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In a world flooded with global disasters and mental health conditions like eco-anxiety on the rise, author of the bestselling self-help book, Slow, Brooke McAlary, unveils the pitfalls of neglecting personal care in her new book, Care.

Brooke McAlary’s own experience with post-natal depression was the catalyst for her self-care journey and marked the beginning of her career change from business woman to self-help author. After the overwhelming success of her 2017 international bestseller Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World, Brooke returns to share her latest tips to live a slow and joyful life, through her latest book, Care: The Radical Art of Taking Time, published by Allen & Unwin.

After receiving her post-natal depression diagnosis following the birth of her second child, it was Brooke’s therapist who first recommended slowing down. This wake-up call prompted Brooke’s change of pace and her ensuing move to the Southern Highlands with her family. Burned out by her past career running a jewellery business, along with raising two young children and juggling excessive commitments, the self-care author reveals how she knew something had to change.

Brooke says, “Looking back, I can see my mental health started to take a dive…I write about slow, because I need slow, it’s not something that comes naturally.”

Self care is important for mental health
Photo Credit: Nikko Macaspac on Unsplash

In her book, Brooke tackles the exploitative nature of the wellness industry. The industry has high stakes in profiting from the growing market for self-care, reeling in nearly $4.5 trillion and representing 5.3% of global economic spending.

With increasing mediums for internet users to be inundated by advertisements and marketing campaigns, it is becoming easier for corporations to exploit the rising population of people seeking solutions to stress and burnout. Brooke says, “If you are buying into certain elements of self-care because you think there’s something wrong with you, you become vulnerable to that marketing message.”

Wellness services have flooded the market, many of which have been accused of charging exorbitant fees and exploiting desperation. Brooke challenges the exclusive tactics of self-care corporations, and offers a more accessible path to wellbeing in her guide.

“Everything I write about needs to be accessible to everyone, regardless of finances, geography, abilities,” Brooke says.

It helps if you’re already well, you’re slim and you’re 25, that kind of mentality is what has attached itself to self-care.

“In keeping with the idea of accessibility, I really wanted it to be achievable for people who are busy, which is a lot of people. If you’ve got thirty seconds, you can spend those thirty seconds looking out a window at a green view, you can write down one lovely thing that you saw today or you could hold the door for a stranger.”

Walking outside is a form of self care
Photo Credit: Юлія Вівчарик on Unsplash

Brooke unpacks the ideas of ‘Big Care’ and ‘Small Care’, and their significance in the past year where ‘Big Care’ has had a major global impact of “upheaval and collective grief,” with the climate change crisis and the COVID19 pandemic. While she acknowledges that these two types of ‘care’ don’t exist in a vacuum, she also identifies why we need to prioritise the ‘Small Care’ sometimes.

Brooke says, “I realised I had spent so much time and energy caring about all of these big, important global collective issues like climate change, COVID, the national grief we’re all feeling as a result of last year’s bushfires, but what I had neglected was the other end of the spectrum of care, the small acts of care.

“That is the genesis of the spectrum of care I talk about in the book. The reason we need to start spending more time on the smaller end of the spectrum.”

Brooke’s call for greater self-care and mental health awareness is all the more pertinent, with stress and burnout rapidly increasing among the population. Asana’s global study found that 4 in 5 Australians in white-collar jobs suffered burnout in 2020.

While a variety of symptoms are reported, the main signs often include:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Brain Fog
  3. Maladaptive Daydreaming
  4. Lack of Motivation
  5. Sleep Issues
  6. Frequent Illness

With smartphone users clocking in 3 hours and 15 minutes a day and technology infiltrating all aspects of people’s lives, Care brings to light the role technology plays in exacerbating burnout and stress.

Fighting the temptation to keep scrolling on social media is hard when “it feels good in the short term because it releases dopamine”, Brooke says, but she maintains the need to substitute internet usage with more fulfilling activities.

Our phones, our laptops, our screens can be viewed much more like a tool… something you use for a job and then you put it away.

Brooke advises people to partake in hands-on activities outside of technology, suggesting that physical activities like yoga can positively affect the brain and even just “looking into the eyes of animals can release oxytocin”, also known as the love hormone.’

Looking into the eyes of animals produces oxytocin
Photo Credit: Nachelle Nocom on Unsplash

Brooke says, “If there’s an opportunity to go for a walk, or to sit and do something tech-related, I use that information for motivation.”

In her own life, Brooke has implemented this concept for her family, with her children creating a technology-free ‘slow room’ to help reduce outside sources of stress. She says, “I started experimenting and started to declutter and was astounded to find the impact it had on my mental health.” It was this realisation of how switching off can bring joy that inspired Brooke to share this practice with her children.

Practising self care as a family
Photo Credit: Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

Brooke also outlines how ‘Small Care’ can affect our perception of time, revealing how anyone can harness the ability to “bend timeand alter their experience of its passage.

“As I get older, as my kids get older, I feel like time speeds up. That made me curious about why there were times in my life where time seemed to feel like more,” Brooke says.

Research shows that our perception of time changes as we grow older. When we’re a child everything is new.  As a result, time feels like it goes on for longer… That is the simplest way to bend time.

Brooke says when people’s lives become monotonous and repetitive, the brain doesn’t hold on to those memories, thus creating the illusion of time passing quickly. In Care, Brooke encourages individuals to embrace the sense of play and wonder from childhood, to slow down their perception of time and make space for ‘Small Care.’

Featuring Brooke McAlary, author of Care: The Radical Art of Taking Time.

 

If you’d like to learn more about Brooke’s work, watch our exclusive interview with her below.

Spiritual healing practitioners, Yvette Clarke and Brenda Pitout, formed a unique alliance more than six years ago, successfully combining their individual abilities and together healing hundreds of clients who could not be helped by modern medicine – proving two heads and hearts are better than one and sometimes we’ve got to go deeper to achieve real change.

Sceptical but desperate clients with diverse conditions including addiction, trauma, anxiety, depression and eating disorders have come for and received “transformative” healing in the nurturing hands of this remarkable pair.

As a Clairvoyant and Light Worker, Yvette, is able to clearly see, hear and feel her client’s subconscious emotional blockages. Before finding Brenda, she felt powerless to help her clients heal the painful manifestations of these emotional blocks that she was able to discern.

With a, “nothing left to lose attitude”, Hayley, who was feeling depressed, anxious, suffering from insomnia and in deep despair, attended her first session with Yvette following the death of her grandfather.

 

“The first few appointments blew me away, as Yvette has the ability to see into what is going on in your system emotionally and what has or is causing it to happen.”

“She is able to read into and settle your system down with one of her amazing prayers,” explains Hayley.

Kylie first attended a session with Yvette 14 years ago describing it as, “the most unique and mind-blowing experience I have ever had.”

In this and subsequent sessions Kylie explains, “Yvette was spot on tuning into whatever was happening to me (emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically) and understanding all the micro emotions that make up me, inspiring me with the confidence and skills to create the reality I truly desire.”

Yvette, a self-proclaimed “blunt practitioner”, is often compelled to reveal difficult but necessary information to her clients for healing to take place.

Rather than “leave me to just sit in my heightened emotional state,” Kylie explains, “Yvette would always provide options for further support and assistance.”

Before finding Brenda, however, Yvette often felt powerless to help her clients heal the painful manifestations of their emotional blocks.

In 2011 she found Brenda Pitout, “an astounding BodyTalk practitioner”, who was both capable and willing to use her clients’ notes to continue the healing process she had started.

“Really, it took over a decade to find Brenda, who unlike all others before her, was prepared to work with my findings and not dismiss them due to the restrictions of her healing modality or ego,” Yvette reflects.

Yvette sought Brenda’s help for excruciating endometriosis which was debilitating. After only a few sessions with Brenda, the symptoms dramatically improved. She also sought Brenda’s help to release a lifetime of trauma and anxiety.

“It was after this astounding healing experience, I began referring clients to Brenda to recalibrate, restructure and realise their own healing,” Yvette explains.

Yvette was now satisfied she could truly fulfil her manifesto of providing people with an “emotional channel for the higher good of humanity by shifting them out of their cycle of suffering and abuse.”

Yvette says clients often come to her when they are at their lowest and feel “all else is lost”. To conduct her session she must enter their sacred space (the room of their soul) and she will therefore only do this with permission.

Upon invitation she enters this space by tapping upon her song bowl that resonates with a strong and unwavering pitch that carries with it the anticipation of what a client’s soul room may reveal.

While immersed in the soul room, Yvette is able to pick out what she calls “the carrots from a stew” – the most relevant subconscious messages from which she scribes pages of notes that enlighten to the reason the client’s soul has presented to her on that day.

Brenda then uses these notes as a platform to optimise healing.

BodyTalk uses the body’s own innate wisdom to heal itself. I merely facilitate this process by using neuro muscular bio feedback and intuition to bring change to the governing blueprint through its healing priority,” explains Brenda.

She enters “The Zone (where she) interfaces the left brain’s pragmatic and practical knowledge with the right side’s intuition to bring about shifts of consciousness.”

“Tapping on the brain enables us to focus on reprogramming of formula and tapping on the sternum enables access to the heart and storage of the information,” she continues.

Brenda discovered the BodyTalk healing modality in desperate pursuit to end her own intermittent battle with depression and her daughter’s suffering with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

She believed this cured them both and was her impetus to train in the modality – “something anyone can learn”. She is now dedicated to the ‘ongoing study of humanity at the “University of Life”’.

The healing duo have given hope, health and happiness to hundreds of clients with a broad spectrum of ails, healing where modern medicine had failed.

“It’s ‘Out There’, but it works,” excites Doctor Matty Moore, MD FAAFP FACRRM EM Cert, who, once sceptical, last year sought immediate resolution of issues that counselling and therapy could not provide. Unfamiliar to his Western Medical training, he tried to remain open and allowed Yvette to “identify” blockages and Brenda to “rewire” his subconscious.

“My repair was immediate, dynamic, and life-changing, for which I am enormously grateful,” says Dr Moore.

The practitioners describe distance and time as “mere concepts”, so when Yvette referred Hong Kong residents, Sean and Evania, who had “tried everything and had nothing to lose”, their sessions, unlike any other therapies previously tried, provided “immediate and life changing results”.

“Whilst cliché, Yvette and Brenda have made a huge improvement to both of our lives which we never thought possible and we would highly recommend both of them,” says Evania and Sean.

A curious Perth Psychologist, recently experiencing relationship issues, gushes about an “astonishing first session with Brenda resulting in profound shifts in thinking and feeling.”

“The combination of a skilled and warm therapist delivering a kick-arse modality was a winning formula for me,” she says.

A major depressive disorder, severe anxiety and an eating disorder had “steadily consumed”, dubious but desperate scientist, Lauren, for many years who was “sold” after her first session with Brenda.

“An expert practitioner, she navigates the blueprint of your body and mind with the precision of a skilled surgeon to find, and hand you, the key to self-love, acceptance and your full potential,” she says. “She achieved for me what an army of GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists and medication were not able to. She saved my life. It’s as simple as that.”

“An expert practitioner, she navigates the blueprint of your body and mind with the precision of a skilled surgeon to find, and hand you, the key to self-love, acceptance and your full potential.”

Seven years ago a desperate young female on the residential rehabilitation wait-list for addiction to crystal meth-amphetamine, conquered a lifetime of addiction and eating disorders with Brenda, later herself qualifying as a BodyTalk Practitioner and Nutritionist.

While their clients present with varied physical conditions, Brenda identifies consistencies in their underlying emotional causes.

Testament to the success of their relationship, built on mutual admiration and skill collaboration, after six years, Yvette and Brenda continue to join their hearts and heads together to identify then rewire subconscious blockages and optimise healing outcomes for their clients.

For more information contact clairvoyant Yvette Clarke yvetteleahclarke@gmail.com or BodyTalk practitioner Brenda Pitout bodytalkwa@gmail.com