Wednesday 21 December 2016

Happy Solstice 2016

Nicki Edgell
Happy Solstice and festive holidays to you... read more on what the Solstice means and my top tips for reducing stress so that you can stay healthy and happy and enjoy some festive indulgence.

Happy Solstice and festive holidays to you

This is the time - RIGHT NOW at the Solstice… to stop the world and allow your body and your mind to recover fully from a busy hectic year. If you can it's a time to allow your energy to wind down and go inward for a day or two, allowing time to really think through what you want the next year to look like.  You might choose to make a vision board of images/words that sum up what you'd like 2017 to bring.  I'll be doing just that.

Setting the intentions for the new year is a very powerful thing and unlike new year's resolutions will energetically follow you through the year to help manifest what you would love.

I'd love to share with you some thoughts and tips for reducing the stress and enjoying the indulgence during your festive days ahead so that you can stay well and happy.

The Christmas Meal

The sheer thought of Christmas lunches and dinners make some people think of overindulgence and expanding waistlines. However when you focus on the nourishing aspects of the festive meals ahead you’ll realise that they have a wealth of therapeutic properties. Here are my top 5 foods that I hope you enjoy as much as I do.


Turkey is a rich source of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, is often described as the “happy neurotransmitter”. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a popular type of anti-depressant drugs that block the recycling of serotonin so more of it stays active. This brings a feeling of well-being and reduces feelings of worry, anxiety and depression. Serotonin that has come naturally from food also has similar effects on mood, as well as on satiety – the “feeling full factor” – and sleep quality.

Turkey is also a really good source of protein which helps keep your blood sugar levels stable. 

So, if you’d like to avoid succumbing to cravings for Christmas pudding, a generous portion of turkey, followed by a little break before deciding on whether you’re having dessert, could help.

Lovely roasted parsnips

Tryptophan requires the presence of a carbohydrate in order for it to travel across the blood brain barrier, the protective immune layer that keeps our brain safe from invasion by bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. as well as toxins. Parsnips provide a source of carbohydrate that’s mostly soluble fibre which is pre-biotic by nature, i.e. it feeds the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. These bugs produce a number of natural molecules. Some of them, known as short-chain fatty acids, have protective effects and anti-inflammatory properties. (For example, butyrate – a fatty molecule also present in butter).


The nutrients in sprouts and similar vegetables like cabbage can help reduce the risk of some cancers. In particular isothiocyanates, that help cells metabolise toxins. Detoxification is a function that takes place 24/7 in every cell of our bodies and some natural compounds like those in sprouts, can help us promote cellular health.

If you prefer red cabbage, you can give the sprouts a miss. The flavonoids in red cabbage are known to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a natural muscle relaxant particularly in the blood vessels. This can help blood pressure go down.


Use chestnuts, rich in fibre,vitamin B6 and folate; two of the key nutrients for heart and brain health. They’re delicious roasted too. They could also be the perfect alternative to a sugary Christmas dessert... a few roasted chestnuts with a little dark chocolate melted on top may be the perfect solution.

70% +

High cocoa chocolate, with a minimum of 70% cocoa mass, is a good source of magnesium and contains a variety of flavonols believed to support good cardiovascular health. They also seem to have a positive effect on cholesterol balancing.

So my message is: enjoy and indulge in your Christmas meal!  It's a special meal and a time for celebration and togetherness. With togetherness in mind my top tip for reducing stress around cooking and the day itself is to cook the turkey the day before!  Controversial but tried and tested and works fabulously to free up the oven and your time on the 25th. You can also carve and make the gravy and parcel up with a little gravy in an oven proof dish ready to pop back in the oven 40 mins before the veg are ready.  The other thing I love to do is to get the whole family (including relatives who might be staying) to sit around the dining table the day before and all share in preparing the vegetables. It's a very sociable thing to do and makes everyone feel involved in creating the feast.

So rest assured that by choosing the right amounts of the right foods you are nourishing your body and promoting health to ensure you have a fabulous New Year.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful festive season and look forward to a happy 2017.


If you would like to book in to see me I'll be back working on the 4th January. Feel free to leave a message by email or telephone (07786405366)

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Magnetic Shampoo? Have Nikken Gone Too Far this Time?

Nicki Edgell

Animal Magnetism

Pioneering Japanese wellness company Nikken have long been at the cutting edge of magnetic therapy ever since they invented magnetic insoles back in 1975. Subsequently magnetic beds, bracelets and seat covers followed a natural progression and all seemed perfectly sensible. Magnetised water through their unique Pimag Waterfall system was a little more left field but still rooted in good science. But now this? How can you have a magnetic shampoo? What does it mean? What does it do? Will paperclips attach to your hair? Have the research and development team really lost their marbles (or ball bearings) this time?

Jack Black becomes magnetized in the movie Be Kind Rewind
The new Triphase Shampoo and Conditioner released this month won't of course permanently magnetize your head (although magnetic stimulation to any parts of your body can have positive health benefits). The magnetic properties in these hair care products refer to iron oxide particles that carry a magnetic charge. These magnetic particles provide mechanical stimulation and movement in the shampoo and conditioner to help provide a long lasting deep clean.
"True Elements TriPhase Hair Care is unique - there is no other shampoo or conditioner in the marketplace with Nikken TriPhase Technology."
Both products also employ far-infrared and negative ion technologies (hence the patented Triphase® designation) which combine to create a well-being environment that helps your body relax and recharge.

Does it Work?

Well, it's new to the market but early indications have been impressive with reports of exceptional growth, extra long lasting shine, and even that sense of well-being and clear headedness. It also only needs a teaspoon per wash and will keep your hair clean longer than normal shampoos allowing longer gaps between washes.
"I was a bit nervous about this product being too heavy for my hair, which is average thickness, but I have a lot of it.  Also, it’s a natural product which means it’s a little thicker than usual and you might need to use a little more than usual. But WOW! This stuff is amazing. My hair is soft and shiny and looks really good. But the most interesting thing about this shampoo/conditioner duo, and this is going to sound a little crazy, was that I felt like it cleared my mind.  I don’t know how else to explain the feeling.  I simply feel noticeably better. When I get out of the shower, I feel more clear headed and this feeling carries throughout the day." Mark  
"The new true elements shampoo and conditioner is AMAZING. 4 INCHES & MY hair is healthier than it has ever been." Hailee
 "Finally, a natural, organic shampoo that helps the hair be stronger, grow faster and help the scalp!" Tina
 "I guess you can say my hair is the oily type... or it least it was. I've been using the new True Elements TriPhase shampoo and condition from Nikken (with magnetic particles, far-infrared & negative ions) for a little over one week, now. Well guess what? When I brushed my hair this morning, there was no greasiness!" Eileen


  • Magnetic particles provide mechanical stimulation and movement in the shampoo and conditioner to help provide a long lasting deep clean.
  • Far-Infrared Technology absorbs energy and reflects it in the far-infrared spectrum for a gentle, natural and warm energy that helps nourish and condition the scalp and hair
  • Negative ions collide with oxygen and water to produce a negative electric charge that emits healthy bio-energy to help create the ideal environment for a healthy scalp.
  • Formulated for all hair types (dry, normal, oily, chemically-treated, color-enhanced) to help maintain healthy scalp and hair.
  • Contains quality, natural ingredients, such as Aloe Leaf Extract, Bentonite, Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Copper Gluconate, Peppermint Oil and Germanium that work together to clean, moisturize, condition, help treat the scalp and stimulate hair growth, and help promote antibacterial, anti-free radical activities.
  • Copper gluconate is known for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Dermatologists have found that copper is a cofactor required for healthy skin growth, including the skin cells in hair follicles. Research shows that copper helps condition the scalp and combat hair loss.
  • Bentonite works like a magnet that bonds to contaminants and helps eliminate them from the hair and scalp.
  • Does not contain harsh and/or harmful ingredients, such as sulfates, parabens and PEGS, which can strip hair of its natural oils, damage the scalp’s protective barrier, promote the growth of microbes and irritate the skin.
  • Animal Testing Free.
INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Bentonite, Xanthan Gum, Glycol Distearate, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Brassicamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Panthenol, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint Oil), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Propagermanium, Copper Gluconate, Iron Oxide (C1 77491) 

Please feel free to contact me for further information:
(0044)7786 405366

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Wednesday 30 November 2016

Where Company Values Actually Mean Something by Actually Meeting Personal Life Values

Nicki Edgell

Is this a list of self-improvement goals from a "how to be happy" blog? It could be for sure, but it's actually a list of company values from the amazing Buffer (I think they are some sort of Silicon Valley IT company where everyone chooses their workplace, salary and holidays).

Imagine working for a company (or with a company more to the point) with these values. How many companies have purely outward looking values based on meaningless customer service platitudes masking a thinly disguised profit motive? What is so refreshing about Buffer is these values are for the benefit of the internal staff in the first place, but with that in place I suspect they will lead to a happy workplace, great customer service, and a successful company too.

I would certainly love to work in such an environment and feel I personally would grow and thrive and offer a lot more. They even give new staff free books and a Kindle - right up my street! But my only proviso is would it work for everyone? From my experiences in more traditional office structures I have found that one or two errant staff have spoilt attempts to soften and modernise ways of working resulting in the company withdrawing privileges and returning to stricter regimes. I also realise that Buffer is staffed by young educated professionals in a cutting edge industry. Could such values work in blue collar manufacturing or factory environments, or very traditional hierarchical institutions like banks and schools for instance?

Have a look at the full article here

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Open House Events - Brighton, UK, 3rd - 6th December

Nicki Edgell

Stress, pain, low energy, poor sleep & environmental issues are on the increase. We have discovered all natural solutions to keep you healthy, energised and happy!

Come along to experience for yourself technologies to support your health and daily active lifestyle. We have fabulous alkaline, structured filtered water for you to try, magnetic jewellery and insoles and much more. And you'll have the chance to treat yourself and your loved ones to great xmas gifts that will bring health and vitality to you 365 days a year! We guarantee you'll leave energised, relaxed and recharged.

Saturday 3rd Dec (11-5pm), Monday 5th Dec (5-8pm) and Tuesday 6th Dec (11-7pm). Stanmer Villas, Brighton. Let us know which date you can come along to.

We will be launching the brand new NIKKEN KenkoTouch, a powerful massage device utilizing pulsed Electro-Magnetic fields, Far-Infrared waves and Negative-Ions to give you instant relief! 10% OFF at the events.

"I have two sons who are both extremely athletic and are usually aching in one way or another. I used the KenkoTouch™ on them for muscle discomfort and the results were excellent." Michelle Giangualano

" I love these technologies and have been using them for 8 years. I hope you'll be able to come along to find out for yourself about these great solutions for health" Nicki Edgell (energy expert)

FREE SHIPPING when ordering at the event.

We'll be getting into the festive cheer with mulled wine and gluten free mince pies.

FREE EVENT but please RSVP - call/text 07786 405366

Introducing the new KenkoTouch from Nikken

Nicki Edgell
This is a brand new Nikken product  - please contact me directly if you are interested to learn more.

"I have two sons who are both extremely athletic and are usually aching in one way or another. I used the KenkoTouch™ on them for muscle discomfort and the results were excellent." - Michelle Giangualano

Massage is a proven, effective treatment for muscle aches and inflammation. A deep-tissue massage can loosen tight muscles, ease discomfort, stimulate circulation and relieve stress. A good massage can produce positive results even for those who enjoy excellent health. KenkoTouch is a unique, advanced system that gives you a heightened magnetic massage experience.

Active surface promotes relaxation and relief with moving nodules that produce a firm, slightly yielding sensation.
The simple, reliable design eliminates the vibration commonly found in hand-held massagers.
Patented DynaFlux® Magnetic Technology increases area of magnetic coverage and extends depth of field for greater penetration, creating a multiplier effect not available in other magnetic devices.
Far-Infrared Technology with specialized reflective fibers can help soothe tense or strained muscles, tendons and joints with gentle, consistent warming.
Self-regulating, to prevent heat buildup and keep you comfortable.
Negative-Ion Technology helps refresh and invigorate by creating the concentration of negative ions found in forest air, to promote the feeling of well-being.
Advanced design for easy usage: ergonomic contour shape, adjustable and removable strap.
Massage speed is selectable, with three settings and automatic shutoff after 10 minutes.
Heat-sensing safety automatically switches off unit at 80º C/176º F internal temperature.
Operates on an internal rechargeable battery and USB connector.

Nikken KenkoTouch solenoid reciprocating massage, patented DynaFlux® Magnetic Technology (U. S. Patent No. 9,265,966), Far-Infrared Technology, Negative-Ion Technology

1600 gauss (resting)

3.7 volt DC battery, rechargeable
Recharging cable with USB interface

Ferrite magnets, ceramic-reflective fibers, negative-ion material, steel, light-emitting diodes, polyethylene, medical-grade silicone

12.5 oz / 354 g

£233.00 (+ p&p)

Turn the unit on and select desired speed. Apply unit to the desired area of the body (knees, wrist, neck, back, etc). The unit has a 10-minute automatic timer but can be restarted multiple times, according to your preference. An estimated 20 to 30 uses can be completed before recharging.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Finding Depth - More Pocket Philosphy from Gaping Void

Nicki Edgell
More thoughtful life philosophy from the excellent

The way you do anything is the way you do everything.
When trying to become your best person, it’s a holistic process; the people around you and the places you go and the things you read all become a part of how you define yourself.
So you have to develop a set of standards.

Find your depth, your emotions, what makes you excited and what makes you scared, and what you admire in others. Bring this everywhere with you, and watch your life become something worth talking about.

Monday 14 November 2016

The Mandorla - An Image of Hope for our Torn World

Nicki Edgell

Painting by Cicero Greathouse.

I have just finished reading a novel by Lindsay Clarke called "Alice's Masque". It follows a man's (hero's) journey and transformation to finding himself (or his bliss or sovereignty) through three parts entitled Outward, Inward, and Mandorla. Where the Outward and Inward are symbolised by circles the Mandorla is an ancient sacred symbol representing the intersection (and harmony) of the two.

"As symbols of the interactions and interdependence of opposing worlds and forces, the two separate Mandalas [the hindu term for circles] which must meet and merge to form the Mandorla represent the sacred divide between spirit and matter, masculine and feminine, self and other. The space wherein these apparently irreconcilable opposites overlap is an image of hope for our torn world, a healing place where we can reconcile our struggles with life and each other." Jean Raffa

Clarke's writing isn't to everyone's cup of tea forged of dream sequences and magic realism, puzzles and symbolism, requiring concentration and interpretation - if you like DM Thomas, or John Fowles - especially "Birthstone" and "The Magus" respectively, then you'd probably love this, along with his other similar works "The Chymical Wedding" and "The Water Theatre".

Tuesday 8 November 2016

A Delicious Immune System Booster - Turmeric Milk

Nicki Edgell

Turmeric is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It is strongly anti-inflammatory. It so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. Watch the recipe video here courtesy of and learn how to prepare turmeric milk, the perfect anti-inflammatory drink!

Thursday 3 November 2016

Les Brown's Brilliant You've Gotta Be Hungry Speech in Just 7 minutes

Nicki Edgell
Brilliant motivational speech from Les Brown on how it can take a number of nos before the yes comes!

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Two Easy Ways to Lose Weight

Nicki Edgell

The two biggest changes I made in my diet to lose weight :

1. Less Bread
2. More Water

That's it.

Other things help of course like exercise, but when I was younger and a bit more weighty I ate loads of toast and sandwiches, and I barely drank any water. Now bread is a rarity in my diet (occasionally I may have some sour dough) and I drink heaps of water. Bread didn't really fill me up nor give me any energy. Water both fills me up and gives me energy.

That's it. Less Bread More Water.

So water is good but some is better and some is the best. To learn more about the best drinking water available please visit my sister site at

This App Changed My Life!

Nicki Edgell
I'm not one for apps really (I didn't even know how to spell them until I just looked it up now). I haven't got a smart phone and hope I won't ever need, or be forced, to get one. A lot of technology seems to me to complicate life rather than aid it. Don't other people see the advantages of not being on call 24/7 nor forever connected to the web?

A few years ago I was given a kindle for birthday present. To be honest I did n't use it much to begin with. I downloaded all the out of copyright free classics but didn't read many; I still preferred the paperbacks for many reasons - the paper feel, the covers, the tangibility.

I was also interested in reading articles of interest on the internet, often posted via facebook or twitter. However this also has disadvantages. Most online writing is cluttered with a lot of distractions - links, adverts, moving graphics, pop-ups, all kinds of annoyances. It also required reading at length off a computer or ipad screen often in an uncomfortable or inconvenient position - not conducive to concentrating on anything of any length or substance.

Then I discovered Readability. Readability is a free app you can download to your desktop (and probably other devices I'm sure). A red sofa appears in your browser and on clicking this the website you are reading is transferred to your kindle! What magic! Even more magic is all the clutter is removed leaving you with the text only. I can now therefore browse the internet and click the sofa each time I see something I want to read later, without the clutter, without the glare, and in comfort on the literal sofa, or arm chair, or bed, or bath. Often I hear about something or someone and just download the wikipedia page to my kindle via the app.

It has revitalised my reading (and in turn my education and knowledge) and given my kindle a new lease of life.

I realise tablets have superseded kindles for some. But there remains vital advantages to the kindle. It is generally not connected to the internet nor has a workable browser (have you ever tried reading Moby Dick on an internet connected device with facebook notifications only a click away?), so the instant gratification temptations of the internet are banished. The screen is also a very comfortable paper white or pale grey - very unlike a computer screen.

I now love my kindle, and love the Readability App. There are troubles in the world but when you can get things this good free...

Download your copy here

Tuesday 1 November 2016

The Dark and the Light and Everything In Between - Art to Make Life More Bearable

Nicki Edgell

I was recently invited to an exhibition of pottery work by local ceramics artist Nicky Bryant. Her pots were lovely - organic and pitted, uneven and rough around the edges and to the touch, extremely earthy in feel and colour. Nearly all were creams and browns and stone colours and some looked almost burned like charcoal. They were very tactile and I wanted to pick them up, hold them, run my fingers over them, and even taste them. They felt a bit pagan, female and sensually fertile. Some looked very old, like things that had been buried for centuries, reminding me of Roman water carriers or African earthenware. Most had little red sold dots on them indicating a successful exhibition.

Aside from the ceramics on display Nicky had mounted a personal bio about the exhibition on the wall by the entrance, about how it almost didn't happen, and what the achievement represented for her personally as an artist, and for creative women both in her home town of Lewes, and everywhere. The beautiful words struck me in their profound honesty and insightfulness; I took a photograph and reproduce them below with Nicky's permission.

This exhibition very nearly didn't happen...

As late as Monday evening, I wanted to cancel, to say, I can't do this, to apologise for wasting everyone's time and to quietly pack my work away without attention.

Creativity can be joyful, a finding of calm, a working out of ideas and a place to think. And for many amazing Lewes women, it is a chance to shine, to literally fly to foreign climes in the pursuit of their creative career and an Instagram feed filled with perfection.

That said, I feel strongly the need to acknowledge those for whom creativity is not the key to eternal happiness.

I know a stream of wonderfully talented women who make, in isolation, the most beautiful pieces of work that never get seen. Instead of flight, these makers can sometimes be weighed down with darkness and over-thinking.

Creativity without confidence is essentially a curse. It comes with self-doubt, self-criticism, an urge to apologise for not quite being good enough, a promise to do better next time, and a willingness to accept and take on any criticism that someone might like to offer. That these women continue to create, is what draws me to them, and makes me honoured to call them my friends.

For me, this exhibition is the marking of a line in the sand. A beginning.

These pots, while fewer in number than I had hoped, are the things that I have made in the space between the episodes and experiences that have made up my life over the last few months.

Being happy with who I am, as a maker, a mother, a friend, a socially responsible human being, and cutting myself some slack within that, has taken me a long while, but I think I am finally there.

Nicky Bryant

The Pursuit of Creation

I think so many people could relate to these words. We so often hear that someone is creative (and by implication someone else is overlooked for not being creative and is assumed incapable of ever being so). But so many of us are creative, or could be creative, without even realising. It's about going with your creation, whether it be painting, music, writing, origami, poetry, or furniture making.

But is it "good"? - it really doesn't matter. What is "good" anyway? Art especially is subjective and personal. Does it serve a purpose for you as a creator? Yes, it does. Humans have a desire to leave something behind, whether be it a novel, a painting, children, a building, or a memory at least, some kind of legacy. Nicky's pots will last - they have been created and will live on for hundreds of years. Some might even get buried and uncovered millennia from now after our current civilisation has long turned to dust!

Writer Kurt Vonnegut implored people to simply create - whether this be bad poetry or out of tune singing in the shower, creation is food for the soul and the pursuit and appreciation of art is "a very human way of making life more bearable... To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."

I've dabbled in several areas of creation. I've created art, music, stories, websites, and a particularly rustic garden wall which gives me alot of pleasure and a sense of achievement everytime I see it and think of it's creation and how, like Nicky's pots, it should last for centuries. Even in my daily administration of emails and spreadsheets at the office I try to do something a bit creative with my language, layouts and fonts! This blog of course is another example - I don't know how many people read it but it provides a degree of vain pleasure and a cathartic form of expression like a personal diary or journal.

I have accepted what is 

Do I worry about how "good" any of it is? Yes, indeed, of course I want to be good and admired. But it's not so important as it used to be. I'm much more inclined just to go for it now and forego the neverending pursuit of perfection.

It used to have to be perfect. If I could not play a piece on classical guitar perfectly it wasn't worth playing. If I made a mistake in cricket and got out for a duck then I would brood for days and conclude I wasn't good enough and should just give up. But now I have reached a maturity where things don't have to be perfect for me to enjoy their creation. I'm not going to play for England, and I plateaued a long time ago in my abilities as a musician having never attained the goals I had set for myself in my teens and early twenties. 

But what of people who don't even try, or hide their efforts or talents? Nicky writes creativity without confidence is a curse. The curse of self doubt. Is it good enough to go public? Or is it better to just publish and be damned. Will you risk being publicly shamed or will you be surprised at the positive reactions? It is a common trait for people to hide and never reveal themselves. But despite the hard work and stress involved in many creations or pursuits I'm always glad I tried and I'm sure Nicky also feels a sense of satisfaction, achievement and contentment, that would not have occurred if she had succumbed to the last minute temptation to cancel.

Is Usain Bolt the Fastest Man on Earth? 

When I go to watch my local team Brighton play football, sometimes I look at the players on the pitch and think there must be someone in this crowd of 25,000 who could do better, but it's the ones on the pitch who have got themselves there, whether it be through talent, drive, hard work, vision or even circumstance (or most likely a combination of all of these). Is Usain Bolt really the fastest man on earth, or are there other people around who would be faster but haven't ever tried (or had the opportunity) so they (and us) will never know? 

The opposite of creativity without confidence is presumably non creativity with confidence. We all know people who are not particularly creative or talented or knowledgeable but have the confidence to project themselves and their work - essentially the confidence to "go for it" and it's their confidence that feeds their achievement moreso than the actual quality of their work.

I've talked mostly on art specifically here but in the wider context it's about going for it, whether your "it" is art, or anything else that makes you tick; following your passion, having a purpose, whatever that may be, is one of the best things you can do to achieve success and happiness. 

More of Nicky Bryant's work can be viewed at

The Power of UNcopyright by Leo Babauta

Nicki Edgell
Does anyone remember those anti-piracy skull and cross bone messages you used to see on the inside sleeves of records - "home taping is killing music!"? I always thought to the contrary it actually helped spread music. I discovered so many bands via home made C90 cassettes spread around school - many of whom I would never have heard otherwise, and many of which I went on to legitimately buy their official output. Of course today the "problem" is a lot worse with the proliferation of digital copies and the general expectation that what is on the internet is free (aside from piracy I am actually constantly amazed at how much great stuff is actually legitimately free on the internet - this blog service for example provided by Google's Blogger, many other online services and softwares free to download and use, such as the excellent photo editing program I used to manipulate the photo below (

Writer and zen guru Leo Babauta, the author behind the excellent Zenhabits website, has such a refreshing attitude towards copyright which I believe is all wrapped up in sharing and karma. What you give out comes back - the size of the pie increases and your absolute share does too.

How nice it is to read the article below instead of the sometimes threatening warnings about reproducing digital property, and dare I say on a wider global scale, the "batten down the hatches" protectionist and xenophobic attitudes purveying UK and US politics at the moment.

In the spirit and irony of the subject matter I reproduce Leo's article in full below, and hope, like the bands on the cassettes I used to share, it actually increases his reach and even his revenues by introducing readers who otherwise may not have found him.

Uncopyright by Leo Babauta

This entire blog, and all my ebooks, are uncopyrighted (since January 2008).
That means I’ve put them in the public domain, and released my copyright on all these works.
There is no need to email me for permission — use my content however you want! Email it, share it, reprint it with or without credit. Change it around, put in a bunch of swear words and attribute them to me. It’s OK.
Attribution is appreciated but not required.
I’d prefer people buy my ebooks, but if they want to share with friends, they have every right to do so.

Why I’m releasing copyright

I’m not a big fan of copyright laws, especially as they’re being applied by corporations, used to crack down on the little guys so they can continue their large profits.
Copyrights are often said to protect the artist, but in most cases the artist gets very little while the corporations make most of the money. In the 4+ years I’ve done this experiment, releasing copyright has not hurt me, the creator of the content, a single bit.
I think, in most cases, the protectionism that is touted by “anti-piracy” campaigns and lawsuits and lobbying actually hurts the artist. Limiting distribution to protect profits isn’t a good thing.
The lack of copyright, and blatant copying by other artists and even businesses, never hurt Leonardo da Vinci when it comes to images such as the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, or the Vitruvian Man. It’s never hurt Shakespeare. I doubt that it’s ever really hurt any artist (although I might just be ignorant here).
And while I’m certainly not da Vinci or Shakespeare, copyright hasn’t helped me, and uncopyright hasn’t hurt me. If someone feels like sharing my content on their blog, or in any other form for that matter, that’s a good thing for me. If someone wanted to share my ebook with 100 friends, I don’t see how that hurts me. My work is being spread to many more people than I could do myself. That’s something to celebrate, as I see it.
And if someone wants to take my work and improve upon it, as artists have been doing for centuries, I think that’s a wonderful thing. If they can take my favorite posts and make something funny or inspiring or thought-provoking or even sad … I say more power to them. The creative community only benefits from derivations and inspirations.
This isn’t a new concept, of course, and I’m freely ripping ideas off here. Which is kinda the point.

Counter arguments

There are a number of objects that will likely be brought up to this idea, and here are a few of my responses:
1. Google rank will go down. My understanding is that Google penalizes pages that have exact duplicates on other sites, when it comes to PageRank. But in 4+ years of uncopyright, I have had no loss in PageRank. Anyway, SEO isn’t important to me.
2. You’ll lose ebook revenues. If people buy my ebook and then distribute it to 20 people, and each of those distributes it to 20 more, and those to 20 more … I’ve lost $76,000 in ebook revenues. Perhaps. That’s if you agree with the assumption that all those people would have bought the ebook if it hadn’t been freely distributed. I don’t buy that. In this example, thousands of people are reading my work (and learning about Zen Habits) who wouldn’t have otherwise. That’s good for any content creator. Also: I’ve made more money since releasing copyright, by far, than when I had copyright.
3. Who knows what people will do with your work? Someone could take my work, turn it into a piece of crap, and put my name on it. They could translate it with all kinds of errors. They could … well, they could do just about anything. But that kind of thinking stems from a mind that wants to control content … while I am of the opinion that you can’t control it, and even if you can, it’s not a good thing. What if someone takes my work and turns it into something brilliant, and becomes the next James Joyce? Or more likely, what if they take the work and extend the concepts and make it even more useful, to even more people? Release control, and see what happens. People are wonderful, creative creatures. Let’s see what they can do.
4. What if someone publishes a book with all your content and makes a million dollars off it? I hope they at least give me credit. And my deepest desire is that they give some of that money to a good cause.
5. But … they’re stealing from you! You can’t steal what is given freely. I call this sharing, not piracy.

Leo's website can be found at where you can sign up to his mailings at the bottom of the page.

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Saturday 29 October 2016

Two Easy Ways Towards That Elusive Flat Stomach

Nicki Edgell

There are alot of things we can do to get healthy or lose weight or improve our body shapes. But most of these involve alot of effort - an effort beyond what most of us can consistently muster, certainly in the long run.

However there are two simple pieces of equipment I use that contribute significantly towards keeping me trim around the middle. One is a weighted hula-hoop. The added weight actually makes it easier to use than a traditional hula-hoop so don't worry if this isn't a skill you think you have! I swing this around my waist in both directions for a total of about two minutes. The other item is a pull up bar which you can hang on a door frame. I use this occasionally when I walk past, doing ten pull-ups each time. On average once or twice a day spending no more than 20 seconds each time.

Both are easy to set up, easy to use, and can be bought for less than £20 ($25) at amazon or similar. But best of all is I both feel and notice a large effect on my midriff and tummy muscles - with only a couple minutes of effort each day!

The Power of 30 Day Challenges

Why not combine the use of these tools with a 30 Day Challenge, where you commit to doing something daily - in this case to use the hoop and pull up bar every day. Diarise your challenge with a start and end date, and make it public by telling family or friends, or making a facebook post. Setting yourself such targets is incredibly powerful in getting things done and achieving goals.

At the end set yourself a new challenge, or renew the same one for another 30 days. Multiples of 30 work well and are most commonly used. Studies have found that permanent changes in habit can be achieved after 60 days. Longer term challenges and targets can be set for 3 or 6 months ahead, broken down into 30 day (or 1 month) chunks.

You'll find that this simple process overcomes a key block in achieving goals, procrastination, by getting you started immediately. Then each day the task remains in the forefront of your mind with a midnightly deadline (if you miss a day you go back to day 1 but that is actually unlikely to happen because critically you won't forget the challenge and the target is achievable and motivational). Before you know it you have achieved your goal whether that be a flat stomach, or your debut novel! Why not give it a go today?

My family and I use both these items below and they are both easy, economic and effective:



Friday 28 October 2016

Best Practice in Email Marketing

Nicki Edgell

The following article extract is reproduced from the excellent Tips and Best Practices Guide at Mailchimp.

In email marketing, it’s important to remember that permission is key. Without permission, you could be reported for abuse whether or not you’re a legitimate marketer. The following tips can help you prevent spam complaints as you start sending email to subscribers:

  • Choose your opt-in method wisely. MailChimp’s standard signup forms, by default, use the double opt-in method. Double opt-in is valuable because you’ll know (and have proof) that each and every recipient gave you permission to send them emails. But, there are a number of other popular signup methods (API, integrations, etc) that allow for single opt-in, and we certainly are not discounting the validity of those, either. Ultimately, the most important thing is that your recipients give you permission to email them. You’ll need to consider your audience and the applicable legal requirements in your area to determine which opt-in method is right for you.
  • Don’t use purchased, rented, or scraped lists. Not only are they against our Terms of Use and notorious for providing bad addresses that lead to high bounce rates and blacklisting, they don’t actually help you grow your business. Sending to a list that hasn’t given you express permission can impact your ability to market your business, potentially damage your brand, and even result in legal ramifications. Instead, allow your list to grow organically.
  • Don’t assume that you have permission. Even if your intended recipients are already your customers (or your colleagues, or people you met at a trade show, etc), do not send promotional email without getting permission first. Add a signup form to your website. Give customers the option to sign up for your list when they make a purchase from your store. Offer incentives—like discounts, coupons, or free downloads, for example—to encourage your customers or colleagues to become list subscribers.
  • Set expectations when people join your list. If your subscribers think they’re signing up for monthly newsletters and you start sending them weekly promotions, they might not be subscribers for much longer. Tell people what you’ll be sending and how often you’ll be sending it. If you want to send out different content (monthly newsletters, weekly special offers, etc), consider setting up groups in your list so subscribers can choose what content they want to receive from you.
  • Don’t wait too long before contacting your subscribers. Every mailing list can go stale if it’s not used regularly, even if subscribers were originally collected via double opt-in. Lists with a lot of stale addresses can lead to high rates of bounces, spam complaints, and unsubscribes. In addition to keeping an up to date permission reminder in each campaign, consider setting up a process where new subscribers receive emails from you right away, perhaps through a welcome email sent with MailChimp’s Automation features. If you’re worried that your list has gone stale, we recommend removing the list and reconfirming outside of MailChimp.
  • Treat your email campaigns as an extension of your website, store, or brand. Your customers probably already have an idea of what type of content, imagery, and design elements to expect from you, so don’t stray too far and risk harming that recognition factor. If you have any questions about what content, designs, or subject lines your customers will respond to and engage with, don’t just leave it to chance—use MailChimp’s testing features to find out.
  • Don’t hide the unsubscribe/opt-out link in your campaigns. MailChimp (and the CAN-SPAM Act) requires that an unsubscribe link be present in every campaign that you send. When the link is prominent, people who no longer wish to receive your emails will be able to quickly and easily remove themselves from your mailing list. When the link is hard to find, the recipient might be more inclined to mark your message as spam, resulting in an abuse complaint within your MailChimp account.

A beginners account at Mailchimp is free and, once you find your way around the initially confusing layouts and menus, will provide all that most small businesses will need. Mailing lists I have set up for Newsletters and Blog Feeds here are managed by Mailchimp.

Thursday 27 October 2016

A Personal Message from Nikken Consultant Julie Tara

Nicki Edgell

Hi Everyone,
I'd like to give you a quick overview of my personal story, so far, with how and why I have chosen our wonderful company NIKKEN to build my professional career:
   My first career was in Professional Ballet, which I left due to a recurring back injury and the need to create more autonomy in my work life. I was tired of the intense competition and wanted to find something more co-creative rather than competitive. I also wanted to be more deeply involved in the humanities, helping alleviate suffering and uplifting our world in a more meaningful way.
   I launched into studying, then teaching, Energy Medicine, via the Japanese viewpoint of true health through the understanding and application of biophysics: how to use the energies of life through nature and organic foods etc, to affect positive change in the body/mind/spirit. This passion was born from witnessing my mother being very sick and never getting better with Western Medicine, only getting worse, through multiple surgeries and pharmaceutical drugs. My father and step-father were both high level Doctors, and couldn't seem to help my mother. Hence my quest into studying Asian viewpoints on wholistic health, that are safe and non-invasive.
   I found NIKKEN in 1995, after closing down my large Wholistic Healing Center in Colorado, and praying to be shown what was next in expanding my healing work. I was broke, despondent, and feeling very disempowered in life at that time. When I discovered the power of the NIKKEN principles through the 5 Pillars of Health, and the use of Nature's beneficent frequencies to keep living systems vibrant and thriving, I knew I'd found the answer to my prayer. I also had a profound result with the "Back Flex" (now "Mag Flex")  on my back injury, of 20 years, in only 10 minutes! That got my attention!! I started researching Earth's magnetic field application on life, and quickly realized I wanted to take this profound teaching out to the world at large, to help others. I also realized that I could heal my own financial issues through the power of building a network of passionate, like-hearted individuals, who also wanted to share the good news, and create wonderful income as a result!
   I borrowed a relatively small amount of money to invest in the technologies, and built my business the first year with 2 other jobs and 3 young children to tend to.  At that point I was making $8,000 a month and decided to give up my other jobs and just focus on mothering and NIKKEN, which I have done ever since.
   It is now 20 years later, I have been blessed to find many great team players, several of whom I've helped attain the NIKKEN Millionaires Club status. As of now, I've earned more than $6 million with NIKKEN, and yet I clearly know that we are all just at the beginning of an absolute tidal wave in business growth. The world is now truly ready for what we have: safe, highly effective, non-chemical, convenient, very affordable solutions to the massive health care challenges of today. And amazing solutions to the wealth challenges of today also! We have hardly begun, but now, with the new smart strategies of NIKKEN 2.0: joining e-commerce with NWM, we will dominate the One Stop Shop "Active Wellness" Health Care Revolution through both online retailing and building a powerful NWM team of business builders. Through this new hybrid model we are also amply protected with regards to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) guidelines that all NWM companies will be required to adhere to, now and into the future.
   With the ground breaking news that Ben Woodward is joining us in the field, as our upline, from February 1st. I have no doubt in my mind that we will absolutely soar to great heights this year and beyond. He has been my main mentor, along with Brendon Burchard, for the last year or so, and I have the absolute highest respect for his talents, creativity, smarts, and most of all, his immensely kind, loving heart. Timing is everything in business! If there was ever a time to run hard with this I am absolutely sure it is now. I know it, I see it, the explosion will be enormous! I suggest you don't miss the best NIKKEN wave that's beginning right now. I'm running … and I strongly encourage you to run fast with me! :)
Many Blessings,

Tuesday 25 October 2016

The Circle of Life - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - A Book That Should Have Been Unfilmable

Nicki Edgell

One thing about this book is that it engenders strong viewpoints. Readers seem to either love it or hate it. For me it is one of the cleverest, most original and ultimately satisfying books, I've ever read. The stories are arranged in a Russian Doll like structure with the opening story also being the last. This structure along with the chronological setting of each story gives the book, as a whole, a wonderful symmetry as we (the reader, and the human race) end where we begin.

The stories are loosely linked, but could stand alone as independent short stories. What is particularly remarkable is the authenticity and attention to detail displayed in the writing styles ranging from the 19th century journals of pacific seafarer Adam Ewing through to goat herder Zachry who phonetically narrates a vision of a post-apocalyptic society that has imploded leaving man once again scrabbling about in the dirt worshipping icons he does not understand, rather like the primitive monkeys in front of the obelisk in Arthur C Clarke's 2001. My favourite story is the preceding sci-fi tale which follows the adventures of a genetically modified fabricant, Somni, bred to work 21 hours a day in a fast food diner; a thinly disguised satire on McDonalds. Workers strive to earn the stars that will earn them a happy retirement to "xultation" in Hawaii (or in Somni's case to godlike status in the Zachry story!). A brilliant, thought provoking, vast novel - 5 McDonald stars for the author!

Monday 24 October 2016

Shiny Happy People - What Do They Have in Common?

Nicki Edgell

Wellbeing and life coaching is a massive industry these days. There is a wealth of self-help advice, blogs, newsletters, and books out there, all with their own theories on what it takes "to be happy". But is "happiness" even measurable? Is it relative? Is it something that can be learned or are you just born with it? Does it depend on our circumstances - is the concept of happiness still fair to someone living in terminal ill health, or in a war torn country, or so poor they do not have food, water or shelter?

On that last point it does seem a little conceited to talk of happiness when many in the world do not have the chance to ponder such an ideal. It puts me in mind of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs illustrated below:

Maslow's pyramid says that human needs must be met in order from bottom to top. You are only in a position to attain your "higher" psychological and self fulfillment needs (including arguably "happiness") after your basic needs of food, water, shelter, safety and security are secure.

Accepting those provisos and limitations, there are three websites I subscribe too which I find consistently offer great life insights and advice, to those seeking to meet their needs in the top half of the pyramid. I'm also pleased to say that having read quite a few articles on the subject there appears to be a degree of consensus forming about what it takes to achieve happiness, with the same subjects cropping up over and over.

The following list of characteristics of happy people came from one of the websites listed below:

  • They devote a great amount of time to their family and friends, nurturing and enjoying those relationships
  • They are comfortable expressing gratitude for all they have
  • They are often the first to offer helping hands to coworkers and passersby
  • They practice optimism when imagining their futures
  • They savour life's pleasures and try to live in the present moment
  • They make physical exercise a weekly or even daily habit
  • They are deeply committed to lifelong goals and ambitions (eg. fighting fraud, building cabinets, or teaching their children their deeply held values)
  • Last but not least, the happiest people do have their share of stresses, crises, and even tragedies - they may become just as distressed and emotional in such circumstances as you or I, but their secret weapon is the poise and strength they show in coping in the face of challenge
The last one in this list is often contested. For those of us who can take basic needs for granted, and are lucky enough not to have had serious crises or tragedies in our lives, can we credibly preach to those that have appeared to have had a hard or unlucky life and are justifiably able to say... "it's alright for you with your nice family and house living in your dream world of unicorns, but if you were in my situation and had experienced what I have...?"

However despite this oft repeated argument, studies have shown that the pattern of happiness (or unhappiness) is consistent throughout the list such that a happy person will usually display all of the above characteristics and will recover and maintain their core happiness even after life changing events (at least in the longer run). A fundamentally unhappy person is more likely to display the opposite characteristics and see the bad in everything and everyone, and furthermore blame outside influences for their woe.

You are what you think, you attract what you give out, and you notice what you choose to focus on whether that is the "good" or the "bad".

The three websites worth exploring and subscribing to are listed below:

You may also find my post on the negative effects of the news interesting:

Thursday 20 October 2016

Water Music from the African Rainforest - The Meeting Pool by Baka Beyond

Nicki Edgell

The much maligned term “world music” is entirely apt for Baka Beyond’s The Meeting Pool which records the coming together of a wealth of musical cultures. The group take their name from the Baka rainforest people of Cameroon with whom band leader Martin Cradick struck up a fruitful musical partnership following a visit to the region in 1992.

Field recordings provide much of the music’s African flavour (indeed the Baka people share writing credits and royalties are channelled into local development projects). With studio contributions from other African and European master musicians Cradick has created an intoxicating Afro-Celtic stew.

This multicultural infusion is most obvious on Meeting of Tribes; a traditional Cornish reel is played on Turkish and Arabic instruments, with African drumming and a didgeridoo drone! Its East meets West, North and South, modern and ancient; an organic melting pot of a dish that should taste overdone but is surprisingly delicious.

This wonderfully atmospheric album simply drips with water.

The understated but constantly hypnotic percussion and Cradick’s careful use of samples together with his circular guitar patterns preserve continuity throughout such myriad shifts in style. Furthermore unlike some less sincere world music dance projects that seem to do little more than paste some banging modern beats over traditional instruments The Meeting Pool is authentic and subtle (only in the final remix track are the traditional drums replaced with more electronic Western dance beats).

This wonderfully atmospheric album simply drips with water; from the lush green packaging to the ambient rainforest noises, the distant voices and laughter, the shakers and rain sticks, and the clatter of wooden percussion that permeates throughout each track. The upbeat opening Woosi hypnotises with an African guitar loop and Baka chanting. The gentle Ancestor’s Voice ebbs and flows before merging seamlessly into a tribute to the River Lupé via wonderfully evocative water slapping. Ohureo is a beautiful Gallic lullaby with Paddy Le Mercier’s violin soaring to the heights.  Despite the Irish influences his rootsy fiddle playing is far more Scarlet Rivera (as most celebrated on Bob Dylan’s classic Desire album) than Riverdance. On Journey the Frenchman also plays flute over another infectious groove laid down by Senegalese percussionist Sagar N’Gom.  The quiet Ndaweh’s Dream highlights yet another exotic instrument, this time a ngombi (forest harp), before the rousing finale Booma Lena.
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