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From Meh to Motivated!

After a super-hectic weekend, in which I got nothing done on my to-do list, but kept lots of other people happy, I woke up feeling very grumpy and Monday-morningish!

‘Argh! It can’t be 7:00am already… snooze button time.’

What seemed like seconds later –

‘Just one more snooze.’

Nanoseconds later –

‘Nooooo. I need another hour.’

‘Never mind an hour. I need a whole extra Sunday!’ muttered Mr D, buried under pillows and the duvet.

After dragging ourselves vertical, washing, dressing and sorting out the over-enthusiastic pup, Mr D and I were huddled round the breakfast bar with a much needed coffee to hand. With a deep breath, Mr D plunged into his working day, unlike me. I still wasn’t ready to log in.

I have a morning ritual of sorts, things I like to do before I crack on with the paid work.

  • Check in with my rose quartz pendulum
  • Use my pendulum to help select crystals to assist me during the day
  • Select a card from my Angel Oracle deck as a guiding principle for the day
  • Write up the day plan in my Yoga Greatness journal (this bit might involve a gratitude list, an inspiration list and definitely an affirmation list)

This morning I went off piste a little and changed decks to use Earth Magic cards. I wasn’t planning a three card reading (past, present, future) but the deck had other ideas and three fell out as I was shuffling them. And what an inspiring draw!

As a woman just freshly post-menopausal, the Dragonfly Card is so apt. It speaks of intense and rapid change necessary for the next cycle of my life. It also advises going gracefully with the flow into the next stage instead of trying to hold onto the past. Note to self – chillax!

The second card, Spring Equinox, refers to rebirth following challenging times.. Well that’s an understatement, considering what weird and scary symptoms the menopause can generate. Mostly it feels like they might never end. However, this card reminds me to stay string and have faith, the next phase is going to be amazing.

The third card, Dreamtime is almost teasing me. I’d love to be able to sleep well enough to dream, but I’m regularly awake at 3am, unable to fall asleep again. On the occasional night I do sleep well, I don’t remember dreaming. Still, I could try some yoga nidra to get into a state of very deep relaxation. The card advises me to pay attention to any images, sounds, or feeling that pop up during deep relaxation/dreaming, as they will provide a pathway to new creative expression.

Well, with a card draw like that there’s no way I could stay Monday morningish for long. Mind you, I needed a second cuppa to help me avoid a state of deep relaxation (full on snore-fest) during my first online meeting of the day!

Wishing you all a motivating Monday.

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Nearly knocked out by my …

… boobs!

Yes, lovely readers, I did go shopping for new bikinis as I said I would yesterday. And very successfully too. One set, a bright sapphire blue, was in a half-price sale, while the other, a luscious turquoise, wasn’t, not that the price stopped me (Mr D nearly had a dicky fit though!)

Cost Centre 1 came with me as my trusty fashion advisor and changing room runner. She earned her keep today by bringing in a continual supply of new tops and matching bottoms to try on, until we had the perfect sets.

I’m pleased to say the purchases satisfied my two criteria, keeping the ‘girls’ under control and being pretty.

So far so good. But how on God’s green earth can you possibly knock yourself out with your own boobs while shopping for bikinis? Surely it’s not that physical an activity? The answer lies with my next purchase, a new pair of running shoes.

I’ve always gone to a running shop to have my trainers fitted. It’s good to make sure you have the right type of shoe for the distance you plan to run, the terrain, as well as for your running style. I popped into the shop, pleased with myself that I’d remembered to bring my own running socks, and waited my turn to have my running gait analysed.

With my first test shoes on, I jumped onto the treadmill while the assistant set everything up. The belt started off nice and slowly, and with the word “ready” he turned up the pace. I was super-pleased with how quickly I adapted to the pace and how cushioned the shoes felt.

The belt slowed and I was given the results… “great news, you have a lovely neutral gait.”

All that yoga has helped me strengthen my legs and ankles so I do not overpronate (roll in on my ankles) any more. No more clunky trainers for me. I tried on another pair and got back in the treadmill again. This time the assistant, confident that I was capable on the machine, turned the speed right up. And that’s when it happened!

The ‘girls’ took on a life of their own, much to the amusement of everyone passing the shop window! Their wild oscillations were gaining momentum until I gave up my last shred of dignity, took each one in hand, and clutched them tightly to my chest.

Slightly breathless and very red-faced, I stepped off the treadmill, beating a hasty retreat to my chair. Taking my new shoes to the counter, I hastily paid for them and shot out of the shop as fast as possible.

Note to self, next time I test out new trainers, make sure I am suitably upholstered underneath as well as bringing running socks.

Wishing you all a serene Sunday xx

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To bee or not to bee…

So today is my first day back at work after a wonderful week in magical Cornwall. Within minutes of opening my inbox I was wishing myself back there. It’s taken me all day to sort through the crap to find the actual things to do.

I was so glad when close of business came round. I don’t think I’ve ever shot out of my office and into yoga as fast as I did today. Lucky me. The weather is perfect for outdoor yoga. Molly joined me for a few down-dogs and got in the way of a nearly great triangle!

Naughty puppy! Fancy trying to knock Mummy over!

Molly trotted off in disgust when I didn’t pay her much more attention. Settling down for a ten minute meditation session under my holly tree, I was on the point of closing my eyes when a massive downdraught appeared next to my left hand, followed by a super-loud buzzzzzzz.

A bumble bee landed on me. After carefully washing its antennas, it proceeded to settle down for a rest. So there I was, me meditating and the bee possibly joining in. Bliss. I even managed to stroke the fur without disturbing it.

Afterwards, it seemed very reluctant to say good bye. Even a lovely nectar-rich flower was not nearly as interesting as my hand. I made up a sugar solution (there’s a good recipe for it here) and offered up a little drink. It seems my meditating bee was tired and thirsty. Within minutes it took off and headed out into the garden.

The start of my day may not have been great but the end sure was.

Happy Monday my lovelies xx

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Hot tub does not equal hot flush/flash!

Over the past four days I have conducted several experiments to determine whether owning and using a hot tub would have a detrimental effect on menopausal symptoms. Yes indeed, I was prepared to experiment on myself. It was a tough job but one I was happy to undertake.

After much floating and bobbing around in slightly warmer than body heat bubbly water, I can report zero hot flushes/flashes. Not one single one over the entire experiment! Amazing, considering the UK has just experienced its hottest early May public holiday with temperatures reaching 27.5 degrees celsius (81.5 deg F) according to my garden weather station. Such conditions were surely a torture-test for my experiment.

I wonder what is going on here? Is it possible that the more relaxed and chilled out I feel, the less likely I am to experience pesky hot moments? Is it all centered around being immersed in bubbly water or does the glorious weather add to the overall lack of sweaty outbreaks?

I feel another experiment coming on. In the meantime, I feel the need to take my yoga mat outside and practice some sun salutations while I still have some sun to salute.

Namaste.

Cath xx


Here’s the view from my yoga mat. Pretty!

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Weed and feed

After such a wonderful weekend it was hard to go back to adulting and earning a crust. I’d much rather have been wandering through the parks in London, or better still, the grounds of Hogwarts.

The working day moved along at worse than snails pace. The second the end of work arrived, I logged off and was found minutes later in my yoga kit, working my way through a new kundalini program for the lower chakras. Mine have been feeling a little sluggish lately. This was just the tonic to get things moving again.

I guess at this point, you’re wondering where the weed a feed fits it. Well here it comes.

Having reenergised my body I was not in the mood to chill out. Far from it. My front garden was in need of its first weed of the season. Our short burst of warm weather coupled with all the rain, meant that my front borders were ankle deep in weeds.

Changing from yoga kit to tatty old jeans and a jumper, I spent the last hour and a half weeding the entire front garden. I wasn’t alone for long. I’d barely moved the first hand-fork of soil when I was aware of being watched. Not one but two sets of beady eyes were watching my every move. Without the merest hint of fear, two male robins joined me. I’d dig up a weed and bash the soil and they’d take it in turns to harvest the bugs and worms I unearthed.

Keeping as still as possible, hardly daring to breathe, I placed a few choice grubs next to me.

Bob bob. Sizes me up.

Bob bob bob. Stops and eyes up grubs.

Bob bob. Checks me again.

Stands a couple of inches from my knees and helps self to my offerings.

What a privilege it was to be trusted by two tiny feathered friends. I dare say I’d have got the job done quicker if I hadn’t had their company. But then the job would not have been nearly as pleasant.

Happy Monday my lovely readers xx

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Friday fun in the sun

How much fun is it being able to make a snap decision and take the day off? The weather is just too beautiful to watch it from the office window. It doesn’t happen that regularly in the UK that we can afford to pass up the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. As the old saying goes “Make hay while the sun shines.”

I planned to sleep as long as I needed. Didn’t happen though. The cuckoo had other ideas.

Clearly, it is a master of long distance travel and to be commended on its endurance. I’m sure it has other talents, but time-keeping is not one of them. At around 5am it started to cuckoo. By 25 o’clock I thought it might stop to draw breath, but no. It was going for the world record for non-stop cuckooing! By 5:40am it decided to call it a day, by which time I was now wide awake.

Not willing to waste a lovely morning trying to get back to sleep I slipped into my running kit and headed out. Initially I was only going for a short run but the conditions were too good to resist, my legs felt great, and I kept going until I’d completed 5K.

Once home, the run data transferred from my Apple Watch app to my phone, and to my astonishment, I’d knocked off 2 minutes 30 secs off my previous best time! Go me! Time to celebrate with a post-run yoga session on the sun deck. It seemed only appropriate that part of my routine should be Sun Salutations. The only slight blot on the horizon was dog shaped. Molly was so eager to join in the fun. She has Downward Dog off to a fine art but is absolutely rubbish at Bridge, and Corpse pose. She’s also rubbish at letting me do these poses unmolested!

After much face-licking (the dog, not me) she gave in and let me carry on. With the sun well above the horizon, I was able to have breakfast outside while I planned the rest of my day.

My trip to the beauty therapist was excellent. She doesn’t just do my nails and waxing, we exchange news, and generally set the world to rights while having a seriously good laugh. By the time I was ready for home I was in the best mood I’ve been in all week. I think this is why these wonderful people are called therapists.

And now?

It’s mid-afternoon. I’m in the shade of a majestic weeping willow tree, with a big glass of minted water (soon to be Gin and Tonic), listening to Dark Side of the Moon while I write this post.

This is the best Friday I’ve had all year.

Wishing you all a chilled and fun weekend.

Cath xx

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Back on track – normal service resumes

Normality

Last week’s storm, the “Beast from the East”, is all but a distant memory following the rapid thaw over the weekend. With the roads and pavements clear of ice and snow I had no excuse for not resuming my Couch to 5K challenge.

I was worried that I might have lost some fitness during last week. I thought of repeating an earlier training run to see how I felt, but in the end I just went for it, starting week 6 training.

I needn’t have worried. It seems my legs have benefited from a little rest and a lot of yoga. Even though the training session had the longest run sections since I started, and the shortest recovery walks, (only one) I managed fine, and with a smile on my face for passing dogs and their owners.

I’m now running faster with less effort. You’d think with all this extra exercise that the bathroom scales would show some loss, but no. How rude! I think they’re broken or just being spiteful. I’m ignoring them from now on. What do they know?! My jeans are feeling more loose in the waistbands and upper thighs, all evidence of better health, no matter what the scales say!

Have a fun day xx