Gratitude

I keep reading advice on Do’s and Don’t of blogs, I don’t know quite who all this ‘free’ advice is aimed at but I feel it’s not really at me! This is not a blogging EMPIRE I have here, it’s  simply my teeny tiny corner of the web to do with as I wish. So today I thought I’d ask myself why I am blogging? Why am I writing and writing, why can’t I stop? (I can’t…I wake up at night dreaming of writing…!)

bleed

Is it to become a good writer? (whatever a ‘good’ writer means’) To create some kind of career path? Is it to tell the world what kind of floss I use on my teeth? Is it to share my MASSIVE wisdoms? Is it perhaps, purely a place to selfishly be the centre of attention and shout, across the interweb-waves Look at ME! Is it a place of healing? Is writing part of my therapy? To give me something to do when my body won’t co-operate. To distract me from pain? The answer is I don’t know. I suspect I write for a mixture of all the above reasons. I write to clear my mind, to help make sense of the chaos within.

via Progressive Parent

I write to help me see the beauty in the world. It is easy to drone on and on about all the problems I have. It is far harder to sit and think of all my blessings. Harder still to turn those positives into coherent sentences. It is a process which cannot be rushed, nor can it be stemmed. It flows out of me (struggling to control my tourtured-poets-soul-metaphors-of- crashing rivers here…!) and I need to have somewhere to put it. Helpfully the C21st has provided me with the perfect outlet – blogs.

lamaa

Over the last few months I have dedicated myself to my health, wellbeing and happiness. I have written and written, teaching myself to talk the talk and now I am beginning the walk! Part of The Talk, is an idea first suggested by my Chronic Pain Specialist  that I begin a GRATITUDE book.

gratitude

With this in mind, every night for the past three months, the very last thing I do before I go to sleep is write a list of what I’m grateful for that day. Initially I started with small things, such as being grateful for a cup of tea being bought to me but I quickly realised that a list like that was firstly pretty easy to create and secondly could go on a long time. So I took a step back and looked at the BIGGER, overarching gratitude I can muster for each day. Each night I start and end my list the same way;

I am gratefull that I am ALIVE…. I am gratefull I can access amazing food, I am gratefull I am happily married, I am gratefull I own books, I am gratefull we live by the sea I am gratefull that I am learning more each day, this makes me stronger and I have less pain.

via Sea Shells

Since I have started doing this I have not only had less pain, I’ve slept better and I find joy easier to see and beauty more frequently around me. It has become one of the happiest parts of my day. However hectic, painfull, stressfull or easy a day might’ve been to lie next to my husband and share this daily gratitude is one of the greatest lessons I have so far learnt on this path.

Brene Brown

I suppose this is ancient wisdom, not dissimilar to a prayer-at-bedtime, simply re-structured and re-kindled for a more secular audience. Now I have learnt this talk, really learnt it. I am excited to keep practicising gratitude, I’m convinced this simple task helps you to simply think less and live more and ultimately will lead me past the talk and on to the walk!

think

 

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Deforestation for my soul

Being unable to move much, has really made me appreciate living in a town. I have always dreamed of a rural life, but the reality of being unable to drive or walk, miles from anything, currently paints a pretty bleak picture to me. I feel blessed that I can walk 2minutes to get some more milk and there is a Doctors surgery practically next door. For the last month I have pretty much existed within a 100m radius of our house, except for a few car trips to other houses. My world has shrunk, dramatically, the Internet has become a link to the world beyond those 100m that I’d never really appreciated before.

I am a a believer in Mind over Matter and self-fulfilling prophecies. If I Act ill, then I will be ill. However, there is a fine balance to be found between accepting my body’s current state and this. I have made a point of making sure I get up everyday at the same time my husband does, as if I too was going to work. I don’t let myself watch daytime TV. I set small goals and plan activities, so when people ask ‘What did you do today?’ I always have something positive to say. I also always try to make an effort To Look Nice. I want to feel good and if I think I look good, I know I’ll feel better. Even though I am probably going to spend the day alone, spending the entire day in PJ’s, with no make up on, without putting any effort into myself, just makes me feel ill.

I want to do more than look nice. I want to feel beautiful. I want to feel feminine, clean, healthy and confident. I believe that proactively engaging in activities that allow me to achieve this will enhance my overall well-being. There is no doubt that I have a Hippy soul! In winter I am happy to let hair, all my hair…grow, wild and free! But now summer is here (sort of…) and I am in dire need of deforestation, of lightening my hair and ultimately my soul.

At this point, I’m sure all the hippy-Feminists I know are jumping up and down screaming ’embrace the hair…love your body…you are beautiful’- well Thanks. But that’s not my point. I want this for me, not to look nice for you, but to decorate my own soul and plant my own garden, don’t assume I’m not a feminist because I want a wax!

Today I was meditating on some of the happiest, healthiest times of my life. Each time I thought of one a very clear image of myself came into my mind. I have been happiest when I have been busy and social. Happiest with blond hair, fake flowers, fluorescent raggedy patch work skirts- more holes than skirt, hair-free legs, bindi’s on my forehead, bikini’s and strap tops. That is me, it is WHO I AM. I need to let myself be this person if I am to heal and find her again.

All this is easier said than done, I can’t go and have a hair cut because I can’t sit in a barbers chair and I can’t bend enough to shave/wax myself. Ideally what I’d really love is a trainee therapist or something who’d come to my house. If anyone knows of anyone in South London who might be interested please let me know!

In summary, whilst I acknowledge there is a line, I do not think that spending time on Beauty should be seen simply as indulgent and materialistic. I believe that spending time and energy on my body,  will ultimately help me feel better and is therefore invaluable. One Love.

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Things I can do!

Yesterday was a great day. I was well enough to re-start Physiotherapy! It felt amazing to be able to tentatively take new steps. To be able to DO something again, to start to learn about small things I can do which will slowly heal me….small is the operative word here! Amongst the few exercises I’ve been given is the strenuous task of ’tilting my ankle’….it amuses me that I actually find this difficult, but I am excited to be moving forward with an action PLAN MAN! Ankle tilts and all!

I am lucky that I’ve found a wonderful Physio from the Joy Walter Clinic. Everything they have told me has subsequently been repeated to me by Doctors. They have never once said ‘we-told-you-so’ and let me find out for myself that I had to stop working in order to heal, utilizing predominantly manual therapy and corrective exercise instead of electronics and drugs. They are positive, realistic and patient. If you need a physio in South London, they are the best I’ve found!

So excited am I by this return of my ability to do things I have found myself in a positive-frenzy-of-research about what these mystical Things I might now be able to do actually are!

The Bunny of Starting Things!

The Bunny of Starting Things!

No.1 on my list is finding out more about the Psoas Muscle, Liz Koch‘s work and any teachers in the UK using it. I have ordered Koch’s book Core Awareness and am looking forward to reviewing that. I have so far discovered an interesting organisation which provides gentle activity sessions (namely Pilates and Yoga) to those in recovery from homelessness and mental health issues. It gives individuals and small groups the opportunity to experience a simple stretch class led by a qualified and insured fitness professional. Quite simply it is health through movement. Called Wellness Street their Director, Ruth Baker wrote in  Pilates Tree Magazine about her use of Koch’s ideas in her classes. This is the first reference I’ve found in the UK to it. If anyone else comes across any information on psoas specialists I’d love to know.

The Second thing I’ve been looking at today I was reminded about by a friend, on her way to her HulaHoop class last night. (Oh to HulaHoop what a joy that will be! I will get there I will!) Known as The Alexander Technique I have previously heard of it, but had forgotten all about it. Discovered by an Australian actor F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) put very simply it is a technique which helps one to speak, move and live with greater ease. It is a gentle approach to health and well-being that affects every aspect of how we live our lives. Nicholas Brockbank, a British Alexander Technique teacher writes that what the Alexander technique seeks to address is “what we pay attention to, from the minutiae of our daily lives to the big picture of the world around us, it is extraordinary how much we take for grantd the continued smooth running of our bodies and minds, on which all else depends. The work we do, the food we eat, the attitudes we have, all contribute to, or detract from, our health; but our primary influence – the way we do what we do – remains outside most peoples’ awareness and control”. See the full article here.

Alexander

It sounds great! As with all of these things though, I will not really know until I try them. Until then it is enough for me to be happy in the knowledge that I can at least access them, there are people who do not wish to simply leave me in a drugged-up stupor and  there are THINGS I CAN DO!

Be active even when taking a break

Be active even when taking a break

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Happy People

When I was a little girl I remember asking my Mum how can we be happy? She told me that she wasn’t sure but that it was something we make and work at all our lives. At its basis are The 3Ps – Place, Purpose and People. Mum told me that if you had all three of those things perfect in your life then you were very lucky, most people don’t. Therefore, for her creating happiness in life is about balancing the place you are physically in, your purpose in that place and the people you share it with. As I’ve grown up I can see the wisdom in this and think it’s a pretty good way to describe not only what happiness is but how we can increase our individual and communal happiness. For me the most important of the Ps is, without a doubt, People. Without the people, purposes and places fade into insignificance.

With that in mind I wanted to take a moment today to celebrate the People in my life. I am blessed to have so many amazing friends and family. You all make my day, often without even knowing it, every single day. Popping in unexpectedly, sending me post! Making pizza, bringing your children over to see me, texting and calling me, sending emails. Even if we have not managed to meet up for a while and don’t get the chance to speak often, just by following my blog, posting pictures and articles, videos and songs that make me smile you are all in my thoughts daily. Just by being, sending your good vibes out into the ether, some of it filters down to me! Thank you for being awesome and rocking my world, even from afar. Blessed Be. One Love.

One Love

 

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