Friday, 20 September 2019

moving in different worlds

                             Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, selfie

I moved from one world, into another, when I was young

When I was twelve, I went to live with Dad, and my beloved Nanna, Grandad, and Aunty who was only eighteen months older than myself. I have been grateful for this my whole life. 

I entered a different world from the one that I knew. It was a lovely, gracious, idyllic world that I went to. 

As the eldest of five little girls, I had come from a world of responsibilities, with very little free time, and Mum didn't have much money.  I recall how, if there was free time whilst I was still living with Mum, I would hide quietly reading whatever I could find to read, hoping that she wouldn't notice me, so that I could have some time off chores. I am not complaining. This is simply the way that it is, in a big family. The eldest do as much as they can to help. I loved my Mum, and hated seeing how much work she had to do. Mountains of washing every day, using an old copper and boiling hot water, then in time moving onto a wringer washing machine. Washing and sweeping the bare floors. Tons of dishes. Five children to care for. I did Mum's shopping for her from a young age, as the shops were some distance away and she couldn't leave a baby or toddlers to go and buy bread, or whatever.

Whereas at Nanna's, I had tons of free time. Most of which was spent at the beach with my new best friend. I had chores too. But not many. 

My best friend from that time has often talked about what a privileged life that we led. But how she never knew. Because it was the only life she had known. I knew, though. And I certainly appreciated it.

each of our worlds has it's own gifts

I often say that I was a child of two worlds. Even now, I consider myself a person who moves in many worlds. All of which I am quite comfortable with. Because I know them. And I understand them all. Being a Libran who often sees the world through rose tinted glasses, I still look for the best in each world. And, why wouldn't a person do that? There is value in everything. 

my Dad could mix with anyone

It was not just moving into a new life that made it easy to move indifferent worlds. It was also my Dad. This was one of his qualities which I so admired. Dad could move in many worlds. Both of my parents were born just before the Great Depression, so almost  everyone had very little money, no matter what kind of world you had come from. But Dad had come from a relatively elegant world of ease, compared to most people in New Zealand. 

So, he had the ways and manners which reflected that. Sometimes when I went to live with Nanna, he would take me to his friends' to play with their children whilst he hung with the adults. I recall going to a Maori family's home. Young, not much money. Kids everywhere. Out came the guitars, lots of singing. One of Dad's worlds. Of course, I so knew that world. I slotted right in. I was 'at home'. Instantly.

Dad was only in his early thirties at that time, so in a way he was still an out and about young man. Interestingly, not all of his friends were young. He took me to have a small holiday at an older Maori lady friend's home, on my own. It was just like being in Nanna's world, so that was easy for me, too. Ivy fascinated me. She was so quietly cultured. It's a particular way of being that many older Maori had. I don't know why Dad took me there to stay, I didn't know her, but I was grateful and I loved it. I can still see her beautiful home, in my mind's eye. I eagerly asked her lots of questions. Ivy taught me, by just being herself, that everyone has a story. That everyone is interesting. From Ivy, I always know that if I am with an older person, to ask questions about times in their lives. Real history will come out. A real treasure!

Dad's special times with his Grandparents

When the Great Depression was happening, Dad was sent to live with his Dad's parents, in Taranaki. He told me how he was one of the few kids who had boots to wear. Not many people had money for shoes for their children. Great Gran was such a lovely person, I know it was so special for him to be there. He said that he loved it. His eyes lit up as he told me about it. 

Great Grand-dad spoke eight Maori languages, or dialects. On Friday nights, he would take Dad into the local township, which quite likely was more of a village in those days, to meet up with Great Grand-dad's Maori friends. The women had their best clothes on, with scarfs wrapped around their heads, as per the style of the time. The men wore suits and bowler hats. In those days, men wore a particular type of large watch on a chain, called a fob watch, and that watch would tuck into a suit pocket on the chest, called a fob pocket. The Maori men wore their large tikis instead, on a chain, tucked into these pockets. 

                                        Image result for tiki

A tiki is an ancient symbol, with a deep esoteric meaning to do with Gods and creation of people. However for international purposes it might be easier to explain it as a symbol of fertility and good luck, and tikis are considered to be special gifts. 

Dad 'left' some of his legacy within me

When I last saw Dad, a few months before he died, I suggested that it would be good to tape him talking about those times, but sadly he passed over a few months later. So much history of our family dies, unknown, when we do not allow older people to reminisce. That history is part of us, too. 

As I said, I am very grateful for these Lessons of Life, which I learnt during my years with my new family. They enabled me to move freely in other worlds, to understand that things are different in various life situations, and that this is okay, that it all just adds to the richness of Life.

I became a healer of the ancient Maori modality, called Romiromi, about ten years ago, at the same time studying the deep spirituality of the Maori culture. This year I have been learning the language. I am quite sure that Dad would have liked to know that I have been doing all of this.

Friday, 13 September 2019

the great spring overhaul

                                     Image result for vintage french magazine bath

overhaul what?

Moi. I am feeling that I need a wof. Warrant of fitness. And a tune up. And a clean out, polish and tidy.

wof for my tootsies

It all started when I did The Great Reveal of my feet. The feet which have been encased in socks for months. Months! Clearly, I needed to remove the chipped nail polish, pumice my heels, and have some giant moisturising efforts. I had a professional pedicure earlier this year, and am going to steal some of what they did:
  • a nice pumice of the heels
  • a grainy scrub massage; I have some Fiji sugar scrub (very luxurious)
  • they filed the nails. Well, really! Who can do that? I have tiny feet, so most of my toenails are also very tiny. But a miniature curve at the sides of the big toenails did look good, and is very steal-able
  • then another massage with moisturiser
But, I have a piece de resistance: rub in oil, lotion, and a thick cream (like vaseline), put on socks just before you go to bed. When you wake up, be careful as the soles of your feet can be a bit slippery. But, your tootsies? They will look and feel divine. Amazingly I have ended up with special sockettes to use with overnight pampering. Where did they come from? (Another of life's mysteries) I am not feeling like doing the nail polish thing, at the moment, even though it does look nice. 

and for my hands

My hands: yes, well. They are obviously "working hands". I need to keep my fingernails short-ish, as I am a healer, and don't want to dig my talons into people, nor accidentally scratch them. Yes, I have made the mistake of doing both. Not a good look. A trim and a slight filing of the corners, then a gentle sugar scrub, followed by a massage with the above concoction, old gloves on overnight, and beautiful hands when you wake up. 

and let's not forget the body

When I was living in wee cabin, it was just too cold to do a body brush before a shower, so I used a gorgeous sandalwood soap and scrub gloves as I was under the hot water. I'm now feeling that as I'm now living in a warmer abode (thank you Universe), that I shall add some panic dry brushing as well. And I was a bit lax with body lotion when I was so cold, but truly, as we get older? Use that body lotion!!! Mine is almost used up, so I'll be adding some olive oil to it, to make it richer, and not waste any. 

Something which I have always religiously done, no matter how cold I am, is to moisturise down on my cleavage whenever I use anything on my face. And, after a shower, even if it's just a quick rub, I put body lotion on as well, for extra moisture on my (ahem) chest. And when I'm not being slack, I also put on some thick cream there, before bed. This is an area which can look really awful as the years go on, and I prefer to slow down this process.

This morning, I realised that I had been forgetting to do the cool to cold (depending on the season) quick rinse at the end of my shower. It's very reviving to do this. I usually can't face doing it during the cold weather, to be honest. 

So, time to stop being so slack!! Am I alone in all of this? I suspect not. The truth is that I feel I have let myself go a bit. The past eighteen months have been difficult, with changing where I live three times, difficulties left, right and centre, people stuff, not earning much (which is always hard), and studying full time. But the tide has turned, on all levels, for which I am so grateful. And, interestingly, mysteriously there is now also time for me to lavish a bit of care upon myself.

Thank you, universe (even though I know that you are incredibly busy......)

Friday, 6 September 2019

moving into spring

(vintage French Elle magazine spring issue about change of season, and change of our regimes to suit) 

                           Image result for vintage french magazine spring

I always enjoy "moving into spring"

What does it mean? For me, it's about having an overhaul of various aspects of my life. 

  • putting away the heaters. One is already stashed in a cupboard
  • throwing out the winter slippers. I just loathe grubby slippers
  • washing and stashing the winter bedding
  • warm dressing gown, flannel pjs, warm socks, beanies, woollen scarves etc, get stored away too

I know that spring, well it springs upon us, then unsprings with more wind and rain, then becomes nice weather spring again. Back and forth for a wee while. But still, the spring feelings are there. Feelings of new beginnings, and I always enjoy the wee "moi" tasks that move me into spring. 

I like to update and sort of have nice "moi" new beginnings.

I lighten my make-up, with colours and foundation. The natural light of spring is in itself, lighter and brighter than winter, of course, and I like to reflect these in how I decorate myself.

moving from winter to spring with clothing

I like to have some long sleeved tees for spring, to wear with jeans or trousers. In nice colours of course. Not as sombre as my winter colours. At the start of spring, I'm still wearing most of my winter trousers, moving into lighter fabrics as summer comes closer. And spring is when I might also wear tights. So, it's the darker winter colours on the bottom half, with the lighter, brighter colours of spring on the top half. 

And this is such an effective way to use our wardrobe, rather than having a different set of clothes for each of the four seasons.

I know that it won't be too long before I'm trotting around in jandals aka flip flops. This is such a casual country that they are sort of a way of life. But, I'll be looking for some nice ballerina shoes for this season, too. 

spring food

This is also, to me, a time to lighten up with food. Add more colour to our plate.  More soaked muesli rather than warm porridge. More juices. More fresh food, rather than casseroles and heavier winter food. In winter, warm, cooked food is a must for me, but as the seasons move into more warmth, it just makes sense for our food to follow suit and balance out the warmth with cooler foods. 

I really do enjoy spring: the spring cleaning, revamping make-up and clothes, a subtle change of diet, looking at being outside more. I don't enjoy walking in icy, heavy, sideways rain, so now that's easing up, more walks are in order. 

Thursday, 29 August 2019

has spring sprung?

                               Image result for daffodils

has spring sprung, or getting ready to spring?

I ask because I can see daffodils. In big clumps. Lots of them. Everywhere. A sure sign that the warmer weather is (thankfully) coming. And there are also so many other flowers blooming. 

Officially, spring starts tomorrow, in New Zealand. 

And, I notice it's not (quite) so chilly. The ice seems to have disappeared from the ether. Ah, the coming of spring. A time of new beginnings, new hope. I love spring.

I've moved! (yet again)

Not that there is actual ice, where I am living. I've moved from wee cabin high in the Waitakere Ranges. The rain belt of Auckland. Yes, it is. I love those ranges, I really do. When I found wee cabin, I had the distinct feeling that I wouldn't be there long, and of course, that is exactly what happened.  So, I decided to just quietly enjoy my time there. Which I did do. I hunkered down, and did the Just Be thing. 

I am now in a luxurious flat, which is more like a little house. I love this, too. Back in suburbia, and my life is now very convenient. It will be very easy for me to work and study from my new abode, which is a definite bonus. There is so much more room for me to Do My Thing.

I feel that I shall be here for quite a while. And I've been unpacking. For some reason, when I feel that I won't be in a home for long, I notice that I don't really unpack. I just don't seem to be able to get it together when I have those feelings. 

looking for the benefits

I've always looked for the positive aspects where ever I've lived. Even when I have that feeling of dread that it's just not going to work out. In these cases, I've always tried my best; gone out of my way. I didn't feel that way about wee cabin, though. I just wanted to submerge myself into the bush experience whilst I could:

  • the vibrations emanating from nature
  • the sounds of the birds calling out to each other
  • the sounds of the trees moving in the wind
  • the rain on the roof
  • the quietness
  • feeling close to Mother Earth
  • the beautiful night sky
  • feeling close to Sky Father
  • the amazing early mornings
  • the clean air

We are so lucky in this country, that there are still so many places like this.  And I also feel very lucky and grateful that I now have such an amazing flat. Not at all rustic, just gorgeous. 

I shall keep you all posted about the gorgeousness of it all. And, in the meantime, I am busy Putting Out My Stuff. I have yoga statues and similar bits and pieces. So Me. And lots of space to put my belongings neatly away. My tv didn't receive in the bush, but goes like a dream in my new flat. I shall be having te reo Maori (Maori language) programmes going, to help me with my studies. Absorption method. 

Being busy, being Me.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

If it works......

                               Image result for vintage french magazine cover

If it works:
  • don't make it better
  • keep doing it

Sometimes, I forget these. Well, often I forget them. Okay, frequently I forget them.

But I was thinking about these two 'principles' recently, in connection with having a better life. Specifically to do with diet and exercise, and also skin care.

So, basically, these two mean that if we keep doing whatever it is, that works for us, we will be able to just maintain. Meaning that we look and feel good, and keep on being that way. And feeling good, it helps, it really does help, in life. Not just emotionally feeling good, or thinking good thoughts about oneself, but also our bodies feeling good. Because once we feel physically good, we don't like to do things that make us feel a bit yuk. Well, just talking for myself, and from observing other people.

Sometimes, when I'm not feeling great physically, I go looking for a 'miracle cure', so to speak. You know, the latest diet craze, the miracle skin products (which I don't buy, anyway), what's the latest and greatest on the yoga scene. Which I seldom agree with anyway. So weird what we do.

And then I remember: it honestly is not about the money, it's about

  • finding out what works for you 
  • maintaining what works
  • consistency is how we maintain. Meaning doing things over and over. I mean, we do things over and over that don't work, and we always get the same useless result. So why not do the opposite: find out what does work, and just keep doing it for a great result. 

I wish I'd always kept up with daily walking

When I was a mum of young children, whether it was my first two, or, much later, my third child, I (we) had to walk and catch buses for quite a long time. Talk about keeping my weight stable, and my health good. But then, in both instances, life dictated that I had to go to work: instant stress driving long distances, organising school for children, etc, etc. I was so busy and stressed that there was no time for walking. I ate rubbish on-the-run because there wasn't time to sort myself out with food. And then, wonder of wonders, I simply couldn't understand why I suddenly put on some weight. More than the not walking, it was the stress and the awful eat-on-the-run, which are what always affects my weight.

I wish that I'd just kept doing the same old skin care

When I was a young mum, I used a natural oil on my slightly wet face, for a moisturiser. Just a few drops. Instant glowing skin. Now that is so 'in'. Why did I ever stop? And, because I didn't use much make-up, I used a special facial soap. Now, I think of these soaps (it was Shisheido, which is somewhat expensive) as a luxury.  About that time, back in the Days of Yore,  I met an old aunt-in-law who had the most amazing complexion. She had only ever used a wee bit of olive oil on her face each day.

I now use rosehip oil about every second night. Because I love the smell of roses. And it suits me. So I've been doing it since it became the latest and greatest. And for my body. I prefer soaps to those chemically charged body washes. So, I buy sandalwood or rose. I'm glad that I've kept doing this. It feels so special to use those lovely smells.

I often ask women who look fantastic about their make-up and skin care. Yes, I know. What a nosy person. And I'm always reminded that these women do the same things over and over everyday, using the same products every day. And not many products either. They just find out what works best and simply keep on doing it. Whether it's a moisturiser from the supermarket, or the chemist, a foundation, whatever. And the best part of being like this is, we don't end up having lots of products floating around, cluttering up our life.

Which is why, when I mysteriously do end up with extra 'goodies' such as face creams, perfumes, and always as gifts, I simply use them instead to reduce bathroom clutter. I thoroughly enjoy the change, then it's back to the old faithfuls.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

the joy of quiet time

                             Image result for quotes on being quiet

I love quiet time

Of which, of course, I am currently getting a lot of. Especially when the tv and internet won't work and it's too dark and stormy to go outside for a walk. And, double especially, when the power and water go off at the same time. This is when I have discovered the joy of very enforced early nights.

But, all joking aside, I do love quiet time. Probably because I am a fairly quiet person, anyway. I feel that quiet time is a chance when I am alone doing whatever I need to do, to let the thoughts and feelings just roll, uninterrupted by me having to be involved in them. And, mysteriously, I feel refreshed just from this, afterwards. It's really not mysteriously, as this is one of the ways that meditation works.

And that emptying, so to speak, it leaves us feeling good.

I need solitude. No tv, no radio, no music. I can get easily distracted by these, and I completely lose my train of logical thought when I'm working or studying, and maybe the tv is blaring. So when I'm working, and it's quiet: working heaven, for me.

When I was teaching a lot, all of that talking, I was so aware how tired I would be afterwards. Which is fine, because I so love teaching. So when I come home, I go into quiet mode, to replenish my vitality.

It's a 'thing' that I learned, so long ago, that silence keeps our prana, or life-force, intact. And I learnt this years before my Ashram days. I learnt this in my early twenties, when I first started yoga, and since then, I've certainly found it to be true. But I really believe in balance, (I am a Libran!) and that we are meant to interact with others, so that is so important too.

Constantly ;giving out' is one of the ways that we can feel so tired, so 'down', even just a little bit, and then our life-force can get low. 

how to replenish yourself

And, with 'getting' our energy, or maybe replenishing is a better word, apparently extroverts get it from other people. I  don't mean that they psychically vampire someone. No. It's that interaction with others which can refuel them.

And I have found, that we all do this. With some people, our energy just lifts right up. For me, my kids and grandchildren do this. As well as my friends. And others, of course. We all have those random moments of meeting someone and feeling so great afterwards.

Whereas an introvert gets that same sort of energy, from within. From within themselves. I feel that I mostly do this. Hence the need for my quiet time. And it's not that I'm doing nothing when I'm being quiet. I might be doing housework, reading, walking, meditating, studying, watching a movie. Anything really. But I'm not interacting, and that's the part that is important for me. And I've been this way all of my life.

For me, I am unwinding.

I even notice that when I'm in class, I just want to focus on what we are doing. I completely lose my train of thought if people talk to me at the same time. But for those talkative people, it's how they learn.

I know people who, when they alone, will have the tv blaring, even if they're not watching it. And that's fine, too, if it suits them. I guess that we all have to find what suits us best, what gets our own energy up. All of us being so different, so unique.

And, I feel, having the energy/interaction thing sorted, is a good tool to help us have a better life.

Friday, 2 August 2019

learning how to be happy

                            Image result for joanna lumley magazine covers happiness

still celebrity stalking

Oh, my goodness. Who is this person (moi), celebrity stalking? As you do when you're supposed to be studying. I also have learnt all sorts of weird and wonderful things that have no meaning nor place in my life. Study-procrastination. I seem to have it down to a fine art.

musings on happiness

I like Joanna Lumley. I "stalked" her. She's not 70 years old with the face and body of a twenty-five year old. But she does look fantastic. I can think of a couple of actresses who look twenty-five but are fifty. (hello Mr Plastic Surgeon) and they keep looking younger. Is this insane, or what?

But Joanna does look great. She is never ill. She has a couple of very sane and normal things that she does. And one is Being Happy. 

So many of us want to be happy, but what do we actually do to be this way? I know that all of us have crosses to bear during our life. Some much more than others. And we are always going to have to deal with difficult people. Surely all of these get in the way of happiness?  And there are also times when happiness is not what life is about. For example, I certainly have no interest in being happy when someone close to me passes over. 

It really does help if we have a fairly happy disposition. It definitely makes life nicer. I have had a couple of times in my life when I could not see nor feel any true happiness within my life. Even though I successfully hid this fact. So, for one of these times, I went to an alternative counselor. It was four or six times. And that was great. It was the right thing at the right time. 

The other time, some years later, I realised that I was really grumpy. I didn't like myself. I was being too affected by other people who weren't nice. So, I did quite a few months of healing sessions, with my teacher of that time. Wow. That was so profound. 

But, and for me this was the main point: I did something about it. All of the new age, spiritual and psychological talk in the world would not have affected me. Why would this be? It's because, for me "talk is cheap" and "actions speak louder than words". In other words, anyone can say "the right words" without any real meaning behind the words; anyone can parrot the latest ways to be; and, often not really doing these things themselves. But what we do, for me, is what gives the real results, and is how I personally walk my talk.

real gems of tips

Ah, the crux of the matter. Joanna suggests that we can practice being happy. And the way to do this, is to turn things around. The example she gave was: if you miss your bus (Joanna lives in London and takes public transport as a matter of course), rather than being negative about it, we can look for something to be happy about, in that moment. Say, she suggested, you look around and see a tree, and say to yourself "what a lovely tree". Immediately you are going to feel happier, rather than being negative because you missed the bus.

So, it's deliberately looking for things to be happy about. Little bouts of happiness. And this does make us feel better, overall.

"happiness is a feeling, but it's the things we do that make us feel that way"

I can't remember if Joanna said this, but I definitely believe it. She said that if we keep practicing this, turning things around, looking for things to be happy/ier about, then we cannot help but become happy.

It's like anything in life. Sometimes we have to learn how to do things.

moving in different worlds

                              I moved from one world, into another, when I was young When I was twelve, I went to live with Dad, and my ...