Whatever your challenges,
When we have gone beyond the limit of what we can absorb, use, and digest everything else creates suffering.
You don’t need more classes, you need to know when to stop.
You don’t need another ebook, you need time to practice what you already know.
You don’t need to be sold more you need to allow more,
More space. More listening.
You are exhausted and striving and it’s still not working.
Let these words speak to your soul; what are you running towards?
You life is now,
This is it.
Twitter may bring you business but spiritual fulfilment. Turn off the pings. Turn on your Divine invitation within.
Be where you are now, what are you so scared of? You are enough.
You can choose.
Today is enough, 24 hours is enough, sing it with me….enough.
After all, it’s not really working is it? How we run so so fast?
Are you living the dream, or not sleeping enough to get dream time?
Radical trust, enoughness, rest
May you be blessed with it this week. That alone is enough.
Afternoon Tea Etiquette.
Tea has a special place in British culture. Tea is comfort, is support, hope, solace, soul-balm, it’s reviving, it’s a stiff drink, a mother’s hug, a delightful pastime.
In war, in celebration and in everything in between tea is essential.
I remember the tea I had at the tree protest camp, dark and smoky reminiscent of lapsang souchong (no really) and liable to have some dirt or a twig in the bottom. But then we all need our B12. Don’t worry, just a little vegan joke.
I recall the tea we drank in Harrods, in china so fine it was nearly translucent. With lemon sorbet and sandwiches and the old London light filtering through the windows.
The tea I drank in Poole Pottery teacups, when I cut my knee open to the bone, and my grandmother gave me tea not stitches and I was fine, fine.
The tea you drink when you need strength, to greet guests, to celebrate, to commiserate.
And the etiquette of it.
Now, there is a confusion and here is the answer. In Britain, high tea is not a tea party, it is a combination of an afternoon snack and dinner served around 5pm as a substitute for having a full dinner, it is more of a northern/working class phenomenon. This is why some people say tea instead of dinner. High tea is also called meat tea.
Afternoon tea is what you have around 3pm, with tea cakes and a silver teapot, linen napkins and lovely dresses.
However in America high tea is the name of afternoon tea, a highly ritualised formal tea party. So when I talk about afternoon tea and Callie talks about high tea we are speaking of the same event and are both correct, according to our continents and cultures.
How to hold an afternoon tea party…
Invitations: this is the proper/traditional way to invite someone to afternoon tea.
Mrs …………… presents her compliments to ……….., and hopes to have the pleasure of their company to afternoon tea on …….. the ………. of …………. next.
Your Address, RSVP.
Food: should be hot, delicious and dainty. Scones, toasted tea cakes (my favorite), hot toast, sandwiches, crumpets, anything scrumptious from the patisserie. Tea cakes macaroons, cucumber sandwiches, and cakes.
The Tea: should be poured from your best teapot, either a ceramic pot as it holds heat best or a silver teapot over a flame. Use good loose tea, Indian is lovely, fair trade organic of course. While the water is boiling, pour some into the teapot to heat it. Swill it around and empty out. Spoon the tea into the pot (using a teaspoon), add one spoon for each person you will serve tea for and one for the pot. Add the boiling water and allow the tea to seep for up to seven minutes.
Put the silver tea strainer over the cup. Whoever will “be mother” and pour lifts the teapot and pours the tea through the strainer into the teacups. The tea goes in first. Add milk or cream and sugar. I know some people add lemon but we don’t. Rest the strainer in its dish when finished. Harrods make lovely ones. Stir and don’t clank your spoon against the cup. Take a napkin and your teacup and saucer and drink your tea. If you are at a tea table your saucer stays on the table and you lift your cup. If you are sitting in an armchair you can hold your saucer while you raise your teacup and rest it all gently on your knee in between sips. If it is too hot persevere or let it cool a moment. Don’t blow on it. I don’t even want to think of anyone pouring it into their saucer. You don’t lap tea like a dog.
I know you may have heard of people drinking tea with their little fingers sticking out. Sometimes this just comes naturally and helps to balance the cup. If it doesn’t to you please don’t rigidly stick out your finger thinking it makes you look gentile. You are a beautiful, flawed, whole person right now and don’t need to imitate anyone else’s behavior. The instructions I give here are purely if you want to host a traditional British style tea party of if you are invited to one and want to know how to behave.
Teacups: the best were always bone china and hand painted. But of course we can’t have bone china now as it isn’t vegan. So we love good earthenware. Tablecloth and linen napkins or no napkins at all.
Manners: sit upright, no slouching. Don’t eat too much, this is tea not your last meal. Engage socially, offer to help. All the manners from my last article apply, in relation to gifts and conversation.
Dress: up. I doubt anyone else will be wearing a full vintage tea gown. Try a lovely dress, an afternoon dress not something you wear to a boite de nuit. No off-the-shoulder, thank you. Gloves, coat, bag, kitten heels. Arriving with a gift which matches your outfit (flowers, handkerchiefs etc) is always especially special.
A few years ago some friends of ours came over from America. Linus asked if Britain was as they had expected. They replied that “Yes, it was, except they thought people would be having tea and crumpets”. We had to reply that we do have tea and crumpets, we sued to toast tea-cakes on a long handled toasting fork over the drawing room fire in midwinter. But it was a cold-weather activity. No one sat down to crumpets in the blazing July sunshine. But we always had tea.
Guests and Other Household Pests.
“He felt no particular responsibility for the amusement of his guests, whom he seemed to regard as an on rushing horde of barbarians who could not be kept out. Rather than a group of delightful friends summoned for mutual entertainment and joyous revelry”
No really, I love guests, well, I love some guests. If you have been invited it’s probably because I love you. If you have turned up and we have been ‘out’ it’s because we were
lying on the floor out of sight of the windows waiting for you to go away.
In Celtic welsh culture it is very important to receive guests. It pleases the household spirits for your home to be known as a place where guests find welcome and succour. It goes so deep, deeper than tradition, deeper than etiquette. Perhaps back to the times when to be left outside was very dangerous.
And yet, we do not just let anyone into our home. We are not a hostel nor a free hotel and there is no open door policy. If we don’t want you then you are not getting in. Our home is not a democracy, it is an autocracy ruled by Linus and myself. The house is extensively warded. Boundaries are essential as without them it is impossible to keep our houses as beautiful places. If you are always entertaining people you secretly wish would leave then you are not able to keep a good home.
Send an invitation. Red Stamp are wonderful. Pen and paper invitations are in my opinion the best. The country house party days are long gone for the most part but a Friday to Monday with a dear friend is not out of the question.
When a guest is coming prepare a room for them and make sure it is cleared out of all the junk I know you keep in the spare room. Use the french linen sheets, add flowers. Even in winter I found one tete a tete daffodil in the garden for our guest’s room. Air the room and make sure it is warm, prepare a meal so the house is welcoming and smells yummy when your guest arrives. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to meet their train but just in case, for goodness sake meet their train. Have plenty of cheery conversation, don’t complain. Make them feel welcome, they have travelled to see you perhaps across an ocean or just down the lane but make them feel you are delighted to receive them, which you are. Otherwise why would they be there?
Give them towels and the lovely french verbena soap you hoarded from way back when we could all afford such things.
Plan outings and activities but have lots of options depending on what your guest wants to do. Show them where everything is, invite them to read your books, wander in your garden and to make tea and snacks as they wish. You will, of course, be offering but some people have bigger appetites. When I was little I had a huge appetite but because I was so tiny and skinny everyone thought I ate little. So people would often feed me tiny amounts and I would be going to sleep so so hungry. Grandma would pack snacks in my bag.
Tell them they can get up when they like and don’t have to huddle in their room listening to see if the household has risen yet and if they can finally get to the bathroom.
Feeding; lots of food, nothing worse than stingy rations. Plenty of cheap but scrumptious food. At a party recently we served two soups, red lentil and roasted red pepper and watercress and potato with Grandma’s homemade bread and gluten free flat bread. We drank spiced mulled apple juice and had yummy rice pudding with lemon and cinnamon. I’m afraid we don’t have a dining table or room big enough for everyone to sit down together so people perched on borrowed chairs and cushions on the floor. Good nursery style food always goes down well.
How to be a good host or hostess. Don’t fuss. Don’t fuss over the food and stop asking if it’s ok. It is not your guests job to reassure you. Make everything you can in advance, then you are not nipping out to the kitchen and interrupting the conversation constantly. Dress up, decorate the house, bank candles everywhere and the women will thank you. Sparkle and people will have fun. Don’t invite boors or bores! If someone breaks or spills something on no accounts cry or make a fuss. Do all you can to put them at their ease. If they have just spilled red wine on your new cream Wilton and you want to get the soda water and get the stain out..well really why did you have cream carpets in the first place? Why didn’t you get it scotch-guarded and why on earth serve red wine if you care about your furnishings? If you have nice things are use them then you must accept that sometimes there will be damage, but every piece of furniture has earned the right to at least a few scars after its years in service, or you know, in preparation for them. We mustn’t be scared of our furniture.
Conversation- so tell me, what is it you plan to do with you one wild and precious life?
Have some conversational sallies planned to fall back on just in case it all goes wrong. Introduce a conversation bowl – fill a pretty bowl with conversation starters, nothing controversial but things which will encourage the guests to learn more about each other.
Reply promptly if you see invited somewhere and send a handwritten thank you letter and mention the things you noticed. Thank you for the lovely book by my favourite author on the bedside table, the beautiful flowers, the delightful meal of…… If it looks formulaic you haven’t written it well enough. Thank you letters should be sent within two weeks at the very latest. After that you are really obliged to send a gift as well.
As a guest, be lovely about anything you can’t eat, bring your own food to help if invited to, eat before you go to dinner and stick to salad, don’t make a fuss. If you haven’t told the hosts about dietary restrictions before hand do not begin each course by saying ‘oh I can’t have this this and this’, it’s just too rude. I guarantee you I can beat you in just about any dietary needs contest and I don’t do that so you don’t need to. Just push it around on your plate and pretend if you must.
Bringing gifts. I always arrive with gifts, it is good luck to take a gift when you go to a house for the first time. It needn’t be expensive. In the past we have taken such varied items as garden flowers, new baked bread, alfalfa sprouts, blessing candles, plums, and spiced celtic sea salt. The sea salt is easy. Put a clean jar in the oven on a low heat to sterilise it. Add salt, stir in crushed rosemary or thyme from the garden, seal and add a nice label. Done. There are pitfalls in fit giving however. Something too cheap and without thought (petrol station flowers, cheap chocolate, ghastly) can be insulting. Something tasteless that they hate, or something so extravagantly opulent it is embarrassing. How to navigate this? Try to stick to giving things which can be used up. Wine, flowers, never ornaments. They might feel obliged to keep it in a drawer and bring it out whenever you come over. I used to do this and ended up with drawers full of ghastly things. So now I don’t. I work from home I have to sit and look at this place every day and I won’t have it cluttered with things I hate. No matter how much I love you.
So what is safe?
Small bouquet of ethical flowers, not great armfuls (unless she is a prima ballerina and you missed the opening night. In ballet classes, you know, they taught us how to receive bouquets which has come in handy more than one would think).
Wine or cordial,
Homemade jam, or preserves,
Homemade chocolate truffles.
Why give gifts at all? You are receiving your hosts time, energy and succour, and a gift is a way of giving back. Of thanking them. At best it is a natural way to express gratitude and to give lovely things to lovely people. At worst it becomes a stressful, social gambling game. If this is the case discard the whole thing. After all as Sylvia Plath says, if you do something wrong with enough panache everyone will love you for it.
“The poet ate the salad with his fingers lead by leaf, while talking to me about the antithesis of nature and art…nobody giggled or whispered rude remarks. The poet made eating salad with your fingers seem the only natural and sensible thing to do.”
- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath.
Who has the time for all this? I mean really? Well, you and me and all of us. Celebrating, eating together, laughing, dancing and having fun is part of our lives now and everyday. Not when your business is launched, not when your debts are paid off, not when the cancer is gone, not when everyone and everything is ok. Now, right now. In the midst of this perfect beautiful chaos that is our lives. While people are dying they are still living, while the magnolia blooms and the bombs drop and the dogs whine somewhere lives go on.
And we celebrate being alive every day, during all of it. Because they dined at the Ritz as the Blitz was on and we dance and sing when people are born and die. And everything in between.
Etiquette Ethics and All That.
The new manners. What’s polite and politic when no one uses writing paper anymore? Or how not to trip up in the class gap online.
Well, my dear why on earth would you listen to Callie or me? After all, we’re just a Southern Belle and a British lady, and who cares about such things nowadays? Are we becoming anachronisms and trying to make you come with us? How can I be nostalgic for my own past at 24?
What we both hear a lot is how much the things we do are treasured.
How politeness, kindness and manners cut through so much of the pushing and grabbing in today’s society.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I could not send a thank you letter as much as I could arrive without a gift for my hostess. It’s just not happening.
Are these things even relevant in today’s society. If everyone uses email are you crazy to be sending hand written thank you letters? I don’t think so.
It has been oddly difficult to write about etiquette. I don’t have enough distance from my subject, these things are automatic to me and all I know so it’s difficult to see what else one could do in such a situation. I’ve never read an etiquette book. I’ve never needed one (and besides that would imply that I didn’t know what to do). But etiquette is changing and growing always. And we do need to know.
Let us begin with the basics:
Money means nothing. You can be rich as the sky or poorer than anything, you can have no home, no clean clothes, no bed that night, it doesn’t make you a bad person.
I’ve seen some of the politest smartest people who had almost nothing. It’s the way you use what you have. It is taste and falling fullheartedly in love with what you are doing.
It is being nice. Why wouldn’t you be kind and polite? Maybe you don’t think it matters, or maybe you have been hurt and decided to give up all this society nonsense. I understand, but here we are writing our own rules.
Judging isn’t nice. You may notice but you shouldn’t say, I wish I didn’t notice.
If you go into a house and she pitches up to the table with chipped china, no napkins and plastic forks then you smile and thank her for her hospitality. How dare you be so ill-bred as to make another women feel bad about what she has to give?
If you snigger over someone’s frayed cuffs then just hope it isn’t you who has them next year.
It doesn’t matter how you speak as long as you speak kindly and with consideration. Don’t judge, I don’t want to hear the words trailer trash are around here.
Just after we were married we had nowhere to live and we were going to live in a trailer. And maybe I wouldn’t have fitted in because, as Linus says, I say things like hideous and ghastly. But I would have made friends.
And I would never have lawn furniture in the sitting room. You can sit on the floor before that. We all have standards. You just need to figure out yours and live by them.
Show pride in yourself. You want to show the world you still care.
Act with respect towards others, if someone has made an effort it is good to make one in return. If someone looks especially lovely do say so.
I shouldn’t have to say this but don’t comment on other people’s beliefs or choices. Don’t flirt with someone who is in a relationship. It’s a silly and rude thing to try and break up someone’s marriage. It’s not fun and it doesn’t confirm your beauty only your lack of love.
Smile, you are lucky to be alive.
Racism, sexism, homophobia; these are just wrong. You are hurting people. Don’t. You are being impolite and showing your ignorance and prejudices. Have more self respect.
Education is nothing to intelligence. Not everyone has had the opportunity to study. Not everyone can read. If you look down on someone because of this then you really are proving that money can buy certificates but it can’t buy wisdom.
Etiquette is just manners to make social interaction run more smoothly.
They are useful tools to help us know how behave in awkward situations. If you are always trained to do a certain thing then in a crisis or a difficult time you fall back on what you know. Or if a guest tries to start a political argument and you need to settle things down – because obviously no one taught them it is rude to discuss politics at dinner and rude to try and start arguments. Default to training and it stands you in good stead. This, of course, explains why we British think tea is a cure or a solace for everything from death upwards.
If the tools stop being useful and start being something you are using to be unkind to yourself then you should break them. We use things as long as they are useful.
Etiquette can enrich our social interactions and respect for each other. This is the aspect we will be exploring here. When social mores as no longer rigidly adhered to there is a lot of freedom to get lost in and commit faux pas in.
Let’s learn to write our own etiquette guides. What do you think would be the nicest way to say thank you?
- Grace Quantock
Image: Flickr by Bobbins and Bombshells.
The Adventuress Manifesto.
Our Giveaways for the Season of Getting.
My Wellness Practices.
Some days working towards empowerment can seem impossible. How can you do that when you are in such pain, or don’t know anything about the dream you want to live?
And I know, you are so busy too, you have a house to run (and those things certainly don’t run themselves), loved ones to feed, maybe a job too or perhaps running the home is your full time job. There’s the career you are creating, the animals, the children, the garden. I mean really, how does anyone do it?
We have all sat there listening/watching/reading how someone does life changing or wellness so much and so well. And we have come away feeling inadequate and more confused than ever rather than inspired.
We won’t have that here! This Re-Boot Round, Callie and I are sharing with you are top tips, techniques and wellness practices which allow us to write, work, keep well and have lives too. Dive in!
First of all, you must know that it isn’t always easy and everyone puts their best face on.
We are careful here at Basic Missions not to give you a false impression. We write personally too and tell you about the bad days as well as the good days.
But you see, everyone is putting their good face on. I don’t think there is a soul on earth who doesn’t have difficult moments and struggles. Yes, whoever you are thinking of as being perfect and sorted they have breakdown moments too. It’s part of the human experience.
The scary thing is how we have convinced ourselves that if we just do x,y and z then we too will be perfect and never again cry over the washing up. Personally I am much more likely to read and trust someone who acknowledges they are human than someone pretending perfection.
What about you?
Well, that’s the ‘these are not magic pills, we are not doctors and not recommending anything, always seek medical advice’ disclaimer out of the way.
Now for the juicy stuff….
These are the things which I find helpful, some are the ones that make it possible for me to be here today:
Homeopathy – find good one to work with, or whatever good complementary practitioner works for you. Interview, investigate, check case studies, insurance, qualifications, registration.
Osteopathy – bodywork helps me so much, especially in conjunction with the homeopathy.
Doctor- find a good one, one you can get on with and who will work with your practitioners.
Equipment and adaptions – a whole other topic on it’s own but suffice to say, they are so helpful to me.
Help – I have a full time carer, PA, care worker/cleaner, virtual assistant, support worker prepping food, veg box delivered, library books delivered, dry food delivered in bulk, gardeners, and family help. They make all this possible. And no, I am not rich, all this is on a tiny tiny budget.
Biomat – it makes me able to be out of bed on cold winter days. Essential.
Our diet – it works for us. I’m not sharing here exactly what we do as what you need might be different and comparison hangovers are never fun. So check out our Pure Food info and if you need help navigating Callie is a qualified holistic nutritionist so book a session with her- just email contact@basic missions.com
Pacing, routines and rest – we work out what works for us and have regular reviews and things and needs shift, grow and change. If you want to work out your routine, check out my articles in rest here and Linus’s healing plan guide at base of page.
Yoga – Yoga is such an important part of my healing journey. I could write forever on it, but I am currently doing Marianne Elliots wonderful 30 days of Yoga course. Join me here.
God, make me brave for life:
oh, braver than this.
Let me straighten after pain,
as a tree straightens after the rain,
Shining and lovely again.
God, make me brave for life;
much braver than this.
As the blown grass lifts, let me rise
From sorrow with quiet eyes,
Knowing Thy way is wise.
God, make me brave, life brings
Such blinding things.
Help me to keep my sight;
Help me to see aright
That out of dark comes light.
— Author Unknown
What are your wellness practices? Let’s create a radical resources guide of wellness and joy.
Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wish love and metta,
Note: There are links on this post which are affiliate links but please know we only recommend products we know, use ourselves and adore here at Basic Missions!
Radical Resources Lists and Turning Teachers
This year we want to give you not only the information but the tools to run your own personal Re-Boot!
So you have your guides and how to’s, and now you need the information and inspiration to fuel those dreams into radical reality dear one.
So, here are some of the best guides and sites around that we have collected and loved. Cherry pick what resonates with your sweet heart and send us a post card from your dream life, okay?
Good fortune to you, take action, breathe and celebrate the life you have as well as the life you are creating and growing in to.
Thank you for accompanying us on this Basic Missions Re-Boot Your Life Journey,
With love and heart-hugs, * Grace * xxxxx
Grab Your Cape, I’ve Got the Map!
Do you have a guidebook for your journey?
A treasure map to your heart’s content?
If not, well you might just want to get one.
Now, you may say that such things cannot be mapped and that it would be lovely if we all came to this world with an instruction manual and warrantee but that is just not the case.
And no, it isn’t but we do all come with the capabilities to create our own maps, guides and secret retreats to joy and dreams. I haven’t made any progress on the warrantee issue yet, but give me time. I can tell you however that you have an expiration date – unwelcome thought but it makes the map ever more precious and necessary.
So you have the vellum and the quills.. I mean the notepad and number two pencils.
Got your dreams written down? Now, we need to map out towards them.
For example, how many years you would like to plan ahead? Top tip 3 to 5 years is a good place to start, my own house and a multiple million company by next year is…ambitious and I won’t say it’s impossible but maybe planning a bit more gently is a good idea.
These are not orders, even when following a map we can take detours and scribble in new routes we have found, or plan a new way. But you need a plan to begin. So get it down.
Then, say you want to go on a trip, well how much money do you need to go? Not, ‘oh loads’ but actually ring the travel agent and price insurance and work out how much, then plan towards it. How much can you save a month? Will you get another job or take freelance work to fund this? Work it out…what will you give up to make this possible? What will you let go of bring this into your life? Sacrifice, give away, make room for, spread generosity, work and pray and enjoy your trip.
You need to plan baby steps and follow through. Make yourself accountable. Tell your tribe, your family, your mother you are doing this, and then do it. Promise yourself.
Really and truly…and here is the big secret, if you read this and think about doing it and don’t, then really there is a limit to how much I can help you. You have to take action. This is your life, your responsibility. Now I know Basic Missions readers are savvy and game changing angels so you will choose your slightly scary happiness over familiar sadness. Thank you for that.
So baby steps babies.
Visualise to Actualise
Visualise to make this real. You do need to see it, taste it, move towards it emotionally and energetically to bring it into the physical. Have pictures up, write notes to yourself and pin them over the house, live it.
Keep on keeping on to make the magic.
The Excuses and Solutions
No relief from the chatter box in your head saying mean things
Not enough cats or whatever your current block is
Whatever it is – and often it is time and money – here is my answer: You have a choice.
Time: We all have the same number of hours in the day.
I know you have a husband, a children, and a wife, and seven dogs, and nine jobs, and are building your house, and in the army and have to make the juice and clean the juicer every single day.
But you know what? I have yet to meet a person who does not have between one and five minutes a day to call their own. And it is up to you how you use those.
Ability: you can, you have talent, it is in there. Find it and grab it and run with it. Get what you need, the training, insurance, the confidence and make a go of it. We are waiting for you.
Chatterbox: oh, just listen to her, that mean voice in your head is just terrified. Maybe at once time she helped to protect you or maybe you hoped she might. Anyway she is not helping now so politely explain this to her, thank her and give her another job to do, to guard your confidence or some beads to count or a colouring book. Then if she has a panic attack over something just, stop, assess – is what she is saying true and accurate? If not where might those ideas have come from? Understand and then breath them out and move on with your day. Try it and see, you don’t need to hide any more, we can play together now.
Money: You can barter, sell things, work harder, work smarter, give up your TV, sell your car and bike for a year. This is your life, you can do what it takes, your dreams are worth fulfilling, I believe in you.
Cats: if no cats is your biggest problem then be very thankful. And then re-home some rescued cats.
So make your map, I’ll bring my cape and call me when you reach the treasure.
We will celebrate in style with feasting, dancing and fairy lights ’till midnight.
All my love, and good fortune to you,
* Grace * xxxxxxx
Empowerment Ecstasy List
What has empowered me this week?
* Painting and being able to find things even if can’t do them
* Linus and I creating a home together and in our garden. Being able to express creativity in this way.
* Healing Boxes wonderful website getting built!
* Working with my Core Words and enjoying claiming all joy we have now. Thanks Genna McWhinnie.
* Photographing our Healing Boxes
* Feeling super-fired up-inspired by Daily Whip
* Lots of health research and it turns out we are doing it all already and fully understanding and confident
* The challenge of living my dreams list by finding vegan glittery shoes to go dancing in. Help me. I want vegan glittery heels like this. failing that I plan to make my own so recommendations welcome!
What has empowered you this week? email@example.com to share.
Wishing you sunny days and exciting parcels,
* Grace * xxxxxxxxx
Where Are You Relinquishing Your Power? How To Take it Back!
Do you know that you are a powerhouse?
A lightening bolt?
Blazing comet of sheer energetic potential?
That you are moved, motivated, animated and exalted by an ancient power?
Well, it’s true.
Listen to me, because I know.
You are sitting on a mine of miracles, and the only thing keeping them from exploding into being, into reality, into sitting in your bedroom and lighting up shooting sparks….is you. You are sitting in the bottle neck baby.
So we want to get that rear in gear and help you get out of your own way, make some changes and raise some cheers!
How to tap into the current? How to reclaim your rights?
The answer is as ever simple but not easy:
Shift your thinking to rock your world.
You already hold so much power.
I don’t just mean untapped potential, I mean everything you have control over and influence on right now.
You can change many things, maybe:
your environment, words, clothes, speech (no swearing), reading material, how you spend your time, who you associate with, who you listen to, what you think about, where you go, what you eat and drink, how and where and why you eat and drink, what work you do, what habits you keep, what beliefs to hold or what your environment looks like.
These are amazing liberating gifts. I mean wow.
The other side of this freedom coin is the responsibility.
Therefore when things don’t go ‘your way’…
It’s not the government, fate, your parents, the weather, it’s YOU.
Read it again, it is not the stars, the neighbour, the colleague, that other blogger, the company, the boss, the man, your sister, the broken heel on your shoe, the lack of money, no time, your children, your lover, your puppies, the car stalling, the system….. It is YOU.
You have the power to change your world, reach out and claim it, own it and act with it, now.
We all have choices but this isn’t a blame game, we don’t choose all that happens to us. I didn’t choose to get ill, Callie didn’t choose to get cancer but it is our choice how we manage it and what we do with it, every day.
You have choices, opportunities from how you wake up to how you see the challenges in your day.
Learning to shift your perspective.
Listen to your self talk
Journal every day
Notice how you approach things, observe your reactions
Look around you, how do those you spend time with react and live? Are you acting similarly?
Notice and then choose to change anything that isn’t serving you. I don’t mean to simplify but it is as easy and as hard as that. Choose new thoughts, create new views and then give them meaning by living them.
If you get stuck, email me firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work out what is stuck and unstick you to back-on-track.
My wish for you is that you recognise your innate abilities and use them to make the world yet more beautiful.
May you be filled with the peace of the running waves,
With love and peonies,
* Grace * xxxxxxx
What Short Circuits Your Miracles?
Are the glitter miracles just not flowing as they should be?
What is responsible for minimising your power and short circuiting your miracles?
Lack of intention and lack of trust.
How do we prevent and circumnavigate this?
Practice, and I don’t just mean your scales.
Make trusting, allowing, surrender into a daily practice.
Make intention, desire and determination how you begin your day.
If you are busy it really just means that you need this even more. When you begin your day with intentionality then you are sending energy into the world and can watch the world respond to what you send.
How, Brown Owl?
Set your intentions. Begin your day by taking 3 to 5 minutes and planning out how you would like that day to go? What do you really want to happen? What action can you take to make your dream come more quickly. What small action can you take now to make it closer to real? Do it. Small actions make big changes.
Have a Universe or God Box. A box which you release things in to. When you have worries and are holding on trust, allow surrender and mentally or physically write down your trial or worry and drop it into a God Box. Yes, this is your Post Box to the Top your Divine Direct Line. So out it in, trust that it is in hand, and take your actions now towards it.
If you worry again, drop it in again, practice trust.
Your vibrations matter. If you are thinking doubt and fear everyday then no matter how many affirmations you say if all you hear in your head and feel in your tummy when you think of your dream is tension, fear and doubt then that is the message your are sending to the Universe.
Vision Board(ing School)
Take your present tense affirmations and find pictures which symbolise them. Empower them with your intention. Imagine them filling up and glowing with your desire for joy, love and hope. Add it to your wall and spend time with it. Vision boards are a practice, add new images, when things come true say thank you and create a gratitude corner for board for them. Love it, live it with faith and full intentions -watch your dreams come true.
So, super power your miracles, circumnavigate the vision quelling and get ready for your empowered life to come true!
Wishing you wonder days and shining mornings,
* Grace * xxxxxxx
What’s the One Magic Ingredient Your Manifestation is Missing?
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
A long long time ago, in a land not so far from here there was a lovely person, very like you actually, now I think about it, who had pains, struggles, lack and hurts.
They tried and they did everything they were supposed to. Read the guides? Followed the stars? Gone to zumba? Snacked on the goji berries? Made a vision board corner? Written out a lovely exercise plan now languishing under the stairs? Dreamed of travelling to Paris? Begun to blog and languishing for a way out of the rut?
Ah, the frustration!
Why isn’t manifesting easier? Can’t it be that you just stick pretty pictures on a sticker board and wait for the riches to roll up to your door? Pretty please? Sorry angels, but it doesn’t quite work out like that.
Give me the magic ingredient….
Energy matters in manifestation and in life.
Your intention matters.
This is one of the secrets why “the secret” doesn’t work for everyone. We are not arguing for striving but for clear goals, desires and plans.
Yes, we want to get out of the way and let the universe do it’s work but just as the seed can’t grow if you fuss and hover over it all the time, trying to see if it is growing yet and blocking out the sun. It also can’t grow if you don’t plant it.
If we begin with an elevated intention we get the Universe as our partner and we add super powers to our trajectory.
What is behind our plans? What is the inner intention? If we begin with the idea of wanting to get our lives into shape because we are fat, tired and a waste of space then guess what? Things are not going to work.
Begin from a place of self love.
You have looked at your life last week, take inventory and gained some great awareness. Now it is time for the acceptance. It is a brave and powerful act to look at your life as it actually is, not as it someday might be or through a misty veil of “after I go on a diet life will…” but right now and truly feel love.
This is the practice of ahimsa, of non violence against ourselves and accepting what is. Accepting again and again. It can seem paradoxical to begin a course of change with acceptance of what is but until we really acknowledge what is here now it is impossible to change. Lack of understanding will have you repeating old patterns.
So make a practice this week to love yourself, to be proud of where you are and the change you plan to embark on. Be grateful for all you have and all you are doing right now.
Have an appreciation celebration and make a list of three things each day you are grateful for in your life right now.
How to set intentions
How to set your intentions. Work out what it is you want in life – not 1000 more newsletter subscribers or better hair but happiness, adventure, fulfilment, peace and connection. Then list what actual things you would like (like 1000 more newsletter subscribers and smoother hair) and work out what you have that you think will bring you the emotions you want.
What does happiness feel like?
What does your ideal day look like? Plan it out.
Now plan out the steps towards one of these.
The amount of money you need to save to travel, order the travel brochures, email friends who have travelled their, sign up to a travel blog, budget a portion each month to save to get there.
Begin to think about what year you will go in. Plan 5 small tasks a week you can do towards your goal. Begin today, now. What are you waiting for? This is your permission slip – go, the Universe is waiting for you!
Realise that the intentions behind it are what is fuelling your dreams. What feeling do you get in your body when you think about it? Delight, fear, resistance or nervousness. Consider that what was your dream may not be your dream now. Leave some space for that to come up. Better to listen now and change than to get there (wherever ‘there’ dreams come true is for you) and realise that you do not want it after all.
How to work these into our daily lives
Write out what you desire in the present tense.
E.g you want to be a runner would become “I’m so happy and grateful to be running daily and I love the energy and wellness it gives me.”
Make affirmation cards out of them, imagine you are that happy now, feel it in your cells and send this into the card. Keep a card in your wallet, your bag, by your mirror, your bed, your computer everywhere. Create a symbol which means this for you and surround yourself with it. Each time you see it invoke the feeling and pray thanks that your dreams have come true. They are true already, we are just waiting for time to catch up with them.
You have your instructions, so get to it babies and I will see you later on this week to share with you what is short circuiting your miracles and how to solve it.
Love and heart hugs,
* Grace * xxxxx
Yes, we are going back to school and first we need to buy our school supplies, choose our courses and pack our trunks.* In other words, to get prepared.
To do this some evaluation and awareness are needed.
Don’t be scared. Take off the blinkers and look at your life.
Look at the truth that is glaring at you but that you have been ignoring.
It’s ok, really. This is a safe place and whatever it is we can find a solution, if we figure out what the issue is first.
Let’s take a quiz to figure out what’s important to you. Sharpen those, pencils, now, GO:
:: Where are your priorities?
health and wellness,
If you had to pick five, to focus your energy on, that you are most drawn to now, which would they be?
:: What is dying to be born, waiting to be heard, what persists, where do you resist?
:: What is working well and what needs help?
Don’t wait for a crisis to make you grab life and live it!
:: what will you wish you have done?
:: What would you like to have done?
How is that for illumination? Now some of the answers can be uncomfortable, but discomfort makes us wriggle, change and grow.
Remember birth pains are natural so stay with me, babies.
Sometimes we can have an image of our lives which is not strictly, entirely, really, truly accurate to say the least. So your challenge this week is a time and motion study.
What do you actually spend your time doing really?
Just take some notes, no fancy charts to fill in hour to hour, just grab a notebook and each time you change activity make a note of the time and what activity you did, same with the next activity.
Then at the end of the week, set aside some time and review it. How does it match up to your priorities, to what you imagine your life looks like and how you wish it looked?
There is Magic in Awareness.
Sometimes all we need is to notice our behaviour to catch ourselves in non-optimum behaviours, notice what we are doing and choose another more nourishing action
(we don’t call things ‘bad’, it is not so black and white and I believe defining our options and actions in terms of food, health and self development into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is not helpful to growth)
You have control and choices, we almost always have choices, none of them may be good choices in awful situations but we have some measure of control and can take empowerment from that.
So your life may be a long way from where you want it to be, but believe it or not you seed in a good place, a rare and privileged place. Do you realise how many people go through their whole lives and never have the brave, life accelerating, realisations that you have had today? If you know what you want, or even what you don’t want, then we can work out a way to make your dreams real.
Revelation stations, honeys! Your Glitter Miracles are coming, make no mistake.
Now, your last call to action. I want you to take five minutes, have a cup of tea, take some deep breaths, download our Basic Missions Meditation and make some space for you. Soul Work can take it out of you so be kind to yourself and make some time in your life this week for the magic we are whipping up next time.
You have all our love, prayers and support with you always,
Love and blackberries,
* Grace * xxxxxxxxx
* Know now, the similarity to Hogwarts will be as great as we can manage. We are a site of Harry Potter fans. Learn to love it.
Calan Awst Hapus
Calan Awst is our holiday harvest celebration here in Wales.
At this beautiful time we are rejoicing in the bounty of the earth resplendent and beginning our reaping of what we have sown. Harvest festivals are ancient and beyond the boundary of countries. What are your harvest traditions? Those of your family and those of the land you live on. Study and create your own celebrations. It’s fun to create your own traditions, not fun to plagiarise others’.
Calan Awst is also called gathering day. We can see why this is so in our everyday lives. The crops in our garden are ready to be collected and preserved. We are visiting friends to pick plums and enjoy the richness of the coming autumn months.
Where is your harvest on these lengthening days?
What do you need to prepare ready to nurture and go ever deeper into your goals, soul, purpose, studies, healing and dharma this winter?
I see the darkest months as a time for deep nourishment, rest, replenishment and embryonic creativity.
Cymhortha ( from cymhorthu, to help) is something akin to community co-operation. It was a characteristic of welsh medieval society with smallholdings and farms helping one another, building a system of cooperation and goodwill within the community. This was vital to the harvesting of crops which even now can be a very tricky business.
How can you embody cymhortha in your own life this month?
We are going back to school in September with our Re-Boot Your Life program here at Basic Missions. So before we begin to re-build our worlds, let’s reach out a hand to someone who needs some support today.
Cymohortha Co-operation Inspirations:
Volunteer at a local charity dear to your heart, just call them and say you want to help.
Walk the dogs at your local animal sanctuary
Make an extra big batch of food and share it to get to know your neighbours
Throw an all-ages, everyone welcome party
See what community activities are already on in your area and get involved – good source for this is your local council or tourist office.
Mow a neighbours lawn
Ask a friend if you can pick anything up from the shops for them when you are heading out
Give vegan cupcakes to the post man and woman
Plant bulbs ready for the spring
Pick apples and share them
Go to the farmers market, collect the unsold food and distribute to homeless people
Give away something new to charity not just old things you no longer want
Take some time and be quiet with loved ones and give them space to bloom
Pay the toll of the person behind you
Leave inspiring words around town
Ask someone you know about the things they love
Choose to purchase from locally owned stores
Choose to barter not to spend money on a stranger
Use your local library
Write to the author of your favourite book and tell them why you loved it so and how it’s touched your life
Volunteer as a listener at the Samaritans
Pass on your skills – notice what you can do and share or write about it
Practice what you know and love so the knowledge is not forgotten
Make music and share it
Recommend a great movie to someone
Give a compliment
Use LETS (local exchange trading scheme)
Visit a radical social centre
Choose an ethical product over a non ethical one
Make your garden/doorstep/window box pretty
Pick up litter when you see it
Sow wildflowers in bare patches (some flower seeds can overwinter)
Take a course at your local community college
Learn sign language, spanish, or anything to make you more available to the non-spoken english speaking population
Volunteer to do language swapping classes
Teach English to asylum seekers
Donate books to schemes helping adults to read
Donate good clothes to charities helping homeless people go to interviews and get jobs
Sign up to the bone marrow registry you could save a life. (I can’t as the illnesses prohibit me from giving bone marrow or blood but I can donate my organs after death and so I am. Get a donor card, do what you can.)
Write to post pals
Volunteer with Healing Boxes – email email@example.com
Put food and nuts out for the birds now the weather is growing colder
Buy an extra treat at a shop and ask the person behind the counter to give it to the next customer to buy anything
Look after someone’s child without calling it babysitting
Hold a door open for someone
Reach out to make a new friend rather than to one you already have
Spend time with older people, it’s sad how our culture can isolate elders when that’s the last thing we want to do
Make somebody a gift rather than buying one
Throw a cooking party rather than a dinner party, everyone can take home something they make
Listen rather than offering solutions
Call someone who’s ill, especially if they’ve been ill for a long time and most people have moved on now
Give someone your seat on the bus
Give a hug
Appreciate the people closest to you
Give a massage
Get back in contact with a relative
Plant a local tree (winter is the ideal time for this)
Learn how to make a dish of delicious food and then share your results
Invite someone new
Take a day off from complaining
Share that quote/sing/story that brought you joy
If you liked a website or blog, comment and say so
Make cards and send thank you notes
Wishing you good days and silver linings,
* Grace * xxxxxxxx
Hello, I’m Grace.
I am 24, I live in Wales in the U.K with my husband Linus, and our rescued animals.
We are reaching for Wellness
I want to be well and to be whole and healed now, but sometimes “healing isn’t about getting better but about letting go of everything that isn’t you…and becoming who you really are” – Naomi Remen
We are on our healing journey. This healing lifestyle involved some major and amazing changes.
We do lots of gentle healing exercise, we adapt the exercise for the health challenges and impairments I am living with.
Gentle exercise can help with pain, stretches are good and endorphins are fabulous. Exercise also helps to calm our thoughts and give us space. Focusing on and inhabiting your body, looking after it and giving it the best possible chance to heal. Many of us have been given the “incurable” label but we are doing all we can to give my body the best possible chance to heal. That doesn’t mean that our bodies aren’t doing well in lots of ways – for example my lungs are doing well and my little fingers are great! Yay me!
We had another (additional) new diagnosis
This was very hard and I was very scared. I am now trying to look at them not as new, additional illnesses to add to the (it sometimes feels like) ever- growing list, but as pieces of the puzzle. Just different names for things we were already living and coping with. When this happened I had lots of cwtches (welsh word for hugs or cuddles) from my darling true love Linus, I got angry and scared, I bought a ton of books about the new condition because it made me feel empowered and in control. I had other people read them because they had horrid pictures and upset me so much. We came up with a plan. We are healing here and now.
This is about our healing lifestyle, living and coping with pain. Lots of pain… and fear too. We live very happy lives, here are some things we use to manage daily:
Mornings are very hard, so is the rest of the day to be honest, but we will just look at the mornings for now. I wake up after a disturbed night with terrifying nightmares in lots of pain, and sleep doesn’t refresh me. I often feel worse than when I went to bed. I have tried not going to bed *Doesn’t work*. So we try and make mornings as good as possible. We say that a lot. As well as possible (AWAP) and as good as possible. I suppose it could seem sad but we are just happy for the times when there is some good. I think living with such pain can do that, make you very strong and very grateful for the good you do have. Mornings – there are inspiring affirmational musics playing, and the house is decorated. Because being washed etc. is particularly hard and painful, the bathroom is decorated, things to remind me how well we are doing and funny things too. Right now we have up: a list of affirmations to be thought while teeth are brushed, a ‘Barbie-doll’ cartoon by Kate Evans, and an affirmation board for beauty and peace in life. Fun!
Gentle activities and ‘furry therapy’
We do lots of pacing, which helps to manage the pain levels. Each activity has a colour. Red for high energy activities, like reading and using the computer, yellow for medium energy activities, like listening to gentle music and audio books, and green for rest. Rest is lying still, not thinking about things and resting.
Furry Therapy is a very important part of our healing process *smile* we have time cuddling the animals and it provides lots of cheer, distraction from pain, companionship, company and something to look forward to. As all our animals are rescued it means that we have this wonderful opportunity to give them lovely lives and, even though I am not well enough to work in an animal sanctuary and do not have enough money to help them by donations, I can do good by spending lots of time and love with the rescued animals we live with.
I love art therapy. A friend of mine is an art therapist and does the therapy with me. It helps express feelings and situations and fears that you might not be able to put into words. There are some wonderful self help books about it. I use “The Art Therapy Sourcebook”. Some exercises I have used include: when you are upset or struggling, draw what you feel. At first I thought that this was silly, but then one day, I had all the paints in front of me and I just picked the colour that seemed the best, it was a deep teal as it happens, and just closed my eyes and put the brush on the paper, and made a mark. I moved the brush over and over as all the feelings were moving inside me. It turned eventually into a picture of the ocean. Another suggestion is to take a pen or pencil and just scribble onto the page. Then you go back and pick shapes out of the scribbles and colour them in and make a picture. My first one came up as two whales. My art therapist told me to draw around my hand, and then write all the good words I associate with my life on the inside and all the negative words on the outside. It helped to remember that I am not my illness, nor the symptoms, nor the labels people give me. I am me, and that is all I need to be and that is beautiful.
Art Therapy working as physiotherapy
My lovely art therapist friend taught me how to use art therapy as physiotherapy. How to use a little stippling brush (in the top flower picture) to work my arm muscles, and how to use giant, yet light brushes when I am very ill and in lots of pain as they take much less effort to use. We did foot printing, which was brilliant. I was focusing on making pretty footprints rather than on the pain which the exercises created. In the photo below I had to move the ball around with my feet as best as I could to make patterns, and to use my leg muscles. Much more fun than repetative exercises. I am an artist, not a sick person!
We photograph our healing journey. We use creativity to change the focus. We are growing and healing and creating and exploring and living. This changed the feel of all the things we have to do. Hospital visits became creative expeditions, not just scary, painful, exhausting appointments that filled and ate up my life. This was taken in the hospital car park. I am a wellness warrior in training and am proud to record my journey.
This helps so much. I have journalled for years, have diaries from when I was 5 onwards and have kept correspondence too. I am not sure what it is which makes me record so much. I see it as a good thing though, but is it the memory loss and cognitive disfunction, or the idea that, if a life is worth living, it is worth recording, or a celebration of all the joys in my beautiful days, recording, noticing and being grateful for them? I know it helps me to reflect and to dismiss irrational thoughts, and to counsel myself as my counsellor taught me. I know it helps make sense of the confused hurting mess I sometimes have in my head and that it is one of my self care methods and something that helps when I am anxious. It is a storytelling, a creativity, a gratitude. Sometimes I journal just when I need to or from a prompt or certain point or picture. I do morning pages. The idea is; 3 pages written out ever morning, no matter what, on anything anything in your head. Just write. Even if it’s, ‘I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to say’ it will help and something good will come. In reality, often I am only well enough to do a line or one page or a small box. Or I record it onto dictaphone or draw it. And they are not always morning pages, sometimes evening or before bed or ‘whatever time that day that I am feeling strongest’ pages. but I keep up with them and they help, they have created great change. After all, you cant ignore an issue if you are writing on it every morning. And as the wonderful saying goes “if you don’t like something, change it, you’re not a tree!” This may seem flippant, but I don’t mean it to be. We can change lots of things, it may take time and it may be hard and deep but we can, or we can change our attitude about them. Even if it is just to an attitude of acceptance and peace, we can change and love.
Prayer and Meditation
This too is a deep part of my healing process. A favorite prayer of mine begins “Oh God make me brave for life, oh much braver than this, let me straighten after pain, as a tree straightens after the rain, shining and lovely again”. I sit with the pain and the feelings, I pray, I use mindfulness meditation taught by the wonderful Breathworks organization and I am unpicking the years of tension which lead to secondary pain. All the tension caused by the primary (illness induced) pain leads to tension which builds up and causes its own pain. That is what we are releasing here. We have 3 minute breathing spaces. Once an hour you take 3 mins, you come into and fully inhabit your body, be here now and focus on the breath. When I focus on the breath I can move past the pain into a new place. It is these moments which I treasure. But each moment is sacred, and I am lucky to have them “be grateful for this moment, this moment is your life.”
Service to the World
We find fulfillment and purpose in writing cards and letter to people in our support groups, to the postpals on www.postpals.co.uk (the american equivalent is www.makeachildsmile.com). I am not always well enough to write as I would like but we have managed to arrange help to make this possible. When this is not, a postcard with a few lines is better than nothing at all. Above are the cards we made along with my brother and sister and their friends for the Amnesty International Greeting Cards ‘Send a Message of Hope’ Project.
May is M.E (Myalgic Encephalopathy/ Encephamyelitis) Awareness Month and Fibromyalgia Awareness month. They are two of the health challenges I live with. We celebrate these weeks by taking part in prayers/ vigils as above, asking doctors and hospitals we attend to display posters and putting them up in our windows too. www.ayme.org.uk are a wonderful charity and have great resources and a wonderful list of ways to be part of support weeks while bedbound or housebound.
Craft, Creativity and Distraction
Craft and creativity are achievement and fun. I have learned to have new hobbies. “It takes courage to reinvent your dreams.”
Achievement; university was beyond hard. I had so much help but got so much worse, it was not a wise decision, but when I began we didn’t know how sick I was or how sick I would become, but having to do something made me have to get up every day and not give in to the pain, which was tempting, but in little bits I managed it and I am so proud that I did.
Gardening, and living like you mean it, in full colour.
I love to get outside. I can’t as often as I’d like but I love it when I do. Last week I had a migraine, but I looked out of the window and their was a fantastic sunset, I tried to watch it. It was hard, when I looked at the light, the migraine and the auras around everything and the dizziness were almost too much. It was a beautiful sunset, and I am glad I was there to enjoy it. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have without the migraine, but I still appreciated it and it was better than just staying inside. Which is the core of lots of what I do really, appreciating what I have and living life like I mean it, with the pain and the problems and the miracles, all of it, every day.
Post, and Healing Boxes
I love post. It is a big part of my life and my day. The picture is dear Linus bringing the post in. We love our postman and woman! Post helps; distraction, treats, letters, support, things we have ordered as we do all our shopping online. I love online post too, emails and messages. I am blessed to be part of some wonderful internet communities and support groups. If you would like to message me you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are setting up a Social Enterprise; Healing Boxes. If you are interested in Healing Boxes, which sends boxes of healing gifts and support information to people newly diagnosed and those living though crisis please feel free to get in touch via email@example.com and see the Healing Boxes page on this site! Healing Boxes are magical.
Awareness, gratitude and be here now.
Living in awareness, with gratitude – try a gratitude journal, write down three things every day you are grateful for and watch the lists grow and grow. For example, today I am grateful; that I am well enough to do some writing, that my feet are warm, that I have a lovely cuddly dressing gown to wear later on. Sometimes be here now is all you need. You don’t need to cope with a lifetime of pain, right now you just need to be here in this moment and survive this, and you can do that. Yes there will be another pain filled one after that and likely so many more but there are no certainties, the pain could go, it could not but right now just this moment. We learned at Breathworks that although pain feels so solid, and so painful, it isn’t as rigid as we often think. We feel often in constant pain but rarely is it so constant, there and rises and falls within it, openings and movements. We can breathe into these spaces. We can rest.
Writing this is my resistance. Writing this, when I know it is not what it could be, when I know what I used to be able to do, yet I am still here, still turning up at the page, writing and living, even though I am not what I could be. I am writing and that is something. It is strong. I am writing even though it is not everything I want it to be. I will not let the pain take this away from me. If I was not ill then I would not have had the experiences I have had that have lead me to this place. And so many of them have been fabulous. I love my life. I think my life is better now, even though it may be filled in many ways with pain, I see so much beauty. I get scared and ill and my friends get scared and ill and some have died, and then we are all sad and scared together, but truly I have never known such wonderful, inspiring and strong, loving people and I am so blessed to be part of these circles of wise and real women. We live every day. We know how lucky we are. We know about coping from moment to moment and breath to breath, and I know that what I am writing now is something. I could just lie here and say ‘I am ill, too ill, I can’t do it right” or I can turn up here and reach out and LIVE and maybe it’s not what it could be and maybe I can’t access the thoughts, the parts of my mind in which I know what I want to say and how, where all the words and memories and concentration and understanding that I can’t get to any more are kept but sometimes some of them shine through. All the love and the hope and the joy in which I live shines though. And I am grateful. I am here now.
What I have learned from coping with pain – gentleness, compassion, other people have fights, everyone you meet is living their own struggle, be kind, live your dreams, do it now, beauty and preciousness of life, how lucky I am, wonderfulness of the world, how to survive one breath at a time, overcoming fears, how strong I am, listening, consideration, service to the world, ever learning, it’s a journey, going back and stumbling and climbing and resting and healing all the time!
Calan Mai Happus
Nos Galan Mai
At twilight the festival begins.
Nos Galan Mai is an ysbryndnos or “spirit night” where the veil between worlds is thin and spirits are abroad and divination is traditional.
Celts would gather draenen wen (whitethorn, hawthorn, mayblossom) branches and flowers to decorate the outside of their houses, celebrating new growth and fertility. Draenen wen is a tree of hope, pleasure and protection. The strong taboo on breaking draenen wen branches (-”said that he who destroys a hawthorn destroys his livelihood”- they were trees of the Twlyth Teg and guarded faerie worlds) was lifted on Nos Galan Mai. In some parts of Wales rowan, cowslip and birch were also used.
The Celts would build two fires on Nos Galan Mai, created from nine sacred woods in honour of the summer and kindled by men wearing no metal and without metal (iron deters Twlyth Teg). Animals driven between them or over the ashes to purify and protect them in the upcoming year. The fires celebrate the return of life and friutfulness to the earth.
People would leap over the fires for luck, protection and healing, traditionally dancing sunwise around it and leaping over the fire three times, or run three times between the two fires and make a wish.
Keep a bit of wood from the fire to start only the next Nos Galan Mai fire with.
The brand and ashes kept were magical and some ashes were placed in shoes to protect against any great sorrow or woe.
The traditional lighting of bonfires happened annually in South Wales until the middle of the nineteenth century. Leave a cloth out to collect dew overnight and wash face in it. Calan Mai for beauty and joy, and for beauty to flourish throughout the year.
Calan Mai or Calan Haf
May 1st is an ancient celtic festival of Calan Mai or Calan Haf (first day of summer) as in Celtic times people counted from night to day, celebrations began the evening before on Nos Galan Mai. Celebrations of return to life and fertility to the world.
Being the time between summer and winter, Calan Mai was the time when a mock fight was staged between the two seasons. The forces of summer would win and a May king and queen were chosen and crowned after which there was feasting, dancing and games. There are echoes here of the fight related in the Mabinogi;in the story of Culwch and Olwen. The fight is between Gwyn ap Nudd (Mythological king of the Twlyth Teg and ruler of Annwn (summerlands) and hunts on Nos Galan Mai with the Cŵn Annwn) and Gwythyr FabGreidawl, (hero and victor, son of the fierce in the Mabinogi) for the hand of Creiddylad, described as the most majestic girl in Britain and a goddess and (one of the children of Don) plant Dȏn. Every Calan Mai the two men would fight for her and whoever was the winner on judgement day would keep her. This story probably echoes an older ritual where the god of the winter half of the year fights with the god of the summer half, in order to win the goddess of the land.
The word ‘Beltane’ literally means ‘bright’ or ‘brilliant fire’ and refers to fires in honour of the Celtic god Bel (Brythonic Celt, equivalent to Goidic Celtic god Cernunnos). This festival honours the marriage of the Goddess and the God.
Maypole custom of “Godi’r Fedwen’ – raising the birch, in South Wales. The Maypole was painted different colours and covered in ribbons, raised and dance began. Mayday was the time when the Twmpath Chawarae was opened – tump for playing especially Irish Ceili, dancing and sports on the mound, hill, green – representing world axis and tree of life (Celtic). Fertility symbols and wearing ribbons of fertility and for dawn. Dawnsio Haf, summer dances and Carolau Mai. May carols, traditionally singers would visit families on may morning and wish them the greeting of the season, together giving thanks to the ‘bountiful giver of good gifts’. Celebrating with joy the vivid colours and vibrant scents of the season, breeze and rapture of a summer after the long dormant winter. The old magics live on these days and nights and inside the secret parts of our own sparkling souls.
Make your own may celebration today….
Calan Haf Hapus.
Information from various sources online, in printed form and my own knowledge.
“Fear nothing. Thank God.”
The first takes care of the future, the second of the past. The first tells us how to live through our days, the second we give thanks for having lived them. No point in fear, it will happen or not happen anyway, give thanks to whatever higher power you conceive that you are here today. Take your gratitude list from last week, take your words and plan your day, week, life according to them. If something is there that does not fit then does it need to be there? If so, can you re-frame it and see it in a different light. You have two options, find what your passion is and live it or find the passion in what you do now and love it. Not living with passion isn’t really an option, its more of an opt-out.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend for your faith and celebration, We are preparing for Calan Mai. Instead of chocolate eggs, we have adopted ex-battery hens from our favourite sanctuary as gifts.*
Sending sunshine, deep heart-felt prayers and organic lemonade Saturday afternoons,
Grace and Linus xxxx
*You can too, here: http://www.hillside.org.uk/acatalog/henrietta.html
“Fear nothing, thank God” was quoted in one of the many Thrush Green books by Miss Read that I have read. I cannot now say which one, nor can I ascribe the quote. My apologies.
Photo Credit: Dr Joseph Valks:
What you have got…?
I had to do a 5 year plan as part of the fabulous newbypreneur book I got from the library*, “Start Your Business Week by Week” asked you to plan every aspect of your life. But, you know I love my life just as it is today! In 5 years I want to be where I am now… I’d love to be more well, to see my book published, and my businesses active and all set up but that’s it. I have what I want: love, my family, our beautiful rural home, time outside in our adapted garden, writing and creativity, wellness and peace, fulfilling work I love, earning and bountifulness.
In this, let us celebrate truly and deeply what we already have. So often in self growth the focus is all on change and growth without taking care of what we have already. We need to love and acknowledge our foundations to make our growth stable. So this week I want us to celebrate, you taking time, being mindful and actually thanking – Divine, people, places, yourself for all the good in your life. I know it takes time, that’s the point. Lets actually thank people, not just write it in a list and think about it, because that is just one step. Go further and connect in present terms rather than just energetically. Thank the people, places, animals, and situations that make your life wonderful and if you are moved to write a thank you letter on handmade-flower-pressed-paper all the better. Take time out and truly appreciate, then make an offering of thanks for all your blessings and all your days. After all what else are you here for?
Now if adoring most aspects of your life as it is now is not the case with you, it may seem so scary, but truly it is an amazing opportunity. If you know what you have isn’t what you want then honestly you are taking a step so many people never even approach. Although it can seem like staring into a pit, you can’t find what you want if you don’t know you are looking. Once you realise you are not on the path you want then we can make you a map or you can choose to blaze your own trail. Remember “It takes courage to reinvent dreams”
This is exactly what I have had to do and it turned out more beautifully than I could have ever known. Furthermore we don’t have to do big-scary-rest-of-your-lifetime plans, because who knows what will happen? Besides often they are so big and scary we can’t even look directly at them at the start.
So do what the wonderful Liz Gilbert did in “Eat Pray Love”. Just start tuning into yourself. Just listen: what do YOU want to do? Not your parents, society, the TV advert, your favourite celebrity…You. Strip away all the others, question each thing that comes up “how does it resonate it is it me now?”
Once you have found your voice it will grow stronger as you listen. There is no need to judge what comes up. Maybe you want a bath, a walk, some rice with your dinner; give youself this. Then we can move onto the bigger things like what you feel your dhama is and your true talents. Let’s just start with the little things and create fertile soil in which to plant your big dreams.
Remember that you desires and dreams will grow and change with you, we are no longer in the era of ” a career for life”, you can turn around and make changes, you need to, your soul needs you too.
When you are ready try picking some words that to you, are what your truly desire, the words that are secreted in your heart. We pick a word for each year rather than new years resolutions, well now you are picking words for your life for more than one year. Lets not commit ourselves yet but maybe for the next few years. Write them all down, anything that comes up and then whittle the list down. When you have your words write them down, carry them with you for a while. Start thinking where your life and your words come together, How does your life, how you spend your time actually day to day (not how you like to imagine your life is) actually reflect the words you have chosen? If not can you think of any changes you can make to move the ratios of how you spend your time in favor of your heart-words?
If you have 3 of your words reflected in your life and 2 not yet then that is super super amazing. Remember we are not about quick fixes at Basic and we want you to move and grow over years, your life growing organically now a weekend overhaul and then it falls through in a week. Lets feel our way into our heart words and give space for our biggest dreams to flourish. Thank you for being here with me today.
Meet you back here next week with gratitude lists and wonderful words,
Grace Quantock Harrison
* A short library related promotion: I adore libraries, I used to practically live in them. I was going to be a librarian in another life – I would have been marvellous, unless anyone wanted to touch my books, then no, they don’t love them like I do. I mean do you buy plastic covers in bulk to protect all your books with? Or have a room in your house called the library? Or did you ever store your furniture and go without tables to keep space for your books? Exactly. Plus libraries = cool librarian friends and no amazon.com fees! Support your library
Photo Credit: Felixco, Inc
Success or Impress
When you imagine your life, what do you imagine? What did you imagine as a child? What kind of house, what kind of car, of kitchen, of life? If you see someone walking down the street, what do you admire about them? What do you see as having “Made it”? Where is making it and how does it feel? When people ask if someone is successful the automatic assumption is about money. Really it depends how you judge success. If you want to work to change things or help people and all your business does is make money then it is not successful. I know, a huge thing to say, here in the “recession” so many people so scared, so many jobs and houses, lives and families at risk, and we are saying its no good making money. But it isn’t, not if it isn’t what you want to do. If you helps lots of people but are not making much money its still a brilliant success. We all want to eat (and I want to eat organic, local, high raw food which means a high juicing bill) but what are you looking for? Are you wanting to be sufficient and relaxed, to have enough to not have to worry or is there shades of fear and lack behind your drive for abundant success?
Success is about what you want so if you want to be happy, be close to those you love, if you want to know yourself and have time to enjoy your life then that’s how you should measure your success not on your career, wealth, possessions, percived status, degrees or anything else. This means that the over stressed millionaire is not a success as all his money isn’t getting him what he wants, which is happiness. And the stay at home mother who works part time at a local school, lives in a tiny appartment she loves and gets to spend all day with those she she adores most. She is creating a great community, loving her family and home, she is an amazing success.
What about contributing to society through work? When I did volunteer work full time, sometimes people would say to us, “well you are not paying taxes or contributing and I contribute, I work”. People seem to assume all they need to contribute to society is to have a job, if people are paying their taxes they are “doing their bit”. Many people work full time and don’t contribure anything to society apart from paying taxes and that is all. Lots of people do not have official employment, mothers, carers, house wives/ husbands, but give so much. People always say to them “why don’t you get a job”, or infer that what they do isn’t “real” or “proper” work. As if paid offical employment is the be and end all. Some with 9-5s moan about what they have to do, turn up, do the minimum possible, just what they need to get paid. If you are in a company you do not love, that you do not feel connected to or fulfilled in, and you go home and complain how you hate your job then know there are other ways to contribute to society besides 9-5 work.1
“Our duty is to leave the job we don’t enjoy, the lifestyle that doesn’t fulfil us, and follow our passion. When we look at how interdependent we humans truly are, we can suddenly see that staying in that unfulfilling job is a selfish act. We can see how not following our passion, not doing what we feel called to do, is selfish. Our duty, in actual fact, is to sacrifice the drudgery, the complaining, the settling and the plodding, and devote ourselves to discovering and acting upon our deepest desire to contribute.
This is the wake-up call you have secretly yearned for – that one which says – you are needed. You are so, so needed. The big lie has been that you don’t really matter. We have created a society which has made it so easy to forget that we are needed. We have deemed it acceptable to waste our potential, just as we have decided it was okay to squander the planet’s natural resources. The truth is: you are one of our planet’s natural resources. You are a vital source of energy. You are also a finite resource. One day, you too will run out. We only have a brief moment in history in which to fully experience your unique gifts. Let us use you efficiently while you’re still here.
Whether your passion is x or y, j or g, just do it. Do it, do it, and commit to doing it forever. Know that your passion is not just about you, it’s about all of us. There really is no more time to waste you.” 2. Corrina Gordon-Barnes.
I have been doing Danielle Laporte’s amazing, blazing Fire Starter Sessions. She asks “What does success actually feel like? What does it sound like, smell, look, and taste like? Dig deeper…How do you want to feel? …when you walk through the door of your studio or your office? When you unlock your store, ship your product, and pick up the phone? When you cash the check, accept the award, finish your masterpiece, or make the sale… How do you want to feel?
That question is the answer to your strategic mapping, your to-do list, your business plans, your objectives, your prioritizing.”
If you want to create real, true, personal-to-you success in your own life, you need to work out what you want to feel, and then work out how to get there. And if your job or your business or making a million will not help you feel the way you want to feel then you have an opportunity for some major change and some massive happiness.
If you want more mojo to light your fire I am a proud Fire Starter Sessions Affiliate and you can click the Fire Starter link on the front page to get your own copy and light up your world.
Wishing you success that synchronises with your soul not impressing someone else’s ambitions for you,
Love and fire flies, Grace x
How’s your cashflow and your mojo?
Does your vision match your reality?
Does your brand match your soul?
THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS is: an e-book meets video transmission of acumen and love. You: are likely sitting on an empire of content, product, services, and prosperity that needs a spark — or blow torch — to take you to the next level. You: want to rock your revenue streams and do meaningful things in the world. Worksheets that help you draw conclusions, quick videos with motivational punch, connections to current thinkers, practical smarts, and frank wisdom — THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS is packed with inspiration that you will put to use. Whether you’re in the early idea phase or a well-established rut, Danielle’s thorough, witty, and experience-based advice will most certainly light a fire under your…aspirations.
1. In Venezuela, Article 88 of the Constitution recognizes work in the home as an economic activity that creates added value and produces wealth and social welfare, and entitles housewives to social security.
2.© Corrina Gordon-Barnes, 2008. All rights reserved. youinspireme.co.uk
Photo Credit: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot:
Faith in Troubling Times
When we practice yoga, when we are in Savasana, the corpse pose. We lie there and in some ways prepare for death and realizing our mortal bodies we feel an eternity, a lift within us and we become aware of our true soul selves; the immortal within us living, residing in our flesh.
When you feel, know and realise this, the idea that we are not truly spirit, that we have no entity and magic within us is laughable. It is children in the dark with night fears scared that because they cannot see and touch it, it cannot be real. But we know we exist beyond the tangible, our ancestors knew this. To my ancestors, the Celts, who lived and walked this land before me, the very idea there is no spirit is absurd. They knew it, worked and lived with it. It was as much a part of their lives as the trees, the forests and their own homes. They would laugh or perhaps mourn the tragedy of our society. Today we live with great magic and power, we walk with it every day, sleep with it, live with it against our own skin, yet so many hold their hands over their eyes and deny it. Why? We breathe it and exist within it, its up to us to realise this.
What are we all working for and what do we want at the end of it? Why do you get up and go to work, wash, dress, rise every day, smile, put on mascara or a clean tie and try? Personally, and I can only speak for me, I want to live, enjoy the moment, bless every day, love, receive love and be of service to the world. Ultimately, I want peace, fulfilment, happiness and some small way give back to this world that so lovingly supports me.
Sometimes the world is such a scary place with no reason I can see for things like so so many good people in pain, disasters, recessions, bad days and little struggles all add up. For some this makes them turn from their Divinity and for some to cleave to it more strongly. I would feel very lonely, I think, without a Higher Power. People ask why God can’t sort everything. In Judo/Christian faiths God can often be portrayed as all-powerful. In the older legends, Gods were not like mother/father to a child, omnipotent and expected to have ability to solve all. They were a source of power, strength and comfort. They helped within their means which were much greater than humans but still had limits. The Gods suffered too. These days I ask less for protection and more for deep faith and love to support me through whatever comes.
I take time to notice my priorities, tune in to the magic around me. Because otherwise it is akin to standing, eyes shut, before a feast shouting “God, I am starving. Feed me!” I choose to draw closer to my beliefs during hard times and carve out time for my dreams during the day.
So let us pray this week for all those affected in Japan, New Zealand and Libya. As well as for comfort and ease for all our loved ones who are hurting. May we be guided to give them the support they need and to stay strong and be a channel for miracles. May we not forget our birthright, the sacredness and beauty of our Earth and of the love around us. May our spiritual and healing practices deepen and heal us further and more soundly. May we balance our lives, our dreams and our struggles and find some joy each day.
My First Detox
We would like to share our story of our first detox with you this week. We came gradually into the wonderful world of wellness and we didn’t do one big cleanse. Things kind of fell away as we discovered more about them. I (Grace) was brought up on vegetarian whole foods, and very lucky too. I was never very into processed sugar and didn’t drink fizzy drinks etc., and because so many bought (as opposed to home-made) sweets had gelatine (not vegetarian) in them, I didn’t eat them either. But I did love home-made bread and strong Welsh cheddar cheese and I ate lots of those.
One of the first things I can remember detoxing from is toothpaste! I stopped using fluoride toothpaste at 15 when I became vegan because the vegan toothpaste happened to say ‘fluoride free’. I got the impression that fluoride must therefore be undesirable and chose flouride free from then on. In case you are wondering, Linus and I both use flouride free, vegan, chemical free, homeopathic friendly toothpaste and neither of us have any fillings, cavities or tooth issues. Once a new dentist was unahppy with us using flouride free (esp. as our drinking water is fliltered so we are safe from the fluride there too) and he said it can cause problems. But he examined me, and my teeth were excellent. “Oh,” he said “The problems can take a year or so to show up.” I explained that I hadn’t had flouride for 7 years. Well, he decided it was because of our sugar free, low fruit healthy diet. Last time I went to the dentist I got a sticker for having such good teeth I love going in the chair because I am so little and it’s so big and it goes whirring up
We gradually let things go. As I went vegan I read more labels, and I realised that whatever partially hydrogonated vegetable oil was, it may be vegan but I didin’t want to eat crackers with it in. We had to look up E numbers as some are not vegan, and we are Vegan vegans, and so we thought “Hey, I would actually rather not eat E numbers.” There was a moment of realisation, (“How much sugar per biscuit?! Seriously? Wow that is crazy, am not eating that!”) and so it began… and other things began to fall away; symptoms, headaches, mucus, my adonoids which had needed an operation to remove were no longer a problem, opertation cancelled, and so many other things.
Several years ago we detoxed from processed sugar, as we all are now. It was simple and gradual. We removed it from the house, read labels, found information about sugar and all the various reasons we did not need it. We embraced substitutes. At the time, steamed carrots blended with tahini into a naturally rich, sweet butter was very popular in our house. Our taste buds changed and we let go of the substitutes too. We went off sugar back before agave syrup became popular. When we found out about agave, we were very excited. We had not had sugar for years and here was something hailed as new miracle food, sweeter than sugar and actually good for you! (so they said) So we tried it, got very overexcited at the novelty, and for about two weeks used it on everything! But this didn’t last, and nor did the agave in our house. Our tastes have changed so much that we don’t desire sugar any more and agave made a quick exit.
We came into the ideas about actually choosing to “detox”ify from things when we first read about raw food. In taking harmful things from our diets we felt the detox symptoms and used the techniques outlined in previous posts to support our bodies in letting go of the old rubbish held in our cells that we no longer needed. We nourish our bodies as they strengthen and grow new cells. We moved on from ‘detoxing’, to ‘life’. Now our home is free of chemicals, we are out of so many sources of pollution and we no longer eat pesticide sprayed foods so are not taking toxins in at every meal.
In some cleansing regimes there is massive focus on the un-cleanliness of the body and all the problems this causes. Everything is blamed on pollution in the body, the dirty, filthy colon is considered the root of all evil, so fasting, purging and extreme cleansing is salvation. We do not subscribe to these ideas. We are leading away from this and towards our own wisdom, listening to our bodies. All we need to do is stop doing things which harm us and putting things into our bodies which harm them and then get out of our own way and let the body do it’s work and heal. This is not, of course, the route for everyone but it is something to think about. Sometimes it is less about what we do or buy or take, and more about what we do not do or what we make space for and allow and embrace. We love our bodies, we want to take care of them not purge them, we love them and help them to heal and live. They are on our side and we are on theirs.
And so this is how it was. Things just fell away. We’re so lucky that there is so much information around now. We didn’t have this kind of information when we started. We did trial and error, and there were a lot of trials and there were some errors. As things started to come together, as we started to take responsibility with our health, we took our baby steps into the big, crazy world of healing. This is one of the many reasons why we love this reboot. It’s sensible, tempered, tried and tested nutrition information. Free college level classes and easy How-To’s. We at Basic Missions want you to be well. We want you to have the body, the energy, understanding and motivation to be able to fulfil your potential, to light and live your creativity, and step into your dreams. Poor nutrition and all it’s negative results are no longer holding you back. You can choose to fly!
Photo Credit: markuso http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php photogid=1913
We are making sustainable changes in this re-boot, as such we want to change our minds which can change our actions, our lives, our bodies, our cells and our futures as well as our today all for the positive. This is why we are saturating you with great information so that as Callie says, our changes stick. If you change your thinking your actions will follow what you believe. When we put our focus on wellness then we will manifest this into our lives. Even though we are in a nutrition re-boot we must not forget all the skills we have already learned. If you are new to the re-boot then hang on as we will do a quick top up now and more will come on these in the following reboot sections or you can go back and read our previous posts. Don’t forget to make use of the handy dandy search tool for more in depth information on these fabulous techniques (search box is in the top right hand corner)
How to get our nutrition fisioned in our habits?
Firstly start gently. We have let go of sugar, milk, processed foods, over eating meat and dairy and prehaps gluten depending on what works for us. Fantastic! Take a bow and pat yourself on the back. Stop a second and have a little Appreciation Celebration for all the greatness you are making in your world inside and out. You have come so far and we are so proud of you. We want to know how it is for you, how are you doing? Do you have questions, comments, want to tell your story and see it featured on Basic. Email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nutrition is our focus so how can we bring it into other aspects of our lives and how can we use our wellness practices to support it?
Meditate: Visaulise yourself taking positive actions, being well. See yourself eating and enjoying the food you are eating. When Linus takes his supplements he visualises them working in his body – the E.F.As oiling his joints and so forth. This is much more likely to help them work. Watch yourself enjoying life, take a little of this into your meditation time. See the work of Dr David Hamilton. www.drdavidhamilton.com/
Manifest: Set your intention, create your goals and put the power of the Universe in motion towards them. Firstly decide what your goals are, then break them down into smaller steps. Set your intention for the whole goal and the steps in the present tense. “I am (well, happy, healthy, __ in weight, can run __ metres a day), and I love (eating well, drinking smoothies and eating green salad daily) now and I am grateful for this”. Make up a vision board, put up pictures of what you want and images to inspire you towards your goal. Put time and love into it. You put the effort in and the Universe will respond 100 fold.
Mantra: Come up with some mantras or affirmations that are suitable for you and your circumstances. Write them on a card in your wallet or next to your bed or above the bathroom mirror or all of these! Choose them according to what you need each day. Dare to let your creative spirit out, loose the bindings on your mind and dive in with red sparkle pens and index cards. Hooray for play time and hooray for the powerful effect it has on our ability to stick to our goals and honour our bodies
Momento: Using a momento or a remembrancer is a powerful tool. I sometimes use a necklace or bracelet or a physical object. Pray or meditate and empower the object to symbolise for you what you need, for example, drinking 2 litres of pure water daily or having let go of sugar. Whenever you see it, feel it or remember it repeat one of your affirmatios and re-afirm your intentions. To empower it just hold it in your hands and say to yourself you are going to associate it with and to you it will now symboise and remind you of _______. Imagine power and light from you, the Divine, the Universe and the earth, sky, air and sea pouring into it. Say thank you and go about your day with joy.
Mindfulness Moments: Sometimes we can get too rushed in our days and get too into doings or distractions and forget about living and our good intentions. You can decide to take mindful breaks during the day. Set a timer for once an hour or decide every time your phone beeps with a text message or the clock chimes or you see a red car, or whatever you are going to take a mindfulness moment. Take 3 seconds, 3 minutes it is up to you, just stop, relax you body as much as possible, breathe, tune it and listen to your body. In terms of your detox you can take this as a opportunity to tune and check in with you and see how you are doing, do you need anything? More water, a rest, to remind yourself of your intentions or give yourself a pat on the back for how well you are doing? Fabulous, now give yourself what you need and well done you!
For this we need to pace ourselves, we are wellness athletes and we need to go gently and stoically not all blazing and burn out 2 seconds down the track. Not fun. So let’s get our team together. Find a support network, share your goals with those who will support and cherish you. People who are still blocked, scared and dealing with or rather not dealing with their own issues may try to pull your down or encourage you back to old self destructive behaviours which are similar to theirs. You are working for your life, you do not need that. So take care with whom and how you share your dreams. Surround yourself with positive images of wellness and fantastic wellness warriors, inspiring stories/ quotes and your reasons for changing. Do you want to be well for your children or grandchildren? Perhaps for your partner or so you can live your dream or go sailing or play tennis or write. Whatever it is add this picture to your vision board. You are needed, you are doing so well, keep going.
We are focusing on food but obviously we want to keep healthy and in balance in our minds as well as our bodies. Food is an important part of a healthy life but it is only one part. I hope you can use these tools to stay on track and make healthy habits. Once a habit is formed we are moving on we have a new focus and a new re-boot section which is a great part of our training! Love your life, food being a part of that and helping us to further enjoy all the other aspects too.
May you live out loud in full colour fabulousness!
Love Grace and Linus xxx
Photo Credit: Michelle at http://whollyafool.wordpress.com/
Food for your Mood
Sometimes things are simpler than they seem, and food effects our mood. When hard things come up like fatigue or the blues, brain fog, stress or bouncing about tension it can be easy to think “This is so serious, I must need a pill or to go and see someone to sort it out.” and we have so much power but we’re so eager to hand it over. We sit in front of somebody at their desk and pay them to tell us what we already know, and what grandmothers have been telling us for years.
Sometimes people won’t eat healthily in their own home, but will pay huge amounts of money to go off and do it in a retreat. And what will happen when you get to the retreat? In true retreats you’ll very likely be given a broom and told to start sweeping, or chopping vegetables. You’ll do meditation, yoga and eat good, simple, real, PURE food cooked with love. And with this, something inside you relaxes and unwinds, and deep in your soul and right inside your bones you start to breathe and rest and be. If we know this and we believe this then it’s only our minds and our beliefs than are blocking this and stopping us living this in our homes. It’s only our thoughts. I know thoughts become things, but thoughts can be changed.
It’s up to you, it’s your mind, they’re your monkeys. You can let them roam wild or you can give them something constructive to do while you get out of your own way and live. We’ve made it so complicated. In many cases what we need to do is just get out of our own way, get out of our body’s way, stop doing the things that are hurting it and watch the miracles be made as it heals itself. From a cut healing over and fresh skin emerging, to life shattering illnesses fading away, our bodies are intelligent and we are working with them here. So let’s settle down with a nice cup of herbal tea and take a deep breath, acknowledge your power and realise that what you consume directly effects you mood.
This can seem like a lot of responsibility and it may seem boring if everybody else around you is eating donuts and they’re happy, why can’t you be? The answer is, as you know, that not everybody is happy. Many people medicate with food, getting high on sugar, buzzed on coffee and sedated with huge greasy meals. You have the choice to switch on to joy. Just switch what’s on your plate.
Let’s start by looking at foods that make us fatigued. Sugar is of course our number one culprit. Processed sugar wrecks our blood sugar levels and puts stress on the pancreas. Sugar rushes are false energy and lead to huge crashes. Just not worth it. Of course over time this can lead to longer term more serious health conditions too, not all of which are reversable.
Gluten is often a hidden problem. It can leave us feeling fatigued, sluggish, bloated and brainfogged. Gluten and wheat intolerence and coeliac disease can cause massive problems. You can be intolerant or allergic to wheat but not gluten. You can speak to your doctor about your concerns and try taking wheat and/or gluten out of your diet for two weeks, replacing with healthy gluten free alternatives which are now widely available, and see if you feel better.
I know wheat can be a good part of a wholefood diet but the wheat we eat today is a far cry from the wheat our ancestors grew, ground and baked. Wheat today is over used, over processed and over hybridised. Some people do better on spelt, an ancient from of wheat or use amaranth, barley corn or oat flour. We can eat wheat at every meal easily nowadays with cereal or toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner. Too much wheat is mucas forming and exhausting. It is also an addiction, similar to sugar and it contains opioids peptides which effect our endorphin receptors and act like narcotics for our bodies. Do you feel sleepy after your big sandwich? Your body is probably struggling with all the wheat and processed fat. Wheat breaking down into simple sugar and yeast can also feed candida which leads to fatigue, low mood and a host of other health complaints
We don’t need foods that drain but foods that feed and rebuild. Huge amounts of fat and protein, things that our body struggles to digest are all energy drains. We want energy gains! We know that coffee, fizzy soft drinks, alcohol and milkshakes all drain and exhaust us so let’s stick to our lovely detox LIFE-style and stay cheery all day.
Foods that make us feel fabulous. What your body loves most will of course depend on you, but generally; fresh low GI fruit – apples, pears, all berries, plums, oranges.
Fresh green salad, home made smoothie or juice, and tempeh or tofu in moderation. Beans and soups are whole filling wonder boosting foods. We can eat all the yummy superfoods Callie is teaching us about.
Let’s alkaise our bodies to feel fabulous and be in a good mood. Start your week well, and stay well by eating foods that love your body back. Claim your power, create your own retreat and if appropriate for you try some time without gluten or wheat. See how you feel, tune in to yourself and follow your own guidance.
With super sparkly cheering love
Grace and Linus
The Follow Up Session….
I hope my last article on reBOOSTing has helped some of you, but since I wrote it various thoughts came to mind, various things we’ve done (some helpful, some not so helpful) that have taught us how to to make things easier and really get stuck in. So, as a follow up, I’ll just jump right in…
It’s a sometimes ignored fact that, if you’re life is full at the moment, then there’s no space for anything new. If you want to start doing something, you may have to take something out. Not always, but sometimes it helps to keep a balance, and sometimes we hold onto old routines out of habit rather then a need or even a want to do them. This is where we ask ourselves that question again. “If I carry on with this activity, will it bring me any benefits?” Put yourself in the future and imagine how you’d feel if you carried on with your current routine, and how you’d feel if you took out some of the old stuff for some of the new. It may be that your current routine works, but it couldn’t hurt to ask yourself, just to check.
Getting into the rhythm
One thing we’ve found that can make altering our activities really difficult is the change in our life’s rhythm. Basically this means maybe getting up a little earlier, or eating at different times, or anything that makes our rhythm different to incorporate the new change in our lives. So, simply making an allowance for a new rhythm can sometimes make things so much easier, even if we’re not yet doing the new thing. Basically what I mean is that if you want to do yoga every morning you could start very small, just to get the rhythm going. So, a couple of mornings a week, you could get up, unfurl a yoga mat or whatever space you’re using, stretch your hands up as high as you can, put your mat away, and then carry on with your day. Simple right? It may seem easy, which is exactly the point. This can be a lot easier to work into your routine than a full yoga session, so that, once your comfortable, actually doing a bit more yoga will be just a small step up. Remember, it’s often easier to build up something small than it is to start big. You could even travel to the swimming pool once a week, walk around the building and then go home. Once you get into the rhythm of that, actually going into the pool won’t just seem easier, but a natural progression. It might seem silly going all the way to the pool if you’re not actually going to go in, but if you think the rhythm will help, just remind yourself how you’ll feel once swimming (or anything else) is a well established part of your routine. This may be a necessary step between not going swimming and doing a full on session in the pool each morning. We’re working on the long term, not just a passing thing you’ll fall out of the habit of doing. Maybe just sit at and altar/praying space for five minutes each morning and read, once this rhythm becomes easier, then so will praying. It just takes a bit of thinking to work out what part of your rhythm will change to incorporate the new activity, and then actually change your rhythm whether or not you manage to start your activity. Things get easier once you’ve started and I’m sure you’ll know what feels comfortable and when to take the next step.
Think outside the new activity
By this I mean being inventive in your approach to your new activity, and changing other things to make it easier. So, if you’re going for a healthier diet, put the microwave in the cupboard and keep the juicer out on your work top. It doesn’t mean you can only use your juicer and never use your microwave, it just means that the healthier option is automatically more convenient every time you come into the kitchen. If you’re doing exercise, why not lay our your exercise equipment the night before. Basically you can rearrange you house to make your chosen activity as easy as possible and, if you choose to, make your unwanted activity a little less convenient. When I wanted to get more into making more food from scratch I put a CD player in the kitchen with a big stack of CDs and just had a food party when we wanted to eat. What works for you? What could you do to make things easier? Rearrange your desk if you need to so you can write your book, do your research, just be more organised. If your plan is more self care, why not have a little box in the corner of the room and fill it with spare change and then, when it’s full, buy yourself a gift. Put up a star chart somewhere visible (we have one!) and give yourself a star each time you do well. When you have ten, twenty five, fifty or however many stars you decide on, reward yourself with something you really enjoy. Maybe put inspiring pictures up on your wall as a reminder of what you want to achieve.
It might be worth letting people around you know of what you want to do. If they know then they’re more likely to help and maybe even take some weight off you to give you more space or even just make allowances for you to make that change. I might also motivate you if you’ve announced it to others.
Finally, once you’ve thought all this through and maybe made some changes, plan a review, book it in your diary and be honest with yourself about what you’re doing and what you want to do. There’s a rule called the 80/20 rule which basically states that 20% of your activity counts for 80% of your success, and vice versa, 80% of your activity counts for 20% of your success. Ever seen people that are always busy but never manage to get anything done, while other people seem to be having huge successes without being overrun with work? It’s the 80/20 rule. We’re looking for that 20% that gives you 80% success and we’re working on that. It helps to keep on the right track and remember, a small step in the right direction is always better than a huge step in the wrong direction.
…just imagine several small steps in the right direction! You’ll be up that pyramid in no time!
Love and peace as always, Linus xxxx
Image: federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=149
ReBOOSTing Our Lives!
They make it look so easy in the movies. You know, a person with a plan, a few quick shots of them working hard whilst motivational music plays out behind them. By the end of it they’ve got everything they wanted, they’ve done it with style and there’s still 10 minutes left before the credits start to roll. Yeah, tried that. The motivational music works until real life kicks in and I remember that it’s not that easy. So how do we really reboot our lives? How can we practically change things and make it all happen?
Well, here’s what’s worked for us. Our healing journey, the basics, how we started and how we keep going. It’s a mix of reading various self help and how-to-be-efficient books and it goes something like this.
First off, get a good notebook and get organising. I don’t remember the exact figures but I once read that for each minute of planning your save something ten minutes of doing. So even just a ten minute plan will save you over an hour and a half of working on something unnecessary! This is probably the most important stage, getting a good plan to start with.
Start by writing down everything you want to accomplish. All the specifics and whatever you can remember. For us this was: drinking green juices, meditating, taking more time for ourselves, rebounding, yoga, health research, gardening, etc. etc. etc. Our plans were focussed around healing, but your plan could include anything; dress super smart every day, talk to family and friends more, drink more water, learn quantum physics – whatever you want to do!
Once you have a nice big list, you divide them into whichever categories seem appropriate; nutrition, spirituality, exercise, self care, having fun… You decide. You can even have one activity in several categories if it fits. Write each category at the top of a new page and write all the specifics underneath. These are the categories we’re going to be dealing with for now.
Okay, now is where we start really looking ahead. It’s often easier to do the thing we feel like doing now but what we need to do here is ask ourselves the ever important question: If we worked on only one category, which one would bring the biggest benefits to our lives? Close your eyes, put yourself in the future and imagine how you would feel if your life was now filled with the kind of exercise/self care/spirituality etc. that you want. Chances are, the one you choose will be the one you’re doing least of at the moment.
Once you’ve got your category take a look at the list beneath and ask yourself the same question again: If I worked on only one of these activities, which one would bring me the biggest benefits? Be honest and, again, imagine the future-you. Do that future-you a favour, plan now! Now we begin getting down to specifics. You have your overall aim (whichever category you picked) and you have your first step (whichever activity you picked). The next thing to do is to plan how you are going to put your one, most important activity into practice.
Here’s where you need to be realistic. There’s no point in thinking “Right, I’m going to go to the gym every day!” It will only work for so long before it becomes too impractical and stops altogether. We did this with yoga. We suddenly started with it every morning, and for a while we did it. But then it was just a case of too many busy days or some kind of change to throw the whole thing. But since really engaging in our healing plan we began doing yoga one morning a week. Once this felt comfortable (only you can decide when you truly feel ready to move onto the next stage) we upped it to two mornings a week. What happened was that we could manage this during busy periods and routine changes because we started small. It’s easier to build up something small than it is to try and start with something big.
It may seem like this method will take forever to get anywhere, but after a year of this kind of gradual changing we’d managed to work up a solid and self inspiring routine of exercise in general (which included yoga each morning) and were looking at other aspects of our lives to work on. In difficult times I remember this metaphor: Imagine we want to reach the stars. We could build a tower straight up and be in the stars in no time. But, (there’s always a ‘but’) any kind of wind will shake us up, and if any large challenge or catastrophe hits us, it could take our whole tower down. So instead we build a pyramid. Sure, it may take longer to reach the stars but when we get there, we’re there to stay. The blowing wind of routine changes won’t affect us much, and even if a big challenge hit us (and believe me, at times they came hard and fast) they couldn’t take down our pyramid. Maybe they’d knock some bricks off the top, but we we’re built on solid foundations. Which is why we take our time. There’s no point in pilling more bricks on when the cement of our last bricks isn’t even dry!
And don’t forget, of all the steps that you wrote down, this one will bring the biggest benefits once you’ve built it up, so it’s worth keeping central in your day-to-day. If you’re doing something once a week, write it in your diary. Treat it like an appointment, like something you can’t just drop if you’re busy. This is worth making space for. Don’t just think “I’ll just do this quickly before I start my day.” It should be a main part of it, even if it only takes a short time.
Also, regular reviews are essential, weekly works best. It’s too easy to get bogged down in our tasks, lock into tunnel vision and focus on what we’re doing, but we need to regularly step back and see the big picture. Every now and again take a look back at your main plan and ask “Is this going to bring the biggest benefits?” It may be that you’ve built up (oh, let’s say) making time for friends into a fairly regular activity and you’re happy to just maintain what you’ve got, maybe you’re thinking that there’s something else that will have a bigger impact in your life and needs focus. Again, write the review in your diary and make plans around it if need be, not through it. It’s an important part of your day that shouldn’t be cut down.
Hopefully with this practice you can create in your life the things that really matter to you and, through regular review, keep a good balance. It’s worked well for us so far and I can see it bringing more of what we want into our future. As a final note, I want to remind us that taking time for ourselves can have a huge impact and bring so much good to us and shouldn’t be neglected, so if this all sounds like too much to do, maybe building up some good old ‘us time’ is exactly what we need. We actually have a healing review planned for today, so I hope you can join us and make the most important things happen! One step at a time and we can reach the stars!
Love and peace to you all,
Image Credit: Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net