Life Lessons for the Living

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Recently I attended a couple of writing courses which have been great inspiration for writing of my book on health and well-being along with my long-suffering family history stories. Better yet though is that a little spin off group has occurred, which I was lucky enough to be invited too. Each week we share our writing and discuss our progress with the security of knowing we are among trusted friends. The other week we were given a topic to write on. It was a topic which got my brain firing and my fingers moving as I combined information about my self and well-being.

Some South Island sunshine and nature to brighten your day.

The topic was ‘What story would you tell if you only had one year to live’. I thought I would share it here too. Maybe, just maybe, there is something in it for you or those you love even if it is just some inspiration to write your own story……….

‘In my life there have been many stories that I have shared with those who matter and some with those who don’t. In fact, I can think of only one story that my children haven’t heard the full detail of.  In my mind it is the one story that would be better told by another, if at all.  In all my stories though there are themes which often repeat themselves; life lessons that are presented to me continuously.  Some have had to be presented via a proverbial ‘brick to the head’ while others have simmered away growing in strength as time goes by. So, with a year to live the story I would tell is ‘Life Lessons for the Living.’

  1. It is never too late to start

While Mum always told me I didn’t have any patience and was always in a rush to do things, both of which are true, I have not always met ‘expected time frames’ with regards to societal norms.  It maybe the quiet rebel in me that made me start driving much later than all my peers, go to university and beginning my degree at least a decade later than others and learn Spanish in my 30’s after wasting so much time at school determined not to learn French.   I finally traveled New Zealand in my 40’s; fulfilling my dream of living in a house bus.  Then at nearly 50 I started learning drums and roller-skating again, though not simultaneously.  So, whatever it is you want to start doing, be it learning, forgiving, moving or maybe just being don’t let anyone tell you it is too late. Especially not that little chatterbox in your head. Opportunities abound to support you starting your dream when you begin to look.  Thankfully, my mother passed on in unspoken deeds that there was never any age limit on life, never any limit  to what you could do or when it was possible to do it.  As Henry Ford once said ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right’.

2. Trust your intuition

This is one of the most important lessons I have learnt and which I am still learning every day.  Research tells us that we actually have two ‘brains’, the brain we all know and the stomach or more accurately the digestive system.  The cells in the brain and the gut originate from the same tissues and basically decided to take two separate roads of development.  Both have the power to help govern what we do.  That churning stomach or those ‘butterflies’ may be just as informative as any thought power we give to an issue.  These two, the brain and the digestive system, are also linked with the Vargas nerve so are constantly working together with their shared neurotransmitters and hormones.  My advice, for what it is worth, is to listen closely to that little funny feeling you get or that gut reaction to events and trust it. Too often I have ignored my intuition only to have it proven correct at a later date.  Our brain rationalizes events whereas our gut instinct or intuition invariably reads the situation exactly how it is. So, trust yourself and reap the benefits. 

3. Find and follow your own path

I know, I know it’s a complete cliché but it’s true.  The importance of following your own path is beyond expression.  For much of my life I tried my hardest to adapt, mould and modify myself into what I thought others wanted.  In the end it was always in vain; you can never please people who want you to change nor those who aren’t happy with who you are.  Only in those times where I did what I truly wanted in my heart, following my intuition of course, did I feel happiest and actually attracted the feelings I had previously searched for.  Often, we change things about ourselves and our behaviour because we think we need to.  We assume that in following others’ expectations we will make them happy, achieve our goals or even be happier ourselves. In my experience though those achievements are short lived and hollow unless you feel that the whole of you is still there. We are all important and invaluable to life in our own unique way so find your ‘path’, stick to it and share your treasures with the world

4. Keep the joy in your life alive

Sometimes life can be a bitch.  We all know it and we’ve all experienced it however what we sometimes don’t realise is that ultimately, we have power to decide how life impacts us in the long term.  Whether a horrible event causes us great suffering or whether it directs us to joyous new places is up to us depending on the perspective we take.  Lessons in adaption and growth, lessons in how to find more joy can only occur when we are willing to look at life differently.   As the Archbishop Desmond Tutu says in The Book of Joy, ‘We are meant to live in joy.’ Joy can be found anywhere, at any time when we look.  An event may send us into a spin.  It may sap the joy from our day quicker than we thought possible yet in breathing deep and changing our perspective that same event may direct us to joy as we distract ourselves by going for a walk and seeing the beauty of nature. We are hard-wired to remember and focus on the negative; it is one of our oldest survival tools. In changing our perspective though we can also see and savour all those little things that bring a smile to our face, that light up our day and bring joy into our lives.

5. Invest in your health

I really wish I had learnt lesson earlier in life but as my first life lesson states ‘it is never too late to start’.  At nearly 50 years old I am now in better health and have a greater sense of well-being than I did 30 years ago.  In all honesty, it was a classic case of not listening to the advice I am now giving; I certainly didn’t listen to my intuition or my gut as I blindly skipped along the garden path of all and sundry. Overeating, overspending, oversleeping and over drinking.  Even when it didn’t really fill me with any joy, even when it ended in pain I still continued. I now realise too that health is not just the physical and if you ignore the other aspects of health such as emotional, spiritual and mental then you can become even sicker than just ignoring the physical.  I love Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā model where he likens health to a home; the walls that protect you are Spiritual, Physical, Mental and Community well-being, which includes family, while nature is at the base of it all.  Research backs this up as a connection with nature can be a great foundation which ensures our whare or well-being is secure and stable.  I also like to add that all the tools we learn along the way act as the roof. A protective cover which helps us when the ‘bad weather’ comes.  Humans are intrinsically lazy; we will often opt for comfort and ease over effort.  It is easy to make an excuse not to exercise, not to contact a friend, not to meditate, not to expand our horizons. I know I have done it many times! However, that little bit of effort to take action, to make the unfamiliar familiar will reap more rewards than you can imagine. Creating connections, moving our body, stimulating our mind and being in nature will always leave us feeling happier and healthier.

So, with a year to live this is the story I would tell.  A story about the lessons I have learnt. A story of life lessons for the living.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

The holiday let down

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Well I’m at a bit of a loss for inspiration this week after arriving back from a warm winter break in Fiji to the strong icy winds that we have blowing here at the moment.  All I really want to do is snuggle up in bed with a good book!!  So following that thought I’ve decided to just go with the ‘lazy flow’ and share my e-books with you ….. in case you have the urge to snuggle up with a book too 🙂

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Take it Easy

In this busy interconnected and wired-up world stress seems to be a natural part of daily life. Right? Wrong! Life doesn’t have to be a rush. What if you could take it easy and create a ‘stress-less’ life for yourself? With my simple tools and ideas you can discover simple ways to reduce your stress and be on your way to creating exactly that – A ‘Stress-Less’ Life. This e-book will guide you through five simple steps to help you create a life where you are enjoying your days and experiencing less stress while improving your health and well-being.

 

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Magnificent Mamas (really for anyone though as it has all my pearls of wisdom in it)

Regain balance, rediscover the joy in each day and live your dream with this 12 week program. Life is busy and when children are added to the mix life can get hectic. Often it is easy to lose sight of the things that really matter and forget to give time to yourself along with remembering your dreams. Now Magnificent Mamas with take you through week by week to create the life that you want and can have. There are tips and ideas for finding balance, for self- care and for achieving your goals and dreams.

 

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Creating a Vivacious You

Losing weight and feeling great doesn’t have to be complicated or cost lots of money. In a world where we are bombarded with new ‘diets’, ‘quick fix’ solutions and numerous products for improving our lives it is easy to forget that actually the basic rules for having health and well-being still apply. This book guides you through some ‘back to basics’ steps which will help you to feel healthier, feel happier and help create your ideal body.

 

 

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Finding Calm and Balance

This comprehensive guide has everything you need to use Bach Flower Remedies with confidence. Find out how you can begin to gain more balance, more calm and less stress naturally through using Bach Flower Remedies. This guide covers what Bach Flower Remedies are, how to select them for yourself and others, how to use them and affirmations to support your chosen remedies along with a section on using Bach Flower Remedies with children. If you are interested in becoming healthy naturally and healing then this is a must have book for you.

 

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Mother’s Little Helper

Discover easy, natural remedies and ideas for healing your children with Mother’s Little Helper by Yossarian Fay. This book is loaded with ideas to help you to continue on your journey of Becoming Healthy and ensure your children are becoming healthy too. There are recipes, kitchen cures, a section on using Bach Flower remedies with children, information on how to use EFT and reflexology with your children, making this a must have book for your collection.

 

Hope this finds you relaxed, mentally nourished and ready to enjoy the week ahead

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Farewell 2018

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Here we are  …… we made it! The last day of 2018 is upon us with 2019 just waiting to emerge.

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Preparing for the year ahead.

Each year at this time I sit down and take time to prepare myself for the year ahead.  I change journal/diaries (my own creation) and with that I also write down some of the activities, hopes and goals I’d like to complete in the upcoming year while seeing all the great things I have achieved in the outgoing one.  These are pretty loose I have to say and not all of them are huge.  I include things like getting a massage, reading a book, writing a letter to a friend – an actual pen and paper one that is 🙂 – along with some ‘work’ things like newsletters, ‘planning’  for homeschooling and blog posts and some more inspirational goals too.

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Hoping to get back here a bit more often next year 🙂

They often aren’t all completed, actually I don’t think I have ever done that, however that is not really the aim. Those that aren’t completed in one year just more on over to the next  …….. I have only just framed some cross-stitches I did for the kids after that being on my list for 2 years!  Rather my ‘108 Things to do’ serves as a reminder instead of a ‘must do’ list which kinda takes the pressure off while still realizing my hopes and dreams.

You may also think that 108 is an excess amount of things to write down and you’re probably correct if you try to write all 108 at once.  However I begin with with all the things I need to carry over (like updating my website so it is phone friendly), then the things I know I’ll be doing (like the monthly family blog) then add to it in drips and drabs along the year.  I only came to 108 things to do as I couldn’t get the tables to give me 100 nicely.  Then I read in a book how 108 is a sacred number 108 is a sacred number and felt kind of glad it worked out that way 🙂

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Hope I can jump into the new year with as much enthusiasm! 

With that said I’m off to get writing in that journal/diary.  I hope this finds you remembering and releasing 2018 with a smile while welcoming 2019 for all the wonderful possibilities it holds.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

A weekend away

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It is amazing how something with the same name can take on so many different guises.  A weekend away can be anything from sedentary to active, entertaining to down-right un-interesting, even to those involved. This past weekend was one of those; it had so much packed into it that I’m left feeling very grateful and yet somewhat exhausted! It was a massive mixture of emotions, weather, personalities, scenery, activities and thoughts.

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On the Kaikōura Inland Road

Thursday night arrived and we all bundled into the bus to begin our journey up to visit friends in Nelson the ‘Cider Festival’ with lots of eager anticipation.  It wasn’t long however before this was replaced with a lot of nervous anticipation as our bus decided that she no longer really want to use a particular gear.  Thankfully himself is a confident and capable driver … I would have been even more of a nervous wreck than I was if I had to drive that night …. and we got to our first destination (2 hours away) with a the simple strategy of leaving that gear alone.

The trip to Nelson was looking less than promising, however after a phone call to the mechanical (thank goodness we have such an awesome one) we were assured that all would be good. With this knowledge we headed on our merry way and making good time decided that we could catch up with another Road-schooling family.  Clearly, however, our beloved bus didn’t get the memo about ‘everything being ok’ and as we neared our destination it began to make a strange sound.  It wasn’t until we arrived and then saw a puddle of liquid under the front of the bus that we realised a bit of first aid was needed.  Luckily our friend had a heap of mechanical experience and knowledge so with her help we (the royal we that is) sorted out what we thought the issue was and proceeded to eat, drink, be merry and have some awesome conversations.

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Making the most of the bbq himself insisted on being with us …. a winner over the weekend!

The next morning we woke early, albeit a little tired from a late night and the nervous tension of the previous day, to get into Nelson, ready to see our other friends and begin tasting some cider.  Unfortunately it seemed that our bus was also a little tired and refused to start without a ‘jump start’  from our willing friends when the time for departure came.  Issue number three duly noted.  This didn’t hold us back though and we had yet another wonderful day with friends in the sunshine tasting cider, eating yummy food and watching themselves race around the venue trying out all the children’s activities provided.

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Enjoying the Cider Festival in Nelson

With the AA (Automobile Association) card at the ready on our final morning we tried to get the old girl to go ……. without success.  So after our second ‘jump-start’ in two days we got on our way, with everything sound tickey boo, and decided to keep the bus running until we made it back to Kaikōura to remove the need for more jumper cables.  It was half way home that the bus had obviously had enough and despite letting us now use all the gears she won’t let himself go into high ratio which meant a slow trip of no more than 70km rather than the 90km speed she should have been getting up to.

It was almost painful to listen to her refusing to go into high ratio but clearly not happy to be driving along in low ratio and it made me wonder how often we do this ourselves.  How often to we keep going (or let other drive us) when really we need to get something sorted? How often do we refuse to step up the gears and put in a bit more thought or energy to get us out of ‘grunting’ along in life?  How often do we create a story about what our capabilities are to justify what we are willing to do or not do?

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Himself sorting out our ‘girl’ with lots of encouragement

Over the weekend through conversations and observations I came to see that I am very guilty of this.  I keep telling myself that we are losing our sense of community and yet everyday I am part of one … the fact that you are reading this now confirms it … or part of creating a new kind of community.  I choose to believe my old story rather than own the new reality I have.   I ‘grunt’ through life thinking about the things I can’t do or haven’t got rather than stepping up to the higher gear and checking out all the amazing things I do have.  I make up ‘stories’ about having to do things for others when actually it is my choice to be ‘busy’ rather than taking ownership of the actual things I really want to achieve, the things which may challenge me or leave me feeling a little vulnerable.

It was certainly an interesting weekend that has left me deciding to question myself a bit more, move into the ‘higher gear’ a little more often or at least notice those times when I’m hanging around in ‘low ratio’ and grunting along.  Anyway those are my musing now that we are safely back in our paddock in Kaikōura and if it makes sense to any part of you then I invite you to begin the exploration into your ‘operating systems’ as I am doing with mine.

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Back in Kaikōura …. our bedroom view

Hope this finds you in good working order and smoothly navigating the roads ahead.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Lessons in unexpected places

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It is amazing just how many lessons the universe has to offer when we are open to learning and listening.  This week I had two such lessons – one from a little mouse and one from my Mum.

The first lesson came unexpectedly when last Sunday one of our little mice finally had her litter of eight. On waking our Mama mouse had very carefully carried all her babies into the beautiful nest she made.  We gave her space for bonding to occur, unfortunately though by the day we checked only one baby was alive.  Mama mouse had made the most amazing nest for her brood, she even ensured they were all in the nest however it seemed that she had forgotten to feed them.  Tending rather to nest building rather than nursing.

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Our Silky mouse – no longer a Mama mouse.

My lesson, with the kids, was it takes much more than a beautiful home to have your kids flourish, live and thrive.  I mean I know this, really I do! Yet there are many times I have worried about what the house looks like, stressing and tidying before a guest arrives rather than just being present and calm with the kids.  This brought me a reminder that the most important thing about parenting is being there for your children and feeding them (mentally, physically and spiritually) for them to truly grow.

My second lesson came when my Mum sent me an e-mail she had received about ‘Why we Shout in Anger’.  I have posted the story below  (after my website link) so that you can decide if there is a lesson in it for you too.  I certainly made me re-think the way I react to the ones I love in times of stress or anger and  also which message I actually want to be sending them.

Hope this finds you loving and learning.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

A Hindu saint who was visiting river Ganges to take bath found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples smiled and asked.

‘Why do people shout in anger shout at each other?’

Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, ‘Because we lose our calm, we shout.’

‘But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner.’ asked the saint

Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.
Finally the saint explained, .

‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.

What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small…’

The saint continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’

He looked at his disciples and said.

‘So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, Do not say words that distance each other more, Or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return. They may end up in divorce courts, for instance.’

– Author unknown and greatly appreciated