Preserving our Gorgeousness


I wanted to address the idea of exercise today because being a Rockin’ 50 myself I know it’s a great idea that got lost amongst work, shopping and the kids, and not something many embrace with enthusiasm.  Partly due to the fear that someone might see that your waist is wider, your chest is lower, your stomach is more outy and your butt is now two rear knees.

I embrace the idea of exercise very well, the problem is that I also embrace the fact of procrastination and if I’m honest I’m far better at the procrastination.  However, in the interests of this blog I’ve investigated exercise at great length and given due consideration to all the latest fads and fashions.

I tried distance running and thought I was doing very well until someone told me that 10 feet wasn’t impressive.  So I gave that up on the grounds that the suggested distances were practically international.

I thought about interval training but discovered that this didn’t mean going to the gym every 3rd month, something I’m really good at.  I passed out during the explanation of what it actually entailed and practically had to be resuscitated, and gave that up in advance.

Then there was my foray into yoga, which was just embarrassing because whilst the others were putting their foot over their heads with seemingly great ease even a rope over a pulley with three burly men tugging on it couldn’t get my ankle past my knee.

Pilates went well except that laying on the floor doing these very small movements very slowly just gave me time to worry about things that didn’t matter; when told to contact my abs they wouldn’t speak to me on the grounds of years of neglect.  Plus I fell over doing a balancing exercise that involved both feet firmly on the ground and the support of a wall, and I cannot bear the long-suffering look on the faces of instructors when that sort of thing happens.

Weight lifting was a problem because lifting my butt out of a chair didn’t qualify.  The wheels came off Step when I didn’t realise that a cat had laid down on top of it and I nearly spiflicated myself in order to save a treasured life.  Skipping made me look like a torturers victim, especially the rope burns around the throat – goodness knows how I did that – and trust me when I tell you that dangly crystal earrings and skipping ropes are not a good mix and I’m not giving up my earrings!

With kettle bells apparently it’s wisest to keep a good grip because having the mirrors in the fitness studio replaced is expensive and they don’t let you back in after you’ve narrowly missed the instructors head with 4kg of solid iron.  Personal trainers apparently want you not just to pay them but turn up, and that just didn’t work for me.  Then I discovered martial arts (all right I was thrown into the room by my husband).

I am the least likely martial artist in the world.  When I first walked into a training hall, or Dojang, I’d never done anything that couldn’t be done in 3″ heels.  I spent the first year of my training with every hair sprayed in place and wouldn’t punch anyone if I wasn’t wearing mascara.  The training costume, Dobok, made me look like a bin bag tied in the middle, but the “aren’t you slim” comments when I wasn’t wearing it made that all worthwhile.  So I tried “all I really need to do is put on something that makes me look fat, take it off and look slim” theory on my husband but it didn’t work!

However, I loved it, I went twice a week and instead of going wobbly at the thought of exercising I went wobbly if I couldn’t go.  Sadly, just before I was due to take my 2nd Dan something ruined it for me and as I never found an instructor half as good I had to give up.

This was followed by Zumba and the latest craze of FitStep, both of which I love but both of which I have several external reasons for not doing again: shape of the car park; time of classes; heat; cold; darkness; best time for tea, and so on.

However, or even butt, one of the things I’ve noticed since I turned fifty is that where fitness used to be an option it’s now more of a necessity.  Having spent 49 years getting this face and body to peak gorgeousness I suddenly found myself in a place where that gorgeousness needed to travel back north.

I also found, and don’t tell a soul, that I was starting to ‘ooof’ when getting in and out of chairs and as we Rockers know we can’t have that.  Taking all this into consideration, and wanting to avoid two rear knees, I’ve realised that whilst exercise is important you will only do it if you enjoy it.  So what do you enjoy?

If you enjoy the pub then choose one a distance away, walk there and enjoy one or two drinks and walk back; don’t undo the benefits with calories.

  • If you enjoy music and dance then Zumba or FitStep might float your boat, or you could try Ballroom and Latin, Salsa, or the Lindy Hop if you think you’ll survive.
  • If you like the water then walk or run by the water; same goes for trees, hills, beaches and so on.  Walk and run where you like to be.
  • If you feel the need to walk or run but don’t really want to, try going out for 10 minutes and then turning round and coming back, increase your speed slowly going further and further every 10 minutes.
  • If you really want to try the gym and know you might as well throw money away then go the extra mile and pay a personal trainer, they’ll nag but you might find that you won’t let them down so you will go.
  • If you’re not fit then a Wii Fit is brilliant, it’s fun, easy and a good way to get started, providing you do it in bare feet or wear grippy socks otherwise it’s a good way to get to the emergency room.  And beware of cats, dogs and rabbits.

For the men:

If you like footie then get a group of mates together for a fun kick-about, you can play together nicely in the park and you don’t have to be great.  Think Brazilian, they still have great potential but you can probably do better than that now!

  • Men seem to enjoy riding bikes so get a push bike and a group of mates together and cycle to the nearest pub.  This will be a brilliant for your fitness because you won’t dare have more than two beers otherwise on the way home you might wobble, break suddenly, slide forwards hard and then you’ll fit right in at Zumba or FitStep.
  • You could also try shopping with your other half and running from store-to-store in front of him/her daring the staff behind the tills to take their credit card on pain of death.  This will also help them as they will move much faster between shops trying to beat you.  Altruism rocks.

Other handy tips are:

If you have an upstairs and downstairs toilet in the house use the upstairs one when you’re downstairs and the downstairs one when you’re upstairs, except at night when it’s better for overall fitness if you make your way to the nearest exit point and don’t risk going downstairs the fast way – especially if you have black cats who sleep on stairs.

  • If you’ve never lifted a weight in your life use two tins of soup and work out a bit whilst you’re watching TV.
  • Play music indoors and jig about enthusiastically.  You could also dance along whilst you’re using the sucky thing to clean the carpets.
  • Park at the opposite end of the car park to the stops, you know you’ll get a space easier because everyone else is trying to get two cars into one space in order to avoid all that exercise.

There are so many fun ways we can exercise, keep fitter and consequently work off stress.  Think about what you’d enjoy and then give it a whirl whilst telling yourself that you’re off out for some fun and avoiding the E word at all costs.  We owe it to the world to preserve our gorgeousness.

Happy buffing

Deb

P.S.  If you punch or kick a punch bag please remember two things, one it comes straight back at you and two raw steak is good for black eyes!

AS ALWAYS IF YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE UP A NEW FORM OF EXERCISE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR PRIOR TO UNDERTAKING THAT CRAZY ACTIVITY!

The “Ooof” Factor


You know the sound, the one older people make when they drop into or fall out of a chair?  The one you are NEVER going to make.  As of now you have to take the oath:

“I do solemnly swear that I will observe all people older than me, note all the signs of ageing and then commit myself to do none of those things and fight venerability, respectability, caution and all forms of stiffness with a vengeance.  If necessary I will give my face and body regular sticky-tape lifts and fill in my cracks with plaster, but I will NOT ever ‘ooof’ when I get up or down, bend or stretch, pick up a pencil or fall off a cliff.  Should I ever fall off a cliff I will be a) drunk as a Lord, b) youthfully dressed, c) beautifully made up and d) I will scream like a 20 year old at a One Direction shindig.”

Did I say shindig?

Anyway, ignoring that ageing language lapse and moving on.  Let’s examine our oath in close detail (if you’re going to put your reading glasses on do it properly and DO NOT peer myopically over the top of your lenses, that is against the law of youthfulness…ooooh we need laws!)

Swearing is pretty much okay as real swear words don’t change much, okay the young perhaps use the fornicate word more than we did, but we’ve been using it all our lives and are therefore hip and with it.

Although we can get a few aches and pains as we get older we must never forget that with a sensible approach and the advice of a doctor we can remain fit and flexible.  Therefore the legendary stiffness we associate with age can be butt kicked out of sight by a good yoga teacher and a Golden Oldie willing to let a much younger person put your limbs in places they haven’t seen since you were 3 months old and no one had told you that you weren’t bendy.

Okay, we might not want to be sticky-taping our lower areas that used to be our higher areas to the higher areas that used to be north of our face, but again a bit of fitness might encourage a generally northern-ish movement in various facets of our body.  Gravity can and must be fought.

When it comes to wrinkles the men need not worry as they are wisdom lines and therefore, along with your grey hair, make you look wisdomous and attractive (i.e. rich enough to bag a babe).  However, for us dames…I meant girls…it’s a bit different and that’s where expensive creams and good cosmetics come into play.

If you want surgical intervention, your nether regions to become your chin, and a cleft chin on the back of your head, that’s pretty much up to you, but I think the wisdom of a lifetime would tell us that it doesn’t matter how many parts you have lifted you’ll still be 42 no matter what you do.  Forty two being the age we will be until it’s patently ridiculous to be it and then we will be 99 and no one will know how old we are.  After all, 42 is the meaning of life and it’s okay to know that because there was a recent film update of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide”.

One pitfall you must avoid at all costs ladies, and that’s to have a cosmetics bag full of congealed make up that you apply with a good outline of 1960’s (literally) black eyeliner.  It’s important to keep up with the latest looks and colours and adapt them to your own unique and individual look in a sensibly youthful way.

Although a lot of this is cosmetic I admit it, by the same token making sure that you like what you see in a mirror is critical to feeling youthful.  We do not ever want to fake it until we become it, we’re golden, we’re youthful and we are it already.

As to you boys, who traditionally don’t resort to make up to cover the cracks how can you halt the course of ageing?

By doing something!  Anything!  I hear a lot of men saying that they don’t dance but what the heck is wrong with holding your wife close and giving her a twirl around a dance floor.  You might even get fit as long as you don’t try a lift and put something out (and I don’t mean her out the window in your enthusiasm to lift macho-ly higher than that guy 10 years younger than you).

You might even find that your wife likes you more if you take her out like you used to do when you were young, had no kids, and needed to keep her onside so that you didn’t get the big bedroom freeze-out.  I can absolutely promise you that there is nothing more ageing for a man than being nagged by a wife/partner who is bored out of her skull.

Bring some of that excitement back into her life that you used to be famous for, you might not be in your 20 year old shape but you are that same guy inside and you two used to like being together and having fun together.  A young, together, fun-loving older couple are definitely hip and the younger generation will marvel at you and aspire to be you.

Young man:  “They’re that old and they still like each other and laugh together…how do they do that?”

Young girl:    “Clearly he still goes out and has fun.  He’s not tied to his email and playing stupid computer games until 3 in the morning.  He’s cool!

Don’t tell your ladies but you could easily become the guy that all the younger men hate and all the young women twinkle at…but never under any circumstances notice those twinkles or you’ll get more than the bedroom freeze-out you’ll get the clothes in the yard in a pile of dog crap tornado!

Finally, returning to the falling off a cliff bizzo, the biggest danger of falling off a cliff when you’re not looking your best, and “oofing” like an oldie on the way down, arises from not wearing your specs and being unable to see the edge of the cliff.  Think contact lenses or cool designer sunglasses that have prescription lenses in them.

If Hollywood ‘royalty’ can wear sunglasses all year then so can we – they’re great wrinkle covers and a lot less worrying than a scalpel held in the hand of a surgeon of our age who’s peering myopically over the top of a pair of half glasses asking “am I anywhere near your eye?”  “Yes, but it’s the other eye!”

Suggestions to remain mobile:

Flexibility/Mobility:  Yoga and Tai Chi

Core Strength:          The gym or Pilates

Cardio:                      Aerobics/Water Aerobics; Zumba; Fitsteps

Sir Bruce Forsyth:     Does the Tibetan stretching routine “The Fountain of Youth”                                               http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eszss36ZcPE

As with all fitness regimes consult your doctor before taking on anything new.

So…

Take the oath

Remember the oath

And if you do forget and “ooof” say you were asleep and dreaming about dogs

 

Deb


I Know I Used to Have a Memory but I Can’t Remember When

Age and memory huh? We know we’re supposed to lose it as we get older so lose it we do. We can’t remember names, faces, the titles of films particularly the one wotsit was in. You know him, he starred in that other film with the guy who used to be on tele and the woman who was married to thingy who I think has been in something with George Clooney.

I will admit that I had been buying into this myth of ageing and worrying that my mind wasn’t what it used to be, always assuming it wasn’t my poor memory telling me that I used to have a memory and in fact that memory was false because my memory was now so bad I really couldn’t remember.

However, I’m a bit of a bookworm and recently came across an old favourite – Tony Buzan – and his book on “The Age Heresy: Achieve More – Not Less – As You Get Older. Full details below (to make sure you remember to read all the way to the end).

I was delighted to discover that I do still have a memory capable of remembering and recalling lots of stuff, except where I put my glasses, why I’ve brought the jam upstairs instead of the washing, and why the cats are safely indoors and Tony is locked out in the garden.

The only difference between us and the younger generations is that we are seconds slower on recall because the mature mind is a repository of a great deal of information the young haven’t lived long enough to know, and when we want to remember something we have a great deal more sifting to do. Thereby also providing proof that the young don’t know everything yet otherwise they’d think slower.

Because I’m in my Rockin’ Rebellious 50’s I was not going to take the word of an internationally known author and expert in the field without running a proper scientific study with all the checks and balances thereby involved; but no scientists because I don’t know any. So I decided to do the ‘Credit Card Test’.

When I was young I had a memory like a computer and apart from being able to telephone every hospital in Greater London without looking up the number I could always quote my credit card number without looking at the card; then I got divorced and had to change credit cards.

This was rather a nuisance, but not one worth remarrying for, as I was going to have to have a new credit card and I was I older so remembering the long number across the middle would be impossible. Of course it was impossible because I’d fallen for the age myth and decided that it would be so, and the mind does as it’s told.

Flash forward 20 years and here I am deciding that now I’m going to remember that number. I felt extremely brave. “Can’t be too difficult” I thought because I’d seen it a million times over the past 20 years (sorry Tony I meant twenty or so times) so the number should be in there somewhere. I looked at it, I remembered it, job done, my mind was saved!

Two weeks later we discovered that our credit card provider’s computer systems have been hacked and we have to have a new credit card. I lifted up my eyes to the Universe from whence cometh my salvation and screamed “Are you freakin’ kidding me? I finally memorise the bleeping number and you bleeping do this to me!” I had to blame the Universe because I didn’t know the name of the hacker I needed to curse with halitosis and genital warts!

Two weeks after that – credit card-less and therefore bored on a Saturday – we received our new credit cards. With a heavy heart I looked at the number it would now take me a further 20 years to remember, and I remembered it straight away, security pin and all. I still do and this was well over a year ago.

In reading the Tony Buzan book which deals with a lot more than memory, I had deleted the programming that ageing requires a general deterioration of everything from your hair to your toenails; including a sagging of everything including your mind. I had now accepted into my reality that the brilliant memory I was born with hadn’t gone anywhere. It was right there in my head and all I needed to do was trust it.

The details of the book are:

“The Age Heresy: You Can Achieve More – Not Less – As You Get Older”.
Tony Buzan and Raymond Keen
Epub ISBN: 9781448116478
Published by Random House
First published in 1996

Happy reading and trust your own mind and not the trash talking negative belief systems with which we’re surrounded.

Happy Youthful Rebellion

Deb

Loneliness – All in the Mind?


I’ve spent a great deal of my life feeling extraordinarily lonely for a number of reasons many of them sad and messy and a few factual, like being married to a New Zealander and living in the UK.

My chosen lifestyle of writer doesn’t help, nor does having a husband who works at senior management level and has to put in the hours necessary to get the job done.  When you have a partner working at this level you understand that there is a high price to pay for money and that price is isolation.

We’ve never had children, we couldn’t have them, and although mercifully that wasn’t a particular disaster for us it does mean that we’ve never made friends through the children’s schools or with the parents of our children’s friends.  When you’re childless there is an entire network of communication that is closed to you; especially in this day and age when loitering outside a school hoping to make friends would probably get you arrested.

We’ve done a number of hobbies and met some amazing people, but if you’re unfortunate enough to have to leave the hobby you usually find that the people still doing it drift away because they don’t know what to talk to you about and anyway you’ve rejected their passion.  That’s sad because I can talk to anyone about anything at great length and I’m certainly the sum of more than one hobby.  However…

The upshot of this for me has been that there have been many, many times when I’ve really needed help there has been no one there and at times I’ve known an aloneness that’s been almost crippling.  Take 1999 for instance, I lost one father, three uncles and a cat in 12 months.  I was on semester break from University from the middle of May (no exams for historians) until the beginning of September – and my husband’s company was in serious trouble so it was all hands on deck for all hours of the day to work through the crisis.  However, this meant that I was alone from 7.30 in the morning to between 9.30 pm and midnight most days, and sometimes part of the weekend too.  Where were my friends you ask?  They were giving me space because they knew I needed it!  Don’t worry, I still need the space so I’m not troubled by them any more.

I’m only saying all this to demonstrate to those reading this that what I’m going to say next a) comes from experience and b) works!  So please don’t feel any lack of sympathy or empathy in my words, it’s just that sometimes there is a simple truth.

Mindset

That’s your simple truth.  You see, there is always more than one truth operating on any situation and it depends which truth you choose as to how you’re going to feel about and respond to the facts of your life.  This mindset doesn’t just cover loneliness, it covers attitude towards money, aspects of health and fitness, career success, determination to change your life, and most importantly – your willingness to be happy.

You might be thinking “Willingness to be happy?  Everyone wants to be happy don’t they?”  People definitely think and believe that they want to be happy, but ask yourself this: why do so many people choose to remain in unhappy situations that aren’t working for them if they genuinely want to be happy?  Who do you?

Conceptual Living

There is a big difference between knowing something, believing something, and making that something real in your life by being it.  We all know the rules, we’ve read the positive thinking books, our social media walls are flooded with pretty pictures with inspiring words on them, and we all absolutely totally and positively definitely believe in all those good things.  Except we don’t make them real.

Yes, you have to make those things happen.  Loneliness is a good example of conceptually wanting not to be lonely and factually not going out and meeting new people.  Of living in an area where you can’t make friends, believing it’s entirely your fault, and refusing to move away to somewhere you feel happier in yourself.  Of working in a company where the staff are unfriendly, believing it’s entirely your fault that you can’t make friends, and refusing to job hunt and find a company where you’ll be more comfortable.  Of staying in evenings and weekends instead of getting a hobby (yes you might find your friends disappear with the hobby if it doesn’t work for you, but you’ll at least have something in common for a time), instead of going into a coffee shop and smiling at people, striking up conversations in queues.  Instead of taking up fitness and being sparkly and chatty at the gym.  Sparkly you ask?  Read on.

The Magnetic Glow

When you feel wonderful in yourself you will attract people, when you slump around with a face like a wet weekend they will be scared to approach you because they have enough problems of their own without risking meeting a negative nelly.  Anyway, who wants to meet someone who’s stomping around in grotty trainers and sweatpants and a singularly unattractive zip up hoody thing , their hair in tatters, and looking like they’d rather bite you than speak to you.  Ok so George Clooney meets lots of people who would like to bite him but that’s a different issue entirely and taking the search for meaningful communication too far.

Seriously, even if you feel like garbage having a haircut, buying some clothes you feel good in, wearing footwear that puts a spring in your step, and colouring in your face can all make a big difference to how you feel and how you walk out into the world.  Everyone loves a smiley face, shoulders back, hips swinging and the sound of a happy tune.  They want to know this person because they might enhance their life and be up for some fun, rather than drag them further down into the mire of 21st Century living.

The Magnetic Attitude

You’ve heard of cosmic ordering and The Law of Attraction, and you may or may not believe in it, but here’s one plain fact, Monty Python were right “Always look on the bright side of life da dum, da da da da da dum…”  There are enough real problems in life without you consciously or subconsciously choosing to find the worst in everything.  And guess what happens when you look for the worst in everything?  You find it, and you find more of it.  People who tell you that they don’t have to go looking for trouble if they stand still long enough it will come and find them, usually a) accept a lot of bad treatment and b) stand still a lot.  They don’t tend to be big on change.

So, quite seriously and without a woo-woo or weird thought in my head, adjust your attitude now.  Don’t think about how much money you don’t have, think about how you can do your best with what you have and find more.  There are reasons that rich people are rich, they don’t sit around waiting for someone to make everything right.  They worked hard at school, maybe they went to university, or like Richard Branson they beavered their way from the bottom to the top.  Theo Paphetis was born in a poverty-stricken Greek village.  J. K. Rowling was an abandoned wife and single mother struggling to feed her kinds, but instead of complaining she sat all night writing Harry Potter, and when no one would publish the first book she self published.

Not all the rich and successful were born wealthy, they have a rich and successful mindset and you can have that too.  It’s very hard when you don’t have enough money to feed your family, but one thing is for certain and that is that something needs to change and instead of thinking about what you can’t do ask yourself what you can do.  If you struggled to study at school find out if you’re dyslexic, sort that out and maybe you can take some courses and change your lot in life.  Can you move somewhere there is more work?  I don’t know what you can do you have to decide that, but I do know that you should never believe in can’t.  At the end of the day a good attitude will draw help towards you and a bad attitude won’t.

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

You might be thinking “I thought this was about loneliness and she’s rabbiting on about money and work”, but loneliness is the same as lack of anything, when you focus on what you lack you don’t focus on what you have, or what you can do.

In order to become a magical attractor of the life you desire you will have to smarten up your thinking, focus on what you do have, and get out there and make changes in your life.  There simply is no other way to escape the dungeon in which you find yourself.  There are 7 billion people out there and I will guarantee you that a lot of them would love to meet you especially if you’re wearing a smile.  There are people out there waiting for you to be their friend because they’re lonely too, and if you haven’t met ‘the one’ in the area in which you live or through your work or hobbies then you need to do something different somewhere different in order to fill that hole in your life.

Take Action

We inspirational speakers and writers are positively boring on the subject of doing, but doing nothing achieves nothing 100% of the time.  Fact.

Go to museums and wander round smiling.  Engage strangers in conversation in art galleries on the relative merits of light.  Get your friends to party with you and if they won’t go to singles groups and bars with a first intention of making friends and a second intention of snaring a Clooney look-alike, the female equivalent thereof, or whatever floats your boat.

Just do something or nothing will change.  And never, ever let the attitude of others define who you are.  You are a person worth knowing and there are people out there who want to know you, go find them.

 

Wishing you happy days, peaceful nights, and a pleasantly full social life

Deb

Look out for my new book “Who Am I, Where Am I, What is This Place?” out soon.

 

 

Who am I, Where am I, What is this Place? And when can I start screaming? (c)


Front cover ideaJPGThis is the title of the book I am writing that has taken its first step towards publication by interesting a publisher.  I thought for those interested it might be helpful to give you an idea of what the book is about and what it will cover.

The premise of the book is that we are born, raised and then let loose on the world.  Once we are free to do as we please we discover that far from being a completely created adult we have a lot to learn.  At the age of 18 that’s pretty much ok, but as you move through your life it becomes less ok that you have very little idea of who you are.

For some, being a clone of their parents and a mish-mash of everything their teachers and peers have taught them is great, for others there is a sense that there is more to life than this but they have no idea what the more is.

They have followed a similar path to their parents (birth, walking and talking, school, college, university, work, parties, partners, flat, house, children, holidays, retirement) but somehow that path doesn’t suit them and they don’t know why.

They are the same character as their family and yet people don’t respond well to them and they keep getting hurt.  They meet ‘the one’ only to have the relationship implode a few months later, and land up hurt (again) with no idea why this wretched pattern keeps repeating itself.

They feel lost a lot of the time, hopeless some of the time, bored almost all the time, and ready to scream…only they don’t know what about.

SOMETHING is wrong.   SOMETHING needs to change.  They don’t know what it is or how to change whatever it is.  They want to reach out to SOMEONE to help them, but don’t know who to contact or what questions to ask.  They’re not in need of counselling or coaching, or medical intervention, nothing bad is really happening and even if it is it’s just life isn’t it?

They may have even investigated the Spiritual field but found nothing there that would answer that fundamental question “Who am I?”.  Or the BIG question “What on earth is wrong with me that I can’t feel happy where I am?”  They may have tried studying psychic work, Mediumship or the Tarot, or on the other hand not be interested in any of that ‘stuff’ at all, but still need help. c

This is where this book comes in.  When I started on this path I had no idea that the Spiritual field existed.  I had heard of Doris Stokes, read her books, seen her Demonstrate.  I had also been taken to see a local Medium demonstrate.  Both were very good and it was extremely interesting, but it had nothing whatsoever to do with my life.  It was just a rather original form of entertainment and some very interesting books, but none of it answered the question of why I was so lost.

That was my big question.  I had spent my entire life trying to be a good person, not always succeeding in my own mind and absolutely definitely NEVER succeeding in the minds of others.  I was a very weak person at one time and got roundly condemned for that, then I started working on myself, grew stronger, started to stand up for myself and was wrong again.

I married the wrong man and was called a fool for staying, I divorced that man and was dumped by everyone I knew because I’d left him and he was upset.  Even people at work who saw every day the way he treated me and had given me several ‘talking to’s’ sided with him.

I met my current husband at a nightclub 6 weeks later and nearly everyone who I thought knew me thought I’d had an affair!  I simply couldn’t believe it.  What should have been the happiest time in my life having found a man who to this very day loves me, likes me, supports me above and beyond the call of duty, and treats me with respect, became my worst nightmare of loneliness and desperation.  The actions of those around me tainted the happy first months that Tony and I were together, and at the time I could only conclude that in the eyes of others it was great for me to be miserable, I was stupid to be completely miserable, but when I risked literally everything to change that I was still wrong.

My marriage had been a living hell and I will admit that just for a few moments I considered suicide, so I went straight to the doctors and she said “You have three choices, suicide but you won’t do that because you love life too much; staying with him, but you can’t do that because you will lose your sanity; building up your inner strength and leaving him, which you will do because that’s who you are.”  Fortunately she didn’t give me tablets for depression she offered me her unstinting help and support and kept her word.

I went home and called my friend Keith who was a Hypnotherapist, and asked him if hypnotherapy could help me as my mind was so confused.  It felt like several balls of wall that had been played with by kittens!  I just could not think.

Keith came round the next night and that visit changed my life, because Keith told me that I wasn’t me!  I was the victim of centuries of family programming that had filtered down from parent to child over the generations but that programming had finally reached a person who couldn’t live it!

He told me that I was probably about 10,000 years old, had lived many lifetimes and built up a store of my own wisdom that I could start to access again if I would change my attitude towards life and let go of beliefs that didn’t resonate with me.

I had no idea what I thought of the things he was saying, they were things I’d never encountered before and as foreign as Greek.  Yet something inside me said “this is real” and I felt as if a million tonnes of shackles had dropped away and I was finally free.  I felt like a new-born with no idea who I was – but strangely that felt wonderful!

Over the intervening 33 years from that night to this moment, I have studied books, with people, and with my Spirit Guides and learned how to completely change my character, my thoughts, my words, my deeds, and my inner self.  It’s been a long hard road but every day I have felt a bit better, and it is the most worthwhile journey I have ever undertaken.

I cannot tell you all the changes that have happened to me because it would make this blog into a book in itself, but I can tell you one thing.  The ideas that Keith put to me are real, they work, they belong in everyday life, you have no need to believe in the existence of Spirit if you don’t want to, as long as you are ready to manifest a part of yourself that wants to be happy, successful and kind, you can work with these ideas.

I will be writing from a Spiritual viewpoint, but for me that translates to life viewpoint.  Yes I am a Medium and yes I have something I had never heard of when I met the first one – a Spirit Guide.  However, he’s as down-to-earth as anyone you will meet here and his advice is always gentle, strong, kind and practical.  So if you’re looking for fluffy bunnies in my book you won’t find any.  You will find the great, honest, simple, workable advice that changed my mind, my thoughts, my personality and my life into something wonderful and fun, fun, fun!  Most of them time.  It belongs in and works in the real world, now.

Yes bad times have affected me, but with the help of these beliefs those times have been manageable, and the bad memories have faded to leave only the good ones.

However, at the end of the day you need only know one thing about this book, I learned the hard way and I’ve written it to help you change the easy way.  It’s roots are in unconditional love, it’s reason is that you the reader may have been hurt and feel that no one cares but I wrote this book because I do care.  I really do.

Whoever you are you are important to me, your happiness matters, you are a valuable human being, and if you’re unhappy you’re in the wrong place with the wrong people doing the wrong thing, and I want to be your Guide out of that space and into the light.

That’s all you really need to know – I am the SOMEONE who wants to help you and cares, and this book is the SOMETHING that will help.

THIS BOOK WILL BE AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER SHORTLY, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN YOU CAN ORDER THE BOOK.
PLEASE EMAIL YOUR DETAILS TO deb@debhawken.com 

Deb Hawken
Personal Change Manager

Regaining my Indifference and Getting Closer to Source


I don’t often share parts of my life story, but sometimes it’s useful to illustrate something that I’ve suggested on my Deb Dancing Star page on Facebook.  This is one of those times and one of those stories.

Picture me 30 years ago.  I was in the marriage from hell dealing with a lot of pressure in my life, living in a house I didn’t like and never wanted nor would I ever be allowed to sell, with in-laws I loved and a family that I thought was close yet had odd moments that made no sense.  I worked in a job I’d hated that I’d been dared not to get by my father (long messy story that may be useful for a blog on being too good for your own good), suffice it to say that the first day I walked in there it felt like the world had ended.

My colleagues were horrible, to this day the second most unkind group of people I’ve ever met, they picked on everyone continuously – especially the young women – saying things that nowadays would land them up in court for sexual harassment.  In fairness to all of us it was a high pressure environment where mistakes were an absolute no-no, deadlines were equally absolute, and everyone who possibly could threw as many spanners in the works for us as they knew how.  However, they still felt like dinosaurs from a different universe to me.

I had been feeling pretty desperate for a long time, the only thing I had to hold onto were my first two cats because they were the only light in my life and the only thing protecting my sanity.

I’d been a Spiritual thinker for a long time, learning with a mentor who introduced me to new ways of thinking and looking at the world that I had no idea existed.  Ideas that were gradually freeing me and which I knew would eventually lead to me standing in my own power and not being afraid anymore.  I’d been slogging away not just learning these things but putting them into practice, falling on my face, getting up and trying again for nearly 10 years when I had the strangest epiphany.

I woke up one morning and I thought “I really don’t care”.  I don’t care what anyone thinks of me because I trust myself.  I don’t care what they say, what they do, how horrible they are, I will laugh at anything nasty they throw at me.  It was a weird feeling because I really didn’t care.  The laughter part came from being a natural comedian, like my father; I realised that God and genes had given me a gift I could use, which was the refusal to take unkind things seriously.

I did know though that if I was to come back with a witty quip I would have to be careful to weight it properly as I didn’t want to cause more unpleasantness, I just wanted to crack a gag that would make it impossible for my colleagues not to smile.  I wouldn’t go that far with my ex, just shutting him up and making him think would be good enough.

I walked into work that day full of a cheery indifference that I felt was lighting me up from the inside.  Not an indifference to suffering or unhappiness, just a “throw at me what you will because I will just knock it out of the ballpark with a mental bat” devil-may-care feeling.  It was amazing, I felt strong and ready to deal with anything, and when I got to work and looked at the people whose unkindness had literally terrified and bewildered me they all looked smaller.

Probably the best gag I cracked was the first time I wore my new glasses.  I knew it would happen and predictably I got the four eyes jokes, the make you look like an owl jokes and so on.  So up I piped with “I don’t know why you’re laughing, you all look 10 years older with my glasses on because I can see all the wrinkles and grey hairs”.  They fell about laughing and it was a fantastic moment.

This and other experiences too many to mention taught me that Darwin was right and survival of the fittest was still in operation, that was in the 1980’s and it still bugs us now.  I still find that if anyone senses any doubt in you whatsoever they will go for the jugular vein without a second’s hesitation or thought.  If only they would a) hesitate and b) think, but they don’t.  This is where what I’ve called indifference comes in.

Actually it isn’t indifference as such, that’s just the easiest way I can describe the feeling.  It’s very Spiritual as opposed to the “who gives a (choose your epithet)” feeling that we have going on.  More of a “say what you like because it has no relevance to me” attitude.

It actually comes from getting in touch with your Spirit/Higher Self and realising that a lot of what goes on down here is just noise, just Social Darwinism, the Tall Poppy Syndrome (for those who haven’t heard that term it means instead of growing tall like the tall poppy you grab secateurs and cut it down to your level).

So many people make themselves feel good by looking at others, sniffing out their (perceived) weaknesses and then striking like a ninja.  As they see that person’s energy drop theirs swells correspondingly with the ‘proof’ that they are superior.  People still try it with me now but I don’t care, I really don’t.

Why?

Because I am old enough to know when I have done wrong and when I haven’t.  Obviously I put my foot in it, get crabby, snap when I should simper and generally fail to control my inner aarrggghhhh sometimes, but I know when I’ve done something like that and I know that I have to apologise and I do.

If you can trust yourself in this same way, if you’re old enough and wise enough to know the difference between when you have done something wrong and when another person is responding to a momentary doubt in you with unkindness, or trying to prove that they’re better and more capable than you by putting you down, then you will be able to connect with your higher self and feel the love of life and living, and the acceptance of other, that only your Spiritual side can find for you.

Let’s face it, anyone putting you down in order to feel better about themselves has to be feeling pretty low and incompetent anyway and all they really need is quiet indifference. They certainly don’t need anyone to make it any worse and we don’t want to become them so we actually don’t want to make it any worse, therefore all reactions except “oooh there’s a butterfly/bakers/chocolate shop are a waste of time, effort and happiness.

There are enough real sad moments in life without letting someone else create unnecessary ones.

However, here is the true meaning of this blog…

When I changed so did my colleagues.  When I laughed more they laughed more.  Unpleasantness turned into good-natured chipping at each other.  I’m not telling you that I turned the entire place around, of course I didn’t, but I turned it around for me.  I became impossible to handle because I’d only make you laugh if you tried it on.

One day my worst enemy was sitting in the rest room looking awful, he’d been unwell for some time and no one could find out what was wrong with him.  I asked him how he was and all his fear and unhappiness poured out of him, I was able to help because acute anxiety was my cross to bear at that time and I could well understand him.  He thanked me for the conversation.  A few weeks later he said to me “You know I used to think that you weren’t a very nice person but you’ve really grown and matured into a lovely person in your own right and I like you.”  It was a breathtakingly beautiful moment that is still with me, for which I was and remain eternally grateful, and it came from my former worst enemy in a place I hated that had been full of unhappiness – because I was willing to change.  His death shortly afterwards from reasons never discovered hit me hard, he’s still one of my best memories and I still miss him.

When I found that Spiritual indifference to human daftness it made me see how irrelevant it all is.  All the noise we make, all the things we choose to have annoy us, and how often we decide to stay with those irritations and moan rather than finding a way out, planning it, executing it and escaping.  And yes I know that there are worthiness and deservability issues in many minds (deliberate misspelling there and a giggle at the recent past on my part), but let’s face it that’s just more of the same irrelevant noise that we need total Spiritual indifference to.

Curing a negative voice can be hard, thinking “yeah yeah, shut up, oooh a butterfly/bakers/chocolate” can be very powerful and send your negative voice looking for someone else to pester.  Then just get on with living your life.

Regaining though?

Not long after I had achieved this realm of Spiritual joy, because that’s what it was, my life went to hell in a handbasket.  I divorced my ex and the house with him, met my husband Tony 6 weeks later, and prepared for the life of my dreams.  Unfortunately the next few years represented the life of my nightmares – on speed!

I actually divorced my entire life!  I’d been told for years by family and friends to leave my ex, and when I did guess who sided with him and felt sorry for him?  They all did.  The kindest treatment I received was from my three lovely in-laws who were broken-hearted and bewildered but still capable of being kind.  I did love them.  The rest was a colossal shock.

That and being made redundant which meant I couldn’t get a mortgage and literally had nowhere to live – my family would have taken me in “but…”.  Fortunately Tony took the cats and I in and we’ve been together ever since.  However, I was shattered and lonely, made a lot of mistakes, and generally broke down.  Coupled with that Tony and I got married and his beautiful aunt came up after the wedding, hugged me and said “how lovely, I’m your aunt now”.  Again one of the best moments of my life and a it was a horrible blow when she died suddenly 10 days later at the age of 53.  And to be honest the years from 1992 to 2006 were not that much fun and had a great deal of stress intertwined with the whole trying to stay sane bit.

Add it all together with a LOT of stuff I’m not mentioning, and as you may imagine I lost that Spiritual indifference, revisited my acute anxiety, and generally struggled.

Why am I telling you this?  Because of course you could lose that feeling if life delivers you a few shocks it’s only human and it’s ok.  The big mistake would be in thinking that you can’t get it back.  However hard things may be at this moment you can get in touch with your Spiritual side, you can find your inner clown, you can change your attitude and you can and will escape.

Trust me, I’m Indiana Jones without the whip, hat, penchant for danger, interest in nicking someone else’s treasure, and general ruggedness.  The cojones?  Oh I’ve got them!

You can do it, you really can, just reach inside yourself for that Spirituality that says “I define me” and you will be ok.

 

Wishing you happy days, peaceful nights, and better dress sense than Indiana Jones (especially if you’re a girl)

Deb

Face off in the flat

 

 

 

 

Problem Solving 101


When you are inducted into Spiritual thinking, as I was by my first mentor more years ago than I care to remember, I quickly learnt that your life lessons are inside you.  They’re in your mind and the way you think, which comes from your past and the way you were taught to think, underpinned by your character – are you fixed or flexible, and complicated and confused by your life’s experience.  Most importantly, they go or stay depending on your willingness to change.

Yet at the end of the day, despite all this mess, it is possible to keep things really simple, if you will, and if you really want to change your life in reality not theory, I strongly suggest that you work your way down through any problem that’s upsetting you until you get to the simple truth at the bottom.  Take problems for instance…

Everyone has problems in life, and everyone reacts in different ways.  What freaks you out probably wouldn’t both me, and vice versa.  I’m a screamer at spiders whereas a lovely lady I used to know would just pick them up in a duster and carry them outside practically cooing at them (and laughing at her husband and two sons who had their feet up on the furniture refusing to move until the horrible object was ejected).  To them a spider was a problem, to her it was one big nothing.  It’s about viewpoint.

That’s a simple but effective example.  I know there are much more complex problems in life but let’s not dwell on them, we all know they exist so why depress ourselves?  I certainly don’t want to – but then that’s my mindset, I don’t dwell on problems which is of course my choice that I made when I realised that I am a flexible person who is able to change if she wants to.

In this process I’m going to look at extremes because this is a generalised post not a specific one, but I’m sure that you can work you way through your own life and issues by following this very simple (of course) pattern.

Let’s start at the top-level:

Do you find that you frequently have problems in your life?  Arguments with friends, family, colleagues?  Friends who betray you?  Shortage of money?  If the engine is going to fall out of a car is it your engine that lands up in the middle of the motorway?  And so on.

Next level:

Do you find that you frequently think about problems?  That you’re usually waiting for the other shoe to fall and wondering why you were born into such a cursed life?

Next Level:

Think about your family.  Were they glass half full or half empty people?  Did they constantly have problems?  Were there always family arguments?  What about school, was it a happy place of full of scraps and falling out all the time?  Or work, what are your colleagues like and what have they been like in other jobs?

Next Level:

Sit and think about your past for a while.  What was you childhood like?  Was it happy or sad?  Did you lose loved ones at an early age?  Did something bad happen when you were small, or even many things throughout your childhood?  Did you live in a ‘nice’ neighbourhood or an angry one?  Not that I didn’t say ‘rough’ one, I’m not talking about money here I’m talking about attitude.  Rough can be angry, it can also be rich and disinterested.  It’s often the poorest amongst us who are the kindest so don’t equate anything to money.

So…

Once you’ve looked at these simple steps, which are in reality much more complicated but what the heck we’re keeping it simple here, you should have been able to identify whether you are trained in a problematical life or whether something else has created those problems, and I will take a punt that most people reading this will realise that for one reason or another – and without any blame or judgement – they were raised in an unhappy, glass half empty situation.

You see, if people are generally happy they tend to bounce over most problems with a spring in their step and an ‘oh well you’ve gotta laugh’ attitude.  Even when bereavement strikes them they tend to be people who, whilst deeply sad, can accept that there is an order to life that we don’t always like, and somehow deal with it gracefully.  Yes they may never be quite as happy as they were before but they do manage to create a life worth living.

Identification:

Now that you’ve realised what’s going on with you, or at least started to realise, I’m going to throw two horrible words at you that you may very well hate me for, choice and responsibility.

Choice and Responsibility:

There I’ve said them again.  They’re very uncomfortable words and ones that we all want to rebel against at times, but they have to be dealt with if living a happy life is something you’d like to give a real try.

We don’t realise how often we choose what happens but the irritating fact is that we very often do choose it.

Illness?

Heck no!  No matter what any thinker of any persuasion says I don’t believe that illness is a choice, sometimes holding on to it can be for personal reasons, but I honestly believe that no matter whether you’re a medical or alternative thinker no one has got to the bottom of the causes of illness and it is not something that we should ever attach judgement or blame to.

I’ll give you one good example.  My grandfather smoked 10 cigarettes a day and died of lung cancer at the age of 58, my grandmother, his wife, smoked upwards of 20 cigarettes a day and died of natural causes at the age of 87 1/2.  They both chose to smoke but the results were entirely different.  So no one knows and don’t bring illness into this discussion.

Yes, undoubtedly some people have a strong mind when it comes to ill-health and seem able to overcome things that others can’t – my mother was diagnosed with osteoarthritis when she was 37 and hasn’t taken a painkiller yet – but again we don’t know why that is and we shouldn’t speculate or judge.

Back to Real Life and Choice and Responsibility:

Said it again.  Whether you realise it or not you are making choices every day, from what you eat to the amount of exercise you take, but also whether you will stay in a career that makes you miserable or turn over every rock, stone and pebble to find a better one.   You are choosing whether to wear clothes that you feel good in, on thrown on a tight-fitting dress or t-shirt when you have water/beer bloat and wander around all day feeling like a blimp that’s lost its moorings.

I’m sure you can delve into your life and start noticing many more situations where, if you’re honest you’re making yourself unhappy and uncomfortable without anyone else’s help.  They may be responding to your lack of confidence by sensing it and putting you down, but have you ever seen a bully start on an obviously strong and centred person?  Of course not.  People who would have walked all over me in years gone by would stop if my husband gave them one look!

So, if you can see these sorts of things in your own life, and of course not all of you can, then you must take responsibility for it.  I stress MUST, because otherwise you give away your power.

Once you can say that’s my problem and I can go and get some help with confidence, managing finances, losing weight, from a better hairdresser, pop into my local department store and see if they have someone who does makeovers aka Gok Wan (a lot of them do) then you are on your way to change.

Start small.  Don’t get overwhelmed by tackling your whole life at once.  Do the simple things first so that you build confidence in yourself that you can change things.  And never, ever believe that you are naturally unlucky.  Anyone who makes choices and takes responsibility for them has a wealth of different things at their disposal to help them change.

Wishing you happy days, peaceful nights, and lots of easy patterns to change

Deb