Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Back to the land of the employed

Well it had to come to an end at some point. Finally secured myself some paid employment outside of my two business ventures; a part-time (2 days a week) Research Manager job at Southampton University. It will be good to start the new academic year with some new impetus and direction. it's all very well being freelance and I have greatly enjoyed the time I have spent studying massage, naturopathy and nutrition (which I intend to continue) and the gardening but it doesn't pay the bills! With winter fast approaching the idea of spending every day working from home is not so appealing, I find by mid-morning I am absolutely freezing. As the university is 3 miles away it's easily reached by bike so it'll be part of my daily exercise routine as well. Talking of which, I have been running every morning (a little 10 min jog round the local common). Nothing much to speak of but surprisingly, little and often seems to show real benefits. My theory is that if you don't perceive it as a chore you are more likely to do it and so I've not made it too onerous. I have to say though i've not turned into the bionic woman I have certainly noticed the difference with my legs feeling lighter and stronger and my energy levels raised. Am trying to 'practice what I preach' and make exercise a part of my daily life.

My next idea is to learn EFT and Meridian therapy and to this end I have signed up for a Practitioner course. If you don't know what this is then check out the web - it's a type of energy therapy that involves tapping along various points in the body to clear emotional blockages such as phobias, anxiety, etc. Sounds bizarre I know but it's gaining credence in psychiatric circles as it seems to act on the subconscious directly by distracting the conscious brain (with sensory stimuli). In order to practice I have to work on myself first and this will be an important part of my training. I have one phobia which is spiders but that's quite a common one. However, I also have some strange resistance around success and marketing myself which I've always known and wondered why this is. I love to learn new skills but when it comes to selling them i always falter. This is something I would love to look at. Wish me luck!

Have been juicing almost every day too - again trying to make it a regular routine. Finding good combinations is an artform a bit like cookery. My favourite so far is spinach, banana and orange juice but a close second (and more like a dessert) is rice milk, blackcurrant and cocoa powder (you could use raw cacao for a more healthy alternative). Yum! Making them tasty is SO important. I made one today which just wasn't up to snuff and then had to throw half of it away as I couldn't face it!

Finally am reading some wonderful books which I ordered off the internet and are broadening my knowledge of health and wellbeing; one I highly recommend is 'French women don't get fat' which is a wonderful antidote to all those awful diet books where restriction and guilt force you to give up the pleasure of eating to lose a few pounds and then put it all back on again (plus a few more!) when you stop the diet. This is about gradual weight loss through intelligent choices, regaining the joy of preparing and eating real food and realigning your relationship with food. It's a thoroughly enlightening and inspirational read by someone who has done it herself (and lost 3 stone in the process). She makes the valid point that a lot of diet books are written by men (Atkins anyone) for women (who make up the vast majority of the market) without realising the huge differences between men and women (both metabolically and psychologically). Women eat food for lots of reasons besides hunger, a lot of to do with emotional comfort. Another book that tackled this was 'Beyond Chocolate' which I found similarly positive and woman-centred.

Also, and seemingly unrelated, I am reading 'Healing beyond the Body' by Larry Dossey which looks at the links between unresolved emotion and illness, and 'Rethinking Pasteur's Germ Theory' by Nancy Appleton which argues against the idea that disease is caused by external forces against which we are helpless. I've only got to the first chapter but already am thinking how right she is that this has fed straight into the current medical paradigm of being passive consumers of modern medicine (= pharmacological drugs) rather than empowered creators of our own health. The subtitle of the book is 'How to maintain your Optimal Health' and I am looking forward to this part as I have long been a proponent of Optimum Nutrition since I read Patrick Holford's book almost 10 years ago. That book blew me away and it looks like this one may take the argument a little further without the underlying 'buy my supplement' approach.

Have also got into 'Making a Forest Garden' by Patrick Whitefield a classic permaculture book which, as readers of my previous blog will know, is one of my other passions in life. Ah, so many books so little time. A quick poke of my head outside the back to door to pluck some homegrown rocket from my raised bed, got soaked in the incessant rain but still a joy to see my tomatoes, beans, courgettes and leaves all enjoying a good soaking. So, you see not just reading about it but doing it too. That's the learning really.

Bye for now