Clean vs Dirty

 

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I’ve been seeing quite a lot or posts and articles recently about clean versus dirty eating. Now don’t ask me what they both are exactly as I haven’t been reading them in any depth, my interest has been more in the extremes to which people are going, both in their choice of diet and in their vilification of anyone who disagrees with their views. Last night I read of a blogger who hides the fact that, for the sake of their health, they are no longer vegan. They are hiding this because of online attacks by others who feel they should remain loyal to veganism. I suspect I could have equally written this about any type of diet and anyone who blogs or vlogs about their way of being, holding it up as an example of something we should all follow.

One of the things I do is allergy and intolerance testing and much of the time my work is about helping people be aware of what works for them, what feeds and nourishes their bodies and what causes their systems to protest in some way. This then allows them to make informed choices about what they consume and the effects it has on them. What this work has taught me over the years is that we are all different. What suits one of us in terms of diet, supplements or environment, like so much else that we do, does not suit the next person, and indeed why should it.

In order to test I work with a pendulum, charts and lists and more often than not, much of what comes up as a problem is not any real surprise for my clients. Many of us do listen to our bodies, to things we crave and which make us feel better and things we eat or expose ourselves to, knowing that afterwards we will feel worse in some way, and not just through guilt at having eaten the whole box of chocolates/doughnuts or having drunk the whole bottle or wine/vodka, (substitute food or liquid of your choice here). Our bodies are amazing machines and our intuition is something we all have which can guide us, if we listen to it. Much of intuition is about just that, listening and paying attention ,not ignoring it and our bodies do try to send us signals when anything is wrong, signals which intuitively we are more than capable of picking up if we are in fact paying attention.

If anything we are doing be it diet or something else, is making us feel ill, tired, lacking in some way then we should change what we are doing. Extremes are rarely good for us so why would a diet that is extreme either in a ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ way be any different. Balance is what is really ideal for us in all areas of our lives ,or at least as much of it as we can obtain, and balance can only be found once we get better at recognising and responding to whatever it is that tips us out of balance. If we understand this there really never be any need to vilify or attack anyone for not eating or behaving in the way that is right for them.

Practicing Patience

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I am not by nature patient with myself even though I can be very patient with others when I need to be. Over the years I have learnt to be a little more gentle when it comes to me but it is still not something that comes naturally and I do have to work at it.

Whatever ‘bug’ I have had these last couple of weeks is really testing my patience, even though I know others who have had it and who talk about it lasting two or three weeks. I am used to being well and on the odd occasion when I am not, usually find that once I begin to feel better, I continue to do so day on day. Not this time though, this time I might have a day when I feel a bit better followed by one where I feel worse. It really is strange and I am certainly finding it difficult.

Yesterday was a good day, today when I woke up I felt ok but by the time I had got up and showered I had to sit down and recover. This is not like me in any way.

So I am practicing being patient. I am breathing, working with my breath  and am yogic breathing to exercise my lungs. I am grounding myself, walking barefoot and breathing in the energy of Earth to feed and nourish my body. I am being still and allowing my body to do whatever it needs to do to heal. When I have enough energy I am working on my art and when I don’t I am reading or playing online. I have given up the idea of planning to do anything and am taking it one day at a time in the hope that ‘today might be a good day’.

I am not a good patient which is maybe why my energy is as it is. If I feel ok then I will dive back into life and maybe, just maybe, I need this time out, time to be still. Perhaps it is good for me to be reminded about what this feels like, but if so, trust me I have got the message, loud and clear and hopefully this ‘bug’ will let go of me soon and then I can stop practicing patience.

 

My body is in charge

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Well I am now at the end of my second week of feeling decidedly rubbish😦 Unusually for me I had just given in and rolled with this which means I am at the end of my second week of doing …….. nothing very much.

I have been listening to my body and my body is screaming at me ‘rest’ even when my mind is saying I really should be doing something. Listening to my body and allowing it to be in charge, hard though it is, is actually making this all much easier than had I been fighting it.

When my mind is in charge it tries to make me do things, makes me feel bad when I am not doing anything, makes me eat even if I am not feeling hungry, makes me move about, makes me try and work through being unwell because that’s what we do isn’t it. We tell ourselves we do not have time to be ill and we push ourselves on.

The problem is that when we do that, when we push ourselves, when we ignore the messages our body is giving us, we can end up being worse than we would have been if we had stopped and given ourselves chance to recover. I have done this many, many times before now, sometimes because I am too busy to be ill, sometimes because I feel, incorrectly I might add, that I am too indispensable to stop, sometimes just because I can.

I have a book in my workspace ‘The Secret Language of Your Body’ by Ina Segal which is all about the messages our bodies try to get to us by not being ok in some way. I talk to my students and clients about how important it is to be paying attention so that we don’t end up really sick or so we can help ourselves to heal. Perhaps if I had been paying more attention before I was unwell I might not have reached this point, the pulled muscle in my side and torn muscle in my arm might, had I been aware enough, have been signs to stop or at least slow down, but rather than give myself a hard time over this I can at least allow my body to be in charge now so that I do not make myself worse.

So I have been paying attention and I really have been listening. When my mind tells me that it is two weeks since I was in the gym but my body reminds me that I barely have the energy to make a cup of tea I am sitting down and resting and when my mind says I should get up and do something but my body is struggling to hold itself upright I am staying put. Hopefully my body will take pity on me and recover quickly now as I am reaching that dangerous stage of beginning to feel a little better. I just hope I can continue to listen and allow my body to be in control.

Under the weather

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I seem to have been neglecting my blog recently but to be fair I have some good excuses.

Firstly I injured my arm at Boot Camp. I didn’t realise I had injured it at all until I got home and noticed the bruise on the back of my hand. Red at first and situated between the middle and ring fingers of my left hand, this gradually turned black. If I traced a line from the bruise down my arm it was tender and then it began to ache. Deciding I had probably done ‘something’ I strapped it and ignored it but out did restrict the little ability I have to type.

Then came the weather along with pollen, dust and mould spores at which time my allergy asthma kicked off and I ended up at the doctors on a nebuliser and came home with antibiotics, steroids, something for nighttime and the normal inhalers and antihistamine. The good news was though that I got my arm checked….a torn muscle, the remedy for which was to support it so its now, even as I type I am wearing a support and will stop when it begins to ache.

To say all of this has wiped me out is an understatement. Breathing and getting enough oxygen into our system is something we take so much for granted. Even with allergy asthma, because it is system overload and fortunately only happens occasionally, it is easy to forget this. I really had forgotten how much my body relies on my being able to breathe to feed the muscles let alone anything else. It has been quite a shock to go from three sessions a week at Curves to not being able to potter around for an hour without feeling like someone has unplugged me. I’m not sure I have ever known my energy to drop so quickly and so dramatically.

And then there is the cough and the light purr that even now on the final day of my meds is still there. I won’t bore you all with these but they are part of it.

I am grateful that I can now see signs of improvement, that I can almost sleep through the night without shocking myself awake coughing, that I have good friends I can call on to send Reiki, that I know to drink wild garlic tea (harvested and dried in the spring) to stop it sinking to my chest and I am grateful that I live somewhere where I can see my doctor on the day I need to and not a week or more later, or even not at all.

Anyway, my arm is aching now so I am stopping. If I’m not around for a bit you at least know why.

Boot Camp!

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About six weeks ago I joined Curves. After not doing any real exercise for the last few years I started off slowly, gradually building up what I was doing on the machines and am delighted with how much stronger my body feels and how much I am enjoying it. The results are starting to show now, muscles are tighter and I can see bits of me that I haven’t seen for years, which is nice🙂

This week though I have been to Boot Camp! This is not as bad as it sounds really….honest. At least the first day wasn’t but today was my second and I may not go for a third. It is basically boxing type exercises on the recovery mats between the machines. These are fun but today I am wrecked and although I am signed up to go tomorrow I am sitting here now thinking I might give it a miss after all I am sure my body needs to recover from today and its not on at all on Saturday🙂

I am always aware of synchronicity and at the moment, as I sit here writing this there is a body coach on the radio talking about how it is better to exercise less often but intensly when you do. I think this is a message for me…at least I’m taking it as such and so am going back to my ordinary work out sessions from now on. Back to working hard and enjoying it rather than killing myself at Boot Camp!

Deer and Elk Solstice Rattles

 

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The empty and dried shells

The rattles that I began at solstice are finished at last🙂 I should probably explain here that the delay isn’t that I have been very slow in finishing them, rather that they have taken a long time to dry out thoroughly. This wasn’t helped of course by stuffing the wet heads with damp sand which became damper and heavier as it soaked up the water from the hides.

After 27 hrs, a large proportion of which was with the rattles hung on the washing line to dry with the elements of air and fire doing their best to assist, I decided to take a chance that they were hard enough and empty the sand out to create empty shells so they would stand a better chance of drying. This helped enormously and once the hide was hard I could play with adding and subtracting the stones that I had been drawn to use to make the ‘rattle’, until I found a sound for each of them that shifted energy in a way that spoke to me.

I then of course had to empty the stones out and place them safely to one side so that the necks of the heads could be re soaked as I needed them soft enough to fit the handles tightly when they were re tied.

Having earlier decided that I would experiment with deer and elk lacing to fit the heads to the handles this had been soaking in the same water I used to soak the heads and so by now was ready to go. Once the necks were soft I refilled the heads with the stones and then laced them to the handles which I had by then polished with beeswax.

Then as with everything else with these rattles, they needed to be hung again so the neck, lacing and heads could completely dry out. I have now lost track of the time these have taken but like everything when crafting, especially when creating tools, there is no way of rushing, everything has to be done with awareness and given the time and space to develop its spirit as the work progresses.

I still have to spend time meeting and working with the spirit of these rattles, getting to know and understand them,  how they will work with me and if they wish to be decorated in any way. But for now at least my solstice rattles are complete🙂

Deer Rattle

Deer Rattle

Elk Rattle

Elk Rattle

 

Solstice Rattles 


Today I made rattles🙂 Well they are partly made anyway for these things take time. At the moment I have both an Elk rattle and a Deer rattle hanging up to dry. 

What was interesting was that I realised as I was making the rattles, that this is the first real crafting I have done for a long time, since I stopped making shamanic drums really. It was good to get back into it again and I now have hope that the collection of materials that has accumulated while I wasn’t looking, may one day be turned into something useful, maybe even tools to work with. 

Anyway, the rattles are in their second stage of development and now need to be left in peace to dry out ready for the remainder of their birthing which will of course include finding their voices. 

Elk Rattle

Deer Rattle