In 2006 I went to Thailand and for some reason I came home wanting to learn to meditate. I say for some reason as I’m not sure where it came from, it wasn’t a spiritual holiday at all, I just came home with a desire to learn to meditate.

And that’s when someone recommended I get in touch with Shelley. I can still remember our first session together, she asked if at the same time as learning to meditate whether I’d be open to reiki. I’d never experienced reiki at that point and said yes. That was nearly 12 years ago now and I’ve been working with Shelley ever since.

Shelley’s been my teacher, guide and friend throughout those years. She’s seen me through the worst times and the best times of my life.

My journey really started when I met Shelley and almost everything I share with you comes from our work together, and my journey.

Here’s just a few things Shelley has taught me.

Meditation

Shelley’s been extremely patient with me through the years, she’s sat with me without judgement when despite her wonderful advice I haven’t always embraced meditation. But when Jessica was born it was like a switch flipped inside me. I now love meditation, it’s part of my daily practice and every time I see Shelley I marvel at how meditation changes how you feel and how it helps you deal with daily stresses more effectively. I’m sure she must sit there thinking – this is what I’ve been trying to tell you for over 10 years Nicky. In fact I know she doesn’t do that because there’s no judgement with Shelley but it makes me chuckle to think that she has indeed been telling me this for 10 years!

Perfect in it’s imperfections

This is a mantra that Shelley likes to use. My journey into letting go of perfection started with Shelley. I still use the word perfect but it means something different to me now. It means perfect just as it is, and that’s usually imperfect.

The present moment

Before I started working with Shelley I would beat myself up about the past and worry about the future. I had no idea that I could simply enjoy the present moment and just be happy exactly where I am today. This is a big mindset shift that can really help you be happy today.

You are what you think

I was recently reminded of this. A difficult period at work and off my mind went, bringing up old beliefs and old habits, and as I sat in front of Shelley telling her this it was a great reminder that we are what we think. It’s important to know what’s going on in the mind, this determines how we feel. I remember really vividly sitting in Shelley’s room through a particular difficult time and she just said to me ‘thinking this way is exhausting.’ And it is, when your mind runs away with itself it’s draining on our energy and our body. It’s so important to become aware of your inner dialogue.

I’m still learning – life is a constant journey. And I feel grateful to have Shelley guiding me as I go.

How did you come to the work you do?

My teaching has grown out of the outstanding benefits I have and continue to receive from meditation, yoga and mindful living. Since those early days I have felt a great pull and passion within me to reach out and share the benefits with others from all walks of life.

It began about 25 years ago when I came to a crossroads in my life and I hit a brick wall through a accumulation of personal loses and challenges. Meditation was first mentioned to me by a therapist I was seeing to help me navigate through this particularly difficult time. I was curious about it and I began to explore how to learn to meditate. It was very difficult at that time, as unlike nowadays, meditation was rarely spoken about. In time I met people who meditated and I felt less alone with my interest. I continued to explore further tools and techniques from ancient traditions and modern systems. When my confidence grew I visited silent meditation retreats and took a ‘teach meditation’ intensive certified course.

So began my own journey of self discovery and healing. After a few years I joined a wonderful local yoga class and I discovered this was very complementary to my meditation practice and my wellbeing. My yoga practice developed I decided to train to be a Yoga teacher.

How have these practices helped you in your life?

Meditation has offered me a feeling of inner peace which has strengthened my mind.  I know how to access a sense of calm and navigate through life’s challenges and unexpected difficult experiences. It has given me the confidence to trust my gut instinct and know my intuition is always right for me. I feel more connected to nature and the appreciation of every day life.

‘Let your mind rest as well as your body.’

Yoga has been and continues to complement my meditation practice. It has strengthened my physical body, improved my breathing and circulation, and my body feels more flexible and light. I am also aware I feel more energised after my practice, which allows me to have more clarity and energy for the day. It has helped me to recognise what my body needs and requires, I recognise the signals when I need to slow down and rest.

Meditation, yoga and mindful living has offered me a greater sense of who I am and in turn more of an understanding of others. I am aware of how my thoughts impact how I feel, this enables me to change my thoughts if they are having a negative effect on how I respond to life situations.

Overall both meditation and yoga have taught me I feel most comfortable and balanced when I focus my mind to be in the present moment, which allows a feeling of wellbeing, contentment and happiness. This has had a positive effect on my mental, physical and emotional self and a ripple effect in my personal life and my teaching.

What advice would you give for someone on their journey?

Be patient.  Be patient with yourself and your personal development and healing. Know it will take various directions at different points along the way, and trust that this is the rich tapestry of your life experience. Follow and trust your instinct and intuition when choosing to explore and work with new teachers, therapists and practices.

Give your self time, breathing space.

I would recommend at any one time along your personal journey to try not to over crowd it with too many therapies, practices and courses, as it can be overwhelming and confusing.

“Don’t try to overhaul your life overnight. Instead, focus on making one small change at a time. Over time, those small changes will add up to big transformation. Don’t give up!” ~UNKNOWN

Always remember your journey is unique to you, not to anyone else.

Shelley teaches yoga and meditation, and as you can see, a whole lot more! You can get in touch with Shelley on 07956 343140 and here’s her website Inner Peace.

Thank you Shelley, for everything.

Nicky Duffell
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Nicky Duffell

Nutritional Therapist

‘Look after yourself first and then you’ll have the energy for everything else’

Nicky is a registered nutritional therapist who takes an integrative approach that works on both the body and the mind. She’s passionate about teaching women (and Mums) to look after themselves first, so that they can be there for their children and have the energy for whatever life has in store.

Nicky qualified from The Institute for Optimum Nutrition in 2009 and is registered with The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT), and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).

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