About Me

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Life happens. Sometimes good and sometimes not so good. This is an exploration of life and all that interests me. I am a therapist working in Norwich, Norfolk, UK. I'm fascinated in the world around me and how people deal with and relate to it. I like to further my knowledge of people, psychology and more. Please join me on my journey.

Thursday 29 December 2011

Suspending beliefs

Is 2012 your year for change? I can help you!
It could be wanting to stop an old habit, increasing confidence levels, dealing with anxiety or looking to make changes for a healthier, happier future. Making that decision is what matters, so well done if you've already started or decided to go for it! Sometimes having someone outside of your usual friends and family can make the process that much easier.  Of course the most important person to achieve what you want, is you, isn't it? I pay attention to that and give you the support you need to make the changes you want, at the pace you want.     

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Four steps to help you move from frustration to motivation

self improvement article four steps to help you move from frustration to motivation

In my latest article, I give four suggestions to help you deal with frustration. How you can find a different way to get unstuck from old behaviours, find new ways of coping and to gain some control and feel happier.

For other articles I have also published, see articles published by Angie Giles

Sunday 4 December 2011

sweet dreams

I was talking to a friend who was recently bothered by very noisy neighbours. Their sleep was disturbed for over a week and they had been finding themselves listening out at certain times after having been woken repeatedly. Even a tiny noise would then become a big irritant. My friend said it was challenging being woken and having their body clock forced to fit someone else's. They had tried a few different things to get off to sleep, none which were really having an effect. I've given them some ideas for zoning out and to help them feel more in control of the situation and we'll see how they get on.

Sleep disturbance is one of the areas that I help people with, so if you are interested do give me a call or email for more information.

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Push the Pause Button

On my facebook page I posted an image of a big red pause button
It was about forgetting to have down time. I've been guilty of this at times, as much as the rest of the human population! 

With so many different things to do and many demands on our time, some people can feel like  a robot - achieving so very much with one pair of hands. So, to give that another thought, what if there was no you? What if you were ill or unable to do all the things that needed doing? What if because there had been no pauses in your days and weeks it lead to you being so over tired, it eventually resulted in a stress related illness? Not everyone realises how much the body can be affected by long-term stress.

Think what you can do to prevent this to give yourself the best chance of dealing with the challenges in your life? Maybe you could walk away from a task and have a cup of tea, read something uplifting or just look out the window for a while. 

I wonder, when will you next push the pause button?

Monday 31 October 2011

Be a good one

No matter whether we are in business, a parent, a student, a partner, an employee or our own boss, if it feels as if circumstances are holding us back, it's time to revisit your thoughts. Find out what it is inside of you that is stopping you from taking that situation (or feeling) and make one step towards doing something about it.  If you're not seeing the wood for the trees, step back and face looking up - knowing that you have a way forward. Don't let your inner voice hold you back from your potential. 

Change is inevitable. So, if change is inevitable, why not change one thing for yourself today? Plan something, no matter how small, and do it well. Notice the difference after completing it.

If there were no challenges, would there be no achievements? 
Go for it!   

Friday 21 October 2011

Gratitude is the greatest of virtues

'Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others' - Cicero, Roman Philosopher

So why think about gratitude? Various studies have shown that when we become consciously grateful for things, it can increase our happiness by up to 25%. I'm not quite sure how that measurement was found, though I am thinking 'anything that helps'! Great. Now comes the tricky bit of putting it into action, right?

I came up with a strategy for using that statement. Usually as I start to think about doing the tasks I least like, it can result in taking me back to a feeling of being a child who's told 'go clean your room'. So as an adult, I sometimes do all I can to find other tasks, perhaps a bit unappealing maybe, though more appealing than those I've been putting off. It's more about starting the job and then once started, it becomes easier. As a friend of mine reminded me, 'a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step'. Great advice.

So the procrastination itself did not lead toward gratitude. It has though, given me a lesson and for that, I am grateful. I am grateful too for the friends who have given me support during the last 2 years. Who have been there through the challenges of bereavement and beyond.

I am grateful too for my family, my friends, my hard work, my successes, my clients and for those successes and experiences that are still to come (both good and bad). I feel so much better for writing this already.

I feel grateful that I am open to truly embracing all the tasks that are on my to do list, now. I feel certain I will be even happier for it.  No statistics needed, it's off the scale!  

Friday 14 October 2011

Believe in yourself - inspiration





~ Christian D. Larson

Sunday 9 October 2011

Fight or Flight?

Stress can lead us to have an undesired fast-track reaction to individuals or situations.  Where we would normally be rational and calm in our minds, the smallest thing can send a stressed individual 'off the scale'.  I've dealt with it and have felt it in the past. 

Have you ever been in stressed situations in the past where all your nerve endings are fired up and ready to 'fight or flight'?  It's quite a normal response to want to do either of those things in extreme emergencies, it's more negative when it's a loved one who happens to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.  

It's really about what is known as coping mechanisms. For some examples, if shown as a child (whether by parents or carers) that the way to deal with a stressful situation is to shout or get angry or walk away, then likely that behaviour will continue into adulthood. If the response is to get angry or to withdraw, both of these behaviours can be damaging to personal relationships. Especially if they are repeated many times, it really can wear through all the layers of good stuff that are built up.  

It takes a brave person to ask a question of someone who we feel is doing us an injustice or to find out if the 'truth' in our current stressed state is actually what we are thinking it is... perhaps realising that someone else has actually a totally different take on the situation. Patience is required before 'blowing your top'.   

What would stop us from asking a question to establish what a loved one really means? 'Why do you say that?' for example. I will be remembering this as a lesson for this week and hope it helps anyone reading this too. 

Sunday 2 October 2011

blue skies and fresh air

Today has been the most wonderful, sunny and invigorating day. I am feeling bright and chirpy after a very hectic and fun day. Driving along seeing the changes in the trees and looking at sunny skies. I noticed and love the way the plants have adapted to the mix of weather we have had. It makes you realise how adaptable nature is.  Then I thought to myself, how adaptable are we to life changes?

Last week one of my clients became smoke-free. Becoming free of the old thoughts, habits, behaviours and reasons for smoking. Having worked through the background to smoking and what was stopping them from changing (nothing!), they found alternative and refreshing things to do to replace the old habit. They said goodbye to the old routine in favour of new alternatives.  I can imagine a feeling of freedom will be well matched with the beautiful blue, warm, sunny skies that have been above us here in good old blighty! I wish that client (and all those of you who are in the process of making changes) a very happy, smoke-free future now the burden of smoking is something you no longer want.

Wishing you all a very relaxing, fresh and happy week ahead.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

peace and quiet

21st Sept 2011 is International Day of Peace. http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org/  It is a peace day with an opportunity for individuals, organisations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date.

Thinking about this event I thought about the word ‘peace’. A very emotive word for some people. 
We talk about ‘wanting some peace and quiet’ in our lives. I wonder is peace an easily defined measure?   I have known people who say ‘I’m just so busy, how can I have time for peace?’ It’s a great question. It requires the questioner to re-think what their definition of ‘busy’ is. I would suggest that it takes only a small change of attitude to see something in a different light. It may be acceptance that being busy doesn’t have to mean being without peace. When you get joy from seeing your child take their first steps (and not having had more than 3 hours peace yourself) you may get a peaceful and happy feeling from seeing that wonderful moment.  

There are things you could change to create small amounts of peace in your own life. Start small is my advice.  It might be in that moment when you are about to go into a difficult meeting. You take three deep breaths to settle yourself before pushing open the door and venturing in.  You’ve given yourself time to gain composure and increased your oxygen levels. It may not be the sort of ‘peace’ that lying on a warm beach reading a book might give you, but it is a good start! You can begin to stitch together these individual and brief moments so that bit by bit, piece by piece (excuse the pun) it starts to build up a small reserve of ‘peace’ for you.  

On the 'quiet' of 'peace and quiet', I do wonder where all that ‘quiet’ has been allowed to slip away to. There’s the clutter of tangible and non-tangible things.  The sound of the TV or radio playing in the background, the noise of traffic, the hum or rattle of the fridge, the constancy and interruption of the internet and social media, the clicking of a kettle or the whirr of a fan or air conditioning. Our brains and bodies are bombarded with the clutter of the modern world.

So when you get home and usually sit huddled in front of the computer, with all the distraction and noise that prevents true ‘peace and quiet’ to restore the mind and the body, maybe you’ll instead give yourself a few moments of quiet to think about things of importance to you.  

You could start by sitting in a quiet room in your home, think back over the day and give yourself credit for what has gone well or learn what you may do differently.  Or perhaps tune in to the sound of rain on the window, observe nature outside or watch the clouds give way to blue sky.  Get the kids off to bed and run yourself a warm bath and relax till your fingers turn to prunes*. (*That’s still ‘peace’ for some people I know too!) 

I'm making some time to think about peace in the world tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it. Anything that provides a feeling of ‘peace and quiet’, however brief, is good in my book. 

Friday 16 September 2011

the past and future in action

"We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies" ~Shirley Abbott

Tuesday 6 September 2011

exercise = energy

The time it takes to go for a walk, or get to the gym, walk up the stairs or do an exercise class might seem like a big sacrifice when you are a busy parent, business person or just that there are so many other distractions.  When it comes down to it, exercise is a natural part of what our bodies expect us to do. When we don't exercise, we become sluggish of body, our joints begin to seize...and this can relate to how we feel about life too.  

When I hear the wind blowing outside, its a reminder that getting out and breathing fresh air will also blow my internal mental cobwebs away as well as get my body moving - so it's time to get out and go for a walk.  

What are you doing to stretch your body as well as your mind today?  

"Where there is exercise, there is extra energy. Making time for exercise might help you not find time for surplus illness" 
- Angie Giles

Sunday 4 September 2011

What do you do to lift your mood?

Today I was thinking, as the dark grey clouds started to move across the sky, what can you do when you want to feel better?  
I then asked my friends what do they do if they want to lift their mood. 

Below is a list of things my friends and I came up with. They all seem like great ideas to me and inspire positivity.

What else can you suggest for this list? Please let me and any future readers of this blog know too. Thank you!  

  • Standing barefoot on lush green grass
  • Doing meditation or Qi Gong
  • Practising sports or exercising
  •  Spending time chatting and catching up with a great friend
  •  Sitting on the beach on a crisp, sunny winter’s morning, watching the sea
  •  Sitting at a window seat with a mug of steaming hot tea, pillows, a blanket and watching the rain crash against the window pane
  • Getting outside in the pouring rain, being soaked through makes me feel good.  It’s so refreshing!
  • Having a big hug
  • Helping someone in their hour of need 
  •  Going swimming
  •  Writing down all your worries on a notepad and come back to them later on
  •  Looking up at a bright blue sky
  •  Looking up at the stars on a clear night 
  • Being with good company whom I share a sense of humour with, laughter is the best  medicine
  •  Lazing in the sunshine
  • Practice that dazzling smile 
  •  A few quiet minutes reading a really good book, preferably in the sun!
  • Watching the sun set
  • Closing my eyes and visualising myself growing taller and stronger
  •  Listening to your child singing random songs and mispronouncing things!
  •  Having a good laugh whilst watching a comedy on TV
  •  Getting lost in the excitement of a great film
  •  Playing a computer game that totally absorbs my attention
  • Enjoying the smells and colours of autumn approaching
  • Making something: perhaps baking or a good crafting session
  • Smelling rain after it lands on parched, summer earth
And…watching dark clouds make way for blue sky and sunshine just before sunset! (How apt!)

Wednesday 31 August 2011

Branching Out

Here I am, back on the 'nature' trail again!

Eric Hoffer was known to say "my writing grows out of my life just as a branch from a tree."  I liked this quote.  I can relate to my experience as a therapist and to my life in much the same way. 

What expression or quote do you relate to - for your life and experiences? Do add a comment and let me know.

Sunday 28 August 2011

Nature inspires me

Nature is my guide, my dreamscape, my inspiration, 
my peaceful moment, my calendar, my friend

Friday 26 August 2011

listen to your thoughts and smile for happiness

In a moment of clarity I realised some years ago that you could choose to be anything you wanted to be. Now that's a big statement, I know. What I realised was the truth, is that just because someone else's opinion was formed with their own beliefs, it did not need to attach itself to mine (or to anyone else's). It was my right and my decision to start a chain of events that would take me on a journey of discovery. I was discovering that I had a lot more to give to the world and that the world didn't have to stop with other people's perceptions.  

That journey hasn't stopped and I continue to be amazed at what you can do when you believe and perceive of yourself and others. There have been some steep inclines and some moments of feeling like the wheels are only just on the rails. Some days I have reached the highest pinnacles, the wind really in my sails, then to feel like the wind has vanished. It's then that I take time out. A few minutes of quiet time to reflect on what is happening inside of me. Why those feelings? What's happening? If there is a bit of internal criticism going on, I listen to establish what is the truth. Continuing to ask questions of myself. Do I really believe that? Is that really true? How are my relationships with others shaping my journey?     

Take a few minutes to ask yourself a few questions to establish your truth.

Another technique that I've applied on and off for years (and some people might think this a bit ludicrous!) is to fake 'being happy'.  Even if I've woken up 'under a cloud' with my mouth -feeling upside down, I fake it and I've noticed that the rather-ridiculous-artificially-induced-smile boosts my mood.  It also means I take notice of other people's facial expressions and when they are looking sad, give them a smile. It's a bit of reciprocal support on a day when you need to bounce back. I admit, some people look at me like I'm a bit strange - they are strangers after all. But it is great when you get a genuine smile back. 

Give that fake smile a go if you are having an upside-down sort of day!

Sunday 21 August 2011

Community stars

Today I announce an extra special award that I believe should go to two friends of mine. I think I will call it the local community award for caring and they each deserve a star.  

Why they should receive this mention is simple. They were out early and enjoying a walk through the local area, as they often do.  On today's journey they came across a confused elderly lady, still in her nightwear.  So, rather than ignore the behaviour of this lady, which others appeared to be doing (whether in car or on foot) they took the time to ASK if she was OK. They took the time to find out why she might be outside in her nightwear. They also did not make her feel foolish, they enjoyed a giggle WITH her not at her expense.  They stayed with her and made sure she was comfortable and safe, until a policewoman turned up to help. 

It might have taken up a small part of their day, it might have seemed a small inconvenience. What they did might have made a big difference to the safety and well-being of someone's mother, someone's grandmother, someone's friend.    

If only there were more community stars out there.  Well done girls, brilliant to hear such a heart-warming tale of kindness and compassion. 

Sunday 14 August 2011

climbing mountains

In the past I've been fortunate enough to visit some parts of the United States on a couple of holidays.  I was privileged to see one of the most stunning locations, Yosemite National Park, with breathtaking scenery at every turn. From the grassy meadows to the highest mountain peak. I decided I would enjoy climbing up the side of Yosemite Falls and was determined I was fit and up for the challenge and said this to my partner. 
The climb was steep. It was only when standing at the bottom, gazing upward in the early morning, that I realised just HOW high it was! By the time I reached the first waterfall (there are two) I wanted to stop and return back.  My partner suggested we could reach the second fall at the very top. The heat was incredible and there was no shade as we neared the top. It took a lot more than physical endurance to reach the top of that mountain.  Knowing there were brown bears in Yosemite kept me on my toes too. It also was tough getting back down with the steep and narrow trek full of other tourists still coming up at midday. My partner handed over his water supply to me to keep me going.

I felt incredibly proud when looking over the falls at the top and seeing the glacier pool that I would not have seen if not for that determined trek.  I also learnt that jokily boasting about my level of fitness might have been a bad idea. I was humbled by the stamina and generosity shown to me by my partner and by the very mountain I stood on. I also learned a lot about myself and what I could do if I really believed. I'm glad I had that experience.  

In the words of a great and famous photographer, renowned for photographing Yosemite National Park, 'In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration' - Ansel Adams (photo attached is not by Ansel, his were black and white)

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Filtering negative thoughts

Registering thoughts and emotions is something we all connect with, at times before we realise that a thought has made us feel bad. That negative thought might be about how someone else see's us, or even a likeness we see in somebody that creates an internal conflict, or some other past experience or hurt.

Whenever a thought appears to make us feel we should act a certain way, we can start by working on seeing it for what it is. It is just a thought. Not necessarily a fully weighed-up thought in the here and now on the current truth. It's mostly based on past experience. It takes time to find the truths and myths of our experience as that time expands.  

Give a little time to developing your 'thought radar', switch it to manual every now and then.  I recommend it for checking and filtering negative thoughts. The happier you may be. 

Saturday 6 August 2011

Men and weight gain - a sensitive subject

When it comes to men and weight, very often men are worried about this but don't always seek the help. They bury their head in the sand.  People hope the problem will go away by itself.  But it just doesn't work that way, does it? So whenever I hear from a man finding out how I may be able to help them get a healthier lifestyle, I know it takes bravery for that man to accept they need to change. Let alone to 'want' to commit to that change.  There's a myth that commitment can scare some men off, after all! 

It's a known fact that your heart, other major organs and your joints do not do well under layers of fat. Did you know another thing affected by a continual gaining of pounds in men (whether diabetic or not) can be bladder control and sexual performance? 

These unfortunate symptoms can affect up to 40% of the overweight diabetic male population*. The attached article links to research carried out on the effects of weight loss on diabetic men in Australia, (*statistic comes from this article).
sex lives of diabetic men increase with weight loss

It's a good idea to first see your Doctor if you think you need to do something about your weight. They can recommend changes. They'll also check your blood pressure and give you the go ahead for any change in exercise, particularly if you haven't done any for a while. 

There are many reasons for changing your eating habits. If you are a man and you're reading this, maybe this gives you a perfect reason to commit to a change of lifestyle. To commit to your own wellbeing.  

“It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”~ J.K. Rowling

Tuesday 2 August 2011

It's the time

I am thinking about time today.  'Really' thinking about time. If time were immaterial and we were not driven by the clock on the wall, what might happen? As it is, I'm preparing to see clients and getting myself 'in the zone' to face the rest of the day. 

Where there is a clock on the wall, there is an inner mechanism too. What would it be like to be free from that inner drive for a few hours or minutes and what would be the reaction to that change? What difference would it make? I will come back to this later... when I have time. 

Thursday 28 July 2011

Riding the waves

If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint. Edward Hopper.

Still on the subject of art....I'm now the proud owner of a wonderfully complete set of chalk based pastels. These were given as a gift to me by someone dear and belonged to that person's father. I feel more than privileged to own them and am very touched at the gesture to let me use them. 

Life's been busy the last few weeks and is due to get busier again. I can take the pace and am taking time to meet up with some wonderful people. What I would like to know though is, where is the sun? I think it's been playing hide and seek and forgot to find us. I hope that when I get a few days off, the sun will eventually return and I can look forward to another enjoyable pursuit - photography. 

I found this blog, which showcases some great photography. I like some of the work, especially that of Andrew Brooks. This picture of a boat on a rough sea...beautiful. 

Pablo Picasso cleverly said... 'The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls'.  
I hope that posting this helps a few more bits of dust to disappear....

Friday 15 July 2011

I've just returned from a well-earned break in the south of France with my family. Extremely beautiful scenery, breathtaking heat and such strong winds that excite the trees and almost knock you off your feet! I love the differences that exist in Provence - so refreshing. Opening the window shutters after each nights passing was like gently opening a long, anticipated Christmas present. You know it's going to be good.     

I purchased a small set of oil pastels and a few sheets of paper as the views were inspirational. I got one image onto paper, however the rest stayed in my head or on the camera. It was a challenge to translate what my eye saw onto a small piece of paper. Yet, gradually as I relaxed and stopped worrying about the detail, my body seemed to translate what I was seeing into something close to an attempt at 'art'.  I suppose like a muscle, the more you practice, the easier it gets. That applies to relaxing too! I won't be posting my arty attempt, it will be kept as a personal reminder of why relaxing is good for me too.  

On my return I was browsing some images of the area on the net, when I stumbled upon a Scottish Artist, Jack Morrocco. I felt he had captured some of the extremes and beauty of the area extremely well.  Some real art to savour!

Jack-Morrocco Scottish Artist - book on Amazon - 'A work in progress' 

Saturday 2 July 2011

narrow margins

An amazing image of a new cruise ship being manoeuvred through the narrow Dutch waterways before reaching the North Sea.  It reminded me of our own narrow margins that we face every now and then. Whether we are late for an appointment or worrying in advance that we will not get something done on time.  If we make a sudden movement, it might change the course of history for us and our own journey. Taking the slower paced, though well-planned option might seem a bit safe, however it may be more profitable in the long run (as with the multi million pound ship, we are certainly worth taking care of). 

We usually charge through life, zooming here and there, and it's good to see our foot easing off the accelerator once in a while. 

I preferred schoolbooks with a wide margin. I disliked narrow margins as I preferred having room to doodle, relax and dream. A bit like life. 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' How about you, do you prefer to cram everything in and deal with narrow margins or plan ahead?  

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Peace is every step

In following up on some reading I am doing at the moment, I thought I would add a book reference to the blog.  

Peace is every step - Amazon books
A quote from the book reads: "I have heard many stories about parents who have hurt their children so much, planting many seeds of suffering in them. But I believe that the parents did not mean to plant those seeds. They did not intend to make their children suffer. Maybe they received the same kind of seeds from their parents. There is a continuation in the transmission of seeds, and their father and mother might have gotten those seeds from their grandfather and grandmother. Most of us are victims of a kind of living that is not mindful, and the practice of mindful living, of meditation, can stop these kinds of suffering and end the transmission of such sorrow to our children and grandchildren. We can break the cycle by not allowing these kinds of seeds of suffering to be transmitted to our children, our friends, or anyone else."
Amazon UK books - Peace is every step

I hear and see many people who have suffered because they cannot forgive their past or someone in their past. Maybe it is a parent. It is challenging for humans to let go of the past and to change.  I see my own journey over the years as part of the reason for who I am now. 
Feelings and experiences the concrete poured amidst the foundations of who we have become. Maybe if we look at it as mud that held everything in place instead of seeing it as concrete, it is less permanent? It is possible that change can be made and that the foundations can be flexible. 

We have a choice. We can start by thinking about and gaining an understanding of the relationship we had with others, particularly our parents or carers. If we get stuck (in the mud) and are unable to see how we might react to this knowledge, or that forgiveness is beyond our comprehension, we can turn to books like the one above or to therapy. Both of which give a different viewpoint, a different take on our inner chatter. 

Can you listen and begin to see how your thoughts on your own foundations (experiences and feelings) affect you now? How would you like to change? 

Friday 24 June 2011

stress and eating

I have been aware for a while of a hormone in the human body - and from reading research information also observed in mice - which is triggered and affected by stress. It's not a newly discovered hormone, but one that has increasingly been studied in understanding depression, overeating and obesity. More research is needed, though at least hormones are being taken more seriously and gradually the stigma surrounding people with obesity will begin to fall away. I speak to many who are deeply ashamed (feeling of social stigma) and are personally unhappy with how they feel, their behaviour around food and how they look. More research is underway on the hormonal links, I'm just not sure how quickly that knowledge will filter down. Also whether a pharmaceutical solution comes into play rather than therapies like hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling which could all address the stress or depression in the first place (save taxpayers money in the long run too!).

If someone 'feels' depressed the depression itself may be organic (back to the old favourite 'mind body connection') so if we work on the depression, the 'mind' - then perhaps the hormonal balance might be tipped. That makes logical sense to me. I have seen some great results with my clients on balancing out their emotions as well as their eating habits. I help clients to tackle losing weight and to manage stress through individual or group sessions.


Wednesday 22 June 2011

Rules for living, love and lifestyle?

I came across this today. I think it's wonderful!

Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

Follow the three R's:
- Respect for self.
- Respect for 
- Responsibility for all your actions.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

Don't let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

Spend some time alone everyday.

Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.

Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

Be gentle with the earth.

Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

By Dalai Lama XIV

Dreams being woven

'We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing' (Louisa May Alcott)

Tuesday 21 June 2011

nature's moment

I caught sight of a flurry of activity in my garden today.  There were suddenly birds flitting about everywhere. I discovered that a blackbird was in the process of building a new nest in the ivy (sadly a previously crafted nest was raided by a cat or a rat on another side of the garden) It was absorbing and interesting to see how she managed to choose and carry varying amounts of stuff to build her nest with. It was in that moment of quiet and interested observation that I was calmer, freed from whatever thought had been occupying my mind previously. It took only a few moments to clear the cobwebs and to listen to what's important, to notice something other than the noise in my head!

Have you taken time to notice what's around you today?  

Saturday 18 June 2011


A conversation I had today at work prompted me to look at how much positivity was flowing when a few challenges have been knocking at the door both for myself and for those I've come into contact with recently.  I'm pleased to hear and see changes for some people. 

For some, it's almost like they have to give themselves permission to take stock, take a chance and allow a tiny bit of themselves to start to believe. This leads to a borrowed quote: ‘It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts’ 

Thursday 16 June 2011

Mind games and tweaking reality

I've been talking with people today who make a lot of sense.  They make a lot of sense as they realise what they are saying has a direct and proportionate reaction to their reality. It comes down to this; if you think that something is going to happen (and I'm talking here particularly about negative beliefs that burrow into our thoughts) it will unfortunately and more often than not, become the truth. You'll hear 'I told you so!' from those who have this type of mindset.I accept I might sound like a scratched record on this theme, I can only tell you how true this is!

What if we were able to shape our world by the very thoughts and images we have in our head? It sounds too good to be true for most people though, right? Maybe the way to begin to effect a positive outcome is to start with one thing - turn a negative thought around. So if you think 'I'm no good at that' - could you say 'I'm getting better' instead? Where one thought might lead.... 'mind games' might take you there, John Lennon's lesser known song really is very clever indeed. I hope you enjoy the you tube link.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Placebo or real?

I've always enjoyed natural sciences and in particular how the mind connects with our bodies. I'm fascinated with the idea of 'placebo' effect, actually more for me about the true nature of mind over matter.  It has seemed a strange fact that over the years thousands of studies for new drugs have shown people given a placebo will often report an improvement in their condition. However, this often does not get reported. So I was pleased to read up on a study that definitely proved the 'placebo' effect, or rather how our expectations of something have a big effect on how we respond. The study was reported in February this year, completed at Oxford University, in conjunction with German Researchers.  See link Fear the worst expect the best

The findings suggest that doctors may need to consider dealing with patients’ beliefs about the effectiveness of any treatment, as well as the traditional route of deciding upon a drug for them.  

Are we in the Western world getting closer to a traditionally Eastern medicine view of a holistic view of mind as well as body?  I truly hope so.

Friday 10 June 2011

They do say you are what you eat, click for link to BBC news article

This isn't me in the photo, its a fine art student from Derbyshire who made a model of her head and then filled each one with left over food from her meals. She was inspired by a diet group that she'd joined.  
I thought about a suitable pun, but I couldn't think of one off the top of my head...... 

Tuesday 7 June 2011

don't rush to grow old

A beautifully original crafted piece of artwork by Paula, a fellow blogger and whose blog I found today.  

Her blog is at new beginnings blogspot and this image is timely too, what with government-backed plans to clamp down on sexualised imagery such as raunchy music videos and scenes on TV before the 'watershed', inappropriate ad campaigns and a call for tougher internet controls for parents.

On a slightly different track, sometimes it's great to remember how good it is to let ourselves have the freedom and abandon of childhood. To dream with all our senses like only children can do. How often do you give yourself up to that feeling as an adult?

I'm looking forward to volunteering at a schools enterprise event later this week, I'll be seeing teenagers showing imagination, skills and knowledge in a very different way too. Exciting!     

Imagination is the first step to reality

'What ever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve' - Napoleon Hill

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