Thursday, 23 June 2011

Mindfulness, or just putting it off?

'Ever wonder where the good and enjoyable times go as we rush through life? Do you find that you are spending a great deal of your time thinking about the future or the past, while the present slips by? Is your mind racing, thinking ahead, worrying, judging, whilst you are feeling stressed to the max, anxious or overwhelmed? Do you often find yourself on automatic pilot?'  

At 'The Priory' they encourage you to attend the 'Mindfulness Class', it's all about learning to relax, and 'let go', it is the intentional process of paying attention and being aware of our moment to moment experiences in a non judgemental way ...

It's about being focused, but not with unhealthy thoughts or neurosis, I think it's a fabulous thing, but I must point out that I found it almost impossible, and I was more stressed in that class than any other, and found myself fidgeting almost uncontrollably, just like I did in every school assembly, but then that's why I was at The Priory, because I have an anxiety disorder.

I was taught that I was supposed to be developing a tranquil attitude to the frustrations that caused my instability, and practice daily whilst doing household chores, or going to Sainsburys.

Mindfulness can also be practiced by being mindful of body sensations, thoughts and emotions, and there was a body scan meditation process that we were taught which was designed to help observe any sensations throughout the body, from the toes to your head, and I did at the time find this very difficult.

It is excellent for our stressful lives, our addictions and our pains, and I don't think enough people are aware of it or know anything about it.

A beautiful engagement with oneself, is what I would describe it as, a selfish moment.. Time for you....Mindfulness is a very good thing.
The funny thing is in my therapy class I was so against it, I was always dreading it, and I was so disruptive during it, but I have come away realising that it is so beneficial and that I would like to practice it and learn from it.. and also share this with you.

This is something I am seriously thinking about developing for myself..

Please take a look at this link.. It is something that could change your life.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Do we really get old, or are we just losing our patience?

Sometimes I wonder if I am feeling tired or just intolerant, and if is ageing is a mental process rather than a physical one, sure, I've been prompted by my grey hairs and wrinkles to go buy comfortable shoes and elastic waistbands, but am I slowing my pace because I am changing physically or does my mental health have an even greater part to play in the ageing process?.

Am I expected to watch instead of join in, and are my visits to the hairdressers going to involve hair lacquer and rollers? well I bloody well hope not!, and is it more important to exercise the body more than the brain?, and why do so many people think that once they have jogged around the park or been to the gym, that they have enhanced themselves enough to keep their bodies resistant to all ills, is it a marketing ploy to pop vitamins and rub lotions into our lined faces when all we really need is a good diet, and a positive attitude?, and do we really need to let the anxiety of being told that we need to start preparing for our twighlight years get a hold of us at the age of 50?

What with all the mailing lists  that we are put on after reaching half a century, like the dreaded Saga holidays and insurance, Stannah stairlifts , hearing aids and all of the various other gadgets to assist us as we fade into uselessness, theres no suprise with all the constant reminders that we start to feel old, the bigwigs from this clever marketing will trap and capture you, and even your great blood pressure and the fact you attend pilates twice a week won’t save you from the draining clutches of the media's rule of thumb about when youth ends and old age begins.

There is no doubt that the mental anxiety over this will have a physical effect, and that we will be gradually easeing ourselves into the geriactric box, and then the one we will be buried in well before we ought to, because we are being sold the idea, a good 25 years before we should have, and why is this acceptable?.

This negative attitude we have, is disrespectful and it’s as if once you have become a certain age you are discouraged and abandoned, set aside and disregarded, and I refuse to let that happen to me.

Old people aren’t impatient, they have just lost their confidence about where exactly they fit into our society, it’s like they have been stacked and crammed into a drawer, put into a photo album but never looked at, and our children feel awkward around pensioners, 
because they are never taught, how much we could really gleen from a person of experience, who has made mistakes or discovered things for real, true life lessons, so much to offer, but instead we would rather qualify our understandings through a book, or put ourselves in the hands of those who have studied rather than experienced life.

I think we have to take age with a pinch of salt, make sure we are driven with a personal passion, be it stamp collecting or watching birds, the minute we stop looking forward to achieving, creating or tasting, is when we really are grinding to a halt, and that can happen to you at any age, so let’s not put a label on the amount of time we have been around, but rather embrace the knowledge and wisdom of someone who has lived a lot longer than ourselves.

Give the elderly the courtesy they deserve, because we are all heading in the same direction after all.

'Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years.  We grow old by deserting our ideals.  Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.'  ~Samuel Ullman

In Memory and with great love to my Nanny Ray Ray who died last month

Friday, 17 June 2011

My favourite Rooster...

My husband and I have been married 25 years this September, so it's our Silver Wedding Anniversary, good god!, how lucky we are to have found each other, and how great it is that there is still that mutual love and respect.

I was 20 and he was 25 when we met, and I knew instantly that he was 'the one', he still is and always will be..

us on our honeymoon in Crete..

I want to do something quite special to celebrate out time together by way of a tattoo, and Graham happens to have been born in the Year of the Rooster, and I am now busy looking for the right rooster design

I like the idea of a rooster, for it's strength of character and the passion I have for chickens
kind of symbolic of the affection and adoration I have for my man..

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Today's mode of chickenness

My Naked Neck hen 
with her Silkie/Naked Necked Crosses

Speckled Sussex 

Another Naked Neck mummy Video

Ginger cockerel Strutting his stuff

Noisy Fayoumi 'Yup I've laid an egg'

The delights of owning chickens


Sunday, 5 June 2011


'Living life to the full', what exactly does that mean?  what is the measure of life's true fulfilment?. When I am lying in my bed at night, I am my judge and jury, because as long as I have aspirations and affection for things, my existence is what I make it, not chance, not fate and certainly not god. So far my life is full of colour and delicious tastes, it’s good to sample bad recipes, expands the palate don’t you think?

 When I was younger, I only had to think about me, I thought about myself, my clothes, my hair, and if had I forgotten to take the door key. I felt lucky, I felt desirable, I was made of iron, I was a tower of will and determination. Although turns out I am super vulnerable, and that anyone could blow holes into me with their lies, and their insults like a thousand shotgun pellets, and that my heart is still so easily broken, that I sometimes wished I didn't have such a big one.

So, what is youth? isn't it the innocence before the wisdom, before the awareness, before the discrimination and prejudice takes hold?, the ‘good old days’ that we find it hard to let go of, when things weren’t too complicated,  we were living in a different stratosphere, immersed in the rapture of the unknown, when we didn't have to plan, or decide too much, when all emotions were watered down, never knowing true hate, true desire, and we never really knew blind anger, not like we would now.

At 48 I am tired.

Just when I have acquired some freedom, my body is starting to fail, I have given my all to my children my husband and home, and now my time is running out, so isn’t it time I was able to slowly deflate like some big plastic ball with a teeny puncture, and do what I want to do, and stop pleasing others outside my kin?

My family are my terra firma, my foundation my sure ground, I have shaped myself around them, they are my beautiful cast, I will try not to think about the negative sides to getting old, but the longevity that I will have with the power of passion, and love and creativity, for it will be with me all of my days.