New year – New You

New year is one of my favourite times of the year. It’s like we get to start a fresh and get our teeth stuck into new things, New people to meet, New experiences to have. We have this optimistic view that everything is suddenly going to change and we are going to transform into this new shinier version of ourselves.

Well at least that’s how I view New Year. And even if it doesn’t last I think it’s a great way to start the year. This year I started with a clear head (no hangover) fresh as a daisy, start as I mean to go on. I’ve got my plans and goals and am hoping to achieve them all. I do have more motivation this year than any other. Turning 40..eek.. and still so much I want to do.

Here is a few that may inspire you

Learn a new language.

Been learning spanish for the last 20 years..on and off.. I’m now fluent in Spanglish.. and only I can understand me. .

I realized learning a language is a whole new skill altogether and the process of acquainting with a new language and culture is a totally a mind-opening experience.

Pick up a new hobby.

Beyond just your usual favorite hobbies, is there something new you can pick up? Any new sport you can learn?

Examples are fencing, golf, rock climbing, football, canoeing, or ice skating.

Your new hobby can also be a recreational hobby. For example, pottery, Italian cooking, dancing, wine appreciation, web design, etc.

Learning something new requires you to stretch yourself in different aspects, whether physically, mentally or spiritually

Take up a new course.

Is there any new course you can join? Courses are a great way to gain new knowledge and skills.

It doesn’t have to be a long-term course – seminars or workshops serve their purpose too.

I’ve been to a few workshops and they have helped me gain new insights which I had not considered before.

I love Udemy courses and I’m now on my 15th. They are fun, cheap and a fab way to learn just about anything.

Create an inspirational room.

Your environment sets the mood and tone for you. If you are living in an inspirational environment, you are going to be inspired every day.

Minimise

So I have been on this journey for the last year or so. It is actually harder than just chucking your wordly goods out. Especially with a family, but it feels amazing and cuts cleaning by more than half and saves me a tonne of time deciding what to wear or searching through a pile of junk to find a bloody bobble. I now have places for everything…. well almost everything.

I have a tonne of other things I want to do this year, climb some munroes, go on a meditation course, take some amazing photos of some wild animals, do more yoga, laugh more, lighten up, volunteer with animals, my list goes on and on.

Right I must go as one of my resolutions was to spend less time on the Internet.

Cbd oil for menopause.

There are cannabinoid receptors in all areas of the female reproductive organs, including both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Given what we already know about CBD’s influence over these receptors, it’s a logical assumption to believe that CBD could help reduce the signs and symptoms of menopause through interaction in the highly concentrated areas of endocannabinoid receptors.

During menopause, women find it increasingly difficult to sleep. Hot flashes, mood swings and overall discomfort continually disrupt a healthy sleep cycle. Soon, this lack of sleep trickles down into other areas of a woman’s life and eventually increases the severity of all menopausal symptoms.

There is a growing body of research indicating that both CBD, THC and other cannabinoids are beneficial for improved sleep quality. While CBD itself may trigger a mild increase in wakefulness when taken before bed, CBD still facilitates a better and longer nights rest.

Bone Density Loss

Bone density naturally starts to decrease during menopause. In some circumstances, it can lead to future issues with osteoporosis and bone fragility. It’s common for doctors to prescribe ERT simply for the possible improvements to bone density. But, as we’ve discussed, ERT is not always a perfect long-term solution.

Cannabidiol, THCV, CBG, and CBC all are potential candidates for protecting against bone loss. In fact, these specific cannabinoids are known to stimulate bone growth. Cannabidiol, among the other cannabinoids, may represent a perfect alternative to ERT therapy for those women worried about bone density loss.

Mood Stabilizer

Alongside the inevitable hot flashes, the associated menopausal mood swings are an equally taxing part of hormonal changes. As hormones change, it changes the way women process and manage their stress levels. A woman’s body continues to operate as per usual, but with an endocannabinoid deficiency. Its suddenly not as easy to process stress, anger, and daily pressures.

Thankfully, cannabinoids are already making incredible inroads as a powerful replacement to traditional SSRI drugs. It’s a logical next step to bring the mood stabilizing capabilities of CBD, already evidenced for treating depression and anxiety, into the realm of menopausal women.

Need a Good Sleep??

I am the worst sleeper then I am the best then I suck again and it can last for months. I’ve learnt over the years not to let it bother me through meditation. But I like the way I feel after a good night sleep so I started to investigate and research ways to hack my sleep.

I found this great podcast and blog post by Ben Greenfield who goes into depth on hacking your sleep and why it is so important to get a good sleep.

Check out his full post here

The main problems I find with my sleep are – my phone and my phone and yes u guessed it…my bloody phone.

If I go on it after 9pm and get caught up messaging people, emailing and speaking to clients etc then I know my sleep is gonna be poor. My mind is on over drive and I am full of ideas and definitely not ready for bed.

Top Tips –

  • TURN PHONE OFF AT 9PM
  • Meditate before bed or some Yin Yoga
  • Darkened room or eye mask.
  • Listen to some binaural beats for sleep or I actually prefer a sleep hypnosis.
  • Magnesium supplement
  • Cbd Oil
  • Plus melatonin spray
  • keep your room cool at about 18 degree

Day time – Ben takes this other Chinese herbal supplement I haven’t heard of but reading up on it I want it. TIAN CHI?

He has cold showers in the morning and has a cool suit when working out but read his blog for the reasons why this all helps.

He must spend a fortune on gadgets and monitors his sleep with various apps.

I am gonna try out all the cheaper options for getting a good sleep and hopefully my sleep will get better. TRY ONE AT A TIME AND SEE WHAT WORKS BEST.

For me I have found that meditation good food and certain supplements to get a good sleep. SEE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, sometimes called belly breathing, is a deep breathing technique that engages your diaphragm, a dome-shaped sheet of muscle at the bottom of your ribcage that is primarily responsible for respiratory function.

 

To try it, bring one hand above your belly button and one hand at your heart. Close your eyes and take a few deep, full breaths, allowing your hands to move out and up slightly with the inhale and move back in with the exhale. When the diaphragm moves naturally with your breath, a lot of seemingly magical things happen. Here are just some of the benefits of belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing from a physiological perspective.

1.) Helps Our Respiratory System to Work Most Efficiently

Have you ever watched a baby or your dog or cat breathe? What do you notice? Probably a lot of 3-dimensional expansive movement around the abdomen and whole body. Our breath should naturally move us, and it did—before society trained us to breathe inefficiently.

What were we told as we got older? Suck it in and squeeze your belly. We wore tight clothes that restrict breathing. As we get older, many of us unintentionally trained ourselves out of the most efficient and natural method of breathing—diaphragmatic.

With poor breathing habits, gas exchange is not efficient. This means that our cells are not getting the nutrients they need at the best rate. When trillions of cells are not happy, we can feel unhappy, with lethargy and brain fog in the short term, along with chronic health problems in the long term. Retraining ourselves to breathe with the diaphragm more can lead to natural vitality and well-being.

2.) Stimulates the Relaxation Response

The “relaxation response” refers to the turning on of the parasympathetic nervous system. This also turns off the overactive sympathetic nervous system (a.k.a fight or flight, or the “stress response”). Deep breaths are our only access to this autonomic nervous system, which automatically makes our heart beat and food digest most efficiently.

By developing the capacity to choose the relaxation response over the stress response MORE often, we can calm anxiety and lower the risk of stress-related conditions like heart disease, digestive disorders, sleep disorders, depression, and more.

In particular, you can initiate the relaxation response by practicing deep, diaphragmatic breaths with elongated exhales.

Go ahead and try it now: This time, put both hands right above your belly button near your lower ribs and diaphragm. Take 5 deep breaths with a 3-second inhale and 6-second exhale. Feel the movement under your hands. Do you feel the profound difference from that simple exercise?

3.) Relieves Pain

By using breathing techniques like diaphragmatic breathing, we can help relieve pain in the short term and lower the likelihood of flares in the long term.

4.) Gently Stretches and Tones Core Muscles, Including the Pelvic Floor

The core muscles mainly include the abdominals, erector back muscles (the muscles that keep us tall and erect), diaphragm, and pelvic floor.  When we breathe, that natural three-dimensional movement of the body helps keep the muscles in the area healthy.

5.) Improves Posture

In order to do diaphragmatic breathing properly, you have to sit tall. This allows all of your organ systems to work more efficiently. You digest your food better, your heart pumps more efficiently, your nerves and blood vessels are less likely to get pinched, and you actually release more hormones that make you feel more confident.

With all of your systems working better, you will feel more confident and focused. So what are you waiting for? Try practicing deep, diaphragmatic breathing several times during the day and you’ll reap all these wonderful benefits for your body.

 

 

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Intermittent fasting – my little secret.

All my life I have been brought up to eat three meals a day plus supper and snacks when I was hungry.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I was told.

At high school I never much felt like breakfast which drove my mum crazy. I was hungry by 1030 so I had a sandwich then an hour later off to the dinner hall for my nutritious and healthy bowl of chips and beans. We got an ice cream van that would visit the school at lunch time so off I popped for some wham bars and irn bru bars or penny sweets covered in sugar, enough to make your eyes water. Then on the way home a lovely can of fizzy juice and packet of crisps.

So that was growing up in the 90s for me, always eating, snacking grazing on junk food.

Fast forward many years and I am living with my boyfriend. Now his way of eating is majorly different to mine. He doesn’t eat in the daytime..wtf..how does he not collapse and die. If I go past lunch time without eating I am a hangry mess ready to pass out until I get my fix of food.

So years and years of me trying to get him to eat breakfast and making him pack lunches I just give in.. and in a strop usually. Now my boyfriend doesn’t have a sit down job he is a window cleaner and the fastest around. He is up and down his ladder hundreds of times a day. He routinely gets up at 7 am every day and works till tea time..yes he eats tea. Then he is back out again at night to walk around all the work he has done during the day to get payment from his customers.

How does he do it?? On such little fuel??

So it’s only taken me 11 years of being with him to start looking into this.

To be fair it took him 9 years of being with me to become vegetarian so I feel we may be equal.

Okay so I did my research.. youtube of course..where else!! I watched endless Ted talks on the subject and found some fab people who were already doing it. Dr pompa does fasting, markus and cara brotman and lots of guests of joe rogan. These people are in peak condition.

So I had to try this for myself to find out what will happen. I am on week one so very early stages. I stop eating at 6pm and start again at 12 the following day. I hope to push it further this week as I feel amazing.

I am getting so much more done and am not constantly in the kitchen. I have eaten pretty healthy for the last ten years and have juiced and made smoothies daily for the past 5 years but am always looking at ways I can increase my energy, strength and mental focus. I think I have found the way for me, but I am not telling my boyfriend this…not yet. All these years of moaning at him for not eating will no doubt be thrown in my fave like a giant custard pie.

So for now this is my little secret and I shall see how I go over the following months.

Reiki distance to large numbers

I decided to start sending free reiki via Facebook to anyone who got in touch who needed it. I wasn’t sure at first how to send Reiki to more than one person at a time but I soon figured it out.

I think I had about 20 people for my first one, I wrote all names down had a peak at profile pics and started. I set up my room so it was nice and relaxing. I also advised everyone of my start and finish times and advised them of what they may want to do before and during the healing.

As long as you remain open to the healing you are being sent I find it flows much better. I personally feel a great deal doing distance healing, the energy in my hands is quite intense at times and the flow of energy I feel is just lovely and relaxing

More Distance Healing Tips

Connect with the people needing healing and their surrounding areas, to whomever or wherever your awareness is attracted.

  • Connect with your own spirituality (whatever that may be).
  • You can use an object to help focus your energy if you choose; besides the cupped hands, you can use a pillow, blanked, or some other physical object.
  • Experiment with using distant healing when watching the news. Allow the loving energy to flow into the news that you are witnessing as you exhale.
  • Remember to breathe and feel the energy moving through your body.
  • Combine different techniques.
  • Allow your love to grow stronger each time you practice distant healing.
  • Take action on the inspirations you receive while doing distant healing.

I use my reiki distance symbol and when my mind wanders I chant this symbol softly to myself over and over until my focus is stronger.

Everyone does this is their own way it’s just about finding what u feel in your heart works best for you

Reiki and Meditation

Creating Focus

Usui Sensei taught his students the first pillar of Reiki, the Gassho meditation. Gassho means “two hands coming together”. Dr. Usui taught his students to place their hands in the Gassho position every morning and evening. Gassho teaches the art of quieting the mind and creating single pointed focus in meditation.

One basically places their hands in prayer position, closes their eyes, and brings all their awareness to the tip of the fire (middle) finger. When the mind wanders, gently press the fire fingers together and refocus. This technique is detailed in “Reiki the Healing Touch”.

I begin my daily sessions with Gassho, and then I offer prayers for myself, for others and the planet. Next I send distant Reiki to all who have requested it.

Below is a sample of a 21 day reiki meditation programme

A 21-Day Reiki Meditation Program

You can use this 21-day program to learn more about Reiki, develop the ability to focus, to empower my prayers, goals and visions; and to receive answers.

Days 1-7 – Begin by creating an intention or a question. Draw the Usui power symbol in front of your body and with your hands, move the energy into your solar plexus. Breathe deeply, imagining that you are breathing in the essence of the symbol. As you exhale allow the energy to permeate every cell of your body, and expand out into your emotional body, your mental body, all the way into your spiritual body.

State your intention or ask your question. Sit quietly with this energy for 5-15 minutes. If your mind wanders, simply invoke the name of the power symbol three times and visualize it.

When you finish, acknowledge that you are holding the full light of the Reiki energy and it will be with you through your day.

Write notes about your experience in a journal. Include any thoughts, words, images or feelings that came to you.

Do this even if there seems to be no logic to it. Often Reiki and the Divine speak to us in symbols, or with pieces of a puzzle that will come together later by reflecting back on your journal.

Days 8-14 – Begin by creating an intention or a question. Draw the Usui mental and emotional symbol in front of your body and with your hands, move the energy into your heart. Breathe deeply, imagining that you are breathing in the essence of the symbol. As you exhale allow the energy to permeate every cell of your body, and expand out into your emotional body, your mental body, all the way into your spiritual body.

Imagine any unhealthy mental or emotional patterns being rewoven into healthy thought, feeling and response patterns. State your intention or ask your question. Sit quietly with this energy for 5-15 minutes.

If your mind wanders, simply invoke the name of the mental emotional symbol three times and visualize it.

When you finish, acknowledge that you are holding the full love of the Reiki energy and it will be with you through your day. Write notes about your experience in a journal.


Days 15-21 – Begin by creating an intention or a question.Draw the Usui distant healing symbol in front of your body and with your hands, move the energy into your entire body beginning by moving the energy from the crown and down through your feet.

Breathe deeply, imagining that you are breathing in the essence of the symbol. As you exhale allow the energy to permeate every cell of your body, and expand out into your energy field.State your intention or ask your question.

Take a moment to imagine or visualize the symbol taking the form of a bridge of light. This bridge reaches through time and through space. Allow the bridge of light to carry Reiki energy back in time as it permeates all levels of your consciousness and the multiple dimensions of your being.

Next allow the energy to flow forward in time creating harmonious energy in your future. Now bring the energy into the present moment.

Sit quietly with this energy for 5-15 minutes. If your mind wanders, simply invoke the name of the distant symbol three times and visualize it. When you finish, acknowledge that you are holding the timeless healing power of the Reiki energy and it will be with you through your day. Write notes about your experience in a journal.

This 21 day program is designed for those who are attuned to level two Reiki. Level I practitioners could modify it using level I energy instead of the symbols. It is possible to also extend the program for another 21 days by replacing the symbols with the three Reiki Master symbols, or with the Karuna symbols of your choice.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful, and that you are willing to explore the importance of creating special time to deepen your relationship with the Divine and the love of the Reiki energy.

Superfoods

Superfoods to help rebalance body and mind

Rebalance your body and mind while increasing relaxation with this comforting blend of mood-enhancing cocoa. Contains B vitamins and adaptogens – rhodiola, shiitake mushroom, maca and ashwagandha – to help you adapt to daily stresses and strains

Rhodiola – Rhodiola rosea is a remarkable herb that has a wide and varied history of uses. It is thought to strengthen the nervous system, fight depression, enhance immunity, elevate the capacity for exercise, enhance memory, aid weight reduction, increase sexual function and improve energy levels. It has long been known as a potent adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances that increase the body’s overall resistance and help to normalise bodily functions.

Shiitake mushroom – Shiitake mushrooms are high in B vitamins, and they serve as a food source of vitamin D. Some shiitake health benefits include its ability to aid weight loss, support cardiovascular health, fight cancer cells, improve energy levels and brain function, reduce inflammation, and support the immune system

Maca – General Health Benefits. Due to its many reported benefits, the maca root is considered to be a super food. It is often used to promotes reproductive and sexual health. According to the Raw Organic Maca website, it also increases energy levels and endurance.

Ashwaganda Health Benefits of AshwagandhaResearch on ashwagandha is limited, but several studies have shown that the herb may be useful in addressing the following health problems:

1) OsteoarthritisFor a 2008 study, scientists tested ashwagandha’s effects on human cartilage and found that the herb may help protect against inflammation and cartilage damage associated with osteoarthritis. In another preliminary study, people with joint deformity, pain, swelling, and stiffness were given a supplement containing ashwagandha, guggul, turmeric, and a zinc complex. Although pain was reduced, there were no changes shown on radiological examination. Related: Natural Remedies for Osteoarthritis2) AnxietyIn an animal-based study published in 2000, researchers found that ashwagandha had an anti-anxiety effect similar to that of lorazepam (a medication used to treat anxiety disorders). The herb also appeared to ease depression.Related: Natural Remedies for Anxiety 3) Type 2 DiabetesAshwagandha may help normalize high blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, according to preliminary, animal-based research published in 2008. Learn about other remedies for diabetes.4) CancerIn a 2003 study, tests on human tumor cell lines revealed that ashwagandha may slow the growth of lung, breast, and colon cancer cells.Published in 2007, another study on human cells shows that ashwagandha may inhibit tumor growth without harming normal cells.Related: Natural Approaches to CancerForms

Mindful Breathing

Mindfulness Breathing

Breathing is something that we all do, all of the time – yet we are often not aware of how it feels in the moment. By bringing our focus intentionally onto the breath we can ground ourselves in what is happening right now.

We can practice observing without reacting, experiencing each breath as it happens without feeling a need to change it.

You can do this exercise for just a few minutes, or for longer periods. Although the intention is to focus on the breath, you will begin to experience how unfocused our minds can be!

You may find that your mind wanders a hundred times, or just a few. It is okay for this to happen and it doesn’t mean that you are doing anything wrong. When you notice your mind has wandered, gently but firmly bring your attention back to the breath.

Mindfulness of breath

Preparation

Sit or lie in a comfortable position. You may choose to close your eyes or keep them open, if you are feeling tired it may be useful to let just a little bit of light in to keep you alert.

The Breath

Begin by gently moving your attention onto the process of breathing. Notice the sensations of each breath as it happens, whether you focus on the rise and fall of your chest or abdomen, or on the feeling of the breath at the nostrils. Really feel what it is like to breath, just observing it as it happens.

As you engage in this exercise you may find that your mind wanders, caught by thoughts or by noises in the room, or bodily sensations. When you notice that this happens, know that this is okay, and simply notice the distraction but gently bring your attention back to the breath.

Ending the exercise

Take a few moments to yourself, connecting with your experience in the present moment. Expand your awareness from the breath into the space around you, and as you feel comfortable to do so, opening your eyes and bringing the exercise to a close.

Reflections

Take a few moments to think about what your experience was in this exercise, and how you feel in the present moment.

Being Now is not as easy as it sounds

When I watch my kids and their friends play together I am just so amazed and in awe of their total immersion in the world of imagination. They laugh so hard at the imaginery pet frog leaping over the couch. They fall out with their friends at the drop of a hat yet when it’s time for their friends to go home they don’t want them to leave. They forget so quickly about the arguments and focus completely on the games they are playing. I am always so envious at this instinctive behaviour. There is no thought of tomorrow, they have no sense of time and no responsibility.

I practice being now, I even have Be now tattoo’d upon my hand to remind me but I am still not quite there yet!!Which again is totally contradictory as if I was being Now then I am here and this is now.

Meditation and slow breathing is my go to for being now. I use my daily reiki precepts to remind myself to focus on today and my mindfulness to gain control of my now.

It’s definitely a journey and I am slowly but surely releasing my need to be chasing my destination.

Oh to be a child again….#lovelittlepeople