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!
It's funny how it starts so young. You hear 'They're winding me up'; 'they made me do it' and lots more. What I find even funnier though is how it carries on for so long. 'You're making me feel (insert word of choice)' isn't an uncommon phrase to hear. And yet how can 'they', 'it', 'he', 'she' or 'them' really, really honest make us feel any which way? The situation may more often lend itself to a certain way of behaving but we do have the ability to choose our response within that.
Nelson Mandela famously demonstrated this and is summed up in the simple quote “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.” I believe we can choose prison or freedom daily. And it makes a big difference to the joy I feel. Or don't. My choice.
Listening to Byron Katie talking in London helped to affirm this for me. She responded to one question with the example that even whilst falling, we could enjoy the momentary flight through the air, we don't know if it's going to hurt or not until we find out. So why anticipate it, tense against it and lose the ability to enjoy the moment? Why decide something is good or bad if we don't really, can't really know?
Maybe it's a very human trait, to pre-judge. I think on some levels it's vital for survival, and yet often it no longer serves us in many ways. So my challenge this week is not to pre-judge. To give myself up to not knowing until I know. To discovering. To turning to face situations with love and wonder.
I wish you a very happy week of discoveries and love, em x
This has been one I've been thinking over for a while. The recent 'selfies' for cancer research has prompted much thinking - much of it, here at my little HQ anyway, around prevention. Unless we're off to get full body scans on an annual basis (which isn't without risks itself), many of us could develop all sorts of things we are unaware of. My sister's brother in law discovered he had pancreatic cancer and 19 days later moved on to whatever comes after our time in this body. Or doesn't. But that's not the point here. What I'm trying to say is there's not always time to use these amazing cures that are being developed. And, yes, I do believe, with a friend who is an oncology professor, that some great things are being worked on.
But what if instead we took ourselves to a point where we were unlikely to need them. Where the 'cancer epidemic' that's predicted to explode into our lives just didn't. What if you could discover things to avoid the predicted statistics for yourself or your loved ones?
So I really, really am not saying not to donate. Donate to whatever you want to donate to. Whatever you believe in. I donate around 5 hours a month to actively supporting people going through their cancer journeys at the moment. And probably will donate 10 inches of my hair in the next few months to a charity which provides wigs for children going through chemo. The system is there, it's doing what it does, but why not look up and outside it too? Research, read, discover, enquire. Because if we keep doing what we always have done, the chances are we'll end up where we always have. And at the moment with our current state of global western health, that's not all that appealing.
I'm not using this as any kind of platform, I don't think I'm above anyone else, not using it as any kind of vehicle for anything. Just a girl sharing some thoughts on some things. That's it.
But if you'd like to look at a different outlook, have a read of The China Study, Forks over Knives, Neal Bernard's work along with The Rainbow Diet, the Gerson's books, look into clearing toxic substances out of your life (I did type love there instead of life which I guess is relevant too). And do it from a place of love. So much of big pharma operates from a place of fear. I'm not saying it's not hard to watch people go through illness but let's shift the focus from fear to love a little. Love ourselves and take care of ourselves because we are made from love. Work with love at whatever we do. Life changes around us when we are able to whole heartedly be present.
And just to finish... from my facebook 'selfie' a few other tips from practitioners were forthcoming:
Homeopath Mary Aspinwall says 'I drink a 1/2 pint plus of organic home made green juice daily ... I go for a daily half hour silent walk meditating as I go. I do www.thework.com worksheets on my stressful thoughts. Over to Sarah Johnston-Knight for her tips'... Homeopath and Bowen practitioner Sarah Johnston-Knight says 'Clean up your body, head and heart...Juices of all colours here; carrot, apple and ginger still being one of my favourite. .... Byron Katie's questions are never far from my mind when I hit a glitch in my thoughts which cause me any distress. EFT to bring me back to ground instantly. A good Homeopath....and regular Bowen.'
Wishing you good health, with love x
I do so love people. All people. My gorgeous friends and family who support me, nourish me and love me. The people who challenge me, help me be better at what I do and point out where I need to work on my hang-ups and insecurities. The people who just are.
Today I had one of those moments with a brilliant friend who's been kind enough to have been a guinea pig the last few months with the mindfulness work I'm currently studying. She's brilliant, sharp, quick, and prepared to look at the not so fun things that will help her to move through onto the getting more of the fun stuff. Chatting over my stuff briefly as I left our regular yoga session (I did my first hand stand today - which brings me to another point... in a moment) I discussed an ongoing issue. She immediately reflected back to me that I in my waffle mentioned 'I've dealt with it...but...'. Hmmm it seems not quite totally dealt with and resolved as yet! A little more work to do me thinks. And fortunately I know where to take it.
The focussed mindfulness study I've been doing provides tools to be able to examine stressful thoughts, feelings (physical and emotional) and reactions in ourselves and work through these without judgement or agenda. Working with a practitioner enables us to let go of the need to be both roles, and just be ourselves, however several of the techniques do also provide tools that one can use at home on your own with painful situations or thoughts. So I'll have a play at home but I also have a supervision session coming up (which is an integral part of the course and training) where I can take it should I need to.
I would recommend the workshops and courses to people wishing to discover more about dealing with their own painful emotions or physical issues but particularly to practitioners, coaches and those working with people on a day to day basis. More can be discovered about these at Absolute Specialists - until now the workshops and courses have only been available in the North but now they are shortly to be available in London too... Check out the website for more information.
And as to my first handstand - with a little bit (OK my legs were being held up!) of support and belief I found out I can do a new thing today... most proud and looking forward to more! I wonder what tomorrow holds?
With love, peace and gratitude for the opportunity for growth x
Of course, I'm not saying that I'm not ;) But I've been pondering the freedom that might come with not needing to be right on everything. Or even anything. Maybe we should eat meat comes to mind. I'm not sure there's an argument that could persuade me of that anymore. But maybe, just maybe I'm not right. There is a certain liberation with not needing to fight, to resist or to defend. I believe Byron Katie says that the first act of war is defence. And I can see the point now, finally.
I can choose my path but don't have to choose anyone else's for them. And if I did choose theirs then surely that would be my path they'd be walking. They can choose to join me, or not. And I can choose to be free in that knowledge. To be as honest and true to myself as I can be. I guess I feel the need to point out that I'm not saying I'm disinterested in speaking my truth. I feel more and more convinced that there is no other way. But to shout it and drown out other's opinions? They can be right too, for them. And whilst their path may not be for me, mine may well not be for them.
To question, be curious and look at the world through fresh, new eyes feels good to me. And to walk my path with integrity and love. For people, the animals and the planet.
With love x
I want to devote this blog post to some amazing women. The passion, fire and power out there is phenomenal and I am frequently inspired and amazed by the drive and love of many of them. And the support, gentleness and compassion for each other in the midst of some crazy times. Truly beautiful.
I was musing today after some iPod shuffle tunes put me in mind of a friend and a conversation we'd had recently whereby I'd got a little upset, a tad defensive, had stepped away and then used some of the mindfulness techniques I've been working with to help me continue on with my day in a calm and rational manner. I absolutely know there was no intent to upset, and yet I found it difficult to totally let the situation go and fully move on. Until probably today when I realised after working with a client that whilst I'd used some great techniques for myself at the time, I'd not done so to the best of my capacity with myself.
I worked with Byron Katie's Work whilst hiding away in the bathroom and had felt was doing well. Well enough to carry on with my day without needing to do anymore about it. And to continue in a happy frame of mind although it still niggled at me. Today I realised that it was nothing to do with the statement made by them, it was about my belief that I'd allowed to be created in myself.
Talk about penny dropping! The realisation that it's nothing to do with what someone might say, it's about what belief we attach to that statement is so often the issue. The projections we put onto so many things that we do. This I knew in theory but living it is just so incredibly liberating. The belief I attached that day? That I was doing a bad job of parenting. No wonder I found it hard to put away when I allowed myself to believe that. Not to say I feel I'm a perfect parent - far from it, but I do know I do my best and allow myself to learn on the job.
Questioning the belief fully today has brought a wonderful sense of relief. It was just a thought. Nothing less, nothing more. Attaching to it (or any self limiting belief) is generally going to give rise to constriction and discomfort, dis-ease with ourselves. Allowing it to be free, to fly off and look at it with compassion and a sense of humour is a far more peaceful thing.
Cycling this afternoon I realised a sense (as the lorries hurtled past me and cars sped along at 60mph overtaking me on my shiny new bike) of my own mortality. What was the worst that could happen? Well I guess I could collide with one of them and then end of play. To compare it to my conversation that upset me - what was the worst that could happen? Someone could think I was parenting badly in that situation. That I can live with. And the funniest realisation? That wasn't even what was being said. I certainly wasn't really listening.
And I thank them, wholeheartedly, for their part in my growth.
Within a relatively short space of time, two posts had come to my attention highlighting the naked body. One, a beautiful collection of images of yoga poses, done completely naked, and the other, a blog offering 5 reasons to get naked everyday.
For me, the most beautiful sentence in the blog, or at least the most thought provoking was:
'When was the last time you looked at your body in all its naked glory? I mean really looked at it. No squeaming at chubby thighs or grimacing at lanky arms. Just looking at, understanding, and accepting your body in all its perfectly imperfect brilliance'
How many of us think 'I'd like my body if...' I'm definitely not immune to it, although aspire often enough to elevating myself beyond this place. Elevating may be the wrong word - total acceptance of my body in all it's perfect imperfection is, I suppose what I'd like to aim for. And I have no doubt I'll get there. It's been a lifetime's work so far, and from a place of fairly intense food restriction to gain control in an uncontrollable part of my life story nearly 20 years ago, I've come a long way.
What saddens me though is how young this judgement starts. I hear my 7 year old tell me that 'friends' have told her she's fat and ugly. She's neither, but that's not really the issue here. What are we thinking that these gorgeous beings are calling each other these names? And, more importantly, how do we strengthen their inner knowledge that they too are, imperfectly perfect. People will, at various points, or at least may, knock our confidence in ourselves, in our bodies, in our beliefs. I just wasn't aware that the training starts so young.
For me, mindfulness comes in, self confidence in ourselves, taking time to get to know our bodies, accepting and giving thanks for the beauty that is within and without. Not to be ashamed of our own bodies in front of our daughters and sons and to work on our own stuff with the hope of releasing them from a similar place. I feel lucky I grew up in a house where we could all wander around in with nothing on (not that we often did - it wasn't quite that sort of house...) but there was no judgement - and still I fell into a self loathing trap of telling myself I was fat daily so I would have the resolve to restrict my food (and probably covered up more so no one was aware of my journey at that point). Beating myself up to get results didn't lead to happiness - although I suppose it did lead to an unhealthy level of weight loss at the time. And so now I see the BBC news around obesity suggesting that they use terrorising tactics and light stigma to assist in our obesity crisis.
I don't doubt the crisis - I would call it a health crisis, an overabundance of processed food crisis, and probably a shocking lack of foresight in people who are in government handing out watered down information in the hope that people could achieve it instead of trusting our intelligence and giving real, true information crisis.
Damn I've done it again. My blog was about the beauty of the naked body and it's becoming a food rant. But hear me out, there's a point to it all. If we eat well, we feel well. If we feel good about ourselves we are inspired to eat well and look after ourselves. Making people feel bad - whether it be in the playground, in the workplace, in the consultation space or even just sat at home watching an advert doling out some 'light stigma' tactics is unlikely to lead to an enhanced sense of wellbeing and ambition to give our bodies life enhancing foods.
Let's learn to love. Ourselves, others, our bodies. Our glorious naked bodies which do so much for us and get so little thanks. Today I stood in front of a mirror and thanked mine for being what it is. Doing what it does and helping me everyday.
So let's go naked now and again. Even if that's only naked, unprocessed food to start with. Imagine funding for subsidised fruits and vegetables (or even just buying more ourselves) and a campaign on TV for juicing, upping fruits and veggies, starting every meal with a large salad, increasing the greens, learning to love greens. And ourselves. Loving us for being imperfectly perfect. Just the way we are.
I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with my Grandma today, in between a mindfulness peer support session and a Skype homeopathy appointment. Just to slow down for a bit was a luxury this week - it's been and is being a great week and very busy along with lots of lovely times. But what I really noticed was the stuff. And really the stuff that doesn't matter, the clutter that we accumulate, with no intent or need. It really set me to thinking about what's important in life, the people around me, the experiences. The empty jewellry boxes not so much. The relationships, the loves, the joys, the constant gifts that are unseen.
And so I desire to slow down again from time to time, to really take in the moment. It's all there is right now and moving onto the next task with a burning desire to get it done and out of the way is dissolving the potency of this moment.
So cuddle, love, laugh, be filled with joy. And don't sweat the small stuff.
Easier said than done sometimes. But there is help out there should you need it. Homeopathy, I believe, can be one of the most potent ways of coming into the moment, into the here and now and being able to leave the past and the future out of it more. A well prescribed remedy, Jeremy (Sherr) used to tell us, can bring us out of the there and then and into the here and now. I don't think there is much out there to rival it in it's beauty and grace.
Mindfulness too, can be used, in one to one sessions, as a self taught activity and can create much more presence in the present moment, enabling us to sleep better, experience less anxiety and generally be happier. Like homeopathy, it can be used to great effect with both children and adults.
Sending love and light,
Having had a lovely morning so far and time to reflect on the start of a new year approaching I thought I'd put a few notes down here of my mental wanderings. Probably the biggest thing that comes to mind is all the New Year Resolution that get made. Each year people decide on new things that they're going to change - to eat better, to stop drinking, be more, do more. And each year it seems that within the first month many of those great intentions have fallen by the wayside.
Instead of radically changing ourselves, or at least intending to, how about growing to be ourselves more, accepting ourselves, getting to know ourselves even, and allowing that person to be and flourish. Judging ourselves harshly never allows us to be ourselves to our full capacity and yet how many of us do that? I know I've been in places where I've beaten myself up over things that have happened in the past - choices I may have made or not made. And ultimately, where is the value in that? Enough can happen around you to drag you down, we don't need to be doing that to ourselves. Homeopathy and mindfulness can both be invaluable in this process of letting go of the 'baggage' we don't need to take onwards with us.
Speaking of letting go, that's one of my intentions for the new year - to free myself more from the clutter of things I just really don't use or need. On both a mental and physical level. From frying pans to clothes I've not worn for years but are still there 'just in case' (except for the nice dresses - you never know when there might just be a ball you need to attend!) We've already started, with books first, clearing out clothes and I'm trying with a one in, one out policy. And mentally, continuing with my 'morning mind dump' is another great practice to start the day on a lighter note.
I do have aims for the new year so I'm not suggesting we do nothing, but maybe take time to think about the things we'd really like and make a plan instead of setting vague and nebulous goals. Learning guitar is high on my list, as is continuing to learn more around Natural Hygiene (the science of living according to our biological heritage), as well as studying and learning around whole food, plant based living and mindfulness. I've my big triathlon coming up, some amazing speakers I want to travel to see - and we're also off to WOMAD again. And I plan to do my first half marathon. All things that fit in with where I'm at at this point in my life - and that make sense to me. But if I do fancy having a go at burlesque for example - I'll make sure I get out there and try it.
Do try different things, have a laugh - don't do everything because it makes sense as sometimes the best things make no sense at all. Jump in with both feet and don't look back. We really have no idea how long we're here for and can sit on the sidelines waiting for a sign, waiting to start. Do it. Now!
So I guess I'm advocating reflection, thought and seeing where you want to be, how you want to be and moving towards that. Not thinking too much and getting trapped in a worry about doing it right, but a learning to accept and love yourself. Go do fun things for no reason, go jump in a river (with adequate preparation, people around you and an ability to swim of course), love, laugh and live for the moment and life to the full. We may come back (and I accept we all have different beliefs on this one), we may not, but it's unlikely we'll be here in this moment, in this body ever again. So let go of the self limiting beliefs, love it and be you. Because you can do that better than anyone else out there.
I had a brilliant consultation with a client the other day where we talked about making food changes to support her health and the reasons behind it. I've been thinking this for a long time but it was her that put into words how important it was for her to do it from a place of love. Important may not even be the right word, essential doesn't quite fit either as I guess you can make changes from whatever place you wish to. Changes from a place of fear feels very different from that loving place though.
I think everything is longer lasting, deeper, more real when performed from a place of love. Changes are more congruent, easier to maintain and happier to take part in. That doesn't always mean it's easier, but more real works well for me. Getting back to who I really am, who I always was, not who I'd got a little bit lost being.
Taking the time to discover that place of love may, well, take time. But I would wager, time well spent. Probably the most worthwhile time to spend right now. Because what will give us joy and excitement is living our purpose, wholeheartedly and with love. I think on it's deepest level, homeopathy has the power to enable that process, to assist with living in the now, being as whole as possible on every level. Mindfulness too - looking within with assistance to guide and enable the most amazing discovery process.
And sometimes too we can do it ourselves, we can learn to listen to the whispers, the bubbling joy (I remember in some of my darkest times feeling that I was overflowing with joy - just moments, but still valuable pointers that I was on the right path despite of the distance I had to walk to get through), and also to the disquieting feelings. Listen and be aware. To be true to what is, here and now, right in front of you and to let go of the 'what if's, 'what might have been's that can only ever stop you from really experiencing the beauty of this moment. For all we have is right now.
I invite you to, with love, gently let go of that which doesn't serve you and embrace that which fills you with love, passion and excitement for the pure joy of life.
With unbounded love,
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
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition