Be totally glad for red men

Posted on July 31st, 2014

I read a quote from someone from a book about a book about to come out, somewhere. Said quote touched on the idea of using the things that so irritatingly slow us down to…slow down. And to be grateful for the prompt.

Image via flickr.

Image via flickr.

The red man at the pedestrian crossing.

A red traffic light.

A queue at the Post Office.

The slow walker.

The delayed train.

We can use such modern irritants as an instant prompt to pause and reflect and sit calmly and look around and breathe deep. And to smile at our little impatient selves. Because there’s nothing like smiling at a little vulnerable, pained, simple version of ourselves to put things into an expansive, settled perspective.

I’ve written before about how smiling at ourselves is a great meditation technique.

So much of the “pain” – physically, psychically and energetically – in my life stems from my neck-strained, forced, rigid “plunging forward” into things.

I plunge forward with my dominant right leg, and have had multiple accidents on the right side of my body as a result.

I’m in a constant state of straining forward with my head, and have incredible issues with my neck (which is relieved whenever I “sit Read more

my daily health routine…since you asked for it

Posted on June 27th, 2014

Gosh, we’re really getting down to the rats and mice of my life here…but I’ve been getting too many emails from you asking how I order my wellness habits to ignore the topic much longer. I’m no expert (on anything much), but I have taken consulting of experts on this topic to pedantic levels and have a thing or two I can share with you. As always I share as an invite, not as a didactic instruction!

xxx

Jumping into my day (awkwardly) with 20-40 minutes of exercise (outdoors as often as possible).

I’m a big fan of having very regular morning movements. (Ablution entendres not really intended.) I’ve written about the benefits of having a morning routine before. It’s the one thing about 80 per cent of the health experts I’ve interviewed, from HH The Dalai Lama to Oprah’s life coach, have in common.

1. When I wake up

* I wake at 6.30am or so… naturally. I scrape my tongue (an Ayurvedic practice) and clean my teeth.

* I drink 1 litre hot water with lemon juice while I make my breakfast and lunch.

* I take my thyroxin and then I potter (listening to news radio) while I drink…and, let’s be frank, hang about until nature calls.

* I drink 100ml of kombucha. This gives me a little spark to get through until breakfast.

* I tend to ablutions and head straight out the door to do exercise.

2. Exercise and meditation

Exercise

* Me, I do something every day, even on thyroidy days and days when I’ve had no sleep. I just scale it back if I’m feeling crap. The “doing it every day” bit is what counts. Deciding whether I should exercise or not is not an option; less options in the morning is very key. Studies show we have limited decision-making energy and that it’s best to “auto pilot” our mornings as much as possible so we can eliminate as many angsty choices.

* I don’t do fuss. I carry only a key – down my bra or in a small pocket in my shorts. Equipment just bogs you down and acts as a disincentive (“Where’s my water bottle?! Oh, darn, look, now I don’t have time to go for a jog”). Read more

Getting too caught up

Posted on March 19th, 2014

The other day my meditation teacher Tim introduced me to a young bloke over an impromptu lunch. I was not in the mood for meeting someone new, to be frank. I was thyroidy and scratchy and couldn’t deal with the “So, what do you do?” palaver (a conversation pivot point that always makes my eyes glaze over). But something piqued me to show up.

Image via Dangerous But Sweet Tumblr

Image via Dangerous But Sweet Tumblr

Turns out this young bloke (my goodness, I am sounding old) – Sebastian Terry – and I hung back and chatted for some time after Tim left. We’d got onto the “So, why do you do what you do?” train of chatting (a thoroughly meaty one).

Seb’s response was wonderfully naive and authentic: “To prioritise happiness”. Usually such facile answers annoy me. So do “bucket lists”, which is what Seb went on to develop. (After the death of a close friend when he was 27 he was forced to ask ‘Am I happy?’. The answer was no and so wrote a list of 100 Things – most of which are geared at helping others – that he’s systematically worked through over the past four years, relaying the experience in the book 100 Things and in a Discovery Networks documentary. So far he’s married a stranger in Vegas, helped push a man in a wheelchair for a half marathon and run with the bulls.)

But Seb was convincing. He spoke about how, since his massive success, he gets emails constantly asking him to explain the secret to his success and following. “I tell them I simply put happiness first,” he says. “But sometimes people don’t get it. They go and build a shiny website, and do a big launch, and try to do the same thing as me and expect it all to fall into place. But they’re too caught up.”

All this happened on the day I Quit Sugar For Life came out. I was stressed to buggery from some major publisher hiccups (long story) and, earlier in the day, I’d snapped at someone in an email. I’d been feeling very off kilter for weeks, actually, like I was Read more