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Hi, I'm Manna.
 
A certified mindfulness & mindful eating coach,
Nonviolent communication teacher and the author of 'Conquer your Cravings'.

Image by Jeroen Moerdijk

 
It was early 2010 when I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize the person staring back at me. All my life I had done everything the 'right way', pleasing everyone around me, especially when it came to the big life decisions. But it had ended me up in this weird place where I felt like my life was like acting a part. So it was time for a change......
The first thing I decided to tackle was my food/sugar addiction. My eating habits had gotten out of control after my mum passed away, a few years earlier. Without realising I had found myself on the verge of being overweight and that was not going to happen. I started eating sugar free wholefoods, learned how to cook from scratch and lost 16 kgs in 6 months. 
People around me started to ask me about 'my secret' and I started sharing all of the helpful information I had found on my first blog called Glorious Food. By that time I loved my new healthy lifestyle and had gotten over my binge and emotional eating. I noticed that, while others around me were starting to eat healthier and get results, their struggle with food stayed very much alive. This got me interested in our relationship with food and how we can heal this. I wanted to teach people the mental hacks that had helped me so much. 
That's when I came across 'mindful eating'. It gave me the framework I needed in order to teach what I had learned. But in order to become a certified trainer, I needed to become a mindfulness trainer first. I have to be honest, all I knew about mindfulness was from a few articles I had read in some magazines and I wasn't fully convinced. In the second half of 2013 I started the course (MBCT - Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) and it was life changing. My teachers were directly trained by the one and only Jon Kabat-Zinn, who created MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) in the 1970's. I loved the techniques and how these simple changes made such a positive impact. 
It was also the next piece of my puzzle. During my meditations there was this little voice that was telling me something I had known for years, but now could no longer ignore. I didn't want to be a primary school teacher and it was time to quit my job. I had loved it and the time with the kids had been amazing, but it also never felt quite right. So I jumped in the deep end and resigned. 
Around that time I had already been really busy to build my own business (first Glorious Food and later Mindful Rebel). I had given my first course to friends and had a lot of workshops on mindful eating already lined up for the summer festival season. So when the summer holiday hit, instead of taking a break, I got busy. And I loved it so much! 
But the changes didn't stop there. If anything, they had only just started. I think what happens when you're courageous enough to make one big change in your life, it doesn't stop until you are done. In October of 2014 I was cycling over the beautiful canals of Amsterdam, my hometown back then, and had this profound moment with God. I told Him that I honestly had no idea what I was doing with my life and asked Him to take over. I have to say, I was not prepared for what happened after that. 
Because a month later my first marriage reached it's end point. Not long after that I met an Australian man who swept me off my feet. He invited me to come over to stay with him in Perth for a bit and I couldn't live with the 'what if'. We had such a special connection and he was unlike anyone I had every met. Paul is now my husband and my life has been in Australia ever since. 
So after changing my eating habits and job, my relationship and country of residence,  nothing in my life had stayed the same. This honestly was a lot to deal with. But if I look around me now, this finally feels like my life. I'm no longer pretending to be someone I'm not and I'm not making big life decisions to fit what I thought was expected of me and keep others happy or be perfect. I've claimed my life as my own and take full responsibility for it. 
This journey has also been a big internal job, taking off the layers of conditioning, expectations and judgments I had picked up during my earlier years of life. I was bullied during primary and high school, my parents divorced when I was 16 and my first marriage was very challenging. All these experiences had changed the way I saw myself in a negative way. But after a lot of internal work, I finally found the original version of me, both in how I carry myself and in the life that I live. 
So do I have it all figured out now? Definitely not. If anything, my life is more messy and less predictable then it used to be. I've moved house more often in the last few years then in all the years before. And recently we moved interstate to Melbourne, following our dreams.  I am at the start of yet another adventure to take shape. 
Where this adventure will take me further, I don't know. But I am confident that I'll figure it out. One thing I am sure about, and that is that I love to share the techniques and skills that I've learned over the past years with anyone who, like me, feels that it's time for a change. I'd be honored if I can be part of your journey. 
With love,
Manna
 

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Day 1: Understanding your Cravings

Day 2: The Basics of Mindful Eating

Day 3: Emotional Eating

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