Saturday, 31 December 2016

Time for the dreaded New Year's Resolutions

                          Image result for new year resolution lists

Confession time

I cannot remember one single year when my New Year's resolutions: 

  • manifested
  • were followed through
  • or even remembered. 
I have come across scraps of paper, & notes scribbled in my appointment diary (I have a new one each year, & yes, mysteriously, I do keep them), where I've made a wee list of Things That I Want (that I really, really want!) to achieve:

  • Not have
  • but more do
  • & arrive at a goal. 
I am one of those people who truly think that it's more rewarding to do something/s to achieve something/s.

And, often, I look at those wee lists, & frequently find that I did indeed end up achieving what was on those lists. Not everything, but most things. 

And, usually when I read those lists, I have by that time, forgotten all about those goals. And, because I've been so slack, they have manifested in a later year. 

Writing out our goals is what works

However, I have found forgotten lists 10 years old, which were not New Years resolutions, and that I (mostly) achieved. I can't actually figure out how it works, but apparently, when we write out our goals, we are more likely to achieve them. 

But, I do think that it would have helped to remember them, & follow through. 

So, this year I am intending to:

  • do a goals list, put it up on my bedroom wall
  • & also put up post-its with goals etc written on them, at eye level
  • maybe even splash out with a vision board for my goals

The beginning of each year is when my life always changes....

What does happen instead of working on my resolutions, is that my life changes, every year, in the 1st week of January. I kid you not:

  • marriage break-up
  • leaving another bad situation very, very quickly
  • rent going up by a lot of money, so that I have to urgently find a new place
  • friend, work & family stuff....the list goes on. 
I am sure that an astrologer would look at my chart, nod sagely, & enigmatically say something that explains it all, like "ah...yes". And leave me wondering just what the heck those 2 words mean in context of my dramatic new year happenings.

But this year, in the midst of it all, I shall keep working on my new year resolutions for 2017. Which, incidentally, I intend to be a great year.

And I wish for yours to be great & fantastic & happy, too.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Hands & expression

Image result for vintage french woman beautiful hands drawings

Expressive Hands

I went through a brief o.c. (obsessive-compulsive) moment of googling Ines de la Fressange, who is of course the epitome of Parisian chic, a while ago. 

What totally fascinated me....actually everything about her fascinated me....but in particular, it was the expressive way she has of waving her hands around as she talks. It's quite mesmerising, & of course, everything about Ines is indeed mesmerising.

My Ladylike Hands

I was taught to speak The Queen's English, & to be ladylike with it. And of course, there is no hand waving involved. This does have it's advantages. It enables one to appear to be quite composed, even when one actually isn't. Very sneakily helpful when one is dealing with a difficult person, or situation. 

It can denote an air of quiet confidence, which, for a shy person like myself, is very helpful. One can even appear to know what is going on, even when one is feeling quite clueless. Ah, yes, definite advantages.

So I would never be expressive with my hands...because, well, I just wouldn't. I might like to...but I wouldn't. Because I don't know how. And also, because I have not been blessed with exquisitely long fingers. I have medium fingers, with very short nails. 

As I am a healer, it just would not do to dig my nails into a client, nor would it do to accidentally scrape them with my talons. So short nails it must be. And I don't wear nail polish, so that's another reason for not waving my hands around as I talk.

My supple hands

But my hands & fingers are very supple. I don't have joint pain, & my wee wrists are strong. These are great pluses. As a yoga teacher, I have regularly done hand exercises, over the years. 

Making a loose fist with your hands, & then rotating them around the wrists, one way, then the other, is an excellent exercise. We need to be able to move our wrists!

How To Have Supple Hands

  • Touch your palms & fingers together & push them against each other
  • then do the same with the backs of the hands touching each other
  • bend each thumb & finger forwards & backwards
  • shake your hands & fingers releases tension. 
Such easy little ways to keep good movement in your wrists & fingers. It is far more important to me to have flexible & useful hands, than stiff hands with nail polish. (I secretly would love to have beautiful hands with manicured & polished nails, though)

Special Care For Our Hands

And I do look at yoga clients' hands as I am teaching. If there is damage, or arthritis, there are so many poses that won't be good for them. If I had arthritis, I would gently stroke my hands & fingers, often. This releases oxytoxin, the love hormone, & damaged hands surely would appreciate this.

Some of the other ways to look after your hands are: 

  • wear rubber gloves when washing anything (except when washing people, of course), & when using cleaning products
  • if you can, put oil, lotion, cream or vaseline on first, & do this too before putting on any gloves for any reason. Use hand cream, or indeed, any cream, often, massaging it in well
  • I often do this just before sleeping. I feel most virtuous doing this. And I feel absolutely pompous when I use balms or vaseline under cotton gloves as I sleep. You wake up with soft beautiful hands when you do this.
  • When I rub in kawakawa balm, from my friend Carolyn here, my hands just drink it up! Kawakawa is so restorative for skin. (When I go to her place & there is a tester in sight...then, as her friend, I do feel that I must test it....)
  • If you use any creams rub them well into your cuticles too. That way, you won't need to buy cuticle oil/cream.  And any face scrubs are good for our hands too. I often feel than some body scrubs are a bit much for the delicate skin of our hands.

You can also rub in bits & pieces of food, eg:

  • the inside of an avocado skin
  • or the inside of a piece of fruit skin
  • a touch of your fresh juice
  • a dab of milk or yoghurt
  • a few drops of oil. 

It's like feeding your skin, giving your hands a beauty mask.  Leave your rub, or dab, on, for a wee while, then rinse off

                          Image result for hand exercises


Thursday, 8 December 2016

image:attractiveness/8: arms & hands & sun damage

                                 Image result for french beautiful arms drawings                           

Sun damage

I have resisted this post, for weeks. Why? Because I don't like the shape of my arms, and sun damage has been rapidly showing on my arms and hands. I guess that's what one eventually gets for childhood and teenage years spent frying for hours in the sun. Yes, I too have emulated a roasting spit by oiling up with coconut oil before cooking in the sun. I spent a day on a boat in Bali a couple of years ago, well actually heaps of the time I was downstairs trying to handle seasickness. And when we got back that night, I had a massive sunspot on my face. When I spent a week in Samoa, despite being real careful regarding the sun, I came back black (according to one of my kids), as I tan very easily.

Cumulatively, pay-back time is here for me, obviously, regarding sun damage. Despite many years of being so careful. Despite being naturally olive skinned.

Use our SPF

Over the years, I have learnt to apply sunblock to my arms (and exposed area of my chest) before stepping outside. So, that's some prevention, and remember, it's never too late to slow down, or halt, and in many cases, reverse, signs of ageing and/or, neglect.

Diet helps our skin

Wee tips for handling the sun in regards to your skin: look to your diet. 

  • green tea, red, orange & yellow fruit and vegetables reduce sunburn intensity
  • omega 3 fatty acids (fish oils & flaxseeds) guard against sunburn
  • dark chocolate is also good
  • some of these foods, eg carrots, are also believed to reverse sun damage
  • and I do recall how years ago, the B vitamins, in particular B3, niacin, are recommended during summer as preventing photoaging (sun damage). You can cause a real B vitamin imbalance by taking not taking all the Bs together, so look for foods that contain the Bs. Wheat germ, nutritional yeast, if you can handle them (I love them!) and dairy yoghurt, are all good sources.

Push ups for arms

What about the shapes of our arms? I do push-ups against a bench, quite often, keeping elbows in close to graze the sides of my ribs, for the triceps. You can also turn your hands in a bit, with thumb tips touching, and index fingertips touching, palms flat. This will create a triangle shape, and will make your elbows point out sideways. Do push-ups, against the wall or a bench, or on the floor, in this position for triceps toning. Our triceps are the bits of arm that store fat, get flabby. Ugh!

More arm exercises

There are many exercises for the triceps. A very good tip for arm tone is to do a few quick arm exercises, one after the other, without lowering the arms, not even in between the exercises, keep the arms up. This "exhausts" the muscles & is very effective as our muscle fibres then have to do repair work on the affected areas, & this repair work helps build up the muscles.

                            Image result for arm circles

  • take arms out sideways, stiff, palms up, then twist them so that palms turn up, but the opposite way to when you started, keep repeating. This confuses the muscles & it's this confusion that creates the fibre repair
  • then keeping your arms up sideways and stiff, make fists with your hands, and do circles with your arms, go one way, then do the other
  • keep the arms up high, take them behind you with palms up, then lift your arms up and down to tone triceps
  • you can also do any of these arm exercises with light weights
  • if you start with a couple of each, doing your desired number for one exercise, then going straight onto another, you will feel it!! 
  • you can increase the number of each that you do, as you are able
  • do all this about 3x a week, on alternate days, so the muscles have a chance to do their repair work

Easier arm exercising

Alternately, you could just choose one of the above exercises or push-ups, and do 20 every day. Your arms will thank you by developing lovely tone.

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