Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Accepting Feeling Unwell

We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.


Carl Gustav Jung

I'm ill.  Yes that's right, after planning to do so much studying when I got back from our Christmas break, I have found myself with a chest infectionI've been trying to medicate myself with loads of extra vitamins, water, sleep and painkillers.  

I have even been trying to look up quick fix solutions so I can get on with my college work that needs doing.  But, I suppose, the right thing to do is to accept that I am ill.  I think I will do some reading, then some yoga have a bath and a nap and then see how I feel.  

   

Monday, 26 December 2011

Future

Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.

Peter Drucker

  
I had a wonderful Christmas day.   And am having a relaxing morning.  Whilst lying in bed I started thinking about my new years resolutions and activities I would like to start next year.  Although I am not sure how I will fit them all in. Or if anything will actually pan out as planned.  

So seeing as I want to start going to singing sessions on Tuesday mornings, get to the gym around 3 times a week, do yoga, improve my Spanish, Yin Style Bagua, crafting and study!  I think it's all a bit too much.  And that's even without volunteering in a homeless kitchen once a month.   

I think I'll leave learning more Spanish for when my course has finished and go to singing once or twice a month.  But of course the main thing is that I don't get disappointed because I haven't reached my expectations.  Don't get me wrong, I think that having goals is good.  But trying to stick to a multitude of activities that are meant to be for fun and getting angry when my expectations aren't met is detrimental as it is impossible to tell what obstacles I will come across on a day to day basis.  

Studying and getting my assignments in on time should be my second priority as I need to get distinctions to get into Uni.  But first I would like to put my practise of yoga and meditation along with going to the gym and eating healthy.  Then socialising, bagua, singing and crafting can fit in when I have the time. 

 

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Others. Food.

"Acceptance of others, their looks, their behaviours, their beliefs, bring you an inner peace and tranquillity -- instead of anger and resentment."
 
Unknown

I like this unknown, they seem to have loads of useful quotes up their sleeve.  I found this quote this morning as I seem to always have trouble holding back "advice" for others, which in reality might not be that helpful for the person at the time.  I suppose it means practising more acceptance and loving each and every person for who they are.  And being mature enough to realise that I don't have to conflict with people to try and help them.  

It has come to that time of year again.  I am already feeling that the amount of food and types of food I am going to eat will be enormous and unhealthy.  I'm not really that fussed about eating loads of food, but as I have gallstones I do have to be careful about the amount of sugar and fat I eat.  I think it is hard to get this message across to others without sounding so whiny, but seriously the pain of gallstones is only second to intense back pain that I had once.  And once gallstones flare-up, it takes a while from them to calm down.  Usually the pain comes at about 3 AM. I was told in hospital that gallstones pain is on par with giving birth, and then throwing up and pain for about 3 hours or so.  Anyway, I have decided that this year I obviously have to say no or eat less of certain foods to avoid having an attack and also buy some healthy foods like high fibre brown rice and beetroot or apple juice to keep my stomach healthy.  That way I won't try and blame others for my pain! 

OK, whilst the house is still quiet I think I am going to do a meditation and some yoga.  Here is a cool website with Buddhist meditations and talks on.  


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Give Thanks

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.

Brian Tracy

I had a really nice day yesterday.  I managed to get down to the gym, see a friend and do a little bit of reading.  Today I'm going out to take some photo's and get one or two small gifts for Christmas.  Although I'll probably get to the shops and then convince myself to  buy in the Christmas sales.

There are now 28 "likes" and 10 "talking about" the Finding Happiness page, which is really another link for this blog.  I am very grateful for the this.  I have been feeling a little bit sorry for myself over the past few days, as I am so used to having a salary to buy whatever I want over Christmas!  I thought I would do a quick gratuity list.  And also email a company about volunteering over my time off. OK, 10 things I am grateful for.

  1. A fully working mind.
  2. A body that is flexible and strong.
  3. A wonderful mother who lets me live at home rent free (well for the moment anyway).
  4. A supportive boyfriend and friends.
  5. Living in a city where I have a massive choice of what I can do on a day out.
  6. Access to free medical care and
  7. Access to alternative therapy.
  8. Farmers markets to buy food.
  9. Functioning eyes and ears.
  10. Access to clean water.

Now I am smiling.  I'm planning to do a little more study this morning before I go out, and get to the gym this evening, and then do some more reading, highlighting and note taking. 

I've started thinking about New Year resolutions too.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Acceptance

Acceptance of one's life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices.

Paul Tournier


I'm having to accept that I didn't wake up to my alarm and am now running 4 hours later than I expected today.  I'm trying not to freak out or get angry, but, to just accept what happened and build the rest of the day around the late awakening.  Acceptance is one part of life, and I think without it I would be an angry, stressed person.  Steve Pavlina has more to say on how acceptance is a major part of self discipline here.  


I had a lovely day yesterday, out with my family and in particular my brother, who only gets to visit London 2 - 3 times a year.  And I managed to get some small Christmas treats for Aaron.  A friend came over for dinner and we started to talk about and look for places to do volunteering - particularly in soup kitchens.  I got about half way through my research, but, hopefully we will be volunteering on the days between Christmas and New Years Eve.  I found another position which is once a month on Sunday mornings, which I might take up with The Food Chain.  

I'm having a bit of a hard time meditating at the moment, as I can't seem to lift any particular feelings.  I am hoping that if I do yoga before I go to bed I will find this easier tonight.  

I am very much looking forward to next year, and feel excited about the way I want to live my life and trying to follow through with small steps. 



Monday, 19 December 2011

Control. Mindset

“If you don't control your mind, someone else will.”


John Allston

The only thing you can control in the world is your thoughts (after careful practise) and to an extent your actions.  I started off trying to combat my depression and negative thinking patterns through mindfulness (good explanation here).   And I found a free 6 week mindfulness course.  

Mindfulness can help you be aware of your emotions, thoughts and feelings but not necessarily act upon them or own them completely as your thoughts. It also encourages one to be present in the moment (i.e. not obsessing about what something in the past or something in the present)  I think this process is important so that as individuals we can develop better emotional intelligence about our and others feelings, it can give us the edge we need to detach ourselves from anger, rage and even depression.  

Mindfulness, I think, is the first step in the right direction of having a happy, care free mindset.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Change

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

Charles Darwin
  
Ahhh, Darwin, I think I love you.  Interestingly enough, when having discussions with others regarding fairness (i.e spread of wealth) and those in charge of government.  Many people bring up Darwin's argument of "survival of the fittest" and now I have this counter argument.   Maybe those advising the media and government won't be so accustomed to change themselves and find any transition into true democracy too hard to handle.

Came across another good poem about politics posted on a friends wall:


There are some cool links at the end of the video for alternative news and where one can "get active":








Today I'm going to plan which books I will read over my three weeks off.  I am thinking of reading Origin of Species (again), a book about Karl Marx, some philosophy and of course the reading I need to do for my essays.

A cheery song for the day:

Friday, 16 December 2011

Yikes! Action

We who in engage in non-violent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.
 
Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I fully agree with Martin Luther King, and think that the action being taken by the Occupy groups is admirable.  If I had known that they where doing Occupy everywhere in London yesterday, I would have gone down.  And to show my support I am going to visit the Occupy sites over the weekend, and maybe make a short film. Whilst looking on Occupy London I watched this video, and I think it's really cool:



On another note.  I watched Tales from the Crypt last night and the crypt keeper host said "yikes!".  This brought back memory's of my favourite pencil whilst I was in primary school!! So I looked up the advert this morning and found another blog on Woodclinched featuring the yikes! collection.  Here is the advert below to jog your memory.


That is it for today.  I got some of my marks back in college yesterday and I would like to raise them a bit. So I will be working on the assignments I have that have to be in after the Christmas break and also trying to practise critical thinking.
 

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Bing!

Don't follow your dreams; chase them. 
 
-
Richard Dumb 

I haven't posted for a while.  I had so many plans of articles that I wanted to post, but I never got round to it! Hey ho.

My friend posted a link on facebook titled Inspiration and Chai - regrets of the dying by Bronnie Ware.  I immediatly clicked the link. A project that has always been in the back of my mind was to interview the dying and see what advice they could hail for the young.  Not only do I think this is a great project, but, I think we can all learn a lot from the dying.  Here is a short list: 
  
1. Wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself and not the life others expected of me.  

2.I wish I didn't work so hard. (This is one I keep on mentioning to Aaron, so we can go travelling). 

3.I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I think the last one on the list is my favourite.  The term "let myself" I think proves that happiness is a state of mind and application of your personal will.  I think we've all met that one person, who was the happiest person we've ever met, and they weren't dressed in Gucci living in a house and rich.  


So, if happiness is a state of mind, how can it be improved?  My personal way is through exercise, yoga, meditation and healthy eating.  Then I think the rest of the list can be honoured.  Dharma seed is a great source to start learning about active and guided meditation. At Innerspace there is free meditation courses and weekly meetings.


This is my last week at college and then I have three weeks off, and three essays to do!  I am hoping that I can do two essays in draft this week and spend a lot of time reading during my time off.


Here's a funny video to watch before the day begins:

Friday, 2 December 2011

Change

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. 

Confucius

I feel it is time for a change.  After my back being so achy and like a pain in the backside. I have decided I really need to loose weight and concentrate on toning my body.  Obviously I would like to be like one of those amazing acrobat women (which I can't find an example photo of).  Which means for the moment cutting out sugar and diary and trying to eat smaller portions.  When my back is better then I can carry on doing yoga every morning (or at least 6 times a week) and then do weights and cardio at the gym for an hour a day.  I think my aim will be to be size 10 by June 2012.  Maybe it's the strong painkillers making me feel so optimistic, but something needs to change.  I want to be fit and healthy especially for my old age.  

I have also decided that I want to start learning new academic words, so I can incorporate them into my school work and just to improve my general vocabulary.  

Today my word is deration.  The online oxford dictionary says:

verb

[with object] free (a commodity) of rationing restrictions:coal was derationed.

That's it for now, I am feeling very drowsy from the medication so I am going to finish my Levi-Strauss book, write a small conclusion of what I think and then start on Plato's republic.

 


Thursday, 1 December 2011

Bad Back: Positive Thinking

Do not let circumstances influence your thoughts and moods. By rising over them mentally, you will eventually rise over them materially.

Unknown

OK, so, whilst on the way back from college on Monday my back started aching.  It really ached.  I did light yoga on Tuesday morning, got up, went out, had a bath and relaxed.  Yesterday morning came, and my back was a bit achy but not so bad.  So, I did a bit more light yoga.  Whilst lying on my front and about to turn over.  I had the most excruciating pain shoot right up my back, it literally felt like a rod charged with electricity was attached to me.  I felt really warm and like I was going to pass out.  I lay there for about 2 hours before giving in and deciding I needed professional help!!  

The doctor came, and now I have to rest, but keep my back active. I have painkillers and muscle relaxants to try and help.  Today I am feeling a bit better.  I need to do some study, meditation, eat healthy and have a warm bath.  I am positive that I will feel better by tomorrow.

I found the rally/event that I wanted to attend.  It is by the Socialist Worker Student Society. The flyer is below.  Click here to see the events taking place over the weekend and to book a place. 



There is some fabulous background reading available on their website, which I am going over this morning.  

I also came across loads of other thought provoking websites, The Peoples United Community being one.  It is basically for being 'free' from controlling capitalism, governments and so on.  There is some interesting articles on there, which can really challenge what seems to be the Western ingrained way of thinking. I would advise taking the articles with a pinch of salt however it is good to consider the other side of the coin t what we have been taught.

Recently I have been listening to classical music whilst researching, reading and taking notes.  One of my favourite pieces is also famous for being in American Beauty: Any Other Name: