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.

Friday, 26 July 2019

the Art of Confidence

                  Related image   

Another celebrity tip, from Helen Mirren:

act confident, even when you're not feeling that way 

She says to:
  • have great posture
  • put on a smile
  • be nice
  • fake it

Great advice. I mean, a person would be halfway there with confidence, just using these tips.

I am a quiet wee soul

I confess, I am not naturally confident. I sidle in through doorways, quietly. I sit at the back of presentations and such when I'm not the presenter. I sit quietly at gatherings. I really find it hard to get up and introduce myself at group thingeys. I am sure that I am not alone, in all of this.

Actually, a big part of this is because I am a very private person. Part is that I had many years in the public eye, and I don't feel the urge anymore to do that. Even though, mysteriously, I still sometimes am.

It is so ironic, regarding moi. Being The Unseen, so to speak. For I am quite accustomed to standing or sitting in front of quite a few people, and giving a talk. Or teaching. I've taken hundreds of seminars in my lifetime. Countless talks. Written many articles. Mostly on all yoga, but also on healing.

helpful hints when we are nervous

And, I must say, it is so much easier when we are in front of people, if we are not talking about oneself. The moment that we are talking about ourselves, it mysteriously becomes an issue. I know that, in those moments, I have to:

  • take a deep breath
  • stand tall
  • centre myself
  • talk clearly and calmly
  • be quiet within
  • smile 

when it's me introducing myself. Even when I am secretly quaking inside.

Ah, the things that we do.

weird things that I've done in the name of confidence

More than thirty years of sitting on the floor in front of groups for hours, taught me a thing or two.

  • One is to sit still, and then when everyone closes their eyes for meditation, quickly move the position of my aching legs. Even have a frantic leg and foot massage. Then appear to have been sitting still in deep meditation when everyone opens their eyes. 
  • When my fellow teacher wouldn't stop talking, I would close my eyes with a half smile and look as though I was meditating. 

Hey, other people do these, too.

an easy confidence tip

But on a more serious note, I have only ever taught, with yoga and also healing, what I already knew. And in this way, I had full confidence. I still do in these areas. Because I know it all inside out. Then it becomes about what you are teaching, and whom you are teaching, rather than about oneself. The same goes for talks, lectures, writing articles.

And I do believe, at least for myself, that this is one of the keys to everyday confidence. Not making it all about oneself.

I know that I talk about the moi-iverse (the universe which is all about me), and I do know a fair few people who do live life as though everything is about them. Which, to me, is so silly. Because it's not.

But, really, I can be quiet and not always pushing myself out front,  yet still caring about others. Not making it all about moi. I know lots of people who are like this, too.

How do we do this, when maybe we are shy? Or not feeling confident.

everyone is interesting, has a story

All of the above tips help, I find. And a genuine interest in people. Everyone has their own unique story. I simply ask people what they do in their life. Honestly, people are fascinating. Everyone is. And just asking that simple question and following it up with even more questions usually leads to an interesting tet-a-tet. Shyness dissolves. I've made friends this way. I had to learn how to do it, because many moons ago, I didn't know how to. And I am so glad that I learnt. I've made friends just doing this. 

What do you do for lack of confidence?

Friday, 19 July 2019

the things that we do

                      Image result for quote about visualisation
                                                (so true)

the things that we do

This sounds, to me, like a joke. You know: 'the time that I did this, and the time that I did that'. Then we all laugh. I recall a very hilarious evening where myself and some of my sisters, told each other very private, and very funny, stories about ourselves, about such times. Stories that normally one wouldn't let anyone know about. I was so proud: mine were the best! Well, I thought so. And judging by the laughter, maybe they were.

But that's not what this post is actually about. It's about visualisation, and goals. Which can be great assets in our quest to have a better life. I was unsuccessful at visualisation for a long time. I couldn't understand why. I was doing visualisation the way that we are 'supposed' to, but it wasn't working. And I got quite confused about this. 

So, for example, say I want to have a beautiful home to live in. So, I visualise what I want in great detail. And carry on my merry way with my life. Sometimes, this really does work. But, there is something missing here. I am visualising what I want. Without any care nor thought about how to get this dream home. Nor if I'm actually meant to have a dream home, just the way I want it. 

Sometimes, I do feel that some of our wishes are actually not part of our life's plan. You know, the secret plan that was sorted out before you were incarnated into a lifetime. 

I have tried adding accomplishment dates. Um, that wasn't so successful, either. 

And, how I would feel when my goal was reached. No, that was a fizzer, too.  

And yet, these are apparently, the ways to visualise. In glorious technicolour. With sounds, feelings, and whatever else. Clearly somethings were missing. And it wasn't as if I couldn't visualise, either. I am a very visual person.

the secret of visualisation

But, I noticed something a while ago. I read The Silva Mind Control Method. For no other reason than mild curiosity. They recommended with visualisation, seeing oneself doing whatever it was that one desired to achieve.

The keys words being: doing, desire, and achieve. 

Seeing the scenario about six feet, or about two metres, away from oneself. 

And, just like that, I started 'seeing' me, well, visualising actually, about two metres in front of myself, doing whatever I had to do. In technicolour. And, the next thing I knew, I'd be doing it. I did this for silly things that I had been procrastinating about doing. Or, getting something to eat that was nice and healthy. 

I did it very casually, as if whatever I was visualising, was what was meant to be, no rush, no worries about it.  No stress involved. In a way this was all most annoying, because it was so effective! I had to 'do' all of these things that had been so hard to do.

I don't know if anyone else would find any of this useful. But, as a serial failure at visualising, I have found this 'new-to-me' method, really good. 

I might call it the 'ratnamurti-no-mind-control method'. 

Friday, 5 July 2019

rewriting your life

                                   Image result for rumi quote on dreams

a difficult time

I have been unwell and then managed to get the flu, too.  My immunity was so low from being with people who had the flu, and accumulated stress from a difficult year. Plus being 'all over the place' with

  • unpacking in my new cabin, without much space to put anything
  • sorting out my 'stuff'
  • making new boxes for the op-shop
  • studying, and having end of term tests. I have been really struggling. The good news, for me, is that I am incredibly determined, so I'm sure that I'll come out being fluent in Te Reo Maori. 

Being so sick made me stop and do nothing. I had to force myself to stop obsessing about 'getting things done', and just recuperate.  Which I did do, thanks, with the help of m'sieur netflix, a hottie, and sleep. Lots of sleep. 

Then suddenly, at the height of my being really sick, I had an epiphany. Yes, a big one. A First World one actually, but important for the happiness of my own moi-iverse, aka My World Is All About Me. Hopefully, to some extent at least, we all get to have moi-iverse times in our life. I think that my time is now. 

the Big Epiphany

I could rewrite my life exactly how I want it. Yes. It was as simple as that. I always know what I want to get done, but somehow circumstances have prevented this for quite a few years. I feel that I have removed most obstacles to my plans, but, I also know that life is always going to present Things That Get In The Way. I also gave so much of my time to so many situations and people, when I really should have just been more hard-hearted, and done what I wanted to do. 

Lessons, lessons. These sort of scenarios are truly my weak points. And I always learn The Hard Way that I'm making mistakes doing them. But that's okay, as life is for experiencing, learning, and loving.

So, in what sort of ways can I write my new history?

  • daily routines. For me, I just cannot see how I can accomplish my own dreams without making time to do them. Which means regularity with most things in my life, and just quickly getting these routines done rather than procrastinating. I find that regularity in many areas leaves time, too, for family and friends.
  • I was going for a walk most mornings, and often in the late afternoon, but now that I've shifted into the steep and winding Waitakere Ranges, I'm not sure that at the moment I can manage to emulate a mountain goat by tromping up and down these hills. Especially my amazingly (scary) steep driveway. Ah well, I'm sure that I can sort something out for heart fitness.
  • A regular time for studying. The recommended time is one hour daily (gasp!)
  • Sort out a do-able schedule for my new plans (secret)
I am quite excited about all of this. Sometimes, we just have to take stock of our life, and Sort It Out, other times a window of opportunity opens wide and beckons. It beckons: 'come, fulfill your dreams'

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

the big shop

Image result for witty saying about shopping

I have done A Big Shopping Expedition. But, because I actually dislike shopping, and am really not good at it, it was really only a wee incomplete Big Shop. And, therefore, another is in order.

How has this come about? Me, gasp! actually going shopping. It was a 'needs must', situation. As I unpacked my belongings in wee cabin, I noticed some things:

  • I didn't have enough warm clothes, and, I was so cold! Plus, frankly, my winter gear was tatty. Out a lot of it went. I bought a new pair of warm trousers, in black, of course; a wee red poncho/cape; a red jumper; and a teal green jumper. I just love strong jewel colours
  • my wee tootsies were cold. I really do have tiny feet, which is usually a source of amusement for other people. So, I bought some sneakers, and some ankle booties with heels. I had a look at the nice (expensive) sneakers and booties, and just got overwhelmed. Then, when I was in The Warehouse, the exact wee boots that I wanted caught my eye! Most satisfying purchases
  • I actually went there to buy some storage stuff for wee cabin, because I have no-where really to stash stuff. But hey, tomorrow is another day, and I can do this another day
  • I recently bought another stand up small oil heater, to deal with the lovely freezing cold. And I assembled my first ever 'thing', because I had to put wheels on the bottom. So I did. Upside down. And it took me ages to manage this
  • and this is nothing to do with anything, but, I found some nutella which is not made with palm oil. So delicious. I spend ages in shops, generally being a nuisance, reading labels to make sure that I am not buying anything that would harm an orangutan. Truly. This matters a lot to me. And I also avail myself of a good peruse of those junky 'women's magazines', which I don't buy.
So, who are these people who love shopping? I am not one of them. But, it was explained to me one day, by a very canny and savvy woman: when you go shopping for clothes, you are trying them on to see what suits you. Then, when the sales come around, if you really do need something, you already know what to buy. (It honestly amazes me that I have a daughter who is a good shopper)

Over the past few months I did some op-shopping with a sister. I find that I get a bit out of hand in those shops, and come out with lots of things that I don't need, and generally never use. Then back they go, as donations. So ridiculous. I now am avoiding browsing in them, but, with all of my unpacking, I am still gathering a lot of things to drop off. Wee cabin is just too wee for me to have much. 

If it works......

                                If it works: don't make it better keep doing it Sometimes, I forget these. Well, often I forget...