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All Posts by Dale Darley

Journaling and the PH balance of experiences

Journaling is a fantastic way to open yourself up to discovering what I call acid or alkalising experiences or the PH balance of experiences.

When studying nutrition one of the areas that we look at is how acid or alkaline our bodies are. The key is to keep your body as alkaline as possible, in other words, cut out acidic foods as these are not helpful to the body and help to create (along with many other things) dis-ease. There’s a great resource here that shows you the ph balance of many foods. (turn off your sound – there is a video playing at the bottom of the article and it’s a rather annoying tactic)

Instead of food consider instead your life and what is going on and what brought you to this point. How acidic or alkaline were those experiences?

One of the most important things for me is that when ‘something’ happens I consider where did this come from. When I was told hey you have osteoporosis and arthritis, apart from crying, I looked at not only my diet but my life for clues. Despite being trained in naturopathic nutrition, I asked another naturopath to look for clues for me. It made sense to do so. Even though I’d previously turned around an overactive thyroid through diet, this felt more important and called for a different set of conscious decisions.

Let’s explore the museum of our minds

Buried deep inside the museum of our mind, right down inside every cell, a set of old programs called unexpressed emotions. These darling little programs are a bit of a hindrance because they pop up and bite us on the bum when we least expect to be bitten.

Naturally, they are so well hidden that often we do not recognise or realise that they are operating. A little like a virus on a computer. But viruses cannot hide forever and that’s where journaling comes in.

Imagine losing these attachments, becoming aware of why you do what you do and creating new beautiful pathways that will serve you more effectively.

I wonder what unconscious resistance you have to let these go? How do these unexpressed emotions possibly define who you?

Journaling and the memory

The memory is quite a remarkable thing, which encodes, stores and enables retrieval of our experiences. You may well wonder where and how all of that stuff gets stored, why you can easily remember some things and not others. In simple terms information goes in, we encode it in such a way that makes sense to us, which is why no two people remember the same event in the same way. It also means that no two people with experience trauma the same way or react to it in the same way. Similar experiences do not mean similar programs. We have stuff in short term memory, the things we are currently actively thinking about and longer term, which is the stuff that is parked out of the way for now.

Your memory is a pattern of stored connections. When we want to retrieve a memory, we are taken along a series of pathways (neural pathways), a bit like following a series of directions to an address, where the experience is retrieved and brought into view. That’s the conscious view; the unconscious view is a labyrinth of things that have not been expressed but leaps out to bite us on our poor little bums when we least expect it.

If you are journaling then you can capture your experiences and this will help you to track the trails. Later when you reflect you will be able to make sense. We like to make sense of things, don’t we? And it will save your now very well bitten bottom.

Start to think of your mind as a museum, with lots of galleries, some of old masters, some highlighting different periods of time or themes, some more abstract and some just fragments of times long ago.

As we get older, we seem to forget more things, which is according to the scientists is all part of natural ageing. All the more reason to journal to get the grey matter moving, eat well, stay hydrated, be mindful, be balanced, live in harmony and living our lives on purpose, in love and light.

Coding our experiences and emotions

Stop for a moment and breathe in your environment. What do you notice?

Ferdy dog is making a funny I’m contented noise, tucked up in my bed and outside the birds are giving it what for. Apart from the slight hum of the computer, there is silence. It feels peaceful. I’m in bed and comfortable and this is one of my favourite places to write from in the early mornings. But I am mindful that I have to get up as my cleaner (essential for osteoporosis) is arriving in an hour and I need to get ready. As I write that I can feel the pressure rising, but only slightly.

In every moment we consume information through our environment. These are laid down in your mind map using your language and coding structure waiting to be fertilised, waiting to be joined by that one all-important connector, which creates the spark and drives it to the forefront of your mind. Your body is constantly working with these experiences and emotions. Some will have escaped while others lie trapped looking for an exit route. When there isn’t a way out toxins will accumulate.

So although I’m feeling a slight, mmm I’d better get up, drat, I want to stay here and cuddle the dog and write, I could have been wired in such a way that even this could send me off the PH balance of life scale (which we will come to).

How is the body destroyed?

Had I been feeling massively stressed about having to stop what I am enjoying to do something else then this could set one of my stress triggers off.

Stress = unexpressed emotions about experiences

I could tell you because I’ve worked hard on my soul that I know what my triggers are. The truth is I know some of it, but much of it will be still be repressed and stored in the program and every cell of me. What I do know is that some of it stems from my childhood and are mostly painful memories. Like you I have dealt with a lot, today I am in a more harmonious place, however, there some old chestnuts that come along to ‘get’ me when I am least expecting it.

It is like peeling an onion, sometimes a bloody big onion.

Along comes a trigger and wham! Our beautiful body doesn’t want these toxins so it tries to expel them and when it can’t it stores them as dis-ease. Dis-ease is not the same as a disease; it means a lack of comfort or a body out of balance.

Telling someone to feel the pain and get on with it is not the best way to go about healing. These feelings, when triggered, remind us that we are unloved, unsafe and unworthy. Ouch.

These emotions and physical pains are natural responses to life. Keeping them stuffed inside is not natural. When we feel unloved, unsafe and unworthy, it affects the way that we love and shine our light. Toxic emotions steal our light and love. Living in a body where all of this baggage has been kept under lock and key will stunt your growth and ability to live a full and rich life. It also affects the immune system.

Stop for a moment and start journaling, make a list of the things that might be triggering an unhealthy response in your life right now.

Stress and the immune system

Things like insomnia, headaches, migraines, gut problems, aching joints and feeling tired are all the result of unexpressed emotions which have festered. As time passes the immune system can grow weaker until all kinds of illnesses, issues, dis-eases, dis-orders present themselves. And then you will know about it.

Where do your stressful experiences come from

They call osteoporosis a silent and invisible dis-ease. I certainly didn’t know that it was sneaking up on me. I was so happy with focusing on my thyroid, it never entered my head.

Over the years I have been told that I have IBS, that my insomnia was because of the peri-menopause and then anxiety, that my aching joints were just age. When in an awful relationship, I went from being super fit to an old cronk, on Prozac and unable to function at my best. I had the emotions running a pattern from my past, a horrible man treating me with no respect, his mother who did not like me to look after.

Here’s another journaling opportunity. What about you, how is your lifestyle affecting your immune system?

Environment

Our external environment affects all of us. What goes on around us has far-reaching repercussions for what goes on inside. Each of our trillions of cells, like us are affected by the environment we create for them. Our environment controls us and the environment we create internally controls our cells, which control us. We hold a very powerful key to tapping into our inner wisdom and changing our environment so that we can get rid of toxins, heal and create a healing code that is unique to us.

Cells like us, read the environment, make an assessment and then behave according to what is required. Cells gather together in communities called tissues and organs, and these live harmoniously in these communities until their environment is damaged. Humans likewise create families and communities which contribute to a harmonious or otherwise environment.

How you choose to live, work and play and your values around your external environment will go a long way to giving you your life back. As will eating good nutritious food, drinking excellent water properly, taking exercise, being with people that support and love us and reducing stressful activities will go a long way to supporting a better life.

Acid and alkalising experiences

Your unexpressed emotions and experiences can be classified into acid or alkalizing. Consider that in science you have a PH scale. Now think of your PH scale as a personal harmony scale, with acid on one side and alkaline on the other.

Acid experiences are unpleasant, they burn and sting at one end and towards the middle of the scale are mildly irritating

Alkaline experiences are healthier and used to neutralise an acidic experience. If you go too far you could be overdosing on the feel good factor and not addressing the real issues.

What we want is to live and experience life from a balanced perspective.

Journaling and your PH Balance of experiences

Ph scale

  • Grab your journal and consider all (some) of the stressful experiences that you have had. What physical, mental or spiritual ‘issues’ arose? Were they acid or alkalising?
  • Draw up a balance sheet of great times and not so great time
  • On one side add your acid experiences and the other alkalising
  • Assign each experience a number from the PH scale
  • Which do you have more of?
  • Which experiences are linked and which have balanced each other out?
  • How can you create personal harmony and balance?
  • What actions will you take?

How do you know when you are stressed?

When you look at your balance sheet, were you surprised with what you found? Go back to your journal and using the colours from your PH scale mark up using coloured pens your acid experiences. Then link them together. What insights do you get?

Next, stop, breathe and take a look at yourself. Are you stressed? How do you know if you are or if you are not? Are there any recurring themes, stressors or acid experiences?

Sometimes we are ‘stressed out’ and not aware of our rising stress levels. Not all individuals respond to stressors in the same way. Your personality and past experience all dictate how you deal with things and your reactions. In other words, susceptibility to stress-related dis-ease varies among individuals. Some people are particularly vulnerable to stressful situations or events, while others may be highly productive under pressure (short term).

Take a few minutes to consider your answer to this question. Explore this question in your journal.

Now tell me what conscious decisions will you make to change this?

Journaling at the start of a life’s adventure is incredibly enlightening and will help you to find clarity and peace. It also has the added benefit that you have a rich store of words with which to write a book. Head over to the contact me page and let’s chat about your next book project.

The power of journaling and having a chocolate orange day

A few mornings ago I missed my journaling. I’d woken in the small hours in pain and thought instead that I would get some water, a cup of white tea and read.

After wrapping my back with castor oil and clambering back into bed, it did cross my mind to write, but the desire to read was greater, and so I succumbed. What would I write anyway? I hate this f***ing pain. It’s not that I felt angry, wearier, I wanted some time away from my thoughts, I wanted to be wrapped in the arms of peace. Soon I was asleep.

After a healthy breakfast and checking my diary, I knew I had time to be with myself and create the space I needed for my first client of the day.

Once I’d spoken with my client, I had a cuppa and a small piece of raw chocolate Srummy Yummy.

To my knowledge most people love chocolate. What’s not to love? My favourite is not Terry’s Chocolate Orange, although I understand why they are so popular and have scoffed a few in my time… Before I moved to the healthy side.

You will have noticed that at Christmas the makers of Chocolate Orange market the product heavily. It is a time when sharing a slice of your life and special moments with your loved ones are on your mind. A time when you might want to indulge in something naughty (chocolate naughty…).

Between Christmas and New Year is when most people decide to change their lives. Spring is another time I think that we do something similar. Today is the start of Chinese New Year and the year of the Earth Dog. I wonder if this is a time when people also set intentions and declutter their lives?

What are your intentions for the coming month or year?

And even like me when you are not feeling quite so chipper. Some of those decisions include leaving a partner or job, maybe doing something outrageous and possibly following long-held dreams.

Take a moment now and consider what are those dreams?

When life is feeling a bit challenging, I think that this is when journaling is immensely helpful. As is taking time out to reflect. I call these chocolate orange days. Days when nourishing your soul becomes your priority. And here is why.

Chocolate in this context is raw chocolate, not the sickly mass produced stuff that is offered up as chocolate. Made from the cacao bean, it is really a nut and as the name implies, is chocolate in its most natural form. Raw chocolate is loaded nutrients just what you need when you are not feeling yourself.

For a chocolate orange day, you need delicious, nutritious food. Which might include raw chocolate and why wouldn’t it? It is a great food to nibble as research shows that chocolate boosts serotonin and gives us that feel good factor.

Orange is a colour that makes me feel good. I love orange; it fills me with warmth, energy, happiness, creativity and communication. Just what you need for a day of journaling and reflection. Orange is also the colour of the sacral chakra and is an important emotional centre. When you think of orange and the sacral, consider how you can open yourself up to nurturing and start to use this intuitive connection with your soul.

Orange also reminds me of autumn and the trees awash with colour just before they let them go. In this sense, you will also be letting things go ready for new growth.

What is a chocolate orange day?

It is a day of reflection, a ‘you’ day and an opportunity to nourish yourself between the pages of your journal and reflect. It is a day to get rid of your rubbish, declutter your life, re-evaluate your strengths and weakness, change your mindset, set a vision and think about how you can walk towards it.

Chocolate Orange - is it time for a chocolate orange day_ #writinginspiration #writerslife #writingforthesoul #bookcoach #osteoporosis

A chocolate orange day describes a day when…

  • You have a realisation (aha) that something has to change.
  • You have a reaction in a way that you didn’t expect that sends thoughts washing around your brain. Simply notice, what you notice
  • You take some reflection (breathe…) time to work things out. A day for letting things sink in and starting to consider the meaning of recent events and contemplating why, what, how and what if. Then finding creative answers to your questions through journaling.
  • You take relevant action and say yes to changing something. Making good conscious decisions.

The power of journaling

Do you journal? If you do, taking time to read through your journal entries and seeing if you can make sense of the events that have led you to this day is always powerful.

You will, I am sure, notice some patterns.

  • What patterns of discontent can you see? What is this saying to you? Take the dis of and look at what would make you content.
  • Does your journal show you what you do day to day as inspiring and motivational? Do you feel passionate about what you are doing? What has to happen to get you to a place of peace with who you are?
  • What about the toxic people and relationships that show up and make you so unhappy? What has to happen to move them out of your circle of bright stars?
  • Notice your writing, does it show up as fed up, stressed, angry, sad, happy, peaceful, calm or any number of emotions? What does that say to you?
  • How about the feelings you get after you’ve eaten something? Is it time to change your diet? Not start dieting, but eating in a way that serves your temple. Take menopause (if you are a woman); this is a perfect time to re-assess what you eat so that you don’t get hot flushes and sweats at night. For me, with this recent osteoporosis diagnosis, it is about finding about how my body works and what bits are now out of balance. Then noticing what happens when I add certain supplements or eat in a certain way. Or what in life is eating you?
  • What does your writing look like? Handwriting changes to reflect a mood, what does this tell you?

Right now do a body scan. Look at your environment both internal and external. Do you need a chocolate orange day?

Take time out. Listen to the whispering of your soul.

Take time out for your chocolate orange day enjoy reflecting, delving into memories, embracing your discoveries, and creating the start of your ‘me’ action plan.

How to spot a chocolate orange day is coming

If you are standing on a railway track, how do you know that the train is coming? You might feel a vibration, a certain energy and hear a rumbling noise. How long you stand there and wait is your choice. Will you jump off the track in time and avoid being squashed? Or do you wait until the last minute and get away with your life by the skin of your teeth. Or worst of all do you stand and let the train kill you?

The truth is you have probably known for a while and not listened to your soul. Don’t let it be too late for you.

Right now I’m nowhere near the track. I’m listening, and I’m taking the time out. I’m journaling, reflecting and I know it is the right thing to do. I’m journaling so that I can write a book about my osteoporosis journey, or how I intend it to turn out. Which is the reversal and back to full health.

How can you make a chocolate orange day work for you?

Firstly do not eat a chocolate orange, unless you make it yourself. Or perhaps some delicious gluten-free cake?

Put aside a day where you can nourish your mind, body, soul and spirit without interruption. This means being kind to yourself and doing what feels right. Prepare yourself, find some quiet space, meditate, take a bath or go for a walk. Have a nutritious breakfast and make sure your day’s food is pre-prepared unless preparation is part of what makes you feel good. Have lots of water handy and head off to a beautiful space. The environment in which you reflect will have a significant impact on your ability to connect with your soul.

The journaling and reflection cycle

  • Grab a pen and paper. Writing always helps me to reflect. If you have your journal handy, read through it making notes as thoughts, ideas and realisations come up. Explore these through further writing
  • If you want to start from a blank page, write, doodle or scribble what comes up as the thing or things you want to focus on for this day
  • Look at the sky, daydream, meditate or walk in between your writing sessions. I walk my dogs. Notice what comes up for you. You will get many aha’s, reactions and ideas about what to do. Let these flow to you and make no judgement
  • After each writing and reflection period, make a list of what comes up and ask yourself which is the priority. Reflect on what that priority means to you
  • The number of times you read, write and reflect is up to you. When you are done read through your musings and get a sense of how you feel
  • When you have finished, look at your actions, decide which one you want to work on first. A mind map is a great way to find connections. Take a word that describes your thinking point and then add five more words that connect to that word. Once you have those words create an action point
  • When you have your action points, write down your first thoughts about the things that need to change. Reaction moments are when you get your first hit of understanding, and you are tossing your realisation around in your head. You might cry, shout, laugh or bang your head against the wall. You are in-between aha moments and mmm?! moments, and you are now rolling them back and forth between your conscious and non-conscious brain. The thoughts that come to you in these moments are not always the answer to your question; they are a starting point.
  • After a walk or similar, it’s time for thinking. By giving your unconscious mind an opportunity to do its thing, real answers will be ready to come. Sometimes you will think that they are the answer and get very excited to rush off to implement your brainwaves, but hold your horses and let them brew. Better ideas are yet to come.

Sleep on your day

Once you have rested and given yourself more time to reflect on your writing and reflection cycle take some time out again and then come back to ‘think’ about the relevant action. You have been through realisation, reaction and reflection, and now you are in a position to take appropriate focused action. Strategies can now be formed. You decide how this gets you one step closer towards your vision and you put it into an action plan.

  • Write down what actions you will take, by when, what help and resources you need and what the steps are.
  • What came out of your chocolate orange day?
  • What has to change?

Days like this often help us to understand where our mission in life lies. It’s a time to reflect on that book you have been yearning to write. Books are a fantastic way to reach another and inspire them to become an inspiration to another.

Connect with me if writing a book about your personal story and inspiration is something you want to bring into the world.

New moon, Earth Dog Year, Journaling and setting intentions

It’s a new moon which often disturbs sleeping patterns and mine are well out of whack. Upon waking at 1.30am, I thought about journaling and then decided that perhaps some meditation music might be better. My head was banging, and I just wanted to sleep. I tried but it wasn’t coming so out came the journal, and I started to write.

I’m journaling daily while on this osteoporosis journey as I want to remember all of the detail for when I come to write a book about it. If you are at the start of a life-changing journey, start yours too. I’m currently editing Rude Awakenings, my next book and how I wished I had not burned all of my journals when I left the ex. But I did, and luckily I have blogs and calendar entries to guide me. But why make it hard right?

I’ve decided on an entirely natural approach. The doctor doesn’t know yet because we are at the start of our relationship and I’m in the machine and going for a bone density test next week.

A friend upon hearing my diagnosis talked to me about her mum and what she had done to reverse it. She is very inspiring, and hearing stories like this give me hope.

Although trained in naturopathic nutrition (I do not practice – it’s just for me), I could not do my case study, so I engaged a nutritionist to look at my life and how this might have come about. Another eye. I had my theories, but at a time like this, I think, at least for me, you need someone who is not in your stuff and is not so enmeshed in your life.

She is another incredibly inspiring person. You know the kind that looks adversity in the eye and says here’s some curly kale now eff off… I think that was a pathetic attempt at a nutritional joke.

Yesterday, I got her report back. She kept writing; I know you know this but. I smiled, I might know it, but I’m too caught up in dealing with pain.

It was so enlightening to see my life, my mums and her mum’s lifestyles, as well as my dads reflected in my body. It all makes sense to me because this is what we are taught; to look at the bigger picture.

If only we knew this as we party through life. So much stress in my life has taken its toll on my poor body. I know about stress and emotional rubbish because my journaling has been on the same adventure with me and has helped me survive.

But here is the thing. And I have quite a few friends who are nutritionists. (I’d recommend any of these in a flash if you are interested.) They say when they work with their clients that they always seemed naffed off that they have to work on hydration first.

And that’s what my nutritionist said yesterday. I didn’t protest, despite the fact I drink lots of water already. As she explained that didn’t matter because my cells were not getting hydrated, they couldn’t get the nutrients in. They have been on dehydration alert since birth. That’s pretty scary, right?

I believe that I have this now because of a previously undetected overactive thyroid which I cured with nutrition. And because I drank high calcium water (999ppm) for a year when I injured my rib. I installed a countertop water filter so that I did have to lug water and carried on drinking it. The water filter did not take the calcium out of the water, and I was so focused on thyroid, I did not think. Doh!

I also have it because of this big picture I was talking about. Despite my great diet and exercise I was massively dehydrated at a cellular level – all of my life. All my life.

I consider myself lucky that I got these fractures, which means I am in the system and I am seeking help for something that could have been so much worse.

What I also consider lucky (you may not), is that this has called me to stop and think about my life, about the core of who I am and where I fit in the matrix.

But it is bloody hard detoxing, and rehydrating, my head is banging, I’ve hardly slept, and I am so tired. I want to cry all the time – you know spontaneously leaking eyes. I’m naffed off I can’t walk my dogs or drive my car, carry in the dog food, lug the logs upstairs, get my shopping (though I am blessed for such good friends) and a million and one other things.

Despite this tough old experience, I’m in, I see such positives, and I’m a fighter. I refuse to go into some sausage factory where they give me drugs and send me home. I want my body and my life back.

It’s a new moon today and tomorrow is the Chinese New Year – the year of the Earth Dog. I’m focusing on what I want to manifest and setting good intentions.

What do you want to manifest? Get journaling and find out.

New moon journaling

New moons as the name suggests are all about new, birthing and starting over. I always look to see what sign the moon is in so that I can glean some more information. This is a great website with the kind of thing that I am talking about. New moon solar eclipse. Read it and pick out something that resonates and yes start journaling. Just let your writing flow.

In this article I was hit with – this represents a turning point. How very apt. So many ways to go, but the turning point is taking control, breathing through, taking good action and allowing everything to flow. I’m planting seeds. What about you?

Earth Dog, Chinese New Year journaling

Same website, different article – the year of the Earth Dog. Similar routine read and reflect, but now consider the bigger picture, your year and how you want this to be. Words that stick out are grounding and finding balance. This thing called osteoporosis is a body out of balance, so this as a focus is perfect. As well as the reference to a gentle fun loving vibe, I’d like some of that.

And what about this? ‘Even if it doesn’t feel like you are doing much, the work laid down in 2018 is going to set you up for many years to come.’

What are the foundations you want to lay? What are the intentions that you would like to set?

As I’ve said before, if you are at the start of a massive awakening this is the time to start journaling and getting your thoughts down ready for your book. We are not given these challenges to keep us small; we get them so that we can learn about who we are and what we have come to Earth to do. We are here to learn, to embrace love and in my case to serve. We are learning to fly so that we can teach others to be inspired to spread their wings too. Write a memoir with a difference, set your intentions and do it.

Despite how unwell I feel, just at this point, please do connect with me if you want to write your book. We’ll have fun sorting the ideas out, planning, writing, editing, publishing and all of the stuff in between.

PS: I left my dogs out as I talk about them so much anyway, but consider how loyal and loving they are. You want some of that too, don’t you?

PPS: I’ve got so much more to share as I write my way into my next book. This is bizarrely exciting.

February is my time to focus on health and journaling

February 2018 and my focus is firmly on my health and journaling. Without my health I have nothing and without journaling, for me at least there is no clarity.

I’m journaling every day, although yesterday, I couldn’t write, it was a day of letting go and not focusing on this condition that I had been told I have. Osteoporosis doesn’t sound like much, but it is devastating for some. Think about this, your skeleton holds you up, or ‘puts you in good standing’, it is at the core of your existence. Or consider that bone is a matrix, which means womb or mother – the centre of your creation.

The matrix. Life expands from the centre of our matrix - the womb of creation

What if someone told you that the centre of who you were was not functioning?

I don’t know if everyone looks at things as I do, but I need to know how things work, why things happen, how to change and challenge what is going on and to consider things from many angles. Reading, writing and journaling do this for me.

Right now this is what I am doing. Another me project.

I started with writing some letters to people I needed to communicate with on a soul level. I put pen to paper and didn’t say I want to write to this one or that one, I just started with what emerged from my journaling.

Then I wrote a love letter to me. Then I had a brainwave. For that read a not so clever idea right now…

Love letters to me seemed like a good idea until I had to sit and think about writing them all. At first, there was one for the full moon, and then I thought, what if I wrote one for every day of February. I soon realised that although I am forever grateful for my amazing journey into self-love, a letter a day was exceeding the goals and bounds of desires for this month. Plus I didn’t have the energy. I’m tired and in pain and that takes lots of self-love and rest.

I did spend some time in bed in agonising pain, dulled by meditation, medication (natural) and sleep. I dreamt some odd things. I thought about intimacy and would love ever find it’s way to me? I was starting to explore the matrix of my being more and more.

Because it is February and so many peoples focus is on love, I, of course, did wander into flights of fancy. After several days in bed dreaming that my true love’s heart might be pierced with Cupids bow, I fast came to the conclusion that this February would (and should) be more about melting my fears for my spine health rather than the deluge of Valentine’s cards that would be coming my way. Or any romance for that matter.

At this point, the only man I will be asking to be mine and my valentine is Ferdy Dog, my ten-year-old Vizsla who has been with me since he was 18 months old. So cute and just as cute are his sisters Marley Moo and Angel. There is something rather fun about watching these three mad dogs play around as we have family time. Where we live is Europe’s only natural desert, we are surrounded by hills and dry river beds which give them plenty of running which I hope maintains their heart health, among other things. I hope that they continue to enjoy good health from all of the good life and fun that they have.

I’d be pretty surprised if he (Ferdy Dog) did send a card covered in red love hearts or some Chocolate Roses. Not that I would thank you for the sugary candy even if they were served with ice cream as I try my hardest (read my life depends on it) to eat a healthy diet. The funny thing is my neighbour sent over some alcohol-infused cherries and strawberries. I tried a few and decided to be strong. It’s funny isn’t it, our view of how to cheer someone up. I’d probably send a card, someone else flowers and yet another chocolates or wine. That’s our connection with comfort and love I guess?

Luckily while he (the friend) was here, he lugged some logs upstairs for me, so if the promised snowstorm or freezing rain arrives, I will be toasty. I’m feeling excessively cold and my body temperature is low, I’ve figured that my body is working amazingly well and conserving its energy for the vital work it needs to do. Trying to stay warm indoors is tough at this time of year, and I often get more comfort being outside and feeling those gorgeous rays on my face and gazing up into the beautiful blues that create a canopy over my world.

It’s quite bizarre how the weather here changes, one minute it is summer, then winter; we are sometimes fooled into thinking that spring has come early only to find we are still in winter. Making sure that I can stay warm and take advantage of the natural heat outside are part of my regime. And anyway we need natural sunlight for vitamin D production. Although mine might be wonky?

After being trapped inside, I found myself with cabin fever. You’ll know it when you feel it – you have to get outside. I could hear the birds singing and I wanted to fly free, just as they were.

“Flying starts from the ground. The more grounded you are, the higher you fly.” ― J.R. Rim.

One of the things that I love about living here is the number of birds that find their way to this area. At the moment the winter birds are here, hiding in trees, but you can certainly hear them singing their happy morning tunes at dawn. Soon my family of swallows will arrive and start the business of producing babies. I’ve thought about leaving them some bird food but figured that they have been coming here for years and know where the best insects are. It seems obvious, they need, like I do, food from natural sources. However, I’ll know when they are here because I will see them swooping under my terrace and start leaving deposits in an array of colours.

Last year the nest fell and all of the babies died. I cried. It was devastating. The sadness seemed to stay and each time I went into this space I wondered how the parents must be feeling. This malaise was soon lifted as I began to see the nest being reformed. Little by little it was rebuilt. The matrix, the womb of swallow creation had been reborn. Their nest rebuilding gives me hope that my matrix will be rebuilt. They have done just as nature prescribes. A good lesson for me.

I read somewhere that when birds come to stay it’s a gift and I certainly see it that way. No time for the February blues when you know an extension of your family is about to arrive.

This osteoporosis news and journey everything feels a bit like Groundhog Day, as I keep researching, journaling and reflecting. How did this happen? That’s my recurring Groundhog moment. This will soon change, it is changing, as I start treating myself nutritionally and looking at ways to bring my body’s biochemistry back into balance – reform the matrix and the core of my existence. I guess it’s like planting seeds and spring bulbs and waiting to see them grow and flourish. Or in my case, my bone health improve. So no ice skating for me for a while!

With nutrition on my mind, yesterday morning I was pondering toast (oh no – but gluten-free), my usual hot porridge and everything breakfast or pancakes made with pea protein covered in raw chocolate sauce. Right now I know, nutritionally dense with the odd lapse is the way to go. Sadly my usual weekly bout of family baking is on hold as it is a bit too painful to stand over a hot food processor, no matter how easy it is to use. Strange isn’t to have to think of how to use your body differently while you cook, wash and no I am not cleaning – I’m lucky that I have a lovely cleaner who helps me out. I’ve become so much more conscious of how I move and sit.

I love to learn and as you can see I find my mind focused on journaling, nutrition and reading books from my vast library. All of this reading is giving me food for thought – no pun intended. And as you can imagine because I have gorged myself on all of this reading, I’m now at that stage where it is all a blur. Last night every article I bought up I heard myself saying yeah, yeah, yadda, yadda, blah, blah. Time to stop, reflect and integrate it all, methinks. That’s where my trusty pen supports me.

The time for congratulations will come. In fact, when I have compared my 2016 blood results to the current ones, I am congratulating myself for things like thyroid health – in this category I am rocking. There is something very special about being given a project – in my case – healing the imbalance in my bones matrix and creating milestones along the way. Congratulations go a long way to keeping you on track, motivated and inspired.

So this February my focus is on health and journaling. As I always say journaling, writing and words have the power to heal. Start your journaling now if you find yourself where I am. Your writing will help you to make sense and then you can decide what do with your wise words. I hope that you will write a book and help yourself to heal and inspire another to start their journey.

If writing a book is on your mind and you have a powerful personal story that you want to birth into the world, please connect with me and let’s explore where this might take you.

https://www.etymonline.com/word/matrix

5 reasons to start a daily journal when life smacks you in the face

You wonder what I mean by life smacking you in the face, or you might be right with me nodding your head. So do you journal? Have you tried to get into the habit of putting your pen on an open page and just writing? What if you’ve tried and it just won’t come?

Well, even though I write every day, there are times when I look at my many journals and think – get lost. The truth is though when I pick one of them up and just start, I am always amazed by what comes out.

The last few weeks have been for me a smack in the face. When you look at x-rays and you are asked do you want the bad news or the bad news, naturally you ask for the bad news…

However, let’s rewind.

Because I write, walk and reflect, I have spent many hours pouring my heart out in my journal, learning about who I am and finding clarity for all kinds of things.

So I listened and looked within.

What I knew was that evening I would be writing and writing and a bit more of the writing stuff. I knew I would get answers, I’d see stuff that I needed to know about. Leaping out would be aha’s and deep divine inner wisdom.

The full moon was on its way which is a great time for a declutter and letting go. Several letters were written and some goodbyes said. Then I wrote a love letter to me. I could feel my soul expand and while the pain did not go, I could feel it saying hi thanks for getting to know why I am here.

So when the bad news was delivered, I cried, but I was calm because I knew I could and would find a way to learn, reframe and find a way forward.

Let’s take a look at some of the stuff I knew would help me.

One – Gain clarity about your life

As you write in a journal you become more aware of what is really going on around you.  When you reflect on your writing you see things more clearly.  I find that when I am confused about something, it’s best to write down what I am thinking, ask some questions, leave it for a day and I usually find the answers come to me the following day or whilst I am walking the dog.

Two – Writing in a journal reduces stress

Once you have journaled and the words are on the paper, they are out of your head and subsequently, you no longer worry (or worry less) about them.  There is something cathartic about writing and getting it all out that really helps to let things go.

Three – There is no expression like self-expression

Often when you are having difficult times with life and others, it can be really helpful to write down what the issues are.  Hold the conversation, looking at all perspectives on paper.  Then write what you would really like in an assertive and affirmative way.  Two things happen.  One you have already had the conversation so it’s easier the 2nd time around and two because you have had time to reflect you can really consider your language and think about what you want from the conversation, without blame. This works both in conversations with yourself and others.

Four – Know yourself better

When you write in a journal you will start to see repeated patterns of behaviour or types of conversations that seem on an endless loop and are never resolved.  As you read and reflect these become more obvious and allow you to make more conscious choices. You’ll certainly start to see if you are on the right life path.

Five – Expressing yourself in a journal increases creativity

When you write you will start to notice that your vocabulary increases – the same as when you read. The way in which you write and think develops before you know it, your inner voice awakens.  As you scribble solutions form. Life, problems, questions to all kinds suddenly become apparent. Not only that the way in which you solve problems evolves.

What about these?

Writing in a journal is the starting point for your memoirs or personal story

Currently, I have a book in edit, but I know this osteoporosis journey will develop into something as well. I have a journal just for that, alongside the others, to record what I do and how I am feeling. We all need inspiration for our personal stories and a reference point for when we come to write the book.

A journal is the best ‘almost free’ self-help tool available

For the investment of a journal or a pad of paper and a pen, you have a confidante who will not criticise you, tell you what to do, call you names, think that your ideas are nuts or any number of things.  Your journal is a reliable trusted friend for you to share your innermost thoughts, ideas and emotions.

PS. If you don’t already own a journal, get off your bum and buy several. Start writing today. You never know where this adventure may take you. I hope it will take you into the realms of writing a book or a blog to share your experiences so that you can inspire others to know that there is a way through this thing called life.

 

Get ready to write into February – writing prompts to start the month

Let’s get February off to a great start with these writing prompts. Writing prompts are a brilliant way to think about where you are and where you would like to go. I’m sure that if you have a planner you will have already sat down and thought about your intentions for the month. If you haven’t perhaps a little detour through these writing prompts and the ones at the end of the blog will help you to find some clarity.

  • One – read through the five points on the infographic
  • Two – reflect before you write
  • Three – create a one-page planner or you can use this one
  • Four – take action, use this five-day planner to help you.
  • Five – write every day – even if it’s a bullet point
  • Six – reflect often
  • Seven – review the month and decide what next before you head into March

This month the theme is love. That can be love for you, or for another or for something that you do. Whatever it is, do or be it with love. For me, my focus this month is self-love and appreciation.

February infographic

Writing prompts to start the month

  1. What does love mean to you?
  2. Choose four elements of your life and write about how you perceive love in each of these
  3. Write a love letter to you
  4. How do you show love to others and how do they show love to you?
  5. How do you nurture a loving relationship with you?
  6. Write about your first love, be that human, animal or something else.
  7. What is your definition of self-love and how do you show yourself that love?
  8. How can you love yourself more?
  9. What makes you feel loved?
  10. Why is love important to you?
  11. What would you love to do right now?
  12. If you could write a book, what would you love it to be about and why?

How to make the most of your writing prompts

  1. This is not a race against time, savour each question and take your time
  2. Get into the right writing space
  3. Write in a beautiful journal
  4. Pick the one that most resonates and write that first
  5. Allow whatever wants to be written come up
  6. Leave and reflect

That’s it, February is the month of love. Love yourself, write often, enjoy the month and remember to spoil you every day.

If you’d love more of this writing stuff, if you have things you want to get out of you, find your writers voice and maybe even write a book, connect with me or join The Writing Zone. Once you enter the Writer’s Lounge your pen will never be the same again…

 

 

Write a letter to your blue moon and create the story you desire

The magic of a blue moon arrives today 31st January 2018. If you read this today, you are in for a treat; you are in the arms of a magical time. A time when you can release and let go. If you come to this blue moon post later, it matters not; you were meant to arrive here and write your long overdue letters.

Write your letters, let go and let love be your guide

Full moons are for letting go and releasing what does not serve you. Lunar eclipses add to the potency of this release. Imagine allowing the vortex of emotions that you have been holding onto to rise forth and erupt. To then sit back and watch your molten lava flow down and away into the valley of hope, faith and love. The image I get of this is not an explosion, more of an expulsion. A little like when you might squeeze and irritating spot, which pops to allow the accumulated pus to escape.

Our bodies are like that volcano waiting to erupt.

As I sit here and write it is Monday morning, my body hurts, more specifically my spine and ribs. Just seven days ago as I was singing to the dogs, I reached over to grab some clothes, and I heard three loud cracks and a searing pain tear through my thoracic region. The laughter ended, and I screamed. Pain and hot tears of anger and frustration. Why me I asked? Actually, I swore and screamed… I’ve found contentment and a certain inner peace, life is going so well and now after all that I have been through you do this to me. Laughable really, as if there were some invisible force doing things to me. But it feels good doesn’t it to verbalise and shout profanities to God or the Universe?

Over the weekend I have written a lot. I have explored the mind-body connection between pain and suppressed emotions for the umpteenth time. That doesn’t matter, in each reading, listening, writing and reflection there is always something new to learn.

The blue moon made me think not only about the colour blue, the moon, but what big things did I still need to release and let go.

I began to write.

Where in my life did I feel unappreciated, unloved and unsupported? These were the words that loomed large in my writing and the pain I was experiencing.

Over the years I have worked hard to let go of my anger. Anger which stems from some childhood sexual abuse and later some experiences with a couple who took in and manipulated young women for sex. Anger, not feeling worthy or valued, shame, guilt, fear that others would think I was unclean, wanting others to love me even when they were not the ‘right’ people for me. My writing showed me (again) that I have been unable to create healthy boundaries and time and time again I chose to be with people who would naturally trigger the being taken for granted response.

Oh, how life likes to have a little play with you…

As I ignored the warning signs, my body became a container for the poison I could not release. Outwardly, I moved on. I was doing deep inner work. I had learned to love me, my connection with my divine inner wisdom was I thought strong. Yet I continued to ignore behaviours that were unpleasant. It never seemed worth my while to engage in other peoples dramas plus I always felt that the other person was in pain and merely reflecting this back at me. Naturally, despite this, my body was drinking from the poisoned chalice.

This always reminds me of Danny Kaye and The Court Jester…

I’ve got it! I’ve got it! The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true! Right?

But jesters aside, take a journey through your body right now. What do you feel? Where do you feel it? What does it say to you?

We know that unexpressed emotions turn into physical dis-ease, so why do we ignore the warning signs until it is almost too late?

Then I asked where did I feel loved, appreciated and supported?

The energy was different; I realised that I had so much, so many beautiful people in my life who cared about me. In my pain, my old friend anger rose. Instead, she spoke louder, and I listened. But this time, there was another voice, that of love who asked the anger to be still and to explain her feelings and her point of view.

It will come as no surprise to learn that as I wrote and reflected, I became a witness to the shame and guilt that I thought I had dealt with. I had felt hopeless because I wasn’t able to protect myself or to change what had happened. Selfish people with undesirable motives abusing others is not new or strange to many of you reading this. We are not alone.

What we have is the power of self-knowledge so that we can change how we feel about these things and we can release the poison our bodies are holding onto.

These few days I have surrendered, asked for help, rested, explored, and submerged so that I can emerge. I have my faith that I can heal and that my body will soon cease to be in pain. Ok, it may take more than writing a few letters, like a trip to get an x-ray and back to the doctors to see what’s going on, but in releasing emotions combined with what is going on, I have the opportunity to know what else to do.

I have faith because I write and I take action. I know that with writing I can write a new story.

The blue moon is about endings

What needs to end? What do you need to release?

You may not be in as much physical pain as I am, you may be in more or have no sense of pain, you may have an illness or condition that is bothering you or starting to bother you.

Listen to all of the whispers.

Use this blue moon to move into a deeper part of you, explore and become aware of what is going on. Acknowledge what you have been suppressing and make a conscious decision that this must end now.

It may not be easy, but to create an ending you have to start somewhere.

The blue moon is about space to create new beginnings

If you are holding onto sludge how can you make space for something beautiful to come in? It’s as if you need to open a trap door and let it all flow out. A little like our volcano erupting to signal that something is amiss. But now more like a sluice gate opening so that unwanted waste can flow.

We find new beginnings in the space we create.

That is not to say that you fill up the space with activities, that defeats the object of making space. We create space to allow what needs to flow in to do just that. Gently without forcing it.

Start writing

Start writing. Maybe a word and then five that pop up – like a mind map. Perhaps write a sentence with your six words. Then a story. Just allow your pen to take you where you need to travel.

Leave your writing and reflect

It is in the reflection, the space that I find answers. The void is never empty; it is full of wisdom. More that it is unstructured and there are no rules or processes and certainly no chocolate cakes. The void contains all that there is to know. The key to is let go of what you have written and let your wisdom flow.

Dance in the void

I want to dance, to move my body and to be pain-free. To dance in the void does not have to mean physically dancing, although that is a wonderful way to release. It means to become aware while losing yourself to the dance of life.

Write your letters to the blue moon

I started this morning with my first letter. Today I shall write more. I can already see with just that one letter a pattern emerging, but I am not settling with that piece of wisdom. Instead, I shall write all of my letters and see what arises.

At this moment, I see I have been driven by a desire to be accepted grime and all and choosing people that I thought resonated with similar pain and shame to mine. Perhaps it felt safe to swim in a pool of shame and guilt with other hungry sharks and for us all to wallow belly’s full in the devil’s turgid pool. Maybe there is a community in some shitty sanctimonious my pain is worse than your pain thing. Or worse still, we think because we have suffered we know how to fix others; we can all nod our heads ‘oh yes, we have been there, this is what you do.’

To be honest, right now, I don’t know.

All I know right now is that I still desire to be loved, supported and accepted and I that I have made a few erroneous trips to learn some painful lessons.

But hey ho. Now I know I can do something about it, and so can you.

Write those damn letters!

Kiss their sweet asses goodbye.

Burn your letters and wish all that burn in them well. Send the emotions and pain up in smoke and surrender, let go, let love.

Write a letter of love to you

This is important. You have written to let go of all that was. But what about a love letter to you? Write this last and keep it for the end of your blue moon ceremony.

Create a ritual for your blue moon

I’m a big fan of rituals and ceremony. Do what feels right for you. If getting a slice of cake and a glass of red works for after, then do it. Mine will be tea and a Yummy Scrummy chocolate brownie. This is my ritual. Make up your own, always do what feels right for you.

  1. Clean and light the fire (I do have a log burner…)
  2. Choose and place candles or tea lights around you.
  3. Cleanse you and your space with Sage.
  4. Choose some crystals to hold.
  5. Say your first affirmation.
  6. Gather your letters. Wish them bon voyage and burn them.
  7. On another sheet of paper as your letters burn, write – I release… Keep this for later reflection; it will be illuminating.
  8. Sit with your crystal and recite your second affirmation.
  9. Gaze into the flames and just be.
  10. Open your letter to you and read, while enjoying your treat.

Remember you rock baby!

Affirmations

I am open to releasing, cleansing and surrendering all that no longer serves me. I am open to the experiences, love, opportunities and blessings that lay before me.

I invite love, courage and guidance to enable me to reach my highest purpose and live in peace and inner contentment.

Writing, writing, writing and more writing has saved me on so many occasions. I get so much clarity when I write. The wonderful thing is that even though I have spent the weekend writing in preparation to release the poison in my body, I have had loads of insight for blogs and ideas for my monthly club (The Writing Zone). Not only that it has given me space for editing my book and ideas for another book I have on the go.

Writing in a journal is just the starting point of a massive adventure into you and all that you are and can be, and it will lead you through your soul’s story and onto writing a book. None of this is wasted, it is all meant to be, and if you can touch one other life with your words and inspire them, you have brought great value to that person’s world.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049096/quotes

How to make journaling easy for you

As a long-term writer and journaler, I know the benefits that journaling can bring. That’s not to say that I journal or write every day, but I do on most days, even if it is just a word.

The belief that you cannot write stems from childhood. Can you remember being told you couldn’t or shouldn’t write? What about rushing in to share a story and no-one was interested? It’s such a shame isn’t it that we lose our confidence to write and get connected to our soul’s voice and story.

Journaling is private and to be honest there are not any rules, just your way of doing it.

But let’s go back to the belief. Like most belief’s this one about writing and journaling will as I have said started in childhood, where some unthinking person voiced an unfounded opinion which went onto to shape our self-image and belief.  Like a tightly wrapped ball of wool, it can take years to unravel the mish-mash of patterns imprinted in our subconscious.

The fabulous thing about journaling is that nobody needs to know what you write or how you write it.  You have permission to leave the inner critic on the park bench sipping cold tea and eating mouldy sandwiches, it’s the best they deserve.

Journaling is a wonderful way to flex your writing muscles, get to the heart of who you are and begin a potential journey into telling your story. Before you freak and think that you cannot write a book, consider this – start with your journal, enjoy that and then consider where to go next. I know many a person start with a scribble and eventually publish a book.

I believe that you can write and journaling is the key to unlocking your words

There are many reasons for keeping a journal. It may be that wish to simply record the day’s events and to find an outlet for ‘stuff’ which did not make sense at the time but which through journaling and writing you have been able to gain some understanding.  You may wish to use your journal as a way to record information for a book that you always wanted to write; your journal will enable you to keep an accurate timeline for events.  The purpose of this blog is to invite you to start your journal writing so that you can use it as a way to raise your self-awareness and make positive changes in your life.

This morning I wrote this:

We lived, we loved, we existed. Sure there were good times. That I do not deny. But beneath the surface was a seething rotting mess. This letter is my last communication with your dark soul. You are a part of something that I am vanquishing from my body and from my soul. I thank you for the love, the laughs, the presents and the pain. Your pain was not mine to absorb, yet I did. I absorbed it into my being and became responsible for it. I wanted you to be happy, more than I was. But wanting happiness for others while we self-destruct seeps through the membranes and destroys us.

I wrote it with nothing in mind, I allowed what needed to be unlocked to flow free. It is only a part of a mountain of pages I scribbled. I’ve found my writing zone and my way. Now I invite you to find yours.

Journaling can be easy, consider these points.

Where can you start your journaling?

Decide where do you want to write?  In bed, the lounge, conservatory, your office, in your favourite comfy chair.  It is important that you find a place that you feel at ease, which relaxes you, and enables you the comfort and space to begin to write. When you are in the right space and that includes headspace your writing will flow.

Space. Get into the right space and your healing words will flow #thewritingzone #writinginspiration #writerslife #writingforthesoul #bookcoach

When do you want to write?  First thing in the morning? Last thing at night? In the evening after dinner?

Once you have decided that you will journal then you need to decide how you would like to journal.  There is more than one way to keep a journal.

Notebook and pen

There are lots of different kinds of notebooks and journals on the market, some are beautiful, others are very practical. You can buy some great journals from your local supermarket for not a lot. I love beautiful journals and the quality of the paper is important to me. It wasn’t always this way – I used to buy cheap journals and over time this changed.

You might even want to use a different notebook for different parts of your life.  E.g. Day to day events, people, food and body etc. I know people who find it hard to journal and when I have suggested that they keep a pile of different journals by the side of their bed and pick one according to their mood, they have found it much easier.

Pens, I have a huge collection of pens, pencils and highlighters, and depending on my mood will depend on which I use.  I feel a little like Pauline with her pens (League of Gentlemen), one of her sayings that still tickles me is “Everything I know about people I learned from pens. If they don’t work, you shake them. And if they still don’t work, you chuck them away. Bin ‘em.”

Computer and some sort of software

I used to use journaling software because I wanted absolute privacy, but I missed writing with a pen so although I was able to record my deepest feelings, it didn’t quite give me what I wanted. But if this works for you, you can use WORD or Evernote which you can password protect. The most important thing is to choose some software that suits you.

Scrapbooking

For scrapbooking, I like to use an artist book. I collect pictures and words from magazines and newspapers which resonate with me. Then when I am in a creative frame of mind I simply start to create pictures’of where I am and what I want in my life. I might also scribble or doodle. Alongside the pictures, I will write whatever comes up.

The art of... Journaling, art and creative expression leads to understanding, healing and clarity #writingzone #writinginspiration #writerslife #writingforthesoul #bookcoach

Video or voice recording journaling

With Smartphones, there are lots of opportunities to be able to video anything you want to say and capture. This adds an extra dimension to your journaling. I often find that when I am walking with the dogs that stuff comes to mind which I want to record. When I listen back later I can make sense of it in my journal. Got something you need to say to yourself and no paper or pen; get your phone out.

What else needs to happen to help you to write?

Just start

Instead of worrying about where, when, how or why, just start. Write anything and trust that your writing muse will come along and take over.

If you need a prompt, you could start with a question and see where it goes.

  • Should I stay in this relationship?
  • What do I really want from this job?
  • What is bothering me about …….?

Or bring an event to mind and ask yourself:-

  • What did I see?
  • What did I feel?
  • What did I smell/taste?
  • What did I hear?

Before I start to write I sit in silence, sometimes closing my eyes and focusing on my breath.  Sometimes I will meditate. I have a Proteus light and sound machine, I’m subscribed to Zen12 or I head over to YouTube. You will be amazed how once you start how it all flows and the most important thing for me is that even if it is only one sentence, it’s a start.

When you write about your day make sure it is absolutely true, write what you think, feel, hear and see.  This is your truth and not a made up world.  You may cringe, laugh or cry when you read it back.  That’s the point; it’s how you felt at that time.  As you know yourself better, you will see repeated patterns of behaviour in yourself and others and that’s when you can start to make changes.

Begin journaling today, who knows where it will take you? You may, as I have said, find stories in you that you must write and share and writing it a book might not be that far away.

It doesn’t matter that you haven’t recorded the last 20, 30, 40 years, today is the perfect day to start your journaling and your journey into yourself.

The bottom line is to remember, there are no rules and to find a way to make this awesome tool work for you.

The Writing Zone

Writing is a wonderful way to get your stuff out, it is cathartic, helps to release stress, ignites your creativity and provides a way to reflect on events so that you can make changes happen.

The Writing Zone is a monthly club where you can get yourself into the writing zone and explore you and your writing.

You will begin to discover hidden thoughts, emotions, lost memories and repeated patterns of behaviour which may not be serving you well. Through the guided writing exercises, you have the chance to go deep within and to look out with fresh vision.

4 ways to get your daily dose of self-love

Neurotransmitters and getting  a DOSE of self-love

I first came across neurotransmitters when I was studying nutrition. Learning about chemicals which send signals to your brain was fascinating. While I was focussing mainly on how what I ate and drank would affect how I felt, I started to wonder how these mighty messengers could also be influenced by writing and more explicitly writing in connection to self-love.

Further study showed that neurotransmitters are affected by behaviour. Which means that they would be affected by writing activities. Words have the power to change lives and have as I’ve said so many times been my saviour.

My journey to self-love involved many things, but one consistent component has been writing (and reflection). I believe writing and reflection play a powerful part in exposing what is holding you back from loving yourself and aiding in the creation of the right environment for it to thrive. It is through writing that I have been able to create many daily actions on my journey to self-love.

Writing lets us to connect to our light so that we can see the world through a different lens.

Self-love

  • is not a place that we are heading to on the way to some strange destination; it is a feeling, an acceptance and a practice
  • is the foundation for being all that you can be
  • inspires you to have the freedom to be
  • means that your stories do not own you, it means that you have a strong foundation upon which you can move forward.

When you crack open your heart to loving yourself unconditionally, life will change. Plus a healthy dose of self-love will boost those feel good hormones, and that has to be good – right?

What is love?

That’s an interesting question. Some say that it is

  • The romantic connection between two people
  • A bond with their children
  • The relationship that they have with God, Grace, The Universe
  • The connection with their animals, friends and family
  • A chemical reaction in the brain to some environmental stimulation
  • A funny feeling in their body, which they can’t explain but they know it exists

Romantic love aside and there is plenty of research about this which we can draw on for considering what love is. However, this is not it. Love cannot be traded, exchanged, given away, demanded, it is a part of our essence and values. It is something that exists yet remains undefinable. Which is delightful.

Whatever it is and however you describe it, love exists. We are love; love lives in all of us, and we exist because of love. For me, love drives our stories, the ones about you, them and us. Stories are the foundation of humanity. Therefore love is the foundation of our humanity.

What is self?

Self is all that is you. It is what makes you, you and distinguishes you from others. It includes what you believe about yourself. Self-image is how you see yourself, and how you think others see you which will affect your confidence, self-esteem (how you feel about yourself), self-love and outlook on life.

How you know, see and feel about yourself is called perception. You will see yourself one way and not always as others see you. When you have a distorted sense of self, it does affect how you feel about who you are and what your purpose is. The more distorted your identity becomes, the more you find it hard to find meaning in the world.

Getting to know the real you is a lifelong project, and it does not have to be hard – once you take responsibility for you. We make it hard because we are hard on ourselves. I have spent a lifetime making it hard for me to love me, and then I woke up and made a decision no more. The more I practised and in my case wrote the more natural it became to let go of the old me.

Are you willing to question this sense of yourself so that you can move from fear into love?

Kickstarting self-love

We are spirit living a human existence, and our spirit carries our love vibration. Our human desire is to be connected to that vibration and to live from it. The trouble is the human system being very complex triggers off all kind of things in response to our environment and chemically stunts our capacity to love. The bottom line is that when the hormones for self-love are not triggered in the brain, we live in the shadow of fear.

Fear stops us fully experiencing and being able to create a nourishing and loving environment.

The good news is that at some point someone or something will wake you up and when you become aware, then you can make a conscious decision to pull the right ingredients into your life.

The key is to not leave self-love to chance and to do things that will trigger those feel good hormones and to keep doing them. This is not, so we live in some kind of weird self-love vacuum, more that we bring rituals (practice) into our lives that create a fantastic foundation for being. Love can free us, or it can bind us, that is your choice. When you put self-love, self-worth and self-value into your heart and soul, then you can live a life that has meaning.

Before we travel into the heady world of self-love, what drew me in neurotransmitters after the nutrition stuff was reading about the scientific research around love and what happens when we fall in and out of love. There is a great article here. All of this information started off scrambling my brain.

Everything about us is connected, so if one system is out of sync, then the rest will follow. For example, if I abuse my body with crap food, it affects how I feel and how I feel about myself, when I don’t feel good about me I may then think sod it and do something else which stresses me. And so on.

What I discovered was when I asked the question ‘do I love myself enough to?’ and then took good action to look after my human, my spirit came alive, and my soul felt loved. It got easier and easier to work through my shit.

Consider these neurotransmitters – your daily DOSE of self-love

4 ways to get your daily dose of self-love Dopamine called the motivation and reward molecule. This is according to research critical for love to thrive and survive between couples. It also makes sense for self-love to thrive as well. We all like to feel rewarded so that we stay motivated to continue.

Oxytocin called the bonding molecule. This is what bonds babies to mothers and lovers to each other. Oxytocin has been shown to have two sides to it. The positive everything in the world is rosy side and the side that is exhibited when things go wrong in love which leads to jealousy, envy and suspicion, i.e. a lack of trust.

Serotonin, the molecule of happiness. Serotonin is responsible for helping us to feel confident and enabling a stable mood. It is also part of the pathway to a good nights sleep. Lack of sleep will wear anyone down.

Endorphins, molecules of security and peace. These are known as natures painkillers. When you do not love yourself, you often will engage in activities which create dis-ease in the body and could trigger a pain response. By undertaking more loving activities, eating better, exercising, meditation and introducing other self-care opportunities, you will reduce the dis-ease and the related pain.

Hidden Content

Four things you can do to get your daily DOSE of self-love

Which don’t include writing – I know how bizarre…

Eat a healthy breakfast

I could wax lyrical about breakfasts, but if I don’t start the day with something delicious and fulfilling then all day I feel dissatisfied and out of sorts with me and the world. Here’s the thing I get when I eat breakfast.

I’m getting good nutrition; I’m eating mindfully, loving every mouthful, feeling at peace and know that my mind, body and soul will reward me by functioning well.

A typical breakfast for me is homemade almond milk, buckwheat porridge, seeds (chia and sunflower), nuts, fruit and some superfoods (maca and ashwagandha are just two). I tell you it is orgasmic.

Go for a walk

Walking is another life saver. Long before I had the three dogateers, I walked for miles every day after work. It allowed me to clear my head, get connected to Mother Earth and to see things in a new light. It also helped me through physical pain. When I thought I couldn’t move, I made myself take the dogs out for a walk no matter what. Slowly I recovered and even now when I am in pain, I go for a walk, and it seems to help me. I also see it as a reward for sitting and working. It is meditative and restorative.

Speak to yourself with loving kindness

Start to notice how you speak to yourself. These words are etched on your body. While you may tattoo yourself with a positive affirmation, you would not dream of writing your words of hatred on you for all to see. Your body can hear your words. Notice what they are and start to change them.

What I find helps me is to keep post-it notes in the kitchen and bathroom and write little love notes to me. I feel fab when I discover them (not sure how I could have forgotten I wrote them) and they help reinforce a positive self-image and love. When I find the notes, I say out loud what is on them.

I also start the day by looking in the mirror and saying something loving to me. And whenever I catch myself about to criticise me, I turn it around.

Allow your heart space to open to self-love

OPEN YOUR HEART AND SELF-LOVE WILL FIND YOU. ONCE FOUND IT GROWS, EXPANDS AND TRANSFORMS.

The heart space is often clogged with the mess of our lives. It is therefore natural to close this off to more pain. Think of it like putting a bird in a cage, closing the door and throwing away the key.

All is not lost.

Do not look for the key, let the key find you. This means to acknowledge that you have caged your heart and you are saying that you dare to allow it to open. It can be scary to let go and often you do not know that you are holding your heart in a tight grip.

When you are first woken up to loving you, your natural reaction is to protect your heart. However, this is the perfect time to work on opening it to you.

Place a hand on your heart, take your focus there and imagine that you are getting ready to send love out. Switch directions and shower yourself instead. Feels good, right?

Many find that sending out love is easy, but that through the many hurts receiving love is a little harder. This is ok. Being conscious that your heart is a channel will support you to being able to focus that love into the core of your being.

Keep focusing on bringing love in and holding the door of the cage open and slowly letting the prison fall away. Can you feel the expansion in your chest or the space between your breasts? It’s as if someone is holding your breastbone apart.

When I do this, I feel at peace with me and the world. I see things from my divine inner light and a place of love. Even if I initially want to do something opposite. Boy oh boy – so much work to do (smiles).

Make a date with self-love

The best time to start is now. Ask do I love myself enough to? And get one with it. Your neurotransmitters will adore you for it.

What are your self-love tips?

Resources

http://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/love-and-brain 

https://www.livestrong.com/article/136959-how-does-serotonin-affect-sleep/

5 fabulous reasons to cultivate self-love

Self-love some of the backstory…

Once upon a time, I felt such shame, guilt and self-hatred for my things that happened in my life and the hand I perceived I was dealt. I have found myself caught up in my stories. Isolation was my default stance. When I can’t bear things any longer I hide. The truth is I’ve hidden from my ‘truth’ and in doing so not allowed myself to love me. What I have come to realise that my crappy life is a fabulous gift. Writing is my saviour. Through writing, I have learned that I have a right to love.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates, in Plato, Dialogues, Apology. Greek philosopher in Athens (469 BC – 399 BC)

Not just writing if I am honest – pure bloody-mindedness as well.

When I was expelled from school, I called my dad at work, expecting the usual telling off. The sting of his words, ‘are you mental or what?’ wrenched my heart. I held back the tears and swallowed hard; he simply put the phone down on me. No one talked or looked at me that week, while I, slightly unconcerned, relished my newfound freedom. A few days later I found myself on a farm with the Moonies. More on this in another blog.

Then I entered the world of work.

Every day I dragged myself out of bed to go work, I wanted more from my life, but I was caught in a limbo land where I couldn’t move. I was trapped, caught in the spider’s web and watching horrified as life passed me by. Don’t get me wrong I have had some wonderful jobs, but I was never fulfilled. I wore the suits and did the stuff and on the inside, I was dying.

I thought that relationships would save me…

What I failed to realise was that it gets easier to deal with things, not that life would get easier. Blinkered and unaware of the tougher times to come I lived in a weird smog. My desire to learn, heal and grow and my knowledge of how to look at things didn’t desert me, but somehow I stranded myself on a loveless Island with a strange bedfellow.

One day in what I thought was the sanctity of a boring marriage, the one where I thought was safe, I was delivered a hellish wake-up call.

I relocated my life but not my self-hatred until I made myself look in the mirror.

Then it changed and I learned about self-love

OPEN YOUR HEART AND SELF-LOVE WILL FIND YOU. ONCE FOUND IT GROWS, EXPANDS AND TRANSFORMS.

I have been made to face up to life, who I am and why I am here, it has been freaking hard, but, it has taught me several things.

  • One, don’t look for the key, the key will find you.
  • Two, the same for love, don’t look for it.
  • Three, I have to open my heart to receive love.
  • Four, constant giving of love is all very well, but it doesn’t mean that you will get love and respect back.
  • Five, listen, watch, hear the signs and symbols for they are messages for you.
  • Six, faith and trust can be hard taskmasters.
  • Seven, loving yourself is awesome and makes such a difference to your life.
Hidden Content

5 fabulous reasons to cultivate self-love

You learn that self-love is not selfish

It sounds rather narcissistic to say that you love yourself. If you are a preening prancing horse then maybe it’s not so cool. However, the conscious evolved kind of love where you honour and respect who you are is a wonderful place to be. Through this, you start to see that you have value.

It lets you be who you are

I’ve always been a bit crazy or as I was once described a wild child, though I think I may let that label go. Instead, you can I can relish the silliness of being just who we want to be. For me, that includes singing to my doggies – they do like it, I’m sure. Dancing with them and generally feeling good about just being rather than trying to please others. When you love you, you can be real.

Your essence shines through

This is my essence as well as my values. I’m essentially a free spirit (my essence) who dislikes rules and adores freedom (a value). Intuitive and demanding fair play and justice. When you love yourself, it is easier to stand by your values and life your life as essentially you. That is, like above, not being afraid of being seen as you and walking your path, your way.

Acceptance and no judgement

This has to be one of the hardest things to do. Accept and do not judge yourself or others. However, it is one of the most satisfying and for me funniest ones to do. When I catch myself about to judge me, I eat my words, sing it away, make myself laugh and then quickly reframe. Of course, there is always room for expansion and transformation and that will come.

You can stand tall around bullies

Where once you may have had weak boundaries now you hold your head high and let the behaviour of manipulators and bullies pass you by. It becomes easier to say no, without making excuses. And when people try to emotionally blackmail you, you’ll find that it’s stuffed in the trash can as their stuff.

We’ll look at more reasons another day. For now, understand that cultivating self-love is one of the keys to inner peace and contentment.

What about you? What has loving you given you? If you don’t have it, what is the one thing you can do today to start this process and practice?

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