I do hope that you are enjoying more time outdoors (now that summer is really becoming summer) and refreshing yourself in whatever way best ‘regenerates your batteries’.
I made a huge (for me) decision to take a 3 month gap from Eleuthera activities during June, July and August; my aim being to ‘re-energise myself’ and for a change to ‘just stop and stare’. I am open to see what new themes are going to emerge for the future.
The ‘new season’ in Eleuthera will begin with a Living Well Special with Dr Sam Watts on Saturday 17 September – see details below. This is a fabulous opportunity to hear the up to date research on Longevity, a subject, not surprisingly, very dear to my heart! And one thing for sure, you are never too young to adopt good longevity habits. I thought you would like to know well in advance in case you want to put the date in your diary.
Wow what turbulent times we are living in. All of us are immersed in this ‘soup’ of uncertainty and confusion where everything seems to be shifting at an amazing pace and in unprecedented ways. And I am not just referring to Brexit, enormous as that is. Every time I sat down to write this newsletter over the last few days another happening blasted its way into my consciousness.
Societies across the globe are experiencing pain and dysfunction, divisiveness and fragmentation. There is necessary anger for change as we teeter into new ways of thinking and living. It’s chaotic and uncomfortable and we are all part of it whether we like it or not. Our energy is affected by the collective fears and uncertainties of history in the making.
Since the intention for Eleuthera is to be a space where we:
Take time for wonder and joy and
Encourage one another on life’s journey
I thought it appropriate to focus on encouragement, especially nurturing ourselves, a theme I develop below under the Creative Journal piece.
Here’s wishing you the very best of the summer season.
Saturday September 17 Live Longer, Live Better
Dr Sam Watts will spend a day with us in Eleuthera sharing his significant knowledge and wisdom on the theme – Live Longer, Live Better. Chris and I recently attended one of his courses and were suitably impressed.
Sam is the Oncology Research Fellow at Southampton Hospital as well as being qualified in Ayurvedic Medicine. He is passionate about health in its broadest definition. His approach is totally evidence based whilst also being very practical and down to earth.
You can expect to enjoy a day of Sam’s enthusiasm and passion and be encouraged to continue with all the good things you are doing already.
You will receive:
A full set of Sam’s notes.
A delicious lunch – in keeping with longevity principles and largely plant based – prepared by Holly Adby, Mind-Body Medicine’s wholefoods cook.
(Holly will provide copies of the recipes so you can try some of the dishes at home, if you want to.)
Start 0930 with refreshments
If you want to learn more about Sam here’s a link or to book at place on this workshop contact:
What do we need in tough times? Beauty, creativity, a sense of self, health, relationships, communication, being true to oneself……. I’m sure you can add to the list.
What strategies most effectively strengthen your inner resources? I am sure you have your favourites eg mindfulness, art, writing , prayer, exercise, positive thinking etc. You won’t be surprised that paper is essential to my list ie journaling. I acknowledge, however, that this may not be the case for you.
To me a journal is much more than a place to write or scribble, whinge or draw, it’s a space where I can explore attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and habits that limit and keep me stuck. I absolutely believe that discovering who I am is an imperative of my life’s journey and develops my inner resources. As Caroline Myss says ‘We are all born a mystery to ourselves, let alone to each other.’
I also like the following quote by Andrew Forsthoefel“It is your obligation to be witnessed doing the work of being yourself, to walk wide open in the world, untouched by the curses and hexes of ‘you’re supposed to be this’ and ‘you should be that.’ … When you are you in this way, the simple work of being yourself will become an invitation for others to take up the work of being themselves, and that’s the highest magic of all: to be me in such a way that asks you to be you, and to be so truly you that I am obliged to really be me.”
I want to encourage you to put aside some time to spend with yourself . In that context may I remind you of 3 key journal exercises that most of you are already well familiar with:
1) Focus on appreciation and gratitude
2) Acknowledge how you feel and what you really think
3) Take control of the Inner Critic – again and again
1)Focus on appreciation and gratitude
Despite all the tough challenges there are many wonderful things happening around us every day too. Let’s make a ritual of acknowledging them.
What are you grateful for? Who do you appreciate? Spend time bringing these thoughts to mind every single day. NB Nothing is too small to mention.
As you know science has demonstrated that what we think and focus on positively affects our well being.
Write lists, create colourful pages of post it notes; do anything that to make this activity pleasurable .
2)Acknowledge how you feel and what you really think.
There’s something wonderful about downloading the thoughts that circulate in one’s mind. Throwing one’s thoughts on paper, in whatever form suits, is so liberating. It often helps us gain perspective too. Carrying around a load of negative thoughts and energy is exhausting and unhealthy, affecting everyone we relate to as well.
3) Take control of the Inner Critic – again and again
My teacher and author, Lucia Capacchione, has recently been referring to the Inner Critic as the Inner Bully. I am finding that language extremely helpful for me personally. Listening to that Inner Bully has big consequences not only for me but for everyone in my life!
(Lucia comments on all the bullying behaviour being demonstrated by politicians with the accompanying lack of listening.)
There are 2 exercises below. I know they’re a chore – they’re just part of living just like washing up. Do not be amazed if regular, even daily, doses are necessary. Having more time than usual I am doing activity 2 every other day, not so much with a result in mind, rather just decluttering.
Here are the exercises:
Allow the Inner Critic a voice (with your dominant hand) to express its character assassinating accusations and hope destroying messages, none of which are true. Then encourage your Inner Survivor, vulnerable as it may feel, to answer back by being enraged at the put downs and lies the Inner Critic transmits (using your non dominant hand).
In addition Lucia suggests a Truth Telling exercise (or associated affirmations as I have called it) which goes like this. Divide your page into 2 columns. On the left (with your dominant hand) write what the Inner Bully says – You are a mess. You will never get your life together. You are too thin or too fat. Too old or too stupid or to inexperienced or too uneducated, blah, bah, blah. Then across from each statement, on the right, write the TRUTH in the first person (with your non dominant hand). I am not a mess. I am living my life the way I want to. I am fine the way I am. I am improving myself in areas where I choose to improve. etc.”