Friday, 16 March 2018

The Weight Loss Chronicles

                                    Related image

This photo is about exercise, but hey! It also is about Just Keep Going, in regards to anything to do with weight loss.
week 1

I’ve been overweight for a while

I have been trying to lose weight for some years now. It packs on with me, when I am under incredible prolonged stress with not enough sleep. Right on my middle, which is definitely stress weight loss. After a while, it decides to spread to other parts of my body. And then, it will be damned if it will leave me. Like being its own determined little entity.

weight loss and stress

You may wonder: what, a yoga teacher being stressed? Yes, us too. We do not all spend hours standing on our heads, nor hours in deep meditation, because, like everyone else, we too have families, have to pay the rent, and other important things, and there just isn’t the time for self-indulgence. However, I have, mostly, for decades, done meditation each morning. Not a great marathon of a meditation, but meditation nevertheless. Short and sweet.

And I do think that this is the way to go, with meditation. Short, sweet, and just do it. I feel that when people try to do long meditations on a regular basis, it ends up becoming like some scary lurgy awaiting oneself each morning. It can become a real trial, and then, often, morning meditation stops. And, some months later, the same overkill effort starts again. I have seen this cycle go on and on, especially with some yoga teachers. I would always say, make it less, and just do it.

Sometimes meditation just doesn’t cut it, on its own, with reducing stress. Sacrilege to say, but this is just my own personal observation. So, I let go of meditation for a wee while. I’m back into it now, but… I took a break! Whenever I sat for meditation, my angst and worries were right in my face, so to speak. I could not relax into the joy and peace of meditation.

reducing stress

Sometimes we just have to reduce any stress that we are able, in our situation, to reduce. And this is just what I did. I won’t mention any personal “stuff”, just the practical.

For about five months I worked at reducing stress. One of my stressors is that I have a permanently bad foot, and trooping up and down hilly terrain, like where I was living, is just not good for it. Of course, I was doing this to lose weight. Ha! It didn’t work.

I have moved to where it is a bit flatter so now I am able to resume walks, my foot is a lot better. But for five months I canned the stress and foot pain of determinedly marching up and down (actually it was limping up and down) those dreaded hills.

What I did do instead, was just to get up and move more during the day. In short spurts, briskly and with purpose. My foot was so happy!!

the dreaded set-point

I have veered between four kilos for quite a while. I would lose up to four kilos, my body would protest, and back up it would go. I believe that this is called a set-point. The point, or weight, that one’s body is “set” at. I have never, ever, believed in this. I have always felt that when one’s set-point is high, that there is an underlying reason. Maybe medical, like an hormonal issue, or it’s the awful food one is consuming, or, most importantly, there is an underlying emotional issue/s and our body responds by causing a weight gain and subsequent overweight “set-point”.

However, I am no medical person, nor dietitian, I am just a long term yoga teacher and healer who has worked with, and observed, hundreds of people. And these all are just my observations. A wonderful web site to go on is Jon Gabriel, who lost an incredible amount of weight, has kept it off, and who personally understands the whole stress and emotional issue of weight.

healing and weight loss

So, for over five months I also underwent a healing process with a Tohunga (Maori spiritual teacher, and in this case, also a healer). A proper one. I sobbed out the deep and painful hidden emotional issues of my entire life over those months, in those healings. I am so grateful to Mr Tohunga to have done this.

You would think that all that meditation would have done the process for me. Decades of faithful meditation. It did do a lot in reducing “stuff”, but not completely, and not enough. Meditation is not for healing, it is for something else. Visualisation is what people are usually doing, to do the healing thing in a meditative way. And, frequently others do the visualising thing to induce a meditative state. I don’t do this. I do good, old-fashioned, yoga meditation.

I’ve lost – how much? (wow!)

I have been doing some other things, food wise, etc, to lose weight. Nothing too full on, because I am very mindful of the stress thing. Hopefully I will be able to report, now and then, about my weight loss progress: six kilos so far. That’s almost a clothes size.  Not that you would notice it yet.

I had been hoping, for some time, to lose five kilos, and maintain that loss, because it would mean (to me), that I had broken the set-point barrier, because I had been unable to get past the see-saw between four kilos routine. It was completely by mistake that I realised the loss. I had completely stopped weighing myself. Why? Because in some bizarre, illogical, and completely not understandable way, I decided it was bringing me bad luck, weighing myself each week or so. So I put away the scales for a while.

Then, a sister whom I hadn’t seen for a while, told me that I’d lost weight. Of course I believed I hadn’t. So I checked. I weighed myself. My avoidance of that scary little scale must have worked. Obviously. I decided to ignore the weight loss, so that it wouldn’t curse me by returning.

But, a few weeks on, I even believed that it had actually returned with me eating a different diet by having a new flatmate who eats different food than I. I couldn’t bear to look at said scary scale. But I finally did. And, yes, I had not only maintained, but was down another kilo, making six kilos gone.

weight loss blogs

So, I decided to blog about my very own weight loss, and may that loss continue until I am back to being slender.  And, maybe there will be some hints for you in there, too.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

A Beautiful Home


True confession

I admit it. I am not a great homemaker, putting cushions and flowers and nice things around the home. I don’t decorate it to look a particular way. And, this is just the way that I am. I am a minimalist. I like space to move in and I really don’t like having to always clean clutter.

New home, new flatmate

When a sister was coming to live with me, in a “new” house, I panicked. I berated myself for having so much “stuff”. I thought that maybe I had (selfishly) taken up all of the available space with my belongings. So, I hastily packed up even more of my “stuff” to go to a market. I was in full-on panic mode.

Ha! It turned out that I didn’t have many belongings, after all. I realised this when she turned up with a small removal truck. It was chocker full. Yes. Really. In came all of the boxes and furniture. I watched, in fascination, as more and more stuff appeared.

The decorating begins

And the next day, she got busy. Before the crack of dawn. It was so exhausting to watch……

Boxes after boxes were emptied. Things were put away, put up, and just generally decorated. Giant plants, cushions, pictures, statues, mirrors, knick knacks. I have barely ever knick knacked in my life. I was bedazzled watching it all. Actually my sister is an artist, so in reality, it was our abode which was being bedazzled. I was fascinated, and amazed, at the whole process.

What makes a house a home?

At the end of the night, most of it was done. At least, that’s how it looked to me. (No, it turned out that there was more to come). After a chat, I realised that all of these bits and pieces mattered to her, and that they made where she lived, feel like home.

I have tons of books. I seldom read fiction, but I have books on the deeper esoteric aspects of yoga. Now, I should add that I seldom ever read them, but hey, I might want to. One day. And I have some priceless old yoga books, which I do love. And some beauty books, and some vintage health books, which I also love. All of these books matter to me. As do my yoga statues, esoteric paintings, and photos of my family. These all make where I live, be my home.

The key to making your home beautiful

I think that what matters in decorating one’s abode, is in realising what matters to you. For some people it’s their garden, or having a kitchen which they love. I love having a pet live with me. That is so special, but is not a feature in my life at the moment. A friend has lots of crystals and flowers throughout her home. If she hasn’t got many flowers growing, she just goes for a walk, and comes home with some that she has picked from the wayside. Another friend has plants, crystals, flowers, candles, posters and paintings everywhere.

I feel that to have a beautiful home, it is worthwhile to putting some thought and feeling into:

What matters to me that can be reflected in my home, or garden? Giving you emotional satisfaction and pleasure.

What matters to my family, that can be included in the home?

What can I let go off, to make way for this?

My contribution to our home is that I am having my beloved books put up on shelves. Mysteriously, lots of shelves arrived in the aforementioned removal truck. And we are getting some more. Already I was full of satisfaction at the thought of it. 


Sunday, 28 January 2018


                                        Image result for witty comments about having too many belongings

Why downsize?

Why, oh why, do I keep downsizing? I'm at it again. Off have gone all the belongings that I didn't need nor use.

I have a small library of books and "stuff" ready to go to the local Hospice shop. I feel very virtuous  doing this, and from time to time, I do wonder if my belongings are causing overflow in the charity shop where they have been dropped. So much stuff! Where has it come from over the last two years? (this is actually a Divine and unanswerable question)

And why am I downsizing again? I am moving. I don't know where, and I've given notice to the property manager of wee cottage, so I am getting a little bit frantic, thinking of how I may end up frequenting various couches of my friends until I find somewhere. And, it does seem as though each place that I live in, gets smaller, and that leaves very little room for my quirky stuff.

We keep what matters

And also, we change. What matters to us, changes, over a lifetime. Plus, I came to realise that some of my "treasures" had mattered to me, only because in some way they were fulling a void. Some things like family photos, artwork from one of my children, jewellery from Mum, presents from my family, a little Wedgewood jewellery box that Dad and I gave to Nanna for her birthday, and then it was later bequeathed to me on one of my birthdays - all of these are priceless treasures. I could not give them away. But the rest were, indeed, filling a void.

The void that is left

What is this void? I suspect that it is probably similar for most of us: lack of some thing specific in our life. It could be anything, often there is no explanation for this.

Or, feeling that we are lacking within our personality, that we are not enough. I realised that some of my belongings were fulfilling this aspect. Weirdly, I never used those items, so out they must go.

Know that we are enough on our own

We all have times when we do not feel enough, I know that. Time, I feel, to get back into knowing that I am, indeed, enough. On my own, without props (except a bit of make-up, I'm not brave enough to go without that). In these times when we are encouraged to be everything, the feeling that we are not enough, is so easy a trap to fall into. Marisa Peer super life coach and hypnotherapist, frequently emphasises that we need to tell ourselves:

                                            I am enough; I have enough. 

I had an epiphany moment where I realised that some of my unusual and vintage books were 100% to do with two of my children, and that they reminded me of special days with them. Which was why when I had a clear out and passed them on to a charity shop, I would then always go out and buy them again.  Several times over. Yes, really. But I have let some of them go, and I am determined that I will not repurchase them. I am feeling both brave and sad at the same time.

I have also sent any unused cosmetic stuff to the hospice. I am notorious in hanging onto these. Beautiful shoes that I never wore because they didn't fit properly, any lovely garments given by friends but didn't suit me, off they went too.

Fill the void created

But all of this biffing also leaves a void. And, nature abhors a vacuum. Meaning, if we don't fill "spaces",  or vacuums, which have been created, by, in this case, downsizing, clearing out "stuff", then the law of nature is that, that space will be filled by the rhythm of life itself. And not always to our benefit.

So this is something that is good to ponder when we downsize:

                                      What will we fill this void, the space created, with?

And finally, I just could not resist this:

                                    Image result for witty comments about nature abhors a vacuum

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Marisa Peer: love what you do

Marisa Peer:

                               Related image

I was listening to a video clip from Marissa Peer, hypnotherapist, whereby she links pleasure to accomplishing something. Marissa says that our brains will always do what we want: for example, we might repeatedly tell ourselves that we hate our job. And then, mysteriously, our body responds by getting sick so that we get sick so we can't do the job.

I once worked with a woman who would get indignant and self righteous over trifles, and decided that our boss was to blame for everything. She kept saying that he "made her sick". As you can guess, my friend got sick! Mysteriously sick. She went to a doctor, who told her.... that her boss "made her sick"! I kid you not. Actually our boss was a nice guy so it was quite confusing to me. I'm sure that you can remember similar stories from your own life, whereby someone had a self-fulfilling sickness prophecy.

Marisa says that the key to doing whatever you have to do & whatever you want to do, is to tell yourself that you love it & it becomes easier. Our body will respond by helping us to do whatever we need to do, because our inner being and our body will always look for pleasure rather than pain. And loving doing something is a pleasurable thing! So then, instant help suddenly comes from within ourselves.

But if we dread doing something,which is like linking pain to doing it, we just keep putting it off, and feeling less desirable emotions such as guilt, feeling "down", or tiredness, which is not such great news when we need to go to work, get healthier, clean the oven - whatever!

                             Image result for witty female houeswork quotes

When I heard this video, I was sitting, feeling down & overwhelmed because I'm leaving wee cottage soon & the real estate agent was coming around.

Panic! All that I could think of was : windows need cleaning, mouldy bits need to be washed off, including the mouldy path to the cottage; over the top spring cleaning; haven't gardened forever, etc etc etc. Honestly, all that was in my psyche over all this was a sense of being overwhelmed & crippled with it. And this of course is also about emotions. And my body was weirdly immobilized.

I instantly followed Marisa's advice. I told myself that I love having a clean cottage. Bam! I couldn't stop myself, cleaning fast, hither & thither. Like an olympic sprinter. (I was impressed with myself, actually.....). My energy came right up!~ Instead of having down energy & emotions, I had dynamic, happy energy & feelings.

I was so impressed by this technique.  Actually I cheated a bit... I also added excitement! Excitement at having a spotless, gleaming wee cottage. And. also weirdly.... I have been happily maintaining having everything tidy and in it's place. This is so not the usual me...... I am usually tidy-ish, yes, but not fanatically so.

So, I have been wondering what else that I could apply this to? At present I am looking at everything this way: love and excitement. What do you need to do, that causes inertia, or dread, or excuses? Maybe you could try this technique too, and perhaps let me know how you got on.

Friday, 12 January 2018

how can we manifest our dreams?

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the New Year Resolution quandary

At the start of every year, most of us are busy making or deciding, on our New Year's resolutions. Often they don't get followed through, and sometimes they don't manifest at all.

how do we make them happen?

So, what can we do to have our wants, dreams, goals, aspirations, manifest?

step one:

The first thing is to write them down. Apparently, when we write something down, it is more likely to be fulfilled. I can attest to that. I have often found lists that I had made in previous years, and been totally surprised that in some way or another, the goals that I had listed, did indeed happen, even if it was not in that year, and often they happened differently to how I thought things would work out.

extra options:

You can do other things too, according to what suits you: you can journal your path to that goal, you can have a vision board, you can visualize the outcome of that goal or dream. You can make lists where you tick things off. Another blogger likes Excel and uses that to mark off her daily & weekly goal tasks.

second step:

The second most important thing is - don't confine yourself too much to how you think the achieved goal, dream, will be once it happens. It can be better and bigger than what you had thought it could be, and it may even morph into a different , more beneficial direction, which is very common.

but that's not all......

But on the other hand, we do need some idea of the achievement, to drive us forward to reaching it. A paradox, to be sure. Why do we need these ideas? Well, perhaps if we look at the emotions involved with achieving our dream, rather than ideas. Why, because we are feeling creatures, our emotions are so tied up with our life, from the joys to the deep despair. This is how we are. And it is also emotions which can either propel us to our destination, or completely halt what we are trying to do.

a lovely secret:

We do need to have an idea of the sort of emotions that we would need to get something done, and how we would feel when we have achieved it. A most useful, and lovely, emotion is excitement. Like a happy, dynamic tingle which goes through every part of us, creating a momentum towards the outcome. So, what can we do to create this excitement? Sometimes just thinking about what we are after, will create that excitement. Sometimes we do have to work at creating it and building it up by repeatedly bringing the completion or achievement of the goal to mind, along with the sensation of excitement.

We all have had times of excitement whilst going to do something, or waiting for something. Remember the excitement of being very young and waiting for Santa to come? How excited you were before your birthday party? The happiness and excitement of looking forward to being with a partner whom you are in love with? Yes, excitement is within us all, just a-waiting for a chance to express itself.

Why is it important to be excited about the (future) achievement of our dreams? There is a very special reason. The Heart Math Institute In the USA has studied and tracked people for decades, to find out what creates emotional intelligence, known as E.Q. (emotional quotient), and also the traits of those who are emotionally intelligent. It seems those those who have a high E.Q. have happier lives.

Why? E.Q. is about understanding, and utilizing our emotions, in our life. In other words, knowing oneself by knowing our emotions, and being able to motivate oneself via emotions. Being able to relate to others' emotions is important too. So, it is different from I.Q. which means Intelligence Quotient and which is about how we learn, understand, and apply information in various settings.

How can we get or increase E.Q? It can be developed and built upon. I honestly feel that life helps us to be more caring, but there are other ways, too.

how to do the lovely secret:

It can be created in childhood, by encouraging a child to wait for something, and be okay about it. Have you seen a child wait for something that they want to have? Like a bicycle for their birthday, or a trip to a place where there are exciting and scary rides. They get excited, jump, hop, dance, and just generally be happy. But if we just give everything to our children, without helping them learn how to wait for something, we are stunting their E.Q. We are taking away a chance to be happier. This does not apply to putting an icecream in front of a child and not letting them touch it, though!

It's also training for not relying on instant gratification for our happiness.

It is the same for us. We can learn happy anticipation, we can develop excitement as we wait for and work towards something. These emotions are like fuel which propels us forwards. It is impossible to sit still and not do something when these emotions are running through our being.

So, our dreams, our goals - how would you feel being excited about them happening?

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Saturday, 6 January 2018

2018 and choices

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I have decided to have choices, not resolutions, for 2018. Why?

I always have the future in mind. As opposed to living in the future, I might add. No, I always know what direction that I want to take for the following year, as one year draws to a close. I don't always achieve what I set out to do. I've realised that no one is an island. We don't just decide this, that, and the other, and get it all done, with no interference, no hiccups, nothing to create ripples in our life. Quite the contrary. Sometimes almost everything can go wrong. And this happens in life.

Sometimes it's oneself. Sickness, having to earn extra money for the family, not being disciplined enough: honestly, there are a myriad of unforeseen things that can halt our progress. Sometimes things happen with family and friends whereby what we want to do - it's not as important as what is going on around us.

My choice, in these instances, is just to wait until things are okay, or better. Until the stars align to enable getting moving with one's plans and dreams.

I have had such a year. And now, as a new year is arising, I'm ready to resume my plans of choice. I used the difficult times to make background plans for the direction of 2018. And that, too, was a choice. Handle whatever.... but make a choice to hold onto the dream, the direction in which you want to go.

Sometimes it can take me ages to sort out what direction to go in, particularly with work. I find making the choices of all that one can do, difficult. I always joke that it's because I am a double Libran. Libra sun, Libra moon ( moon sign rules our emotions). Libra is the sign that (apparently) finds decision making hard. But I only find decisions hard when they are not important. Why is this so?

                                    Image result for witty quotes on values

When you find the right decision, the right choice - it's All Systems A Go! You just know when you find it, because it resonates with one's beliefs, one's values. And these are the important choices. I think that's why they are so easy to make, because we are dealing with issues that are close to our heart.

Our heart cannot lie. Different parts of our mind can "lie" as in rationalising, or justifying, or wanting. But our heart is closely allied to our values, and I do feel that this is because our values, when they are in line with our heart, our values they marry with our conscience. Although our gut feelings can also "tell" us when something is right or wrong, when we are close to our inner self - we find it hard to go against our values.

I teach deep spirituality, via Yoga. I'm always being asked to teach more classes. A couple of years ago, I made a choice not to do that, because in my heart, I knew that it wasn't "what I am about". I felt that it was like always suggesting to an engineer that they fix dripping taps for a living, instead of doing engineering. So, rather than take more yoga classes, I prefer to teach seminars, because they are a better vehicle for teaching deep spirituality.

It was a big step, stopping teaching lots of classes, because it was my livelihood. But my choice, following my heart, was to downsize, and let the Inner Me shine forth. I have not regretted this decision. Another direction came clear straight after that choice. As though it was just waiting for a space to manifest in. And the new direction was even closer to my values.

And our values, they too define "what we are about". When we know our values, what we ideally can and can't live with, then it becomes easier to make choices. And when we are firmly established in our values, we are happier, stronger. Our choices then become easier to make.

So, for me, 2018, is about choices in line with my values.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Christmas Countdown: the feeding of Santa's helpers

                                   Image result for santas reindeer

This is such an important part of Christmas.

It deserves the utmost care.

Have you thought of those who need watering and feeding Christmas Eve, and very early Christmas morning?

Yes, that's right, I'm talking about: Rudolph, Dancer, Prancer, and co. Busy work pulling that heavy sleigh through the skies, through hours on end, through different time zones. Not to mention all that careful landing and taking off, all through those hours. And having to be quiet about it so as not to wake anyone.

True Reindeer Story:

When my 2 eldest children were young, we had a concrete verandah outside the front door, and we lived on a large section, so there was lots of space.

By the way, at the back of our property, there were very large paddocks with horses roaming in them.

But, I digress. Each Christmas Eve was the solemn occasion of my two young children and their father collecting long grass, from the above mentioned paddock - they just whipped over the fence to get it. Putting it on the verandah and probably some water too. For Rudolph and his mates.

And, would you believe, every Christmas morning we would go outside and Oh, my gosh! Most of the grass would be eaten, and.... those darn reindeer, they always did poos on our verandah. Children's father would get extremely cross and rant and rave, then have to clear it up.

I kid you not. Every year.  It was an amazing thing to happen, those reindeer choosing us.

The Weight Loss Chronicles

                                     This photo is about exercise, but hey! It also is about Just Keep Going, in regards to anything t...