Category Archives: Kinfolk Life

Life, Love, Family, Friends, Enjoying & Documenting every moment.

A slightly overdue hello, I’m back!

Portugal travel, Lagos

Hey everyone, we are back from Portugal and I feel both refreshed because we were away from the ‘rat race’ and excited for future travels!

Other than preparing for Christmas day I am catching up on my TEFL teacher training and working on my 3rd essay for the dance therapy diploma. I wouldn’t say I am hugely busy though, just winding down and finishing things up so that I am ready for the New Year. I have some exciting things to look forward to in 2017 that I am manifesting which involves more travel, with a potential trip to Cambodia and Vietnam in March plus ten days up North to see family & friends. I also plan to do a week long intensive in teen yoga teacher training, a level 2 in Fitness Instructing and the final weekend attunement as a Reiki Practitioner.

I am also going to become a Pagan Priestess (thanks to a friend, Despina for inspiring me), this is something I am doing for myself to connect with the divine in nature, I’ve spent a good few year working tirelessly on my career path and next year you’ll see my training coming to an end with the beginning of my freelance teaching business blossoming so I wanted to connect with my spirituality and delve deeper into my current knowledge of moon phases, the seasons, herbs, goddesses, deities and so on, I’ll talk more about this in the New Year but this spiritual path feels right for me, even Jon said “If we lived in a clan or tribe, you’d be the oracle or shaman” so yeah, I’m just doing this for me and my heart and I may create art, yoga and belly dance workshops centered around concepts of the goddess and mother nature in communities like Totnes, Glastonbury, Liverpool and Bristol where such a thing might be appreciated instead of scorned, who knows? I really just want to balance my work life with my spiritual life.

Towards the end of 2017, you’ll see me organizing and preparing for the big 200hr yoga teacher training intensive in Thailand, I’ll be living out there for almost 3 months! The general plan involves Jon coming with me so we can spend 3 weeks backpacking around Thailand together, he’ll leave me on the Thai island I am doing my training and he’ll go back to the UK, I’ll spend one month training and one month doing “Seva Yoga” which is yoga through community service, helping out in a local school, the yoga centre and animal rescue shelter. Like I said this is currently not set in stone but the framework is being prepped and I am happy!

It’s taken a while but I now feel happy in myself and where I am going, I still work in my part time job to fund my career path but it’s a means to an end, it is not my forever job and I feel great being able to visualize the life I’ve been working hard for, and you know what? I did it all by myself, I never faulted or gave up who I am for the sake of making others happy with me, it has shown me who really values and cherishes me and who tried to change me, genuine friends have stayed by my side whilst others disappeared into the shadows (or if they are still in my life, at least they know now they have no power over me.) and that is a beautiful thing, to feel in control of your life and yourself, to say to the world “This is me, this is what I am doing and this is where I am going.” We’ve only got one life so as long as your dreams harm no one, then be fearlessly you! Just fucking do it!

*Photo taken by Jon, of me on a cliff in Lagos, Portugal 2016

TEFL practical training

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Last weekend I attended my practical TEFL training! For those of you who don’t know what this is; TEFL means ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language.’ and it is something I have been thinking to do over the past few years but didn’t have the courage until now. This is my second to last teacher training to fully set me up on this new career path.

Every yoga teacher knows that teaching yoga is not always a sustainable career path; it’s not impossible but many teachers opt to do a different full time job as well as teaching yoga classes perhaps at the weekend or for summer retreats. This is one of the reasons why I decided to become a TEFL teacher, this qualification gives me the opportunity to teach English as a full time job and have a comfortable wage.

Not only that, it seems both fun and rewarding to teach English to kids and adults whose mother tongue is different. I love people from different cultures and most of my friends are not English.

Another factor is; Jon & I are in discussion about living and working abroad, even if it is only for a year because in the past as 20 somethings we never had that opportunity to take a gap year from Uni to travel like a lot of people we know. Now in our 30’s we both feel like we’ve missed out on that experience. TEFL is a fantastic qualification to have for me to find work in a school whilst we are traveling, it would be a great gateway job for the locals to get to know me and I may find a local yoga studio to teach in on the side?

The TEFL practical was actually really fun, our teacher was amazing and encouraged what’s called “student to student” interaction, so lots of group work, pair work and lots of discussion. There were moments where we’d become the students we might be teaching so to better understand how it feels to struggle learning a new language. Our teacher did this by teaching a short lesson in Catalan and we were not allowed to ask for help in English, we had to figure out what was going on by body language, repeating words our teacher taught and recognizing “false friends” which are words that sound the same as English. The training was very holistic and humanistic with a lot of focus on being playful within a simple framework. I felt so relaxed and confident during the intensive and I highly recommend it.

I’ve worked so hard to get to this point, I began my professional development in learning more about mental health, art & dance therapy, anatomy, special needs, child development and yoga philosophy among others. This year I qualified as a Kids yoga teacher and I am officially a trainee TEFL teacher. It will take me 6 months to fully complete this course and my absolute last course is my 200hour yoga teacher training which will happen some time in 2017, making me fully equipped to teach English, Yoga, Dance & Art to adults and children. I could even incorporate art, dance and yoga as part of my lesson plan for my English classes.

I feel amazing to have created this path for myself pretty much from scratch and with very little support.I am proud of where I am at in my life right now. This life has not been down to luck, this has been hard-work on a road less traveled, and I just never gave up.

Milly’s first Swim!

swimming puppy
Jon’s Parent’s recently brought home a puppy and named her Milly. She is now 16 weeks (4 months old) and is now allowed to explore the outdoors safely as she has had all her vaccinations. She hadn’t been given the opportunity to have her first paddle yet so Jon & I took her to Plymbridge woods where there is a gentle stream that she can practice in. We wanted to see how she’d take to the water first and didn’t want to rush her. Before long, her confidence grew and she would run into the water herself and she began to paddle in order to retrieve a stick. We kept her on the lead during her swimming sessions, just in case we needed to reel her in for safety reasons. We created a short video to capture such a sweet memory, enjoy!

swimming dog

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Quiet Time

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Currently taking some time to myself so I’ve been merrily wandering around craft shops to buy material to make dream catchers. This is my mini break from EVERYTHING. No article writing, no huge blog posts, no emailing, no work, no essays, no cleaning, no freelance business stuff, no nothing! I am really enjoying this time, especially since Jon is away for three days in Spain, it feels good to just day dream, stick on a movie and finally get round to making my dream catchers I’ve been meaning to make for at least a year now. The intention behind the dream catchers are to create a bit more promo imagery for art workshops, a “how to” blog post and each creation will be a gift for a few ladies I know. This quiet time is really important to me because I am aware I do take on board too many things and it is really hard to juggle the work load, I am also aware I spend too much time on the laptop just constantly writing articles, essays and blog posts and it feels like I’ve become a hamster on a wheel telling myself I have no time to make art, practice yoga at home or just read a good book.

On other news; I went to my first EVER opticians appointment a few days ago to have my eyes tested. Happy to say, I have almost perfect vision and it is predicted I might need reading glasses in my early 40’s, Optician thought I was 21 and was surprised I am nearly 31.
I also had a routine check up at my Doctor’s, found out I’m 8.9 Stone (56.5 KG) and my BMI is 19.49 which is slightly below my average so the nurse told me to eat more cakes (advice taken, happy to eat cake!).
Whilst mooching about Hobby Craft, I saw their Halloween Aisle and fell in love with this witches hat! I didn’t buy it at the time but now my inner child is nagging me to just treat myself and buy the hat!
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TEFL Teacher Training

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my place on the TEFL teacher training is officially secured, the full balance has been paid and I have access to all the online course material. My intensive weekend training is the 15th and 16th of October which is a week after my 31st birthday! I opted for the 140hour teacher training as this enables me to apply and work in the Far East and the entire course can take up to 6 months to complete. Soon after this course I will be doing advanced training in Teaching English to young learners to add to my classroom skills and Teaching English online as I’d like to teach from home too.
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Depending on my future, I could be living abroad as an English teacher in a school and teach art, yoga & dance sessions outside school hours or I could be an English tutor for a language school here in the UK and continue developing my freelance business on the side. And/or offer sessions from home via skype and owning a home studio so I can be near my future family and my kids can see their mummy doing amazing things and thus grow up being inspired by me.

Either way, I love the general outcome as it gives me control over my life and a feeling of freedom too.

The reason why I have opted to become an an English teacher to Foreign students is because it will act as my main income, I’d be silly & impractical to believe I’d earn a lot purely from teaching my yoga-dance-art workshops in my local community. A few years back I very nearly did a PGCE to become an art teacher and I’m now glad this didn’t happen, even Jon agrees I am too free spirited to follow a strict curriculum that is repeated every year and having to teach in a box full of 30 bratty kids, I’d emotionally suffocate! Being a TEFL teacher gives me more freedom, with a more open curriculum to bring my own activities into the mix, kids abroad tend to largely be more well behaved, I love to travel and I bond much better with “foreign” people than I do the British, I don’t know why that is, I just prefer other cultures to the my own and most of my friends are of a different ethnicity.

I’ve also spent an entire summer working as an activity leader at a language school teaching the young learners from Spain, Italy, Japan and China numerous things like yoga, art, games, sports day, cultural day trips and much more. I’ve wanted to do a TEFL course for years but this summer job clarified everything and gave me that push I needed.

I am very excited about this and look forward to what the future brings. I quite fancy living & teaching in Spain, Vietnam and Japan even if it’s for a three to six months contract per country and I am pretty sure the schools I apply to work for, will love that I am also a qualified yoga, dance and art tutor with numerous skills in child development, child protection and mental health to boot! Wish me luck everyone! This is my second to last teacher training, more news coming soon!