Award-winning Southsea florist Jo McNamara is our go-to for flowers in Portsmouth. Though she’s busy preparing for Valentine’s Day, Jo took some time out to chat to me about her favourite flowers, offering useful insights for anyone looking to surprise their loved ones!
Recently, I've been meeting up with ladies in Portsmouth — #GirlBoss entrepreneurs — who are doing great things in their fields of expertise. Today, I met with Charlotte Cornelius in her beautiful boutique shop in the bohemian Castle Road high street.
It's always a joy to pop into Charlotte's shop — it's like stepping into a luxurious room of calm, the sort of shop you can find in Old Bond Street, but without the big bodyguard at the door or the ‘you're not good enough for my shop’-faced assistant behind the counter!
Over the past few years, my life has got significantly busier, balancing work — the day-to-day running of my events company Love Southsea — and home life — raising three children and caring for a dog and a cat with my husband Charley. A lifestyle that, while fun, comes with sides of stress and tiredness!
For the past year, I have given up refined sugar, regularly worked out with personal trainers and through classes at SWEAT Southsea, and paid more attention to what I eat and drink. But whilst this has helped big-time in physical fitness, I couldn’t give an answer when someone asked me what I do to maintain my mental health. So when a woman by the name of Jenni approached me to invite me to a Reiki session, I was keen to find out more!
Jenni operates from Solent Medi Spa on Castle Road, Southsea. She named her practice ‘Surfing the Sea of Life’. Jenni tells me she chose the name because she believes we have a lot to learn from surfers about the energy around us and within us which creates waves in our lives. We can then start to recognise its frequency and vibration, and learn how to harness this energy to ride the waves towards our goals and dreams.
We can learn how to predict obstacles and dangers — how to go under or over them — and how to keep ourselves and others safe at the same time. We can learn how to be our healthiest so we can enjoy life to the max, and how to look after our environment in a sustainable way to safeguard the playground of life for future generations.
Some people want to surf big waves and some are happy with smaller ones. Things are messy and unpredictable in the sea of life, but as long as we give surfing its waves a go and get back up when we fall off, we’re going to learn a little bit more each day and have an amazing time. We were born to surf the sea of life — we do it naturally when we don’t think too much. It’s a skill that we’re all born with; we just tend to pick up some balance-throwing habits along the way. Others learn to surf the waves, and it’s important for us to learn from each other to raise our expectations of what is actually possible, before going out there and smashing through our goals!
Jenni is also a very keen surfer out on the water! In fact, she was an extra in the surfing-centric film ‘Blue Juice’, which starred Sean Pertwee, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Ewan McGregor.
One of my main problems is that, at the end of each day, I found it hard to switch off and relax. I also suffer from anxiety on a daily basis — another issue I needed some help with. While talking to Jenni about the kinds of benefits I’d like to reap from Reiki, she told me about some of the other clients she had due that week, from a lady who was due to do a talk in public and needed her nerves calmed to a chap looking to relax following the nightmare of daily panic attacks.
As the session began, Jenni asked me if I’d endured any major trauma in my life, or any big accidents or health problems. Talking to Jenni about these matters helped her understand where her focus should be while leading the Reiki. I laid down, closed my eyes, and let Jenni start working.
As a Reiki practitioner, Jenni understands that we all have energy surging through us, and that energy can be transformed. As a life coach, she believes that we all have the answers to our problems right inside of us waiting for the right environment to manifest themselves and help us take action to achieve the life of our dreams.
The Reiki and the life coaching form a winning combination to help people understand their energy and the energy around them, and to inspire people to harness it, to make little tweaks and changes to bring themselves back in alignment with their aspirations, and to ultimately feel happy and fulfilled.
During the session, I felt myself switching off, calming down, and clearing my mind, and by the end of the Reiki, I was very chilled out! That night, I slept the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.
As Ferris Bueller wisely said, “life moves pretty fast — if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss.”
As the founder of Surfing the Sea of Life, Jenni shares her philosophies across all of her social media streams, with themes of hope, inspiration, science, history, and fun through which she introduces concepts and ideas from other people, businesses, countries, and centuries. It’s an all-inclusive philosophy with love, understanding, acceptance, and fun at its core.