As a long-term fan of journaling as a way to improve wellbeing, I was intrigued to read the BBC report that antidepressants have been proven to work in a trial of 116,477 people against a placebo. The report (which was published earlier in 2018) goes onto say that more people would benefit from taking the drugs.
I carried on reading with trepidation. What else would this report conclude I wondered?
At the beginning of this year, I was told that I had osteoporosis, I’ve become acutely aware of the drug pushers (natural and pharma) who peddle their wares to stop this disease. What has been heartbreaking for me is the utter confusion, overwhelm and despair I have seen in the forums. People are beyond hope. They have tried the drugs, and their bodies continue to fail. Not all bodies but enough to scare me. And that’s the point people are trying things, without an assessment and overall plan.
We need to find the root cause and journaling can support that.
In this case, I’ve read reports from some of the medical profession who do not like that people are taking matters into their own hands and are looking at more natural methods.
I keep reading that osteoporosis cannot be cured and this makes me angry because you are already setting people up for failure. We need hope, not despair at times like this.
This mentality goes across the board.
Don’t get me wrong I adore science, and the way that medicine has progressed is incredible. We are discovering amazing things every day, but are we creating a world of dependency on being fixed?
Antidepressants like the osteoporosis drugs have their place. I’ve taken Prozac, and it was a tough decision, but I felt as if I’d explored every avenue.
Depression, anxiety and smacks in the face can affect anyone.
Back in my late 40’s, I found myself in the doctor office complaining that despite the many miles I walked every day with my dog, I couldn’t breathe. He gave me space to pour out my worries.
In our discussion, we covered the past, who I was living with, what the relationship was like, work and my health.
For two years I’d struggled with sleep and had tried everything I could think of – you name it, I’d tried it. I handed over a long list of things, he laughed and then more solemnly said, it is no wonder you have anxiety given the life experiences you have had. He handed me a prescription for antidepressants, and I felt a failure.
Not long after, I began to sleep, and I felt less wound up. Inside I felt shame that I had given in. Then through journaling, it became clear that a) I wasn’t a failure and b) this was an opportunity to get on track and c) I needed a strategy for using them and an exit strategy.
It felt as is my journal had a new lease of life. Journaling has been in my life for as long as I can remember. It has saved my life on many occasions, and I saw this as something that needed urgent and special attention.
In my journaling, I became acutely aware of what I was eating and how that was making me feel. I’d started monitoring the anti-depressants and noticed a switch to focus on my heart, soul, body and diet.
Antidepressants made me feel foolish, but they kicked me into action. I enrolled in a naturopathic nutrition course and made big changes. At this time I was a BIG action taker, but not a right action taker. I took everything out of my diet, lost masses of weight – far too much, and that was not clever. However, as I took the course and learned a new way to eat, I amended my diet, and I started to feel good. Life suddenly felt brighter, and I was getting good quality sleep.
What was also apparent was that I didn’t love me and I couldn’t look in the mirror. It would be in my mid 50’s when I learned to love me and when journaling and writing a book supported me in finding myself and that long overdue self-love.
The more that I explored myself, diet and life, I could see how I had become so wound up, and the relationship I was in was not supporting me. But I felt trapped, so I stayed. To support me I worked with a cranial osteopath, and she helped me to unwind my system. As she treated me, my writing flowed and so did my body. After a while, I was able to start the planned exit strategy.
All was well until…
Sometime later, we moved in my husband’s almost 90-year old mother who had dementia. It was hard living with a bully and a woman who hated me. I reached for the anti-depressants again. I couldn’t cope, he couldn’t care less, and I wanted to be coshed. I hated my life.
One Christmas we took his mum to Spain, or I should say I got the job of taking an old woman with dementia and poor toilet habits in a wheelchair on an aeroplane. I coped because that’s what I do. To make matters worse, my house was not suitable for her. I wanted to kill myself. I figured I was already dead inside and who would care.
One night I knew it was the end, I Googled how to kill yourself painlessly. That scared me. Instead, I found myself staring at a journal and I wrote as if my life depended on it. Sense prevailed. I still felt hollow, but now I could see a bit more clearly.
After her death, I weaned myself off and tried to get back to some normality.
Something came out of the writing; it was like I was divinely nudged. I headed to the doctors to discover that all along the reason I wasn’t sleeping was that I’d had an overactive thyroid and through dietary changes, I had resolved it.
Thank you diet and journaling.
Looking back through the journals I could see how I’d become controlled and how unknown, unresolved health and lifestyle issues had eroded my ability to fully function.
I left the husband a few years ago now. Life has been quite tough on my own, but with each challenge, I’ve used two primary tools, lifestyle changes and journaling.
In 2016 I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid again. I’d taken my eye off the ball, but due to my good diet, I wasn’t feeling the effects. I’d just got a message through my journaling to get a well woman check up – so I obeyed the great pen.
When in 2018 I suffered compression fractures (and a lot of pain) which led to a discovery of osteoporosis I leant into my journal and reached out for help. I’ve changed my diet and lifestyle again, and yes you guessed it, I have a dedicated journal for this journey. This is the subject of my next book – Healing Osteoporosis Naturally.
The root cause of my osteoporosis it transpired was bizarre. A trauma to the ribs kicked off a shingles attack. This raised prolactin which lowered dopamine, estrogen and serotonin. No motivation and thrown into the depths of despair is how I would describe where I found myself. Journaling once again saved my life.
I won’t be reaching for antidepressants and believe you me; I feel angry that I have this. I could use drugs to take away these feelings, but I know that although they are great for temporary support (other peoples may experience vary), I can deal with this through diet, meditation, exercise and journaling. I believe that I have the power to create personal change. I love myself enough to make the requisite changes, however tough they may be.
I also feel angry that I am being pushed through the sausage factory approach to osteoporosis. But I will not be driven by medical research that while amazing I believe does not wholly serve me right now. The statistics and methodologies are not always based in reality and wholeness.
The BBC report goes on to show that there is compelling evidence. Every drug has persuasive proof until it is withdrawn because it causes more deaths or illnesses, doesn’t it? Or is that me being cynical?
This compelling evidence means that doctors can prescribe the right drug because at least 1million other people could benefit. Ka-ching! You do the numbers. Or is that me being cynical again?
Of course, they conclude anti-depressants shouldn’t be the first form of treatment; they should consider other psychological therapies.
We are missing the point, aren’t we?
We are not just our minds, we are bodies and souls and couldn’t a more holistic approach be considered? One that combines science with natural methods?
Diet, lifestyle, exercise, meditation, visualisation, asking for help, learning to love yourself and understanding how you got to this point so that you can move through it with things like journaling. These are what I consider to be a better way – a harder way, possibly, but in the longer term a way that works for me.
Of course, we want to be fixed. I want my spine to be mended. However, I want to do it in the way described above, and I am willing with every fibre of my body to do it. Yes, I am taking supplements, alongside dietary changes under advisement from a naturopathic nutritionist. I know that these too are drugs in the wrong hands, but I will not take prescription drugs unless I have explored every other avenue and they are my last hope.
I am not against anti-depressants or any other drug, but what I’d like to see, as I have said is a holistic approach, so that they are used as a temporary intervention. I know it’s hard to change diet and lifestyle. However, it can be exciting as you explore new ways of being.
I am constantly exploring new recipes; yesterday I made a healthy banana bread using only things I can eat
The body is incredible, and it can heal – if you support it and believe that it can.
I started a new journal as soon as this latest thing happened. Why? I knew that I was in for an adventure and that I would discover more about me. I knew that what I learned as I went along would help others. This is what you can do. Use your journaling to find you, get clarity and use it to store your feelings, action and wisdom.
Your story could help save someone else’s life. Think about that. Imagine what it would be like to inspire someone else to embrace change?
You may not feel like it now. You may be at your
Journaling and writing is a journey with your soul; writing can help you to heal. Everyone who writes at some level moves on. Your pen has a deep connection with you and if you allow the words to flow you will discover alchemy.
Writing in a journal can help you to escape and face this passage into a new life and the next part of your soul’s journey.
Start today, get a journal, get lots of journals and put them beside your bed. Journal when you go to bed and when you wake up. You don’t have to write reams, just let it come as it wants to.
Let me leave you with some final thoughts. We are in this together; please look around you, one of your friends could be where I was. You might be there now. Please reach out, lend an ear and give them the gift of a journal.
If you have a story that you need to tell and a book you want to write, please do connect with me and lets chat.
Stop for a moment and ask where is my now? Writing to heal starts with a reflection of where you are now, not where you have been, although we will get to that.
The birds are singing, Ferdy dog is by my side, the girls are outside, my computer whirrs, my head feels fuzzy and my spine aches.
This isn’t where I am, or at least it is physically, it’s not where I am emotionally or spiritually. This is the dot that I exist in the vast Universe without connection to anything.
Close your eyes. Where are you now?
You can probably still hear sounds. What if you were to extend your listening further? I am 40 minutes from the motorway, I can’t hear it, yet I can – in my imagination.
It’s dark isn’t when you close your eyes? Dark and strangely peaceful, as if nothing else exists.
Do you find your mind wandering or perhaps you are travelling around your body, enquiring about your aches and pains? Perhaps what calls you for your day ahead? Or maybe the things that have been causing you consternation are zigzagging through the inner peace that you desire?
When we start a writing to heal journey, this is to my mind one of the simplest and most powerful questions – where is my now?
My now is days of pain both emotional and physical as I work to heal my body. I cry often, but not for long as a curious doggy nuzzles me and demands a biscuit or a walk and then my mood changes and their needs surpass mine. My body is healing, it is getting stronger, I can feel it and I just know.
In January 2018 my spine fractured. When I think of my now, I realise my life fractured. The foundation of me shattered. That isn’t as dramatic as it sounds, it’s not like I am jelly on the floor and have to slither to my nearest dark chocolate bar. More of a questioning about every part of who I am and how I got here.
I’m a researcher, a questioner and often an annoying git because I want to know how things work. If this happens, then what happens next and why would that happen if you did this?
Currently, I am writing a book You, me and osteoporosis and as I start to write what I think is a simple chapter, I invariably end up with more enquiries than answers. Luckily, through my writing to heal experiences I have learned to ask, write and then reflect.
I know that once I ‘put it out there’ the answers will come. Everything will fall into place and make sense.
And if it doesn’t, well does it really matter in the scheme of things? The answer to that is – it depends…
Everyone’s perception of time is different. Use this exercise to put your journaling and writing into a timeframe and into context, so that when you reflect you are able to consider more clearly how events that surround your life are affecting you and how things fit together.
Your now will have been triggered by an event, this may be an event that happened a year, a month, a week, a day, or even just an hour ago.
I find it best to get comfortable, relax and to let my mind wander (connect to your muse) as I ask each question. It may be that you need to run through the list of questions, then go and do something else and come back to write and reflect.
Write quickly, briefly, and write unconsciously. Leave this for a few days and come back to reflect. What do you learn in this writing to heal journey?
Exploring who you are with words is my gift. No matter where you are or what is going on, having a sounding board can support you and your wellbeing. Writing is healing, it brings clarity and purpose. You may start journaling, end up writing a book and changing the world – how cool is that? Please connect with me, chatting costs nothing and it could bring a smile to your face.
I feel that I am in a rut. It’s not a well-worn groove and I’m certainly not in the groove, or at least it doesn’t feel that way. I feel tired, weary to my bones and I know that to get out of my rut I need to write.
It is deeper than that. This rut is a line in the sand, something has to change and the only person who can do this is me and the time to do it is now.
Last Friday evening the choice on TV was Sport Relief or Football. Neither stirred me and instead I subscribed to Netflix. It occurred to me that in the past I had gorged myself on Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad and indeed one period of my life was highlighted with Soprano Sundays. When I wondered had I lost this urge to indulge in the life of a TV box set? To allow me the pleasure of doing nothing.
I chose Cable Girls (Las Chicas Del Cable), a Spanish series full of love and betrayal. That was it, once I’d watched one I wanted more and given that I didn’t have a diary full of dates, dancing and bands, I indulged.
12.30 and moving into the early hours of Sunday and I decided it was time for bed. I’d seen enough for one day. My emotions caught me unawares and I burst into tears. Looking at the ceiling, for where else do you find God, The Universe, Spirit or some Higher Power, I cried out ‘I’ve had enough, I have had a shit life and it ends here.’
The following morning I realised that I was well and truly in a rut, a downward spiral of sadness as I tried to process my life.
Earlier in the week, I’d been journaling and from the depths of my soul, she whispered trust and betrayal. Just when you think this is it, I’ve sorted my stuff out, something else comes up. What next I ask with a smile? Why do they leave the darkest tar to last? Is the hardest stuff left towards the end so that you have more resources to deal with it?
The program was a reminder of how destructive trust and betrayal can be and this sadness didn’t leave me all weekend. Especially as after I’d gorged myself on one box series I found Reign which went on to cover the same issues love and betrayal but in an altogether different setting.
My rut has set in because I am a little immobilised by spinal fractures and pain. I have to heal and healing takes time and I admit to being a tad impatient. Dealing daily with pain is no fun. Yet I do not wallow in it. As I lie in bed I do exercises, when I get up I do exercises and I keep moving so that my body doesn’t grind to a halt.
My diet is of utmost importance, but I am tired of eating well, sick of green at every meal and I want to break free. Only I can do that. Only I have the power and the gumption to change what I eat and more importantly my life.
Patience they say is a virtue. Well, right now you can shove virtue where the sun doesn’t shine. I’ve had enough of waiting. Yet even as I write that, I know and I am smiling that I need this virtue to heal. It would be foolhardy to trek into the hills and risk a fall.
Risk a fall. It seems that all I have ever done is fall, but falling and fracturing again in this healing phase is not a clever move and so I look instead for reduced risk options, that still give me some semblance of normality. Normality within four walls is so hard for a person like me. This is a tough lesson. The truth is I don’t have four walls, my house is full of quirky rooms and I can move from space to space as I need. But still, I am caught in a brick box that does not seem ready to release me just yet.
Over the weekend I realised that I hadn’t written any words for my book. Instead, I journaled as I usually do. I needed to capture the essence of this breakthrough.
It is a breakthrough despite the tears and screaming at empty emotionless ceilings. In the silence, I was greeted with the stark reality that there is only one person to get me out of my rut and that is me.
Nobody is going to reach in and pull me out, because they are all in the rut that is their life.
It struck me that I needed to get back to work on my book and a course and I had to make myself. Ruts don’t divert unless we are prepared to get out of the safety of pain and trudge through the uneven ground to create a groove elsewhere.
Go and get your journal and pen, find a comfy space and write RUT in big letters in the middle of the page. The ask yourself these questions:-
Now pick an action and go and do it.
I’m off to my office to outline two chapters of my book (Osteoporosis and Me) and to write one. After which I shall start to outline a course – Write your life story – turn memories into memoir (avail May 2018).
The heavy driving winds from the last few days have dropped and I shall be out walking again this week. It’s been hard to walk with pain, but it feels time.
A few days ago I wrote in my diary how fed up I was and started to question my lack of self-trust and self-belief. Could I turn this around? Could I reverse osteoporosis naturally? Me? The trust issues go much deeper than can I trust my body to heal, this goes back through generations.
Trust keeps popping up to bite me on the bum and whatever your issue is will do the same for you, unless you deal with it. But how?
The first step is to identify what it is. It may be many things, or it could be one. Choose the priority. How will you know it is a priority? Well, it will come as no surprise to you that I will suggest you journal. Play with words until one bites.
When I played with my words this morning the word was once again TRUST. What fascinates me is that right now while I ‘trust’ my body to heal the spinal fractures, my dog is surrendering to healing his broken leg. He doesn’t know he can’t heal; he just trusts that I will look after him and love him and all will be well.
The last few days have seen me cry a lot. I’ve felt tense and frustrated. You would wouldn’t you, if you thought that you couldn’t support a sick animal because of your injuries and pain?
But here is the thing. I watched him this morning as we went for a little walk and already he is tentatively putting his paw on the ground. When I saw that I was inspired by how he trusted that it would be ok. Plus he trusts me to look after him to enable that to happen.
This is what I wrote in my diary. I am not going to write reams about how I arrived at this, but know it’s been a lifetime of not setting boundaries among other things.
Trust. I don’t trust men to support me without an agenda. I think that it’s not just men and before I set boundaries around other people, it was not trusting people to respect me and allowing them to devalue me. Also, with all of the physical pain, I am trying hard to trust my body to heal.
Every day since this journey has started I have been writing positive affirmations in my journal. Not once have I used don’t, less or not. What do I mean by this? I could have written that I am frightened and the opposite is I am not frightened, rather than I am courageous. I feel full of fear and might have written I am fearless. It means the same.
Have a play with the self-belief that you think are holding you back and write the opposite using better more productive language. Pick one to work on and repeat to yourself like a mantra for the day.
I trust that my body knows how to heal and has all of the resources it needs
I trust others to support me without an agenda
I trust that I will always be surrounded by loving and supportive people
I trust that I will always have all the resources I need for life
I have lots of support from family and friends, and it has amazed me how I am surrounded by such love. All I had to do was ask. 🙂
We know the power of visualisation and stating things in the now. What you now need to do is create a new self-belief as if it were already true. Again watching your language and not use words like in the future or I am going to.
In my new version of life, being surrounded by only those people for whom we had mutual love and respect. I am in a loving fun relationship with a partner. The only connections I have are with those that feed my soul and I theirs.
My body is strong and healthy. It supports me and will continue to do so until my time is done. I have lots of energy, and I know when to take time out to refresh my soul.
I am working with courageous people who have an inspiring message for the world.
Take a few moments to think what it would mean to you and for others when this is true.
For me: I am more at peace with myself. Great health means that I enjoy life and have the energy to do things that are meaningful to me. It means that I know that I have all of the tools and resources to be able to achieve anything.
For others: It brings us closer together. I can show how anything is possible. I allow other space and give them support for doing it their way. I can receive, and I am open to their love which means that they feel appreciated.
For the world: It shows what is possible. It inspires others to know that they can also overcome anything.
And finally, I wrote.
My gift is to inspire others to take control, find themselves and to have the courage to share their story so that they can inspire others.
The language of more is exciting because we tend to use the same kinds of words and phrases and not noticing what they are saying to us. This is where journaling can support you. Once you see it in black and white, it is so apparent. Go to your journal and highlight the language you want to change.
This takes my journaling further because it all comes back to your core message and to do that we have to move into our source of wisdom and love. We have to open up the spaces that hurt and allow healing to begin.
I hope that this inspires you to take a closer look at what is niggling you and that you find the courage to spill the beans into your journal. It won’t tell anyone, and this learning may lead you to write a book about your experiences.
What a combination of things to think about, but for me, journaling, writing blogs and books all lead to healing in some way. And when you have a book to market you need to think about how to get it known.
Words are powerful. The words we say to ourselves get interpreted by our bodies and depending on what kind of words you use, you could be healing and harming yourself.
When I was first diagnosed with osteoporosis, the first thing I did was open a brand new journal. A short while later I started another one. One was for the journey, and one is a gratitude journal. The osteoporosis journal was to try and make sense of everything, which included my body, feelings, mindset and things that needed researching. And the other was because I found myself in a low place where nothing made sense, and I wanted to remind myself about the beauty of the world.
The blog for natural osteoporosis awareness was so that I could share my learning and wisdom and in some way help others. This gives me purpose and meaning, which are so important for healing. I didn’t want to write a blog, but it helped me to write my book and create awareness (marketing) in preparation for the launch in October.
I started the book with an idea, my story and a process – a way to create a unique healing plan for your life and for osteoporosis (a chronic dis-ease). Once it was outlined and a few chapters written, I took time out for marketing. This meant:
Then when this was settled, I was back to writing my book.
Each of these stages has given me clarity, purpose and healing. Can you see why I do what I do? This is what you do too.
Think about what it is you have come to Earth to share or teach. Each and every one of you reading this will get some clarity somewhere about what you are doing and the path you are on.
You may be journaling or resisting it, thinking about a book and not sure how to write it or market it. Where ever you are think about these things:-
When you know what your mission, vision and core message are, you can create a strategy (the steps to get you to where you want (and need) to go.
Start by buying a journal, get connected to your heart and write. Who knows where your heartfelt words will take you?
Here is a video about starting to journal as a reminder to embrace the power of journaling.
Have a wonderful day.
Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. A day to join with your sisters to celebrate how far we have come and what we have achieved. A day to consider our values and the impact we want to make in the world.
To be able to create the change we want to see, we have to take time out to honour who we are.
Unless we learn to honour who we are and learn to love ourselves enough, we will not have firm foundations from which to move forward. Here are a few simple ideas that you can implement.
Write a letter from your heart to your soul and body. Explain in simple terms why you love you. Put pen to paper and trust that what is meant to be written will emerge. Think of what International Women’s Day and press for progress mean to you.
One of the more fun things that I do when I am feeling down is to write a letter about what I’d like to come into my life. I am mindful of how I write it because the mind is a powerful thing. So for example, if you have had a tough time with a past relationship, consider what good things have come from it; I certainly say thank you to three relationships for allowing me to live the life I do today.
Say thank you and then ask how is it possible for me too, for example, have a beautiful relationship, where we are equal, and I am loved and respected for who I am? Your words, your way. Then when you have written what you need to positively, burn your letter. As you watch the flames flicker, give thanks and send love to the past.
Make and eat something delicious and nutritious and do it mindfully. I adore my Nutribullet and making gorgeous smoothies. I also have reflexology regularly and if you can make some time in your diary to feel the healing touch of another. Even if you can’t get to see a masseur, run a luscious bath, put on some meditation music, light some candles, choose a calming oil, smother your face with avocado and drift off.
If you currently reward yourself with something high fat or full of processed sugar, consider swapping it out for something healthier. This doesn’t mean eating a carrot, although you could make some delicious homemade hummus; one of my favourites. Another idea might be to dip some of your favourite fruit in raw chocolate – oh yes!!!
You don’t have to be a ‘trained’ healer to do this; anyone can heal. Close your eyes and take some deep relaxing breaths. Place one hand at your heart and one under your breasts (solar plexus). Open your heart to healing and be open to what comes. Focus on drawing in energy to create inner peace, balance and harmony. Another idea could be to massage your tummy – the womb of your femininity. Use some lovely oils, maybe something like neroli to encourage creativity.
As a mum to three rescues, I would say this, wouldn’t I? I feel blessed to have them as a part of my life. Not a day goes by where they don’t make me laugh. With dogs, I can’t make any excuses for not getting out as they need to run around and sniff. The benefits include getting a lung full of fresh air and some exercise, I am experiencing Mother Nature, and getting an opportunity to reflect.
Write a blog or a book, paint a picture or make something. I write most days, but for relaxation, I knit strange dolls. What about a bit of adult colouring in? Creativity opens you up to opportunities.
Given where I live up in the hills, I usually wear something practical as I need to get out and walk my dogs. When I get the chance, I like to choose something more feminine outfit and ignore how my walking shoes might look… What could you put on that makes you feel like great?
Place your flowers in a gorgeous vase where you can see them throughout the day. As you look at them, remind yourself of your inner beauty. If you don’t want to buy cut flowers what could you collect from nature? Around me is loads of lavender and rosemary – bliss.
Don’t wait for someone to buy you flowers, buy them for yourself
Say thank you for who you are, whether physical or spiritual.
Giving back is a wonderful way to feel great as you do good. It doesn’t have to be costly or take too much of your time. Try some of these:-
You have incredible knowledge, skills and experience, who might benefit from a Skype call or a cuppa with you? That hour could change both of your lives.
Make a small monthly donation to someone who is less fortunate than you.
Leave your footprints in someone’s heart. Create your legacy today. If you have a book or an online course, consider giving a gift to another woman. I often give coupons to my courses away, which I hope will inspire someone to write a book.
Open the conversation with your ‘brothers’ and fellow humans and ask them what they think and how they can help to create balance and harmony. Consider how you can work together to create inclusive education, awareness and action.
If you are self-employed, consider how you can flex your day. As an early riser, I often write early, then head out for a walk (although not right at the moment) and do whatever I want to, ensuring that I get done what needs to be actioned. I am mindful that clients may need to talk on the weekend or evenings, which is often the case with writing a book. If that is the case, I make space, providing I have the energy and no other commitments. Being flexible means that you can achieve so much more. Try it. It may feel strange if you are not long into self-employment.
I am not suggesting that you creep stealth like and unpick someone’s pocket, but you could leave some cash (doesn’t have to be much) with a note in the ladies toilet for some unsuspecting sister. Tell her to have a cuppa on you.
Is there a woman who you consider to be a leader? Tell her what an excellent job she is doing.
Thank someone for something that they have done for you.
Whoever you are reading this, from wherever, celebrate being you and give thanks to the women in your life.
Let’s kick March off with these writing prompts. Writing prompts are a great way to think about where you are and where you would like to go. Do you have a planner? Or do you perhaps set intentions for the month?
March intentions will put a spring into your writing. It’s considered the first month of Spring and a time for some fresh thinking. It’s a new season and a new start. We’ve just had a powerful full moon which is always a wonderful time to let go of things. Just in case you didn’t there is no time like the present to release what does not serve you.
This month the theme is BEGINNINGS. That can be beginning again, it could be beginning something entirely new. Whatever it is, do or be it with an intention to find something that resonates with you. For me, my focus this month is beginning to focus on strengthening my body, albeit slowly.
That’s it, March is the month of new beginnings. Find something new to start that will fill your heart and soul. 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 get on The Writing Zone waiting list. Once you enter the Writer’s Lounge your pen will never be the same again…
Recently while contemplating things that are going on in my life I have been watching various videos and reading some fairly technical books. The books have helped me to make intellectual sense of what is happening inside my body. The videos have set me thinking about other things.
Neither has given answers, to my why, but they have provided tools and insights which have set me on a course of looking deeper.
Lying here in the early hours the word trust came to me again. It’s a word that I was exploring in my journal before I closed my eyes and in fact, it’s a word that has been coming to me on a regular basis. I just haven’t been able to find my way to what it wants to say to me.
Yes, I have been journaling, but what has come up has been more fear-based thoughts around trusting my body to heal. I know it can, but my old friend fear taps me on the shoulder and says ‘are you sure?’’ Yes, I am, but something has still niggled me. Like it niggles me about trusting that I will find love again after the Dickie Quick episode.
This morning I sat with pen poised and was writing about something which I thought was unrelated to trust when I found myself on a journey. I wrote a few things down and then let myself slip into a meditative state. During this state, the word Grandad came to me. Allowing whatever else to arrive, I was witnessing his life where there was a considerable lack of trust. His mother by all accounts had been unfaithful, she had children by other men, left and I think at some point he’d been put in a children’s home.
Later when he married he carried this with him into his relationship, where he was soon to be disappointed when his wife gave all of their savings to her father. Again I believe he’d got himself into trouble financially and asked his daughter to bail him out. She did so without consultation; again I think not once but twice.
Imagine how this must have translated to his three daughters, one of which is my mum?
Mum married a man whom she thought was nothing like my Granddad. My dad was outgoing, handsome and a charmer. She fell deeply in love with him, little knowing that beneath his exterior was another damaged and fragmented soul. My dad and I say this with no malice was a gambler, smoker, drinker and womaniser… Although this didn’t become evident until later life, mum had married a man she could not trust.
When I was born I carried with me the resonance of all of these people and in the simplicity of journaling and meditating I have been made aware of something that has never crossed my mind before in search of why.
We often think we know why or how we arrived at the life and body that we now inhabit, but the truth is that unless we switch off the noise and explore, we can never trace the pathways to the root of something.
Journaling by hand in a warm and safe environment where you can switch off and allow what needs to be said to come out is powerful. Find a space and time that suits you and just allow for a moment a word to come to you.
Set an intention that you want your journaling to explore the matter at hand. In my case, I wanted to explore the generational link to this word – trust.
Write five other words around it and then sit with it. One of these words will be the one that you will want to explore. Write and allow the words to come. It doesn’t matter how you start or what you write, trust that what needs to come out will.
Once you have written and feel that there is nothing more to come, close your eyes and connect with some part of you. This might be your heart or your third eye. From out of nowhere a word, picture, a song will come to you. Just wait, do not try to force anything. Allow it to speak to you and just observe. In my example this morning it was Granddad and flashes of his life.
Once you come out of meditation, start your journaling again with the new information you have received. What happens is enlightening.
For me, there was a definite generational link with trust. I wondered to what extent my cells have been damaged by this vibrational resonance. I say ‘damaged’ not in the context that I have been smacked around the head with a brick. More that I am curious about how these fragments from across generations could be so deeply embedded in my psyche. It’s curious isn’t?
We know from Masaru Emoto’s water experiments that water responds to various stimuli and can change shape when introduced to both beauty and horror. If water can be so affected by its environment and ‘conditioning’, it makes sense that we too can, given how much water we have in our bodies.
Water is in every cell. Every cell, therefore, must carry, I believe a generational resonance. If that is the case then exploring our issues through another lens could be helpful in understanding where we find ourselves today.
When you have some understanding of why, then you have an opportunity to change, just like Emoto did with the resonance in the water cells. You can do this with journaling, meditation, being in nature, speaking to yourself with kindness and love, listening to beautiful music, connecting with friends and a whole myriad of feel-good things.
Does this resonate with you? Is there something that you have been trying to get to the root of that could be a lightly held vibration from across time in your cells?
Put pen to paper and explore. Drift into meditation and allow.
I use journaling to not only unlock hidden pathways to me but to help me make sense of all sorts of things. Currently, I am journaling about my osteoporosis journey as this is the subject of a book that I am writing. Journaling supports me by helping me to pull together ideas such as this so that I can encourage others to find their (in this case) potential cause for dis-ease or ways to support healing pathways.
If you have a book that you want to write, please get in touch. Your story can be something you have already lived or one you are living. Either way, you will be able to write it with new eyes and understanding. Let’s connect and explore.
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.
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?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A chocolate orange day describes a day when…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.