Honesty | Radical

in Features

“When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth”
Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Have you said ‘yes’ recently when you really wanted to say ‘no’?  Agreed to do something that just felt wrong because you didn’t want to let someone down? I know that I have and the repercussions came home to roost and I found myself saying, “I knew I shouldn’t have gone ahead with that!”

Honesty implies a refusal to lie, steal or deceive in any way. Honour suggests an anxious regard for the standard of one’s profession, calling or position. Integrity implies trustworthiness and incorruptibility to a degree that one is incapable of being false to a trust, responsibility or promise. 

“I can only tell the truth that is my truth at the moment. We don’t have to agree with each other about how things are. We just have to listen to each other and get how things are for each other, now.”  Dr Brad Blanton.

Radical honesty requires mental deep cleaning. And just like cleaning your house, the result is well worth the process. 

Fundamentally, we all wish to be known and accepted for who we are. Sadly, most people don’t know who they are so seek recognition and validation elsewhere. When we don’t find it within, we seek it from without. In other words, when we don’t find it inside ourselves, we seek it from outside of ourselves … which means we are ‘without’.  Without what? Without authenticity.  Honesty is truth and truth is authenticity. 

The main components to honesty are. Transparency, Authenticity and Vulnerability. 

Transparency leads to trust because it serves as a window into the inner workings of another person. The window to the soul. 

Without transparency, we are left in the dark to make up the truth about what is happening or what the other person is thinking.  And, we can be sure to get that wrong! 

The quickest way to build trust is through transparency.

With transparency, problems are exposed and solved faster and people are more easily and honestly connected because they are operating with the same information, allowing the relationship to deepen and develop more quickly which brings greater closeness. 

Authenticity is about remaining true to what we believe in. It is about being approachable and showing up consistently in all circumstances. We have many different ‘selves’ and we evolve in every new role so we must ask what is our core self and how can we remain true to it?  Is it possible to always align what we feel with what we say and do?

As relationships grow and change, we may find ourselves facing a forced change of values.  Therefore, we have to closely examine our core values and decide if we are willing to change what they stand for (given that we are clear about that in the first place).  Remaining authentic requires conscious effort, especially as relationships grow and challenge us. 

Vulnerability is about sharing our fears and setbacks, particularly when we are facing difficulties. Not to gain sympathy, but to open up to greater connection and relatability and to feel safe in doing so. 

If we want to enjoy strong emotional connection and experience mutual caring and respect, then vulnerability is essential.

When we choose honesty, it starts with ourselves. It starts with going within which is no easy task.  We are so conditioned into lying to ourselves that it takes commitment and almost obsessive introspection to get to the truth of our daily little lies. Our daily little inauthenticites.  How many times today have I
not spoken up?  How many times have I said yes (to be polite and not hurt another’s feelings) when my truth was no? This simple, recurring act brings a lie into the situation and creates an atmosphere of dishonesty. It often seems so much easier to just tell a (little white) lie and say ok but how many times do we do it in a day and then all these little lies join up and become pervasive of our energy. Without being harsh on others, it is essential that we learn to ‘just say no’.  

We live in a world ruled by dishonesty. We are bombarded and brainwashed by dishonest rulers who have only their own interests at heart. The world we live in would be a much better place if people just said no instead of yes, every day.

Our very sense of self is being gaslit by a plague of narcissism and our sense of reality is being challenged every day. I believe that it is essential, for our survival as a species, that we delve deep inside ourselves and find our authenticity and sense of self-worth.  

As we know, we are spiritual beings living in material bodies and we must hold to this truth.  Dark energies have always been sneaking around but we are being manipulated by them now more than ever and we must reclaim our spiritual strength if we want to live from our hearts. We can do this by starting out with a simple ‘no’. No thankyou, I do not want another coffee.  No thankyou, I do not want a slice of cream cake. No thankyou, I do not want to go out tonight.  Or just ‘no thankyou, I don’t want to .. (fill in the blank)..  as it just doesn’t feel right’.  

Be gentle with yourself as you would with a child. Encourage yourself to be honest in the little ways and acknowledge yourself generously when you do so.  That way it will grow. Your quality of life and those around you, will grow positively and the ripple effect will spread further than you can possibly imagine!  Speak your truth – it matters! 

Kate Mchardy  MA(Hons)  PGCE MSPH. 

Spiritual coach, teacher and healer.

The University of Light Group


katemch@gmail.com • +44 7712889534

Horoscope September 2023

in Features

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)

Your inner patience will be called upon this month, Aries. You may find it challenging to stay in balance and not become frustrated with those around you who you feel may be holding you back on your path.  Stay calm and allow them to catch up.  

TAURUS Apr 21 – May 21) 

As the dark energies around us seek to be in control, we must keep working in the light. Strive to meet the light in everyone, Taurus, and not only will your path be lighter but so will the path of everyone you come into contact with. 

GEMINI (May 22 – Jun 22) 

Turn your attention to your home life this month, Gemini. Remember, also, that your body is the temporary home of your soul and may be feeling a little neglected at the moment.  Check where you are putting your energy and call it back home. 

CANCER (Jun 23 – Jul 22)

You may feel like closing your heart, Cancer, but now, more then ever is the time for you to keep it open.  Trust yourself and listen to your inner wisdom.  Your heart may feel heavy but it will lighten as you keep it open and trust love to be the answer. 

LEO (Jul 23 – Aug 23) 

As the vibrations on our planet evolve, Leo, we must all evolve with them and you have an important role in this.  As a natural leader you are being guided to
develop your psychic abilities which, in turn, will encourage others to do the same. Be open and the answers will come. 

VIRGO (Aug 24 – Sep 23)

This month, you must tune in to the comfortable, motherly, nurturing and stable aspects of your nature, Virgo, and balance them with the strong protective energy that is also part of you. This will help you to make a decision that has had you oscillating between your heart and your head.

LIBRA (Sep 24 – Oct 23) 

Your listening skills are going to be needed this month, Libra.  Someone close is feeling very confused and afraid to take a wrong turning.  With your ability to ‘see both sides’ and to seek fairness at all times, you can be the lifeline this person needs, at this time.

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 22) 

Remember that you are a magnificent and unique person, Scorpio. Perhaps you are feeling a little bit guilty or even shameful over something.  Simply, take a step back and acknowledge this. We all carry these energies and sometimes they trip us up and we feel defensive. There is always a lesson to be learned in self-compassion and letting go.  

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 23 – Dec 21) 

Focus on your creativity this month, Sagittarius. Follow your instincts and either develop something that you already enjoy or just go mad and learn a new skill. Tapping into our creativity keeps our brain nourished and alive and connects us with the soul of the Universe. 

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 20) 

Its time to step into your power, Capricorn, and accept that you have strong leadership qualities that you have been hiding away. The world needs you and so do the people around you, so, examine your life, decide what brings you satisfaction and step up now!  

AQUARIUS (Jan 21 – Feb 19) 

Take care of your heart this month, Aquarius and listen intently to the messages it carries for you. Be gentle with yourself and stop procrastinating. Be vigilant for signs from the Universe which direct to a specific course of action and remember that they are simply drawing your own desire to you. 

PISCES (Feb 20 – Mar 20) 

You will be a busy bee this month, Pisces, buzzing from person to person and project to project.  Remember to hold your heart open at all times while calling upon your angels and guides to keep it safe. You will be drawn to geometrical shapes and will find yourself fascinated by their energy.

Keep your Summer Essentials Topped up

in Health & Beauty

It’s summer and it’s hot and the last thing you want to do is exercise, but you are determined to carry on with your usual workout routine. With a few adjustments you can still exercise safely during the hot weather. The first thing to remember is to keep hydrated. If you become dehydrated it could affect your ability to regulate your temperature and also can put pressure on your heart. You are at risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, which at worst can be life-threatening. The NHS says you should drink 6-8 cups or glasses (1.5-2 litres) of fluid a day. However, they recommend drinking at least 2 litres during a heatwave. Remember to drink enough before your workout, not just during. If you’re dehydrated when you start exercising, your heart needs to work harder to do its job. Get your body primed and motivated with PE Nutrition Pre-Workoutrefreshing and fruity pre-workout drink from Holland & Barrett.

Once you’ve worked out you will most probably be hot and sweaty and a good deodorant is key, especially if you don’t have time for a full shower or wash before you continue with your day. Have you thought of switching from your usual antiperspirant to a natural deodorant? Some antiperspirants use aluminium salts which dissolve into your skin and form a coating that “plugs” part of your sweat glands. Natural deodorants aren’t antiperspirants. Instead, they use ingredients that help prevent odour while still letting your body sweat when it needs to. Salt of the Earth, available from Holland & Barrett, has a range of 100% natural products that are vegan friendly and come in either a spray or roll-on deodorant for long-lasting and effective protection from body-odour.

Sunscreen is for life, not just for hot days! It’s especially important to make sure you’re wearing an SPF of at least 30 and topping up every 2 hours (sooner if you’ve sweated a lot or used a towel). It’s worth investing in a sweat-proof sunscreen if you’re exercising outdoors. Try HB Mineral Sunscreen SPF50+ from Holland & Barrett and feel safe in the knowledge that you have effective protection. 

If you do get sunburnt, the first thing to do is get out of the sun. Go inside, find shade, and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. To soothe the burning sensation, take a cool shower or bath to calm your skin. Then, over the next few hours, continue this cooling process using a damp towel as a compress. Alternatively, use a bag of ice wrapped in a towel – this helps to drain the heat from the skin. As well as soothing the sunburn, this can help reduce further redness. Aloe vera is often recommended as a hydrating gel to help soothe affected skin. In fact, you’ll probably find many after-sun products contain aloe vera as a key ingredient. You should continue to use a cooling gel or cream for a few days to keep burnt areas moist and hydrated. Dr Organic Aloe Vera Gel with Tea Tree from Holland & Barrett ensures that the plant’s beneficial polysaccharide levels are captured and maximised to help soothe, moisturise and restore dry and sun exposed skin.

Many of the most popular and fun festivals are held in the months of August and September. Aside from the obvious tent, wellies and sleeping bag, there are a few festival essentials that you may not have considered when putting together your packing list. No festival essentials list would be complete without the inclusion of some immune system-supporting vitamin C! Holland & Barrett High Strength Effervescent Vitamin C tablets are an easy to take and easy to pack orange flavoured effervescent Vitamin C food supplement.

Another tip to make sure you enjoy the summer safely and healthily is to remember that it is all about balance and that sometimes it can be stressful to decide when to say yes and when to say no. Treats are more than just “healthy” or “unhealthy”, some provide your body with nutrients and others taste good and make you feel good. Sometimes, treats are more about joining in with everyone and doing the things you love. It’s fine to overindulge every so often but listen to what your body is telling you. 

If you do over-do it, try Kombucha – a fermented drink made from tea, sugar and a bacterial culture called a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Holland & Barrett Energy Kombucha drink is formulated with Ashwagandha, Vitamin B12 and Live Cultures. Vitamin B12 contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Ashwagandha is known for being an adaptogen, a natural agent that reportedly can potentially help with everyday pressure and Live Cultures are a type of good bacteria that come in the form of microbes associated with foods and drinks helping the normal function of the gut.

Finally, embrace every moment of summer… try not to spend it nursing a headache or suffering with a bad gut. Take some simple precautions to ensure you stay healthy and remember that the best advice is to stay hydrated and don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water

What is Sound Therapy

in Health & Beauty

What is Sound Therapy we hear people ask… It’s already used in the mainstream and may just be the healing of the future

Are you curious… Jeff Moran answers the question “what is sound therapy” and its effects upon our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing in a down to earth way. 

He takes away any notion that the use of sound in a healing capacity is quackery. In fact you will realise that it’s more like the future of healing, without many of today’s chronic side effects.

It’s easy to think sound therapy is taking a gong bath, chanting the OM, playing crystal bowls and many other methods which unfortunately for many have given it a type of mysterious mumbo jumbo feel. This is far from the truth as sound therapy is based on the technology of frequency with its many facets and can be effectively used to help with many of today’s challenges including leaning, relaxation, behaviour and general well-being and more. 

Sound therapy in the mainstream 

Sound therapy has been used for many years in the mainstream, an example of this is that tuning forks are used for bone conduction, reflex testing and hearing and have been since I can remember.

Ultra-sonics has been used in bone stimulation, soft tissue healing, also used to disperse kidney stones and the imaging of organs or a scan of a new born.

Sonography also uses high frequency to produce visual images of organs and blood flow in the body. So as you can see, Sound Therapy is not a new quirky therapeutic treatment. 

Take a deeper dive and you will see that there are thousands of research papers on the positive effects that sound and music can have upon concentration, focus, behaviour, sleep, brain co-ordination as well as our emotional and physical states.

How some sounds hold us in tension

I guess we all know that sound and music certainly has an impact upon the way in which we feel, both mentally and emotionally. We have all experienced some negative aspects of sound in our daily lives. You may walk past a building site and hear the jackhammer pounding and want to cover your ears. It may be a siren that’s going off, a dog barking furiously, a room with noisy air conditioning or a dentist’s drill, to name but a few. 

However, if you recall when those sounds are turned off, your whole body feels like it’s been holding on to tension and you instantly feel better or give a sigh of relief. 

When we hold the body in these tense states it has a negative effect upon the way in which we feel as stress hormones are created and flood into our body often weakening our immune system.

However, on a positive note you hear the laughter of a young child, your favourite relaxing music, a bird song in the morning, the bell that ends a boring lesson, or maybe you took a vacation and relaxed on the beach listening to the sound of the waves breaking upon the shore. 

These sounds can have a really positive effect upon your emotions, as you relax and your physiology starts to produce more of the happy hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.

There is a lot to be said in the saying “Your environment is everything”.

Does Sound Have an Effect upon Our Body and Mind?

Based upon the knowledge that everything is created through patterns of frequency which include our physical bodies, mental thoughts, and our emotional feelings. 

These frequencies are in a constant state of vibration, so although the physical body appears to be solid, quantum physics has now proven beyond any doubt that it’s actually in a state of movement and therefore can be influenced by sound within our environment.

Take seasonal affective disorder as an example. Due to the fact that we are made up of frequencies, research has shown that when we are missing a certain range of light frequencies, it can lead to SAD which is linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter days of the year, the result being that many people feel depressed when they are not getting sunlight or the full range of frequencies that they need to stay healthy both in body and mind.

Now, what is interesting is that the same thing happens with sound as with light because it’s all frequency. When we are missing certain tones and frequencies within our energetic system, then we don’t feel as healthy and balanced as we naturally should do and this is where sound therapy can help by delivering those missing frequencies back into the body.

In essence “Sound and light frequencies act like vitamins and minerals in the body, so the body needs a full spectrum of frequencies to stay fit and healthy”.    

How sound therapy can help specific learning and emotional disorders

This is one of the main areas where we focus our sound work, with adults and children with ADHD and other disorders. If you look at ADD/ADHD we often need to bring the brainwaves down naturally due to fast processing which is often what is happening with those with an ADHD diagnosis. 

We use “The Sound Therapy Listening Program” which is a 5 level sound programme to address many learning and emotional issues. The aim is to use the levels to entrain the brain to help focus and calm the kids and adults who have these conditions.

Dyslexia and especially dyspraxia is often about exercising the two hemispheres of the brain, therefore bringing about hemisphere synchronisation and improving co-ordination, so by using sound therapy we look to improve the brain hemisphere co-ordination especially with the Sound Therapy Listening Program which is designed to do just that, with really positive results.

Our preferred sound delivery

Our preferred method to help those with challenging issues is through the Sound Therapy Listening Program.

It can be used to relax the brain, therefore bringing the brainwaves down to an alpha/theta state, alpha being the ideal brainwave state used in accelerated learning. 

In those states the brain relaxes and the by-product is that being in alpha can also boost the immune system due to it being a relaxed brainwave state. 

The program can also take the brain up to levels of beta/gamma which can be used in high level focus. We assess the user and what the challenges are, then give direction as to what program level we think would be most beneficial to start from.

So, in essence, we look to speed the brain up or slow the brain down. You might be processing too quick, and there’s a lot of confusion and thoughts running around your head, so we need to slow the brain down. There are slower learners also and with these we train the brain to the level where the brain can start to learn a lot more effectively.

We’re also looking at crossing the brain hemispheres over, so we’ve got a part of the program that creates brain hemisphere synchronization, which is great for co-ordination issues, whether that be dyslexia, dyspraxia and other areas that need an improvement in co-ordination. 

When we cross the hemispheres, we look at whole-brain learning and improvements in learning through utilizing the left (logic) and right (creative) side of the brain. But don’t forget all the user needs to do is listen and they can also use the programme whilst doing other activities also.

Well done you got this far

If you have read to this point then you might be left with questions, so by all means, whatever question you may have, then get in touch. 

We have sound therapy for tinnitus, short-term memory, sleep and insomnia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, auditory processing disorder. 

Jeff Moran MA




in Health & Beauty

Dementia is not a usual part of the aging process. It is the name for a collection of symptoms that signify damage to the brain for varying reasons. There are different types of dementia that affect people differently, each person experiencing symptoms in their own way.

September marks Alzheimer’s awareness month and the theme this year is ‘Never too early, never too late’. This centres on the key risk factors and risk reduction, aiming to emphasise their crucial role in delaying and potentially preventing the onset of dementia. This also importantly includes ongoing risk reduction for those who have already been diagnosed. 

Some dementia risk factors are difficult or impossible to change. These include:

  • age: the older you are, the more likely you are to develop dementia. However, dementia is not a natural part of ageing
  • genes: in general, genes alone are not thought to cause dementia. However, certain genetic factors are involved with some of the less common types. Dementia usually develops because of a combination of genetic and “environmental” factors, such as smoking and a lack of regular exercise
  • air pollution: research suggests that air pollution may affect the brain and could increase the risk of dementia

Research suggests other risk factors may also be important. These include:

  • hearing loss
  • untreated depression
  • loneliness or social isolation
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular disease risk factors are most strongly linked to vascular dementia. This is because vascular dementia is directly caused by problems with blood supply to the brain.

The research concluded that by modifying the risk factors we are able to change, around 4 in 10 cases of dementia could be prevented.

Experts agree that what’s good for your heart is also good for your brain. This means you can help reduce your risk of dementia by:

  • eating a balanced diet
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • exercising regularly
  • keeping alcohol within recommended limits
  • stopping smoking
  • keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level

10 of the most common warning signs involve:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Problems with language
  • Disorientation to time and place
  • Poor or decreased judgement
  • Problems keeping track of things
  • Misplacing things
  • Changes in mood and behaviour
  • Challenges understanding visual and spatial information
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities

Symptoms are often mild to begin with and may worsen very gradually. If you think that these problems are affecting your daily life, or the life of someone you know, talk to your GP or healthcare professional.

More information and resources can found locally at Gibraltar Alzheimer’s & Dementia Society Telephone : 00350 56001422 Email: gads@gibtelecom.net

Why is self-care so important?

Practicing self-care empowers you to become pro-active in your own healthcare, helping you to stay both physically and mentally healthy. Ultimately, it can help relieve pressure on the health systems 

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care as activities individuals and communities engage in that help prevent disease and increase well-being.

The first step to mental wellness is to recognise stress. There are many different things that can make you stressed, including moving home, starting a new job, and even having a baby. When stress gets out of hand, it can negatively impact our physical and mental health, leading to burnout, anxiety and depression. 

Sometimes stress can creep up on you, so it is a good idea to be aware of the symptoms. Some of the signs to look out for include feeling angry, irritable or impatient as well as anxious, nervous or afraid. Do you feel overwhelmed? Maybe you are uninterested in life, and feel unable to enjoy yourself in any situation. Do you have a sense of dread and are constantly worried or tense? 

The physical signs of stress might include having difficulty in breathing, panic attacks, sleep problems, muscle aches, headaches, chest pains and high blood pressure. 

There are things that you can do to manage your stress levels.  

Find time in your day to use guided meditation. Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being. Look online for some of the many guided meditations that are available.

Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a quality; meditation is a practice. Whilst mindfulness is similar to meditation, the difference is that mindfulness requires us to be aware of what’s around us and how our bodies feel, whereas meditation is a practice that reels in our thoughts to calm the mind.

Scientific studies have shown that controlling your breath can help to manage stress and stress-related conditions. Deep breathing is a great way to reduce the activation of your sympathetic nervous system, which controls the body’s response of fight or flight to a perceived threat. Take a deep breath in for a count of five seconds, hold for two seconds and release for a count of five seconds. 

Take a walk in nature. Spending just 20 minutes connecting with nature can help lower stress hormone levels. Walking is an inexpensive and low risk form of exercise and getting outside can help you gain a fresh perspective on whatever it is that is stressing you out.Join a walking group or find a friend to go walking with. Set goals by counting your steps and reward yourself when you reach certain milestones, whether that’s getting a massage or buying yourself a gift. 

Start a gratitude journal to keep track of events or things that you are thankful for on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Studies have shown that taking the time to feel grateful may improve your emotional well-being by focusing on the positive aspects of your life. Sometimes it may be something big, such as passing an exam, sometimes it may be one of those little blessings in life, such as the plant you have nurtured coming into bloom. 

Connecting with others can help you find a sense of community. Loneliness can increase stress and people who feel lonely have less immunity and more inflammation than people who don’t. We all need some human interaction to help us feel supported, and engaging with social groups, joining clubs or groups or taking part in sports or activities can lead to positive mental health effects and reduce feelings of loneliness. 

If you catch yourself feeling depressed, run down, exhausted, or irritable, just pause and consider what may be the cause of the stress and take action to resolve or manage it.Prioritise some ‘me’ time


in Health & Beauty

You may be frightened by the mere sight of a spider, but rest assured – you’re not alone. 

You may be frightened by the mere sight of a spider, but rest assured – you’re not alone. About one in fifty people suffer from a severe form of an irrational fear of spiders, otherwise known as arachnophobia, and a good tip here is to remember that a spider is more terrified of you than you are of it. 

Phobias and fears come in all shapes and sizes. So just what is a phobia? It is a type of anxiety disorder that manifests itself in an uncontrollable, irrational, and persistent fear of a specific object, situation, or activity. However, whatever your phobia, it is unlikely to cause harm. The word itself comes from the Greek word “phobos,” which means irrational fear. The good news is that there is no need for anyone to continue to suffer from phobias. 

Phobias are different from regular fears because they cause significant distress, possibly interfering with life at home, work, or school. There may be little threat, or even no threat at all, but you could experience symptoms of anxiety. Fear, on the other hand, is an intense emotion in response to a threat in the moment.

What causes phobias? If you perceive something as a threat, even though it may not be a threat, stress hormones are released and there is a fight-or-flight response, with symptoms such as an increased heart rate, breathing and sweating. This can lead the person to fight, flee, or freeze.

Other phobias include agoraphobia, a fear of places or situations that trigger fear or helplessness, which can make it very hard to lead a normal life. Social phobias, which are fears related to social situations where you may be scrutinised and observed by others, can cause people to avoid them, especially in the case of a fear of public speaking (glossophobia). There are a lot of myths surrounding the fear of public speaking, with one recommendation being to imagine your audience naked, because supposedly a naked audience is less intimidating! This advice may not be the best strategy to follow and to calm your nerves you are better off using ‘cognitive reappraisal’. Research has shown that people who deliberately re-evaluate their nerves as excitement rather than anxiety perform better than those who try to calm themselves down.  

Phobias typically fall within five general categories: fears related to animals (spiders, dogs, insects); fears related to the natural environment (heights, thunder, darkness); fears related to blood, injury, or medical issues (injections, broken bones, falls); fears related to specific situations (flying, riding in a lift, driving); and other fears such as a fear of choking, loud noises or drowning.

There’s also such a thing as a fear of fears (phobophobia), a fear of being afraid, which is actually more common than you might imagine!

So how can you overcome a phobia? Before resorting to medical help, there are some self-help strategies that you could try, including exercise, visualisation, and breathing techniques.

Breathing: Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. 

Visualisation: Take a moment to imagine how proud you will feel when you successfully handle your phobia. Now imagine yourself in a situation where your phobia arises, and picture yourself handling the situation with confidence. Imagine feeling free of anxiety and picture your life without the fear and limitations of your phobia. 

Exercise: exercise can refocus you (your mind can only focus on one thing at a time). Whether you go on a short walk, head to a gym for an all-out sweat session, or turn on a 15-minute yoga video at home, exercise is good for you and it will ground you and help you feel more capable.

Courage: appreciate your courage. Every time you don’t allow fear to keep you from doing something that scares you, it will make you stronger and less likely to let the next panic attack stop you. 

If self-help techniques to overcome phobias aren’t successful, you can seek the help of a healthcare professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is the primary treatment option for phobias. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a commonly used technique. One specific method is a type of CBT called exposure therapy that involves confronting the fear in small steps, in a controlled and safe environment.

Exposure therapy is the term for repeated exposure to the event(s) that created the trauma which can help the anxiety subside. For example, the treatment for fear of flying (aviophobia) is often exposure therapy that involves slowly and repeatedly being exposed to the object that is feared in a controlled environment, and there are several airlines that offer ‘Fear of Flying’ courses. Hypnotherapy is another popular method for treating this fear. 

Short term medications, such as anti-anxiety drugs, beta-blockers and antidepressants may also be used along with talk therapy. This type of treatment does not help the person overcome the fear, but it can relieve some of the symptoms.

Remember though that It is recommended that you make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible if you are troubled by phobias, fears or anxieties that are disturbing your peace of mind; interfering with your personal relationships; or preventing you from functioning normally at home, school or work.

Wave FC

in Features

Breaking Barriers: Developing Women’s football in Gibraltar

Football is the most popular sport in the world, with millions of fans across the globe. However, for many years, women’s football has been a topic of debate in many countries. In Gibraltar, there has been a long-standing tradition of men’s football, but the development of women’s football has been slow and has faced many obstacles. Despite these challenges, at Gibraltar Wave FC we have determined individuals and I`ve seen this in all the other clubs as well as the Gibraltar FA, with the appointmemnt of Scott Wiseman as the New Women’s Football Development Manager Wiseman, working hard to promote and develop women’s football in the country. Today, we will explore the current state of women’s football in Gibraltar and the efforts being made to break down barriers and promote gender equality in the sport. We will highlight what is driving change and share some inspiring stories of women who are making their mark in the sport. Get ready to be inspired by the passion and determination of those working to develop women’s football in Gibraltar!

Introduction to women’s football in Gibraltar

Women’s football in Gibraltar has been making significant strides in recent years, breaking barriers and defying stereotypes. While Gibraltar is known for its vibrant football culture, the development of women’s football has been a relatively recent phenomenon. Historically, the sport has been predominantly male-dominated, with limited opportunities for women to participate at a competitive level.

However, with the increasing global focus on gender equality and the rise of women’s football worldwide, Gibraltar has embraced the movement and taken steps to foster the growth of the women’s game. The Gibraltar Football Association (GFA) has been instrumental in driving this change, implementing initiatives aimed at encouraging young girls and women to get involved in football from grassroots to senior levels.

One of the key catalysts for the development of women’s football in Gibraltar is giving the right place to the Gibraltar Women’s Football League. Still missing as we go to press is a Website like that of the men`s as well as streaming the matches like the men`s..  The league provides a platform for female players all skill levels to showcase their talent and compete in a structured and competitive environment. It has created a pathway for young girls to dream of playing football and who knows maybe to even aspire playing professionally in the near future in Gibraltar or elsewhere and has given women the opportunity to represent Gibraltar on the international stage.

Additionally, the GFA has invested in coaching and development programs specifically tailored for women and girls. These programs focus on providing quality training, mentorship, and support to nurture the skills and talents of aspiring female footballers. By investing in the development of coaches and providing resources for women’s football, the GFA is ensuring that Gibraltar can produce a new generation of skilled and competitive players.

Furthermore, the Gibraltar women’s national team is playing a significant role in raising the profile of women’s football in Gibraltar. The team’s participation in international competitions, such as the UEFA Women’s Euro qualifiers and opening participation in UEFA Women`s Champiosn League will inspire and showcase the talent and potential of Gibraltar’s female players on a broader stage. Their performances have garnered attention and support, inspiring more girls and women to get involved in the sport.

As all can see, the development of women’s football in Gibraltar is an exciting and transformative journey. With the commitment of the Gibraltar Football Association, the marketing of the women’s league, investment in coaching programs, and the success of the national team, the future of women’s football in Gibraltar looks promising. By breaking barriers and providing equal opportunities, Gibraltar is paving the way for female footballers to thrive and contribute to the growth of the sport in our community.

The challenges faced by women’s football in Gibraltar

Developing women’s football in Gibraltar is not without its challenges. Despite the growing popularity of the sport worldwide, women’s football still faces several barriers in this small Mediterranean territory.

One of the main challenges is the lack of infrastructure and resources dedicated to women’s football. Historically, football in Gibraltar has been predominantly male-dominated, with limited investment and attention given to the women’s game. This has resulted in a shortage of training facilities, proper coaching, and competitive opportunities for female players.

Another significant obstacle is the cultural perception of women’s football. Traditional gender norms and stereotypes have often resulted in a lack of support and interest in women’s sports. Many people still hold the misconception that football is a male sport, leading to limited participation and recognition for female players. .

Furthermore, the limited number of teams dedicated to women’s football in Gibraltar has hindered its growth. The lack of a robust competitive structure makes it challenging for talented female players to showcase their skills and progress in the sport. Now with the intelligent reduction of local players to four on the field by the GFA will surely help much in increasing participation and development of women`s football and the Gibraltar Women`s National League. 

Additionally, the financial constraints faced by women’s football in Gibraltar pose a significant challenge. Securing sponsorship and funding for women’s teams and events can be challenging to say the least, which impacts the ability to provide necessary resources and opportunities for players and growth.

Despite these challenges, there has been a growing awareness and commitment to developing women’s football in Gibraltar. Organizations and individuals are working towards breaking down these barriers by advocating for equal opportunities, improving facilities, and promoting the sport through various initiatives.

By addressing these challenges head-on and investing in the development of women’s football, Gibraltar can create a more inclusive and thriving football community that empowers female athletes and encourages their participation in the sport.

The progress made in recent years

In recent years, the progress made in developing women’s football in Gibraltar has been truly remarkable. With a strong emphasis on inclusivity and equal opportunities, the Gibraltar Football Association (GFA) has taken significant steps to pave the way for female athletes to thrive in the sport.

One of the most notable achievements is improvements in the Gibraltar Women’s National League. This will mark a pivotal moment in the history of women’s football in Gibraltar, providing a well marketed platform, The Gibraltar Women’s National League  for talented players to showcase their skills and compete to aim for the higher level posible, The UEFA Women`s Champions League. 

In addition to the league, the GFA has actively invested in the development of grassroots programs and youth academies for girls. These initiatives aim to nurture talent from a young age, fostering a strong foundation for the future of women’s football in Gibraltar. Through structured training sessions and competitive matches, young girls are encouraged to pursue their passion for the sport and reach their full potential.

Furthermore, the GFA has been proactive in creating opportunities for female coaches, referees, and administrators. By providing training courses and support, they strive to ensure that women have equal access to leadership roles within the sport. This not only promotes gender equality but also contributes to the overall growth and professionalism of women’s football in Gibraltar.

The progress made in recent years has been met with great enthusiasm and support from the community. Attendance at women’s matches has increased, demonstrating a growing interest and appreciation for the sport. Local businesses and sponsors are now begining to shown their commitment by providing financial support and resources to further elevate women’s football in Gibraltar.

Overall, the progress made in recent years is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the GFA and Gibraltar Wave FC along with all others involved in developing women’s football in Gibraltar. With each passing season, the barriers are being broken down, and the future looks brighter than ever for female footballers in this small but mighty territory.

Initiatives and programs supporting women’s football development

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of developing women’s football in Gibraltar. To break down barriers and promote gender equality in sports, several initiatives and programs have been put in place to support the growth and development of women’s football.

The best initiative is the establishing a fixed date and time for training of the teams. The biggest “enemy” has been the constant changes in allocated training days and times. Just keeping this fixed for a month, if not longer, will help all clubs dedicate more time on actually training then discussing day and time of trainings. The other is more opportunities for club and country to participate and compete more local and international tournaments. By creating these opportunities, it encourages more women and young girls to get involved in the sport and pursue their passion for football.

At Gibraltar Wave FC we not only teach the fundamentals of the game but also instill values such as teamwork, discipline, and perseverance. 

Moreover, we have introduced initiatives like our BlockSport created app to help increase the visibility and exposure of women’s football. 

This includes organizing friendlies like the match we played against Oxford City FC and hosting tournaments, like the one planned for  and arranging friendly matches with international teams. By showcasing the talent and skills of female players, it helps to change societal perceptions and challenge stereotypes surrounding women’s involvement in football.

Support from GFA and government is also crucial in driving the development of women’s football. Funding schemes, grants, and sponsorships are provided to support clubs, coaches, and players, ensuring that resources are allocated to promote gender equality in sports and empower women to fully participate in football.

In conclusion, the initiatives and programs supporting women’s football development in Gibraltar are instrumental in breaking barriers and creating a more inclusive and equitable sports environment. By providing opportunities, training, and support, women and girls are encouraged to pursue their passion for football, leading to the growth and success of women’s football in Gibraltar.

Despite being a small territory with a population of around 30,000 people, Gibraltar has made significant strides in developing women’s football. 

Women’s football is still in its infancy in Gibraltar, with only three teams participating in the Gibraltar Women’s Football League as of the 2018–19 season. However it has grown with 5 teams competing in 2021–22. In 2014, it did host a women’s development tournament organised by UEFA, losing 1–0 in its first game to Andorra. The side lost all three games against Andorra, Luxembourg and an Algarve XI. However, as a development tournament, these games are not recognised as full internationals.

Since then, Gibraltar’s involvement in UEFA sanctioned women’s football has been limited to sending under-16 girls’ teams to participate in development tournaments, most recently in Malta in 2019. In June 2021 the team made their debut in a full international, in a 4–1 defeat to Liechtenstein. November 2021 it was announced that an under-19 team would be formed and entered into qualification for the 2023 UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship. Exciting times?

Now to satisfy UEFA`s interest in getting all UEFA member states entering a team, the winners of the Gibraltar Women`s National League 2023/24 may take part in UEFA Women’s Champions League and I feel this will be the point at which the growth of women`s football will begin in a big way. 

Increased participation and visibility

The impact of increased participation and visibility of women’s football in Gibraltar cannot be overstated. As more women take up the sport, not only does it provide them with opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment, but it also helps to challenge societal stereotypes and break down gender barriers.

One of the key benefits of increased participation is the empowerment it brings to women in Gibraltar. Through football, they gain confidence, develop leadership skills, and learn the value of teamwork. It provides a platform for women to showcase their abilities and challenge traditional notions of what women can achieve in sports.

Furthermore, the visibility of women’s football has a profound impact on changing societal perceptions. As more matches are played and covered in media outlets, the public becomes more exposed to the talent and dedication of female footballers. This exposure helps to dismantle stereotypes and biases, creating a more inclusive and accepting society.

Increased participation and visibility in women’s football also have long-term effects. As young girls see female role models on the field, they are inspired to pursue their passion for the sport, knowing that they too can succeed. This creates a positive cycle of growth and development, where more girls are encouraged to take up football, leading to a larger talent pool and higher standards of play.

Moreover, the impact extends beyond the field. Women’s football can have a ripple effect on other aspects of society, such as promoting gender equality and challenging traditional gender roles. By breaking barriers in sports, women are empowered to break barriers in other areas of their lives, contributing to a more equitable and inclusive society as a whole.

In conclusion, the increased participation and visibility of women’s football in Gibraltar have a transformative impact. It empowers women, challenges societal stereotypes, and inspires the next generation. By breaking down barriers, women’s football paves the way for a more inclusive and equal society, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

Conclusion: The importance of developing women’s football in Gibraltar

In conclusion, the development of women’s football in Gibraltar is of utmost importance and holds immense potential. As we have explored throughout this article, breaking barriers and promoting gender equality in sports can have far-reaching impacts on society as a whole.

Not only does developing women’s football offer opportunities for female athletes to showcase their skills and pursue their passion, but it also provides a platform for empowerment, leadership, and personal growth. By investing in the growth of women’s football, Gibraltar can foster a sense of inclusivity, diversity, and equality within its sporting community.

Furthermore, the development of women’s football can have positive effects on the overall sporting landscape in Gibraltar. It can contribute to the growth of football as a whole, attracting more fans, sponsors, and investments. It can also inspire younger generations of girls to get involved in sports, encouraging a healthier and more active lifestyle.

To ensure the successful development of women’s football in Gibraltar, it is crucial to address various aspects, including infrastructure, coaching programs, funding, and media coverage. By providing the necessary resources and support, Gibraltar can create a solid foundation for women’s football to thrive and flourish.

Developing women’s football in Gibraltar goes beyond the realm of sports. It is a powerful tool for social change, breaking down gender barriers, and promoting equality. Let us continue to champion and support women’s football, paving the way for a more inclusive and diverse future in Gibraltar’s sporting landscape.

In conclusion, I hope this article has shed light on the importance of developing women’s football in Gibraltar and breaking the barriers that exist in the sport. We have discussed the significant progress that has been made in recent years, as well as the challenges that still lie ahead. By investing in infrastructure, providing equal opportunities, and fostering a supportive environment, Gibraltar has the potential to become a powerhouse in women’s football. It is crucial that we continue to advocate for gender equality in sports and empower women to pursue their passion for football. Together, we can create a future where women’s football thrives in Gibraltar and inspires generations to come.

Gibraltar Wave FC a part of Reygadas Sports Group

The Art of the Game

in Features

10 Years of UEFA Membership Captured by Gibraltar’s Football Photographers

‘The Art of the Game’ – Ten years of UEFA membership captures through the lenses of Gibraltar’s Football Photographers. 

On the 23rd of May 2013, the Gibraltar Football Association was admitted as UEFA’s 54th Member Association. This was a day that would change Gibraltarian football for good, both on and off the field of play

2023 marks ten years of this monumental day for football on the Rock, and in the build-up to the 10th anniversary of UEFA Membership, the Gibraltar FA commissioned an independent photographic exhibition telling the story of the last 10 years of Gibraltarian football as captured by Gibraltar’s football photographers.

Gibraltar’s football photographers spend countless hours at football matches and events all around Gibraltar and abroad, capturing magical moments on the field of play, very often with little or no recognition for their efforts and the work they put into each and every photograph they take.

Often, their photographs are used once in a social media gallery, newspaper, or online article about a particular match they are covering, and then the photograph gets consigned to history.

Titled “The Art of the Game – Captured by Gibraltar’s Football Photographers,” the exhibition ran for 3 weeks at the beginning of July at the Gustavo Bacarisas Gallery in Casemates.

Central to the project was the independent Curator Jon Segui. Jon, himself a passionate and well-known local photographer, meticulously put together an amazing exhibition that centered around inviting Gibraltar’s football photographers to contribute and submit their 10 best football images for each of the last 10 seasons (the seasons that Gibraltar has been a UEFA Member).

Once all the photos were submitted, a panel of 3 judges, comprising Jon himself (the exhibition’s curator), Leslie Linares (the Chair of the Gibraltar Photographic Society), and Artist and Teacher Karl Ullger, thoroughly assessed each photograph that was submitted and then selected the ten best images for each season, meaning one hundred photographs were put on display at the exhibition.

The independent judging panel was also tasked with selecting a photo of the season for each of the 10 seasons and, ultimately, a “Photo of the Decade,” which was unveiled at the exhibition’s official opening.

The judges made their decisions and selected the images on display in the exhibition based on photographic skill and artistic excellence, rather than the footballing context, subject, match, competition, or moment that a photograph represents.

At the exhibition, alongside the hundred photos selected by the panel, every photograph that was submitted was put on display on TV screens in the vaults at the Gustavo Bacarisas Gallery.

Neil Wilson was awarded the ‘Photo of the Decade’ by the judging panel for his extremely poignant and emotional photograph of the late great Sports Journalist, John Shephard (Senior), presenting his trophy at the annual veterans match to Gibraltar football legend Colin Ramirez.

The exhibition proved to be an overwhelming success, and the Gibraltar FA would like to express its immense gratitude to Curator Jon Segui, the exhibition judging panel, and all of the photographers who contributed. Here’s to the next ten years of Gibraltarian football and football photography!

Commemorating National Day

in Features

On this National Day, and every National Day to come, we commemorate Gibraltar’s first sovereignty referendum of 1967, where it was overwhelmingly decided as a population to remain under British sovereignty. Commemoration is an important aspect in remembering Gibraltar’s history as it maintains a narrative of public memory. This article will focus on the different ways Gibraltar commemorates key events, whilst also highlighting how the work of the Gibraltar Heritage Trust and the UK based Friends of Gibraltar Heritage Society helps to preserve this.

Commemorative sites and monuments do not provide us with the perfect story of history, instead, it should be seen more as an expressive interpretation of historical events from the society that lived through them. For example, the steps in Devil’s Gap Road are more commonly known as the Union Jack Steps or Referendum Steps. This is because the steps were painted in the Union Jack pattern to commemorate the result of the 1967 Referendum; the same thing that National Day celebrates. These distinct colours, and of course, dominant flag, demonstrates the atmosphere of Britishness in Gibraltar in 1967. The very fact that the steps remain painted, and that National Day honours the same event as these steps, suggests that the aura of Britishness remains.

National day celebrates the decision of the Gibraltarian people to remain with Britain, so it commemorates both cultures. The Evacuation Memorial does just this. Whilst it honours the experiences of the Gibraltarians who were displaced during World War Two, it also gives thanks to the British for their ability to keep the Gibraltarians safe during those dangerous times. This is the same with much of the military history commemorations in Gibraltar, where British military strength appears to be celebrated and memorialized as being the reason why Gibraltarian’s survived all these years. For example, the countless batteries and defences located all around Gibraltar, some preserved in their original conditions thanks to the Gibraltar Heritage Trust and the Friends of Gibraltar Heritage Society, are examples of this mix of cultures. The form of the batteries that we see today date from the British period and are named after British personnel, such as Victoria Battery after Queen Victoria. Yet, these Batteries and their guns remain in Gibraltar as a signal of our strength and perseverance, whilst also acknowledging British sovereignty.

However, National Day also honours Gibraltar’s unique multicultural history. The Moorish Castle is a popular site and was first built by the Moors in around 1160, and was expanded in 1333. Since then, various nationalities have occupied it, but it remains uniquely Gibraltarian in the sense that it will never be taken away from us. The Tower of Homage displays Gibraltar’s ‘battle scars’ from different attacks and sieges, but it never fell, in the same way that Gibraltarians survived despite countless attack attempts. 

Similarly, The Convent, home to Governors of Gibraltar since 1728, was built in 1471 and was originally a convent of Franciscan friars, hence its name. The friars came from Spain during Charles I reign and were granted a plot of land in La Turba where poorer Gibraltarians lived. After British occupation in the 18th century, the friars left, and the convent was rebuilt to reflect Georgian and Victorian architectural design. The building was used as the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar since 1728, and it remains in this system in the present day. This site is full of British iconography, specifically the Changing of the Guards and the Guard Mount. Thus, this site which is a blend of different histories celebrates Gibraltar’s unique heritage. Without the combination of all these different histories, Gibraltarian culture and identity might be extremely different, we might not even use Llanito! This is why it is important to remember all aspects of history in Gibraltar, not just the British narrative, because everything has contributed to the formation of the culture that we have today.

It is thanks to the Gibraltar Heritage Trust and the Friends of Gibraltar Heritage Society that we are able to commemorate sites and monuments like these on such a special day like National Day. The GHT are a nonprofit organisation charged under statute with the preservation, promotion and conservation of Gibraltar’s Heritage. FoGHS are a society who are passionate about Gibraltar’s history, and their main mandates are to fund projects related to Gibraltar’s history and to engage people around the world with Gibraltar’s rich heritage. It is only through my summer placement with them over the last two years that I am able to write about Gibraltar’s history. I think on such a special day like National Day, everyone should have the opportunity to learn and witness Gibraltar’s history and think about why our culture has developed this way today. I encourage everyone to go out and learn about our unique history, and I hope this article has inspired you to do so. 

This Mountain

in Features

I stood by the side of this mountain and felt
protected by its might

I was completely humbled, a prisoner to our
measure of time

What’s a lifetime compared to the aeons that this Rock our sentinel has been basking in the light

What ties me to this mountain securely is my birthright, not the mortar and lime

Used to be that we were cave dwellers perched high on the edge of the sea

Who imagined then what would come to be

That joined to this pillar of Hercules our
neighbour would lay claim to our world  

So I stand by the side of this mountain
with my flag ready to unfurl

As the sun rules the day and the moon rules
the night sky

We should be masters of the territory where
the bones of our ancestors lie

Ours is a cry of freedom why will they not let us be

Whosoever has designs on this mountain of
mine will have to contend with me

I stand by the side of this mountain and
try to dispel my fear

As we continue to fight for our freedom 
small fish in such a big sea

Armed only with reason, the fear of treason and words of the arguments that we hold so dear

We continue to ponder on our future plight as we swim against the current of political might

So I stand by the side of this mountain
and struggle to hold back a tear

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