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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Chakra dance

The fact that I have decided to branch off from the work at the journey of the slim soul does not mean I am off my journey of the slim soul. It just means that I am no longer training people to be slim soul coaches at this point in time, despite this having been a tremendously rewarding journey.

It does not mean I don't want to sell my books. In fact, I have just reviewed my pricing strategy: I am now selling the book as a stand alone product instead of selling it together with the CD. This makes my work a lot more affordable and accessible. Also, I am planning on launching a kindle version of the book and writing a sequel sometimes this year.

As for my own journey, I have been reminded how important it is to keep fit when you spend long hours at a desk writing. And for this reason, I decided to try another form of exercise: chakra dancing. Some of you already know how much I favour intuitive forms of exercise. I am a big fan of running (as I run outdoors it enables me to connect with nature and the seasons). I have loved Nia in my days. Unfortunately, the NIA class I was attending last year was too far away from me and I couldn't continue to spend one hour on the road just for a class. And this is how I got to discover my chakra dance class: there was one that opened right down in my village hall.

Chakra dance is a form of dancing that does not require any particular ability in dancing. You don't need to know anything about chakras. You don't need to be spiritual. It does not require any specific level of fitness. It can be as physical as you want it to be, or not, as the case maybe. And for those of you who are body self conscious: as it is done with your eyes closed, no one is going to see if you make a fool of yourself. And believe me that is liberating.

Up until now, I loved the concept intellectually but had not actually tried it so it remained a concept. Last night changed it all. And here is how I would describe my experience of the chakra dance and why I have become a big fan. It starts with a very short meditation, followed by between half an hour and an hour of free style dancing to a music which is designed to work on each chakra respectively, starting with the base and moving to the crown.

The very first aspect that I loved about the chakra dance is the music. It is intoxicating. I would liken it slightly with belly dancing music. I do have a bias though. I love belly dancing. But the music evolves as the dance moves up the chakras so it would be limiting to compare it to anything.

The second aspect that got me off my feet (literally and metaphorically) is that, due to the fact that it is done with your eyes closed, it gives you incredible freedom to be YOU, and no one else but you.

The third aspect that won me over is that it can be as physical as you want it to be. Last night, I gave myself the best bums and tums workout in a long time (since my laughter yoga adventure) and I came home feeling great. I can really see this as a great way to improve my fitness and to give me that edge as a runner.

The fourth aspect is that since you decide what you do and let your body follow the music and create movement intuitively: it has got to be the best workout FOR YOU. And for the first time, I discovered what it was to actually exercised completely as I wished. And no: it didn't end up in me sitting down on a cushion and waiting for the class to go by. I was actively participating and my body was loving it.

I am such a big adept of listening to your body that chakra dance has got to be the winner of all forms of dances and classes that I have tried so far. If you can't find a class near you, consider training as a facilitator or purchase one of their CDs.

To your fitness,

Ange de Lumiere

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Branching off

After putting ridiculous pressure on myself to run a half marathon last September and then collapsing in a heap of nothing, I have decided to embrace the fact that I am on a journey and not a race. Luckily my body is wiser than me and it decided to stop me dead on my tracks by manifesting a condition called plantar fasciitis in July 2013, which very effectively grounded me, as I was barely able to walk, let alone run. My body is definitely the wiser of us two.

I have not given up on my journey, nor on running. In fact, I have now managed to up my running to twice a week. And to be able to do that only six months after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis is really good.

I have just taken a hint that I need to go with the flow and not try to push a river. That is a very important lesson. It's not like I am an adept of a quick and easy fix. This is precisely why I wrote the journey of the slim soul. To show people that diets don't work. Fast and furious doesn't work, but I am passionate and so occasionally, in fact, more often than not, I get carried away and forget that it is a journey. Duh.

Right now, I am busying myself with another venture which I feel equally as passionate about: helping budding writers get started.

I have called my work "I can make you write"and I am really excited to launch my one day workshop in a couple of weeks for all of you lovely people who might not know where to start or who might have found yourselves blocked on your own journey and need a little nudge. You might want to write about your own slimming journey, your life as a parent, your travel memories. Whatever. Most people have a lot more to say and share than they give themselves credit for.

My one day workshop that will leave you:
  • more confident about writing (plenty of practice)
  • with tools to avoid the most common writing pitfalls
  • with the seven golden rules of writing
  • with an understanding of how to manage your inner critic (always a good one for a writer)
  • with effective tools to deal with your fears and insecurities
  • with a strategy to identify your reader
  • an understanding of the writing process
You can read more about it on my website. I also have a Facebook page where I share insights and useful information: I can make you write

You can sign up for the workshop on my website in the online shop.

My book is still available for sale. That has not changed. And I will still blog about my slimming journey because I have just gone back on it. In fact, I plan to write a sequel to the Journey of the Slim Soul called "the Return of the Journey of the Slim Soul" in honour to the Pink Panther which I adore. 

To your creativity,

Ange de Lumiere

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Forget those tums and bums classes

I have borrowed this image from
All my friends will tell you, I am not a big fan of gyms. I like outdoors. I like fun. And I have never found fun and outdoors or at least fresh air... or air that is breatheable in gyms. I am sensitive to smells so I get easily overwhelmed. So, I hold up my hand and say that I have neglected my abdominal muscles. And after having four babies, I think my body is coming back with a vengeance of a message... and asking for help.

Well, it so happens that last week I followed my body's calls without really knowing what I was doing. I work intuitively, so it doesn't matter. Sometimes I do random things and I only understand afterwards, sometimes years later, why I did. But don't we all.

I had been nudged by life to try a laughter yoga class for ages. I spotted one in the Pierian Centre, at the Centre of Bristol and kept on wishing I could make it. Well I was then a single mother working full time with two young children and no relatives (I am an immigrant) or friends to help. I was a nearly arrived immigrant then. Oh what sweet and terrifying moments these were. I am not trying to find excuses of why I didn't go. It was actually a very valid reason. There are only so many hours a day. And as delightful Joe Hoare, founder of the Bristol Laughter Club, said in the class, when I finally made it, we all have journeys that lead us to places at our own pace.

Then my friend Mary Rives mentioned Laughter Yoga, because she actually teaches it. And I thought.... funny I have heard about this before. That was probably eight years after me hearing about it for the first time. I still had no idea what it was, so this made me a little nervous. Aren't we all? Is it yoga? Is it humour? Do I need to bring a yoga mat? Are they going to ask me to do a stand up comedy on as stage... crickey, I don't know. But I sure am curious about what it is all about.

Well, fate had it that I had to make it to the last Laughter Yoga class run by Joe. As some of you might recognise, the Universe conspired. I got a free babysitter. I got free parking. Everything rolled. And you know when that happens because when things aren't meant to happen, obstacles keep on coming up. But then, I was in the flow.

The class was incredibly amazing. I am not American, OK? I don't do amazing and incredible very easily. If I say it, then that is what is. I say things the way they are. Let me try to explain what it did for me and you will understand what I mean. First of all, it relaxed me. My body was so tense from all the worrying about a million things that I became aware of how tense my neck and shoulders were because laughing actually hurt. I yawned so much you wouldn't believe. And instead of becoming self conscious of it, we (Joe) included it in the process of the session. I told Joe I was delighted for once that he didn't feel offended that I yawned whilst he was talking because I am so tired all the time and when my body urges me to yawn when someone is talking, I have to repress it, or else my loved ones get offended. In Joe's Circle, though, I was allowed to do that. I had a safe space to be me and to honour my body. The other thing I need to do which usually gets me into trouble is drink water. So I kept on asking if I could go and get more water. And again, Joe gracefully included that in the process of the class. Of course because I listen to my body's needs, I usually also interrupt a lot to go to the toilet... instead of suffering in silence and getting dehydrated, as I was taught too. Luckily that day, I only disrupted the class by getting the water and not also by going to the toilet. I mean I was the new girl on the block, how disruptive can I allow myself to be? Well, this is a good question because although I don't like to inflict myself upon others, this was my treat. And I wasn't going to let anyone spoil it. I hope the others will forgive me.

I had so many shifts that evening. Some were happy, some were sad. I managed to relax my body to a level that I never thought was possible. The sadness, mixed with joy, was to realise that I missed my grand mother who taught me how laughter is the best medicine. And I realised that since 2000 (and maybe even before) I have missed her a lot. Somehow, however, I get the feeling that from heaven she led me to that class.

I also realised that I had never allowed myself to laugh as loud as I am able to for fear of sounding stupid or being judged as unfeminine. I have a loud laugh. I can go into hysterics easily. In fact I have one other friend who took on my grand mother's role to laugh with me but she lives on the other side of the world so we don't get to do that so often anymore. Joe did an amazing exercise where we all lied down with our head in the centre and spread like a sun and we allow ourselves to laugh freely, as no one knows precisely who is laughing at any particular moment, although of course they do... but it creates a space. And that was when I really let go and had a true moment of bliss. It is also the moment when I realised that laughter yoga is definitely what I want to use those tummy muscles. It was so much fun... and it hurt. But it was more fun that it hurt if that makes any sense.

I can see that the years of doing spiritual practices such as yoga, tai chi, zazen, nia dance and everything in between had prepared me to fully enjoy the class. You don't have to have the experience that I have to enjoy it. Everyone can get something from it.

So as the creator of the holistic movement that the journey of the slim soul is: I highly recommend laughter yogas as a form of holistic physical exercise. And it's also good for the soul. Don't they say that laughter is the best medicine? If you are not feeling well, go laugh with the Laughing Yogis of this world. Your body doesn't know the difference between forced laughter and spontaneous laughter. Give it a try. Get the laughter ball rolling. It's got to be better than pills. Right?

Have a blessed day

Ange de Lumiere
(c) 2013 Ange de Lumiere

PS: And let all the laughter yogis of this world freely share this blog to promote their work. They have my blessing.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Prayers for the Boston marathon runners

I am grieving. I am sad. I am in turmoil. The events that just happened at the Boston Marathon have hit me straight to the heart. I send love and healing to all those affected directly or indirectly by this event.

I am grieving as a runner. I am grieving as a mother. I am grieving as a peacemaker. Because I know that when horror hits at the core of innocence, then the temptation to tip into hate and fear and a desire for "justice" which is a mask for vengeance, is huge. I am grieving also because I have been hit close to home during the bombings that happened in the nineties in Paris and I actually escaped death by a few minutes so I know what it's like to feel threatened in your sense of security very close to home. 

And event like this can create feelings in us like:

- fear for our safety
- reinforce a possible belief that there is evil on the planet
- tip us into thinking that there needs to be justice or vengeance or both
- create a "us" and "them" world where there is a goody and a baddy and all our energies are focused on punishment
- tip us into choosing a race or religion that will carry the "responsibility" for the heinous crime (when in reality there are only individuals and no group of human beings should be thrown into the bag of hatred under ANY excuse)
- irrational feelings (albeit justified) that makes us more prone to manipulation from governments or people who have an agenda.

All of you have my prayers. But my prayers is for an open heart and for forgiveness.

There is no point pretending you are not tipped into fear when something like this happens. There is no point pretending there is no pain. So I want to invite you into a practice that I learnt from Linda Howe in her wonderful book "Healing in the Akashic Records" which is the practice of acceptance.

Start with saying "Of course": Of course we are outraged. Of course it hurts. Of course we are angry and we want to separate ourselves from the people who have perpetrated this heinous crime. And we need to forgive ourselves for those feelings. Trying to be positive when you can't is counterproductive because it sweeps those emotions under the carpet and stores them into your body and energy field.

My invitation, however is to embrace them fully with the "of course practice" but not let them active in your psyche for too long. Embrace them fully and then release them. Because if you hold onto them, whether you have been hurt, someone you love has been hurt or even died, you live in Boston... or live in America, or are a runner... or a mother... or a father, or like me a citizen of the world. Everyone can hurt and should hurt. There is no one that shouldn't be touched by what happened.

Take a piece of paper and write down everything that you feel. Pour your heart out. Even the ugly thoughts. The ones you wouldn't want anyone else to read. Then burn the piece of paper whilst saying to yourself, I release this energy into the Universe and ask the angels and the fire to purify them.

Once you have done that then if you can, focus on the light. Worrying about people or feeling horrible for them will not help them. Pity is a horrible energy to project onto anyone. Believe me, as an energy worker: I see the yuckiness of it. Instead send love and support. I know that the people involved in this strategy are incredibly courageous to have been at that particular spot on the planet at that moment in time and they need all my admiration and my strength to carry on. For those that have gone back to the creator, I send a bridge of light to help them in their transition. And this goes for anyone who has been affected directly or indirectly by this event.

Can I also invite you not to let yourself be dragged into the constant non stop flow of negativity that the media are going to rehearse. They think people want to hear about it, watch the video and all that jazz. This appeals to the lowest of our instinct: the morbid curiosity. All it does is created more pain. It doesn't help the situation. If anything those who have an agenda to start wars or agendas to sell weapons or anything else from insurance to house protection will ride on the wave of this terrible event, whether you believe me or not. This is the way our society works. But we have seen with 9/11 and the Tsumani that there is another part of us that opens to compassion and to love and that extends a helping hand to total strangers. This is the place in your heart that I want you to reach for.

If I tapped into the Akashic Records of the Boston Marathon I would be able to see the bigger picture of why this happened. At this point I won't. I can already see that this is an invitation to love. These things will keep on happening as long as we still have hate in our hearts. Hate for a family member (which sometimes hides under resentment), a neighbour... someone with a different skin colour or another religion. We all have some work to do. What are you waiting for? Explore your areas of darkness and bring the light in.

I am here to hold the space for you.

Blessings of love and light


Saturday, 30 March 2013

Healing (crisis)

On our journey of the slim soul, we have to take responsibility for our health and learn about how energy and invisible things that affect us. Amongst those invisible things are our feelings.

This is the gift I offer here: there is no point pushing your body and your digestive system into slimming if the weight that you have been carrying has been the way that your body has put in place to protect you from whatever it thinks you need to be protected from. This is why on my journey and on the journey I offer, we first go to the root of the weight issue before we even take any action to help the body slim. Let me illustrate this with an example from my own journey.

Let's turn the light on to what is really happening when we put on weight. :)

I wrote my book in 2009, inspired by angels (nudged, you could say). I felt great and my body was in a shape that I loved. Then in 2010, I got pregnant with my fourth baby. And during the birthing process (right after her birth actually) I experienced bullying from the very people who were supposed to support the birthing process of my precious baby. Then four months later, I was again bullied by some health providers who tried to separate me from my baby for reasons I won't get into at this stage. In effect, I experienced two huge emotional traumas that knocked my socks off.

Two years down the line, I am carrying some extra weight on my tummy area that is the direct result of that trauma. At the time of the trauma, I had no one to talk to, no one to help me go through it, so I INTERNALISED the emotional pain. This made my body feel HEAVY and unsafe. And I have carried that feeling ever since. As one of my most precious friends remarked: you are doing everything right to slim and yet it is getting worse (she was doing an intuitive reading for me). I nearly cried with joy because I felt so stuck to the point of doubting my very work and words. She added that the solution was very easy: I needed to repair my solar plexus chakra that had been attacked and which as a result I had covered in fat to protect.

This is PRECISELY the kind of work that I do... except, I wasn't able to do it for myself. I am so grateful to have her in my life. So the very thing that I felt was questioning the validity of my work at the Journey of the slim soul was actually the very thing that was validating it: I just needed a little help from my friend.

Now I know, just as I have witnessed it with so many of my clients, that the slimming is going to be easy because I have gone to the root of the issue. No amount of healthy eating and exercising would have had any effect until my body was comforted in the fact that I was safe and that my tummy fat was no longer needed. Don't you love the simplicity of this work?

What is your body trying to tell you through the weight that it carries? You can find some possible answers in my book but ultimately it is your body that is going to tell you what is really going on. Why? Because the body reflects the truth of your subconscious. Your subconscious is here to keep you safe. It doesn't matter if what it thinks is a threat to you is real or in your imagination or if it happened years ago and you can let go of the fear. It is your subconscious-body intelligence that needs to be aligned with your intent. The work of the journey of the slim soul can help you do exactly that.

Blessings of light


Friday, 29 March 2013

Listening to my body

Day 7 of my detox: Update on my progress.

I have had a massive migraine on day 1 and 2. It was so huge that at the end of day 2, I reached out for my migraine medication. There is only so much pain one can put up with. I am refusing to judge myself for it. In the detox group I joined, I saw a lot of people say "keep with it, it will go away" or "just go to bed". I hear their advice, but at the end of the day: it's me and my body. My body said: that's enough.

I welcomed that migraine, however, because it helped me to understand its cause. I have had migraines since the age of 12 (same age I started my periods). I could say: it runs in the family, as my mother, aunt and brother also suffer from migraines, but I am an energy worker and I know better about the link between the body and the mind. As I asked my body why it was manifesting those migraines and it said to me "Unthinkable".

It all made sense. I have been subject to the unthinkable. I was abused by people who were very close to me from when I was wearing nappies and it was such a betrayal that the cells of my body have decided to express that trauma through migraines. I am hoping that now that I have listened to my body, it can express it differently. In fact, this revelation enabled me to affirm for myself "I release the need to express the unthinkable through the excruciating pain of migraines". They say that detoxes bring a lot of emotional stuff to the surface and I have to say I agree. That shouldn't put you off doing one, by all means. Be brave. The healing process takes courage but it is so worth it.

And today, on day 7, I have a cold. A full blown cold with a running nose, itchy ears and a painful throat. I am so proud of myself: for a whole week, I lived on juices, smoothies, salads and nuts. Even better, my mind didn't create havoc by telling me it was not possible to do that and not be hungry at the same time.

Despite this great achievement, I decided tonight to stop my detox. Most people will tell you that the first four days of a detox are the hardest and that after that you feel great. At day 7, I still feel miserable as I now have a cold. I had to listen to my body and ask it: is this good for you? And it said to me "not the right time". There is a combination of things but I think being an energy sensitive, this year's combination of the equinox energies so close to the full moon and to Easter made me very vulnerable. The tipping point, however, was the outside temperature: here in the South West of England, we have had temperatures below 0 Celsius (freezing temperature) and that is highly unusual. My body was struggling to cope with the cold as well as coping with the detox, so I had to make the choice of seemingly giving up.

I have not given up. I have not failed. In fact, I am a victor because me and my body are in harmony. We work as a team. It is so important on your journey to a healthier you to learn to listen to your body, whether you are starting an exercise programme, a new healthier eating habit... or anything else. I cannot emphasise enough how important to see what works for you. I already knew detoxes right after Christmas do not work for me. Now I know that detoxes on the equinox, when the weather is freezing, does not work either. I will get back to my wonderful raw food detox when the weather warms up and when the sun shines more. Not enough vitamin D and warmth for me to survive on salads.

Blessings of light


Sunday, 24 March 2013

The secret behind my success at slimming

So I am on day 3 of my detox. I cannot believe how well I am doing. I managed day one despite having to cook brownies for my son's birthday party and having to deal with seven overexcited seven year old boys at a build-your-own-treasure-chest workshop-birthday party. wow.

I thought to myself, I have not done all this good work of using a juicer for the first time, following the delicious recipes for a few hours to blow it.

But I think the secret lies in three things for me.

The first thing is that I take one day at a time, and even one hour at a time. I tell myself (and it is true) that I can stop anytime I want. Funnily enough, this is the best foundation for my success. I find this is the same in relationships and in any long term project that one commits to: one step at a time. It makes the whole thing much less daunting.

The second thing that helps is knowing intuitively that we can live without food. I know this is a radical statement that denies everything I have every been conditioned to believe, but since reading "Life from light" by Michael Werner, I know it's possible. This sounds crazy but up to reading that book, I thought only mystics and yogis who spend their lives in caves meditating could do without food. Not anymore. Michael Werner is a chemistry teacher in a secondary school in Switzerland who doesn't even call himself spiritual. He started the experiment, as an experiment. He met a woman who lived form prana, and it got him curious and because of the scientific mind that is his: he decided to try it out. He hasn't eaten anything in eight years. Well that was at the time he wrote his book. Does that blow your mind? It did mine.

This doesn't mean everybody should stop eating now. And certainly I wouldn't use this argument to starve myself "anorexic" style. God forbid. What it means to me is that there are other ways to nourish ourselves than food. And being the energy worker that I am, I have experimented with a few things, such as for example barefooting, and it's actually reduced my appetite.

The third thing is that I am LISTENING to my body. And that is the boon of working with the journey of the slim soul. I know I am a unique individual whose needs are different from EVERYONE else. What works for my best friend doesn't necessarily for me. What works for a celebrity might not be what works for me. So I have learnt to listen to MY body wisdom. And everybody can connect to their own body wisdom. This is my gift to you.

This is the third detox I am doing. The first one was cutting out dairy, wheat, meat, coffee, alcohol and sugar for a whole month. I never even thought I could do so when I reached the end of that month, I was elated. I didn't even know I had it in me. The second detox I did was a green juice one. I have to admit it was a good thing I didn't know what I signed up for, because otherwise I would have ran away screaming. It was a whole week living on only green juices (a third cucumber, a third celery and a third spinach). I am obviously simplifying because there was a build up of cutting out the bits from my first detox gradually and then launching into the week on juices. And again, amazingly enough, I did it. For a girl who was convinced she could NOT live without her carbs, that was an eye opening experience: I wasn't hungry once.

This third one is taking it to the next level. Its a juicing detox. And in fact, on the journey of the slim soul, I recommend three levels of detox, depending on what your diet is like to start with. If you eat a lot of junk food, go out a lot to restaurants, then level 1 is more appropriate. I wouldn't recommend my juice detox to someone who just started from there. There would be too much of a shock to the system.

I have approached this detox with this knowledge that it is actually possible to live without food: if you are able to tap into the universal source of energy that sustains all life. And that has given me the strength to do this detox and not worry about being hungry or not having enough food. In fact, the opposite happened. As my mind relaxed and embraced the process, I found myself struggling to drink and eat everything that is suggested on the plan. Now that is amazing from a girl that used to be hungry all the time.

Have a great day my lovelies.

Speak to you soon

Blessings of light