Monday, 25 March 2019

How I went from bent to straight!!

Spiral of oil bottles
My friend's cancer got me into essential oils. She had had 2 re-occurrences of breast cancer and she wanted a decent quality Frankincense to add to her natural health regime. We found doTERRA and an AMAZING frankincense. My friend hasn't had a reoccurrence since and is an avid sharer of all doTERRA products.

(I did a Facebook 'live' about it on my Essentially Shamanic Facebook page which you can view here)

My friend and I shared the cost of a doTERRA enrolment kit but soon realised that we both needed more oils each so she then got her own account - that is how good they are. Here is what really sold me on the oils though:

Wonky Viv

No more antibiotics for Indie

I home educate my children and we have various other children in and out of the house on a regular basis, with or without infections. Whenever someone got ill my daughter would fall ill too and it would ALWAYS affect her lungs. Nothing helped and she would end up on antibiotics more times than I was happy with. After getting the oils we would diffuse OnGuard (a protective oil blend) any time people came over and quickly I purchased another diffuser for her room so that she could diffuse either OnGuard or Air (a respiratory oil blend.) She hasn't been on antibiotics since.

Wonky Viv can run again

I am now back to running because of Deep Blue (a soothing oil blend.) I use it religiously every morning and night, and additionally before and after exercise. I haven't seized up since joining doTERRA and, as you can see from the picture (where I am standing as straight as I can), that is great for me.

Top tip - if I think I am going to seize up I use marjoram which is an anti-spasmodic but generally if I methodical with the deep blue, that doesn't happen

Essential Oils help with emotions too

Anyway, there are so many other ways these amazing oils have helped my family - reducing anxiety in my son when he started college, helping my husband get better sleep, stopping me getting migraines, helping me stay motivated when exercising, and so many, many more. The oils are also AMAZING for helping me when I feel 'Mum guilt' - but more on that later!!

Get in touch with me and ask me any questions

I will be adding more uses in future blog posts but if you want to know more please get in touch either via Facebook, on my Facebook business page (where I do weekly Monday Live Moments or MLMs!!); go and check out my latest Natural Health Solution classes or visit my webpage. I am here to help in any way I can because I wish I had known about these amazing gifts of the earth sooner!!

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Not a New Year's Resolution


I don’t really do new year’s resolutions but this year I am going to be fitter. In one of my Facebook ‘lives’ a few weeks ago I talked about this along with accountability and a term I learned from permaculture called stacking. (Watch that 'live' here-https://www.facebook.com/vckidd/videos/10157499306215579/.) 

Last year my husband started doing the York Park Run (Saturday morning 9am starting near Cherry Lane car park) regularly. The route is marked out on the pavement so it is a really good place to measure your distance and time if that is your thing (it is mine as I like a little competition with myself.) Also if you join the Park Run organisation you can add freedom runs, that you do at any time, even if you never get to one of their events.  

As someone who tends to get in my own way when trying to integrate new things into my life, I thought I would love to ‘stack’ this element of my life so that I did not feel I should or could be doing something else. I also wanted accountability to keep doing it. 'Stacking' basically means getting more yields (outputs) from one element of your life. So with regards to my health wouldn’t it be great if I could improve my physical health whilst also gaining something else. That thing I decided was inviting any friends or acquaintances to join me and therefore getting fit whilst having fun and socialising. Don’t get me wrong I love having a coffee at a friend’s house or at a cafĂ© or nights out but sometimes life is too busy to fit that in along with everything else. So why not chat whilst walking? Everyone benefits health wise and you get to chat/connect/share. So far I have done that 5k with my Mum, my friend Donna and another friend Sarah and I have loved every minute of it even though I am not a huge fan of exercise.  

Doing this also taught me something else about myself. I am someone who likes to just rush into whatever I am doing even though I know that very often preparation can really help. Abraham Lincoln said it well "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening my axe."  
So I did my first 5k walk with my dear husband Dave on 1st January and we did it in 52m 57s. So the next time I went I wanted to do it faster but I overdid the fast walking and I had also forgotten to put on my soothing blend cream which is great preparation for any exercise. My Mum, friend and I got 2k around the course and I had to stop to apply my soothing blend (thank goodness I had remembered it!!) and then had to complete the rest in a slower manner. 

So I now have my preparation routine set:
1. Marjoram essential oil on my back in case I go into spasm (at the same time as my morning application of deodorant)
2. Soothing blend on my back and all over my legs (at the same time as I apply to my back every morning anyway)
3. Soothing blend soaked Epsom salts ready for a relaxing bath sometime later in the day so I don’t have to think about it - done when the salts run out 

It works a treat!! I did a joggle (new term for walk, jog, walk, walk, jog, etc.) 5k yesterday with Sarah and no aches and pains today because I remembered my preparation routine. 



I also did some EFT tapping on the way to the course from the car. “Even though I believe that I am not a runner, I totally choose to have fun and trust my body to know how to run with ease.” None of these things took any real extra time although I may have looked a bit silly tapping my face on the way from the car to the start of the parkrun. No aches and pains on the way around and no aches and pains today (the day after.)

So basically if you can find a way to ‘stack’ your functions and get more yield out of your inputs do it. Be creative.  When there feels like there isn’t enough time in life find creative ways to get more out of what you do. Build exercise into your life and invite friends to join you; do some stretches in the morning when you brush your teeth; do pelvic floor exercises when you drive the car; dance when you make the dinner; if you are self-employed share your home and have some ‘hoffice’ days with friends who are also self-employed so at coffee breaks you can share ideas or not feel as lonely and you have an accountability partner there in your home. Do this in a positive way so it adds value. There are so many ways to squeeze more stuff into the time we have without it being a chore. Would love to know your ideas...come share with me on Facebook.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The positives of having a cold


Seriously, is there a positive to having a nasty cold?

When you are experiencing it sometimes it feels not.

However, I thought I would turn those feelings on their head and see where I ended up!!

Here goes........................

I have tried really hard, and quite successfully until this last weekend, to NOT get a cold. It is the season to be coming down with something at the moment whether it be a cold, stomach flu, etc.

My dh got the horrid cold last week and I still managed to avoid it. I am generally a healthy person and having recently started using essential oils (EOs) via doTERRA, I have found diffusing their protective blend, drinking lots of water with their lemon oil to alkalise my body, as well as other things, has greatly improved mine (and my family's) health.

The irony is that because I was preparing for my first outing as a doTERRA wellness advocate, some of these routines went by the wayside: I was going to Wakefield Vegan Festival to share oils and hopefully empower others to look after themselves with EOs as part of their health regimen and I was forgetting to take that advice myself.

How often does that happen?


Anyway ,Sunday came and so did a cold - straight to my throat. I was so annoyed because I find it SO MUCH EASIER to prevent an illness than GET RID of it once I have it. Also ,I have no tonsils (they were removed on my 19th birthday!!) so anything that goes to my throat makes me very annoyed as it brings back memories of many, many attacks of tonsillitis but also it tends to then go to my chest.

So how to get rid of a sore throat and not have my infection go to my chest?

I am relatively new to using essential oils but I have some great books I bought from Essentoils and there is also a wealth of information out there from other EO people via Instragram, etc.

I ended up with this combination:
1. Lots of water with lemon and peppermint.
2. Healthy snacks like apple with On Guard oil (wild orange peel, clove bud, cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus leaf and rosemary) diluted with coconut oil.
3. And then other oils to combat the illness internally.




That stopped the sore throat in its tracks - SUCCESS. Now I just have a runny nose which will pass in time if I keep looking after myself.

However, it hasn't all been about EOs. They are foremost in my mind because as a geek I like to try and see what works but also the best way for me to try and share the oils with others is to practice what I preach. However, I also took the opportunity to clear my decks of everything that I could this week and take some time for myself.

I am a person who does a lot of stuff (by choice) but I do forget sometimes that the energy required to have a full life also requires time to just be.

It has been great to rest, do some shamanic journeys, use my oils in new ways, read a new book, re-read an old book, mind-map ideas, listen to webinars, do a bit of planning for the future and write this blog post.

So maybe it wasn't just my 'not looking after myself' that meant I ended up ill. Maybe, as we all do, I needed the excuse to slow down and take some time out. However, in the future I am going to try to:

1. remember to plan taking time out
2. remember my daily health routine
3. NOT get ill

If I fail again though, I will count it as a blessing and take the time to slow down, reconnect with myself, sleep and dream.



Monday, 20 March 2017

February & March 2017 Monthly Moments

Obviously I am stunningly biased against schooling (in the favour of home educating) for this very reason but this is always great to see it being said again in slightly different words by someone new. In the age of robots, schools are teaching our children to be redundant by George Monbiot.

And here's another one The Secret of Happy Children - Get rid of teachers and ban homework. Again interesting ideas about why schooling is making children tired and things could be improved for everyone pretty easily.

Similar things have been said by Ken Robinson (some of them over TEN years ago) in his fabulous TED talks - Do schools kill creativity?, Bring on the Learning Revolution and my personal favourite RSA Animate video Changing education paradigms which everyone should watch for the fantastic animation alone!!



Interesting article about raising "good" kids which once you get over the "good" in the title is really worth reading.

And now onto something completely different for those crafty people out there:

I am trying to knit my first pair of socks with proper sock yarn at present and this wonderful page has demystified all the weird 'turn heel', 'heel flap', etc. stuff which is great. Then I am using this pattern and there is a whole tutorial which goes with it which is also fantastic!! I love the internet!!

Also here is a great reminder about how social media is taking over with a great Lion King parody by Dustin and Genevieve.




Recently I have found myself getting fed up with Facebook as there seems to be a lot of advertising courses but also because I can not keep up with the number of people posting. There is also the studies now that are showing that social media is now increasing loneliness and envy and reading the article in The Telegraph resonated with me. One of my resolutions for this year was to try and see the people I love face to face and really connect. I know that isn't easy to do but so far it is going quite well and I am enjoying the more intimate connection I get from that.



Thursday, 2 February 2017

Monthly Moments resurrected

I loved doing my monthly moments blog posts back in 2013 and so to try and get me at least writing 12 blog posts a year I am going to try and resurrect them this year.

Where are all the female superheroes? Great TED talk. Let's bring up females who are powerful, brave and own our power.




Geoff Lawton free permaculture resources

Really interesting article about a woman wearing men's clothes for a month

Crochet boots using flipflops

How to activate your diaphragm for correct breathing with a great video showing how to breathe correctly.

A great way of explaining the autism spectrum in comic format.

Fab advert by Denmark about not putting people in boxes. Well worth a watch

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Minimalist months

I failed to keep up to date with my Minimalist posts on my blog but I have been doing them religiously over the last year. Ryan, the Communications Coordinator at the Permaculture Association, added a lovely post about my idea on the Permaculture Blog here reminded me that I hadn't written about it over the last year so here is a recap!!

March saw a whole load of grown-out-of toys find their way to new homes which is always fun. Dh and I have been trying to get all the games in one place in the dining/sitting room area of the house where we only have a certain number of shelves to dedicate to games so we got ruthless even with some games like the one to the right as well as bigger ones we don't use.

Educational toys also got the heave-ho. We would rather someone else use these things than hold onto them. Other things that were bought and only used once or twice also went to new homes as did knitting sets which I had to admit I was never going to get around to doing!!

I got a lovely message from the man who picked up the chess set that his wife loved knitting it all - very satisfying. Then there was all the stuff that we are just never going to use that went to a charity shop. All-in-all a good minimalist month.

That was April/May time last year. Then November happened with some of the stuff shown above new homes as well as a lot of other stuff. Again things that we are never going to use.

What you then realise is that this thing becomes slightly addictive and so now we always have a charity bag on the go and both my dh and I are always looking for ways to reduce our belongings. Even dd has got in on the act and is always looking for ways to cut down on her stuff.

So in preparation for February's minimalist month we have already got rid of a PlayStation 2 and all games, Nintendo DS XL and all games, inline skates, Life of Fred books, I am going through all my CDs at present, I have thrown out at least 100 pens which we didn't need work or we didn't need, etc. We are in a minimalist cycle and although we may never make it to actually living a minimalist life, I would highly recommend this game to everyone. It is fun for all the family.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Ah Permaculture Diploma / New Year - where am I going?

I suppose it is always around this time of year that I contemplate where I am going in the upcoming year. I find January is a time of reflection for me as my birthday falls near the beginning of January as well as being the actual start of a new year.

Well, I got a great surprise in that one of my diploma projects got signed off in January with another one nearing being signed off. I have nearly finished writing up my wonderful collaborative Introduction to Permaculture course design that culminated in York's Introduction to Permaculture course run by 2 other permaculture diploma apprentices and myself back in November.

All very exciting but the diploma is also taking a lot of my time and that is something that I do not have a lot of. So the time has come to re-evaluate.

Something I always thought near the beginning of my diploma journey was using the permaculture principle of designing from patterns to details to concentrate, via my projects, on the circles of my life split up as follows:

1. my house
2. my street
3. my easily walkable neighbourhood
4. my walkable area (within 30 minutes)
5. my locality
6. my city
7. everything else needed to create community / remain connected to everything

with more effort put into 1 through to a lot less effort for no 6 and a weird amount of effort for 7 due to wanting to reclaim entertainment tasks from the economy such as cooking, childcare and fun. Across all the circles there is a need to connect with people, nature and myself and then contribute to the communities in those areas.

I also wanted to honour my quadrinity, as taught in the Hoffman Process, of intellect, spirit, emotion and physical body.

This is not something that I have touched on explicitly so far in any of the 10 designs but they are always in the back of my mind. However all these 11 areas are very important to me in different ways but how do I deal with them all in a way that is understandable? This is something that I have struggled with a lot whilst doing the permaculture diploma. Being dyslexic I tend to think big and assume that everyone is going to get where I am coming from. They don't!!!

All you need to do is look at the number of spreadsheets in my diploma journey planning, logging, documenting project plan here. It makes perfect sense to me but it isn't that easy to follow without some sort of explanation. And therein lies a problem because when it comes down to it I really cannot be bothered to explain all the many small details of my inter-connected way of thinking. I don't have the time and even if I did it would be taking me away from doing all the fab things I get to do. So what do I do now? I don't really have an answer. So I am going to keep doing the things I have been doing since starting the diploma and I will just see where this year takes me. I am going to stick to my plan as long as it doesn't cause me stress.

And so I am going to start with a re-evaluation of myself:

1. I am more than a someone doing a diploma in permaculture, I am more than someone who home educates their children, I am more than a wife, a daughter, a sister, a volunteer at my local community hub, more than a self-employed IT / PA / social media person, more than a friend, more than my jobs, more than my relationships. I am all those things and more.

I am the embodiment of all my relationships / all my connections with the world.

2. What I do does not need to be measured to be valued (do not mistake measurement for value eg. salary, school grades, etc) whether it be via salary, signed off diploma projects or whatever.

3. When I forget who I am and I become disconnected - I need to be aware eg. shopping for stuff I don't need, eating stuff that doesn't fuel my body properly, etc

and then:

4. Celebrate the connections in my life and build more:
i. honour the space I live in eg. declutter (minimalist month), use the space in a conducive manner
ii. continue making cider with people on the street every year, connect with my neighbours in other ways, help-yourself front garden
iii.working at the local community cafe & volunteering at the local youth club
iv. regular walks - health and wellbeing and awareness of my neighbourhood & member of my local Timebank
v. use my local shops eg. greengrocers - local produce, local businesses, local market
vi. walk/cycle as much as possible
vii. grow the great connections I have with my friends and with nature

Intellect
Admit my dysfunctionality
Recognise it = awareness
Confront it = will
Move on = take action

Emotion
Recognise the need to listen (observe)
Recognise the need to be heard
Enlightenment is a group effort or Charles Einstein's idea of us being inter-beings

Spirit
Honour the fact that I am part of nature

Body
Just do stuff and find positive body issues

These are just ramblings that I have written as they have occurred to me against the backdrop of the 11 areas mentioned above. A journalution of sorts (click on the link to find out more about journaling) and there is so much more I could write because working on myself and my place in this amazing universe is never going to end. The universe at present seems to be presenting me with many amazing opportunities to help people get the word out about brilliant courses, fantastic services that will help people find themselves or great products that honour the planet.

I get to continue honouring my planet by being part of the lives of the wonderful natural resources that are a whole host of amazing home educated children (including my own.) The next creative generation!! Every day I get to be part of that. It really needs to be celebrated.

So whether I take a pause from my diploma, give it up, keep working on it - it doesn't actually matter because those 11 areas mentioned above (and so many more) are always in the back of my mind along with the need to looking after the planet I live with.


Thursday, 15 September 2016

After yesterday's post this is interesting


The 18 things mentally tough people do:
1. They move on - they don't waste time feeling sorry for themselves. 
2. They keep control - they don't give away their power. 
3. They embrace change - they welcome challenges.
4. They stay happy - they don't complain and they don't waste energy on things they can't control.
5. They are kind - they are fair and unafraid to speak up. They don't worry about pleasing other people.
6. They are willing to take calculated risks - they weigh the risks and benefit before taking action.
7. They invest their energy in the present - they don't dwell on the past
8. They accept full responsibility for their past behaviour - they don't make the same mistake over and over. 
9. They celebrate other people’s success - they don't resent that success.
10. They are willing to fail - they don't give up after failing and they see every failure as a chance to improve.
11. They enjoy their time alone - they don't fear being alone.
12. They are prepared to work and succeed on their own merits - they don't feel the world owes them anything.
13. They have staying power - they don't expect immediate results.
14. They evaluate their core beliefs - and modify as needed.
15. They expend their energy wisely - they don't spend time on unproductive thoughts. 
16. They think productively - they replace negative thoughts with productive thoughts.
17. They tolerate discomfort - they accept their feelings without being controlled by them.
18. They reflect on their progress - every day. They take time to consider what they've achieved and where they are going.

I like this list but can't track down where it has come from although it seems awfully similar to the list below that I found on Forbes entitled "Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid" (Cheryl Conner) just obviously written in reverse. I prefer the following list because it has more information attached.

1.    Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves. You don’t see mentally strong people feeling sorry for their circumstances or dwelling on the way they’ve been mistreated. They have learned to take responsibility for their actions and outcomes, and they have an inherent understanding of the fact that frequently life is not fair. They are able to emerge from trying circumstances with self-awareness and gratitude for the lessons learned. When a situation turns out badly, they respond with phrases such as “Oh, well.” Or perhaps simply, “Next!”
2. Give Away Their Power. Mentally strong people avoid giving others the power to make them feel inferior or bad. They understand they are in control of their actions and emotions. They know their strength is in their ability to manage the way they respond.
3.    Shy Away from Change. Mentally strong people embrace change and they welcome challenge. Their biggest “fear,” if they have one, is not of the unknown, but of becoming complacent and stagnant. An environment of change and even uncertainty can energize a mentally strong person and bring out their best.
4. Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control. Mentally strong people don’t complain (much) about bad traffic, lost luggage, or especially about other people, as they recognize that all of these factors are generally beyond their control. In a bad situation, they recognize that the one thing they can always control is their own response and attitude, and they use these attributes well.
5. Worry About Pleasing Others. Know any people pleasers? Or, conversely, people who go out of their way to dis-please others as a way of reinforcing an image of strength? Neither position is a good one. A mentally strong person strives to be kind and fair and to please others where appropriate, but is unafraid to speak up. They are able to withstand the possibility that someone will get upset and will navigate the situation, wherever possible, with grace.
6. Fear Taking Calculated Risks. A mentally strong person is willing to take calculated risks. This is a different thing entirely than jumping headlong into foolish risks. But with mental strength, an individual can weigh the risks and benefits thoroughly, and will fully assess the potential downsides and even the worst-case scenarios before they take action.
7. Dwell on the Past. There is strength in acknowledging the past and especially in acknowledging the things learned from past experiences—but a mentally strong person is able to avoid miring their mental energy in past disappointments or in fantasies of the “glory days” gone by. They invest the majority of their energy in creating an optimal present and future.
8. Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over. We all know the definition of insanity, right? It’s when we take the same actions again and again while hoping for a different and better outcome than we’ve gotten before. A mentally strong person accepts full responsibility for past behavior and is willing to learn from mistakes. Research shows that the ability to be self-reflective in an accurate and productive way is one of the greatest strengths of spectacularly successful executives and entrepreneurs.
9. Resent Other People’s Success. It takes strength of character to feel genuine joy and excitement for other people’s success. Mentally strong people have this ability. They don’t become jealous or resentful when others succeed (although they may take close notes on what the individual did well). They are willing to work hard for their own chances at success, without relying on shortcuts.
10. Give Up After Failure. Every failure is a chance to improve. Even the greatest entrepreneurs are willing to admit that their early efforts invariably brought many failures. Mentally strong people are willing to fail again and again, if necessary, as long as the learning experience from every “failure” can bring them closer to their ultimate goals.
11. Fear Alone Time. Mentally strong people enjoy and even treasure the time they spend alone. They use their downtime to reflect, to plan, and to be productive. Most importantly, they don’t depend on others to shore up their happiness and moods. They can be happy with others, and they can also be happy alone.
12. Feel the World Owes Them Anything. Particularly in the current economy, executives and employees at every level are gaining the realization that the world does not owe them a salary, a benefits package and a comfortable life, regardless of their preparation and schooling. Mentally strong people enter the world prepared to work and succeed on their merits, at every stage of the game.
13. Expect Immediate Results. Whether it’s a workout plan, a nutritional regimen, or starting a business, mentally strong people are “in it for the long haul”. They know better than to expect immediate results. They apply their energy and time in measured doses and they celebrate each milestone and increment of success on the way. They have “staying power.” And they understand that genuine changes take time.