December is Hot Stone Massage month!

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December – Hot Stones

December is Hot Stone Month! This is the month when winter is here and we feel the cold. Why not try something different with your massage and add hot stone for a warmer, comforting therapy.hotstones1
 
This month special offers –
 
Book a 40 minutes hot stone back, neck and shoulder massage for £30 and add a 20 minute face and head hot stone massage for FREE! A saving of £10.00
You will feel gloriously cocooned with this warming massage and will help on these cold blowy autumnal days.
 
Full body Hot Stone Massage (80 minutes) –  £50.00
Back/Neck/Shoulder Hot Stone Massage (40 minutes) –  £30.00
 
All bookings for Admirals Walk, Litthampton, West Sussex.
 
Book your place now. Don’t miss out!
Offer available from Thursday 1st December until Thursday 22nd December 2016
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FHT Excellence Awards – my trip to London

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FHT Excellence Awards and my day in London

Earlier on at the start of this year (2016) I was very honoured to have been recommended and asked by the FHT to be their therapist for their new Ad campaign for the Therapist Register.  I was asked if one of my clients would be willing to have their photo taken and give their story of why they booked with me as their therapist.

I knew instantly who I would ask and Helen Atkinson kindly said yes.  She has been a weekly client of mine for over 14 years and only misses due to holidays or ill health (which is not often!)

Back in the Summer we went to a local photographers studio that had been booked for our photo shoot and had a fun afternoon trying to look relaxed and natural for the camera. Not easy for me!

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The first advert was then released in September in the Natural Health magazine.  It was weird seeing myself as part of an advert and also the photo being shared on social media especially Facebook.   It has since been in the Psychologies magazine.

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We then were in invited as guests to the FHT Excellence Awards dinner in London in October.  An occasion to dress up and put on a posh frock!  The venue was One Whitehall Place and we both accepted and looked forward to the event.

As you know me well I am very nervous in the big city and do not travel there very often so I kind of clung to Helen as we navigated the Underground and put my total trust in her!  We found the venue really easily and spruced ourselves up.

The venue was stunning and a glass of bubbles was awaiting our welcome.  We stood and chatted to many therapists and wished each other luck in their categories of awards.14708106_988565597915993_4341520869365366635_n

The 3 course lunch was divine and we were waited on beautifully decorated tables with large candelabra’s (my dad would of loved them!)  I was sat next to Janey Lee Grace http://imperfectlynatural.com/ and I have read many of her natural health articles.  It was lovely to chat to her about the industry and PR!

The Awards were so inspiring.  You think you are doing really well with your business until you hear about their achievements!  The Chairman’s special award I was really pleased with as it went to the Complementary Therapy Team of Velindre Cancer Centre (where my own dad was looked after through his treatment).

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We were there from 12pm till 5pm and after lots of photos and videos were taken of the occasion we finally set off for home with a detour to Covent Garden which I had not seen before, a sit over a pot of tea in Whittards Tea Room and finally the train home at 8.30pm

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I arrived back home at 11pm, very tired but a very enjoyable, fulfilled day.  Certainly a day to remember for me and my therapy business.

Thank you to all my clients for the help and support over the years.

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My Soul Week – and a day at Champneys

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My Soul Week

I have treated myself to a Soul Week once a year for the last 3 years. 

If you know me well then you know I am passionate about my work whether it is the Academy or my therapies.  I am often found on the weekend on my laptop creating or on social media – anything to do with gadgets! 

Four times a year I set myself up on a Business Retreat.  this is where I take myself off somewhere away from home with my books, pens, notepads, files and anything I need to focus and plan on my business.  I normally do this in February in Gran Canaria,  in May back home in Wales, camping holiday in the summer and during the Christmas holidays.  These are situations and times that I can focus on the business without any distractions – reading, listening to podcasts, to do lists, webinar recordings, ideas, brainstorming, brain dump and mindmapping.

So the last 3 years I have added another week to this and I have called it my Soul Week where I do nothing but be creative – I do not focus on business at all!  I make cards, paint pictures, crafting, colouring in etc anything that I have saved to do on this week, again with no distractions.  I take the week off from work (ATA Academy and Ali’s Holistics) and just focus on me with lots of walks, pampering, socials etc.

This year my Soul Week was a bit different.  At Christmas last year my husband bought me a pampering voucher for a day at Champneys, Forest Mere. I booked this in for the middle of my Soul Week to take myself off and have some alone time and I split it into a day of 2 half’s.

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I arrived in the morning at 9am to a welcome tour around the Spa and explained all that was happening and what I could do.  Then helped myself to a welcome buffet breakfast which I was not expecting and lovely to have after just over an hour’s drive.  I sat there 14642010_10209845541568038_5727702091643066764_nwith my information pack and worked out what I was going to do with my morning.

 I scheduled in some sauna time, swimming and lounging round the pool to read till lunch time.  I found that Forest Mere had been through a refurb and was looking glorious. Definitely a day for feeling special, spoilt and pampering…..taking care of me!

They now have new rattan furniture around the pool especially 2 large round loungers and luckily for me one was available which I soon made myself comfy on with my bottle of 14666033_983053771800509_6451071895690254865_nwater and a good book.  While there I took in the surroundings (and people watching) and looking at what was new – such as tropical showers and water beds.  

20161019_121033After a while I also discovered a new room available with hanging rattan chairs and an imitation log fire with the sounds of logs burning and crackling.  So I made myself comfy in there to read and relaxed till lunch.

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My lunch was a splendid 3 course in a very quiet but welcoming dining room and staff and I had no problem sitting there on my own.  

After lunch I took myself off to another separate room off the pool room which was filled 20161019_133614with beds with fluffy covers.  I thought this would be nice for 1/2 hour before my thalassotherapy session (prebooked) only to find that these beds were water beds filled with warm water which was so comfy and made me very sleepy – great after lunch!  I found it very difficult to prised myself off the bed, but I managed.

After my thalassotherapy session I have my afternoon planned as a business retreat.  A few of my friends thought that this was a bad idea and to really just chill out all day.  To me it was the perfect time in perfect surroundings as once I finished and showered etc, I then took myself off to a quiet corner of the lounge where I spread my stuff out on a large round table (I brought with me my notepad, some idea brainstorm sheets and gel pens) ordered coffee and cake and then for the next 3 hours I quietly worked away with no distractions journaling and working through exercises from the Denise Duffield Thomas book”Get Rich Lucky Bitch”  and I was amazed at how much I unblocked……right place, right time.  The morning helped me to relax and release for the afternoon.

I felt most relaxed and at peace on my drive home at 6pm and welcomed the quiet in my car to carry on my day.  

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The result was a most productive and wonderful day for me and my business.  I felt very relaxed and very pampered while I also worked through some issues and plans for my business with a much more clear mind.

Would I do this type of day again, most definitely I am hoping to make this a once a year thing to add to my Soul Week and will be searching Champneys for future vouchers towards my day.

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Are you growing with your therapy practice?

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Are you growing with your therapy practice?

Hi Ali here from Ali’s Therapy Academy, with a little bit of help for you hopefully with self-development.

Now a lot of what I cover within the Academy is all about business. It’s working on your business. It’s thinking about marketing. It’s thinking about social media. It’s thinking about advertising. It’s thinking about Facebook pages, websites, your mission, your mind-set. It’s all about business.

I also do try and cover, and help with your self-development. I do especially at the pexels-photo (2)end of the year and the beginning of the new year, probably just at six months, I talk about business retreats. I talk about reviewing. I talk about planning and looking at your business. Also to consider for yourself, we often talk about are you doing a hobby or are you running a business? It’s that one or other.

It’s very much that you sometimes, you’ve got to sort of invest in yourself to develop your business. We’re all very good in the therapy industry in training and learning new therapies and adding them to our businesses, to our practices. We’ll learn Reflexology, Hot Stone, Thai Herbal, Bach Flowers, Nutrition, Yoga, Exercises, Shell Massage, all these new techniques that we learn that we can give our clients, but we don’t then learn how to sell them. How to put them out to our clients? How to be visible to get the clients to have these new therapies?

Adding a long list of therapies to our practice but then not knowing how to get the clients to have those therapies. To help our clients with these therapies. A lot of what I share within the Academy, is helping you to get those clients through the door. As I said sometimes it’s actually a case of learning ourselves and self-development.sucess

We often have to self-develop and grow. There’s a lot stepping out of your comfort
zone to work on and to get the business out there. We have to work on ourselves and grow ourselves. Step out and feel the fear to get our business to grow and take our business further.

What I want to discuss through today is, I really want to share my story, my img_0996experience for 2016. To share to you, and then for you hopefully you can see and understand where I’m going through and what I’m leading you to. My vision board, I always create a vision board at the end of one year for the following year, or at the start. At the start for January 2016, I created my vision board. This vision board this year was part business, part personal. I was covering both. It wasn’t just a personal, it wasn’t just a business one it was also about the personal. I knew it was time to develop on me. I knew for the business to get bigger, I’d have to work more on myself. For it to grow, It was a lot about self-development. It was things I needed to do to step out into that comfort zone, stepping into the fear.

Even a personal thing for me, in stepping into that fear, is I’ve got a fear of water, paddleboardingfear of drowning. Paddle boarding for me this summer has been on my bucket list and has been on my vision board for about the last two, three years. This year I’ve finally done it. It was absolute, a fun experience to do. Well to be honest, don’t think I stood upon the board for longer than two, three seconds. I just kept falling in! That got my fear of the water and fear of drowning because I just fell in so many times in that hour lol. My husband and I just had such a laugh that I got through that fear. I just had to do it to be able to knock that one off my bucket list. I had to step out of my comfort zone and face that fear. That was such a joy to do this summer.

There’s lots of stepping out of your comfort zones and feeling your fear. Whether it is paddle boarding. Whether it is the water. Whether it is talking to the public. There is lots of facing the fears there. We have to do this to grow, to develop ourselves and grow into our business. I’m quite happy with the way my therapy business works. It’s successful. It’s successful for me, and how that grows and develops. I’m also happy with the way the Academy is growing. The way it’s getting recognition within the organisations and with other therapists. It still needs work and for that to happen, I need to grow. I need to work on me, on some self-development this year.

A lot of it for me this year was spirituality. I needed to work on that. I needed to IMG_1734_look more into that. I did a lot of that work when I was first training back in 2000 and then when the business side kicked in a few years ago, I sort of let the business side come in and took over and the spirituality dropped. It was just where I had to be, the place I had to be at that time. To be able to work within and push my business out there, years ago. I had to stop being so spiritual. I still kept that at home, but outside into the outside world. I was happy for that. The business became more of a passion. The business side of things became more of a passion for me. I was happy with that.

I knew I needed to work on that issue. I knew needed to step back into it. Also through this year of working with that, lots of things, you know how things appear in your life? Things appear for a reason? I am not and I have not been in all my sixteen years of work, have been into unicorns. It’s just one of those things. I just don’t, not developed into that. Even though loving Harry Potter and stuff, I don’t like, never been. Unicorns have been stepping into my life so much this year that I thought, “Hmm, I think it’s telling me something. This is something I need to look at.”

I also need to look at things that I have presently pushed aside. Whether it’s havingrainbows-unicorns readings. Whether it’s having card readings. Whether it’s chatting to somebody that receives messages and having that done. It’s something that I’ve thought, “Hmm, I need to get that done this year.” The early part of this year, this is the way I’ve worked. I’ve worked a lot more in development with myself. Reading a lot more, I’m working within those lines. I finally had a reading done this year and again she was giggling because she was saying, “Oh my God, they’re all shouting at me because they know that this might be the only chance they get to tell you, to let you know and to guide you.” They were shouting all this stuff to her, to pass on to me. Everything that she passed on was like, “Yeah, I know but I haven’t been listening. Yeah, I know but I’ve just been blanking it aside.” It was all a case of, I knew but I was just not recognising it.

It was like recognising my intuition. Recognising my inner guru. Listening to the way I’m being guided. Where I’ve been getting the messages and being guided and I’ve not been listening to it. It was all in the not listening to that. Since I’ve done that, a lot more has gone on. A lot more has opened up. A lot more has happened. It’s amazing that once you recognise that and you realise that, and I should think for a lot of you that are listening or reading this it’s, “Oh yeah. Okay Al, I do all that. I listen to that. I guide, I know my guides are on.” This is all, like I said, it’s been shut off for fifteen, sixteen years. It’s all been shut off. This is all new for me again, letting this back in. It’s interesting, but you find that things come to you, messages that you see things that come to you, that you hadn’t seen for a while.

Again, like the unicorn things, the books that are coming forward, the magazines that are coming forward, the creativity more that I’m doing. The paintings I’m creating. The messages I’m creating are all kind of more intuition and more being guided. I very much love reading and listening to webinars but I’m very, very busy taking notes. I met somebody a couple of years ago who does visualisation with notes. I’m very much into mind mapping. I love mind mapping but I’m still having to write everything out before I can mind map. I met somebody a couple of years ago that does visualisation and notes which I found really interesting. I’ve been trying to do that but still not happy. It still wasn’t the right time, I was still listing and still mind mapping. That’s the way I’ve worked.

When I was at my spa day, I’m working with a book club within the Academy for those that are in the ATA Hub, I’ve set a book club up in there. We’re reading a book a month. One of the books that we’re going through with Denise Duffield-Thomas, “Get Rich, Lucky Bitch”. Now I’ve read this book a couple of years ago, thought it was fantastic. It was great but didn’t do anything with it. Read it but didn’t do anything more.

This time I’m now working through the exercises in there. I sat in the afternoon at ata-book-club-get-richthe spa day, going through the exercises about writing down your money blocks and I’ve had one or two in my mind. I thought this time, as I was swimming in the pool, I thought, let’s just make a note of what I think in my money blocks and then I will deal with it the next day when I nearly have the afternoon and evening completely to myself. I will sit down and write all this down. I sat there in the spa and I just listed. There was more and more was coming in the list. I’m thinking, “Hmm, Maybe I’ve got more blocks than I thought.” I was just listing all the things I have there.

The next morning, on a Thursday morning, what with having thalassotherapy, et cetera et cetera, I was going through a bit of a healing crisis on that Thursday morning. Then the Thursday afternoon, I just sat and wrote reams of the money blocks. It was interesting that it wasn’t just to do with that, it’s to do with family and friends and one thing or another. All this came out and I thought, “Blimey, this is just through reading Denise’s book, that this has happened.” As I was doing that later on when I had moved on from that and I was doing planning, again I was listing and I was doing the mind map and I was thinking, “Gosh if I could just visualise this in notes, it would be so much better than my listings.”

As I was going through Facebook groups the other day, this person, again had popped up and she said to somebody else who said that they were getting into visualised notes, that this was a good book to look at. Looked up on Amazon what this book was, great, but a bit too much for me to do right now. Quickly looked it up on eBay and someone was selling their second hand for half price. I bought it straight away. It was the right time for me to look. Right time for me to start working with visual notes. That’s a bit more of self-development with me. Is that for me to maybe to work more within my mind mapping is to have the visual notes on. The other thing I’m finding within the spirituality is again working more, go back to working with my reiki which I haven’t done. I haven’t done for a long time.

As I’m working with clients I’m listening more to what my gut says in where I work. My clients are very much black and white. They book them for a back, neck, and shoulder massage, they have that, they leave. It’s professional people and I’m comfortable with how I’ve worked for years. I’m now starting to bring a bit more intuition within my work. I’m now getting to know my clients to notice, “Well that was a bit different tonight. What was that?” We’re chatting more about that. That’s bringing more into it. Bringing more interest to it.

The other thing I’m finding as well is within self-development, is needs. The way I’m growing. When I was growing up as a child I was very much a tomboy. My to-be-sorted-016brother was the quiet one, the studious one, the one that was the good little boy. I was the one that was always rushing and rushed off to hospital with all the cuts and stitches, out riding my bike, out for hours. I was very much the tomboy. Going to watch football with my dad. Playing football, all those things, when my brother stayed at home, read books and was the intellectual. I was the rough and tumble. That’s gone on through my life. I’ve ended up marrying an Army man. In our married life, first part of our married life was travelling around but all our friends were male. Lots of my friends were male. I was quite happy in their company and they were happy with me because I was just one of the boys. I was talking sports with them. I was drinking pints with them. Hmm…too much information! lol

I was just a good mate to them. I was just one of the friends. Again, that was in that life style. When we had children, I have two sons. Again, I have that relationship that’s fine. I’m very comfortable with, and what we do with them again now, we’re all into sport, we’re all into computers, and we’re into gadgets. It’s all those things. One thing I have lacked through my life, I’ve got my mother, but since I’ve left home, my one thing I’ve have lacked is female company. I don’t have the daughter. I lack the female company. The Army wives, we flitted in and out of one another’s lives. We were together a year if we’re lucky, so the relationships have never been long. It’s the same as what I have now.

When I was growing up all my friends that I had were all male. My school friends, most of them were male. We’ve got the same now, so again I’m trying to develop that feminine side of me. It took me to the age of fifty to like pink!. I’m fifty three now, liking unicorns. It’s the late development of the feminine side is now coming out. I’m trying to build relationships now with females, with women. Some of it is working and some of it is not. Probably some of it is not because of my fault where I can be too clingy. I can be a bit paranoid. I’m not sure on how to work that relationship. Some people, women, understand it, some don’t. The ones that do obviously stay with me. The ones that don’t disappear. They come in, teach me a lesson in life and then move on.

This is part of what I’m sharing, is that I listen to the people and they say they go off and they have weekends off with their daughters. That they go off and have a spa 14716361_10209847518697465_7525111136075240899_nday with their daughter or they have a shopping trip with their daughter. A lot of these things I do on my own. I’m quite happy with that. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t all poor me, pity me article. I’m happy with that. What I’m saying is, you’re never too old to learn. Whether it’s within your business, but certainly don’t put off in learning on self-development and finding out more about you, about yourself. Certainly this year for me, 2016, this year has been all about finding out about me. On my spa day, one of the classes was about spirituality and I’m like, “Okay, I have to look at this. I have to go to this.” I’m working on spirituality. For goodness sake, at spa day one of the talks there is about this!

How many more signs do I need that this is what I’ve got to keep working on? Interesting things I’ve been finding. I’ve been doing self-development tests that you can find on the website. There’s a five language test. I’ve found out about this one on a podcast that I listened to. Sophie Jewry, The Brand Queen, mentioned this. The Five Language test. It goes though how you can test yourself, or you can test it for your child. You can find how out in the language of how you perceive and how you like things. Whether you prefer touch. Whether you prefer affirmations or the spoken word. Whether you prefer gifts. Whether you prefer service or whether you prefer quiet quality time.

If you’ve got a partner, what will they do for you, for you to feel that real benefit, for you to show your appreciation? Is it if they give you gifts? Is it that they tell you that they love you or show their appreciation to you? Is it by them doing things for you? Is it just spending time with you? Is it showing affection in public or showing affection at home? It’s all these different things. It’s the words of touch, affirmation, gifts, service, or quality time.

You go through this and you find out what it is you like. You can also get your partner to take the test. You can find out how to show him and what he’ll appreciate and what you do for him. Whether it is when you tell him you love him. Whether it is that you touch, hold hands more. Whether it is just spend more time with him. You can also find how you can make that connection with your child by doing that test for your child. Just think what you could do if you could use it within your clients. I’m not saying tell your client to take the test. There’s also questions and things that you can ask within your own client notes to find out what they want. You can mention the test to your clients to help them understand themselves.

Does your client want the touch? Does your client want the positive words to them, saying, “Well done on reaching a goal.” Would your client like a gift? It’s things in how you can use some of these questions that you can bring into your consultation. Bring into your work that you can find out more on how you can help your client. It might also be a case of that you’re just wanting to share this information with your client so that the client can use it for themselves and their own relationship. Even if they’re single. It’s the five languages test by Gary Chapman. Have a look at that and see if that might help you.

The other one that I found is really good is, “What Is Your Spiritual Archetype?” and this is by Christian Sinclair. This is fabulous. You find out what your spiritual type is, but it also tells you then about the chakras, essential oils, the crystals and the struggles that you receive about being that type. I’m just going to tell you quickly a little bit. My spiritual archetype is the mythologist. The mythologist is, “I relish in the magic and existence of unicorns, fairies and wizards.( I’m well into Harry Potter.) They are even manifested in fantasy and books, Sci fi, and Gods and legends. It goes into much more detail and it is me to a T. It’s just so interesting when you start finding out about yourself.

Remember we see them in Facebook, take these tests to find out your favourite colour, to find out your favourite food. All sorts of things. They’re great to do. Some of them are fun, some of them are a bit more, find out your spiritual guide. Find out your animal guide. Things like that. They’re great fun to do but some of them can also really help in the way you’re growing and in a way, your self-development. Those two are certainly ones that I would really recommend in having a go and finding out about yourself or your family, whatever.

It’s really interesting. In the end really I’m saying today is to not only learn about your therapies. Also look at more in self-development within you. Whether it is finding out more of what your archetype is or what the language that you do best in. Whether it’s just finding out in how you work. Whether it is facing your fear or whether it’s dealing with the mind monkeys. Dealing with manifesting. Working with your money blocks. Whatever it is, always be willing and open up to learn.

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It might not be the right time now. Just make a note of it, put it to one side because it might come back years later. Might come back, weeks, months, or years later, that you’ll come back to it and it will be the right time to work at that point. You’ll know that because you’ll be getting the signs. Within our industry, we know what these signs are even if you keep ignoring them for sixteen years, you will eventually, it will all come together.

That’s my wise owl wisdom to you today is to always be up for self-development. To help yourself grow. To help your business grow.

www.alistherapyacademy.co.uk

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Bucket list – A day I am very proud of my achievement

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The day I ticked something off my bucket list and one I won’t forget.

Do you have a bucket list?  You know, one of those to do lists…..things you want to do before you die,

When I reached my 40th birthday (13 years ago!) I first heard about a bucket list and I liked the idea.  It was like a sort of dare to myself to achieve and try different things, things that I have liked or wanted to do over the years.

When I looked at this finished list a lot of them to accomplish or achieve would take a big amount of stepping out of my comfort and I have certainly done a lot of that over the years since becoming a therapist.  A lot to do with my self development and confidence.

One on my list was to enter and complete something like the London Marathon.  Now I knew I would never be able to run that – I did the Race For Life 5k (on my list) and ran it but nearly died when I finished…..so tired! definitely not for me.  I was proud of myself for achieving that but I wanted something more.

More husband was browsing on the internet and found Help 4 Heroes and their charity walk……Avebury to Stonehenge……26 miles.  That would be my marathon, to walk 26 miles over Salisbury Plain.  This would be no easy walk.  This was not all flat payment, this would be up hill and down tank tracks, along towpaths, side of hills, everywhere that I am not used to walking.  I walk everyday down to the beach for an hour and along flat tarmacked pavements!  But I jumped at this chance.  This would be an achievement and do something good.  Something that is close to my heart.

So both myself and my husband signed up for 25th September 2011.  My husband as you know was in the Armed Forces for 14 years and was in the Royal Engineers, so this was for something we both believed in.

3 months before the main walk we started our proper training (I was still maintaining my daily walk) 8 mile walks on the weekends in the countryside and rough terrain and building up to longer walks nearer the date.  The h4h website provided a training programme but also a list of all we had to take and this was an eye opener for me!  Warm weather gear, wet weather gear, first aid kit, blister packs, talcum powder, torch, energy bars, energy tablets, change of socks, snacks, drinks, compass, phone……… the list was endless!  You needed a really good back pack to carry all the equipment!


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So with fingers crossed for a good day of weather we set off at 4 in the morning and the drive to Larkhill Garrison, Salisbury where we could park the car and get the coach to take us to Avebury for 7am.  It was still pitched black and very quiet as we sorted ourselves out and prepared for the start of the trek.  At 7.30am they gave us our safety talk and instructions and we set off.

And guess what, it started to drizzle!  That’s all we needed a long wet day.to-be-sorted-006  We set off
around the famous stones and off out over a field.  Neil had set us a  target of walking 3 miles an hour as that was average speed for us in our training and I must admit that I set off a bit too fast in all the excitement and adrenaline, ooops!  I soon calmed down when I saw the hill coming towards us.  There were 200 of us taking part in this charity event and most were walking but you could see the super fit who were off running…..mad fools!

We were then on a steady walk over fields, up hills, we walked along one side of a hill withto-be-sorted-009 a white horse on the side of it, along canal paths, through villages and we walked for a steady 4 hours.  It was at this point that my legs were aching and I was starting to doubt if I could even complete the day!  I could not believe how I was feeling, my feet were fine but my quads/top of my legs were in agony.  My mind monkey’s were really playing with me then and I was full of self doubt.

Finally at 15 miles we came to the halfway station.  This was the point where we could to-be-sorted-011
stop, have a bite to eat, change socks and rest for a while, but not too long that you stiffen up.  I was so relieved, took my boots off and gave my feet some much needed fresh air. Also by this time the sun had come out.  I grabbed some much needed food, changed my socks and in 20 minutes we set off again.
This time I used my treking pole to help me because as we restarted we went straight up hill!  Oh my legs were screaming.  to-be-sorted-012

I had set myself up with my ipod with hours of motivation music and podcasts but I did not use it as I wanted to enjoy the beautiful scenery that was around me and enjoy the company as there was a lot of banter along the way.   The worst of the walk was coming – Salisbury Plain.  I was looking forward to this as I used to live close by in Army Quarter’s in Tidworth.  But the smile was soon wiped from my face and my memories soon disappeared as I started walking along the tank tracks – up and down, up and down, up and down.  Just as you get to the top of one hill and you think that’s it no more, you would see you went down hill to walk up another, and another, and another!

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We were finally coming to the last part of the walk.  We were leaving the tank tracks behind and came to the edge of a village.  The ground suddenly turned into tarmac, the first time in hours!  Hurrah!  My spirits lifted and I felt on home ground.  Shocking really when I love the countryside and grew up in the countryside but I was so relieved to walk on flat tarmac…..how sad is that?

My speed and confidence picked up, I was going to make it, I was going to reach the end.  Neil sagged – he hates walking on tarmac and we started catching up with other people as they felt the same.  I must of been the only one happy about this turn of events!  There was one problem I had though and that was when it came to a curb.  I could not step onto one, I could not lift my leg to step up!  I had to grab my trouser leg with both hands and lift my leg up!  All I could do was laugh.

We walked through the village and in the distance the sight that we had been waiting for – to-be-sorted-017
STONEHENGE – the finish line.  There at the end was the mascot, Hero Bear, waiting for us to welcome every person across the line with their medal and a lovely hot cup of tea.

I found an empty grassy spot, sat down, took my boots off and enjoyed my cup of very sweet tea.  We were also given a certificate and a souvenir book which I looked through while I relaxed and waited for the mini busy to take us back to our car.h4h-walk-2011-001

We made the finish line around 4.30pm, around 8 1/2 hours.   It was after 6pm when the mini bus arrived and we set off for the 2 mile drive back to the car.  The sun was coming down and people were still on the walk as we started to see torches.  I was so pleased I had finished.  I did not fancy walking that in the dark.

We got the car and found a Little Chef to park.  There military life in my husband came out as he got out the little stove made a cup a soup and pot noodle and prepared a bowl of warm water for me to soak my feet in!  What a genius, star and all round wonderful man.

We sorted ourselves out, recovered as best we could and drove back home.  It took me a good week to recover from that walk, my leg muscles felt achy and tired for days. I benefited from lots of reflexology and massage. I used aromatherapy and self massage before I started the walk and aromatherapy after the walk.  Luckily I know lots of therapists who helped me out days and weeks after!

It was a day I certainly will never forget.  It was a wonderful experience and I won’t say I loved every minute as I clearly didn’t lol, but looking back it was enjoyable.  A great experience and something I am very proud to have done.  Will I do it again?  NO, NEVER. (if you ever hear me say I am going to do it, shoot me!)

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I achieved another big goal off my bucket list this year – Paddle Boarding…….but that’s another blog!

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Do you work behind the scenes of your business?

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DO YOU WORK BEHIND THE SCENES OF YOUR BUSINESS?

We all lead very busy lives with our families, children some of us with full time/part time jobs as well as running our own therapy business.

We all love our therapies with a passion and enjoy what we do and helping people – would you call it work?

But do you work ‘on’ your business, behind the scenes? Do you include this in your pricing?

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Now we are all ‘doer’s’ (busy working with our clients) but are you a ‘marketer’? someone who works ‘on’ their business, behind the scenes.  Marketer is as its says – getting your business out there in front of people, but we wear many hats – accountant, bookkeeper, admin, social media manager, internet and web person, marketer, leader/CEO and much more. These are all the jobs we do to keep going, unless we can outsource to others.  But it is not always that easy due to funds etc.

It is very important for business success, even just to keep the business going that you work behind the scenes and work ‘on’ it.  I have mentioned this many times before.  You cannot rely on just word of mouth and referrals alone.  Don’t get me wrong there are therapy businesses out there that do just that and are very successful – but not many.  The majority of us have to work at getting out there, being seen and letting people know that we exist.

August can be a quiet time due to family holidays, sickness, school holidays and the weather being nice and when its quiet what do you do?  Do you go into panic mode and start sharing offers with a money discount like £10 off or treatments at 1/2 price so you can fill your diary?  That’s great but it ends up being hard work and can be like a Groupon voucher – do they value you? would they normally pay for a full price treatment? Your regular clients will as they will book these as a bonus and added extra for themselves but new clients, will you see them again?

Planning and marketing for August needs to be started back in June/July where you can start promoting to teachers, stressed parents, mums get togethers etc (they chat in the playground maybe a couple of hours in the afternoon while all their children play or in the evening when their children are asleep they can get together to keep in touch), holiday specials etc.  At the moment the big thing is Pokemon Go – are you using that in your marketing/blogging/social media? From August the promotion can be all about the kids going back to school, parents getting time back and some relief and relaxation, teachers preparing themselves etc.

If you are happy to be quiet through August this is a great time to review your business.  See what’s worked and what hasn’t, what needs to change, updated, brought in and plan for the last 4 months of the year.  Are you any nearer to reaching your goals or targets?  Review your website, do the photos need updating? check the content, your prices, your therapies, treatment/VIP packages. can you add blogs to it? are your social media buttons on there? are all the links working?  All this reviewing and updating is good for your SEO.  When you type in your therapy and your town (if you were a client looking for a massage therapist) do you come up near the top of the 1st page rankings?  Have you set yourself up on Google places/business?  This is free and you come up as a red pin on the map if somebody is looking for your therapy in your area.  It means your business and link to your website comes up top of the 1st page!  This quiet time is also good to get your accounts update, client notes up to date and any admin.  What about those online courses you have downloaded or webinars still to listen to?

Working behind the scenes is important and should be taken into consideration in your scheduling and planning and also in your pricing.  Your pricing includes your training, your experience, your travel (if mobile) your business expenses including room rent, your time (with them and behind the scenes) etc.

You do not get paid just for providing the therapy, you provide so much more than that!

Use the last 2 weeks of August now to review your business, make the changes and plan your next 4 months.  The more you put out there the more that you attract.

Sign up here for my Free Report:  12 Top Tips For Therapists

Online course available about working ‘on’ your business: Overwhelm, Organisation & Scheduling

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