Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
As ever I've been reading and musing and pondering and observing.
Going through the current round of GCSEs perhaps has stirred something. Reading some amazing books - the latest being Entangled Life, also recently Finding the Mother Tree, Braiding Sweetgrass. Last year there was The Salt Path and our next Kindness Book Club we're reading Landlines. Long distance walking books seem to be a genre I'm enjoying, not so much the Audible book I listened to - I won't mention names - albeit he did and complained about the company PHD which has been utterly epic to my partner and having met their CEO the other day, you couldn't have met a lovelier man. So if you've read/listened to it, take the PHD complaining with a very large pinch of salt. But I'm enjoying being challenged too, listening to views I disagree with and calming my tendency to walk away. Whilst the book above had lots of moaning in I didn't resonate with, there were interesting viewpoints and I'm glad, in the end, that I persevered.
I've also just finished on Audible the great work by Dr Gabor Mate, the Myth of Normal. I highly recommend. In several there is discussion about the damage humans are doing to our earth. Discussion how we may change and improve. And yet I can't help thinking we've been talking about this for ages. And in so many ways doing what we always do. Yes, we've electric cars, yes we've more green energy, but how about the costs to the planet to each of those too? Yes we educate our children about how we're all going to hell in a handcart. Climate anxiety is a thing.
But mostly (and of course not entirely), mostly, our educational practices look very similar to how they did when I was at school. 28 years on, my daughter has studied Macbeth, the war poets, both of which I did. Where is Silent Spring? Where are the essays on the heart achingly beautiful existence that we have?
We are still told the same story. Go out there, do as well as you can, achieve, achieve, get more, buy more, show us all how great you are. It's an interesting narrative if we're wanting to step away from the constant rape and pillage of our beautiful planet. `Several times whilst I was not quite recognising I was dealing with burnout I was hearing 'I'll sleep when I'm dead'. Teaching in college at the weekend on Lifestyle Medicine, the attitude of sleeping when we're dead (on the last statistics I have anyway) costs the UK economy about £40bn a year (Dr Rangan Chatterjee). Sleep - and rest - should be serious business.
As so many times, there's no lecture from me; I'm re-learning a lifetime of being on the go. Single parenting, setting up my own business, having a lot of energy and enthusiasm for live, and coming from (at school at least) an academically driven background were perfect ways to continue my being on the go. I completed my dissertation early so I could volunteer in Thailand for 2 weeks on a trip helping out people with physical disabilities. I studied my Diploma in Reflexology whilst doing my final year of my joint honours degree. I was good at doing a lot. And continued. There's only so long it's sustainable for, or at least there was for me.
So it has me thinking. If we're really concerned about our planetary future, or at least our future on the planet; perhaps we need a different way. Less striving (I recognise it's a part of the human condition - but how much is it nature? Does nurture play a significant part here too? My feeling is perhaps so), more rest, more downtime, less go, less sleep when we're dead.
We know from our bodies that cells out of control that can't switch off creates one of our most feared diseases. And yet we try to run our lives like that, our country. We don't hear about rest and nurture, we hear about growth of economies. How we need to do more. We don't, perhaps, value rest as essential.
In my supervision session recently, my supervisor asked 'What would rest look like?'. As a quick aside, I personally value my regular supervision highly. I consider it helps make me a better person aside from (hopefully) a more aware practitioner. I am a big advocate for regular supervision within our profession - and enjoy being on the other side too, as a supervisor for practitioners of homeopathy.
Anyway, that question, a great one, I've played with, mused over and chewed since our session. Feel free to play with it yourself. I had one morning, when after a cacao enriched cake the night before, I was up at 5 and made these:
Ah I thought, I'll text her with my 'here's what rest looks like'. I'm super pleased with my new shorts, and really enjoyed making them... but after pondering for a while, I'm classing it as creativity, not so much rest. I do think creativity can fit into a relaxing/restful state - but what I really needed was stopping. Non-doing. I read of people described as human doings not human beings and can really resonate.
So yesterday, in the sunshine, I took to the garden with a book a friend recommended years ago, Letters from Westerbork by Etty Hillesum. To be fair, it was my second choice, I can't seem to find the Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell, and it wasn't a light read. But it was uplifting, filled with optimism through the darkness and showed how much difference one person can make to the world around them. Gently when needed, exhaustingly at times. And, thinking about it now, when needed, Etty rests.
What would a world look like where rest was as important as attaining more? I wonder it would be a gentler place. Would would it be like to teach our children, instead of terror about how it's all going wrong, how beautiful this place is. To lie on the grass and look at the sky. To lie on the grass and look at the mini-beasts all around us.
Anyway, pondering. Trying out rest in different ways. I'm liking it. Love to hear what you think.
With love and rest,
With thanks to Dr Tess Lawrie, who is, in my opinion an utterly remarkable being. Her blog highlighted the vast change in 20 years of Wiki statements on homeopathy.
Homeopathy as defined by Wikipedia back in October 2003 said as their introduction:
Today I had a follow up with a lady I'd written about her case in a blog previously. Today she told me she was 85% improved from when we started working together. I'm hopeful that we can get to 100%, but 85% is a pretty good improvement. She's had the complaint for nearly 6 years when we met in November of last year. We've met 5 times in total, and she first described a chronic sinusitis and constant clearing of the throat. A massive build up of yellow mucus all day everyday. No relief from conventional medical interventions and had seen specialists in ENT.
Today it's 'so much improved. There's less mucus, so much less mucus'. It improves each time she takes the remedy. Ears were a challenge - at one point they were talking about her perhaps needing grommits and her ears would pop. Not happening anymore. No stickiness in her ears now. Her recent hearing test was fine and she's been discharged from that consultant.
No longer getting scabs inside her nose. From needing 3 tissues a night at our last session (massively reduced from the first time we met), it's down to 1 a night now. There was an issue with dust mites but last time we spoke I sent a remedy to help with that and there's been no further issues there.
So, seeing it in clinic having life changing effects, improving qualities of life for people week in, week out; I'll leave the Wikipedia 'pseudoscience' opinion, and take that I see homeopathy do remarkable things and I'm very grateful for it.
I keep seeing it referenced. ChatGTP will see you now for your scan. ChatGTP does something else. Will it transform healthcare? So I went to investigate and find out more about what it actually is. Chat GTP's own definition (I asked) is:
'Chat GPT is a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) model developed by OpenAI. It is a language model that uses deep learning algorithms to understand natural language and generate human-like responses to text-based conversations. Chat GPT is capable of engaging in a wide range of conversations and can be trained to understand various contexts, dialects, and languages. This technology has been used in chatbots, virtual assistants, and customer service applications to provide automated support and communication with users.'
And in case you weren't aware (I wasn't), the name "ChatGPT" combines "Chat", referring to its chatbot functionality, and "GPT", which stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer.
I went on to enquire about downsides and tech impact on the human brain and world around us and got a well worded, interesting and balanced reply.
After our Wikipedia (locked so only certain people can edit the page, and pretty hostile towards homeopaths - this blog is worth a read of the comparisons of Wiki in 2003 and now) experiences around homeopathy, I thought today I'd ask for a Chat GTP opinion.
Here we go:
Me: Tell me more about homeopathy?
ChatGTP: Homeopathy is a holistic system of medicine that uses highly diluted substances to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. It was developed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann in the late 18th century, and it is based on the principle of "like cures like." This means that a substance that causes symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat similar symptoms in a sick person.
Homeopathic remedies are made from natural substances such as plants, minerals, and animal products. They are prepared through a process called potentization, which involves diluting the substance in water or alcohol and then shaking it vigorously.
Homeopathic remedies are believed to work by stimulating the body's vital force, which is the energy that maintains health and well-being. By addressing the underlying imbalance in the body, homeopathy can help alleviate a wide range of physical, emotional, and mental symptoms.
Some of the key principles of homeopathy include:
So there you go. I was surprised, pleasantly so.
After all that talk of AI, I thought I'd share a pic of yesterday's swim location. Gorgeous start to the weekend.
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.