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Friends and family

…friends being the family you choose for yourself.

So here I am, still working my way through my Daily Greatness journal, the section on family and friends. This sections asks some quite deep questions, similar to those I answered when I first sought help from my lovely psychologist. Most of my early consultations homed in on my early years with my parents and siblings, up to my own little family unit. The journal is no less probing.

One question, ‘do I have a relationship that needs mending?’ I started to answer ‘yes’ to. I was thinking of my mother at the time. In her mind, everything is awesome. She is an awesome mother. Nobody could say differently.

Except me and my siblings. We know the truth. So I changed my answer to this question. I can’t mend this one. It has cost me dearly over the years I’ve tried. Instead I am trying to accept that she is how she is, and change my expectations accordingly. It doesn’t do me any good to feel frustration, anger etc. She cannot change into the mother I need, so I will ‘mother’ myself by surrounding myself with great friends who accept me just as I am, and loving the little family unit I have, as best I can.

I hope this wasn’t too depressing for a Friday. It just goes to show, that no matter how ‘awesome’ things can appear, everyone is dealing with a life challenge of some sort.

Next week, the topics will be work & career, and money & finances. I’ll need to get my head in gear over the weekend.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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My conscious life blueprint – Social and Fun

Cinderella

This section of my Daily Greatness Yoga Journal was fun to complete. I love the first question –

“How can I have more fun?” Easy, win the lottery and stop working. Mind you that would involve me remembering to actually buy a ticket. Meanwhile, back in the real world, I’d like to spend more time on the ‘nice to do’ activities instead of always focussing on the ‘need to do’ stuff. The answer is to consciously plan my week and month, making sure to plan in some fun things to do every week.

The next question asked what new hobby or sport could I start? I used to enjoy dancing as a youngster, and am usually glued to the television on Saturday nights at this point in the year, watching Strictly Come Dancing. I want to learn to dance waltzes, Foxtrot, tangos, etc with hubby. As luck would have it, I saw an advert for dance classes for beginners, teaching sequence dancing.

I didn’t give hubby much of a chance to think about it before I rang up to enquire about joining. I was reassured that the attendees range from ‘experienced’ to ‘complete novices’. At least we fall into the category of ‘very rusty’ but have some experience of sequence dancing, thanks to compulsory Scottish Country Dance classes at school.

We were nervous but excited at the same time as we arrived for our first lesson. By the end of two hours we had met loads of lovely new people, giggled our way through our very first waltz and got sore feet. In the spirit of having more fun, I had to go shopping for new shoes – dancing shoes. The dance shop assistant was most helpful and grinned broadly when she asked what I wanted in a dance shoe and all I wanted was sparkles.

I am now the proud owner of a pair of silvery white shoes with a glittery top coat on the leather. The light glints off the glitter particles beautifully when I whirl around. They make me feel like I am a little girl playing dress-up in my favourite princess shoes. What could be more fun?

We now know three dances reasonably well. We are going to the club’s Christmas party, a black tie event, which means, of course, more retail therapy. After all, I will need a pretty dress to go with the shoes, preferably one with a skirt that swirls and swishes with every turn.

It looks like my fun mission is to be the little girl again, playing dress-up for real, and going to the ball, just like Cinderella. The main difference will be, I have no intention of being home before midnight, let alone leaving a shoe behind.

 

Happy Monday everyone!

 

 

 

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My conscious life blueprint – Intimate relationships…

Couple

Here we are at the third section of my life blueprint. Intimate relationships! Hmmm. That’s quite an interesting subject to write about without blushing and flushing! My husband must be wondering what I’m writing about, if the subject elicits such a response!

Fortunately, the Journal has a number of guiding questions to help fill out this section. Reading though the list, you’ll see it’s not focussed on sex at all. Was that where your mind jumped to? It’s exactly where mine went. Mmmm. Fancy that!!

Back to some of the questions.

What are three things that I most appreciate about my partner?

Easy. He is my absolute rock. Whenever I get my knickers in a knot over something, he’s the one calming me down. He is the most optimistic person I know. And finally (well not really finally… there’s loads more) he makes me feel cherished and safe.

How can I be more open-minded and accepting of my partner?

Ooooo! I think I have open-minded nailed. However, ‘accepting’ might be a little bit of a challenge. Sometimes hubby is so driven to complete DIY jobs around the house, he will prioritise this over taking time to rest up and enjoy what he’s achieved so far. He believes in finishing a job as soon as possible, whereas I will tackle the big jobs in bite size chunks. He just can’t sit still and chill. Perhaps it would be an idea for me to accept that this is what makes him tick instead of trying to force him into relaxing. Accepting that he ‘needs’ to complete the job for his own gratification will stop us from being at loggerheads over it. I admit to getting quite cross when he’s still painting at 9:00pm. Instead, I will accept that this is ‘fun’ for him, and do something else, or grab a paint brush and join him.

What are my partner’s dreams?

I think he dreams of saving up a decent sized pension pot as soon as we can to enable us to stop working for ‘the man’, and go exploring the world. He doesn’t have a bucket list, but if he did, I bet a trip to New Zealand, visiting Hobbiton would be right at the top. Closer to home, he would move to Cornwall in a heartbeat if possible. Me too for that matter. We pisceans love being near the sea.

And you thought it was going to be about keeping things hot in the bedroom!

Although the questions for the blueprint section do not specifically address libido and sex, there’s no doubt they play a part in an intimate relationship. I’ve experienced many a waxing and waning of both during perimenopause. I think my beliefs and expectations played a part, as well as a not-so-strong pelvic floor.

My beliefs were that we women waved goodbye to our libidos at this point, that everything ‘down there’ simply dried up and stopped working as well. It’s common knowledge, after all. You only have to switch on the television and within the first set of adverts, there will be one for incontinence products for those inevitable oops moments.

Apparently this is a common problem for us ladies. Yes, well just because something is common, does not make it normal. Most of us have fully functioning pelvic floors before pregnancy and childbirth so why can’t we have that function back again? I know every time I mentioned it at my well-women check-ups I was told the lie.

“It’s to be expected after having babies.”

My babies are grown up now so why was I reduced to randomly stopping, crossing my legs and holding on for dear life every time I wanted to sneeze or cough. And as for running, jumping or dancing, forget it unless the bladder was empty. Hayfever season was the worst!

However, I have since discovered that we can do something about those oops moments. We do not have to line the already fat coffers of the Tena Lady company. We can save our money and invest it more wisely in ourselves. There is an army of unsung heroines out there, specialists in women’s health and physiology. Quite by chance I met one at the beginning of this year. She gave me a thorough check up (nothing invasive) and we discovered I had a diastasis, and a pretty big one too. I’d never heard of this and had to have it explained. It turns out that my abdominal muscles, which separated in the middle when I was pregnant, never rejoined. In fact the gap was big enough to get five fingers in it.

That explained why running, jumping, sneezing etc were troublesome and also why, even though I lost a heap of weight, I still looked pregnant! Six weeks later, following weekly exercise sessions and some homework, the gap closed and I could sneeze and cough safely and dryly. There was an unexpected bonus too, and this links to the topic of today’s post, the old libido came out of retirement, much to hubby’s surprise (and mine too!).

So here’s my advice to any woman suffering from oops moments, find a fitness coach who specialises in women’s health and reclaim your pelvic floor function. It’s never too late and no, you are never too old!

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One-liner Wednesday – Age rules and exceptions

The Rules

The following sayings are now banned in my presence –

“… at my age…”

“… too young for me…”

“… having a senior moment…”

I am no longer attaching meaning to numbers. For example – fifty-something is getting on a bit. Sixty is getting old.

No! None of that nonsense here. Age is a state of mind, not the number of years we’ve lived and breathed.

The Exception

Age doesn’t count unless you are a beautifully mature cheese, or wine, or both!

Happy Wednesday everyone.

One liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda G Hill. Pop on over and have a look.

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My conscious life blueprint for emotional, spiritual, and personal growth

Following on from last week’s post on filling out my Daily Greatness Yoga Journal, I found this section quite a challenge by comparison. It was easier to decide how to look after myself with decent food, more and varied exercises etc, but this section needed me to get in touch with things I cannot touch in the physical sense.

Having been a scientist most of my adult life, relying on physical proof as my guide, my steering wheel, I was a little out of my comfort zone. Not easily put off, I ploughed on. A timely post from The Witch of Lupine Hollow really helped my to organise my thoughts. I think I have a better understanding of the path I want to follow, which will be my own blend of beliefs and practices.

So here goes…

My goal for this area of my life is to have the courage to create and follow my own path. This will be a blend of my church life and my love of nature, cooking, and gardening. My travels along the menopause path have shown me that I feel better when I am more in tune with the natural cycle of things, the seasons, moon cycles, and celestial events. My journals all show how much disruption I sense around the equinoxes, particularly the Autumnal equinox. I intend to celebrate these events instead of fighting with them, dreading them.

I want to tap into my intuition more. It pleases my inner child no end. The poor girl has had a rough ride so far. It’s time she was allowed to have fun, feel loved and honoured for who she is, just as she is.

As luck would have it (divine intervention) a friend of mine introduced me to her pendulum when she was doing some Reiki energy work for me. Skeptical as ever, I held the little bead at the top and watched the crystal swing, before it came to rest. I thought it would keep swinging as my hand was not steady, and yet, there it was, still, as if it was waiting for something. Encouraged by my friend, I asked a few ‘test’ questions to see if the pendulum would responded to me. I actually held my breath as the swing direction changed with each question. I knew then that I had to have one. And I also knew it had to be a rose quartz. Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did. I think my intuition had been woken up and was ready for action. The next day a beautiful pink quartz pendulum arrived, and it goes everywhere with me.

To achieve my goal, I think I’ll need to broaden my mind (at the risk of sounding like Professor Trelawney) and not take things quite so literally or on face value. I’ve taken the first few tentative steps by acquiring my own pendulum, Angel Oracle cards, a bag of crystals I chose for myself, and reading up. Well, I still like to do my research!

I’m scheduling in time in my daily diary to practice with the cards, note what they say, experiment with the pendulum.

The biggest thing that could derail this goal is me letting my fear of ridicule. That, and not sticking to my time for solitude to practice.

Onwards to more exciting times.

Happy Monday everyone x

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Looking after my health and body

Health and Body

I’ve come to realise that I get heaps of inspiration for writing while walking my dog. As I squelched through the mud, pup tearing across the fields with her ears flapping in the wind, a pile of leaves took flight. Looking around, I could see some trees seem to have eagerly embraced the changing season and are showing off their Autumn colours, with a few trees clinging desperately to Summer Green, all be it, quite faded and lack-lustre.

Kicking through the leaves got me thinking about life, as you do. The health and beauty industry would have us be the green leaves, determined to stay forever young, with their anti-aging skin products, multivitamins for the over fifties, hair dye for those pesky greys, not to mention those awful adverts for life insurance. So here’s a few thoughts from the field –

  • I can try to hold back the tide, but I’d end up soaking wet
  • Time waits for no man, or woman for that matter
  • Why do we try to defy time with so-called anti-aging products? Be the autumn leaf and embrace the change
  • Should I look to my mother’s example for how to live my live?
  • Or should I be a pioneer and create my own path?

On returning home and completing mud removal, I settled in to start my lovely yoga journal. There is a whole section called “My conscious life blueprint”, the first part of which concerns health and the body. It asks questions such as

“What is my specific goal/outcome?”

“Why do I want it?”

“What must I do/be to achieve it?”

“How will I make it happen, and by when?”

“What might get in the way?”

Goodness me. It’s like writing an essay and being in a therapy session all at the same time!

Once I got over the size of the planner, it was quite a fun job – got me thinking about my view on health and age, and the thoughts that popped up on my walk. Last month, I wrote about my experiences with Dr Northrup’s 14 day ageless goddess plan… the ups and downs and things that got in the way. This planner seems to be an extension of the goddess plan.

I have decided I am not following my mother’s path for menopause and beyond. From my point of view, it didn’t work for her, and I’m sure as hell not doing that to me or my family. It’s taken me countless hours in therapy to undo the damage.

Instead, I like the look of my own path. I’m trying to let loose my inner crone, chosing a more holistic approach to this stage in life. I am escaping the age cage by not conforming to anyone’s expectations of how I should be “at my age”. I’m banning that expression for a start. Age is only important for cheeses and fine wines!

Instead, I am following the guidance of my Daily Greatness journal which advises daily affirmations, daily yoga (obviously, it being a yoga journal!) meditation, getting in touch with your intuition, doing something that gives you pleasure, and getting your body moving in new ways.

 

So here are my goals for the health and body section –  to weigh about the same as I do now in one year’s time (I’m within my BMI range), to increase my flexibility and stamina, to learn to ballroom dance, and run a 5km fun run with my daughter.

I’d better getting planning. After all, failure to plan, is planning to fail… or something along those lines. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Wishing you all a wonderful, fun weekend.