Wednesday, 29 February 2012

March onwards and upwards

March On

Recently I have been walking around the area where I live in the South of the Lake District. I was delivering leaflets and as I was walking around it set me thinking about the ups and downs of our lives. Some of us are buried in the details and others are perched above able to see the bigger picture.

Some of the roads were small and narrow and others were wider. So is our map of the world limited to the small pathways of beliefs and awareness or is it expanded to take in the wider routes with more choices? When we meet a crossroads in our lives are we flexible enough to make those choices? It also reminded me of the many roads and pathways we walk along in our lives. Are we moving away to avoid situations or are we moving forwards in a positive direction of travel?


As I walked around I was amazed by the contrast in the places I visited. Some were well taken care of, clean and tidy and organised. Others outwardly looked cluttered. Again it set me thinking. How do we achieve order in our lives given the pressures we place on ourselves? Or do some of us just focus inwardly? We’ve given up on using our potential. Perhaps we feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. Do we act to avoid and move away from situations or do we act to address our issues and so move forward?

Resources – reflection and rejection

As I walked around it was as though all the pathways to all the houses and dwellings was like visiting some of the many resources we have within us, within our map of the world. Just imagine your street, neighbourhood, village or district with each house being a resource to be used. Then all of a sudden as we picture that we realise we have lots of personal resources. Instead of dismissing them outright, be more reflective, consider your achievements, skills, knowledge, expertise, know how, experiences. Be open to what other resources you will have within you which you have not yet explored and perhaps your map of the world will expand a little more.

Just imagine going up in a balloon to survey the landscape. How many roads would you see? How many paths? How many shortcuts? My my! Just look at how many there in your map. So why limit yourself to the byroads?  Reflection lifts us out of the details. If we go high enough even a dull day will be brighter with all the various colours around. There are parts in sunshine, not clouded over. Just reflect on the resources you have and let them rejuvenate you once more.

Contemplate and commit

Just focus on your breathing right now.

Listen as you breathe in.

Listen as you breathe out.

How does the air feel going in?

How does it feel going out?

How deeply can you breathe in?  Down to the abdomen?  Just close your eyes for a few moments and just focus on breathing, perhaps for a count of ten breaths. How does that make you feel? What happens to your heart rate?  Any lower? Good.

For just a moment you forgot about everything. You just let it go. So you were in the here and now.

How good does that feel? So just do it each day. Contemplate and reflect. Commit to completing a small ten minute task each day. Perhaps relax for 10 minutes, or walk or some simple cleaning. Ten minutes is not a long time but what a difference it makes. So just commit yourself to making small positive changes because small steps are achievable. When you reflect on the good things each day you will surprise yourself. Commit to making small positive changes.

Highway or low way.

As I walked around delivering leaflets sometimes I took a high route and sometimes I took a low route. The low route can be beautiful and interesting and sometimes it is a good thing to take the low route because you see the detail a little more. This is especially useful if you usually take the high routes of life because we become too general in our ways of thinking.

Occasionally it is good to take the high route where we can see the bigger picture of the world around us. Perhaps we will appreciate seeing the bigger picture because it will help us to expand our personal horizons. Perhaps we may be able to alternatives routes. So if you are the kind of person who gets buried in the details of life, or just bogged down, just now and then take the high way, go up and then look out. It is good to try alternatives.

So this is March.

Motivate yourself.

Be active.

Be resourceful and reflective.

Contemplate and commit daily to small changes.

Occasionally just take a different route to achieve your goal – high way or low way.

Move onward just one step at a time. The journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step.

Take that step today.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Being Whole Again

Healthy Body
Outlook and opportunities
Learning and problem solving
Evaluation - feedback not failure

Wellbeing leads to being well. That means being well in the mind, body and spirit. As the late John Horner of Witherslack Group of Schools put it ' head,heart and stomach'. When all three work together in harmony they function positively and we are at our best. If any one of the three is experiencing discomfort then we will experience disharmony which restricts the benefits of our wellbeing.

Healthy bodies are the result of eating natural foods and having a wide variety of such foods,including fruit,veg,seeds, nuts, etc and reducing and eliminating our intake of processed foods which do not promote a healthy wellbeing. It also includes drinking plenty of water, the latest thinking being about 30ml for every kg you weigh.In addition taking part in daily activities promotes a greater sense of being well. Think of a rainbow for healthy eating and  of the natural foods to be found within each colour. Having such a focus provides learning, interest and variety. Taking just ten minutes a day of activity such as walking is a good place to start, especially if you have not done anything for a while. If you like it then repeat three times a day and gradually build up the amount of time. Just a warning if there are any health issues just check with your GP first.

Outlook and opportunities.

What's on the balance sheet ?
When we are outgoing and positive we have a great foundation for wellbeing. If we feel negative then this limits our wellbeing potential. Just try this exercise if this is how you feel.At the end each day for a week, make a list of all the good things that you have seen, heard, felt, touched or tasted. The list may be small but it's a start. The more we look ,reflect on and record the more positive we will become. This exercise will also help with our sleeping patterns.
Look for opportunities to be positive, look at the flowers growing, listen to the birds singing and feel the sun's rays on your skin. by looking for opportunities each day we will find them.

Learning something everyday happens because our unconscious mind takes in millions of bits of information each second.So when was the last time you completed a quiz,or crossword? Exercising the brain is just as important as exercising the body. The more we learn new things the better our brains will function. Why not learn one new fact each day ? Take up a new hobby or pick up an old one that you once did. Try problem solving as well because it gives our brains a good workout.

Evaluating  what we do is not about success or failure but about feedback. So as January ends and February begins what have we done to be more wholesome in 1/12th of 2012 ?

Realistically what happened to all the resolutions we made - fell by the wayside?

It takes the whole of us ( mind, body spirit) to make ourselves whole. It requires being healthy,eating naturally, daily activities, having positive outlooks and outcomes,learning and evaluation.

We  can't not change !

What could we  learn from our experiences in life so far?



Be active
Learn to relax.
Visualise more.
Eat healthily and drink plenty of water.
Learn more each day.
Problem solve regularly.

Will we be more wholesome in this an Olympic year?
Will we achieve what we set out to do and more?
Yes we could.
By doing each of the ARVELP suggestions our wellbeing will be much improved.
It starts right now, for now is all we have.