Hi all, Sam here :) hope you are getting through the week successfully and enjoying the weather!
Thank you all again for making the past week of SMASH as amazing as we envisaged and we hope that you have been able to be thankful for some of the the things in your life with your gratitude affirmations. Keep going with it... practising gratitude on a regular basis may be strange and/or difficult to start with but it becomes second nature after a while. As Ash mentioned in the email last week we wanted to give you an insight into some of our own health and fitness stories so that you can get a feel for why we are so passionate about our venture;
So as Ash answered last week...
How did I discover the benefits of practising daily gratitude?
I was initially introduced to mindful thinking and meditation back in 2000 when i was studying to be a holistic therapist. I had been suffering with depression and had dropped out of my first college and decided that a qualification where I could help people would be the one for me. I didn't practice on a regular basis having also discovered the joys of alcohol but the times I did, I found it helped me get into a slightly better place in my mind. Fast forward to almost 10 years later. Mindfulness had gone out of the window and alcohol had taken over my life. Having to seek external help for my problems, my alcohol counsellor re-introduced me to mindful techniques and took me through a guided meditation to help me get in touch with some of the good things I had in my life and this kick-started a newer positive attitude to life which included a lot of self-reflection.
After giving up alcohol (almost 8 and a half years ago now) I realised just how much I had to be grateful for and actually how much of life I had been missing out on; so I made it my mission to experience life to the full and not settle for what I thought life should look like - over the last 8 years I've changed so much, making many solid friendships; climbing mountains; running marathons; losing 40kg in weight; making the big step to leave my partner at the time, leave my home, my secure job and my friends to go travelling 'solo' for a year (mostly around India) - a time in which I shared my story with many co-travellers who seemed amazed and inspired by my transformation.
I realised that I really wanted to continue to inspire and motivate people because you all have your own stories; your own achievements and your own missions... If SMASH can inspire you to achieve your goals, or just learn to be a little more mindful of how great you are, then we are achieving the vision we set out when we started to talk about the concept of this unique class a few months ago :)
When reading back some of the achievements in my life, it may sound like a lot, but it all started with little steps and with gratitude; which is an ongoing process. Around a year ago I downloaded the "Calm" app, and have been doing at least a 10 minute meditation every day which certainly helps refocus the mind, and keep the 'little' daily stresses at bay.
So, again we will ask you to take a couple of minutes now,to list as many things as you can, either presently or throughout your life, that you are grateful for. Be it in your head, on paper, on your phone or out loud. You may find a few more things than the last time we did this; you may just find a few and focus your energy on them. There is no wrong or right!
Next SMASH will be meeting in the main studio at 1pm
The next email will be coming at the weekend
Sam and Ashley
For Body * For Mind * For Life
P.S. My recipe for the week is simple but effective if you have a sweet tooth but don't want too much sugar...
Mash 1 banana with 1 egg and cook pancake-style in a pan... Done!!
Nice by themselves, with added blueberries, or with a bit of nut butter spread on top - (Nutella works well if you need the added sweetness!)
Enjoy the rest of your week and see you all on Friday!