30 November 2018

3rd and final BIG EVENT POST - Cancer

My mom’s cancer has returned.  This time it is different, in that they can’t offer any treatment to her due to her lack of strength and where it has spread.

We try to stay positive under the circumstances but she has had a month of “one set back after the other”.  You wouldn’t even believe me if I were to recount it all, but the significant set-back was a fall due to the medication she was first given that made her unsteady. She broke a rib and hurt her spine.

It is important to keep her spirits up, but your own as well.  I suggest the following to help keep your head in a good place.

·     Ask people to pray and send good thoughts to her.
·     Pray or ask the universe to send healing to her and yourself.
·     Light a candle and think of your best memories together.
·     Light a candle at your church and have 15 minutes of quiet time.
·     Go for a walk to be surrounded by air and light.
·     Listen to happy music.
·     Watch funny films.
·     Never give up hope and know that you are stronger than you think.

Best wishes to all and I hope we kick cancers butt soon.


29 November 2018

2nd of 3 BIG EVENTS POST - Kitchen Extension

The second big event was a kitchen extension, which I have wanted to do for the last 10 years.  I was always frightened by the cost and disruption.  Part of it was practical, and part was my own fearful imagination about, “how am I going to cope with no kitchen, the expense, and all the chaos?!”. 

One of my mentors for hypnotherapy asked me, “How did you manage to get through other difficult times in your life?”.  The answer is simple, and applies to all of us, “I just found a way and did it”.  You will always find a way and sometimes it is our own determination, and other times, it is with the help of others.  Anyway, I did manage it and I had lots of supporters.

My builder was excellent.  Not only in his work, but payment schedule.  Barclay’s “lost” a transfer of money from my US account to help pay for it, and even though I had savings to draw on, the money was missing for 6 weeks! I kept my builder informed, and he really wasn’t bothered as he could see that I was doing everything possible to get Barclays to find my missing money (which is now with the Financial Ombudsman, and it finally arrived in the final week of the works finishing.   

My neighbours helped us out with using their washing machines (can you imagine to have the privilege to live on a street where I was able to take my laundry to 7 different houses in rotation – plus one neighbour went on holiday for a week and gave me the keys to their house.  AND the other nice thing is I had offers from another 5 neighbours!).  They didn’t just let me use their machines – they folded the laundry when it was finished.

Besides doing laundry, we were offered meals.  We had several Sunday lunches at friends and neighbours houses.  We are truly blessed.

So, don’t be afraid of the challenge.  You will always find a way.  I promise.

28 November 2018

1st of 3 BIG EVENTS POST – The fall

1st of 3 BIG EVENTS POST – The fall

Sorry for my lack of personal posts. I have had a lot going on - 3 big events. Listing one post a day so it’s not a huge long post, and each has a lesson.

NUMBER 1.  About 6 months ago I fractured my foot by a freak trip up a curb. To someone who walked 15-20,000 steps a day, it was a big deal. I had 2 weeks pretty much in bed, and was just about able to walk in a support boot and crutches, but no more then 4 blocks at a time.

I had several NHS appointments to see how badly I had fractured the tendon and the nerve.  It was an experience to actually get to hear my nerve grow!! They put an acupuncture needle in your leg, and you can actually hear the nerve grow (silence means it is a normal nerve).  So apparently it will take another month for the nerve to head down my leg to my big toe. At least I am now on the mend and am so thankful to Bhavini and Aiden, from Bodies Under Construction, for their amazing physio skills to helping me with rehab.  I am now almost back to 100% and for the first time today – I managed to run for 6 minutes!  YEAH!!

However, the hardest part of the fracture was not the physical pain, it was the mental depression.  Not being able to get outside for exercise, do my normal routine, and see clients really took a toll on my mental wellbeing.  I felt so down, and even though I could do work over Skype and some social media, not getting out and being able to exercise began to make me feel lonely and depressed.  I knew I had to take action mentally to get me into a better state.  

I began to break down the day into activities such as 30 minutes just doing gentle stretching, 30 minutes bath (including massaging my foot), 30 minutes reading positive books (like Laws of Attraction), a few hours work, 1 hour watching feel good YouTube clips about “spending it forward” and “acts of kindness”, 45 minutes eating a healthy lunch slowly and watching the news, watching a funny or classic movie, and ending the day again with gentle stretching with a scented candle - of course.  It started to help vs. being frustrated and depressed.  Once I had a plan, I started to feel better.

I read the book Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.  It was ironic as the book is about a lonely woman.  The author, Gail Honeyman, wrote the book after reading a newspaper story about a woman in her 30’s that never saw people from the time she left work on Friday night until Monday morning.   We only think of the elderly as suffering from isolation and loneliness.  You need to make a plan if you are living with depression, fear, loneliness, anxiety, etc.  Little steps will lead to bigger ones and slowly feeling better and better and better. 

The other lovely lesson I learnt was to try the “acts of kindness” for myself to others.  I went to Sainsbury’s, bought a dozen yellow roses, and passed them out on my way home. Every one of the 12 people I gave a rose to brightened their day and mine!  One man even said, “I feel like I have just been knighted”.  Also one woman I gave a rose to was so thankful and happy that the women at the table next to her clapped, so I gave one to her too, and those 2 women I am sure were still talking to each other long after I left.

So don’t let things get you down – get a plan.

09 November 2018

The Science of Laughter

I read The Science of Laughter from Time Magazine’s September issue.  It was really interesting to learn that the main reason we laugh is social communication.  

It is also an unconscious behavior (not under our control at all), which is why we have all had “inappropriate” times of cracking up.  Mine usually happens in church.

The really amazing thing about laughing is that it is, like drinking water, good for us.  Not only mentally making us feel good, but also physically we benefit.  That is why there are more and more studies being done in universities and hospitals about using laughter for better health.   It helps in boosting our immune function, pain tolerance, cardiovascular health and memory.  We know it reduces stress and help with depression.

So I suggest you spend 1-2 hours over the weekend to watch your favorite comedy! Happy Friday!