In my last post, Cleanliness is next to Godliness, I talked about feeling at peace and in love with a watery world whilst on holiday in Morrocco. Well, I have been keeping that feeling going now I’m back in Dublin, bathed in water in an altogether different wet and rainy way. I have realized that its the feeling I have to keep going not the object of attention. Even though having the object of loving attention present helps fortify and strengthen a feeling of love, it is not essential. In fact is imperative that it is not essential. If our feeling of Love rests upon an external object then we are bound to have our hearts broken. The love is like a muscle that must be exercised and used at every given occasion to ensure the feeling. I have been in love this week with yellow walls, Dolly Parton, the rain, the sunshine, my trip to the builder’s providers and Temple street children’s hospital with my eldest son. During all of them, I have been in love. It does help that I have things that remind me effortlessly of this feeling, a foot rub from my youngest son, music that uplifts me, the thought of my lovers dry, warm, soft skin, can all trigger the memory and the feeling when things are challenging.
Sometimes I wake up in a funk, thinking “oh wow I’ve got to this all over again” or “really is this it?” clearing away breakfast bowls and crunching rice crispies underfoot is not the exciting life I had in mind. But I am training my brain. It’s not good for me to lie there and dwell in the funky feeling. I need to transform that emotion. I do that by either getting up and hugging my children or lying there and remembering the times when they were half my height and snuggled up beside me. I remember a Hammam, a holiday or a lovers touch, anything to get the day going in a feeling of gratitude for what is. Once that love muscle is activated, I find it easier to view the mundane or troublesome from a place of gratitude.
I have found it essential to set the bodies thought patterns and neural pathways to feeling open-hearted, no matter what the external situation. This week I recorded the Loving Kindness Meditation for the Supported Online Course, Reducing pain, increasing flow for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. It believe, that after suffering severe trauma or stress, the body can develop neural pathways and thought patterns, saying the world is bad, it’s malevolent and dangerous. In this way the body and its energetic pathways contract, preventing openness and flow. This overprotection impedes healing and eventually, under constant imagined or real threat, the body creates an acid environment and begins to attack itself, causing chronic conditions such as Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Trigeminal neuralgia, Arthritis, Lupis, and other autoimmune diseases. In Shiatsu & Conscious Cooking we use body treatments, diet, breathing practices, lifestyle changes to change neural pathways and support healing. Why not try, with us, changing the way you think and see if it changes your condition. See your life as completely supportive, feel it’s benevolence and no matter what choices you make you will be loved. The most reliable but perhaps difficult lover to receive from is yourself. The free guided meditation is a place to begin change – small steps = big results.
Where to start – begin with something you love – as I suggested in my last post that was water. Perhaps it’s a walk on the beach, falling asleep on the sofa, a half hour catching up with friends or looking at the sky and the spring shoots in your garden. Pinpoint something you love and do it, feel it and keep that feeling going. Even when faced with pain, difficult people and drama, keep your cool and remember the loving feeling. An amazing man, Eric Forsmark, who was a powerful mentor in my life, says “you must dig where you stand”. Which means there’s no point in thinking that if you were somewhere else you would be happier. If you were a different person, if you were skinnier, richer, taller, in less pain, less tired, less anxious, less wobbly you would be happier. It sounds a bit self-righteous, especially if you are in pain or anxious for someone to say just be happy about it. From my experience, the only way for things to change is to accept what is, with gratitude, hold a vision of what you want in your life and work towards that vision. All the time loving the journey. Its all about loving where you are and being excited about what is to come.
There is more to come but I think I will leave it there for now. If you want to read more about this train of thought and see where it leads then enter your email on the home page and you will receive the next post direct to your inbox.
I’m just back from a fantastic week in Marrakesh, Morroco. The food was amazing and the sunshine was a blessing from what has been a cold, wet Dublin spring. On the sunny terrace, I had plenty of time to rest, write and paint, all my favorite things. My next best, other favorite thing is massage, any treatment that involves touch works for me. So I took a few visits to Hammams. These were a revelation. I had visited a Turkish bath at 19 in Istanbul but now approaching 50, tired and a little world-weary I was really going to make the most of these visits. I lay in the steamy hot rooms, I was washed by women head to toe, scrubbed, rubbed and oiled, I felt like a queen. This got me thinking, this got me feeling …… how easy it is to love myself, accept myself and feel at ease with myself, when I am treated like this; When I allow and give time for these body rituals.
In Marrakesh, there are segregated public Hammams which people use at least once a week. There is a religious element to the Hammams as Water plays a central role in Islam. Before praying a person must perform a small ablution, “wudu” and each week people visit the Hammam for washing and massage.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said ‘cleanliness is half of faith’. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/galleries/wudhu/
This culture of a daily, water ritual is a way of preparing to meet God. It seems part of everyday life to use water as a way of making a spiritual connection. For me, the water revealed a deep feeling of self-love. That in this place, at that time, I was loved and I completely loved myself. I felt that the world was benevolent, supporting me, loving me. Brought to my own inner self, where I felt at ease, everything was just perfect.
Before going on holiday I was really struggling and arguing with an ex, the father of my twins. I was tied up in knots from the stress and overthinking regarding an argument we had had, but in this place of self-love, I could completely drop all of the mind-melting, stomach cramping, intestine lurching thoughts. He could be him with his opinions and I could be me with my choices. This complete acceptance of myself is truly healing. I do believe it also tangibly affects those around me. The kids felt the lack of tension within me and so they are more at ease. They approached me with their concerns as I had dropped wanting their father to behave a certain way which allowed them the freedom to be themselves. Holding on to the trauma of the argument and distress would have brought real, tangible illness and dis-ease to my body. In this way, it is my belief that self-love is crucial when dealing with chronic long-standing illness. When trauma is held in the body, it can create an acid environment which can lead to many health problems such as Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Osteoarthritis, Nerve Damage, Heart Disease and some Cancers. So it’s essential to cultivate and connect with a practice of self-love.
There are 3 major stressors for the body which create trauma
- Environmental: toxins and pollutants
- Physical: trauma such as accidents and abuse
- Emotional: responses to situations
I will be talking more at the upcoming Fibromyalgia Summit on 12th May 2018 and within the Online supported programme as to how to address these stressors through Diet, Potent Acupressure Points and Breathing Meditation Practices. For a free lesson and introduction visit:
But why not first find a way to feel self-love. Perhaps use water; everytime you have a shower feel the life-giving benevolence of the water as it cascades over you, rinsing away any blemishes or self-loathing you feel and restoring you to a whole, perfect, godlike person, cleansed and forgiven, capable of following your own unique path, without the judgements of others, full of roaring, passionate love for yourself and the choices you make.
During this fantastic event on 12th May, I will be giving two talks along with recipe demonstrations and taster giveaways – there’s lots of other interesting stuff on offer too such as Shiatsu, sleep advice, Tai Chi and keynote speakers – all for only €20
Fibromyalgia, a chronic disease that causes pain and swelling, is difficult to treat with western medicine “Fibromyalgia symptoms are only about 30% amenable to current pharmaceutical strategies on the market,” says Kathleen Holton, Ph.D., MPH, lead author of Potential Dietary Links in Central Sensitization in Fibromyalgia……… Why not try an alternative way of looking at the condition? Shiatsu & Conscious Cooking is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and looks to address the cause of the condition as well as treating and alleviating symptoms.
The symptoms of Fibromyalgia in Chinese Medicine can be treated as a condition of the Liver and this talk aims to give a brief overview of this aspect including flavour, colour, season and emotions that correspond to this organ in Chinese medicine. It will also touch on the possible source of the condition within the Kidney/Bladder. It is in no way prescriptive but more about providing tools to ask “how is the body, how am I feeling and what do I need right now?”
The Liver and Gallbladder are connected to the Spring life force in our bodies which governs flexibility, regrowth, and easy flow. It is a powerful energy for effective action, enabling the unfolding of our life’s purpose. The Ligaments and Tendons are governed by these organs so too is metabolism and energy levels. However, in our overactive society, the Liver/Gall Bladder can become overheated or blocked causing frustration, pain, and stagnation. An easy way to address this is by stimulating the Liver and decreasing its congestion. A gentle detox, which happens naturally in the Spring, will encourage and support the Liver to regenerate and cleanse.
In this talk, we will
- Discuss effective, gentle detox for the body
- Learn a variety of foods that increase energy and decrease pain
- Discover which foods are best avoided
- Understand how to alcalyze the body reducing pain and stagnation
for more information on the summit visit http://www.arthritisireland.ie/go/information/fibromyalgia_health_wellbeing_summit or http://www.fibroireland.com