin type to remove impurities.

2. Then layer on your serums – look for ones with Vitamin C (essential antioxidant protection) and Hyaluronic Acid (for plumping and hydrating the skin).

3. Finish with a high factor SPF in the morning or a retinol at night.

Looking after your inner health is also incredibly important for your skin; try and eat a balanced, healthy diet, drink lots of water, and look into supplements with vitamins A, C and E. We have an incredible clinical nutritionist at OMNIYA who gives helpful, practical advice if you’re looking for help.

Photo Credit: Omniya

Photo Credit: Omniya

How do you like to unwind after a long day and what are your top tips for looking after your wellbeing amidst a busy lifestyle?

After a long day on my feet and chatting to people I always unwind with a relaxing bath and a Neom Organics bath oil and a candle. If I’m not too exhausted, I’ll read my book. Looking after my health and wellbeing is really important, as I need a lot of energy to do my job. I always try and get nine hours sleep, drink between 2–3 litres of water a day and make sure my diet is full of greens. We stock a great range of supplements, so I make sure I’m taking what my body needs and always have regular hormone checks with our specialists.

Photo Credit: Omniya

Photo Credit: Omniya

Great advice and thank you to Kerry for giving us an insight to her world. I'm sure that if this is an area you are interested in you'll find it very useful. Plus for those of us struggling to decipher the many products on offer out there and what we should be using to care for our skin, Kerry's practical tips are definitely going to come in handy. I for one am off to refill my water bottle and get my daily quota of the good stuff in for starters! 

Thank you all for reading. Happy Monday! Enjoy your week and see you again soon.

Louise

 


Northern India Photo Diary: All Of Life In Varanasi

Back in January we took a trip to beautiful India and the very stunning Sri Lanka. I began to share the journey and a selection of the millions of photos that I took in this post here but then with a big house move and the realities of other work and general life settling in, for one reason or another I didn't get around to posting anything further. Today I was looking back at all of the photos wondering if it was way too late five months on to be sharing the experience. But you know what, I think these forgotten volumes of adventure deserve to be shared. I certainly know that I love to see photos and hear tales of peoples travels if I'm looking to explore a certain place myself, so I hope anyone considering a journey to these parts may still find these photo diaries interesting. 

Varanasi

I will pick up our journey in the unabashed wonder that is Varanasi. Now we took a short flight from Delhi to Varanasi which takes around about an hour and twenty. It's worth noting here that some of the internal flights in India have a much lower baggage allowance than international flights, so check before you go to make sure you and your backpack are going to be able to get on board without too much extra cost or hassle!

For anyone that has been to Delhi and found it an assault on the senses, well Varanasi is another level of hectic hustle and bustle all together. So brace yourself for the kind of chaos that never quits but that will enthral and amaze all the same.

Varanasi

The pace is indeed the definition of frantic but this is a vibrant and colourful stop not to be missed. Sacred and full of soul, sat on the River Ganga, or Ganges as we know it, it is here that all of life and indeed death collide with unbound pace, colour, sights and sounds. This can be incredibly overwhelming but looking back I still believe this was the most memorable place of the entire trip.

Varanasi

Because of the proximity of Varanasi to the holy River Ganges it is here that people flood from all over India to bathe in the holy waters and extricate their sins. Here too they come to cremate loved ones and engage in funeral rites upon the event of their death. It is considered an auspicious place to die because of the Hindu belief in Moksha and freedom from samsara - the cycle of death and rebirth. I'm not an expert in this area but this is my understanding and I really hope I've described this correctly. Much of life in Varanasi is conducted around these funeral rituals and you will likely witness many examples of this as you walk around the narrow streets, explore the beautiful flower markets and of course make your journey down to the colourful Ghats.

Varanasi
Varanasi
Varanasi

Ghats are the riverfront steps that lead down to the River Ganges and there are many of them, eighty-seven in fact, in Varanasi each with their own purpose. Many are used for bathing and for various ceremonies. Others are used solely as the sites for the daily cremations that take place by the waters edge. Visiting the Ghats is an integral part of a trip to this city and one of the best ways to begin to understand what life here along the river is all about.

Varanasi
Varanasi
Varanasi

As many visitors do, we took a boat along the Ganges both in the evening and also at sunrise, a great way to get a view and understanding of the vast expanse of the Ghats alongside the river, witnessing the daily rituals that take place on each. An evening boat ride is usually synonymous with watching the daily evening prayers that take place on the rivers edge, the prayers to Mother Ganga, known as the Ganga Aarti. This was by far one of the highlights of our trip.

Varanasi

Initially we took a boat along the waters edge as the sun set. Once out on the river and as darkness started to fall we took part in the ritual of lighting candles in small cups made from leaves and flowers, known as diya, and setting them on the river, sending each one off with a silent wish or a prayer. We then nestled our boat alongside the numerous others on the water by the edge of the ceremonial Ghat and settled in to watch the evening prayers performed amongst a heady mix of music, fire and the smell of burning sandalwood. 

Varanasi
Varanasi
Varanasi

The experience of a few days in Varanasi will certainly stay with me for a long time. Whatever your own personal beliefs in life you cannot fail to be touched by the spiritual nature of this feverish holy city. It's certainly a must to add to your itinerary when visiting this part of the world. Be prepared for a profusely intense experience that will definitely challenge but ultimately be incredibly rewarding.

Louise

 


Beauty And Power In The Spoken Word: Chill Pill

This past weekend I went along to an event called The Sunday Papers Live. To be honest I accidentally stumbled across it late on Friday evening, explored the website and line-up, watched a few videos from previous events and feeling intrigued, knew it was something I wanted to book. Luckily I was able to get two tickets last minute and off we strolled on Sunday to see what it was all about. Now this entire event in itself is well worth talking about so you'll probably catch me sharing more snippets over upcoming posts here on the blog. But for today I wanted to share one of my favourite findings from the day - Chill Pill UK.

Chill Pill UK At The Sunday Papers Live

Chill Pill UK are a group of up and coming, as well as long established, spoken word poets. Delivering quick witted, emotive and sharply crafted poetry that tackles some of the freshest issues of the day as well as tapping into topics that we can all relate to and find our feet with.

Quite honestly their work left me awe struck. There is something about the power of words that has always resonated with me and when I witness people bring spoken word together so sharply but in such a relatable way, about topics that I can understand and feel passionate about, well for me that is something really special. So sitting back as the sun drew in on Sunday afternoon, cold beer in hand, watching these guys deliver with such power was a real treat.

From what I gather there are many members of the Chill Pill collective of poets. On Sunday we were offered inspiration from Adam Kammerling, Mr Gee and Ben Norris. They delivered both established and new work of their own as well as creating poetry on the day in the form of letters, based on requests received earlier from members of the audience. Whether that be a poem on the stark reality of the life of an immigrant worker, a poem that truly depicts that feeling of inadequacy we can all relate to when we don't feel we can step out of the door in the morning, put on our mask and pretend to be confident in a world we feel everyone else understands and we don't, or a letter put together for a bride to be to her bridesmaid, describing the power and depth of their friendship in tales of nights on the town and tears around the toilet bowl! Each and every offering gave laughter, emotion, insight and a true grasp on the delicacy and intricacies of the human condition.

I've shared a couple of videos below for anyone intrigued about their work. These aren't from Sunday's event itself but they will give you a taste of what I'm talking about.

Chill Pill UK hold regular nights at the Albany, Arcola and Soho Theatres so keep an eye on their website and Facebook page for more details. Some of their poets will be taking part in Tongue Fu at The Roundhouse in Camden this Friday 3rd June and when I last looked there were still some tickets available. If you want to check them out then get yourself a spot - I'm pretty confident you won't be disappointed.

Oh and if you like the sound of The Sunday Papers Live (and you should!) their next session will be held on Sunday 28th August. Or if you're heading to Wilderness Festival this summer you'll be able to find them there.

This post isn't sponsored in any way. I'm sharing because I'm passionate about new experiences and great events that get you thinking and bring you joy. I highly recommend that you check these guys out if you ever get the chance.

Louise