May You Dream Awake

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It’s May! And, it’s my 50th birthday on Monday, and what we decided to do was make a 5-day trip to Kim’s dad’s favourite hotel in Portugal.

We haven’t been here since his dad started to get worse and then passed on just over a year ago.  He’s always loved this hotel and came back yearly for over 8 years.  Kim and I have been a few times prior, and it seemed fitting that we pay a visit, especially since they had a massive refurb.

And, it was like coming home!

It was so lovely to be greeted by some of the key staff as they’d seen our booking and were looking forward to seeing us again; and their condolences for Kim’s dad.  We’re only on our second day here, and the refurb is great and the view is breathtaking.

Being here I’ve had quite a few people message me to say that they hoped I was switching off and relaxing.  The thing is, I do make time for myself and I have time off to relax during my “normal” week.  It reminded me of what one of our business coaches said to Kim.  Most people associate “pain” with work, e.g. you work hard and then have a holiday.  That’s when you get to relax and switch off.

For me, my life is my kind of life.  The “work” I choose to do is part of that, as is my “time off”.  This is my kind of life, being able to write, read, reach out to people, coach our Arbonne team members via conference calling, etc. whilst in Portugal.  My day is the same, the view (and weather) is different.  The closing keynote speaker at the Arbonne global conference in Vegas a couple of weeks ago asked us if we were dreaming with our eyes closed or open.  Her mission is to show people that we can dream with our eyes wide open; dream whilst we are awake.

AND, IT’S NOT THAT HARD!

Would you honestly say no to beautiful weather, not having to cook, stunning views, and  the only catch I say to you is that you have to serve and help other people?

Would you?

We have but one life.

Live it well.  DREAM OUT LOUD.

Don’t work yourself to the ground only to take a holiday once a year, in some place that is within your budget. Don’t say to your children, take a gap year and enjoy it before you start on the career ladder, and when you have responsibilities. Don’t save up to work through your bucket list when you retire; you may never get to even start  on it.

I truly just desire that you live your life well, with no compromise and no regrets. It upsets me when people have too much month after each pay day, and when people settle.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve been there, and I know how it feels.

Believe me when I say that it is possible to live life differently and on your terms.  It took a few coaches to help me see that.

ARE YOU READY to dream awake?

Would you like me to help you?

I look forward to hearing from you.  Know, from the bottom of my heart, that THERE IS NO PRESSURE FOR YOU TO BE A PART OF MY LIFE.

(I would love to share this space and time with you though).

Much love … Ann-See x

Year of the Dog

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It’s Chinese New Year on Friday, and it will be the year of the dog.

So, make sure you avoid cleaning clothes, using scissors and sweeping floors.  You’re also meant to avoid crying children …. I leave that one with you!

For the first time in 31 years, I will be celebrating the new year with my family.  It is amazing how time flies, and it really shocked me when I calculated how long I have been in the UK; and family, is something that we shouldn’t take for granted.

Rather than share with you what the year is expected to bring, I thought I would share one of the key marketing trends that is predicted.

Why?

Because we are now working with 2 business coaches and 1 business mentor to drive our businesses forwards.  We have big dreams for giving back and leaving a legacy and in order to do that, we need to get our businesses to a certain level.

With that thought in mind, the marketing trends in China, according to Forbes, include convenience, lower-tier cities, new retail, information partnerships, artificial intelligence, and finally, …

Green, natural, healthy and environmentally friendly.

Whilst these are the predicted trends for China, the final trend, I believe, will be worldwide.  It is already a growing trend and will continue to grow, and when China jumps on board, it will undoubtedly go through the roof.

My partner and I are independent consultants for Arbonne International, which are a vegan company.  For this reason, we do not trade in China, as China still enforces animal testing on the cosmetic and beauty industry.  With this prediction and pressure from global companies, I can see that China’s view on this will be dropped.  In this day and age, there is absolutely no need for this practice to be carried out.

I hope this will happen sooner, rather than later.

What are your thoughts?

In the mean time, much love for Valentine’s Day, and wishing you a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

I’m Confused!

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You may, or may not know, I am vegan, and have been for over 4 years now.  I am very conscious that the reasons why I adopted a vegan lifestyle, may not be the same reasons why someone else would want to become a vegan.  My partner and I primarily did this for his health initially.  Since then, as animal lovers and as compassionate human beings, we stay vegans for the animals and also for the planet.

During our time as vegans, we have influenced numerous people to adopt a plant-based diet.  I get that it’s not us “converting” them.  I think it’s more the fact that people watch from a distance, their curiosity is peaked, they find out more, they give it a go, they feel good and next thing they know, they are eating a plant-based diet!

This week I set up a Facebook group, My Kind of Diet, primarily for people who are interested, or is on a plant-based diet; to share what I know and help where I can.  As my background is Exercise Science, with a particular interest in health, it makes sense to speak about the benefits of a plant-based diet for our health.

I know that for health, we are looking at a wholefood, plant-based diet, but hey …. baby steps, right?

So, someone in the group asked me what the difference was between a vegan diet and a plant-based diet.

Here are my thoughts about it.

On the surface, they are the same. You can look at two plates of food and they would be identical.  Nothing on the plate would have come from animals, and would be vegetables, pulsed, nuts, seeds.

The difference between both plates would be the principle behind what is on the plates.

Someone on a vegan diet is prompted by animal rights issues, the ethical treatment of animals, and environmental impact of animal consumption and exploitation (for diet, fashion, etc), and so will also live a vegan lifestyle, e.g. use of leather, wool, etc.  The Vegan Society in the UK define veganism as,

“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

On the other hand, a plant-based diet is a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products.  A plant-based diet is not necessarily a vegetarian diet. Many people on plant-based diets continue to use meat products and/or fish but in smaller quantities.  People who follow a plant-based diet generally do so for their health, i.e. either to prevent chronic illness and disease or reverse chronic illness and disease.

I hope that helps clear up any confusion for you.  And as for which diet to choose?

My personal recommendation is to start with a predominantly plant-based diet, as there is substantial evidence that indicates a diet that is low in animal products and high in fruit and vegetables can help manage most chronic diseases.  A strict plant-based diet has been shown to halt, and even reverse some chronic diseases.

Adopting a plant-based diet is also one of the top three lifestyle choices that we can adopt to reduce our carbon footprint.

You may find that you are very happy here.

On the other hand, you may find that you are driven to make even stronger ethical choices, and may then move towards a vegan lifestyle.

Whatever your choice, I implore you to look at your health and begin reducing the amount of meat and animal products that you are consuming.  You can start with meat-free Mondays, and move on from there.

For further discussions and help, come join my Facebook group.