The Strangest of Times – Stay at Home Week 11

Stay+safe+rainbow+printable

(image is a free download to colour in from hello@deborahpanesar.com)

 

I suppose it is telling me something that I am only getting round to starting this on Friday this week.

As I write this we await to hear officially, the changes about to come with our shift into Phase 2 of lockdown on Monday. This will likely mean being allowed to travel 20km for non essential purposes and all small non-essential shops being allowed to open. Over 70’s and others who have been cocooning will be able to have visitors for short periods, under strict conditions such as social distancing and everyone wearing gloves and masks and the rest of us can meet friends in groups of up to 6 indoors for a short time with the same precautions as when visiting cocooners. There will also be more people allowed to attend funerals than the current 10 people, but only immediate family still. Some elements of Phase 3 are likely to be brought forward such as larger stores with entrances onto streets can re-open and some children’s playgrounds, if they can be supervised and disinfected regularly, may also reopen. Marts are also re-opening so farmers can sell livestock. Shopping centres are still to remain closed as are restaurants and cafes for all but take-aways, pubs, hairdressers and barbers.

Small changes but a little normality beginning to return.

The slogan is changing from ‘Stay Home’ to ‘Stay Local’, so I’d have to change the blog title anyway but I do feel it has served its purpose now.

Actually we have just heard the distance we can travel for non essential journeys has been extended not to 20km as expected but to anywhere in our own county. Co. Cork is huge so I am not sure that feels like a good or safe move at the moment. It does though allow tourism to move towards re-opening at the end of this month so will possibly help the economy. On top of this we have just heard that instead of 5 phases in the easing out of lockdown we now only have 4 as things are being shifted around. This means one more phase at the end of June and one in July if everything goes alright. One thing that doesn’t change in the current crisis is how fast things change, how often we need to readjust our thinking and how important it is to bend and go with the flow.

I think everyone is a little stunned by the changes to Phase 2 and the relaxing of a lot of the lockdown. I know some small shops and even larger stores that have been caught off guard by being told they can reopen on Monday and who are actually deferring their reopening for some days to get ready properly. It does feel a lot all at once but I am sure we will all survive. No-one says we have to go shopping, drive around the county or rush to book holidays here or abroad after all.

So what has my last week been like apart from this? Much like the others really and I actually expect that to be the same in the weeks ahead even with the new changes to our lockdown. As I said I will continue to choose not to travelling far, use public transport or physically visit shops unnecessarily. I will also continue to meet friends outdoors on the grounds that I don’t want anyone in my house at the moment so wouldn’t expect to be in someone else’s either.

Plans are afoot here to pedestrianise streets in a number of our small towns to give people more space to socially distance, to allow cafes and restaurants to have outdoor seating for take-aways and generally to make it all a bit more comfortable. This would be brilliant but whether any of this happens remains to be seen although funds have been made available to support it so maybe it will.

The amazing weather we had been having has now disappeared with cooler weather and strong winds arriving. It has been incredible being able to eat and have drinks outdoors in the garden most days so I hope summer returns soon. I am much more suited to a mediterranean climate than an Irish one 🙂

It has also been great having the time and space to be outside in the garden, tidying and making some much needed improvements. I have really enjoyed being closer to nature and observing the changes in trees, plants and wildlife, both in the garden and when walking. This is something I always mean to do and which as an OBOD Ovate student I really should be doing, but life usually gets in the way somehow. Last evening I was down in the part of our garden that is given over to wildlife, everything is allowed to do it’s own thing, it is not ‘gardened’ ever and so is a space I watch from afar rather than step in to very often. Yesterday though I stood down in the space and realised that we had inadvertently allowed nature to create a grove of Pine, Apple, Plum, Ash and Hawthorn, all without us doing anything. This is brilliant for me as I now have a grove to work in as well as a stone circle. I intend to hold onto this closeness to nature long after lockdown ends.

We also braved Lidl this week as my husband needed a few things that they had in as specials. Our Lidl is an older store and aisles are narrow so it is harder to move and socially distance than in our newer Aldi. Neither of us felt very comfortable so I think this will be our one and only trip there for the foreseeable future, unless they should get some dumbbells in (which I still need) of course. While we were out I nipped into SuperValu supermarket as it is the only place I can get Ramen and Soba noodles for some reason. This felt ok so it is nice to know that I can shop there for things I can’t get in my shopping delivery. Nice to have some choice without feeling unsafe.

I have just been asked to take part in the trial, track and contact trace app for the virus here so of course have said yes. I needed to answer lots of questions online and now have to access the app and record my symptoms or lack of them daily. This is all anonymous and all data is deleted after the trial but it will at least help get it to a state where it can be unrolled for community tracing. It feels a vital part of our moving forward and living with the virus.

This will be my last blog post in this vein, so this is me signing out. I’ll post when there are any big changes or when I feel the need and am sure I will be blogging about other aspects of my journey in the future, so I will see you all again at some point. Stay safe x

The Strangest of Times – Stay at Home Week 10

The Strangest of Times – Stay at Home Week 10

IMG_0707

I am not sure how much longer I will keep writing the ‘diary’ now. I began as it felt important to keep a record of these times, what was happening, what I was going through etc for myself so I would never forget what it was like. I seem though to have reached the point where nothing much is changing week by week. I am still staying at home, still keeping within the 5km when exercising and still getting our food shopping delivered.

We are now in the second week of Phase 1 of our easing of lockdown. If all goes well and our R number stays low then further easing will take place on June 8th including the distance for non essential travel being extended to 20km. A good amount of a 20km radius from us will be in the sea, so again I don’t envisage a lot changing here although for others it may as they will be able to reach the beach for the first time in weeks. This is lovely for them but will of course will make it busier and potentially less safe for those of us who live here so it’s not all good.

Some non essential retailers and businesses are likely to be allowed reopen but at the moment I can think of nothing I would like to do less than go shopping for anything that isn’t essential. I certainly can’t imagine choosing to go browsing in clothes shops for example. Just the thought of handling things that others have handled and trying on things that others have tried on, leaves me cold. I was reading in one of the Uk papers about clothes and shoes having to be quarantined if they were tried on or returned and not being able to touch things in shops, if that’s the same here maybe the future of shopping looks nothing like the past. I can’t imagine the little clothes shop in our nearest town, run by a lovely Italian who imports beautiful clothes, being able to survive if it is.

I’m wondering if this is to be the new norm? The feeling of not wanting to do things that previously were the norm for example. Or as the virus has less hold on us will things change again and will we become less cautious? Only time will tell I suppose.

There were no deaths from the virus here on Monday but there are still new cases every day. Lower than they were but still there. The problem is we know county by county the number of new cases but Co. Cork where I live is a big county and includes Cork City. Early on we were told where clusters of infection were but now we never get this information so have no idea whether it is safe to relax our guard slightly or not. It does make things harder than they could be but on the other hand it does stop us being complacent.

This all sounds a bit doom and gloom so I apologise for that. I think I just needed to take the time to reflect a little on where things are at the moment.

Having started this blog post by saying nothing is changing I have since discovered that is not true at all. I could have gone back and rewritten everything but then it wouldn’t have been a true reflection of where I am in any way. So I have left it as it was.

As part of Phase 1 we are allowed to meet up outdoors in groups of up to four people as long as we stay socially distanced and of course stay outside. So, one day this week we went to  lunch in the garden of some friends ,which was really lovely and the first time we have seen anyone, other than in passing by when out walking, for weeks now. I also met a friend for a socially distanced take away coffee. Perched on a wall near the coffee shop we spent a happy half hour catching up. We had been talking throughout on WhatsApp but there is nothing like a catch up in person to make things seem more normal. We had another invitation to call to friends who have bought a new table and chairs so they could have outdoors catchups. We couldn’t go as the shopping delivery was due but it’s there for another time and of course we can also have return visits. This is all a huge change and even though it is not normal in any way we are really lucky to be able to do it and to be blessed with amazing weather so we can comfortably be outside. Long may it last.

Being at home more means I am spending more time noticing changes in the garden, one of which is that we now have a tiny baby bunny. It turned up early in the week and was right down by the conservatory door, all alone. It has entertained us nibbling anything and everything it has come across, things that are growing and leaves on the ground from where we had the hedges trimmed. It’s clearly not fussy. We saw it the other day, half way down the garden with an adult rabbit so it is safe and being looked after.

I have also been amazed at the number of different shades of Aquilegia there are this year, maybe they are like it every year but I am too busy to notice. We have purple and white, pink and white, pale pink, deep maroon, dark pink, plain purple, lilac, white and purple and I am sure some I have missed. They are nearly gone over now but the foxgloves are on their way. Between the two they do kind of take over the garden, dwarfing some of our pots but I would hate them not to be there so am happy to put up with the overgrown areas for the weeks they are in flower and let then seed so we have some next year before tidying up. Were have tried transplanting then to the world area but they aren’t having it at all 🙂 IMG_0723

The other plus of being home and not being able to work is that I have managed to get back to my Ovate training with the OBOD. Looking back I can see I began this 5 years ago and I am at best half way through. The saying that it is the journey not the destination couldn’t be more appropriate than it is here.

Of course one of the highlights this week was the space launch of Crew Dragon which we watched live on television before standing out in the garden to see if we could see it pass over. I saw a flash of light about 8.40pm which would have been right and then at 10.10 we watched the space station fly overhead but sadly didn’t see the Crew Dragon again. Nice to simply know it was there flying high above us though.

And finally to finish on a note of positivity, many of the restaurants and cafes here are opening at weekends to provide take away meals. One such cafe ‘Cracked’, in our nearest town is celebrating opening six months ago. Their food is lovely and we are all delighted to see them still in business having opened and then had to close due to the virus. To celebrate their six months they had an Facebook draw for a picnic box for 4 people and I won it. I never win anything so I am delighted. On the grounds we have seen enough people this week it will feed the two of us for the whole weekend 🙂

The Strangest of Times – Stay at Home Week 7

IMG_0604

I have mentioned in previous blogs that we are doing all of our shopping online and getting it delivered. We have just noticed that it takes us far less time to put away the shopping when it’s delivered than when we shop ourselves. So far we have not worked out why this is. When the shopping arrives it can either be loose in crates or inside a huge plastic bag in the crate. We either lift the bag out and return the crate to the doorstep or take the shopping out of the crate and put it on the floor so we can return the crate. It’s all very slick, no contact with the driver and although it is way more expensive than shopping ourselves in Aldi or Lidl it is safer or at least feels safer. Bit puzzling why putting it away should be quicker though.

The other thing about shopping online is that we do the order the day before the delivery, adding anything to the cart or removing it depending on what we need. What this means is that by the time the delivery arrives I have forgotten what we ordered. This plus the fact that there may be substitutions or missing items means every delivery is a surprise.

Since the start of the lockdown we have been blessed with dry sunny weather, not over warm most days but great for getting out in the fresh air in the garden or for a walk. The last two days though it has been cold and wet and I have realised that I do not feel like doing anything much. I know in theory that we feel better when the sun shines but this is the first time I have noticed the direct affect it has on how much I want to move around and do things.

Luckily the cold and wet didn’t last long and yes, the desire to move and do things returned with the sunshine and relative warmth. I have gone from someone who didn’t like getting soil on her hands and always wore gloves while gardening to someone who has had dirt under her nails. I should say here that that isn’t because I don’t like getting my hands dirty but because I don’t like slugs and worms. The new found dirt is only potting compost but it’s a start 🙂

Outside in my workspace I was drawn to pick up a set of Soul Coaching cards by Denise Linn. I rarely work with cards so when I am drawn to a pack then I know there is a good reason for it and the message is likely to be an important one. The card I drew was Simplicity. I was then guided to find the book Soul Coaching which is a 28 week course working with the elements, that I have worked through before and found useful. On opening it I found the first few weeks work are with Air and the first week’s work is on Simplicity 🙂 Reassessing, clearing out, simplifying things are the key messages so even though at the moment I am not planning to work through the whole course it seems there are clear messages for me about working with Air and doing some clearing out to simplify my life at the moment which in so many ways makes complete sense. It is after all a time where everything is stripped back and less complicated than it has been for a long time but it seems I still have more to do here which is completely ok.

Journeying this week found me burying something in a white box and I had the real sense that even though I couldn’t see what the box contained, I was burying a part of the past, a part I no longer needed which again would fit with the idea of clearing out and letting things go. This is a good thing, whatever it is I am to release as it makes space for something new to come in which is always exciting.

This week brought the beauty of the last Supermoon of the year and unlike during the previous one, one had fairly clear skies and a beautiful view of the moon both in the evening and at dawn the next day. By some miracle I woke for dawn and actually saw it for real. As always I went straight back to sleep but luckily my husband stayed awake and took pictures of the moon and the dawn. so I could experience it virtually  🙂

IMG_0637    IMG_0640

We have eight more days of the present lockdown and then on 18th May things should relax a little more. Whether this happens or not depends on the number of cases in the next few days. Deaths are thankfully falling as are the number in ICU but unfortunately  each day brings large numbers of new cases still. The sooner testing the general population starts for real and some proper contract tracing happens the better. It’s the only way that a true picture of how we are doing will emerge.

Although I am walking and still working out a little with resistance bands and light weights, made from water bottles filled with stones, I am clearly  not doing as much as I was in the gym and at Zumba as I have noticed that I am losing muscle tone 😦 I guess this isn’t that much of a problem in the scheme of things but it is interesting how quickly muscle tone can go and maybe an indicator that when this is all over I will actually need to get myself back into the gym instead of playing at it here. Unless that is, by then I really won’t care. As I am writing this I am wondering if maybe this is what I need to let go of and leave behind after all I am not getting any younger and by the time I can safely get back into a gym I will be even older of course. I am sure with the help of Air I will discover this over the coming days or weeks now.

 

The Strangest of Times – Stay at Home Week 6

The Strangest of Times – Stay at Home Week 6

 

IMG_0206

I was reading in the paper about some of the things people are looking forward to when this is all over. This is something I have been trying to avoid doing as, at the moment, there is no telling how far ahead ‘when this is all over’ will be and also because I am not at all sure how good it is for my mental health it is to be looking ahead for things that might not be possible, for months, or even years. It also goes against my trying to be in the moment, to focus on the here and now and so at the moment there is nothing I am letting myself dream of in the ‘future’.

Having said all of this, a friend posted a picture on Facebook of the fish and chips that had just been delivered from their local chipper and I immediately thought how lovely a plate of really good fish and chips would be. Simple things perhaps 🙂

I have noticed that when I get stressed at the moment I feel it on a very physical level. My body tenses, I feel the tension in my muscles and my jaw and it takes a while for me to get my body to relax again. This would likely be in keeping with something I saw online where a someone was talking about a trauma release exercise she had been taught and how physically her body reacted when she did it, even though she had been unaware of any trauma. I suspect that by the time this is all over, we will all be holding stress and trauma in our bodies, storing it up bit by bit. On the grounds that it is better to release things sooner rather than later I have been spending time sending Reiki to myself to release any stress and trauma I am holding now.

One thing I must keep in mind is that I have found when I share the fact that I am not ok, that I am finding something difficult or stressful, then the stress actually drops away quite quickly.Ok rant over. Sometimes it is just good to get it out rather than bury it. Burying anger or resentment is something that can make us ill over time so is never a good thing to do. It is also healthier at the moment to get this out, either out loud to someone, or if that is not possible, then in writing somewhere and so release it energetically.

There are many of good things that have come out of the lockdown, one of which is the amount of online classes, workshops and advice to be had, including those on mental health and dealing with stress. I think as time moves on and restrictions keep being extended these will become more and more necessary.

At the moment I am being extremely selective about what I watch and how much time I spend online but am delighted that Earth Soul Yoga, the yoga centre in our nearest town is now doing these. I have already tried the gentle Somatic Yoga session for my spine and am really looking forward to Yoga Nidra. I am rubbish at watching any of these live normally and much prefer to catch up when it suits me but I will make an exception for Yoga Nidra.

My husband, presumably fed up but me saying I should have got some months ago when I saw them in Aldi, has been making me home made ‘dumbells’ this week to use in my ‘gym’. So far I have dumbells of varying weight made from a plastic water bottle, an empty liquid detergent bottle and most recently an empty olive oil container. These are all different weights so will make things a bit more varied for me 🙂

In the past when I could still get materials easily I made shamanic drums. I have several that ‘belong’ to me but for some reason have neglected them for quite some time. This week though I have been drumming a lot and at Bealtaine I lit a fire in the fire pit in my stone circle, called in the spirits and drummed. I am glad to have found my way back to this part of my practice and of course, now I have, cannot understand why I have neglected it for so long.

Another part of my practice that I have found again is my work as an Ovate with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I am not very far back into it and having been here before, have no idea how long I will stay this time, but it’s nice to be back anyway.

With only 2km to exercise within we have been unable to take our usual walk to the woods that, this time of year are filled with wild garlic and bluebells. Instead we explored the woods in our village which we discovered are full of bluebells. This was such a wonderful surprise and had it not been for the restrictions we would never have found this. IMG_0512

What a difference a few days makes though, in this case from the start of the week to the end. We have now been told our space to exercise will, from Tuesday, be extended from 2km to 5km and those over 70s who have been cocooning have been told they may now exercise outside or go for a drive up to 5km. This feels as if it will give people a little more room to breathe now as the lockdown has been extended for another two weeks. I know people who are already planning the places they will drive to; the woods or the coast to sit and watch the sea for instance. We have also been given a plan of how the lockdown will unfold slowly, so have been given the light at the end of the tunnel, although everything of course depends on the virus being under control.

The Strangest of Times – Stay at Home Week 4

img_7445

 

I keep coming across the idea that having a routine is important when we’re stuck, safe at home. I was talking to a friend online the other day about this and she was saying how important having a routine is to her. This got me thinking about my own routine or rather lack of it, for about the only routine I have now is to sit and enjoy a coffee first thing in the morning followed by checking in to see how I feel and what, if anything, I need to be doing that will help with this. Feelings and emotions seem far more important to me at the moment than imposing a routine upon myself or those around me.

Maybe the need for routine depends on what we were doing before all of this and as I am self employed I was already working from home so probably already had a more flexible routine than others. I also balk at the idea of knowing what I am doing too far in advance after years of having had a full diary. I still enjoy the spontaneity of not having anything planned and even though I have no-where I can go I still enjoy the sense of having a ‘free’ day…….. every day 🙂

This enforced lockdown has really emphasised to me how lucky I am, for as a therapist I have all kinds of resources I can call upon to help shift any emotions quickly as soon as they arise. As well as this I have Reiki which I can use to support me at all times. I am very aware that by working on myself I improve the energy in the space around me i..e in my home, and so improve the health and wellbeing of those I live with too.

I also have Reiki friends who support each other and with them I am part of a WhatsApp group that joins with other groups around the works to send healing to the Earth and to each other at 8pm every day. It feels as if the longer this goes on the more important support networks of every kind are becoming.

I have been doing some distance work with a friend this week and so have been using my workspace to work rather than as a gym, which is a bit of a novelty at the moment. While I was out there I found myself drawn to a set of cards. Now I don’t work with cards very often but my favourite ones are the “Osho Zen Tarot’ which are not tarot in the strictest sense but are more to do with self awareness and self development. Drawing a card from this pack I got the card No-thingness. I drew it for myself but the summary of the card feels very fitting to share here as it is all about being in a space where there is nothing, no plans, no sense of direction and no idea what may lie ahead. A void if you will and like all voids it is full of potential, full of infinite possibility. It was a good reminder to me to just relax into this space,  to treasure each experience here, and to be aware that amazing things may come out of this time and space. In other words to make the most of it.

This week we ventured out in the car for an essential visit to the pharmacy 11 km away and a slightly less essential visit to the garden centre. We are lucky as the garden centres and hardware shops have been allowed to re-open since the Easter weekend, as long as they adhere to social distancing etc. The visit wasn’t strictly essential but was as far as our patio tubs are concerned and we came home with bedding plants, potting compost and some lettuce and rocket plants.  Enough to give us something beautiful to look at over the summer and something to supplement our online shopping, as long as we can keep the rabbits from eating them that is.

It’s felt a longer and to some extent more difficult week than other weeks have been. I had a couple of days where I felt really rushed and pressured. This was how it felt from my perspective anyway which was a crazy way to be feeling as there is nothing to be rushing for nowadays in any way. The feeling passed and I have had one whole day where I have done pretty much nothing at all, almost as if I needed to make it up to myself.

The weather isn’t helping at the moment either as the last couple of days have been been much cooler, darker and rainier.  With the sea mist rolling in, visibility is down to very little and so it feels as if everything is closing in, not back to winter but towards it anyway. We are even back to lighting the fire in the evenings which in itself is a little depressing. I know though that as soon as the sun shines and we can see the sky this will all change again.

I try to only read the news in the morning for a quick catch up and then check in the evening to get the latest Covid19 figures for Ireland. It is though getting increasingly hard to stay optimistic and positive through all of this when hearing that the lockdown is likely to continue for a long time (today I read the UK are suggesting a year) for those with underlying conditions and/or over 70. At the same time we are also being told that there doesn’t seem to be very little if any immunity for those contracting Covid19 and that the chances of finding an effective vaccine are low. I am really getting to the point where I need a little light at the end of the tunnel now and suspect I am not alone in this. If this is my life for the foreseeable future I don’t like it one bit.

The Strangest of Times – Stay at Home Week 1

The Strangest of Times – Stay at Home Week 1

90718262_10215329891577677_5825277011286818816_n

This is not a diary since the start of the strangest of times but begins where my last blog left off. I have decided a general summing up each day is probably the best way to go….for now anyway. Maybe some of what I do can help others, who knows, for these days are all unknown.

Monday 23rd.  I am counting the days since I last had coffee with a friend. My friend was tested yesterday and is waiting for the results. I have read incubation is 2-14 days. Today is day 13. I have everything crossed. I get allergy asthma and have had a slight purr for a few days now so over the last days I have been watching every cough, wheeze, sneeze and washing my hands over and over again.

On the way to get our new rotary drier today we got diverted due to roadworks and ended up going a long way out of our way. During the detour we realised that a) we had no idea where we were b) we could easily have ignored the detour and gone a different way, a way we  knew and c) none of it actually mattered in any way as we had absolutely nothing else we needed to be doing at all.

Our holiday, as I said in my last blog was cancelled completely yesterday. Conversation has ranged from will we ever be able to go somewhere again, to if we had postponed it until next year we have no idea how our health will be (we are not getting any younger and are in the at risk age group after all) to, will we even be around when this is all over. We are allowed some doom and gloom sometimes although for some reason I really believe we will both be ok.

Tuesday 24th Today I wrote a catch up blog starting with when we first became impacted by the virus. This is something I had been thinking about doing and of course I do have the time now so no excuses.

Found myself coughing a lot this morning but then realised I had forgotten to use my inhaler. All good once I had. Had a good laugh to myself about it, panic over.

Gym: My real gym is still open having created timed slots, enough individual spaces for a small number of people to workout with small weights etc, time in between for disinfecting each workspace and any equipment used. They are doing their best but it is too much of a risk so I have set up a ‘gym’ in what was my treatment/teaching space, outside in my log cabin.

It is nothing special, simply foam roller, yoga mats, resistance bands and a pilates ball, all things I had at home anyway. I now think I should have picked up some light weights in Aldi a few weeks ago but I didn’t so I’ll manage. What this space gives me though, apart from chance to move, is some routine. I plan to go to it on days I would have gone to my real gym if I am not walking due to the weather plus maybe an extra day because at the moment there is no Zumba.  I have downloaded some Spotify gym playlists to my phone, and so I have music.

Today was my first real workout, just a warm up, resistance bands, squats, lunges and stretching cool down but I really enjoyed it. Could feel my body buzzing afterwards. We were so made to move.

Coming back into the house I saw a bee, yesterday when we went out we saw a butterfly and last evening there was the amazing sunset. It’s brilliant how nature can brighten up things for us isn’t it. Of course now we’ve slowed down maybe we will have more time to look and realise what is around us.

Wednesday 25th Today’s excitement has been getting our first online shop delivered. It arrived within the time slot booked, a couple of things substituted and a few things missing, mainly a few items of fruit and veg. I forget that so much of what we eat comes from elsewhere. Garlic from Spain, and Ginger from China I think, are nowhere to be seen. We were though missing blueberries, mange tout, and plums. I’ve no idea where these come from, perhaps I should know. Fish is also missing and is likely to be throughout as the fishing boats are no longer going to sea. This is a shame as fish is so good for us. I’m sure we’ll manage though as long as we can get other healthy forms of protein. It can’t be forever after all.

Thursday 26th Gym day again and new ways to use the resistance bands. So pleased I kept the insert in the box which has loads of instructions on. Great to have new things to try.

The sun was shining so we went for a walk on the beach. Lots of cars but not too many people, family groups all keeping to themselves, the odd picnic and some elderly friends who had travelled separately, brought chairs with them, set them up apart from each other by their cars and were having a good catch up. Everyone was being sensible and as the tide was way out we got a lovely long walk, lots of sea air and some sunshine. Simple things these days 🙂 The picture at the start is the beach. I can’t take you there but I can share this with you.

Friday 27th I have had an itchy, dry,  uncomfortable throat for a few days now and don’t feel 100%. I know it is most likely hay fever or allergy asthma so I am taking antihistamine and using my inhalers carefully. Easy to fear the worst. I looked up hay fever symptoms and early virus symptoms and guess what – they are the same! Oh well.  I’m fine 🙂 Best not to look things up, I really should know better.

There is so much being offered freely online, art lessons, dance, gym workouts, music, maths, languages that it’s beginning to be a little overwhelming. People are very kind sharing everything online, in WhatsApp groups etc etc but I think it’s time to start filtering things out and ignoring everything that doesn’t seem important or useful.

Beautiful weather again so we went for a walk from the house. I think this is something we will do every day it’s dry, along with opening all the windows, as fresh air suddenly seems vital.

4pm tonight was a live briefing and we now have more restrictions. A lockdown in all but name. Life is closing down even more but what we are being asked to do is pretty much what I have been doing anyway, so for me nothing much will change at this point, unless I have missed something.  For others though this brings yet more change.

Actually we have just found out all golf courses are closed now which means the 15 hrs or so a week I had to my self have just vanished. Luckily we have space in our home and we have the garden, it does seem important that we both make sure we have time to ourselves over the coming weeks so I guess there is change after all.

Tonight we stood in our back garden and watched the ISS fly over us followed by the starlinks. The sky was clear and we watched the stars slowly appear above us. Best of all was the bats that were flying around the garden. This is the first time we have seen them for ages. Have they been here all the time and we have just not noticed? What else have we missed through being too busy to stand still and look?

My husband just happened to look out of the window around 9.30pm and saw this,

IMG_0118

a red crescent moon. Someone said to me, when they saw the photo on Facebook, that our ancestors would have seen this as an bad omen, today though it feels like nature is showing us how amazing the world is despite everything that is going on.

Saturday 28th I feel really out of sorts today for some reason. Not sure what it is but recognise there are bound to be days like this. For now it’s best to sit with it, acknowledge it and try not to get caught up in it all. Eat well, exercise, sleep well and let it pass.

Sunday 29th My Zumba teacher has managed to work out Zoom and to test it out we had an impromptu dance around complete with all the laughter that goes with Zumba this morning which was just what I needed. Dancing bare foot on carpet, dressed in warm clothes is not the usual way I do Zumba but really who cares.

Looking back on this blog earlier this morning I found it hard to believe that it was only Friday that the deeper restrictions came in. Isn’t it amazing how quickly we adapt to new situations when we have no real choice and when instead of resisting them we allow ourselves to go with the flow and make the best of them.

Shaman Pathways Web of Life Review 

It can be really difficult to publicise and share reviews of my own work without it feeling like my blog is a sales pitch which it really isn’t in any way. It’s so much easier to share other people’s work than it is my own anyway but I think all authors feel that way.

This week though I had contact with someone who really loved my book. She was so enthusiastic about it that I really wanted to share what she said in case anyone was feeling lost or was searching for something that Web of Life might help to give them. 

The review was posted in a Facebook group so the only way I can share here is via a screenshot so I apologise for the size of the text, any smaller and it’s illegible. 

Shaman Pathways Web of Life Uk
Shaman Pathways Web of Life  USA

So….I just joined a gym

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 12.46.36

I think the heading for this post should really have a scared emoji after it as this is a really big thing for me and I’m not at all sure how it will go, although after my first session today I am at least hopeful it will work out.

It’s not that I am really unfit but I have become increasingly aware of how static I am between work, writing and art. I have realised that when I am away on holiday I am much more active and my body feels so much better. This last break away involved white water rafting, zip lining, snorkelling, paddle boarding and kayaking plus the usual walking and taught me that my body is capable of doing much more than I give it credit for.

The problem for I have had for some time has been finding something that suits me. After an upper back, neck and shoulder injury a few years ago and lots of work to heal I have tried Tai Chi, which I love but has classes on at the same time as I got to my art group, yoga which aggravated my upper back (I blame downward dog) and pilates which is too hard on my neck and shoulder. Today though I started at Curves. Lots of machines for different muscles plus a stretching area offering exactly what my body needs. I can skip the one machine that is impossible at the moment and do two others lightly and gently to build up strength rather than injury myself. Also I can come and go whenever I want, or at least I will be able to when they can trust me to use all the machines correctly 🙂

I don’t feel as good as I felt after pilates but my neck feels better, but there again I don’t think I worked out very hard today. That I am sure can come in time.

What does feel good through is that I have reached a point where I am doing something constructive, moving forward instead of just repairing damage, although I am sure there will be times where that is still necessary as I uncover things that have not yet healed or been released.

I work on myself a lot, mainly with Reiki but also with Chios, and with help from my allies in my shamanic work when I get stuck. I have also used this life and past life regression to shift things I have been holding and of course I know when to reach out to others such as my massage therapists or my craniosacral therapist. It feels right that now I can work on myself physically too, a better balance than there has been for a long time perhaps. I will let you know how it goes.

Do you have an altar, shrine or sacred space?

 

image

I do have an altar but it’s not a worshiping at altar, more somewhere I leave some of the objects and tools that are important to me. At the moment on my altar are; a Cambodian Buddha, a Tibetan Prayer Wheel, some stones (earth), feathers including a condor and an eagle feather (tools but also air), shells (water), a tea light (fire) fetishes of a sun and a condor gifted me in Bolivia and a key.

As someone who is probably best described as a shamanic pagan I don’t workship gods or goddesses and so have no need of an altar or shrine dedicated to anyone. My belief is that everything that exists has a spirit and so I connect with the spirit of whatever or whoever I am working with, usually in non ordinary reality, but sometimes in this one.

I do though use sacred space to work in if I feel it is needed but again this isn’t a fixed ritual as I also believe that we carry sacred space within us and so wherever I am working is sacred space.

On my website is an article about sacred space but to save you having to go and find it if you follow this link it will take you straight there: Sacred Space

For healing and for peace

We live in difficult times at the moment and there are many that are suffering, not just as a result of Friday’s attacks in Paris but as a result of what is happening every day somewhere in the world.

So what can we do that might make a difference, that might help healing, not just on a personal or local level, but on a world level?

I don’t pretend to know the answer but I do know it is not by retaliating, by being angry nor by being afraid for fear feeds fear. I also know that on an individual level what we feel we can do, or feel able to do, can seem very small. If though we stop seeing ourselves as individuals and see ourselves as part of a world wide collective we may find we are very powerful indeed, or at least a lot more powerful than we are on our own.

This weekend I attended a workshop and as part of the day we mediated, not on the world situation but on raising our awareness, our consciousness to the highest level possible at that time on that day. In that state of expanded consciousness we sent out our intentions, many of which were connected with, if not the actual words, certainly the sense of peace and love. This felt incredibly powerful and when we drew back into our bodies left us feeling almost stunned by the power of it, of the peace we felt within us and of the space we had been in.

Today I received a request via a group I belong to, a request that we join together at 10 pm tonight (Monday 16th) to send Reiki to the world. Another group is organising a day of distance healing for next weekend, others I know of are taking time out of their lives to sit and send healing or healing prayers, or to light candles all in the name of peace for everywhere in the world, for mankind as a whole. And so it starts, and so may the momentum, the desire for peace be spread.

Today I was reminded of the Druid Prayer and in checking on the OBOD website that this was something I could share I also came across there an Irish Blessing. Both of those I am sharing below along with a link here for the powerful Hawiian reconciliation and forgiveness practice of Ho’oponopo

Ho’oponopo is based on four steps the order of which do not matter

Repentance – ‘I AM SORRY’

Asking forgiveness – ‘PLEASE FORGIVE ME’

Gratitude – ‘THANK YOU’

Love – ‘I LOVE YOU’

The Druid Prayer 

Grant O Great Spirit/Goddess/God/Holy Ones Thy Protection

And in protection, strength

And in strength, understanding

And in understanding, knowledge

And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice

And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it

And in that love,  the love of all existences

And in the love of all existences,  the love of Great Spirit/Goddess/God/Holy Ones, the Earth our mother and all goodness

Irish Blessing 

Deep peace to you

Deep peace of the running wave to you

Deep peace of the flowing air to you

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you

Deep peace of the shining stars to you