A book named SPARK !

Here here my readers …. first the picture … writing to follow soon 🌟

When thoughts become words….

Sharing a few lines that I penned earlier this year …..

Wellness is about finding a script to define the way we do life and then making an endeavour to do so with intention and consistency ….. 😊

Prouder Stronger Kinder
Than before
To love more -and to be more giving
To read more -and to share my knowledge
To walk every step feeling grateful
To use each word with utmost care
To live each moment with intention
To delight savour and
See my life unfold
Transforming me towards
Greater goodness

Words and wellness

My dear readers …. the intention behind this writing is to advocate the use of words that give you a sense of calm and bring another layer of connectedness in all that you do .

Comforting words: What are your safe words …. I like “kind”, “caring” “cherish” “safe” and I also like using “love” in my vocabulary – you may choose some affirming words that make your spirits rise up…

Think of the words that you use a lot when speaking …..say them often and enjoy the thought and feeling that comes from the words. Finding a special word and living the meaning that emanates from our special words…add wellness to your everyday living …

Very often I go by these three words “live …. love …. and serve” I enjoy the special meaning in all of the three words and I feel motivated to be and do just a little better each day …

Finishing my writing today with the words spoken by my great grand dad in one of his many speeches …”The noblest way of serving God is by service to men.”

Home truths that helped me in my wellness journey

Understanding the science of how the brain works played an important role in my wellness journey.  Below are some scientific facts  of how our brain responds to stress ; understanding this has helped me become more mindful in the way I choose to respond  to situations that sometimes challenge me..

# Anxiety and fear and anger are universal human emotions- these are instinctive responses. Anxiety is about feeling unsure and fear is about the unknown and anger feels like being frustrated and caught within a no-exit web – All of our emotional experiences are embedded in the stem of the brain or the amygdala

#  Memories are stored as emotional responses and not as images or words…All of the emotional experiences  are embedded in the amygdala or brain stem turns into memories) – Memories very often drive our behaviour.  So the lesson for us is to hold on to your happy memories …. and learning to let go of the not so happy memories

# Our brain stem is triggered by memories – the stem of the brain drives our behaviour. When the stem is in control of our brainworks – we tend to see an unsafe model of the world and we engage in unsafe behaviours. When we feel threatened ( fear) or anxious ( not sure) or angry – we have to re-teach the amygdala / the brainstem, – that it is ok and that it is safe –

# We can calm the brainstem by using comforting words, affirming images and creating positive nurturing experiences.

We will have to repeat, repeat and repeat the new nurturing experiences that calms us –we have to repeat until the new nurturing experiences becomes our new memory. I find that when our actions are motivated by nurturing experiences – we blossom into a better version of ourselves …

Visuals that delight me 🌟

Emotional literacy

Emotional litesracy is about being able to identify your emotions and speak your thoughts accordingly . When we identify our doc emotions – we are able to give words to our feelings . This gives us a level of control as to how to manage our feelings

When we have control of our feelings – we are able to manage ourselves better .

So what are ways to develop emotional literacy

1. Learn to identify feelings

2. Name them – the tricky ones are feeling scared , feeling angry and feeling sad

3. Once you have identified your feelings and named them – choose one or two steps of action to deal with each of the tricky feelings

4. For example when we feel sad or angry – talking to a friend or doing some physical activity or excercise helps – it is a positive way to express your sadness or anger

5.When we feel scared – talking to the people who give comfort or being with someone we trust helps

6. Taking some time everyday to breathe , to stretch or to engage in any quiet mindful activity like going for a walk or working on an art project … helps you to become calmer …. and stronger to manage your feelings and therefore your actions

7.So having positive thoughts… making a choice to have positive feelings guides us in making positive choices / actions …As someone wise said As you think so you become ….

Pets and wellness ….

The intention of the blog is to write on the nature of dogs – how they help us in our wellness journey .

Dogs : research indicates that having a dog improves wholistic wellness. Dogs enhance spiritual wellness, physical wellness, social wellness and emotional wellness.

Spiritual wellness : Dogs live in the moment – when you are with a dog they engage with you and not worried about what’s coming next …

Physical wellness : Dogs love walks – so they help to keep us fit…

Social wellness : Dogs make great company – and create new socialising opportunities for us…

Emotional wellness : Dogs emanate love in the way they greet you , look at you and speak to you in woofs

Dogs teach us about commitment and consistency – when we own a dog we have to feed them , walk them and care for them when unwell. Taking ownership / and being consistent is also about enhancing your own personal growth and Character

Last week we lost our dog Simba – he had the liveliest warmest and the kindest of spirits. I still feel sad for the loss and the void he has left in my home and heart

I am mindful of the feelings of sadness that comes to me and grips my heart in bouts. I embrace my sadness and I also remind myself of the precious memories and the lessons in love ,togetherness and patience that Simba brought for my whanau / family He lost an eye to glaucoma in 2018 and he still carried on with just as much strength and cheer abd zest for living and loving – so he also taught us resilience

Talking of love …some lines from Elizabeth Barret Browning

“How do I love thee?….let me count the ways I love thee to the depth and breadth and height.-My soul can reach when feeling out of sight -For the ends of being and ideal Grace .”

I am blessed for having experienced that love – thankful for being able to connect to share the story of love and resilience 🍀

CHOICE Sharing what I learnt from Dr. Edith Edgar`s Story on Resilience…5 key points :)

Claim:

INTENTION: SHARING 5 KEYPOINTS OF CHOICE – A STORY ON RESILIENCE

Evidence:

Data on the scientific nature of resilience = matches = author`s experience

Reasoning:

Author`s first hand experience –working through her challenges – towards healing and resilience is an excellent example of how each of us can make an informed choice in moving towards courage, resilience and wellness…

Adverse experiences can also be teaching experiences: The story captured my interest as it highlights how people can find and make meaning through challenging traumatic experiences –so instead of feeling victimised …..find a pathway of empowerment. Freedom – the joy of living and loving comes only with responsibility .

Find a purpose and connect to it: Trauma is real and each person`s trauma is significant – however each of us can make an informed choice to come out of the suffering. The way to come out of trauma is to commit to a purpose that is outside of us.

Be Kind to yourself: The author speaks of adhering to“ a moral centre”- when we pay attention to kindness, integrity and cooperation …..we shift the focus to the present – what we have –nurture yourself- choose to be your own parent.    

Have Faith: Put away the language of blame – Accept your loss – grieve – but do not get stuck in it….. give yourself plenty of time to invite all of the feelings – go through all of your feelings –but do not get stuck in it see “the light and see the gift in everything – every moment.”

Forgiveness is a gift : Any loss also involves anger -When you own and feel the anger about your loss- we help ourselves to come to terms with it. When we have that awareness then we are also truly preparing ourselves to let go of the pain…. By not allowing the past to rule your life  we give ourselves permission to go ahead and live

Making your world bigger On the power of words ….

Books play an amazing transformative role in widening our experiences and our world.

In my work I always share that words are powerful tools in informing us and transforming the experiences that challenge us at times. For example – when anxious , sad or scared  we can always inform ourselves by using  safe and affirming words that bring down our levels of anxiety.

Books are similar in allowing us to look into author`s perspectives on the world, on experiences – that might sometimes be real or unreal. Books widen our understanding of the world – books help us to have insight into information, experiences , and thoughts  – Books therefore are also inspirational in helping us make our own stories.

Books that influenced me : The two books that I read in detail last year are Dr. Edith Eger `s book– The Choice and another book on resilience is Tara Westover`s Educated – it is about looking at challenges and your own perception of life with a new perspective and making an informed choice of moving forward …


Movement and wellness

Hi dear all, the intention for this post is

  • To advocate for exercise so you feel motivated to make time to add some form of movement into your routine.
  • To go into some details of why movement /exercise has such a positive impact on wellness.
  • I am sharing here two of my art works … on Yoga and Riding

Movement can be the best form of therapy that is freely available to everyone

Why is movement therapeutic??

The brain: Going back to the structure of the brain (refer blog brain and wellness) imagine the brain as a four layered box; each layer has its own exclusive function…. The bottom part or the lowest part of the brain is the stem….

The stem of the brain is very sensitive to any uncertainties that we face … so when we feel uncertain, unsure or worried or angry the brain becomes dysregulated; we are not able to hold focus, or think with clarity.

The part of the brain just above the stem looks after our movements …So when we feel uncertain, we feel displaced and our movements are not the best – we are either fidgety or restless or displaced –

Fascinating truth: The study of the brain is fascinating because how we think and what we feel is also seen in what we do ….

Exercise/ is energising – has a positive impact on our mind – thoughts , feelings and actions

Any rhythmic movement has a calming effect on the brain stem and helps with self-regulation- helps to manage our emotions.

Movement oriented activities are rhythmic, repetitive – allows amazing scope for social connect and mindful wellness.

Collective wellness: Think of the times you have joined a good game of something and have come out feeling tired but happy refreshed and calm. There is a collective happiness that comes from shared sport or walk or movement   –this is very beneficial to individual health and happiness.

Mindfulness: Exercise helps us to connect to ourselves; we are immersed in the moment – sheer joy of participation and we follow the steps that are needed for the action…. Long walks are also incredibly calming and regulates movement and breath – which improves wellness,

A tale on swimming: Swimming was not easy; the fear of water was a potential barrier- I had to teach myself to overcome the fear before I could take my first lesson. For days and months I just watched people swim and then noticed that swimming has a beat to it – one –two- three -breathe- which for me was a learning point …. And now I feel blessed for being able to swim a good 40 lengths!! I tend to use flippers though … as it makes my swimming quicker, easier and for me more joyful. Yoga, and swimming are the activities that have helped me fill up my wellness reservoir …..

Breathing has a powerful influence on mind body and wellness. Yoga, swimming and running are all exercises that focus on the breath. So this was why I made sure that my wellness workshop would have a movement component in it ….

In my practice I have always included exercise as integral to interventions and seen the benefits; individuals who access regular robust fitness consistently make steady gains.

In my next blog I will share some highlights from a very commended book SPARK I read in 2016 ; In sharing I  hope that this adds to your knowledge on the scientist benefits of exercise on individual and collective wellness

“ The mind is everything … what we think , we become.” Gautama Buddha