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!
Our perspective is so vitally important to us. How we perceive makes the difference between happiness, joy and despair I believe. So how do we just up and change that? Well, I do think that's wherein lies the rub. It's hard to do ourselves sometimes. I listened to a Radio 4 program yesterday around negative thinking (and the benefits of it, vs the negatives of things such as positive affirmations) which I thought was well presented and thought out. It's here if you'd like a listen along too.
Don't think about the [insert your own choice of word/life situation etc] then there's about one thing you're guaranteed to think about. That, for me, has long negated the 'stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself you're beautiful', although it may work for many. In my work, my preference is to understand more about how you feel, let's say, following the 'you are beautiful' example, you feel ugly, I want to see how it is to be you. And for me that's where the joy of homeopathy comes in. With my work in homeopathy I'm looking for a match of the person and the remedy pattern. And if I can discover that by really understanding what's going on, the chances are I can prescribe a well matched remedy which can help that feeling to ease and shift.
People frequently come back telling me that they 'feel like themselves again'. Which I find interesting from a philosophical viewpoint but equally can relate to that 'not feeling myself' and also the personal awareness of how a well matched remedy can help shift that feeling.
I see it often almost as if you've removed a pair of tinted sunglasses. Whilst the world around you may not have changed, changing your perception of your world changes everything for you.
Do let me know if you've any questions or comments,
With best wishes,
Well. They're funny old days these. And when we look closer, possibly the most liberated we've ever been in. Or with the potential to be the most liberated we've ever been. I listen to myself talk to my daughter about what she can be, do, when she grows up. It's not a limited list.
Yet still, antidepressant use is high, anxiety levels are through the roof, we're living, on one level, with the most disconnected, and at the same time, most intimately connected young people there ever have been. Perhaps not just the young either.
Unprecedented times. So said Caroline Myss last year in Findhorn. She also said, which has really stuck with me, that this life is NOT personal. It's not all about you. We are having a personal experience of the impersonal. Which helps me a lot. In these days of constant news, social media updates and a never ending stream of information, it's easy to think the world is out to get you.Or at least, that it's a dangerous place. That's not to play down the difficulties faced by many in these times either, however for most of us it's easy to get into a Chicken Licken state.
Do you remember Chicken Licken? It was a children's story when I was young. In case you haven't had it read to you countless times, then it's here. But the concept is that Chicken Licken believes that the sky is falling down, finds all her friends who panic and they all find Fox-lox (who must be happy to find all these panicked beasts), and instead of joining them to find the king and tell him the sky has fallen down, eats them instead. It would be easy to get into a panic about the state of the world, get vulnerable, scared and subsequently find a metaphorical Fox-lox. For some scared might be the right response, I am not here to judge. For many though, I believe it is not.
I've been pondering on joy over the last few days (and much longer I suppose). Recently though, how frequently we take a conscious decision to tap into joy. Briefly, to quantify, for me, joy goes beyond happiness. We can feel happy that the sun is shining. Or that we've a new purchase. For me joy goes way beyond happy. I feel it in my cells. I feel a lightness, something deeper, more effervescent, more intimate, more entangled with my being here on this planet.
So back on track, joy. How often do you remember what it feels like to feel it? How often do you take the time to consciously breathe it into all your cells? I think I'd forgotten for a while to exercise my joy muscle (hmm that sounds mildly cheeky). But seriously, how can we expect to have joy more often if we don't practice?! No tennis star would expect to win a game from a place of no practice. It's barely any surprise so many feel anxiety or distress when much of what we get bombarded with triggers that response short term.
My two times I've felt the most empowered, the most joyful were childbirth and shortly after my ex-husband had left (and I was a bit of a mess in both times, but transcending the mess, there was the most amazing feeling). Childbirth for me was powerful, an interconnected feeling with all the women who've ever given birth and ever shall (the birthplan itself didn't go to plan but that is irrelevant here). A primal, primitive feeling I've not felt before or since. Except when I've chosen to. Which slightly contradicts me there. I've not spontaneously felt it. But breathing it in, recreating, allowing that strength, that passion, that deep love for all of mankind. Now that's something I've been practicing the last few days. And I'm feeling the benefit. I stand taller, I feel prouder, gentler, more compassionate all in one.
The other time was a far lighter feeling, I remember walking with baby in baby bjorn (OK I know - I'd not do again but then knowing no better about hip alignments, subsequently I've loved my ErgoBaby), and looking around myself when out of nowhere a bubbling, light, beautiful feeling came from deep inside me. Again a feeling of interconnectedness, a one-ness. I've been feeling that one recently too.
I believe we can recreate emotions, strengthen memories and change our outlook on the world. We can create stronger muscles, better moves and affect our abilities to do anything. All it takes is practice. I might never be an ultra runner (there's a tiny bit of me thinks there's at least the one marathon in me though) but who minds. If I get to be a little bit of a better runner each time I run, that'll do for me.
So will you do it? Will you think of the time you felt happiest, most connected, most joyful, most content, and will you tap into that feeling at least once a day for the next few days?
I'd really love to hear what you think and how it goes.,
I've been taking a moment from case work this evening to reflect on how lucky I am.
I get to work with people on a daily basis (which I realised at 17 I really wanted to do, not the veterinary route that I had been planning right up to filling in my UCAS form (from age 7, via lots of work experience at vets and owning a horse and a dog)). I get to be surprised by people. On a daily basis. Whether that be by sky diving grannies, people recovering from illnesses, people able to reduce (with the guidance of their prescribing GP) medications or whatever else. I love that.
I get to explore the world of nature, where many of our remedies come from. This week I've been researching gemstones and insects for their use in cases and with clients I'm seeing. I get to read art - Tennyson this evening, relating to the damselfly. I get given art - a beautiful poem from a client recently.
I delve into the science of the workings of the body - my background in Psychology and Neuroscience at a BSc level helps me here often - and into the mind. I research, investigate and give my best. I read - constantly - and have a huge pile of books 'to read'. My boyfriend jokes that if I go missing I'll be buried underneath the books falling from my bedside table of 'urgently read asap books'.
I look around the case, what supporting things would make a difference - if diet may be a factor we may discuss this, or exercise, or other areas. I recommend books, other lifestyle factors or professionals that the client may wish to investigate further. I get to meet other professionals - most recently in the conference in Belfast with over 160 homeopaths - a mixture of professional and medical homeopaths, and learn more about what they're doing, what homeopathy has the ability to help us all do.
So tonight, off back to work now on cases and from supervision sessions from the day. I am grateful.
The world awakes to news that so many are feeling shock, fear, terror and disbelief at, or so it seems here in the UK at least. Donald Trump elected to be the President of the U.S.A on the 9th November 2016.
The shock that is reverberating around the world, or at least within my social circles, could be well founded or may not be, right now, no one is in the position to know just now. And I find that intriguing. We take it on ourselves to fear something we have no idea about. More and more I believe that it's just a part of our human experience to tap into that place, and the work it takes not to is interesting. Maybe, as some would propose, and I may agree, we used to be less like that. Certainly the statistics would show more unhappiness now than ever before. More depression, anxiety and definitely more medication to deal with it.
But for acute shock, what can we do?
I am a big fan of Byron Katie and her work. Questioning our thoughts is really helpful to me - who says everything is a disaster? Can that be really, 100% true? She has some great worksheets and videos on her website that can be downloaded, watched for free and learnt from. Plus even if it is true, how do you feel when you believe that thought? Or when you don't. Is there any positive reason to keep thinking it? Using the focussed mindfulness work I do, I work with something similar to this and questioning judgements can be helpful to many people.
Rescue remedy - long standing 'cure all' for anxiety. So many driving tests powered through, interviews, exams - that feeling of generalised anxiety in the moment. Rescue remedy can be one to try as well as the Bush Flower Essence version Emergency Essence.
Homeopathic remedies can help in times of acute stress. Some suggestions available from Helios are here. As ever, if you're taking remedies, it's my advice that you take the minimum needed to create an effect - if you've taken a tablet and you start to feel better then wait and you may not need to repeat. If you're taking remedies for acute situations you may need to repeat more often, but it's worth speaking to a practitioner. There is also lots of information on the Homeopathy app available from both the iPhone app store and Android stores.
Take time out in nature, in your community, in your surroundings. It's real, it's here and it's right now. What is happening in America may well influence our world, but you can have a bigger influence on your immediate world. So connect, be, nourish - yourself and others.
Give. Give to someone who needs it, who doesn't need it. To yourself. Be open. This year my heart has opened and melted in ways I never imagined it might, and I feel in ways I never imagined I might feel. Closing away doesn't get me that. Connect and love.
Lastly if the stress is tripping over into daily life then it's good to look at it on a deeper level. Do feel free to get in touch if you think I might be able to help.
And if all else fails I recommend a ukulele, a dog and a camper van...
I feel like I need a week to catch up after being away all weekend at the Faculty of Homeopathy Congress in Belfast. There was so much information shared, so many fabulous speakers, great conversations, let alone a party or two.
Sometimes it's really strange (and getting stranger) being in this world of 'you can't say this' 'you need to adhere to that regulation'. Talking about what we actually do, about what homeopathy has the capability of could be even a rebellious act (that seems altogether really bizarre, but it's not a million miles from what some would like). I suppose our patients talk to their friends, families and work colleagues and I'm happy about that. I love to help people move to better places of health, and this is where most people find me from. From others who've been helped in the past who refer them to me. We do however sit with a large extent of confidentiality, rarely talking to others about any treated cases, except where permission is given by the client.
So to have a weekend of immersion, of delving into cured cases, of so many insights into the depths of what homeopathy is capable of. Well, what a treat. A delight of a weekend, an inspiring, invigorating experience.
From the treatment of addiction and cases shared by Dr Jonathan Hardy, talks on toxicology and our modern environment by Dr Charles Forsyth, to see the details of published studies of children improving with ADD and ADHD using homeopath from Dr Heiner Frei in Switzerland, materia medica by Dr Bob Leckridge and Dr David Lilley and lots, lots more. Seeing extreme cases of schizophrenia improve with homeopathy from a hospital setting in Japan, renal failure in India (with all the hospital stats and having had little hope given from conventional medicine) improve to the point of full recovery. Lots of appreciation to be a part of this much needed system of medicine in this world.
Huge thanks to all involved with the Congress this weekend in Belfast and also have such gratitude to my clients teaching me so much on the ground, each and every day.
So, I love those conversations I have with people that inspire me to write. With people who make me think more, realise things about myself and the world. I had one of those on Saturday night and am very grateful. It's given me plenty to muse on, reflect about and I appreciate that.
One of those things was around a worry I know so many hold, and not to diminish that at all, however, I really wonder if we never know anything. Anything at all. And what we thought we knew can be challenged so quickly and changed in just a moment. So in case you've something you regularly worry about that bothers you or doesn't make you feel great, I wonder if any of these would be worth worrying about for a bit instead...
When did you last…
1. Re-remember the feeling of spontaneous, bubbling, there-for-absolutely-no-logical-reason overwhelming joy?
2. Ponder over the interconnectedness of all things, the web of human interaction, the way we influence those around us and we are influenced by those around us – animals, insects and people.
3. Be kind to someone else
4. Do a random act of kindness (unwitnessed and for no reward)?
5. Sing – out loud (can be in the shower, the car (the car is my favourite - turn the music up, roll the window down and belt it out... (weather/surroundings pending!))
6. Dance, around the kitchen, on the table, or whilst cooking the dinner? Or making breakfast - when I do it I remember it's one of my favourite ways to start the day. Either by yourself or with someone else. Music and movement are, I think, a winning combination. Why restrict them to nights out?!
7. Chat to someone you’d never met before and might never see again?
8. Listen. Really listen instead of planning your response.
9. Sit with no expectation of what ‘should’ happen next in life/your day right now?
10. Love. Unconditionally. Yourself. Absolutely and with all your shadows and flaws and the ‘unloveable’ bits. They are not and never will be unloveable. Honestly.
11. Write a list of all the ways in which you feel loved, and see how many you do for yourself on a daily basis (I’m off to do this right now… Ooops I do 2 out of my list of 13… hmm some room for growth!)
12. Say thank you for everything as soon as you wake up. And again before you go to sleep.
13. Do something practical for someone who can’t. Or send flowers for no reason. Or a spontaneous gift to someone.
14. Learn a new skill – doing it at least an hour a week for a whole month.
15. Notice how you talk to yourself. Listen to the self talk and learn to question yourself – is that true? Really? That bit where you put yourself down… Totally, 100% true all of the time?!
16. Keep a gratitude journal for a month – writing at least 5 things a day
17. Listen to an inspiring talk once a day
18. Walk barefoot in nature (even if only for a short time if it’s really cold or wet outside).
I'd love to hear what you think. Personally I think we could be worrying about the wrong stuff.
With love, as always,
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.
Em Colley MARH, Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy
BSc(Hons) Psychology and Neuroscience
Laughter Yoga Leader
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition