Do What Makes You Happy

I have not had the desire to pick up my drum, practice yoga or go for a healing treatment, I just wanted to be……I think it is important to listen to your body, let your soul and spirit speak to you and feel what is in your heart. We spend so much of our lives trying to please other people and not necessarily ourselves. Sometimes you need to be selfish and do what is the right thing for you. Do what makes you happy, do what makes your heart sing, do what you want to do, when you want to do it, even if it is just for a short time.

Just before I took my healing sojourn this month, I attended the annual Lupton Festival, I got there in plenty of time for the opening ceremony which we were all given strips of coloured ribbon to attach onto the ancient oak tree on the front lawn of the house. It was a very magical and special moment. I have always had a strong affinity with the Lupton Healing Oak Tree, its majestic trunk routed firmly in the ground with its boughs spreading out, enveloping me in a massive comforting hug, supporting a whole universe of other plants and creatures within its branches. If I place my heart against its truck I can feel totally at one with the energy of the universe, plus no one bats an eyelid if you hug a tree here.

I attended several workshops at the festival although it was on for two days I was only able to make it on the Saturday. I enjoyed a wonderful gong bath with Sally and then this followed with a Shamanic journey facilitated by Christa together with Sally and the gongs; both therapies I found to be very powerful and healing, they took place in a marque and lying on a blanket on the grass with the sound of the fountain in the background really solidified the whole experience.
Later in the day I moved into the coolness of the Sanctuary to make my own Traditional Incense with Mortar and Pestle Magick, following a delicious vegetarian wrap for lunch, I headed back to the Sanctuary for an Orgonite Workshop, the three pieces that I created are now spread about my home and apart from the benefits of turning negative into positive energy they look amazing. I was unable to stay for the evening, which included fire walking, music and drumming no doubt it was an enjoyable night. I however felt immense gratitude for allowing myself the time to do something that makes me happy.

It was in the first week of my holiday I decided to try an activity that I had not done for years.
As a child, I used to cycle everywhere, giving me the freedom and independence to go off to explore. Becoming older and in not so great health I still have that desire to feel the wind in my face and that sense of freedom once again. I decided to hire a bike, the route chosen was alongside an estuary on a cycle path, I thought it would be flat, but suddenly a hill emerged along route and I had to get off and push, the bike I hired had only three gears and a very uncomfortable saddle. I was a bit wobbly to start with, once I realised you never forget how to ride a bike, the feeling of freedom and the wind through my hair brought the biggest smile to my face. My only fear was fatigue taking hold of my body, leaving me struggling to get home. Luckily despite being a bit achy when we returned to our starting point, nothing that a cup of herbal tea and a big slice of salted caramel chocolate brownie wouldn’t put right!
It was then I decided to try an electric bike………hills, no problem and when I feel a bit tired, pressing a button and it is as if someone is giving you a little push that helps you to dig a little deeper. I’m now hooked on cycling again at last I can do a physical activity without the fear of running out of steam. Yes, you have guessed it, this makes me happy.

I have always loved to dance, usually it has been in a club, at a party or more recently around a fire. I was somewhat surprised that whilst in my local supermarket a track was being played that found me shaking some moves down the fruit and veg aisles. It all came a bit too naturally and made me chuckle. I realised it was a track that we have in the Zumba class. I cannot wait to get back to it and perfect those routines, so I can go shake my booty whilst carrying out the weekly shop. This is going to make me happy.

It wasn’t until earlier this week that I returned to my weekly yoga practice. Since I started Kundalini yoga earlier this year, it is a practice that fills my body with energy and gives it a good work out and I have noticed an increase in my lung capacity, practicing the breathing techniques. The mediation and mantras we do give me the opportunity to look inwards. The beautiful village location has a wonderful energy and a great outlook onto the meadow behind. I leave the class feeling amazing and watching the cows run across the field gently lowing to the farmer always makes me smile. This makes me happy.

My mum always said, ‘Do what makes you happy’. So that is exactly what I intend to do. Life is very precious, and we are here for only a short amount of time, so doing things that make you unhappy cannot be good for your wellbeing. No matter what challenges my health throws at me, if I am doing what makes me smile, all will be well in my little corner of the world.

Lupton House

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The Journey Continues

As part of my holistic journey I have found sound therapy to be beneficial to the management of my chronic pain caused by Fibromyalgia, this sound has taken the form of gong, tuning forks, crystal bowls and drumming whilst also practicing yoga, Reiki and more recently joining a Zumba class. I would not have believed that I would have been able to participate in a dance fitness activity following my diagnosis in 2014, when I was walking with the aid of a stick. I have always maintained that I will keep on fighting this, exploring activities that I feel will benefit in assisting my body to heal itself. I believe that a lot of my healing has been a reaction to the sound and rhythm allowing the very cells of my body to absorb and be agitated, bringing them to life; it makes me smile, I feel happy and with that, energy seems to flow and the pain melts into the background.

I have always been interested in how our ancestors dealt with health conditions using herbs and natural therapies to alleviate pain and health conditions often administered by the wise elders of the indigenous groups around the world. Something that I feel, we have lost in our modern society of technology, stress and burn out.
This has led me on to the path of Shamanism, learning to feel the connection between nature, mother earth and my whole being. Rhythmic drum healing is a very ancient therapy that has been practiced for thousands of years by many cultures to promote wellbeing and healing using the natural law of resonance to restore the vibrational integration between mind, body and spirit.

I could not believe my luck when I was offered the opportunity to birth (make) my own Shamanic Drum in a one day bespoke workshop which was held locally.
Prior to the day we were asked to source a piece of wood to use as a beater, so during the storms and following the blizzards a couple of months ago, I wandered along the seashore and found a beautiful piece of drift wood, which I felt was perfect for my drum.
I attended the workshop with a mix of excitement and apprehension, after being so poorly at the start of this year with a chest infection and chronic fatigue, I knew that birthing a drum was going to be very special. I would be creating this wonderful tool for healing and it would be taking place on the full moon.

There were five of us attending the workshop, our first task was to select our 16 inch rounds of wood than had been handcrafted to form the frame for the drum.
It’s really strange when you sit and think about making a shamanic drum for yourself, I really wanted to feel that I was in touch with my ancient ancestors, the night prior I had not had the best of nights sleep and had been very restless so arrive feeling a bit jaded.
We were invited to select our deer skins that were outside in five buckets, Phil had had spent a lot of time in the days prior, preparing them for our use. He explained they were all different sizes. I selected the last reamaing bucket, this turned out to be the smallest skin.
At first I felt I little bit of disappointment, but then realisation that envy is something that I need to work with, I was starting to discover that my little deer was going to teach me some very valuable lessons in life. We started to connect with our drum, by some shamanic journeying which is similar to a deep mediation whilst a drum beat is played, we did this at various stages throughout the workshop.
After cutting out the circle to make the drum from the skin, we were asked to make the umbilical cord to lace it all together, from the same piece of skin. There was a concern that I would need to use an additional skin as my hide was quite small. However I ended up with about so much cord, I had a lot left over after I had laced it, my second lesson from my little deer, just because something is small, it does not mean that it cannot generate a bountiful supply.

Later we following the Shamanic tradition walking in single file, stepping in each other’s footsteps, while Alex drummed for us, making our way into the woods. We came to a large tree and then took it in turns to test the strength of our umbilical cord, which we had taken with us. We were asked to lean back and take the strain of the cord to see where it breaks, having completed that ritual, we returned to lace our drums.
This was the most challenging part of the process, I discovered you need a lot of strength to lace the back, to ensure the face is kept taught. I think this was the time when I felt most connected to the process and started referring to the drum as her, I don’t know how or why, I just knew. After a fair bit of effort and some help from Phil I finally birthed my drum.

I have been taught that great patience is required both during the making process and the need to be allowed to completely dry before being played, each day I kept going to look at the change in the colour on her face and eager to hear her first sound. Her markings are similar to looking at the moon, I see pure beauty; the significance of birthing my drum on a full moon is being able to use the strong energy as a very positive opportunity and illumination to the world.

Two weeks later, on the new moon when an energy portal is opened up to bring in your good intention and manifest healing energy, I knew it was time to hear her play. The sound that she gives out is so very special, I feel a very deep connection to nature, to my ancient ancestors and also to the spirit of the deer coming through the drum.

Earlier this week, after a particular challenging day, I picked up my drum, sat out in the garden in the evening sunlight and quietly played, letting the gentle rhythmic beats flow through my body, quieting my mind and bringing loving healing energy to my soul. I feel truly blessed, and so the journey continues……..

 

If you would like to know more ~

About birthing your own drum please contact  Phil Rowe Drums

About Sound Healing Sally Free ~ Sound Therapist

 

 

 

Dance to your own rhythm

This is me………………………………I am starting to emerge from wherever it is, that I have been lying dormant, waiting for this moment.

Life has been a bit of a struggle the last couple of months and I been battling with my health, not necessarily Fibromyalgia, but a lot of chronic fatigue and issues with coughing and the infection in my lung. Having had all the tests and the medical profession finding nothing to report, I had a bit of a déjà vu moment, in 2014 the day that I got my Fibro diagnosis, the life changing label. Only this time it was different. Nothing to report, no diagnosis, no further treatment. I was going to have to find my own way out through this again… I still had the cough, I still had the exhaustion and I still wanted to feel well again.

Having not been to a yoga class for 5 weeks, I decided now was the time to try to find a different sort of yoga, having been practicing a similar type of yoga since my fibro diagnosis, I wanted a more dynamic class, but one where I could still do my own thing, if all became too much.

Well I found it and the venue has a heated floor as well, luxury. It looks out onto the lush green valley side and whilst practicing you have the sound of nature; the screech of a buzzard, the chatter of nesting birds and a small brook babbling away. The class is so different from any other yoga I have taken part in, it is more active with options given for each pose. The session starts with mediation and breathing, which flows on into and through the practice. At the end of the class I feel more energetic, grounded and at peace with my body, mind and soul.

With my new found energy, I also decided I wanted to try out a new fitness class, I’m not a gym bunny and the ideal opportunity arose with a Zumba class. I went to the first session before I had my chest infection, and then unable to attend due to lack of breath for some weeks, I have now returned and I love it.

The fantastic movement that Zumba allows, even for those suffering from chronic pain is that you do what you can and what you want, within your own range of mobility. Even my lack of coordination doesn’t matter, my feet are often going the wrong way, but who cares there is no one watching; well at least I hope not! Apologies to those lovely ladies who end up behind me.
I think I shocked a few people at first, when they heard I had been to a Zumba class, “that’s fast going isn’t it?”, “you be careful” and “wow that’s amazing”. Yes it is amazing, and no matter how young or old you are, or feel, you are given a warm welcome and there are no judgements, your body joins into the rhythm of the music and it becomes contagious. After the class a few of us may even head to a local hostelry to replace our lost fluids!

I gradually started to feel better, the more I stretched and exercised my lungs, through walking, yoga, Zumba and a bit of light digging in the garden, the more the coughing ceased, my lungs felt more open and the tiredness began to evaporate. I even noticed that I danced across the lawn when the sun was out last week! I have started to feel more alive, energised and ready to absorb the new wonders that are awaiting me whilst I continue on this magical journey of self-healing, soul expansion and enlightenment.

I believe, if you really want to do something and improve your quality of your life, you just need to give it ago, do it your way. Listen to your own body, let your breath be your guide in dancing to your own rhythm, do what is right for you.

‘Dance like nobody’s watching.
If you sense they are, let them make eye contact and smile, show them that your soul is free.’

 

Want to find out more, please click on the links below

Yoga Loveliness                    Zumba – Shake it Fitness Devon

 

My recent blogs

Behind the Mask

The Crystal Healing Bed

 

 

My Quest for Healing

Those of you that follow my monthly blog, will know I use various therapies to support my healing from a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia. I think it important to raise awareness of this and other chronic pain condition, I do not wish my blog to become a source of me feeling sorry for myself, I do not want to give this pain more energy than it already takes from me. So whilst I may not write about, how I feel tackling this condition on a daily basis, I am still fighting the battle and I am slowly winning. Just because I look well and don’t complain about the pain I am experiencing, does not mean that it is not happening.

Today I went for healing at Lupton House and after a short twenty minutes session for a minimum donation of £3. I feel amazing. I have been going to healing since I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I went weekly and it helped heal my mind, body and spirit. When I attended my first healing session, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. After completing some paperwork, I was led into a beautiful, tranquil and peaceful room with therapy beds set up with different coloured covers and warm cosy blankets, you choose the bed that you are drawn to, obviously not the one with other people on receiving their treatment! You lie down fully clothed just removing your shoes and you can have a blanket placed over you, whilst you close your eyes, relax and drift off somewhere nice.

The healers all work differently, some hands on, some hand off, some a mixture of both. Each time I receive healing it is always different, sometimes their hands feel warm, sometimes they feel cold, more often than not I see wonderful colours mainly purple and other times I see nothing at all, but feel energy pulsing through my body and a serene calmness envelops me like a hug.

The whole healing journey led me to my attunement for 1st and 2nd degree reiki which I use for healing on myself and the dog on a regular basis; however receiving the energy that is channelled through another healer is very powerful and a truly wonderful experience.

Healing as a Therapy seems to have lost is dark, mystical status and is more widely accepted as a Holistic form of healing, it does not take the place of conventional medicine but is often used alongside it to treat various conditions. The great thing is you don’t need to believe in any religion to experience this great therapy.

I had not been to Lupton since October last year, so for me it was lovely to be able to access the beautiful and tranquil space. This week for me, is about self- nurturing and finding my authentic self, there is the super blue blood moon eclipse, tomorrow 31st January and what better opportunity to remove the obstacles in my path, clear my throat chakra where I have been experiencing blockages, holding back and not saying the things that need to be said. The moon energy this month is about manifesting love and healing old wounds and with it being the start of the New Year, what better way than to purge the old way of life; start a new chapter and move on.

To assist in this moving on process, I have been given a new yoga teacher, taking the class that I have been attending for the past 4 years, I have never felt comfortable with change, but it is important to embrace it. When you create space, it can filled with wonderful experiences and kindred souls, if you allow it to.

To integrate all this change, movement and growth, a fantastic gong bath to look forward to on Friday evening.

I feel very blessed to have a wonderful family, supportive friends and like minded kindred spirits in my life. Thank you for helping me to stay strong when my body has been weak. I love you and value your presence whilst you accompany me, fighting chronic pain xx

 

 

The little studio with the big heart  –  The Studio Tqy for timetable & events

Gong Baths ~ Sally free Sounds for the soul

www.discoverlupton.com    Drop in healing Tuesdays 12-3 and 7-9

Embrace Change

A satisfied life is better than a successful life, because our success is measured by         others. But our satisfaction is measured by our own heart, mind and soul.”

When we meet someone for the first time, we often greet each other with our name, then what?  What do you do? It is then that you can be given a label. As humans we seem to have this inquisitive nature as to what another persons does, maybe to measure how successful they are; or to discover if they have anything in common with them. Why do we feel the need to have to be label someone?

All through life we are striving to become; to achieve the ultimate goal; but at what cost? So that we can be successful, so that we can be somebody, so that we can be given a label.

When you suffer from chronic pain, it can take over your life so much that it becomes who you are and starts to define you, but only if you let it! You have a choice, to give in to it and let it take you or to stand up and fight, as if your life depends on it. It is not easy.

Four years ago, I was ready to give in and let it take me, which it did for 6 months of my life. I was given a diagnoses, a label and then it started to define who I was and who I became.

You can change your label and how others see you, start by feeling satisfied with all the positive things you have in your life. From there you can begin to heal your body, mind and soul, start to believe and have hope that things do and will change.

I have spent the past 12 month’s blogging about various holistic therapies and practices that I have experienced, as part of my healing journey. I am not announcing that I am cured, but the change I feel in my health is noticeable, I am having less flair ups, I still suffer from pain and getting up each day is a battle, a battle that I fight every day and I will win, it about listening to my body and when I’m feeling tired taking a quick power nap.

My hips and knees often remind me that they are still attached to me with a deep seated pain inside the joint, I know that with some gentle yoga stretches I can encourage that heat to disperse taking with it the pain. Some yoga sessions I find, I feel so exhausted that I just stop, lie down on the mat, cover myself with a blanket and take a rest. It’s ok to do that. Listening to the change that your body is asking you to do.

Yoga is not an endurance test to bend yourself into some strange posture, it is about gentle stretching for the mind, body and soul and I have found this to be of benefit to managing my pain condition. Finding understanding teachers is a bonus, and after 4 years of practice I now find that I walk taller and I’m a lot more bendy than I ever thought I could be. I still can’t touch my toes, that’s ok, I’ve got long legs and short arms!

As this year comes to an end, I embrace all that has changed as I continue on my healing journey; there are people that have touched my soul, made me stop and question who I am and who I want to be. There are acquaintances who I believe crossed into my karmic path for reasons that will someday be coming clearer. There are also those kindred spirits who consistently surround me with their love and support and to them I am eternally grateful.

I have ………love, laughter, peace and harmony in my heart, mind and soul and I know that I am truly satisfied. I will let you measure my success!

 

 

Rewriting life

This month has been monumental for me in terms of personal growth. Sometimes when you feel pain, either physically, emotionally or spiritually, your coping strategy is often to put a lid on it, cover it up, repress it in the hope that if you don’t acknowledge it will hopefully go away.

The mind is very powerful if you have a traumatic moment in your life, it can cover it over so much, that you are not sure if it ever happened. However the body can only take so much of keeping these feelings, emotion and pain locked in. Then what! Your body starts to let you know enough is enough, pain. When you have pain, in particular chronic pain, you get used to living with it, then when you feel unwell, you put it down to your chronic pain condition, in my case Fibromyalgia.

My feet have been very painful for months now and I keep saying, I won’t go to the doctor as I know what it is. Only the pain got unbearable.
I gave myself Reiki healing and also used sound therapy with the use of a tuning fork over the pain. There is definitely something going on there, when I dowsed my feet with my rose quartz pendulum it went mad, sweeping in a massive arc and after I used the tuning fork on the area and again dowsed the painful area the pendulum remained completely still. What’s that all about!

So I decided to visit the surgery to discover that I had plantar fasciitis. The wonderful doctor nearly sent me through the roof when he examined my foot, oh the pain. As you know I do not take any form of pain relief for my condition, so when the doctor suggested Tramadol I sat aghast in his room. Hell no! I am not going down that route again, he suggested anti-inflammatory pain killers and again I declined. I want to treat this holistically, I know that I can and it works, I just needed confirmation that this was not Fibro and something else.

Gentle exercise, rest used together with healing therapies I believe is the key to healing the body. This may seem a bit way out to most people, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. You may feel that it does not work for you, just don’t try it once, give it a go a couple of times, give your body a chance to ‘rewrite its pain pathways’.

I was practicing yoga a couple of weeks ago, there was only two of us in the class plus my Yoga teacher, we were practicing Yin yoga, using props for support to hold poses to a longer length of time. (Give it a go it’s great!) Whilst I had my hips supported on a bolster, trauma release excersies (TRE) kicked in and my body started to rock side to side; so much that I actually fell off the bolster, I was laughing so much. I just let it happen, I know that, it is my body ‘rewriting life’, undoing all the trauma and stress that I have had over my 46 years on this planet. I do not try to repress it, it is just rewriting my journey. I don’t have to re-live the feelings and emotions, the gentle movement as my body shakes and sways is so safe and very comforting and it’s doing its thing.

Back to school ….I faced my fears from over 30 years ago and returned to school. A place that has held so many painful memories. The morning dawned and whilst I ate breakfast at the hotel, I felt physically sick, just like I did when I had to go to school all those years ago, I sat with my herbal tea, as my body gently tremored, I knew that this was a very important part of my healing journey.

As soon as I arrived back at school, the smell in the corridors overwhelmed me, the place seemed so much smaller than I remember and quite a lot of the class rooms had changed in their use. It wasn’t until I stood outside a classroom, that I realised that I had a suppressed memory, it returned when our then teacher had displayed behaviour that is definitely not acceptable these days, those of us that had him for lessons, were able to talk about how awful it was, he has since died; so no legal action would be taken against him.

This was a place, where I was bullied for 7 years by a group of girls calling themselves the hard gang who were in my class. Hopefully they will have developed into kind and loving human beings and if they have their own children, they are not bullying or being bullied themselves. I strongly believe in Karma and the power of the universe, what you give out comes back to you!

My dad told me ‘to stand up for myself, it’s part of life, it makes you stronger’. Yes, it does that, but it also makes you different. It makes making friends challenging, it also makes you resilient to life, but deep down there is a small part of your soul that asks; Why? Why me? What did I do to deserve this?

Well, the real answer is; I dared to be different, to stand out from the crowd, not to conform to what was expected. Does that make you a target? Probably, but I do not care anymore, I am the stronger person. I am rewriting life.

I will not change so people will like me.                                                                                         I will be myself and the right people will love the real me.”

 

Change your Energy – last months post

The Power of TRE – if you want to know more about Trauma Release Excersies

This is me….. – about me

‘To Ease my Dis……’

When you stop!   Suddenly you notice your own breath, you hear the sound of silence and you smell the scent that evokes a feeling, a memory. Life is so very fragile, yet we race around filling our lives with things, possessions, envy and that imbalance can cause disharmony of the mind, body and soul maybe leading to disease.

“An illness that affects a person, animal, or plant : a condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally.”

So you seek medical intervention and get a diagnosis. A label. Then what? You are maybe prescribed drugs to ‘ease your dis’.

I want more; I want to feel well, I want my life back, I want my mind body and soul to be in harmony with each other. We are all energy and maybe we need to use that energy to heal ourselves, rather than fight with life to become somebody that we think we should be.
I am still on this massive journey of self-discovery and Holistic healing, and one of things I have learnt is, if you don’t keep at it, the dis-ease starts to creep back in.

This summer if you can call it that, has proved to me that in order to feel well, I need to continue with the various therapies I practice. I slipped back into a mind-set of copy and paste, I spent almost a week of my summer break in bed or on the sofa feeling tired and burnt out and lacking motivation, it was easier to sleep that get up and drag my weary body for a walk with the dog. I blamed the weather!!

I had just returned from a fantastic 2 week holiday in the sun to a cold, wet, and grey British August. The weather may have had an impact on my Fibromyalgia symptoms raising their ugly head and giving me a side swipe, but actually I now believe it was the lack of yoga practice, Reiki, TRE and gong that was my problem. I had lost my mojo.

I wallowed in self-pity for a week, feeling sorry for myself. I had finally stopped working and racing around filling my life and time with things, possessions and most certainly envy. Did I feel better, Hell No! My toe bones hurt when I got out of bed in the morning, I have had a constant pain in my foot for weeks, this pain was then followed by my knees then my wrists and fingers, oh the joy of living with chronic pain. I started to feel envious of the people around me, who just don’t get what it feels like when your body is not at ease with your mind. Then along came a local Holistic Festival. The night before I was debating if I would go or not, too much effort!

Well I went; I am so glad I did, I saw a lot of friends and like-minded people from the Holistic world, it was just what I needed to kick myself back into the land of ‘you can start to heal yourself’.
I attended a few workshops bringing down my higher Chakras, a wonderful Gong Bath with Sally and learning to use a tuning fork.  Having been to the tuning fork workshop, I decided I needed to buy an OM tuning fork for myself. This is a therapy that I could use at home very easily between gong baths. I was already starting to feel better for having a gong bath, so using tuning forks had to be a good thing too, as it uses sound vibration to help heal the body.

Luckily for me Sally sells them, so I did not have to go home and look online, I bought one from her, in a beautiful purple bag with a mallet, as soon as I got home that evening I tried it out, the dog loved it and also my husband, who is definitely not into all this ‘hippy’ stuff, he asked me to use it on him as he has had some muscle pain in his shoulder. He has informed me that it is feeling better, but claims it was probably the couple of rounds of golf he played. I think I know otherwise!!!

A week later and I am feeling so much better, I am using the tuning fork on a daily basis, giving myself Reiki, carrying out my TRE (trauma release exercises) and Virginia, as soon as I have finished writing my blog, I will roll out my yoga mat and practice at home.

I know that if I practice all the therapies I use regularly, I will be able to ‘ease the dis’ of my mind body and soul.
Remembering to enjoy the moment, absorb the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of this wonderful journey. Namaste xx

 

If you would like to read my previous blogs here they all are, if you have any questions or would like more information, please Contact me.

Gonging It!

Fibro or Flu?

The Power of TRE

The Dawn of a New Day

I am going to enjoy this!

The Power of saying NO

Please clink on the following links if you wish to find out more information on the Holistic Therapies I Blog about.

Sally Free – Tuning Forks  

Virginia Compton – Yoga

Jo Hamilton – TRE

The Power of saying NO

I had just returned from a whistle-stop trip to Italy, which I knew would be a challenge as traveling and in particular flying can be tiring, at the best of times, but with a fibro body, you need to be able to pace yourself and avoid stress.
In the past I have been a very nervous flier often gripping the seat or arm of the adjacent passenger. Lucky for them, I have been managing my stress and fear, I managed to remain calm even when we hit some turbulence on the way home, it was all good, I practiced my yoga breath and used it as a form of mediation, at one point I thought we had already landed when the undercarriage went down. TRE (trauma release exercises) have definitely contributed to my body’s ability to reduce the stress meaning, no pain.

On my return home, I did not feel well enough to go out for a walk with my husband and the dog. I knew I needed to sleep. I was not feeling any pain, just extreme tiredness and I knew going for a walk would make me feel worse. So Dog and husband went for a walk without me, I slept. I felt better. Result, all I had to do was say ‘No’ there was not an explanation required.

‘No’ is a complete sentence, it does not require a justification. It is the most empowering sentence that you can ever use. At first you feel guilty for saying it and try to explain your rationale. It’s even harder with friends and family, they give you a look, you then end up backing down, and agreeing to something that you don’t want to do, that can often impact your mind, body and spirit.

The result that this can have on your health can be catastrophic. I have learnt from experience, it is not easy to say ‘No’, but once you start it does get easier.

I have always been quite easy going and happy to go along with things, and even though I might not want to do something, rather than say so, I have gone along with it for fear of upsetting anyone, and in the process made myself feel ill and then complained that I wish I hadn’t done it.

Living with a chronic pain condition requires you to pace yourself……….easier said than done, particularly when you are having a good time and feel better. In the early days of my diagnoses, I did not think it possible that I would ever have good days and feel well. If I wanted to something special, like going for a night out, I knew that I would have to weigh up the fact that I would feel really poorly for 3 or 4 days after the night out. It was always worth it, but then sometimes you have a really good day and do more as you feel well and then the next day you have a relapse.
I thought I was invincible and everyone kept telling me to pace myself, I thought I knew best, then burn out!

A couple of years ago, I was walking with a stick, sometimes I didn’t need it, on the days when I had paced myself. They were good days. Then I would do a bit more than I should have done, the pacing went out of the window and the stick started to became an indication of a good or bad day. As Fibro is a hidden illness, on stick days friends, family and colleagues could tell it was a bad day. However on good days, because I didn’t have my stick, some people got the impression I was well. They did not realise the effort that I had gone to, to walk without a stick.

It still takes a lot of determination and I still have to make sacrifices and battle with my body to ensure that I use effective pacing, to stay pain and medication free. Learning to stay ‘NO’ has been the biggest tool in my Holistic healing journey, sometimes it has been really hard and difficult, not to justify why I am saying No.

I like Bruce Campbell’s description of The Energy Envelope

To use the idea of the energy envelope, think of your situation as having three elements. The first is your available energy. This is the energy you have to accomplish things. It is limited and is replenished by rest and food. The second is your expended energy, the energy you lose through physical, mental and emotional exertion.

The third is your symptoms, fatigue, brain fog, pain, and so on. In this view, if you expend more energy than you have available, you will intensify your symptoms. This is called living outside the energy envelope. An alternative is living inside the energy envelope.

If you keep your expended energy within the limits of your available energy, you have a chance to reduce symptoms, and over time may be able to expand your limits.

Life is not a rehearsal, this is it! Why waste your time doing something you really don’t want to do. Take control of your life. Learn to say NO and start living inside Your Energy Envelope.

Recently everyone has been telling me I look so well; I feel amazing but it takes a lot of effort and I continue to attend my weekly yoga practice, my monthly gong baths, I fill my life with people who make me laugh and smile and avoid the energy vampires (those people who leave me feeling worn out, as they feed off my energy to make themselves feel better). Sometimes you need to be selfish if you want to get your life back.

Try saying NO, it could really be the starting point to your own empowerment.

 

I am going to enjoy this!

 

I recently met an inspirational lady who has really changed the way I see and do things. Earlier this month I had a text from a yogi friend who gave me the heads up, that we would be doing laughing yoga on our usual Friday yoga practice. As a lady who had come into her shop to buy an ice-cream, had ended up leaving her, agreeing to show us the practice of laughing yoga!

 

I had heard of laughing yoga, but had not ever had the opportunity to try it out. So it was with great anticipation and excitement that I rocked up to yoga that Friday, ready and willing to laugh my socks off. I should point out at this stage, that my long-suffering yoga teacher Virginia often has to become a bit stern with the Friday group, as we are a bit raucous and exuberant with our energy on Friday mornings,  that she has to try to contain the naughty ones that can be very disruptive. (naturally that’s not me, as you all know I am very quiet and unassuming!!!!!).   

 

I met Kirti the lovely laughing yoga lady on route to the studio and immediately warmed to her wonderful aura. Once we were all settled she explained about the benefits of laughing yoga, and when she told us of her age and some medical conditions she had; I was blown away by this passionate and extremely well looking lady. There is definitely something in it. Her positive attitude shone through.

 

We started off the session by clapping and saying ho, ho, ha, ha, ha and then went through some various exercises that had me in hysterics, including greeting each other and talking gibberish, it was hilarious. My face hurt so much from smiling and laughing.

 

Kirti explained that we often go through life with a copy and paste attitude. Each day we have a habit of copying and do the same things from yesterday and end up filling our lives with stuff, without any time to Just Be and Notice……. That really struck a chord with me. I now make sure that I take time out to just be and notice the little things, even if it is just to change the way I do things.

 

By nature we tend to always clean our teeth with the same hand. TRY THIS…….clean your teeth with the opposite hand, not only does it clean your teeth differently due to the change in angle, but it is retraining your brain away from default and then try standing on the opposite leg from the one that is cleaning your teeth. I nearly choked on the toothpaste as it started to make me laugh.

 

Oh what Joy………the blissful sound of laughter, the smile, the feeling, the great energy it creates.

 

You want to keep your brain active? Get a note pad and on the right hand side jot down the numbers 1-10 with that hand then on the left hand jot down the numbers 1-10 with your left hand and then write the number one next to the number and two and so on with right and left hands then progress onto sentences….in time your non dominant handwriting will look the same. I still have a long way to go, my brain is getting a full work out. It is a great form of meditation.

 

At the end of the session we sat back to back with each other and started to slow our breathing down and back into a calm state. This was so hard, I carried on laughing so much it made me cry! I left that morning with a spring in my step and a smile on my face. I had a few weird looks whilst walking around the supermarket, if only they knew what I know! Oh how they may be able to enhance their lives.

 

Later that evening, I started to giggle, my husband asked what I was laughing at, which make me laugh even more, so much so that I became hysterical and couldn’t speak, as I was laughing at the fact I was laughing about nothing, that made me laugh even more. I felt great, I even laughed away the pain that I got in my side from laughing so much. It must be good for you. When you breathe out and laugh you empty all the stale air from your lungs, it’s a proven thing, try it! It’s really difficult to breath in when your laughing…..  

 

 Kirti has this amazing Mantra that I have started to use:

When faced with challenges in life, as we all are; instead of facing it head-on with fear and dread. Take a deep breath in and say to yourself, I AM and as you breath out slowly say to yourself GOING TO ENJOY THIS.

 

Go on, try to live your life differently, change the way you think, stop copying and pasting, tell the people who matter that you love them, let the little things make you smile and most of all, laugh and enjoy life! 

 

 

Want to know more about laughing yoga, please contact ~ Kirti Sharma   www.bodymindlaughter.co.uk
Come to the amazing yoga studio, please contact~ Virginia Compton www.holisticyogasangha.com

 

 

My Holistic Fibro Fighter Blog

The Dawn of a New Day

This month’s Blog, has taken me a while to write and I want to share with you how Holistic Therapies have supported me through a very emotional time.

 I have been traversing a period of extreme stress and emotional challenges and often that’s when Fibro rears its ugly head with a massive flare up. Something has changed; my energy, my belief, my coping strategies, can’t quite put my finger on it.   What I do know is; I feel amazing and many people who know me well, have commented on how well I look! Should I feel like this? Who knows it’s my journey, but it’s a journey I want to share with you.  

Belief is the first thing. You need to believe that anything is possible and then the change starts, it’s a feeling; how can I feel this good when I should be feeling this……..Just let it be, don’t give it a label. Grief is very raw in the first few days, when you are watching and waiting for someone you love dearly to end their own journey.

Between spending time with them and trying to live my life, I carried on with planned activities and events. I have been attended my weekly yoga class and Virginia Compton my Yoga Guru, has kept me grounded, TRE (Trauma Release Exercises) kicked in on a regular basis during these yoga sessions and I looked like I was on a Pogo Stick, shaking it all out.  As usual I kept laughing.

I went to Sally Free’s Gong Bath, I spent the whole session with red hot tears pouring down my face that filled up my ears, and I physically had to dry them. But I felt very calm. At home I cried without feeling any emotion attached to it, the tears just flowed and I allowed myself and my body to react how it needed to. I kept thinking, I should be feeling this or I should be feeling that. Who makes the rules?

Still wondering if a flare up was going to happen, I continued to spend time with my loved one, precious moments that I know were part of the healing process. When I received that phone call in the early hours of the morning, my body went into automatic TRE. I stood at the end of the bed whilst my legs, torso and arms shook. How wonderful that in less than a year my body knew exactly what it needed to do. I stood there whilst my whole body shook for about two minutes. I then calmly sat and watched the dawn break and the sun rise on a new day…….     

 Please click on this link to listen to the radio interview I took part in a few days later

https://www.mixcloud.com/RivieraFM/amys-afternoon-show-with-virginia-sally-and-jane-talking-about-health-yoga-and-live-gonging/