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I so agree, but it takes time and practice to learn to tune in to the gut and tune out the brain.

M
editation practice works really well to help slow down that chattering brain enough to become aware of the messages the rest of the body is sending us. 

They are there. 

All we need to do is listen.

I don't practice meditation every day, but I do it at least once a week and just that small practice time has given me so much more awareness of my thoughts and the state of relaxation (or otherwise) of my muscles during my waking hours.  It's nothing short of amazing to me that this isn't taught to us all as children.  It's so simple but also amazingly effective for so many reasons, but especially at helping me to relax even in the most stressful of moments.

And
for me it's not the gut at all; it's usually a feeling of tightness in my left calf muscle that tells me that something is up and I need to watch out.  I look out for that feeling everytime I weigh up options and decisions or need to determine how I really feel about something.  It's weird, but it's never failed me yet.......

 
 
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I was just listening to "A Walk in the park" by The Nick Straker band on Radio Caroline. 

Now, I know that it's not the height of musical sophistication but, WOW!  In a microsecond I was transported right back to the bedroom that I grew up in.  I was 14 and lying on my bed and taping my favourite songs on the top 40 on Radio One as I did every Sunday night. 

Just push play and record.... 

It was such a wonderful feeling - I knew all the words and was singing along.   A simple pleasure.

I wonder how many other songs I have forgotten and would love to hear again?  If only I knew what they were....... I suppose I just need to keep listening and they'll come along. 

Like all good things, if I put myself out there, they will eventually happen.....

 
 
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Been sorting out boxes of ornaments and such-like today - stuff I'm saving for when we have a house of our own that we can decorate to our (my!) taste.  Just stuff that I'd forgotten that I had was emptied out and strewn all about the floor and I set about deciding do I keep or do I chuck it? 

It was very liberating, although I felt a stab of guilt putting things back in the box to keep, even though I knew I'd never use them and maybe didn't even like them that much, but I just couldn't throw them away for sentimental reasons - mainly things that used to belong to my parents.  Someone else will have to throw that stuff away when I'm gone because I just can't do it!

And while I was doing this, I decided to put on some music and came across Radio Caroline online and Marc Griffiths was the DJ - how cool was that music?  Some of the tunes took me back to the old days and were a stunning accompaniment to my sorting.   Almost what Sunday afternoons were made for!

Singing along to Radio Caroline's music, new and old, made my day.

 
 
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I have heard of the help that acupuncture can bring to people with all sorts of health problems.  I know people who swear that it cures their pollen allergy every year.  But I've never tried it, because I've never felt that I needed it. 

Then I read this post by Dr Kim about acupressure which uses the same technique but with massage and not needles, and it seemed so simple that I thought I'd give it a go. 

He says that there are significant health benefits to be gained by massaging just 3 points on your body once or twice a day.  Simple, easy and free - what's not to try?

So I found the 3 points on my body and pressed them gently; LR-3 on the foot was OK, LI-4 a little painful and SP-6 above my ankles was agony on me!  On one leg, it'd always been tender, but I'd always thought it was because I'd broken my leg at that point some years ago.  But that doesn't explain why the other leg feels the same.

I got to work on all 3 points, just a light massage twice a day when I remembered, usually while I was relaxing after a meal. 

And over the past few days, t
he pain on pressing these points has reduced significantly, so I guess whatever I'm doing must be helping something, somewhere, somehow. 

Interesting!   I'll keep going until the pain goes completely and then will keep massaging them regularly to keep the habit up.  Can't do any harm, can it?

Do note though that i
f you're pregnant or have varicose veins then certain acupressure points such as SP-6 should not be massaged - unless you really want to go into labour....... 

 
 

A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson.

He said, “There are two wolves fighting inside all of us – the wolf of fear and hate, and the wolf of love and peace.”

The grandson listened, then looked up at his grandfather and asked, “Which one will win?”

The grandfather replied, “The one we feed.”
 
 
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We recently had a problem with our phone line and so were without the internet for a few days.  I'll tell you that after the initial panic, I quite enjoyed the feeling.  It was amazing how much time we suddenly had to burn.  What to do without surfing Facebook?  And how quickly you can answer a question if you actually speak to someone rather than emailling or messaging them.  There was just so much more life to be really lived!

I long ago stopped watching the news because I hated knowing all this stuff that just made me feel depressed
and I'm not so sure how much of it is real or relevant to my life anymore.  And instead, I'm watching the newsfeed on Facebook.  It's more personally relevant information, but I still feel like if I don't read it I'm going to miss something important - just like watching the news in the old days.  Staring at a different screen - ruining my eyes and wasting my time.  Addicted to the speed of receiving this information from around the world but not judging its relevancy or how much time it's taking.  Watching the speedo, but not judging the milestone - not asking "is this the right direction for me?"

I'm such a control freak that I hate having to carry a mobile device with me so people can get hold of me.  It's bad enough having to know the time so that I don't miss deadlines - I got rid of my watch when I left the rat race but I still keep one clock in my house - for now.  One day I'll wake up when I wake up and go to bed when I feel tired and the in-between time will take care of itself.  One day soon. I promise myself that. 

And yet, I still have that mobile phone.  I panic when the battery goes dead.  I feel I need to be contactable, that I have no choice.  It does my head in.


So here's an interesting challenge.  For just how long can I do without all this electronic media?  Just shut it all down.  Totally uncontactable, totally without the support of anyone and........ totally free.

This great 
post by Mark Sissons suggests some ways we can wrench some control back into our lives,  create some free time and find out what we've maybe been missing.

Are you up for the challenge?  If you can be arsed to try, it may well be worth the effort.
  To turn it all off.  To reclaim life for just for a few minutes a day.  And look around.  Relax.  And just be. 

I'm going to do one day this week and if the world doesn't end, I should be posting again one day soon.

And in the meantime, I wish you a very contented, peaceful, fun, shiny, new 2014.

Take care,


Kate
x



 
 
I find it amazing how when we put words in a certain order they can become something beautiful or inspiring. 

Here are a few words that spoke to me recently:

"The soul is dyed the colour of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become."

-
Heraclitus (Greek philosopher, circa 535 – 475 BC)


There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down
and lifting people up.

- John Holmes

 
 
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Back in July I wrote about the research some clever bods have done to prove that the majority of stress that we feel is is not bad for us. 

Not at all!  Nope! 

But the problem is that this only works as long as we truly believe this fact.  It's the worrying about being stressed that narrows our arteries and causes our illnesses.

This is so amazing that I thought I'd mention it again and pass on this TED talk that explains it all far better than I could.

I find it hard to completely change the way I think about something I've believed to be true for so long and in the heat of the moment it's doubly hard.  

And it really doesn't help when someone reminds you that the stress you're feeling and exhibiting is nothing to worry about.   Calm down?  Really doesn't help at all.

But it IS possible and they say it works.   And so I'm practising, albeit smiling through gritted teeth sometimes, but I am loving the way my body prepares me to act when I feel anxious.   It can be quite a revelation to watch myself when those wild stress hormones turn up.  I really shouldn't be so hard on them.  They're just doing their job......   



 
 
Sometimes I like to think that, one day, I'm going to change the world. 

Make a great contribution somehow. 

But maybe the only thing I can do is just be the best person I can be.

And maybe that would be enough.......



Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

- Rumi

 
 
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I love the internet.  With Facebook I can keep in touch with the daily lives of my family and friends even though I live on a different island to most of them. 

And I've just sold a load of stuff by posting adverts on the internet.

It's a truly wonderful thing this digital age.

But with the advent of these new technologies comes a more detached feeling about how we spend our money and also share our personal information.

So here's a great article on Daily Infographic that spells out how we can protect ourselves against those who may not be thinking of our best interests out there.

Surf's up - watch out for the sharks....